A PRELIMINARY COMPILATION OF THE ISSUES BY ALLAN
THE KING JAMES VERSION VERSUS THE MODERN VERSIONS
THE REAL ISSUES IDENTIFIED
In giving a brief summary of the controversy its 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
3. Miles Smith - knew Chaldee, Syriac, Aramaic, almost as well as
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
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
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
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
- 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
- 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
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
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
- 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
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
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
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 Gods 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
- 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
- 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
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)
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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
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 Gods 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.
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
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.
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.
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!
The comment "a few centuries down the road there may be an NIV
only camp" indicates a lack of discernment of Gods prophetic plan. Anyone who
has taken the time to discern Gods 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.???
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
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
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".
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.
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).
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.
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.
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