GILMORE CITY - First Baptist Church in Gilmore City has been in existence for more than 100 years, but the anniversary it's celebrating on Sunday goes back much further than that.
The 400th anniversary of the King James version of the Bible will be commemorated and discussed at Sunday's service, said the Rev. Malcolm Andrews. Afterward, cake will be served.
"A lot of people don't understand some of the history of how we got our Bible," he said. "There were many other people's work that went before the King James Bible. This was written by many scholars, many who knew Hebrew, Greek and Latin at very early ages - 6, 7, 8 years old - the most scholarly men the Christian world has ever produced."
Emma and Laura Andrews, from left, daughters of the Rev. Malcolm and Jeanette Andrews, are shown holding the cake. The cake was made at the Humboldt, Hy-Vee Bakery.
The King James Bible came out in 1611, Andrews said. "With so many other versions out, many people don't recognize the King James version as the authorized version."
By authorized, he said, he means that King James of England authorized the Bible to be printed because he wanted a Bible that did not contain notes from reformers.
"What King James wanted was a Bible without the notes," Andrews said. "But, in the providence of God, what King James ended up doing was bringing together some of the greatest Christian scholars the world has ever seen, not only for their scholarship, but their godliness of life. These men were completely committed to the cause of Christ."
Until that time, kings, including James, continued the philosophy of monarchy in England, Andrews said. "They had a right over their subjects, but they also thought they had a right over the churches, as well. When the Geneva Bible came out, the 1599 version, it was filled with reformers' notes explaining the various texts of scripture, and a lot of those explanations were against what kings thought they had a right to, which is absolute power over their people. The reformers made it clear in their notes that even kings were to be subject to the laws of God."
To take such radical thinking out of sight of the commoner, King James wanted a Bible produced without notes, Andrews said.
"Our church uses the King James Bible for a reason," he added, and that isn't to be without reformers' notes. "The King James Bible is translated into English from Greek manuscripts, more than 4,500 Greek manuscripts, some partial work, some had almost complete books of the Bible."
Andrews, who has been pastor at First Baptist Church for five years, said he never uses a modern version of the Bible, preferring to stay with the King James text "because of the reliability of what we already have in the King James and the faultiness of newer translations."
Celebrating that usage and the Bible itself just gives Andrews and his congregation another thing to be happy about.
Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org