New Covenant Ministries
(Bible-Translation) "Verse Comparisons"
"Is REVISION of a
Bible Translation Always Wrong?
In much of the material put out by
establishment we are often told that modern translations of the Bible "attack"
or "deny" major doctrines of the Christian
faith.** Most of these versions,
beginning with the 1881 English Revised
Version, are based upon a
Westcott & Hort
("Alexandrian") type of Greek
text that differs in certain details from the TR-based KJV.
Some of these variants from the TR/KJV are adduced
[reasoned] as "proof" by the
side that any translation made from the modern critical texts
is "doctrinally corrupt". (Very rarely is the true manuscript evidence
of such variations discussed by KJV-Onlys; they simply assume
a text is "wrong," not because it differs from what may have been original,
but because it differs from the TR/KJV!)
is a paradox. The real attacks come from proponents of
repeatedly attack (especially over the Internet) those believers who
use a different Bible translation than the KJV; it is our goal to educate
our readers (both pro and con) in this on-going debate.
If you are
you studied the issues in detail, or simply perpetually repeating the same
old arguments of others?
The tactic that is often used by this
group is to play a little game of "verse comparison" which involves reading
a passage from the KJV and then reading the same from a modern translation
(NASB, NIV, NKJV, etc.) to "see what is omitted".
Such a convenient "test for the modern Bibles" appeals readily to the
simple who would rather accept this approach than investigate the facts.
books today continually attack modern translations with "verse comparison"
gimmicks to mislead the ignorant and
But even IF such an argument were
valid in itself, it would work both ways. In other words, the
same type of argument used to "prove" that the Alexandrian
text "attacks the fundamentals" could also be turned
around to "prove" that the KJV, based on the TR, "attacks the fundamentals".
For the sake of argument, we will make a comparison of the KJV to
the New American Standard Bible to
"see what is omitted". Then, we will continue in the reversal of this tactic
by "seeing what doctrine is left out" of the TR/KJV. Lastly, we shall go
a step further and discuss the manuscript evidence behind the
"Who by the Holy
Spirit, through the mouth of our father David
Thy Servant, didst say, WHY DID THE GENTILES RAGE, AND THE PEOPLES DEVISE
FUTILE THINGS?" (Acts 4:25
"Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said,
Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?"
Dear reader did
you see what the KJV
"omitted"? It was the words, "by the Holy
Spirit"! Now, shall WE accuse the
KJV translators of "attacking the doctrine of Holy Spirit inspiration"?
Peter Ruckman often accuses
the NASB of "destroying the
cross-reference" to other verses. By the SAME argument,
is not the cross-reference to the following verse "destroyed"
"The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word
was in my tongue." (2 Samuel 23:2
"by the Holy
Spirit," speak of the
means of the Divine inspiration
of the Word of God. It was the Holy Spirit
Himself who spoke through David,
"the sweet psalmist of Israel" (2 Samuel 23:1;
2 Peter 1:20-21).
Must we therefore
conclude that the King James Version
"ATTACKS" the doctrine of the inspiration of Holy
Scripture? Not at all. That doctrine is plainly taught in
the KJV at such passages as 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:21. Even in the
passage of Acts 4, it is "GOD" who is said
to have spoken through David (vs. 24, KJV; NASB). But since
we are told in other passages that the Scriptures were given by the inspiration
of the Holy Spirit (the third Person of the Trinity),
Acts 4:25 in the NASB
Amplified) makes a
clearer (if not even
stronger) case for this truth.
For the words, "by.." or "through
the Holy Spirit" (Greek "dia pneumatos
hagiou") being omitted (as in the TR) we have weak manuscript support.
The earliest sources for the omission are MSS P and 049 of
the ninth century. After this come MSS 056 and 0142 of the
tenth century. All other Greek support is from the
Byzantine texts of the eleventh century
On the other hand, the words, "through
the Holy Spirit" in Acts 4:25 have strong
support from the ancient witnesses. Papyrus 74
(seventh century), MSS Aleph and B
(fourth century), MSS A (fifth
century), E (sixth century), Psi
(eighth century) and 33 (ninth
century) all have the words, "dia pneumatos hagiou". The
words are found in MS D (fifth century) with some
variation, and MS 629 (famed by TR-Onlys for have
1 John 5:7), the Peshitta
Version, and some Old Latin
MSS, again with some variation.
"To the only God our Saviour,
through Jesus Christ our
Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority,
time and now forever. Amen."
"To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and
majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."
Here in Jude
25, not only are the words, "through
Jesus Christ our Lord," "omitted" in the TR/KJV, but also the
words, "before all time" have been "left
out". J. J. Ray
Publishers, Eugene Oregon USA), publishes a little
tract on the "omissions" in modern translations when compared to the
KJV, listing the places where the words "God", "Christ", or "Lord" are missing.
Well, in Jude 25 we have a case where the KJV
omits "Jesus Christ our
Waite (The Bible For
Today, Collingsworth NJ USA) is another master
of the "verse comparison" argument favoring the TR/KJV. In his booklet
#1738 (Awana Churches
Keep Using the "Old" King
James!), he has this to say regarding the "NU footnotes"
(references to Nestle's Greek Text)
that appear in the margin of the New King James
Version (all caps &
"I request you to RECONSIDER YOUR DECISION (IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO
DO SO!) because the FOOTNOTES (especially in the New Testament)
in the NEW KJV invite DOUBT on almost every page... Here are a few
examples of such DOUBT, together with the division of CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY
that they pertain to" (pgs. 19-20, all emphasis
Then, Waite proceeds to list some
"examples" where he claims the NU footnotes in
the NKJV undermine (or cast "DOUBT") on certain areas of "CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY".
One of these "examples" is given as follows:
"(5) John 3:13. Was the Lord Jesus Christ "IN HEAVEN"
as well as on earth, or merely on earth as the NU footnote in your NKJV assures
the reader, thus denying Christ's OMNI-PRESENCE?" (pg.
21, all emphasis his).
Waite complains that by the omission
of the words, "who is in heaven" (John 3:13), in the NU footnote of the NKJV
(and consequently omitted by the NASB based upon Nestle's text), the "theology"
of "Christ's omnipresence" is called into question. He claims that the NU
footnote teaches that Christ was "merely on earth", and that it "assures
the reader" of such. Of course it does
nothing of the
kind! The only difference between retaining the words
or leaving them out here is that the TR/KJV makes a statement for
the "omnipresence of Christ" that the NU footnote (and NASB) does
not make. But that does not mean that the NU footnote
"denies" this doctrine. Would a preacher
who simply omitted a reference to every single fundamental of the faith each
time he preached thereby be "denying" those fundamentals?
turn Waite's argument around. Let us use his
exact argument, that a certain variant reading between these texts
represented by the NU footnote in the NKJV, "assures the
"denies" the reader a basic tenet of
"CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY". At Jude 25, already given above the NKJV has this under
footnote "3" in the margin:
"NU adds Before all time".
As noted above, the NASB, based upon
this NU Greek Text, has the words, "before all time". Here, the NKJV cites
the NU text in the margin as having the words, "before all time", which are
omitted by both the NKJV and the KJV as based upon the TR.
These words carry a strong statement for the doctrine of Christ's
pre-existence, that Jesus Christ is "before all time", as we
also read in Micah 5:2. Christ is not just "now and forever", but also "before
all time" He always existed. By Waite's
same argument, the NU footnote in the NKJV is "assuring the reader"
of "CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY", but his text used for the KJV
[TR] is "denying" it!
The manuscript evidence for retaining
the words, "pro pantos tou aionos" ("before all time") to
use a phrase of KJV-Only Jewell Smith is "ancient
and overwhelming". Dr. Bruce
Metzger points out (under Jude 25)
"Several of the later uncials, as well as most minuscules (followed
by the Textus Receptus), omit 'pro pantos tou aionos', perhaps because the
expression did not seem to be appropriate in a doxology. The words are strongly
supported by Aleph, A, B, C, L, 5, 378, 436, 467, 623, 808, 1827, 1845, 1852,
vg, syr(h), cop(sa,bo), arm(eth), Ephraem". [Metzger,
A Textual Commentary on the Greek New
Testament 1971, pg. 728, some punctuation and transliteration
NO, the Textus Receptus does
not "attack the fundamentals". Neither does Nestle's text "attack
the fundamentals". Both types of Greek New Testament
texts establish sound doctrine. Vary as these texts may in
some details, both are substantially accurate and reliable reproductions
of the original language text. Furthermore, I dare say
there is not a single
"omission" in either of
these texts that would
"deny" or cast
"doubt" on any area of
written by Gary R. Hudson former
co-editor of Baptist Biblical
published in Baptist Biblical Heritage, now called
(Issue #4, Vol 1, No. 4, Winter
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"Is REVISION of a Bible Translation Always
Preface to the original 1611 KJV, the
KJV Translators argued that it
was good to revise and attempt to improve earlier translations of
God's Word. They acknowledged that attempts to revise the Bible such as theirs
were often incorrectly viewed with suspicion and jealousy. They realized
that there would be accusations of "changing and correcting God's
Word", but they still contended that revision was necessary.
They wrote: "If anything be halting, or superfluous, or not so agreeable
to the original, the same may be corrected, and the truth set in place."
The KJV translators noted that the
Roman Catholics criticized
Protestants for "altering and amending
our translations so often." Thomas Fuller
observed that Roman Catholics asked: "Was their translation good before?
Why do they now mend it?" (CHURCH HISTORY
OF BRITAIN, V pg. 407). In a 1582 book,
Gregory Martin, a Roman Catholic,
condemned the early translators with this charge: "How is it, then, that
in your later English bibles, you changed your former translation from better
to worse?" (Fulke,
A DEFENSE pg. 323). Martin claimed
that "books which were so translated by
Tyndale and the like, as being not indeed
God's book, word, or scripture, but the devil's word" (Ibid., pg.
228). Martin argued that present translations must be evaluated
or judged by the ancient Latin Vulgate
translation that had been used by the church for over a thousand years.
The KJV Translators did not
consider that these Roman Catholic arguments against new translations or
revision of former translations as valid. They recognized that this
vague, emotionally-charged claim that any revision is
a "corruption" of God's Word or that any revision makes the translation "the
devil's word" is wrong. If the KJV
translators had accepted the claim that translations do not need to be "revised",
"corrected", or "updated", there would be no King James Version!
On the title page of the 1611 KJV,
the translators acknowledged that they "diligently compared and
revised" the former English translations. According to the title
page and the preface of the 1611, their standard for revising translations
was God's Word in the original languages [Hebrew and Greek]. If the
fallible Church of England translators of the KJV could revise,
correct, or update the earlier English Bibles by consulting God's Word in
the original languages without it being wrong, the KJV can
be revised, corrected, or updated by this same standard.
David Cloud, a
"KJV-Only defender", admitted: "The King James Bible is a revision
of that line of Received Text English Bibles stretching back to Tyndale"
(FOR LOVE OF THE BIBLE pg.
In an article about KJV translator
John Overall, the reference works
THE DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL
BIOGRAPHY referred to "the 1611 revision of the translation
of the Bible" (pg. 1270). In an article about
Roger Fenton, these same reference
books called the KJV "the revised version of the Bible" (pg.
1191). Thomas Harrison
was noted to be "among the revisers of the Bible assembled by
James I (pg. 40).
If the claim that "changing, revising, or updating
a translation is corrupting God's Word" were valid,
it would mean that the KJV translators corrupted God's
Word! If the claim of "no change or
revision of a translation" were valid,
then believers must use the
FIRST translation into a language regardless
or whether it is an accurate translation or not!
The fact should be obvious
that a revision of a translation of the Bible is not always wrong. Even
Peter Ruckman commended
the "genuine work of updating and revision" in
Geneva (Bible Translations)
(DIFFERENCES IN THE KJV
EDITIONS pg. 5). Of course, the fact that changes
or revisions can be good does not mean that all changes are good. If a
translation has some changes that seem to be for the worse or less accurate,
it does not mean that all its changes or revisions are bad.
An honest and objective comparison
of the KJV to its underlying Hebrew and Greek texts would show that the KJV
improved the renderings of the earlier good English Bibles in many
places. Such a comparison would also show that every change or revision made
by the KJV translators was not necessarily a better or more accurate
one. Please examine the evidence for yourself instead of relying on
misleading arguments that tear down all revision of translations as
"the work of Satan". If applied consistently, such arguments would also condemn
the revised version of 1611 the KJV. If such arguments
were not valid in 1611, why have they become valid today?
If the history of the Textus Receptus itself is a history of revision,
why is it beyond revision today?
Accuracy of Translation and
the NIV pg. 76]
This Page was Created on 27 November 1998