Article: Psalms 1 How Different the Versions! by Will Kinney

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In this comparative study of the Book of Psalms we will be showing the totally different meanings found in the multitude of conflicting bible versions. Many people assume all versions say the same things but with slightly different words. This is not true at all. Some of these changes, both textually and in the meaning, will surprise you.


Psalm 2:1 "Why do the heathen RAGE, and the people imagine a vain thing?"


Here the NIV gives a false reading and a false footnote. The NIV says: "Why do the nations CONSPIRE, and the peoples plot in vain?" Then in a footnote the NIV tells us that the Hebrew reads "conspire" while the word "rage" comes from the Greek Septuagint. This is false. The Hebrew word itself means to "rage" and is in fact the reading not only of the King James Bible but also of the Revised Version of 1881, the American Standard Version of 1901, the NKJV, Green's Modern KJV of 1998, Lamsa's translation of the Syriac Peshitta, the Douay, and the 2001 ESV (English Standard Version). The NASB says "in an uproar".


The reason I mention this false note of the NIV here is because in this very Psalm the NIV rejects the Hebrew reading and follows the Greek Septuagint, but they don't bother to tell us that they did this. Nice scholarship, huh? In Psalm 2:9 we read: "Thou shalt BREAK them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."


Here the reading of "Thou shalt BREAK them" is found in the RV, ASV, NASB, NKJV, RSV, NRSV, ESV and the Holman Standard, however the NIV says: "You will RULE them with an iron sceptre", but the footnote telling us this reading comes from the alleged LXX is strangely missing. But wait! Now the brand new TNIV has come out and guess what - It goes back to the reading of "you will BREAK them" and then tells us in a footnote to see the LXX for the reading of "you will rule them".


Psalm 2:7 "I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE."


This verse is prophetic of the fulfillment found in the book of Acts 13:33 where we read: God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.?


This day refers to the resurrection day when the Father raised the Son from the dead and He became the firstborn from the dead(Col. 1:18) and the first begotten of the dead(Rev. 1:5).


This day have I begotten thee is the reading of the KJB, RV, ASV, NKJV, NASB, RSV, and ESV. However the NIV, Holman Standard, and the Jehovah Witness version read: Today I HAVE BECOME YOUR FATHER. thus teaching that there was a day when Christ was not the Son of the Father, and thus was not the eternal Son of God.


Psalm 2:12 KISS the Son, lest he be angry. This is the literal reading of the Hebrew and that of the NKJV, NIV, RV, ASV, Darby, the 1909 Spanish Reina Valera, the Italian Diodati, Hebrew Names Version, and the ESV. However the RSV, and the NRSV say: Kiss HIS FEET" omitting the word Son and making up the reading of " his feet". Then they both tell us in a footnote that the "Hebrew is uncertain". The Hebrew is not at all uncertain. The literal reading is "kiss" (as found in many places including Genesis 27:26, 27; 1 Kings 19:18; Psalm 85:10 and Hosea 13:2) and the word for "Son" is also translated by both the RSV, and NRSV as "son" three times in Proverbs 31:2!. The "literal" NASB, and the Holman Standard say: "PAY HOMAGE TO the Son" and then the Holman Standard informs us in a footnote that it literally reads Kiss.


Young's gives an inferiour reading with: "Kiss the CHOSEN ONE", while the 1970 New English Bible makes up its own reading: "Kiss THE KING, lest He be angry".


The Catholic versions are a confused mess as usual. The 1950 Douay version follows the alleged Greek Septuagint and it says: "EMBRACE DISCIPLINE, lest at any time the Lord be angry", then the 1968 Jerusalem Bible says: "KISS HIS FEET", and then the 1970 St. Joseph New American Bible has: "pay homage to him".


The Jewish translation put out by the Jewish Publication Society of 1917 changes the text to expunge any reference to the Son of God. It reads: "DO HOMAGE IN PURITY lest He be angry." However the new 1998 Complete Jewish Bible reads the same as the Hebrew texts and the King James Bible with: "Kiss the Son, lest He be angry."


Psalm 4:2 "O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after LEASING."


The KJB critics love to pounce on this verse and the use of the word Leasing. They tell us Leasing is an archaic word and imply or state outright that we should leave the KJB and adopt some other modern version, usually the NASB, NIV or the NKJV. The word leasing is indeed an archaic word which means falsehood, deception, or lying. But what they would put in place of the Authorized Version are bibles that depart thousands of times from the Greek and Hebrew texts that underlie the KJB, and that give totally different meanings in hundreds of verses, and often do not even agree with each other. No thank you. I will stick with the time honoured and God approved King James Bible, and learn the handful of archaic words. At least in this way I know I have the full truth of God and a Bible in which I can believe every word.


In Psalm 4:2 , instead of Leasing the NKJV says Falsehood, the NASB has Deception, but the NIV give the wrong meaning by saying False gods. The verse has nothing to do with False gods.


Psalm 4:4 STAND IN AWE, and sin not? This is the reading of the Revised Version, American Standard Version, Webster? 1833 translation, Hebrew Names Version, KJV 21, and the Third Millenium Bible.


The NASB, Geneva bible, and Youngs are similar with Tremble, and sin not. The Bible in Basic English says: Let there be fear in your hearts, and sin not. However the NKJV, NIV and ESV say: BE ANGRY, and do not sin. "Be angry" is actually taken from the LXX, while the two Jewish translations I have say either Stand in awe(1936 Hebrew Pub. Company) or Tremble (Jewish Pub. Society 1917). There is a big difference between Standing in awe before God, and Being angry.


Psalm 7:4 Yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy.


This is the reading or meaning found in the Revised Version, ASV, Bishops' Bible, the Geneva Bible, Hebrew Names Version, Webster, Darby, Spanish Reina Valera, Bible in Basic English, and the Third Millenium Bible. Yet the NKJV, NASB, NIV, RSV, and ESV all give a very different meaning. Instead of Yea, I have DELIVERED him that without cause is mine enemy, they say: Or have PLUNDERED my enemy without cause? Yet the NKJV and the others translate the same Hebrew word as "delivered" in Psalms 18:19; 34:7; 50:15, 81:7 and 91:15.


Daniel Wallace, of Dallas Theological Seminary, has written his own translation called the NET bible version. He renders Psalm 7:4 in this manner: " or have wronged my ally, OR HELPED HIS LAWLESS ENEMY".


The alleged Greek LXX renders verse 7:4 as: "If I have requited with evil those who requited me with good, MAY I THEN PERISH EMPTY BY MEANS OF MY ENEMIES."


So, did he Deliverhis enemy or Plunder him, ask that he perish empty, or help his ally's lawless enemy?


Psalm 7:11 "God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day." (Just read the rest of the context; the KJB is right.)


So read the NKJV, the Spanish Reina Valera, the 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company version, Green's literal translation, the New Life Bible, the New Century Version, Good News Translation, Webster's, the KJV 21st Century, Bible in Basic English, Italian Diodati, and the Third Millenium Bible.


However the NASB, RSV, and NIV read: "God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath every day."


The ridiculous paraphrase called The Message, used so much by Rick Warren, says: "God in solemn honor does things right, BUT HIS NERVES ARE SANDPAPERED RAW. Nobody gets by with anything."


The Greek LXX and the Douay Version say: "God is a righteous judge, AND STRONG, AND PATIENT, NOT inflicting vengeance every day." These versions add words not found in any Hebrew text, and end up meaning the very opposite of the other versions.


Psalm 8:4-5 “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than THE ANGELS, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.”


It is quoted this way in the New Testament in all Bibles in Hebrews 2:6-8, and reads this way in Psalm 8:5 in all Jewish translations 1917 JPS (the Jewish Publication Society), 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company, the Judaica Press Tanach, the Complete Jewish Bible, the Hebrew Names Version, Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Brenton Translation 1851, the Lesser Bible 1853, the NKJV 1982, the KJV 21st Century version 1994, the Third Millenium Bible 1998, New Life Bible, Living Bible, Douay, Darby, New American Bible, New Century Version, the Spanish Reina Valera 1909, 1960, 1995, the Italian Diodati 1649, French Martin 1744, Ostervald 1996, the Biblia de Las Americas 1997 (put out by the same Lockman Foundation that does the contradictory NASB), the Portuguese O Livro 2000.


Not even the NIV, TNIV, NET and ESV go as far afield in their translations, telling us that God has made man “a little lower than THE HEAVENLY BEINGS." Who would these heavenly beings be but "the angels"? Rotherham's 1902 Emphasized bible says: "less than MESSENGERS OF GOD."


The Holman Standard gives us the usual confusion with its footnotes that the passage could mean anything. It reads "You made him a little less than God" but then footnotes: "or gods, or a god, or heavenly beings."


However the Geneva Bible tells us: “For thou hast made him a little lower THAN GOD, and crowned him with glory and WORSHIP.” (One of the many reasons God in His providence replaced the Geneva with the perfect Bible, the King James Holy Bible). This is similar to the NASB that says God has “made him a little lower than GOD.” However even the NASB footnotes: "or the angels".


The NASB complete concordance tells us that they have translated the Hebrew word elohim in a variety of ways including "God, gods, god, a divine being (1 Samuel 28:13), exceedingly, great, judges (3 times), mighty, rulers and shrine." Words obviously have different meanings in different contexts, but both the passages in Psalms 8 and Hebrews chapter 2 in the N.T. are speaking about the creation of man, and man was not made "a little lower than God" but a little lower than the angels as the inspired apostle clearly explains the true meaning of Psalm 8:5.


The blasphemous Message even says: “We’ve so narrowly missed being gods, bright with Eden’s dawn light.”


Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall be TUNRED INTO HELL, and all the nations that forget God.


This is the reading of the KJB, NKJV, MKJV, KJV 21, TMB, Websters, Spanish Reina Valera 1909, Italian Diodati, and the Geneva Bible.


The NASB and ESV give a different meaning with: The wicked shall RETURN TO SHEOL, and all the nations that forget God. But the most outrageous is the NIV with: The wicked RETURN TO THE GRAVE, and all the nations that forget God. You cannot Return to a place unless you have been there before. The false teaching of reincarnation can be taught from the NIV, but not from the KJB. Also, if the wicked "return to the grave" what distinguishes them from the righteous, who also go to the grave? The NIV destroys the correct meaning of this verse. The word Hell occurs 31 times in the KJB Old Testament; 19 times in the NKJV, but in the NASB, NIV the word Hell is found zero times. Now who do you suppose would want to get rid of the word Hell?


Psalm 10:3-6 gives us a good example of the confusion and contradictions of the modern bibles. The KJB reads: "For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and BLESSETH THE COVETOUS, WHOM THE LORD ABHORRETH. The wicked, through the pride of his countenance,will not seek after God: GOD IS NOT IN ALL HIS THOUGHTS. His ways are always GRIEVOUS; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them."


That the wicked "blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth", is the reading of the Spanish Reina Valera of 1909, the Third Millenium Bible, Webster's Bible, and the 21st Century KJV. However the NKJV and NIV read: "BLESSES the greedy AND RENOUNCES THE LORD", while the NASB says "The greedy man CURSES AND SPURNS THE LORD". Is it "blesses the covetous" or "curses the LORD"? Is it "the Lord abhorreth the covetous", or is it "the wicked renounces the Lord"? They don't even agree with each other.


In verse 4 "God is not in all his thoughts" is the same in the NKJV, and the NIV is basically the same with "in all his thoughts there is no room for God." But the NASB, ESV have an absurd reading. They say: "All his thoughts are,"There is no God". This is humanly impossible and ridiculous. Not even the most ardent atheist goes around all day thinking only "There is no God, there is no God, there is no God."


The description of the wicked in verse 5 "His ways are always GRIEVOUS" is the same in Youngs, the 1936 Hebrew-English, the Spanish, the Third Millenium Bible, Webster's and the 21st Century KJB. However the NKJV joins the NASB, NIV in saying: "his ways are always PROSPEROUS." The NKJV has rendered this word as "grievous" in other places, but not here. The word means "to afflict, to be in pain, to travail, anguish and to wound". It never means to be prosperous. In fact, I looked in the NIV and NASB concordances and many times they render the word with the above meanings, but only ONE time do they translate it as "prosperous", and that is here in Psalm 10:5.


Psalm 16 offers us several examples of how scholars can be translating the same Hebrew text into English, and yet come up with very different meanings.


King James Bible - Psalm 16:1-3 “Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: MY GOODNESS EXTENDETH NOT TO THEE; but to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent in whom is all my delight.”


The clear meaning found in the King James Bible is that David’s own goodness does not in any way advantage or benefit God Himself in any way, but David’s goodness does affect and benefit the other saints that are in the earth.


This is consistent with other teachings found in the Holy Bible. For instance, in Job 22:2-3 we read: “Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy way perfect?” The obvious answer to this rhetorical question is No.


And again in Job 35:7-8 we read: “If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand? Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man.”


To these verses we might also add Luke 17:10 where our Lord says: “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which was our duty to do.”


And then we also have Romans 11:35 where we read: “Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”


I do not hold any commentator or scholar as my final authority, but it is sometimes of interest to read what others have thought. Adam Clarke says the Arabic reads: “Thou dost not need my good works.”, and then he goes on to explain: “I think the words should be understood of what the Messiah was doing for men. My goodness is not to thee. What I am doing can add nothing to thy divinity; thou art not providing this astonishing sacrifice because thou canst derive any excellence from it: but this bounty extends to the saints-to all the spirits of just men made perfect, whose bodies are still in the earth; and to the excellent, those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. The saints and illustrious ones not only taste of my goodness, but enjoy my salvation.”


John Gill also discusses the many different renderings of this verse and then comes down on the side of the King James reading. He comments: “they are the words of Christ, and to be understood of his goodness...and the effect of it to his church and people; and denotes his love, grace, and good will towards them, shown in his incarnation, sufferings, and death; and the blessings of goodness which come thereby; ... though there is glory to God in the highest in the affair of salvation by Christ, yet the good will is to men... the kindness in paying the debt was not to God but to men.”


The 1599 Geneva Bible simply says: “my goodness extendeth not to thee” - Though we cannot enrich God, yet we must bestow Gods gifts for the use of his children. “


Matthew Henry likewise agrees with the sense found in the King James Bible, saying: “Whatever good there is in us, or is done by us, we must humbly acknowledge that it extends not to God; so that we cannot pretend to merit any thing by it. God has no need of our services; he is not benefited by them, nor can they add any thing to his infinite perfection and blessedness. The wisest, and best, and most useful, men in the world cannot be profitable to God, Job 22:2,35:7. God is infinitely above us, and happy without us, and whatever good we do it is all from him; so that we are indebted to him, not he to us: David owns it (1 Chronicles 29:14), Of thy own have we given thee. 3. If God be ours, we must, for his sake, extend our goodness to those that are his, to the saints in the earth; for what is done to them he is pleased to take as done to himself, having constituted them his receivers.”


Agreeing with the meaning found in the King James Bible are the following translations: Wycliffe 1395 - “Thou art my God, for thou hast no nede of my goodis”, Coverdale 1535 - “thou art my God, my goodes are nothinge vnto thee.”, Bishop’s Bible 1568 - “my weldoing can do thee no good”, the Geneva Bible 1587 - “my weldoing extendeth not to thee, But to the Saints that are in the earth”, Douay-Rheims, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible, Young’s - “My good is not for thine own sake”, Darby “my goodness extendeth not to thee”, Webster’s Bible 1833, the Spanish Reina Valera 1602 - “Tú eres el Señor: Mi bien á ti no aprovecha, Sino á los santos que están en la tierra” (my good does not benefit you, but the saints that are in the earth”, 21st Century KJV 1994 - “my goodness extendeth not to Thee”.


However there are a multitude of modern versions, including the NKJV, that have changed the meaning of this passage.


NASB 16:2-3- “I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord; I HAVE NO GOOD BESIDES YOU. As for the saints who are in the earth, They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.


NIV - “apart from you I have no good thing."


Douay-Rheims - “ for thou hast no need of my goods.” (equals sense of KJB)


Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible 1902 - “My goodness, mounteth not unto thee.” (equals sense of the KJB)


Judaica Press Tanach - " my good is not incumbent upon You.” (Say, what?)


The Message - “Without you, nothing makes sense. “ (And neither does this)


NKJV - “My goodness IS NOTHING APART FROM YOU." This definitely changes the meaning of the passage, nor does it mean the same thing as the NIV or the NASB, all three of which give a different meaning from each other to the text. NASB = God is the only good thing I have; NIV = I have no good thing unless You give it to me; NKJV = My goodness means nothing unless You credit it as good. All of them = just more Bible Babel.


I believe the King James Bible is the only true Holy Bible providentially given to us by the mighty hand of our gracious and true God.


Psalm 16:4 says; "Their sorrows shall be multiplied that HASTEN after another god." Agreeing here with the KJB are the NKJV and the NIV. This word "hasten" is found some 60 times and is always to make haste or speed. However the NASB has here: "The sorrows of those who HAVE BARTERED for another god will be multiplied." The NASB has only one time translated this word as "bartered for". One is left asking what did they barter in exchange for another god? Not at all the same as the KJB, NKJV or NIV, is it?


Psalm 16:5 says: "The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup." In other words, it is God Himself who is our lot and joy. With the KJB agree the NKJV, NASB, but the NIV has changed the meaning by saying: "LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup." OK, so what did the Lord assign? In the KJB, NKJV, and NASB it is the LORD himself who is our portion. With the NIV we are left with no idea what God has assigned.


In Psalm 16:10 we are given a verse that is quoted in Acts 2:27 and 31 referring to Christ, that his soul was not left in hell. "For thou wilt not leave my soul IN HELL; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see CORRUPTION."


Christ did descend into the lower parts of the earth - Ephesians 4:9. He was in the heart of the earth - Matthew 12:40, and He preached to the spirits in prison - 1 Peter 3:19. Agreeing with the reading of "hell" is Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, Bishops’ bible 1568, the Douay-Rheims, Webster's 1833 translation, The Third Millenium Bible and the 21st Century KJB. The NKJV and NASB say SHOEL instead of HELL; even though the NKJV translated this same word as hell in Psalm 9:17.


The NIV says: "you will not abandon ME to the grave." The word is "soul" not "me", and hell is in this context, not the grave. Christ did a whole lot more than just go to the grave. The grave or sepulchre is where His physical body was, but He himself went into the heart of the earth, where hell is.


In Psalm 16:10 we read: "neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to SEE CORRUPTION." This is the reading of Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, Bishops’ bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the Revised Version 1881, the ASV 1901, Rotherham's Emphasized bible 1902, NKJV, Hebrew Names Version, Young, Douay, Darby, the 2003 ESV (a revision of the older RSV), and the Spanish Reina Valera. Even the NIV is OK here with "nor will you let your Holy One see decay. "


John Gill (and an host of other Bible commentators) remarks: "neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption; that is, to lie so long in the grave as to putrefy and be corrupted; wherefore he was raised from the dead on the third day, according to the Scriptures, before the time bodies begin to be corrupted; see (John 11:39) ; and this was owing not to the care of Joseph or Nicodemus, in providing spices to preserve it, but of God who raised him from the dead, and gave him glory; and who would not suffer his body to be corrupted, because he was holy, and because he was his Holy One; that so as there was no moral corruption in him, there should be no natural corruption in him; so the Jewish Midrash F23 interprets it, that "no worm or maggot should have power over him;


However the NASB of 1972, along with the RSV and NRSV - which the later ESV has also now corrected - says:" not allow Thy Holy One to SEE THE PIT." Well, Christ did indeed see the pit; that is where His soul went! Apparently this blunder was eventually noticed by the “scholars” who continually revise scores of passages in the ever-changing NASB, so now the latet NASBs have changed back to "undergo decay", which is much closer to the truth.


Unfortunately, this same “Duh!” moment of insight has so far escaped Daniel Wallace’s NET bible version, nor the Holman Standard. These two versions read: “You will not abandon ME to Sheol; you will not allow your FAITHFUL FOLLOWER to see THE PIT.”


The bible scholars change their versions every few years both in wording and texts. They have no settled and no sure words of God, and neither do you unless you believe God has kept His promises to preserve His inerrant words, and done so in the Authorized King James Holy Bible.


Psalm 17


I am amazed by the statement of a modern version proponent who told me regarding all the different meanings found in the multiplicity of versions: "unlike the easily confused KJVO advocate who believes it is confusion, most of us see it as clarification".


Psalm 17:5 "HOLD UP my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not." So read the NKJV, Spanish, Geneva, Webster's, KJV 21, TMB. It is a request asking God to hold up his goings. However the NASB, NIV make this a statement with: "My steps HAVE HELD FAST to thy paths."


Psalm 17:10 "THEY ARE INCLOSED IN THEIR OWN FAT: with their mouth they speak proudly." This is literally what it says, and with the KJB agree the Revised Version, the ASV, Geneva, Darby, Spanish, Jerusalem bible, the Spanish, Webster's KJV 21, and the TMB. The NKJV begins the slide with "they have closed up their fat hearts", the NIV says "they close up their callous hearts" and the NASB has "they have closed their unfeeling heart". The NASB concordance shows the word as "fat" 82 times, and only once as "unfeeling". The word "heart" is not in any text at all. The KJB simply tells us they are fat, and thus well off and in need of nothing; or so they think.


Psalm 17:13-14 "Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down; deliver my soul from the wicked, WHICH IS THY SWORD: From men WHICH ARE THY HAND, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, AND WHOSE BELLY THOU FILLEST WITH THY HID TREASURE." The KJB, Websters, Darby, Young and Douay version have "the wicked WHICH IS THY SWORD,...men WHICH ARE THY HAND." That is, even the evil men of this world are under the control of God, and He uses them in our lives to chasten us and conform us to the image of Christ.


Compare the following verses as examples of God using the hand of the enemies as His own hand. "THOU hast set up the right hand of his adversaries; thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice." Psalm 89:42. "And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and HE delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael, all their days." 2 Kings 13:3.


John Gill notes: "the sense is, deliver my soul from men, which are instruments in thine hand to chastise thy people: so even Satan himself, and the Sabeans and Chaldeans, whom he instigated to afflict Job, are called the "hand" of the Lord that touched him, because he suffered them to do what they did for the trial of him, Job 19:21." The new versions like the NKJV, NASB, NIV change this to "deliver my soul from the wicked BY Your sword, and... BY Your hand", thus changing the meaning.


Another change in meaning is in "whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure". Here, the NKJV, NASB, ASV, Geneva, Youngs, Darby and Spanish all agree with the KJB. But the NIV has come up with a totally different meaning. The NIV says: "from men of this world whose reward is in this life. YOU STILL THE HUNGER OF THOSE YOU CHERISH." These few examples are not clarification but confusion.


Psalm 18:13 "The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; HAIL STONES AND COALS OF FIRE." Bible versions that include the phrase "hail stones and coals of fire" are the Wycliffe, Coverdale, Bishops’, the Geneva Bible, Youngs, Darby, the Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, the 2004 Judaica Press Tanach, the Complete Jewish Bible, the RV, ASV, RSV 1954, the NASB 1995, the 2001 ESV, the Spanish Reina Valera 1602 - 1995, Lamsa’s 1936 translation of the Syriac Peshitta, the Modern Greek (not to be confused with the so called LXX) the KJV 21st Century version 1994, and the NKJV 1982.


However the NIV, NRSV 1989, NET version, and the 2003 Holman Standard omit these words, and then in a footnote tell us that some Hebrew mss. and the LXX omit these words, but they are found in most Hebrew manuscripts. Well, they are also found in the ancient Syriac versions too.


As for the NIV, what is of interest is that the NIV Spanish edition, called Nueva Versión Internacional 1999, put out by the same people who give us the NIV English version (International Bible Society) has included the Hebrew words left out by the NIV English version. It reads: “En el cielo, ENTRE GRANIZOS Y CARBONES ENCENDIDOS, se oyó el trueno del Señor, resonó la voz del Altísimo.” Likewise the NIV French edition, called La Bible du Semeur 1999 (IBS) also includes the Hebrew words omitted by the American NIV.


Notice also that the previous 1954 RSV included the words; then the NRSV 1989 omitted them, but then the revision of the revision of the revision “scientifically” put them back in again! This typifies what modern scholars call the “art and science of textual criticism” - mere guesswork and fickle change for change’s sake.


Though I certainly do not trust the Dead Sea Scrolls, since they have been found to contain conflicting texts of radically different readings, plus an additional “15 apocryphal Psalms or similar compostions distributed among four manuscripts”, yet the DSS copy of Psalm 18 does include these Hebrew words that the NIV omits.


Psalm 19:3 Speaking of the heavens which declare the glory of God and the firmament that sheweth His handywork, we read: "There is no speech nor language WHERE THERE VOICE IS NOT HEARD." The creation itself speaks of the existence of the Creator, and so affirms Romans 1;19-20. This is the reading of the NKJV, NIV, Douay, Webster, KJV 21,TMB,Green's Modern KJV, and the Hebrew Names Version. However the RSV, NASB tell us: "There is no speech, nor are there words, THEIR VOICE IS NOT HEARD."


Psalm 20:7 "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will REMEMBER the name of the LORD our God."


The Hebrew word used here is #2142 zakar, and almost 200 times it means "to remember", but it can also mean "to call to mind" or "to make mention of ". It is used is such common phrases as: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Exodus 20:8); "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth" (Eccl. 12:1). One thing it does NOT mean is "to boast" or "take pride in". In fact, it is the same Hebrew word found in verse 3 of this Psalm where all the versions say: "REMEMBER all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice."


"But we will REMEMBER the name of the LORD" is the reading of Coverdale 1536, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the 1936 Hebrew Pub. Company translation, the NKJV, the Italian Diodati and the Spanish Reina Valera. The RV, ASV, and Young's have "but we will make mention of the name of the LORD."


The NIV and the ESV have come up with a paraphrase that says: "But we will TRUST IN the name of the LORD. The NIV complete concordance shows that they have translated this word as "remember" 162 times, but as "trust" only once, and that is here in Psalm 20:7.


However the NASB joins the RSV and the NRSV and says: "But we WILL BOAST IN the LORD." The NASB complete concordance show that they have translated this word as "remember" some 181 times, but "boast" only one time! Where did they get this reading from? It is found in the corrupt LXX which reads "but we will GLORY (or be made great) in the name of the Lord."


Instead of "But we will remember the name of the LORD our God" the cartoon version called The Message says: "But WE'RE MAKING GARLANDS FOR GOD our God." Yeah, that's pretty close, huh?


Psalm 20:9 "Save, LORD: LET THE KING HEAR US when we call." This verse reads the same in the NASB, NKJV, RV, ASV, Geneva, Darby, Spanish Reina Valera, Italian Diodati, the Hebrew Names Version, the Hebrew-English translations of 1917, 1936 and the 1998 Complete Jewish Bible. The king can easily be seen as the anointed, or the Christ, who is the true king, whom God will hear, referred to in verse 6. Christ makes intercession for us, and God hears Him.


John Gill correctly points out that the Greek LXX rendering is wrong (NIV, RSV, ESV) and does not conform to the Hebrew. He says it should read "Save, LORD; let the king hear us when we call" and that the king refers to the Messiah "and prayer is made to him, and he hears and receives the prayers of his people; and, as Mediator, presents them to his Father perfumed with his much incense; for he is a Priest as well as a King."


However, the NIV, and the ESV, without a footnote, have this reading. "O LORD, SAVE THE KING! Answer us when we call!" It is of interest to note that the RSV, and the NRSV also read like the NIV and Holman Standard, but the RSV, NRSV have a footnote telling us that the Greek LXX reads this way. I looked it up and it's true. But the RSV, NRSV also state in their footnote that the Hebrew reads as do the KJB, NKJV and NASB. So again, the NIV editors have forsaken the Hebrew masoretic text and followed the Greek LXX.


Psalm 22 - All about Christ's sufferings


Most Christians over the centuries have recognized that Psalm 22 is clearly a prophetic Psalm which speaks in great detail about the sufferings that Christ endured during the hours of His crucifixion on the cross. The Lord Jesus willingly took our place of deserved judgment, and offered up Himself to bear the wrath of a Holy God for our sins. In fact, while He is hanging on the cross of Calvary, He quotes the very words from the beginning of this Psalm.


Psalm 22:1 "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my ROARING?" Here the word is #7581 and it is always ROARING in the King James Bible. It comes from the verb to roar, and is used in verse 13 of a roaring lion, where ironically, all the other versions have correctly translated the same Hebrew word as "roaring". Usually this word is associated with a lion. Christ is portrayed prophetically in this Psalm in His sufferings on the cross. Christ is the LION of the tribe of Judah who hath prevailed to open the book. See Revelation 5:5. "Roaring" is the correct reading found in the Geneva Bible, the Revised Version, KJV 21, the Italian Diodati and Youngs.


The liberal RSV, as well as the NASB, NIV, and NKJV have changed this to "the words of my GROANING". This is incorrect since the word does not mean "groaning". Other Hebrew words do, but not this one. Also, of all the versions I checked, only the NASB changes the last part of this question into a statement. Instead of "Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?" the NASB has: "Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning." The Revised Version, American Standard Version, Holman, RSV, ESV, NIV and NKJV still retain this last part as a question and not a statement as the NASB has it.


Psalm 22:2 "O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the NIGHT SEASON, and am not silent." Here the RV, ASV and the NKJV correctly have "night season". Jesus Christ did not suffer upon the cross during the night, but during the daytime. Yet it was His "night season"; He called it "your hour and the power of darkness" Luke 22:53. But the NASB and NIV have changed "in the night SEASON", to "in the NIGHT". This simple change in meaning creates a contradiction when we look at the facts of the timing of the crucifixion as recorded in the gospel accounts.


Psalm 22:3 "But thou art holy, O thou THAT INHABITEST the praises of Israel." So read the Geneva Bible, the KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV, Darby and the Spanish Reina Valera. However the NASB and the NIV both give different meanings to this verse. The NASB says: "Yet You are holy, O You who ARE ENTHRONED UPON the praises of Israel", while the NIV has: "Yet you ARE ENTHRONED AS THE HOLY ONE; you are the praise of Israel."


Psalm 22:16 "For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: THEY PIERCED MY HANDS AND MY FEET." This piercing of the hands and feet never occurred to king David, but was prophetic of Christ on the cross.


It appears that many Hebrew manuscripts have deliberately been corrupted in this place, since it so clearly speaks of the crucifixion of the Son of God. The Jewish translations have a nonsensical reading in this place. Instead of "they pierced my hands and my feet", they say: " LIKE A LION, my hands and my feet." This is also the reading found in the Jehovah Witness New World Translation. It may surprise some to hear that Daniel Wallace, of Dallas Theological Seminary, in his idiosyncratic (i.e. goofy and weird) NET version, also makes up a similar reading, saying: "LIKE A LION THEY PIN my hands and feet."


However there are some Hebrew manuscripts, including the recently discovered Dead Sea Scrolls, that read "they pierced my hands and my feet". In their book, The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, translated by Martin Abegg Jr., Peter Flint and Eugene Ulrich, on page 519 they tell us that the Hebrew Psalms scroll found at Hahal Hever (abbreviated 5/6HevPs) reads: "They have pierced my hands and my feet". This is also the reading of the alleged Greek Septuagint, Lamsa's 1936 translation of the Syriac Peshitta, and almost all English and foreign translations, including Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, NKJV, NIV, NASB, RSV, RV, ASV, ESV, the Spanish Reina Valera of 1909 and 1960, French Louis Segond, and the Italian Diodati.


However we continue to have a group of looney tune versions like the NRSV of 1989 which actually reads: "My hands and my feet ARE SHRIVELED." Then in a footnote, the NRSV tells us that the Hebrew reading is uncertain.


New English Bible 1970, New Jerusalem Bible - "they have HACKED OFF my hands and my feet."


Douay 1950- "they have DUG my hands and my feet."


Jerusalem Bible 1968 - "they TIE my hands and my feet"


New Jerusalem Bible 1985 - "as if to HACK OFF my hands and my feet"


Today's English Version (put out by the United Bible Society) 1992 "they TEAR AT my hands and my feet."


New Life Version 1997 - "They HAVE CUT THROUGH my hands and my feet."


Contemporary English Version 1995 (put out by the American Bible Society) - "TEARING AT my hands and my feet."


The Message 2002- "They PIN ME DOWN hand and foot."


New Century Version 1991 (put out by Thomas Nelson, Inc.) - "THEY HAVE BITTEN my ARMS and MY LEG."!!!


In closing this little study of Psalm 22, I would like to focus on the last two verses of this amazing Psalm and note how the meaning has been changed in such versions as the NKJV, NASB and NIV.


In the King James Bible Psalm 22:30-31 reads: "A SEED shall serve him; IT SHALL BE ACCOUNTED TO the Lord FOR A GENERATION. THEY SHALL COME, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this." This is also the reading found in the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Darby, the Spanish Reina Valera of 1909, the Italian Diodati, Webster's, KJV 21st Century and the Third Millenium Bible.


Adam Clarke comments on this verse: "This seed, however, shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. It shall be a peculiar people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and called by Christ's own name."


However the NKJV changes the meaning of this verse. It says: "A POSTERITY shall serve Him. It will be RECOUNTED OF the Lord TO THE NEXT generation, They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has done this."


The NKJV looses the idea of "the seed" and instead of the seed being accounted for a generation, the NKJV adds words not found in any Hebrew text, and says the message will be TOLD TO the NEXT generation.


The NASB is similar to the NKJV saying: "Posterity will serve Him; IT WILL BE TOLD OF the Lord TO THE COMING generation. They shall come..."


The NIV goes even further along this line. The NIV omits the Hebrew reading of "They shall come" and follows the Greek reading like the RSV and NRSV. At least the RSV, NRSV tell us in their footnote that they have omitted these words from the Hebrew texts and followed the Greek, but the NIV fails to inform us of this fact. The words "THEY SHALL COME" are found in all Jewish translations, as well as the RV, ASV, NKJV, NASB, Holman, NET, and now the 2001 English Revised Version (a revision of the previous RSV, NRSV) has put these Hebrew words back in their ever-changing bible versions.


The NIV says: "POSTERITY will serve him; FUTURE (NOT in any text) generationS WILL BE TOLD ABOUT the Lord. (Then it omits the Hebrew words "They shall come", and continues:) They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn - for he has done it."


The Hebrew word is clearly SEED and the Seed theology is consistently taught throughout the King James Bible, but not the modern versions. "a SEED" is the reading of the Jewish translations, Geneva Bible, the RV, ASV, Young's and Darby. The seed of Christ is the generation of His elect people from the beginning to the end of the world. "They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for THE SEED." Romans 9:8. "when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see HIS SEED...and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand." Isaiah 53:10


The seed is ACCOUNTED TO the Lord FOR a generation. 1 Peter 2:9 tells us: "But ye are a chosen GENERATION, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light."


In the KJB and other translations, the sense is that the seed, which is the body of believers who will be born from His death and resurrection, are the children of the promise who are COUNTED FOR THE SEED (Romans 9:8) and are considered as "a generation". Christ generated us, or gave us birth, by means of His death and resurrection. We were in Him when He died, and we were in Him when He rose from the dead.


The NKJV changes the meaning with: "A POSTERITY will serve Him. It will be RECOUNTED OF the Lord TO THE NEXT generation." Wrong! Can you see that the meaning is changed? If this were the only example in the Bible, you might say, Well, what's the big deal? But the fact is there are literally hundreds of such changes in meaning from one version to the next. You end up asking yourself, Well, what did God really say?


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