Article: Bible Babel 3 by Will Kinney

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Daniel 9:26 "Messiah cut off, but NOT FOR HIMSELF"

An extremely important Messianic prophecy about the significance of the death of Christ has been drastically changed in a multitude of conflicting modern versions.

"And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, BUT NOT FOR HIMSELF."

Christ, who obviously is the Messiah, was cut off out of the land of the living and He died, not for Himself, but for His people. He laid down His life as a ransom for many. He gave Himself for the church, laid down His life for the sheep, and purchased the church of God with His own blood. By His death the Lord Jesus Christ made reconciliation for iniquity and brought in everlasting righteousness, as the immediate context of Daniel 9:24 tells us.

There is no verb in the Hebrew text of Daniel 9:26; it reads "but not for himself". This is also the reading of the Bishop's Bible 1568, the NKJV 1982, the Spanish Reina Valera of 1909 and 1960 (se quitará la vida al Mesías, mas no por sí) but they changed the 1995 Reina Valera and it now reads like the NIV. Also agreeing with the King James reading of "but not for Himself" are Webster's 1833 translation, The Modern Greek Translation (pleen ouxi di heauton), the Third Millenium Bible, Green's 1998 Modern KJV, and the KJV 21st Century Version. Even the NIV footnote gives the reading of the King James Bible "or, cut off, but not for Himself", but the text of the NIV reads quite differently.

Versions like the NIV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Holman, and NASB read: "Messiah shall be cut off AND HAVE NOTHING." Messiah shall have nothing?!? He purchased His people and bought His bride with His own blood! He certainly did not "have nothing".

The NIV is not always translated in the same way into foreign languages. The NIV in Spanish simply omits this last phrase altogether. The 1984 Nueva Versión Internacional says: "After the 72 weeks, the life of the elect prince will be taken away."

Dr. Daniel Wallace, of Dallas Theological Seminary, is writing his own bible version on the internet. It is called the NET bible and it often rejects the clear Hebrew readings and frequently comes up with meanings not found in any other bible out there in print. His NET version with commentary says: "Now after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one will be cut off AND HAVE NOTHING." Then he footnotes: "The expression "HAVE NOTHING" is difficult. Presumably it refers to an absence of support or assistance for the anointed one at the time of his “cutting off.” The KJV rendering “but not for himself,” apparently suggesting A VICARIOUS DEATH, CANNOT BE DEFENDED."

This "renowned scholar" admits his own rendering "is difficult", and "a presumption", but then he adamantly tells that the idea of a substitutionary death as found in the King James Bible "cannot be defended". He is uncertain about his own reading, but certain that the King James Bible got it wrong! Aren't Bible correctors a kick in the head? Well, as we shall soon see, a great many Bible teachers and translators are not at all in agreement with Dr. Wallace's opinions.

Matthew Henry comments: "In order to all this the Messiah must be cut off, must die a violent death, and so be cut off from the land of the living, as was foretold, Isa. 53:8. He must be cut off, BUT NOT FOR HIMSELF —not for any sin of his own, but, as Caiaphas prophesied, HE MUST DIE FOR THE PEOPLE, IN OUR STEAD and for our good, it was TO ATONE FOR OUR SINS, and to purchase life for us, that he was cut off."

John Wesley tersely remarks: " Not for himself - BUT FOR OUR SAKES, and for our salvation."

John Gill offfers this explanation first: " when Jesus the true Messiah was cut off in a judicial way; not for any sins of his own, BUT FOR THE SINS OF HIS PEOPLE, to make satisfaction for them, and TO OBTAIN THEIR REDEMPTION and salvation."

David Guzik's Commentary says simply: "The Messiah will be cut off FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS, NOT FOR HIMSELF."

C.H. Spurgeon comments: "The Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself." - Daniel 9:26 "Blessed be his name, there was no cause of death in him. Neither original nor actual sin had defiled him, and therefore death had no claim upon him. No man could have taken his life from him justly, for he had done no man wrong, and no man could even have lain him by force unless he had been pleased to yield himself to die. But lo, one sins and another suffers. Justice was offended by us, but found its satisfaction in him. Rivers of tears, mountains of offerings, seas of the blood of bullocks, and hills of frankincense, could not have availed for the removal of sin; BUT JESUS WAS CUT OFF FOR US, and the cause of wrath was cut off at once, for sin was put away for ever. Herein is wisdom, whereby SUBSTITUTION, the sure and speedy WAY OF ATONEMENT, was devised! Herein is condescension, which brought Messiah, the Prince, to wear a crown of thorns, and die upon the cross! Herein is love, which led the Redeemer to LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS ENEMIES!

Bible Babel in Action

Here are some other "bible versions" and their readings for comparison. See if this clears things up for us and verifies the statements made by many today that "There are no conflicting bibles", or "By reading a multitude of different versions we get a better idea of what the text says".

Wycliffe 1395 - "Christ shall be slain, and IT SHALL NOT BE HIS PEOPLE THAT SHALL DENY HIM."

Coverdale 1535 "Christ shall be slain AND THEY SHALL HAVE NO PLEASURE IN HIM."

The New English bible 1970 says: "one who is anointed is removed WITHOUT ANYONE TO TAKE HIS PART."

Young's 'literal' translation has: "cut off is Messiah AND THE CITY AND THE HOLY PLACE ARE NOT."

Lamsa's 1936 translation of the Syriac - "Messiah shall be slain AND THE CITY SHALL BE WITHOUT A RULER."

The alleged Greek Septuagint (LXX) reads: "the anointed one shall be destroyed AND THERE IS NO JUDGMENT IN HIM."

The Message of 2002 - "After the sixty-two sevens, the Anointed Leader will be killed--THE END OF HIM." (Not quite true, is it?)

1917 Jewish Publication Society translation - "shall an anointed one be cut off AND BE NO MORE." (Again not true)

The Good News Translation - Second edition says: "And at the end of that time God's chosen leader will be killed UNJUSTLY." Then it footnotes: "One ancient translation unjustly; Hebrew unclear."

The Easy To Read Version 2001 - "After the 62 weeks, the chosen person will be killed. HE WILL BE GONE."

The New Berkeley Version in Modern English 1969 edition - "...but after sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be slain, ALTHOUGH THERE IS NOTHING AGAINST HIM."

The Catholic versions are all in disagreement with each other too.

The Douay Version of 1950 says: - "And after sixty-two weeks Christ shall be slain: AND THE PEOPLE THAT SHALL DENY HIM SHALL NOT BE HIS."

Then the Jerusalem Bible of 1968 has: "an anointed one will be cut off - AND....WILL NOT BE FOR HIM." (This is actually how it reads)

The St. Joseph New American Bible of 1970 has: "an anointed shall be cut down WHEN HE DOES NOT POSSES THE CITY"

And finally the New Jerusalem Bible of 1985 says: "an Anointed One put to death WITHOUT and sanctuary ruined by a prince who is to come." (Again, this is actually how it reads)

May I suggest you take a few moments to review this list of conflicting bible readings, and then ask God to open your eyes to see which one presents the truth about why Messiah was cut off, and what His death accomplished? The King James Bible always comes out on top when the Truth of God is revealed to the believing heart.

Hosea 11:12 KJB "But Judah yet RULETH WITH GOD, AND IS FAITHFUL WITH THE SAINTS." The Bible versions that agree with the King James Bible in that Judah IS YET FAITHFUL are the Bishops' Bible, the Geneva Bible, the RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Darby, Young, Spanish Reina Valera, Green's interlinear, the Hebrew-English 1936, and the Third Millenium Bible.

But the NKJV puts a new twist here saying: "But Judah still walks with God, even with the Holy One, who is faithful."

This time Daniel Wallace's NET version agrees in the main with the KJB saying: "But Judah still roams about with God; he remains faithful to the Holy One."

The NASB, NIV and TNIV completely spin this verse around to mean the opposite with: "And Judah is UNRULY AGAINST God, even against the faithful Holy One."

The Holman Standard has come up with a different rendering, saying: "Judah STILL WANDERS WITH EL, AND IS FAITHFUL TO HOLY ONES." Say what?!? Then it tells us in a footnote that the Hebrew is obscure. If you think the Hebrew is obscure, then the English translations are downright mind-boggling. So which, if any, of the multiple-choice bible versions is the true word of God?

Sometimes, when a bible paraphrases, something is lost. In Matthew 1:25 we are told of Joseph the husband of Mary that he "KNEW her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS."

This verb, to know, has the same meaning as in Hebrew. To know sexually and to know intimately in a special relationship. However again the NASB and the NIV have totally paraphrased it. They now read "he kept her a virgin". There is no word for kept, nor for virgin, and they left out the word "not". The only thing they have correctly translated is "her".

What is lost? The connection that helps explain the meaning of the word "to know" when used in the intimate, personal relationship between God and his people. I know my sheep. The Father knows me and I know the Father. The NASB, and NIV are both wrong in Amos 3:2 and in Matthew 1:25.

Amos 3:2 "You only HAVE I KNOWN of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities."

"You only HAVE I KNOWN" is the reading of the RV, ASV, RSV, ESV, Holman Standard, NKJV, Darby, Young's, Geneva Bible and the Jewish translations. The word "to know" is # 3045, and means to know, as is Genesis 4:1 "And Adam knew his wife Eve"; Genesis 22:12 "Now I know that thou fearest God"; and Jeremiah 1:5 "before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee." However the NASB of 1972 said: "You ONLY HAVE ME of all the families of the earth." Then in 1977 the NASB changed to read like the NIV:'"You only HAVE I CHOSEN of all the families...". Both are wrong.

Amos 3:3 except they be agreed?

In Amos 3:3 God is rebuking his people for their sin of departing from him and being rebellious. The Lord says: "Can two walk together, except they BE AGREED?" In other words, we must be in agreement with God, see things the way He does, and assent to walk in fellowship with Him or we shall surely suffer the consequences.

Other versions that agree with the KJB here are the ASV (the version so highly praised by the NASB as being the Rock of Biblical Honesty), Revised Version, the Geneva Bible, both the 1917 and 1936 Hebrew-English versions, the Spanish Reina Valera, Darby, Douay, New Life Version, Websters Bible translation, NKJV, Green's interlinear and others.

However the NASB says: "Do two men walk together unless they HAVE MADE AN APPOINTMENT?" There is no word for "men" in the Hebrew, so the meaning that this is talking about God and his people walking together is lost. The NASB is speaking about just two men. The phrase "they have made an appointment" completely changes the meaning. People can make an appointment to meet together physically, yet they can totally disagree with each other and hold opposite views. The whole meaning of the verse has been changed.

The NIV has: "Do two walk together unless THEY HAVE AGREED TO DO SO?, and Daniel Wallace's goofy NET version actually says: "Do two walk together WITHOUT HAVING MET?"

Amos 4:12 "Thus saith the LORD; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of a lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria, and IN DAMASCUS in a couch."

Jamieson, Faussett and Brown commentary remarks: in Damascus in a couch--Jeroboam II had lately restored Damascus to Israel (2 Kings 14:25, 28). So the Israelites are represented as not merely in "the corner of a bed," as in Samaria, but "in a (whole) couch," at Damascus, living in luxurious ease."

John Wesley's commentary says: "Damascus - The chief city of Syria taken by Tiglath - Pilneser about the time when he wasted Israel."

"and IN DAMASCUS IN A COUCH" is the reading of Coverdale 1535, Bishops's Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company's translation, Young's, THE NIV, and TNIV!!!, Douay, Green's interlinear, the Modern KJV, Lamsa's 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta, Webster's 1833 translation, Luther's German, Calvin's Latin translation, and the Third Millenium Bible.

The Holman Standard notes that Damascus is the reading even of the Greek Septuagint, the Syriac, the Hebrew Targums and the Vulgate. However instead of "Damascus" the NKJV says: "ON THE EDGE of a couch", then footnotes that the Hebrew is uncertain. Even Daniel Wallace notes that the NKJV reading of "on the edge" is an emended (changed) text "based on a Hebrew term not attested in the Bible." The NASB has: "a COVER of a couch", the RV and ASV say: "ON SILKEN CUSHIONS of a bed", Holman Standard "the CUSHIONS of a couch"; the RSV, ESV have: "ON PART of a bed"; Darby - "on THE DAMASK of a bed", New English Bible 1970 "A CHIP FROM THE LEG of a bed"; The Message, as usual, differs from them all saying: - "A couple of old chairs at most, THE BROKEN LEG OF A TABLE."

Zechariah 13:5 KJB "But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; FOR MAN TAUGHT ME TO KEEP CATTLE FROM MY YOUTH." Bishop’s Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the NKJV 1982, the 1936 Jewish Publication Society of America translation, the Spanish Reina Valera 1909, Webster’s 1833 translation, KJV 21st Century, and the Third Millenium Bible all read the same as the King James Bible.


NASB "I am a tiller of the ground, FOR A MAN SOLD ME AS A SLAVE IN MY YOUTH."

Lamsa’s translation of the Syriac Peshitta: “AND A MAN MADE ME ZEALOUS TO PROPHESY from my youth.”



Catholic Douay 1950 “ADAM IS MY EXAMPLE from my youth.”

KJB Zech. 13:6 "And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds IN THINE HANDS? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends."

Agreeing with the King James Bible reading of "What are these wounds IN THINE HANDS" are the 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company version, the Wycliffe Bible 1395, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Young's literal translation, Darby's translation, the Douay-Rheims, The Spanish Reina Valera "Y le preguntarán: ¿Qué heridas son estas en tus manos? Y él responderá: Con ellas fui herido en casa de mis amigos.", the Italian Diodati, Lamsa's 1936 translation of the Syriac, the KJV 21st Century version, The NKJV 1982, and the Third Millenium Bible.

Other translations:

NIV- "What are these wounds ON YOUR BODY? he will answer, 'The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.' " The NIV concordance shows that they have translated this same Hebrew word as "hand" or "hands" 887 times, and as "body" only once.

NASB - "What are these wounds BETWEEN YOUR ARMS?" (where exactly is "between your arms", anyway?) By the way, the word is clearly "hands" from the Hebrew, same as in the next verse "I will turn mine hand upon the little ones". The NASB has translated this Hebrew word as "hands" 1163 times.

The 1917 Jewish Pub. Society - "And one shall say unto him: 'What are these wounds between thy hands?' Then he shall answer: 'Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.'"

The RSV, ESV - "And if one asks him, 'What are these wounds ON YOUR BACK?' he will say, 'The wounds I received in the house of my friends.'

The NRSV - "And if anyone asks them, "What are these wounds ON YOUR CHEST?" the answer will be "The wounds I received in the house of my friends."

THE MESSAGE - "And if someone says, "And so WHERE DID YOU GET THAT BLACK EYE?' THEY'll say, "I RAN INTO A DOOR at a friend's house.'

New Life Bible - "If someone asks him, 'What are these SORES ON YOUR BACK?' he will answer, 'They are the sores I received in the house of my friends.'

Contemporary English Version - "And if any of them are asked why they are wounded, (F47) they will answer, "It happened at the house of some friends." FOOTNOTES: F47 wounded: Probably from slashing themselves in the worship of a false god (see 1 Kings 18.28).

The Living Bible 1981 - "And if someone asks, Then what are these SCARS ON YOUR CHEST AND YOUR BACK? he will say, "I GOT INTO A BRAWL AT THE HOME OF A FRIEND."

Zechariah 14:6 The context is the “day of the LORD” when He goes forth to fight against the nations that He gathers against Jerusalem.

We pick up in 14:5-7 where we read: “...and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, THAT THE LIGHT SHALL NOT BE CLEAR, NOR DARK: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, NOT DAY, NOR NIGHT: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time is shall be light.”

Even Jamieson, Fausset and Brown point out: "English Version (this would be the King James Bible)accords with Zec 14:7: "There shall not be altogether light nor altogether darkness." The King James Bible makes perfect sense in the context. However there is a huge difference in the way the various versions have translated this section, with several of the more modern ones abandoning the Hebrew, and following SOME copies of the so called Greek Septuagint.

Agreeing with the King James reading of “THAT THE LIGHT SHALL NOT BE CLEAR, NOR DARK” either word for word or in sense are: Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible “And in that day shall there bee no cleare light, but darke.”, Webster’s 1833, the 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company version :”no bright light nor thick darkness”, Darby, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, and the Modern Greek translation of the Old Testament (not to be confused with the LXX).

The Spanish translations from 1569 to 1960 agree exactly with the KJB reading. The Sagradas Escrituras 1569, and the Spanish Reina Valera 1602, 1909, 1960, - “Y acontecerá que en ese día no habrá luz clara, ni oscura.” - And it will come to pass in that day that there will not be clear light, nor dark.” (But the 1995 RV rejects the Hebrew and follows the alleged LXX - Acontecerá que en ese día no habrá luz, ni frío, ni hielo. - “there will not be light, nor cold, nor ice.”

The Judaica Press Tanach is very similar to the KJB with: “And it shall come to pass on that day that there shall be no light, only disappearing light and thick darkness.”

The modern Complete Jewish Bible is very similar to the KJB with: “On that day, there will be neither bright light nor thick darkness.”

The 1917 Jewish Publication Society version is in the ballpark of the KJB reading: "And it shall come to pass in that day, that there shall not be light, but heavy clouds and thick." Notice that none of the four Jewish translations cited say anything about "cold and frost", but instead refer to some sort of a combination of light and darkness on that day.

Young’s ‘literal’ - “in that day, The precious light is not, it is dense darkness.”

Green’s 2000 “literal” - “And it will be in that day, there shall not be light; THE GLORIOUS ONES WILL SHRINK.”!!

The 1982 NKJV has a different meaning that either the KJB or the NIV saying: “It shall come to pass in that day That there will be no light; THE LIGHTS WILL DIMINISH.”

Darby is similar in sense to the KJB - “in that day, that there shall not be light; the shining shall be obscured.”

NIV - “On that day there will be no light, NO COLD OR FROST.”

But the 2003 Holman Standard doesn’t go along with the NIV reading, but instead has: “On that day there will be no light; THE SUNLIGHT AND MOONLIGHT WILL DIMINISH.”

Not even the New International Reader’s Version 1998, put out by the same people who gave us the NIV, go along with the previous NIV reading, but have: “There won't be any light on that day. THE SUN, MOON AND STARS WILL NOT SHINE.”

The 2001 English Standard Version reads like the NIV but notice its footnotes: ESV- “On that day there shall be NO LIGHT, COLD, OR FROST.” Footnote: Compare Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate, Targum; the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.”

However the earlier RSV, and NRSV even omitted the word “light” and tell us: “On that day there shall not be EITHER COLD OR FROST.” But then footnote: Compare Gk Syr Vg Tg: Meaning of Heb uncertain.”

The Latin Vulgate does read like the NIV has it, saying “et erit in die illa non erit lux sed frigus et gelu” (and in that day there shall not be light but cold and frost) and to this also agree Wycliffe and Coverdale. The first English Bible to follow the Hebrew rather than the Latin here was the Bishops’ Bible which agrees in sense with the King James Bible. But the Spanish Bible had it right way back in 1569.

The RSV, NRSV, ESV recommend the so called Septuagint, but the LXX versions differ among themselves. The LXX copy I have says “and there shall be no light, and there shall be for one day A SOUL (psukee) and frost.” Then even it footnotes: “Alexandrian psukos, cold, PROBABLY the right reading.” So not even the LXXs agree with each other.

ASV 1901 - “there shall not be light; THE BRIGHT ONES SHALL WITHDRAW THEMSELVES.”

NASB - “In that day there will be no light; THE LUMINARIES WILL DWINDLE.”

The Message is unrecognizable with: - “The Day is coming—the timing is God's—when it will be continuous day. Every evening will be a fresh morning.”

Contemporary English Version 1995 - “It will be a bright day that won't turn cloudy.” Footnote - “One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.”

NET Version. As usual, Daniel Wallace puts his own spin on things, but his footnote is of interest in that what he says he thinks it means is basically what is found in the King James Bible.

NET Version - “On that day there will be no light – the sources of light in the heavens will congeal.” Then part of his lengthy footnote reads: “This difficult phrase is not clarified by the LXX which presupposes “and cold and ice,” a reading followed by NAB, NIV, NCV, NRSV, TEV). Besides the fact that cold and ice do not necessarily follow the absence of light, the idea here is that day will be night and night day.”

Malachi 2:15 - Bible Babel in Action

First the context and an explanation of the verse: "...Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet she is thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. AND DID NOT HE MAKE ONE? YET HAD HE THE RESIDUE OF THE SPIRIT. AND WHEREFORE ONE? THAT HE MIGHT SEEK A GODLY SEED. Therefore take heed to thy spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth." Malachi 2:14-15

Though I believe there is a spiritual, allegorical meaning to this passage as well, let's focus on the usual literal meaning of the words as applied to the marriage between one man and one woman.

Malachi 2:15 King James Bible - "And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed."

This is the word for word rendering of the Revised Version 1881 and the American Standard Version of 1901. It is also the reading or meaning found in the Geneva Bible, Bishop's Bible, the Spanish Reina Valera, Webster's 1833 translation, the KJV 21st Century Version, the NKJV, the World English Bible, the Hebrew Names Version, the Updated Bible Version 2004, and the Third Millenium Bible.

Commentators as well as Bible versions are all over the board on the meaning of this verse, but most of them generally agree with the sense found in the King James Bible.

John Wesley comments: "One - But one man, and one woman. Yet - Yet he could have made more. Wherefore one - One couple, and no more. A godly seed - A holy seed born to God in chaste wedlock, and bred as they were born, in the fear of God. Take heed - Keep your heart from wandering after strange wives."

The Geneva Bible has these marginal notes of explanation.

"And did not hee make one? yet had hee abundance of spirit: and wherefore one? because he sought a godly seede: therefore keepe your selues in your spirit, & let none trespasse against the wife of his youth."

Did not God make man and woman as one flesh and not many? By his power and strength he could have made many women for one man.

John Gill comments on Malachi 2:15: "And did not he make one? - That is, did not God make one man, and out of his rib one woman? did he not make man, male and female? did he not make one pair, one couple, only Adam and Eve, whom he joined together in marriage? or rather, did he not make one woman only, and brought her to Adam to be his wife? which shows that his intention and will were, that one man should have but one wife at a time; the contrary to which was the then present practice of the Jews.

Yet had he the residue of the spirit - it was not for want of power that he made but one woman of Adam's rib, and breathed into her the breath of life, or infused into her a human soul or spirit; he could have made many women at the same time; and as the Father of spirits, having the residue of them with him, or a power left to make as many as he pleased, he could have imparted spirits unto them, and given Adam more wives than one.

And wherefore one? -what is the reason why he made but one woman, when he could have made ten thousand, or as many as he pleased? the answer is, That he might seek a godly seed.

The NKJV basically reads like the King James Bible - "But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth."

The Updated Bible Version of 2004 has also gone back to the King James reading with: "And did he not make one, although he had the residue of the Spirit? And why one? He sought a godly seed."

HOWEVER, when we begin to compare a multitude of modern versions we encounter totally different and conflicting meanings. Remember, all these scholars have the same training and are translating the same Hebrew texts, yet they come up with completely different translations.

The RSV of 1952

"Has not the one God made and sustained for us the spirit of life? And what does he desire? Godly offspring."

The NRSV of 1989

"Did not one God make her? Both flesh and spirit are his. And what does the one God desire? Godly offspring."

The ESV of 2001

"Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring."

Each of these is a revision of the other, and none of them agree not with the King James Bible, but not even with each other.

The NASB of 1995 (Remember that both the RV and ASV read as does the KJB)

"But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit. And what did that one do while he was seeking a godly offspring?"

The NIV of 1984

"Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring."

Holman Standard of 2003

"Didn't the one God make us with a remnant of His life-breath? And what does the One seek? A godly offspring."

The Message of 2002

"GOD, not you, made marriage. His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage. And what does he want from marriage? Children of God, that's what."

Not one of these modern versions, from the RSV to The Message, has the same meaning as any of the others. They are wildly different from each other, and yet we are constantly being told that all bibles have the same message. This is the present day Bible Babel and confused state of Christianity in the 21st century.


Here is an interesting case of modern version flights of fancy. All Greek texts read the same here and clearly use the word "cubit". A cubit is a unit of about 18 inches and is used to measure physical height, length or thickness.

Many Bible commentators criticize the King James reading of "one cubit unto his stature", but they don't even agree among themselves. Even Robertson's Word Pictures (and he was an avid Westcott-Hort critical text fan) says: "The word hlikian is used either of height (stature) or length of life (age). Either makes good sense here, though probably "stature" suits the context best."

In any event, Bible translations that correctly read "add one cubit unto his stature" are the following: Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Rotherham's Emphasized Bible, the Revised Version 1881, Darby, Douay-Rheims, Lamsa's 1936 translation of the Syriac Peshitta, the Italian Diodati 1649 and the Riveduta 1927, the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569 and the Reina Valera 1960 (añadir a su estatura un codo?), the Hebrew Names Bible, the NKJV 1982, Green's MKJV, the 2003 Holman Standard, and the Third Millenium Bible.

Versions that paraphrase the Greek but end up with basically the same meaning as found in the KJB are the New Life Bible, New English Bible 1970, and the Message which reads: ""Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch?", while the Bible in Basic English has: "And which of you by taking thought is able to make himself a cubit taller?" Even Weymouth had "can add a single foot to his height?"

Now the NASBs present an interesting case. From 1963 to 1977 the NASB editions read: "add A CUBIT TO HIS LIFE SPAN". Then after 22 years it may have dawned on the NASB translators that since a cubit is always used for a measurement of height or distance, and never as a length of time, that their reading didn't make much sense. So, in 1995 they have once again changed their "bible" to now read along with the NIV, RSV, and ESV: "add AN HOUR TO HIS LIFE SPAN". Of course, there is no Greek text on this earth that reads "AN HOUR", but the NASB guys have never been too much concerned about consistency or accuracy.

For proof of the fickle nature of the NASB please see my article - 'The ever-changing "literal" NASB' here: ever changing NASBs

Will Kinney

Matthew 12:40

"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the WHALE'S belly: so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

The Greek word correctly translated in the King James Bible as "Whale" is ketos. I have a modern Greek dictionary called Diury's Modern English-Greek and Greek-English Dicionary 1974. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Bible. It's just a Greek/English dictionary. If you look up the Greek word ketos it simply says whale. If you look up whale, it says ketos.

In Websters dictionary 1999 edition, there are two English words listed which come from this Greek word ketos. Cetus is the constellation of the Whale. Cetology is the branch of zoology dealing with whales and dolphins. These are both English words derived from ketos. This word occurs only one time in the New Testament. The word is not "fish", which is an entirely different Greek word - ixthus.

Jonah 1:17 refers to a "great fish" which the LORD had prepared to swallow the errant prophet Jonah. The whale, though by today's man-made "scientific" classification is a mammal, has a fishlike body, and the word fish is defined in all dictionaries as including any aquatic animal with a fishlike body. This "scientific" classification was unknown in the days of Jonah and of Jesus, and is of no relevance to the way God classifies His creatures. Most people even today, when they see a whale, say: "Wow, that's one big fish!" That is, until some pedantic type says: No, that's a mammal.

God's classification system differs from that of man's. In 1 Corinthians 15:39 we read: "All flesh is not the same flesh; but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds."

Perhaps in an attempt to appear scientific rather than correctly translating what the Greek word really means, the NKJV, and ESV have "the great fish"; the NIV has "the huge fish" while the NASB, and the NRSV have "the sea monster"!

Bible versions that have correctly translated this word as WHALE are Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Webster's 1833 translation, Mace's N.T. 1729, the Revised Version 1881, the American Standard Version of 1901, the Spanish Reina Valera of 1602 and 1909, the Italian Diodati, the Douay-Rheims, Lamsa's 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta, the Revised Standard Version of 1952, the New American Bible of 1970, the Hebrew Names Version, the World English Bible, the 2004 Updated Bible version, the KJV 21st Century and the Third Millenium Bible.

What big fish would have swallowed up Jonah alive except a whale? Or was it the NASB's SEA MONSTER?

The ever revolving door of modern scholarship can't seem to get its act together. The RSV, NRSV, and ESV are all revisions of each other, yet the RSV says "a whale", the NRSV has "a sea monster" and the ESV reads "the great fish".

The Greek word itself means "a whale"; it does not mean a fish nor much less a sea monster. The Lord Jesus Christ said Jonah was swallowed by a whale and the King James Bible is correct while the NKJV, NIV and NASB are in error.

Matthew 21:42 Jesus Christ the head of the corner

In Matthew 21:42 we read: "Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the HEAD OF THE CORNER: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?"

The KJB contains the literal rendering. So also the Revised Version, the ASV, Geneva, Young, Tyndale and even the RSV. The head, kephale, is used as Christ the head of the Church, the head of the body, the man being the head of the woman, etc. Corner is gonia, as in "the corners of the streets"; "this thing was not done in a corner" and "the four corners of the earth"

This name or reference to Christ as the head of the corner occurs in Mat.21:42; Mark 12:10, Acts 4:11 and I Peter 2:7. The NKJV and NASB are pretty close with "chief corner stone", though the word stone is not in the text, but it can be implied.

In any case, a corner stone, or head of the corner is a large stone placed at the angle where 2 walls of a building meet, and helps bind them together. This large stone gives direction to the entire structure, and is the first stone put into place.

Notice the reference in Job 38:4-6 where the LORD asks Job "Where wast thou when I laid the foundation of the earth? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof?"

However the NIV has totally messed up these four references to Christ being the head of the corner, and instead has translated the exact same Greek as "the CAPSTONE." "The stone which the builders rejected has become the capstone."

Now the capstone is not the first stone placed in the foundation of the building to give it shape and direction, but is rather the very last stone to be placed in the near finished structure. A capstone goes on the top of the building, so it is the exact opposite of the head of the corner.

The NIV even contradicts itself. If we look at the prophesy found in Isaiah 28:16 we read: "Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a FOUNDATION a stone, a tried stone, a precious CORNER STONE, a sure FOUNDATION." This corner stone is the foundation, not the capstone. Even the NIV has "precious corner stone for a sure foundation."

Don't worry, they are just updating that old fashioned King James language so we can better understand it. They aren't really perverting (turning upside down) the words of God.

What is of interest too, is the fact that the new TNIV, or Today's NIV, has now come out updating the old NIV, and guess what? They have now gone back to the correct reading that was always found in the King James Bible. The TNIV now reads once again: the stone the builders rejected has become THE CORNERSTONE.

Luke 2:22 “her” purification or “their” purification

One King James Bible critic wrote me his thoughts on why he thinks the King James Bible reading of “her” purification is wrong and versions like the NIV, NASB, RSV supposedly have it right when they say “their” purification. Here is what he wrote:

“Now, some of the discrepencies you noted are worth attention. Some are not. Like Luke 2:22. Even Matthew Henry notes that "Many copies, and authentic ones, read autoµn for autees, the days of their purification, the purification both of the mother and of the child, for so it was intended to be by the law;" In other words, it was not a sacrifice to be cleansed from sin, it was a fulfillment of the Old Testament law that required purification for mother AND CHILD forty days after birth, cleansing from the birth process. If the sacrifice had not been made for Jesus' purification, then He could not later say the He came to fulfill the law. Just as later He fulfilled the Passover feasts--not for sin, but for fulfillment of the law.”

My response to him was this: Hi, brother. I would suggest you stick to the Bible itself here.

You said: " In other words, it was not a sacrifice to be cleansed from sin, it was a fulfillment of the Old Testament law that required purification for mother AND CHILD forty days after birth, cleansing from the birth process."

You did not find any of this in the O.T. law, brother. It is not there.

Luke 2:22 "And when the days of HER purification ACCORDING TO THE LAW OF MOSES were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord."

This is clearly a referrence to Leviticus 12:6-8

Lev. 12:6 - And when the days of HER purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, SHE shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest:

12:7 Who shall offer it before the LORD, and make AN ATONEMENT FOR HER; and SHE SHALL BE CLEANSED from the issue of her blood. This is the law for HER that hath born a male or a female.

12:8 And if SHE be not able to bring a lamb, then SHE shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement FOR HER AND SHE shall be clean.

Only the mother was to bring a sacrifice and only the woman was to have an atonement made for her and thus be cleansed- not the child too.

The reading of HER is a minority reading, but it is the correct one. For every single "minority reading" found in the KJB, there are a hundred found in the NASB, NIV, RSV. In fact, manuscript D, which is sometimes exclusively followd by the NASB, actually reads "HIS purification".

"HER purification" is found in several Greek copies. It is the reading of Beza's and Elzevir's Greek texts. It is also the reading of the Modern Greek text of the Greek speaking Orthodox churches, Green's interlinear Greek, and the Trinitarian Bible Society Greek text.

It is also found in the Old Latin (a, aur, b, beta ,c, d, e, ff2 ,1, r1), as well as the Greek manuscripts of R, Y, 047, 055, 0211. Her purification is also the reading of the Spanish Reina Valera 1858 and 1909 - “Y como se cumplieron los dias de la purificacion DE ELLA, conforme á la ley de Moisés, le trajeron á Jerusalem para presentar[le] al Señor;, the Geneva Bible 1599, Bishop's bible 1568, the King James Bible 1611, Webster's 1833 translation, the NKJV 1982, the 1994 KJV 21st Century, the 1998 Third Millenium Bible and even the Catholic Douay Version 1950.

Wycliffe's English version 1395 says: "the purification of Mary", as well as the French Martin version of 1744 - “Et quand les jours de la purification de [Marie] furent accomplis...”

The reading found the NASB, NIV, RSV and JW bibles of "after the days of THEIR purification" teaches that the baby Jesus needed to have an atonement and a sin offering made for his cleansing, which is contrary to anything found in the law of Moses, to which this passage directly refers. It is not the correct reading.

It is interesting to note that the new TNIV has altered the text in such a way as to avoid the blunder found in the previous NIV and make it agree with the correct teaching found in the King James Bible reading. The 2005 TNIV now reads: “When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.”

Luke 10:1, 17- "After these things the Lord appointed other SEVENTY also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come." V.17 "And the SEVENTY returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name."

The reading of SEVENTY is found in Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible, the Geneva Bible 1599, the RV 1881, ASV 1901, RSV 1952, NRSV 1989, NKJV 1982, NASB 1963-1995, the Holman Standard 2003, and the 2007 ISV.

However the NIV, 2001 ESV, Douay-Rheims, Jerusalem Bible, and the New English Bible tell us in both verses: "After this the Lord appointed SEVENTY-TWO others and sent them two by two ahead of him..." (NIV). Notice that the previous RSV, NRSV went with 70, but the latest revision of the revision of the revision, the ESV, now goes with 72. But the even newer Holman and ISV go with 70. So if all these versions are equally the inspired and inerrant word of God, how many were there, 70 or 72?

Luke 11:53-54 New Version nonsense

In Luke 11:53-54 the Lord Jesus is in the midst of blasting away at the scribes and Pharisees. "AND AS HE SAID THESE THINGS UNTO THEM, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, AND TO PROVOKE HIM TO SPEAK OF MANY THINGS: laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, THAT THEY MIGHT ACCUSE HIM."

This is the reading of the majority of Greek texts, A, which dates to the early fifth century, all the Old Latin copies which predate Vaticanus and Sinaticus. It is also the reading of the Syriac Peshitta, Palestinian, Harclean and Curetonian ancient versions, and the Diatessaron which predates Sinaiticus and Vaticanus by about 200 years.

Vaticanus and Sinaticus have a ridiculous reading here which is found in the NIV,ESV, and NASB. Instead of "As he said these things unto them" the NASB says: "AND WHEN HE LEFT THERE, the scribes and Pharisees began to be very hostile and TO QUESTION HIM CLOSELY on many subjects." How in the name of common sense can Jesus have left the place, and yet the scribes continue to question Him?

The NIV is similar with its: "When JESUS left there, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law beseige him with questions." Here the NIV adds "Jesus", which is not even in their textus corruptus, and reverses "scribes and Pharisees" contrary to all texts. Again, Jesus is gone, according to NASB and NIV, so how can they begin to beseige him with questions?

In this place not even the Catholic Douay follows Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, but reads as the KJB. The Living Bible, which follows Westcott and Hort, evidently saw the absurdity of the reading, and so just omitted the phrase altogether.

In regards to the phrase "to provoke him to speak of many things", this is the reading in all texts, and it is the rendering of the Revised Version, the ASV (precursor to the NASB), Tyndale, Geneva, Young, Catholic Douay, and even the RSV. The St. Joseph of 1970, Jerusalem Bible and the New Life Version read in a similar way to the KJB.

However the NKJV has redefined the word "to speak" apostomatizw, which literally is to "mouth forth", and have it as "to crossexamine" him. So is Jesus speaking or are others doing the questioning? The NASB has "to question Him closely" while the NIV has "to besiege him with questions" while it omits the "of many things" which is found in all texts.

In addition to this, the phrase "That they might accuse him" is omitted by our "oldest and best" Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, so the NIV and NASB do not have it, but the NKJV, Living Bible, Lamsa translation from the Peshitta, and even the Catholic Douay retain the KJB reading.

For total inconsistency in regards to Sinaiticus/Vaticanus, go back to verse 48 of this same chapter where it says "Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build THEIR SEPULCHRES." Here both Sin/Vat omit "their sepulchres" but the sentence would not make sense without these words. "And you build". Build what? So the NIV includes the words, not following Sin/Vat, and the NASB puts the words in italics.

So anyone who says all bibles are the same, just doesn't know what he is talking about. What did God really give us? Surely not the confusion of the Bible Babel that exists today. One or two examples will not sway you, but when we pile scores of examples like this, one after another, it may make a dent in someone's thinking.

Luke 12:25 add to his stature one cubit?

Luke 12:25 And which of you with taking thought can add to HIS STATURE ONE CUBIT?"

There are a couple of things to be noticed in this verse. The word cubit, peekus, is clearly in all texts. It is found four times in the N.T. and the KJB, as well as many other Bibles, correctly translates all four as cubits. It is found in Rev. 21:17 "And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel." It is a distance of about 18 inches.

Bible versions that read exactly as the KJB's "add to his stature one cubit" are Tyndales, Geneva, Lamsa's translation from the Peshitta of 1933, Webster's Bible, Darby, Douay, Spanish, Diodati, NKJV, World English Bible, Hebrew Names Version, and the Revised Version of 1881. Other modern versions that have the same meaning as referring to height are the New English Bible, New Life Version of 1997 and J. B. Phillips. Cubit is also found in Youngs, the RSV, and the ASV.

However when we look at the NIV and NASB we find a very different idea. The NIV says: " can add a SINGLE HOUR TO HIS LIFE." Cubit does not mean "hour" and stature does not mean life. In addition, both Sinaticus and Vaticanus, (which, by the way DO have cubit) have omitted the little word "one" - hena, the number one. Yet the NIV puts it in the text and the NASB has it in italics. The NASB presents an interesting example. The NASB of 1972 and 1977 have: "can add a single CUBIT to his life span". This of course is ridiculous, because a cubit is a measurement of length or height. Our life is not measured in inches, but in time. So the 1995 Update NASB has yet again changed itself, and not for the better, into "can add a single HOUR to his life span"--just like the NIV.

But wait. The new findings of the scholars have not yet run their course. The Holman Standard has just come out in 2004 and guess what - it goes back to "who can add one cubit to his height" just like the King James Bible had it all the time.

Again, the NASB & NIV do not always follow Sinaiticus or Vaticanus (They kept that little word "one"), nor the oldest, as is seen in verse 31 where "rather seek ye the kingdom OF GOD" has been replaced in the NIV and NASB by "seek HIS kingdom." Sinaticus and Vaticanus omit "God" and have only "his". Yet God is found in the majority, A, and P45 which predates Sin/Vat by about one hundred years.

"God" is also the reading of th Old Latin and Diatessaron which predate them as well. Even the Catholic Douay rejects Vaticanus here, and reads kingdom of God, just like the KJB.

In summary, " to his stature one cubit" is not the same as "one hour to his life span". The NASB changes it's English text from one edition to another, and in neither case is it correct. Who do you think the author of this confusion might be?

Will Kinney

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