Article: The Grace of God Destroyed by Will Kinney

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Many Christians have been deluded into thinking that the new Bible versions flooding the market today teach the same things with updated words.

In this brief study, we shall examine just four verses found in the Old Testament. In the King James Bible they are precious verses which teach sound doctrine concerning the truly amazing grace of our loving Father towards His children. These precious truths have been distorted and even denied in the new versions- which include the NKJV, NASB, ESV, Holman Christian Standard, and the NIV.

Numbers 23:21

In the book of Numbers chapters 22 - 24, the false prophet Balaam had been called by Balak the king of Moab to curse Israel. God allowed Balaam to go with Balak, but rather than cursing the people of God, Balaam was compelled to bless them instead.

In Numbers 23:19-21 we read these beautiful truths: “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.”

The next verse, 21, expresses a great truth in the KJB, but this is where the error of the new versions occurs. Verse 21: “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them”.

God has always dealt with His people according to the everlasting covenant of grace revealed to Abraham and his spiritual seed, confirmed to them and fulfilled in Christ.

Galatians 3:12-29. “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” God had redeemed His people out of Egypt (Exodus 6:6) and forgiven their sins, even though they were a stiffnecked people ( Num. 14: 19, 20).

Just as God sees us as blameless, holy, and without spot (Eph. 1:4; I Cor. 1:8), not because of our own obedience or righteousness, but because we are covered with the righteousness of Christ, so too, were His people in the wilderness.

But see how this truth has been lost in the NASB, ESV, Holman Standard and the NIV “bibles”. The NASB, RSV, ESV say: “He has not observed misfortune in Jacob; Nor has He seen trouble in Israel.” The NIV has: “No misfortune is seen in Jacob, no misery observed in Israel.” There had been misery and misfortune in Israel, as well as sin and rebellion. The Holman Standard has: "He considers no disaster for Jacob; He sees no trouble for Israel." (Yet the footnote gives the correct meaning as found in the King James Bible).

But God is speaking a blessing through Balaam upon His redeemed people and stating how He sees them because they are His own peculiar people. “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” Romans 8:33. This truth of great comfort is lost in the NASB and NIV .

I personally do not believe any other English bible contains all of God’s perfect, preserved, inspired words except the King James Bible. But frequently, the new version proponents like to gang up on the KJB, as though it were the only Bible to read a certain way.

Other versions which agree with the KJB here are the Hebrew into English versions of 1917, 1936 ( put out by the Hebrew Pub. Com. and the Jewish Pub. Society of America), the Revised Version 1881, the ASV of 1901, Geneva Bible, Young’s translation, Darby, the NKJV, Amplified and the Spanish Reina Valera of 1602 and 1960.

Deuteronomy 32:5

Tremendous error and contradiction have been introduced into this section of Scripture by the NKJV, NIV, RSV, Holman, ESV and NAS “bibles”. This is part of the song of Moses which says in verses 3-5: “I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”

The next verse is where the lies of the modern versions enter. The true Holy Bible says: “They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation. Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?”

If you look at the context, in the previous chapter God told Moses that the people would enter the promised land and would go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land and turn to other gods. God knew this before He brought them into the land, so their entering the land did not depend on their foreseen obedience to the law, but rather because of the covenant of grace made with Abraham.

They are still His children whom He bought (verse 6) , His people and His inheritance (verse 9) and verse 19 still refers to them as “his sons and daughters”. They are His children even though disobedient, just as your child is still your child no matter what he does.

Many verses bring out this truth that God's redeemed people, His own children, are capable of corrupting themselves with the spot of idolatry. Here are just a few found right here in the book of Deuteronomy.

In Deuteronomy 4:15-20 God tells His people: "Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Lest ye CORRUPT yourselves, and make you a graven image...But the LORD hath taken be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day."

In Deuteronomy 9:12 Moses rehearses how he had been 40 days and 40 nights in Mount Horeb where God gave him the tables of the covenant. While Moses was in the mount, God spoke to him and said: "Arise, get thee down quickly from hence; for thy people which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt HAVE CORRUPTED themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten image."

Yet in the rest of chapter nine, Moses asks God not to destroy "thy people and thine inheritance which thou hast redeemed...they are thy people and thine inheritance." Though they had corrupted themselves with false gods, they were still His children and His redeemed people.

In Deuteronomy 31:29 Moses tells the children of Israel even before they enter the promised land: "For I know that after my death, ye will utterly CORRUPT yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands."

John Gill comments on Deuteronomy 32:5: "their spot is not the spot of his children - Christ the rock has children given him by his Father, in whose adoption he has a concern, and by whose Spirit they are regenerated: these have their "spots"; by which are meant sins, and by those men are stained and polluted;... by nature they are as others, and while in an unregenerate estate, and indeed after conversion; though they are washed from their sins by the blood of Christ, and are justified by his righteousness, and so without spot, yet in themselves they are not without spots or sins, as their confessions and complaints, and all experience testify."

God’s children did corrupt themselves with strange gods, and the spot or blemish they had was the idolatrous practices of other people, but they are still His children, bought by God and belonging to Him as the rest of Deuteronomy chapter 32 shows.

Other versions that agree with the King James Bible in Deuteronomy 32:5 in teaching they are still His children are Darby, Youngs, Spanish Reina Valera, the Italian Diodati, the Hebrew-English JPS translation of 1917, Webster’s 1833 translation, the Third Millenium Bible.

The Judaica Press Tanach 2001 reads this portion as: "it is His children's defect you crooked and twisted generation." They are still His children.

The modern Complete Jewish Bible agrees that the children of Israel are still the children of God, saying: ""He is not corrupt; the defect is in his children, a crooked and perverted generation."

The Spanish Reina Valera versions 1602, 1909, 1960, 1995 all clearly say that they are His children, even though they have the stain of sin. "La corrupción no es suya; de sus hijos es la mancha, generación torcida y perversa." Translation- "Corruption is not His; of His children is the stain, a twisted and perverse generation."

The 1917 Jewish Publication Society reads differently but retains the correct meaning saying: "Just and Right is He. Is corruption His? No; His children's is the blemish."

The 1989 NRSV is different from all other versions, including the RSV and the ESV. It says: "just and upright is he; yet his degenerate children have dealt falsely with him...Is not he your father?" Then in a footnote tells us the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. At least the NRSV still teaches that they are His children, though degenerate ones at that.

Now look at the NKJV in Deut. 32:5. “They have corrupted themselves: THEY ARE NOT HIS CHILDREN, Because of their blemish.” The NASB is similar with: “They are not His children because of their defect”. The Holman Standard says: "this is their defect - they are not His children." These versions tell us they are not His children, and then in the very next verse tell us they are His children because He is their Father and He bought them!

The Geneva Bible is generally much better than most modern versions, but it does have its faults, and here is one of them. The Geneva Bible also tells us that the children of Israel were NOT His children, and this again contradicts with the very next verse, even in the Geneva Bible. The Geneva Bible reads: "They haue corrupted them selues towarde him by their vice, NOT BEING HIS CHILDREN, but a frowarde and crooked generation."

The NIV, RSV, and ESV are even worse with: “to their shame THEY ARE NO LONGER HIS CHILDREN”. This teaches the doctrine that one can be a child of God and then lose it and no longer be His child, yet verses 6 and 19 still refer to them as His children.

The RSV, NIV, ESV and Holman Standard further confuse correct doctrine and hide the truth by mistranslating verse six where we read: "Is not he thy father that HATH BOUGHT thee?"

The correct reading that God had BOUGHT them is found in the Revised Version, the ASV, NKJV, NASB and several others. The Hebrew word means "to buy, to purchase, to redeem, and to possess." It does not mean "Creator".

It refers to such passages as Exodus 15 where Moses and the children of Israel sang the great song of deliverance from Egypt saying: "The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation...Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast REDEEMED...till the people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou HAST PURCHASED."

However instead of saying: "Is not he thy father that hath BOUGHT thee?", the NIV, RSV, ESV, and Holman say: "Is he not your father, YOUR CREATOR, who made you?" This rendering destroys the meaning of God buying or redeeming them, and merely teaches that He created them.

2 Samuel 23:5

The last words of David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, are recorded in II Sam 23: 1-5. The KJB says in verses 2,3,5 : “The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God...Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure; for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.” (“not to grow” probably refers to David’s house, but the NKJV, NIV, NASB, RSV, ESV and Holman Standard have changed this into a question rather than a statement).

He that rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. David, for the most part, did fairly well, yet he failed miserably in the matter of Bathsheba and Uriah, whom he murdered. Yet, even though David had not lived up to the divine standard,( only Christ as the true Son of David could do that) God had established the everlasting covenant of the “sure mercies of David” with him and He does the same thing with us. See Isaiah 55:3 KJB.

Yet notice the subtle but deadly changes made in this verse by the NAS, RSV, ESV, and NIV. Instead of “Although my house be not so with God, yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant...” the NIV has: “Is not my house right with God? Has he not made with me an everlasting covenant arranged and secure in every part?

The Holman Standard has: "Is it not true my house is with God? For He has established an everlasting covenant with me ordered and secure in every detail."

The NAS, RSV, ESV read: “Truly is not my house so with God? For He has made an everlasting covenant with me, ordered in all things and secured.” Neither reading agrees with the other, yet they all unite in implying that God made a covenant with David because his house was so upright. This is a works salvation theology and denies the true facts regarding David’s life and the covenant of the sure mercies granted to David.

Isaiah 35:8

“And an highway shall be there, an a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there.”

This verse teaches that there will be an highway for the redeemed to walk on and even though they may be fools, they shall not err. If we are among the redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, He will keep us secure even though we, in and of ourselves, are at times foolish.

What a comfort and encouragement to our souls. We are all foolish at times. All of us make dumb mistakes and do not think clearly nor act with wisdom all too often. But praise God He chooses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise - I Cor. 1:27 and even though “the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light”- Luke 16:8

Versions that agree with the KJB reading here in Isaiah 35:8 are the RV, ASV, 1917, 1936, Young, Geneva, Darby, Spanish, RSV, NRSV, ESV, and the NKJV though it omits several words found in the Hebrew text, but basically it says the same as the KJB.

However in the NAS we read: “And a highway will be there, a roadway, and it will be called the highway of holiness, but it will be for him (the Hebrew is them- not him) who walks that way, and fools will not wander on it.” The NAS “fools will not wander on it” seems to be saying fools will not get on it occasionally but the NIV is even clearer in its false rendering.

The NIV has: “And a highway will be there, it will be called the Way of Holiness, The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way, wicked fools will not go about on it.” There is no word for “wicked” in Hebrew, and the NIV is teaching that there will be no fools on the highway- the exact opposite of the KJB and others.

If you are a Christian, and can honestly admit that you are sometimes foolish, then there is no comfort or assurance that you are a child of God and among the redeemed if you believe the NIV. According to the NIV, RSV, ESV in Deuteronomy 32:5 you may once have been a child of God, and then no longer be His child - gone is the eternal security of the believer who has been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. You had better watch your step!

This is just some of the confusion wrought by the versions that are so popular among present day Christiandom. Most do not read their bibles anyway, so few would probably notice. There is a famine in the land today, as prophesied in Amos 8:11 “Behold the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.”

I ask you to consider these four examples of how the grace of God is being lost in the new “bibles.” There are hundreds of other things seriously wrong with these versions, and they are well documented at many sites on the internet and in many books that have come out recently defending the King James Bible as God’s preserved, inspired words.

Some will have ears to hear and will turn back to the old ways where you will find rest for your souls, but others will go on trusting in the scholarship of modern Bible critics. May God give us grace to grow in the true knowledge of His Son and our blessed kinsman redeemer who purchased us to be eternally and securely His own.

God bless you, a brother in Christ,

Will Kinney

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