What Ever Happened to
our English Bible?
J. Timothy Unruh
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 12: 6-7
King James Bible we read in Luke
it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried
up into heaven."
New American Standard Version
(NASV) says: "And
it came about that while He was blessing them, He parted from them."
The phrase "carried up into heaven" is missing in the
Where He went it does not say. In other words we do not read that Christ
has ascended – that all-important event which ended his earthly stay!
A Preface to the Brethren
And to all others to whom this vitally
important matter may concern: Every person in the body of Christ has a function.
The Bible tells us this (1 Corinthians 12:12-26).
"And there are differences of administrations, but
the same Lord." Just as well, it pleaseth Him who worketh all in all to see
the fruit, of even this meager and feeble member. However, I dare say,
not all will give this matter a fair hearing, casting aside a vitally important
substance simply because it is not a portion of their present belief system. The
Word of God urges us, at the very least, to "try the
spirits" (1 John 4:1-3). Many men who
continue under the demands of pastoral, evangelistic, or administrative
capacities, or as "full time Christian workers" often find that they
have little or no time for personal reading, research, or testing the spirits as
such, as others in the body may enjoy. Perhaps even others among the brethren
have never had this matter brought to their attention. By God’s grace, this
concern has been put upon this writer’s heart and has in the process of time
led to many hours of prayerful consideration and joyful toil as ugly tares have
been removed from his own prospect. May the same blessing come to the reader of
this humble treatise. The purpose of this writing is not necessarily to persuade
one that the King James Bible is the perfect word of God without error, but
rather to bring the reader’s attention to the necessity of examining the Bible
version issue carefully, especially since we claim the Bible to be our
authority. Given the potentially sensitive nature of this subject among the
brethren, it is my sincere hope that my readers, whoever and wherever they may
be, will see me as a helper to them and not an antagonism. Jesus said in Revelation
3:19, "As many as I love, I rebuke."
Most of the churches in Revelation received both a commendation and a rebuke.
Are we any better than they? "…Judgment must begin
at the house of God" (1 Peter 4:17).
Within the Christian
community at large one will find a wide spectrum of convictions about the truths
of the Bible. Many of the present day denominations were formed because people
rallied behind and emphasized a particular point of doctrine and faith which
they believed needed a special focus. Unfortunately this effect has, to a
degree, worked against Christian unity. Yet at the same time many have, in the
name of Christian unity, called for tolerance among Christians in light of such
differing views. Thus it is an observed fact that there are marked differences
in belief about issues even among Christians. This has been true since Biblical
times. Even the Apostle Paul had his differences with some of the brethren on
occasion (Acts 15:36-40).
Of a certainty, to be true to God’s
Word is a most noble cause. Yet, inevitably bound up in that posture is a narrow
walk, a walk of treading a fine line between holding tenaciously to one’s
convictions and being accommodative of the view of others. It is a delicate walk
requiring no little skill in "balancing the emphases." How does one
maintain that careful and crucial balance between holding fast to his
convictions and being patiently tolerant of the beliefs, opinions, and
convictions of others? This struggle could be counted as one of the agonies of
the Christian experience. To help calm the tempest on such dissension it has
been said, "In the essentials – unity, in nonessentials – liberty, in
all things – charity." However, among things, it is this writer’s
humble assertion that the discussion which follows involves a matter that cannot
be compromised because there is so much at stake as it bears on the Christian
Such a matter deserves the reader’s
careful consideration and fervent prayer. It is worthy of our attention because
of its vital relationship to the health, safety, and welfare of the believer
personally and the local assembly collectively. Of all the issues that bear upon
the daily personal life of the believer, perhaps none is so important as that of
being firmly grounded in the Word of God. The Bible believing Christian holds
that the Word of God is his charter, creed, and rule of faith and life. The
Bible is the fountainhead of true Christian conviction – about everything. The
Bible Believing Christian holds dearly to the supernatural inspiration,
authority and trustworthiness, and preservation of the inerrant Word of
God as it was written by human agency over a period of no less than sixteen
hundred years, by no fewer than 40 authors who were supernaturally overshadowed
and guided by the Holy Spirit. That is to say, the Word of God was "God
breathed" through these people. Hence, the Word of God as we have it
enscriptured is of a perfection unmatched by any other book on Earth. This
matchless book – the Holy Scriptures – represents the oracles of God for the
Christian’s rule of faith and life. However, in our day, this book has
been under attack on a number of fronts, including an unholy proliferation of
modern day versions which have added to, taken away from, and changed the Word
of God as we have known it, so faithfully preserved in our English Bible for
nearly 400 years.
If there is to be named among those
most hideous of sins, a sin perhaps second only to that of blasphemy against the
Holy Spirit – which in the most practical sense in our day means to reject the
Savior unto death – this most hideous of sins would be that of supplanting the
Word of God. This second greatest of all sins, if we could even attempt to
"categorize" sins, is against the Word of God itself. It is this
writer’s contention that it can be easily demonstrated that a host of modern
Bible "translations" have committed this great atrocity. The
demonstration of this great breach is, among things, the point of this writing
– a warning that, in a manner of speaking, "there’s poison in the soup!
The only Bible God ever wrote was
written in two of the world’s most perfect languages. The Old Testament was
written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek. It is these languages that God
chose to accurately convey His message to man in writing. In these original
writings, or in identical copies, abide infinite perfection which no human will
ever be able to duplicate. Between this God-inspired Bible and other writings,
or in identical copies, abide infinite perfection which no human will ever be
able to duplicate. Between this God-inspired Bible and other writings, there
exists an impassable gulf, over which no member of Adam’s race can ever pass
in making another book comparable to it. Since the Word of God is the
fountainhead of all true knowledge, it is of utmost importance to be circumspect
in how we regard it. Because God inspired only one Bible, all other writings
which are not in full agreement with it, cannot possibly be the true Word of
We as Bible believing Christians (by
the way, there really is no other kind of true believer) hold that since God has
supernaturally given His revelation in times of old, it follows that God has
providentially preserved His Word to our day. We hold to this great principle
because it is consistent with the nature of God Himself that in spite of
accident, mutilation, human error and deception, neglect and loss, false
emendation and destruction of manuscripts, incurred in the treacherous voyage
over the sea of time, God’s Word has been supernaturally and providentially
preserved for you and me today in its highest fidelity. It is within the nature
of its author, God Himself, to guarantee such a result. Of this great truth,
there is no lack of solid Biblical confirmation and extra-Biblical evidence. We
have been singularly blessed by what God has wrought through His supernatural
agency of preserving His Word unto the English speaking people of the world.
However, there needs to be a sounding of an alarm: tares have been sown in our
A great multiplicity of differing Bible
versions are in circulation today. Never before in history has the Bible been
rewritten in so many different renditions. The number of new
"versions" has increased exponentially. This explosion of modern
language versions of the Bible in our generation, all supposedly based on
superior Greek and Hebrew manuscripts unavailable to the translators of our
Authorized King James Bible, has resulted in a bewildering state of confusion.
Many Christians are shocked to learn that this assumption has undergone even
less questioning in evangelical circles than the theory of evolution has in the
scientific world. It is, therefore, of vital importance to observe that there IS
another side to this issue that is both cogent, academically defensible and
espoused by a great many past and contemporary scholars, and most of all,
vitally important to the child of God. This is an issue far too important, and
carrying with it too many dangerous implications and consequences to be glossed
Nowadays, during sermons and Bible
studies, we often hear such phrases as "The King James Bible has a poor
translation here," or "A better rendering is found in the so and so
translation," or "This should read," or "A correct
translation would be," or "The true meaning of this passage is lost in
translation," and on and on we hear in the name of scholarship, many not
knowing that in this there is a subtle trap to the unwary. The effect of this
"scholarship" may well make the speaker sound intelligent to his
congregation. It may lead them to feel that they need to go to him for advice in
interpreting the Bible. These proclamations can only lead to an erosion of his
ministry and the destruction of a congregation’s over-all faith in the Word of
God which should be in words recognizable and discernible to even the simple,
"Thus sayeth the Lord."
It is not the intent of this brief
treatise to compare and expound Greek meanings where words have been changed by
the modern translations, or to list all the words and verses which are in error,
or have been added or omitted by these modern versions, though both would add
significantly to the argument of this document. That is left for the reader to
search out for himself and they are easy to find, as the few pointed out later
in this document will clearly demonstrate. The intent of this study is to
summarize a few important basic facts and bring these to the reader’s
attention as a wake up call that there is a very real and very serious problem
in our midst. Even in this, it should not be long before this problem is self
evident to the reader. To discover the myriad of deviations to be found in the
modern versions is an interesting pursuit in itself.
The publication of a new translation of
the Bible should be an occasion for great rejoicing. The availability of
Scripture in a new language, or a fresh rendering in "modern dress"
for people already possessing the Bible, can be of great importance in
propagating the faith. The faith should indeed be the central motive in any
contemporary version. However, there are at least two other motives that
dominate the contemporary scene: first, a financial motive, and second, an
anti-Christian religious motive.
Book publishing is a billion dollar
industry. The profit motive is, in its place, a godly and legitimate aspect of
our daily economic life. By no means should it be condemned unless, of course,
it is used for ill gain. Apart from a Biblically legitimate faith, every aspect
of our life is under condemnation already; all life is out of focus, and things,
pure in themselves, become impure in the hands of the ungodly.
As books go, it is a known fact that
the Bible is the consistent best seller. There is no close second to the Bible
in the number of copies sold annually. Hence, the annual sale of millions upon
millions of copies makes it, therefore, a phenomenal sales item. Its potential
as a money maker is thus enormous, almost staggering to the economically minded
imagination. However, one factor must be reckoned with by the financially minded
publisher, the Bible in its historical, and most popular English form, the King
James Translation, is not subject to copyright. Any publisher can print it and
enter into a highly competitive market where the margin of profit must be kept
very low for competitive reasons. Hence the greatest single demerit of the King
James Bible is simply that it is not copyrighted, and hence no organization and
no scholar can profit thereby. In light of this self evident fact, it is no
wonder that publishers, among others, have come to recognize the tremendous
potential of a copyrighted Bible.
A copyrighted Bible is a bonanza to
publishers, and a financial and prestigious asset to scholars participating as
translators and editors. Not every publisher has compromised the faith issue for
the financial consideration. Neither has every new translation been a
money-making scheme, but many of them have nurtured this motive as a central
concern. Thus "new Bibles" are big money, and their use in new
concordances, commentaries, and a myriad of other Bible-aid byproducts by
permission to further their popularity are likewise profitable. The sales value
of these new versions seems to depend on new and novel readings. With all the
money at stake in new versions, is it any wonder that people are urged, to their
confusion, to believe in the necessity for new versions?
The purpose of the Holy Bible is to be
the Christian’s charter and guide of true religion that he may be spotless
before God (James 1:27). He cannot be thus under
the instruction of a false bible. A vital question the reader of any new
translation must ask is, does the given translation represent a minor difference
in wording, or does it conceal a new religion. The answer may come quicker than
expected to the careful reader. A comparison of Genesis
1:1-2 in the King James Bible with the same passage in the Anchor
translation, for instance, offers one case in point. For instance, in the King
James Bible we read:
beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form,
and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God
moved over the waters."
In the Anchor version we read:
"When God set about to create heaven and earth –
the world being then a formless waste, with darkness over the seas and only an
awesome wind sweeping over the water – God said, ‘Let there be light’"
and there was light. (verse 3 included)
To the attentive reader it is evident
that this rendition in effect introduces mythology into Moses’ account. If we
look at the King James Bible verse we see three separate sentences, and the
first sentence is a separate sentence paragraph. Paragraphing is a form of
interpretation in itself, as is sentence formation. To set "In the
beginning God created the heaven and the earth" in a separate form is to
declare in effect that this sentence is either an introduction to the account of
creation, or a summary statement of creation, or both. It declares God to be the
Creator, and then details the acts of creation.
However, in the Anchor
1 is made into a subordinate clause, "When God
began to create the heaven and the earth." This now ceases to be a
completed statement of fact. Instead we are now told what the condition of the
universe was "when God began to create,"
namely that at least one segment of it was "a
formless waste," and, as we learn subsequently, this "unformed
and void" earth was not created but developed by God.
As a result, instead of Biblical theism, we have the ancient dualism, the
co-eternity of God and matter. The great void of being, the unformed chaos of
matter, always existed, in this philosophy, and God did not create it; He merely
acted on it, with varying degrees of success. Thus, in the new
"translations" of Genesis 1:1,2, we have
substituted for biblical theism an alien religion! We read of a God very
different and greatly limited in contrast to the God of Scripture. Translation
here has become the vehicle of a decidedly new religion, the instrument of the
proclamation of "other gods," hence an instrument of idolatry. It
becomes a deadly instrument of deception, not glorifying the one true God, not
showing the way of true salvation because it depicts a God stripped of His
eternal attributes, and consequently a bible with a message powerless to save.
Whenever God is drastically changed like this a new man-made religion is
created. By such changes, often too slight for many readers to detect, new
meanings are read into the Scripture, and another bible and other gods are
brought into fruition. A bad tree cannot produce good fruit. 1
In evaluating each new version of the
Bible the Christian reader must consider the source. Can unbelievers, modernists
and men faithless to their ordination vows, be expected to produce good fruit?
Our Lord said it clearly:
"Ye shall know
them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even
so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth
evil fruit." – Matthew 7:16-17
It should be noted that there is a
further area of confusion regarding the many modern versions, and that is the
important difference between a revision, translation, and paraphrase. A revision
is essentially a change or amendment, maybe an "update", carrying with
it the implication that a correction or improvement was necessary. A paraphrase
is an attempt to put the original thought into modern thought forms. A
paraphrase can be a useful help at times but it can never be a substitute for a
translation. A paraphrase may seem to offer a better grasp of the textual
meaning, but it often weakens or neutralizes many of the basic theological
terms. A translation, however, is an exact and literal rendering of the original
Greek or Hebrew into English. The King James Bible is not a paraphrase. It is
both a revision of earlier translations in part, and, more importantly, a new
translation in its day.
Among the objections to the King James
Bible, perhaps the greatest single charge is that it is hard to understand
because it is hard to read, hard to read because its language is archaic and
obsolete, that is, out of date hence hard to understand because languages
change. The answer to this is a simple one: it is intended to be. In 1611 the
King James Bible was as "out of date" as it is today. A comparison
between the writings of Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, King James I, and John Lyly
with the King James Bible will quickly bear this out. The translators avoided
the speech of their day for a basic English which would be simple, timeless and
beautiful, and they succeeded. 2
Their version spoke from outside their age and tradition with elemental
simplicity. The issue is not that the Bible should speak our everyday language,
for this involves debasement, but that it should be understandable, and here,
all arguments to the contrary notwithstanding, the King James Bible speaks a
language which, while some times difficult because the matter itself is so, is
more often simple, clear-cut and beautiful. None equals the King James Bible in
its clarity and memorable beauty.
New versions boast of their
substitution of the word "you" for the archaic "ye" and
"thee," but do not understand that the King James Bible uses the word
"you" two thousand times. It uses "ye" and thee" when
needed, in order to distinguish between the Greek singular and plural;
"ye" is plural, and "thee" is singular. By using these
particular renderings, the King James Bible gives an exact representation of the
Greek word. For example, if Jesus walked into a room with a married couple and
said, "Ye are of your father the devil," the wife could not say,
"He’s talking to you honey" because "ye" is plural. In
certain places of the Biblical text the singular and plural become very
important. The King James Bible is to be commended for its preciseness as well
as its timeliness.
As far as it supposedly being out of
date, the fact of the matter is that out of the total of 791,328 words in the
King James Bible only 618 of them have actually changed their meanings in the
nearly 400 years since it was written in 1611. All of these words are in a good
dictionary today. Only about a third of these would really need to be looked up
by a reader not familiar with the King James Bible. Furthermore, the King James
Bible of today is virtually identical to the King James Bible of 1611. In spite
of this fact, there are some who would say that there are between 30,000 to
50,000 important differences in meaning. This simply is not true. 3
When we say the King James Bible is God’s
Word kept intact, what is meant here is that it has been "not
touched", "not harmed", "not
defiled." The providential
preservation of Scripture is one of the key doctrines of God’s revelation and
a great source of confidence and comfort to the believer. To anyone who doubts
for a moment that God has preserved His Word he should ask himself: Are we
expected to believe in the inspiration of Scriptures without believing in the
preservation of the Scriptures? If we say we believe in the inspiration alone
– that in itself is a statement of unbelief. If only the original autographs
are inspired, what we are really saying is that we have no confidence that the
infallible Word of God exists in our present world. In II
Timothy 3:14-17 God gave us His purpose in writing the Scriptures:
"… for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness." Do we actually believe that God
allowed them to become lost after giving them? If so, how could He use them to
accomplish these purposes?
Obviously we do not have an original.
The question is has God preserved His Word – the original text – although
not the original papyrus or vellum on which it may have been written? The
observant reader of the passage just cited will notice that it never made any
reference with regard to the "original" Scriptures. Yet these are the
verses upon which many of us base our faith and say we believe in the
"originals." It is clear that these verses are not referring to the
original manuscripts. We, as believers, in simple faith, trust that God has
indeed maintained the fidelity of His Word throughout the ages. The doctrine of
the sacred origin and preservation of Scripture is a part of the "General
doctrine of the Scriptures concerning the controlling providence of God."
This great fact of eternal preservation is consistent with the nature of God and
His Word. Jesus Himself confirmed this when He said in Mark
and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away."
The King James Bible is the only
translation that completely and accurately reflects, in English, the original
Hebrew/Aramaic and Greek. When we use versions other than the King James Bible,
we cannot be absolutely certain that in every verse, sentence, and word, they
accurately translate the Hebrew and Greek words God has given us. Instead, we
have man’s words all mixed up in them throughout. This is accomplished by the
use of what has been conveniently called "Dynamic Equivalency." This
technique is, in essence, a license permitting the revisionist to add, subtract,
and/or change God’s Words without standing under the warnings against such as
found in scripture. In the King James Bible the use of Formal Equivalency,
that is, direct translation, rather than dynamic equivalency – interpretation
not translation – gives no opportunity for "private interpretation"
by scholars or translators." 4
That the King James Bible is directly
in the "genetic" line of divine preservation of Scripture after 1611
to the present coupled with the fact that it has not been revised, only
purified, becomes ever more evident over time to the fact-finding Bible student.
This is a standing that none of the modern English versions can, in any sense,
lay claim to. Our faith in Christ, our confidence in the very existence of God,
all our understanding of His character and intent toward man, and our hope of
salvation, all lays upon the foundation of what we call the Bible. The
Authorized King James Bible most fully presents the central doctrines of our
Christian faith (i.e., Trinity, deity of Christ, salvation by faith, et. Al.).
The question of a trustworthy translation is all-important, especially since
novelty is increasingly characteristic of many new translations. The important
question is, what text of the Bible is being translated? At this point, let it
be noted, we are departing from virtually all accepted scholarship. This however
is no real hindrance, because, after all, the major break with
"accepted" scholarship comes with acceptance of Christ as Lord and
Savior, and the Bible as the inspired and infallible Word of God. Doubtless,
scholarship has its proper place, however, Mark 12:37
relates that the "common people" heard Jesus gladly. With the
exception of a few like Nicodemus and Joseph of Aramathaea, it was the scholars
and religious leaders who contended with Jesus most vehemently.
The reason why many find that the King
James Bible does not seem to be an accurate translation when compared to their
modern versions is because these modern versions are not derived from the
traditional Hebrew and Greek texts. The King James Bible is a very precise
translation of these texts. For instance, of all the Greek New Testament
manuscripts extant today, well over ninety-nine percent of these agree with each
other. This is the text underlying the King James Translation. Until the year
1881 the King James Bible held the field as the text in practically universal
In 1881 two spiritualists, Brooke Foss
Westcott (1825-1901) and Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828-1892), and other’s,
changed this traditional Greek text in well over eight thousand places using the
corrupt Vaticanus manuscript. 6
The Vaticanus was a by-product of Origen, who himself was declared a heretic by
early church councils. What this says in effect is that God left His Church
without the Word from A.D. 330, the time of the Vaticanus, until the year 1881,
a period of over 1,500 years, when it was "restored" by Westcott and
Hort. The "new" Westcott and Hort Greek text was "cloned" by
Eberhard Nestle in 1927, and his son who became its warden confessed that
"my father knew quite well that a certain one-sidedness adhered to his
text." 7 The Westcott and
Hort text was recently refined by a group of liberal scholars who announced in
1994 that fundamentalist Christians were "dangerous." 8
Since the days of B. F. Westcott and F.
J. A. Hort, textual criticism has applied to biblical textual criticism a
rigorously alien category of thought and "an essentially naturalistic
method." This scholarship assumes man to be autonomous and ultimate rather
than God, and it requires all documents to meet the same naturalistic tests with
respect to their nature and history. The concern here is not that we enter into
the intricacies of textual criticism, nor that we are qualified to do so, but
that we are qualified to assert that most current criticism, both
"conservative" and "liberal," rests on a radically
non-Christian philosophy which cannot bear other than implicitly or explicitly
One does not need to be a
"scholar," nor do they need to go far to see that almost all, if not
all, the modern English variations of the Bible have made additions, omissions,
and other changes that simply do not exist in the King James Bible. They stand
together while the King James Bible stands alone. They will be found to be much
more in unity with each other than any of them in unity with the King James
Bible. Scholars understand the reason for this fact and this is because the King
James Bible was translated from different manuscripts than these others. The
King James Translation (The Holy Bible) was translated from the Textus
Receptus while the others came for the most part from the Sinaiticus and
Vaticanus texts, through the "scholarship" of Westcott and Hort.
Neither of these men accepted many basic fundamentals of the faith. This fact
alone should give us an important clue about the nature of these purveyors of
origin for the many modern translations in circulation today, a matter which we
shall take up shortly.
The Greek upon which the King James
Translation was based was first printed in the year 1516 at Basle, Switzerland,
under the editorship of the famous Dutchman, Desiderius Erasmus. The text
contained in these manuscripts eventually came to be known as the "Textus
Receptus" also known as the Received Text. It has also been called the
Majority Text or Traditional Text, designations which also reflect the fact that
Erasmus was recognized as an unparalleled scholar of the ancient texts, without
peer before whom God had providentially placed at his disposal the manuscripts
from which he published the Textus Receptus. The Textus Receptus was not his own
but a careful compilation which resulted after years of travel, research,
collecting and comparing of information, and writing. The text which Erasmus
published was taken virtually without change from the original manuscripts. 9
A comprehensive description of the person and work of Erasmus is beyond the
scope of this writing, however the reader is urged to obtain for his own
edification at least some of the titles listed in the bibliography at the back
of this writing. Most of these, if not all, to some extent, trace the history of
the English translation.
God teaches us that the purpose of
Scripture is to lead us to Christ and then to guide our lives (John
5:39-40). In spite of the fact that God did not intend for His Word to be
used for scholarly intellectual exercise, unfortunately, that indeed is
precisely what His Word is being used for today. This has become a serious
problem affronting the Christian community today. It behooves us to carefully
consider the following questions:
Would God inspire a text and then
allow it to become lost? According to the diverse denominational backgrounds
evident today wherein we find various confessions of faith, we always find
statements regarding the Holy Scriptures which say something to the effect
that we believe God gave the original Scriptures inerrant. This in itself
is, in reality, a statement of unbelief if we believe not in preservation,
which leads us to the second question:
If God did inspire a text, would He
not preserve it? As we know, the Old Testament was authored in Hebrew and
the New Testament was written in Greek. However, there are no original
manuscripts of the Bible in existence today. This brings us to the third
Could we expect counterfeits of the
originals to be in circulation? By the same token, can you think of anyone
who has always hated God’s Word, has always wanted to destroy it, and has
worked without ceasing to cloud its validity in the minds and hearts of man?
According to Genesis 3:1 Bible corruption began
with Satan. As we read in the third chapter of Genesis we see that Satan,
the original Bible reviser, when he confronted Eve in the garden added to
God’s Word, he subtracted to God’s Word and he diluted God’s Word and
substituted his own doctrine for that which God had said. This activity has
continued ever since. This continual destruction of God’s Word throughout
history is nothing less than a continual Satanic attack on the Bible. It
began in the garden and will continue until the end. 10
In our time, modern translations since
1881 differ, often significantly, from the King James Bible in wording as well
as doctrine. Because the conflicting difference is so great the reader is faced
with the dilemma that two conflicting texts cannot be inspired, infallible,
perfect, inerrant, authoritative and trustworthy. The reader must therefore make
a choice. The facts which follow should be helpful in discerning the truth of
An in depth study of text families and
textual criticism is well beyond the scope of this essay. However, it can be
said that all English versions of the Bible today trace their roots directly to
one of two sources:
Origen was a gnostic Alexandrian Greek Scholar and philosopher. Subsequently
the modern versions since 1881, came to us through the work of Westcott and
Hort, who are probably the most responsible for introducing Alexandrian
texts into modern Christianity. Their text of 1881 which was collated into
Nestle’s Greek New Testament in 1898 laid the foundation for modern
"Christian" textual scholarship. Since Greek New Testaments,
modern Bible versions, and textual scholarship are founded upon the
teachings and fruits of Westcott and Hort, a closer look at these two men at
this point may be in order.
The King James Bible, as mentioned,
is based on the Textus Receptus which is made up of Antiocian texts,
which have avoided the corruption of Alexandrian
All the others including the RSV,
NASV, NRSV, NWV, NEV, NIV, NCV, the
LV, and others which are derived from the Nestle’s Greek collation
of Alexandrian texts. The words of God have been mutilated in the
Alexandrian texts by many different Egyptian, Greek philosophy, and Humanist
"scholars" among which was Origen Adamantius (A.D. 185-254).
Westcott and Hort were both Anglican
priests at Cambridge University. They, posing as Protestant scholars,
participated in the 1881 Revision Committee of the King James Bible. In their
practical doctrine, belief, and practice, they were very Roman Catholic. These
two men claimed that they had raised New Testament textual criticism to the
level of an exact science. They concluded that their work should be regarded
with the same degree of reliance as one would esteem a Newtonian theorem. From
published letters by the two, either to each other or to family members, many
insights are gleaned about the beliefs of these men. Hort wrote in 1896, "I
agree with them in condemning many leading specific doctrines of popular
theology . . . especially the authority of the Bible." 12
Westcott stated that the fall of man was an allegory covering a long succession
of evolutions. He rejected the first three chapters of Genesis as history and
denied the fall of man. He thought all women should be named "Mary"
and in an entirely unprotestant gesture asked that his wife Sarah add Mary to
her name. 13
Hort said, to his close associate
Westcott: "Evangelicals seem to me perverted rather than untrue." In
1865 he wrote: "I have been persuaded for many years that Mary-worship and
‘Jesus-worship’ have very much in common in their causes and their
results." Of Jesus’ atonement he said: "The fact is, I do not see
how God’s justice can be satisfied without every man’s suffering in his own
person the full penalty for his sins." Of miracles he said, "I never
read an account of a miracle, but I seem instinctively to feel its improbability
. . ." Hort praised his "prayer boxes" which he carried with him
and which contained statues (idols) to which he is known to have prayed. In one
writing Hort referred to the Protestant teaching of the "priesthood of the
believer" as being "crazy horror." Like Westcott, Hort believed in
neither a literal Garden of Eden or that Adam’s fall differed in any degree
from that of his descendants. In an 1890 letter, Westcott concurred with Hort by
penning: "No one now, I suppose, holds that the first three chapters of
Genesis, for example, give a literal history – I could never understand how
any one reading them with open eyes could think they did." 14
From the published quotes and
biographical sketches it is clearly evident that these two were far from
"Fundamental" yet "Christian" scholarship has followed their
lead. The Alexandrian texts upon which modern versions are all based have a very
disturbing history of corruption by Greek philosophy and secular humanism.
Should we trust Egypt for God’s scholars, Origen for God’s words, and
Westcott and Hort for our bibles? Does a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit? (Matthew
7:16-17) Until late in the 1800’s the Alexandrian texts were utterly
rejected by orthodox Christians. 15
Both Westcott and Hort were under the
influence of the Roman church, Unitarianism, pantheism, metaphysics, spiritism,
and other involvements while holding little regard for the inspiration of
Scripture. Both accepted Darwin’s theory of evolution and held it to be
Both denied that the death of Christ Jesus made the once for all vicarious
atonement for the sinner. Westcott and Hort both thus denied the shed blood of
Christ. This mere sampling of the proclamations by these men is not at all
unlike the kind of declarations one finds when they carefully investigate
Smith, the founder of Mormonism. Westcott and Hort categorically dismantled the
foundational doctrine of scripture upon which every other sacred doctrine rests
– that of the flat creation of all things ex nihilo in six literal days
approximately six thousand years ago by the Almighty God of creation. In this
veritable destruction of the Bible by these false prophets rests virtually every
modern version today. Their writings extensively show that they rejected the
Textus Receptus. From their writings one can only conclude that they were
unbelievers. Only in the King James Bible do we find the true sanctuary and
fidelity of God’s sacred Word kept intact.
As to Erasmus, critics say he could not
have been providentially guided in the editing of the Textus Receptus because he
was a humanist and a Roman Catholic. Erasmus was not a secular humanist as in
the present day understanding but a "Christian" humanist – the term
humanist having a different meaning in his day. As to the criticism that Erasmus
was a Roman Catholic priest, Erasmus was himself an ordained priest. He did not
oppose the teachings of the Roman Church, neither did he oppose the ritual but
he wanted these to be accompanied by a genuine spirituality. He vehemently
protested the abuses within the Church, and decried the emphasis on ritual in
favor of the simple godly life. It was an aberration which he believed would be
corrected by placing into every man’s hand the Bible in his own language. He
taught Greek at Cambridge University. He was not a "great" man of
faith – although he was completely committed to the truth and reality of the
Christian faith. Even though Erasmus may not have been the "perfect"
man, it is evident that, as in the case of Martin Luther who became bitterly
anti-Semitic later in life, God used him mightily. Furthermore, Erasmus was a
giant of faith in that he humbled himself and his intellect, professing that the
Bible was the absolute Word of God. Neither the theology of Erasmus or his being
a Roman Catholic has anything to do whatsoever with his Greek text. In producing
the Textus Receptus, he did not create it, he merely followed the
manuscripts which had been preserved by the usage within the Greek Orthodox
Church, and which he recovered from the Roman Catholic Church setting after
years of neglect imposed upon it by that cult. Before this, throughout Europe
the true text had been preserved intact primarily in Latin, and it circulated
outside the Roman Church among small groups of true believers. Erasmus knew that
the Vulgate was a corrupted version of the original older Latin translation, and
his humanist values led him to believe that he was getting to the source
of God’s truth by turning to the manuscripts of the Greek Church. 17
Although it is not a particularly
difficult task, it is not the purpose of this writing to trace and describe the
entire ancestry of the English Bible. For that, it is urged by this writer, as
previously, that the reader obtain and examine the works referred to and listed
in the bibliography which are currently available in print through Christian
sources. Even though we do not accept this "blindly" the important
point to remember is that we are in unbelief if we deny that God has
providentially preserved His Word to our day. That we should have a good idea
why we believe in God’s supernatural inspiration and preservation of His Word
is a given, for it is decidedly Biblical to believe so. However, inspiration
without preservation is meaningless and unscriptural.
The proliferation of differing Bible
versions in circulation today has resulted in a state of bewildering confusion.
Some versions omit words, phrases, and even chapter portions which are well
known to be included in a number of the ancient manuscripts. Some of these new
versions contain words and phrases that have been added which have no
corresponding basic expression in authentic copies of the Hebrew and Greek.
Among these the reader will not find the Bible which God gave when holy men
spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (II Peter
1:21; II Timothy 3:16). The scholars and publishers of modern versions
circumvent the warnings against tempering with Scripture (Deuteronomy
4:2; 5:32-33; 12:32; 17:18-20; Proverbs 30:6; Jeremiah 26:2; Revelation 22:18)
by making use of such euphemisms as "dynamic equivalence" and
"transformational grammar" which means that in order for editors to
bring about a new look in translation, they can sidestep the formal equivalency
(direct translation) of the King James Bible by private interpretation and
grammatical re-editing. A modern version can be sponsored by individuals and
publishers who are accountable to no one, not even the Church. Thus, there is a
real potential for faithfulness, accuracy, and correctness, to be sacrificed for
the sake of readability, promotion, and sales.
Our task before us, as Bible Believing
Christians, is to expose the modern day counterfeits
which seek to supplant the Word of God in the singular translation which has
been providentially given to the English speaking peoples of the world in our
Before proceeding, it should be
realized that much intimidation against the King James Bible has been wrought
through the use of the Hebrew and Greek Stronghold. During the past
several decades, most conservative fundamental Bible colleges and seminaries
have been discouraging the faith of their students with regard to the
supernatural inspiration, authority, trustworthiness, and inerrancy of the
Scriptures by imposing barriers of esoteric languages. As a result, most church
pulpits are filled today by these former students. As a young and impressionable
man of God enrolls for study and preparation to become a pastor, he is soon
informed that the Bible was originally written in Hebrew and Greek and in order
to understand it one must master these languages. Consequently, the student is
presented with the imposing challenge and formidable task of having to learn two
foreign languages. Eventually, he finds himself enrolled in a first-year Greek
course, at the very least, with the ominous likelihood that he will be required
to spend many more semester hours over the coming years in the study of these
languages if he is to truly master the Word of God. 18
As soon as the student enters the
class, something very peculiar, although very common, occurs. Not yet knowing
Greek, he immediately finds himself placed at a great disadvantage. The
professor almost invariably subjugates the student under his authority – not
merely as an older brother to a younger, but with regard to all spiritual
matters by virtue of his "superior" knowledge of the ancient
languages. The clear impression given the student is not only that he is a
"tiny fish in a big pond", but that he simply does not really have the
Word of God because it was written in Hebrew and Greek. In other words, in all
the years that he has been a Christian prior to this, he has been "missing
out" on a major part of his Christian experience. The student thus finds
himself faced with not only this discouraging predicament, but the virtually
irresolvable dilemma of exclusion from knowing the "Holy" language. He
thus finds himself at the mercy of his instructor who does. The student, now
fully aware that he is only a "second class" Christian is thus placed
in the appalling circumstance of submission to a teacher who not only may or may
not know and truly love the Lord but who can manipulate him, inadvertently if
not deliberately, and misdirect him to a false view of the inspiration and
preservation of the Scripture and all its meaning. 19
This same scenario is repeated
endlessly in seminaries and churches across the country as pulpiteers, set apart
in Hebrew and Greek, wield their "expertise’ and lord it over their
spiritual subordinates. We are often told that to "really" understand
the Bible we should learn Hebrew and Greek. In many a Bible study it is said
"let’s go to the Greek and see what is says". In other words, what
does it say in the Greek (as if what we have is so different and deficient)?
Appeals to the Greek are made as if the English translation is not efficacious.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact of so many versions of the Bible.
Unfortunately, through all of this, the poor student loses sight of the fact (if
he ever had such "sight" to begin with) that all along he has had all
the tools necessary at his disposal to "beat" these giants – with
the King James Bible which is the best rendition of both the Hebrew and Greek
ever written in the English language. The work has already been done. So what
does it say in the Hebrew and Greek? That’s what is says – what we
have in our timeless, authorized King James Bible IS the Hebrew and Greek, precisely
translated. This great need has already been fulfilled by the extraordinary
team of scholars who translated the Bible into English in 1611 under the
providential superintendance of God.
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 12:6-7
This writer can testify to a number of
times he has been told that he cannot really know God’s word unless he, too,
learns Hebrew and Greek. At the same time, this writer has no doubt that there
is indeed great value to be gained by the careful and passionate study of these
ancient languages. It should be a rich and rewarding endeavor in its own right.
However, do these people who stress this as a prerequisite to holiness realize
that they are denying a vital aspect of the supernatural inspiration of God’s
Holy Word in doing so?
At this point perhaps a few comparisons
between several well known popular versions and the King James Bible is in
order. Many differences are very subtle requiring some thought (Doesn’t the
Bible require thought anyway? – Psalm 119:97)
while many others are very obvious. Undoubtedly, many of the men who have found
themselves on committees to write new versions of the Bible are sincere, godly
men with the best intentions in mind, but who in the end had little control over
the ultimate result. Others have awakened to the folly of which they had a part
and are justifiably disappointed, regretting that they were ever even involved.
The hard lesson is that we must remember that deception often takes the form of
a counterfeit or imitation of the real thing. Satan, who would be like the most
High and whose magicians copied Moses exactly, himself masquerades as an angel
of light. Galatians 1:6-7 tells us that there is "another
gospel: which is not another; but . . . would pervert the gospel of Christ."
So they change it "just a little bit" until we have another bible
which is not the Bible. In the following eleven examples, the problem should
become clear to the reader that the Bible has been tampered with by purveyors of
A telling aberration is evident in the New
International Version (NIV) in a reading of Isaiah
14:12-15. In the King James Bible we read "How
are thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! . .
. (verse 12a) Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell" (verse 15a).
However, in the New International Version (NIV)
we read: "How you have fallen from heaven O
morning star, son of the dawn . . . but you are brought down to the grave."
The New American Standard Version (NASV), the Revised
Standard Version (RSV) and almost all other modern versions read
virtually the same as the NIV, using
"morning star", "star of the morning", "O Day
Star" and similar. Yet, historically, Isaiah 14
has been cited throughout the Church as the singular biography and
identification of Lucifer. Lucifer, as we know from the rest of Scriptures,
is Satan, that old serpent (Genesis 3:1-5; II
Corinthians 11:3; Revelation 12:9), the tempter (Genesis
3:1; Matthew 4:3), the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians
2:2), the prince of the devils (Matthew 9:34),
"your adversary the devil" goes about as
a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (I
Peter 5:8), who aspires to exalt himself (II
Thessalonians 2:3-4) as God. As we see in Isaiah
14:12 of the King James Bible, Lucifer is in heaven; in verse
15 the same is in hell. From this passage, in the context of the rest
of Scripture, it would be senseless to conclude anything other than the fact
that Lucifer and Satan are identical. The new versions have removed the name
"Lucifer" thereby eliminating oftlinethe only reference to his
true identity in the entire Bible. This change is not the result of
translation from the Hebrew language. The Hebrew, as well as all the old
English translations prior to the King James Translation, rendered Lucifer
as "son of the morning", not as the "morning star" or
"day star." These terms refer to Jesus Christ as we see in the
King James Bible (II Peter 1:19; Revelation 2:28;
22:16). However, it is not necessary to go to the Hebrew (or Greek)
to see the problem. Through this error in a modern version, Jesus Christ has
been categorically identified as, and equated with, Satan! Thus, we find
nothing short of blasphemy in a popular contemporary version of the Bible in
common use in churches across our fair land. 20
King James Bible verses are still widely quoted by an older generation of
pastors, teachers and other brethren who have memorized its passages. Many
salvations have resulted from this. The new birth thus continues to occur from
the King James seed. In 1 Peter 1:23 we read: "Being
born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God,
which liveth and abideth forever." Then in Mark
4:14-15, we read (again, the King James Bible) about the sower –
Christ or a minister of the Gospel – who soweth the seed (or word of God).
In the same passage we continue, reading of those who, as the parable is
interpreted, hear the word with no effect because of Satan who prevents them
from the truth. We read on of those who hear the word and seem to receive it
gladly but under hardship their faith is aborted because it is rootless and
superfluous having been only in the strength of the flesh which gave them no
endurance. Then we read of those who hear the word but, because of worldly
cares and encumbrances, their faith is choked out as if by so many weeds in a
garden. Then, of course, there are those who "sprang
up, and bore fruit an hundred fold" (Luke
8:8a). The seed, as Luke explains, represents the word of God. Through
the New International Version, assuredly a
one world exploit, handed out to new converts by the thousands, in
which sixty-four thousand words have been taken away 21,
it seems as if even in this the Word is taken away by Satan and any possible
life, as it were, is aborted. Hence, there seems to be a parallel, difficult
to ignore, between two events that occurred in 1973; Roe vs. Wade – when the
Supreme Court legalized abortion, and the publication of the NIV
New Testament. The first attacked the babe in the womb while the second
attacked the babe in Christ. The King James Bible is the Word of God
In the King James Bible, we read in Colossians
1:14: "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the
forgiveness of sins: Whereas in the NAS, NIV,
and Revised Standard Version (RSV) we read:
"In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of
sins." We see here that a most vital element of the passage has
been diminished ought from it (Deuteronomy
4:2). In other words, "Through his blood" has been
completely left out here. Even though reconciliation and peace through the
blood of the cross is stated sometime later (verse 20),
the deletion of the blood atonement from the text at any time has to
represent a very unfortunate de-emphasis. Dear reader, if you do not find
these three most precious words in your "Bible" someone has tampered
with it so that it is not the Bible!
In a more subtle departure from the King James
Bible, we find in the Revised Standard Version (RSV)
the following mistranslation in Luke 1:34,
where in the King James Bible we read: "Then
said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?"
The RSV reads: "Then
Mary said to the angel, how shall this be since I have no husband?"
For a woman to say she knows not a man is not the same as saying I have no
husband. Women have children all the time without having a husband. In a
similar mistranslation the RSV in Isaiah
7:14 reads: "Behold, a young woman shall
conceive and bear a son…" That God was declaring that Mary was
a virgin is an airtight case in the King James Bible as corroborated by Isaiah
7:14. However, in the RSV, unlike the
King James Bible, the reader cannot divine from these verses that Jesus did
not inherit Adam’s sin nature. The King James Bible makes it doctrinally
clear that in regard to his humanity, not his eternal deity, Jesus inherited
the sinless nature of His Father God as a result of the miraculous
conception of Mary! The Scriptures teach unequivocally that one receives his
"nature" (not necessarily character traits) from one’s father,
not one’s mother. Thus, in the RSV we have a
veritable demotion and isolation of Jesus from divinity to humanity alone.
In other words, in this case, the RSV is
denying that Jesus is God
Fortunately, the RSV
is not consistent in its mistranslations. In Matthew
1:18-20 the RSV tells us that Mary
"…was found to be with child of the Holy
Spirit." Unfortunately, few people read their Bibles
consistently, or straight through from cover to cover and, consequently, are
usually not in a position to catch these inconsistencies.
In the NAS and NIV
versions we find another demotion of the deity of Jesus in their rendering
of Luke 2:33. The King James Bible reads:
"And Joseph and his mother marveled at those
things which were spoken of him." Meanwhile, in the NAS
and NIV we read "And
His father and his mother were amazed at things which were being said about
Him." The wording of the King James Bible is a meticulous
affirmation that Joseph was not the father of Jesus. These two versions
reduce Jesus to a mere human, born with a sin nature inherited from Adam.
In the RSV we find that the resurrection is omitted
by those who "take away from the words of this book" (Revelation
22:19). In Luke 24:6 we read in the King
James Bible: "He is not here, but is risen:
remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,"
while in the RSV we read "Remember
how He told you, while He was still in Galilee." In the RSV "He is not here, but is risen," is
left out. Even though the RSV does mention the
resurrection in the following verse, we can plainly see that reference to
the resurrection has been left out in this verse. This may seem to be a
trivial contention, however we are reminded in Matthew
4:4 (King James Bible) that Jesus said, "It
is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that
proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Every word! With a
commandment like that, can we afford to leave anything out of God’s Word?
Sometimes these words that have been taken out of the Biblical text are
placed in a footnote citing "other ancient authorities." However,
footnotes are not usually comprehended by a reader as part of the text.
Another example of how truth can be changed into a
lie through modern "scholarship" is evident in Living
Letters and The Living New Testament,
versions which are paraphrases by K. L. Taylor. In Romans
2:11, we read the following in the King James Bible: "For
there is no respect of persons with God." The Taylor paraphrase
reads: "For God treats everyone the same."
This is positively an untruth! God does not treat everybody the same, not
even believers. Proof of this is found in Luke
12:42-48 and Revelation 22:12.
It is common knowledge in the advertising industry
that the word "new" is one of the top selling words on consumer
products. That is why it appears so often on product labels. This word,
attached to the label of one current bible version, has made IT a best
seller. However, the changed words inside the covers of the New King James
Version betray it also as a veritable counterfeit. The NKJV
has over 2,000 changes from the actual King James Bible. It has been
regarded by one expert as "the most dangerous of the new versions"
not only because of its content but because of the use of certain marketing
strategies. 22 The deity of Christ has
disappeared in a number of places in the NKJV.
That the Sonship of Christ is an essential doctrine of Scripture is evident
by the accounts of those who questioned it as we see in Matthew
4:3,6 (the devil) and 27:40 (His
mockers). I John 2:22-23 tells us that "he
is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the
Son, the same hath not the Father." The King James Bible
says in Acts 3:13, 26 that Jesus Christ is the
"Son" of God. However, in the New King James
Version, He is reduced to a mere "servant." Something very
similar occurs again in Acts 4:27, 30. Another
change in the NKJV is in Revelation
1:6, where instead of "God and his
Father" the NKJV says "His
God and Father." Regarding Abraham’s prophetic comment in Genesis
22:8 where he says in the King James Bible "God
will provide himself a lamb" the NKJV
has changed it to read "God will provide for
Himself a lamb." We know this was prophetic because a ram was
provided for Abraham, not a lamb; God himself became The Lamb.
It might be argued that Matthew
12:18 in the King James Bible which reads, "Behold
my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased’
translates the Greek word in reference to Christ as "Servant,"
not son. However, a reader familiar with scripture will recognize
immediately from the wording that this verse hearkens back to the almost
identical wording of Matthew 3:17 where it
says, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am
well pleased." It leaves little doubt that the subject is
Christ, the Son of God.
In the King James Bible we read in I
John 3:5 "take away our sins",
while some new versions drop the word, "our", and just say,
"take away sins". Whose sins we’re not told. The same occurs in Hebrews
1:3 where the King James Bible reads, "by
himself purged our sins." New versions omit "our"
and "by himself" leaving only "purged
sins." In 1
Peter 4:1, the King James Bible says, "Christ
hath suffered for us" while the NIV
drops "for us." For all we know from this, Christ just suffered;
maybe he suffered because of the cruelty of the people, or maybe he just had
a bad day. However, we know from the King James Bible that He was suffering
Time after time we see another gospel that isn’t
the Gospel. In Mark 9:42, the King James Bible
says, "believe in me." That is
how we are saved; we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Some new versions
just say, "believe." There are lots of things to believe –
crystal power, Hare Krishna, 2+2=5, etc., since the "in me" is
gone. New versions present a works-based salvation that is compatible with
the religions of the world. The King James Jesus says in Mark
10:24, "Children, how hard is it for
them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!" New
versions contort the verse and say, "how hard it
is to enter into the kingdom of God." Who would want to tell a
child that it is hard to enter into the kingdom of God? It is easy! The
Bible tells about the simplicity that is in Christ (II
Corinthians 11:3). In Matthew 7:14, the NKJV
changes the King James Bible from "narrow is
the way," to "difficult is the
way." In John 3:36, the King James
Bible reads "believeth," which
is how we are saved – by faith, while new versions change to "obey."
By the same token, "Unbelief" in Hebrews 4:6, is changed to "disobedience."
Consistently these new versions are changing the gospel. The resurrection is
First Corinthians 15:4
presents the second part of the gospel. It is extremely important. It says,
"he rose again the third day." The
gospel of Christ includes the resurrection. New versions often veil the
resurrection, the ascension, and the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus.
In Acts 26:23 the King James Bible reads, "rose
from the dead." New versions change it to, "proclaim
light." This has no meaning whatsoever. The NASV
is most notable in this regard as it omits or brackets almost every mention
of the ascension, bodily resurrection, and appearance of Jesus Christ after
his death. The NASV omits the very important
part of Luke 24:51-52, where the King James
Bible reads, "he was parted from them, and
carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him." The NASV
says instead, "he parted form them."
They omit that "he was carried up into heaven,"
and "they worshiped him." These
omissions, or non assertions, in effect, deny the deity hence Lordship of
Jesus Christ. This makes silent concord with New Age philosophy that says
"He never left, and he cannot return because he has always been
Perhaps our sampling would not be complete without
at least one more look at the Old Testament. In Genesis
11:1, in the King James Bible we find "And
the whole earth was of one language and one speech", whereas
in the RSV we find, "one
language and few words." In jesting, one man has said,
"There must not have been many women in those days!"
Among the many things that we see from
this very limited selection is that words and ideas have consequences. The fact
is that Christian soldiers cannot win with man-made armour. Every believer is
referred to as a Christian soldier, who has been chosen and called into service
by the Lord Jesus Christ (II Timothy 2:3-4). He is
called to put on the full armor for the battle against the Satanic enemies
described in Ephesians 6:1-18. We are instructed to
‘Put on the whole armour of God, and above all, to
take the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the Word of God: Praying always." Suppose we mix truth
and error, a bible of man’s own making. It would be like fitting a soldier
with a shield made of iron and clay and handing him a plastic sword. That is why
it is imperative that the utmost fidelity in God’s Word is assured, and in the
King James Bible alone do we find it. In no other book do we find its equal.
This is because of its divine pedigree, shared by no other.
In Matthew 4:4
(King James Bible) Jesus said, "It is written, Man
shall not live by bread alone, but by ever word that proceedeth out of the mouth
of God." This verse is very specific. It is clear from this
verse that we as Christians are to live on every word out of the mouth of
God. How is the believer to follow this commandment if all these versions – NASV,
NEW, NIV, NKJV, NRSV, RSV, etc., say different things? God is not the
author of confusion and He does not contradict himself. It might be objected
that they all contain the doctrines, they all have the gospel, and they all
basically teach the same ideas. But, read the commandment again; not just ideas
or basic truths, not just the Gospel – Every word!
Again, it might be objected that only
the original manuscripts in original languages, which are lost forever, contain
the original words of God, and that no translation or copy can carry over God’s
words perfectly, and furthermore we do not know exactly what the words were. How
can we find God’s words?
Such objections are repeatedly shown to
be false in Scripture. For instance, many times in the New Testament, the Old
Testament is quoted. The Apostle Paul quotes from the Hebrew Old Testament and
writes it in Greek under the superintendence of God. No one says these
translations are imperfect! Paul refers to the Old Testament Hebrew texts as "Holy
Scriptures." In II Timothy 3:15-17 (in the
King James Bible) we see that Paul wrote to Timothy and tells him assuredly that
the Scripture Timothy read when he was a child was Holy Scripture.
Timothy had read copies of texts, not originals. Paul calls this scripture inspired.
It is also argued that when the Bible
is translated from one language to another, it always loses some of its meaning.
Besides the Biblical proof that this is a non argument, it is nothing less than
phenomenal that people who will believe that God called into existence the
entire universe and its complexity of wonders cannot believe that God can and
has translated His Word from Greek to English perfectly! God has promised
that He would preserve His words (Psalm 12:6-7,
King James Bible). He promised that his words would not wither away in lost or
destroyed manuscripts (I Peter 1:24-25). The Bible
believing Christian holds that God had His inspired word, scribed by sinful men,
like you and me, yet to turn around and doubt that He could and would overcome
the limitations of mere mortal sinful men by His omnipotent superintendence and
preserve His Word is not only nonsensical but is an exhibition of ignorance
about His promises. If this were true, Jesus made a commandment that the people
even in his time could not obey. Jesus assured us that God’s words matter and
that this is no side issue. Psalm 33:4; 50:16-17; 107;
10-11; 119:57, 139, 140; 138:2; and Proverbs 138:2
all bear that out.
There will never be another English
bible as reliable as the King James Bible because publishers and bible societies
insist on copyrighting their versions to insure that the profits (not the
prophets) return to them. Modern translations have inevitably complicated the
language and made more difficult their reading. Almost all of the words in the
King James Bible are one or two syllable Anglo-Saxon words. Since the King James
Bible has already laid claim to them first, the derivative copyright works must
replace them with more difficult, Latinized words which often have three or more
syllables, often with suffixes and prefixes. For example: In Ephesians
4:16 the King James Bible reads "joint"
whereas the NIV reads "supporting
ligament." In II Chronicles 2:2 the
King James reads "told" whereas
the NIV reads "conscripted."
In Hebrews 1:3 the King James reads "image"
whereas the NIV reads "representation,"
and so on.
The results of a recent nationwide
survey indicated that only a third of church members today believe that the
Bible is the Word of God. The vast majority believe that the Bible
"contains" the word of God. 23
The King James Bible is the Word of God. New versions contain some of the word
of God. As new versions replace the King James Bible in sales and in use, it is
no wonder people sense this void. In defense of their work, unsaved scholars say
that the omissions in new versions are not wholesale – that the doctrine is
compromised only partially. As long as doctrine can be found somewhere in their
versions, they claim such versions are acceptable. However, this contention
fails when tested by Scripture. The words of the Bible tell us that "a
little leaven leaveneth the whole lump" (I
Corinthians 5:6). The Bible is of necessity a unified whole. All Bible
doctrine is interdependent. When there is an error in one place in the Bible,
its entirety is muted or destroyed by the poison.
That the world is encroaching ever
further into the life of the churches is an observation that cannot be
contradicted. That more and more seminary graduates deny special creation, the
historicity of the angelic and Adamic fall, the entrance of iniquity, the
dilemma of sin, the virgin birth of Christ, His divinity and oneness with God
the Father, his sinless life, atoning death, resurrection, and the second
advent, is also very evident. As newer versions of the Bible are published, and
as these modern versions conform to standards of contemporary scholarship,
worship, and church membership lifestyle, so does the profit increase. What we
are witnessing in the world today is no less than a wholesale covert agenda of
diplomatic fraud which seeks to destroy faith in the plenary-verbal inspiration
of the Bible. The great battle of the Christian faith today is indeed centered
on the inspiration, authority and infallibility of Holy Writ. For in God’s
Word alone do we find the Way, the Truth, and the Life in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Included among the many disquieting
consequences of the proliferation of modern versions of the Bible is the fact
that they have brought about disorder in public worship – no longer can we
read the word of God in unison from the Bible because each person has a
different version. This is a grievous loss in our time, especially when church
unity is at a premium. There is also great confusion among students of the
Bible. Rarely can one attend a Bible study where there is not a disconcerting
array of versions. Hence we see not only a subtle division in, but a
deterioration of what we as Christians hold dear – that sweet fellowship in
the Truth. A grievous loss of church unity has occurred because of the
divisiveness of modern versions.
Finally, to more or less summarize what
has been said: God’s Word has been kept intact for all English speaking
peoples through the King James Bible. That it should be set apart from all other
books is evident by its unique design. This is true for a number of vital
reasons including the few that follow:
The King James Bible is built upon
the foundation of superior original language texts, having been translated
from what is called the traditional Masoretic Hebrew Old Testament text and
the Traditional Greek New Testament Received Text. These are the exact texts
– the timeless changeless texts which underlie the Textus Receptus and the
King James Bible.
The King James Bible was translated
by a company of men who were superior in their linguistic qualifications,
superior in their working knowledge of the original language texts, superior
in their scholarship, and extraordinary in their dedication and walk before
God. None of the translators were paid for their work. These men fervently
believed that the people needed to read the Bible.
The King James Bible is superior in its translation
technique. It was a coordinated effort by a company of some 47 men divided
into six groups of scholars. Each man in a group working independently on
his assigned book had to be skilled in Hebrew or Greek. Their work was then
compared with the results of others in the company who had translated the
same portions of Scripture. The work was not finished until all were agreed
on the finished product.
In contrast to this, translation committees of
today usually have a few men skilled in some books and a few skilled in
other books, and a few others on the committee who are more or less
bystanders whose work is to check other versions and smooth out some of the
English style. All of these, in turn, work under a select few who are the
"brains" of the committee who do most, if not all, of the actual
The King James Bible is superior in its theology. It
is not affected by the doctrinal changes brought about by paraphrase and the
use of variant minority language texts. Almost all modern versions are
derived from theologians who refused to accept the Textus Receptus.
The language of the King James Bible has a majesty
and a beauty of its own in its style and poetry, and when you read it aloud
there is no doubt that you are quoting the Bible. When you hear a reading of
the King James Bible, you know you are hearing the very Word of God.
The lofty or formal language always connotes a great
degree of importance. It is a language style commensurate to the Lord and a
style of which He is deserving. Almost all the modern translations try to
reduce the language of God’s Word to a common or worldly level. The King
James sets the Bible apart from all the other books of the world, and
appropriately so, for it cannot be treated other than as Scripture – the
distinct Word of God.
Other translations and paraphrases come and go in
and out of popularity, but the perennial King James Bible is always in use,
and in it God’s Word will always be with us. Furthermore, among things,
and neither have we exhausted its virtues, the King James Bible is a great
and enduring language stabilizer.
An objection often raised against the
said "King James Only Crowd" is that people learn something from the
other (modern) versions, too, and that some even get saved: but I dare say that
this occurs in spite of these errant versions, not because of them!
The Authorized Version of 1611, or,
in other words, the King James Bible, stands alone in its uniqueness, integrity,
and fidelity to the truthfulness of God’s Word. Among reasons why this writer
holds this conviction is because of the great harm done not only to the Word of
God, but the detriment wrought in the local church in its public worship, and,
of course, because of the confusion created in countless group and individual
Bible studies. After all, it could be said: How do you think your professor
would think or feel if all of his students used different text books in his
class?! In our case, God is our Great Professor! He alone is the one true God,
who hath walked among us upon this earth and left us the living and enduring
legacy of His Word and His Spirit. Until He comes, Amen.
"The grass withereth,
the flower fadeth:
but the word of our God shall stand forever."
NOTE Regarding the
Bibliography: The authors of the books listed here do not interpret, they do not
translate, neither do they paraphrase they simply point out the magnitude and
seriousness of a problem that has become so prevalent as to be promiscuous even
to the casual observer. The adulteration and abuse of God’s Holy Word has
become so commonplace that the future of The Bible does not look good. For the
reader who discovers the aberrations for himself, just as those before the
present writer, it should be evident that there is no turning back to this Sodom
and Gomorrah of our day.
I. Rousas J.
Rushdoony, Translation and Subversion, pp. 7-9.
cit., pp. 4-5.
D. A. Waite, Defending
The King James Bible, pp. 1, 4-5.
Ibid, p. 89.
Riplinger, Which Bible Is God’s Word?, p. 70.
Ibid., p. 70.
Ibid., p. 71.
Ibid., p. 70.
Jones, Which Version Is the Bible, p. 54.
cit., pp. 5-6.
D. A. Waite, Defending
The King James Bible, pp.38-41.
Jones, Which Version Is The Bible?, p. 54-56.
Ibid., p. 56.
Jones, Which Version Is The Bible?, p. 54-56.
Ibid., p. 58.
Jones, Which Version Is The Bible?, pp. 61-62.
cit., pp. 16-17.
cit., pp. 16-17.
Jones, Which Version Is The Bible?, p. vii.
Riplinger, Which Bible Is God’s Word, p. 117.
D. A. Waite, Defending
the King James Bible, p. 124.
Riplinger, Which Bible is God’s Word? p. 116.
Fuller, David Otis, True or
False, Grand Rapids International Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan,
Fuller, David Otis, Which Bible?
Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1970.
Hills, Edwards F., Believing Bible Study, The
Christian Research Press, Des Moines, Iowa, 1967.
Jones, Floyd Nolen, Which Version Is The
Bible?, KingsWord Press, The Woodlands, Texas, 1999.
Ray, Jasper James, God Wrote Only One
Bible, Eye Opener Publishers, Junction City, Oregon, 1955.
Riplinger, Gail A., New Age Bible Versions,
A. V. Publications, Ararat, Virginia, 1993.
Riplinger, Gail A., Which Bible is God’s
Word?, Hearthstone Publishing, Ltd., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1994.
Rushdoony, R. J., Translation and
Subversion, Trinity Episcopal Church, Victoria, Texas, 1964.
Van Bruggen, Jakob, The Ancient Text of the
New Testament, Premier Publishing, Winnipeg, 1976.
Waite, D. A., Defending the King James
Bible, The Bible for Today Press, Collingswood, new Jersey, 1992.
Waite, D. A., Fundamentalists
Distortions on Bible Verses, The Bible for Today Press, Collingswood, New
Compiled, Edited, and Written by
Logos Pax Vitalis
P. O. Box 1034
Rocklin, CA 95677-1034
Copyright © 2001 © 2002
Published with Permission by
European-American Evangelistic Crusades, Inc.
Back to Bible