An Open Letter Concerning the Book Stream in the Desert

About this: I didn’t really have a good place to post this. No, this isn’t “messianic-related” but it does have some good talking points about Bible translations. My dad was the editor (updater) of four of the most popular devotional books of all time. I wish he were still he to respond. I know in my lifetime, he talked often about the King James Version of the Bible, so I feel like I am giving a good representation of his thoughts, not just mine.

This is an open letter to a person that wanted to address the use of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible in the updated edition of “Streams in the Desert” edit Jim Reimann, instead of the original Streams, which uses the King James Version.  This letter is open so that others might see why some of the reasons the KJV was not used for the book.  This letter is written by Jim’s son, Aaron, to whom the updated edition of Streams is dedicated.

Dear Reimann Family,

I write to you today with a broken heart. I received Jim’s book “Streams in the Desert” as a Christmas present from my [removed to keep the identity anonymous]. I opened the book this morning to read it and was sorely disappointed to see the reference used to re-write this book were from the NIV translation. I have been reading this book everyday for the last 10 years and clearly see how it has been destroyed from its original version. Then I looked up the publisher and realized they are heavily promoting the NIV all over their website. I then decided to go to Jim’s website and once there, I learned of his untimely death. My heart was grieved for you and your family. [section removed to keep the identity anonymous]. Please accept my condolences for your family and the loss of Jim.

I would be remiss if I turned away from this website and not say anything to you about why I wanted to reach out to you in the first place. I was angry when I saw his book “Streams in the Desert”. The reason is because the NIV translation has systematically removed “Jesus Christ” as our “Lord and Savior”. For reference on this you can compare the KJV with the NIV. Jesus is Lord! No where in the NIV/RSV does it say it. Here are some scriptures that have been REMOVED from the NIV: Acts 8:37; Matthew 17:21; Matthew 18:11; Matthew 23:14; Mark 7:16; Mark 9:44; Mark 9:46, Mark 11:26; Mark 15:28; Luke 17:36; Luke 23:17 just to name a FEW. Passages that were changed in the NIV are as follows: Acts 9:5-6; Romans 8:1; 1 Timothy 3:16; Luke 6:48; Acts 15:23.

In Revelation 22:19 it states in the KJV “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the Holy City and from the things which are written in this book” I am only trying to tell you the truth because the time of silence has past and the time to speak has come. Many great men died horrific deaths to bring us the true English translation of the bible, which is the King James Version. We must be Christ centered and not Self centered. Many people are dying for the lack of knowledge. I want to encourage you to seek out the truth and don’t stop until you find it. Martin Luther once stated, “Let the minds clash but keep the fists down” It is out of love for God that I am telling you these things. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Let no man deceive you by any means” Isaiah 24:5 “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant”. We all have an individual accountability to God irrespective to anything. Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect, will of God.

I will be throwing away this book today and will not have anything to do with the NIV translations. My prayer for you and your family is that you allow the information that I have provided to sink into your hearts and minds, that God will give you ears to hear and eyes to see. I pray that you look deep into what is the truth and go back to the original translation of the bible which is the Authorized King James Version. May God bless you and watch over you and your family.

[name removed to keep the identity anonymous]

Beginning of the letter by Aaron:

I feel compelled to respond because truth deserves to be heard.

I have seen arguments over translations my whole life, and they are mostly argued by people who can not read Hebrew, nor Greek.  I have had the KJV-only crowd literally yell in my face before, which is not showing love and peace. The most important thing is that someone will call upon Jesus, Lord, King of the Jews, Son of Man, Christ, Yeshua (ישוע,, or Son of the Most High for salvation.  That is the goal, with or without an English translation.

Let me ask you this, by whom has the King James Version (KJV) been “authorized”?  By God Himself? By His Son? No, not by God but by a mere mortal named Cornelis Boel (  I would also ask why you call the KJV the “true” English translation?  It is not the original English translation. I’m not sure what makes a translation “true”, but if you are looking for the original English translation, you would have to look into the Wycliffe translation that was completed in the late 1300’s, hundreds of years before the KJV.  The original English translation would leave John 3:16 reads as follows:

“For God louede so the world, that he yaf his `oon bigetun sone, that ech man that bileueth in him perische not, but haue euerlastynge lijf.” source:

That is rather difficult to read without understanding some changes in the English language over the past 700 years and even harder to pronounce because of Great Vowel Shift between Middle and Modern English.  I would safely say that there is no one in the known world that is actually using the original English translation on a regular basis. Updating and making things clearer for a modern population isn’t a negative thing, as long as the meaning does not change.

There are also other English translations by Linacre, Colet, Tyndale and the Geneva Bible that are older.  Tyndale’s 1535 translation was the first English translation to ever be printed, and the Geneva Bible in 1560.  Wouldn’t either of those be more “true” if they are printed before the 1611 KJV? If you want to read the “true” English translation, do not read the King James because it is not the original English translation.

Concerning the purity of scripture, I have to tell you that King James himself changed scripture to include his own name in the scriptures.  Or, possibly more accurately, allowed a pre-1611 known error to slip into “his” Bible keeping his name in the scripture.  James was not a disciple of Jesus, but Jacob (Ya’akov / יעקב).  That is a direct perversion (or direct omission) of scripture for the glorification of an earthly king.  Some may argue that this was not the case, but the exact same word used in Romans 11:26 (KJV and almost all the others) referring to Jacob, the patriarch, is translated correctly to Jacob.  But when referring to the brother of Jesus, it is translated by James, which is an incorrect translation. At least two translations have corrected this mistranslation, the TLV, and the CJB.

I recommend looking into other intentional changes in the KJV.  For example, words like “congregation” is replaced with “church”, even though it is clear it should be translated differently (Daniell, David (2003). The Bible in English: its history and influence. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press).  Many changes were made to “reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England” (  There are over 24,000 changes between the 1611 KJV and the 1769 KJV (Norton, David 2005. A Textual History of the King James Bible), so which changes are authorized?  It could not have been the person that authorized the 1611 version.  Which one honors God the most?

The sources of the KJV can also be problematic if we are trying to have the purest source.  Some of the KJV is translated from The Vulgate (  You can not get the most accurate translation when you are translating Greek to Latin to English.  Wouldn’t it make more sense to translate directly from Greek to English? But that is not what happened in some portions of the KJV.  None of the original Bible was written in Latin, only Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.

This goes further, though.  The KJV was translated without the scrolls that were found in the Qumran Caves ( in the 1940’s and 1950’s known as the Dead Sea Scrolls (  The Dead Sea Scrolls are known as the oldest copy of scripture ever found.  There are actual differences between what was available when the KJV was created, which is problematic if you are looking for the most accurate translation.  Corrections have been made in modern translations to create a more accurate translation. Like many of your references, they have found older copies of scripture that did not include certain verses, hence the omission of certain verses in translations like the NIV.  Also, in the margin of the original KJV, there are comments making note that some scriptures found do not contain some of the verses.

There is also the problem with the Apocrypha.  The original King James included the Apocrypha, which now has been removed from all (as far as I know) Protestant Bibles.  So what do we do with the authorized-by-man Bible that has, not just verses, not just chapters, but whole books removed? What happens to the one who removed books from the authorized King James Bible?  Now that those books are removed, is the book still authorized, and by whom?

If you have kept the Apocrypha in your Bible, then you have a true KJV.  You must remember that the original 1611 KJV did not exclude the Apocrypha from the canon.  It was removed later in the 1600s.

Let’s also just briefly cover the actual language that is not in use, not in England or anywhere else called “Early Modern English”.  Webster’s definition of the word “translate” is this: to turn into one’s own or another language.  I would say, that we no longer speak the same language as the people in 1611.  That is why books like the “King James Bible Companion” exist.  This book has “Over 600 archaic words defined” because people no longer know these words.  I would think that no one should need a custom dictionary to understand the Bible.

There was a need for an English translation in 1611, as there is a need for something newer today.  From the Preface to the King James Version 1611, it makes my argument for me (which is slightly updated so an average reader can understand it and it is also removed by most KJV Bibles today):

But how shall men meditate in that, which they cannot understand? How shall they understand that which is kept close in an unknown tongue?

…Translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light; that breaketh the shell, that we may eat the kernel; that putteth aside the curtain, that we may look into the most Holy place; that removeth the cover of the well, that we may come by the water, even as Jacob rolled away the stone from the mouth of the well, by which means the flocks of Laban were watered [Gen 29:10]. Indeed without translation into the vulgar tongue, the unlearned are but like children at Jacob’s well (which is deep) [John 4:11] without a bucket or something to draw with; or as that person mentioned by Isaiah, to whom when a sealed book was delivered, with this motion, “Read this, I pray thee,” he was fain to make this answer, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” [Isa 29:11]

— from

There are hundreds of words and many phrases in the KJV that average people can not understand.  Hence the need for an update of “My Utmost for His Highest”, “Streams in the Desert”, “Morning by Morning” and “Evening by Evening”.  What good is written knowledge if it can not be understood simply by reading it?

You mentioned Martin Luther who said, “Let the minds clash but keep the fists down”.  Let me tell you some other quotes from Luther that are very violent. Remember, he was an antisemite, even though Jesus was a Jew.  In his book On the Jews and Their Lies, he says to “Set fire to their synagogues or schools” and that Jewish houses should “be razed and destroyed,” and that Jewish “prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught, [should] be taken from them.” In addition, “their rabbis [should] be forbidden to teach on pain of the loss of life and limb.”

What Luther did in his earlier years (pre-1537) was helpful in the Church.  It paved a way to the Reformation. But unfortunately, to quote him as a peaceful person is naive.  Feel free to read more about Luther’s antisemitic mindset here

I understand you are angry, but I will not let your thoughts sink into my heart, nor mind.  I’ve done the research on my own concerning this, I recommend you do the same. Until then, we will have to just disagree, you bring no points that have not already been argued for decades on end.  Like I said, nothing good can come from this type of email. Sending an email calling the book “trash” and that it has been “destroyed” by the update is not a kind introduction to your argument and you will never convince someone in this manner.  Your approach could have been slightly different, and we could have discussed this further. I quite enjoy discussing things like this with most people.

God has given me and my family eyes to see and ears to hear.  When we have a question on translation, we look to tools like the Blue Letter Bible. We can read Hebrew (to a short extent), but the Hebrew and Greek are broken down word for word which allows us to not depend strictly on one man’s point of view.

For the record, I do not have a problem with the use of the, authorized or not, King James Version.  Wonderful things have happened due to the publication of the KJV. I would say the world would not be the same without it.  But I will also say there is nothing wrong with understanding scripture, even if it takes someone using the NIV, NLT, NAS, TLV, or the CJB.


Aaron Reimann

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