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                   "Pilgrimettes"  From  THE  PILGRIM  


     (Bible-Translation) "Verse Comparisons" ERROR Revealed!

       by  GARY  R.  HUDSON

    [also below, "Is REVISION of a Bible Translation Always Wrong? "]

             In much of the material put out by the "KJV-Only" 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 KJV-Only side that any translation made from the modern critical texts (Nestle-Aland) 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!)

    ** This is a paradox. The real attacks come from proponents of KJV-ONLYism who 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 KJV-ONLY, have 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. KJV-Only books today continually attack modern translations with "verse comparison" gimmicks to mislead the ignorant and unlearned.

             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 variants.

    "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 NASB)

    "Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?" (Acts 4:25 KJV)

             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" above?

    "The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue." (2 Samuel 23:2 KJV)

             The words, "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 (& NIV, 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 and onward.

             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, before all time and now forever. Amen." (Jude 25 NASB)

    "To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." (Jude 25 KJV)

             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 (Eye-Opener 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 Lord".

             D. A. 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 & underlines his)

    "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 his).

             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?

             Now, let's 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 reader" or "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 mine]

             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 "Christian theology".

    written by  Gary R. Hudson  former co-editor of Baptist Biblical Heritage

    published in Baptist Biblical Heritage, now called THE  PILGRIM  Magazine

    (Issue #4, Vol 1, No. 4, Winter 1990-91)

    Contact  us  for  a   FREE  CATALOG   and  Sample   SPURGEON  SERMONS

     | Join our company:  "The Lord gave the WORD:  great was the COMPANY of those that PUBLISHED it." [Psalm 68:11] Please, Copy this article, pass it on, and mail to others.   Permission granted by Bob L. Ross  No Copyright |


    by  Rick Norris

    "Is REVISION of a Bible Translation Always Wrong?"

    [also see  KJV  REVISION  is  NO  "MYTH" !]

             In their 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. 8).

             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 Bishops', Matthew's, Coverdale's, Great's, and 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?  [ROBERT MARTIN, Accuracy of Translation and the NIV pg. 76]

    This Page was Created on 27 November 1998