Article: Do Ghosts Exist? Modern Versions say Yes by Will Kinney

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Do Ghosts Exist?

I used to work nights and several years ago I was listening to the Art Bell program, Coast to Coast. For those of you who do not know, Mr. Bell has a very weird radio program listened to by millions world wide. His guests include a large number of New Agers, UFO enthusiasts, and witches. His topics include time travel, space brothers, reincarnation and ghosts. Someone mentioned that ghosts were found in the Bible, and this caught my attention. I am a strong believer in the accuracy of the King James Bible, and I didn’t remember ever reading about any “ghosts” in the KJB.

There is the Holy Ghost, which is the third person of the Trinity. There is the phrase “to give up the ghost”, which is not archaic and simply means to die. But not “ghosts’.



Webster’s Dictionary

GHOST, n. 1. Spirit; the soul of man.
2. The soul of a deceased person; the soul or spirit separate from the body; an apparition.
To "give up the ghost", is to die; to yield up the breath or spirit; to expire.

McGraw-Hill Dictionary

The phrase “to give up the ghost” is not at all archaic. The McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. defines it as meaning: “to die. Often used to describe machines breaking down. The old man gave up the ghost. My poor old car finally gave up the ghost.

The Phrase Finder

The Phrase Finder - Copyright 1996-2009 - to give up the ghost - Meaning - To die, or in the case of inanimate objects, to cease working.

Origin - There are many uses of this phrase in the Bible, including Acts 12:23 (King James Version: "And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost."

The metaphorical use of the phrase, i.e. in relation to something not living and not able to become a ghost, is 19th century. For example, James Kirke Paulding's, Westward Ho!, 1832, includes: "At length it gave up the ghost, and, like an over-cultivated intellect, became incurably barren." “to give up the ghost” - To die. 1611, King James Bible, Mark 15:37 “And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.”

(figuratively) - For a thing to die or (metaphorically) to quit. “My old computer finally gave up the ghost the other day.”

Al Maxey

Some people, like Bible corrector Al Maxey and others, criticize the King James Bible for using the phrase “gave up the ghost”, but they speak in ignorance of their own English language, and themselves do not believe that ANY Bible in ANY language is or ever has been the complete, preserved, inspired and 100% true words of God.

A typical Bible Agnostic, Al Maxey, says regarding the King James Bible: “It should never be overlooked that this version (The KJB), like all others both before and after it, is the work of mere uninspired, fallible men to provide the people with God's Word in their own language.”

It should be pointed out to men like Mr. Maxey that God also used “mere uninspired and fallible men” to provide us with "the originals" in the first place. If God cannot use fallible men to give us His pure words, then we never would have had the long lost and non-existent originals to begin with, and there certainly would not be any Bible NOW that is the complete, inspired and 100% true words of God. But that is exactly what men like Al Maxey and other Bible Agnostics really believe, even though they try to make you think they are Bible believers who can tell you where to find the pure words of God. They cannot in fact do this, and they should be exposed as the Bible Agnostics they really are.

Regarding the phrase “gave up the ghost” Mr. Maxey says: “In Genesis 25:8 the KJV reads, "Then Abraham gave up the ghost..." This is a very liberal paraphrase of a verb which simply means to "die, expire." It says nothing at all about a "ghost" being given up by one's physical body at death. Indeed, no such thing is taught in the Bible; this is a false teaching. This was a popular expression and belief in England at the time, however, and thus it was written into the text in place of the literal Hebrew "to die."

Mr. Maxey is again horribly wrong and misinformed. The word “ghost” simply means the human spirit when the KJB and others use the phrase “gave up the ghost”. In fact, several Bible translations say “gave up his spirit”. And, perhaps more importantly, it is the modern versions like the NIV, used by Mr. Maxey, the NASB and the NKJV that actually teach that there are such things as “ghosts”!!!

The phrase “gave up the ghost” meaning simply “ he died” is found in many Bible translations.


Here are some examples:

ASV - American Standard Version of 1901

Genesis 25:8 - “And Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years, and was gathered to his people.”

Genesis 25:17 - And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, a hundred and thirty and seven years. And he gave up the ghost and died, and was gathered unto his people.

Genesis 35:29 - And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, old and full of days: and Esau and Jacob his sons buried him.

Lamentations 1:19 - I called for my lovers, but they deceived me: My priests and mine elders gave up the ghost in the city, While they sought them food to refresh their souls.

Mark 15:37 -And Jesus uttered a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

Mark 15:39 - And when the centurion, who stood by over against him, saw that he so gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.

Luke 23:46 -And Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said this, he gave up the ghost.

Acts 5:5 - And Ananias hearing these words fell down and gave up the ghost: and great fear came upon all that heard it.

Acts 5:10 - And she fell down immediately at his feet, and gave up the ghost: and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her by her husband.

Acts 12:23 - And immediately an angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.

The phrase “gave up the ghost” exists not only in the ASV but also in the following Bible translations: Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Bishops’s Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1560 to 1602, the English Revised Version 1881, Darby’s translation - Matthew 27:50 - And Jesus, having again cried with a loud voice, gave up the ghost. - the Douay-Rheims version, John Wesley’s 1755 translation - John 19:30 -When Jesus had taken the vinegar, he said, It is finished, and bowing the head, he gave up the Ghost. , the 21st Century KJV 1994, the Third Millenium Bible 1998 and the Updated Bible Version of 2003.

When we hear the word ghost, most of us automatically think of this definition as given in Webster’s or the American Heritage Dictionary of 2000. Ghost - the spirit of a dead person, especially one believed to appear in bodily likeness to living persons or to haunt former habitats.

If there were such a thing as ghosts, then this would contradict several biblical truths. It would of course imply that death is not the end of life. This part is true. However, the King James Bible teaches that when a person dies, if he or she is a blood of the Lamb bought child of God, he immediately goes to be with the Lord his Saviour - “having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better” Phil. 1:23; “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Cor. 5:8.

To say that ghosts exist, is to deny that at physical death one either goes directly to be with the Lord Jesus Christ, or he goes immediately to hell.

In Luke 16 we read of the rich man that “he died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes being in torments.” This condemned man was told by Abraham that “between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.”

God seems to have placed a barrier of some kind that prohibits the condemned from leaving this place of torment. They cannot go back to the world of the living and wander around as ghosts.

We are also told in 1 Peter that Christ went in the Spirit and preached unto the spirits in prison which were disobedient in the days of Noah. Man has a spirit and a soul. Those who are redeemed are referred to as “the spirits of just men made perfect” Hebrews 12:23, while the others are called “the spirits in prison”. There is no escape.

There seems to be some evidence that a very few of the righteous dead may have been permitted to revisit the living, as with Samuel in 1 Sam. 28:12 and Elijah and Moses at the transfiguration of our Lord in Matthew 17. But in neither case are they referred to as ghosts, but were recognized as who they were even by people who had never seen them before. They knew them to be Samuel, Elijah and Moses.

It should be noted that these examples occured before the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Westcott and Hort, whose very different Greek text forms the basis of most modern versions, were themselves involved in the occult.

Westcott and Hort belonged to what Westcott's son referred to as "The Ghostly Guild." Westcott took a leading role in this society and its proceedings, the purpose of which was the investigation of ghosts and other supernatural appearances. They believed that such things existed.

Concerning this society, Hort wrote to Rev. John Ellerton on December 29, 1851: "Westcott, Gorham, C.B. Scott, Benson, Bradshaw, Lauard, etc., and I have started a society for the investigation of ghosts and all supernatural appearances and effects, being all disposed to believe that such things really exist, and ought to be discriminated from hoaxes and mere subjective disillusions."

Such is spiritism and is absolutely forbidden by Scripture.

Can you imagine my shock when I began to examine the modern version bibles and found that the NKJV, NASB, NIV all refer to ghosts? The NKJV does this twice, the NASB three times and the NIV four times.

All of these versions change the meaning of Matthew 14:26 and Mark 6:49. The KJB and Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Webster’s 1833 translation, the Third Millenium Bible and the 21st Century KJB all say: “And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a SPIRIT; and they cried out for fear.” The word here is fantasma, and it something that appears to the sight. The RV, Darby and Young render this as “an apparition.” But the NKJV, NASB, NIV say: “It is a GHOST.”

We know from other passages that deceiving spirits, and other spirits of angels can appear in a visible form. “He maketh his angels spirits” and they are “ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” Hebrews 1:7,11.

The book of Job mentions in chapter 4:13-16 “In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men, Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. Then a SPIRIT passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up: It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice saying, Shall mortal man be more just than God?”

1 Kings 22 presents us with another example of a spirit which came forth and stood before the LORD and was sent to be a lying spirit in the mouth of the false prophets. This was an angelic being, and not a man.

So, when the disciples cried out at seeing Jesus walk upon the water, they thought they were seeing a spirit, not a ghost.

The NIV alone of the four principal versions we are looking at, changes the KJB, NKJV, NASB reading in Luke 24:37, 39. Here the Lord appears to his disciples after his resurrection. It is recorded that they were terrified and supposed that they had seen a spirit. Jesus said “Handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.” Here the NIV says:"thinking they saw a ghost" and "a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."

Perhaps the worst example of giving credence to the false idea that such a thing as ghosts exist is found in the NASB, NIV, the 2003 Holman Standard, and the Message. In Isaiah 19:3 God is bringing judgment upon Egypt. He says in verse three: “And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof; and they shall seek to the idols, and TO THE CHARMERS, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.”

All of the spiritual resources of Egypt were like so many New Agers today. The spirits of devils who deceive through necromancy and channeling of spirits. These are evil spirits of Satan.

The versions that read along with the KJB’s “Charmers” are the Revised Version of 1881, the ASV of 1901, 1936 Hebrew- English, Young’s, Webster’s, Third Millenium, KJV 21, Hebrew Names Bible, and the NKJV. Other versions, even the RSV, and the 2001 ESV are acceptable and read either diviners, sorcerers or mediums. But the NIV has they will seek to the “spirits of the dead” and the NASB has “they will resort to GHOSTS OF THE DEAD.”

The new Holman Christian Standard says: "they will seek GHOSTS, SPIRITS OF THE DEAD, and spiritists." The Message says: "they'll conjure ghosts and hold seances."

No one, especially a devil controlled medium or charmer, can communicate with the spirits of the dead or ghosts! The dead are either in hell right now, with no way to get back, or they are present with the Lord, and certainly will not be sent to give a devil inspired message to the living. The NASB, NIV, Holman, and The Message present this impossibility as though it were true.

The supposed existence of ghosts is being promoted today by popular movies, books and radio programs like Art Bell’s. This is a New Age Satanic lie. There are no ghosts, and the fingerprints of Satan can be seen in any bible version that gives credence to the idea that there are such entities.

The next time you hear some New Age wacko tell you that ghosts are found in the Bible, tell him they are not at all found in the true Holy Bible, the King James 1611 Version.

Will Kinney

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