Article: Bible Babel 4 by Will Kinney

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Acts 20:28


"Feed the church of GOD, which he hath purchased with HIS OWN BLOOD."


This verse is under attack by many modern versions because it clearly shows that the Lord Jesus Christ is GOD, and that GOD shed His blood to purchase the church. Those who oppose the full Godhead of the Lord Jesus Christ will alter this verse in several ways to either change, hide, or obscure the truth that it was GOD'S blood that purchased the church.


The Traditional Byzantine Text that underlies the King James Bible says: poimainein thn ekklhsian tou theou hn periepoihsato dia tou idiou aimatos, - feed the church of God which He purchased with His own blood."


The Westcott-Hort text has a slight variation which says: dia tou aimatos tou idiou - "by the blood of His own", which opens the door to several of the renderings we will see in some modern versions based on the Westcott-Hort text.


There are a wide variety of readings found in this verse. Many texts say "the church of THE LORD AND GOD", and this is actually the reading of the Hebrew Names Version, and the World English Version. Many other texts have "the church of THE LORD OF GOD", while Alexandrinus, C original, D and P74 read "the church OF THE LORD which he purchased with his own blood." This last reading would say it was only the Lord (not God) who shed his blood, and thus allow room to deny the deity of Christ.


In fact, this is exactly the reading found in the American Standard Version of 1901 based on the Westcott-Hort texts, the Revised Standard Version of 1952, the Worldwide English New Testament, and the New English Bible of 1970. They say: "Feed the church OF THE LORD which he obtained by his own blood." The new ISV (International Standard Version) shows both readings with this: "to be shepherds of God's (Other mss. read the Lord's) church, which he purchased with his own blood." The Spanish Reina Valera usually follows the Textus Receptus, but the 1909 and 1960 versions here say "the church of the LORD which he purchased with his own blood."


Other versions deny the full deity of Christ by adopting the word "God" in the phrase "the church of God", but they add an extra word to the sentence, not found in any Greek text, and thus again deny the Godhead of Christ. These versions read: "Feed the church of God which he obtained by the blood OF HIS SON". This made up text is translated in such a way as to deny that it was the blood of GOD which purchased the church, but only the blood of His Son. The word "Son" does not occur in any Greek texts at all.


Among the modern versions that read "church of GOD which he purchased with the blood OF HIS SON" are the Jehovah Witness New World Translation (based on the Westcott-Hort texts), the New Revised Standard of 1989, the New Jerusalem Bible, the 21st Century New Testament, The Contemporary English Version 1991 by the American Bible Society, Today's English Version 1992 put out by the American Bible Society and the United Bible Society, which also publish the Westcott-Hort Greek text that underlies most modern versions like the NASB, NIV, ESV.


The fickleness of the modern scholarship can be seen in the constant revisions of the Revised Standard Version. In 1952 the RSV said:"the church of THE LORD which he purchased with his own blood", then the NRSV 1989 said: "the church of GOD which he purchased with the blood OF HIS OWN SON", and then finally the ESV 2002 (English Standard Version) has now gone back to the KJB reading of: "church of GOD which he obtained with his own blood."


The Bible versions that correctly read "Feed the church OF GOD which he purchased with HIS OWN BLOOD", are Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, Geneva Bible 1599, the King James Bible 1611, NKJV, NASB, NIV, TNIV, Holman and ESV. This is the reading of the Tradtional Byzantine texts that underlies the King James Bible. It is also the reading found in Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, the Old Latin, Syriac Harclean, Vulgate, some Coptic versions, the Italian Diodati, the Spanish Antigua Versión of 1569, and Luther's German Bible.


Keep in mind that the RSV, NRSV and ESV, all of which are revisions of each other, each give a different textual reading of this same verse, and the American Standard Version differs from the New American Standard Version. Isn't modern scholarship a never-ending marvel to behold!


Acts 26:23 - Was Christ the first to rise from the dead?


In Acts 26 the apostle Paul is making his defense before king Agrippa. Paul says: "Having therefore obtained help from God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that HE SHOULD BE THE FIRST TO RISE FROM THE DEAD, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles."


The verse, as it stands in the King James Bible clearly tells us that Christ was the first to rise from the dead. Agreeing with the reading and meaning found in the King James Bible are the following Bible versions: Latin Vulgate 425, Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Mace 1729, Wesley 1755, Rotherham's Emphasized bible 1902, Douay-Rheims 1950, New Life Bible 1969, RSV 1952, the New Berkeley Version 1969, the Bible in Basic English 1960, the NRSV 1989, NIV 1984, the Revised English Bible 1989, the TNIV 2005, ESV 2003, NKJV 1982, Third Millennium Bible 1998, Holman Standard 2004, the Italian Diodati 1649, Martin Luther's German Bible 1545, the French Martin 1744, Louis Segond 1910, and French Ostervald 1996, the Spanish Reina Valera 1909, 1960 & 1995, and even Daniel Wallace's NET bible version.


All these Bible versions teach that Christ was the first to rise from the dead. However, when we look at the NASB we read something quite different. The NASB does not teach the truth that Christ was the first to rise from the dead in this verse. Rather, it says: "stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place; that Christ was to suffer, and THAT BY REASON OF HIS RESURRECTION FORM THE DEAD HE SHOULD BE THE FIRST TO PROCLAIM LIGHT both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles."


Instead of saying that Christ was the first to rise from the dead, the NASB teaches that Christ was the first to proclaim light to both the Jews and the Gentiles. This is obviously not the same thing, nor is it even true. Many portions of the Old Testament show the prophets proclaiming light to both Jews and Gentiles, as well as the New Testament forerunner, John the Baptist. The NASB is wrong.


Adam Clarke comments: "That he should be the first that should rise from the dead - That is, that he should be the first who should rise from the dead so as to die no more; and to give, in his own person, the proof of the resurrection of the human body, no more to return under the empire of death. In no other sense can Jesus Christ be said to be the first that rose again from the dead; for Elisha raised the son of the Shunammite. A dead man, put into the sepulchre of the Prophet Elisha, was restored to life as soon as he touched the prophet's bones. Christ himself had raised the widow's son at Nain; and he had also raised Lazarus, and several others. All these died again; but the human nature of our Lord was raised from the dead, and can die no more. Thus he was the first who rose again from the dead to return no more into the empire of death."


John Gill comments: "And that he should be the first that should rise from the dead: by his own power, and to an immortal life, as Jesus did; and so is the firstborn from the dead, and the first fruits of them that slept."


Matthew Henry states: "He was the first that rose from the dead to die no more; and, to show that the resurrection of all believers is in virtue of his."


Some few others may side with the NASB reading of this verse, but at the very least, you have to admit that not all bible versions teach the same things, or have "the same message" even when they are supposedly translating the same Greek texts.


Acts 26:28 - In the King James Bible we read of king Agrippa being "almost persuaded" to be a Christian. The text reads: "King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, ALMOST THOU PERSUADEST ME TO BE a Christian."


So read the following Bible translations either exactly or in sense: Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' bible, the Geneva Bible, Rotherham's Emphasized bible, Green's MKJV, the NKJV 1982, Lamsa's translation of the Syriac Peshitta, the Spanish Reina Valera, the KJV 21st Century, and the Third Millenium Bible.


On the other hand, the Bible Babel of modern versions don't even agree among themselves. We have the NASB reading ""In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian." The Message is similar with: ""Keep this up much longer and you'll make a Christian out of me!"


RSV - "In a short time you think to make me a Christian!"


ESV - "In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?"


NIV - ""Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?" The Holman Standard is similar with: ""Are you going to persuade me to become a Christian so easily?


Adam Clarke comments: "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. This declaration was almost the necessary consequence of the apostle's reasoning, and Agrippa's faith. If he believed the prophets, see Acts 26:22,23, and believed that Paul's application of their words to Christ Jesus was correct, he must acknowledge the truth of the Christian religion; but he might choose whether he would embrace and confess this truth, or not. However, the sudden appeal to his religious faith extorts from him the declaration, Thou hast nearly persuaded me to embrace Christianity. How it could have entered into the mind of any man, who carefully considered the circumstances of the case, to suppose that these words of Agrippa are spoken ironically, is to me unaccountable. Every circumstance in the case proves them to have been the genuine effusion of a heart persuaded of the truth; and only prevented from fully acknowledging it by secular considerations."


Barnes' Notes on the New Testament agree, saying - "Then Agrippa said unto Paul. He could not deny that he believed the prophets. He could not deny that the argument was a strong one, that they had been fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth. He could not deny that the evidence of the miraculous interposition of God in the conversion of Paul was overwhelming. And instead, therefore, of charging him as Festus had done with derangement, he candidly and honestly avows the impression which the proof had made on his mind. Almost. Thou hast nearly convinced me that Christianity is true, and persuaded me to embrace it. The arguments of Paul had been so rational; the appeal which he had made to his belief of the prophets had been so irresistible, that he had been nearly convinced of the truth of Christianity."


Even Jamieson, Fausset and Brown remark: "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian--Most modern interpreters think the ordinary translation inadmissible, and take the meaning to be, "Thou thinkest to make me with little persuasion (or small trouble) a Christian"--but I am not to be so easily turned. But the apostle's reply can scarcely suit any but the sense given in our authorized version, which is that adopted by CHRYSOSTOM and some of the best scholars since."


As usual, the "scholars" with their "lastest findings" and "greater insight into the Biblical languages" yada, yada, are all in disagreement with each other on what these words mean and how to render them.


Bible Babel in a few verses in 1 Corinthians


"Will the true Bible please stand up". This is easy. The true one has been standing in the English language for almost 400 years now. The false ones have been falling by the wayside one after another. They come out with big fanfare, are popular for a few years, and then are cast into the dustbin of oblivion. The "scholarly" NASB is rapidly following in the footsteps of the ignominious ASV of 1901, and, with those who desire to have their ears tickled with something new, is now being replaced by the NIV.


Others, with little spiritual discernment or reverence for the words of God, have ignorantly taken up the NKJV, thinking it is just like the KJB but with "modern" speech. Let's look at just a few of the "gems" that modern scholarship have given us to make the word of God more understandable.


1 Corinthians 3:5 KJB "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, EVEN AS THE LORD GAVE TO EVERY MAN?"


This carnal church of believers was in danger of splitting apart at the seams because they had their focus on different great teachers instead of seeing Christ as the source of their salvation and author of their faith.


The Lord is He who gives the gift of faith to His own people; it does not come from man himself. See Romans 12:3; Phil. 1:29, Heb. 12:2; Acts 13:48; 14:27; 18:27; Eph. 2:8,9 and Titus 1:1 for just a few examples of this truth. This is clearly what the verse teaches and is confirmed by the very next verse: "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase." Man can sow the word of truth and another can come along and water it with more teaching, but unless God quickens it and produces life, it is all in vain.


The RV, ASV, Geneva, Tyndale, NKJV, Darby and Spanish all agree with the King James Bible. However the NASB says "servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one." The NASB has italicized this word "opportunity", but is changes the meaning to fit more with modern, easy on the ears, flattering to the ego and self esteem theology of today's Christians. The NASB implies that God only gives you the opportunity to believe, but the decision is up to you. This is false doctrine.


The NIV gives this verse a whole new slant than even that of the NASB. The NIV says: "servants, through whom you believed--as the Lord has assigned to each his task." There are no words in any text anywhere that say "his task". By this ruse, the NIV simply changes the meaning and says the tasks of Paul and Apollos was to preach, and avoids here the whole doctrine that God is the Giver of saving faith.


This is the type of thing that is referred to in another letter to the Corinthians by the Holy Ghost when Paul said "For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God".


I Cor. 4:7 KJB "For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?"


I personally just love this verse. It gives all the glory to God, and none to man. If I am different in any way, or have any good, it is solely because of the good pleasure of Almighty God. Most versions teach the same thing here, even the NKJV and NIV.


But when we look at the NASB, something is just a little bit out of place. The NASB asks: "For who regards you as superior?" instead of "For who maketh thee to differ from another?" What does the NASB even mean? and how would you answer the question?


The obvious answer to the question in the KJB, NKJV and NIV is "God, of course". Now if you answer "God" to the NASB, does God regard me as superior? I thought He said He chose the foolish, weak, and despised to confound the wise, mighty and exalted, that no flesh should glory in His presence.


The vaunted NASB comes out with another gem in 1 Cor. 8:4. Whereas the KJB, NKJV and NIV are in agreement with "As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, WE KNOW THAT AN IDOL IS NOTHING IN THE WORLD, and that there is none other God but one".


An idol is just a piece of wood or stone; it has no real spiritual power. However the NASB actually says: "We know that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN IDOL IN THE WORLD." I'm sure the Catholic church is delighted with this verse. This is plainly a stupid statement put out by the type of men God is refering to when He says that He will destroy the wisdom of the wise.


I Cor. 14:37, 38 "If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But IF ANY MAN BE IGNORANT, LET HIM BE IGNORANT." In essence, we either recognize that this is God's word and not mans, or we don't. If you are ignorant of this and refuse to acknowledge this, you may go your own way in continued darkness. It is like when Jesus said they are blind leaders of the blind, LET THEM ALONE.


In this verse we have an example of the hypocrisy of the modern version editors, who tell us they use the "oldest and best" manuscripts. The reading as found in the KJB is in Vaticannus, in the first correction of Siniatics, the majority of mss. and even in P 46 which predates Sin. & Vat. by 150 years.


Yet the NASB & NIV follow mss. A of the 5th century and the first reading of Siniaticus. Their "oldest and best" differ between themselves and the KJB reading is at least 150-250 years earlier than the reading followed by the NASB & NIV.


The NASB has "But if any one does not recognize this, he is not recognized" and NIV reads "If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored." Now, there are a whole lot of people today who do not believe we have the very words of God, written through man and preserved by God; yet they are not being ignored nor unrecognized. They in fact hold prominent positions in many churches and seminaries. But They ARE ignorant.


Lastly for now, I Cor. 15:33 "Be not deceived: EVIL COMMUNICATIONS CORRUPT GOOD MANNERS."


Paul has been talking about the doctrine of the resurrection, and how our whole faith is made vain if this fact is not true. He has mentioned in verse 12 "How say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?"


Imagine that, some "Christians" were saying and telling others that there is no such thing as the resurrection. This is the context of Paul's statement in verse 33 - evil communications.


The word is homiliai - plural, not singular, and it comes from the verb to speak, to talk, to commune. It pertains to what is being said; thus communications.


Versions agreeing with the KJB are Tyndale, Geneva, Young, Darby, Webster 1833 translation and the Spanish Reina Valera. The Wycliffe bible says "vil speeches destroy good conduct"


However all three, the NKJV, NASB, and NIV have messed up what this verse actually says, and have replaced it with a popular proverb: "Bad company corrupts good morals." Well, this may be true, but it is not what God has inspired to be written here in this verse. I would say "bad bibles corrupt good minds."


NIV all messed up Hebrews 11:11


There is no Greek text anywhere that allows the NIV bible to render the text of Hebrews 11:11 the way they have it. The KJB, NKJV, NASB, RSV, and ESV read in a similar way except the NASB removes "and was delivered of a child".


Heb. 11:11 "Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised."


The NIV says: "By faith ABRAHAM, even though he was past age-and Sarah herself was barren- was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise."


NASB "By faith even SARAH herself received ability to conceive, even beyound the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised."


In the NIV the subject is Abraham, not Sarah. She conceived and became a mother. In the NIV it is Abraham who became a father. Sarah believed God in the KJB, NKJV, NASB etc. but in the NIV it is Abraham who believed God. Something is surely amiss here. Which one is the real word of God?


Well, guess what! Now the new TNIV has come out and it goes back to the correct reading saying: "and by faith even Sarah, who was past age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise."!!


Revelation chapter 13


God's message is complete and not contradictory. If I get conflicting messages from the different versions, they can't all be from God. Satan and man are the ones who pervert the Scriptures.


For example, let's look at just a few verses from one chapter in the Book of Revelation - Revelation 13:1,8,10,and 18. I am choosing only one chapter and only 5 examples to illustrate my point. In verse 1, the King James Bible says: "And I stood upon the sand of the sea..." The NIV, NASB 1995 (not the NASB 1977- it has "he") have "THE DRAGON stood on the shore". Which was it, John or the dragon? By the way, "dragon" is not in any text. The Holman Standard says "HE stood on the shore".


Verse 1 has the "name" of blasphemy, singular name, found in the Majority of all Greek texts and in Sinaiticus, P47, the NIV, NKJV, Tyndale, Geneva, Youngs, and the King James Bible, but the NASB follows manuscript Alexandrinus and has "names" and so does the Holman Standard.


Verse 8 reads "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (the beast)whose names are not written in the book of life of THE LAMB SLAIN FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD." So read the King James Bible, Wycliffe, Tyndale, Geneva, Coverdale, Bishops', Youngs, the NKJV, and the NIV. But the NASB, RSV and Holman read "whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of THE LAMB WHO HAS BEEN SLAIN."


This is not a textual variant but the NASB, RSV and Holman have reversed the order of words in "the message". Which is it in this verse, the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world, or the names written from the foundation of the world?


In Verse 10 the NASB, RSV, NRSV, NKJV, KJB as well as all previous English Bibles including Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Bishops', and the Geneva have "HE THAT KILLETH with the sword must be killed with the sword" The NASB now forsakes Alexandrinus, which it followed before, and goes back to the reading found in the King James Bible and even in Sinaitius.


But the NIV, ESV and Holman Standard follow manuscript Alexandrinus with "IF ANYONE IS TO BE KILLED with the sword, with the sword he will be killed." This changes the subject of the sentence from him who kills another to one who is killed by another. Notice that the RSV and NRSV both followed the King James reading, but now the new ESV (a revision of the old RSV, NRSV) has now "scientifically" decided to go along with the NIV and follow a different text. This is how the "scholars' game" is played.


Verse 18 says regarding the number 666 "Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number OF A MAN; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six." - that is, it is a number of a specific man, the antichrist. This is the reading of the KJB, NASB, RV, ASV, all previous English Bibles like Tyndale, Coverdale, Geneva etc., and the new Holman Standard.


But the NIV tells us "it is MAN'S number" - that is, men in general. The NIV gender inclusive version which has come out in England says "it is humanity's number". But wait! Now the new TNIV has come out, and it once again changes the meaning and goes back to the King James reading - "it is the number of a man".


Of the examples in this chapter alone, none of the multiple-choice modern versions agrees all the way through with any of the others.


For those who exalt the Sinaiticus Greek manuscript, one of the so called "oldest and best", which, together with Vaticanus, is the textual basis for most modern versions, you may be surprised to learn of some of its readings in the book of Revelation.


In Revelation 10:1 instead of seeing an angel with "A RAINBOW" upon his head, Sinaiticus says "HAIR" was on his head. In 7:4 instead of a great multitude of the redeemed whose number was 144,000 Sinaiticus has 140,000 and in 14:3 instead of 144,000 it has 141,000. Instead of "THE FORMER THINGS are passed away" in 21:4, Sinaiticus has "THE SHEEP are passed away" and in 21:5 instead of "I make all things NEW" Sinaticus has "I make all things EMPTY."


These are just a few examples found in the "oldest and best manuscripts" followed by the modern versions. The science of textual criticism seems about as scientific as throwing darts at a dartboard.


The NASB repeatedly goes back and forth between Vaticanus and Sinaiticus (someimes in the same verse), hundreds of times. Their philosophy seems to be, if it differs from the King James Bible, let's put it in or take it out.


Not all of these multiple-choice, conflicting bible versions can be from God. He is not the author of confusion. As we get nearer the end, when many will depart from the faith, the falling away will occur, and men will give heed to doctrines of devils, do you suppose that is the time when the best bibles will be popularly read?


"When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8


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