Article: Bible Babel 1 by Will Kinney

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Bible Babel - a look at some of the hundreds of such examples of different meanings found in the multitude of conflicting bible versions on the market today.

Genesis 15:1

A verse that holds forth a precious promise is found in Genesis 15:1, but it has been changed in such versions as the NASB, and the liberal RSV, NRSV. We read: "the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram; I am thy shield, AND THY EXCEEDING GREAT REWARD."

Just think of this a moment. God Himself is our shield and our exceeding great reward. In my better moments it is so good to just think about the Person of God Himself. Who He is, what He is like, how great, wise, all powerful, merciful, loving, gracious, faithful and true. He spoke and the worlds were created. He suffered on Calvary's cross, bore my sins, paid for them in full and rose from the dead victorious over all His enemies and He is the Lover of my soul. Isn't He beautiful, that He would receive a wretch like me and make me His own for all eternity? God is our exceeding great reward.

That God Himself is our exceeding great reward is the reading of the Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the Revised Version of 1881, the ASV of 1901, the predecessor of the NASB, which according to the preface of the NASB was such a good translation. It is also the reading of the NKJV, the NIV 1984, the TNIV 2005, Rotherham's 1902 Emphasized Bible, the Hebrew Names Bible, Webster's 1833 translation, Darby, Douay 1950 (but later Catholic versions changed it to now read like the RSV, NASB), the Spanish Reina Valeras from 1602 - 1909 (Yo soy tu escudo, y tu galardón sobremanera grande) the KJV 21st century and the Third Millenium Bible 1998.

John Gill comments on Genesis 15:1 “I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward” - “nay, HE HIMSELF WOULD BE HIS REWARD, and which must be a great one, an exceeding great one; as Christ is to his people in his person, offices, and grace, all being theirs, and he all in all to them; all the blessings of grace and glory coming along with him, and HE BEING THEIR PORTION HERE AND HEREAFTER, to all eternity; for since he is theirs, all are theirs, all things appertaining to life and godliness, and eternal life itself.”

Matthew Henry likewise remarks: “I will be thy exceedingly great reward; NOT ONLY THY REWARDER, BUT THY REWARD. (Caps are mine). Abram had generously refused the rewards which the king of Sodom offered him, and here God comes, and tells him he shall be no loser by it. GOD HIMSELF IS THE PROMISED FELICITY OF HOLY SOULS-- He is the portion of their inheritance and their cup.”

John Calvin comments on Genesis 15:1 - “The promise, therefore, that GOD WILL BE Abram’s shield AND HIS EXCEEDING GREAT REWARD , holds the first place; to which is added the exhortation, that, relying upon such a guardian of his safety, and such an author of his felicity, he should not fear. .. IN CALLING HIMSELF HIS “reward,” He teaches Abram to be satisfied with Himself alone. ..God declares, that HE ALONE IS SUFFICIENT for the perfection of a happy life to the faithful. For the word “reward” has the force of inheritance, or felicity . Were it deeply engraven on our minds, that in God alone we have the highest and complete perfection of all good things; we should easily fix bounds to those wicked desires by which we are miserably tormented. The meaning then of the passage is this, that we shall be truly happy when God is propitious to us; for he not only pours upon us the abundance of his kindness, but OFFERS HIMSELF TO US, THAT WE MAY ENJOY HIM. Now what is there more, which men can desire, when they really enjoy God? David knew the force of this promise, when he boasted that he had obtained a goodly lot, because the Lord was his inheritance, (Psalm 16:6.) But since nothing is more difficult than to curb the depraved appetites of the flesh, and since the ingratitude of man is so vile and impious, that God scarcely ever satisfies them; THE LORD CALLS HIMSELF NOT SIMPLY “a reward,” BUT AN EXCEEDING GREAT REWARD, with which we ought to be more than sufficiently contented.”

Clearly men like John Calvin, John Gill and Matthew Henry saw this verse as teaching the truth found in the King James Bible and many others that God promised to Abraham that He Himself would be both his shield and his exceeding great reward- God Himself.

To see a really good, short study on this verse and others related to it that show that God Himself is our exceeding great reward, please see Jerry Bouey's blog here:

However the NASB along with the RSV, ESV, and Holman Standard have changed this to now read: "I am a shield to you; YOUR REWARD SHALL BE VERY GREAT." Daniel Wallace's NET bible version also misses the correct meaning with: "I am your shield and THE ONE WHO WILL REWARD YOU IN GREAT ABUNDANCE."

Do you see the difference? Is should be noted there is no verb in the Hebrew "shall be", yet the NASB has placed it in the text and not even in italics. In the NASB it is no longer God Himself who is the exceeding great reward but instead teaches that Abraham's material reward will be very great.

Consider, what else could God give Abraham? He already was very rich 13:2; he has already been promised the land of Canaan and told that kings would come out of him and that all nations would be blessed in him; his name would be great and God would bless them which bless him and curse the one who cursed him, and God had delivered his enemies into his hand. Nothing else could be added, but the promise that God Himself would be his exceeding great reward. Abraham was to continue his life journey learning more and more of God. This whole promise is lost in versions like the NASB, RSV, ESV and Holman.

In Genesis 16:12 we read of Ishmael, the father of the Arab nations, a verse that is highly significant of the history of the modern day Arab nations. "And he shall be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell IN THE PRESENCE OF ALL his brethren."

The warlike Arabs have indeed been wild men, a contentious and warlike people; they are heavily concentrated in the same area of the world (in the presence of their brethren) and for the most part they still are in conflict with each other as well as all others.

He shall dwell "IN THE PRESENCE OF" all his brethren is the reading or meaning of the 1917, 1936 Jewish translations, Bishops' Bible, the Geneva Bible, NKJV, Spanish Reina Valera, the Revised Version, the ASV, RSV, Douay, Rotherham's Emphasized bible, the KJV 21 and others. Darby and Young's say "he will dwell before the face of all his brethren. Yet the NASB says: "And he will live TO THE EAST of all his brothers."

The NASB has translated this same word as "in the presence of" some 135 times. The word for east is an entirely different word.

The NIV has yet a different meaning and says: "and he will live IN HOSTILITY toward all his brothers." The Holman is similar with: "he will LIVE AT ODDS WITH with all his brothers."

Daniel Wallace's NET version says: "He will live AWAY FROM his brothers.” He then posts the usual confusing footnotes, saying: " Heb “opposite, across from.” Ishmael would live on the edge of society (cf. NASB “to the east of”). Some take this as an idiom meaning “be at odds with” (cf. NRSV, NLT) or “live in hostility toward” (cf. NIV)."

It's interesting how Mr. Wallace confidently tells us the Hebrew word means "opposite, across from", as though this were the only meaning of the word. Yet he himself translates this same word as "presence" in the book of Genesis. In Genesis 3:8 "Adam and his wife hid themselves FROM THE PRESENCE of the LORD God" but Wallace just omits the word saying: "and they hid FROM the Lord God". In Gen. 4:16 "And Cain went out from THE PRESENCE of the LORD", Wallace has "So Cain went out from THE PRESENCE of the Lord". In Genesis 27:30 "Jacob was scarce gone out from THE PRESENCE of Isaac his father", Wallace has "Jacob had scarcely left his father’s PRESENCE". In Genesis 41:46 "And Joseph went out from the PRESENCE of Pharoah", Wallace again paraphrases as: "Joseph WAS COMMISSIONED BY by Pharaoh". Then he footnotes: "Heb “went out from before.” This is the type of misleading scholarship that is behind these modern versions.

So, which is it, will he dwell "in the presence of", "away from", "to the east of" or "in hostility towards" his brethren? See, if you go to seminary, become an expert in Biblical languages you too can be qualified to create confusion in the name of "the science of textual criticism".

Genesis 20:16 presents us with another example of paraphrasing found in the modern versions which misses the point of the passage and results in confusion.

Abraham had been told by God that He would give him a son by his wife Sarah. Yet we see the faltering steps of faith in our spiritual father as he and Sarah sojourned in the land of Gerar. Upon entering the region of king Abimelech, Abraham thought "Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake." So he told Sarah to say that he was her brother. The result of this was that Abimelech took Sarah into his house, thus putting her into a very precarious position. Then God came to Abimelech by night in a dream and told him that Sarah was Abraham's wife and that he was "but a dead man".

Abimelech arose early in the morning and called Abraham and asked him why he had done this. Then the king gave Abraham sheep, oxen, men and womenservants and restored him Sarah his wife and told him to dwell where he pleased. Then in verse 16 we read: "And unto Sarah he said, BEHOLD, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: BEHOLD, HE IS TO THEE A COVERING OF THE EYES, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: THUS SHE WAS REPROVED."

"Covering of the eyes" is the literal reading of the Hebrew and is also found in the 1917 and 1936 Jewish translations, the RV, ASV, Young's, Darby, Douay, Geneva and Spanish bibles]]. Even the NKJV shows in its footnote that the literal Hebrew is "covering of the eyes".

Abimelech is saying to Sarah that the truth is now known that her "brother" is in fact her husband and that Abraham will serve as a covering of other men's eyes so that they will not look upon Sarah as a potential wife. Thus she was reproved for her part in the deception that almost cost Abimelech his life.

However the NASB, NIV, and NKJV all miss this point and even contradict each other. Instead of "Behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved" the NKJV says: " INDEED, THIS VINDICATES YOU before all who are with you and before all others. Thus she was REPROVED." The NASB has: " Behold, IT IS YOUR VINDICATION before all who are with you and before all men YOU ARE CLEARED.", while the NIV reads: " THIS IS TO COVER THE OFFENSE AGAINST YOU before all who are with you; you are COMPLETELY VINDICATED."

So which is it? Was she reproved as the KJB, NKJV and others say or was she cleared and vindicated as the NIV - NASB have it? And what on earth does "this vindicates you" mean? The NIV omits the word "behold" three times in verses 15, 16, adds "offence" though it did get "cover" more or less right but yet the meaning is totally different than either the NKJV, NASB or the KJB.

The Geneva Bible of 1599 notes:

20:16 "And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved." "God caused this heathen king to reprove her because she concealed her identity, seeing that God had given her a husband as her veil and defence."

Matthew Henry and John Wesley both say the same thing in their commentaries.

"He gives to Sarah good instruction, tells her that her husband (her brother he calls him, to upbraid her with calling him so) must be to her for a covering of the eyes, that is, she must look at no other, nor desire to be looked at by any other. The marriage-covenant is a covenant with the eyes, like Job says in ch. 31:1."

John Gill notes: "behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee; a protection of her person and chastity: so an husband, in our language, is said to be a cover to his wife, and she under a cover: thus Abraham being now known to be the husband of Sarah, would for the future be a covering to her, that no one should look upon her, and desire her, and take her to be his wife."

Genesis 25:17-18 “and he died in the presence of all his brethren.”

In verse 18 we have very different meanings given to us regarding the death of Ishmael. In verse 17 we are told: "AND THESE ARE THE YEARS OF THE LIFE OF ISHMAEL, an hundred and thirty and seven years; and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people. And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria; AND HE DIED IN THE PRESENCE OF all his brethren."

This is the reading and meaning of Wycliffe 1395 (he died before all his brethren”, Coverdale 1535, Bishops’ Bible 1568, the King James Bible 1611, Webster’s 1833, 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company translation, the NKJV 1982, the Douay 1950, the Spanish Reina Valera 1602, 1909, 1960, 1995 (y murió en presencia de todos sus hermanos. - And he DIED in the presence of all his brethren), the KJV 21st Century 1994. Young’s ‘literal’ is also very similar, reading: “in the presence of all his brethren hath he fallen.”

However there are a multitude of different versions, all with different meanings. The NIV says: "THEY LIVED IN HOSTILITY toward all their brothers"; the NASB has: "HE SETTLED IN DEFIANCE of all his relatives" (notice theNIV says “They” and the NASB has “He”); the New English Bibles says: "They took their place TO THE EAST of all their brothers"; the New Living Translation has: "THEY CAMPED CLOSE TO ONE ANOTHER.”, while Today's English Version says: "THEY LIVED APART FROM THE OTHER DESCENDANTS OF ABRAHAM.”

It is getting to the point where Hey, if you don't like what it says in one version, find another one you do like. No wonder people scoff at the idea of an inspired and inerrant Bible. Is God really this confused?

Genesis 27:39-40. A couple of very significant changes in meaning are found in these two verses. Isaac gave Esau another blessing after Jacob had stolen the original blessing. Though Esau would be subject to Jacob for a time, he did receive an abundant blessing. We read in verse 27:39 - "And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling SHALL BE THE FATNESS OF the earth, and OF the dew of heaven from above." Esau would be blessed with abundant earthly wealth.

This is the reading of the 1917, 1936 Jewish translations, The Judaica Press Tanach, Hebrew Names Bible, the Geneva, Coverdale, Wycliffe, Bishops' bibles, Revised Version, American Standard Version, NKJV, Spanish Reina Valera, Douay, Darby and Young's. However beginning with the RSV and now continuing with the NASB, NIV, ESV, NET and Holman, all these versions give us the opposite meaning here. The NIV, NASB say: "Your dwelling will be AWAY FROM the earth's richness, AWAY FROM the dew of heaven above." In other words, Esau would not enjoy these blessings - the exact opposite of the reading found in the KJB and all other previous English and Jewish Bible versions.

We know the KJB reading is correct and the NASB, NIV, ESV are false because we later see Esau with great wealth, cattle, servants, beasts and substance. So much so that "their riches were more that they might dwell together" and Esau moves on to another place. See Genesis 33:9 and 36:6.

Matthew Henry comments: " It was a good thing, and better than he deserved. It was promised him, [1.] That he should have a competent livelihood--the fatness of the earth, and the dew of heaven. Note, Those that come short of the blessings of the covenant may yet have a very good share of outward blessings. God gives good ground and good weather to many that reject his covenant, and have no part nor lot in it. [2.] That by degrees he should recover his liberty. If Jacob must rule (Genesis 27:29), Esau must serve; but he has this to comfort him, he shall live by his sword. He shall serve, but he shall not starve; and, at length, after much skirmishing, he shall break the yoke of bondage, and wear marks of freedom. This was fulfilled (2 Kings 8:20,22) when the Edomites revolted."

The meaning of verse 40 has also been changed in the NKJV, NIV, NASB. There Isaac tells his son Esau: "And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother. and it shall come to pass when thou SHALT HAVE THE DOMINION, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck." As Matthew Henry previously commented - “This was fulfilled (2 Kings 8:20,22) when the Edomites revolted.”

This word "to have the dominion" is # 7300 rood. It is used only three times and is translated as "we are lords" in Jer. 3:21 and Hosea 11:12 as "Judah yet ruleth with God." "When thou shalt have the dominion" is the reading of Young's, the Spanish Reina Valera, 1936 Jewish translation. The Geneva and Bishops' Bibles say "when thou shalt get the mastery". However the NKJV, NIV, NASB all say: "when YOU BECOME RESTLESS, you shall break his yoke from your neck." The RV, RSV, and NRSV say: "when you BREAK LOOSE", and then in a footnote the RSV, NRSV tell us "the Hebrew meaning is uncertain." Well, one thing we know for sure is that the various English versions are definitely uncertain, aren't they?

NIV all messed up Gen. 47:21, 31

Genesis 47:21 The KJB, NKJV, and NASB all read the same here because they are following the Hebrew Massoretic Text. You know, the one God originally inspired.

In Genesis 47:21 the KJB, NKJV, NASB, Jewish translations, Young's, Darby, Geneva Bible, Holman, etc. say: "And as for the people, HE REMOVED THEM TO CITIES, from one end of the borders of Egypt even to the other end thereof."

However the NIV says: "JOSEPH REDUCED THE PEOPLE TO SERVITUDE". The NIV footnote tells us that this reading comes from the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Septuagint, but the Hebrew reads "he moved the people into the cities". The NIV is also the reading of the super liberal RSV, the NRSV and the ESV, and they too have the same footnote telling us they have rejected the Hebrew text and followed some other source. This is your NIV.

Genesis 47:31 - In this same chapter the NIV again departs from the Hebrew text and mistakenly follows the Greek Septuagint. In Genesis 47:31 we read of Jacob making Joseph sware that he would not bury him in Egypt but in the land of his fathers in their buryingplace. "And he said, Swear unto me. And he sware unto him. And Israel bowed himself UPON THE BED'S HEAD."

“UPON THE BED'S HEAD” is the reading of the Hebrew, Wycliffe, Coverdale, Bishops’ bible, the Geneva Bible, the RV, ASV, NASB, NKJV, Young, Darby and even the liberal RSV, along with the NRSV, ESV and Holman Standard. ONLY the NIV here rejects the clear Hebrew text and follows the incorrect LXX at this point. The NIV says "Israel worshipped AS HE LEANED ON THE TOP OF HIS STAFF."

The NIV "scholars" mistakenly applied Hebrews 11:21 to this event in Genesis 47. In Hebrews 11:21 it says "By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff."

However, if you look closely at the context in both the New Testament book of Hebrews and especially in Genesis chapters 47 through 49, we see that Joseph did not die during the events of Genesis 47 where the chapter ends with the correct reading that Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head.

In chapter 48 verse one we read: "And it came to pass AFTER THESE THINGS, that one told Joseph, Behold thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. Then the whole of chapter 48 is taken up with Jacob blessing the two sons of Joseph and all of chapter 49 with Jacob telling each of his own sons what would befall them in the last days. Then Jacob dies at the very end of chapter 49 where we read: "And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people." The NIV has placed the wrong reading in the wrong place.

Genesis 49:6 - In Genesis chapter 49 Jacob is telling each of his sons something about what will befall them in the last days, and of their blessings or penalties. There we read what Jacob said concerning his two sons Simeon and Levi. "Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill THEY DIGGED DOWN A WALL."

"They digged down a wall" is the reading of the King James Bible, Wycliffe 1395, the Bishop's Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Spanish Reina Valera of 1569 and 1602, Las Sagradas Escrituras 1998, the Italian Diodati, the Modern Greek Old Testament (not the Septuagint), the Jewish Hebrew Publishing Company of New York version of 1936, the Douay Rheims of 1950, (though more recent Catholic versions like Jerusalem Bible and St. Joseph New American Bible read "hamstrung oxen") Webster's 1833 translation, the KJV 21st Century version, and the Third Millenium Bible. Darby’s footnote mentions that “Some read ‘pulled down a wall’ .”

Matthew Henry comments: “They slew a man, Shechem himself, and many others; and, to effect that, they digged down a wall, broke the houses, to plunder them, and murder the inhabitants.” (Note: if you want to see the “every man for himself bible version” mentality, take a look at the comments made by Adam Clarke, or even John Gill)

The Syriac translation (Lamsa, 1936) also agrees with the King James reading and says: "in their rage they destroyed a town wall."

John Calvin sides with the King James reading. He translates into Latin " et voluntate sua eradicaverunt murum". Then he comments: "Interpreters also differ respecting the meaning of the word (shor.) Some translate it "bullock," ... But a different exposition is far preferable, namely, that they "overturned a wall." For Jacob magnifies the atrociousness of their crime, from the fact, that they did not even spare buildings in their rage."

The NKJV says "THEY HAMSTRUNG AN OX", the NIV "they hamstrung OXEN" and the NASB says "they LAMED AN OX." Young's has "they ERADICATED A PRINCE"!!! So what is going on here?

It all has to do with the pointed consonants introduced in the 6th century after Christ, and the points are not considered inspired. It is well know that an individual Hebrew word can multiple meanings. Only God can guide as to the true meaning of a text or word. We believe He has done this in the King James Bible.

The reading of "hamstrung an ox or oxen", as found in the NKJV, is also contrary to the context. We are told in Genesis 34:27-29 that Simeon and Levi came upon the city of Hamor and Shechem his son and slew all the males; they spoiled the city and took their sheep, oxen and their asses and carried away all their wealth, their wives and children. They did in fact destroy the city but they did not kill or hamstring the oxen, but rather took them alive for themselves. Why would they damage what was now their own property? I believe the King James Bible is right - as always.

One of the best known verses in this chapter is 49:10. "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a LAWGIVER from between his feet, until SHILOH come; and unto him shall THE GATHERING OF THE PEOPLE be." This verse is a prophecy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

LAWGIVER is the reading of the KJB, the Jewish translations, the NKJV, Geneva Bible, Darby and Young's. But the NASB and NIV say "THE RULER'S STAFF' yet they both translated this same word as "lawgiver" in Isaiah 33:22 "the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our king."

“Until SHILOH COME” is the reading of the Geneva Bible, Bishops’ bible, the KJB, NKJV, NASB, ASV, RV, Darby, Green, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible, Hebrew Names Version, the Spanish Bibles and the Third Millenium Bible. The word Shiloh occurs only once in the Bible and it comes from the verb meaning to be tranquil or to be at peace.

Judaica Press Tanach - “10. The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the student of the law from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him will be a gathering of peoples.”

The NIV, along with the RSV and NRSV, says: "UNTIL HE COMES TO WHOM IT BELONGS" instead of "until Shiloh come". You won't find this note in the NIV but the RSV and NRSV both tell us in their footnotes that the SYRIAC reads the way the NIV does, but that the Hebrew says UNTIL SHILOH COME.

Other “bible versions” give us yet other completely different meanings with the New English Bible 1970 reading: “the sceptre shall not pass from Judah...SO LONG AS TRIBUTE IS BROUGHT TO HIM, (not, “until Shiloh comes”) and the obedience of the nations is his.”

Now the new 2001 ESV (a revision of the RSV) has come out and it too has changed to now read: “nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, UNTIL TRIBUTE COMES TO HIM...”

Young’s ‘literal’ says: “And a lawgiver from between his feet, Till HIS SEED COME”

The 2001 Easy to Read Version says: “before THE REAL KING comes”

The Douay-Rheims has: “till HE COME THAT IS TO BE SENT”

The Holman Standard says: “or the staff from between his feet, until HE WHOSE RIGHT IT IS COMES”

The latest online NIV now gives us three options for this single word ‘Shiloh’. It says: “until HE COMES TO WHOM IT BELONGS and the obedience of the nations is his.” FOOTNOTES: "Or until Shiloh comes; or until he comes to whom tribute belongs.”

So why did the NIV "scholars" decide to dump the Hebrew text and follow the Syriac? Because in spite of all their rhetoric about being "good, godly, evangelical scholars" they are in reality biblical relativists, with no absolute authority but their own minds.

The NIVtells you in their own introduction that they have used sources other than the Hebrew for their Old Testament including "the Septuagint, Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotian, the Vulgate; the Syriac Peshitta, the Tagums. Readings from these versions were occasionally followed where the Masoretic Text seemed doubtful." Introduction to the NIV found on page xviii. They’re lying to you. Many of the notes in the NIV tell you clearly what the Hebrew says, (it is not ‘doubtful’) yet they follow these other sources.

The NIV has a unique reading in 49:21. The KJB, as well as Wycliffe, Coverdale, Bishops’, the Geneva Bible, Douay, Darby, Youngs, RV, ASV, NKJV, NASB and the Jewish translations say: "Naphtali is a hind let loose: HE GIVETH GOODLY WORDS." However the NIV again joins the super liberal RSV, the NRSV, ESV and Holman Standard as says: "THAT BEARS BEAUTIFUL FAWNS."!

Now that would be quite a trick for Naphtali to bear fawns. The word is WORDS # 561 eh mar and is used phrases such as "the words of God" in Numbers 24:4. 16, Deut.32:1 etc.

The blessing upon Joseph includes verse 26 which reads: "The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my PROGENITORS unto the UTMOST BOUND of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head OF HIM THAT WAS SEPARATE FROM his brethren."

"HIM THAT WAS SEPARATE from his brethren" is the reading of the KJB, the Revised Version, the ASV, NKJV, Geneva, Youngs, Darby, the 1936 Jewish translation, the Judaica Press Tanach, and even the RSV and NRSV. We all know that Joseph was separated from his brethren and sold into Egypt. The word is translated as separate in places like Leviticus 15:31; 22:2 and Ezekiel 14:7. The NASB says "the one DISTINGUISHED AMONG his brethren" while the NIV has "the PRINCE among his brothers."

PROGENITORS is the reading of the RV, ASV, Young's, the 1917 and 1936 Jewish translations, and ‘ancestors’ is in the NKJV and NASB, which conveys the same meaning. “The UTMOST BOUND” or boundary is also the reading of these versions. However the NIV again goes along with the RSV and NRSV and says "blessings of THE ANCIENT MOUNTAINS, than the BOUNTY of the age old hills."

The NIV has changed PROGENITORS to ANCIENT MOUNTAINS, and UTMOST BOUND to BOUNTY. Why? Again the RSV gives us the reason. The RSV and NRSV footnote tells us that "ancient mountains" and "bounty" come from the Greek Septuagint but that the Hebrew says "progenitors" and "boundaries".

Anyone who knows these facts about the corrupt NIV perversion and still uses it or tries to defend it as being the words of God is willfully blind.

Exodus 4:23 - Silly statements in the NASB, NIV.

Another silly statement found in versions like the NASB, NIV is Exodus 4:23. In the King James Bible (and many others as we shall soon see) we read of God appearing to Moses and telling him: “When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: AND I SAY unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: AND IF THOU REFUSE to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.” Exodus 4:21-23.

Obviously, Moses had not yet gone into Egypt nor had he spoken these words to Pharaoh yet. This did not happen till Exodus chapter 5 where we read: “And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.” Exodus 5:1-2

Agreeing with the reading that shows that Moses had not yet spoken to Pharaoh but was to tell him what would happen IF he refused to let Israel go in Exodus 4:23 - “AND I SAY unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and IF THOU REFUSE to let him go, behold I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.” - are the following Bible translations:Coverdale 1535, Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Darby, Young’s literal, Rotherham’s Emphasized bible 1902, the 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company version, the Judaica Press Tanach version, Lamsa’s translation of the Syriac, the New Life Bible, the Amplified bible, the Revised Standard Version and the 2001 English Standard Version (though the NRSV read like the NASB, NIV do now), the New Berkeley Version 1969, the Revised English Bible 1989, the Spanish Reina Valera 1995 version - “pero si te niegas a dejarlo ir, yo mataré a tu hijo, a tu primogénito", the Italian Diodati 1991, the French Louis Segond 1910, the so called Greek Septuagint, the Modern Greek version, the NKJ1982 and the Third Millenium bible 1998.

However there are many other modern versions that change the meaning of the verse, and even different editions of the same bible version come out with different readings. Instead of God telling Moses what he should say to Pharaoh and what will happen IF he refuses (the context is referring to a future event), versions like the NASB, NIV, ASV, NRSV, NEB and the Spanish RV Gomez version say: “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, Thus says the LORD, Israel is my son, My firstborn. "SO I SAID to you, `Let My son go that he may serve Me'; but YOU HAVE REFUSED to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn.” (NASB)

NIV - “AND I TOLD YOU, "Let my son go, so he may worship me." BUT YOU REFUSED to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.”

Moses had not yet even gone to Egypt nor yet spoken to Pharoah in the name of the LORD, so it would be more than a little difficult for God to say at this point that He had ALREADY spoken to Pharaoh and that Pharaoh had ALREADY refused to let them go. This is just plain silly.

The King James Bible is right, as always.

Exodus 14:25 the LORD TOOK OFF their chariot wheels

Exodus chapter 14 relates the event of the children of Israel crossing the Red Sea when God divided the waters. The Egyptians pursued after them and were drowned in the sea.

In Exodus 14: 24-25 we read: "And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, And TOOK OFF their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily."

"TOOK OFF their chariot wheels" is the reading of Tyndale 1530, Coverdale 1535 (smote the wheels from their chariots), Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the King James Holy Bible 1611, Rotherham's Emphasized bible 1902, the NKJV 1982, the Revised Version 1881, the ASV of 1901 (the predecessor of the NASB), the KJV 21, Third Millenium Bible, Hebrew Names Bible, World English Bible, the two Jewish translations of 1917 and 1936, Darby, the Living Bible and 1998 New Living Bible, Green's interlinear, MKJV, the NIV of 1982 and the Spanish versions of 1960 and 1995 - quitó las ruedas.

Likewise the modern Jewish translation called the Judaica Press Tanach follows the Hebrew and agrees with the King James Bible saying: " And HE REMOVED THE WHEELS OF THEIR CHARIOTS, and He led them with heaviness, and the Egyptians said, Let me run away from the Israelites because the Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians."

However the "scholarly" NASB tells us : "He caused their chariot wheels TO SWERVE". This is also the reading of the brand new 2004 Holman Christian Standard version.

Now I've had the unpleasant experience of having my car wheels swerve on ice or snow, but thankfully I have never had them come off yet. You have to admit there is a difference between the Lord taking off their wheels and the Lord causing them to swerve.

The word used here is # 5493 soor and it means to remove or take away. It is used in Exodus 8:8 "take away the frogs"; in 8:31 "he removed the swarms of flies", in 34:34 Moses took off the vail", Genesis 41:42 "Pharoah took off his ring" and in Genesis 8:13 "Noah removed the covering of the ark".

Besides the confusion of the NASB and Holman Standard, let's see how some other modern versions clarify this passage for us.

The 1950 Catholic Douay version says God OVERTHREW the wheels; but the more recent Catholic versions say God was "clogging" the wheels.

The RSV 1952, NRSV, ESV 2002, New English Bible 1970 and The Message all say God was "CLOGGING the wheels", with a footnote that tells us this reading (clogging) comes from the Septuagint, Samaritan Pentateuch and Syriac; but that the Hebrew text reads "took off" or "removed". Actually, the Greek version called the Septuagint doesn't say "clogging", as we shall soon see.

The TNIV - now the 2005 Today's NIV has come out and it changes the text of the old NIV. The old NIV says God "made the wheels come off", but now the new TNIV says God "JAMMED the wheels" and then it footnotes that we should consult the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Septuagint and the Syriac, all of which not only differ from the Hebrew but also from each other!

The Bible in Basic English of 1965 says God "made the wheels STIFF"

The New Century Version tells us God "kept the wheels from turning".

Young's "literal" (hah) says: "and turneth aside the wheels of their chariots." This would mean they swerved, but not that they actually came off.

Lamsa's 1936 translation of the Syriac Peshitta reads: "clogging the wheels" (from the Syriac we get the reading found in the Message, RSV, NRSV and ESV)

Today's English Version 1992 "He made the wheels get stuck"

And the famed Greek Septuagint says God "bound the axel-trees of their chariots"; it doesn't say "clogging the wheels" as the false footnotes of the RSV, ESV tell us.

So when you read glowing recommendations about the next Bible of the Month Club version coming out that is based on better manuscripts and greater advances in scholarship, just realize it is a lot of pious sounding baloney. None of these people believe any Bible or any text is the inspired words of God, and all their efforts are designed to overthrow the time tested, inerrant, God approved King James Holy Bible.

Exodus 15:2. "The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, AND I WILL PREPARE HIM AN HABITATION."

So reads the King James Bible, which I firmly consider to be the true, inerrant, complete, and perfect word of God. It is also the reading found in Webster's 1833 translation, the KJV 21st Century, and the Third Millenium Bible. The Geneva Bible of 1599 reads: "and I will prepare him a tabernacle."

However when we look at the NKJV, NIV, RSV, ESV, NASB we read instead: "He is my God, AND I WILL PRAISE HIM." Now, you have to admit there is quite a difference in meaning between "I will prepare Him an habitation" and "I will praise him". At least, I hope your thinking has not degenerated to the point where you can no longer see that these two phrases do not mean the same thing.

The King James Bible is always right, and I will try to show why this is so in Exodus 15:2. There is only one Hebrew word used here which is rendered as "I will prepare him an habitation". The verb is # 5115 nah-vah and is found only twice in the entire Old Testament. The other time the verb is used is in the book of Habakkuk 2:5 where even the NKJV and NASB translate the verb as "stay at home". Your home is your habitation.

The noun form of the verb #5115 nah-vah is a very common noun used many times. It is #5116 nah-veh, and is frequently translated by all versions as "habitation". In fact, in the same context of Exodus 15:13 it is used in the same song of Moses when they say: "Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy HABITATION."

Neither the verb nor the noun have anything to do with "praise" as the NKJV, NIV, NASB, RSV, ESV have rendered Exodus 15:2. In the King James Bible and a few others we read instead that the children of Israel would prepare "an habitation" for their God. This is exactly what we are told they would do later in the book of Exodus.

In Exodus 25 God commands Moses to tell the children of Israel to bring offerings of precious metals, linen and animal skins to build the tabernacle where God will meet with them. In verse 25:8 God says: "And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them." This is what is prophetically referred to in Exodus 15:2 when the King James Bible has Moses and the children of Israel singing "and I will prepare him an habitation."

As usual, the commentators disagree among themselves, but John Gill notes: "Moses, or the people of Israel, or both, determine to "prepare" him an "habitation"...and seem to have some respect unto, and knowledge of an habitation hereafter to be built, the tabernacle and temple."

A.W. Pink remarks: "He is my God, and I will prepare Him an habitation" Beautiful is this. A spirit of true devotion is here expressed. An "habitation" is a dwelling-place. It was Jehovah's presence in their midst that their hearts desired. And is it not ever thus with the Lord?

Exodus 26:14; 25:5

"Thou shalt make a covering for the tent of ram's skins dyed red, and a covering of BADGER'S skins".

Many commentators are all over the board on what the Hebrew word means here. Some even go so far as to say that the badger did not exist in Israel, Palestine or the desert area, yet all one has to do is do an internet search of "badger", oftenly referred to as "the pound for pound toughest animal on the face of the earth", and you will see that badgers DO exist in Israel and Palestine even today and have existed throughout history in almost every area on the face of the earth.

Bible versions as well are totally confused when it comes to translating this word.

Bible translations that agree with the King James Bible's "badgers" are the NKJV 1982, Geneva 1599, Darby 1870,Young's, the 1936 Jewish translation (Hebrew Pub.Co. New York), Webster's 1833, KJV 21st Century 1994, Third Millenium Bible 1998, Rotherham's Emphasized Bible 1902, and the Spanish Reina Valera 1569, 1909, 1960 and 1995, and the Italian Diodati and the New Diodoti 1991, the New Life Bible 1992, Lesser Bible 1853, Natural Israelite Bible 2008 all agree with the KJB reading of BADGER'S SKINS.

[Coverings of Badgers' Skins] Exodus 26:14

Badgers' skins were tough, durable, non-porous, water repellent, and weather resistant. Protection was its purpose.

Beauty was inside the Tabernacle. The outside withstood the rain, storms, and the sun. Jesus withstood the torture, ridicule, and shame of the Cross for our sake. He weathered the storm that we might enjoy the beauty inside.

No dimensions were given for the two upper coverings of rams' skins dyed red or badgers' skins. The cleansing power of Jesus' blood (rams' skins dyed red) is immeasurable. The durable badgers' skins typify the boundless protection and security of believers in Christ.

Non-Christians never see the inner beauty of Christ. They only see the plain boring looking badgers' skins. We who are in Christ are able to enjoy the beauty of the gold!

Distributed by Hope of Israel Baptist Mission - Copyright 1997-2006.]

The NASB says the covering would be "of PORPOISE skins" while the NIV has "sea cows". The RSV and the 2001 ESV both have "GOATSKINS". The Catholic Douay tells us they were "violet colored skins"; Lamsa's 1936 translation says: "skins dyed with vermillion"; The 1917 JPS says "sealskins", Green's 'literal' has "DUGONG skins", and Wallace's NET version and the NRSV say "FINE LEATHER", and the Holman Standard says "manatee skins". Hey, they're all about the same, right? While wandering around in the wilderness for 40 years, badger's skins might be troublesome to get, but how many "porpoises" (NASB) or "sea cows" (NIV) do you think they could have scrounged up? Possibly porpoises or sea cows would have been found in the Red Sea, but the wandering Israelites were not near the Red Sea during their wilderness wanderings, but in the desert.

In Numbers chapter six we read of the children of Israel complaining about the constant diet of the heavenly manna and their desire to eat flesh. "and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: But now OUR SOUL IS DRIED AWAY: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes."

It is obvious that the children of Israel were crying out for new, more and better food. This is again confirmed in verse 13 where Moses complains: "Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat." And again in verse 18 where God says to them: "and ye shall eat flesh; for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat?"

John Gill comments: "But now our soul is dried away…?Meaning their bodies, which, for want of flesh food, they pretended had no moisture in them, or they were half starved, and in wasting and consuming circumstances."

John Wesley tersely comments: "soul Dried away - Is withered and pines away; which possibly might be true, through envy and discontent, and inordinate appetite."

Agreeing with the literal Hebrew text and correctly translating it as: "OUR SOUL IS DRIED AWAY" are the following Bible versions: Wycliffe 1395, the Geneva Bible, Bishops' Bible, Coverdale, the Revised Version, American Standard Version, the Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, Darby, Young, Douay, Rotherham's Emphasized bible, Hebrew Names Bible, Spanish Reina Valera, and the Third Millenium Bible. Even Daniel Wallace's NET version says: "WE are dried up" with a footnote that the literal Hebrew is "soul" and not "we".

The NKJV paraphrases a bit with "our WHOLE BEING is dried up", but at least it is not nearly as bad as the NASB, NIV and Holman. The RSV, NRSV, and ESV miss the mark with: "our STRENGTH is dried up", but the totally off-the-wall NASB, NIV and Holman all say: "WE HAVE LOST OUR APPETITE", then the NASB informs us in their footnote that the literal reading is "our soul is dried up".

The absurdity of the NASB, NIV, Holman reading is that the children of Israel certainly HAD NOT LOST THEIR APPETITE, but were instead HUNGRY for new, more and different food that that plain ol' manna.

Deuteronomy 29:19- add drunkenness to thirst?

Moses was warning the children of Israel of the dire consequences that would befall them from the hand of the LORD if and when they forsook the covenant of the law and turned to idols. We pick up in verse 18 "Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood; And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, TO ADD DRUNKENNESS TO THIRST."

This is the reading in the Bishops Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Webster 1833 translation, the 1936 Hebrew-English, Lamsa's 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta, the Third Millenium Bible, KJV 21, the Spanish and the Italian Diodati bibles. It is even found in the footnote of the NIV.

The Spanish Reina Valera equals the meaning of the King James Bible with: "Tendra paz, aunque ande en la dureza de mi corazon, a fin de con la embriaguez quite la sed."

Simply put, "to add drunkenness to thirst" means to sin. Thirst is a legitimate need, but drunkenness is a sin.

John Gill comments: "to add drunkenness to thirst; as a thirsty man to quench his thirst drinks, and adds to that, or drinks yet more and more until he is drunken; so a man inclined to idolatry, that has a secret desire after it, thirsts after such stolen or forbidden waters, and drinks of them, adds thereunto, drinks again and again until he is drunk with the wine of fornication, or idolatry, as it is called (Revelation 17:2)

Adam Clarke remarks: "to add drunkenness to thirst - A proverbial expression denoting the utmost indulgence in all sensual gratifications."

The phrase "to add drunkenness to thirst" consists of three Hebrew words. "To add" is used in Isaiah 29:1 "Add ye year to year..."; Isaiah 30:1 "...that they may add sin to sin"; and Numbers 32:14 "to augment yet the fierce anger of the LORD".

The word drunkenness comes from the verb meaning "to make drunk, to water, or to satiate". It is used in Jeremiah 46:10 "made drunk with their blood", and in Lamentations 3:15 "he hath made me drunken".

The word "thirst" is found 9 times and is always translated as thirst or thirsty. It is found in such verses as Psalm 107:5 "hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted"; Proverbs 25:21 "if he be thristy, give him water"; Isaiah 44:3 "I will pour water upon him that is thristy", and in Isaiah 55:1 "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters."




Green's Modern KJV and Darby's translation say: "though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart, TO SNATCH AWAY THE DRUNKEN WITH THE THIRSTY." (Say what?!)

The Bible in Basic English 1960 says: "If such a man, hearing the words of this oath, takes comfort in the thought that he will have peace even if he goes on in the pride of his heart, TAKING WHATEVER CHANCE MAY GIVE HIM."

Young's translation says: "though in the stubbornness of my heart I go on, IN ORDER TO END THE FULNESS WITH THE THIRST."

RSV says: "This would lead to the sweeping away of moist and dry alike."

The Douay-Rheims has: "I shall have peace, and will walk on in the naughtiness of my heart: AND THE DRUNKEN MAY CONSUME THE THIRSTY."

The Greek Septuagint is total nonsense saying: "And it shall be if one shall hear the words of this curse, and shall flatter himself in his heart, saying, May holy things happen to me, for I will walk in the error of my heart, LEST THE SINNER DESTROY THE GUILTINESS WITH HIM."

The 1998 Complete Jewish Bible has a totally different meaning with: "though I will stubbornly keep doing whatever I feel like doing; so that I, although "dry," [sinful,] will be added to the "watered" [righteous].'

Deuteronomy 33:2 "The LORD came from Sinai, and ROSE UP from Seir unto THEM; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came WITH ten thousands of saints; FROM HIS RIGHT HAND WENT A FIERY LAW FOR THEM."

The multitude of conflicting, multiple-choice, Let's go to the Original Languages, Do It Yourself Scholars really strut their stuff in this verse.

First of all, the phrase "the LORD...ROSE UP from Seir UNTO THEM" is the reading of the Jewish translations of [[1917], 1936, the RV, ASV, Coverdale, Bishops', Geneva, Webster's, Darby, Young's, Hebrew Names Version, Green's Modern KJV, and the Third Millenium Bible.

Beginning with the RSV and now in the NKJV, NIV, NASB, it now reads: "The Lord DAWNED ON them from Seir."

More importantly, the part that reads "FROM HIS RIGHT HAND WENT A FIERY LAW FOR THEM" is found in Tyndale 1630, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the Revised Version of 1881, the ASV of 1901, the NKJV 1982, Green's MKJV, Webster's 1833, Third Millenium Bible, the Douay-Rheims, the 1917 and 1936 Hebrew - English versions, the 1998 Complete Jewish Bible, Hebrew Names Version, World English Bible, the Spanish Reina Valera 1960, and Darby.

John Wesley comments: "A fiery law - The law is called fiery, because it is of a fiery nature purging and searching and inflaming, to signify that fiery wrath which it inflicteth upon sinners for the violation of it, and principally because it was delivered out of the midst of the fire."

Compare Deuteronomy 4:11-12 and 5:26. "And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven...and the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice." "For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?"

Now let's see what the noted scholars of today, all of whom have gone to seminary and consulted "the original languages", have done with this passage.


The RSV 1952, and ESV 2001 - " dawned from Se'r upon US; he shone forth from Mount Paran, he came FROM the ten thousands of holy ones, WITH FLAMING FIRE AT HIS RIGHT HAND."

In this verse the RSV, NRSV, and ESV all change the Hebrew reading of "unto THEM" to "upon US" and then footnote that the word "us" comes from the Syriac, the LXX and the Vulgate, but that the Hebrew texts read "them".

The 1989 New RSV- " With him were myriads of holy ones; AT HIS RIGHT HAND, A HOST OF HIS OWN."

NIV- "The LORD came from Sinai and DAWNED OVER them from Seir; he shone forth from Mount Paran. He came with myriads of holy ones FROM THE SOUTH, FROM HIS MOUNTAIN SLOPES." (That's right, this is what it says in place of "from his right hand went a fiery law for them".)

NASB - "The LORD came from Sinai, and DAWNED ON them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran, And He came FROM THE MIDST OF (not with?) ten thousand holy ones, AT HIS RIGHT HAND THERE WAS FLASHING LIGHTNING FOR THEM."

The Bible in Basic English 1960 says: "coming from Meribath Kadesh: from his right hand went flames of fire: HIS WRATH MADE WASTE THE PEOPLES."

This is the only version I found that instead of saying "Yea, HE LOVED the people" changes this to "His wrath made waste the peoples" -- pretty close in meaning, isn't it?

The New English Bible 1970 - "He showed himself from Mount Paran, and with him were myriads of holy ones STREAMING ALONG AT HIS RIGHT HAND."

Young's translation - "Jehovah from Sinai hath come, And hath risen from Seir for them; He hath shone from mount Paran, And hath come with myriads of holy ones; At HIS RIGHT HAND ARE SPRINGS FOR THEM."

The Greek Septuagint and the Syriac Peshitta are of no help at all in this verse. They both give conflicting readings as well. The Greek Septuagint reads: "The Lord has hasted out of Mount Pharan with the ten thousands OF CADES, on his right hand WERE HIS ANGELS WITH HIM."

Lamsa's 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta has: "he came with ten thousands of saints AT HIS RIGHT HAND. YEA, HE SUPPLIED THEIR NEEDS: he also made them to be beloved BY THE NATIONS."

Was it a "fiery law", "flashing lightning", "he supplied their needs", "his angels with him", "tongues of fire", "streams", "a host of his own", or "from the south"? Who really cares? They all mean the same thing, right? As Professor James White says, "If we compare all the bible versions together, we arrive at a better understanding of what is really being said." Don't you agree?

Deuteronomy 32:43 "Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people"

In the King James Bible we read: "Rejoice, O YE NATIONS, WITH his people; for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people."

This is the reading of the Hebrew Masoretic texts, the Jewish translations of 1936, the RV, ASV, NKJV, NASB, NIV and many others. The Holman Standard changes the meaning a bit with: "Rejoice, you nations, OVER His people, for He will avenge the blood of His servants."

However when we get to the RSV, NRSV, and ESV things change a great deal.

The Revised Standard Version (RSV) of 1958 says: "PRAISE HIS PEOPLE, O YOU NATIONS; for he avenges the blood of his servants, and takes vengeance on his adversaries, and makes expiation for the land of his people."

The New RSV of 1989 says: "PRAISE, O HEAVENS, HIS PEOPLE, WORSHIP HIM, ALL YOU GODS For he will avenge the blood of his children, and take vengeance on his adversaries; HE WILL REPAY THOSE WHO HATE HIM, and cleanse the land for his people."

Notice the NRSV changed the RSV's "O ye nations" to "O heavens", and it added the phrase "He will repay those who hate him".

Then the next revision of the revision of the revision, called the English Standard Version (ESV)of 2001 has: "REJOICE WITH HIM, O HEAVENS, BOW DOWN TO HIM, ALL GODS, for he avenges the blood of his CHILDREN (not servants) and takes vengeance on his adversaries. HE REPAYS THOSE WHO HATE HIM and cleanses his people's land."

The ESV footnote tells us that changing the word "servants" to "children" comes from one Dead Sea Scroll and the Greek Septuagint, but the Hebrew Masoretic text says "servants" and so do the RSV, NRSV, NASB, NIV, NKJV, etc.

The ESV also changes "Rejoice...with HIS PEOPLE" to "rejoice WITH HIM", even though the previous RSV and NRSV had "his people".

And the ESV again changes "O ye nations" to "O Heavens", and adds "bow down to him, all gods" and "he repays those who hate him".

Where do all these extra words and changes found in the NRSV, ESV and also the New English bible of 1970 come from? The added portions are: "Bow down to him, all gods" and "he repays those who hate him". Some of them change "O ye nations" to "O heavens", and the ESV changes "servants" to "children", and "his people" to "him".

The Holman Standard generally reads in this verse (though not in hundreds of others) as does the King James Bible. It tells us in a footnote that the Hebrew text reads as does the King James Bible, but that the Greek LXX has a whole bunch of words not found in the Hebrew Masoretic texts saying: "Rejoice, you heavens, along with Him, and let all the sons of God worship Him; rejoice, you nations, with His people, and let all the angels of God strengthen themselves in Him." (Actually, the Holman footnote is a bit mixed up. The LXX copy I have reverses "sons of God" and "angels of God", but, then again, not all LXX copies are the same.)

It also tells us that a Dead Sea Scroll reads: "Rejoice, you heavens, along with Him, and let all the angels worship Him."

So where did the three different readings of the RSV, NRSV and ESV come from? Well, it looks like they just made them up, doesn't it? None of the three followed the Hebrew Masoretic texts and each one took different parts from some Greek Septuagint readings and parts of one Dead Sea Scroll manuscript which differs in scores of places from the traditional Hebrew texts. And none of the three Revisions agrees with the others! Isn't modern scholarship a kick in the head?

In Deut. 33:25, "As thy days, so shall thy STRENGTH be." No matter what difficulties we may encounter, God will give us the strength to bear them and go on. The NIV, NKJV, RV, ASV, RSV, ESV, Geneva, Youngs, and Spanish all agree with the KJB reading. However the NASB says: "And according to your days, so shall YOUR LEISURELY WALK be." Did God ever promise us a leisurely walk? Not if you've read the rest of the Bible, He didn't.

“none abiding” or “without hope”?

1 Samuel 13:21Yet THEY HAD A FILE for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads. “

There is much confusion and a wide variety of way the various Bible versions have translated this verse. The reason I bring it up is because at one of the Bible clubs I belong to an NIV user posted it as an example of an indisputable “error” in the King James Bible.

The NIV and some other perhaps surprising modern versions, like theNKJV, have a very different translation in this verse. The NIVreads: “THE PRICE WAS TWO THIRDS OF A SHEKEL for sharpening plowshares and mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening forks and axes and for repointing goads.”

Then they have a footnote that (mistakenly) says: “Hebrew pim; that is, about 1/4 ounce (about 8 grams).” Why do I say mistakenly? Because the meaning of the Hebrew in this verse is not at all so cut and dried as the NIV editors want you to think it is.

For instance, the King James Bible has a marginal note that says: “Hebrew - a file with mouths.” The RSV also reads similarly to the NIV with: “AND THE CHARGE WAS A PIM for the plowshares and for the mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening the axes and for setting the goads.” But then their footnote says: “The Hebrew of this verse is obscure.”

The NKJV also reads very differently than the King James Bible. It basically goes along with the liberal RSV and reads: “AND THE CHARGE FOR A SHARPENING WAS A PIM for the plowshares, the mattocks, the forks, and the axes, and to set the points of the goads.” Then theNKJVhas a footnote that reads like the NIV saying that a pim is “About two-thirds shekel weight.”

Other versions that read like the NIV are the NASB, RSV, NRSV, ESV and the Holman Standard. However as we shall soon see, this interpretation of the meaning of the verse is a fairly recent development and one that is not at all shared by many other Bible translators.

The Hebrew expression translated as “file” in the King James Bible and many others is a combination of two words. That is why the KJB margin says “Hebrew - file of mouths. One word is used only once in all the Old Testament and the other one is quite common. The common word is “peh” and is generally translated (or often the translation is omitted as being superfluous) as mouth, commandment, word, according to, hole, edge or parts. The NIV concordance shows that they have not translated this word at all ten times, and have given it over 60 very different meanings including “jaws, edge, fruit, collar, neck, face, number, double-edged, hunger, share and taste”. The NIV only translated it as “two-thirds” just once, and that is here in 1 Samuel 13:21. So for them to dogmatically affirm, as does the NKJV as well, that the Hebrew says “two-thirds of a shekel” is more than a little presumptuous. Even Daniel Wallace notes that the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.

Bible commentators are often at odds with each other as well when it comes to what they think this verse means.

Adam Clarke says in his commentary: “Yet they had a file - The Hebrew petsirah, from patsar, to rub hard, is translated very differently by the versions and by critics. Our translation may be as likely as any: they permitted them the use of files, (I believe the word means grindstone,) to restore the blunted edges of their tridents axes, and goads.”

John Gill sticks to the sense found in the King James Bible saying: “Those that would not go to the Philistines kept files by them to sharpen those several instruments with upon occasion... when the mouths, or edges, of the mattocks, coulter were dull or "blunt" and so needed sharpening.”

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown agree with the KJB reading as well - “Yet they had a file--as a kind of privilege, for the purpose of sharpening sundry smaller utensils of husbandry.”

Agreeing with the King James Bible translation of “YET THEY HAD A FILE for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads.” are the following Bible translations: the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1560-1602, Webster’s 1833, the Revised Version 1881, the American Standard Version 1901, Rotherham’s Emphasized bible 1902, the Hebrew Names Version, the 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company version, the Judaica Press Tanach “And there was a file for the mattocks...”, Young’s ‘literal’, the World English Bible, the Bible in Basic English 1960, Lamsa’s 1936 translation of the Syriac, the 21st Century KJV, the 1998Third Millenium Bible, the Spanish Reina Valera Gomez, the Portuguese Almeida, and the 1649 Italian Diodati.

It should be obvious that this is by no means an error in the King James Bible.

2 Kings 6:25 “dove’s dung” or “seed pods”?

In 2 Kings 6:25 we read: “And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass’s head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the forth part of a cab of DOVE’S DUNG for five pieces of silver.”

The famine was so severe that the unclean ass’s head, with very little meat on it, was sold for much and the dove’s dung may well have served as fuel for cooking.

In any event, the reading of “a cab of DOVE’S DUNG” is that of the Jewish translations of JPS 1917, the Judaica Press Tanach, the Hebrew Names Bible, Coverdale 1535, Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the King James Bible, the Revised Version, American Standard Version, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible 1902, Lamsa’s translation of the Peshitta, the Greek LXX, the Modern Greek bible, Darby, Youngs, the RSV,NRSV, and 2004 ESV, Wallaces NET version, the Holman Standard, the NASBs 1963 to 1995, Green’s interlinear, the Bible in Basic English. The NKJV reads “dove droppings” but it basically comes out to the same thing. Also agreeing with the KJB’s “dove’s dung” are Luther’s German bible 1545, the Spanish Reina Valera 1602, 1909, 1960 and 1995 (estiércol de paloma), the Portugues Almeida, the French Martin 1744, Louis Segond 1902, and Ostervald 1996 and the Italian Diodati and Riveduta.

However the NIV stands virtually alone in that it says: “a donkey’s head...and a fourth of a cab of SEED PODS.” The Message has “a bowl of field greens”. Now I am not a professional biologist or botanist but I’m pretty sure there is a big difference between “a bowl of field greens” or “seed pods” and “dove’s dung”.

1 Chronicles 29:15 KJB - "For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on earth are as a shadow, AND THERE IS NONE ABIDING."

This is pretty straight forward in the King James Bible. There is none abiding here on this earth, we are just passing through and soon die. The common sense reading of "AND THERE IS NONE ABIDING” is also found in the RV, ASV, Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, Young's, Geneva Bible, Green’s literal, Douay-Rheims, World English Bible, Hebrew Names Version, the Easy to Read Version, the New English Bible 1970, the RSV 1954, and the 2001 English Standard Version.

Foreign language versions that agree with the sense of the KJB that “there is none abiding” are Luther’s German bible 1545, the Spanish Reina Valera 1960, 1995 - “y nuestros días sobre la tierra, cual sombra que no dura.” and the Portuguese Almeida - “e não há permanência”.

However again the NKJVjoins the NIV, NASB, Holman Standard with the ridiculous reading of: "our days on earth are as a shadow, AND WITHOUT HOPE."

One of the main points of David’s public prayer before the congregation of Israel was to emphasize the confidence and hope they all shared in the living God. “and David the king also rejoiced with great joy. Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.”

For these versions like the NKJV, NIV, NASB to then turn around and have king David say that they were “WITHOUT HOPE” is absurd.

Ezra 1:9 - another prime example of the modern Bible Babel

In the book of Ezra we read of king Cyrus being moved upon by God Almighty to issue a decree that the Israelites could leave the kingdom of Persia and return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple.

Among the various vessels and utensils the children of Israel carried back with them, we find the following list in Ezra 1:9. "And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty KNIVES,..."

However there is a confusing hodge-podge of contradictory and conflicting modern versions that have totally different meanings the one from the other. Many people wrongly assume that if they could only learn "the original languages" then they would have a firm grasp on what God REALLY said. Well, if this were true, then why do we have all these modern scholars giving us such a mess of uncertainty?

Let's compare the various Bible versions to see what the scholars have come up with.

"29 KNIVES" is the reading found in the following Bible versions: Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 60, the NKJV of 19, the NRSV of 1989, the Bible in Basic English 1960, the KJV 21st Century version, the Third Millenium Bible, and Green's 1998 Modern KJV.

BUT, the NASB says there were "29 DUPLICATES" (of what, it doesn't tell us)

NIV, and The Message - "29 SILVER PANS"

RSV, and the 2003 ESV tell us there were "29 CENSERS". Notice how the RSV of 1952 was the first version to reject "knives", then the NRSV went back to "knives", and then the revision of the revision of the revision has now gone back to the "29 censers" of the previous RSV.

The 2004 Holman Standard tells us there were "29 SILVER KNIVES"

The 1969 New Life Bible says "29 OTHER DISHES"

Amplified Bible says: "29 SACRIFICIAL DISHES"

The alleged Greek Septuagint says there were "29 CHANGES", and then footnotes that the Hebrew text reads "knives".

Lamsa's 1936 translation of the Syriac tells us there were "29 VESTMENTS".

Daniel Wallace's goofy NET bible version reads: "29 SILVER UTENSILS"

Then the good Doktor Wallace tells us in his footnote these revealing words: " Hebrew “knives.” The Hebrew noun

Note: May I be allowed to say "Duh"?

The Catholic versions are really mixed up as well. The earlier Douay version agrees with the King James Bible saying "29 knives". But then the Jerusalem bible came out in 1968 and it combined the previous number of one thousand with the twenty nine, and it says: "1029 SILVER BOWLS". THEN in 1970 another Catholic version came out called the New American Bible (St. Joseph) and it read: "1029 SACKS OF SILVERWARE", and lastly the Catholic New Jerusalem Bible of 1985 has come down the pike and it once again has separated the two numbers (1000 and 29) and now says there were "29 REPAIRED". If this seems confusing, that is because it is.

Oh, if I only went to seminary and learned the original languages, then I would have it all figured out, right? Don't count on it.

Get yourself a King James Bible and believe the Book God in His providence has given us. You will never go wrong.

Will Kinney

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