Tag archives: KJV

A Study on the Authorized Version (KJV) – Part 4

Sadly many Christians today approach the Bible issue with a consumer mentality of finding which version is “right for them” instead of seeking which Bible is approved of God. The words of the LORD are declared in scripture to be “pure” words that He will preserve forever (Psa. 12:6,7). Where are those words to be found today? For the past several weeks on Wednesday nights at our home church I have taught a four-part series on the King James Version. Through the testimony of the vast majority of Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, early church ‘fathers’, lectionaries, and early translations, along with the linguistic and spiritual qualifications of the translators in 1611 and the time in which it was translated, I believe the King James Version is the inspired, inerrant, preserved word of God. The life-giving breath of God can be felt in this Book, and the fruit that it has produced in the 400 years since its publication is incalculable.

It amazes me how many Christians today accept modern bibles without considering their history, their underlying corrupt manuscripts, their omissions from scripture, nor the philosophies and motives of many who have sat on the translation committees of the over 120 versions published since 1901.

Last night we completed our series on the King James Version with a comparison of the Authorized Version (KJV) to several of the more popular versions of today. We compared over 50 verses. Below I will provide a very brief commentary of some of the verses we covered.

Is There a Difference in Bibles?
Genesis 2:7
KJV: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

NKJV, NASV, NIV, : “…a living being.”

ESV: “… a living creature.”

The threefold nature of man is seen in this verse. Man is a body (formed out of the dust of the ground), a spirit (the breath of life), and a living soul. Countless times in dealing with individuals about salvation I have appealed to their being a living soul. There is a difference between the soul and the body which is just an outer shell.

Genesis 22:8
KJV: “God will provide himself a lamb…”

NKJV, NASV: “God will provide for Himself the lamb…”

NIV: “God himself will provide the lamb…”

ESV: “God will provide for himself the lamb…”

It is true that God did provide FOR himself a sacrifice. However, that is only part of the story. The modern versions totally miss the deeper, and more amazing truth: prophetically GOD WAS the sacrifice! The KJV wording is perfect: “God will provide HIMSELF” (in the form of his Son Jesus Christ – the Lamb of God) as the sacrifice.

Exodus 3:14


God basically told Moses to say, “I AM hath sent me”. The meaning of the KJV is “I AM because I AM”. The modern versions provide a meaningless statement – “I AM WHO I AM”, alright, who are you? God would have told Moses nothing by such a definition. In effect, He would be saying “Go tell them I am who I am”.

Numbers 33:52
KJV: “pictures

NKJV: “engraved stones”

NIV: “carved images”

NASV, ESV: “figured stones”

Are you looking for a Bible that is “relevant” for today? The Lord told Moses to destroy all the heathen “pictures” when they entered Canaan. There are millions of people in America watching “pictures” on TV and looking at “pictures” on the internet that are ungodly. This is an example of the tiny changes that occur in modern versions to prevent the reader from finding truth about their own life or conduct.

Psalm 9:17
KJV: “The wicked shall be turned into hell…”

NIV: “The wicked return to the grave…”

NASV: “The wicked will return to Sheol…”

ESV: “The wicked shall return to Sheol…”

The NKJV has removed the word “hell” in 22 of the 54 places (40%) it is found in the KJV. The NIV and ESV have removed the word hell in 40 out of the 54 places (75%) it is found in the KJV. The NASV has removed the word hell 41 out of the 54 places it is found in the KJV.

Psalm 12:6,7
KJV: “Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.”

NIV: “O LORD, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever.”

NASV: You, O LORD, will keep them; You will preserve him from this generation forever.”

ESV: “You, O LORD, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever.”

Verse 6 is concerning “The words of the LORD”. On finding a promise that God would preserve His “words” (not merely the “fundamentals,” “thoughts,” or “message”), the NIV changes “them” to “us” and then has to convert “this generation” to “such people”. There is no manuscript in existence that reads in the first person plural (“us”). The Jews were certainly not protected from such people forever, e.g. Hitler wiped out nearly a quarter of their race.

Isaiah 14:12
KJV: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!”

NIV: “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn.”

NASV: “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn!”

ESV: “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn!”

The modern versions have removed the name of Lucifer, eliminating the only reference to him in the Bible. The ultimate blasphemy occurs when the “morning star” takes “Lucifer’s” place in Isaiah 14. Jesus Christ is the “morning star” and is identified as such in Revelation 22:16 and as the “day star” in 2 Peter 1:19. And the new versions do not present a different Christ?

Daniel 3:25
KJV: “He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

NIV: “…and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

NASV: “…the fourth is like a son of the gods!”

ESV: “…the fourth is like a son of the gods.”

There is a big difference between “the Son of God” and a son of the gods (plural). The KJV shows Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity in a pre-incarnate appearance, testifying that He is eternal and existed long before He was born in Bethlehem.

Micah 5:2
KJV: “…he… whose going forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”

NIV: “…he… whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

ESV: “…one… whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.”

The words “from everlasting” make Christ eternally existent (without a beginning) while the words “from ancient times” make Him very old – one whose origin we are left to speculate on. The modern versions translated the Hebrew word “olam” as “everlasting” when describing such things as joy, disgrace, shame, contempt, a possession, a sign, etc. Strangely though when the word was used to describe the name of our Redeemer in Isaiah 63:16, the NIV and ESV translated it this way, “Redeemer from of old is your name.” The KJV reads in Isaiah 63:16, “redeemer; thy name is from everlasting”.

Matthew 1:25
KJV: “…she… brought forth her firstborn son…”

NIV: “…she gave birth to a son…”

Jesus Christ was Mary’s firstborn son – we know from Mark 6:3 that He had at least four brothers and two sisters. The NIV reading supports the Catholic lie that Mary was a perpetual virgin.

Matthew 5:22
KJV: “whosoever is angry… without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…”

NIV: “anyone who is angry… will be subject to judgment.”

ESV: “…everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment…”

Jesus Christ was angry when He turned over the tables of the money-changers in the temple but He had a cause. Who wants to subject Christ to judgment?

Matthew 9:13
KJV: “… I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

NIV: “… I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

NASV: “…I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

ESV: “…I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

If you were lost and wanted to become saved, which of these versions would benefit you the most? What are the scriptures saying here without the words “to repentance?”

Matthew 20:20
KJV: “…worshipping him…”

NKJV, NIV: “…kneeling down…”

NASV: “…bowing down…”

ESV: “…kneeling before him…”

In the four Gospels, eleven accounts are found of people worshipping Jesus. The KJV faithfully gives us all eleven, while the modern versions only give around six. The modern versions wording of the other accounts suggests something other than worship. There is a vast difference between “worshipped” and “knelt before.” One might kneel before a king but they do not worship him. It would appear that the authors of the modern versions had all kinds of difficulty translating the Greek word “proskuneo” (“worship”) nearly half of the time it was applied to Jesus. Yet, they had no difficulty at all translating the same word “worship” when it was used for worshipping a fellow servant (Rev. 19:10), an angel (Rev. 22:8), false religion (Jn. 4:20,22), idols (Acts 7:43), the image of the beast (Rev. 13:15; 16:2; 19:20), the beast (Rev. 13:4,8,12), the beast and the image (Rev. 14:9,11; 20:4), devils and idols (Rev. 9:20) and even “the dragon,” Satan (Rev. 13:4).

Matthew 27:24
Pilate’s testimony concerning Jesus was…
KJV: “… I am innocent of the blood of this just person…”

NIV, ESV: “… I am innocent of this man’s blood…”

NASV: “… I am innocent of this Man’s blood…”

Just means “blameless or without guilt”.

Mark 1:12
KJV: “… the prophets…”

NIV, NASV, ESV: “…Isaiah the prophet…”

Isaiah did not write the quotation in Mark 1:2, Malachi did. Isaiah was quoted in verse 3.

Mark 13:17
KJV: “…them that are with child…”

NIV: “…pregnant women…”

NASV: “…those who are pregnant…”

ESV: “…women who are pregnant…”

The words “with child” are unmistakable about the life in the mother’s womb – the lenient “pregnant” does not conjure up the same images as “with child”. You can terminate a pregnancy – if you terminate a child it’s murder, right?

Luke 2:33
KJV: “And Joseph and his mother marveled…”

NIV: “The child’s father and mother marveled…”

NASV: “And His father and mother were amazed…”

ESV: “And his father and his mother marveled…”

Replacing the word “Joseph” with the word “father” in this verse injures the doctrine of the virgin birth. The critic argues that the KJV calls Joseph and Mary his parents just the same as the modern versions. However, verse 43 of the KJV clarifies precisely what is meant by parents and the following verses clarify it much further. The translations of verse 43 presented by modern versions fail to clarify what is meant by father and the casual and shallow reader, of which there are many, may easily take a hold of any of the following renderings to argue that Jesus was no more than a man, as so many heretics, New Agers, Muslims and Jews have done in the past.

Critics point to the KJV also calling Joseph the father of Jesus in verse 48. However, it is Mary that called Joseph the father of Jesus in this verse. Jesus clarifies who His Father is in the following verse. The argument that we will hear most often concerning these verses is the assertion that it does not truly matter if one or two verses obscure the nature of the relationship of Jesus with Joseph when later verses clarify the relationship, as even the modern versions do in verse 49. This might be a valid argument if people knew their Bible as they should, or if the whole chapter was learned by heart by all, but that is not the case. Most people read the Bible in disconnected bits and pieces. Taking these verses out of context in their perverted forms allows for a strong, if not inevitable, opportunity for misinterpretation, or for an intentional one.

Luke 4:4
KJV: “…That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

NIV: “…Man does not live on bread alone.”


ESV: “…Man shall not live by bread alone.”

This is so important… not thoughts, not ideas, not concepts, not fundamentals, but His words!

Luke 9:56
KJV: “For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.”

NIV: “and they went to another village.”

ESV: “…And they went on to another village.”

Is it important to know that Christ came not to destroy men’s lives but to save them?

John 1:18
KJV: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”

NIV: “… but God the One and Only…”

NASV: “… the only begotten God…”

ESV: “…the only God…”

The NASV reads “only begotten God” thus presenting Jesus Christ as a created God. The NASV agrees with the NWT of the Jehovah’s Witnesses! The NIV translators new the Alexandrian rendering “only begotten God” was unpopular so they invented the reading “the One and Only”.

John 1:27
KJV: “He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me…”

NIV: “He is the one who comes after me…”

NASV: “…He who comes after me…”

ESV: “…he who comes after me…”

Each little expression such as “is preferred before me,” like so many pieces in a puzzle, was designed to make its own contribution to the completed picture of Christ on the Bible page. Yet, they are systematically left out wherever possible in the modern versions.

John 3:13
KJV: “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.”

NIV: “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven – the Son of Man.”

NASV: “No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man”

ESV: “No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man

This is a regrettable omission since we have nothing left in scripture that reveals this unique and unexpected side of Christ’s omnipresence.

John 3:16
KJV: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…”

NIV: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…”

ESV: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son…”

The Greek word “monogenes” is a compound of “mono” meaning only or single and “genes”, from the verb genao, which means beget or cause to be produced. Modern Christians see this verse as saying Jesus is God’s unique Son in a very special way. Not only does the Greek word not mean unique, but it is a subjective term with little meaning. Is Jesus God’s unique son? Yes of course, but so is every other born again Christian – you are the only you, you are unique.

The law of first mention and the context of John 1:14,18 would lead anyone to note that the first use of “begat” (Gen. 4:18) and “begotten” (Gen. 5:4; Jn. 1:14) indicate it refers to flesh. The words “only begotten” are a very powerful description of the incarnation and the special relationship between God the Father and God the Son. The NIV reading cannot be correct according to Job 1:6, Luke 3:38, and John 1:12, which see.

John 4:24
KJV: “God is a Spirit…”

NKJV: “God is Spirit…”

NIV, NASV, ESV: “God is spirit…”

“God is spirit” is to infer that ALL spirits are God. The devil is spirit, angels are spirit, demons are spirit; God is “a” spirit, in distinction from other spirits.

John 6:47
KJV: “… He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”

NIV: “… he who believes has everlasting life.”

NASV: “… he who believes has eternal life.”

ESV: “… whoever believes has eternal life.”

The key words in this text are “on me”. Without these words the verse tells us virtually nothing. Their removal not only closed the door to Jesus alone being the object of all faith, but also opened the door to many other possibilities.

John 18:36
KJV: “Jesus answered… but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

NASV: “Jesus answered… My kingdom is not of this realm.”

ESV:  “Jesus answered… But my kingdom is not from the world.”

Removing one word (“now”) does damage to the millennial reign of Christ.

Acts 8:37
KJV: “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

NIV, ESV: omitted

The context is the Ethiopian eunuch asking Philip what prevents him from being baptized.

Romans 14:10-12
KJV: “…we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ… every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

NIV: “…we will all stand before God’s judgment seat…”

NASV, ESV: “…we will all stand before the judgment seat of God…”

So “God,” who we will give an account to in verse 11 and 12, is clearly “Christ” who sits on the judgment seat of verse 10 in the KJV. By replacing the words “judgment seat of Christ” (KJV) with “God’s judgment seat”, modern version translators closed the door on this quiet yet valuable proof text of Christ’s deity. They also obscured the doctrine of the Judgment Seat of Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:18
KJV: “…unto us which are saved…”

NKJV, NIV, NASV, ESV: “…to us who are being saved…”

I once witnessed to a Roman Catholic lady and she used the NKJV to show that salvation is a process, never a one time event, e.g. mass each week, confessing to a priest, etc. The same thought is repeated in Acts 2:47; Acts 15:19; 2 Corinthians 2:15; 2 Corinthians 4:3; Colossians 3:10; and 1 John 2:8. Edwin Palmer, the coordinator of all the work on the NIV states, “This (his NIV) shows the great error that is so prevalent today in some orthodox Protestant circles, namely that regeneration depends on faith… and that in order to be born again man must first accept Jesus as his Saviour.”

1 Corinthians 5:7
KJV: “…For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.”

NIV, ESV: “…For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.”

NASV: “…For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.”

Do you think it is important that Christ was sacrificed “for us?”

2 Corinthians 2:17
KJV: “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God…”

NKJV, NASV: “… peddling the word of God…”

NIV: “… peddle the word of God…”

ESV: “… peddlers of God’s word…”

Someone is trying to cover their sins – they are Bible corrupters.

Galatians 2:20
KJV: “I am crucified with Christ…”

NKJV, NIV, NASV, ESV: “I have been crucified with Christ…”

Our identity with Christ is present tense. This is our victory over sin. Romans 6:6 says, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin”. Our old man is nailed to the cross spiritually – our new man is “alive unto God”. We have the resurrection power.

Galatians 4:7
KJV: “Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

NIV: “… God has made you also an heir.”

NASV, ESV: “…an heir through God.”

Just two words are left out, “through Christ.” But where would redemption be without them?

Ephesians 3:9
KJV: “…which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.”

NIV, NASV, ESV: “…God, who created all things.”

Who would want to take away from Christ as Creator?

Ephesians 4:6
KJV: “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

NIV, NASV, ESV: “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

The removal of the word “you” that has the purpose here of specifying that only the saints (those saved) are being addressed, does as much damage to the truth as it would to remove the word “again” from “Ye must be born again”. Its absence lends credibility to the heresy that advocates that all men are saved regardless of their relationship with Jesus.

Philippians 2:5,6
KJB: “Christ Jesus… thought it not robbery to be equal with God”

NIV: “Christ Jesus… did not consider equality with God something to be grasped”

NASV: “Christ Jesus… did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped”

ESV: “Christ Jesus… did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped”

Christ professed equality with God when He was on earth. All His enemies thought He was a God-robber and so they hung Him between two thieves. The KJV shows that Christ did not consider He being God as taking anything away from God. Modern versions greatly weaken this statement by saying that equality was not something worth grasping or striving for, like He is a lesser “god”.

Colossians 1:14
KJV: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

NIV, NASV, ESV: “in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

How precious is that blood?

1 Timothy 3:16
KJB: “God was manifest in the flesh…”

NIV: “He appeared in a body…”

NASV: “…He who was revealed in the flesh…”

ESV: “… He was manifested in the flesh…”

Try using this verse in a modern version when dealing with a cult that denies the deity of Christ and see how the blade has been dulled.

2 Timothy 2:15
KJV: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God…”

NKJV, NASV: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God…”

NIV, ESV: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved…”

No one has to study in modern versions

1 Peter 4:1
KJV: “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh…”

NIV: “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body…”

NASV: “Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh…”

ESV: “Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh…”

Observe how we are left out of the redemptive plan by eliminating the words “for us”

2 Peter 2:17
KJV: “…to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”

NIV: “Blackest darkness is reserved for them.”

NASV: “…for whom the black darkness has been reserved.”

ESV: “For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved.”

How does the Holy Spirit leverage that word “forever” in dealing with eternal judgment?

1 John 1:7
KJV: “… and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

NIV: “… and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”

NASV, ESV: “… and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

Sometimes a simple omission has profound impact. The difference seems small on the surface, but we must remember that John wrote this epistle to confront the heresy of Gnosticism. The Gnostics taught that Jesus and Christ were two separate entities. Jesus, they said, was born of Joseph and Mary and was physical. At his baptism the Christ, who was spiritual, was said to have entered into him. At this point, according to the Gnostics, Jesus became Jesus Christ. At his crucifixion, the Gnostics claimed that the Christ left, leaving only Jesus to die. At the resurrection, the disciples saw the spirit Christ, but the mortal Jesus remained dead. Once we understand the heresy John was confronting, the differences between the two readings becomes abundantly clear. If John had written “the blood of Jesus” he would have been making a statement that the Gnostics would have been in agreement with. After all, they believed that it was Jesus who shed his blood. But by writing “the blood of Jesus Christ,” John was making a direct assault on this Gnostic heresy.

1 John 5:7,8
KJV: “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.”

NIV: “For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and the three are in agreement.”

ESV: For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.”

This verse not only substantiates Christ’s deity, but also it provides the strongest scriptural evidence of the Trinity. The Old Latin dating from 157 AD contains this verse.

Revelation 1:5
KJV: “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.”

NIV: omitted

What can wash away my sins?

Revelation 11:17
KJV: “Saying, We give thee thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come…”

NIV: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was…”

NASV: “We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were…”

ESV: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was…”

Is Jesus coming back?

Revelation 21:24
KJV: “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it…”

NIV: “The nations will walk by its light…”

NASV: “The nations will walk by its light…”

ESV: “By its light will the nations walk…”

Is it important to note that only nations that are saved will walk in the light of New Jerusalem?

A Study on the Authorized Version (KJV) – Part 3

There is a monumental difference between the sincere seeker of truth asking a question and desiring an honest answer and the prideful critic who asks the question, not to get an answer, but rather to display his contempt for the subject. Last night in our study on the King James Version at our home church I addressed various questions that have been posed on the Bible issue in hopes of giving a satisfactory answer for those who earnestly desire one. For more in-depth articles on the King James Version issue, click here.

Questions about the King James Version

1. In order to shake a believer’s faith in God’s preserved words to English speaking people found in the KJV, the critic will ask something like this, “Which revision of the KJV do you believe is infallible? The KJV has been revised 4 to 6 times since 1611, resulting in 20,000 changes between then and now. So which one is infallible? Was it the KJV from 1611 or 1629 or 1638 or 1762 or 1769?

The current edition of the KJV is, as far as the text is concerned, identical to the original edition submitted for printing. In a report given to the American Bible Society in 1852 a researcher states: “The English Bible as left by the translators has come down to us unaltered in respect to its text. With the exception of typographical errors and changes required by orthography in the English language, the text of our present Bible remains unchanged and without variation from the original copy as left by the translators.”

The reason for the different editions of the King James Version is three-fold: changes in typeset, changes in spelling, and typographical errors. For a fuller treatment of this subject click here.

Typeset Changes: The first edition of the Authorized Version in 1611 used Gothic typestyle. Gothic letters are formed to resemble handwritten manuscripts, they look quite different than the Roman letters which are in common use today. The printers used the Gothic typestyle because they considered it to be more majestic and beautiful than the others, but it is somewhat harder for people to read who are not used to it. For example, the Gothic “s” looks like the Roman “f” when it is used as a lower case “s” at the beginning or middle of a word (“also” becomes “alfo” and “set” becomes “fet”). In 1612 an edition of the KJV was printed in Roman typestyle because it is easier for people to read. A change in type style no more alters the text of the Bible than a change in font size does. The change in type style alone accounts for thousands of changes between the 1611 edition and later ones.

Spelling Changes: Spelling changes account for nearly all the remaining differences between the editions. Most historians date the beginning of modern English to around 1500. By 1611, the grammatical structure and basic vocabulary of present-day English had long been established but the spelling did not stabilize at the same time. Not until the 18th century did the spelling begin to take a stable form. Prior to this, additional e’s were often found at the end of words and double vowels were much more common. None of the spelling changes alter the text in any way.

Textual changes: The final category deals with 400 or so changes made between the 1611 edition and today that do affect the text – everyone one of them was because of a typographical error due to the printing conditions. The printing conditions in 1611 were slow and difficult. All type was set by hand, one piece at a time; printing errors were an expected part of any completed book. In the first printing, words were sometimes inverted, sometimes a plural was written as a singular or vise versa. At times a word was miswritten for one that was similar. A few times a word or even a phrase was omitted. Most of the typographical errors that were in the 1611 edition were corrected in the 1613 edition, but the 1613 edition introduced even others. In 1629, another edition was released that corrected these. Two of the original translators (Samuel Ward and John Bois) took part in making these corrections, and who would know the intent of the translators more than two of the translators themselves? However, a few more typos were made in this printing, and the 1638 edition removed these. By this time nearly 75% of the 400 textual variations had been corrected, the rest were picked up later. By 1769 whatever slight textual errors that were inserted in the printing process were removed and the text was finally free from any man made error.

The KJV has never been revised; the various editions were to correct previous printing errors – not one edition was to “revise” the words. The intent of these editions (apart from spelling and punctuation updating) was to restore the original text given by the translators to the printers in 1611. Scholars use this myth of past revisions to justify their own tampering with the text. God did not see fit to leave us the proof copy of the translation given to the printers in 1611 – our authority is in God’s ability to preserve His words.

2. The KJV contains many archaic words which need to be updated

Much of the archaic word criticism is directed against the personal pronouns “thee,” “thou,” “ye”. These supposedly archaic forms enable the reader to distinguish between the second person singular (“thee”) and the second person plural (“you”). In our KJV, “thee, “thou,” “thy,” and “thine” are always singular whereas “you,” “ye,” and “your” are always plural. We make no distinction among second person singular and plural pronouns in English today. The retention of “thee,” “thou,” and “ye” therefore make the KJV text clearer. For instance, Luke 22:31-32 in the KJV reads, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” We see that Satan desired to have all the disciples but Christ prayed for Peter alone to strengthen his brethren. The NIV needed to add a marginal note to clarify this distinction: “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you[a] as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon…” [a] The Greek is plural.

Modern versions not only change supposedly “archaic” words but also the text behind the words, weakening many essential truths. The meaning of a difficult word is often defined within its context or by comparing it with other scripture. A good dictionary is also a means of learning the definition of words no longer in common use today.

3. The KJV was written in Old English which needs updating to modern English

Many critics like to assert that the English of the KJV is “Old” English in order to be misleading about its readability. The Authorized Version (KJV) was printed in Gothic type face in 1611; this typeset is sometimes referred to as Old English but actual Old English in terms of a language is something very different than the modern English of the KJV and today.

Old English was spoken from 449 AD to around 1100 AD. When the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes invaded England (449 AD) they brought with them their own individual languages. Old English looked nothing like the English of today and could not be read, spoken, or understood by someone who speaks Modern English. An example of Old English from Beowulf is, “egsode eorl. Syððan ærest wearð.”

Middle English was predominant from around 1100 AD to 1450 AD. It began to develop in 1066 AD when the Norman’s invaded England. Middle English would not be readily understood by those who speak Modern English. An example of Middle English from Canterbury Tales is, “Þe droghte of Marche haþ perced to the rote.”

Modern English came into existence around 1450 AD and was basically solidified by the end of the 16th century. Around 1500 AD major changes in vocal pronunciation, inflection, and spelling simplified and helped solidify the language. The English language used in the KJV was not only the common language of that day, but it was also the English language in its purest form.

The Historian John Richard Green commented, “As a mere literary monument, the English version of the Bible remains the noblest example of the English tongue. Its perpetual use made it from the instant of its appearance the standard of our language. But for the moment its literary effect was less than its social. The power of the book over the mass of Englishmen showed itself in a thousand superficial ways, and in none more conspicuously than in the influence it exerted on ordinary speech… the mass of picturesque allusion and illustration which we borrow from a thousand books, our fathers were forced to borrow from one.”

The English language has degenerated from what it was in 1611 to what it is today.

4. The KJV is hard to understand and therefore we need modern versions

Understanding the Bible depends a lot on the attitude with which you approach it. In the 4th century Chrysostom rebuked this “hard to understand” attitude of people in his day when he said, “But still you will say, ‘I cannot understand it!’ What marvel? How shouldest thou understand it, if thou will not read nor look upon it?” There is enough on the “bottom shelf” of the Bible to “feed” a young child in the faith. The simple fact is, the more you prayerfully read the Bible, the more you will understand of it.

The Flesch-Kincaid Research Company carried out a survey on the readability of various Bible versions. The formula they used to calculate readability included the average number of words per sentence, average number of syllables per word, etc. They KJV was found to be at a 5th grade reading level whereas the NIV was considered an 8th grade reading level.

Modern versions often exchange hard words for easier words. For instance, “pugnacious” (NASB) for “striker” (KJV), “fomenting” (NIV) for “speaking” (KJV), and “verdant” (NKJV) for “fat” (KJV). Even critics of the KJV acknowledge it to be the easiest to memorize.

5. The KJV is a translation and translations are made by imperfect men. Therefore the KJV must be imperfect

This criticism overlooks the fact that the originals were written by imperfect men: Moses was a murderer, David committed adultery, and Peter curse, swore, and denied Christ.

If a translation is imperfect then what of the originals? When Joseph was a ruler in Egypt he spoke to his brethren in Egyptian but Moses wrote the account in Hebrew. Did God inspire Joseph’s Egyptian statements (the originals) or the Egyptian interpreter’s verbal translation or Moses’ written translation as found in the Hebrew of Genesis chapter 42? Paul’s statements in Acts 22 were given orally in Hebrew but written down in Greek by Luke.

God has promised to preserve the words which He gave by inspiration. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” – the word “scripture” by its very root (“script”) is a term for written words – therefore translations are inspired words of God.

To say that a translation cannot be “word perfect” to the original language is to invent a problem where no problem exists. God can give His words to anyone in any language exactly the way He wants them to have them without the words being identical to the original language. The word of God does not lose its purity and authority by being translated. God can easily direct or influence translators to choose words that say what He wants said in any language.

6. The KJV can be tolerated but surely any translation is satisfactory so long as it contains the fundamentals of the faith and we win souls.

Which would be more satisfying… ordering a nice meal from a restaurant or rooting around in the dumpster to find the scraps? Modern Bible versions certainly contain portions of God’s word but there is a lot of garbage surrounding it.

Any correctly translated scripture, in any version, would be correctly called the inspired word of God, if it is from uncorrupted texts. Many verses in the corrupt Greek Vaticanus are exactly the same as in the Textus Receptus; they are truly God’s word. We cannot condemn a verse merely on the basis of the book or manuscript in which it is found – the issue is whether the verse is correct. It is those places where scripture has been changed which are to be rejected. John 1:1 reads exactly the same in the King James and The New American Standard Bible but just a few verses later the NASB has Jesus Christ appear to be a created god (“begotten God”), just like the reading in the Jehovah’s Witness corrupt bible. This is unacceptable.

The KJV will always give much greater emphasis on the fundamentals and present them more forcefully than the modern versions that are filled with corruptions. For instance, 1 John 5:7 says in the KJV,  “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” In one verse, the very nature of God as a triune being is disclosed clearly. The modern “swords” (Heb. 4:12) are rusty and dull and have removed this witness from scripture.

If you read an NIV and get saved, that does not mean that the NIV is correct when it claims that Elhanan killed Goliath (2 Sam. 21:19), neither does it justify attacks on Christ’s deity, salvation by grace, the removal of the word “hell,” etc.

7. Where was the Bible before 1611?

Before 1611 the scriptures were to be found in the available Antioch line of manuscripts including the numerous translations over the centuries. This would include: copies of Koine Greek from the Antoich family of texts (Received Text or Textus Receptus), the Old Gallic, Old Latin, Syrian Peshitta, Armenian, Georgian, Slavonic, etc.

But can we name specifically where the Bible was before 1611? It will greatly enlighten your mind to ask the critic this same question in return. They don’t know where exactly it was before 1611 either, or more importantly, where it is now. A very good educated guess would be that God preserved His perfect words in the Old Latin Bibles (not Jerome’s Vulgate) and then in the Waldensian Latinized Bibles till the time of the Reformation. Waldensians were killed off by the thousands and their Bibles were burned by their Catholic persecutors.

The fact that we may not know where God’s preserved word was in say 950 AD has no bearing on us today – neither does it negate the promises of God to preserve His word. Where was the written word of God in 2 Kings chapter 22? It was hidden during the years of Judah’s rebellion and idolatry so the good king Josiah could find it and bring about reforms in the land. Israel didn’t know where it was for a period of time before chapter 22, but God did! Where was the written word of God during the period of the Acts of the Apostles? The mighty movements of the Holy Spirit and the preaching of the word of God in the book of Acts were accomplished before the 27 books of the New Testament were even completed. Where was the written word of God in 90 AD? The 27 books of the New Testament weren’t even finished yet. Although the individual books of the New Testament were recognized as scripture in the first century they were not collected in one volume as we have them today. Peter refers to Paul’s writings as scripture and yet there is no record of all of his epistles being bound in one book like we have in our New Testament. To whom much is given much shall be required – we have the 66 books of the Bible today, what are we doing with them?

The same God that knows the number of the hairs on your head, knew where every jot and tittle of His word was and He promised to guide believers into all truth. If a critic accuses you, as a Bible-believer, of not being able to back up your position with historical evidence that is 100% verifiable, then doesn’t this same argument completely destroy the position of those who are “originals-only” advocates?

The new version promoter and King James critic have no final authority but their own mind or their favorite scholar to tell them what God probably said. They have no infallible Bible and they don’t want you to have one either. They can’t tell you where you can get a copy of God’s pure words today, let alone where they were before 1611. “Thus saith the LORD” has been replaced with “Well, how does this version render it?”

8. Was Luther’s German translation or earlier English translations (like Tyndale’s) the inerrant word of God?

No, but the Lord can use a Bible that is not perfectly preserved. The English speaking people did have the “word of God” in part prior to 1611 but they did not have God’s infallible preserved word to the English speaking people. Actually, they had more of the word of God than people reading modern translations today because the early English Bibles were based largely on the Textus Receptus.

The translations prior to 1611 gave more light than nothing at all. Whether it is Luther’s German or Tyndale or the Geneva Bible, they are examples of versions which in a sweetly natural way, witnessed to by the Spirit of God, worked their way into the hearts of millions of God’s people. This cannot be said in the case of the corrupt manuscripts that produced Constantine’s Bible or the Latin Vulgate or the modern versions that rely on high pressure marketing and promotions.

The history of the English Bible is one of blood and purification. The King James Version was the seventh major English translation that began with Wycliff’s Bible in 1382. The importance of Wycliff’s Bible lies in the fact that it was the first English Bible even though Wycliff translated it from the corrupt Latin Vulgate. Coverdale’s Bible (1535) was an improvement because he used Tyndale’s New Testament translation from the Received Text as well as Tyndale’s Pentateuch translated from Hebrew. The Geneva Bible was a big improvement over previous English Bibles because of its underlying texts used for translation plus it was translated by a small committee rather than an individual effort like previous works. The King James Bible had a large committee of highly qualified translators, a mass of sources for translation superior to their predecessors, an English language that was at its peak, etc. (See the previous lesson from August 22nd on what made the KJV so special).

Hundreds of English Christians perished in the martyrs flame at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church as their Bibles were being translated from the God-honored line of manuscripts. Are we to abandon the Bibles of the martyrs to embrace the readings of their murderers?

9. If the KJV is the only inerrant English Bible, where is the inerrant Bible to be found in other languages? Isn’t God obligated to furnish such a translation in every other language of the world?

To the degree that a foreign language Bible follows the same underlying Hebrew and Greek texts of the KJV, and to the degree that their individual translations match those found in the King James Version, to that degree they can be considered to be the true words of God for that particular foreign language. To the degree that they depart from both the texts and meanings found in the KJV, to that degree they are corrupt and inferior.

Consider the question of whether God is obligated to provide an inerrant Bible in other languages… We should not define God in our own image and require Him to live up to our standard of fairness. The promise of preservation was to all generations not to every language – a generation refers to a period of time, not any particular nation or ethnic group. Note Psalm 12:6-7 and Psalm 100:5 in the KJV.

What has been God’s proven practice? For the first 3,000 to 4,000 years of recorded history, there was only one nation on earth that had the true words of God… “He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation, and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm 147:19-20). The Hebrew scriptures were not translated during this time in Egyptian, Chaldean, Syrian, or any of the other nations that surrounded Israel. Since God has promised to preserve His words (not just the general, ballpark approximation) in the book of the LORD, this book must exist somewhere. All the evidence points to the King James Version as being that book for the last 400 years. English has become the closest thing to a universal language in history. It was the KJV that was used by English and American missionaries to carry the gospel to the nations in the greatest missionary movement in history.

What is ironic is that this question is usually asked by those who believe the inerrant Bible can only be found in the “original autographs” or “original languages of Koine Greek and Hebrew”. The original autographs decayed into dust centuries ago. The critic claims this view shows favoritism by God to English speakers, and yet to say the word of God is inerrant only in the original languages is to say that God favored only those believers in the first few centuries that understood Koine Greek. Koine Greek is a dead language that stopped being used around 500 AD; if the New Testament is inspired only in the “original language” it is a dead book – Hebrew is only spoken by about 1% of the world’s population.

God only holds us accountable for the light He has been pleased to give us. To whom much is given, from him shall much be required. God has given to the English speaking people His perfect words in the King James Version. We will be held far more accountable for what we have done with this Book than any other people.

Having said that, I do not believe that every foreigner in non-English speaking countries needs to learn the English language and read the King James Version. Salvation through faith in the substitutionary death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is not only found in the KJV. Plus there are very good foreign language Bibles that non-English speakers would consider the inerrant word of God in their language, one of which is the Italian Diodati. For other foreign languages I cannot comment on. If there are several different versions in their own native language (German, Russian, Chinese, or whatever), then the foreign nationals should use the version that most closely follows the same Hebrew and Greek texts that underlie the King James Version.

10. It is rumored that King James was a homosexual

Anthony Weldon had been excluded from King James’ court and swore vengeance. In 1650 (25 years after the death of King James), Weldon wrote a paper calling James a homosexual. The report was largely ignored since there were still enough people alive who knew it wasn’t true. It lay dormant for years until recently when it was picked up by those who hoped that vilifying King James would tarnish the Bible that bears his name.  King James said sodomy was “a horrible crime” and advised his son that, “Marriage is the greatest earthly felicity… without the blessing of God you cannot look for a happy marriage.”

11. The KJV may be tolerated but it is still inferior to “the Greek.”

Which Greek text? The statement above makes it sound likes there is only one. There are over 20 different Greek texts. There are the various editions from the Greek editors of the Received Text – Erasmus (5 editions), Stephanus (4 editions), Beza (10 editions). There are the editions of the corrupt critical text – Nestle’s 23rd edition (used to translate the NASB), Nestle’s 26th edition used to translate the NIV), Westcott and Hort, etc.

Which edition of the Textus Receptus? All present substantially the same text, and the variations are not of great significance but still there are a few differences… out of the 252 passages in which Erasmus, Stephanus, and Beza differ sufficiently to affect the English rendering, the KJV agrees with Beza against Stephanus 113 times, the KJV agrees with Stephanus against Beza 59 times, and the KJV agrees 80 times with Erasmus or the Complutensian or the Latin against Beza and Stephanus. These differences are minor, and pale into insignificance when compared with the approximately 6,000 differences — many of which are quite substantial — between the Critical Text (Alexandrian) and the Textus Receptus (Antiochan).

Since there are relatively minor variations between the copies of the Received Text, what is that final authority between those differences? Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would guide believers “into all truth” and He said “thy word is truth”. I believe that the true text was clarified by the Holy Spirit as comparisons between the Received Text and other sources like Old Latin, Gallic, Celtic, etc. were made by the translators in 1611. In the multitude of counselors there is safety and although the 47 gifted King James translators were not inspired I believe, as we discussed in lesson two, they were instruments used for the preservation of scripture into English through their incredible linguistic ability, mastery of the original languages of the Old and New Testaments, and their spiritual qualifications, etc.

12. So is the KJV itself literally inspired in such a way as to be even superior to its underlying Hebrew and Greek texts?

The KJV is not “more” God’s word than the original tongues of Hebrew and Greek – neither is it “less”. If it is not inspired, it’s not scripture: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God”. The KJV is inspired scripture simply because it is the preservation of God’s words in English from Greek and Hebrew.

13. Without some knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, you cannot be an independent student, or reliable interpreter of the word of God

Hebrew and Greek lexicons should be used to amplify a word in the KJV, but never to “correct” it. If “Leviathan” in Hebrew can mean “coiled,” “twisted,” or “water monster,” then show the connection with Isaiah 27:1 and Revelation 12:1-9 in the English. If the word “church” comes from the Greek “ekklesia” meaning a called out assembly then make the appropriate application.

The student of the word of God should be aware that before he looks up the meaning of a Greek word in the back of a concordance and proudly proclaim with an authoritative voice that the word means such and such, that the authoritative meaning of any word in any language is how it is used in the specific context, not what is written in a dictionary. For example the word “gay” can mean exuberant, bright or a homosexual, depending upon the context of its use. The English word that the Holy Spirit led the translators of the KJV to use defines the proper definition of the Hebrew and Greek, e.g. the KJ translators chose the correct English words to express the original languages through God-given spiritual discernment, linguistic ability, etc. The Holy Bible is not to be made subject to the demands of linguistic scholarship.

The doctrine of the priesthood of the believer has been subtly replaced by the priesthood of the Hebrew and Greek professor who would have you believe that you cannot understand the word of God without their assistance. Their attitude is, “since the New Testament was not written in English but in Greek, only an accurate knowledge of Greek will reveal the true mind of God. The KJV is filled with mistranslations and should be corrected by ‘the Greek text’.” As opposed to this view, God has given us the words He wants us to have and has preserved them for us. What is obscure or seems to be a contradiction can be solved by prayer and study coming from a believing heart and a humble mind.

The confidence once held by many in the KJV was destroyed in Greek class or someone teaching them that sat through a Greek class – this has been the case since 1880. Their criticisms are often cloaked in words such as…
– “The Greek text says…” – there is no single Greek text
– “The original Greek says…” – no one living today has ever seen the “originals”
– “A better translation is…” – which Greek text was used
– “It is unfortunate the KJ translators translated it as…” – the “rules” critics establish for translating are often broken by themselves. There is great flexibility that Greek grammatical rules allow translators, no translator translates all the words the same way every time, gender does not always follow gender, articles are often added and not always translated, and what the critics call mistakes in translating by the KJ translators could not be proven in court.

Dr. Miles Smith who wrote the preface to the KJV commented that the AV1611 translators: did not tie themselves “to a uniformity of phrasing”, recognized that some words were “not of the same sense everywhere”, were “especially careful” not to “vary from the sense” of the underlying Greek and Hebrew word, and were constrained to “bring profit to the godly reader”.

Satan is not worried about a dead language (Koine Greek) that died out more than 1800 years ago – his attacks have been on one book for the last 400 years.

14. The discovery of many additional and very early manuscripts since 1611 provides urgent reasons for using modern versions of the Bible.

Manuscripts have been brought to light since 1611, but the great majority (90 to 95%) of these are in substantial agreement with the Received Text underlying the KJV. The readings of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus were very much before the translators of 1611 as represented in the Latin Vulgate and Douay-Rheims.

Supposed “Errors” in the King James Version

There are no errors or contradictions in the King James Version. However, there are apparent contradictions in the Bible that God placed there on purpose. The faithful student of the word of God needs to study it to determine what the Bible actually is saying in these instances.

In Ezekiel 14:1-9, God tells Ezekiel that the religious leaders that came to him had already turned God off in their heart; they had put up so many barriers and idols in their heart that God refused to answer them (vs. 1-3). Verse 4 reads, “I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols”. The application to the Bible critic is that when someone rejects the light that God gives them, He doesn’t give them anymore light on the subject. God says, “You want contradictions – I’ll give you some. I will answer you according to the multitude of your idols”. God has put a minefield in His word for the skeptic.

I say that the KJV is without “proven error” because I am not aware of errors having been proven! If the critic feels he has better understanding and spiritual insight at a given point than did the 47 AV translators, then he must set forth his evidence.

15. “Easter” in Acts 12:4 of the KJV is a mistranslation of the word “pascha” and should be translated as “Passover.”

This question was answered in my blog written on April 27, 2011, which see.

16. Apparent contradiction is found comparing 1 Kings 6:1 with Acts 13:16-22

God gives a specific date in 1 Kings 6:1 that 480 years after the exodus from Egypt that Solomon began to build the Temple in the second month of the fourth year of his reign – it is the beginning of the fourth year so Solomon has been on the throne for three years. Accounting for the time given in Acts 13:16 we have, 40 years in the wilderness (vs. 18) + 450 years of judges (vs. 19,20) + 40 years of Saul (vs. 21) + 40 years of David (2 Sam. 5:4) + 3 years of Solomon = 573 years. Paul in Acts chapter 13 lays out 573 years of Jewish history but the official account in 1 Kings chapter 6 very clearly says 480 years – a difference of 93 years.

When you examine Acts chapter 13 it would seem the discrepancy would be somewhere in the time of the judges (450 years). Examining the book of Judges will reveal the answer… the context of Judges is a series of sin cycles (they get into trouble because their sin leads them away from God, they are oppressed by other nations, they cry to God and He raises up a deliverer, the deliverer defeats the enemy, they live for God for a time then they forsake God and the cycle starts up again). Israel was enslaved 8 years to Mesopotamia (Judg. 3:8), 18 years to Moab (Judg. 3:14), 20 years to Canaan (Judg. 4:3), 7 years to Midian (Judg. 6:1), and 40 years to the Philistines (Judg. 13:1). We don’t include Judges 10:8 because that captivity deals with Israel “on the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites”, not the Promised Land of Canaan (Num. 32:29-32). Summing the years of enslavement in the land of Canaan yields 8 + 18 + 20 + 7 + 40 = 93 years.

A great truth is revealed by this difference of 93 years – when God’s people (Israel) are out of fellowship with Him, and out of the Land under the control of foreign enemies, God’s clock stops. God “counts” time only when Israel is in control of the land that He gave them. Paul speaking in a Gentile controlled area (Acts chapter 13) gives them the chronological time that they would find in a secular history book. 1 Kings chapter 6 is the official record of the kings of ISRAEL and time is reckoned only when Israel is in the land and in control.

Application of this great truth gives light on a prophecy in Daniel chapter 9. Daniel 9:24-27 gives 490 years of history and all have been fulfilled except the last seven years. In Daniel 9:24-27, one week is equivalent to seven years in the prophecy so 70 weeks equals 490 years. After 69 “weeks” (483 years) Messiah was “cut off” (crucified), Jerusalem was destroyed (AD 70) and the Jews dispersed among the nations of the world – God’s people (Israel) have been out of fellowship with Him and out of their Land (God’s clock has not been ticking). In 1948, Israel became a nation again and since that time Jews have been returning to the Land – God’s clock is about to start again. The last week (7 years) will be when the Antichrist is in power (Dan. 9:27) – this is also known as Daniel’s Seventieth Week or the Tribulation.

17. Apparent contradiction is found when comparing 2 Chronicles 22:2 and 2 Kings 8:26

2 Chronicles chapter 22 says that Ahaziah was 42 years old when he began to reign and 2 Kings chapter 8 says he was 22 years old when he began to reign. Was Ahaziah 22 or 42 when he began to reign? Is this a contradiction in the Bible or is God trying to tell us something? By comparing scripture with scripture we learn that a man can be anointed as king but not actually take the throne until sometime later (see both Saul and David). There are many examples in Scripture of a man becoming king and co-reigning with their father. Comparing 2 Chronicles chapter 22 and 2 Kings chapter 8 reveals that Ahaziah was anointed king when he was 22 years old but did not begin to reign until he was 42 years old.

There are peculiar and ominous circumstances surrounding this period in history… Ahaziah is the king of Judah but his mother is Athaliah the daughter of Omri, the king of Israel. Also, Athaliah had a brother named Ahaziah who had been king of Israel before he died (Ahaziah of the text had an uncle Ahaziah). This time period sees intermarriage and intermingling between the royal lines of Israel and Judah. There are not only two Ahaziah’s, there are two Jehoram’s (or Joram’s) and two Jehoash’s (or Joash’s) – always one each from each kingdom. There appears to be a plot and attempt to destroy the royal line of David.

The context of 2 Chronicles chapter 22 is found in 2 Chronicles 21:20 – Ahaziah’s “father” (Jehoram) is 40 years old when he dies (2 Chron. 21:20), Ahaziah is 42 years old when he begins to reign (2 Chron. 22:2). Was Ahaziah “two years older than his father?” No, Jehoram was his step-father. Ahaziah is said to be the “son of Jehoshaphat” (2 Chron. 22:9) and Jehoshaphat is said the be “the king of Israel” (2 Chron. 21:2) – this is a remarkable turn of events, for Jehoshaphat was king of JUDAH, not Israel. This is the only time that such a thing occurs in the entire Old Testament after the time of Solomon; with the tribes divided, no Jewish king from Rehoboam to Zedekiah is ever called “the king of Israel” unless he is the king over the ten northern tribes. Jehoshaphat’s title was king of Israel (2 Chron. 21:2) signifying the ominous alliance with Ahab the real king of Israel. In addition to being a “son” of Jehoshaphat and Jehoram we read that Ahaziah was also “the son in law” to the house of Ahab (2 Ki. 8:27).

The Ahaziah of our problem was not Jehoram’s literal son and obviously he was intended to be put on the southern throne of Judah (anointed at 22) many years before he finally got there (reigned at 42). His mother was Athaliah; she was Ahab’s sister. If Ahaziah was her son and Jehoshaphat was his father then when Jehoshaphat “joined affinity with Ahab” (2 Chron. 18:1), there was more involved than a military alliance. If both father (Jehoshaphat) and son (Jehoram) came in unto the same woman (Athaliah), the glaring omission of Ahaziah, Uzziah, and Azariah in Christ’s genealogy is perfectly explainable – this violates the law of Moses.

What about the statement that Ahaziah was Jehoram’s son? In the Bible, “son” often refers to the male-to-male relationship, e.g. Jesus Christ is called “the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matt. 1:1) [the context determines if the word “son” is referring to a literal son]. A son-in-law can be a son (David was Saul’s son-in-law but Saul called him “son” in 2 Sam. 24). Ahaziah could not have been Jehoram’s literal son, for he was older than his “father”  when his “father” died. Jehoram could have married Athaliah after she gave birth to Ahaziah; this would have made Ahaziah Jehoram’s stepson. Ahaziah was not Jehoram’s literal son; he is a stepson or a son-in-law at the most.

18. Rom 8:26 says, Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Bible correctors tell us that the Spirit should be referred to as himself, not itself.

The ASV, RSV, NKJV, NIV and all other versions have “himself.” This is one of the best proofs that the modern revisers’ claims to having a deeper knowledge of Greek is nonsense. The Greek word for spirit is pneuma. Greek has three genders, which include a neuter, as well as masculine and feminine, Pneuma is a neuter noun. Since it is neuter, the only reflexive pronoun that could be used is itself. “Himself” is bad grammar, and any Greek student should be able to recognize that, let alone one of these self-professed scholars of Greek.

Consider the inconsistency… Luke 2:16,17 says, “And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.” In this case ‘it’ refers back to ‘babe’ or brephos, which also is neuter. This by the way is a connection to Genesis 3:15, which see. Oddly, many of the new versions got ‘it’ right in this passage. Why did they hypercorrect the Romans passage and not this one?

19. “And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand” (Num. 25:9) with “and fell in one day three and twenty thousand” (1 Cor. 10:8)

23,000 “fell in one day” and 24,000 was the total number that died during a few days

20. “So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver” (2 Sam. 24:24) with “So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight” (1 Chron. 21:25)

First David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen, and then he bought the whole “place” (farm)

21. “And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing A voice, but seeing no man” (Acts 9:7) with “And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not THE voice of him that spake to me” (Acts 22:9)

The companions of Paul heard a voice but didn’t understand the words of the voice (see Jn. 12:29 for an illustration). In other words, you can hear “a voice” without hearing “the voice” of the one speaking or understanding what the voice says.

22. “And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem” (2Ki 25:8). And  “Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, which served the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem” (Jer 52:12).

This must be a copyists’ error, they say, because in one case it is the seventh day and in the other it is the tenth, and therefore both cannot be correct. But after a careful examination of these two passages we can find that Nebuzaradan came unto Jerusalem on the seventh day, and came into Jerusalem on the tenth day. It took him three days to enter into Jerusalem for some reason, which the Scriptures do not mention. Thus we see that these verses both are correct, and they are not the result of any copyists’ error, for God “shalt preserve them from this generation for ever”.

23. In these two passages from Ezra 2:1-12 and Ne 7:5-17, we find certain differences in the numbers. We see that the children of Arah were 775 in one case and 652 in the other. Similarly, the children of Pahathmoab were 2812 in one place and 2818 in the other.

In Ezra 2:1 we read, “Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity”. This is God’s word, and the sentence which says “these are the children” is giving the numbers with all authority. Therefore ALL numbers in Ezra 2:1-12 and subsequent verses are the ACTUAL numbers.

Why do the numbers in Nehemiah differ? Let’s see what Nehemiah actually says. “I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first, and found written therein, these are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity.” It is very clear from this that Nehemiah is NOT telling us the ACTUAL numbers, but he is just giving us a faithful record of what was written in the register of genealogy. There are NO mistakes and NO errors in copying in his faithful record of that which was written in the register of genealogy, but THERE ARE mistakes in the very register of genealogy, which is a work of men, and it is not God-breathed.

The practice of corrupting Scripture, and subsequently God’s people, goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Although Adam and Eve did not have much of God’s word, what little they had Satan went after. His first words to Eve were, “Yea, hath God said?” Once Eve was sufficiently shaken by the question posed and began to doubt God’s word, Satan’s second step was to outright deny God’s word. Though God had warned, concerning the forbidden tree, “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,” Satan contradicted Him by saying, “Ye shall not surely die.” Satan’s questioning led Eve to SUBTRACT from God’s word (Gen. 3:2 – “freely” is subtracted when quoting 2:16), and it also led her to ADD to His word (Gen. 3:3 – “neither shall ye touch it”). Satan’s strategy has not changed. He begins by destroying faith in the word of God and once this is accomplished, replaces it with his own.

How different was the case of Jesus Christ (the last Adam, 1 Cor. 15:45), who was not in a garden paradise when He encountered the enemy but in the wilderness. We find Him declaring to Satan, who also tempted Him with food, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY word of God.”

A Study on the Authorized Version (KJV) – Part 2

Last Wednesday at our home church I taught the second of a four-part series on the King James Version (KJV). Below is a general overview of what we covered in this lesson. To learn more about the topic of the King James Version click here for some helpful articles.

What Makes the King James Version So Special?

1. God promised to preserve His words to all generations

“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” – Psalm 12:6.7

Are God’s pure words only to be found in the original autographs (the manuscripts the apostles held and put ink to)? They turned to dust nearly 2,000 years ago. Are God’s pure words to be found only in the original languages? Koine Greek (the written language of the New Testament) died out around 500 AD. Is the word of God locked up in a dead language that no one uses and that only a select few scholars have access to? Would God not make His preserved words available to the common man in this generation? Where are the words of God that we are to read, study, memorize, live by, and take soul winning?

I do not gather my family around a Greek lexicon for devotions nor do I take it with me in evangelistic outreach. Through an honest study of manuscript evidence I believe the inspired words of God are preserved and available for me in the English language of the King James Version.

2. The King James Version exalts the Lord Jesus Christ.

The true scriptures should testify of Jesus Christ (Jn. 5:39). New versions attack the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, the blood atonement, the resurrection, salvation by grace through faith, and the second coming of Christ. These attacks occur in many of the most clear and salient passages.

For instance, the New International Version omits “Lord,” “Jesus,” “Christ,” “God” or similar terms 162 times in the New Testament and slanders the Lord further in Daniel 3:25, Micah 5:2, Matthew 20:20, Luke 2:33, 23:42, John 1:3, 3:13,16, 9:35, Acts 3:13, 4:27,30, Romans 14:10, 1 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 4:8, and 1 John 5:7. We will review these attacks on the deity of Christ as well as many other significant changes made in modern versions in our final lesson of this series.

3. The King James Version has no copyright

A copyright is the exclusive right given by law for terms of years to an author, designer (etc.), to print publish, or sell, copies of his (the author’s) original work. By taking out a copyright on a so-called bible, the copyright owner admits that it is their words, not God’s words. All modern versions are copyrighted by their respective publishing companies.

The “crown copyright” that King James granted to printer Robert Barker was so the Authorized Version (KJV) could be printed – a modern copyright expresses authorship and ownership. The study notes, cross references, maps, etc. may be copyrighted in your KJV but not the text itself.

4. The time of the King James Version’s publication is important

The King James Version was translated when the English language was at its peak. The English of this time was perfectly suited to expressing the thought and concepts of Hebrew and Greek. English words were “simple, broad, and generic” and were capable of containing in themselves not only their central thoughts but also all the different shades of meaning which were attached to that central thought. For example, Peter says that born-again believers are a “peculiar” people (1 Pet. 2:9). The word “peculiar” has meant private property, marks distinctive of a person, people that are odd in a strange way. All those words are descriptive of a Christian: he is God’s private property, a believer’s life should be marked by characteristics that demonstrate he is a Christian, and to the world a Christian who is living for Jesus Christ will always be an odd ball

It was published before the advent of French atheism, German rationalism, English deism, and Darwinism. God could work through men whose minds had not been infected by modern philosophy and “the oppositions of science falsely so called”.

Finally, it was translated during the Philadelphia period (Rev. 3:7-13) of church history. The messages to the seven churches of Revelation chapters 2 and 3 go beyond the particular churches of the first century and present a prophetic look at the course of church history from the apostolic age (represented by the church of Ephesus) to the Rapture of the Body of Christ (represented by the church of the Laodiceans). Philadelphia represents the period of church history from around 1500 to 1900 AD – the approximate dates for each church period can be found by various textual indicators that correspond with historical events. The Philadelphia church period is the greatest in church history; this is the only church of the seven churches that is not told to repent. This church period saw the rise of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation as well as the Great Awakening in America centuries later. This church period has “an open door” because it kept the word of God (Rev. 3:8); this is the church period that publishes the Authorized Version in 1611 (KJV) – the next church period of Laodicea (around 1900 to the Rapture) has seen the publication of over 120 versions of the Bible and it should be noted that this period has a shut door (Rev. 3:20) with Christ on the outside knocking.

5. The King James Version has a long history of producing good fruit

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” – Matthew 7:20

The Authorized Version (KJV) has been the Bible behind every major revival in the English speaking world since its publication. None of the “bibles” published in the last 100 years can approach the results God has obtained through the KJV. The great missionaries, evangelists, and pastors of the past used it for all or most of their public ministries. John Wesley preached nearly 42,000 sermons and led tens of thousands to Christ in England with a King James Version. His friend George Whitefield led many thousadns more to the Lord in America with the same Book. God used these two men to start the famed Great Awakening of the 18th century. God used Jonathan Edwards as he preached from the King James Bible to melt the hardest of hearts in New England. Charles Finney started great revivals in many cities with it. George Mueller used the King James Version as he built orphanages and saw countless children saved. D.L. Moody preached the KJV to over 50 million people. Charles Spurgeon preached it to millions more. We could also mention how the Lord used the King James Version in the ministries of Hudson Taylor, William Carey, David Livingston, and many more, but space prevents us from dwelling further on this point.

God has used the King James Version not only to bring the lost to Christ but also to civilize and educate entire nations which were ignorant of Him and His ways. The expansion of British economic and military influence in the later eighteenth and nineteenth centures was preceded and accompanied by missionary work based on the King James Version. Material prosperity, political stability, humanitarian effort, progress in art, literature, music, science and technology, and the emergence of a stable, productive, law abiding, morally upright, educated ‘middle class’ follow the dissemination of the King James Version and translations into other languages based upon its underlying Hebrew and Greek texts.

6. The character and ability of the King James Version translators

The final editor of the Authorized Version, John Bois, learned to read Hebrew at age 5. At age 15 he corresponded with his superiors in Greek. He became one of the most popular Greek professors at Cambridge with students attending voluntary lectures at 4 am. It is said that he was so familiar with the Greek testament that he could, at any time, turn to any word that it contained.

Other translators include Lancelot Andrews who was conversant in 15 languages. Miles Smith was said to be a “walking library,” he had Hebrew at his fingers’ end and he was so conversant in Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic, that he made them as familiar to him as his native tongue. Andrew Downes was described as the “chief of learned men in England”. John Reynolds was known as a “living library,” “a third university,” and his memory and reading were said to be “near to a miracle”. Among their company were men who… took a month’s vacation and used the time to learn and master an entirely foreign language, wrote a Persian dictionary, invented a specialized mathematical ruler, one was an architect, mastered oriental languages, publicly debated in Greek, and tutored Queen Elizabeth in Greek and mathematics.

They were not just a bunch of dry theologians but accomplished preachers and balanced Christians as well. Richard Brett, although proficient in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Chaldee, Arabic and several Ethiopic tongues, it was said of him that, “He was a most vigilant pastor, a diligent preacher of God’s word, a liberal benefactor to the poor, a faithful friend, and a good neighbor.”

Translator Richard Kilbye once heard a young preacher give three reasons why a particular word in the KJV should have been translated differently. He explained to the young preacher how he and others considered all three reasons and found 13 more considerable reasons why it was translated as now printed.

I find it humorous given the above examples that there are so many Bible college and seminary graduates today that think a few semesters of Greek qualify them to correct the King James Version.

Not only were the translators of great ability and character but many of them knew what it mean to suffer for Christ; they endured persecution, hardships, and mistreatment by the hands of the enemies of the Gospel. It is also worth noting that in 1611 there were none of the “modern conveniences” such as radio, television, internet, to steal the translators time not to mention corrupt their minds; they were able to meditate and study upon the word of God without many of the distractions believers endure today.

Though the translators were from varied backgrounds and differed on church order and administration and some other matters, each one had the highest regard for the scriptures and believed them to be the very words of the living God.

In terms of the translation process, the translators were divided into six companies (or groups) and assigned to three principal locations: two companies at Westminster, two at Cambridge, and two at Oxford. Each company was given a selected portion of Scripture to translate. Each scholar made his own translation of a book and then passed it on to be reviewed by each member of his group. The whole group then went over the book together. Once a group had completed a book of the Bible they sent it to be reviewed by the other five groups. All objectionable and questionable translating was marked and noted, and then it was returned to the original group for consideration. A special committee was formed by selecting one leader from each group. This committee worked out all of the remaining differences and presented a finished copy for the printers of 1611. This means the Authorized Version (KJV) had to pass at least 14 examinations before going to press.

7. The King James translators were honest in their work by the use of italics

Anyone who has ever translated from one language to another knows that words must be added to the finished work to complete the sentence structure in the new language. All translators do this when translating the Bible. The King James translators had a simple goal: to communicate God’s words in the English language. They were quite honest. When the English word they needed to communicate the Greek or Hebrew sentence into English was missing, they wrote the English word, but in italics.

When the translators had to supply a word (or words) in the KJV to make the verse make sense in English, they put it in italics; they were honest in showing the words they added to the text (see Psalm 32:1 for an example).This is something the translators of nearly all the modern versions failed to do; modern versions have translated words and the words the translators added in the same type; there is no way a reader can tell which is which.

The translators also put words in italics where the words were in the original language, but they didn’t have enough evidence at the time. For example, 1 John 2:23 reads, “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [but] he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” The word [but] is not in any manuscript, period. It is needed, however to show the contrast to English readers. That is like the regular italics in the rest of the KJV. But wait! A full 1/2 of this verse is in italics! How could this be? It’s simple: the King James translators were very honest. They found some Greek manuscripts at the time that had the verse and others that didn’t. But they had enough evidence from other languages that did, and a very good reason why the verse might have been mistakenly removed by a copyist was something known as homoeoteleuton (ho-moy-oh-tell-you-tahn). That big Greek word simply means, “having the same ending.” The phrase “hath the Father” is at the end of both parts of the verse. In Greek it looks like this: τον πατερα εχει. As the copyist looked back and forth between the original and his copy, his eye could have skipped to that same phrase at the end of the verse. Thinking he had already written it, he would have moved on, thus leaving out the last part of this verse. In order to be truthful, the King James translators included the 2nd 1/2 of the verse, because it belongs there. But to be fair with what they had in front of them, they put that 1/2 verse in italics. But the best part is that history has shown the King James translators correct! As many more minuscule manuscripts (Greek scriptures with all lower-case letters) were found, many more contained the verse.

By omitting the italicized words “the brother of” in 2 Samuel 21:19 we would have the Bible saying that Elhanan killed Goliath; to remove these italicized words would cause this verse to contradict 1 Samuel 17:50 which states David killed Goliath. What source did the KJV translators have to insert “the brother of”? It is found in 1 Chronicles 20:5 not in italics.

There is evidence of God’s hand concerning the italics in the English text itself – there are words in italics in the Old Testament showing they were not in the Hebrew but when the text is quoted in the New Testament, which was written in Greek, they do not appear in italics showing Paul quotes the Hebrew as if the words are there. For instance, in Romans 10:20 Paul quotes Isaiah 65:1. The words “them that” are in italics in Isaiah (they are not in the Hebrew), however the words are NOT in italics in Romans 10:20 because the Greek words for them exist in the text – Paul quotes the Hebrew as if the words are there but they are not in any Hebrew text; they are only found in the King James Bible text of Isaiah. For other instances, compare Psalm 16:8 with Acts 2:25 (“he is”); Psalm 94:11 with 1 Corinthians 3:20 (“are”); Deuteronomy 25:4 with 1 Corinthians 9:9 (“the corn”). Also of note, while quoting Deuteronomy 8:3 in Matthew 4:4 Jesus quotes the entire verse including the King James italicized word – again, God must want the italicized words in His Book.

8. The King James Version is supported by far more evidence

Historically, the true text of the New Testament emanates from Antioch of Syria and has been preserved not only in the vast majority, 95%, of extant (still in existence) Greek manuscripts but also in various faithful early translations, such as the Old Latin, the Old Syriac, and Gothic. These translations, together with the Syrian manuscripts, constitute the scriptures of the true believers during the Dark Ages and on into the Reformation.

When Constantinople fell to the Ottomon Turks (1453 AD) refugees brought thousands of Greek manuscripts into Europe. With the dawning of the Reformation, God used a number of distinguished scholars to produce editions of the New Testament in Greek from these faithfully preserved manuscripts of Antioch. The task of the editor was the immense undertaking of compiling the sometimes variant testimony of thousands of witnesses and carefully comparing their readings in order to establish which ones possessed a reliable text. The editor could examine other witnesses to the text aside from the Greek manuscripts, e.g. Old Latin, Syrian, lectionaries, writings of the church fathers, etc., to help shed light on the true text.

It was through a slow, painstaking process that the editor reviewed the extant witnesses and then establishes what the original text said. He had to go through piles of manuscript fragments, plus unroll scrolls, and examine folio books – all without chapter and verse references. He then reduced his findings to one single text. When finished, the editor compiled his entire New Testament text and publishes it for the world to use in translating scripture.

With the dawning of the Reformation, God used a number of distinguished scholars such as Erasmus, Stephanus, and Beza, to produce editions of the New Testament in Greek from the faithfully preserved manuscripts of Antioch, later called the “Received Text” or “Textus Receptus”. These Greek editions were to culminate in the publication of the King James Version a century later.

In terms of the translation material, not only did the King James translators have before them the printed Greek texts of Erasmus, Stephanus, and Beza, as well as the Old Latin, Gallic and Celtic Versions, but they also had all preceding printed English and foreign language Bibles, the Complutensian Polyglot with the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Old Testament, the Antwerp Polyglot, several important uncials and great mass of cursive manuscripts, and even Jerome’s Vulgate and the Jesuit Rheims version for comparison. The older renderings of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus were very much before the scholars as represented in the Latin Vulgate and the Douay Rheims.

9. The pride and inconsistency of the King James Version critics

We will consider this point in more detail in the third lesson. Ultimately, the final authority of the critics is their own opinion rather than a pure, inerrant, tangible Book inspired and preserved by God.

10. No one has proven a mistake in the King James Version

We will discuss this point further in the third lesson as well.

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