June 25, 2019

Comparisons of Bible Versions, VI

By Steve Youngblood, Pastor

John 3:13

  • KJV: "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven."
  • NAS: "And no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven, even the Son of Man."
  • NIV: "No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man."
  • NAB: "No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "Moreover, no man has ascended into heaven but he that descended from heaven, the Son of Man." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

Once again we see that the trite remarks of proponents of the modern versions that there are no doctrines affected by the new translations are simply indefensible. The four words deleted from the new versions, "which is in heaven," radically affect the doctrine of Christ's deity, especially as it relates to his omnipresence. Again we ask, why is it that the modern translations repeatedly delete words, phrases, and sentences that lead to the denigration and undermining of the fundamental doctrines of the Bible? Any professing believer who denies that there is any difference between the KJV and the others in John 3:13 is simply being intellectually dishonest. The KJV gives a faithful reproduction of what the majority of Greek manuscripts contain. What does the KJV rendering offer the believer that the other translations do not? The assertion of Christ was that the Son of man who was speaking to Nicodemus (on earth) was also fully aware of all that was transpiring in heaven by means of his omnipresence. In his humanity he was in the land of Canaan talking to a noted religious leader during the evening hours, but in his deity he was not confined to one place as mere mortals are. The same truth can be seen in John 1:47-51, where Jesus revealed to Nathaniel that he saw him under a fig tree. Listen to the words of Christ to Nathaniel: "Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee." Christ is fully God and fully man, thus he can be in heaven as well as on earth by means of his omnipresence. Is this beyond our understanding? Even so, let God be true and every man a liar. The modern translations make it easier for "modern man" to accept the teachings of the churches since their renderings of this verse do not defy the limits of human comprehension. Their deletions are more palatable to the intellects of liberals who question the claims of Christ to his own deity.

Because the book, The King James Only Controversy by James White, is being accepted by many in evangelical circles as a definitive rebuttal to those who seek to uphold the KJV as the best translation available today, and since the average Bible believer has usually never read a solid defense of the KJV by a reputable author, we will take the liberty to quote a lengthy portion from Dean John Burgon's book, The Revision Revised, concerning the authenticity of the last four words of John 3:13. We only do this since many have read and swallowed the fallacious logic of James White in his reasonings on such deletions as we find before us in this verse. Please study carefully the following defense given by Burgon:

At S.John 3:13, we are informed that the last clause of that famous verse is not found in "many ancient authorities." But why, in the name of common fairness, are we not also reminded that this is a circumstance of no Textual significancy whatever?

Why, above all, are we not assured that the precious clause in question is found in every manuscript in the world, except five of bad character?--is recognized by all the Syriac versions; as well as by the Coptic,--Ethiopic,--Georgian,--and Armenian?--is either quoted or insisted upon by Origen,--Hippolytus,--Athanasius,--Didymus,--Aphraates the Persian,--Basil the Great,--Epiphanius,--Nonnus,--ps.-Dionysius Alex.,--Eustathius;--by Chrysostom,--Theodoret,--and Cyril, each 4 times;--by Paulus, Bishop of Emesa (in a sermon on Christmas Day, A.D. 431);--by Theodorus Mops.,--Amphilochius,--Severus,--Theodorus Heracl.,--Basilius Cil.,--Cosmas,--John Damascene, in 3 places,--and 4 other ancient Greek writers;--besides Ambrose,--Novatian,--Hilary,--Lucifer,--Victorinus,--Jerome,--Cassian,--Vigilius,--Zeno,--Marius,--Maximus Taur.,--Capreolus,--Augustine, &c.:--is acknowledged by Lachmann, Tregelles, Tischendorf: in short, is quite above suspicion: what are we not told that? Those 10 Versions, those 38 Fathers, that host of Copies in the proportion of 995 to 5,--why, concerning all these is there not so much as a hint let fall that such a mass of counter-evidence exists?...Shame,--yes, shame on the learning which comes abroad only to perplex the weak, and to unsettle the doubting, and to mislead the blind!

Vain are the reasonings of men who seek to uphold various depraved texts of the past that were rejected by the true church until 1881, only to be resuscitated by unbelieving liberals and foisted upon the churches today as more reliable translations of God's Word in English. Such chicancery is nothing more than wilfull deception upon the masses who are ignorant of the truth concerning the Greek manuscripts that were used by our forefathers. Please realize, whether men like it or not, that all of our forefathers who were not affiliated with Rome read the last four words found in the KJV in John 3:13 when they read their respective translations in centuries goneby. What about you? What translation are you utilizing in your studies? What Bible are you relying upon in your Christian pilgrimage? If you are using one of the modern versions, then you are reading from a Bible that deletes the last four words of this verse, thereby lining up with the Roman Catholic version! May the Spirit of God cause that truth to bother you, and bother you deeply!

John 3:15

  • KJV: "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."
  • NAS: "that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life."
  • NIV: "that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life."
  • NAB: "so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "that everyone believing in him may have everlasting life." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

Those who seek to defend the modern translations when they are compared to the KJV are always having to ask themselves, "How am I going to defend this deletion? What arguments can I utilize to absolve this abbreviated text from the charge of theft by KJV adherents?" What a sad dilemma for one to find himself in as a professing believer -- seeking to defend a bible used by Protestants that lines right up with the Roman Catholic translation! Men like Martin Luther never had such a problem, since their translations were truly based on manuscripts that were "non-Roman." As hard as it may seem to believe, there was a day when a Bible translation was known to be either Protestant or Catholic. Not so today! Most pastors who receive the periodicals of the Bible Societies in America have noticed that they offer the modern translations with the imprimatur of Rome upon them, thus manifesting that Rome will allow her followers to read these "protestant" translations. And why not? They line up almost verbatim with the Roman Catholic translations. However, one will search in vain to find the Roman imprimatur on the KJV in these bible society magazines! Rome will never endorse the KJV since it is based on Greek manuscripts that Rome despises.

Three precious words are deleted from this verse in the modern translations: "should not perish." The repetitious argument that these words are found in a following verse does not hold water with those who truly believe in verbal inspiration. Consider the following: You go to the bank and ask the cashier to give you four $5 bills in exchange for a $20 bill. When she gives you the money, you notice that there are only three $5 bills. Would you be satisfied with the explanation that although one of the $5 bills was missing, you still had three other $5 bills that looked just like the one that was missing? The cashier would be telling you the truth. You would have three other pieces of paper that look just like the missing $5 bill. However, you would have been shortchanged! You would undoubtedly demand that the cashier give you the "missing" $5 bill, or else you would find another bank to do business with. Oh, that what holds true in the financial world, might hold true in the world of Bible translations. How we long for the day when professing Christians will demand a Bible that gives them the whole Word of God, and will reject as spurious those translations that repeatedly "erase" the precious words of God from the text.

As has been stated many times previously, it doesn't matter if the words "should not perish" are found elsewhere in the Gospel of John, the question is did John write those words in his gospel originally, or not?! If he did, then no man has the right to remove words from the text that were given by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit! Nonetheless, those who continue to put their hands over their ears concerning this issue, and continue to feel at ease in toting a translation that repetitiously abbreviates the Word of God, should realize that they have abandoned the beliefs and practices of our forefathers and Protestant ancestors for a mess of "Roman pottage."

John 6:47

  • KJV: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life."
  • NAS: "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life."
  • NIV: "I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life."
  • NAB: "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "Most truly I say to YOU, He that believes has everlasting life."

Two words -- composed of only four letters from the alphabet -- are missing from the modern translations. Those two little words are full of weighty importance, though, are they not? John 6 reveals Christ in a dispute with the Jews concerning his claim to have come down from heaven (verse 41). In the midst of responding to their incredulity, Jesus boldly declared, "He that believeth on me hath everlasting life." The newer translations simply have Christ asserting that belief grants eternal life -- without giving any explanation of what that belief was to be resting upon. The statement becomes somewhat perplexing. Did Jesus mean that if I believe that Santa Claus really exists, that I will have eternal life? Or was he granting eternal life to those who believe in Allah, the god of the Muslims? Some may say that we are being sarcastic, but the fact of the matter is that the statement of Christ (as revealed in the new translations) does not give a definitive statement as to who or what one's faith must be placed upon. A Muslim, Jew, or Buddhist could all read these modern translations and conclude that they were safe in their respective religions since they each "believe." However, the KJV rendering would make it plain to each of these religious professors that they did not have eternal life, since they do not believe on Christ for their salvation.

Are we not repeatedly told, almost to the point of monotony, that the newer translations do not undermine any Bible doctrine? And, yet, in this one verse the modern versions undermine the unique claim of Christ that belief in him was necessary for eternal life. The Jews in John 6 would not have been as upset with Jesus if he had said that eternal life was granted to those who believe -- for there were many things in Judaism that they believed -- but his assertion that they must believe on him for their eternal salvation caused great consternation. Who was he making himself out to be? His words smacked of blasphemy, as far as they were concerned.

Christian friend, if you are relying upon one of the newer translations as your guide to the truth, do you not see that your version continously deletes important words that end up reinforcing the beliefs of infidels? Do you not see the nefarious intentions of wicked men in clipping, deleting, and erasing words from your "bible"? Are you not jealous for the Lord of hosts who has spoken from heaven, revealing his will and purposes for your life by words that were given under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? Can you have peace of conscience by simply ignoring the glaring contradictions between the KJV and your translation, and continuing to walk in apathy when it comes to this issue? The devil hopes that you will continue to be indifferent, for he hates the Word of God. Rise up, and cast off the works of darkness. Use the Bible that has not been tampered with by the scissors of apostates.

John 6:69

  • KJV: "And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God."
  • NAS: "And we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God."
  • NIV: "We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
  • NAB: "We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "and we have believed and come to know that you are the Holy One of God." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

Instead of a deletion, the above comparison reveals that the newer translations have "jumped ship" by changing words. Many might feel that the change does not affect the affirmation of Peter that Jesus was unique among men, giving forth the words of eternal life. It might appear that the modern versions strongly imply the deity of Christ, even as the KJV asserts his deity, although utilizing other words. Modern textual critics aver that the KJV rendering was the work of scribes who sought to harmonize this verse with the statement of Peter found in Matthew 16:16. However, read closely the following words from Edward Hills in his book, The King James Version Defended, concerning this verse:

Internal evidence forbids us to adopt this critical conclusion. For if as Bible-believing Christians we regard Matt.16:16 and John 6:69 as actually spoken by Peter, then it is difficult to explain why on two similar occasions he would make two entirely different affirmations of his faith in Jesus, in one place confessing Him as the Christ, the Son of God and in the other as the Holy One of God. For in the other Gospels only the demons address Jesus as the Holy One of God. (Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34). And even if we should adopt a modernistic approach to John 6:69 and regard it as put in the mouth of Peter by the Gospel writer, still it would be difficult to receive Holy One of God as the true reading. For in John 20:31 the evangelist states that his purpose in writing his Gospel is that his readers may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Such being his intention, he surely would not have made Peter confess Jesus as the Holy One of God rather than as the Christ the Son of the living God.

John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote one or the other of the two affirmations given by Peter in the above translations, but he could not have written both! One is right, and one is wrong! Isn't it funny that the modern versions have Peter saying the same thing that the demons did when they were confronted by his presence? No, it isn't funny at all! It is diabolical! Can you continue to sing, "What a wonderful change in my version has been wrought since critics changed words to give me a clearer translation"? Let us do with these modern translations what our forefathers did with Vaticanus and Sinaiticus -- leave them on the bookshelves to collect dust!

John 7:8

  • KJV: "Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come."
  • NAS: "Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come."
  • NIV: "You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come."
  • NAB: "You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, because my time has not yet been fulfilled." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "YOU go up to the festival; I am not yet going up to this festival, because my due time has not yet fully come." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

The problem with the rendering of the NAS and NAB is seen when the bible reader discovers the following two verses later: "But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as it were, in secret." That is what the NAS states! Any detective working with Jesus in the context of John 7:8-10 would easily nail him with a falsehood, for Jesus forthrightly stated (in the NAS and NAB) that he was not going up to the feast, but then turned right around and went to the feast after his brothers had left. If the NAS rendering is accurate, then the following conclusion is inescapable: Jesus was a liar!

Those who use the NIV as their "bible" may sigh a breath of relief when it comes to this verse, since their translation includes the little word, "yet." However, the translators still included a sidenote for their readers to consider: "Some early manuscripts do not have yet." Since modern critics so revere the oldest manuscipts, pray tell why didn't the NIV translators delete the word "yet" from this verse? For the same reason that the Jehovah's Witnesses' bible chose to retain the word -- because the deletion causes Jesus to be a liar, no matter what defense some may try to offer contrariwise.

It is amazing what snares await those who use the modern translations. One has to become an artful dodger in order to uphold their reliability, just as James White seeks to do in his book when he tries to defend the NAS rendering. We pity such "defenders," for a rotten foundation makes it very difficult to maintain a sound structure. Those who may be interested in seeing a man have to stretch the truth (a little "White lie") to defend the lie of Jesus in the NAS are referred to White's book for his vindication.

John 7:53-8:11

One of the most beloved stories of the Bible -- concerning Christ and the woman caught in the act of adultery -- is questioned by the newer translations as to its authenticity. The NAS places this account in brackets and gives the following information in a sidenote: "John 7:53-8:11 is not found in most of the old mss." The NIV daringly blocks off the passage and places the following bracketed note right in the text itself: "The earliest and most reliable manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53-8:11." The Catholic NAB gives this footnote: "The story of the woman caught in adultery is a later insertion here, missing from all early Greek manuscripts." The NWT is the most brazen of all, completely deleting the passage from its text, and relegating it to the bottom of the page for those who may be interested in why 12 verses were omitted from the Gospel of John.

As this passage has been ably defended by men like Dean John Burgon, Edward F. Hills, Kevin James, and others, we will not seek to laboriously enter into the detailed arguments for the authenticity of John 7:53-8:11. Those who are interested may consult the writings of these men for a most adequate refutation of the practices of modern scholars who delete anything from their translations that are not found in a few corrupt manuscripts that they wholeheartedly reverence, primarily Vaticanus and Sinaiticus.

We would simply repeat what has been mentioned previously in these articles, namely, that the bracketing of verses and misleading sidenotes result in a weakened view of the authority of the Bible in the pew. How can believers base their lives on a translation that repeatedly causes them to act as textual critics because of the scholar's notes in the sidelines that question the authenticity of verses and entire passages? These versions have done more to undermine the doctrine of verbal inspiration in the eyes of the average "layman" than all of the writings of liberals in the past. It is not the books of the liberals that are destroying the faith of God's people in the veracity of the Scriptures, but, rather, the notes of the liberals in the "bibles" of today!

John 8:59

  • KJV: "Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by."
  • NAS: "Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple."
  • NIV: "At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds."
  • NAB: "So they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "Therefore they picked up stones to hurl [them] at him; but Jesus hid and went out of the temple." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

Ten words found in the KJV are deleted from the other translations. The omnipotence of Christ is demonstrated in his power to walk through the midst of his enemies unscathed, and leave according to his own timetable. Just as his neighbors in Nazareth who sought to throw him from the brow of a hill to his death were unsuccessful in their hateful rage (Luke 4:29,30), so here in this passage his opponents desired to stone him to death, but did not succeed. Why were the citizens of both Nazareth and Jerusalem unable to fulfill their purposes in the death of Jesus? Both passages tell us that Jesus walked through the midst of them and went on his way. Jesus was "God manifest in the flesh," and noone could take his life from him. The KJV manifests his omnipotence over the weak wills of puny men. The modern translations seem to give the appearance of a scared prophet who had to hide to save his own neck. Many men have been able to save their own lives by a quick flight, but how many men facing an overwhelming majority have been able to "divide the crowd" and walk right through the midst of them without experiencing any bodily harm?