June 26, 2017
 

Comparisons of Bible Versions, VII

By Steve Youngblood, Pastor


John 9:4

  • KJV: "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day..."
  • NAS: "We must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day..."
  • NIV: "As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me."
  • NAB: "We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "We must work the works of him that sent me while it is day..."

It is amazing how one or two little letters can change the entire meaning of a statement. In John 9:4, Jesus is responding to the question of the disciples concerning the plight of a blind man. They wanted to know who was responsible for the man's blindness. Was it the sin of the blind man himself, or was it the result of prior sin in the lives of the parents? Jesus revealed in verse 3 that the blindness of the this man would redound to the glory of God through "the works of God." The question is, Who would effect this "work of God," whatever it might be?!

The careful student of the Word of God will easily see from a study of the context (9:3-5) that Jesus was once again revealing truth to his disciples, especially the reality that he was the light of the world. John 9:4 gives the emphatic assertion of Jesus that he was sent to do the will and work of his heavenly Father, and in this case that meant that the blind man would receive sight. Only omnipotence could open the eyes of the blind man, thus the disciples would not be able to participate in this "work of God," for they had no power to accomplish such a feat. Jesus emphatically stated, "I must work the works of him that sent me..." Notice that the modern versions have changed the word from the singular to the plural, as though the disciples had the power to interact with Christ in this unique transaction. Why is it that the new translations are repetitiously changing words that just happen to reflect on the uniqueness of the Lord Jesus? John 9:7 tells us that the eyes of the blind man were opened when he washed his face in the pool of Siloam. Were the disciples responsible in any way for the miraculous healing of this man? The answer is obvious: The Son of God -- without the assistance of any man -- opened the eyes of the blind man, and thereby accomplished the work of God.

These new translations make for interesting reading, do they not? Like a puzzle at times, these versions can leave readers scratching their heads, wondering how in the world to solve another enigmatic change in the text. The KJV rendering salvages the unique claims of Christ before his disciples to be the one who was prophesied of in Isaiah 42:6,7, where we read these words concerning the Messiah: "...and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house." The modern versions -- once again -- undermine the unique claim of Christ in John 9:4 concerning his omnipotence.

John 9:35

  • KJV: "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?"
  • NAS: "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"
  • NIV: "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"
  • NAB: "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "Are you putting faith in the Son of man?" (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

Truly Jesus is both the Son of God and Son of Man, but pray tell why do the modern versions change the question of Jesus to the blind man concerning his title of deity, i.e., the Son of God? Over and over again, the modern translations undermine the deity of Christ in subtle ways. These "innocent" alterations of the text may seem to be insignificant to some, but like the incessant flowing of the tide waters upon the beach, these "minor" differences eventually cause a great erosion of the whole counsel of God concerning the claims of Christ to his own deity. Any honest student would have to admit the the title "Son of God" emphasizes the deity of Christ, while the title "Son of Man" emphasizes his humanity. Both are obviously necessary to a proper theology of the Lord Jesus who was God in the flesh. However, the former title uniquely identifies Christ as possessing the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form. Thus, the question of Jesus to the blind man in John 9:35 was a preparation for calling the man to a true recognition of the one who had given him sight. When Jesus revealed that he was the Son of God, the once-blind man affirmed his belief in the Son of God, and worshipped him.

Edward F. Hills writes the following concerning this alteration, along with others: "Some of the scribes who copied some of the ancient manuscripts were heretics, probably Gnostics, who altered the texts that they were copying rather freely in order to tone down the teaching of the New Testament Scriptures concerning Christ's deity. One of the manuscripts in which this heretical tendency shows itself most strongly is Codex Aleph, the famous manuscript which Tischendorf found on Mt. Sinai in 1859 and which is said to have been written in the latter part of the 4th century."

John 16:16

  • KJV: "A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father."
  • NAS: "A little while, and you will no longer behold Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me."
  • NIV: "In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me."
  • NAB: "A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "In a little while YOU will behold me no longer, and, again, in a little while YOU will see me." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

Six words are deleted from the modern versions, six words that reveal the "mission" of Christ to rise from the dead and ascend to heaven. Although the disciples failed to understand the meaning of Christ's words at this time, they later came to understand their import when they fellowshipped with the resurrected Christ, and then saw him ascend into heaven from the Mount of Olives. These words spoken by the Master to his men reveal his omniscience, for he knew all things that were to come to pass, including his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. The grave would not be able to hold him, for he must arise and return to his Father. Recall his words in his high priestly prayer: "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was" (John 17:5).

Say what one will, the omission of these six words tends to the undermining of the deity of Christ. The clipping of the text removes a portion of the spoken words of Christ to his men that revealed his utter conquest over the forces of evil. Wicked men might crucify him, but they could not keep him from rising from the dead and ascending back to his Father. Again, we see that the modern translations incessantly "erase" words from the text that support the unique claims of Christ to be the Son of God. They give us some of his words, but not all of his words.

Acts 2:30

  • KJV: "Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne."
  • NAS: "And so, because he was a prophet, and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS UPON HIS THRONE."
  • NIV: "But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne."
  • NAB: "But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "Therefore, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath that he would seat one from the fruitage of his loins upon his throne." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

As one compares this verse with the preceding one in John 16:16, it becomes obvious that the Greek text which the modern versions are based on is biased against the supernatural events in the life of Christ, such as his resurrection and ascension. If not, why do they repeatedly delete key words and phrases that undergird his Godhood?

In the present context, Peter was preaching to the Jews gathered in Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost. Speaking of David's knowledge of the promises of God that one of his descendants would rule and reign upon his throne, Peter spoke the nine words that are "included" in the KJV. The missing words in the new translations weaken the message of Peter by expunging the glorious truth that God would raise up Christ from the dead. Most conservatives are aware that unbelieving liberals deny the bodily resurrection of Christ, choosing to question that which they cannot bring themselves to believe. Living by sight rather than by faith, such men would find the newer translations to be much more in line with their way of thinking.

Modern-day believers find themselves in a bewildering dilemma, realizing that their modern-day version not only reads differently from the KJV, but also has an abbreviated text that seems and/or appears to subvert the Word of God in key places that deal with sound doctrine. The perplexity is compounded by the fact that these newer "bibles" do not exhaustively eradicate every word, phrase, or sentence that supports sound doctrine, but surreptitiously omit various key words without removing so many words that their secret infiltration and corruption of the text is revealed! If the believer shrugs his shoulders in doubt and uncertainty, and continues to use his abridged version since studying the issue seems bothersome, then the doctrine of verbal inspiration is sidestepped and the precious words of God are considered dispensable. What will the next generation believe about divine inspiration, or will they choose to completely give up such a "silly notion"?

Acts 8:37

  • KJV: "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."
  • NAS: ["And Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart, you may.' And he answered and said, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'"]
  • NIV: This verse is deleted from the text.
  • NAB: This verse is deleted from the text. (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: This verse is deleted from the text. (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

How about twenty-seven words being questioned as to their authenticity by the modern-day "bibles"? A passage that has been loved and quoted by the people of God throughout church history has been scorned by the "bibles" of a new generation. The NAS brackets the verse and states in a sidenote: "Many mss. do not contain this v." The Catholic "bible" (NAB) places the reference in brackets with an asterisk, but deletes the verse itself from the text. A footnote states: "The oldest and best manuscripts of Acts omit this verse, which is a Western text reading." The New World Translation retains the reference number with a slashmark following, but deletes the verse from the text. Amazingly, the New International Version gives the worst corruption of all, choosing to not only delete the verse from the text, but to delete the reference number, too. In other words, the reader of the NIV will not be able to find verse 37 in his version because there is no verse 37. A sidenote states that "some late manuscripts" include the verse.

Didn't someone tell us that the modern versions only updated the antiquated English of the KJV? And didn't someone tell us that no Bible doctrines were affected by the new translations? Funny, isn't it, that it appears someone may have blown smoke in our faces in hopes that the truth might not be discovered concerning the repetitious deletions, omissions, and erasures? Facts are stubborn things, as they say, and an honest investigation of the modern versions reveals the reality that the Greek texts which they are based on are corrupt.

It goes without saying that Acts 8:37 serves as an important reference for properly instructing inquirers who desire to follow Jesus "in spirit and in truth." The Ethiopian eunuch had listened intently to the message of Philip that was initiated by his own reading of a passage from Isaiah. When they came to a body of water, the eunuch wanted to know what would hinder him from being baptized at that moment. Acts 8:37 gives the answer of Philip to this inquiry: "If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest." True salvation involves the whole heart of a man surrendered to the Lordship of Christ. The eunuch responded to Philip with the following affirmation of his faith: "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." What a wonderful declaration of this man's belief in the deity of Christ. How sad that the present generation of believers who utilize the new "bibles" do not have this priceless avowal of faith that was spoken by the Ethiopian!

Romans 1:3

  • KJV: "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh."
  • NAS: "Concerning his Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh."
  • NIV: "Regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David."
  • NAB: "The gospel about his Son, descended from David according to the flesh." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "Concerning his Son, who sprang from the seed of David according to the flesh." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

Those who have read this far in these articles will not be surprised by this deletion in the text of the modern versions. The ones who should be surprised -- the readers of the new "bibles" -- are not startled because they are totally unaware that there are more words to be found in the KJV. Unless they do a comparison with the KJV, they will never even be aware that Romans 1:3 has been shortened in their "bible." Sad to say, but those who do make the discovery often consider the difference to be trivial and unimportant. Remember the old cliche that the proponents of the new versions love to quote? You can find the same teaching or truth elsewhere in the New Testament, so what's the big deal?

The KJV specifies who the Son is that Paul is speaking of at the beginning of his epistle to the Romans, i.e., Jesus Christ our Lord. On the other hand, the new "bibles" simply refer to him as "His Son." That is good, but it becomes evil when the next few words that enlarge upon His Son are wilfully excised from the text. You can almost hear those textual critics back in the 1880's singing: "With a clip, clip here; a clip, clip there; here a clip, there a clip, everywhere a clip, clip." Truly, such men should have trained to make a living as barbers, for they would have been unsurpassed in their expertise at cutting hair. The customers would have been able to truthfully say, "You know, my hair looks the way it always did. You can't even tell that my hair has been cut. That's the way I like it." For in the realm of Bible translations, the scholars have masterfully given to the world "bibles" that seem to be just like the old Bibles our forefathers used. However, the unnoticed deletions are frightening! It seems they inevitably line up with the translations of the Catholics and Jehovah's Witnesses.

Romans 1:16

  • KJV: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation..."
  • NAS: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation..."
  • NIV: "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation..."
  • NAB: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation..." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "For I am not ashamed of the good news; it is, in fact, God's power for salvation..."

The derogation of Christ's glory is seen in the monotonous deletions of his names and titles from the texts of the newer versions. The KJV specifies that the gospel that Paul was not ashamed of was the gospel of Christ. Do you wonder if Satan hates the name of Christ? Surely he must, just as we tend to despise the very names of notorious individuals such as Judas Iscariot and Hitler. What could be more pleasing to the devil than to have the names and titles of the Son of God repeatedly cancelled from the "bibles" of modern-day professors? It seems hard to believe that this "angel of light" could have done a better job than Westcott and his buddies did, and to cloak it in such a fashion that it would seemingly go unnoticed! Perhaps he was lurking or even strutting around the room when these Greek "scholars" of the past sat in session and chopped up the Word of God according to their own whims.

Romans 6:11

  • KJV: "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
  • NAS: "Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus."
  • NIV: "In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus."
  • NAB: "Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as being dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "Likewise also YOU: reckon yourselves to be dead indeed with reference to sin but living with reference to God by Christ Jesus."

Once a thief, always a thief! -- or so it seems with the liberals who carved up the Greek text over one hundred years ago in England. Like gnats that will not be satisfied unless they are buzzing and landing in the ears and eyes of someone who is outside, so these textual critics turn out to be quite pesky when it comes to undermining the uniqueness of the Lord Jesus Christ, never being satisfied unless they subtract a word or phrase from his glorious name. They have done it again in Romans 6:11, determining that the phrase "our Lord" was not necessary to compete the meaning of the apostle Paul. We are jealous for the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures, and thus we demand that we hold and read from a Bible that has all of the words that were originally inspired through the apostles and prophets.

Romans 11:6

  • KJV: "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work."
  • NAS: "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace."
  • NIV: "And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace."
  • NAB: "But if by grace, it is no longer because of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "Now if it is by undeserved kindness, it is no longer due to works; otherwise, the undeserved kindness no longer proves to be undeserved kindness." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

Eighteen words are missing from the modern "bibles." The deleted sentence that is found in the KJV expands on the first sentence of the verse, giving completion and fulness of thought to the truth that Paul was emphasizing, i.e., the election of grace. Grace and works are mutually exclusive in the matters of election and salvation. God does not choose certain persons to be saved because he foresaw their works, nor is an individual regenerated because of any good works prior to salvation. Good works are the fruit of salvation, but not their cause. The KJV rendering reinforces the truth that election is wholly of grace, apart from any works that men have done. The apostle Paul either wrote these missing words, or he did not. The liberal textual critics would have you believe that Paul did not write those words, based on the simple fact that a few corrupt manuscripts do not contain the words. Let us stay with the majority of Greek manuscripts that support the KJV rendering.

Romans 14:6

  • KJV: "He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth no the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth thanks."
  • NAS: "He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God."
  • NIV: "He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God."
  • NAB: "Whoever observes the day, observes it for the Lord. Also whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while whoever abstains, abstains for the Lord and gives thanks to God." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "He who observes the day observes it to Jehovah. Also, he who eats, eats to Jehovah, for he gives thanks to God; and he who does not eat does not eat to Jehovah, and yet gives thanks to God." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

Are we surprised to find fifteen more words inspired of the Holy Spirit missing from the modern "bibles"? Not at all. We have become quite used to this procedure of liberal textual critics. They continuously seek to abbreviate the text wherever they feel that they can do so with immunity. This generation of professing believers has become desensitized and benumbed to the catastrophic workings of ungodly men who wielded their heretical penknives to slash and cut and delete from the pages of God's Word. A cool indifference to verbal inspiration has overspread the skies of evangelicalism. Who would ever have thought that such an attitude would be executed by means of the Bibles that believers are purchasing, reading, and studying?! But, nonetheless, it is true. The modern versions flippantly denude the word of God of its total meaning by subtracting words and verses from the sacred text, and then requiring the readers to become textual critics themselves to determine what is -- or is not -- inspired. The result is that the Word of God is devalued in the eyes of those who sit in the pews. The Book that once was relied upon as a final authority has become anemic through the loss of words!

Romans 14:9

  • KJV: "For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living."
  • NAS: "For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living."
  • NIV: "For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living."
  • NAB: "For this is why Christ died and came to life, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living." (Note: The New American Bible is a popular Catholic translation)
  • NWT: "For to this end Christ died and came to life again, that he might be Lord over both the dead and the living." (Note: The New World Translation is the "bible" of the Jehovah's Witnesses)

Really now, does it matter if the KJV contains two words that are missing in the other translations? Is the main thought of the verse harmed by the omission of "and rose"? We just happen to believe that if the apostle Paul wrote those two words by the leading of the Holy Spirit, then they ought to be included in any faithful translation of God's Word. What do you think? Are we overreacting? Are we merely straining at a gnat? Do we have the liberty to pick and choose the words we think are relevant to the thought of the apostolic writers, and to include them in the text, while on the other hand taking the liberty to delete those words that are considered to be irrelevant? According to the Bible, every word of God is pure, and, therefore, should be preserved intact, just as it was initially given to the holy writers of old.