Wednesday, February 21, 2018

What About The New King James Version?

  • General Points Of Consideration:
          -A fellow blogger who is King James only had sent me a link to an article doing a comparison between the King James Version and the New King James Version, listing various differences between the two in an effort to demonstrate this particular modern translation to be corrupt. Indeed, to accuse scholars (or anybody for that matter) of conspiring to corrupt the Word of God is a very serious charge, and so should never be taken lightly. It is therefore the scope of this paper to address the arguments that have been leveled against the New King James Version in the link provided above.
          -Throughout King James only literature, whether it be written by notorious proponents such as Gail Riplinger, Dr. Hovind, or Jack Chick, we see a commonly set forth proposition that has never been verified, namely that the King James Version (which one?) is the divinely inspired Word of God. These apologists for this movement never really seem to tell us why this particular translation should be treated as the standard by which all others be judged. But how can one build a house without a foundatiofn? This is a textbook example of circular reasoning. Why are we not allowed to judge the King James Version by older translations such as the Geneva Bible? No reason has been given. Thus, we see that the King James Only Movement is based primarily upon inherently fallacious reasoning. Each translation should be judged in accordance to the best available manuscript evidence. What is even more, is that the earliest Christian Fundamentalists were never King James only.
          -There are probably around twenty different Textus Receptus manuscripts, all of which also contain a number of different textual variants, in our hands today. Which ones are accurate? When the Textus Receptus manuscripts and the King James Version conflict with each other, why must we automatically assume the K.J.V. rendering to be correct? Why must we assume that the King James Version is right every time we come across an apparent discrepancy in modern translations? Why must we assume that modern translations add or delete verses of Scripture, instead of accusing the King James translators of adding or taking away from the pages of the Bible? What if I had decided to be N.I.V. or N.A.S.B. only? These are more questions which I believe illustrate the overall level of absurdity among the folks who proclaim all modern translations to be corrupt. Even if we could prove the New King James Version beyond a reasonable doubt to be a corrupt translation, that still does not prove that all translations are corrupt, or even that the King James Version is inerrant.
          -I personally do not have a problem with reading from the King James Version, or even with the people who prefer to read from it to the exclusion of other reputable translations, but they are crossing the boundaries of orthodoxy when they begin shunning brethren for disagreeing on this issue, wrongfully slandering scholars, or proclaiming to receive divine revelations from God (as do folks like Gail Riplinger). Thankfully, this is not at all the case with the blogger whose objections that I intend on answering today to the New King James Version. May God point us to His truth. Now, this is not to suggest that all other translations are accurate and thus reliable. There are certainly counterfeit versions, such as the New World Translation, Joseph Smith Translation, Clear Word Bible, Good News for Modern Man, and the Passion Translation. Of Course, discernment is needed when choosing to read from a specific Bible version. But the King James Version is not by any means the only reliable English translation for people to study.

  • Getting To The Critique Of The King James Onlyist Arguments:
          -"Gen 22:18 changes seed to descendants (see Galatians 3:16). This is a prophecy about Jesus through whom all nations shall be blessed, not about the nations being blessed through a bunch of Abraham's offspring."

            I do not really see the problem here, as the words seed and descendants can indeed be used synonymously. We are literally descendants of Abraham, and children of God, by faith (John 1:12; 8:31-47; Galatians 3:7; 3:29). In fact, it is through Abraham that all nations would be blessed (Genesis 12:3; 22:18; Galatians 3:8-9)--the Messiah would come to redeem the world from sin and death.

          -"Exo 16:28 changes ye to you. Was God angry at Moses or Israel"

             Well, the context plainly reveals that the "you" is referring to a collective, namely that of Israel disobeying God's laws and trying to gather manna of the Sabbath. So the King James only advocate is simply oresenting to us a false dilemma.

          -"Exodus 32:25 changes naked to unrestrained" 

             The Israelites were indeed "naked" in that Aaron had failed to prevent/protect them from going astray into idolatry. The usage of the word naked here is, however, pretty awkward. It seems archaic. Were the Jews literally naked, according to Exodus 32:25 in the King James Version? Unrestrained sounds much more appropriate, as they were out of control in that they were continually sinning against the Lord God Almighty.

          -"2 King 23:29 changes against to aid. Those are opposite meanings."

             Okay, both the King James Version and the New King James Version still clearly affirm that King Josiah was "killed" by Pharaoh Necho in battle--King Josiah did indeed "aid" the Egyptian leader in that his advance into battle got him killed (goal of Egypt, especially in war). So there is really no contradiction. Perhaps the word "aid" found in 2 Kings 23:29 as translated by the New King James Version can be somewhat ambiguous, but it is by no means an intentional corruption of the text. Other reputable translations use words such as "confront."

          -"Job 31:1 look upon--God doesn't Just Judge us on our Actions but on our thoughts too!" 

            This, too, is another false dilemma set forth by the King James only camp. There is no difference between "think upon a maid" and "look upon a young woman". Common sense tells us that lust originates from a sinful heart,which God will judge by definition. This particular charge, in my opinion, is ludicrous. See Matthew 5:27-30 in the New King James Version for additional proof of my claims.

         -"Pro 11:16 changes strong to ruthless (see Pro 13:22)"  

           The word ruthless is appropriate in this particular context, since the surrounding verses do contrast between godly ways of life and wicked ways of life. 

          -"Pro 16:1 preparations of the heart belong to man"

             So what? What exactly is the difference between "the preparations of the heart in man" and "the preparations of the heart belong to man"?

          -"Pro 16:6 Atonement is provided"

            There is really no difference between "by mercy and truth iniquity is purged" and "In mercy and truth Atonement is provided for iniquity". The message of the text remains the same, despite the slight differences in the translational renderings of the King James Version and the New King James Version. Why must we always concur with the archaic phraseology?

          -"Pro 16:10 divination"

            Well, let us see how a few other reputable translations render the text of Proverbs 16:10. The N.I.V. reads, 'The lips of a king speak as an oracle." The New American Standard Bible reads, "A divine decision is in the lips of the king." The New American Bible reads, "The king's lips are an oracle." The Everyday Bible reads, "The words of a king are like a message from God." Once again, there is only an imaginary corruption of the text of Scripture in the New King James Version. All these translations are conveying the same message in Proverbs 16:10, namely that society presumed the decisions executed by supreme judicial authority to be objective, proper, and correct.

          -"Pro 18:8 changes wounds to tasty trifles. So Gossiping is a good thing according to this translation?" 

               This verse from the Book of Proverbs is simply describing the negative nature of gossip. It simply analogizes the spoken words of a gossiper to delicious food. Many people tend to mentally absorb the news about another individual's state of general affairs, in the same manner that they would cling to a person giving away tasty deserts. Do King James only advocates actually take the time to read other Bible translations and logically analyze their own argumentation, or do they shallowly cherry pick random passages of Scripture in a desperate hurry and blindly trust in their leaders? 

          -"Pro 19:18 do not set your heart on his destruction" 

             What significant difference exists between "and let not thy soul spare for his crying" and "And do not set your heart on his destruction"?

          -"Pro 25:23 brings forth rain; Again opposite meaning"

             Indeed, there does seem to be a contradiction between the King James Version and the New King James Version on this point, but nothing is effected doctrinally here. Furthermore, reputable translations such as the N.I.V., Y.L.T., N.A.B., N.A.S.B., G.N.B., E.S.V., A.M.P., R.S.V., and several others agree completely with the N.K.J.V. on this translational rendering. Modern scholarship must have confirmed the King James rendering "The north wind driveth away rain" to be inaccurate. So it turns out after all that King James only apologists have unknowingly and unwittingly refuted their own postulate by pointing out this so-called corruption between the K.J.V. and the N.K.J.V. 

          -"Ecclesiastes 12:11 masters of assemblies changed to scholars" 

              What's the big deal with this textual change? How does it impact the reliability of the Bible, doctrinal articles of the Christian faith, and the meaning of the text itself? This allegation against the N.K.J.V. does not even make any sense.

          -"Isa 66:5 removes he shall appear"

               Why is this at all problematic? The reliability of the Bible is not in any way degraded. No doctrine of the Christian faith is negatively effected. In fact, the meaning of the verse is not even altered. Many other reputable translations besides the N.K.J.V. do the same with the curious phrase found in Isaiah 66:5 of the King James Version. It can be said safely that the New Testament documents alone are almost one hundred percent textually pure. Who's to say that the phrase was not added at some point later in time?

          -"Zechariah 9:17 changes his to its"

             Actually, the 'his' reference mentioned in this text appears to be somewhat obscure in nature. The N.A.B. translates "theirs." The N.A.S.B. says the same. But the N.I.V. says "his." The E.S.V. also agrees with the N.I.V. and the K.J.V. on this matter. So it turns out that Bible translators are not one hundred percent certain as to the correct rendering of the passage, that is, whether "it" or "his" is appropriate in Zechariah 9:17.  The reliability of Scripture is not damaged. No Christian doctrine is endangered by this slight translational difference. The meaning of the verse is not altered. And it is a proven fact that there is not a shred of evidence supporting the K.J.V. only notion of scholars having wicked motives to deceive the Christian church. 

          -"Joh 3:7 changes ye to you; Was it just Nicodemus who needed to be saved or all of us?"

               Does CONTEXT mean anything to those who affiliate themselves with the King James Only Movement? The context of the passage plainly reveals to us that Jesus Christ was specifically addressing the Pharisee named Nicodemus. In fact, John 3:16 emphatically states that our Lord Jesus Christ became incarnate so that He could offer Himself as a propitiatory sacrifice on our behalf for our sins. 

          -"Joh14:162615:2616:7, changes Comforter to Helper"

              What is the difference among the words comforter, helper, and advocate? Do they not all serve the same purpose?

          -Act 12:4 changes Easter to Passover; Passover just occurred are we to expect he was going to keep Peter in jail for a full year. Why would a Pagan King observe Passover? 

                On the contrary, Textus Receptus translates the phrase as Passover. No manuscript supports this reading. In fact, the KJV contains the accurate rendering of "Passover" in Matthew 26:2, and everywhere else. So why is it not translated correctly in Acts 12:4? This is a widely known error in the King James Version of the Bible. It seems that King James Version only advocates engage in a circular tautology here by claiming the English text to be correct by comparing it to itself, rather than to the Greek manuscripts. 

          -"Romans 4:25  raised because of our justification" 

               What is the difference between "was raised again for our justification" and "was raised because of our justification"? How is this incorrect? 

          -"13:2 changes damnation to judgment"

              Are not those who are under the judgement of God's wrath not on the route to spending eternity in damnation? Do not both translations convey the same message regarding unrighteous rebellion to God-ordained authorities?

          -"1 Corinthians 1:18 being saved 1:22 changes require to request"  

               Eternal life is more than just a present tense possession, but also is a hope that we long to experience (Titus 3:7). Some people are getting saved at this very moment, whereas others are perishing. There is nothing wrong with how the New King James Version translates 1 Corinthians 1:18. Also, the text of 1 Corinthians 1:22 simply means that true wisdom and power are found in ways that we would probably never expect to obtain them on a regular basis. The natural man would view the broken body and shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross as being absolutely powerless. The Jew looks for a sign and the Greek desires wisdom because the preaching of the gospel seems absurd in the highest degree to them.

          -"2 Corinthians 2:15 being saved..."  

               Okay, some people are getting saved by believing on Jesus Christ and His Glorious Gospel, whereas others are perishing for their rejection of God. This verse is not about Christian justification, but rather, is about sactification.

          -"...2:17 changes corrupt to peddling" 

                So the Apostle Paul did not corrupt the gospel message by using it for his own personal gain? Where is the "change" in this particular passage of Scripture? Why does every difference in wording in comparison to the King James Version have to be treated as a perversion of the text?

          -"10:5 changes imaginations to arguments"

              How does this change in wording make any difference? Are the italicized portions of verses, footnotes, page numbering, and the chapter and the verse divisions found in the King James Version divinely inspired, as well?

          -"Col 2:16 changes holyday to festival"

              Would not festivals qualify to be holidays? How are those different?

          -"1 Thess 5:22 every form of " 

              There is literally no difference in meaning here.

          -"1 Tim 6:20 replaces science with knowledge" 

               The Greek word for knowledge in 1 Timothy 6:20 is gnosis, which means that the Apostle Paul was probably exhorting Timothy to avoid Gnosticism. This system of empty speculation and false, supernatural mythology began developing in the first century in milder forms. In fact, it was perhaps the greatest foe of Christianity for the first few centuries after Christ's resurrection. Even if this were untrue, it nevertheless remains a fact that "false knowledge" is more faithful to the ancient Greek texts than "Science so falsely called".

          -"Heb 2:16 not give aid to; The Context of this passage makes it clear that it's talking about Jesus being made flesh, not that he's helping someone or something. Thus this passage of this version is in error."

              On the contrary, consider this excerpt from The King James Version Bible Commentary, p. 1678: 

               "16-18. The third reason suggested by the author regarding the necessity of Christ's suffering is that He might become an intercessory high priest for His brothers. He took...on him. This verb (Gr epilambanomai) in verse 16 generally means to lay hold of, but in many contexts it takes on the added idea of 'helping.' Most likely, therefore, the idea of verse 16 is that Christ has taken hold of Abraham's seed in order to help them, whereas He has not chosen to help angelic beings. The verse probably does not have reference to a nature taken and one not taken, but to a help provided and not provided (cf. Westcott, pp. 54-55)."    

          -"Hebrews 4:8 changes Jesus"

               No, rather, translators of modern Bible versions are simply being mindful of the fact that "Joshua" in Hebrew is equivalent to "Jesus" in Greek. These two names are not the same in the English language, however. Thus, unbiased scholars should allow the context to be the key factor of interpretation and translation. Hebrews 4:8 is obviously speaking of Joshua, and not the Lord Jesus Christ, since it refers back to the Old Testament when he had successfully led the Israelites to the Promised Land. All the reputable translations of our day, which includes the New King James Version, are correct on this matter.

         -"Jam 5:16 changes faults to trespasses"  

              This is a silly argument to use because faults and trespasses are used interchangeably. There is no mention of a priesthood in this context (or in the New Testament), either. 

         -"2 Joh 1:7 as coming in the flesh" 

              If the wording of one translation differs even slightly from what is found in the King James Version, then King James only Christians generally assume it to be corrupt, even when they cannot substantiate their reasoning. We have a circular argument. Of course, there is really no change in the text, as is alleged by the author of the article being critiqued here. The so-called perversion found in 2 John 1:7 is only imagined. It is read into the verse. The text is only telling us to continually proclaim Jesus as God incarnate in the face of doctrinal apostates. See also 1 John 4:1-4.

         -"2 Joh 1:10 nor greet him; This passage claims you sin when you say hi to someone you don't even know if they don't have the doctrine of Christ when they meet you."  

             For crying out loud, greeting is a perfect substitute for the archaic English phrase "bidding God speed." I highly doubt that most people in our culture today would even understand what that phrase meant if it were applied in a casual conversation. In either case, the Apostle John is telling his reading audience to not associate with and contribute to the success of false teachers. That is obviously what the context of the entire epistle is about. Never forget to throw common sense out the door.

         -"Revelation 13:16 on their right hand" 

            The verse in both translations means the same thing. So it is pointless to make an argument for the superiority of the King James Version from this text in Revelation.

          -"some of these bibles have occult symbol on them..."

              Ah, this symbol, known as the Triquetra, has been used by Christians for centuries as an expression of their belief in the Holy Trinity. To accuse this symbol of being pagan is to engage in a guilt by association fallacy. It also involves a genetic fallacy. It would also be like arguing that the Trinity doctrine itself is of pagan origin. The truth of the matter here is that pagans have historically used all sorts of symbols as ways of portraying their beliefs. The meaning of a symbol is based entirely upon the context in which it is used. Can anybody justify the wacky symbolism present on the cover of Gail Ripingler's book titled New Age Bible Versions, or the creepy stuff presented throughout her literature? Why is not the original 1611 King James Version criticized for all the artistic design and symbolism contained within its pages? 

          -"Heb 3:16...was it not all who came out...? The way they put this verse it implies everyone who came out of Egypt rebelled but we know Joshua and Caleb Wholly followed the Lord. Num 32:11-12"

               In short, the context reveals to us that the author is telling a Jewish Christian audience to remain faithful to the God who created them, lest they provoke Him to anger through sin which hardens the heart. This text is saying to remain faithful to the sovereign Lord. Hebrews 3:16 simply illustrates this point by using the Jews of the Exodus time period as an example. The Israelites began worshiping strange gods. The problem with the King James only argument above is that it takes the word all too literally. Of course, God is not going to punish the righteous with the wicked, as He is a just God (i.e. Genesis 18:22-33). God will reward all who trust in Him for salvation and deliverance, whereas He punishes all the unrepentant and unbelieving in the literal flames of hell. God rewards all who are righteous in His sight; God punishes all who are unrighteous in His sight. Again, let us not throw common sense out the door.  
  • For Further Reading:


  1. Just a note here, on an otherwise excellent examination and refutation of the KJVO nonsense: "Easter" in the KJV was not about a pagan holiday. In fact, Easter devolved into that. Easter is a Germanic word for "resurrection" which was in common use in 1611, which is why the KJV translators used it , mostly likely seeing Passover as a Jewish festival whereas the resurrection was celebrated by Christians.

  2. Thank you for pointing out my mistake in Act 7:5, it should be Act 7:45, I will go fix that now.