Revelation 16:5 and the Triadic Declaration - A defense of the reading of “shalt be” in the Authorized Version

From Textus Receptus

Jump to: navigation, search




This study on Revelation 16:5 has grown from the collection of information put into my website[1] which is constantly being updated with material defending the Textus Receptus and the King James Version. My thanks go to the following people: the author of the article on the KJV Today website[2] who has stimulated many thoughts and collected a large concise body of evidence on this and many related issues; Will Kinney[3] for his tireless efforts in defending such verses and also collecting an innumerable amount of material on this and many other subjects; and also Scott Jones for his brilliant article on Jehovah, which while only brief, is filled with an abundance of confirmation for the sacred name of Jehovah.[4] My appreciation also goes to Jeffrey Khoo[5], Thomas Holland[6], D. A. Waite[7], and Jack Moorman[8], all of whose former work on Revelation 16:5 and other such issues, has provided a platform from which I can work. The online writings of Steven Avery[9], Jeff Riddle[10], and Steve Rafalsky[1], have also been very insightful and helpful in many forums debate groups. This private study has grown into the document you see now and has gleanings from each of the above people and others. Thanks also to Joseph Armstrong[12], David Daniels[13], and Keith Mason[14]. It has been said, tongue in cheek, that if you copy from one source it is plagiarism, but if you copy from many sources it is “good scholarship”. In this document I have copied and used the writings of the above people so frequently that it is hard for me to reference exactly where I found material and also which quotations are originally mine. On the TR ( website, I am constantly adding material from many different people who provide a defense for the TR/KJV position, directly from forums, websites, debate groups, YouTube clips, or their comments on videos, and am guilty of using quotes and phrases without reference. So if you find me quoting you here or on my site, my apologies for my lack of reference, my first pursuit here has been to defend the KJV/TR reading and not provide a perfectly referenced academic treatise. This paper was also written to inform those who know little about the topics involved and the entire concept could have been described in less than ten pages, but so as to not confuse those who are new to the issue, or have been duped but the pseudo scholarship of people like White, I have provided as much material as possible in the short amount of time I have had to write this. I hope this is not an annoyance to those familiar with these issues. (Some of the Latin in this article needs a polish, any volunteers are welcome to translate –

- Nick Sayers


“Imagine we came across an early manuscript copy of the Constitution of the United States, and the preamble said, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect onion …” If we were to see that line, we would know that “union” was the original word, not “onion”.” –Dan Wallace15

This paper was written in response to the false claims that the Revelation 16:5 reading of shalt be in the King James Version is an erroneous reading and should be considered a general defense for those who hold to either King James Only, Textus Receptus Only, or Ecclesiastical Text positions. The issue can be clearly seen by comparing the KJV and NASB:

And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. Revelation 16:5 KJV16
And I heard the angel of the waters saying, "Righteous are You, who are and who were, O Holy One, because You judged these things; Revelation 16:5 NASB17

In this study, it will be revealed that Theodore Beza's reading that underlies the KJV is undeniably correct, and that the scholarship of many of his detractors is flawed. This has been predominantly written in response to James White's erroneous position, but also to provide material and information to generally educate the church concerning this verse with elements that were rudimentary to Beza and the King James Version translators in their scholarly generation, but today may be obscured by the cloud of skeptical textual criticism.

James White18, who is the director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, has made claims that the reading of and shalt be in Revelation 16:5 is an irrefutable error in the KJV19 and that the 1611 translators slavishly followed Theodore Beza's 1598 Edition of the Textus Receptus in which this so called error originates. White considers the reading of shalt be as a trump card against those who defend the King James Version or Textus Receptus on this point, who would usually point to a majority text reading to defend their position, but seem to have the tables turned concerning this verse with the KJV reading being considered as a minority reading, or specifically here, a conjecture with zero evidence. White's claims about this verse in his book The King James Only Controversy20, in his YouTube videos21, as well as in debates such as the Jack Moorman debate of are unscholarly and mostly false, as will be revealed in this book. In August 2016 I discovered that the 1549 Ethiopic version has the shalt be reading in Revelation 16:5. I created a blogspot23 concerning this which was discovered by White, who proceeded to rebuke me on his Dividing Line24 program after I presented the Ethiopic evidence for the KJV reading. He warned people to stay away from my teaching.25 To get a perception of White's position on the issue and his usual response, in 2002, on the Ankerberg show he said:

But to Dr. Strouse, what about places where those King James translators followed conjectural emendations? Theodore Beza, for example, in Revelation 16:5 looked at the Greek text and all the Greek texts say the same thing, but he didn't like the way it went. And so he changed the word holy to the future form of the verb to be, sort of, to make it nice and poetic and rhythmic. And your King James this day reads that way, even though there s not a question about it on anyone s part as to what that passage actually reads. Why should I take Theodore Beza's conjectural emendation where he decides a reading on the basis of what he likes and say that the mass of Christians believe this when nobody before Theodore Beza ever had the idea that Revelation 16:5 read that way? Why should I believe that?26

White also says in his book his book The King James Only Controversy:

Every Greek text not just Alexandrian texts, but all Greek texts, Majority Text, the Byzantine text, every manuscript, the entire manuscript tradition reads O Holy One, containing the Greek phrase ὁ ὅσιος ( ho hosios. ) So why does the KJV read and shalt be? Because John Calvin's successor at Geneva, Theodore Beza, conjectured that the original read differently. To use his word, ex vetusto bonae fidei manuscripto codice restitui. Beza believed there was sufficient similarity between the Greek terms ὅσιος and ἐσόμενος (the future form, "shall be") to allow him to make the change to harmonize the text with other such language in Revelation. But he had no manuscript evidence in support of his conjecture. For the KJV Only advocate, there is simply no way out of this problem. Those who appeal to the Byzantine text-type are refuted, for it reads ὁ ὅσιος. Those who appeal to the Majority Text founder on the same reality.27 White then shows some pictures in his book of Erasmus edition, Coverdale, and Geneva, without the KJV reading shalt be, he then concludes:
As one can see, the King James Version reading at Revelation 16:5 arose from Theodore Beza s conjectural emendation and was unknown to history prior to that time.

White places a footnote which basically says that even if those in the future prove him wrong on this issue, they are being desperate and rejecting the very words of Beza who said he merely conjectured on this issue:

Lest in desperation a King James Only advocate make the attempt, Tischendorf's notes on the term only confirm my assertion. He notes that cop aeth omit ὁ ὅσιος, but the KJV reading is not to be found even here, as ἐσόμενος is not put in its place. Instead Tischendorf s notes indicate Beza as the reading's source. Further, Tregelles text, though indicating some translations omitted ὁ ὅσιος again indicates that the KJV reading is nowhere in the Greek manuscript tradition. Likewise, Hoskier's massive work on the text of the Apocalypse nowhere indicates the appearance of Beza.s conjecture. Quite simply, before Beza, no Christian had ever read the text the way the KJV has it today.

This book will provide a framework wherein the bible believer can observe the biblical and historical case for the inclusion of shalt be and will also reveal that all evidence points to Beza s reading, and only those willingly ignorant will choose to the inferior reading of holy after examining the facts presented below. I will also reveal how James White does not understand the basics what Beza said in his footnotes, and looking at his debates, videos, and book concerning this subject, only exposes his illiteracy, leaving him much like the king with no clothes. Proud scholars like White place doubt over 237 passages the TR/KJV. He is an enemy of the traditional scriptures. Theodore Beza was a world class biblical scholar, an expert in several languages, who associated with those considered the upper echelon of biblical scholarship that provided material that fueled the reformation in many languages. Because Beza had provided such a massive amount of biblical data, from heading up the English Geneva Bible, Geneva French, many Greek and Latin editions, commentaries, dictionaries, and so much literature on the Greek and Hebrew biblical text for so many years, I would suggest that Beza s familiarity with the text and with similar textual issues, revealed to him that the established reading of holy was clearly an error and to reject shalt be, one should firstly show that they are on the same level of scholarship as Beza or the KJV translators on this issue, to provide an adequate refutation, or at least understand his footnotes properly. White, who was one of the Critical consultants for the New American Standard Bible 28, doesn t have the goods to even understand the basics of this issue, but simply slanders and misquotes people, in order to win debate points. In this article I will show to the reader that the manuscript evidence does indeed point to esomenos, and that once the foundation is laid, one will not be able to read the text again without seeing this reading as correct, no matter which manuscript you read. Beza reconstructed the original reading of what became a corrupted, contaminated, nonsensical, and illegible textual reading, but it was originally altered to read holy for a specific purpose, and after reading this book, you will be fully aware of the reasons Beza saw this corruption, and his remedy for it. A cursory look just at the English translations preceding the KJV shows the confusion surrounding this verse as we shall see. God is not the Author of confusion. Beza s restitution of eris / ἐσόμενος is far from being just an educated guess as some have claimed. An experienced and proficient scholar with a broad knowledge of the writer of the text, Greek and Hebrew languages, and style of the time knows error when he sees it. 28


See Also

Personal tools