Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Authorised Version: A Wonderful and Unfinished History

The Authorised Version: A Wonderful and Unfinished History
by C. Peter Hallihan

Publisher: Trinitarian Bible Society (2010)

ISBN-13: 978-1862280496

2011 marks the 400th Anniversary of the Authorised, (King James) Version. Despite numerous versions since its appearance, and the many unwarranted criticisms made upon it, the Authorised version remains the best and most accurate English translation we have in circulation today, and which is still widely in use. Even the New King James Bible, which, is probably about the best of the modern translations cannot compare with the Authorised Version.

To mark the 400th Anniversary, the Trinitarian Bible Society have published a short but very informative booklet, entitled, “The Authorised Version, A Wonderful and Unfinished History” . The author is C.P. Hallihan.

After a useful timeline, there follows five chapters covering such subjects as the Manuscripts, John Wycliff and the English Bible, the Hampton Court Conference and the printing of the Authorised Version. In the sixth and final chapter entitled itself, “The Last Chapter?”, we are left with considering that this is an unfinished story. God is still blessing the use of this wonderful and accurate translation of His Holy word; not only to the salvation of many, but to the blessing of many a congregation and individual believer.

At the end of the book come the 'Appendices.' The first concerns the 1604 Directive, and the last concerns the men who were chosen to form the committee responsible for this wonderful translation.

In this booklet, we have before us a concise but extremely helpful reminder of an unfinished history under the providential hand of God, concerning the Authorised Version.

I heartily recommend this booklet, but particularly the Authorised Version which this booklet sets forth.

May God continue to use this faithful translation of His word to the salvation of the lost sinners, and to the blessing of many a congregation and individual believer.

The Diary of Kenneth Macrae

The Diary of Kenneth Macrae
edited by Iain H. Murray

Publisher: Banner of Truth (March 1980)

ISBN-10: 0851512976
ISBN-13: 978-0851512976

Any man, aged eighty at his death, having a procession a quarter of mile long, consisting of men only, and following his coffin to his grave, deserves some attention.

Rev. Iain Murray has, for The Banner of Truth Trust, edited Mr. Macrae`s diary,covering a period of his fifty years in the Christian ministry. The diary appeared in book form, 535 pages, in the year 1979, but sadly, it is now out of print. This reviewer makes no apology for having read the diary four times.

Kenneth Macrae was born on November 4th. 1883, in Dingwall, Ross-shire, Scotland. His earliest memories were of Fort George, the military garrison on the Moray shore. His father was a recruiting officer for the Seaforth Highlanders. In 1899 Macrae entered the civil service, obtaining a first class certificate in electricity and telegraphy.

His conversion took place in this manner: he writes, “I went from church to church, and got nothing. God took His own way of liberating me”. In 1964, he again wrote, “I hereby put on record, that since the LORD, in His sovereign mercy, entered my heart on the lonely summit of Bell`s Hill in the Pentlands, on that memorable afternoon - 9th. August 1909 – I have ever sought to serve Him as my only LORD”.

Macrae attended St. Columba`s Church in Edinburgh, and entered the university in 1911, and the Free Church College soon after. In 1915 he was called to the Free Church congregation of Lochgilphead, which lies on the shores of Loch Fyne. This is how Macrae sums up his eight years of ministry there: “Thus ended the most blessed time I have ever had in my life. I had been inclined to think that the LORD was so grieved by the sins of His people that he had ceased to evidence gospel power in any marked degree. This is a great lesson for me: the power of prayer. Blessed be the LORD for giving such a wretched sinner such a sight of His power”.

Mr. Macrae went on to be the minister at Kilmuir in Skye from 1919 to 1931, where he experienced much blessing from God. From 1931 until his death in 1964, he exercised his outstanding ministry in Stornaway on Lewis, where hundreds of young people, for two generations, loved him, and waited on his ministry from Sabbath to Sabbath, as if spell-bound.

What was the secret of his power over the young? Was it compromise in matters of doctrine and worship, so common today? No, it was a strict faithfulness to the Word of God and the doctrines of grace.

But, like Daniel of old, he often had to plough a very lonely furrow, and pay the price for his convictions, but he was always the stalwart Christian gentleman, calm in debate, and honest in self examination. Macrae was truly a champion of the Reformed Faith, who loved reverent worship, and the singing of unaccompanied Psalms exclusively in worship.

Now he has gone to his reward, and who will take up the Macrae mantle today? Has God His man hidden somewhere in a prison as Joseph was? How urgent the need to train young ministers in the Reformed Faith today, and so we should pray with the

Instead of those thy fathers dear
Thy children Thou mayest take,
And in all places of the earth
Them noble princes make.