Article: 1 Peter 3:1 conversation; Pro.14:9 fool make a mock at sin by Will Kinney

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The Conversation of the Wives

1 Peter 3:1 "Likewise ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands: that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the CONVERSATION of the wives: While they behold your chaste CONVERSATION coupled with fear."

In his book, The King James Version Debate: A Plea For Realism, D.A. Carson states on pages 101-102: "The plain truth of the matter is that the version that is so cherished among senior saints who have more or less come to terms with Elizabethan English, is obscure, confusing, and sometimes even incomprehensible to many younger or poorly educated Christians. The words of Edwin H. Palmer (one of the chief NIV translators) are not too strong: 'Do not give them a loaf of bread, covered with an inedible, impenetrable crust, fossilized by three and a half centuries. Give them the Word of God as fresh and warm and clear as the Holy Spirit gave it to the authors of the Bible... For any preacher or theologian who loves God's Word to allow that Word to go on being misunderstood because of the veneration of an archaic, not-understood version of four centuries ago is inexcusable, and almost unconscionable'."

Mr. Carson is trying to get you to abandon the King James Bible and embrace his NIV. A common tactic is to list a series of "old fashioned" words that only the "senior saints" could understand, but are unintelligible for young or poorly educated Christians.

May I be so bold as to suggest the obvious? Young and poorly educated Christians can taught and learn to cherish the precious words of eternal truth found in God's Holy Book.

There is far more to the Bible version debate than a few "archaic words". If we toss out that old King James Bible which God has honored far above any other Bible in history, what do men like D.A. Carson suggest we replace it with?

If you love God's word, as Mr. Palmer of the NIV committee says, then why switch to the NIV, NASB, ESV or Holman Standard type of "bible"? Nobody really believes any of them are the inerrant, inspired words of God. All these versions are based on a very different Greek text than the one that underlies the King James Bible. The United Bible Society Greek text omits or substitutes some 5000 words in the New Testament alone. All these modern versions often reject the Hebrew readings, and not even in the same places. All of them contain proveable false doctrines and change the meaning of hundreds of verses, and don't even agree with each other.

No one, not even the NIV editors themselves, believe their bible versions are the inerrant, complete, infallible and inspired words of God. They simply do not believe such a thing exists on this earth and they want you to share the same doubts and unbelief they insidiously promote.

Let's first examine this old English word "conversation" and then take a look at what you will be giving up by abandoning the time tested King James Bible and taking up with one of the multiple choice, contradictory "easy to read" bible versions.


Webster's Dictionary 1828

1. General course of manners; behavior; deportment; especially as it respects morals.

Let your conversation be as becometh the gospel. Philippians 1.

Be ye holy in all manner of conversation. 1 Peter 1.

2. A keeping company; familiar intercourse; intimate fellowship or association; commerce in social life. Knowledge of men and manners is best acquired by conversation with the best company.

3. Intimate and familiar acquaintance; as a conversation with books, or other object.

4. Familiar discourse; general intercourse of sentiments; chat; unrestrained talk; opposed to a formal conference.

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary 1913


Con`ver*sa"tion (?), n. [OE. conversacio (in senses 1 & 2), OF. conversacion, F. conversation, fr. L. conversatio frequent abode in a place, intercourse, LL. also, MANNER OF LIFE


Let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel. Philip. i. 27.

2. Familiar intercourse; intimate fellowship or association; close acquaintance. Conversation with the best company." Dryden.

3. Colloquial discourse; oral interchange of sentiments and observations; informal dialogue.

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary 10th edition con·ver·sa·tion

1 obsolete :CONDUCT, BEHAVIOR 2 oral exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions, or ideas; TALK , an informal discussion of an issue by representatives of governments, institutions, or groups.

Here are some examples of how this word is used in the King James Bible.

Ephesians 2:1-3 "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all HAD OUR CONVERSATION in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind: and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others."

Galatians 1:13 "For ye have heard of MY CONVERSATION in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it."

Obviously such phrases as "we had our conversation" and the frequent use of the word "conversation" in the King James Bible to describe a manner of life or pattern of behaviour is a word that has changed its general meaning in modern English.

The Greek verb itself is variously translated in the King James Bible as "to have our conversation", "to behave" and "to live".

1 Timothy 3:15 "...that thou mayest know how thou oughtest TO BEHAVE THYSELF in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."

Hebrews 13:18 "...we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing TO LIVE honestly."

2 Peter 3:18 "...those that were clean escaped from them WHO LIVE in error."

The noun form of this word is found thirteen times in the Greek texts that underlie the King James Bible and all thirteen times it is translated as "conversation". This word is found in the following verses: Galatians 1:13; Ephesians 4:22; 1 Timothy 4:12; Hebrews 13:7; James 3:13; 1 Peter 1:15, 18; 2:12; 3:1,2, 16; 2 Peter 2:7 and 3:11.

Not only does the Authorized King James Holy Bible use the word conversation in this way in 1 Peter 3:1 and many other passages, but so also do the following Bible versions: Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Bishop's Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the Douay-Rheims Bible, John Wesley's translation of the N.T. 1755, Darby's translation 1890, and Young's literal translation. Webster's 1833 translation also uses the word "conversation" in Philippians 3:20 as does the King James Bible and several others.

Young's translation, as well as Darby's, employ this word in 1 Peter 3:1. "...that even if certain are disobedient to the word, through THE CONVERSATION of the wives, without the word, they may be won."

Many Bible commentators continued to use the word "conversation" in this older sense of "one's manner of life or behaviour".

John Gill writes: "they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; for though the ordinary way and means of conversion is the word, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word; yet it may be sometimes done without it; or however by the agreeable CONVERSATION of professors, and so of religious wives, the hearts of such as were averse to Christianity, and the Gospel, as unbelieving husbands, may be so softened, and wrought upon, as to entertain a better opinion of it, and in process of time be inclined to hear and attend it; the consequence of which may prove their conversion."

Matthew Henry likewise comments on this verse: " There is nothing more powerful, next to the word of God, to win people, than a good CONVERSATION, and the careful discharge of relative duties. ... In a chaste CONVERSATION, which their unbelieving husbands would accurately observe and attend to. Evil men are strict observers of the CONVERSATION of the professors of religion; their curiosity, envy, and jealousy, make them watch narrowly the ways and lives of good people."

Once you understand what the word "conversation" means in these older Bibles, you become familiar with the word, and whenever you come across it you automaticlly think "manner of life" or "behaviour". God forbid that we should have to learn a new meaning of an English word! The alternative is to remain ignorant of the richness and variety of the English language and start using a vastly inferior bible version that nobody considers to be the inerrant word of God.

To illustrate what you are giving up when you replace the King James Bible with one of the modern substitutes, let's look at some of what has been either omitted or changed. None of the modern versions agree even with each other. Some retain words that others omit. They are in a constant state of flux and confusion. You can no longer say with confidence "Thus saith the LORD" but are reduced to the anemic "How does this version render it?"

The capital lettered words have been omitted in such versions as the NASB, NIV, ESV, and Holman Standard. None of these versions always follows the same text as the others, but in general they are all marked by the omission of thousands of words from the New Testament, and the addition of a couple hundred more.

1 Peter 1:22 "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth THROUGH THE SPIRIT unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a PURE heart fervently."

It is only through the Spirit of God that we can believe the truth, but these words are omitted by the NIV, NASB, ESV and Holman. The word PURE in the phrase "with a pure heart" has been omitted from the RSV, NASB, NIV, but the ESV and Holman have now put it back in their texts.

1 Peter 1:23 "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth FOR EVER."

The words FOR EVER have been omitted from the NASB, RSV, NIV, ESV and Holman. These words are found in all previous English Bibles as well as the NKJV.

1 Peter 2:2 "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk OF THE WORD, that ye may grow thereby."

The translation "milk of THE WORD", which clearly points to the words of God as our spiritual food, is in the NASB, NKJV, Bishops' Bible, Geneva Bible, Young's and others but the RSV, NIV, ESV and Holman say something like "desire the unadulterated spiritual milk" (Holman), with no reference to the word of God. What is "spiritual milk"? Visions, dreams, slain in the Spirit, barking like a dog, gold dust fillings? If it's "the word of God", then say so.

In addition to this uncertain meaning of the word of God as our spiritual milk, versions such as the NASB, NIV, ESV and Holman add a few extra words from their corrupt texts which significantly change the meaning of this verse. Instead of saying: "Desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby", these other versions tell us something along the order of: "Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow IN RESPECT TO SALVATION." (NASB)

This additional reading comes from the same Greek texts used by the Catholic bibles and the Jehovah Witnesses, both of whom teach that salvation is a long, drawn out process. In fact, the JW version and the Catholic versions read; "that you may grow up to salvation."

1 Peter 2:7 "Unto you therefore which believe HE IS PRECIOUS; but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the HEAD OF THE CORNER."

That Christ Himself is precious to us is the truth revealed in Tyndale, Geneva, NKJV, RSV, NRSV, NIV and many others. However the NASB says: "This precious value is for you who believe", while the ESV, and Holman say: "SO THE HONOR IS FOR YOU who believe."

Instead of Christ Himself being precious, there is now honor given to man for believing. Not quite the same idea, is it?

Also in this verse we are told that Christ is made THE HEAD OF THE CORNER, which is the foundation stone of the building. Such is the meaning found in the KJB, NKJV, NASB, ESV and Holman, but the NIV alone tells us that Christ is made THE CAPSTONE, which is the very last stone put in place at the top of the building. This is the opposite of the corner stone. But Hey, don't worry about a little thing like this; the new TNIV has gone back to "the cornerstone".

1 Peter 2:25 "For ye were as sheep going astray; but ARE NOW RETURNED unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."

The verb ARE RETURNED is passive, not active. If we say the books are returned, we mean someone else brought the books back; the books didn't return themselves.

The Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Bishops', Geneva Bible, RV, ASV, Hebrew Names Version, World English Bible, Third Millenium Bible, and the KJV 21 all correctly translate this as "are now returned" unto the Shepherd. It is Christ our Shepherd who brings us back to Himself. The Lord Jesus said in John 10:16 "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I MUST BRING, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd."

The NKJV, NIV, ESV, Holman Standard and NASB all make it sound as though we had returned on our own. They say: "you HAVE RETURNED TO the Shepherd".

1 Peter 4:14 "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: ON THEIR PART HE IS EVIL SPOKEN OF, BUT ON YOUR PART HE IS GLORIFIED."

All these words are found in Tyndale, Coverdale, Bishops', Geneva, KJB, NKJV, Spanish, Old Latin, modern Greek and others, but the Catholic versions, JW version, NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, and Holman all omit these 15 words. They are either inspired by the Holy Ghost or they are man-made additions. Not all bible versions can equally be the complete, inerrant words of God. Some have either added to or else others have taken away from the inspired words of God.

These are just a few of the hundreds of textual differences that exist in today's Bible Babel.

If you have to choose between having the complete, inerrant, inspired words of God, even though you may have to learn the meaning of a few older English words and educate yourself in the process, OR using a multiple-choice, error filled, "easy to read" Bible of the Month Club version, I suggest you take to heart the principle found in God's words from the prophet Jeremiah to the rebellious people of Israel: "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein." Jeremiah 6:16

Proverbs 14:9 "FOOLS MAKE A MOCK AT SIN: but among the righteous there is favour."

How often have you heard people say things like: "All bible versions have the same meaning, just with different words", or "By comparing the various versions we can get a better idea of what God says", or "We need to learn the original Hebrew and Greek to see what it really means"?

Let's examine what used to be a common saying taken from the book of Proverbs, and see what the various scholars who learned the original languages have come up with, and how they "all say the same thing but with different words".

"Fools make a mock at sin" is the reading or sense found in the following Bible translations: Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible of 1599, Darby's translation 1870, the 1936 Hebrew Publication Company translation, Douay 1950, Italian Diodati, Spanish Reina Valera 1960, the Portuguese O Livro of 2000, The Modern Greek Version, the NKJV 1982, Green's Modern KJV 1998, the NASB 1972 - 1995, New Century Version 1991, New Life Version 1969, Today's English Version 1992, the New Living Bible 1998, the Easy to Read Version 2001, The Message 2002, and the Third Millenium Bible.

However beginning with the Revised Version and many others since then we have a wide variety of very different renderings for this verse.

Revised Version of 1881- "The foolish make a mock at GUILT."

American Standard Version 1901- "A TRESSPASS OFFERING MOCKETH FOOLS"

Revised Standard Version of 1952 "GOD SCORNS THE WICKED", then in a footnote they tell us they have emended (changed) the text, and that the Hebrew is obscure.

The New English Bible 1970 - "A FOOL IS TOO ARROGANT TO MAKE AMENDS"

New Revised Standard Version 1989, and the ESV (English Standard Version of 2001) - "Fools mock AT THE GUILT OFFERINGS." Then the NRSV footnotes that the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.

The NIV 1984 "Fools mock at MAKING AMENDS FOR SIN"; However the NIV in Spanish (La Nueva Versión Internacional of 1984 reads like the King James Bible - " Los necios hacen mofa de sus propias faltas" (Fools mock their own faults)

Holman Standard 2003 "Fools mock at MAKING RESTITUTION"



Well, how about the Catholic versions? What insights do they offer us?

The Douay Version of 1950 reads basically like the King James Bible with: "A fool will laugh at sin"

But the St. Joseph New American Bible of 1970 reads: "GUILT LODGES IN THE TENTS OF THE ARROGANT"

The Jerusalem Bible of 1968 has: "GOD mocks the WICKED"

And the New Jerusalem Bible of 1985 reads: "Fools mock at THE SACRIFICE FOR SIN"

Those who do not believe any Bible or any text is now the inspired, infallible words of God have a lot of nice sounding theories - "All versions say the same thing", "We need to compare versions to get a better idea", "We need to learn the original languages"; but their theories are blown apart when we examine the facts.

The King James Bible is the true words of God.

Will Kinney

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