By Wayne Camp

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

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

I have before me a portion of an article which recently came to our mail box. I want you to read it just as it appeared in the paper. I have framed it here in order that there be no question as to exactly what was in the paper in question.

A Special note --: God’s word purified seven times, Psalm 12:6.

A Hebrew O. T. Written in Hebrew (1500-389 B. C.)

Parts of the Hebrew O. T. Written in Aramaic (1500-500 B. C.)

A N. T. Written in Koine Greek street language (40-90 A. D.)

An Old Syriac translation of those texts into Syrian (120-150 A. D.)

An Old Latin translation of those texts into Latin (140-200 A. D.)

A German translation of those texts for the beginning of the Reformation (1500-1560 A. D.)

An English translation (A. V. 1611) for the end of the Reformation (1525-1611 A. D.)"

If the significance and seriousness of this error has not already registered with you, let me define the word purify. The writer speaks of God's word having been purified seven times and bases his statements and steps of purification on one of our texts. Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Notice that it is not the word of God that is purified seven times. Rather the purity of the word is illustrated by the purifying of silver by putting it to the fire seven times to remove every bit of the dross.

What does the word purify mean? According to my unabridged Webster's it means, "to make pure, to free from anything that debases, pollutes, adulterates, or contaminates; to purify metals. To free from foreign or objectionable elements: to purify a language. To free from guilt or evil. To clear or purge. To make clean for ceremonial or ritual use. To become pure." To suggest that the word of God needed purifying seven times is to suggest that it was very impure in the beginning and it had to go through the repeated steps outlined in the article before it reached its pure state in 1611 A. D.

The word purify is used 14 times in 13 verses in the KJV. In every instance it means to purify something or cleanse something that is unclean or in the case of metals it means to refine by melting and skimming off the dross and other foreign matters. I will not give all the references here for the sake of time and space. But, notice these three examples. The word is first used in Numbers 19:12 He shall purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean: but if he purify not himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean. It is obvious that here the word has reference to someone who was impure. One who was perfectly pure could not be purified. Another good example is found in Malachi 3:3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. They could not offer an offering in righteousness in their polluted state so God must purify them. The third example is equally indicative of the meaning of the word purify. Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. We were all guilty of sin and iniquity. We must be purified if we were to be the special people of God. Let me give a fourth verse. James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. The other ten times the word is used are equally indicative of the meaning of this word. It never speaks of purifying something that is already perfectly pure. The exact opposite is true. It speaks of purifying that which is sinful, guilty, polluted, or has dross mixed with it, as in the case of precious metals. You could as easily make God more godly as to purify something or someone who is perfectly pure. The declaration that God’s word was purified seven times means that the person writing that considered it to be very impure in its origin. Those holy men of God (II Pet. 1:21) wrote a polluted, impure book, according to this man and it must be purified.

The word purified is used 12 times in 11 verses in the KJV and in every instance it speaks of something or someone that was impure and was purified by some prescribed means. The first instance of this word in the KJV has to do with purifying the altar. Before any of the vessels of the house of God, the tabernacle, could be used they had to be purified, sanctified for holy use. Leviticus 8:15 And he slew it; and Moses took the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about with his finger, and purified the altar, and poured the blood at the bottom of the altar, and sanctified it, to make reconciliation upon it. In the New Testament the word is used three times. I will note only one. 1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently. Again, every instance in which the word purified is used in the KJV it indicates something (or someone) that is polluted and needs purging, something that is impure and needs purifying. It is never used to speak of something that is perfectly pure that is altered in some way.

The word purifieth is found two times in the KJV and in each instance it speaks of someone who is unclean and impure who purifies himself. It speaks of someone, under the Law, who touched a dead body and does not purify himself and consequently he defiled the tabernacle if he went into or about it. Numbers 19:13 Whosoever toucheth the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself, defileth the tabernacle of the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel: because the water of separation was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him. He is unclean and defiled and needs to be purified. If he does not purify himself he consequently defiles the temple and his uncleanness stays upon him. Of the second coming of Christ and our being conformed to his likeness, John wrote, "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure" (1 John 3:3). Notice that it is not Christ who is purified. It is the believer who purifies himself because he has the hope of being made like Christ at his coming. Christ is absolutely and perfectly pure. He needs no purifying any more than the precious word which the Holy Spirit inspired holy men of God to write needs purifying.

None of these three words are ever used to speak of something or someone that is already pure, clean, or, in the case of metals, already refined to its highest degree. They are used to speak of something or someone who is impure, unclean and unrefined being purified by a prescribed process.

The suggestion that God's word must go through seven purifying steps to become perfectly pure is a reproach against God. It discredits the Holy Spirit. And, it demeans the work of those holy men of God who wrote the original manuscripts. The writer to whom I have referred goes on to make this charge, "Critics of the AV 1611 (1769) King James Bible by their attacks on the Bible, destroy the faith of anyone, who really believes that the Bible is infallible and the Word of God for the English speaking people." But, is it not much more destructive to the faith of people to teach that God gave and his inspired men wrote a book that was filled with dross, impurities, and imperfections that had to be corrected and purified seven times to finally come up with an infallible Bible? Is it not more destructive to the faith of believers to teach that the King James translators achieved a state of perfection that was above what the Holy Spirit and those holy men of God achieved? Is it not pure, unadulterated heresy to teach that the original manuscripts inspired by the Holy Spirit and penned by Holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit were filled with dross, impurities, and uncleanness? It amazes me that these folks think they can charge those who hold positions such as mine with destroying the faith of believers in the Bible, yet think they can assualt the original manuscripts, those which came straight from God to holy men who wrote them, and declare them impure and in need of purification and corrrection without destroying the faith of any. Is it not much more serious to declare that Peter, Paul, Isaiah, Moses and others, though inspired and superintended by the Holy Spirit, recorded words that needed correction and purification?

Consider this. David declared that the word of God written by him and those before him was pure. If it needed purifying, as was indicated in the article being critiqued, David was a liar when he said the word was pure, and very pure. Psalm 119:140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. Oh, No! David. It will be A D 1611 before God’s word will be pure and very pure. What you and those inspired men before you have written is filled with dross and must be purified several times before it will reach perfection.

If the word of God must be purified as our writer claims it had to be, then Solomon lied when he wrote that it was pure several centuries before A D 1611. That wise man was either ignorant and not inspired or the Holy Spirit who inspired him was ignorant when he inspired him to write that the word of God was pure. Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Solomon and the Holy Spirit thought the word of God was pure back there, centuries before the A V 1611 came along. They did not know it must experience several purifications before becoming infallible. Several purifications it must experience before every word would be pure.

I do not mean to be harsh. I certainly would not be irreverent in my treatment of this matter. It is serious business. I am trying to get you, Dear Reader, to see the illimitable folly of this idea that the word of God was given in an impure, adulterated, polluted form and was brought from that state into a state of purity and perfection by the seven alleged purifications set forth by the article written by a Sovereign Grace Baptist editor!

The Bible is a God-breathed book in its original manuscripts. pasa grafh qeopneustoz, wrote the Apostle Paul. The word qeopneustoz literally translates God-breathed. Is it not unmitigated blasphemy to even infer that God breathed out a lot of impurities, dross, and imperfections when he originally sent forth his word and that it took several different translations to get it purified from its original ore-like state?

My subject is GOD'S WORD PURE BUT NEVER PURIFIED. I will give several arguments which show the word of God, as originally written by prophets and apostles was pure and did not need to be purified.


Solomon declared in his day that every word of God is pure. Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. There was no question in the mind of this wise and inspired man. He was convinced and he was inspired to declare that every last word of God was pure then. Every word he wrote, every word his father, David, wrote, every word Moses and Joshua wrote, every word was a pure word without any purification. The word of God is pure but never purified.

David, on a number of occasions, proclaimed the original purity of the word of God. He declared the words of the Lord to be pure like silver that had gone through the most thorough purification and refining process which took seven firings. Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. I have pointed it out before and I do it again. What this verse says was purified seven times was the pure silver to which the pure words of God are compared. It was not God’s words that were purified seven times. It is sad when someone is so desperate to prove a point that he will do such violence to a verse in wresting it to support his point.

David confirmed that the word of the Lord had stood the test of purity and was certain. Psalm 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. God’s way is perfect and it would not be if he had given a Bible that was filled with error, dross, impurities, and heresy and would not be purified for centuries after he gave it.

David affirmed that the word of the Lord is right and pure, so much so that it rejoices the heart and enlightens the eyes. Psalm 19:8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. How could a polluted, impure word of God enlighten the eyes? No way! Only the pure, unadulterated, holy word of God could enlighten the spiritual eyes. David would tell us unequivocally, "The word of God is pure, never purified."

David declared the word of the Lord to be very pure in its original state, before it had gone through any alleged purification steps. Psalm 119:140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. Some would have us believe that David should have been more honest. He should have written, "Thy word will someday be pure."

What of New Testament writers? They used the Septuagint as their Old Testament. Paul certainly considered the word of God to be pure and holy and good. Romans 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

The law of the Lord is so perfect that it converts the soul and so sure that it makes the simple wise. Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. And, My Friends, that has been true throughout its history. It was true in the days of David. It is true today. Did the world have a perfect Bible before A D 1611? Most certainly! Absolutely!

Some believe the book of Job to be the oldest book of the Bible. If that be true, when Job penned the first sentence of that book he had one sentence of the pure word of God, the perfect word of God, the unadulterated word of God. As each book was penned the pure word of God moved closer to completion but never closer to purity. It was infinitely pure, has always been infinitely pure, and will always be infinitely pure.


God is righteous in all his ways and holy in all he does and he was holy when he sent forth his holy and pure word. Psalm 145:17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. The Bible is a work of God and his work was perfect from the beginning. Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

This verse declares the work of God to be perfect. Was the Bible a work of God as it was given or did it have to wait until 1611 to be his work? He cannot be the author of any work that is not perfect. If the Bible was impure and imperfect, as the article mentioned declares, then God is not its author for all his work is absolutely perfect.

This verse declares all his ways to be judgment, right down the line correct. They are exact. They are not open to question.

This verse declares him to be a God of truth without iniquity. Wait! Do you mean, Moses, that God never lies? That there is no iniquity in him? How can you say he is a God of truth if he sent forth an impure, adulterated Bible? This verse was written long before the various translations that were supposed to be steps in the purifying of the Bible were ever made. Evidently Moses would support our contention that the word of God was and is pure but never purified.

It has suddenly occurred to me, as I sit here writing, that this explains the objections that some have to our appeals to the Greek and Hebrew. They would object even if we had the originals because some, along with our writer, consider the originals and the best copies of the original Greek and Hebrew to be spurious, polluted, and adulterated.



Jesus considered the Bible to be words that proceeded directly from the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. As I have said before, and as the KJV translators declared in their message to the readers of their translation, the Old Testament quotations found in the New Testament are taken from the Septuagint. Jesus and his Apostles considered the Septuagint to be the word of God. I noticed that our writer left the Septuagint out of his list. Why, when it is evident that it was referred to by Jesus, Paul, and others in the New Testament? One of my sources is the KJV translators themselves.

In each of the temptations set before him Jesus appealed to the pure word of God for his answer to Satan. If it was impure, why would the pure Son of God use it and quote it as the very words that proceeded from the mouth of God?

The unbelieving Jews, in the days of Christ’s earthly ministry, used the Septuagint. I doubt any will dispute that. Was the Septuagint which they studied and searched to be considered the Word of God? Apparently Jesus thought so for he said to them, John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Jesus was so confident that the word of God was pure that he declared that his death and all its details would be exactly as written in the word of God. Matthew 26:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. He expected his trial, his crucifixion, his treatment by his tormentors to be exactly as set forth in the word of God. No variation! No detail left out! He would go just as the prophets had declared he would. The only way he could have said such was if the word of God was pure when given and pure when translated by the Seventy who translated the Septuagint.

Jesus considered the word of God to be so pure and perfect that he was convinced and declared to others that everything written of him in it must come to pass. Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Everything written in the law concerning Christ must be fulfilled. Everything written in the prophets must be fulfilled. Everything written in the Psalms must be fulfilled.

If those books were still in an imperfect state with a lot of dross and error in them and their purification would not be complete for another 1600 years, how could he be certain that every prophecy would be fulfilled, every type would be fulfilled, every Psalm would be fulfilled? Where was the dross if none was found in these areas of the Bible?

Jesus declared the word of God to be truth and he did not mean the AV 1611 KJV. It is truth, but that is not what he had in mind. If the Bible had not been pure in its original giving, it could not have been declared to be truth. Jesus would have had to say, "Thy word contains truth, but we will have to wait until King James gets his translation to be able to say it is truth."


Joshua appealed to the writings of Moses in support of things he taught the people to do. Joshua 8:31 As Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings.

In his charge to Solomon, David appealed to the Scriptures in a manner that revealed he considered them pure and perfect. 1 Kings 2:3 And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself.

In the days of Ezra they followed the written word in their sacrifices and offerings. Ezra 3:2-4 Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God. And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the LORD, even burnt offerings morning and evening. They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required.

The services of the temple were observed just as it was written in the book of Moses. Ezra 6:18 And they set the priests in their divisions, and the Levites in their courses, for the service of God, which is at Jerusalem; as it is written in the book of Moses.

When Philip was speaking to the Ethiopian eunuch the man was reading from the prophet Isaiah. He had been to Jerusalem to worship. He was, doubtless, reading from the Septuagint (KJV translators being witnesses). Yet, Philip did not hesitate to take that book and preach Christ to the man. If you can or could read the Greek of the Septuagint, would you be willing to use it to preach Christ as Philip did? Now, since God’s preachers are to preach the word of God, we must conclude that Philip considered the Septuagint to be God’s word and did not hesitate to use it when preaching the gospel to this man.

Eighty times the expression, it is written, is found in the Bible indicating the belief of those Godly men back there that the word of God was true, and pure, and holy, and perfect, and needed no purification.


It is literally a God-breathed book and must therefore be pure. 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. God did not just suggest things and then his prophets write it and inject a lot of their own ideas in so that it must be purified seven times before we would have the pure word of God.

God did not throw out a bunch of things for the men to write that would be comparable to mined ore which contained silver and a lot of dross also. His word, when given originally contained no dross, no impurities, no imperfections. It was the pure, unadulterated word of God. It was pure and would never need to be purified!

Holy men of God spoke as the Holy Spirit moved them and thus came down the inspired, pure and holy word of God. 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. The Bible, in its original manuscripts, did not come by the will of man, but the will of God. It was not written by deceitful men but by Holy men of God. Those men did not write what they pleased but were moved by the Holy Ghost in their writings. And, according to Peter, it was more reliable than a vision or a voice speaking from heaven. Apparently Peter did not feel it was filled with dross which would require several purifications to reach a state of purity.

Since the Spirit breathed the word and moved men to write under his direct control and supervision, there is no way a less than pure Bible in need of being "purified seven times" would have been the product of His work.


It is a blasphemous attack upon the work of the Holy Spirit and those Holy men of God who penned the original manuscripts. It is a disgraceful implication that no one had a pure Bible until A D 1611. It is a despicable insult to the Holy Spirit and an unfounded exaltation of King James to suggest that King James was able to get his Church of England translators to produce what the Holy Spirit could not get the Old Testament Jewish writers or the Baptist writers of the New Testament to produceľa pure Bible.

It is an insult to all those godly saints before 1611 who ignorantly thought they had the pure word of God. If the Bible had to be purified seven times to reach perfection in the AV 1611 KJV then no one before that time had the pure word of God.

It makes liars of all those writers of the original manuscripts when they claimed they were writing the pure word of God when, according to the article cited above, it did not reach infallible purity until 1611. It makes God a fool for before the Bible was even complete and before there were any translations he had already magnified his word above all his name even though, according to this erring brother, that word which our great and holy God had so magnified was filled with flaws, dross, and impurities which would not be removed for centuries to come. Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.


I contend that the word of God, as it flowed from the pen of those holy, inspired men of old was perfectly pure, perfectly holy, perfectly infallible, perfectly the word of God. Translations could never improve upon it. If translations changed it in even one iota, they did not change it for the better. You cannot purify that which is perfectly pure.

When I hold the KJV in my hand I have no problem declaring it to be the word of God. There are some other worthy translations that I have no problem declaring to be the word of God though I never use anything but a 1769 KJV to preach from and rarely consult anything else but a Greek New Testament when I am studying.

With full knowledge that I will be attacked and caviled for what I am about to say, I will say it anyway. I believe a sincere, devout, prayerful child of God, especially a member of one of the Lord’s true churches, can take nearly any translation and by study, and faithfully comparing Scripture with Scripture, he can learn the truth. I agree with the translators of the A V 1611 "that the very meanest translation of the Bible . . . is the word of God." I ask you, Dear Reader, do you agree with the A V 1611 translators? Or, were they in error when they said that. Here is the complete statement. "Wee doe not deny, nay wee affirme and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set foorth by men of our profession (for wee have seene none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay is the word of God."

A history of the translating of the KJV reveals that they divided into groups and each man in the group would translate the same verses as every other man in the group. Then they would meet together to hash out the differences in their translations. When each group had translated their assigned area they would all meet and if they had translations upon which the entire body of translators (54 men were nominated to do the work but only 47 were known to have participated) could not agree, they would send the disputed section to learned men in the land and ask for their opinion. Does that sound like the work of inspired men or simply men who are trying to get a good translation? Paul conferred not with flesh and blood about things inspired by God. The rules which they set down called for the use of other English translations, namely, Tindoll’s, Matthew’s, Coverdale’s, Whitchurch’s and the Geneva. They confess they did not hesitate to use these other translations and considered them to be good translations.

I am currently researching the history and accounts of the translation of the AV 1611. In the not too distant future, I will be writing more material on this subject. I am also compiling a list of questions which I will submit for your consideration. A few of those appear here.

Did the KJV translators err in their assessment of other translations? Did they err when they denied inspiration for their translations? Did they err when they said the Septuagint was the Word of God? Did they err when they suggested that there might be some things in any translation that was halting, superfluous, or not so agreeable to the original, that it might need correcting? Did they err in admitting that they often altered, ammended, and corrected their translations? Will it be destructive to the faith of young believers if we tell them that the KJV 1611 translators admitted to "altering, amending, and correcting" their translations? Were the KJV 1611 translators in error when they encouraged "the Reader to seeke further," to go beyond their translation and study Biblical words and language for themselves, rather than dogmatize as many are doing? (More later!)

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Last updated on Friday, March 04, 2011