The words of the LORD are pure
words, As silver tried in a furnace of earth,
Heaven and earth shall pass
away, But my words shall not pass away.
CHRISTIANS BELIEVE THAT GOD’S WORD IS THE TRUTH, divinely inspired and inerrant. Attempts to destroy it under the pretext of clarifying its meaning have accelerated over the past one hundred years. This paper documents an investigation into the domain of Bible scholarship which, having evaluated the evidence found therein and within the various Bible translations, has determined:
The Greek Textus Receptus, from which the Authorized King James Version was translated, is the true Word of God.The reader will find in these pages historical information concerning the translation of the KJV and modern versions, evidence which discredits the translators of the New Greek Text and the Revised Version of 1881 (ERV or RV), and Tables which compare selected Scriptures in the KJV, ERV (RV), NASB, NIV, and NKJV. The negative impact of numerous changes in modern translations upon Christian doctrine and also upon the Church will become apparent. This treatise will deal primarily with alterations to the New Testament.
The reader should take into consideration that not all editions and printings of each modern translation are the same. For this paper, the 1881 ERV, 1973 NASB, 1978 NIV, and the 1982 NKJV were used for the Tables of Comparison of Selected Scriptures. All other Bible references are from the Authorized King James Version.
I wish to give all praise and honor to my God, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost for giving me the privilege of serving Him in the high calling of the preservation of His Holy Word. My gratitude also must be expressed for the prayers, encouragement, suggestions and assistance of my family and friends in the preparation of this treatise.
For more than ten years I was a faithful reader of the New International Version, believing that it was the Word of God. In 1993, I read several books which documented the Greek and Hebrew texts, translators, translation techniques and theology of various Bible versions. As I read these books, I compared verses in different versions and found to my dismay that the NIV, NASB and NKJV and other modern translations omitted or changed key words, phrases and whole verses. In some instances, they relegated verses or passages to a foot or marginal note. It was also significant that the NIV, NASB and NKJV and other new versions often disagreed with each other. Individually, these changes might not have seemed to be cause for concern. However, taken collectively, it was apparent to me that the intent was to change essential doctrine. Tables of Comparison of Selected Scriptures included in this report show numerous changes which involve fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. There are many other doctrinal changes in the modern versions which are not listed in these tables.
Psalm 12:6,7 and other Scriptures declare that God will preserve His Word unto all generations. However Kenneth Barker, author of The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation, reasons that according to man’s ability, "No translation can be a perfect reproduction of the original." (1) It is true that the original Autographs are no longer in existence. Also, copies of the originals, which passed through the hands of many early saints, either perished from overuse or were destroyed during the persecutions. (2) How can we be assured that God’s Word has been preserved? Psalm 119:89,90 declares, "Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations." We may infer from these and other Scriptures that God has promised that He would preserve His Word, according to the heavenly pattern, during the process of translation from one language to another.
Which Bible? is a collection of Bible scholarship by the late David Otis Fuller, which chronicles the two streams of Bible transmission that have competed for preeminence throughout Church history.
"The first stream which carried the Received Text in Hebrew and Greek, began with the apostolic churches, and reappearing at intervals down the Christian Era among enlightened believers, was protected by the wisdom and scholarship of the pure church in her different phases: precious manuscripts were preserved by such as the church at Pella in Palestine where Christians fled, when in 70 A.D. the Romans destroyed Jerusalem;…These manuscripts have in agreement with them, by far the vast majority of copies of the original text. So vast is this majority that even the enemies of the Received Text admit that nineteen-twentieths of all Greek manuscripts are in this class…In the second century A.D., the second stream of manuscripts began its covert mission to replace the copies of the original manuscripts. Fifty years after John the Apostle died (circa 100 A.D.), Justin Martyr and his disciple Taitan began to introduce heretical doctrines into the Christian churches. Taitan's pupil, Clement of Alexandria, founded a school at Alexandria, Egypt, for the dissemination of Gnosticism. But it was Clement's pupil, Origen, who Fuller states, "did the most of all to create and give direction to the forces of apostasy down through the centuries." As a Gnostic philosopher, one having hidden or occult knowledge, Origen scorned the historical basis of Scripture, and maintained that: "The Scriptures are of little use to those who understand them as they are written." (4) Dr. Phillip Schaff observed, "His predilection for Plato (the pagan philosopher) led him into many grand and fascinating errors." (5) Origen had also studied under the heathen Ammonius Saccas, who was the founder of the occult school of philosophy called Neo-Platonism.
Origen produced a six-column Bible, the Hexapla, which he subtly permeated with Gnostic doctrine. Diocletian (302-312), the last in an unbroken line of pagan emperors, had furiously sought to destroy the Christian sect and pursued every copy of their Scriptures to destroy them also. Constantine succeeded him as Roman emperor and converted to Christianity in 312 A.D. Desiring to bring peace to the Roman Empire, Constantine looked for a Bible which would facilitate the amalgamation of pagan religion and Christianity. Dr. Fuller records his decision:
"Quite naturally he preferred the one edited by Eusebius and written by Origen, the outstanding intellectual figure that had combined Christianity with Gnosticism in his philosophy, even as Constantine himself was the political genius that was seeking to unite Christianity with pagan Rome . . . Eusebius in publishing the Bible ordered by Constantine, had incorporated the manuscripts of Origen . . . The Church of Rome built on the Eusebio-Origen type of Bible..." (6)Origen had been pronounced a "heretic" by a number of general synods in the early Church period. (7) The Church also recognized that the Alexandrian manuscripts produced by Origen had altered the Apostles’ doctrine and rejected them as heretical. (8) Early Christians chose not to use them and they were abandoned in Rome in 500 A.D. However, Fuller describes the powerful influence of Origen on the Roman Catholic religion during the Middle Ages:
"One of the greatest results of his life was that his teachings became the foundation of that system of education called Scholasticism, which guided the colleges of Latin Europe for nearly one thousand years during the Dark Ages. Origenism flooded the Catholic Church through Jerome. ‘I love . . . the name of Origen,’ says the most distinguished theologian of the Roman Catholic Church since 1850. (John Henry Newman)" (9)Which Bible? also chronicles the transmission of the Received Text throughout Europe and the parallel transmission of the corrupt Alexandrian manuscripts throughout the period known as the Dark Ages to the Renaissance, which immediately preceded the Protestant Reformation. Dr. Fuller identifies Erasmus as the pioneer of this epic period in Church history:
"The Revival of Learning produced that giant intellect and scholar, Erasmus. It is a common proverb that ‘Erasmus laid the egg and Luther hatched it.’ The streams of Grecian learning were again flowing into the European plains, and a man of caliber was needed to draw from their best and bestow it upon the needy nations of the West . . . Erasmus, during his mature years in the earlier part of the sixteenth century, was the intellectual giant of Europe . . . Europe was rocked from end to end by his books, which exposed the ignorance of the monks, the superstitions of the priesthood, the bigotry, and the childish and coarse religion of the day. He classified the Greek manuscripts and read the early Fathers . . . But his crowning work was the New Testament in Greek. At last after one thousand years, the New Testament was printed (1516 A.D.) in the original tongue. Astonished and confounded, the world, deluged by superstitions, coarse traditions, and monkeries, read the pure story of the Gospels." (10)Desiderius Erasmus divided all of the Greek manuscripts into two classes: those which agreed with the Received or Traditional Text and those which agreed with the corrupt Vaticanus manuscript. (11) He then presented the Reformation Christians a Greek New Testament based on the Received Text. Even the members of the later 19th century English Revision Committee would acknowledge the pedigree of the Greek Text issued by Erasmus:
"The manuscripts which Erasmus used, differ, for the most part, only in small and insignificant details from the bulk of the cursive manuscripts -- that is to say, the manuscripts which are written in running hand and not in capital or (as they are technically called) uncial letters. The general character of their text is the same. By this observation the pedigree of the Received Text is carried up beyond the individual manuscripts used by Erasmus to a great body of manuscripts of which the earliest are assigned to the ninth century’…This remarkable statement completes the pedigree of the Received Text. That pedigree stretches back to a remote antiquity. The first ancestor of the Received Text was, …at least contemporary with the oldest of our extant manuscripts, if not older than any one of them." (12)Erasmus restored the Textus Receptus to its previous exalted status in Western Europe and Luther translated the New Testament into German using Erasmus' second edition. From Erasmus' Greek Text also came many other translations, such as the Zurich (Swiss) Version (1529), LeFevre's (French) Bible (1534), the Olivetan (French) Bible (1535), Laurentius (Swedish) Bible (1541), the Christian (Danish) Bible (1550), Biestken's (Dutch) Bible (1558), de Reyna's (Spanish) Bible (1569), the Czech Version (1602) and Diodati's (Italian) Bible (1607). (13)
According to Dr. Fuller, "William Tyndale is the true hero of the English Reformation." (14) Tyndale studied Greek under Erasmus at Cambridge University from 1510-1514. Fluent in seven languages, he translated two-thirds of the Bible into English using the Textus Receptus. William Tyndale was determined to put the Scriptures into the hands of the common people and was eventually martyred for his labors.
By 1550, the Protestant Reformation was thoroughly established and two-thirds of Europe had withdrawn from the Roman Catholic Church. To counter the effects of the Reformation, Ignatius of Loyola founded the Jesuit order. These highly disciplined intellectuals would establish colleges and universities in Europe for the training of young men to regain control of European culture and to infiltrate Protestant seminaries. The Council of Trent, held from 1545 to 1563, was dominated by the Jesuits as the Pope's theologians. The Council's first anathemas were directed at Luther's propositions concerning the sole authority of the Scriptures as written in the original languages, since Catholic bibles were translated only in Latin. Dr. Fuller draws our attention to the primary importance of the translation of the Holy Bible: "This shows how fundamental to all reform, as well as to the great Reformation, is the determining power over Christian order and faith, of the disputed readings and the disputed books of the Bible." (15)
When the leadership of the Reformation passed from Germany to England, the Catholic Church recognized that it must regain England if the English-speaking world would be Catholic. The Jesuits produced an English New Testament in 1582 which in 1609, upon completion of the Old Testament based on the Alexandrian manuscripts of the type used by Constantine, became the Douay Rheims Bible. During this critical period, England would be assaulted by Rome not only from within by the Jesuit English New Testament in 1582, but also from without by the Spanish Armada which was allied with Rome. Determined to meet the challenge, in 1588, the English fleet defeated the Armada which positioned England to become a world sea power. On the spiritual front, the English clergy were alarmed that the Jesuit Bible was poisoning the people with Roman doctrines and one thousand ministers petitioned the English monarch, James VI, "that there might be a new translation of the Bible, without note or comment." (16)
The Authorized Version
From the 2nd through the 17th century, God's promise had been fulfilled as Scripture was preserved in the Greek Received Text (New Testament) and the Hebrew Masoretic Text (Old Testament), jointly titled the Textus Receptus or Received Text. D.A. Waite, author of Defending the King James Bible, documents the Textus Receptus, the text traditionally used as the basis for translation of the Bible into various languages, as being derived from the overwhelming majority of ancient Bible manuscripts which comprised the Traditional Text of the early Church. These 5,210 manuscripts (99% of extant or existing manuscripts) agree with each other, as opposed to only 45 (1% of extant) texts which form the basis of the Revised Version and other modern translations. (17)
The translation committee for an Authorized Version was composed of forty-seven scholars of the highest qualifications. No secrecy shrouded the work of the translators, who were accountable to one another and to the Church of England clergy and bishops. These learned men possessed all of the extant manuscripts which had been made available through the industry of Erasmus. Although there were counterfeit documents of the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus family among the authentic, these were rejected. Dr. Fuller notes that, not only did the translators possess profound erudition, they were men who "had gone through a period of great suffering for the Word of God . . . and were building upon a foundation well and truly laid by the martyrs of the previous century."
The method of translation used was "formal" or "verbal equivalence." Translations were meticulously made, word-for-word, by the translators. Zane Hodges, Professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, describes this as the "continuous transmission of the original text from the very first." (18) Testimony of God’s preservation of His pure Word can be seen in the continuous transmission of the Textus Receptus through the centuries into many languages and ultimately into the English Authorized King James Version, which was published sans copyright in 1611 A.D.
It is important to acknowledge that the Authorized Version of 1611 contained the Apocrypha in an appendix, as did the English Bibles which preceded it: Tyndale's Bible (1525 A.D.), Coverdale's Bible (1535 A.D.), Matthew's Bible (1537 A.D.), Taverner's Bible (1539 A.D.), the Great Bible, (1539 A.D.), the Geneva Bible (1560 A.D.) and the Bishop's Bible (1568 A.D.). Apocryphal books were omitted from the AV in 1629 and by 1827 the Apocrypha was excluded permanently.
Landmarks of English Bible: Manuscript Evidence, by Robert Sargent, provides additional information about the Apocrypha with the following explanation pertaining to its inclusion in the Reformation Bibles:
"Many of the early English versions contained the Apocrypha for two basic reasons - because of the general acceptance of the Apocrypha during the Dark Ages, and/or (in case of the Authorized, King James Version) for Scriptural analysis. In each case, the Apocrypha were delineated either in an appendix and/or with an explanation showing them to be non-canonical." (19)
The Oxford Movement
England vigilantly resisted the Jesuit strategy of persecution and infiltration of the Protestant Church until the 19th century when Cardinal Wiseman, an Englishman went to Rome to study under Cardinal Mai, editor of the Vatican Manuscript. Cardinal Wiseman would skillfully direct the Counter-Reformation, at first from Rome and later from within the United Kingdom. Dr. Samuel Gipp describes the remarkable success of this influential figure:
"Wiseman had a desire to see England return to the fold at Rome . . . While in Rome, he was visited by several Neo-Protestants. He was instrumental in 'weaning' these men back into subjection to the Pope… (One) visitor was Anglican Archbishop Trench, who returned to England to promote a revision of the Authorized Version and even joined the Revision Committee of 1871. Still another was John Henry Newman. Newman was the brilliant English churchman who was a leader of Oxford University and the English clergy." (20)In 1845, John Henry Newman left the Church of England and formally joined the Roman Catholic Church, following the steps of another Oxford professor named Ward, who had written a book teaching the worship of Mary and ‘mental reservation.’ Mental reservation is the act, condoned by the Roman Catholic Church, of lying to keep from revealing your ties to Rome… "Thus the author of Lead Kindly Light passed over to Rome, and within one year 150 clergyman and eminent laymen also had joined the Catholic Church." (21) Meanwhile, Dr. Gipp has recorded…
"In 1836, three years following Newman and Froude’s visit, (Cardinal Wiseman) had moved to Ireland to supervise the Oxford Movement through his paper the ‘Dublin Review.’ Wiseman was described as, ‘a textual critic of the first rank,’ and assisted by the information seemingly passed on to him from the Jesuits, he was able to finish the facts well calculated to combat confidence in the Protestant Bible." (22)Dr. Fuller has identified the ultimate triumph of the Oxford Movement, which in the aftermath weakened not only the doctrinal foundation of the Church of England, but also confidence in the Authorized Version of the Bible:
"By the year 1870, so powerful had become the influence of the Oxford Movement, that a theological bias in favor of Rome was affecting men in high authority. Many of the sacred institutions of Protestant England had been assailed and some of them had been completely changed. The attack on the Thirty-nine Articles by Tract 90, and the subversion of fundamental Protestant doctrines within the Church of England had been so bold and thorough, that an attempt to substitute a version which would theologically and legally discredit our common Protestant version would not be a surprise." (23)
In 1851, publisher Daniel Macmillan suggested to two Cambridge professors they take part in an interesting and comprehensive "New Testament Scheme" that is, to undertake a joint revision of the Greek New Testament. Privately and without authorization of the Church of England, Fenton John Anthony Hort and Brooke Foss Westcott, who later became an Anglican bishop, (24) proceeded to create, not a revision, but an altogether New Greek Text. (25) According to Dr. Hort, the intention of the revisers was to radically alter the Traditional or Majority Text. "Our object is to supply clergymen generally, schools, etc., with a portable Greek Text which shall not be disfigured with Byzantine corruptions." (26) The correction of "Byzantine corruptions" by Hort and Westcott was, in fact, the substitution of corrupt Alexandrian manuscripts for the Textus Receptus, the text that was used and accepted for nearly two millennia of church history and which agrees with the majority of manuscripts extant today.
Secular historians, and also the sons of Drs. Westcott and Hort, have documented the unorthodox doctrines and occult affiliations of these two clergymen during the thirty year period in which they edited the New Testament Greek Text and guided the English revision Committee. Excerpts from The Letters of B.F. Westcott and F.J.A. Hort present some of these extraordinary revelations which demonstrate the heretical bias of these men who served as Bible translators and/or revisers. Drs. Westcott and Hort were also pioneers of Spiritualist inquiry during The Nineteenth Century Occult Revival, having founded the Cambridge Ghost Society, which was the parent organization of the present day Society for Psychical Research.
The Westcott and Hort Theory
In 1853, Dr. Hort wrote, "He (Westcott) and I are going to edit a Greek text of the New Testament some two or three years hence, if possible. Lachmann and Tischendorf will supply rich materials, but not nearly enough; and we hope to do a good deal with Oriental versions." (27) Karl Lachmann (1793-1851) was professor of Classical and German Philology in Berlin, and also a German rationalist and textual critic who produced modern editions of the New Testament in Germany in 1842 and 1850. Lachmann began to apply to the New Testament Greek text the same rules that he had used in editing texts of the Greek classics, which had been radically altered over the years. Having also set up a series of several presuppositions and rules which he used for arriving at the original text of the Greek classics, he then began with these same presuppositions and rules to correct the New Testament which he assumed was hopelessly corrupted. (28) Lachmann’s theories laid the foundation for the German school of higher criticism which rejected the authenticity of the Gospels, particularly the miracles, and also the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith. The widespread acceptance of Lachmann’s work furnished the critical authority for Drs. Westcott and Hort in their formulation of a method of Textual Criticism, known as the Westcott and Hort Textual Theory. Drs. Westcott and Hort hypothesized that that the original New Testament text had survived in near perfect condition in two manuscripts other than the Received Greek Text and that the early church used these manuscripts to edit the Textus Receptus. The Westcott-Hort Theory, which maintains that the true text of Scripture was lost by the true Church for approximately 1600 years, has since been discredited for lack of historical evidence. (29)
Constantin Tischendorf (1815-74) was a German textual editor whom Dr. Frederick Scrivener of the English Revision Committee ranked "the first Bible Critic in Europe." Tischendorf traveled extensively in search of ancient documents and was responsible for finding the two manuscripts most relied upon in the Westcott-Hort Greek Text, the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus. Tischendorf discovered (c. A.D. 1844) the Vaticanus B manuscript in the Vatican Library and Sinaiticus Aleph in a waste basket in a Catholic convent at the base of Mt. Sinai. (30) Psalm 108:5 promises that God will preserve His Word "unto a thousand generations." For this reason, He would never allow it to be suppressed or withheld from His people as the Roman Catholic hierarchy did for 1400 years. It is reasonable to assume that God removed these manuscripts from circulation because they were not His Word.
Pursuing their self-serving revisionist hypothesis, Westcott and Hort used the Codex Vaticanus (B) and the Codex Sinaiticus (Aleph) manuscripts as the basis for their New Testament Greek Text, which in turn was the basis for the 1881 text adopted by the ERV revisers. (31) Dean John Burgon, who led the opposition to the English revision, described for his English readers the corrupt character of the manuscripts primarily used by Westcott and Hort, not to revise the Textus Receptus, but to create an altogether new Greek Text.
"It matters nothing that all four are discovered on careful scrutiny to differ essentially, not only from ninety-nine out of a hundred of the whole body of extant MSS, besides, but even from one another. This last circumstance, obviously fatal to their corporate pretensions, is unaccountably overlooked. And yet it admits of only one satisfactory explanation: viz. That in different degrees they all five exhibit a fabricated text. . .We venture to assure [the reader] without a particle of hesitation, that Aleph, B, D, are three of the most scandalously corrupt copies extant: -- exhibit the most shamefully mutilated texts which are anywhere to be met with: -- have become, by whatever process (for their history is wholly unknown), the depositories of the largest amount of fabricated readings, ancient blunders, and intentional perversions of Truth, -- which are discoverable in any known copies of the Word of God." (32)
In 1857, liberal churchmen petitioned the Government to revise the Authorized Version but were refused permission. A general distrust of revising the sacred text was prevalent and Archbishop Trench, later a member of the Revision Committee called the issue, "A question affecting . . . profoundly the whole moral and spiritual life of the English people . . . (with) vast and solemn issues depending on it." (33) At length, however, the Southern Convocation of the Church of England was appealed to and consented to a revision.
The Revision Committee, was divided from its beginning in 1871, the majority of two-thirds being those in favor of applying German methods of higher criticism to the revision process. The first chairman, Bishop Wilberforce resigned, calling the work a "miserable business" and protesting the presence of a Unitarian scholar who had been surreptitiously elected to the committee. (34) Dr. G. Vance Smith, who denied the Divinity of Christ, had nevertheless participated in a communion service at Westminster Abbey upon the invitation of Bishop Westcott just prior to the first committee meeting. In The Revision Revised, Dean John Burgon, the brilliant textual scholar and Anglican clergyman. reports that committee members were bound to a pledge of silence having received each a copy of the New Greek Textcreated by Westcott and Hort, which altered the Textus Receptus in 5,337 places,
"…a ‘confidential’ copy of their work having been already entrusted to every member of the New Testament Company of Revisionists to guide them in their labours, -- under pledge that they should neither show nor communicate its contents to any one else."(35)In 1881, the English Revision Committee cast upon the world a New Greek Text and an English Bible which, in the words of one reviser contained "between eight and nine changes in every five verses, and in about every ten verses, three of these were made for critical purposes." The English Revised Version is generally acknowledged to be the predecessor to the NIV, NASB and other modern translations.
The Nestle/Aland Greek New Testament
In 1898, Eberhard Nestle published the NESTLE GREEK NEW TESTAMENT, which underlies the modern versions. He followed the Hort and Westcott New Greek Text used for the English Revised Version and three other editions of the 1800’s. In 1950, Kurt Aland assumed ownership and the Nestle Text became the NESTLE/ALAND TEXT. The editing committee was comprised of Kurt Aland and Matthew Black, who were unbelievers, Roman Catholic Cardinal Carlo M. Martini and two apostates, Bruce Metzger and Alan Wikgren. (36) Again, the question arises concerning the qualifications of those who translate or edit God’s Word. History provides clear evidence that the divinely inspired Word of God was often altered by men who received their inspiration from a source other than God.
The Protestant Reformation of 1517 released many from the unscriptural teachings of Roman Catholicism. However, since that historic period, Catholic theologians have quietly moved into the revision committees in order to introduce their doctrines into Protestant Bibles. Gail Riplinger observes, "Since both the Catholic and "New" Protestant bibles are now based on the identical critical Greek texts (UBS/Nestles), which are based on the same 1% minority Greek Manuscripts (Vaticanus B), the Catholic doctrinal bend in the NIV and NASB and other ‘New’ bibles is substantial." (37)Bible prophecy indicates that the Counter-Reformation strategy of the Catholic Church will succeed at the end of the Church Age and that many will fall away from the true faith into a unified world religious system which is led by Rome. (II Thessalonians 2:3; Revelation 17:9) (38)
The New American Standard Bible
The Preface to the New American Standard Bible, published in 1963, states that, "In most instances the 23rd edition of the Nestle Greek New Testament was followed." Dr. Frank Logsdon, former pastor of Moody Memorial Church, along with Dewey Lockman (The Lockman Foundation), laid the groundwork for this modern version. After its publication, questions by friends caused Dr. Logsdon to examine the translation closely. The following is his renunciation of every attachment to the NASB. This renunciation takes on added meaning since the NIV and NASB used the Nestle/Aland Text in the revision process and many changes are common to both.
"I must under God renounce every attachment to the New American Standard Version. I’m afraid I’m in trouble with the Lord…We laid the groundwork; I wrote the format; I helped interview some of the translators; I sat with the translator; I wrote the preface…I’m in trouble; I can’t refute these arguments; it’s wrong, terribly wrong; it’s frighteningly wrong and what am I going to do about it…"When questions began to reach me at first I was quite offended…I used to laugh with others…However, in attempting to answer, I began to sense that something was not quite right in the New American Standard Version. I can no longer ignore these criticisms I am hearing and I can’t refute them . . . the deletions are absolutely frightening . . . there are so many . . . Are we so naïve that we do not suspect Satanic deception in all of this?
THE NIV STORY, by Burton Goddard, describes the eclectic method used by the NIV joint committee for this contemporary translation. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines "eclectic" as: "to select, to pick out, to choose -- 1. selecting from various systems, doctrines or sources; 2. composed of material gathered from various sources or systems." According to Goddard, the members of the committee chose not to confine themselves to one printed text of ancient or modern writings, but to privately determine, based on their evidence, what readings are true or genuine. In addition to its primary selections, the NIV committee decided to include alternative readings in footnote form to acquaint the reader with other interpretations. And in some extended portions of Scripture, liberty was taken to introduce verses not well-attested by manuscript evidence. (40)
Although NIV apologists claim that the eclectic method was used in translation, editors of this version have shown in their other writings a preference for the Westcott and Hort Aleph and B manuscripts. (41) In NIV passages that do not involve fundamental doctrinal issues, the editors used Majority Text readings. This was necessary in order to comply with copyright regulations, which require that new versions contain a larger portion of the Traditional Text in order to be classified as "Bibles." However, in selected verses containing essential doctrine, "They used random minority text type readings when an opportunity arose to present New Age philosophy or demote God or Christ." (42)
It seems that the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION was translated without much theological restraint in order to convey the private interpretations of men and to appeal to, or not offend, a variety of religious sects. According to one NIV editor, I John 5:7 is "the strongest statement in the KJV on the Trinity." (43) Yet its omission from this new version reflects its prior omission from the New Greek Text, by F.J.A. Hort’s design. (44) This revision, along with many others of doctrinal importance, probably accounts for the broad application of the Westcott-Hort New Greek Text. Few Christians realize that the NEW WORLD TRANSLATION of the Jehovah’s Witness Cult is based upon this same corrupted text which underlies the NIV and all other modern translations. (45)
Other findings provide convincing evidence that the hidden agenda of the NIV is to alter Bible doctrine. The NIV has 64,098 or 10% fewer words than the King James Version. (46) Careful comparison of Scripture verses, such as those found in the Tables, reveals that these omissions are not random, but selective. Most incredible was the appointment of a homosexual, Dr. Marten Woudstra, as Chairman of the Old Testament Committee of the NIV Committee on Bible Translation, (47) and the retainer as a consultant of a lesbian and feminist, Dr. Virginia Mollenkott. (48)
The New King James Version
The method and manuscripts used in translation preclude the authenticity of this modern version. D.A. Waite believes that, "the New King James Version is probably the most dangerous of the new versions on the present market because it is the foot in the door and the camel’s nose in the tent to lead eventually to even more dynamic equivalency." "Dynamic equivalency" (49) is interpretation to convey contemporary meaning in contrast to "verbal equivalency" which is direct, non-culturally biased, word-for-word translation. The flexible dynamic equivalency method gives ample opportunity to translators for personal interpretation, a practice which Scripture does not allow. (II Peter 1:20) The word ‘dynamic’ means "opposed to static," "tending toward change" and by definition indicates a departure from the original intent.
The Preface of the NEW KING JAMES VERSION claims that this modern translation "follows the Authorized Version in maintaining a literal approach to translation, except where the idiom of the original language cannot be translated directly into our tongue." (50) However, in addition to the Hebrew Masoretic Text, the NKJV used the corrupt Septuagint authored by Origen, the Latin Vulgate and the esoteric Dead Sea Scrolls in translating the Old Testament. Consulting these late, heretical manuscripts violates the biblical doctrine of preservation. (51) Variations taken from the cultic Alexandrian Egyptian text type found in the Nestles/UBS Critical New Testament Text are used and appear in verses where fundamental doctrine is altered by revision. For example, Acts 3:13, 26 refers to Jesus Christ as God’s "servant" instead of His "Son." Acts 17:29 changes the Trinity from "the Godhead" to "the Divine Nature."
Moneychangers in the Temple
Royalties received from each edition, rather than preservation of the text, seems to be an additional underlying motive in the creation of new translations and revised editions. Copyright law requires that all new translations and editions have a certain percentage of changes within the text. The Authorized King James Version of 1611 A.D. had no copyright. However, all modern translations of the Bible hold copyrights and publishers receive sizable profits from each new edition. From 1898 to 1979, there were twenty-six editions of the Nestle/Aland Greek Text alone. (52) Correspondingly, publishers have produced an average of two new versions of the English Bible each year since 1900.
"They see in the translations of the Bible a chance for millions upon millions of dollars for their publishing houses. This is what sells. How do you account for many of the 135 complete English Bibles and 293 complete English New Testaments (a total of 428 altogether) that have flooded the English speaking world from 1380 through 1991?" (53)
Bible revision is an insidious method of corrupting and destroying the Word of God. Casual reading or study of a new version does not reveal the cumulative effect of thousands of alterations to the Holy Scripture. The substantial differences between the King James Version and the new versions represent a change, or at least a weakening of the acceptance, of a minimum of nineteen (19) fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. Deuteronomy 8:3 states, "Man doth not live by bread only, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord."; 32:47 states, "it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life." Jeremiah 36 records the story of King Jehoiakim who dared to destroy the word of the Lord. God punished his defiance by removing him from the genealogy of Jesus Christ. (Matthew 1:11 records only Josias and Jechonias, the father and son of Jehoiakim.) Revelation 22:19,20 warns that the identical judgment will befall others who presume to change the Holy Writ:
"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
Jesus Christ said, "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life." (John 6:63) Removing or adding to Jesus’ words results in preaching "another gospel," which is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul implies that preaching another gospel leads people to receive "another Jesus" and "another spirit." (II Corinthians 11:4) I Peter 1:23,25 shows that there is a direct correlation between the preaching of the pure Word of God and spiritual regeneration: "Being born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, but by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever…and this is the word by which the gospel is preached unto you."
The prophet Amos spoke of a day in which there would be a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. (Amos 8:11) Today, man-centered messages and experiences have largely replaced the expository teaching of the Word of God. Often missing from the Gospel presentation are vital doctrines of the Christian faith, such as the cross, the blood atonement, genuine faith, repentance, sanctification and judgment. Many in the church are busy serving, like Martha, but few are hearing Jesus’ words, as Mary did. (Luke 10:38-42) Deprived of the Bread of Life, many who profess to be Christians have an outward form of godliness but, perhaps unknowingly, do not possess true spiritual life.
Today, a theological shift is occurring which can be observed as prominent evangelical leaders encourage unity with the Roman Catholic Church, maintaining that "doctrinal differences are minor" and we must "focus on the things which unite us." (54) However, II Thessalonians 2:3 foretells that, prior to the return of Jesus Christ, there will be a "falling away" from the true faith. Verse 11 reveals that those who do not have a love of the truth will believe "a lie." Revelation 17 describes the final apostasy -- a unified world religious system, the Great Harlot Church, which appears to be led by Rome. (v.9) Ecumenical bibles that have crept unawares into the evangelical Church are subtly preparing Christians for this world religion. In his timely book, No Place For Truth, professor of systematic theology, David Wells wisely discerns,
"The impotence of the evangelical Church does not stem from inadequate technique or diminished enthusiasm. Where enthusiasm has waned, the malaise is but a symptom of a far deeper and more troubling problem -- a problem that is not going to be solved by the church’s efforts at self-regeneration, however fine the religious language in which they are cloaked. What the Church now needs is not revival, but reformation." (55)
Throughout the Church Age, the Word of God has been preserved in the Textus Receptus, which is found today in the Authorized King James Version. The glory of our rich inheritance of truth in the Sacred Canon is slowly departing from the Church, and doctrinal confusion reigns. These things should not be so…"for God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints" (I Corinthians 14:33).
When the Jews at Berea were confronted with the Gospel, "they received the word with all readiness of mind and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Acts 17:11) They were commended by God for examining the Scriptures themselves in order to "prove all things." (I Thessalonians 5:21) Like the noble Bereans, those who desire to know the truth today will study the Scriptures to determine which Bible faithfully preserves the doctrines of the Christian faith. The reader is invited to apply the Berean method to the various translations of the Bible by examining the evidence which is presented in the Tables of Comparison of Selected Scriptures. The comparison of key verses in the King James and the modern versions will prove which Bible version is the true Word of God.
The Life and Letters of
Brook Foss Westcott & Fenton John Anthony Hort
One of the early pioneers of modern Spiritualist inquiry was the Ghost Society at the University of Cambridge, England. Alan Gauld has recorded in The Founders of Psychical Research the founding and objective of the Ghost Society:
The Society For Psychical Research directly succeeded the Cambridge Ghost Society. The Society for Psychical Research: An Outline of its History, written in 1948 by the president, W. H. Salter, provides the following record:
The following are excerpts from The Life And Letters Of Fenton John Anthony Hort, published by his son Arthur Hort. These statements are representative of his theological beliefs, personal attitudes, and occult affiliations during his commission with B.F. Westcott to edit the New Greek Text. Many of the letters were written to B.F. Westcott, whose affinity for Roman Catholicism can be seen in the excerpts from his biography, The Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott, written by his son, Arthur Westcott. The information revealed in these volumes renders both Hort and Westcott suspect as a qualified Bible translators.
The Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort
Cambridge: Graduate Life -- 1851
"In June (F.J.A. Hort) joined the mysterious Company of the Apostles . . . He was mainly responsible for the wording of an oath which binds members to a conspiracy of silence . . . Two other societies. . . were started . . . in both of which Hort seems to have been the moving spirit . . . the other called by its members ‘The Ghostly Guild.' The object was to collect and classify authenticated instances of what are now called ‘psychical phenomena’ . . . the 'Bogie Club' as scoffers called it, aroused a certain amount of derision, and even some alarm; it was apparently born too soon." 58.
July 6, 1848 -- to Mr. John Ellerton -- On Roman Catholicism
" . . . almost all Anglican statements are a mixture in various proportions of the true and the Romish view . . . the pure Romish view seems to me nearer, and more likely to lead to, the truth than the Evangelical." 59.
November 16, 1849 -- to the Rev. F. D. Maurice -- On Substitutionary Atonement
"Thus there is the question of Substituted Punishment, which, as it seems to me, is quite distinct from the Atonement and reconciliation of the person of sinning man and God. I can at most times thankfully contemplate the fact of God's forgiveness (in the strict sense of the word; that is, removal of estrangement from the offender, irrespective of the non-enforcement of penalties) and His delight in humanity as restored through its Head; but surely this has little to do with the principle that every offence must receive its just recompense. The Father may forgive the child, and yet cannot justly exempt him from the punishment of disobedience;
"O that Coleridge, while showing how the notion of a fictitious substituted righteousness, of a transferable stock of good actions, obscured the truth of man's restoration in the Man who perfectly acted out the idea of man, had expounded the truth (for such, I am sure, there must be) that underlies the corresponding heresy (as it appears to me) of a fictitious substituted penalty!...Nor, as far as I can recollect, have you anywhere written explicitly upon this point; even on the corresponding subject of vicarious righteousness, I know only of two pages...and they have not been able to make me feel assured that the language of imputation is strictly true, however sanctioned by St. Paul's example. The fact is, I do not see how God's justice can be satisfied without every man's suffering in his own person the full penalty for his sins." 60.
October 15, 1850 -- to B.F. Westcott -- On Evolution
" . . . I do not see why the inconceivableness of a beginning is any argument against any theory of development. The contrary theory is simply a harsh and contradictory attempt to conceive a beginning. That we are in doubt about the early history of organic life arises not from an impotence of conception, but from the mere fact that we were not there to see what, if it were taking place now, we certainly could see. The beginning of an individual is precisely as inconceivable as the beginning of a species...It certainly startles me to find you saying that you have seen no facts which support such as view as Darwin's...But it seems to me the most probable manner of development, and the reflexions suggested by his book drove me to the conclusion that some kind of development must be supposed." 61.
April 19, 1853 -- to Rev. John Ellerton -- On Bible Revision
"One result of our talk I may as well tell you. He (Westcott) and I are going to edit a Greek text of the New Testament some two or three years hence, if possible. Lachmann and Tischendorf will supply rich materials, but not nearly enough; and we hope to do a good deal with Oriental versions. Our object is to supply clergymen generally, schools, etc., with a portable Greek text which shall not be disfigured with Byzantine corruptions." 62.
October 21, 1858 -- to Rev. Dr. Rowland Williams -- On the Authority of Scripture
"Further I agree with them [authors of Essays and Reviews] in condemning many leading specific doctrines of the popular theology. . . The positive doctrines even of the Evangelicals seem to me perverted rather than untrue. There are, I fear still more serious differences between us on the subject of authority and especially the authority of the Bible . . . If this primary objection were removed, and I could feel our differences to be only of degree, I should still hesitate to take part in the proposed scheme. It is surely likely to bring on a crisis; and that I cannot think desirable on any account. The errors and prejudices, which we agree in wishing to remove, can surely be more wholesomely and also more effectually reached by individual efforts of an indirect kind than by combined open assault. At present very many orthodox but rational men are being unawares acted upon by influences which will assuredly bear good fruit in due time if is allowed to go on quietly; but I fear that a premature crisis would frighten back many into the merest traditionalism." 63.
April 3, 1860 -- to Rev. John Ellerton -- On Evolution
"But the book which has most engaged me is Darwin. Whatever may be thought of it, it is a book that one is proud to be contemporary with. I must work out and examine the argument more in detail, but at present my feeling is strong that the theory is unanswerable. If so, it opens up a new period in -- I know not what not." 64.
May 2, 1860 -- to B.F. Westcott -- On the Inerrancy of Scripture
"But I am not able to go as far as you in asserting the infallibility of a canonical writing. I may see a certain fitness and probability in such a view, but I cannot set up an a priori assumption against the (supposed) results of criticism." 65.
August 14, 1860 -- to B.F. Westcott -- On the Divinity of Man
"It is of course true that we can only know God through human forms, but then I think the whole Bible echoes the language of Genesis 1:27 and so assures us that human forms are divine forms." 66.
August 16, 1860 -- to B.F. Westcott -- On Substitutionary Atonement
"Perhaps we may be too hasty in assuming an absolute necessity of absolutely proportional suffering. I confess I have no repugnance to the primitive doctrine of a ransom paid to Satan though neither am I prepared to give full assent to it. But I can see no other possible form in which the doctrine of a ransom is at all tenable; anything is better than the notion of a ransom paid to the Father." 67.
October 15, 1860 -- to B.F. Westcott -- On Substitutionary Atonement
"I entirely agree--correcting one word--with what you there say on the Atonement, having for many years believed that 'the absolute union of the Christian (or rather, of man) with Christ Himself' is the spiritual truth of which the popular doctrine of substitution is an immoral and material counterfeit. But I doubt whether that answers the question as to the nature of the satisfaction. Certainly nothing can be more unscriptural than the modern limiting of Christ's bearing our sins and sufferings to His death; but indeed that is only one aspect of an almost universal heresy." 68.
April 12, 1861 -- to B.F. Westcott -- On Heresy
"Also -- but this may be cowardice -- I have sort of a craving our text should be cast upon the world before we deal with matters likely to brand us with suspicion. I mean a text issued by men already known for what will undoubtedly be treated as dangerous heresy, will have great difficulties in finding its way to regions which it might otherwise reach, and whence it would not be easily banished by subsequent alarms." 69.
December 4, 1861-- to B.F. Westcott -- On Greek Philosophy
"My chief impression is a strong feeling of incapacity to criticize, partly from want of knowledge, and still more from not having fully thought out cardinal questions, such as the relation of ‘philosophy’ and ‘faith’; e.g., you seem to me to make (Greek) philosophy worthless for those who have received the Christian revelation. To me, though in a hazy way, it seems full of precious truth of which I find nothing, and should be very much astonished and perplexed to find anything, in revelation…Without condemning anything you have said on the Stoics, I yet feel you have not done them justice. The spiritual need which supported, if it did not originate, their doctrine is, I think, profoundly interesting, above all in the present day." 70.
September 23, 1864 -- to B.F. Westcott -- On Protestantism
"… and I remember shocking you and Lightfoot not so very long ago by expressing a belief that Protestantism is only parenthetical and temporary. In short, the Irvingite [Catholic Apostolic] creed (minus the belief in the superior claims of the Irvingite communion) seems to me unassailable in things ecclesiastical." 71.
April 28, 1865 -- to B.F. Westcott -- On Democracy
"I dare not prophesy about America, but cannot see that I see much as yet to soften my deep hatred of democracy in all its forms." 73.
October 11 and 12, 1865 -- to B.F. Westcott -- On The Cross
"I am very far from pretending to understand completely the ever renewed vitality of Mariolotry. But is not much accounted for, on the evil side, by the natural reverence of the religious instinct to idolatry and creature worship and aversion to the Most High; and on the good side, by a right reaction from the inhuman and semi-diabolical character with which God in invested in all modern orthodoxies -- Zeus and Prometheus over again? In Protestant countries the fearful notion 'Christ the believer's God' is the result." 74.
October 17, 1865 – to B.F. Westcott -- On Roman Catholicism
"I have been persuaded for many years that Mary-worship and ‘Jesus’-worship have very much in common in their causes and results…we condemn all secondary human mediators as injurious to the One, and shut our eyes to the indestructible fact of existing human mediation which is to be found everywhere. But this last error can hardly be expelled till Protestants unlearn the crazy horror of the idea of priesthood." 75.
May 14, 1870 -- to Rev. J.Ll. Davies -- On The Trinity
"No rational being doubts the need of a revised Bible; and the popular practical objections are worthless. Yet I have an increasing feeling in favor of delay. Of course, no revision can be final, and it would be absurd to wait for perfection. But the criticism of both Testaments in text and interpretation alike, appears to me to be just now in that chaotic state (in Germany hardly if at all less than in England), that the results of immediate revision would be peculiarly unsatisfactory…I John 5:7 might be got rid of in a month; and if that were done, I should prefer to wait a few years." 76.
July 7, 1870 -- to a Friend -- On Bible Revision
"It is quite impossible to judge the value of what appear to be trifling alterations merely by reading them one after another. Taken together, they have often important bearings which few would think of at first . . . The difference between a picture say of Raffaelle and a feeble copy of it is made up of a number of trivial differences . . . We have successfully resisted being warned off dangerous ground, where the needs of revision required that it should not be shirked . . . It is, one can hardly doubt, the beginning of a new period in Church history. So far the angry objectors have reason for their astonishment." 77.
November 12, 1871 -- to the Bishop of Ely -- On Substitutionary Atonement
"But it does not seem to me any disparagement to the sufferings and death of the Cross to believe that they were the acting out and the manifestation of an eternal sacrifice, even as we believe that the sonship proceeding from the miraculous birth of the Virgin Mary was the acting out and manifestation of the eternal sonship. -- So also the uniqueness of the great Sacrifice seems to me not to consist in its being a substitute which makes all other sacrifices useless and unmeaning, but in its giving them the power and meaning which of themselves they could not have... He (Mr. Maurice) may have dwelt too exclusively on that idea of sacrifice which is suggested by Hebrews x. 5 - 10, and he may have failed to make clear that Sacrifice is not the only way of conceiving Atonement..." 78.
The Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott
January, 1852 -- On Spiritualism
"His devotion with ardour is indicated in a 'Ghostly Circular' authorized by him. 'The interest and importance of a serious and earnest inquiry into the nature of the phenomena which are vaguely called 'supernatural' will scarcely be questioned.' . . . My father ceased to interest himself in these matters not altogether, I believe, from want of faith in what, for lack of a better name one must call Spiritualism, but because he was seriously convinced that such investigations led to no good. But there are many others who believe it possible that the beings of the unseen world may manifest themselves to us in extraordinary ways, and also are unable otherwise to explain in many facts the evidence for which cannot be impeached." 79.
Second Sunday after Epiphany, 1847 -- To His Fiancée -- On Mariolotry
"After leaving the monastery, we shaped our course to a little oratory which we discovered on the summit of a neighboring hill…Fortunately we found the door open. It is very small, with one kneeling place; and behind a screen was a ‘Pieta’ the size of life [i.e., a Virgin and dead Christ]…Had I been alone I could have knelt there for hours.’" 80.
November 17, 1865 -- To Rev. Benson -- On Mariolotry
"B.F. Westcott promoted visions of ‘the Virgin’ in LaSalette, France… ‘As far as I could judge, the idea of LaSalette was that of God revealing himself now, and not in one form but in many.’" 81.
May 5, 1860 -- To F.J.A. Hort -- On Infallibility of Scripture
"For I too 'must disclaim settling for infallibility.' In the front of my convictions all I hold is the more I learn, the more I am convinced that fresh doubts come from my own ignorance, and that at present I find the presumption in favor of the absolute truth -- I reject the word infallibility -- of Holy Scripture overwhelming." 82.
June 14, 1886 -- To the Archbishop of Canterbury -- On Heaven
"No doubt the language of the rubric is unguarded, but it saves us from the error of connecting the presence of Christ's glorified humanity with place: heaven is a state and not a place." 83.
March 4, 1890 -- To the Archbishop of Canterbury -- On Creation
"No one now, I suppose holds that the first three chapters of Genesis, for example, give a literal history -- I could never understand how any one reading them with open eyes could think they did -- yet they disclose to us a gospel." 84.
November, 1895 -- Address at Manchester to the Christian Social Union -- On Socialism
"The Christian Law, then is the embodiment of the truth for action, in forms answering to the conditions of society from age to age. The embodiment takes place slowly and can never be complete. It is impossible for us to rest indolently in conclusions of the past. In each generation the obligation is laid on Christians to bring new problems of conduct into the divine light and to find their solution under the teaching of the Spirit." 85.
© Copyright 1997 by Robert Baker
Another Bible, Another Gospel and The Tables of Comparison of Selected Scriptures may be reproduced in whole or part, provided that no portion of these reports is changed.
1. Kenneth Barker, The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation, Zondervan Corp., 1983, p. 18.