Another King James Bible Believer

Answering Doug Kutilek's anti- Preservation in Psalms 12



Psalms 12:6-7 - Answering Doug Kutilek’s article “Why Psalm 12:6-7 is not a Promise of the Infallible Preservation of Scripture” 




Doug Kutilek, like many today, professes to believe in the inerrancy and infallibility of the Scriptures, and yet does not have a copy of them to show anybody.  He may not know (and he most certainly doesn’t) where God’s preserved words are, but the one thing he continually tells us is that they are not found in the King James Holy Bible.

Doug Kutilek is an unbeliever in the existence of a complete and inerrant words of God Bible in ANY language and he is a Vatican Version promoter.

At one of the Facebook clubs when the topic came up about the ESV and how good it is, Doug responded in these words: 

Doug Kutilek - “Yes, it is a formal equivalence version into mostly contemporary English. It is one of the three modern versions I recommend -- New American Standard, and Christian Standard bible being the other two."

If you wish to know what the ever changing, Vatican text supervised ESVs are really like, check out my own study on it here - 

The Ever Changing ESVs  2001, 2007, 2011 and 2016 editions = just another Vatican Version



He has written several articles criticizing the King James Bible, all of which reveal a great deal about his own self-contradictory thinking when it comes to his beliefs concerning “The Bible”.  You can see this particular article about the preservation of God’s words and Psalms 12 here:


Let’s examine some of Doug’s thoughts and see if you want to follow his logic and reach the same conclusions he has.


Mr. Kutilek starts off sounding like he is a 100% genuine, Fundamentalist Bible believer, referring to the Scriptures left and right, but if you pay close attention to what he says, we see that he is just another Bible Agnostic in search of a Bible to believe in.


In one of his opening statements he makes this claim. A much-discussed point of theology in recent years has been the matter of the preservation of the Word of God. All conservative, Bible-believing scholars, teachers, and pastors agree to the Bible doctrine of divine inspiration, verbal inerrancy, and infallibility of the Scriptures IN THE ORIGINAL WRITINGS.


A few things should be pointed out about Mr. Kutilek’s opening salvo. He is right about the point of theology concerning the preservation of the words of God is something that has come about “in recent years”.  The Preservation of God’s words has only been widely doubted within the last 50 to 60 years since we have been bombarded by a multiplicity of conflicting and contradictory modern bible versions.  When the first formal church Confessions of Faith in the Scriptures came out (and they all came out after the King James Bible was widely believed to be the very words of God), they all supported the KJB point of view rather than today’s “only in the originals” mindset.


Read for yourself some of these formal Confessions of Faith regarding the Scriptures.  Not one of them was like today's “originals only” position.


Secondly, Mr. Kutilek repeats a common confusion of terms when he refers to “the Word of God” (capitalized).  The Word of God refers to the Second Person of the Trinity, the eternal Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us.  Whereas “the word of God” refers to either the written or spoken revelation of God’s inspired words of truth.  The word of God did not die on the cross, rise from the dead nor will it come again in power and glory, but the Word of God did and will.


Thirdly it should be pointed out that the recent “originals only” point of view leaves every Christian on this earth with NO complete, infallible and 100% true words of God in ANY language. 


 The reasons are simple.  #1-  Neither Mr. Kutilek nor any man living today has ever seen a single word of the “the original writings” a day in his life.  They do not exist and everybody knows this, yet Bible agnostics like Doug Kutilek continue to talk about them using present tense verbs as though they had them or even a copy of them right there in front of them and were comparing what they say to the King James Bible or any other translation.


#2 -  The original writings never did make up a complete 66 book canon of Scripture called The Bible - never.


#3 - The “originals only” point of view makes God either a liar or at least guilty of using hyperbole and exaggeration when He said such things as “heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35); “the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35) and “the grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”  (Isaiah 40:8)


Nobody seriously defends any modern version or any single Hebrew or Greek text as being the complete, inspired and 100% true words of God.  In fact, most “scholars” today come right out and tell us that no single Hebrew or Greek manuscripts or text, nor any translation can be the perfect and infallible words of God.  Don’t believe me?  Just ask them to tell you where you can get a copy of the complete and 100% true words of God so you can compare it to any bible you are using now to see the differences and similarities.  They cannot and will not tell you.  


They will usually give you some pious sounding baloney about how God has “preserved” His words out there somewhere among thousands of variant readings in several different languages, but not one of them will agree all the time with anybody else as to what these “preserved words” may or may not be.


Their pratfall position is much like saying  “God has preserved His words in Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary - they’re in there somewhere, all mixed up and out of order and found among thousands of other words that are not inspired, but Hey, they’re in there somewhere.”


#4 - The “originals only” position makes man a Bible agnostic because he ends up not knowing for sure which parts of the multi-choice, contradictory bible versions on the market today are God’s words and which are not.  There are literally thousands of textual differences alongside of hundreds of different meanings in the verses they do have. Which, if any, are the right ones?


For a further development of this idea, please see my article - “The Inerrancy of Scripture - Are you a Bible believer or a Bible agnostic?”



Mr. Kutilek continues his argument: “That they had the perfect Scriptures in ancient times is fine, but the question is, do we have them today? Or, has God preserved the Word He gave in time past? The main proof text employed to teach an infallibly preserved Bible is Psalm 12:6, 7, which in the KJV reads,


“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” (End of section by Mr. Kutilek)


I find it interesting that Mr. Kutilek reveals a bit too much about his own beliefs here in the way he phrases his statements. He’s trying to disprove that the Bible teaches that God would preserve His words in any  “book of the LORD” (See Isaiah 34:16).  Why?  Because Mr. Kutilek does NOT believe in “an infallibly preserved Bible” in any language and so he sets out to try to make you think that what Psalms 12 teaches, not only in the King James Bible but many others as well, is not really what it seems to say at all.


To make you think the verses are not teaching that God will preserve His words, he goes into the long debated grammatical aspects of these verses.  He admits the rule of immediate antecedent would be “the words” but then promotes the alternative view that the more remote antecedent would be “the poor and needy” of verse 5.


(By the way, has God indeed preserved “the poor and needy from this generation for ever”?  Haven’t they all died off and many were persecuted and martyred rather than being preserved?)


 Doug Kutilek starts off his arguments with a completely false statement when he tells us: “We are not limited to the English translation but have access to the Hebrew original.”

This is completely untrue.  Doug has never seen one word of “the Hebrew original” a day in his life.  The modern versions he promotes like the NASB, RSV, ESV, NIV and others ALL frequently reject the clear, preserved Hebrew readings, and not even in the same places.


See these two studies for proof. -



If one tries to argue that Mr. Kutilek is not referring to “the Hebrew ORIGINAL” (even though that is what he clearly says) but rather to the copies of the Hebrew, then he is defeating his own argument by referring us to “the preserved Hebrew words of God”, which he goes on to tell us is not what these verses in Psalm 12 teach!  

Mr. Kutilek then continues summing up his argument as to why he thinks this Psalm is not talking about God preserving His “words” but rather “the poor and needy” by saying: “When we turn to the Hebrew text of Psalm 12, the ambiguity of the English disappears. Hebrew, like many non-English languages, has a feature that English lacks -- that of grammatical gender...In languages that have grammatical gender, it is usual and customary for pronouns to agree with their antecedents in gender and number. Hebrew here is like the rest. And also like the rest, there are occasional exceptions to the principle of agreement in the Hebrew Bible (see Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar, 135 o), but the Book of Psalms is exceptionally regular on the matter of gender agreement.”


He continues: “In the Hebrew of Psalm 12, the pronouns translated them in verse 7 are both masculine -- the first them being plural in number, the second being singular (him, literally), particularizing every individual in the group (with slightly different vowel points in Hebrew, the second pronoun could be understood as the first person plural common, viz., us). So, the antecedent noun can be expected to be masculine in gender and plural in number.


The word rendered words twice in verse 6 is a feminine plural noun in both cases; the words poor and needy in verse 5 are both masculine and plural in Hebrew. While the English translation is ambiguous and allows two different antecedents, the Hebrew is clear and plain -- the antecedent of them is the poor and needy ones of verse 5, not the words of verse 6. Gender agreement of pronoun and antecedent demonstrates this.” (end of section by Mr. Kutilek)


This  grammatical argument has scholarly proponents on both sides and Mr. Kutilek is flat out wrong when he tells us “the book of Psalms is exceptionally regular on the matter of gender agreement.”  



Here is a well done article done by Grace Life School of Theology that discusses the "grammatical argument" and gives several examples from the Psalms and other parts of the Hebrew Old Testament showing where feminine nouns with masculine pronouns are used.  It thoroughly refutes Mr. Kutilek's argument.  The article is not long and it is very easy to read.  See it here -


Let me quote Dr. Thomas Strouse, of Emmanuel Baptist Theological Seminary: "Next, [Academic Dean William Combs in an article for the Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary Journal, (and Doug Kutilek)] argues that the grammar of Psalm 12 vv. 6-7 is against the word preservation interpretation. Instead, the gender differences between the masculine plural pronominal suffix 'them' and its antecedent feminine plural 'words' forces one to look for another antecedent which is masculine plural (i.e., 'poor' and 'needy' in v. 5). 


"However two important grammatical points overturn his argument. First, the rule of proximity requires 'words' to be the natural, contextual antecedent for 'them.' Second, it is not uncommon, especially in the Psalter, for feminine plural noun synonyms for the 'words' of the Lord to be the antecedent for masculine plural pronouns/pronominal suffixes, which seem to 'masculinize' the verbal extension of the patriarchal God of the Old Testament. Several examples of this supposed gender difficulty occur in Psm. 119. In verse 111, the feminine plural 'testimonies' is the antecedent for the masculine plural pronoun 'they.' Again, in three passages the feminine plural synonyms for 'words' have masculine plural pronominal suffixes (vv. 129, 152, 167). These examples include Psm. 119:152 ('Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou has founded them for ever')…"


In similar fashion, Dr. Thomas Holland writes:   "In v. 7 the first "them" is masculine plural; the second "them" is masculine singular. "Words" each time in v. 6 is feminine plural. ... The word "silver" is used as another name for the Word of God in this passage. "Silver" is masculine singular. This allows for agreement in gender and may explain why the preservation is promised to the words of God (plural) and to the Word of God (singular). This interchange between masculine singular and masculine plural (particularly in circumstances where a collective plural is suggested by the singular) is not uncommon in the O.T. We believe God has preserved the Bible, but further, we believe that He has preserved the very words of the Bible. ... The great contrast drawn in Psalm 12 is between the words of evil men and the words of God. Wicked men speak perversely; God speaks purely. The words of the evil will come to nothing;God's Word stands forever (1 Pe. 1:25; Lk. 21:33). I believe Psalm 12:7 does refer to the promise of Divine preservation of God's Word. It is allowable contextually, grammatically, and theologically. This view is not dishonest nor based on ignorance. Those who oppose this view should be more honest in their assessment of it."


The standard Gesenius-Kautzsch-Cowley grammar says:"...masculine suffixes (especially in the plural) are not infrequently used to refer to feminine substantives,(#135-0)."

Also, the recent Hebrew grammar by Watke and O'Conner: "The masculine pronoun is often used for a feminine antecedent." (Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. Winonalake, India: Eisenbrauns Publ,1990,#16.4b) In commenting on the passage itself, Rabbi Samson Hirsch writes: "Thou O Lord wilt constantly keep them,Thy promises...The word {them} has a masculine ending in order to stress the constancy and immutability of these assurances." Psalms.New York: Feldheim Publ.1960, p. 85


See also KJV Today Article on Psalm 12 for a solid and simple explanation of the context and the grammar.


I would like to address the two final thoughts of Mr. Kutilek in his anti words preservation article, before posting a Bible version comparison chart.   - What he calls “Context” and finally his “Conclusion” 


Mr. Kutilek’s thoughts on Context


Mr. Kutilek says: “The best guide to Bible interpretation is careful examination of the context of the passage or verse under consideration. ...The basic thrust of the message of Psalm 12 is clear; the psalmist bemoans the decimation of the upright and the growing strength of the wicked. The strong get stronger, the weak get weaker. Dishonesty and deception abound. The psalmist can only appeal to God’s justice. Man cannot set the score right; God must do so. But God’s promises are sure. His words are trustworthy. The Lord knows them that serve Him and will indeed come to their aid.


To find a promise in verse 7 of the promise of God’s written word is to introduce a subject totally foreign to the context.... It is persecuted men, not written words, that occupy the psalmist’s attention and thought. To employ verse 7 as a proof text for any doctrine of Scripture preservation does extreme violence to a context which is unmistakably clear.” (end of section by Mr. Kutilek)


I am somewhat amazed to read these thoughts by Doug Kutilek about what he thinks the context of Psalm 12 is.  What seems obvious to me is the simple fact that throughout this Psalm it is God’s words in stark contrast to man’s words. Notice the following when speaking about man’s words ... “they speak vanity...with flattering they speak. The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?”


On one of the Forums discussing these verses, another King James Bible believer commented on the view that the preservation spoken of here is of the poor and needy, rather than the words of God.  He posted: "The meaning of Psalm 12 is perfectly plain. The chapter is a contrast between David's love of God's words and the vanity of men's words. Incorrectly reading verse 7 to refer to a promise to preserve the poor forever ruins the praise of God's promises David is offering. It also leaves us with the strange, untenable position that God is promising the preservation of the poor in perpetuity -- a tenet not to be found elsewhere in Scripture.  It also contradicts the very first verse, where David states that "for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men." If we are to accept the reading (Kutilek and others) offer we must conclude that the "godly man" and "faithful" can not also be "poor" and that, oddly, the poor are therefore ungodly, faithless, and will be preserved forever."


Finally a few thoughts about Mr. Kutilek’s “Conclusion”


He writes: Based on clear evidence from grammar and context and confirmed by the best Bible expositors, it can only be concluded that Psalm 12:6, 7 has nothing at all to do with the preservation of God’s Word. It says nothing for or against it. It does not speak to the issue at all. It is, therefore, wholly irrelevant to the discussion and must not be appealed to as a proof text regarding Bible preservation. We can understand how some through ignorance have misapplied this text, but with the above evidence in hand, to continue to apply these verses to any doctrine of Bible preservation is to handle the Word of God deceitfully and dishonestly, something unworthy of any child of God. Let the Scriptures speak, and let us follow them wherever they lead us.” (end of section by Mr. Kutilek)


So, according to Mr. Kutilek, who himself does not believe that ANY Bible in ANY language IS the complete, inspired and 100% true preserved words of God, men like John Wesley, C.H. Spurgeon (whom Mr. Kutilek falsely assumes supported his view) G. Campbell Morgan, Dr. Thomas Strouse,  Dr. Donald Waite, Jack Moorman, David Guzik, Aben Ezra and numerous Bible translators and thousands of Christians today who believe that Psalm 12 is talking about God preserving His WORDS are “handling the word of God deceitfully and dishonestly, something unworthy of any child of God”, and all this because we happen to disagree with his understanding and interpretation of a couple of verses in Psalm 12.  Very charitable of Mr. Kutilek, don’t you think?



Spurgeon and others agree that Psalm 12:7 "Thou shalt keep THEM, O LORD, thou shalt preserve THEM from this generation for ever." is speaking of God’s words in contrast to man’s words that being preserved.


C.H. Spurgeon’s sermon on Psalm 12 -  “What a contrast between the vain words of man, and the pure words of Jehovah. Man's words are yea and nay, but the Lord's promises are yea and amen. For truth, certainty, holiness, faithfulness, the words of the Lord are pure as well-refined silver. In the original there is an allusion to the most severely-purifying process known to the ancients, through which silver was passed when the greatest possible purity was desired; the dross was all consumed, and only the bright and precious metal remained; so clear and free from all alloy of error or unfaithfulness is the book of the words of the Lord. The Bible has passed through the furnace of persecution, literary criticism, philosophic doubt, and scientific discovery, and has lost nothing but those human interpretations which clung to it as alloy to precious ore. The experience of saints has tried it in every conceivable manner, but not a single doctrine or promise has been consumed in the most excessive heat. What God's words are, the words of his children should be.” 

John Gill explains this well:

"The words of the Lord are pure words,.... This observation the psalmist makes in reference to what is just now said in Psalm 12:5,, and in opposition to the words of wicked men in Psalm 12:2; which are deceitful, sinful, and impure. The Scriptures are the words of God; and they are pure and holy, free from all human mixtures, and from all fraud and deceit; they are the Scriptures of truth. The promises are the words of God, and they are firm and stable, and always to be depended on, and are ever fulfilled, being yea and amen in Christ Jesus. The Gospel, and the doctrines of it, are the words of God; that is the sincere milk of the word, pure and incorrupt; as it is in itself, and as it is dispensed by the faithful ministers of it; and they are all according to godliness, and tend to encourage and promote purity and holiness of heart and life; See Proverbs 30:5."



David Guzik's Commentary on the Bible - You shall keep them, O Lord, You shall preserve them: This was David’s declaration of confidence in God’s ability to preserve His own words. He did not only give His word to mankind; His providential hand has protected the existence and integrity of His word through the centuries.

i. There are some manuscripts and Bible translations that render this You shall keep us, O Lord, You shall preserve us. Yet, according to VanGemeren, there is legitimate manuscript support for the rendering You shall keep them . . . You shall preserve them. We can take it as true that God will keep and preserve both His Word and His people.

ii. “The psalmist breaks out into praise of the purity of His words, and declares that Jehovah will ‘keep them,’ and ‘preserve them.’ The ‘them’ refers to the words. There is no promise made of widespread revival or renewal. It is the salvation of a remnant and the preservation of His own words which Jehovah promises.” (Morgan)

iii. God has and will keep and preserve His Word. “The French atheist Voltaire made these claims openly. He once said, ‘In twenty years Christianity will be no more. My single had shall destroy the edifice it took twelve apostles to rear.’ He wrote that in fifty years no one would remember Christianity. But in the year he wrote that, the British Museum paid the Russian government five hundred thousand dollars for a Bible manuscript while one of Voltaire’s books was selling in the London book stalls for just eight cents.” (Boice)



Bible Version Comparison


Psalm 12:6-7 - God’s promise to preserve His words



Has God promised to preserve His words here on this earth till heaven and earth pass away?  Well, a lot depends on which particular bible version you are using.


The Book which I and thousands of other Christians all over the world believe to be the complete, inerrant, infallible and 100% true words of God tell us that He did promise to preserve His words.


Here is a simple Bible version comparison regarding the promise found in Psalm 12 of the King James Bible.


King James Bible - “Thou shalt keep THEM, O LORD, thou shalt preserve THEM from this generation for ever.”


Also agreeing with the King James Bible in this verse are the following modern day versions, several of which are Jewish and Jewish Christian translations: The Jewish Family Bible 1864 - “The sayings of the Eternal are pure sayings; silver refined in a furnace from earth purified seven fold. Thou shalt keep THEM, O Eternal, thou shalt preserve THEM from this generation for ever.”, The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907 - “Thou wilt keep THEM, O Jehovah, Thou wilt preserve THEM from this generation for ever.”, the 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company version, The Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2008, the 1993 Word of Yah translation, the 2001 Sacred Scriptures Family of Yah, the 2003 Evidence Bible, Literal Translation Bible 2005 by Jay Green,  the 2010 Holy Scriptures Jubilee Bible, Green’s 2005 literal, the Context Group Version 2007, the 2008 Ancient Roots Translinear Bible, the 2009 Bond Slave Version, the 2010 Hebraic Transliteration Scripture by Yerusha Shen, The Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010 by Paul Becker - “The Words of Jehovah are pure Words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7. You shall keep them, O Jehovah, You shall preserve them from this generation forever.”,  Conservative Bible 2011 by Andrew Schlafly, the Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011,  the 2012 World English Bible, the 2012 Natural Israelite Bible, The Sacred Scriptures of Yahuwah 2014 and The Holy Bible, Modern English Version 2014 - "The words of the Lord are pure words; they are silver tried in an earthen furnace refined seven times. You will keep them, O Lord; You will preserve them from this generation.”


The Koster Scriptures 1998 - “6The Words  are clean Words, Silver tried in a furnace of earth, Refined seven times. 7You guard THEM,  You preserve THEM from this generation forever.” 


The New European Version 2010 - “6The words of Yahweh are flawless words, as silver refined in a clay furnace, purified seven times. 7You will keep THEM, Yahweh. You will preserve THEM from this generation forever.” 


Webster’s 1833 translation, the Lesser Bible 1853, The Wellbeloved Scriptures 1862, The Revised English Bible 1877, The Smith Bible 1876 - “Thou shalt keep THEM, O LORD, thou shalt preserve THEM from this generation for ever.”


The English Revised Version 1885 -  “Thou shalt keep THEM, O LORD, thou shalt preserve THEM from this generation for ever.”


ASV 1901 - “Thou wilt keep THEM, O Jehovah, Thou wilt preserve THEM from this generation for ever.”


The New Jewish Bible 1985 - "The words of the Lord are pure words, silver purged in an earthen crucible, refined sevenfold. 8. You, O Lord, will keep them, guarding each from this age evermore.”


World English Bible 2012 - “You will keep THEM, Yahweh. You will preserve THEM from this generation forever.”


Darby  1890- “Thou, Jehovah, wilt keep THEM, thou wilt preserve THEM from this generation for ever.


Hebrew Names Version 2014 = KJB -”You will keep THEM LORD, You will preserve THEM from this generation forever."


NKJV 1982 - “You shall keep THEM, O LORD, You shall preserve THEM from this generation forever.” 


The 1985 New Jerusalem bible - “Yahweh's promises are promises unalloyed, natural silver which comes from the earth seven times refined.   You, Yahweh, will watch over THEM, you will protect THEM from that brood for ever.”


The Voice 2012 - V.6 "The promises of the Eternal, they are true, they are pure— like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times, they will be without impurity.  V.7 You, O Eternal, will be THEIR protector. You will keep THEM safe from those around them forever."

Jewish Virtual Library - The Tanakh [Full Text]   JPS Electronic Edition Copyright 1998

12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

12:7 Thou shalt keep THEM, O LORD, thou shalt preserve THEM from this generation for ever.

And this online Hebrew Interlinear Bible - "Thou THEM, O LORD, shalt keep, thou shalt preserve them from generation this for ever."



However there are many other versions that disagree not only with the King James Bible but also with each other.


NASB - “You, O LORD, will keep THEM; You will preserve HIM from this generation forever.”


NIV - The NIV 1984 edition is very different, not only from the KJB but also from the NASB, and from one NIV to the other.  The NIV 1984 edition says: “And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. O LORD, you will keep US SAFE AND PROTECT US FROM SUCH PEOPLE forever.”


However, the "new" New International Version of 2011 has come on the scene and it now reads: "You, LORD, will keep THE NEEDY SAFE, AND WILL PROTECT US for ever FROM THE WICKED." So the 1984 says "keep US" not "them" nor even the NASB's "him", and the 2011 says "keep THE NEEDY SAFE" (not found in ANY Hebrew text) and changes "from this generation" first to "from such people" and then changes it once again to "from the wicked".


Here they both are so you can compare the 1984 NIV with the 2011 NIV


Psalm 12:6-7 NIV 1984 - “And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver REFINED in a FURNACE OF CLAY,  PURIFIED seven times.  O LORD, you will keep US safe and protect us from SUCH PEOPLE forever.”

Psalm 12:6-7 NIV 2011 - “And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver PURIFIED in a CRUCIBLE, LIKE GOLD REFINED seven times.  You, LORD,  will keep THE NEEDY safe and will protect us forever from. THE WICKED.”


Douay-Rheims - “Thou, O Lord, wilt preserve US: and keep US from this generation for ever.”


Lamsa’s 1936 translation of the Syriac - “Thou shalt keep THEM, O LORD; thou shalt preserve ME and save ME from this generation for ever. 


Jewish Pub. Society 1917 - “Thou wilt keep THEM, O LORD; Thou wilt preserve US from this generation for ever.


 RSV 1954- “Do thou, O LORD, protect US, guard US ever from this generation.


 ESV 2001 - “You, O LORD, will keep THEM; you will guard US from this generation forever.”


Young’s - “Thou, O Jehovah, dost preserve THEM, Thou keepest US from this generation to the age.”


NET version 2006  Dan Wallace and company's NET version is interesting in that it differs from all the others and can even be read so as to have the same meaning as that found in the King James Bible.  It says: -


"The Lord’s words are absolutely reliable. They are as untainted as silver purified in a furnace on the ground, where it is thoroughly refined. 7 You, Lord, will protect THEM; you will continually shelter EACH ONE from these evil people."


The 2004 Spanish Reina Valera Gomez says agrees exactly with the King James Bible and the genders of the nouns in this Spanish translation can ONLY refer to the words of the LORD.  It reads: "Las palabras de Jehová son palabras puras; como plata refinado en horno de tierra, purificada siete veces.  Tú, Jehová, LAS guardarás; LAS preservarás de esta generación para siempre."

Foreign Language Translations that read like the King James Bible:

The Spanish Cipriano de Valera 1602 - “6 Las palabras del SEÑOR, palabras puras; plata refinada en horno de tierra, purificada siete veces.7 Tú, Oh SEÑOR, LAS guardarás; LAS preservarás por siempre de aquesta generación.”


Spanish Reina Valera Gómez Bible 2010 - “Las palabras de Jehová son palabras puras; como plata refinada en horno de tierra, purificada siete veces.  Tú, Jehová, LAS guardarás; LAS preservarás de esta generación para siempre."


The French Louis Segond 1910 also agrees with the KJB - “Toi, Eternel! tu LES garderas, Tu LES préserveras de cette race à jamais.”


Dutch Staten Vertaling agrees with the KJB _ “Gij, HEERE, zult HEN bewaren; Gij zult HEN behoeden voor dit geslacht, tot in eeuwigheid.”



Bible commentators disagree among themselves as well as to what these words mean. 




Dr. G. Campbell Morgan's Exposition of the Whole Bible agreed with the words preservation idea. He writes, "The psalmist breaks out into praise of the purity of His words, and declares that Jehovah will 'keep them' and 'preserve them.' THE 'THEM' HERE REFERS TO THE WORDS. There is no promise made of widespread revival or renewal. It is the salvation of a remnant and the preservation of His own words which Jehovah promises." (Notes on the Psalm, Revell Comp., p.32).  


John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Bible - "Verse 7 Thou shalt keep them - Thy words or promises: these thou wilt observe and keep, both now, and from this generation for ever."



Adam Clarke says: “Instead of the pronoun THEM in these clauses, several MSS., with the Septuagint, the Vulgate, and the Arabic, have US.”


Jewish commentator Aben Ezra believed the promise concerns the preserving of the words of God from generation to generation - " Thou shall keep them That is, Verba praedicta, the forementioned words or promises, saith Aben Ezra." (John Trapp Complete Commentary)  


Matthew Poole mentions both possibilities, saying: "Thou shalt keep them; either,

1. The poor and needy, Psalms 12:5, from the crafts and malice of this crooked and perverse generation of men, and for ever. Or,


2. Thy words or promises last mentioned, Psalms 12:6. These thou wilt observe and keep (as these two verbs commonly signify) both now, and from this generation for ever, i.e. Thou wilt not only keep thy promise to me in preserving me, and advancing me to the throne, but also to my posterity from generation to generation.


Brother Jack Moorman notes in a recent article in Foundations magazine -

Kutilek lists a number of earlier commentators who take the words position, but does not give enough notice to the fact that it is among recent major publications that a reappraisal seems evident. Scholarly works (sometimes liberal) acknowledge at least in part that it is the words that are being kept. may refer to the promises (verse 6), i.e. 'keep them'. (Derek Kidner, Tyndale OT Commentaries, 1973).

...or the object ('them') may refer to the promises... (A.A. Anderson, New Century Bible; 1972).

This sincerity and integrity of the words of God is demonstrated by the fact that Yahweh "keeps" (cf. Jer. 1:12) his word. (H.J. Kraus, Psalms. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publ., 1988).


The standard Gesenius-Kautzsch-Cowley grammar says: ...masculine suffixes (especially in the plural) are not infrequently used to refer to feminine substantives, (#135-0).

Also, the recent Hebrew grammar by Waltke and O'Conner: The masculine pronoun is often used for a feminine antecedent. (Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns Publ., 1990, #16.4b).

In commenting on the passage itself, Rabbi Samson Hirsch writes: Thou O Lord wilt constantly keep them, Thy promises...The word [them] has a masculine ending in order to stress the constancy and immutability of these assurances. (Psalms. New York: Feldheim Publ., 1960, p.85).

J. H. Eaton makes a remarkable assertion about the words interpretation.

...but we may rather follow the main Hebrew tradition: "Thou O Lord shalt keep them (i.e. watch over the words to fulfill them, Jer. 1:12)..." (Torch Bible Commentaries, 1967).

This is in line with our quotation above from Rabbi Hirsch. It was the position of Aben Ezra (died 1167), who was considered the foremost of the early rabbinical commentators. J.H. Eaton would have known that while some rabbinical opinion (as Rashi) disagreed with Ezra, yet he felt secure in saying that this was the main Hebrew tradition!  (end of comments by Jack Moorman)


And others are of the opinion that God is promising to preserve His people.  The bible versions are in wide disagreement as are the commentators regarding both how the text should read and what the meaning is.  Naturally I side with the King James Bible in that God has promised to preserve every one of His inspired words.  All modern versionists deny that He did so and they all believe that the Hebrew texts have been corrupted in numerous places, though none of them agrees with any of the others as to where or how.



Will Kinney


The Seven Purifications of the words of God. For a very informative article on the 7 purifications of God's words, see this article here by Dr. Douglas Stauffer. It is taken from chapter 17 of his book called One Book Stands Alone.  You can read it here -


Additional Notes of Interest - Hebrew Grammar and  recent Jewish Translations


At another Christian Forum I belong to another man who does not believe there ever existed nor exists now any Bible in any language that was or is the complete and 100% true words of God posts this commonly heard objection. He says:


Psalms 12:5-7 (1611 KJV) "For the oppreffion of the poore, for the fighing of the needy, now will I arife (faith the LORD,) I will fet him in faftie from him that puffeth at him. [6] The wordes of the LORD are pure words : as filuer tried in a fornace of earth purified feuen times. [7] Thou fhalt keepe them, (O LORD,) thou fhalt preferue them, from this generation for euer."

That's how the passage looked in the first edition of the KJV, first published in 1611. In this first edition, the translators placed a marginal on the word "them" in verse 7. The margin note reads:

Heb. him, i.e. euery one of them.

So, it appears that even the KJV translators saw that the Hebrew word that they translated "preserve them" refers to the "him" - the "poor" and the "needy" in verse 5, instead of the "words" in verse 6. It seems they saw the misleading way a word-for-word English translation would sound, and thus wanted to clarify the actual meaning. Otherwise, why would they include the footnote? " (end of comments)


What should be pointed out is the fact that "the poor and needy" would then be PLURAL as well and not the singular "him", and the marginal note does NOT say "that is, the poor and the needy" but rather "that is, every one of them", thus referring back to the immediate context of "the words of the LORD".


Recently during an internet discussion of these verses, Mr. Steven Avery posted the following information.  


“While we may assume that gender agreement will occur between a pronoun and its antecedent, the following authorities acknowledge that frequently this is not the case. The standard Gesenius-Kautzsch-Cowley grammar says: “...masculine suffixes (especially in the plural) are not infrequently used to refer to feminine substantives, (#135-0).”


Also, the recent Hebrew grammar by Waltke and O'Conner: “The masculine pronoun is often used for a feminine antecedent. (Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. WinonaLake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns Publ., 1990, #16.4b).”


In commenting on the passage itself, Rabbi Samson Hirsch writes: “Thou O Lord wilt constantly keep them, Thy promises...The word [them] has a masculine ending in order to stress the constancy and immutability of these assurances. (Psalms. New York: Feldheim Publ., 1960, p.85).”




It is argued that most commentators refer verse seven to the poor and needy rather than the words. Doug Kutilek lists a number of earlier commentators who take the words position, but does not give enough notice to the fact that it is among recent major publications that a reappraisal seems evident. Scholarly works acknowledge at least in part that it is the words that are being kept.


“ may refer to the promises (verse 6), i.e. 'keep them'. (Derek Kidner, Tyndale OT Commentaries, 1973). ...or the object ('them') may refer to the promises... (A.A. Anderson, New Century Bible; 1972).

This sincerity and integrity of the words of God is demonstrated by the fact that Yahweh "keeps" (cf. Jer. 1:12) his word. (H.J. Kraus, Psalms. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publ., 1988).


J. H. Eaton makes a remarkable assertion about the words interpretation.

“...but we may rather follow the main Hebrew tradition: Thou O Lord shalt keep them (i.e. watch over the words to fulfill them, Jer. 1:12)..." (Torch Bible Commentaries, 1967).”


This is in line with our quotation above from Rabbi Hirsch. It was the position of Aben Ezra (died 1167), who was considered the foremost of the early rabbinical commentators. J.H. Eaton would have known that while some rabbinical opinion (as Rashi) disagreed with Ezra, yet he felt secure in saying that this was the main Hebrew tradition!


These three recent Jewish publications of Psalms will give an idea of the translations. The Hebrew traditional understanding expressed in recent translation.

Tehillim: Eis ratzon : a time of favor - translated Yaakov Yosef Iskowitz, 2004


The words of the Eternal are pure words;

like purified silver, revealed to the world,

refined seven times. 

You, O Eternal, will guard them; 

You will protect them from a generation such as this, forever.

Tehilllim Ohel Yoseph Yitzchok -Y.B. Marcus, Nissen Mangel and Eliyahu Touger (1994)


The words of the Lord are pure words, 

like silver refined in the finest earthen crucible, 

purified seven times. 

May You, O Lord, watch over them; 

may You forever guard them from this generation, 

[in which] the wicked walk on every side;

when they are exalted it is a disgrace to mankind. 


In both cases it is easy to see that the flow of the verses, the simple and clear meaning, is the watching, guarding, protecting of the words of the LORD.


Here is another, on the web.

In The Morning: Selected Psalms translated by Yaacov Dovid Shulman


The words of God

Are pure words.

They are silver refined

From a caldron onto the ground

And filtered seven times.

You, God, guard them.

Keep them from this generation


From the evil-doers who prowl in a circle,

When depravity is exalted amidst all men.


Here is another more modern Hebrew translation that reads the same way as the King James Bible.


Sacred Scriptures Family of Yah 2001 Psalm 12:6-7 - “The words of Yahweh are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, Purified seven times. Thou wilt keep them, O Yahweh, Thou wilt preserve them from this generation for ever.”


The Dean Burgon Society has an excellent article about Psalm 12 and the preservation of God's words.  This study goes into quite a bit of detail about the grammar of the Hebrew language and the pronouns "they, them, him" etc. and show from the Scriptures that this Psalm is speaking about God preserving His words.  See it here -


What were the 7 Purifications of the words of the LORD? 


The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (KJB)  Psalm 12:6

The SEVEN stages of purification in the Bible for the English language can be outlined as follows:

1. Tyndale (1525)—William Tyndale was known as the “Father of the English Bible.” He was the first translator to 
return to the original languages of Hebrew and Greek. All of the English versions before Tyndale were translations of a translation, derived from the Vulgate or older Latin versions. William Tyndale was the sole translator of the first printed English New Testament.

2. Coverdale (1535)—Produced the first complete printed English Bible. His work consisted primarily of Tyndale’s New Testament and Pentateuch, with the remaining Old Testament books rendered primarily from Luther’s German translation.

3. Mathews (1537)—John Rogers (pseudonym of Thomas Matthews) continued Tyndale’s work while Tyndale was 
imprisoned in a dungeon. 

4. Great (1538)—(also Whitchurch & Cranmer’s Bible) Named the Great Bible because of its exceptional size. It has 
the distinction of being the first Bible officially authorized for public use in England’s churches.

5. Geneva (1560)—Theodore Beza, John Knox, William Whittingham and Miles Coverdale labored six years to 
produce the Geneva Bible. This was the first English Bible translated entirely from the original languages, featuring 
numbered verses and italics. 

6. Bishops (1568)—The changes instituted in the Bishops Bible were mostly cosmetic, including many pictures and 
thicker, more expensive paper.

7. King James (1611)—The seventh purification of the English translation. Dr. John Reynolds, president of Corpus 
Christi College at Oxford, suggested to King James that a translation be produced that the common people could 
understand, read and love. Approximately 1,000 ministers sent a petition to King James. It was finally agreed that a new translation, absolutely true to the original Greek text, be made which would not include any marginal notes or comments except for explanations of Greek or Hebrew words and the provision of cross-references. Consequently, the King James Bible became the 7th translation/purification directly from the original languages of the Hebrew and Greek in prophetic fulfillment of Psalm 12:6!  

It is interesting to note that in creation (Genesis 1) six times God said “it was good” - Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21 and 25. But the seventh time He said “it was very good” - Genesis 1:31 - "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good."

Another King James Bible believer wrote: When the King James Bible came off the press, beginning in 1611, Gods promise of the preservation of his words was almost complete.

The King James Bible was first published in 1611, a time when there was no set way to spell English word and no guidelines for punctuation. Shortly thereafter, effort was made among the English-speaking people to set down some rules for punctuation and establish fixed spellings for words. During the next 158 years, the' English language, therefore, underwent rapid changes. Each time there was a plateau established, a new edition of the King James Bible was published to bring the spelling and punctuation in line with it. I hasten to point out that these were EDITIONS ... not REVISIONS. 

As the King James Bible translators themselves wrote in their Preface: “Truly, good Christian reader, we never thought, from the beginning, that we should need to make a new translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one; but TO MAKE A GOOD ONE BETTER, or OUT OF MANY GOOD ONES ONE PRINCIPAL GOOD ONE, NOT JUSTLY TO BE EXCEPTED AGAINST that hath been our endeavour, that our mark."

The King James Translators also wrote: "Nothing is begun and perfected at the same time, and the later thoughts are the thoughts to be the wiser: so if we build upon their foundation that went before us, and being holpen by their labors, do endeavor to make better which they left so good...if they were alive would thank us...the same will shine as gold more brightly, being rubbed and polished."

The King James Bible believer is the only one today who consistently, historically and logically stands for the doctrinal truths that God has kept His promises to preserve His inspired words and that there really exists such a thing as a complete, inerrant and 100% true Holy Bible.

Remember, God says: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? ...even God who calleth those things which be not as though they were.” (1 Cor. 1:19-20; Romans 4:17



Exegesis of vv. 6-7  An Examination of the Hebrew Grammar 

The Hebrew grammar of the OT prepares for the exegesis Ps. 12:6-7. The serious student of Scripture must recognize the biblical phenomenon of feminine antecedent nouns taking masculine pronouns. Once this is recognized, then careful exegesis may be achieved.

The Biblical Phenomenon

It is important for the careful exegete of the Hebrew Scriptures to recognize the biblical phenomenon wherein the biblical writers employed masculine pronouns in reference to feminine antecedent nouns when those feminine nouns were synonyms for the Words of God (cf. Ps. 119). Since the words of Jehovah are an extension of this strong patriarchal God, the OT writers occasionally seemed to use masculine pronouns

for the following synonyms. The Hebrew words Law (torah hr'AT), Testimony (`eduth tWd[e), Commandment (mitzwah hw"c.mi), Statute (chuqqah hQ'xu), and Word ('imrah)

hr' ) are feminine in gender. The normal Hebrew grammatical pattern is that concordance occurs between the gender and number of the pronoun with its respective

antecedent noun. For instance, a masculine singular (m.s.) noun would take a masculine singular pronoun, and a masculine plural (m.p.) noun would take a masculine plural pronoun. However, the biblical writers deviated from this "grammatical norm" for theological purposes, emphasizing specific truths. The inspired Scripture is the only authority for the biblical languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek), including their respective vocabulary and grammar. There are examples in all three divisions of the Tanak illustrating this Scriptural Hebrew phenomenon of gender discordance for theological purposes.

The following are examples of the phenomenon:

Law (torah)

1. "That thou mayest observe to do according to all the law (torah--f.s.)...turn not from it (mimmennu--WNM,mi m.s.)," (Josh. 1:7).
2. "For he established a testimony (`eduth--f.s.) in Jacob, and appointed a law (torah-- f.s.) in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them (lehodiy`am- -~['ydIAhl. m.p. suffix) known to their children" (Ps. 78:5).

15The exaltation of the wicked parallels the vanishing of the godly in verse one. 4


Testimony (`eduth)

1. Ps. 78:5 (see above)
2. "Thy testimonies (`edoth--f.p.) have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they

(hemmah--hM'he m.p.) are the rejoicing of my heart" (Ps. 119:111).
3. "Thy testimonies (`edoth--f.p.) are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them (netzaratham--~t;r'c'n> m.p. suffix)" (Ps. 119:129).
4. "Concerning thy testimonies (`edoth), I have known of old that thou hast founded them (yesadtam--~T'd>s;y> m.p. suffix) for ever" (Ps. 119:152).
5. "My soul hath kept thy testimonies (`edoth--f.p.), and I love them (wa'ohavem-- ~beh]aow" m.p. suffix) exceedingly" (Ps. 119:167).

Commandment (mitzwah)

1. "Therefore shall ye keep my commandments (mitzwoth--f.p.), and do them ('otham-- ~t'ao m.p.): I am the LORD (Lev. 22:31).
2. "If ye walk in my statutes (chuqqoth--f.p.), and keep my commandments (mitzwoth-- f.p.), and do them ('otham--~t'ao m.p.)" (Lev. 26:3).

3. "And remember all the commandments (mitzwoth--f.p.) of the LORD, and do them ('otham--~t'ao m.p.)" (Num. 15:39).
4. "If thou wilt walk in my statutes (chuqqoth-f.p.), and execute my judgments (mishpat-- m.p.), and keep all my commandments (mitzwoth--f.p.) to walk in them (bahem--~h,B' m.p. suffix)," (I Ki. 6:12).

Statute (chuqqah)
1. "And you shall keep my statutes (chuqqoth--f.p.), and do them ('otham--~t'ao m.p.)"

(Lev. 20:8).
2. Lev. 26:3 (see above).
3. I Ki. 6:12 (see above).
4. "For they have refused my judgments (mishpat--m.p.) and my statutes (chuqqoth--f.p.),

they have not walked in them (bahem--~h,B' m.p. suffix)" (Ezk. 5:6).

5. "And hath kept all my statutes (chuqqoth--f.p.), and hath done them ('otham--~t'ao m.p.)" (Ezk. 18:19).
6. "They shall also walk in my judgments (mishpat--m.p.); and observe my statutes

(chuqqoth--f.p.), and do them ('otham--~t'ao m.p.) " (Ezk. 37:24). Word ('imrah)

1. "The words ('imroth--f.p.) of the LORD are pure words ('amaroth--f.p.)...thou shalt keep them (tishmerem--~rem.v.Ti m.p. suffix), O LORD, thou shalt preserve them (titztzerennu--WNr,C.Ti m.p. suffix) from this generation for ever" (Ps. 12:6-7).


The Exegesis

The psalmist recognized the tangible help that God gives for the believer in the

midst of the threats and claims of the wicked is His "Words" ('imroth He

likened the pure "Words" ('amaroth tArm'a]) of the Lord unto "silver" (ceseph @s,K,). The verbs and pronominal suffixes of verse seven are critical. The LORD is addressed as the subject of the verbs "thou shall keep them" (tishmerem ~rem.v.Ti) and "thou shall

preserve them" (titztzerennu WNr,C.Ti). The object of the first verb "thou shall keep them" must be its closest antecedent, which is "words." Although "words" is feminine plural

and the suffix on the verb is masculine plural, this gender discordance is not unusual in other psalms dealing with God's Words (see above). For instance, in the great psalm on the Words of God, Ps. 119,16 the psalmist deliberately masculinized the verbal extension of the patriarchal God of Scripture. As this phenomenon exists throughout the Tanak, the interpreter has been prepared for gender discordance in this psalm. Furthermore, the examples set forth in Ps. 119 preclude the exegete from moving prior to the closest antecedent for the sake of gender concordance. It would be ridiculous to seek gender concordance where this phenomenon occurs in Ps. 119:111, for then the gender concordance would teach that the psalmist rejoiced in his heart for the masculine plural "wicked" (v. 110). Again in v. 129, applying the exclusive "rule" of gender concordance, the psalmist promised to keep the Lord's masculine plural "precepts" (v. 128)--a synonym for "testimonies" which is the closest antecedent anyway. Observing v. 152, the psalmist recognized that the Lord had "founded" what "forever"--the feminine plural "testimonies" or masculine plural participle "they that follow after mischief"? Finally, what did the psalmist love "exceedingly" (v. 167)? Was it the feminine plural "testimonies" or the masculine plural participle "they which love" (v. 165)?

Throughout the Hebrew OT, pronouns usually correspond to their antecedent nouns in proximity and with gender/number concordance. However, a phenomenon exists, which fresh Hebrew exegesis observes,17 that feminine synonyms for Word of God are addressed by masculine pronouns for the apparent purpose of masculinzing the patriarchal Jehovah God.

The second verb "thou shalt preserve them" has the masculine singular pronominal suffix (titztzerennu WNr,C.Ti) which refers to the individual Words. Since Hebrew does not have the neuter pronoun "it," the pronoun "him" (v. 7) refers to the individual item of "them" (v. 6).18 The KJV has the marginal note "Heb. him: i.e., everyone of them," which of course would then refer to every individual word. The first verb refers to all the Words that the Lord preserved, and the second to the very individual Words He preserved (cf. Lk. 4:4). The Lord promised to preserve every one and all of His Words for every generation, because every generation will be judged by the

16This is the locus classicus psalm detailing the full panoply of the attributives for the complete and perfect Word of God.

17It is a tragic day in fundamental "scholarship" when capable Hebrew exegetes defer to the interpretations of four hundred years of conservative interpretation rather that applying prayer and true biblical study to texts such as Ps. 12:6-7.

18That is, the masculine pronoun refers to every individual word, and NOT to every individual man (v. 5).


canonical Words (i.e., OT and NT) of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord stated this very truth, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (Jn. 12:48).


The structure, context and exegesis, both preparatory and immediate, of the Masoretic Hebrew text of Psalm 12 all argue forcefully and irrefragably for the promise of everlasting preservation of the perfect Words of the LORD. This is one of several clear passages in which the Lord promised to preserve His canonical Words for every generation. Man's pervasive words are lies and are temporal; God's ever-present Words are Truth and are everlasting. This is the tangible help that the righteous man has in every generation--the perfectly preserved Words of the LORD.  


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By John Henry

June 12, 2016


Psalm 12:6-7: "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."

Psalm 119:89: "For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven."

Psalm 119:140: "Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it."

Psalm 119:160: "Thy word is true from the beginning and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever."


Proverbs 30:5: "Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him"


This is an answer to those who claim that Psalm 12:6-7 does not prophesy of a sevenfold purifying process of the English Bible that culminated in the King James Bible. It began with the work of William Tyndale, a Baptist, and is largely his work.

Matthew 28:20: "Teaching them to OBSERVE all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I AM WITH YOU alway, even UNTO THE END OF THE WORLD. Amen."

Included in the great commission is the Lord's charge to "observe" all that He "commanded." I have heard it preached that "observe" here means to "do" which is NOT the primary emphasis for this word. Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines "observe" as follows: "OBSERVE, v.t. obzerv'. Latin: observo; ob and servo, to KEEP or hold. The sense is to hold in view, or to keep the eyes on. ..."

The Greek word for it is "tereo" (Strong's Greek #5083) which is also translated "preserved" and "hold fast" (1 Thess. 5:23; Jude 1; Rev. 3:3), but it is often translated "keep" in connection with God's people keeping His word (John 14:15, 21, 23-24, 15:10, 20, 17:6; 1 John 2:3-5, 3:22, 24, 5:2-3; Rev. 1:3, 3:8, 10, 12:17, 14:12, 22:7, 18-19).

Earlier in Matthew 28 "tereo" is translated "keepers" where it says, "And for fear of him [an angel] the keepers [i.e. guards] did shake, and became as dead men" (Matt. 28:4).

Therefore, the Lord's emphasis here is for His church to guard the word of God, and Jesus promises to be with His church "unto the end of the world" in this task.

It is therefore no strange thing that the Lord would use His church in preserving and translating His word during this Church Age. The New Testament was given in Koine Greek, the first universal language, and when Latin became dominant the Waldenses translated it into that language and others, and finally Tyndale began the first work on what came to be known as the King James Bible which was completed within a generation.

1 Timothy 3:15: "... thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." (cf. John 17:17)

Jude 3: "... it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for THE FAITH which was once delivered unto the saints." (cf. Rom. 3:3; Gal. 2:16, 20; Eph. 3:12, 4:5; Phil. 1:27, 3:9; Titus 1:1; Rev. 2:13, 13:10, 14:12; et. al.)

1. Biblical Types In Psalm 12:6:

Psalm 12:6: "The words of the LORD are PURE WORDS: AS SILVER tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times."

Note that "thy word" in Psalm 119:89, 140 & 160 and "every word" in Proverbs 30:5 above all speak of God's word as a flawless unit, as it is in heaven; whereas Psalm 12:6 speaks of the individual "words" of it.

These purified words are like "silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." Not as mere silver, but "... as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." It is a type, a word picture signifying something literal. What is it a picture of?

1 Corinthians 15:47: "The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven." (cf. Genesis 2:7, 3:19)

Likewise, as the time of David's death drew near he said to Solomon: "I go the way of all the earth ..." (1 Kings 2:2)

Just as 1/3 of Israel will be refined "as silver" during the Tribulation (Zech. 13:9; cf. Mal. 3:3); so God's individual Biblical words, in time, were "purified seven times" from the original languages into the English language "as silver" in Psalm 12:6.

The translators were as "a furnace of earth," and the "silver ... purified seven times" was the finished product of the seven refinements into the English language "as silver."

Jeremiah 20:9, 23:29: "Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. ... Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?" (cf. Luke 24:32)

God's word has been "settled in heaven" forever, but it has not been settled in earth forever.


Psalm 119:89: "For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven."

Proverbs 2:1-6: "My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for UNDERSTANDING; 4 If thou seekest her as SILVER, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: OUT OF HIS MOUTH COMETH KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING."

2. The KJV Did Not Come In The Same Way That God Originally Gave His Word:

The Hebrew, Syriack (Aramaic) and Greek words of the 66 books of the word of God were originally spoken by men "as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" and then they were written down.

2 Peter 1:21: "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

This was not the process of God's giving of the King James Bible.

3. The Words To Be Preserve From A Particular Generation

What is the LORD going to keep here? The "purified" translated words of the previous verse! If it were speaking of God's word of Psalm 119:89 that is forever settled in heaven, then it would not have specified a beginning "generation" for the preservation of it. The English King James Bible may well be forever settled in heaven, but Psalm 12:7 specifies a particular "generation" as a beginning point for it here on earth.

So how long is a generation? Psalm 90:10 indicates that it is between 70 and 80 years (this seems to be the norm), and Genesis 6:3 gives 120 years (this is about the maximum).

Psalm 90:10: "The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."

And were the seven purifications of the King James Bible done in a generation?

William Tyndale was the first to translate God's word from Greek and Hebrew into English. He published the New Testament in 1526, and the 5 books of Moses and Jonah in 1530. He also translated the books from Joshua through Second Chronicles, but they were not published before his martyrdom in 1536. Counting from Tyndale's publication of the New Testament there were 85 years to the completion of the KJV; from his martyrdom to the KJV was 75 years.

On the morning of October 6, 1536 William Tyndale was murdered and burned for his Bible translation work. His last words were, "Lord open the king of England's eyes." Tyndale's prayer was fulfilled by two kings. King Henry the VIII, although he was likely never saved, just 2 years later authorized the Great Bible at the behest of godly Queen Ann. And 75 years later godly King James authorize the Bible that bears his name." Between these 2 were 5 other English translations.

When commissioning the King James Bible, the king instructed the translators that the 6 previous translations were to be used in these words:

"The ordinary Bible, read in the church, commonly called the Bishops Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the original will permit. ... These translations to be used when they agree better with the text than the Bishops Bible, viz. Tyndale's, Coverdale's, Matthew's, Whitchurch's, Geneva. (Instructions #1 & #14; Note that the 6 prior translations were used, the KJV being the 7th.)

Proverbs 21:1: "The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will."

Ecclesiastes 8:4: "Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?"

4. The End Time Universal Language Born During The Same Generation:

The Old Testament was mostly written in Hebrew, the language of Israel, whereas the New Testament was written in Koine Greek, the universal language of the day. When this Greek died out the next universal language, Latin, took it's place (there are more Latin manuscripts than Greek), and finally English began to be the universal language.

Spain once ruled the sea and was the great defender of Catholicism. In 1588, sixteen years before King James ascended the throne of England, the Spanish Armada sailed against England with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England in order to put an end to English involvement in the support of Protestants in Spanish Netherlands, and to stop British trade and shipping in the Atlantic and the Pacific. The providential hand of God was clearly seen in the events leading to the defeat of the naval super power of that time.

In 1588 there were unusually strong North Atlantic storms, as a result many more Spanish ships and sailors were lost to cold and stormy weather than in combat. It is estimated that 5,000 men died. A total of 84 ships of the Armada's fleet of 151 were destroyed. Just 67 ships were able to get back to Spain.


The repulse of Spanish naval might gave heart to the Protestant cause across Europe, and the belief that God was behind the Protestant cause was shown by the striking of commemorative medals that bore variations on the inscription, "1588. Flavit Jehovah et Dissipati Sunt" (1588. Jehovah blew, and they were scattered) with "Jehovah" in Hebrew letters.

In England, the boost to national pride lasted for years. The defeat of the Spanish Armada cleared the way for the British Navy, and merchant shipping to make Great Britain a center of world trade and economic might. It also made the English language the new universal language.

Just 23 years later, in 1611, the pure, complete and inspired word of God in the fledgling universal language of England was completed.

The movable type printing press had almost 100 years of use by the time of Tyndale, and by 1611 each letter still had to be hand set. After the first printing began the work of correcting the multitude of printing errors.


The answer to the question, "Has God's word been purified seven times?" is: Into English, Absolutely! The process of translating God's word into the English language was a sevenfold purification process to get the right words. It was in no way like God's giving of the original "pure words" as specified in 2 Peter 1:21; but was more like the study to rightly divide the word of truth required by 2 Timothy 2:15. Nonetheless, we do believe that the LORD was superintending the work of translation and the final work is inspired.


Updated: July 12, 2016

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