June 26, 2017
 

Comparisons of Bible Versions, XI

By Steve Youngblood, Pastor


1 John 5:7

  • KJV: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."
  • NAS: "And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth."
  • NIV: "For there are three that testify."
  • NAB: "So there are three that testify." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "For there are three witness bearers." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

The KJV rendering presents one of the greatest affirmations of the Trinity to be found anywhere in the pages of the Bible. Nonetheless, there is perhaps no verse that is more maligned by textual critics and certain cultists than 1 John 5:7, as set forth in the Authorized Version. This writer well remembers an encounter years ago with a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses who scoffed at the KJV translation of this verse. Understanding their doctrinal position on the Trinity, one can well realize why they would detest such a verse. In the same vein, there are numerous articles that have been written by evangelical scholars and pastors that advocate their belief that the KJV has erred by including the Johannine comma.

The honest student of the Bible realizes that there are some very significant differences between the KJV and the other versions listed above, and desires to know what evidence substantiates the KJV translation, if any. For those who are interested in pursuing the controversial inclusion of the Johannine comma in the KJV, the following defenses are recommended: The Corruption of the Word by Kevin James, pp.230-238; The King James Version Defended by Edward F. Hills, pp.209-213; Debate Over 1 John 5:7-8 by Michael Maynard.

1 John 5:13

  • KJV: "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."
  • NAS: "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life."
  • NIV: "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."
  • NAB: "I write these things to you so that you may know that you have eternal life, you who believe in the name of the Son of God." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "I write YOU these things that YOU may know that YOU have life everlasting, YOU who put YOUR faith in the name of the Son of God." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

The KJV contains thirteen more words than do the rest of the modern translations. This significant clause was deleted from the text because of the modern Greek text that is being used in translation work. Obviously, textual critics felt that this clause was repetitious, and therefore unnecessary. Are the words nonessential? Consider the commentary of John Gill on this clause:

"...which they had done already, and still did; the sense is, the above things were written to them concerning the son of God, that they might be encouraged to continue believing in him, as such; to hold fast the faith of him, and go on believing in him to the end; and that their faith in him might be increasd; for faith is imperfect, and is capable of increasing, and growing exceedingly; and nothing more tends unto, or is a more proper means of it, than the sacred writings, the reading and hearing them explained, and especially that part of them which respects the person, office, and grace of Christ."

Textual critics are treading on dangerous ground when they feel that they have the liberty to delete portions of God's Word from the sacred text, merely on the basis of a few corrupt manuscripts and their own subjective feelings concerning the authenticity of a certain reading.

1 John 5:18

  • KJV: "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not."
  • NAS: "We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him and the evil one does not touch him."
  • NIV: "We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him."
  • NAB: "We know that no one begotten by God sins; but the one begotten by God he protects, and the evil one cannot touch him." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "We know that every [person] that has been born from God does not practice sin, but the One born from God watches him, and the wicked one does not fasten his hold on him." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

Although the NIV and NAB do not capitalize the pronoun that appears to speak of Christ in their translation of this verse, the NAS and NWT do! How different is the rendering of the KJV, which sets forth the truth that the believer ("he that is begotten of God") responsibly watches over his own heart, seeking to live a life of purity and holiness. The modern versions change the focus from the individual believer to Christ himself, thereby referring to the Son of God as being "born of God." Yet our Lord is nowhere designated as such in the New Testament. The fact of the matter is this: Almost 1,000 manuscripts, the whole body of the versions, and every Father who quotes the verse support the KJV rendering. Less than five manuscripts support the modern translations in their distortion of this verse. Is there not an attack on the deity of Christ by speaking of him as being "born" of God? The well-known Nicene Creed very carefully speaks of Christ in the following manner: "And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, Begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God, Begotten, not made, Being of one substance with the Father..." The idea that Jesus was "born of God" fits nicely with the theology of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Revelation 1:8

  • KJV: "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."
  • NAS: "'I am Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.'"
  • NIV: "'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.'"
  • NAB: "'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.'" (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says Jehovah God, 'the One who is and who was and who is coming, the Almighty.'" (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

We encounter both a deletion and an addition in this verse. The modern versions delete the clause "the beginning and the ending," while adding the word "God" to the text. It is obvious why the Jehovah's Witnesses would want this verse to speak of Jehovah rather than Christ, for the simple reason that they do not believe in the deity of Christ. The KJV rendering makes Christ equal to the Father, referring to him as the "Alpha and Omega," an expression that speaks of the Father (see Isaiah 44:6;48:12;41:4). Nor do Jehovah's Witnesses speak of Christ as the "Almighty," choosing rather to refer to him as being mighty, but not almighty. Those who hold to verbal inspiration will not be willing to adopt the translation efforts of textual critics who freely delete and/or add to God's Word as they feel the liberty to do so.

Revelation 1:11

  • KJV: "Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book..."
  • NAS: "saying, 'Write in a book what you see..."
  • NIV: "which said: 'Write on a scroll what you see..."
  • NAB: "which said, 'Write on a scroll what you see..." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "saying: 'What you see write in a scroll..." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

Again, as in the previous discussion on Revelation 1:8, we see the deletion of a clause that supports the deity of Jesus Christ. We feel sorry for those who are in hearty agreement with their modern translations, especially when they discover to their own chagrin that their "bibles" line right up with the New World Translation, thereby undermining those passages in God's Word that assert Christ's deity. What will it take before evangelicals wake up to the fact that their "swords" are stabbing them in their own backs when they try to use them to defend the faith which was once delivered to the saints?! Whether they like it or not, modern translations greatly assist the cause of Catholics and Kingdom Hall devotees who seek to promulgate their aberrant doctrines all over the land. While the NAS and NIV repeatedly line up with the "bibles" of Catholics and Jehovah's Witnesses, the KJV alone stands true to the doctrines of our forefathers. Again, we ask, did John write the words found in the KJV, or did he not? If he did, then it is obvious that the modern translations are corrupt and unworthy of being used by serious Bible believers.

Revelation 2:15

  • KJV: "So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate."
  • NAS: "Thus you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans."
  • NIV: "Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans."
  • NAB: "Likewise, you also have some people who hold to the teaching of [the] Nicolaitans." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "So you, also, have those holding fast the teaching of the sect of Nicolaus likewise." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

As most Bible students are aware, many men of God believe that the error of the Nicolaitans was the promotion of a division between the people of God and their leadership, thus leading to the distinction of a clery and laity. Is it any wonder that liberal critics would want to delete God's hatred of the beliefs and practices of a spiritual hierarchy from God's Word? And the idea that God could hate anyone or anything is completely taboo in our evil generation. Even more, the concept of God expressing hatred is totally foreign to the average congregation of our day. That being the case, textual critics have obliged those who want to have their ears tickled by simply deleting this reference to God's hatred of the Nicolaitans. Modern men are delighted with the thought of an unconditional love from an unknown God, but they become livid when confronted with the belief that there is a God of wrath who hates sin. So what is modern man to do? Why, just go to the local Christian bookstore and purchase a "Good News For Modern Man" bible that deletes such a thought from this verse. Just as Jezebel removed Naboth from the scene, so modern bibles remove words and phrases that are objectionable to modern men!

Revelation 5:14

  • KJV: "And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever."
  • NAS: "And the four living creatures kept saying, 'Amen.' And the elders fell down and worshiped."
  • NIV: "The four living creatures said, 'Amen,' and the elders fell down and worshiped."
  • NAB: "The four living creatures answered, 'Amen,' and the elders fell down and worshiped." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "And the four living creatures went saying: 'Amen!' and the elders fell down and worshiped." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

By way of comparison, the reader will notice that some nine words are missing from the modern versions. The exact number of elders is deleted from the verse, and the eternal existence of the One being worshiped is removed as well. The two preceding verses of this same chapter reveal that the Lamb of God is the one who is being worshiped by all creation. Would the reader agree with us that by deleting the truth of Christ's self-existence, that he who is the Life is somewhat "shaved" of his glory as Samson was shaved of his hair? As we have repeatedly mentioned, how many bricks would have to be removed from your home before the structure would begin to crumble? How many words, phrases, and clauses have to be removed from our bibles before the uniqueness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is totally undermined? Better yet, how many words, phrases, and clauses have to be removed from our bibles before they line up almost word-for-word with the bibles of Rome? So often, the NIV appears to be nothing more than the NAB with a new title on the front cover! The Trojahn (Roman) horse has invaded the camp of sleeping Protestants who are totally oblivious to the corruptions of both the Greek and English texts of our day. May God open the eyes of his people!

Revelation 11:17

  • KJV: "Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come..."
  • NAS: "saying, 'We give Thee thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who art and who wast..."
  • NIV: "saying: 'We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was..."
  • NAB: "and said: 'We give thanks to you, Lord God almighty, who are and who were..." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "saying: 'We thank you, Jehovah God, the Almighty, the One who is and who was..." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

How strange the omission of Christ's future coming to rule and reign over the rebellious nations appears in the modern versions! Why would the emphasis be placed solely on his present and past existence by the twenty-four elders (11:16), while bypassing the obvious thought of his future intervention in the history of mankind? Is it not paradoxical that the newer translations leave the elders hanging in the air, seemingly ignorant of God's future providences in his own creation? Liberal textual critics seem to find their happiness in leaving Bible readers hanging in the air, just as they did when they questioned the last verses of the Gospel of Mark. Abbreviate the text, and leave the student of the Bible with an abrupt ending that fails to bring the account to a proper close. Such are the practices of unbelieving "scholars."

Revelation 16:5

  • KJV: "And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus."
  • NAS: "And I heard the angel of the waters saying, 'Righteous art Thou, who art and who wast, O Holy One, because Thou didst judge these things.'"
  • NIV: "Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: 'You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the Holy One, because you have so judged.'"
  • NAB: "Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: 'You are just, O Holy One, who are and who were, in passing this sentence.'" (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "And I heard the angel over the waters say: 'YOU, the One who is and who was, the loyal One, are righteous, because you have rendered these decisions.'" (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

As in the preceding verse, so here again we find the deletion of God's future exaltation above the rebellious nations, the modern translations choosing to omit the future aspect of God's sovereign work in space and time. Modern men do not like to contemplate the thought of future accountability to an Almighty God, so bit-by-bit they rewrite the sacred text to be more palatable to modern men.

Revelation 16:17

  • KJV: "...and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne..."
  • NAS: "...and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne..."
  • NIV: "...and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne..."
  • NAB: "...A loud voice came out of the temple from the throne..." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "...At this a loud voice issued out of the sanctuary from the throne..." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

The KJV specifies that the voice came out of the temple of heaven. These two words may seem insignificant to some, but to those who believe that every word of God is precious these words are indispensable to a proper understanding of the text. Those who rely upon the modern translations must make an inference that the voice is coming from heaven, but those who depend on the KJV can state unequivocally that the voice is a heavenly one.

Revelation 21:24

  • KJV: "And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it..."
  • NAS: "And the nations shall walk by its light..."
  • NIV: "The nations will walk by its light..."
  • NAB: "The nations will walk by its light..." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "And the nations will walk by means of its light..." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

The KJV aptly describes the nations that shall walk by the light of the Lamb as those "which are saved." These words that are missing from the modern translations give completion of thought in describing the people of God who love to worship and serve their glorious God. When all nations are brought to stand before the august presence of Almighty God, he will separate the sheep from the goats. Only the sheep will walk by the light of the Lamb of God. The goats will be cast into eternal hell to suffer the vengeance of God. We believe the KJV gives us the complete picture concerning the future glories of heaven.

Revelation 22:14

  • KJV: "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life..."
  • NAS: "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life..."
  • NIV: "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life..."
  • NAB: "Blessed are they who wash their robes so as to have the right to the tree of llife..." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "Happy are those who wash their robes, that the authority [to go] to the trees of life may be theirs..." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

To properly understand the duplicity of the NAS and NIV renderings, the reader needs to study the translations of the Catholic and Jehovah's Witnesses bibles. The two latter translations obviously reveal a bias towards an individual working to earn their salvation by "cleaning up their act," so to speak. Do men really have the power to wash their robes? Isaiah 61:10 tells us that clean robes are the gift of God: "...for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels." If men can clean their own robes (i.e., produce a self-righteousness that is pleasing to God) then there is no need for the grace of God. The NAB speaks of the "rights" of men, as though they can earn their salvation. Such a notion is a pipe-dream, devoid of any biblical knowledge, characterized by gross ignorance. White robes are the gift of God, a bestowment of the everlasting righteousness of Christ upon his people. We see that modern versions are in actuality nothing more than perversions of God's Word -- repeatedly!