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A PRELIMINARY COMPILATION OF THE ISSUES BY ALLAN ASK

THE KING JAMES VERSION VERSUS THE MODERN VERSIONS

 

THE REAL ISSUES IDENTIFIED

In giving a brief summary of the controversy it’s important to deal with the foundational issues. The real issue to be evaluated is; are the Hebrew and Greek texts underlying the King James version the preserved word of God or are the Westcott and Hort text and the eclectic approach which underlay the modern versions to be accepted as the word of God. A second issue intertwined with the first is; did God promise to preserve his words and did he providently preserve a Hebrew and Greek text for the church age.

That the English translation is infallible or inspired is not an issue, for even the King James translators did not claim it to be the preserved word of God in English. The real battleground lies beneath, in the texts used for translation, the method of translation, and the theology of the translators. My position is that the text underlying the King James is the preserved word of God in the original languages and superior in every way to the two manuscripts (Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus) which underlay the modern versions. In addition the King James version is superior in every way to any subsequent English translation because of the text used, who the translators were, the methods they adopted and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

 

HISTORY OF THE TEXTS UNDERLYING THE KING JAMES

The Old Testament was translated from the MASORETIC HEBREW TEXT. This was the "traditional" text preserved by the nation of Israel and particularly the Masorite Jews from 500 to 1,000 AD. They standardized the Old Testament Hebrew text by putting in the vowel pointing. Original Hebrew has no vowels only consonants. The Jews had a strict set of rules for making copies of God's word. We list them briefly as follows:

1. Parchment must be of clean animals only and prepared only by a Jew.

2. Each column was between 48 to 60 lines and underlined first.

3. Special recipe for the ink and only black.

4. No word or letter was to be written from memory; the scribe must have an authentic copy before him and must read and pronounce each word before writing it.

5. He must reverently wipe his pen each time before writing the word "God" and he must wash his whole body before writing the word "Jehovah".

6. There were strict rules on the forms of the letters, spaces, words and sections, use of pens, and color of parchment.

7. One mistake on a sheet and the sheet was thrown out; three mistakes on any sheet and the entire manuscript was thrown out; revision of a scroll must be made within 30 days or it was considered worthless.

8. Every word and letter was counted and if not correct the manuscript was destroyed at once.

The Masoretic Text used by the King James translators was the 1st and 2nd editions of Daniel Bomberg. They came out in 1516-17 AD and 1524-1525 AD respectively. The first edition was called "The First Rabbinic Bible" and the second edition was called "The Second Great Rabbinic Bible". This was the standard Hebrew text for 400 years.

The New Testament was translated from the Greek text, which originated from Asia Minor, the home of the seven churches of Revelation and the cradle of the Apostle Paul's missionary journeys. Manuscripts from this area are the most dominant in terms of numbers. At latest count there are approximately 5,255 manuscripts of which 5,210 are from this area, while about 45 is from the Palestine, Alexandria and Western European areas. The Greek manuscripts from the Asia Minor area became known as "Byzantine" because of the Byzantine Empire that rose to power in Asia Minor. At the time of the King James translation a particular stream of these Byzantine manuscripts was used and shortly thereafter was labeled the "Textus Receptus". So when we are mentioning the "Textus Receptus"or the "Received Text" we are speaking of a stream of Greek manuscripts passed down from the area of the seven churches of Asia Minor.

The Textus Receptus has been handed down from the seven churches of Asia Minor and has been the historically accepted Greek text. The "Peshitta Syriac Version" 150 AD was based on the Received Text, although supporters of the modern text have tried to late date this manuscript to the 4th or 5th century. The following use the Received Text; The Gallic Church of Southern France, the Celtic Church of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland and Ireland, the Waldensians circa 120 AD onwards, the Gothic version of the 4th century, and Codex W of Matthew in the 4-5th century. As the Byzantine era from 312-1453 A.D.ended due to the invasion of the Muslims, the light of the seven churches of Asia Minor went out. The light was transferred to the churches of the Reformation from this point onwards. These churches of the Reformation all used the Received Text. A list of Reformation period Bibles and original language texts based upon the Byzantine (later called the Received) Text is as follows: Erasmus Greek NT (1516), Complutensian Polygot (1522), Luther's Bible (1522), William Tyndale's Bible (1525), French Version of Oliveton (1535), Coverdale's Bible (1535), Matthew's Bible (1537), Taverner's Bible (1539), Great Bible (1539-41), Stephanus Greek NT (1546-51), Geneva Bible (1557-60), Bishop's Bible (1568), Spanish Version (1569), Beza Greek NT (1598), Czech Version (1602), Italian Version of Diodati (1607), King James Bible (1611), and the Elziver Brothers' Greek NT (1624). The Received Text was the accepted text until German Rationalism rose up to cast doubt upon it. In 1881 Westcott and Hort introduced their new Greek text following two manuscripts found in the 1800's and dated 350-375 AD. These were called Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus (Aleph) and originally came from the Alexandria area. In 1898 the Nestle/Aland Greek text also came out which followed the Westcott and Hort text plus three other editions of Nestle's day. From this point onwards the colleges, universities and seminaries taught from these Greek texts but the King James Bible remained the dominant version used.

 

HISTORY OF THE TEXTS UNDERLYING THE MODERN VERSIONS

The Old Testament Hebrew text used bears the name of Rudolph Kittel. In Kittel's first two editions of 1906 and 1912 he used the Masoretic Hebrew Text (Ben Chayyim), the same text as the King James used. However in 1937 he changed to the "Ben Asher Masoretic Text" based on a Leningrad Manuscript (B19a or L) dated 1,008 AD. In addition there came out in 1967/77 a Stuttgart Hebrew version based on the same Leningrad manuscript. Most colleges, universities, and seminaries use either the Kittel or the Stuttgart version. Their reasoning is based on the assumption that the oldest must be the best.

In addition to these texts other sources are consulted and any appropriate changes are made to the final Hebrew text before translation into a modern version. Some of the sources consulted are the Septuagint LXX (Hebrew OT translated into Greek at Alexandria circa 280 BC, others say 150 BC), the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Latin Vulgate (translation of the Bible into Latin by Jerome circa 383 AD for the Roman Pope), Aquila (Greek Old Testament), the Samaritan Pentateuch, Josephus, Scribal traditions, Symmachus (Greek OT), Theodotion (Greek OT), the Targums, as well as others.

In the New Testament the Westcott and Hort Greek text of 1881 and the Nestle/Aland Greek text of 1898 are the basic texts underlying the modern versions. The Nestle/Aland Greek text followed basically the Westcott and Hort text plus three other editions of Nestle's day. The Nestle/Aland Greek text is in it's 26th edition (1979) and is the main one used for modern versions. The editor's of the 26th edition include Kurt Aland (an unbeliever), Matthew Black (an unbeliever), Carlo Martini (Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church), Bruce Metzger (from Princeton and editor of the Reader's Digest bible), and Alan Wigren.

As previously mentioned the two main manuscripts of Westcott and Hort were Vaticanus (B) and Sinaiticus (Aleph) dated 350-375 AD and originating from the Alexandria area. Vaticanus B was found in the Vatican library at Rome and had been there collecting dust from the late 1400's until resurrected by Westcott and Hort. Sinaiticus (Aleph) was found in 1844 by a German named Tischendorf at St. Catherine's Monastery in a wastepaper basket. Part of it had been burned in the monastery fireplace. In 1881, Westcott and Hort popularized the notion that the oldest manuscripts must be the best and this has been accepted by most of the "scholarly" world.

Vaticanus (B) and Sinaiticus (Aleph) had some major problems when examined. First of all Aleph had 15,000 changes made to the manuscript by contemporary and later correctors. B and Aleph differed in the gospels alone in 3,000 places. This should have placed special caution upon the claim that these two manuscripts were the best. Westcott and Hort moved ahead anyway and developed a new Greek text based upon the following assumptions. They said that when B and Aleph were in agreement then this was the original reading. If they did not agree, then any reading of B combined with one other manuscript would be the true reading. If they could not find another manuscript to agree with B then B alone would be given as the true reading. As you can see Vaticanus (B) was strongly favored when creating their New Greek text.

 

SUMMARY OF THE GREEK MANUSCRIPT EVIDENCE

As of 1967 the number of Greek manuscripts is 5,255. There are four types of manuscript evidence in this number. They are papyrus fragments, uncial manuscripts, cursive manuscripts and lectionary manuscripts. Here is a brief description of each.

1. Papyrus Fragment Manuscripts

Papyrus fragments are a kind of paper made from the papyrus plant grown in the area of Egypt. The paper itself is brittle and does not survive the aging process as well as other types of manuscript materials used. As of 1967 there were 81 of them and currently the number has risen to 88. It is estimated that 15% of these support the W/H Text while 85% support the Received Text. Please refer to the summary chart below.

2. Uncial Manuscripts

Uncial manuscripts are written in capital letters, which run together with no punctuation marks or spaces between the letters. Uncials available are both old and recent and there number total 267. Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus (Aleph) are in this group of old uncials. It is estimated that 3% of these support the W/H Text while 97% support the Received Text. Please refer to the summary chart below.

3. Cursive Manuscripts

These are manuscripts written in longhand just as handwriting does today. During the 9th century scribes abandoned the uncial style for the cursive style. There are available 2,764 such manuscripts. It is estimated that only 1% support the W/H Text while 99% support the Received Text. Please refer to the summary chart below.

4. Lectionary Manuscripts

Lectionaries were portions of scripture read in the churches on particular days. There are available 2,143 lectionaries.

In this case 100% of these support the Received Text. Please refer to the summary chart below.

Totals # of MSS % of MSS

WH/TR WH/TR

Papyrus Fragments 81(88) 13/75 15%/85%

Unicals 267 9/258 3%/97%

Cursives 2,764 23/2,741 1%/99%

Lectionaries 2,143 0/2,143 0%/100%

Totals 5,255 45/5,210 1%/99%

 

SUMMARY OF EARLY CHURCH FATHER EVIDENCE

The early church fathers in their writings would often quote scripture and these can be used for readings and Greek manuscript support. Dean John Burgon was an Anglican bishop during the time of Westcott and Hort and opposed their new Greek text. As part of that defense he compiled 86,000 quotations from early church fathers from 100-600 AD. Edward Miller edited the final work in 1896 because Burgon passed away in 1888. From 100-400 AD there were 4,383 quotes from 76 church fathers who died before 400 AD. Of these there were 2,630 (60%) from the Received Text and 1,753 (40%) from the Westcott and Hort text. This is a ratio of 1.5 to 1 for the Received Text.

Dr. Jack Moorman examined 86 different works from church fathers who died before 400 AD and examined 401 scripture quotations. He found 279 (70%) favored the Received Text versus only 122 (30%) favoring the W/H Text. D.A. Carson who supports the W/H Text has stated in his book that the Byzantine Text did not exist before 400 AD. This evidence concerning the early church fathers would make this to be an uninformed statement.

 

THE SUPERIOR TRANSLATORS OF THE KING JAMES BIBLE

It is worthwhile to examine the linguistic capabilities of the team of translators who worked on the King James Bible. An appreciation of their linguistic qualities is most revealing. We are indebted to Andrew McClure who in 1857 wrote a book called "The King James Translators Revived". The period of 1500-1650 is considered the "Golden Age" of biblical and oriental (Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, etc) learning in England. The 1,500's was also the period of "Foxe's Book of Martyrs" where to preach the true gospel that saves and to translate the Bible for all men to read incurred the wrath of the Roman Church. The Roman Church had long kept people in darkness enslaving them to a system of sacramental works and priesthood. In the period of 1524-1535 William Tyndale translated the New Testament and the Pentateuch into English. In Tyndale's time the bondage of the Roman Catholic religion gripped the people of England. The Roman Church had kept the word of God away from the common people. Tyndale was martyred by Rome in 1536, his parting prayer being "Lord, open the eyes of the King of England". It was said of William Tyndale that he was so skilled in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, English, and French, that whichever one he spake, you would suppose it was his native tongue.

The King James translators were cut from the same cloth as William Tyndale. The translation took place from 1604-1611, a total of seven years work. The Puritan D. John Reynolds made the request to King James, "That a translation be made of the whole Bible, as consonant as can be to the original Hebrew and Greek". It becomes obvious that Dr. Reynolds already considered that the proper Hebrew and Greek manuscripts were readily available. There did not seem to be any concern on this issue. The translation team consisted of 47 men mostly from the protestant Church of England and a small number of Puritans. A couple of these 47 passed away before the translation was completed. Let's look at a number of these men and their backgrounds.

1. Lancelot Andrews - he was conversant in 15 languages, his private devotions were in Greek, called "the star of preachers"

2. William Bedwell - revived the study of the Arabic language in Europe, scholars sought him out because of his fame in Arabic learning, began a Persian dictionary

3. Miles Smith - knew Chaldee, Syriac, Aramaic, almost as well as English

4. John Bois - at age 5 could read the Hebrew bible, wrote Hebrew at age 6, great skill in writing Greek

5. Henry Savile - famous for Greek, Latin and mathematics, taught these to Queen Elizabeth, first to edit the complete works of John Chrysostum the most famous church father

6. Lawrence Chaderton - thoroughly skilled in Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and Rabbinic writings, raised a Catholic but disinherited for becoming a Puritan

7. Francis Dillingham - known as the "Great Grecian" because of his debating skills in the Greek language

8. John Overall - spoke Latin as well as English

9. John Richardson - debated in Latin and considered a most excellent linguist

 

SUPERIOR TEAM AND TRANSLATION TECHNIQUE

The 47 men selected were divided up into 6 companies of translators working out of Westminster, Cambridge and Oxford. Each company was given a number of books of the Bible to translate. There would have been 7 or 8 men in each company. Each man alone and in his own handwriting would translate all the books assigned to his company. Then the company would meet and come up with one translation. This company translation was then passed to each of the other companies who reviewed it. Then at the end there was a final joint committee of two men from each company who reviewed the final drafts. That means that each book of the Bible was translated, analyzed and corrected 14 times. In addition if any expertise was known and needed outside of the 47 men these individuals were sought for counsel and advice also.

The King James translators adopted the verbal and formal equivalence method. This means that the Greek and Hebrew were translated with the most equivalent word in English. This also took into account the forms of words such as nouns, adjectives, preposition, participles etc. Translation by equivalent idea or paraphrase was rejected.

The modern versions generally use considerably more dynamic equivalence. This is not a word for word translation technique but more an equivalent idea or paraphrase approach. When you consider the jot or tittle comments by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 5 v 17-18 and the Jews counting of every letter this latter approach would be inferior to the verbal and formal equivalence method.

 

THE THEOLOGY OF THE KING JAMES TRANSLATORS

The translators of the King James Bible lived at a time when the power of the Roman Catholic Church was being challenged. The church, which had the allegiance of the King also, had the civil and judicial power to enforce its edicts. If you were on the wrong side of the religion of Rome your chances of being labeled a heretic and tortured and burned were very high. To dissent from the dogmas of Rome and preach the true gospel which saves could cost your life. In the middle 1500's Bloody Queen Mary a servant of Rome martyred 288 of England's finest Christians. Out of this context we find the Church of England and the Puritans coming. During the time of King James the Protestant clergy were the dominant group.

The King James translators opposed the dogmas of Rome, which said that repentance and faith alone in Christ were not enough to save you. Rome also cursed anyone who said that you could "know" you were saved based on the above statement. The King James translators opposed the Roman dogma that scriptures and church traditions were equal but stood upon "sola scriptura". They opposed the Roman dogma that an intellectual belief in Jesus plus the keeping of the church sacraments were necessary for salvation. Opposing the dogmas of Rome were what is really known as "counting the cost and standing for the truth". North America owes their freedom to the martyrs of the Reformation. Think about the shame of modern day Protestants and Evangelicals uniting with Rome instead of exposing her false gospel and teachings.

The translators recognized that each person should read the scriptures for they can make one "wise unto salvation". They acknowledged the new birth, and the fruit of the Spirit that it brings. They recognized the unseen spiritual battle with Satan and his minions.

The translators generally held the position that "once saved, always saved". God's sovereignty and the security of one's salvation is an important issue. A believer who has been born again and understands the work of Christ knows that salvation cannot be lost or given back. The doctrine that teaches that you can have salvation and lose or reject it is plainly false. This doctrine is just another form of religious bondage and was strongly opposed.

The information above was gleaned from "The Preface to the King James Bible of 1611" and the book written in 1857 by Andrew McClure called "KJV Translators Revived".

 

THE THEOLOGY OF WESTCOTT AND HORT

When we come to the theology of these two men we find heresy of the worst kind. The attack on the Bible began with German Rationalism in the 17 and 1800's as well as the theory of evolution popularized by Darwin, Lyell, and Hutton in the middle 1800's. The following quotes clearly reveal Westcott and Hort's apostasy concerning evolution, the inerrantcy and infallibility of the Bible, salvation, as well as other doctrines.

- Westcott on the historicity of Genesis 1 to 3.

In a letter dated March 4, 1890 to the Archbishop of Canterbury: "No one now, I suppose, holds that the first three chapters of Genesis, for example give a literal history...I could never understand how anyone reading them with open eyes could think they did".

- Hort on evolutionary theory.

He wrote on April 3, 1860, "But the book that has engaged me is Darwin. Whatever may be thought of it, it is a book that one is proud to be contemporary with...My feeling is strong that the theory is unanswerable."

- Hort believed that the scriptures contained the word of God but not necessarily that each "word" was the word of God.

Hort wrote: "So only, we believed, could the unique character of the scriptures be rightly appreciated as 'containing all things necessary to salvation'.

- Westcott called the nation of Israel the "old church" and the church of Christ the "new Israel" implying that the promises to Israel had passed to the church.

He wrote: "The Christian Church (John 1 v 12) was not, as it might have been, the corporate transfiguration of the Old Church (Israel), but was built up of individuals... gives prominence to the act of personal faith which distinguishes the first-fruits of the New Israel. The New Church grew out of the Old Church, as its proper consummation."

- Westcott believed in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man.

He wrote: God is spoken of as "Father" and expresses the original relationship of God to being and specially to humanity, in virtue of man's creation in the divine image (John 4 v 21).

- Westcott thought Christians were in a true sense "Christs".

He wrote: (1 John 2v20) "Christians are themselves in a true sense "Christs", anointed ones,..."

- Westcott and Hort both failed to affirm the personal nature of the devil.

Westcott wrote: (1 John 2v8) "From the very beginning we see a power in action hostile to God."

Hort wrote: (Rev 2v13) "...but the visible supremacy of the power of evil, inspiring to evil."

- Westcott had a false view of the baptism of Christ and also that God the Holy Spirit indwells believers.

He wrote: (John 1v33-34) "At the same time we cannot but believe that Christ at this crisis (the baptism of John) first became conscious as a man of a power of the Spirit within him corresponding to the new form of His work."

He wrote: (1 John 4v4) "He that is in you, that is in the Christian society...the divine person is undefined. We think naturally of God in Christ.

- Westcott and Hort did not believe that heaven was a literal place.

Westcott wrote: (John 1v18) "The bosom of the father (like heaven) is a state not a place."

Hort wrote: (1 Peter 1v5) an inheritance reserved in heaven "It is hardly necessary to say that this whole local language is figurative only."

- Hort denied the literal return of Christ but refers to Bible prophecy as figurative and the revelation of Christ as a spiritual process though ending in a climax.

Hort wrote: (1 Peter 1v7) at the revelation of Jesus Christ "There is nothing in either this passage or others on the same subject, apart from the figurative language of Thessalonians..., to show that the revelation here spoken of is to be limited to a sudden preternatural (ie supernatural) theophany (ie appearance). It may be a long and varying process, though ending in a climax.

- Westcott believed becoming a Christian and eternal life are processes.

He wrote: (John 15v8) and so shall ye become my disciples. "A Christian never "is" but always "is becoming" a Christian."

He wrote: (1 John 5v20) "Eternal life is the never-ending effort after the knowledge of God."

- Westcott believed that Christ's perfection was not reached till after his death.

He wrote: (Hebrews 2v10) "The conception of the word used for perfection here is that of bringing Christ to the full moral perfection of his humanity which carries with it the completeness of power and dignity...This perfection was not reached till after his death."

Conclusion on Westcott and Hort's Theology

The conclusion that Westcott and Hort were heretics and false teachers is evident from the small number of examples given. From the life and letters of Hort compiled by his son we see his move back to Rome. In vol. 1 page 41 he says, "He outgrew the evangelical teaching, which he came to regard as sectarian." In vol. 2 page 49-51 he says, "Another idea has lately occurred to me; is not mariolatry displacing much worship of scattered saints, and so becoming a tendency towards unity of worship? ...I have been persuaded for many years that Mary Worship and Jesus Worship have very much in common in their causes and their results."

Hort's description of the Received Text (the dominant text from the seven churches to his day) as "that vile and villainous Textus Receptus" matches his theology well.

 

DIFFERENCES IN THE TEXTS AND THE TRANSLATIONS

When comparing the Received Text to the W/H Text and to the Nestle/Aland Text there are obviously significant differences. The W/H Text is shorter than the Received Text by 1,952 words. The Nestle/Aland Text is shorter than the Received Text by 2,886 words. The eclectic approach to sorting out God's word justifies this by saying that God did not preserve or providentially guide to certain manuscripts. The eclectic approach says that we can through examining all available sources piece together the original word of God. The preservation approach says that God had his hand on a stream of manuscripts from the area of the seven churches of Asia Minor, through the Byzantine period and into the time of the Reformation. It accepts God’s providential hand in overseeing the faithful copying with checks and balances to ensure accuracy. Only when you come to the 1800's which laid the foundation for the great apostasy do you find the traditionally accepted text challenged. If you accept the promises of God to preserve his word and accept that the Textus Receptus was God providentially guiding the Reformers, then texts that are shorter in words will be compared against that standard and considered corrupt. Herein lies a major point of divergence in the arguments.

In D.A. Waite's book "Defending the King James Bible" he identifies 5,604 places that the W/H Text changes the Received Text. There are 1,952 omissions, 467 additions, and 3,185 changes and 4,366 alterations involving 9,970 Greek words. Dr. Waite further identifies in his book 158 passages in the New Testament where variants occur. We will look at just a few to give you an idea of the differences. Many times a supporter of the modern versions will say that the issue is plainly spelled out in another passage so what's the big deal. To someone who holds to God promising to preserve a text, adding or subtracting words is a big deal. God promises his judgement on those who do so in Revelation 22 v 18-19. So a person's beliefs about preservation will affect how these differences are viewed. Generally a person who accepts the divine preservation and providence of God will associate variants as corruption and Satan working to cast doubt on the scriptures. We have recognized this strategy in our day with the confusion on bible prophecy, and the attack on the book of Genesis through the pseudo-science of evolution.

EXAMPLES

There are two types of differences that arise; those that are translational differences and those which are textual differences.

The Modern Greek texts do not have Mark 16 v 9-20 or John 7v53 to 8v11 in them. They include them but mark them off as "not being found in the two earliest and best manuscripts". The two manuscripts are Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus (Aleph).

Act 2v47

KJV reads, "such as should be saved" NASB reads, "those who were being saved" NIV reads, "those who were being saved"

- Salvation is not a process.

1 Corinthians 1v18

KJV reads, "which are saved" NASB reads, 'us which are being saved" NIV reads, "us who are being saved"

-Salvation is not a process.

2 Corinthians 2v15

KJV reads, "in them that are saved" NASB reads, "those who are being saved" NIV reads, "those who are being saved"

- Salvation is not a process.

James 5v16

KJV reads, "confess your faults one to another" NASB reads, "confess your sins one to another" NIV reads, "confess your sins to each other"

- Faults are to be confessed to others but sins are to be confessed to God.

1 Peter 2v2

KJV reads, "desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" NASB reads, "long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation" NIV reads, "crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation"

- Salvation is a secure fact not a process for a believer.

1 Timothy 3v16

KJV reads, "God was manifest in the flesh" NASB reads, "He who was revealed in the flesh" NIV reads, "He appeared in a body"

- Jesus is clearly recognized for who he is in this KJV verse.

Revelation 1v11

KJV reads, "saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book" NASB reads, "saying, Write in a book what you see" NIV reads, "Write on a scroll what you see"

- Here Jesus declares his eternal being but this is eliminated in the NASB and the NIV.

Matthew 19v16-17

KJV reads, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life. And he said unto him, Why callest me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments."

NASB reads, "Teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may obtain eternal life? And He said to him, Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments."

NIV reads, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life? Why do you ask me about what is good? Jesus replied. There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."

1 John 5 v 7-8

KJV reads, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one."

NASB reads, "And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit, and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement."

NIV reads, "And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement."

- The modern version supporter will say that Erasmus was forced to include this section because it was not in his Greek manuscripts but was in one manuscript located in Ireland so he reluctantly included it. An assertion which needs further weighing.

Mark 13 v 14

KJV reads, "But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet..."

NASB reads, "But when you see the Abomination of Desolation standing where it should not be..."

NIV reads, "When you see the abomination that causes desolation standing where it does not belong..."

- Even though Daniel the prophet is used in Matthew 24 the dropping of his name in Mark creates a point of doubt to be pressed. Daniel is one of the most attacked books because of predictive prophecy.

Luke 11 v 2

KJV reads, "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth." NASB reads, "Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come." NIV reads, "Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come."

Revelation 21 v 24

KJV reads, "And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it..." NASB reads, "And the nations shall walk by its light..." NIV reads, "The nations will walk by its light..."

Revelation 22 v 19

KJV reads, "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..."

NASB reads, "and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city..."

NIV reads, "And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city..."

- The NASB and the NIV use the tree of life, which appears to say that you can be saved but subsequently, lose it. In Revelation 20 v 11-15 it would appear that everyone is initially written in the book of life but their rejection of Christ results in their removal from this book. Psalm 69 v 28 supports this understanding for it reads "Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous." Revelation 3 v 5 says "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot his name out of the book of life." See also Exodus 32 v 30-33. The conclusion is that this is not an error by Erasmus that has been perpetuated in the Received Text but an error by the modern versions.

Revelation 5 v 9-10

KJV reads, "And they (24 elders dressed in white with gold crowns upon their heads sitting on thrones) sung a new song, saying, Thou (Jesus the Lamb) art worthy to take the book (scroll), and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and has redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth."

NASB reads, "And they sang a new song, saying, Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with thy blood men from every tribe, and tongue and people and nation. And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth."

NIV reads, "And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign upon the earth."

- Here we find a very significant difference with the 24 elders singing in the first person changed to the third person. This creates a muddying of the waters on Bible prophecy. At the end of Revelation chapter 3 we see the apostate professing church of Laodicea bringing the church age to an end. In Revelation chapters 4 and 5 we see the raptured church in heaven having received their crowns of reward and the righteousness of Christ by their white robes. In Luke 22v30 the twelve apostles are promised to sit on 12 of the 24 thrones. Therefore the church is in heaven before the 7-year tribulation begins watching Jesus open the scroll to reveal the Anti-Christ in Revelation 6 v1-2. Since our generation shall see the completion of all these things Satan has spent much time trying to confuse the pre-tribulation rapture of the church and rob the true Christian of the timing and the blessed hope. At the same time he builds an apostate ecumenical "Christian" church which will enter the 7-year tribulation and follow the Anti-Christ. The Anti-Christ will come in peace and present himself as Christ. The NASB and the NIV because of their corruption give a third person rendering as if the 24 elders were talking about some other group of redeemed people and not themselves.

 

THE REMOVAL OF DRAGONS (DINOSAURS) OUT OF THE BIBLE OBSCURING THAT MAN AND DINOSAURS LIVED TOGETHER

On the issue of timing Satan has promoted the pseudo-science of evolution to confuse the age of the earth. Scripturally the earth is coming up around 6,000 years with a 1,000-year millennium to begin once the rapture and the seven-year tribulation have come to pass. The book of Genesis speaks of a canopied earth with much of the water in our current oceans sealed beneath the earth. A greenhouse world protected and designed from the core to its outer atmosphere. In Genesis 7 v 11 it says that there was an internal meltdown within the earth creating tremendous tectonic activity. Water sealed within the earth burst forth to the surface, volcanic activity of great magnitude occurred, the canopy collapsed, and every living thing died that moved upon the earth. The fossil graveyards of the world bear witness to the flood of Noah. Examination of the claimed scientific evidence for the old age of the earth and the fossil record has been proven to be a false science built on the belief in evolution. Christian scientists such as Henry Morris, John Morris, Ken Ham, Steve Austin, Carl Baugh, Duane Gish, Roger Oakland, Gary Parker, Andrew Snelling, John Whitcomb, Don Patton, Edward Blick, Byron Nelson, Reginald Daly, Walter Brown, etc have concluded that evolution is a belief system that does not fit any universal laws or physical facts.

You should not be suprised if the new versions seem to cloud the issue of dinosaurs in the Bible because according to evolution dinosaurs were not contemporaneous with man. The word dinosaur was coined in the 1,800's and is a Latin word meaning "terrible lizard". The Greek word for dinosaur is "dragon" which means reptilian-like being. In the Hebrew the word for dragon is "tanniyn", see Strong's lexicon reference #8565 and 8577. The root word probably means to elongate. It appears to be translated mainly as a dragon, monster, sea serpent, hideous land animal or a jackal.

You must recognize that if the word "dragon" is used directly or symbolically that the real item had to exist for it to mean anything. Job 40 v 15-19 describes a long necked, long tailed sauropod dinosaur that existed contemporary with Job. However if you check the annotations they usually say it was a hippo or an elephant. Of course neither have tails like cedar trees. There are 27 verses that have the Hebrew word tanniyn in them. The King James translates this word dragon 20 times, and whale, serpent or sea monster 6 times. The NASB translates the word tanniyn as jackal 13 times, as serpent 5 times, as monster or sea monster 6 times, and as dragon only 3 times. The NIV translates the word tanniyn as jackal 14 times, as snake or serpent 6 times, as monster or sea creature 7 times and as dragon zero times. The obscuring of the references to sea and land dinosaurs fits well with a corrupt text and with the lie of evolution. The writer does not discount that justification for using the word jackal may be legitimate in a small number of cases therefore more investigation is needed.

THE GENERAL LINES OF ARGUMENT GIVEN BY MODERN VERSION SUPPORTERS

(GLEANED FROM THE BOOK "THE KING JAMES ONLY CONTROVERSY" BY JAMES R. WHITE)

WITH REBUTTAL

1. God did not preserve his Word in the same way as the Old Testament because with the OT you had the nation of Israel as an isolated people group. The Word of God was not to be found in one stream of manuscripts or one deposit but in the late 1800's scholars have been able to piece it together from manuscripts, other language translations, the writings of the church fathers, etc.

Rebuttal

As mentioned earlier in this paper, the issue of God promising to preserve his word is foundational to the rest of the arguments. On page 243 James White sidesteps the issue instead of dealing with the implications of God's promises.

Psalm 12 v 6-7 says, "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them from this generation forever."

Matthew 5 v 18 says, "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

Matthew 24 v35 says, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."

1 Peter 1 v 23-25 says, "...by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord endureth forever."

Revelation 22 v 18-19 concludes that if anyone adds to or subtracts from the word of God, the plagues of Revelation and damnation shall be his portion.

It is clear from just these verses that God has promised to preserve his word and by divine providence has directed the Reformers to the Byzantine stream of texts.

To believe that for 1800 years we did not have the full picture, and that two apostates by the names of Westcott and Hort discovered and assembled the original text readings is beyond credibility. That this would coincide at the end of the church age where apostasy is dominant is not out of character with the times.

2. The early church only gradually over time recognized the New Testament writings as inspired.

Rebuttal

The assumption that the early church did not recognize the New Testament writings as inspired until later is another false idea. The Apostles received their writings as personal "revelation" from the Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostles knew right from the start that their writings were God's word.

In Galatians 1 v 12 Paul says, "For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."

Read 1 Corinthians 7 v 10 and 25 Paul says, "And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord... Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord..."

Read Revelation 1 v 11-13 the Lord Jesus reveals to the Apostle John what to write. The Apostles and the early church were well aware that their writings were the word of God.

3. The scribes and amateur copyists were only human and numerous errors in copies were inevitable.

Rebuttal

That the scribes and amateur copyists were a bunch of incompetents with regard to the New Testament flies in the face of reality. The Apostles and the initial believers were primarily Jewish and they were well aware of the methods of the nation of Israel for copying the Old Testament.

There were Jewish synagogues in every part of the Roman Empire. Common sense tells you that the New Testament was copied with appropriate checks and balances to ensure accurate copies, and that inaccurate copies would be destroyed. Copies with thousands of corrections such as Aleph do not fit the picture. It seems to have been filed correctly when placed in the wastepaper basket.

4. The scribes and amateur copyists through "harmonization", "parallelism mistakes" and "balancing" of scripture added to the word of God. That is why the Byzantine text is a fuller text.

Rebuttal

The assumption that the scribes and amateur copyists were busy harmonizing, adding, and balancing the words of the apostles is not a believable charge. Sincere believers would have great respect for the word of God and to even to think to change or add to it would have been anathema. The early church believers must be given proper credit for the time in which they lived where conversion could cost everything. They were not playing fast and loose with the Word.

5. The Byzantine text did not even exist before the 4th century therefore it is of late origin and could not be as trustworthy when compared to Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus (Aleph).

Rebuttal

That the Byzantine text did not exist before the 4th century is a plain lack of information. As mentioned earlier in this paper numerous manuscripts and the majority of the church father quotations were from the Byzantine text.

6. The assumption that the older manuscripts must be the best manuscripts.

Rebuttal

The assumption that the oldest manuscripts are the best may be true as a general rule barring divine preservation and providence. It is also just as likely that a manuscript with 15,000 subsequent corrections is corrupted only 300 years from the originals. On the other hand a manuscript carefully copied and preserved by God from the cradle of the church in Asia Minor to the 9th century is likely to suffer little change. That attack and corruption of the word of God existed right from the beginning is evident in 2 Thessalonians 2 v 2. It reads, "That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as the day of Christ is at hand". Corruption right from the beginning demanded divine preservation to have been in operation. The fact that B and Aleph did not see the light of day until the end of the church age condemns them as not part of God's preservation and use.

John William Burgon, a great authority on ancient manuscripts and a defender of the infallibility of scripture, examined B and Aleph in the 1860's. His comments were as follows,

"That they exhibit fabricated texts is demonstrable...These are two of the least trustworthy documents in existence... so grossly improbable does it seem that after 1,800 years 995 copies out of a thousand will prove untrustworthy and one to five which remain, whose contents till yesterday as good as unknown, will be found to have retained the secret of what the Holy Spirit originally inspired...I am utterly unable to believe, in short, that God’s promise has so utterly failed, that at the end of 1,800 years, much of the text of the gospel had in point of fact to be picked, by a German critic, out of a wastepaper basket in the convent of St Catherine; and that the entire text had to be remodeled after the pattern set by a couple of copies which had remained in neglect during 15 centuries, and probably owed their survival to that neglect...Codex B bears traces of careless transcription in every page. The mistakes, which the original transcriber made, are of perpetual recurrence. I can testify to the fact that the codex is disfigured throughout with repetitions. The original scribe is often found to have not only written the same words twice over, but to have failed whenever he did so to take any notice with his pen of what he had done. Codices A, B, Aleph, C, and D yield divergent testimony; and therefore, so habitually contradict one another, as effectually to invalidate their own evidence throughout."

Herman Hoskier who examined B and Aleph lists 3,036 real differences in the gospels alone. He published a book of over 900 pages refuting the claim that the oldest manuscripts are the best.

7. The assumption that differences in the manuscripts are insignificant and do not affect any major doctrine. The reasoning that differences are okay in the texts as long as the issue is stated elsewhere.

Rebuttal

The assumption that differences are insignificant is not acceptable to an individual who believes that God has promised to preserve his words. The examples given on the 24 elders and on the use of the word dragon in the Old Testament are testimony enough. The attack upon pre-tribulation Bible prophecy and the lie of evolution are important for Satan to carry out his parallel plan of deception and ecumenism. Creating doubt about the word of God is standard procedure.

That differences are okay as long as it is clear elsewhere in the Bible is not acceptable if God's promise to preserve his words is taken as foundational to the issues.

8. The history of the Greek Received Text beginning with Erasmus (1516), Stephanus (1550), Beza (1598), and finally the Elziver Brothers (1624) show that they were substantially the same text with very minor changes. The modern version supporter cites these various editions with their changes as proof that God did not preserve his word in one complete text. Therefore the discoveries of other manuscripts 300 years later by Westcott and Hort are no different.

Rebuttal

The modern supporter will generally come up with a few changes that happened to the text between Erasmus, Stephanus and Beza. This is to prove that God did not preserve his words in one complete manuscript. Therefore the issue is open 300 years later and at the very end of the church age to introduce B and Aleph.

The issue has to be accepted relying on God's preservation and divine guidance in selecting a particular stream of Byzantine manuscripts and leading in making minor changes of the text from Erasmus in 1516 to Beza in 1598. The history of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor through to the end of the Byzantine empire in the 14th and 15th centuries then on to the Reformation period indicate God's leading in manuscript preservation. The KJV translators in their lengthy preface to the reader speak of having the Word of God in its original languages as a matter of fact. That God in hindsight was divinely moving to pass the torch to the Reformers is beyond all doubt. The text from Tyndale to the KJV translators was covered in the precious blood of the martyrs. Some of these comments may not carry weight with the scholarly intellectualism of our day. However the denial of the Reformation by the Protestants and Evangelicals of our day uniting with the false gospel of Rome indicates an absence of spiritual discernment.

9. James White, in his book uses adjectives such as "great" and the "providence of God" when describing B and Aleph.

Rebuttal

While denying the providence of God in preserving the Received Text, James White calls upon the divine providence of God in finding these "great" manuscripts at the end of the church age. As stated before, Burgon and Hoskier who personally examined these texts identified them as unworthy of acceptance based upon the changes and corrections they evidenced.

10. James White comments that a few centuries down the road there may be a "NIV Only" camp, God forbid!

Rebuttal

The comment "a few centuries down the road there may be an NIV only camp" indicates a lack of discernment of God’s prophetic plan. Anyone who has taken the time to discern God’s plan knows that our generation, which has witnessed the gathering of Israel, will witness the rapture, the 70th week of Daniel, and the physical return of Jesus Christ to earth for the millennial kingdom. We do not have a few centuries but are rapidly moving to the 7-year peace treaty of Daniel. The apostasy of the professing church and its ecumenism with Rome is moving rapidly on a parallel track.

11. James White on page 223 says, "I have no desire to bash the AV nor those who discover God's truth in its pages.???

Rebuttal

Those "who discover God's word in the AV's pages". Is James White suggesting that the Bible "contains" God's Word or does he believe the Bible is inerrant and infallible in every word? This is a statement he needs to clarify.

12. In his introduction, page v, James White identifies "ignorant" Christians as likely candidates for the KJV only camp. If they were informed as he is they would not fall for this issue. On page 248 he further comments, "Those who take pride in their lack of scholarship should rethink their priorities."

Rebuttal

My comment on ignorant and unscholarly Christians being attracted to the KJV Only camp is covered by the words "prideful slander". The writer of this paper does not want to be identified in any camp. There are ungodly and false professors in both camps. I will comment that sound doctrine and behavior cannot be separated from our profession. Scholarly credentials cannot be separated from sound doctrine and behavior. For sound doctrine and behavior as a pattern of life indicate the presence of the Holy Spirit residing within. Truth and discernment only come by the light of the Holy Spirit. Scholarly credentials, with heretical doctrines such as Westcott and Hort indicate an absence of the Holy Spirit. Dealing with the Word of God is not an intellectual and academic exercise alone.

13. On page 13 James White states by the early 16th century the Latin Vulgate was "everyone's Bible".

Rebuttal

James White calling the Latin Vulgate everyone's Bible is plainly false. The Roman Church was keeping the word of God out of the hands of the people and preaching a false doctrine of sacramental works. The Reformers were raised up to preach the gospel that saves and to give everyone the scriptures to read. The struggle was costly as the martyrs (which we will soon meet) attest by their witness.

14. On page 181 James White turns around the argument that 15,000 contemporary and later changes to Aleph proves not that it was corrupt, but how esteemed it was to be used for so long to collect all these changes.

Rebuttal

Calling Aleph an "esteemed" manuscript because it collected 15,000 corrections defies credibility; the Jews destroyed a scroll if 3 errors were found on only one page.

15. On page 185 James White makes the assumption that the shorter reading of the modern texts is the best, as it gave rise to all the others that are found in the manuscripts (TR being the fuller text).

Rebuttal

The assumption that the shorter text gave rise to the fuller text again relies on his stories of the incompetence and lack of checks and balances in copying the New Testament. An assumption which lacks logical credibility.

16. James White makes no acknowledgement of the spiritual battle involving God and Satan and how it might be manifested with regard to the Hebrew and Greek texts and the translations.

Rebuttal

That the issue of an unseen spiritual battle between God and Satan is not acknowledged with regard to these issues leaves the modern supporters case suspect. Westcott and Hort would not acknowledge a personal devil in their heresies but referred to the "power of evil". An elaboration by James White would be profitable as he many times condescendingly reassures ignorant King James supporters that there is no grand conspiracy, so don't get all worked up.

17. On page 244 James White compares the professed Christianity of Westcott and Hort as comparable to the KJV translators. The KJV translators were influenced far more by the events and movements of their day than the current Anglican Church of today.

Rebuttal

To compare the Christianity and scholarship of Westcott and Hort with the KJV translators and say they are similar could not be further from the truth. Westcott and Hort supported the lie of evolution, which is the biggest fraud to come down the pike since Satan told Eve that she could become as a god knowing good and evil. They believed in the "process" of salvation and the fatherhood of God. The KJV translators were cut from an entirely different cloth. They knew the gospel that saves, they opposed the false gospel of Rome, and they stood for truth when it was costing people their lives, and they acknowledged the unseen battle between the world, the flesh and the devil. Their scholarly qualifications have yet to be matched by any group of modern scholars. The hand of God providentially prepared them for such a time. As I mentioned in #12 above, scholarly qualifications do not alone establish credibility. The new birth, sound doctrine, and behavior are absolutely necessary when dealing with the Bible.

 

SUMMATION AND CONCLUSIONS ON THE VERSIONS

1. The Hebrew and Greek texts underlying the King James Bible are the preserved words of God. The modern texts are inferior and as such should be rejected.

2. The King James Bible is a superior translation but not the infallible or inerrant word of God in English.

3. There are 618 archaic English words out of a total of 791,328 in the King James Bible. The Trinitarian Bible Society publishes a booklet with the definitions of these words which saves time looking them up in the dictionary. A King James Bible with definitions in the margin would be another alternative.

4. If it can be shown based on the texts underlying the King James Bible, that translation revisions are needed then this should be done. The revisions should be carried out by those who are supporters of the King James and not by modern scholarship who support the modern texts.

5. The Holy Spirit can use the Modern Versions where the text and translation lines up with the King James text and as a general rule the translation. Preaching and teaching from the NASB and NIV translations would receive the inner witness of the Holy Spirit a great majority of the time. However considering the translators of the KJV, the methods used, and the differences mentioned, the King James Bible is the superior translation and should be used.

6. The writer of this paper recognizes that the great majority of Bible colleges and seminaries use the modern texts. It is concluded that graduates usually were more concerned with learning the original languages than challenging the choice of original language texts. They would naturally receive and accept the explanations of how these texts came to be preferred by their school. It is hoped that this paper would bring the arguments for the King James into perspective.

 

SOURCES USED FOR THE COMPILATION OF THIS PAPER

The main sources for this paper were materials provided by "The Bible for Today" headed up by Dr. D.A. Waite and the book called "The King James Only Controversy" by James R. White. Additional information regarding the church age, Bible prophecy, the 24 elders, the word dragon, has been the result of the writer's study in these other areas over the years.

1. Defending the King James Bible by Dr. D.A. Waite

Published by The Bible for Today Press

BFT #1594-P Phone # (609) 854-4452

2. The Oldest and Best Manuscripts..How Good Are They? By Cecil J. Carter BFT # 1733

3. KJV Translators Revived by Alexander McClure

BFT # 1419

4. The Preface to the Authorized Version (1611) The King James Bible BFT # 1121

5. The King James Only Controversy by James R. White

Published by Bethany House Publishers

6. Early Manuscripts and The Authorized Version A Closer Look by Jack Moorman BFT # 1825

7. Early Church Fathers and The Authorized Version

By Jack Moorman BFT # 2136

8. Heresies of Westcott and Hort by Dr. D.A. Waite

BFT # 595