Refuting Claims by Scholars of Error in the KJV
Scholars who claim that our traditional Bible texts exhibit error are encouraging loss of confidence in scripture as the very Word of God, which would extinguish our only light in this horribly dark sinful world. Adding to this problem are numerous websites of people who just parrot what scholars call error in our traditional KJV, showing little or no evidence of being qualified to comment on such matters. These people seem to think that scholars today decide & preserve the content of the biblical text that declares the standards ordained by God for our lives, which would mean no one ever possessed the "true" text until modern scholarship made an appearance. The present essay is a rebuttal of publications by scholars who claim that there is error in the traditional KJV and its textual basis.
Refuting the Claim by
Dr. William Combs of Error in the KJV & Its
Textual Basis in His Article, Errors in the King James Version?
by Dr. L. Bednar
Dr. William Combs, Academic Dean and Professor of New Testament at the Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, says that belief in an inerrant translation is heresy, referring to belief in KJV inerrancy. His concept of heresy is unique, the term having always been defined as a departure from orthodoxy, and when did a belief in God's ability to preserve His inerrant Word in our language become unorthodox? Combs judges KJV accuracy without considering internal evidence of context, grammar & word sense, speaking only of manuscript external evidence. Manuscript support does determine the general form of the text and its passages, but uncertainty about correct words, phrases, clauses or verses is resolved only by study of the internal evidence.
Dr. Combs can't decide text accuracy solely on the basis of manuscript
support, for this copying work of men is prone to much error. He doesn't consider known massive manuscript corruption in the pre-200 A.D. period (textualcriticism.scienceontheweb. net/TEXT/Hodges1979.html), that would relate to Alexandrian-Text error, and the severe persecution of Christians in this period that would likely cause eradication of Traditional-Text copies. He doesn't consider 3rd-4th century persecution by Roman emperors causing destruction of most manuscripts at that time, mainly in the eastern empire where the superior Traditional Text was the standard one (bible.ca/b-canon-diocletians-destruction-constantines-production-scripture.htm, & churchhistory101. com/century4-p3.php). Further, he doesn't consider that the Traditional Text, that can be traced back to earliest text history (see essay 4j - The claim that this text dates to no earlier than the 4th century is known to be false today), is extant in manuscripts today that mostly date to no earlier than the 10th century, likely due to manuscript loss in eastern churches indifferent to scripture accuracy during much of the history of this ancestor of the Received Text.
Due to early loss or distortion of most manuscripts, later copies would usually lack a true link to autograph originals, and be subject to centuries of increasing error. Thus Traditional-Text manuscripts extant today would be expected to show much variety, but they exhibit very good overall harmony indicative of general preservation of the autographs, despite the big time gap in manuscript continuity. This suggests periodic Providential restoration, and limited variety in specifics appears to be due to subse- quent periodic error created by agenda-driven parties, judging by the doctrinal nature of the error (see essays 4a-d, f, g). By contrast, Alexandrian manuscripts touted by scholars today went out of circulation in the 4th-5th centuries, which is no surprise, for they exhibit much textual & doctrinal corruption (essay 3). Restoration of such manuscripts in the 19th century by scholars imitates Providential restoration, reflect- ing their exaltation of scholarship above faith in God's preservation of His Word.
guidance by God's Word to know His will, so His text restoration would be vital. God alone inspired the originals, imparting the texts
to his chosen men, and God alone can restore
lost true readings, guiding His chosen men in the work. Some readings showing internal evidence of authenticity are in manuscripts dating to no earlier than the
4th - 5th centuries (like the account of the adulteress in Jn.8 - see essay 4f), indicating restoration during this time frame, as expected in view of the preceding intense period of persecution. Readings dating to no earlier than the 9th-10th century (like the 1 Jn.5 Johannine Comma that internal evidence proves is authentic beyond question - see essay 4a) are indicative of later restoration.
A factor in restoration that would make it selective to a degree is that, from
the 4th century onward, dominant large churches became corrupt, inviting text corruption. The few Traditional-Text manuscripts kept by small remnant bodies true to Christ should always be fully accurate, to enable ongoing faithfulness. Restoration can be a result of God's preservation of His true Word in the few manuscripts of remnant true churches being Providentially reproduced, or a result of a process of correction of certain faulty manuscripts by select work of a few scribes ordained by God for this.
Restoration for the world in general evidently was periodic in the history of the Traditional Text, as in the case of the first printed Greek Received Text based on a few reliable Traditional-Text manuscripts, the type extending back to earliest text history. Indeed,
the Received Text seems to be the most notable product of
God's Hand on a final restoration, ending corruption inherent to hand-written manuscripts, and marking the true end of the Dark Ages in Europe by bestowing biblical author- ity in churches throughout Europe & beyond. Its Providential timing in history is indicated in that Traditional-Text
manuscripts that became the basis of the Received Text were carried west
(where the Latin Vulgate ruled) at the fall of Constantinople in the eastern
Roman empire in 1453 A.D, very close in time to the introduction of movable-type
printing that would soon cause the widest distribution of the biblical text in history
at that time. Further, the Received Text appeared when the Reform- ation was on
the horizon, and this event would greatly help continue spreading
of this text throughout Europe & beyond.
result of all
this is the need to focus on text internal evidence to establish true readings,
do so with KJV readings discredited by Combs. The aim is to show
that an inerrant
KJV text, translated from an inerrant textual basis, is indicated by
emphasizing the study of internal evidence. In the process, we make the case that God's role
in making His true Word available to all people includes restoration of true
necessitated by much early corruption and loss of manuscripts during much of text history, which would result in a degree of copyist
error in extant manuscripts. Combs says that major agreement of extant
enables reconstruction of the autographs, but internal evidence
agreement is often due to repeated copying of early error caused by a lack
certainty on readings in manuscripts not rightly linked to the
autographs. Only a rather few manuscripts preserved by small true
churches persisting beyond the 4th century should fully & consistently preserve autograph texts, by God's grace. It's often said that the
Received Text derives from a few inadequate late manuscripts available to
Erasmus, but internal evidence supports the view that they were accurate copies of the Traditional Text Providently restored earlier and made available to him to enable a process of final restoration for the world in general.* Yet his work alone would not produce an inerrant text, the efforts of other God-guided scholars being involved in achieving this status.
*The ben Chayyim Masoretic Text appears to be another text restoration for a wider world of readers that would include all Christian followers of the KJV. The ben Chayyim text corrected problems in the earlier ben Asher, although in this case the need for correction was minimal (chroniclewatch.com/.../hebrew/...masoretic-hebrew-texts).
The Basis of Belief in Inerrancy Preservation:
Words of Christ Our Lord in Matthew 4:4
“It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Deut.8:3)
Every spoken word of God is inerrant, and now appears in written form as scripture inspired by His dictation of the words to the minds of autograph writers. Dictation to Moses is the only explanation for words of the creation account spoken before men existed; it continues throughout scripture, being emphasized by words that the text indicates are spoken by God to Old Testament men like Moses & David, and words that the text indicates are spoken by New Testament figures Christ, Paul & others.
Now if we today are to live by every one of the inerrant words from God's mouth, they must all be preserved in their inerrant state, and in the language we understand. Further, living by God’s Word applies to the entire era endowed with His written Word, so traditional texts alone preserve His Words. We conclude that our traditional KJV and its Greek & Hebrew/Aramaic basis preserve the inerrancy of God's Words spoken in dictation inspiration of the autographs. In the English a KJV-only position is really a God's-Word-only position that is attacked relentlessly today, as it has been throughout text history.
Thus, we who believe Christ plainly see a lack of validity of modern critical Greek texts based mainly on Alexandrian manuscripts that vary greatly among themselves in textual & doctrinal matters, and were lost to churches for ~1400 years, being recovered in the 19th century. The main matter here is that Christ justifies belief in the traditional KJV and its textual basis as God's dictated, inerrant and preserved Word, refuting the claim of heresy by Combs, so we can expect that his claim of error in these texts is based on an incorrect view of what constitutes textual error.
“Error” in the Greek &
basis of the KJV, according to Dr. Combs
KJV inerrancy depends on freedom from error in its
Hebrew/Aramaic & Greek texts, and Combs offers five cases of supposed error in
1. Acts 9:5,6 KJV: 9:5. And he (Paul) said, Who art thou Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
9:6. And he trembling and astonished said,what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
Combs discredits underlined words in the KJV at verse 6, saying they don’t appear in any Greek manuscript, but they're in the Vulgate and early Old Latin, Syriac & Coptic New Testaments originating in the Greek. Combs fails to note that verse-5 it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks is missing in nearly all Greek manuscripts, but is in a few of them, and it is supported by Old Latin, Syrian & Coptic New Testaments originating in the Greek (http//AV1611.com/kjbp/faq/holland_ac9_5-6. html). A lack of Greek support can relate to lost early manuscripts, and the presence of the under- lined words in Received-Text editions can relate to a final restoration process. This is indicated, the authenticity of verse-5 underlined words being seen as Paul recounts the Acts 9:5,6 incident in Acts 26:14, repeating the disputed words. The authenticity of verse-6 underlined words is indicated as Paul recounts this incident in Acts 22:10, saying And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, which sum- marizes the disputed verse-6 words, and the words he trembling and astonished logically are not expected to be included in his later summary of the incident. Context indicates all of the disputed words are authentic, tying them together in a logical sequence as the Lord in Acts 9:5 speaks of what Paul did by persecution, and Paul in Acts 9:6 asks the Lord what he must do now, and Acts 9:6 concludes this thought as the Lord tells Paul where he must go to learn what he is to do now.
At times versions preserve what Greek manuscripts don't, as indicated by Acts 9:5,6. In verse 5 a clause is contextually authentic, and has early Old Latin & Syriac Pesh- itta support, but just a little of the Greek, and in verse 6, two clauses are contextually authentic, and have early Old Latin, Syrian & Coptic support, but none of the Greek. The version support would derive from Greek manuscripts now lost, but having much earlier links to the autographs than any extant Greek manuscript since the Old Latin & Peshitta date to the 2nd century, while no extant Greek manuscript is older than the 4th century - http://www.bible-researcher.com/oldlatin.html and Hills, E.F. The King James Version Defended, p172, 174. Internal evidence indicates that the Old Latin & Peshitta are correct here, and they follow Traditional-Text Greek. Further, extant Greek copies in general exhibit major or minor variance, as scholars admit, so differ- ences in verses, clauses, phrases or words between Greek copies and early versions are of crucial importance, yet today scholars routinely discredit the versions. Indeed, they discredit inerrancy of Greek copies, yet assign great authority to their favored ones, but with a clouded link to the autographs, the copies are not sufficient of them- selves to reveal authentic readings, due to early manuscript distortion or loss and centuries of likely copyist error. The copies offer an uncertain history on preservation of specifics, emphasizing the need to base conclusions on the internal evidence. KJV translators preserved the inerrant reading here, realizing the crucial role of internal evidence in deciding the accuracy of specifics. Combs never mentions such matters.
2. Rev.17:8 Combs says, in a passage about the beast representing a vile empire cult, the KJV when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is, should say, the beast that was, and is not, and is present/come. This is due to terms in the KJV Greek text that differ from those in manuscripts, but is present/come is of like sense to yet is, which is indicative of wording variance in copies not rightly linked to the autographs. Despite a similarity of the renderings, is present/come offers only a trivial sense, that an empire beast once present before all, and later absent from all, is now present/ come before all so that it was just out of view for awhile. The KJV yet is offers the true sense, that the empire beast was in existence, then was not, being fatally woun- ded, yet is now in existence (Rev.13:3, 14 & 17:11 note the fatal wound), in accord with known empire history centered on stages of the Roman empire (biblehub.com/ commentaries/revelation/17-8.htm). Thus contextual/linguistic sense identifies a re- stored inerrant reading in the KJV.
3. Rev.16:5 Combs rejects the KJV/Beza, O Lord, which art, and wast and shalt be, but this replaces illogical language in all earlier Greek texts/manuscripts that read who art and who wast and the holy one (no verb); the holy one interrupts continuity of reference to God's eternality, and it omits a logical third verb. Beza’s rendering speaks of eternal God of the past, present & future, as expected of a true reading, and in accord with Rev.1:4 that says him which is, and which was, and which is to come and in accord with similar readings in Rev.1:8, 1:18, 4:8, & 11:17. All 5 of these Revelation verses present the obvious expected future aspect of God's eternality.
The empire beast has no ultimate future, Rev.17:11 describing him in past & present tense only as, the beast that was and is not, and yet is. Due to the close contextual proximity, omitting the future aspect in Rev.16:5 can make this verse seem to say that God, despite His great power, is like the beast in having no ultimate future, and can't secure our eternal future. This looks like satan's influence on text copying that suggests, despite God's power and His destruction of satan & the beast, His people have reason to doubt their eternal security. This is reminiscent of Gen.3:1-5 where satan, by the serpent, puts doubt in Eve’s mind on obeying God's command to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Further, the holy one looks like an early scribe’s faulty effort to ensure a clear reference to God in a defective reading in manuscripts not rightly related to the autographs. Shall be is correct theologically & linguistically, and the alternative is unsound, so providential renewal of a lost true reading in Beza's 1598 (&1589) edition is indicated. God, by Beza, corrects a faulty phrase in all extant Greek manuscripts, texts & contrary versions, correcting a vile potential interpretation; the KJV supports this, as can be expected of a God-ordained inerrant version (see brandplucked.webs.com/kjbarticles.htm for further comment).
KJV translation, that was begun in 1604, favored the then-recent Beza 1598 edition. This timing made the edition prominent to the translators, and allowed adequate study of it before translation began, so it looks Providential. Indeed, the timing looks Providentially precise in that Beza's final 1604 edition, issuing the same year KJV translation began, appeared too late to allow useful prior study by KJV translators, likely due to final non-ordained changes by Beza, for while God evidently uses men like him in the restoration process, He is not going to perfect their intellect.
Combs calls Beza’s reading a guess refuted by all Greek manuscripts, texts & earlier versions. Yet in the 4th century, Gregory of Nyssa evidently quoted the Beza-type shall be rendering (kjvtoday.com/.../shalt-be-or-holy-one-in-revelation-165), which indicates there once was an early Greek text that read this way, pointing to Greek manuscript loss in early centuries, and the need to verify authenticity by the internal evidence. Beza evidently was a part of God’s inerrancy-restoration plan, and KJV translators seem to have rightly considered early manuscript loss & distortion.
4. Romans 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
Combs claims an indisputable error, saying no manuscripts have the KJV that being dead, which refers to the law as being dead, the reference being to we so that the reading should be we being dead wherein we were held are delivered from the law; that being dead (the law) wherein we were held makes the underlined part in the verse reflect the genitive of the Greek offered by Beza. The Greek nominative appears in all manuscripts, so that the supposed true reading is having died to that in which we were held, meaning we died to the law, rather than the law died to us.
However, to say the law died to God’s people is correct since that is how His people become dead to the law, as seen in Rom.7:2-3 that speaks of a wife as freed from the law of her husband, this law dying to her by the death of the husband. If she marries again when the husband is alive, she commits adultery, which is like following a new law when God hasn’t ended the old, or hasn’t caused the old to die to her. The case for God's people is seen in verse 7:4 where they become dead to the old law by the sacrifice of Christ who makes the old law die to them, and brings them into a spiritual marriage to Him. Thus verse 7:6 can refer to death of the law to God's people, or to the result of this, death of the people to the law in 7:4, but the root cause of our death to the law, its death to us through Christ, would be the main factor. The vital death of Christ on the Cross is how death of the law to us occurred, for by His death He slew the sin & condemnation that made the law alive to us. He caused death of the law to us to make us dead to the law, which is what verse 7:4 teaches in saying we have died to the law by the body of Christ. Thus the two readings are equivalent, and KJV translators included both, but rightly emphasized that which glorifies the role of Christ, and their reading is the inerrant one that preserves both senses. The lesser sense is also in the KJV margin, which is how the translators showed readers that they chose the best reading according to context. Various texts that support the KJV reading are noted by Will Kinney whose view of Romans 7:6 is like that of the present writer (brandplucked.webs.com/articles.htm).
5. Isaiah 13:15 The KJV on judgment of Babylon: Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. Combs says joined should be captured, all Hebrew texts reading that way, and he wonders what source the KJV translators used here. Actually, the sense of the verb seems more variant than the lexicons indicate since some early texts render joined or added to, and some modern authorities assign this type of meaning. Other texts with joined or an equivalent are some pre-KJV English versions, Luther’s 1545 German Bible, the 1815 Albert Lowth version, the Douay Rheims and the rather recent Darby & Young’s versions, and major commentators Calvin, Gill, Barnes & Henry favor joined (AV1611.com/forums/showthread.php?t=933). The subject Hebrew verb appears In Isa.29:1 & 30:1 where certain modern English versions render it by terms equivalent to joined (kjvtoday.com/home/joined-or-captured-in-isaiah-1315). The Kohlenberger Interlinear at these two verses renders add & heap that are equivalent in sense to joined. A validity of joined in lexicons would be due to a related sense of the two, captured being a type of joined.
The captured reading may be logical contextually since the vese-14 shall every man ...flee into his own land can reveal why some would be captured, but joined offers the best contextual sense. All who flee to their own lands can just be those of other nations wise enough not to join Babylon, and all those joined in when destruction came would be marked for death. Babylon was a known popular meeting place for diverse nations doing business there, some of which would join in. A problem with captured is that everyone that is captured is repetitive in sense with the initial every- one that is found, so there would be no mention of those of other nations joined with Babylon, to suggest a destruction limited to native Babylonians. This would miss the distinctive contextual point in verses 1-20 of a destruction of Babylon so complete that all native Babylonians and all forces joined to them, and thus supportive of Babylon's evil, will be decimated, this evil being the root cause of the judgment & destruction. This is emphasized by the destruction of associated sinners noted in verse 9, and by a total permanent desolation of the land to exclude in the future all persons of any land, as noted in verses 9 & 20.
KJV translators showed true skill in understanding context to optimize translation, in addition to their advanced skill with the biblical languages & related ones, while modern scholars, who are so fixed on manuscript support, seem to rely on lexicons & grammar, often missing contextual sense, and context is the primary factor to be communicated. Further, KJV translators evidently considered not only early loss or distortion of manuscripts, but utilized proper texts ignored by scholars today (Darby, Young & Barnes likely follow context in the subject verse), and their skills & labors would be factors involved in Providential selection of the KJV as an instrument worthy of God's endowment of inerrancy.
Translation “error” in the KJV, according to Dr. Combs
6. Mt.23:23,24: Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Combs (& many others) suggests strain out a gnat is correct, saying all Greek texts have it this way.
is the basic sense of the
Greek, and is usually viewed as meaning filter
out, but that sense does not always apply. Here the term takes the form of a participle, the verse saying literally blind
guides, the ones straining the gnat, but the camel
swallowing, so either strain out or strain at might
apply linguistically. How- ever, the participial form seems chosen to convey a
sense different from the usual since it results in a verse that is an
incomplete thought (as in the KJV & others); this causes readers to
examine context and see that the verse summarizes verse 23 where Christ speaks
of minor aspects of tithing emphasized in dogma of the Pharisees &
scribes, and their great error of neglecting major points of the law. The context
& metaphoric language control the sense of verse 24, and swallow a camel
signifies the great error of neglecting major aspects of the law, as in swallow
a huge lie, and strain at a gnat signifies great effort in
emphasizing trivial matters. In context, the Pharisees & scribes did
separate (strain out) trivial issues from great ones, but allowed
great error, and fussed over (strained at) the trivial. Indeed, if these
men are straining out even things of gnat-like importance, how in the
world would they manage to swallow a camel of major importance? We see
that the sense of strain out proposed by scholars like Combs does not apply here.
The KJV recognizes that the Pharisees & scribes strain at minor matters like paying tithe of spices, and here there’s no sense of straining-out, or subtracting, of these practices. Rather, they are stressed above major matters of the law, so the sense of strain out is not noted in the context. Now strain out might seem to be implied in that the Pharisees & scribes strain at their goal to strain out dogma (separate it for special favor) that they view as great truth, but the context treats their favored dogma as gnat-like in importance. As noted above, the error of these men is not straining out of a minor doctrine from the law, but favoring it over major ones, so strain at, a less obvious sense of the Greek, is emphasized here. The KJV alone renders the true unexpected sense, as expected of an inerrant translation selectively ordained by God.
7. Hebrews 10:23 - Faith or Hope, which is correct? KJV: Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;). Combs says faith is probably the most indisputable translation error in the KJV, the proper rendering of the Greek supposedly being hope. However, faith is what our hope is all about, and the two terms are intertwined so that either one can apply in a given context. Indeed, the lexicon meanings for hope (Gr. elpis) include terms like trust & confidence that are equivalent in sense to faith (Gr. pistis), and related spelling of the two Greek terms indicates a somewhat common etymology, or derivation.
Most scholars today seem so fixed on lexicon definitions they don’t apply language to its full extent. Faith is correct in Heb.10:23 that speaks of a profession since it is the profession of faith that we're to give without wavering, hope being the power of that faith. We profess or confess our faith outwardly, but our hope applies inwardly. This fits the sense of faith as the substance & evidence (what we profess) that we give in response to our hope; Heb.11:1 says faith (pistis) is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 1 Pet.3:15 says be ready always to give a reason of the hope that is in you, and giving that reason is the profession of our faith.
Context also favors faith over hope in that Heb.10:22 speaks of assurance of faith, and it is the assurance of faith that leads to our profession of it, so faith is the logical subject of our profession in Heb.10:23. Further, the rendering faith in the first clause of verse 23 relates logically to the latter clause, for he (God) is faithful that promised, our faith being a response to the faithfulness of God. That is, because God is faithful we are told to hold fast to the profession of our faith.
KJV translators usually rendered hope for the subject Greek term (e.g. Acts 23:6, 26:7, Rom.5:4, 12: 12 & 15:13, 1 Cor.13:13, etc.), so they knew the usual meaning of the term. They made an exception in Heb.10:23, clearly because the two terms are close in sense of meaning, and contextual language favors faith, a less common, but valid, sense of the Greek term found in lexicons. This is a case of contextual fine tuning in translation that is indicative of inerrancy preservation in the KJV.
8. Acts 19:37 Robbers of churches or temples? A townclerk says of men accused of crimes against the “goddess” Diana, these men, which are neither robbers of ch- urches nor yet blasphemers of your goddess. Combs says, in all Greek manuscripts & texts the term for churches means temples, imparting a sense of guilty of temple sacrilege, but that's incorrect here. KJV translators rendered the Greek term temple in Acts 19:27, so they knew the usual sense, but knew context indicated a different one in Acts 19:37. Context guides the language, and its importance would be emphasized in an inerrant translation.
Context: Acts 19:8-19 notes many Ephesians leaving false gods for Christianity, so churches (assemblies) were popular at Ephesus at this time. Verse 20 says, So might- ily grew the word of God and prevailed. Verse 23 notes a furor over this evangelism, saying, And the same time there arose no small stir about that way, referring to worship of Christ competing with that of Diana. The term churches here signifies assemblies, Christian & pagan (Christ’s church versus satan’s imitation - robbers of assemblies would miss the emphasis on religion in the passage). In saying that the men are not robbers of churches, the clerk is saying they won by divine favor, not by robbery of Diana’s assemblies. Use of churches serves to contrast defeat of a false church with victory by the true church.
Robbers of temples, or robbing religion of reverence (sacrilege), misses the sense of loss of worshipers or robbers of churches (assemblies: the people are a church) noted here. Acts 19:37 refers, not only to blasphemy/sacrilege, but robbery of worshipers of Diana who buy idols, loss of the latter being the complaint of the idol-maker Demetrius, and robbery of Diana worshipers being the cause of the no small stir in Ephesus. Further, the critics’ rendering does not contrast Christ-worship and Diana-worship, losing emphasis on victory of the true church over the false one.
Context gives the Greek here a broader sense than usual, and blind substitution of English for Greek is avoided by study that contributes to validation of the KJV as a translation preserving inerrancy.
9. Acts 12:4 Easter in the KJV Combs and others say Greek Pascha in Acts 12:4 is wrongly rendered Easter in the KJV, saying Passover is correct, and some note that the term Easter wasn’t adopted until long after the New Testament was written.
12:2 And he (Herod) killed James the brother of John with the sword.
12:3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread).
12:4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison…intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
Scholars say the KJV follows Tyndale in rendering Easter for pascha, but pascha is rendered passover everywhere else in the KJV, Acts 12:4 being the only exception. We should ask if there is a unique sense of the term in the context of Acts 12 that calls for a different rendering.
English versions preceding the KJV were moving away from Easter, and it appeared in the Bishops’ Bible in just two verses, and was dropped in the Geneva. KJV trans-lators were instructed to follow the Bishops Bible as closely as possible, yet retained Easter only at Acts 12:4. Providential guidance is indicated by the wide use of Easter by Tyndale, and by the later movement away from it until only one appropriate use remained. KJV translators who dropped one use of Easter would not likely consider it the correct translation in Acts 12:4 unless their study provided good reasons to retain it there, evidently reasons related to context & history.
Providential guidance in translation work could apply primarily to crucial words influencing passage sense, the scholarship of an ordained committee being sufficient to ensure accuracy of the bulk of a passage. This would indicate that providential intervention in a translation is subtle, perhaps to ensure that it is not confused with inspiration. Acts 12 context & history show evidence of Providential intervention in the KJV paralleling that of Isa.7:14 where virgin refers to Mary and the Savior's Virgin Birth. The Hebrew for virgin has more than one possible meaning, and can be rendered young woman/maiden in some contexts, but it can only be virgin in Isa.7:14 since passage context & related word choice demand it. Pascha in Acts 12:4 has more than one possible meaning, but Resurrection Day or Easter is the term that is demanded by context & history.
In verses 2,3 Herod killed James and imprisoned Peter in the days of unleavened bread. As others note,* this can refer to the feast of unleavened bread, the 6 days following an initial Jewish Passover feast day. Lev.23:5,6 and Ex.12:18 say passover is at evening on the 14th day of the appropriate month, and the feast of unleavened bread is 6 days from the 15th (at evening) until the 21st day (at evening) - Including Passover day gives the 7 days of unleavened bread of Lev. 23:6. If this is the right interpretation, in saying Herod killed James and imprisoned Peter in the days of unleavened bread, the text would be saying that he did this when Jewish Passover day was already over. Thus when Herod is said in verse 4 to keep Peter in prison until after passover, this would be a passover day following the usual Jewish one. Acts 12:4 can refer to an event other than the Jewish Passover day so that after Passover would be an incorrect rendering.
*See Moorman, J. A. Conies, Brass & Easter. The King James Bible Page, Articles.
Yet the term passover might include the feast day and the 6 days of unleavened bread. Its use as a 7-day event appears in Ezek.45:21 that says…in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. Acts 12:4 might seem to mean that Herod killed James and imprisoned Peter during a 7-day period that included Passover day and the 6 days of unleavened bread, which had not yet ended, and that he meant to execute Peter after this 7-day Jewish Passover, but that interpretation is incorrect.
Contextual study in relation to history denies rendering passover for pascha in Acts 12:4. That can only mean Jewish Passover in this passage on days of unleavened bread, which doesn’t fit context/history. The lack of a fit relates to the friendship of Herod with Roman Caesar Caligula who was despised by the Jews, and to Herod’s Edomite ancestry, Edomites being historically antagonistic to Israel. (Broadman Com. Vol. 10. 1970. Nashville). Herod's rule was complicated, but he ingratiated himself with the Jews by favoring their religion.
Acts 12:3 says Herod took Peter prisoner since the Jews approved of his execution of James. They would see James as an enemy as fast-growing Christianity threatened their religion. Herod would want to ingratiate himself further by executing Peter right after James, so he had no reason to wait until after Jewish Passover, the first Passover day or the 7-day event. Executing Peter right after James wasn't a problem for the Jews. Yet he intended to wait, risking a problem with the Jews by a suggestion of changing his mind on executing the foremost leader of a fast-growing church.
Scholars wrongly say Herod had to wait until after Jewish Passover to execute Peter since Jews objected to executions during their holy days. That usually was the case, but not at this time in history. Christians were now considered heretics by the Jews, so a public execution reinforced their position. Acts 12:3 says the Jews approved of execution of James during their holy days of unleavened bread at that time. Thus context & history deny that Acts 12:4 means Herod would wait until after Jewish Passover to execute Peter.
But pascha as Resurrection Day fits context & history. The 1st-century Jewish church knew Hebrew passover was typological, being fulfilled and superseded by Christ the ultimate Passover, so they would observe a pascha based upon the Crucifixion & Resurrection. The timing of a pascha observance by this church would fit Acts 12 context/history regarding the days of unleavened bread since the only initial basis for the timing was that of the Crucifixion/Resurrection relative to that of the Jewish passover. The Crucifixion was on a passover preparation day just before passover began that evening (Mt.27:62, Jn.19:14), requiring a 3-day Crucifixion/Resurrection observance starting the same day as 7-day Passover, and at evening to keep them closely linked.* Herod could execute James and imprison Peter on an evening that began Jewish Passover day, or on the following day, which would be during the days of unleavened bread, and he might wait to execute Peter until after the third day, which was Resurrection Day.
*In the 1st-century church, pascha was a Crucifixion/Resurrection observance that started the evening Jewish Passover began (other details, including number of days, are murky). In the 2nd-century eastern church, a 1-day pascha was observed starting the same time, likely reflect- ing 1st-century timing of a 3-day pascha starting at that time. By starting pascha observance on Crucifixion Day and making it 1-day long, Resurrection-Day observance came on the day that signifies Crucifixion Day, an irregularity likely caused by an earlier 3-day event starting the same time, (Easter and Paschal Controversies. Evangelical Dict. of Theology” 1984. Baker).
Thus pascha in Acts 12 relates to Christ, the Passover of Christians (1 Cor.5:7). For Jews Passover observance is 7 days, as Ezek.45:21 says, but early Christian Passover observance would be 3 days, from Good Friday to Easter (Fri., not Wed. - essay 11e). The Passover of Christ superseded the Jewish one in the Resurrection, so pascha can only be Christian Passover in the New Testament after the Resurrection, or after Acts 1 where it appears 3 times. One use in Heb.11:28 refers to Old Testament times, so it isn’t pertinent. Another use in 1 Cor.5:7 is the very passage showing Christian Passover superseding the Jewish one, so it must be rendered passover, and it clearly is the Christian Passover since Christ and the Cross are its basis. The third use in Acts 12:4 can only refer to Christian Passover. Further, after Christian Passover is best replaced by after Easter that's better understood by all readers. And Easter fits Acts 12 context, communicating the full sense of Resurrection Day, even though the 1st-century observance was uniquely different from that of later times.
Today pascha equates to Easter day, but the initial sense is uncertain. KJV translators would know 3-day Christian Passover parallels & fulfills the 7-day Jewish one, and would see this 3-day Passover ending after Resurrection Day as the one Herod meant to wait out before executing Peter.
A likely reason Herod would wait until after Easter: Herod was considered as devout in the Jews' religion as a result of his ingratiating of himself with the Jews, which was necessary to keep his throne, but he was despised by the Roman army & citizens of Judea crucial to his political control (Lk.23:12 and Funk & Wagnalls Ency. Vol.13. p81). Resultant political tension would control any important political act he indulged in. Pleasing Jewish leaders would always be a priority, but with his Roman situation, he couldn't afford to antagonize any large segment of the Judean population that could cause political unrest, and give the local Roman leadership an excuse to depose him from office (they would need a good excuse because Caesar Caligula appointed Herod). He would worry about reaction of Christians to Peter's execution (The large Christian population still had political status, for the governing Romans wouldn't persecute them for another 20 years). He killed James without repercussion, but would fear that killing the famous Peter, right after killing James, might incite an uproar, especially if he did so at the time of Resurrection Day. To Christians, a public execution of Christ's most famous disciple at this sacred time would be very politic- ally antagonistic, mocking His victory over death. By this act, Herod would make a political statement like, “Is this your day of victory of eternal life over death? I’ll kill Christ’s great disciple at this time and make it a day of death, and we'll see if he is resurrected. I’ll show you what I think of your God.” Christians endured persecution, but killing Peter right after James and insulting Christ might incite an uproar, and Herod would see the possibility. By executing Peter after Resurrection Day Herod could satisfy Jewish leaders, without unduly risking widespread protest by Christians added to his trouble with the Romans. This would seem wise to Herod, and is why he would wait until after Christian Passover, not the Jewish one.
Unjustified objection to rendering Easter: Some object to calling Resurrection Day Easter that didn’t have a Christian sense until long after the New Testament was written so that its use in Acts 12 is anachronistic. Now Pascha signified Resurrection Day by the 4th - 5th centuries, and Resurrection Day was Easter by the 8th, so ever since the 8th century, after Easter for after Pascha has been the proper current way to note the end of the 3-day Passover Herod had to wait out to execute Peter. So why are 17th-century KJV translators scorned for proper use of current terminology? Today translators do this often, and are praised for communicating with modern readers. For example, the NIV gallons (Lk.16:6, Jn.2:6) is fine for today, but is anachronistic, and it never applied to Hebrew, Roman or Greek culture, so it's even less aligned with a 1st-century setting than Easter is. So where is all the criticism of NIV translators for doing what KJV translators did?
The changed status of the term Easter, of pagan origin, to the blessed status of the term today illustrates how God raises what is not sanctified to the status of the sanctified, as is also seen by His raising of wretched sinners to the status of sanctified saints. Evidently, God's plan to restore the world He created to its original very good status is prefigured at times by names and events, as a great promise of things to come. Indeed, the new sense of pascha seems meant to mark superseding of Jewish passover by Christian Passover, which even seems emphasized as the new passover ends at the 3rd day to ignore the old continuance to the 7th day, and fulfills old passover with God's plan for our salvation and eternal destiny. Yet, no matter how great God's plan is, some people will always observe a pagan Easter with egg-hunts, rabbits and the like, but eradication of all such error would be part of God's finalized restoration plan for the world in the Millennium and the Eternal State.
Conclusions: Among active English versions, Easter appears only in
the KJV, indicating God's ordination of this version alone to present the point
in history when Christian passover effectively superseded the Hebrew one.
Evidently, He began to establish the rendering Easter through its
extensive use by the great translator and martyr, Tyndale, reducing the occurrence of Easter in later English versions until it stood alone in singular use at its intended final destination in the KJV at Acts 12:4.
Only the KJV reinforces the 1 Cor.5:7 teaching on Christian Passover superseding the old one, an indication that the KJV alone is God’s inerrant Word in English. The KJV precisely reflects the Greek text, use of Easter signifying the last day of our Pascha in the first century to avoid uncertainty on the number of days that Pascha lasted, and to specify the day that Herod had to get past. Yet today scholars represent translation precision as if it were error! KJV scholarship was far superior to that of today, and it's inerrancy is testified to by the very claims of error today.
Combs says transmission variance in the 1611 & modern KJV denies inerrancy
This is mostly printing variance having no relationship to inerrancy of the translated text. Actually, some transmission changes noted by Combs, that could occur in later editing or language up-dating of the 1611 text, involve variant readings of exact equivalence in sense, sustaining inerrancy, as in Deut.26:1 where the 1611 text has which the Lord giveth, and the modern one has which the Lord thy God giveth. Another such case is Josh.13:29 where the 1611 has half tribe of Manasseh and the modern has half tribe of the children (a common KJV term for people) of Manasseh.
10. Ruth 3:15 Combs notes a transmission variance here, but he fails to note its unique nature. In the KJV first edition he (Boaz) went into the city after Ruth's marriage proposal, but in the next two editions she (Ruth) did; she fits the context best, and quickly prevailed, yet they both went into the city, Ruth to tell Naomi the results of her proposal to Boaz (3:16), and Boaz to act as kinsman redeemer (4:1), so accuracy & truth were never lost. The change is just one of editing, a normal part of translation work that was delayed briefly until after the first edition, and the best rendering soon prevailed in the process of achieving inerrancy. All translation work requires extensive editing to ensure accuracy, and in this case the first edition issued a little before editing was finalized.
Conclusion: Claims of error in the KJV actually illustrate its inerrancy, when we consider known manuscript history and the crucial nature of the internal evidence in determining text accuracy.
Refuting the Claim of Error in the KJV and Its Textual basis in
the Book, The King James Only Controversy by James R. White
by Dr. L. Bednar
White markedly favors the thinking of modern textual critics and
other scholars who favor modern notions of textual accuracy. He does occasionally admit to the
accuracy of the KJV in some passages.
His worst habit has to do with words, phrases or clauses absent in critical Greek texts, but present in the KJV Received Text. He views this as, not a result of any omission in manuscripts underlying critical texts, but additions in manuscripts for the Received Text, the supposed additions being borrowed from passages with similar readings. He assumes this on the basis of mere opinion, not presenting any objective evidence whatever, and revealing a basic lack of objectivity.
"Error" in the KJV Textual Basis, According to J.R. White
1. Mark 10:24
KJV: But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard it is for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God
NIV: But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God
White, p168, claims the KJV Greek text adds the clause on riches to smooth out transition to verse 25 that deals harshly with rich men. This is just an imaginative excuse, for without the clause, we can’t tell why there’s difficulty with riches in verse 25, which says, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”
Critical Greek texts preferred by White omit a few crucial words here, resulting in unorthodox works-salvation teaching. The meaning in the KJV is that trust in riches sidetracks us from the only trust that gets us to heaven, namely trust in the Savior. But the NIV suggests a hard way to heaven, which can only be by hard self-effort or hard works, in contrast with trusting Christ to gain heaven. The critical Greek text for the NIV is in error here, but White offers only an excuse.
2. Luke 2:33 Joseph the father of Jesus?
KJV: And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were
spoken of him (spoken by Simeon of the Christ Child).
NIV: The child's Father and mother marveled at what was said about him
In Luke 2:33 the NIV Greek text calls Joseph the father of Jesus, denying Christ's deity. The Holy Ghost was the true father of the earthly form of Christ, Joseph being just a foster‑father. White, p218, suggests father refers to the role of Joseph after the birth, which is just private interpretation overlooking Greek critical-text teaching here, and “foster-father” is the only role that related Joseph to Jesus.
White notes that in Luke 2:48 the KJV and its Greek text refer to
Joseph as Jesus' father, but he misses the basic issue. In Luke 2:48, Mary, a
fallible human being speaking carelessly, calls Joseph Jesus’ father when she’s
displeased that Jesus left the family company to speak to doctors in the
temple. Now inerrant scripture records the errors of mankind,
including those of Mary. Indeed, in the KJV Luke 2:49, just after Mary's faulty
statement, the Lord Himself instructs us further in this matter as He corrects
Mary's error. He reminds her who His Father truly is, saying, Wist ye not that I must be about my
Father's business? (the business of heaven). This gives a reader proper
teaching on human error and correction of it.
A major problem in modern versions is that the Luke 2:33 speaker isn’t a human being whose inaccurate speaking is recorded. The speaker is the authoritative inerrant voice of the Gospel, in effect, the Holy Ghost who inspired the Gospel. It’s not credible to say that He who is the inerrant voice of the Gospel and the true Father of Christ’s earthly form, would call Joseph the father of Jesus.
Is the NIV rendering one of those insignificant manuscript variations that the scholars say don't affect basic doctrine? If a mere man died for our sins at Calvary, Christians are unforgiven. Further, getting used to passages like this one would rob us of the sense of divine mission & purpose, consecration to the work and the hardship involved in following a mere blessed man not being very appealing.
Modern translators err in accepting a term from manuscripts that refer to Christ's earthly family in an improper way. A term that would be proper in referring to Mary and Joseph collectively would be "parents of Jesus" since together they performed the role of parents after the birth of Jesus. Joseph becomes a parent in the sense of a foster-father who exercises the authority and ongoing functions of a parent after the birth. Thus scriptural use of "parents" for a mother and foster-father collectively does not discredit the deity of Jesus Christ, but to suggest that scripture calls Joseph the father of Jesus is totally unacceptable.
3. Matthew 1:25
KJV: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus
NASV: and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called his name Jesus.
Here White displays his common view that words present in the KJV Greek text, but absent in critical texts, result from spurious additions in the KJV Greek being copied from other passages with similar wording, in this case from Luke 2:7. He assumes this without any actual evidence, and why would such an addition be any more likely than an omission in critical Greek texts? His view is just an opinion, and an accidental or deliberate omission at Matthew 1:25 in critical Greek texts is easier to accomplish and more likely than White's notion of tampering by a scribe, impressed by a supposed fame of Luke 2:7, adding firstborn in Matthew, and any such fame would more likely be due to the presence of firstborn in both Matthew & Luke. Deliberate omission in critical texts can be due to a scribe disagreeing with use of the term in Matthew, but White tries to discredit any possibility of omissions by disdaining the view that heretics created them. His superficial anal- ysis continues in even more superficial fashion at Matthew 8:29, 20:16, 25:13, 27:35, Mark 6:11 & Colossians 1:14, where he just assumes his theory applies.
White refers to his supposed additions to the scriptures as attempts to harmonize passages, attributing this to scribes "zealous for orthodox doctrine" (p159). But orthodox scribes are the conservative type who revere God's Word, and would seek to preserve the text, not adjust it to agree with their own opinions. White simply reverses the approach of KJV-only people who believe heretics removed passages dealing with vital doctrine, so White utilizes the same general type of approach that he criticizes in others. He offers nothing of analytical value that would refute the opinion of omission by heretics.
KJV: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
NIV “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
The KJV Greek text, on earth peace, good will toward men contrasts with the critical-text, peace to men of good will that the NIV renders, peace to men on whom his favor rests. The peace is God’s salvation offer to whosoever will (Rev. 22:17). Critical-text select ones alone get the offer due to their good will or God’s select favor. Well, only some are saved, but the offer is to all by God’s grace, not by select favor to men of good will or good works.
The difference arises since the Greek for good will (or favor) is in the nominative case in the KJV Greek text, and in the genitive in that of the NIV. The genitive requires the word of, and the resultant language is men of good will, which is indicative of works-salvation corruption. The proper use of the genitive would be, peace of God’s good will to men, which is equivalent to the KJV rendering.
The KJV Greek text
here has a great majority of the manuscript support. White offers nothing
of significance in defending the critical-text rendering, merely a comment by
Metzger that a change from the genitive case to the nominative by oversight is possible, and White adds his own thought that the easier nominative
reading would favor its preference in the manuscripts. It's curious that scholars normally say majority manuscript support reveals a true reading, but here they make an exception, which doubtless is due their bias for critical texts.
5. Mark 1:2
KJV: As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
NIV: It is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way.
The KJV prophets (plural) is the logical reading since part of this prophecy is given by Isaiah and part by Malachi. White tries to circumvent this obvious logic, suggesting a scribe completed the sense of Mark's contextual reference to two prophets here by replacing a supposedly correct Isaiah the prophet with prophets, which looks very much like the bias for critical texts common to scholars today. White speaks of the rendering Isaiah the prophet as an early way of putting a “conflated” passage relating to two prophets under the name of the major or “more important” one. He cites such a supposed tendency in Matthew 27:9 where a quote drawn primarily from Zechariah is attributed to Jeremiah. The only thing White proves here is the unsound nature of modern scholarship.
Scholars find ways to reject logic if it doesn’t support their favored Greek text. They assume that, in assigning words of two prophets to one, modern versions are correct since this is the rendering of the Greek text they assume is best, but this is the basic matter that must be proved, and can’t be assumed. Their circular reason- ing proves absolutely nothing. Their theory that New Testament quotes of the Old Testament derived from passages of two prophets, at times note the major prophet alone is illogical. Part of the Mark passage is found only in Malachi, and part only in Isaiah, and neither prophet's part can be omitted without omitting some of Mark’s subject matter. By eliminating reference to Malachi, the NIV has Isaiah quoting what Malachi said, confusing a reader wondering who said what, and in what context. Further, Mark is speaking of the mission of John the Baptist as preparing the way for Christ, from the perspective of God the Father, while Malachi speaks of this from the perspective of Christ, and Isaiah speaks from that of John, and all three perspectives are involved in the interpretation.
Perhaps an ancient Alexandrian-text copyist thought the New Testament contains error here at Mark since similar material is quoted in Matthew 3:3 and Luke 3: 4‑5 where only Isaiah's part appears Now it’s not Mark’s gospel that is in error, but an Alexandrian-text copyist who would attribute to Isaiah what Malachi said. It’s evident that each gospel writer references different parts of the Isaiah/Malachi subject material for purposes of his account. Each gospel writer has his own purpose, as we see in noting that Luke even continues the Isaiah quote with more material from Isaiah 40:4, while Mark and Matthew don’t do this.
Modern scholars correct supposed New Testament error as they attribute to Isaiah what Malachi said. They seem determined to honor a corrupt critical text, even trying to justify obvious error to do so. They even try to support this nonsense by inventing a theory that the New Testament supposedly ignores prophets of lesser stature to favor those of greater stature. Well, scholars have respect of persons, but God tells us that He doesn’t, so their attempt to justify unsound language is compounded by their doctrinally unsound theory. Indeed, the Old Testament never uses the terms major & minor prophets, only former and latter ones, and the major & minor terms are just an invention, apparently due to the Gentile, Jerome.
The illogical scholar theory leads to other poor interpretation. They cite Matthew 27:9 on the role of the potter's field and 30 pieces of silver in Judas’ betrayal as a supposed example of a New Testament quote identifying just the major prophet involved when two deal with a given topic. They assume Jeremiah gave part of the Matthew quote, while Zechariah gave the bulk, only Jeremiah being quoted by Matthew due to his greater status. But any link of the Matthew passage to the book of Jeremiah is far too vague to be possible (Jer.32:6‑15 & 18:2‑3 suggested by scholars is very unlikely, for potter & field here refer to totally unrelated matters, and the Jer.32 field sells for 17 shekels of silver, not 30 pieces). Further, Matthew 27:9 shows no similarity of syntax to the Zechariah passage, so Matthew is not quoting Zechariah. Matthew is not quoting the books of Jeremiah or Zechariah, referring only to something Jeremiah spoke, which does not necessarily refer to scripture. Matthew likely quotes words of Jeremiah recorded in non‑canonical literature, and later authorized in God's providence for canonization in the New Testament. That the quote appears only in the New Testament is logical in that it deals with unveiled Christology meant for the New Testament, the veiled form being typical in the Old Testament. There is no support for the theory of scholars, and the KJV rendering is the only logical one, and thus the only inerrant one.
“Error” in KJV Translation, according to J. R. White
6. 1 Corinthians 1;18 Are we saved, or always being saved?
KJV: For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
NIV: For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
The KJV which are saved indicates a present-tense salvation due to a finished past-tense experience. But the NIV are being saved suggests an ongoing process of salvation instead of a complete one. Works‑salvation advocates can relate to this in their ever‑incomplete works for salvation.
Defense of this modern rendering by White, p133 is a justifying of even basic modern-version error. He says this verse has living earthly unsaved persons perish- ing in an ongoing sense, requiring a parallel clause on living persons being saved in an ongoing process. That is mere opinion with no basis in fact, and it contra- dicts sound doctrine. The living unsaved are on a path to destruction, but can still be saved, as White admits, and while this offer exists, they aren’t perishing. Only those in hell now are perishing now. Literal Greek isn’t always good English, and translators must know when to change a Greek form to the English.
This problem arises since modern translators use the continuous sense of a Greek present passive participle instead of a present-tense verb. Either rendering is grammatically correct, but the translators insist on the participle that reflects the Greek. However, Greek grammar does not perfectly match the English, and at times context calls for a change in word choice or syntax. The present-tense verb is best here to avoid a wrong English sense, but modern scholars seem to act like slaves to Greek grammar, ignoring the need for the clearest English expression.
Now scholars actually defend the poor 1 Cor.1:18 word choice, saying salvation doesn’t have only a past-tense aspect. Well, there is a future aspect in that one day we will have our salvation finalized on deliverance unto the Savior and out of sin & corruption of this world. Thus we have been saved in the sense that our status is secure, and one day we will be saved in the sense that all future joy that relates to that status will be realized.
But the scholars are so fixed on Greek grammar they alter doctrine because of it, suggesting the Greek present participle imparts a sense in which people presently are being saved in an ongoing process. This isn’t true, except for very limited delay that can occur between first belief and assurance. The ongoing action is sanctification, not salvation, so we see why it’s best to follow the KJV. To use the English present participle at 1 Cor.1:18 gives poor interpretation, that of an ongoing process of salvation for individuals, due to term mismatch. If the Greek is retained, corrective English must apply to speak of salvation as ongoing only in the sense that there are always new souls being saved. Translators must be able to deal with such potential problems, as KJV translators clearly were.
This problem is common, as in Col.3:9. Here scholars say continuing action of a Greek present imperative verb means Colossians were to stop lying. But to presume that Christians were lying is improper, and “don’t lie” is correct, as in the KJV Lie not one to another. In another example in Col.3:10, the Greek participle can suggest our new man is continuously renewed, but the new man is God’s work in us requiring no renewal, and as in the KJV, we put on the new man which is renewed. Only putting on of the new man needs renewal, as in Col.3:12. When there is no grammar problem, the KJV uses the continuous sense, as in the case of participles forebearing & forgiving in Col. 3:13.
7. 2 Tim.2:15
Knowing God’s Word or presenting our humanity to God?
15: Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16: But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more un- godliness.
17: And their word will eat as does a canker…
18: Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
15: Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, as a workman who does not need to be ashamed handling accurately the word of truth.
The KJV says to show thyself approved in God’s sight, knowing and applying His Word to avoid doctrinal error. The Greek for show has the sense of prove in this context (as at Acts 24:13), and the KJV has this exact sense, openly proving ourselves as people of His Word.
The NASV present yourself is a wrong sense of the Greek, and approved links in sense to workman more directly than it does to God, separating verse 15 from the passage topic and making good works the main thought. We don’t present our- selves approved unto God as good‑works workmen, presenting our humanity in the form of works to God, as if He is to be impressed. God will judge our works, but sinners saved by grace don’t present themselves to God, as if they’re worthy by their works. We would be humiliated if we presented ourselves by our works to Him (or anything else in lieu of Christ's work). The true sense of the Greek is show in the sense of prove, present not being applicable here.
Further, the NASV handling makes knowing scripture a lesser concept tacked on to a main emphasis on good works. Indeed handling the Word correctly in this NASV context signifies doing good works correctly.
White misses all of this, speaking of diligent as being right on the mark and in making every effort to accomplish something.
In closing this topic, we note that in Job 1:6, 2:1, angels, including satan, present themselves to God, in satan's case to institute a plan of God for Job. One day we will all be summoned to present ourselves to God, not to display our works, but to have them judged for eternal reward or loss. At that time very few of us will be the least bit anxious to display our works.
8. Isaiah 14:12
KJV…take up this proverb against the king of Babylon…How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning…For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God…I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell…
NIV…take up this taunt against the king of Babylon… How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn…You said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God…I will make myself like the Most High. But you are brought down to the grave…
White sees no problem with replacing Lucifer with morning star, saying context applies the term to some person, but that is very misleading
There is a strong trend in modern churches to get rid of the concept of a living personage called Satan. The apparent desire is to draw closer to "sophisticated" modern thinking that evil is just a force associated with bad environments. Since the terms “devil” and "Satan" are easily seen as more like a title or symbol than a proper name, some would dismiss such terms in scripture as figurative references to an impersonal force. But the traditional Isaiah passage is one that the church has always insisted refers to Satan as a living personality, the archangel Lucifer. This passage has him guilty of blasphemy for wanting equality with God and being cast out of heaven and ultimately into hell, the well‑known final abode for Satan. This accords with Luke 10:18 in which Christ says He beheld satan fall from heaven, so the angel Lucifer cast out of heaven had to be satan.
Some scholars disagree, and the NIV offers grave in this passage rather than hell, making the final abode one for an earthly man, and removing reference to Satan, in accord with the desire to eliminate recognition of Lucifer as the literal devil. Such scholars introduce a change in the interpretation, removing the reference to Lucifer in Isaiah 14, and preferring morning star as a figurative descriptive nick- name for an earthly king of Babylon from verse 4 who supposedly is also the subject of verses 12‑15. This is clearly wrong since it would have an earthly king of Babylon falling from heaven when Christ tells us in Luke 10:18 it was satan who fell from heaven. Scholars evidently speculate that "falling from heaven" is figurative language describing the demise of this earthly king. But this would suggest an earthly king trying to elevate himself to a position equal to that of God, an ambition characterizing Satan, and something he will further seek to promote in the future through his ally the antichrist.
What scholars overlook is that Isaiah 14 is doing what the Psalms do at times do regarding prophecy. A Psalms text at times shifts abruptly, changing from talking about David's trials to prophesying of parallel trials of the Son of David, the Lord Jesus Christ. In parallel, but opposite, manner, Isaiah 14 shifts abruptly, changing from talking about an earthly king of Babylon to Satan, the spiritual kindred of this evil king. This also occurs in Ezek.28:11-19 regarding the king of Tyrus.
Early-church leaders evidently understood this parallelism technique in scripture, but modern scholars miss this, and have concluded that Lucifer never refers to Satan. This has led to removal of the historic biblical identity of Satan from the NIV by replacing Lucifer with a title dealing with morning, the descriptive ele- ment portraying this personality. Scholars justify use of morning star because the Hebrew word here can be translated that way at times.
Some say Lucifer means morning star or day star, and star in this title can refer figuratively to angels, so the title can still be seen as referring to a corrupt angel for all who want to see it that way. Others can see it as a reference to an earthly king of Babylon who is like Lucifer, so the change allows men's preferences to determine passage interpretation.
The notion that morning star or day star refers to Lucifer seems to be a latter‑day private interpretation of scholars in the 1881 English Revised Version of Westcott & Hort, and it causes a very serious problem in that the title morning star applies to Christ (Rev.22:16), as does day star (2 Pet.1:19). Neither title has ever applied to satan or others. Elimination of Lucifer in Isaiah 14 allows an interpretation that suggests Christ being cast out of heaven instead of being sent by the Father as the Savior. Thus an NIV reader can conclude that Christ blasphemed in referring to Himself as equal to God, and was crucified and went to the grave as punishment for blasphemy. The Jehovah's Witnesses treat the passage similarly in the New World Version, but even they don’t dare to use the title morning star or day star
While the Hebrew here can be translated morning star, it certainly is not in this context, and Lucifer, that has a related meaning, or a variant like morning angel, must be used. The title morning star or day star applies only to Christ the Creator, who as the star (a true star is a source of light), gave the light of life at the morning, or dawn, of creation. His divine glory, the impetus for creation, was the source of light prior to the creation of the sun. On the other hand, the KJV, Lucifer, son of the morning (the light‑bearing one) rightly denotes the chief archangel, a first-created son at the beginning, or morning, of creation. He was an early bearer & reflector, of original light bestowed by Christ the Creator, and was the first to corrupt this light. Differentiation of these terms denoting Christ and satan is crucial, as also seen by Rev.2:28 where believers who are overcomers are said to be given the morning star, or salvation in the person of Christ. Clearly this does not mean being given Satan or another angel. Scripture neither assigns nor implies the title day star or morning star regarding Lucifer.
In Job 38:7 the plural morning stars is not a title but a descriptive name for bright angels created at the beginning, as is the plural sons of God in the same verse. On the other hand, the singular title the morning star or the day star, like the singular title the son of God, refers only to Christ, the giver of light, not just a created bearer of light at the morning of creation. In the Job passage, angels are stars in the sense of created bearers and reflectors, rather than sources of light. The same is true of the secular use of the term the morning star for the planet Venus in our solar system. Venus is only a reflector of the light of the true morning star & light source, our sun, and Venus is correctly called "a morning star."
The improper aspect of Isaiah 14:12 in the NIV is that an individual is addressed by O morning star. This, like O son of God, is more indicative of a title for an individual than a descriptive name, and is readily taken as a reference to Christ. Indeed, it may easily be seen as referring to Christ in the NIV since there’s a need for a choice between Christ and lucifer as the morning star in passage context. With no lucifer noted there as falling from heaven, Christ is the only heavenly figure the title could refer to in this version. It certainly was no earthly king of Babylon falling from heaven, as scholars imply. Christ says this figure is satan, who can only be lucifer, and that’s the right interpretation.
Use of morning star must not resemble a title to avoid confusion over a reference to Christ and one to satan. A far better rendering would be, O star of the morning stars to clarify the angelic identity, though this would still obscure the identity of Satan as Lucifer. NASV translators avoided the main problem here. While they have the same NIV terminology, they do invert word order to lessen the sense of a title, with something closer to a descriptive name (i.e. O star of the morning). This does omit the clearest Bible reference to Satan’s identity, but it suggests the angelic identity since the figurative term star at times refers to an angel. Here the term is readily seen as figurative, referring to a bright angel of the morning of creation, while the singular title the morning star refers to Christ alone. The NASV committee saw the problem here, and the NIV committee evidently did not. Such error is easily committed even by conscientious translators, but is intolerable, for it easily confuses a reference to Christ with one to satan. This illustrates that God’s leading is vital in translation. Even the best of conservative scholars, should never translate God's Word without His calling of authorization since the effect on interpretation can be disastrous.
9. Psalm 8:5 and Hebrews 2:7
KJV: For thou (God) hast made him (man) a little lower than the angels
NASV: Yet thou hast made him a little lower than God.
White notes that Hebrew Elohim here can be rendered in various ways, and he accepts the KJV angels, but the matter requires some clarification as to which of the renderings is contextually correct.
NASV translators reject an alternative Hebrew word-sense required by context (,elohim, usually rendered God, reflects the Trinity, so it has a plural sense; at times it means angels or men of high authority). These translators defy logic in making finite man a little lower than infinite God
We get a proper translation of Psalm 8:5 from the divinely-inspired Hebrews epistle, where the writer renders the word in question, angels.
KJV: Thou madest him a little lower than the angels.
NASV: Thou hast made him for a little while lower than the angels.
NASV translators had to accept the term in the Hebrews epistle, and refute their own Ps.8:5 rendering. But they added while to Heb.2:7, a possibility linguist-ically, but not contextually. This can imply man ruling angels in the future (1 Cor. 6:3, Heb.2:5) after a temporal lower estate. That can seem to justify the NASV Psalm 8:5 rendering, suggesting our future estate will be above that of angels, and perhaps just a little lower than that of God. But the estate of creatures can’t be close to that of our Creator God, and the NASV gives a wrong sense to Psalm 8:5, the latter referring only to the past at creation, not the future. And while isn’t in the Hebrew-text Psalm 8:5, as even the NASV indicates, so in Hebrews 2:7 the NASV misrepresents its own Psalm 8:5 verse that it’s supposed to reproduce.
And the NASV Psalm 8:5 reading is wrong since Jesus says we’ll be equal to the angels after our resurrection (Lk.20:36), so before that, we’re inferior to angels, and thus not a little lower than God. Angels are above us now (2 Pet.2:11), but Psalm 8:5 says we’re just a little lower. NASV scholars likely tried to justify their disagreement with the writer of the inspired Hebrews epistle on Psalm 8:5. That’s innovation, not translation.
Now mal ,ak is the usual term for an angel (or messenger), but ,elohim signifies angels as emissaries representing God (Lk.2:9), and man is meant to do so, his role in this being just a little less now, and greater in the future. And a little lower than angels reflects the difference between man and angels as small compared with God’s infinite superiority over all His creatures.
10. 1 Tim. 6:10
KJV: For the love of money is the root of all evil…
NIV: For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil…
The KJV is joined by the RSV and REB in rendering this verse, while the NIV is joined by the NASV and NKJV. The disagreement arises because the Greek text has no article with root to show whether love of money is the root of all evil or a root of all evils. There’s no indefinite article “a” in the Greek, though it’s usually implied in a case like this, but the rendering is made certain only by contextual logic. NIV and supportive committees evidently reasoned that the KJV rendering assigns too much evil to love of money, there being many evils that arise from other causes. White, p139, reasons this way, favoring the indefinite article and the concept of all kinds of evil. He believes that the KJV reading is grammatically possible, but thinks that it misses the point made by Paul.
Actually, White misses the point of the KJV rendering, for it does not say that every act of evil ever committed is the result of the love of money. It says love of money is the only root from which grows every evil known to man. That is, there is no evil that isn’t propagated by the love of money, and no other sin has such a universal adverse effect. This accords with the Greek that literally says For root of all the evils (every evil) is the love of money. The definite article is implied at root, its omission being due to the emphatic sense of root there, and the article at evils further supports its use at root (e.g. the root of all the evils - a root of all the evils would be illogical, suggesting any root can grow all the evils). Thus the KJV the & all, not a & all kinds, are indicated here. Love of money isn't just one root among others that all grow all sins, but the only one that grows them all. Love of money is the root of all evil, or the all-evil root, the only one that produces all evil, not just the NIV all kinds of evil.
That love of money is the one sin giving rise to all others is easily seen, but this does not relate to a far less serious problem of stinginess, which can arise from a motive like insecurity. We see the love of money adversely affecting all human endeavor as we see that it provides the means for self-gratification, the universal basis of evil. Money is a means of power, and the love of money fuels the fires of self-gratification and the desire for power over others. We see this as we consider the extremes of depravity to which men will go to acquire money. Love of money leads men into all the depravity of self-gratification accompanying this love, and progression into all evil is interrupted only by death or salvation. A case of such depravity is that of drug dealers lured by love of money promising an easy good life and control over others; this leads them to disregard the welfare of innocent children and exert the power of drug addiction over them to get them started in a life of fornication, crime, and even slavery to support the desire of the dealer for money & power. This shows how love of money produces every evil imaginable, down to the most hideous depths of depravity.
Other sins are not so all-encompassing. For example, slander doesn’t necessarily lead to promiscuity, and promiscuity doesn’t necessarily lead to covetousness. In general, sin is like a tree with love of money as the root, self-gratification as the trunk and specific sins as the branches. The root nurtures the trunk and all the branches, but the branches relate to each other only through the trunk and root. Each branch can survive without others (as in pruning) but none survives without the root/trunk. That the branches produce off-shoots is evident, and the branch of slander can produce an off-shoot like assault, and the branch of promiscuity can produce an off-shoot like family destruction. But the branch of slander/assault is not fully related to the branch of promiscuity/family destruction, the relationship being through the common essential trunk of self-gratification, and the root love of money nurtures the trunk of self-gratification, and so all the branches. The root is the basic medium by which the trunk grows, and the trunk in turn allows every branch of sin to flourish, despite a lack of direct relationship among the branches. When growth develops from the root, it’s seen to be the trunk of self-gratification followed by the branches of all sin. From this we see how love of money is the root of all sin. Of course, there are other trees with other roots, but none is so large and so all-inclusive as that whose root is the love of money.
Indeed, association of love of money with the first sin from which all sin hatched is evident. Self-gratification was the original sin that gave birth to all sin as Eve yielded to the appeal of forbidden fruit. There was no legitimate need met in having this fruit, the only inducement being temptation by the devil, so it was self-gratification that caused the first sin. Now in that era, God met every human need, so there was no money system, something crucial in interdependent society to meet the needs of workers specializing in individual trades. In later society, money became the means of supplying every need, and thus the means for every self-gratification. Thus money became the means for realization of all types of self-gratification, and it was then that the love of money became the basic sin that gave rise to, and further nurtured, all types of self-gratification. Thus the love of money became the one root producing every branch of sin known to mankind.
But to best see how the love of money is the root of all evil, not just some, we contrast ugly self-gratification with beautiful self-sacrifice (charity in its biblical sense). We view love of money from the perspective of the respectable common man who allows himself to be allured by the suggestion that power associated with money is a very desirable means of self-protection and advancement. If this spirit is allowed to develop into a love of money seeking self-gratification that is associated with power over others, an unavoidable progression into all depravity begins. This happens since the birth of this love begins eventual total opposition to God, the source of all light and good. This love can take up residence in a life without being recognized, and thus is a threat to everyone, including those who once would never have dreamt of sins like promiscuity or assault.
But how does love of money put us in total opposition to God and lead us into all sin? In understanding the word charity in scripture we will find that it refers to sacrificial giving out of every area of our resources, including talents, patience, time, encouragement, compassion, affection and money, and in some cases, life itself, all for the benefit of others. It is best illustrated in the sacrifice of Christ who gave Himself totally for our salvation. We find that money is the smallest part of our charity, or divine love. We must give far more, in a spirit of personal devotion to the welfare of others in order to fulfill God's standard of charity. If we entertain a spirit of love of money because of the power and self-gratification it confers, and thus covet even this smallest possible expression of our charity, we give nothing at all of ourselves to God. This leads us on a path of total self-gratification and total opposition to God's standard of charity, the standard of self-sacrificing divine love. Thus love of money defines the spirit of antichrist that is in total opposition to God's standard of perfect divine charity. This love covets everything for self, producing a heart totally non-sacrificial, totally self-gratifying, totally out of cooperation with God, and totally in cooperation with satan.
From the root love of money arises covetousness of every kind, that we might call “anticharity,” which is stealing. The willingness to defy God by stealing even money, the least of our charity, indicates willingness to steal all things of greater importance that can manifest itself at any time. First, love of money will lead to covetousness (stealing our money gifts that should have gone for God's glory), and this leads us away from God and into related stealing. Covetousness leads to larceny (stealing money of others), ambition (stealing opportunities of others for riches), belittling (stealing dignity of others to advance self-importance), lying (stealing reputations of others to advance one’s self), cruelty (stealing kindness and encouragement), a hardened heart (stealing our own purity of soul from God's possession and giving it over to satan), promiscuity (stealing the purity of soul of others in an attempt to create a fellowship of misery), etc., etc. If we love and covet money, we become candidates for all the associated evils endorsed by satan because we have stolen the last small vestige of charity due to God, who has the right to expect total charity, His divine standard, from all of His creatures. Indeed, divine charity is the self-sacrificing essence of the spirit of Christianity. And love of money is really a love of ever-progressive self-gratification which is the essence of the spirit of satan, the author of all evil.
The KJV (and some others) shows us the comprehensive evil of the love of money, this giving rise to every evil since it marks that spirit of satan that is opposed to everything godly or charitable. Love of money marks the beginning of the work of that spirit of evil in a man that ultimately leads him in a rebellion of self-gratification against all moral standards of God. The love of money is the root of all evil because it is the only evil that leads men into all other evils, and is the one universal evil easily able to snare any man, from the vilest to the noblest. Inadequate renderings in some modern versions minimize this truth, not teaching the severity of evil in love of money, and its full importance is missed, causing some to not recognize its crucial importance in their lives. No other evil is so universally troublesome, and as the one that seems least harmful to respectable people, it is the one most able to destroy them ultimately. Readers need to learn well the KJV teaching on charity and love of money in a modern world given to the pursuit of materialism!
Refuting Comments by Dr. James D. Price Discrediting
Various KJV readings, Comments Published on the Internet
By Dr. L. Bednar
Price has impressive biblical-scholarship credentials, having served as
Acad- emic dean & professor of Hebrew & Old Testament at Temple Baptist
Seminary in Chatanooga, and as a leading figure in translation of the Old Testament for the NKJV. Like most scholars today, he discredits many KJV renderings. He calls
the KJV-Only movement a new sect, but it’s based upon a conviction that God’s
preserved Word has always guided true Bible-believers from the beginning of
biblical-text history. Indeed, the real new sect is that arising from abandonment of faith in God's preservation of his Word by exalting modern biblical scholarship
and modern English versions with different texts that even differ from each other.
In Price’s discrediting of KJV accuracy, much of his criticism is trivial, being based on matters like capitalization, spelling & older English terminology, but he does comment on many phrases & words that are proper subjects of study, and the present writer chose a number of these for discussion, primarily some of those presented at, jamesdprice.com/kingjamesonlyism.html. We begin with the most important one, the Psalm 12:6-7 passage that is contested as to whether it teaches preservation of God's Word or of people (Biblicism.wordpress.com/2009/04/08/dr-james-d-price-on-providential-preservation). Price says, “Some have suppos- ed that Psalm 12:6-7 asserts the doctrine of preservation. However in the Hebrew text, the grammar determines that the antecedent of the pronoun “them” must be the poor and needy of verse 5, not the words of the Lord in verse 6.”
1. Psalm 12: God Preserves His Word for His Godly People
God’s Word preserved always for His people will be a traditional text preserving inerrant autographs, as Ps.12 teaches. Some say the Psalm teaches preserving of God’s people, but it says His Word is forever preserved for His godly faithful people, to whom it promises ultimate deliverance, however needy they may be.
1. Help Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men
2. They speak vanity every one with his neighbor: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
3. The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:
4. Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?
5. For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.
6. The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
7. Thou shalt keep them O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever (to eternity).
8.The wicked walk on every side when the vilest men are exalted.
5. “Now I will arise, ”says the Lord; “I will set him in the safety for which he longs.”
6. The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.
7. Thou O Lord, wilt keep them; Thou wilt preserve him from this generation forever.
5. I will now arise,” says the Lord.“I will protect them from those who malign them.
6. And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.
7. O Lord you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever.
The KJV verse 5 says of the oppressed godly man…saith the Lord, I will set him in safety. Verse 6 says God’s words are pure (true/inerrant), and verse 7 says He keeps (performs) them forever. Deliverance of the needy is promised, but that’s just an object of God’s words that ensure deliverance, and the emphasis is on what saith the Lord, His words of promise. Verse 7 emphasizes that God keeps & preserves them, His words that certify His care of needy godly people, not just in David’s time, but forever. Declared eternal preservation emphasizes the written form of God’s words that certify deliverance of His people forever.
It’s said 12:7 them is 12:5 people, but them loses its sure sense if severed from its immediate antecedent words (12:6 shifts the focus from people to words). If people were meant, the pronoun reference would be distorted. Those favoring the people-preservation concept say gender discord denies words; the 12:7 them (verb suffix) is masculine, and the 12:6 words (substantive) is feminine, and Hebrew pronouns and their antecedents usually agree in gender. However, Gesenius says masculine suffixes (especially in the plural) are not infrequently used to refer to feminine substantives. (1) Waltke & O’Connor say the masculine pronoun is often used for a feminine antecedent. (2) Strouse cites normal gender discord of pronouns and their antecedents in Ps.119:111,129,152,167 where God’s Words, testimonies (fem.) link to they/them (mas.), (3) which looks like designed gender discord, (4) relating our need of God’s Word for sustenance (fem) to His power as provider (mas.). More cases of feminine antecedents to masculine them are Isa.3: 16 daughters, Ex.1:21 midwives and Gen.26:15 wells (fem.). Hebrew gender disc- ord is rather common, but antecedent discord isn't, as needed to avoid confusion of sense. Passage sense has priority over grammar issues like gender discord, (2), and the Ps.12:6,7 sense relates them to words in the immediate context.
Word-keeping emphasis increases as them links to words in designed gender discord. A masculine pronoun and a feminine antecedent reflect Hebrew use of the masculine gender to signify power, and the feminine to signify compassion. (5) Ps.12:6,7 links masculine them to feminine words, thus linking the power of God to keep them to His compassion (stressed in 12:5) applying the power (relates to Hebrew prior-gender masculine language inclusive of both natural genders; e.g. the Ps.12 godly man refers to men & women). (6) In compassion God preserves His words forever to certify that He obligates Himself to keep them forever for His needy godly people.*
*It’s said chiastic-inversion parallelism ties verses 12:5 & 7 of like content on the godly man, separated by a dissimilar 12:6 on God’s Words. That’s unlikely due to resultant pronoun ambiguity of reference and language too dissimilar to link separated verses this way. Dissimilarity includes mismatch of 12:5 him to the first 12:7 them, different 12:5 & 12:7 speakers, 12:5 him protected once but 12:7 them kept & preserved, and no reference to God’s arising and its cause in 12:7, or to generation and eternality aspects in 12:5. And the proposed inversion doesn’t fit into Psalm 12 poetic parallelism, as noted below. Indeed, there is no clear evidence of chiasmus in Psalm 12. Further, verse 5 stands apart from the other verses in that it is the only one representing words as spoken by God. Finally, as has been pointed out, (see KJVToday.com commentary on Psalm 12:7) the main subject of the Psalm is not people, but words, whether of good or evil nature, so its is most logical to associate the 12:7 preservation of them with words.
Couplet-clause parallelism in each individual verse is a definite type in Psalm 12, and it offers no possibility of the inversion so that them refers to words by the parallelism criterion. One other possible sense of parallelism is a broad one in which verses 2-4 link together, verse 2 introducing the nature of words of evil men, and verses 3 & 4 together advancing this theme. In verse 5 God speaks of how He will deal with the situation, and verses 6 & 7 join in advancing this opposing theme, which begins an antithetical parallelism (see Preservation and Psalm 12:6-7 bibleword.org for further comment). Verses 1 & 8 would correlate a beginning of man's trickery by words with its potential end result that necessitates God's intervention.
An initial NASV them suggests words, but the following him in place of them implies people as objects of preservation, when they’re objects of word-keeping. Thus words that certify people-deliverance are lost, and him links to them, mixing the singular & plural in ambiguity of sense (here them can be words or people). Him, good Hebrew, is poor English; this 3rd-person/masculine/singular pronoun signifies, not people, but 3rd-person/masculine/singular word. Hebrew lacks neuter grammatical gender, and him/he often signify it/that in English [e.g. in Num.22:20 God speaks, the Hebrew saying, the word that I shall speak to you, him (it / that) you shall do]. (7) Thus the Ps.12:7 Hebrew says, Thou shalt keep thy words O Lord, thou shalt preserve thy word forever. Thy word is thy words, and them signifies word for clarity, for it/that is confusing and awkward here. Psalms number discord is usually a poetic-style factor, but it's didactic here, emphasizing God’s written words preserved forever. Words are written or spoken, but word stresses the written (His written words are His word). His words preserved for us require the written form, and He preserves them forever to prove that He obligates Himself to keep them forever (by the Living Word). A second KJV them doesn’t lose the purpose of the words/word shift, for the declared eternal preservation establishes the written form.
The NIV, like the extant Septuagint, has us for the 12:7 double them. Us, incorrect by definition in the first use and pointing in the second, makes people objects of keeping and preserving, when they're objects of word-keeping. Linguistic sense requires use of such people with us, but the two terms mask interpretation error due to making them signify people, a sense of eternal preservation of needy men from a generation of evil men of David’s time that can’t live forever. This error occurs if us is used with correct this generation, making incorrect such people necessary. More linguistic error due to this approach further shows such people is incorrect, from such people missing the sense; this generation is that of David and joins from with to/for to note a period from that time to eternity (the Hebrew says this), or for ever. Further, this acts as a relative pronoun, (8) so we read, from the generation this (which) is to forever, not from the generation such is to forever. But eternal preservation of God’s written words is fully logical, with no faulty language or sense.
Scholars ignore God’s scripture preservation role (their preferred Greek text was lost for ~1400 years and exists in scattered form among manuscripts). To them Ps.119:89 For ever O Lord thy word is settled in heaven means preservation exists only in heaven. But the sense here is God’s Word supervised & verified in heaven where there’s no confusion. Context supports this, earthly preservation being the reason why the writer can obey God’s testimonies (Ps.119:88) and why earth endures by God’s laws (119:91). Ps.119:96 notes an end (a limit) to typical earthly perfection, but says God's commandment (to people) is exceeding broad (unlimited in perfection), so God’s word known to us on earth is fully preserved.
1. Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar. 2nd English Ed, Cowley, A.E. 1910. Para.135o.
2. Waltke, B.K. & O’Connor, M.P. 1990. An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. Eisenbraums. Winona Lake, IN. #16.4b, p302.
3. Strouse, T.M. A Critique of “God’s Word in Our Hands:” The Bible Preserved for Us. The Burning Bush. 11/1 June 2005. p28
4. Gesenius, Op. Cit. para. 110k illustrates this.
5. Gesenius, Op. Cit. paragraph 122h – see footnote #3
6. Gesenius, Op. Cit. para.122g
7. Another NASV him/he problem is, safety for which he longs. The sense of the Hebrew is the KJV puffeth, a blast of evil men’s breath (NIV agrees), not a godly man’s longing.
8. Gesenius said the Masora teaches this. Op. Cit. para. 126y.
2. Was Ahaziah 42 or 22 Years Old When He Began to Reign in Judah?
In 2 Chronicles 22:2 there is a passage commenting on the age of evil king Ahaziah of Judah. He is said to be 42 years old when he began his reign in Judah at the death of his father. Price speaks of a contradiction in Chronicles since in the parallel passage in 2 Kings 8:26, Ahaziah is said to be 22 years old when he begins his reign. Doubtless he was literally 22 years old at the start of his reign since, in 2 Chron.21:20 and 2 Kings 8:17, Ahaziah's father Jehoram (can also be called Joram, an equivalent variant) is said to be thirty‑two at the start of his reign and is said to reign 8 years before his death so that his age at death was 40. Clearly, Ahaziah can’t be literally 42 years old at the start of his reign at the death of his father since that would make him 2 years older than his father.
But even those who don’t accept inerrancy can’t conclude that the 42-year age figure in Chronicles is scribal error This figure is given in 2 Chron.22:2 in just the second verse after the 40-year age of Ahaziah's father at death is revealed in 2 Chron.21:20. Thus no copyist could possibly misunderstand the literal inaccuracy of a 42 year age figure due to the so recent notation on his father's age that would make such error obvious. Miscopying the age in Chronicles is very unlikely since even short-form Hebrew numerals for 20 & 40 are too different in form to make miscopying at all likely, and the long-form type are far too different.
What then is the 42‑year figure in 2 Chron.22:2 all about? It’s providentially meant to show readers that something different from age from birth is intended. Chronicles amplification (expansion) provides a figurative age representing a period of time relating to Ahaziah. The reason for a figurative age here is seen as we study the association of Ahaziah, king of Judah, with Joram king of Israel.
The 42 years of 2 Chron.22:2 is noted by usual Hebrew terminology for age, a son of years of life, but an alternate definition applies here. Here a son of refers to a member of a group, in this case a son or product of a group of vile kings helping perpetrate a 42‑year influence of the evil spirit of idolatrous Ahab in Israel & Judah. Ahaziah fully embraces extreme idolatry promoted by this group, so he identifies with its 42-year history, and is assigned this period as a figurative age. This is one of the various subtleties characteristic of the Hebrew text.
Ahaziah's father is usually called Jehoram, distinguishing him from the king of Israel who is usually called Joram, though these are just two different forms of the same name. Close association was forbidden by the Lord since Israel in the north followed the path of idolatry, and Judah in the south needed to remain separate from compro-mised brethren to preserve its loyalty to the Lord. But Ahaziah invoked what seems to have been the closest ecumenical tie of Judah to Israel in their history. Joram of Israel and Ahaziah's father Jehoram were very closely allied since the latter had in disobedience married Athaliah, a daughter of former king Omri of Israel whose son Ahab was the most idolatrous king in Israel's history. It seems no accident that Joram of Israel and Ahaziah's father had the same name, being so alike in spiritual nature. It's also interesting that Ahaziah of Judah had the same name as the brother of Joram of Israel who ruled Israel before Joram. We discover here a total interrelationship of character reflected in the name relation- ships. In fact scripture even seems to abruptly interchange the names of kings Joram & Jehoram at times, possibly to show us that the two are so closely linked that one can be seen as if he were the other (2 Kings 8:21, 24 & 2 Chron. 22:5,7 ‑ though this tendency is not unique to these passages).
In 2 Kings 8:27‑29 we learn that Ahaziah had followed his father's bad example in marrying into the house of Ahab, and had freely cooperated with the king of Israel in military campaigns. Ahaziah's complete acceptance of the ways of Ahab is seen as amplification in 2 Chronicles 22:3,4 shows us his mother and others of the house of Omri/Ahab (likely including his wife) were his counselors in evil en- deavor. We also learn in 2 Kings that when Joram of Israel was wounded in battle by Syrians, Ahaziah visited him as he recovered in Jezreel. In the 2 Chron. 22:6‑7 parallel passage, amplification tells us Ahaziah's visit to Joram at Jezreel is a matter of God's will that will result in Ahaziah's death at the hand of Jehu who is about to kill Joram and rule Israel. Thus, through amplification, we see the logical end of a life totally given over to disobedience to God and misleading of the people of Judah.
In considering the figurative 42‑year age of Ahaziah in 2 Chronicles 22:2, this is an amplification for edification on ecumenism. Ahaziah lives in disobedience to God, fraternizing with compromising idolaters, and so closely allied with them that his life blends with theirs in all matters personal and business. He even has his life ended at the same time, in the same place, by the same people and, as we’ll see a little later, even by the same method, in poetic justice. Ahaziah is inseparably linked with Joram of Israel and the idolatrous house of Ahab, and he perpetrates the spirit of Ahab on Judah and completely identifies Judah with Israel. Thus the reign of Ahaziah is an extension of the reign of Jehoram of Judah and his cohort Joram of Israel, who both together and separately, helped perpetrate the spirit of Ahab in Judah. Thus two of the worst possible leaders, who were allied in evil endeavor and even had the same name, influenced Judah several years before Ahaziah came to the throne, and Ahaziah's reign will be an extension of this bad leadership. In assigning a figurative age to Ahaziah at the start of his reign, Chronicles is stressing that Ahaziah's reign will be business as usual of a very bad nature. When Ahaziah comes to the throne, he is already quite old figuratively, representing continuance of the spirit of Ahab that has badly influenced Israel and Judah for 41 years and will do so for one more year until Ahaziah dies, so he’s assigned a figurative 42‑year age. The 42-year figurative age actually prophesies of Ahaziah's death in one year. It sums up, at the time of his death, the total time of the reign in Israel of the spirit of Ahab, the most idolatrous king in Israel's history, and the time of this influence on Judah. Evidently, as far as God is concerned, Ahaziah's reign is already over when it begins.
This line of reasoning is likely, as seen by examining Ahaziah’s identification with Israel in Chronicles that begins with Omri king of Israel, who was responsible for an unusual evil spiritual influence later totally associated with his son Ahab. And Omri's daughter Athaliah was Ahaziah's mother and his counselor in evil. After the house of Jeroboam was obliterated for bringing rampant idolatry to Israel, others not in that line replaced it. Eventually, Omri was elected by the army to be the king of Israel, in response to an attempted coup by Zimri at Tirzah. Omri beseiged Tirzah and ousted Zimri but couldn’t secure his reign at Tirzah, which had broken into two camps, one of which was under Tibni. After a 4-year struggle with Tibni’s forces (compare 1 Kings 16:15 & 16:23), Omri began his rule there. After a total of 6 years of rule at Tirzah, Omri prevailed, and began 6 more years of uncontested rule, now at Samaria. In this latter 6‑year period, a time of respite from war, Omri began to commit idolatry far worse than that of Jeroboam. Thus there were 6 years in which an unusual accelerated spirit of rebellion against God was practiced, and this spirit came to be totally identified with Omri's son Ahab, Israel’s most idolatrous ruler, who ruled for 22 years. This spirit continued under Ahab's son Ahaziah who ruled Israel 2 years. Ahaziah died without a son and was succeeded by his brother Joram (or Jehoram ‑ 2 Kings 1:17). The latter had ruled Israel for 11 years at the time of the death of king Jehoram of Judah, and a total of 12 years at his own death (2 Kings 3:1). Thus when the reign of Ahaziah of Judah began at the death of king Jehoram of Judah, one year before the death of Joram of Israel, the spirit of Ahab had reigned in Israel since halfway through the reign of Omri 41 years ago (6 + 22 + 2 + 11). This spirit had influenced Judah in varying degree for 41 years, controlling Ahaziah's father Jehoram for 8 years. Earlier it had substantially influenced Jehoram's father, good king Jehoshaphat, who during his 25‑year rule of Judah (2 Chron.19:2), helped idolatrous Ahab in military matters, contrary to God’s will (1 Kings 22). He also cooperated with Israel's evil king Ahaziah in trade operations (2 Chron.20:35‑37 amplifies 1 Kings 22:48‑49, the Kings passage only saying Jehoshaphat balked at cooperation, but Chronicles shows he cooperated before balking). It also appears that before Jehoshaphat, the spirit of Ahab influenced Jehoshaphat's father, good king Asa, who ruled Judah for 41 years before Jehoshaphat, and in the latter part of his reign had a problem of imitating Israel's tendency to trust in man rather than God (2 Chron.16:2‑13 & 1 Kings 15:17‑20). A progressively worsening evil influence on Judah by the house of Ahab ended finally in Ahaziah, who likely would have outdone even his father in spreading ecumenism in Judah.
But God is about finished with tolerating ecumenism. In Chronicles use of the 42‑year figurative age of Ahaziah represents the total time that God will tolerate Judah's kings corrupting the nation in the spirit of Ahab. This is amplification in which God's Word is tolling and proclaiming the sum of the years of His patience with ecumenical influence on His people. With this amplification we see that this type of leadership in Judah is coming to an end. The 2 Chronicles 22 passage indicates that Ahaziah will reign only one year in Judah, when he will die along with Joram of Israel, and this indicates the approaching end of this line of foul leadership representing the spirit of Ahab. In 2 Chron.22:10‑11, Ahaziah's death marks an immediate end of his house by the hand of his own evil mother Athaliah who killed all heirs except one she overlooked, one needed to keep the biological line alive. With the end of Ahaziah's reign, God ends the rule of Judah's kings temporarily and sees fit to permit a 6‑year period of rule by Athaliah, the daughter of Omri and daughter of Israel's idolatry, one who is not in any sense a king and is not part of the lawful (though idolatrous) 42-year male kingly line. Athaliah’s rule is likely meant to give Judah a final unmitigated dose of the spirit of Ahab it tolerated for so long since her 6 years parallel the 6 years of Omri that began the period of extreme idolatry.
Thus Chronicles amplification emphasizes how corrupt ecumenism is. Eventually it caused an inseparable identity of God's people with His enemies in extreme cases. This contrasts with 1 Chron.18:12 where amplification shows how those who side with God's chosen leaders (Abishai & David) are inseparably identified with them in victory. Perhaps use of the figurative 42‑year age in Chronicles is more far‑reaching than the purposes of the passage itself. God warning of His great displeasure over ecumenical associations among all His people in all eras of time. That’s what the New Testament teaches (2 Cor.6:14‑18).
3. Gen.7:22 KJV:
in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land,
This description of the effect of the great flood on land life-forms, human & animal, is contested by Price since the Hebrew text literally says breath of (the) spirit of life rather than the KJV breath of life. Actually, the fully literal sense of the Hebrew here illustrates a Hebrew-text tendency toward non-essential extra language at times, and there is a more common opposite tendency toward brevity of language, one or the other characterizing Hebrew syntax at different times. In English versions it's not necessary to include verbosity, and it's often necessary to add words in cases of language brevity. The subject verse illustrates one of the different ways that different languages express a matter. Indeed, in English it is not correct to associate spirit of life with nostrils in regard to people since human spirit is on a higher level; in the case of animals, the proper approach is to associate breath of life with nostrils because land-animal life-forms in general, especially lower ones, can't be said to have life in the sense of a spirit, intuition being their only likely non-physical form of life. Thus when both forms of life are combined in one passage sense, the KJV breath of life in nostrils, which is basic to the life of both forms, is correct, spirit of life being specific to humanity in English. The KJV presents accurate English that doesn't change verse sense in any degree, while retaining a good degree of agreement in literality with the Hebrew, which is what proper true translation is all about.
4. Dr. Price thinks 2 Chron.2:13 in the KJV wrongly implies that Huram, the name of a man serving King Huram, was the king's natural father because father really refers idiomatically to a master craftsman. He suggests the KJV misrepresents 1 Kings 7:14 that actually speaks of this craftsman as having a deceased man of Tyre as his natural father. In 2 Chron.2:13,14 the king of Tyre, Huram, writes a letter to king Solomon, saying:
2 Chronicles 2:13,14
KJV: And now I have sent a cunning man endued with understanding, of Huram my father's, the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre, skillful to work in gold...
The underlined KJV portion doesn’t refer to the king of Tyre as having the crafts- man as his natural father. The KJV says the craftsman is of Huram, in the sense of being his father's craftsman, (Hebrew-type syntax) and his father is unnamed. Contrary to Price, the KJV clearly isn't saying the craftsman is Huram's natural father since in the very next Chronicles verse the KJV says that the craftsman's father was a man of Tyre (italicized was in the KJV indicates the translators knew he was dead) with a mother of the daughters of the tribe of Dan. This agrees with the KJV 1 Kings 7:14 saying the craftsman's mother was a widow, her husband having been of the tribe of Napthali, and this is the passage informing translators of 2 Chron.2:13,14 that the craftsman's father was dead when Huram sent the craftsman to Solomon. The KJV translators clearly did not call the craftsman the natural father of king Huram.
Now father has a sense of meaning related to that noted above. Price speaks of it as an idiomatic sense, in the form of an originator, father, of a profession or art. (Brown-Driver-Briggs lexicon); this is how it's used in 2 Kings 2:12 where Elisha cries My father, my father to Elijah ascending to meet the chariot of Israel taking him to God's kingdom. Elijah was a father to Elisha in the sense of a mentor who groomed him for a prophet's ministry. Thus in the KJV, the king of Tyre speaks of his craftsman as a man endued with understanding, that of Huram in the sense of the skill of his art-originator. Thus, in 2 Chron.4:16, Huram is called Solomon's father in the sense of one overseeing work of building Solomon's temple.
5. Price makes another incorrect claim of KJV error, at 1 Chron.16:23 show forth in regard to God's salvation, and he claims the NKJV is more accurate.
1 Chron. 16:23
KJV: Sing unto the Lord, all the earth; show forth from day to day his salvation.
NKJV: Sing to the Lord, all the earth; Proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day
Price says of the KJV, "It misses the reference to verbal proclamation and the good nature of the news. The NKJV has made the text closer to the message of the Hebrew text." Well it's true that the Hebrew here commonly speaks of proclaiming good news, but that's already indicated by Sing unto the Lord, and by speaking of the salvation by God that is by definition good news. Further, the meaning of the Hebrew is make known or show forth, and the KJV show forth is more accurate in this context since the proclamation by earth includes more than the verbal witness of people; the benefit of God's salvation is also on the earth itself, its functioning of nations, and its animal & plant life, and even some of its topography, all of which contributes to an optimal estate of the earth by God's blessing in relation to His salvation of people.
Price claims still another error in the KJV and the Hebrew text, one that he
says is corrected in the NKJV. One man representing Israel is speaking.
KJV...Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, we pray thee, through thy land into my place.
NKJV...Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, king of Heshbon; and Israel said to him, "Please let us pass through your land into our place.
Supposedly, the plurality of Israelites requires the plural pronouns us & our, but my here follows a figurative sense of Israel as a collective singular entity, so my represents Israel as singular, while us represents the plurality of the people. This is the reason the nation Israel is represented as speaking. This is a normal feature of the Hebrew language, and the KJV preserves the sense presented by the Hebrew text. The same pattern appears in Judges 11:17 that says, Then Israel sent messengers unto the king of Edom, saying Let me, I pray thee, pass through thy land. A similar expression appears in Exodus 4:22,23 where God speaks through Moses to Pharoah, of His people enslaved in Egypt, saying, Israel is my son, even my first-born: And I say unto thee, let my son go that he may serve me...Such expression is a valid feature of the Hebrew text, and various languages speak of a nation in the sense of a figurative singularity (e.g. America and her history).
7. Price claims another KJV error, corrected in the NKJV, associated with his claim of error in the Masoretic Text; resultant difficulties indicate his opinion is incorrect.
1 Chronicles 6:28a
KJV: And the sons of Samuel; the first-born Vashni and Abiah
NKJV: The sons of Samuel were Joel the firstborn, and Abijah the second
The opinion of Price is fraught with difficulty. If the NKJV reading were correct, the Hebrew text itself would offer no name to Samuel's firstborn, assigning error to the Hebrew. Further, Hebrew for Vashni would mean and second, which would have to be assigned to the name Abijah, but the Hebrew would literally read and second and Abijah, so the double and would indicate Abijah doesn't actually link to second; thus one of two uses of and in the Hebrew would have to be omitted in the translation, further assigning error to the Masoretic Text. The result of all this is that the Hebrew would say literally And sons of Samuel the firstborn and second and Abijah, which would be nonsensical. Normal Hebrew syntax places a name adjacent to a term indicative of birth-order, as seen by the effort in the NKJV to do so with Abijah & Joel (see also Gen.22:21, 35:28, 38:6 Num.22:21, Josh.17:1).
Thus the KJV Vashni as a name is the indicated correct rendering, the name having a figurative sense of and second that is likely indicative of a symbolic name referring to the firstborn son of Samuel as marking a second epic in Samuel's life; the implied first epic would be Samuel as reaching a high position as prophet & priest of Israel so that the second epic would be the birth of his first son who would continue to fill this office. The literal proper name of the firstborn son would be Joel, as indicated in 1 Samuel 8:2. Chronicles often presents a second sense of terminology in Samuel & Kings (the concept of amplification noted in essays 6c,d, 7b & 11h). The KJV is doubtless correct, especially since it supports accuracy of the Masoretic Text, while the NKJV does not.
8. 2 Chronicles 33:18,19 KJV
18. Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer unto his God, and the words of the seers that spake to him in the name of the Lord God of Israel, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel.
His prayer also, and how God was entreated of him, and all his sin, and his
trespass, and the places wherein he built high places, and set up groves and
graven images, before he was humbled: behold, they are written among the
sayings of the seers.
The word rendered seers in verse 19 (Heb. hozai) is said by Price to favor the Septuagint over the Hebrew text. The term has an uncertain meaning, being said by some to be a proper name, but others say it signifies seers, or prophets. The NIV, ESV and certain other versions agree with the KJV, and so does the NASV, but in indefinite fashion by use of a transliteration, the Hozai. The Holman and others transliterate Hozai, which can be just an alternative to the Hozai.
Price assumes the KJV follows the LXX, but both may have rendered the best sense of the Hebrew, which seems to be seers since it fits the context, for their sayings are apt to be in major writings of Israel. Here the Hebrew for seers is a likely plural form of the Hebrew for singular seer. Unique spelling of hozai may be a remnant of early days before some language-convention up-dating, with the older form being retained in the Hebrew to show readers the fact of changing spelling. This appears likely since the different current spelling of the plural form is noted in verse 18. The term in verse 19 may simply be the participial form, though the spelling in such a case would still be questionable.
There is a reference to God speaking to Manasseh by His prophets in 1 Kings 21: 10,11 that correlates with the statement in Chronicles on the history of Manasseh, in the Book of the Kings of Israel, which likely was decisive for some translators, while others preferred to transliterate and leave the meaning mysterious. While evidence of correct use of the term is modest, the seers in the KJV is the best that can be provided in the lack of definite knowledge. There are times when some modern translators recognize the wisdom of the KJV, while others keep going their own way.
9. Job 15:9-11 KJV Job’s “comforters” question him.
What knowest thou, that we know not? What understandest thou, which is not in us? With us are both the grayheaded and very aged men, much elder than thy father. Are the consolations of God small with thee? Is there any secret thing with thee?
Price claims the KJV secret thing follows the LXX, while the Hebrew means gently. Actually, this is another case where the KJV & LXX can both render the correct term independently, for the usual sense of the Hebrew refers to what is covered or hidden, which totally agrees with secret thing. The Hebrew term is rendered with that sense in 2 Sam.19:5 in the form of a verb & in Judges 4:21 in the form of an adverb. The Hebrew term can mean the adverb gently, but that does not fit this context where friends of Job ask him if he has knowledge & under- standing unknown to them. Further, the Hebrew term in Job 15:11 has the form of a substantive (noun), which favors the KJV rendering, even though an adverbial term is possible in translation.
10. Deuteronomy 2:27
Let me pass through thy land: I will go along by the highway, I will neither turn unto the right hand nor to the left.
Price notes that the KJV omits a phrase in the Hebrew, on/in the way, What he does not say is that this phrase appears two times in a row in the Hebrew. The repeat is superfluous in the English, and Price also doesn’t say that other English versions omit the repeat. The Hebrew is just emphasizing the matter, or it is saying literally, Let me pass through thy land on the road (and) on the road I will remain.
11 Jeremiah 34:16:
Price criticizes KJV wording here that applies to Oxford & Cambridge editions differing very slightly, the Cambridge…every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom ye had set at liberty…being identical to the Oxford, except that in the latter he replaces ye. Both preserve contextual sense, for the people are indicated by he or ye. The Cambridge ye is the people, and in the Oxford, he in every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom he had set at liberty, is the people. Ye is correct Hebrew, and he is printing error, yet the renderings are equivalent, and use of he meets the requirement of exact equiva- lence needed for inerrancy. Evidently, even a printing error in the KJV may be providentially offset so that there is no error in the sense of meaning. Likely, what we have here is the effect of combined divine and human factors generating an inerrant text, the divine factor allowing human variance, while ensuring the exact equivalence of inerrancy (see essay 4i for related comment on the concept of exact equivalence).
Refuting Internet Comments by Doug Kutilek of Supposed KJV Error
By Dr. L. Bednar
Doug Kutilek usually attacks the KJV-Only position with general arguments, and seldom offers an analysis of specific textual issues on the internet. When he does comment on specific issues, his presentations lack objectivity, and are filled with comments indicative of a pre-conceived
agenda. He has a significant following among some website operators, so it is necessary to point out some of his errors.
We begin with the matter of KJV use of pronouns it & itself in
reference to the Holy Spirit, which Kutilek calls the Greatest Defect in the King
James Version. What is most disturbing about Kutilek’s comments is that he
mentions that modern English versions utilize the same pronouns for the
Holy Spirit, so his approach raises much suspicion that he is not at all
objective in his analysis.
Kutilek's comments on this matter is as follows, beginning with, “Any honest evaluation of the King James Version of the Bible leads to the conclusion that it has numerous defects as a translation, some major, most minor. Among these are places where it certainly does not follow the reading of the original manuscripts, (How can he know readings of original manuscripts lost for many centuries?) places where its rendering violates Greek or Hebrew grammar, and places where it is simply inaccurate, unintelligible or obscure. But of these translationally related defects, among the most serious, quite probably the worst of the lot, is its occas- ional use of the English pronoun it to refer to the Holy Spirit.”
At least four times in the King James Version of the Bible, the blessed Holy Spirit, Third Person of the Trinity, is referred to by the degrading word "it"--
John 1:32 "And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and IT abode upon him."
Romans 8:16 "The Spirit ITSELF beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."
Romans 8:26b "The Spirit ITSELF maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."
I Peter 1:11 "Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify when IT testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow."
With that, we end Kutilek's comments on the pronoun issue. The present writer’s comment on this issue is from an essay on this website:
1. The Holy Spirit and the pronoun it: 1 Pet.1:11
Those who say use of the pronoun it to refer to the Holy Spirit is great error think they are defending orthodoxy, but they overlook considerations of grammar in its relation to context. Inerrant grammar follows inerrant context.
KJV…the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified before- hand the sufferings of Christ…
NIV…the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ…
Natural masculine gender of the Holy Spirit is veiled, and the natural neuter-gender it applies in His identity or persona roles. In His salvation-peace identity role of a dove, it applies (Jn.1:32). It applies in His persona role as part of Jesus’ person in 1 Pet. 1:11, as our spirit is it, part of our person, not the whole, so Romans says Spirit of Christ in 8:9 and Spirit itself in 8:16,26, and in Jn.3:34 Jesus has the Spirit without measure, or the Spirit is an integral part of His person. Spirit is inherently He, as is evident at times (Acts 8:29, 10:19, 13:2). But at times He has identity or persona roles veiling His natural masculine gender (in Acts 2:17,18 the Spirit is poured out, which could not relate to He if a pronoun were involved). In four cases involving such roles, pronoun use is invoked, requiring it/itself, as the KJV has it, and other versions have some of the same renderings in this matter. The NRSV has it in 1 Peter & John 1, and avoids the issue in Romans. The RSV has it in John 1, an incorrect himself in Romans 8, and avoids the issue in 1 Peter 1. Other versions avoid the issue entirely, like the NIV he in 1 Peter 1:11 that favors human preference over context.
Use of an impersonal pronoun for the Spirit is very likely a means the Spirit Himself uses to direct attention from Him, and toward Christ who is to be our example in all ways and in all situations. That seems even more likely when we consider that the unpardonable sin is blasphemy against the Spirit by sinful men.
Some individuals who dislike use of it in reference to the Spirit overlook or ignore the role of context in word choice, a common problem in modern English trans-lations. These people don't realize that this use preserves the inerrancy of the Greek Received Text by considering grammar & context. They resort to name- calling, one individual commenting on this matter referring to those who support it/itself as KJVO rabble. Such critics ignore the fact that most KJV-only people have a true conviction that they are supporting God's true Word in English form. The lack of charity in the critics is most inappropriate for any who profess to be Christian, and the time is long overdue for people who profess Christ to start treating those who disagree with their opinions as worthy of the kindness of polite discussion.
2. The KJV God forbid – Dynamic equivalence or paraphrase?
Kutilek: The phrase “God forbid” occurs some 24 times in the King James Version of the Bible. Nine of these occurrences are in the OT (and thrice the similar “the LORD forbid”), while fifteen are found in the NT. Of the NT occurrences, all but one are found in the writings of Paul.
As has been pointed out countless times with regard to the use of the phrase “God forbid” to render the words of the original Hebrew and Greek, it is a close English equivalent except for two facts: 1. the word “God” is not found in the original text; and 2. neither is the word “forbid.” Other than that, it is a fine representation of the original! (sarcasm has no place in biblical scholarship, being a tool for an agenda)
It is obvious, of course, that here at least, the KJV is not a literal translation of the original, but is at best a paraphrase, a “dynamic quivalent.” (Do I hear some rigid KJV adherent mutter under his breath, “God forbid!”?) (More sarcasm)
Bednar: To refute KJV advocates who speak of errors of dynamic equivalence in modern versions, some say the KJV at times presents the same type of render- ings. This claim is incorrect, resulting from confusing dynamic equivalence with idioms, the latter being common to any translation. Idioms in biblical Hebrew & Greek are usually translated in terms of an equivalent idiom in host languages since there are unique aspects of idioms that should be preserved in a translation.
On the other hand dynamic equivalence produces paraphrase that can be destruct- ive to foundational teachings of scripture, such as substituting terms relevant to a culture quite different from that of the Greek or Hebrew languages. For example, replacing lamb of God with a term suited to a culture in cold climates, seal pup of God eliminates the foundational significance of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross and the relationship to the Old Testament form. Scripture can't be paraphrased to enable easy understanding by various cultures, and teachers have a role in making people of a host culture understand exactly what scripture teaches.
Formal equivalence, aimed at achieving equivalence as exactly as possible, is the only legitimate goal in translation, and rough equivalence commonly distorts the text, causing interpretation problems. Translation of idioms is very different from paraphrasing common to dynamic equivalence. Idioms often can't be rendered literally since they often make little or no sense in cultures outside the Greek or Hebrew. In translating idioms, an equivalent sense in the host language is utilized in order to preserve the idiomatic sense since that type of sense is intended in the original text.
A few examples of proper idioms in the KJV
Translators must address Hebrew & Greek idioms that, if rendered literally, miss the correct textual sense. Translators should express the text with their idioms, those that make the best sense in their language, an equivalent sense being the important matter. To use plain language can easily miss the emphasis that marks idioms.
1. The meaning of the Hebrew for, for a profaned, will make little sense to average readers, and the KJV God forbid is proper. The NIV contemporary idiom far be it from (me/you), or not at all, or never, are not nearly as emphatic as God forbid, and the Hebrew is meant to be very emphatic, as in Joshua 22:29 & 1 Samuel 20:2. The related Greek term means a very emphatic, “May it never exist,” which applies in various passages like 1 Cor.6:15 & Rom.3:4. These uses illustrate that older English can present a superior way to express a matter.
2. God save the king is an emphatic idiom meaning, God protect the king or spare his life, as in 2 Chron.23:11 where the people in the temple observe the ordination of young Joash as the king of Judea under the threat of harm by the forces of Athaliah, an evil woman improperly serving as king.
3. Cast in his teeth is an emphatic idiom expressing the anger, insult, impropriety, injustice, or ignorance involved in reproach, as in the case of Mat.27:44 where thieves who were crucified with Jesus Christ railed on him with accusations.
4. Found with Child is an idiom utilized in place of the term pregnancy, emphasizing the sense of surprise or shock. In Mat.1:18 this language is utilized to express the incredible fact (from the earthly perspective) that Mary, a virgin, is expecting a child.
There are cases of Hebrew or Greek idioms that are best rendered by plain language because no real emphasis is intended, or because the idiom doesn't properly represent the teaching in a host language.
5. In 2 Sam.18:3 the Hebrew speaks of those who say they are far less important to Absalom's forces than king David is. They say to David, in the English equivalent of the Hebrew, they will not set their heart to us, which suggests they will not love us, an improper sense in English. The Hebrew contrasts David with his men in regard to who Absalom's men will set their heart on killing, but in English the proper sense is, "they will not so much as care for us since their real target is David."
KJV: But the people answered, Thou shalt not go forth: for if we flee away, they will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us: but now thou art worth ten thousand of us...
The text expresses the value of David's men in the eyes of their enemies, and the value is paltry, so to refer to them in terms of set their hearts to is inappropriate, this being proper only of David. The importance of David's men is under-emphasized by this passage, while the importance of David is greatly empha-sized, and the Hebrew illustrates this, so the English utilizes the term care for us in a contrast of two parties.
6. 2 Samuel 18:21, 22
21. Then said Joab to Cushi, Go tell the king what thou hast seen. And Cushi bowed himself unto Joab, and ran.
22. Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, But howsoever, let me, I pray thee, also run after Cushi. And Joab said, Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready.
In verses 19,20 Ahimaaz expresses his desire to bring king David news of a battle with Absalom's forces, but Joab chooses Cushi for the task. In verse 22 Ahimaaz again asks to run to David with the news, and a Hebrew idiom literally has him say be what may. This awkward English is equivalent to howsoever or nonetheless. Contextually, the statement is a response of Ahimaaz to the fact that Cushi has gone to give David the news, but in its English sense, be what may incorrectly suggests that, whatever happens, he wants to be a messenger who brings the news. On the other hand, howsoever properly refers to the fact that he wants to run, despite one runner being on the way to David. The Hebrew idiom doesn't present a true English sense, and howsoever, or an equivalent, is required. Thus an idiom is properly rendered in plain English to present a contextually correct sense.
7. Some idioms do transfer directly from the Greek or Hebrew into English, as in the case of John 1:18
KJV: No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
The idiom, in the bosom of the Father has the same sense in Greek and English, and it refers here to Christ as very closely associated with God the Father, which is basic to the concept of the Trinity, and is why the Son is able to declare the Father to us.
The few examples below show how silly claims of KJV dynamic equivalence can be. These from the 1611 KJV involve comparison of text terminology with a marginal note. They are nothing more than expression of idiomatic forms of Hebrew in English idioms or just English that is more common, and more readily understood
8. Job 11:17
Margin: shall arise above the noone day - This refers to rising above the darkness of guilt for sin, to the same degree that the day at noon is beyond all darkness.
Text: shall be clearer than the noone day - This says the same thing in simpler English idiomatic fashion of being cleared of guilt for sin, as the day at noon is clear.
9. Job 11:19
Margin: entreat thy face - This idiomatic Hebrew means to entreat clearly, asking another person for favor.
Text: make suite (suit) unto thee - This says the same thing in a simpler idiomatic English fashion, making an inquiry of others to grant favor.
10. Job 11:20
Margin: flight shall perish from them - This is a Hebrew idiomatic way to speak of an inability to escape danger
Text: they shall not escape - This more directly speaks of an inability to escape danger in simple English.
3. The Johannine Comma
Kutilek showed no evidence of a grasp of textual matters in the two preceding cases, and this applies to issues at 1 Jn.5:7,8 where he just parrots opinion & manuscript history, and even incorrectly brackets the supposed spurious words called the Johannine Comma. We begin with his quotation of 1 John 5:7,8:
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.] And there are three that bear witness [in earth,] the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
Kutilek: The words here enclosed in brackets are involved in controversy. The Scofield Reference Bible (1917) notes: (the actual bracket is [in heaven…in earth])
It is generally agreed that v. 7 has no real authority, and has been inserted.
Two questions: 1. What does this note mean? and, 2. Is Scofield right?
1. Scofield is stating that this verse was not an original part of I John, that the Apostle did not write these words and the Holy Spirit did not inspire them, but that they were inserted into the text of I John at a later date. This opinion is the view of the vast majority of experts on the subject of the original text of the New Testament.
2. Is Scofield right? To answer this, we must ask, what is the evidence?
First, some essential background information
a. I John and all of the NT was originally written in the Greek language.
b. from the 1st century until the printing of the NT in the early 16th century (more than 1,400 years), all copies of the NT were hand-written manuscripts.
1. Scribes, subject to human limitations, made various mistakes in producing copies, most being accidental changes, though some were intentional.
2. While God did not preserve the copyists from making any mistakes, He did providentially limit the degree of variation so that the doctrinal content of the NT
was not affected by the variations introduced. The doctrinal teaching of all 1,500 printed editions of the Greek NT is identical.
3. Most scribal errors are immediately recognizable, and the text of the NT can be established with 99.5% certainty, and the remaining .5% does not affect doctrine.
We have a much higher degree of certainty of the exact original wording of the NT than any other writing from the ancient world. More than 5,000 Greek manuscripts have been preserved (one less than 50 years later than the original writing of John), plus translations into nearly a dozen ancient languages, plus more than 85,000 quotations in Christian writers from the 1st to the 10th centuries.
The evidence regarding I John 5:7
1. Greek manuscripts: about 300 existing Greek manuscripts contain the book of I John. Of these manuscripts, only 4 (manuscript numbers 61, 629, 918, 2318) contain the disputed words of v.7. All four are very late manuscripts (16th, 14th or 15th, 16th, and 18th centuries A.D. respectively); none gives the Greek text exactly as it appears in printed Greek NTs, and all 4 manuscripts give clear evidence that these words were translated into Greek from Latin .
Four additional manuscripts (88, 12th century; 221, 10th; 429, 16th; 636, 15th) have the disputed words copied in the margin by much later writers.
2. Ancient writers: no Greek-speaking Christian writer before the year 1215 A.D. shows any knowledge of the disputed words. Not once are these words quoted in the great controversy with the Arians (over the Deity of Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity) in the 3rd and 4th centuries; they certainly would have been quoted if they had existed in any Greek manuscript of that period.
The disputed words are quoted as Scripture only by Latin-speaking writers, and only after the middle of the 5th century A.D.
3. Ancient translations: the disputed words are not found in any of the ancient translations of the NT made in the 2nd-10th centuries A.D.--Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Georgian, Gothic, Ethiopic, Arabic, Slavic--except in Latin. The words are found in some manuscripts (but not the earliest) of the Old Latin version, and in many manuscripts of the Latin Vulgate (but not the earliest).
The evidence of every kind is consistent and clear: the disputed words of I John 5:7 have no claim as an original part of John's letter, but were introduced into Greek from Latin in the very late Middle Ages.
Bednar: Minor manuscript support proves nothing, in light of the destruction of virtually all biblical manuscripts during early persecution of Christians, and later copies were subject to much error due to the lack of a true link to the autographs. Study of internal evidence is the only type of scholarship that can identify true readings, and this shows that proper readings can have minor manuscript support, due to manuscript loss, while improper readings often have majority manuscript support indicative of early error being repeatedly copied over the centuries.
The Johannine Comma is a highly discredited Received-Text passage, due to min- or manuscript support, but overwhelming textual proof verifies its authenticity.
5:5. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
5:6. This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. (the Comma is in bold script below)
5:7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost and these three are one.
5:8. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water and the blood: and these three agree in one.
5:9…this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
5:6. This is the one who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.
5:7. For there are three that testify: ? ? ?
5:8. the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.
5:6. This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with water only, but with the water and with the blood.
5:7. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.
5:8. For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.
The Comma is in just ten 10th-18th century Greek manuscripts, in the margins of five.1 It’s said Erasmus adopted it on the basis of a falsified Greek manuscript, which is just speculation.2 Latin manuscripts notably support the Comma, the oldest extant being 5th-8th century Old Latin ones & 3rd–4th century notes.3,4,5 Priscillian quoted it ~385 A.D, Cyprian in 250 A.D. said the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one (reflecting the Comma - Word is Son), and Tertullian in 215 A.D. said of the Father, Son and Comforter, which three are one essence,6 a likely reference to the Comma.7
The earliest known Latin text is a mid-2nd century Old-Latin Italic.8 The 17th- century scholar, Allix, said the Waldensen Bible was the ancient version called the Italic,9 and Kenyon said the textual basis of the Italic New Testament was the Traditional Text (Received-Text ancestor).10 The Tepl/Romaunt Waldensen & Vulgate New Testaments all reflect the Italic, but the two refute the Vulgate at places,11 likely at Jerome’s 4th-century variance from the Traditional Text. Italic history links the Received Text, and potentially the Comma, to the 2nd century. Actually, as we'll see, the Comma proves to be authentic, tying it to the 1st- century autograph, to the Italic of the 2nd century & medieval era, to the Received Text, to the KJV.
Censorship marks Comma history, even in the Latin west. A Vulgate prologue notes its removal in 4th-century manuscripts.12 In a 5th century council of Carth- age, 400 North African bishops affirmed its authenticity, despite anti-Comma Arian threats,6 so it was a holy standard under attack then. 6th-century Latin bis- hop Facundus censored it, claiming Cyprian quoted 1 Jn.5:8, three agree in one.3
A. Comma absence makes a clause divide between verses 5:7 & 8 to make the Spirit, the water and the blood a clause fragment in 5:8, and make a fragment serve as verse 5:7.13 Syntax irregularity is fairly common, but its occurrence by Comma removal indicates the Comma belongs in the passage. The irregularity is recognized in the NIV and is addressed by unique, but incorrect, punctuation.14 In the NASV the irregularity is recognized in masking of it by clause/verse shuffling that joins the 5:7 fragment to 5:8 and creates a verse 5:7 from the latter half of 5:6 (notice how much shorter verse 5:6 is in the NASV in contrast with the NIV). These are just arbitrary textual devices supporting opinions of these translators on a supposed lack of Comma authenticity. They take advantage of the fact that early Greek manuscripts lacked punctuation & verse numbers, but the great difference in the ways that they do so proves they have no recognized authority for doing so. Indeed resorting to such tactics to discredit the Comma is indicative of a lack of any realistic basis for this.
B. Comma absence makes a verse 5:7 grammatical-masculine participle link directly to the 5:8 grammatical-neuter Spirit, water and blood. A New-Testament noun series can lack gender agreement, so various gender links occur, but scholars are not really comfortable with this masculine-neuter link, and seek a specific explanation.15 The link was rejected by Nolan in the early 19th century6 and by others more recently,16 but they didn't offer detailed textual proof; that they were correct is indicated by the detailed textual proof offered below.
To begin, the three neuters aren't encumbered by immediate links to other nouns and can act in unison as one neuter, so linking this to one masculine participle contradicts Greek grammar. As we will see, the 1 John 5:7 masculine participle doesn't link directly to the three neuters, yet a verse 5:8 masculine participle in the Comma does just that since the neuters do act in unison, in a unique way. This becomes clear as we examine aspects of grammar involving the Comma, and relate our conclusions to context.
1. In verse 5:7 the Comma Father, Word and Holy Ghost is the subject of a participle that is an adjectival substantive (noun-like term) acting as an appositive that denotes & describes its subject, repeating grammatical gender as possible, and the participle repeats the grammatical gender of the Comma masculine Father and Word.
Now some will object, saying the participle is the subject, for it appears first in 5:7, in accord with a perceived grammar rule, but that's an over-generalization of the rule. Word order can't consistently determine the subject/appositive relation- ship since it varies among passages according to emphasis. A term is commonly emphasized in the Greek by bringing it forward in a clause/sentence. In verse 5:7, emphasis on three, a triune witness that follows & expands a singular 5:6 Spirit witness, places three before divine names to make the participle appear first. The participle acts as an adjectival substantive denoting divine persons and describing their role, as is expected of an appositive. The participle fulfills the adjectival appositive role, and Trinity names, which are nominatives, are the subject, so rule over-generalization causes a mere apparent subject/appositive reversal. Emphasis on the real subject would rearrange language of the Comma, as noted below.
“For the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost (subject), that bear record (appos-itive) in heaven, are three, and these three are one. And the Spirit, the water and the blood (subject), that bear witness (appositive) on earth, are three, and the three agree in one.
Another subject/appositive apparent reversal by emphasis is seen in Jn.14:26 that says in the Greek, But the Comforter, the Holy Ghost…Comforter is noted first, for Jesus emphasizes a need of comfort to His disciples. Holy Ghost is the subject, and Comforter is the appositive, an adjectival noun that denotes the Holy Ghost and describes His role.
Further, 1 Jn.5:6 illustrates an adjectival participle functioning as an apposi- tive, with emphasis on the Spirit revealing Him as the subject. It says, And it is the Spirit (subject) that beareth witness (appositive), because the Spirit is truth.
2. Now we consider proof of authenticity that eliminates all grammatical-gender issues. What we understand about the 3-in-1 nature of the Trinity is that three individual persons comprise one essence, as indicated indirectly in various passages. In Mt.3:16, 17, the individuality of the three persons of the Godhead is seen as the Father declares Jesus as His beloved Son, and the Spirit like a dove descends upon Jesus. In Jn.10:30 Jesus says, I and my father are one, indicating unity of essence, and in John 3:34 Jesus says that to Him God giveth not the Spirit by measure, so the Spirit is a measureless, or integral, part of Jesus' person in a unity of essence, and the unity of Jesus with the Father and the Spirit proves that of the Father with the Spirit. Further, Jude 25 says To the only wise God our Savior, which refers to all three persons of the Trinity who are all involved in our salvation, the Father who authorizes it, the Son who delivers it and the Spirit who authenticates it, and to refer to all of them as one God proves their unity of essence.
Indeed, the Old Testament teaches the Trinity indirectly at Deut.6:4 that says Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord. The Hebrew for God is Elohim that is a plural noun, so in this context the verse speaks of the plurality of God's person in one essence. The Lord Jesus Christ declares this verse in Mk.12:29 as the main teaching of the law, in a likely subtle reference to His own role in the Trinity. Indeed, in Gen.1:26 Elohim speaks and says, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, which can only be a reference to the Trinity (Even the three uses of the personal pronoun implies the Trinity), for we are in the likeness of the Trinity by our soul, body and spirit, corresponding to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, respectively. Our soul as the controlling power of our person relates to the Father who is the controlling power of the Trinity, our body relates to the Son's body presently in an eternal supernatural form, and our spirit relates to the Holy Spirit.
Further, we note implications of predicate-nominative grammar three are one in the verse-7 portion of the Comma. Grammatically, this can be interpreted as 3 = 1 so that the meaning would be three different representations/identities of one person, One God appearing as the Father or the Son or the Spirit. This interpret- ation likely caused the Sabellian heresy of the 2nd-3rd centuries (indicating the presence of the Comma in the scripture text during & prior to this period). Thus the sense of three individuals in one essence requires verification, and this is provided by the participle that bear record located outside the Comma in verse 7. Father, Word and Holy Ghost in the Comma are of natural masculinity, so the 5:7 participle describing them is grammatically masculine, the grammatical gender agreeing with the natural, and participle plurality treats the Trinity persons as individuals. Thus the unique 3-in-1 nature of the Trinity persons in verse 7 is proven, and authenticity of this portion of the Comma is affirmed. We finalize proof of the authenticity of this portion as we affirm below the authenticity of the verse-8 portion, and affirm the authenticity of the Comma as a whole, to show that it is true scripture inspired by the Spirit, but first we add a little further comment on the Trinity.
The verse-7 description of the Trinity 3-in-1 nature was known only to God when 1 John was written, so John could not write this on the basis of his own know- ledge, further indicating verse 5:7 with the Comma portion included is inspired by the Spirit.* The deity of Jesus Christ and the Spirit were known early, but the relationship of Trinity persons in verse 5:7, including the Comma portion, was unknown to men in the latter 1st-century period when 1 John was written. Else- where in scripture the Trinity is noted indirectly, and direct scriptural testimony of the Comma is crucial to verify the implied testimony. Discrediting of the Comma can discount the one direct scriptural testimony to the 3-in-1 doctrine of the Trinity.
*An understanding of the 1 Jn.5 description of the basic nature of the Trinity wasn't realized until Tertullian wrote about it in the early 3rd century. The present writer proposes that the uniqueness of the Trinity and its tie to the neuters in verse 5:8 (see next paragraph) would make Comma validity seem uncertain in the early church, delaying quoting of it. Tertullian cautiously referenced it in the early 3rd century. Cyprian quoted it essentially, but cautiously, in the mid-3rd century, his Son in place of Word avoiding a direct tie to 1 Jn.5:7. The Trinity was established at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D, and the Comma was fully recognized by the late 4th century when even non-Trinitarian Priscillian quoted it in its entirety. Such a history of Comma acceptance indicates the early church was slow to understand the Comma, which is indicative of its existence in texts from the beginning, and the delay would result in reluctance to include it in copies of the Traditional Text (to add to problem of loss of the Comma by loss of manuscripts in early persecutions).
The Trinitarian pattern repeats as verse 5:8 three agree in one treats grammatical-neuter Spirit, water and blood, located outside the Comma, as one natural-mas- culine essence of deity in Jesus, to confer a 5:8 grammatical-masculine participle in the Comma, grammatical & natural genders agreeing. Yet participle plurality reveals individuality of three neuters of one essence, reflecting the divine nature of the Trinity in Jesus Christ (we'll soon verify this). The Trinity image in Jesus Christ in a fully divine form in verse 5:8 relates to the description of the Trinity in verse 5:7, and to the textual evidence there of inspiration by the Spirit.
Combined contextual/grammatical authentication of the Comma
Affirmative evidence: Essential grammar & context centers on the verse 5:7 mas-culines three and the participle that bear record referring to Father, Word and Holy Ghost; the participle reflects natural masculinity of the three of the Trinity, as well as grammatical masculinity of Father/Word, and a 5:8 identical number & participle refer to neuters Spirit, water and blood. Thus, as Father, Word and Holy Ghost in heaven testify of Jesus, so Spirit, water and blood in Jesus on earth testify of Him. Contextual parallelism relates natural-masculine Father, Word and Holy Ghost, in their one essence, to grammatical-neuter nouns, to confer a natural-masculine sense on the neuters, justifying indication of a masculine participle by a relation of three agree in one to the Trinity three are one. Thus the divine Trinity illuminates the neuters that reflect the masculine image of the Trinity in the divine Savior.
Further, with the Comma present, verse 5:9 sums-up 5:7,8, saying, this is the witness of God (5:7 Comma-Trinity witness) which he hath testified of His Son (5:8 Comma earthly witness in Jesus). And the Comma Trinity witness in Jesus reflects John’s gospel and his other epistles; in 1 Jn.5:6, Jn.5:37; 8:18; 16:13,14; 1:1,14, the Father, the Word and the Spirit testify of Jesus.* And Spirit, water and blood (of Jesus) testify on earth, verifying the Comma portion, And there are three that bear witness in earth. And Comma absence omits Word, John’s unique name for Christ (Jn.1:1, 1 Jn.1:1,14, Rev.19:13). And three agree in one, or three divine aspects of Jesus’ person, implies comparison with three are one of the Comma heavenly Trinity.
*Language in the Johannine Comma is rather common in scripture penned by John, the term bear witness appearing a total of 20 times and a related term bear record, appearing 8 times.
Conclusive evidence: The grammatical/contextual points above fit conclusive proof of Comma authenticity that emerges as we address the main topic of 1 John in chapters 4 & 5. John declares Jesus as God incarnate to refute Gnostic-type attacks on His deity. 1 Jn.4:3 denies a docetist claim that Jesus was a spirit that only seemed to have a body, and 1 Jn.5:6-8 denies a cerinthian claim that Jesus was just a man temporarily indwelled by Christ in a temporary deity. Proof of the authenticity relates to the verse 5:6 by water and blood that scholars say means He came by baptism and blood-shedding, but He came for those acts. Actually, 1 Jn.5:5 declares His deity as God’s Son as the basis of salvation, and 5:6 further says of His deity, This is he that came by water and blood; not by water only, but by water and blood (This relates 5:5 to 5:6, and For in 5:7 relates both to 5:7 and the Comma). Greek grammar indicates by has the sense, by means of,17 so He came by means of power of deity signified by water & blood. Now we discuss the signification, beginning with terms for the deity of Christ in verse 5:8.
Spirit signifies Jesus’ deity by the Holy Spirit. Rom.8:9 equates Spirit of Christ with Spirit of God. In Jn.3:34 the Spirit is in Him beyond measure, an integral part of His person joined to His human spirit.
Water signifies Jesus’ deity by the word, the word as the eternal Christ. Washing of water by the word sanctifies (Eph.5:26). Like water, His word cleanses (Jn.15:3). Salvation is by water and the Spirit (Jn.3:5), referring to the Spirit in the word (living water, Jn.4:10). Water signifies the word of Jesus’ human soul that calmed a storm at sea, tied to the divine Word of heaven that spoke the universe into existence, both being part of His person.
Blood signifies Jesus’ divine nature by the Father. His Acts 20:28 blood is that of God, and blood of divine nature, free of sin-stain, stands alone as able to remove sin. The Savior's blood couldn't possibly have been human since a human father is crucial to formation of human blood, and Jesus had no human father; no direct contribution of a mother to the blood occurs in normal human birth, and the Holy Ghost would ensure against any possible contribution by Mary to ensure against any sin-stain* (the precious blood of Christ -1 Pet.1:19). The Holy Ghost would impart to the blood the deity of the Father, who is thus revealed as part of Jesus’ person. Jesus said the Father is in me in Jn.10:38, and the blood is the logical way this would be so. Col.2:9 says, in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, the Holy Ghost by the Spirit, Christ by the Word and the Father by the blood. The body would be created by the Holy Ghost from Mary's genetics, and thus would be entirely human, being joined to His human soul and spirit. Mary was a descendant of David, qualifying the Savior as the son of David, as taught by Rom.1:3 that says... Jesus Christ, our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.
*Our Savior didn't have human blood, both a human father & mother being needed to form it, and He had no human father. Blood forms in the fetus out of direct contact with blood of either parent (Borkert, D.T. - M.D. & Pulliam, K.R. - PhD, "The Blood of Christ biblicalstudies.org. uk/pdf/cbtj/03-2 _001.pdf )
He came by divine power of Spirit, water and blood, elements of His person signifying the divine Trinity (Son of God, Christ) accompanying a human trinity (Son of man, Jesus), deity and humanity being in each part of His person. These elements testify of His salvation power as perfect God and perfect man, and so perfect mediator for man to God.
Thus Spirit, water & blood reflect the natural-masculine Trinity. Each appears in the form of the natural-neuter gender of a part (it) of Jesus’ person, yet each signifies the natural-masculine gender of Deity (He) declared as in Jesus by a Comma heavenly Trinity witness. The divine Father testifies of His divine-blood tie to Jesus, so blood (it) signifying the Father reflects the masculinity of deity; earthly father/son ties are those of blood, and Jesus’ divine blood represents the heavenly Father/Son tie, finalized by an eternal resurrected divine body with hand & foot wounds (Lk.24:39,40). The divine Word testifies by the water of Jesus’ word that He came as the Son in a holy body, so water (it) signifying Him reflects masculinity of deity. The divine Holy Ghost testifies of His earthly role as Jesus’ Spirit (it) verifying the water and blood witnesses, so the Spirit on earth reflects masculinity of deity (He). He came as divine Savior by the power of divine blood (Father) and divine water (Word) attested by the divine Spirit (Holy Ghost). His three aspects of deity agree in one essence, reflecting three divine Trinity persons who are one essence. As noted above, three neuters in Him are treated as the image of the masculine Trinity, requiring a grammatical-masculine participle in verse 8 of the Comma, and participle plurality signifies individuality of the neuters in the earthly person of Jesus, reflecting the Trinity.
Authenticity proved: God’s Son came to us, not by water only, or not as the eternal Word (Christ) unembodied, as in docetism, or in some man’s body, as in cerinthianism. He came by blood also, divine blood of His own body able to redeem. The body is His, as proved by the divine-blood witness in particular, and by the divine Word and Spirit witnesses. As our study shows, the irrefutable witness of the Comma heavenly divine Trinity proves the deity of the Comma earthly Spirit, water and blood witness in Jesus, defeating gnostic heresy. Comma authenticity is proved, its heavenly witness and earthly aspect of the Spirit, water and blood witness being vital to the meaning of 1 Jn.5:6-9. The 1 Jn.5:6-9 passage is all about truth that refutes gnostic-type heresy attacking Jesus’ deity, and the Johannine Comma is this truth, its Trinity heavenly witness irrefutably verifying the deity of the earthly witnesses in Jesus Christ.
Likely Comma history
Modern-day scholars believe Westcott & Hort who said there is no evidence of tampering for dogmatic purposes in any Greek manuscripts. But Alexandrian texts promoted by these two show evidence of tampering that favors dogma of Gnostics who attacked the deity of Jesus Christ, and this is no surprise since these texts originated in Alexandria, Egypt, a primary center of Gnosticism in the first few centuries of the church era. Gnostics served the cause of satan who hates Christ and the Trinity, wanting to take the place of the Son of God (In Isa.14: 12-15 satan says, I will be like the most High, a title reserved for the Son of God). In the Comma the entire Trinity declares the deity of Jesus Christ, so it would be a target of Gnostic meddlers, being deleted in Alexandrian-type texts that support Gnosticism, and the many large unbiblical Middle-Ages churches harboring the Traditional Text wouldn’t safeguard the text against this distortion.
Likely nature of preservation: The Traditional Text, ancestor of the Received Text, is far superior to the Alexandrian, yet lacks the Comma in most extant manuscripts, and has other differences from the Received Text. All this is likely due to harsh Roman persecutors destroying most manuscripts of early true churches that wouldn't worship Caesar, and to general indifference to corruption in later manuscripts in later unbiblical churches lacking reverence for God's Word. Excellent accuracy and the presence of the Comma in some manuscripts would be due to preservation of the text of autograph originals in true biblical churches, plus correction of corrupt manuscripts circulated to these churches. In the latter case, the 10 more-recent manuscripts with the Comma in the margins or the text, would represent a more recent process of transfer of the Comma from the margins to the text in a final stage of restoration of previously-lost true readings, as described further below.
Preservation by renewal is God’s plan, for it marked the beginning of text history as God restored law tables broken by Moses (Ex.32:15, 34:1). Indeed, a Comma presence in 10 later Greek manuscripts, 5 in the text & 5 in the margins, suggests recognition of a need for renewal and its initiation. The logical way a renewal would begin is by first placing it in the margin, and evidently the presence of the Comma in the margins and text represents the beginning and the end of the re- newal process, for the benefit of readers. In the process of Providential renewal, each entry in the margin of a faulty manuscript will be an act of a Bible-believer aware of Comma authenticity, followed by Providential direction of renewal in the text of another manuscript. Thus the greater average age of manuscripts with the Comma in the margins would indicate the delay in renewing it in later manus- cript copying as God directed preservation of His Word by directing His people. This view contrasts with that of modern scholars who suggest the Comma impro- perly entered the text as a result of first appearing in the margins, but their view is just more of the natural skepticism predominant today.
The Traditional Text shows other cases of renewal in progress. For example, Eph. 3:9 in the Received Text has the term fellowship and the clause God who created all things by Jesus Christ. Alexandrian texts have administration for fellowship and omit by Jesus Christ in the verse. Eliminating the latter clause would suit Cerinthians, and use of administration would be favored by Gnostics in general who saw themselves as administrators of hidden knowledge. The genuine phrase by Jesus Christ appears in Traditional-Text manuscripts, as does faulty adminis- tration, to produce what looks much like a partially-complete renewal frozen in time for centuries, evidently to ensure that readers can see an example of renewal in progress.
The Received-Text role: This text would finalize renewal of passages lacking major or earliest Greek support in Traditional-Text history. A renewal like the Comma in the Received Text, that nullifies Cerinthian dogma depicting Jesus as a mere man, would be of special note. Other notable examples of this are Col. 1:14 on Jesus’ blood as crucial to remission of sin and Acts 8:37 on the eunuch confessing Jesus Christ as the Son of God. The Received Text, as finalized by the KJV translators,18 corrected limited Traditional-Text error to renew inerrancy for all newly-established true churches.
The Received Text in its final state in the 16th-17th centuries, perfected by out- standing scholars like Erasmus, Beza the Elzevirs & KJV translators 18 shows much evidence of being God's final plan for New-Testament history. Indeed, this text and its Johannine Comma declare God's text-renewal plan, following soon after invention of movable-type printing that ended all error associated with hand-written manuscripts, and soon after Constantinople in the eastern Roman empire fell and sent Greek scholars west with Traditional-Text manuscripts that became the basis for the Received Text. Soon the Reformation spread this text throughout Europe, and later to all churches faithful to the KJV, and soon the text was given chapters, punctuation & verse numbers to enhance readability for all parties. Ultimately, the Received Text was the true mark of the end of the Dark Ages in Europe as the light of God's inerrant Word enabling all to know the true Word for themselves in order to apply it, and thus be able to give an account of themselves to God one day.
Providential timing in great historical events marks the Received Text and the Comma and all renewals as God’s Word preserved from the autographs. And potential Comma ties to its autograph by references dating to the early 3rd century and Italic texts dating to the mid-2nd century, now appear to be logical ties to the autograph.
Comma authenticity summarized
Comma divine authority refutes two 1st-2nd century heresies. Docetism was officially denounced in 110 A.D. by Ignatius of Antioch, and Cerinthianism in 170 A.D. by Irenaeus, so they were pestilent heresies by that time. 1 Jn.5:5-9 refutes both, saying Jesus Christ is God incarnate, not just a spirit or a man.
Internal proof summarized: A Comma origin in the 1 John autograph of the 1st-century is verified by the following textual proofs:
1. Comma divine witness proves the error of well-known 1st-century heresy.
2. Comma topics & terms are common in John’s gospel & epistles.
3. There is an implied comparison of three agree in one outside the Comma with three are one in the Comma.
4. Comma portions in verses 7,8 are textually linked to portions outside the Comma, proving the authenticity of Comma portions, and authenticity of the Comma is verified by an implied 3-in-1 Trinitarian nature of the Godhead in Mt.3:16,19, Jn.10:30 & 3:34.
5. The Comma Trinity explains the verse 5:7 participle masculinity, and the 5:8 Comma masculine participle is explained by the masculine deity indicated by three agree in one.
6. Spirit inspiration of the Comma is required to introduce in scripture the basic 3-in-1 nature of the Trinity and the image of the Trinity in Jesus Christ, otherwise unknown.
7. With the Comma present, verse 5:9 sums up verses 5:7,8
8. With the Comma present, Spirit, water and blood masculine-gender treatment is explained on the basis of both grammar and context parallelism.
9. Comma absence omits John’s unique term Word for Son,
10. Comma absence omits in earth tied to the earthly nature of Spirit, water and blood.
11. Comma absence improperly divides a clause between two verses, as seen by the NIV unique punctuation and by NASV clause/verse shuffling needed to create logical syntax in the absence of the Comma.
12. Comma authenticity is conclusively proved by its heavenly and earthly-witness role in explaining the meaning of 1 Jn.5:6-9.
External proof: Comma continuity in Latin-church quotes dated to the early 3rd century and a mid 2nd century origin of the Italic Old Latin text, offer a potential link to the 1 John autograph.19 This history & providential timing endowing the Received Text in a text-renewal plan of God, finalize authenticity proven by internal evidence.
Comma authenticity reveals text-criticism error in stressing manuscript weight. Traditional-Text minor support of the Comma is attributable to early persecution of true churches, and to many copyists in many large unbiblical eastern churches repeating limited tampering, vs. a few copying the true text in small faithful churches. From early times, some readings likely were preserved only in true churches. And Comma Latin-church history, its presence in 10th-18th century Greek manuscripts and its wide appearance in the providentially-timed Received Text, qualify it as part of a text-renewal plan of God overcoming a history of censorship. Comma authenticity illustrates the fact of God’s Hand guiding chosen servants to determine content of the traditional texts of His people, and this is the final authority, not textual criticism and man’s faulty hand on manuscripts.
No passage could have greater textual proof of its authenticity than the Comma, and this likely illustrates a plan of God to inform people of faith when manuscript support is minimal due to satan’s work. We depend on God, not on self-appointed scholars who pass judgment on the text. Renewal is a part of God’s preservation plan to ensure that we have His inerrant Word in texts He has ordained. We either trust God to intervene in text history to preserve His Word for His people by guiding His chosen servants in handling of manuscripts, or we trust scholars who try to find truth often obscured by man’s faulty hand on widely variant texts, using textual criticism so faulty it's blind to evidence of text tampering. Those who trust God view the Comma, the one direct scriptural testimony to the doctrine of the Trinity, as inspired by the Spirit and thus totally authentic. Further, it reveals to them Jesus Christ’s sacred relationship in the divine Trinity guaranteeing the success of his salvation mission. The clear authenticity & history of the Comma prove that God's Word never dies.
1. Dr. T. Holland. 2000. Crowned with Glory. AV1611.com/kjbp/faq/Holland _ 1Jo5 _7.html
2. Maynard, M. A History of the Debate over 1 John 5:7-8. p2659. Scrivener, F.H.A. A Plain Introduction to N.T. Criticism. Vol.2. p42-3.
3. Hills, E. The King James Version Defended. Des Moines. Christian Research Press. p209-12.
4. Bultmann, R. 1973. The Johannine Epistles. Phila. Fortress Press. p81.
5. Clarke’s Commentary. N.Y. Abingdon Cokesbury Press. p931-33.
6. Nolan, F. 1815. An Inquiry into the Integrity of the Greek Vulgate…London
7. Tertullian’s one essence, not one person, is the sense of are one. Cyprian cited the Comma are one, not a suggested 5:8 agree in one. Greek for are one & agree in one differ, and the Greek texts read agree in one at 1 Jn.5:8.
8. Scrivener, F.H.A. A Plain Introduction to N.T. Criticism. Vol.2. p42.
9. Allix, P. Remarks upon the Ecclesiastical History of the Ancient Churches of the Albigenses. Ch.7, p51. 1989 ed. Reprinted from 1821 ed.
10. Kenyon, F. 1951. Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts. N.Y. Harper. p169-71.
11. Hurst, J.F. 1897. History of the Chrisian Church. Vol. 1. Eaton & Mains
12. See www.LibertyparkUSAfd.org/lp/Burgon/support.htm for a detailed Comma history.
13. Lack of punctuation, verse numbers and chapters in early Greek manuscripts won't negate reading sense necessary to any language.
14. The NIV has a colon after testify and a semicolon after blood to incorrectly suggest complete thoughts in both cases, but in the Greek both are commas, and a Greek comma functions like an English one. In verse 7 the comma serves to indicate a pause and more wording to follow, which can only be that of the Johannine Comma since the first phrase in verse 8, that seems to connect with verse 7, is just a fragment with no verb and wouldn't belong in verse 8, gramm- matically speaking, if this syntax were correct.
15. A theory that the 5:7 masculine participle ties to a 5:9 masculine them is unlikely (Wallace, D.B. Greek Beyond the Basics. p332) No likely such tie exists, any witness of men being contrasted with that of God in the Trinity and Jesus' person by the Comma.
16. Dr. Thomas Strouse reported on the lack of gender agreement in, Refutation of Dr. Daniel Wallace's Rejection of the KJV as the Best Translation. Emmanuel-Newington.org/Seminary/Resources/Refutation
17. In the 1 Jn.5:6 first clause, genitive water & blood are with dia, meaning through in the sense of by means of (gen. of means). Another use of dia as by means of is at 1 Jn.4:9
18.Comments on the Greek Received Text of F.H.A. Scrivener. www.WCBible. org
19. An Italic mid-2nd century origin places it close to autographs, and the Greek basis places it closer still. Comma references (not always exact, but clear) in Latin-church history show it’s acceptance throughout that history: i.e. Tertullian 215 A.D, Cyprian 258, Idacius Clarus 350, Priscillian 385, Cassian 435, Carthage council 484, Cassiodorus 580, Old Latin texts Speculum, r and Wianburgensis 5-8th centuries, Vulgate ~800 A.D & 13th -15th century Waldensen versions. This partial listing, supported by Athanasius (4th-century Greek church) and 10th-18th century Greek manuscripts, indicates Comma acceptance throughout Latin-church history, with Greek-church support (N.T. texts all lack major extant pre-200 A.D. evidence).
The Italic is the best O. L. text, others having much error.
Augustine said… among the translations themselves the Italian (Italic)
is to be preferred to the others, for it keeps closer to the words without
prejudice to clarity of expression. Metzger, B.M. 1977. Early Versions
of the N. T. Clarendon. p290-93. And he said of the Itala (Italic), which
is more faithful in its renderings and more intelligible in its sense.
Nicol, T. 1915. The Old Latin Versions. International Std. Bible Ency.