God communicates to humankind by his Holy Spirit in various ways, including the Holy Bible, the Word of God, the sword of the Holy Spirit. Although God has, can, and still does at his option communicate with humankind through other than written form, the Holy Bible is the sufficient and necessary written Word of God for most if not all human spiritual/moral concerns. One would expect any communication from God to necessarily be consistent with the Holy Bible less we know not the Bible to be truth. The Bible’s superior doctrines/principles are to be the basis for all moral decisions everywhere, including development and interpretation of Federal/State/County/City Constitutions, laws, and ordinances, traditions, etc. This is includes church Constitutions, ordinances, traditions, rules, policies, and practices.
The Authorized King James Version (KJV) is my standard for worship, doctrine, and discipleship. This means the KJV is the standard Bible to be used in all church sponsored assemblies. The KJV that I speak of is the 1611 version as updated in 1769 containing the cord 66 books. As I understand it, the 1769 version corrected printing errors, grammar, and spelled words differently due to a major shift in the way words are spelled in the English language. There has not been such a major shift in spelling or grammar since 1769. I do not mean any later KJV updates as the 1769 English is sufficiently readable and understandable. Herein, references to the Authorized King James Version (KJV) include the 1769 English language update unless otherwise indicated.
I accept the KJV of 1611 as the baseline Holy Bible because I know of no other earlier Bible sufficient in depth and breadth in regards to the compilation of spiritual truths. Out of necessity, I consider the results of the KJV translation of 1611 as the inspired Word of God equivalent to the original text in that essential principles and truths of God are preserved and not corrupted in the translation. To not do so means I would have to reject it and all other Bibles (since I know of no other Bible superior to the KJV) as insufficient and untrustworthy. That of course would leave me with no written historical Word of God, a position in which I have no desire for humanity to be. As noted elsewhere, this does not mean the translation process is inspired but the essential principles are preserved by God in the translation; thus, grammatical and other deviations from the original manuscripts that do not change the original principles and practices and doctrines/teaching do not invalidate the translation as being the sufficiently authentic Word of God. To put it another ways, any updates that show the KJV of 1769 deviate from the principles and practices set forth in the original manuscript I will accept but to date I don’t know of any that has. Moreover, any translation that does not contradict and does not add to or take from the Word of God as expressed in the KJV of 1769 I accept as the authentic Word of God.
The 1611 KJV was updated in 1769 to reflect more readable modernized English.
For example in the 1611 version in John 3:16 we have “For God so loued the world…”.
But in the 1769 version we have “For God so loved the world”.
So we see the word loved was changed from loued.
The 1769 change was clearly needed as there was apparently a great change in the English Language. Yet, one should question the need for so many and so frequent English translations since that time. Certainly, the English language does not change that often nor the discovery of ancient manuscripts occur that frequently. Yet, I do understand that additional grammatical and similar corrections to the 1769 KJV may be deemed appropriate. I accept them only to the extent they do can clearly show the 1769 version deviated from the original manuscript. I reject such changes if they are based on cultural or generational shifts in human attitudes and desires. For example the move to create a genderless translation is based on human arrogance rather than godly doctrine and certainly goes against the spirit and letter of the original manuscripts.
I use the Authorized King James of 1611 as updated in 1769 as discussed above as my standard for worship. Does that mean I do not fellowship with a congregation or persons who use other than the KJV? No it does not mean that!
Jesus said the words he speaks are spirit (John 6:63). I take the position that God’s Word is God’s Word no matter whose mouth it comes out of, no matter the language spoken or written, and no matter what book it is in even if it is not phrased exact as it was originally given as long as it sets forth the truths set forth in that which was originally given. Even Jesus operated on this principle in quoting from Deuteronomy 6:4 in Matthew 22:37. The apostles also used this technique. I conversely take the position that words spoken by someone or written in a book that is not consistent with that which was originally given is not God’s Word. I hold that the KJV is my baseline for all comparisons. Therefore I apply this same principle concerning consistency to preaching, teaching, non-KJV translations, books in a book store, and other books which some claim to be originally given such as the Apocrypha books.
Now if anyone can tell me where there is something untruthful in the King James Bible I will definitely reconsider it. But for now since I understood thee and thou as a child I think children and adults today should use their minds and stick to the KJV. Yet, I am not dogmatic about it as I fellowship with those who even use the NIV even though really think the NIV is of satanic influence.
Any questions raised by readability and understandability of words should be addressed to and resolved by one’s church leadership. For rare words, a good practice is for preachers and teachers to dynamically provide in every generation corresponding words with which the population may be more familiar when one is preaching and teaching. Such correspondence should eliminate any need for further modernization of the English translation as the English language has not changed that much since 1769 except perhaps for certain words to fall out of common usage and therefore common understanding. But does not God give to the world preachers and teachers to explain such words?
One reason for this standing provision is that if the congregation is asked to responsively read from the scriptures it would be rather awkward and non-uniform for some to be reading from one version and others from other versions. However, other doctrinally equivalent translations may be employed to supplement the KJV when appropriate and consistent with uniformity and good order and discipline. All other translations should be measured against the KJV standard and where there are discrepancies, the KJV should prevail. If you know of any KJV scripture which should not prevail I invite you to let me know.
In reading scripture and making doctrinal conclusions one should be mindful that the meaning of a word is more important than the origin of the word. The word “right” is a prime example of why the meaning of a word is superior to the origin of the word. If I say you are right then right in this context MEANS correct. If I say you go to the right and I’ll go to the left then right in this context MEANS direction. In both cases, the origin of the word “right” is the same. Yet, it is the MEANING that communicates understanding. Thus, in language and communication MEANING is more important than origin.
When studying the Bible one should do so in the spirit of the text rather than the letter of the text (2 Corinthians 3:2-3,6). For example consider Genesis 22:2. In it, the scripture refers to Isaac as Abraham’s only son. But then what about Ishmael? Was he not Abraham’s son? Yes, he was according to the letter of the text (Genesis 16:3-4, 11, 15-16). But Ishmael was not the son of the promise. Isaac was the son of the promise (Genesis 17:19-21; Hebrews 11:17-18) according to the spirit of the text.
It is important that we accept all of the Bible as the sufficiently preserved Word of God; to reject any of it is to render all of it suspect as to its authenticity. Thus, by faith we conclude that the Bible is the preserved necessary and sufficient Word of God with understanding and applicability given by the Holy Spirit.
It is necessary because sinful man needs to know about his sinfulness, about God’s grace and mercy, and needs some insight into God’s nature, God’s expectations for humankind, each person’s alternative destination for all eternity, and God’s plan for each person’s role in determining that destination.
It is sufficient in that it provides the essential core teachings and revelations of God to humankind. This is true even though it addresses principles that are to be applied to various circumstance humans may encounter; yet, it does not attempt to address every specific circumstance humans may encounter.
Moreover, the Bible itself says Jesus did and said many things which are not written for there would not be enough books that could hold all he did and said. Yet it is necessary that we hold that anything not written is consistent with that which is written.
My standard bible version is the Authorized KJV of 1611 as updated in 1769 to reflect a significant change in the English language as the English language has not changed that much since 1769. However, I recognize that numerous translations exist and are used by various persons due to clearer contemporary language constructs in some instances. Unfortunately, there exists some rather significant differences among the translations.
For example, consider John 9:35 where in the KJV it says “… Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” but in the New International Version (NIV) it says “…Do you believe in the Son of Man?” such that God is changed to Man. Now we know in the scripture Jesus is referred to as both the Son of Man and the Son of God. Indeed, in Luke 19:10 Jesus speaks of himself as the Son of Man who comes to seek and save those that are lost; indeed, it was his humanity that was crucified and human blood that was shed/emptied (Luke 24:39; John 20:27) on the cross at the place called Calvary (Luke 23:33) and Golgotha (John 19:17). In Matthew 16:16-17 Jesus affirms that he is the Son of God in his response to Peter’s declaration that Jesus is such. Also, Jesus implicitly speaks of himself as the Son of God in his reference to God the Father and himself as the Son (e.g., John 5:19; 14:13). In Matthew 3:17 God the Father himself speaks of Jesus as his Son.
When combined with the observation that the NIV completely omits Acts 8:37 where it says “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.”, then this change suggests a strategic satanic (whether intentional or unintentional) weakening of the explicit mentioning of the role of God in salvation. What if a later version of the NIV removes the explicit word God in other places so as to stepwisely overtime render Jesus as mere human in the NIV? <!–So let the Holy Spirit guide you in determining whether it is to be generally understood that our faith is to be focused in Jesus with respect to his divinity and his humanity.–>
Also consider the New King James Version (NKJV). For Exodus 16:28, in the NKJV we have “And the LORD said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?”; but in the KJV we have “And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?”. In the NKJV one might get the impression that God is only talking about Moses disobedience since the word you might be considered singular there; but in the KJV it is clearly speaking about Moses and the nation of Israel as a whole since the word ye is always plural. Also for Hebrews 4:8 the NKJV says “For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day.”; but the KJV says “For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.”. In Hebrews chapter 3 and 4 the contrast is between Moses and Jesus not Moses and Joshua and not Joshua and Jesus saying that Jesus is superior to Moses. Thus, the idea of Hebrews 4 is that the unbeliever like those in Moses day did not labor in obedience to the the Word of God which Jesus is in the flesh and so we as believers must labor in the obedience to the Jesus, the Word of God, to enter into the rest of God. So the KJV is right and the NKJV is wrong.
Also consider Psalm 8:5 where in the KJV it says “For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels…” but in the New American Standard Bible (NASB) it says “Yet You have made him a little lower than God” where the word angels is changed to God; note that the Hebrew word phrase used in Psalm 8:5 seems to modify Elohim (translated as God in Genesis 1:1) by preceding it with a Hebrew word meaning from or out of such that the KJV translators determined the phrase to mean angels; this is consistent with Hebrews 2:7 that uses the Greek word aggelos (G32) for angels in seemingly quoting from Psalm 8:5 so angels seems to be more appropriate
in that it provides more details and consistency though both say man is made lower than God as angels are lower than God.
My point is that the NIV, NKJV, NASB and many if not all “newer” translations’ introduction of such differences is totally unnecessary and detracts from unity of scripture although the NIV does explain such differences in the margin notes. But that is part of the spiritual warfare that none can escape no matter one’s faith/religion for the Pharisee and Sadducee contrast will most likely persist in various forms until Jesus returns.
Therefore, I officially consider non-KJV translations in the same sense of various commentaries that explain scripture using more contemporary language phrases/constructs; this includes the New KJV. Therefore, I generally request that all persons reading or quoting scripture in the assembly from a non-KJV Bible to have when possible pre-compared the non-KJV scripture to the KJV to ensure doctrinal completeness and doctrinal consistency. In the final analysis seek God and let the Holy Spirit guide you in properly assessing the various translations available.
In reading the KJV one should note the exhortation given by the translators themselves in the preface to the 1611 KJV. In preface section entitled “REASONS MOVING US TO SET DIVERSITY OF SENSES IN THE MARGIN, WHERE THERE IS GREAT PROBABILITY FOR EACH”, the translators say the matters concerning salvation God has made clear in the scripture but in some matters of less importance, God has not made so clear. Thus, the translators warns the reader about being dogmatic or striving about matters not having to do with salvation. They say it is better to have doubt about what the scriptures say rather than strive with one another about what the scriptures say.
In the words of the translators they say “…it hath pleased God in his divine providence, here and there to scatter words and sentences of that difficulty and doubtfulness, not in doctrinal points that concern salvation, (for in such it hath been vouched that the Scriptures are plain) but in matters of less moment, that fearfulness would better beseem us than confidence…”
Thus, the translators warns the reader about being dogmatic or striving about matters not having to do with salvation. They say it is better to have doubt about what the scriptures say about matters having not to do with salvation rather than strive with one another about what the scriptures say about such matters. By this I take it that when they refer to salvation they are referring to salvation through what Jesus did on the cross in dying and shedding his blood for the remission of sins. Thus, it is better not to strive about matters of sin or disobedience to a commandment when a thing is not clearly declared as sinful or disobedient in the biblical text. It is better to remember that Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit (John 16:12-14; Ephesians 1:17) will lead and guide the true believer into all truth. It is better to remember that the Lord is the Chief Shepherd and Bishop (1 Peter 2:25; 5:4) of our souls though one may have lower level shepherds and bishops with some significant measure of authority over him or her and who indeed is suppose to look out for one’s soul (Hebrews 13:17).
The preface to the 1611 KJV may be found here.
Peter in 1 Peter 4:11 and Paul in Hebrews 5:11-14 speak about the oracles (truth, utterance, revelation) of God. Neither Peter nor Paul restricts speaking about God’s truth to quoting scriptures. Notice Peter prefixes the phrase “as of” to the word oracles. Notice Paul prefixes the phrase “first principles of” to the word oracles. Studying (2 Tim 2:15) the scripture is not about memorizing and regurgitating scripture though that is useful and an important part of it as applicable as Jesus did in Matthew 4. Notice that in the first two responses Jesus responds to Satan by sufficiently verbatim quoting Deuteronomy 8:3 and 6:16, respectively. But in the third case (Matthew 4:10), I don’t know of any scripture that Jesus sufficiently quoted verbatim in Matthew 4:10. But there are a number of Old Testament scriptures that speak to the principles Jesus sets forth, for example, Exodus 23:25; Deuteronomy 6:1, 10:20; and 1 Samuel 7:3. So it was proper for Jesus to say it is written even though he did not quote from a particular scripture as he did in the first two cases. Indeed studying scripture is more about understanding how to properly explain and apply the meaning of the scripture to everyday life especially where controversies arise. Notice that in Matthew 4 even the devil quoted scriptures but he didn’t apply them correctly. It is useful to regurgitate scripture but in doing so one ought not neglect the weightier matter of understanding scripture and its proper application to the issues/questions/struggles of life.
There are numerous translations of scripture. Due to language differences none of them precisely mirror the original text in terms of syntactic structure. Moreover, words used in translations have different flavors of common meanings in various generations. Some modern day translations tend to erroneously reflect cultural tendencies or desires as opposed to eternal commandments and desires of God. However, the Authorized King James Version of 1611 sufficiently mirrors the original text and sufficiently communicates the original text essential principles.
In developing the KJV of 1611/1769, Church leadership worked for promulgation of a unified, uniform, full and complete Bible that is true to the original manuscripts to include not being ambiguous and incomplete in translation yet containing sufficient modern usage of words. This unified and uniform version rightly aimed to avoid where possible paraphrasing and interpretation. Instead, it gave priority to direct correspondence between the original manuscript and sufficiently modern word usage.
If such things as pride, arrogance, monetary consideration, and name making exists in the modern day Bible translation and publishing realm, then such things should give way to doctrinal clarity and consistency and unity within the worldwide body of Christ. I don’t want to be accusatory or portend to know the hearts and mind of modern day translators and publishers so I use the word “If” above. Yet, I feel compelled to mention the possibility that such things exist given the nature of humankind. Let self-examination be a watch-word!
The numerous translations are divisive and distracting rather than unifying (John 17:20-21). Seems to me to be of Satan rather than of God. Why are there so many “modern” translations? Well, I lean toward money, and arrogance. By arrogance I refer to the l know better and can do it better than those of the past attitude.
Indeed, many translations seem unnecessary, introduce scriptural incompleteness, translation inconsistency, and reduce doctrinal clarity. Yet, none of them when considering all of scriptures contained in them seem to deny the preeminence of Jesus Christ concerning his being the Messiah through whom salvation must come.
Yet, removing words in one edition and removing additional words in latter editions, intentional or unintentional, can lead to a deceptive successive weakening or elimination of the text doctrinal soundness. One must always remember the biblical principle of a little leaven leavens the whole lump. This is one reason why supporting use of such inferior Bible translations is dangerous in the body of Christ.
Translation history is one reason bold faithful Holy Spirit led and empowered preachers and teachers (apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors, and teachers) are essential in every generation to ensure scriptural principles are properly communicated as humans confront generational challenges. Such faithful preachers and teachers hold to the foundation of the biblical apostles and prophets, Jesus being the chief apostle and prophet.
It is noteworthy that in the Bible there is no book written by Jesus himself with his own hands. Yet, he has done so through others. Also, he confirms the value of the written word when he refers to it in Matthew 4 when confronted by Satan, the Devil. In Exodus 31:18 God did write the ten commandments on the first set of tablets with the “finger of God”; so since Jesus is God and the Word of God made flesh (John 1:1-3, 14) one might say that Jesus write the ten commandment on the first set of tablets. But Exodus 32:19 says Moses became angry and broke those tablets when he found the Israelites worshipping the golden calf. But what about when the ten commandments was written the second time upon the second set of tablets? Well in Exodus 34:1-2 God told Moses to make two tablets of stone and come up to him and God would write on the second tablets what God had written on the first set of tablets. But then in Exodus 34:27-28 God told Moses to write the ten commandments the second time upon the second set of tablets; Exodus 34:28 says “And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.” Here it seems that the pronoun he refers to Moses based on Exodus 34:27. But then in Deuteronomy 10:1-4 where this account of the writing of the ten commandments the second time is partially retold, the KJV uses pronouns I and he seemingly in a manner that contradicts Exodus 34:27-28. But notice three important points for clarity: (1) Deuteronomy 34 nor Deuteronomy 10 mention the “finger of God” as Exodus 31 does; (2) in Exodus 34:27 where it says: ‘And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou’ there is an actual Hebrew word for thou present in the Hebrew text; but, (3) in Deuteronomy 10:1-4 there are no Hebrew words for the pronouns I and he present in the Hebrew text; the KJV translators interjected pronouns so as to make the text readable in English but did so inconsistently; this give rise to the principle that the original manuscript is inspired but translations are not inspired which is evidenced by the numerous translations that differ in major ways. Yet, although the KJV translators mistakenly made grammatical errors there is no doctrinal error here. The reason there is no doctrinal error is that Moses was a prophet and whether God wrote it with his finger or Moses wrote it with his finger it is still the Word of God and that it being the Word of God is what is important not whose finger wrote it. Even Matthew 15:5 and Mark illustrates his point. In Matthew 15:5 it says ‘For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother…’ but in Mark 7:10 in describing the same event Mark writes ‘For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother…’. Again, since Moses is prophet what he says is what God says.
Again, it is necessary that we accept all of the spiritual principles set forth in our Bible as God’s transgenerational truth less all of the Bible become suspect as to its authenticity.
In the preface to the 1611 KJV section entitled “A SATISFACTION TO OUR BRETHREN” the translators wrote the following: “…Therefore blessed be they, and most honoured be their name, that break the ice, and giveth onset upon that which helpeth forward to the saving of souls. Now what can be more available thereto, than to deliver God’s book unto God’s people in a tongue which they understand? … Yet for all that, as nothing is begun and perfected at the same time, and the later thoughts are thought to be the wiser: so, if we building upon their foundation that went before us, and being holpen by their labours, do endeavor to make that better which they left so good; no man, we are sure, hath cause to mislike us; they, we persuade ourselves, if they were alive, would thank us.”
Thus, the translators recognize the value of modern translations when necessary and essential. Although translations should not be driven by cultural or generational desires in matters of doctrine, translations should recognize the existence of cultural matters when the span of the biblical text clearly identifies such as a cultural and/or generational matter.
Therefore, acceptance of revisions to the 1611 KJV is essential to maximize understanding of the scriptures provided such revisions do not alter the essential principles and doctrines set forth in the 1611 KJV. This is because although the Word of God does not change from generation to generation, the languages used by humans do change from generation to generation. Words used and commonly understood by previous generations fall out of use and common understanding by future generations as new words and language constructs become more commonly used and passed on. For example, consider the familiar John 3:16:
In the 1st Edition of the 1611 KJV John 3:16 is written as follows:
“For God so loued the world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne: that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life.”
So we see the words and spellings used in 1611 differ from modern American English. So then a translation that revises John 3:16 to use modern language without altering the principle and doctrine set forth in John 3:16 as recorded in the 1611 KJV is essential and proper. An example translation in the 1769 KJV is:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son: that whosoever believes in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
There is nothing inherently wrong with new translations of the scripture. However, to be acceptable, newer translations should be better than and at least as good as former translations. To be acceptable a newer translation certainly must not be worse than former translations. Newer translations must not change doctrinal truths present in former translations in an attempt to fit current culture, especially unrighteous secular behavior and desires. To do so means the former translations are not to be considered the Word of God. If that was the case, who is to say the newer translation is the Word of God. We must believe God at least preserves doctrinal truths across authentic translations even if he does not see fit to ensure accuracy in things like spelling, grammar, and punctuation, etc. Indeed, spelling, grammar, and punctuations and similar devices are of human doing and not central to God’s truth. God’s truth is truth independent of language constructs.
New translations should not introduce doctrinal confusion especially where there is uncertainty about a translation. Newer translation should keep the translation of the older translation in such cases; they may add a footnote addressing their concerns at the very most. For example, in the KJV in Colossians 4:15 we have “Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.” But in the NIV and some others the phrase “his house” is changed to “her house”. The latter claims that the word Nymphas should be Nympha and that the person is a female instead of a male. Still some other translations translate it as “their house”. Clearly, just like the word man is sometimes use to refer to both male and female, so is the word his. Moreover, since their is uncertainty in the minds of some, maintaining the word his would promote sufficient biblical unity in understanding and communication. There is absolutely no value in changing the word his; it is pure arrogance to do so.
I accept the use of all other translations so long as they are functionally consistent with the KJV of 1611 with respect to spiritual truths and sound doctrine as defined by God. I accept the utility of dynamically translating such words as thou and thy to their modern English equivalents in our conversations and writings.
Herein, references to the 1611 KJV include the 1769 language update. Note that the 1611 and 1769 KJVs seem to differ only in English language syntax not the words. For example, the two seem to differ only in the sense that the spelling of the word loued was changed to loved. This is not true of the New King James Version (NKJV) of recent times. The NKJV actually changes words.
For example, in Genesis 2:7 the KJV says “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.” In the NKJV it says “…and man became a living being”. We see the NKJV changed the word soul to being.
In the KJV Genesis 17:14 says “And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.” In the NKJV it says “…that person shall be cut off…”
In the KJV In Matthew 10:28 says “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” In the NKJV it says “but cannot kill the soul…both soul and body in hell.” So the NKJV keeps the word soul in the Matthew but not in Genesis.
The word soul clearly has a general meaning and a specific meaning. In a general sense it means being or person. So then language wise, using the word being or person instead of soul is technically proper in some contexts. However, in the KJV the word soul clearly distinguishes a specific and special part of man from other parts of him such as the visible part and the invisible part (Matthew 10:28). The word being or person does not make such a distinction.
The context of Genesis 2:7, Genesis 17:14, and Matthew 10:28 speaks of a special aspect of man as distinguished from his flesh or body. The question is why did the NKJV make that change and does that change add anything of value to the Church regarding wide spread acceptance of the Bible as the Word of God or does such unnecessary changes detract from such acceptance?
Another example translation difference is between the NIV and KJV in Romans 16:7. In the KJV it says Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
In the NIV it says Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among[a] the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.So we see that the NIV The [a] is a footnote indicator in the NIV. The footname says the word translated outstanding could alternatively be rendered esteemed by.
The NIV primary interpretation is problematic since some say that the word Junia is a female name although others say it is not necessarily so. For this dicussion let us assume the word Junia is a female name. The NIV in using the word outstanding in the main text chose to indicate that these two Jews were apostles. The KJV uses the phrase “of note”. Some interpret this phrase to say the apostles took special note of these persons rather than saying they were apostles of whom other people took note. The interpretation that the apostles took note of them would be consistent with the rest of scripture. The interpretation that they were apostles of whom others took note would be inconsistent with the rest of scripture especially the biblical principle of male headship. The NIV does include the KJV translation in the NIV footnotes.
Another example translation difference is between the NIV and KJV in Psalm 68:11. In the KJV it says “(11) The LORD gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.”
In the NIV 1978 and 1984 version it reads the same as the KJV. But in the 2011 version this verse is changed to the following:
“(11)The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng:”
Notice the persons who publish/proclaim is changed from a “great company” to “the women”. Now this change moves the text from the general to the specific. The phrase “great company” could mean either male or female or both. But the phrase “the women” restricts this verse to talking only about women. More importantly, it makes an explicit doctrinal implication. For if this verse says that women published/proclaimed (preached) the word of the Lord the implication is that the scripture validates women preaching of the word of God. But even if that is true one could not draw that conclusion from this KJV version alone.
One should ask how could the NIV translators go from “great company” in 1984 and then to “the women” in 2011? Did they use a different source Hebrew text? Or was there an intentional changing of scripture by one or all translators to promote a “modern” view of what biblical doctrine should be?
Another example translation difference is between the NIV and KJV in Matthew 6:14-15. In the KJV it says “(14)For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: (15)But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
In the NIV it says “(14)For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (15)But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
The scope of the sin addressed in the KJV is seemingly larger than that of the NIV. The NIV seems to limit the forgiveness of sin to one who has wronged you. But what about those sins in which one has wronged another such as a family member. The KJV clearly includes not only sin against you but other sins as well. Verse 15 of the NIV seems to enlarge the scope except when one views it as delimited by verse 14. Of course there are other scriptures that address sins against others as well. Perhaps these are mentioned in the NIV. Nevertheless, the KJV is a broader translation than that of the NIV in this instance.
Other examaples of translation differences occur because some translators differ in methods and goals. Some aim to do a word for word mapping. Others goal is to paraphrase or interpret the text and to use words and phrases familiar to contemporay readers.
For example consider Genesis 29:30:
In the KJV it says “And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.”
In the NIV depending on which version (1984, 2011, etc.) you have you will find the following translations for this verse:
1. “Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. He served Laban for another seven years.” – National Baptist Convention USA, Sunday School Publishing Board, Faith Pathway Bible Studies for Adults, Winter Quarter 2015, January 3, 2016 Lesson
2. “Jacob lay with Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.” – http://www.biblestudytools.com
3. “Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.” – https://www.biblegateway.com
In the King James Version the phrase “And he went in” is a translation of a single Hebrew word meaning to go in. The KJV translators understood the context to refer to Jacob going in to Rachel. However, since the Hebrew word for Jacob is not explicitly included in verse 30 as it is explicitly included in verse 28, the KJV translators used the pronoun he to refer back to Jacob for readability and flow purposes. However, the NIV translators chose to insert the word Jacob into the text instead of the pronoun. Both record the same truth.
The NIV was first published in full in 1978, revised in 1984, and 2011. So we see how the wording has changed over 33 years in the NIV even though there is consistency in the use of the word Jacob in the NIV in this vese over time. The primary change is in the preference for which phrase is better in referring to Jacob getting together with and having sex with Rachael as he did with Leah.
We should note that it is not believed that we have any of the original manuscripts available that are the one actually written by the original writers. All of the ancient manuscripts available to us are believed to be copies of the actual originals. For simplicity we refer herein to these copies as originals in contrast to translations.
There are differences in both the Old and New Testaments in various translations. But for simplicity we herein will focus on aspects of the New Testament.
At various times in history, we have found various collections of ancient manuscripts we use to form our Bible(s). These are named using a variety of factors. Example names include the Byzantine Text, the Alexandrian Text; but there are other names used. A study of the classification of these Texts is beyond the scope of this writing.
Bible translations usually choose one of the Texts as its source. Yet, some translations use a combination of sources. It is said that the KJV uses the Byzantine Text exclusively. It is also said the NIV and NASB use the Alexandrian Text exclusively. It is further said the English Standard Version (ESV) uses a combination of Texts. In any case, the difference between New Testament translations seems to be rooted in whether a translation uses the Byzantine Text or the Alexandrian Text or other Texts or a combination of Texts, and the degree to which such usage occurs.
In general, it is said the Byzantine Text contains more verses and phrases than the Alexandrian Text. This results in some claiming the Byzantine Text adds text and others claiming the Alexandrian Text omits text. The seemingly more completeness of the Authorized King James Version is one major reason for using it as the baseline English standard.
A guiding principle should be that it is better for the body of Christ to include rather than leave out in a translation doctrinally sound phrases and verses found in historic manuscripts. This is especially true since our dating of manuscripts is not necessarily certain. Therefore, our declaration of which is the oldest is not certain. It is better to error on the side of inclusion rather than exclusion unless we can show with certainty that which is explicitly included in a historical Text is not doctrinally sound. Just because someone has or may misinterpret a scripture improperly does not mean the scripture is doctrinally unsound; that merely means the interpretation by that person is doctrinally unsound. Some translations promote the principle of inclusion over exclusion by including in brackets or in footnotes verses and phrases omitted from the body of their translation. For example, in the KJV Matthew 6:13 says “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” But the NASB put in brackets the phrase “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” as the translators say it was not in their source manuscripts. The NIV say the same thing but include it only as a footnote in the NIV..
Let us be mindful of the Holy Spirit teaching through Paul in Ephesians 4 where he says:
11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:…20But ye have not so learned Christ; 21If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: (Ephesians 4:11-21)
It has been said that the Bible defines words, concepts, and principles for us. The definition is determined not by one scripture but by a consideration of all scriptures. It is from this consideration of the Bible in totality that we arrive at a clear meaning of all contained terms, concepts, and principles as guided by the Holy Spirit (John 16:13). So then resources like Strong’s Concordance are not necessarily conclusively precise and complete although they are sometimes useful. But the Bible itself should be the final determinant not a dictionary or concordance or other resources such as the popular Strong’s Dictionary and Concordance of Hebrew and Greek terms.
For example, consider the following scriptures in the KJV:
Genesis 24:47 And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands.
Proverbs 11:22 As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.
Isa 3:18-24 In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, (19) The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, (20) The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, (21) The rings, and nose jewels, (22) The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, (23) The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails. (24) And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.
Ezekiel 16:12 And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.
And the same scriptures in the NKJV
Gen 24:47 Then I asked her, and said, “Whose daughter are you?’ And she said, “The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.” So I put the nose ring on her nose and the bracelets on her wrists.
Proverbs 11:22 As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.
Isa 3:18-24 18 In that day the Lord will take away the finery:The jingling anklets, the scarves, and the crescents; 19 The pendants, the bracelets, and the veils; 20 The headdresses, the leg ornaments, and the headbands; The perfume boxes, the charms, 21 and the rings; The nose jewels, 22 the festal apparel, and the mantles; The outer garments, the purses, 23 and the mirrors; The fine linen, the turbans, and the robes. 24 And so it shall be: Instead of a sweet smell there will be a stench; Instead of a sash, a rope; Instead of well-set hair, baldness; Instead of a rich robe, a girding of sackcloth; And branding instead of beauty.
Ezekiel 16:12 And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head.
Now let’s analyze these scriptures.
First note that according to Strong’s concordance, the Hebrew word nezem (Strongs H5141) can mean nose ring, earring, or jewel.
In Genesis 24:47 The KJV indicates that the Abraham’s servant placed an earring on Rebekah’s face. Since the word earring is used, it suggests the earring was placed on her ear. The Hebrew word translated earring is the word nezem. In the KJV this word is translated either earring or jewel. It is translated earring 14 times but jewel 3 times (Proverbs 11:22, Isaiah 3:21, Ezekiel 16:12). Of the 14 times it is translated earring, only 3 of those times does the word ear occur in the verse. The rest of the time the particular body part is not explicitly mentioned in the translation.
In the KJV the Hebrew word aph (Strongs #H639) is translated face in Genesis 24:47 but it is translated nose in the NKJV in that same verse. It is the same Hebrew word translated nose in both the KJV and NKJV in Isaiah 3:21. So then it seems if aph in KJV Genesis 24:47 had been translated nose it would have been natural to translate nezem nose ring instead of earring in the KJV. Such a translation would have been consistent with the NKJV. On the other hand, both the KJV and the NKJV could have chosen to translate aph as face in Genesis 24:47 and Isaiah 3:21 and nezem as earring in Genesis 24:47.
Note that in Proverbs 11:22 if the word nezem translated jewel had been translated earring it would read “as an earring of gold in a swine’s snout”. A snout is a swine nose. So then translating it “as a nose ring of gold in a swine’s snout would have made sense. But the KJV translators chose the word jewel. A similar analysis can be made of Ezekiel 16:12.
So it seems that the same doctrinal conclusions can be drawn from both the KJV and the NKJV: (1) It is proper to wear earrings (2) It is proper to wear nose rings (3) The type of earring and nose rings worn at that time cannot be determined from the text. But it is unlikely that the servant of Genesis 24 put holes in Rebekah ear or nose when he gave her the jewelry. But then perhaps she already had holes in her ears and/or nose. (4) Since the same doctrinal conclusion can be drawn, what value does the change in the NKJV add to the church?
Some claim the KJV contains errors in translation. I have not done an exhaustive study of all of these claims. But from the study I have done, I have concluded that these claims are rooted in a matter of interpretation of scripture, a lack of consideration of the totality of the KJV scriptures, and/or a lack of recognition that words which mean one thing to us had a broader or narrower meaning in historical times. This improper consider also includes focus on insignificant differences that have no doctrinal implications.
The below references are included for information purposes. Their inclusion does not mean I agree with everything said or even the significance of everything that is said. But I think they provide further support for my recommendation that the KJV should be the standard for congregations. Again, all other translations should be measured against this standard and where there are discrepancies, the KJV should prevail unless it can be shown with absolute certainty the KJV is incorrect.
Noah Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828). This reference provides a record of the meaning of words relative close to the time period of the 1769 KJV translation. Webster even included references to the KJV in his dictionary. The Digital version links those references to the the KJV Bible. Consider the word nephew as used in 1 Timothy 5:4. The modern day common meaning of the word is child of a sister or brother. But it also had a common meaning of grandchild which is intuitively unobservable without special knowledge of the historical use of the word. Thus, 1 Timothy 5 is best viewed as considering descendants of as having primary major responsibility and descendants of one’s sibling as having major responsibility where one has no children living; this is the natural sense of family relationships/responsibility. Note that Strong’s Concordance seems to take the view that both Old Testament and New Testament words translated nephew has the meaning of grandchild. Strong’s Concordance was first published in 1890 which is after this Webster Dictionary. So Strong’s does not seem to be precise or complete in its definition of the word nephew which is why Strong’s is useful but not necessarily conclusive as is the case for all non-bible resources including this Webster dictionary. We must look to the Holy Spirit to guide us as I indicated earlier.
For my special notes on books outside the core 66 books such as the Apocrypha as well as differences between the Catholic and Protestant (Non-Catholic) Bibles click here.
For King James Version Translators Preface click KJV 1611 preface.
For a history of the King James Version Bible see King James Bible History
For a discussion on Bible Translation see The Bible Behind the Bible
For a discussion on more modern meanings of selective words in KJV see What Do Words in the King James Bible Mean Today
A discussion on claimed KJV errors is provided at ERRORS IN THE KING JAMES VERSION?.
For a discussion of differences in various Bibles as compared to the KJV see http://av1611.com/kjbp/charts.html and especially http://av1611.com/kjbp/charts/various.html.The latter compares the KJV to the NIV, New American Standard (Catholic Bible) and the New World Translation Bible (Jehovah Witness Bible).
Some other comparisons may be found at:
For considerations on interpreting the bible click here.
To God Be the Glory!