Article: Revelation 17:8 "the beast that was, and is not, and YET IS" by Will Kinney

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Revelation 17:8 "and they shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and YET IS." King James Holy Bible.


All King James Bible critics have a strong tendency to exaggerate, twist and misrepresent the evidence, and to flat out LIE. They unconsciously reveal their underlying hatred towards God’s true Holy Book and final authority. Blinded by their own pride, they make themselves out to be the authoritative voice for what they independently think God may or may not have caused to be written in His inspired and infallible Scriptures.


Not one of them completely agrees with anybody else about what should or should not be in “the Bible” and not one of them actually believes that there EVER was nor IS NOW any such thing as a complete, inspired, inerrant, infallible and 100% true Holy Bible in any language, including their ever changing and undefined “the Hebrew and the Greek”.


Such a Bible critic is Detroit Baptist Seminary Professor named William W. Combs. He has written a booklet called “Errors in the King James Version?


The other day I received an email listing a particular example of what Doctor Combs affirms in no uncertain terms is an undeniable error in our beloved King James Bible. Here are some of the things Mr. Combs mentions in his harangue against the Book of books.


He says: [quote]“In the NT the translators of the KJV used a Greek text commonly called the Textus Receptus. Its origins go back to the various editions produced by the Roman Catholic scholar Erasmus beginning in 1516. There is no one edition of the TR, but a number of editions with some differences among them. It is generally agreed that the edition used by the translators of the KJV was the fifth edition (1598) of Theodore Beza. All editions of the TR have some readings that are clearly erroneous, but have remained in the KJV. For example, in Revelation 17:8 the KJV reads:


The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and “yet is”. [/quote]


Comment on what Mr. Combs has said so far. Notice how he tries to slam and vilify Erasmus as a “Catholic” scholar. Erasmus had strongly criticized many beliefs and practices of the Catholic church of his day and he died surrounded by his Protestant friends. One might just as accurately describe Martin Luther as “a Catholic monk” when in 1517 he nailed his now famous 95 Theses to that church door.


Mr. Combs berates Erasmus, and yet notes in passing that it was Theodore Beza’s Greek text produced some 82 years later that, in the main, the King James Bible translators used - not that of Erasmus. Helloooo? Is there a disconnect here?


Mr. Combs continues: [quote]The final words in the verse, "and yet is," should actually read "and shall come"—"the beast that was, and is not, and shall come." NO GREEK MANUSCRIPT READS "and yet is"; ALL HAVE "and shall come." ... THIS IS AN UNDISPUTABLE ERROR IN THE KJV and the Greek text (TR) that underlies it.” [/quote] (Caps are mine)


Here is where the good Doctor Combs goes completely over the edge of reason and flat out LIES to us. It is NOT true that NO Greek manuscript reads as does the King James Bible, and that ALL have “and shall come”. Neither is it an “undisputable error in the KJV.”


Notice how all these Bible critics always pick on just ONE Bible? It’s always the King James Bible that allegedly has all these “errors” in it. Not Tyndale, nor the Geneva Bible, nor the Bishops’ nor the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, NKJV or Holman. No, it’s always the King James Bible. Satan’s vile hatred is directed through these modern day Bible agnostics against only One Book and that Book is the Authorized King James Holy Bible and none other. It is the only Bible believed and defended by hundreds of thousands of blood bought Christians today as the inspired, inerrant and infallible words of the living God and the Standard by which all others are measured.


James White is another inconsistent Bible Agnostic who criticizes The “book of the LORD” (Isaiah 34:16 - and Yes, I am equating the book of the Lord to the King James Bible!). In his book, The King James Only Controversy, on page 64 he also criticizes the reading found in the King James Bible in Revelation 17:8, and yet this same James White in this same book recommends by name only three modern versions as being “reliable” - the NASB, NIV and the NKJV. Yet the NKJV reads exactly like the KJB he just criticized in Revelation 17:8! These Bible critics are nothing if not consistently inconsistent.


Let’s now look more closely at the history and the evidence for the reading found in Revelation 17:8. Mr. Combs tells us that NO Greek manuscript reads like the King James Bible. However the reading “and yet is” is found in several compiled Greek texts, including those of Erasmus, Stephanus, Beza, Elzeiver and Scrivenir.


It is also found in the famous Sinaiticus Greek manuscript itself. The Sinaitucus manuscript has actually had three different readings. The first Sinaiticus reading apparently was "and AGAIN shall be", but then another scribe changed this to the absurd "and again YOU ARE" and finally another scribe changed it again to finally read "and IS", which essentially agrees with the KJB reading of "and yet is".


There is a 1918 version called The New Testament Translation from the Sinaitic Manuscript, done by Henry Anderson. It clearly says: “when they see the beast that was, and is not, THOUGH HE IS YET PRESENT.” You can see this translation online here:http://www.lookhigher.net/englishbibles/thenewtestamenttranslatedfromthesinaitic/revelation/17.html#v7


In his book When the KJV Departs from the “Majority” Text, brother Jack Moorman points out that not only does the Sinaiticus third reading give the same sense as that found in the TR, but so also do the Greek readings found in manuscripts 2049, 1854, 2014, 2034 plus 31 other Andreas type manuscripts.


Mr. Moorman points out: "Keep in mind that the context of the reading is the future tribulation, not John's day. It strains the sense to be looking at something that "will come". NASB - "Those who dwell on the earth will wonder...when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come." When the world looks at him, he IS, not "shall be".


Many Bible commentators such as John Gill, Adam Clarke, Barne’s Notes on the New Testament, and Matthew Henry all expound the Scriptures on the basis of the reading “and yet is”.


Doctors Hodges and Farstad, who put together the so called “Majority” Text, also note on page 777 of their book that there are also several Greek manuscripts that read “and IS” - parestin, the present tense of the verb parestai, instead of the future tense of this verb “and shall be” which is followed by many of the every changing modern versions. This combined evidence shows that when the learned Dr. Combs stated in no uncertain terms that “NO Greek manuscript” reads as does the KJB, and that “ALL read ‘and shall be’” he was lying.


There is a great deal of confusion found in the existing texts of Revelation 17:8 regarding the various readings of “and yet is” or “and is” or “and shall be” or simply omitting the phrase altogether. The Latin Vulgate of 380 and 420 A.D. simply omit the phrase, and so do Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale and the Catholic Douay-Rheims.


The 1841 English Hexapla shows the Greek text of Scholz, and the Six English translations of Wycliffe, Tyndale, Cranmer, the Geneva Bible, the Douay-Rheims and the Authorized 1611. Scholz’s Greek text is basically the Westcott-Hort text which omits literally thousands of words from the Textus Receptus Greek text that underlies the King James Bible.


However he does footnote the various readings from the Received Text, and he shows clearly that the reading of the Received text in Revelation 17:8 is kaiper estin = “and yet is”, which is the one followed by the Geneva Bible, the Bishops’ Bible, the King James Bible and many other translations as we shall soon see.


http://bible.zoxt.net/hex/_1309.htm Shows in a footnote that the Received Text reading or Revelation 17:8 is “and yet is” kaiper estin.


Earlier versions like Wycliffe 1380, Tyndale 1534, Cranmer 1539 and the Douay-Rheims of 1582 followed yet different texts and just omit the phrase in question. These four versions read: “when they behold the beast that was, and is not.” (nothing about “any yet is” nor the Critical texts “and shall be”.)


Sinaiticus original read “and again shall be”, but Sinaiticus correction says “and is”. Vaticanus omits all of Revelation, so it is of no help in determining the correct reading.


Modern versions like the NASB, NIV, ESV have chosen to follow the codex Alexandrinus manuscript here, but often reject other readings of codex Alexandrinus in the same book of the Revelation. These modern version editors are not in the least bit concerned with what the so called “Majority” texts read because they simply reject outright hundreds of readings found in these majority texts. If they accuse the King James Bible believer of accepting the occasional “minority reading” as being legitimate then they are guilty of being blatant hypocrites. For every one minority reading found in the King James Bible there are at least 20 of them in versions like the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, Holman, NET, etc.


The versions translated from the Syriac are also in disagreement, even with each other. Lamsa's 1936 translation of the Aramaic reads: "the beast that was, and is, and NOW WHOSE END HAS COME", while Murdoch's translation reads: "the beast that was, and IS NOT AND APPROACHETH."


The reading of "the beast that was, and is not, and YET IS" is found in the Bishops' Bible of 1568, the Geneva Bibles from 1557 to 1602, the King James Bible, the NKJV 1982, Young's ‘literal’, the 2001 Urim-Thummin Version, the 1993 Word of Jah version (translated by Jewish Christians), Green's Modern KJV 2000, the KJV 21st Century version 1994, the Third Millenium Bible 1998, Martin Luther’s German bible of 1545, the Spanish Las Sagradas Escrituras of 1569, the Spanish Reina Valera of 1909 and the 2005 Reina Valera Gomez translation - “se maravillarán cuando vean la bestia, que era y no es, AUNQUE ES”. Other foreign language bibles that also say “the beast that was, and is not, and yet is” are the Italian Diodati of 1649 and the New Diodati of 1991, the French Martin of 1744 and the French Ostervald of 1996. Again, it is the reading found in the printed Greek texts of Erasmus, Stephanus, Beza, Elziever and Scrivenir.


You can either choose to believe “the scholars” who constantly disagree with each other about what should be in “The Bible” or not, or you can choose to believe that the sovereign God of the universe has indeed been faithful to preserve His inspired words through history and that there really does exist a Bible on this earth that IS the complete, inspired, infallible and 100% true words of the living God. All the evidence - internal, historical and spiritual - points to this one Book and one Standard of absolute final written authority as being the only true Holy Bible by which all others are to be measured - the King James Holy Bible.


“Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail...” Isaiah 34:16


Will Kinney


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