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King James Bible

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King James Bible

Most people say, “The Bible is the same regardless of the translation you use.”

I say they are wrong.  It does make a difference which Bible you read and study.  You would not want to study a history book where 95% of it was true and 5% was not, would you?  Of course you wouldn’t!  How would you know what part you could trust?

If you Google the words “Bible Translations” you will find one site that proudly says, “we now have over 100 versions.”

What do you know about the King James Translators?

King James commissioned 47 men to translate the Bible from Hebrew and Greek; 17 of them were to work at Westminster, 15 at Cambridge and 15 at Oxford. Each group was divided into two companies; so there were six distinct companies of translators. It took more than six years to complete the translation.

Fifteen general rules were advanced for the guidance  of the translators.
1. The ordinary Bible read in the Church, commonly called the Bishops Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the Truth of the original will permit.

2. The names of the Prophets, and the Holy Writers, with the other Names of the Text, to be retained, as nigh as may be, accordingly as they were vulgarly used.

3. The Old Ecclesiastical Words to be kept, viz. the Word, Church, not to be translated Congregation, &c.

4. When a Word hath divers Significations, that to be kept which hath been most commonly used by the most of the Ancient Fathers, being agreeable to the Propriety of the Place, and the Analogy of the Faith.

5. The Division of the Chapters to be altered, either not at all, or as little as may be, if Necessity so require.

6. No Marginal Notes at all to be affixed, but only for the explanation of the Hebrew or Greek Words, which cannot without some circumlocution, so briefly and fitly be expressed in the Text.

7. Such Quotations of Places to be marginally set down as shall serve for the fit Reference of one Scripture to another.

8. Every particular Man of each Company, to take the same Chapter or Chapters, and having translated or amended them severally by himself, where he thinketh good, all to meet together, confer what they have done, and agree for their Parts what shall stand.

9. As any one Company hath dispatched any one Book in this Manner they shall send it to the rest, to be considered of seriously and judiciously, for His Majesty is very careful in this Point.

10. If any Company, upon the Review of the Book so sent, doubt or differ upon any Place, to send them Word thereof; note the Place, and withal send the Reasons, to which if they consent not, the Difference to be compounded at the general Meeting, which is to be of the chief Persons of each Company, at the end of the Work.

11. When any Place of special Obscurity is doubted of, Letters to be directed by Authority, to send to any Learned Man in the Land, for his Judgment of such a Place.

12. Letters to be sent from every Bishop to the rest of his Clergy, admonishing them of this Translation in hand; and to move and charge as many skilful in the Tongues; and having taken pains in that kind, to send his particular Observations to the Company, either at Westminster, Cambridge, or Oxford.

13. The Directors in each Company, to be the Deans of Westminster, and Chester for that Place; and the King’s Professors in the Hebrew or Greek in either University.

14. These translations to be used when they agree better with the Text than the Bishops Bible: Tyndale’s, Matthew’s, Coverdale’s, Whitchurch’s, Geneva.

15. Besides the said Directors before mentioned, three or four of the most Ancient and Grave Divines, in either of the Universities, not employed in Translating, to be assigned by the vice-Chancellor, upon Conference with the rest of the Heads, to be Overseers of the Translations as well Hebrew as Greek, for the better observation of the 4th Rule above specified.

If a word had different meanings the majority would rule. Each man in each company would examine each chapter separately and then the whole company would come together and compare notes and agree on what would stand. Each chapter was then passed on to the next company until all six companies had reviewed the same chapter. If there were discrepancies it was sent back to the company from which it was received. If there was a disagreement, the person in charge of the company would make a final decision.

So every part of the Bible was considered separately by each member of the company, secondly by the whole company, thirdly by the other five companies individually and fourthly by the general committee of revision. Which meant each part was scrutinized at least fourteen times.

The final revision was made by twelve men, not six as one might imagine.

The first edition of the King James Bible was printed in 1611. The New Testament was translated from the Greek Textus Receptus and the Old Testament was translated from the Masoretic Hebrew.

There have been many English translations since, such as: The Revised Standard Version in 1952, The Amplified Bible in 1965, The New English Bible in 1970, The New American Standard Bible in 1971, The Living Bible in 1971 (which is a paraphrased version and is neither living nor the real Bible), Today’s English Version in 1976, The New International Version in 1978, and the New King James Version in 1982, but there are many questionable word changes in them.

Any version of the Bible that does not use the Greek Textus Receptus (Latin for Received Text) in translating the New Testament uses a corrupted manuscript. The King James and Martin Luther’s German New testament are but two that use it. Other names used for the Textus Receptus are: Byzantine Text and Antiochen Text.

The Alexandrian Text

In Alexandria,Egypt a few scholars decided that they could improve upon the Textus Receptus.  When they made copies of ancient scripts, they made “corrections” they thought would improve one’s understanding.  They made subtle changes which took away the deity of Christ, and they removed any verses they did not like. Unlike the King James translators, the Alexandrian transcribers could not agree with each other, therefore producing many differing copies. We call this the Alexandrian Text.

If we believe that God inspired the Scripture, we must also agree that translations inspired by men of God would keep the integrity of the original manuscripts.  Scholars have found that of all the transcripts copied from the Textus Receptus, Byzantine or Antiochen Text 95% of them agreed with the other.

The Westcott and Hort Debacle

In the mid nineteenth century two men, Brook Foss Westcott and John Anthony Hort, were responsible for changing everything. They were part of the committee assembled together to revise the King James Bible. Westcott and Hort convinced other men of the committee they should use the Alexandrian Text, which was preserved and provided by the Roman Catholic Church, rather than to use the Received Text. If there was confusion over the meaning of words, Westcott and Hort decided what word should be used.

Most modern day translations are based upon the work of Westcott and Hort. The King James Bible remains true to the Received Text.

Let me point out a few translation errors:

In Good News for Modern Man the blood of the Lord Jesus is omitted 15 times. See Matt. 27:4, 24, 25; Acts 5:28, 20:28; Rom. 3:25, 5:9; Eph. 1:7, 2:13; Col. 1:14, 20; Heb. 10:19; 1 Pet. 1:19; Rev. 1:5, 5:9.

The Eye Opener Publishers of Eugene,Oregon examined 24 Bible versions and found over 200 omissions.

The following verses are left out of some translations: Matt. 12:47; 17:21; 18:11; 20:16 (“many be called but few chosen” is out); 21:44; 23:14; Mk. 7:16; 9:44; 9:46; 16:9-20 (12 verses are out in some Bibles); Lk. 17:36; 22:20; 23:17; 4:12; 24:40; Jo. 5:4; Acts 8:37; 28:29;Rom.11:6 (last 18 words are out); 16:24; 1 Jn. 5:13.

●   Matthew 27:54 “The Son of God” is changed to a son of God;

●   Luke 2:33 “Joseph” is changed to father;

●   Luke 2:43 “Joseph and his mother” is changed to parents;

●   Luke 24:6 “He is not here but is risen” is left out;

●   Romans 1:29 “fornication” is left out;

●   Romans 13:9 “shall not bear false witness” is left out;

●   1 Corinthians 5:7 “For us” is left out, Christ our Passover is sacrificed (for us);

●   Galatians 2:16 “faith of Christ” is changed to faith in Christ;

●   Galatians 3:1 “That you should not obey the truth” is left out;

●   Ephesians 3:9 “By Jesus Christ” is left out.  God, who created all things (by Jesus Christ);

●   Colossians 1:14 the “blood” of Jesus Christ is out or in italics; and the list goes on.

The New King James Version

So what about the New King James?  There is not that much difference between the 1611 King James and the NKJV is there? “All they do is take out the thee’s and  thou’s, right?”

See for yourself!

The NKJV removes the word “Lord” 66 times, “God” 51 times, and “heaven” 50 times. The NKJV removes 2,289 words from the KJV in the New Testament alone; it makes over 100,000 word changes in the whole Bible. They are very close to the NIV, RSV, or NASB.

The culprit in the confusion is the manuscripts from which translators use. Many of the translations that followed the King James used multiple manuscripts from the Alexandrian text, such as the Codex Alexandrius, the Codex Vaticanus and the Codex Sinaiticus, all of which were supposed to be more up to date manuscripts found after the King James translators finished their work.

The reasoning among these later translators was, “if the manuscript was older it must be better”. How ridiculous is that? Those older manuscripts may have been commentaries or may have been altered too.

Let’s look at a few of the more widely used translations and the manuscripts each used in translating the New Testament.

King James (KJV):  Translated in 1611 by 47 scholars using the Textus Receptus.

The New American Standard Bible (NASB): Translated in 1971 by 58 scholars using the Alexandrian text.

The New International Version (NIV): Translated in 1978 by over 100 scholars using the Alexandrian text.

The New King James Version (NKJV): Translated in 1982 by 130 translators using the Textus Receptus, but, according to them, “with minor translation corrections”.  However, we have already shown you some of their omissions on the preceding page.

I am an advocate of the King James Bible because I believe it preserves the words of the Textus Receptus. I believe the Alexandrian Text came from men who altered words to fit their own agenda, which I believe is to pervert the truth.

I close with these words from a King James Bible. 2 Cor. 11:4: For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

The god of this world loves the Alexandrian Text.