1. The Greek Text of Stephens, 1550 (Zondervan first
printing, 1970). This is a text of sound, orthodox scholarship.
2. Novum Testamentum Graece, D. E. Nestle, 16th edition,
1936. This is based on the old German destructive critical scholarship.
3. The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text,
Hodges/Farstad, 1982. This is of the latest and best scholarship.
4. Pocket Interlinear New Testament (Baker, 1983), which has
in the margin the fourth edition of "the King James 11 Version, and
interlinearly with the English translation F. H. A. Scrivener's Greek New
Testament, 1894. This is a very trustworthy Greek text which updates the
Stephens text. Our King James Bible stands in the line of the scholarship which
produced the Stephens (1550), Scrivener (1894), and Hodges/Farstad texts (1982).
W. N. Pickering says that the Nestle-Aland text is
"essentially Hortian," that is, of the Old German liberal school of Griesbach,
Lachmann, and Tischendorf. Pickering does add that the "Nestle text in its
various editions" is useful, but that "its critical apparatus is inaccurate,
incomplete and misleading." As for the readings upon which our King James Bible
is based, many of them in Nestle "have been rejected from the text and are not
even acknowledged in the apparatus."
This study is also based on three foreign. language texts.
The most reliable of these is the Dutch Staten Bijbel, a very eminently
trustworthy translation of the whole Bible.
Why do we list these seventeen versions of the New Testament?
Why not more or less? For one reason, most, if not all, of these have been
reviewed and evaluated by the author in past-issues of
Beacon Lights (for Protestant Reformed Youth). Another reason is that
these versions have been well known throughout the history' and ever extending
line of modern Bibles and New Testaments. Note also the abbreviations in the
King James New Testament Texts Compared
Are there other points in the New Testament which could be
examined? Yes, many, many more, too many to include in our limited space. For
the modern Bibles make numerous departures, of one kind or another, from the
King James text. Take for example the American Standard Version (ASV, 1901),
comparing it carefully, as with a fine toothcomb, with the King James. This will
prove a task mentally and physically painful, which increasingly swells a
growing list of unacceptable readings differing from the King James Version, and
which so disappoints as to leave one with the feeling, "I was robbed!"
1. Matthew 1:23, "a virgin."
Stephens (1550), Nestle (1936), Scrivener (1894), and the
Hodges/Farstad text (1982) all have "the virgin," which is the original,
German (United Bible Society) has "a young woman," and the
same at Isaiah 7:14.
Dutch Staten Bible, "the virgin"; Isaiah 7:14, "a virgin."
The modern Dutch Bible, "the virgin"; Isaiah 7:14, "the young
Modern versions favourable to the reading "the virgin:"
American Standard Version, Helen Barrett Montgomery, (Revised Standard Version
"a virgin"), New English Bible, Amplified Bible, Good News Bible (TEV), Beck,
New Berkeley Version, New World Translation, Living Bible, Phillips, New
American Standard Bible, New International Version (which is the same at Isaiah
7:14), New King James Version ("the virgin" in Isaiah 7:14 and "a virgin" in
Matthew 1:23), King James 11 ("the virgin"). But not in line with the Hebrew and
the Greek and so not as in the King James Version is James Moffatt's "maiden"
and Weymouth's "maiden." Thus the sharp contrast, at this point, is between
those versions which get in line with the doctrine of the virgin birth and those
which do not.
2. Matthew 1:25, "her first born son."
So the Stephens, Scrivener, and Hodges/Farstad Greek texts.
The Nestle (16th ed.) has "a son," as does the 1975 Dutch Bible. The German
United Bible Societies Bible, the Dutch Staten Bible, the New King James
Version, and King James 11 are as in the King James Bible. Versions which omit
"firstborn" are these: American Standard Version, James Moffatt, Helen Barrett
Montgomery, Weymouth, Revised Standard Version, New English Bible, Amplified
Bible (questions its authority), Good News Bible, Beck, New Berkeley Version,
("a son"), New World Translation (the Jehovah's Witnesses' Bible), Living Bible,
Phillips, New American Standard Bible, New International Version. Note: this
omission denies Christ the honour of being the firstborn, the virgin-born, son of
3. Matthew 16:16, "Thou art the Christ the Son of the living
Greek texts supporting this Stephens, Scrivener, Hodges/Farstad,
Nestle—16. The German and Dutch Staten Bible agree with the King James. All the
above 17 modern versions also agree, which is remarkable, but:
4. Compare Matthew 16:16 with John 6:69, "Thou art that
Christ the Son of the living God. "
So read the Greek texts: Step hens,
Scrivener, Hodges/ Farstad. So the German and Dutch Staten Bibles. The Greek
Nestle—16 and the Dutch '75 Bible have, "Thou art the Holy One of God." The
modern versions agreeing with this last rendering are these: American Standard
Version, James Moffatt, Helen Barrett Montgomery, Weymouth, New English Bible;
Good News Bible: "Holy One from God" (note how this detracts from the deity of
Christ). Beck, New Berkeley Version, New World Translation, Phillips, New
American Standard Bible, New International Version, Living Bible, all have, "the
holy Son of God." The modern versions agreeing with the King James translation
are Amplified Bible, New King James, and King James II. (See Number 14.)
5. Matthew 19:16, "Good Master."
The Stevens, Scrivener, Hodges/Farstad Greek texts have "Good
Teacher." Nestle—16 has merely "Teacher," omitting "Good." The Dutch Staten
Bible and the German Bible preserve "good." The Dutch Bible of 1975, as most
modern versions, omits "good." The American Standard Version has "good" only in
a footnote. The Living Bible has "Good Master" and the New King James and King
James 11 have "Good Teacher." The evil in this omitting of the word "good" mars
Scripture's testimony (to Christ's divine goodness) that He is good and
So the reading, "Good Master," is based on the best Greek
texts, the German Bible, the Dutch Staten Bible, plus the best manuscript
authorities: Ephraemi Rescriptus, the Received Text, the Caesarian Text, the
majority of the remaining witnesses, plus Justinius and Irenaeus. The omission
of "good" has only the support of Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus (known
also as Aleph and B).
6. Mark 1: 1, "the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God. "
Greek text support: Stephens, Scrivener, and Hodges/Farstad.
The latter appeals to the support of the Codex Vaticanus (B). Nestle—16 omits
"the Son of God," so also the modern Dutch, while the Dutch Staten Bible and the
German text have "the Son of God."
On this reading, the modern versions follow one manuscript,
the Codex Sinaiticus (Aleph). For example, American Standard Version, footnote:
"Some ancient authorities omit 'the Son of God.'" James Moffatt brackets these
words, questioning their authority. Revised Standard Version has, "Other ancient
authorities omit 'the Son of God.''' The New English Bible, also used by
Jehovah's Witnesses, omits these words. The Amplified Bible questions their
authority. The New World Translation (the Jehovah's Witnesses' Bible) omits
them. The New American Standard Bible margin has, "Many manuscripts do not
contain 'the Son of God.' " The New International Version, in a footnote, has,
"Some manuscripts do not have 'the Son of God.'" Other versions retaining "the
Son of God" are Helen Barrett Montgomery, Good News Bible, Beck, New Berkeley
Version, Living Bible, Phillips, New King James, King James II. These words are
supported by Codex Vaticanus (B), Codex Alexandrinus, Codex Bezae
Cantabrigiensis, the B. Weiss Text, the Koine Greek Text, and the Majority Text.
The loss of the reading, "the Son of God," is both intolerable and unnecessary.
It is a wicked chipping away at Christ's deity.
Notice: One cannot look to the modern versions for document
support of character, quality, unity, and agreement. Consequently, none of the
modern Bibles have the substantiality of the King James Version. Varying in
quality, they do not agree among themselves. For such desirable attributes we
turn to Stephens' Greek Testament, the Greek New Testament According to the
Majority Text, Scrivener's Greek Text, the Dutch Staten Bible, and the English
7. Mark 15:28, "And the Scripture was fulfilled, which saith,
And he was numbered with the transgressors."
Those who followed in the line of the German critical school,
as namely, Tischendorf (b. 1815), Tregelles (b. 1813), and Alford (b. 1810),
omit this verse. So does the Nestle text. The following retain it: the Stephens,
Scrivener, and Hodges/Farstad Greek texts, the Bible of the German United Bible
Societies, and the Dutch Staten Bible. The modern Dutch Bible brackets it as
having insufficient manuscript support. The Van Soden Greek text retains it. So
does the New King James Version and the King James II Version.
Following the Nestle-Aland (26th ed.) text and the United
Bible Societies text (3rd ed.), the modern versions omit this verse. An American
Standard Version footnote has, "Many ancient authorities insert" it. James
Moffatt and the New English Bible omit it. Helen Barrett Montgomery has a note,
"Lacking in most ancient manuscripts." Weymouth includes it in a footnote, as
does the Revised Standard Version. The Amplified Bible has it in italic as not
adequately supported by the original manuscripts. For the same reason the Good
News Bible (TEV) brackets it. Beck omits it with the note, "the oldest
manuscripts do not have" it. The New Berkeley omits it to bracket it in a
footnote. The New World Translation omits it, replacing it with merely a long
dash: —. Phillips omits it with no notice whatsoever. The Living Bible includes
it with the note, "Omitted in some ancient manuscripts." The New American
Standard Version has it in the text bracketed. The New International Version
omits it with the note, "Some manuscripts left verse 28 in" the text.
Notice the wide diversity of difference in referring to some,
many, most, or the oldest authorities. How these modern versions do differ from
one another! The King James Version rests upon the Caesarean Text, the Latin
Vulgate, and some of the Old Latin manuscripts, but most of all upon the
Majority Text. It should also be noted that in the omission of this verse there
is the loss of one of those remarkable coincidences, which were brought about by
Divine Providence, between the infallibly inspired prophecies and the
circumstances of our Lord's death. Lost, too, is one of the fundamental grounds
upon which our Lord was so highly exalted. (See the because clause in Isaiah
8. Mark 16:9-20. (See your King James Bible.)
Bibles include this ending to Mark's Gospel but usually with a note that the two
oldest Greek manuscripts, and some other, and best, authorities, omit it. The
following do this very thing: the American Standard Version, the Amplified
Bible, Beck's translation, the New Berkeley Version, the New American Standard
Version, the New International Version, and the New English Bible. Weymouth
brackets the passage; the Revised Standard Version puts it in a fine print
footnote. Today's English Version has it under a newspaper type heading, "An old
ending." James Moffatt, Helen Barrett Montgomery, and the Living Bible make it
an appendix, while Phillips, including it, nevertheless suggests a brief
alternative reading. The New World Translation includes it with a note that five
authorities (the Peshito, the Vetus Itala, the Vulgate versions, the Gothic, and
the Egyptian—RCH) include it while four (Aleph, B, Syrian, and Armenian
texts—RCH) omit it.
The German and Dutch Staten Bibles retain these last verses
of Mark. The Nestle text and the modern Dutch Bible bracket it as not having
sufficient manuscript support. Of course, the Stephens and Scrivener Greek texts
include it, as also does the Majority Text of Hodges/Farstad, which states in a
note that although this passage is not supported by Codices Aleph and B, it is,
nevertheless, supported by the Majority Text, by Codex Alexandrinus, Codex
Ephraemi Rescriptus, and Codex Bezae (D). (Note: Compare what is said about
code: D under No. 11 and under "One More Concluding Point.") Also, because they
are not based on the modern enamorment with Codices Aleph and B, but based on
the Majority Text, the New King James Version and King James 11 retain the last
verses of Mark.
But this disputed passage is actually supported by eighteen
(18) uncial manuscripts plus six hundred (600) cursives. (Use your Bible
dictionary to help with the meaning of these terms.) Also nineteen (19) of the
early church fathers witness to these verses as genuine Scripture.
For further excellent testimonial to the genuineness of these
verses read, "The Last Twelve Verses of the Gospel According to Mark," by John
Burgon (1871, unanswered and unanswerable!), in Counterfeit or Genuine? Mark 16?
John 8? edited by D. O. Fuller, Grand Rapids International Publications, a
Division of Kregel, Inc., 1978, pp. 25, 159.
9. Luke 1:28, "Blessed art thou among women."
Scrivener, and Hodges/Farstad Greek texts, together with the German and Dutch
Staten Bibles, retain this clause, and, naturally, so does the Douay Rheims
Bible (the Roman Catholic translation from the Latin Vulgate). But except for
the New King James and the King James II (and the Amplified Bible, which
italicises it), all the modern Bibles under review omit this benediction. Five
of them omit it without notice. Is this omission justifiable? Not at all;
especially in view of the fact that it is supported by a majority of good,
weighty documents. For it is found in the Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, the Koine
Text, the Caesarean Text, Codex Alexandrinus, the Majority Text, some Old Latin
manuscripts, and the Syrian texts versus only two manuscripts, the oldest,
indeed, and supposedly the best, the Codex Sinaiticus (Aleph) and Codex
Vaticanus (B). How then may anyone dare to maintain that these words are not
genuine Scripture? Furthermore, is it likely that these words were copied from
verse 42 and inserted also here in verse 28, especially in view of the fact that
the textual ground for the King James Version reading is as solid as a rock?
10. Luke 2:14, "on earth, peace, good will toward men."
So also reads the New King James, while the King James II
has, "peace on earth, good will among men." But the American Standard Version
renders it, "on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased," with the
Weymouth translation and the Amplified Bible about the same. Today's English
Version, the Revised Standard Version, and the New American Standard Version
read similarly. The Moffatt Bible has "peace on earth for men whom he favours";
the New English Bible reads, "on earth peace for men on whom his favour rests"
(so the New International Version) and adds, "Some ancient witnesses read, 'and
on earth his peace, his favour towards men.'" So the New Berkeley Version:
"among men in his favour." The Montgomery translation and the Living Bible are
similar: "among men who please him," and, "for all those pleasing him." Better
is Beck's version, "among people who have his good will"; while Phillips has,
"among men of good will" and the New World Translation, the same. The Roman
Catholic Douay-Rheims Bible is similar: "to men of good will." On this latter
rendering Godet says, "This term [good will—RCH] does not suit the relation of
men to God, but only that of God to man." R. C. H. Lenski remarks that "the
Authorised Version's translation is just about correct: 'goodwill toward men.'''
It is because of God's goodwill on men that He receives glory in the highest,
and upon earth (the effect is) peace (the peace of reconciliation to God)— Lange's
Commentary. Sir Robert Anderson writes, "the Christian … may assume with
confidence that here, as in so many other instances, the changes in the text
[from that of God's goodwill on men RCH] are new errors, and not the correction
of old errors." All these comments may confidently be made inasmuch as the Greek
texts, Stephens, Scrivener, and Hodges/Farstad support the Authorised Version.
11. Luke 24:6, "He is not here, but is risen."
in Luke's Gospel is excellent for use as a standard of judgement in evaluating
the translations in the modern language Bibles. Compare them with the King James
Version (and the New King James Version, which stands firmly) at the following
points: verses 3, 6a, 9, 12, 17, 36, 40, 42, 51, 52, 53. Keep in mind that as
you get into the modern versions you will begin to see of what you are being
robbed. For a great deal of Scripture will be missing.
But this indispensable sentence of Luke 24:6 appears without
question in the German and Dutch Bibles and in, the three best Greek texts. It
also appears in all the modern versions, except that: (1) the American Standard
Version includes it with the note, "Some ancient authorities omit" it. Why? (2)
The New American Standard Version also includes it with the note, "Some ancient
manuscripts do not contain" it. Why? (3) The Revised Standard Version omits it
with the note, "Other ancient authorities add" it. Why? (4) The New English
Bible omits it with the note, "Some witnesses insert" it. Why? (5) The New World
Translation brackets it, thus questioning its authenticity. Why? (6) The Nestle
Greek text also brackets it (with the same bad implications as above). Why?
Nestle's (16th ed.) furnished the answer to why nearly fifty years ago. It is
because this sentence is rejected by one single manuscript authority, Codex D,
deemed the most authoritative witness by the New Testament critics. But it ought
to be noted that D has a lengthy history both offensive and scandalous, it is of
such bad character. Pickering says it is "the most depraved of all," so that its
testimony is valueless.
12. John 3:13, "the Son of man which is in heaven."
"Which [who] is in heaven" is omitted by the Nestle editions
of the Greek text, by the modern Dutch Bible, the Revised Standard Version, the
New World Translation, New International Version, New American Standard Version,
and the Moffatt Bible. The New English Bible and the New Berkeley Version make
it, "whose home is in heaven," thus eliminating Christ's omnipresence as fully
as the others with their omissions. These versions usually have some sort of
note, as, "some witnesses omit …" This time, the omission is made chiefly on the
ground of an Egyptian type text. But the Stephens and Scrivener Greek texts, and
the Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text are the basis for the
reading as in our King James Bible. The New King James Version and the so-called
King James II Version stand also on that same textual basis. So this reading is
absolutely the correct rendering of the text! But the versions omitting this
clause remove from Scripture a proof of the deity and omnipresence of the Lord
Jesus Christ! This is unnecessary and certainly intolerable.
13. John 6:47, "He that believeth on me hath ever lasting
The words "on me" are omitted by the manuscripts Aleph and B
and by some others. It is also omitted by Tischendorf (1815-1874), and of course
by B. F. Westcott (1900) in his commentary, by Lenski (1947) in his commentary,
is bracketed by Alford (b. 1810), and retained by Lachmann (1793-1851). It is
found in other manuscripts: in the Koine text (also called the Byzantine Text),
Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (C), Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis (D), and most
witnesses. Naturally, it is omitted by the Nestle Greek text, and also by the
modern versions: New American Standard, New World Translation (as expected!),
Revised Standard Version, New International Version, New Berkeley Version,
Amplified Bible, Moffatt Bible, New English Bible (et al.). The latter Bible
has, "the believer possesses eternal life," following Moffatt, and so makes the
omission with no notice whatever. The Amplified does give notice that "on me is
not in the authentic text"! But the best Greek texts, Stephens, Scrivener,
Hodges/Farstad, plus the German and Dutch Staten Bibles do retain it.
Why is it so important to insist on this retention? First,
because the immediate context supports it. Cf. verses 27, 29, 35, 40, 51, 54,
57. Second, because on Me "refutes all forms of ecclesiasticism which throw away
kind of obstruction between the soul and Christ as an essential condition of
salvation, whether it be the authority of the pope, or council or creed or
system of theology, or the intercession of saints, or good works of our own ...
Without faith in Christ there can be no salvation for any sinner!"— Lange's
Commentary , John, p. 222.
14. John 6:69, "Christ the Son of the living God."
This phrase is lacking in the oldest sources, Codices Aleph,
B, C, D, L, and so is omitted by the critics, Griesbach, Lachmann, Tischendorf,
and Westcott. These sources and critics prefer the reading, "the holy one of
God." So the modern Dutch Bible and the modern English versions. The
incomparable textual scholar, Dr. Burgon, throughout his works constantly
complains of these codices (Aleph, B, C, D, L) for their depravity, their bad
character, as, namely, neither good nor pure, having serious blemishes, scores
and scores of omissions, and bad spelling. But the King James rendering of the
phrase is supported by the mass of manuscripts (the Majority Text) and the
Syriac. Both the Nestle Greek Text and Westcott admit this. Following the same
reading as the King James are the German and Dutch Staten Bibles, the New King
James, and King James H. So the modern Bibles omit another witness to the truth
that Christ is the Son of the living God. He is called this because He is the
divine second Person of the Trinity, truly God, of one and the same essence with
15. John 9:35, "the Son of God."
The reading is "the Son of man" as supported by the
authorities Aleph, B, D, the Thebaic version, Ethiopic version, and as adopted
by Chrysostom, Tischendorf, Westcott and Hort. Also adopting this reading are
the modern Dutch Bible, the New International Version, the New American Standard
Version, the New Berkeley Version, Good News Bible (or Today's English Version),
the New English Bible, etc.
The reading, "the Son of God," as in the King James Bible, is
supported by the authorities A, L, X, I, 33, and all other manuscripts, the
Latin, Syriac, Memphitic versions. Tertullian and Cyril of Alexandria refer to
this reading. At the basis of this reading is the Majority Text, the Stephens
and Scrivener Greek texts. The German United Bible Societies text (1949), the
Dutch Staten Bible, the New King James, and King James H all adopt the reading,
"the Son of God."
Is this preference for the reading "the Son of man" intended
to emphasize Christ's humanity to the disparagement of His deity? It would be
erroneous to think that the Son of man exclusively and therefore thoroughly
underscores the idea of humanity as to render it opposite to the Son of God,
designating deity. For the Son of man, in His Person, has the divine attribute
of omnipresence (John 3:13), performs the divine act of bestowing eternal life
(6:27), has divine authority to forgive sin (Matt. 9:6), is Lord of the Sabbath
(12:8), is the Son of the living God (16:13, 16), saves the lost (18:11), is the
co-equal Son of God (26:63-64), rises from the dead (Mark 9:9), is the divine
judge of all men (John 5:22, 27), believing on Him brings eternal life (6:40),
He abides forever (8:28, 35), and He is the First and the Last (Rev. 1:13, 17).
So the name "the Son of man" is freighted with Christ's deity. But the point we
are making is that the reading in this text, "the Son of God," also emphasizes
His deity and is supported by the best and the majority of the textual
authorities. Furthermore, this much-to-be-preferred reading explains what Jesus
meant when, according to John 10:36, His words were, "… I said, I am the Son of
God." Where do we find that He had said that? In John 9:35! Therefore, with all
our might we insist on this reading found in the King James Bible.
16. John 14:14, "If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will
Tischendorf, in his 8th edition, and Lachmann, in accordance
with Aleph and B, had the text read, "If ye ask me anything in my name." As to
the Greek texts on which the King James is based, without the word me in the
text, we have Stephens, Tischendorf in his 7th edition, on the basis of A, D, G,
K. Also Alford's text so read in its 6th edition. This also goes for Scrivener's
text and the Hodges/Farstad text.
But read the text with the addition of me and then it no
longer teaches prayer to the Father through the mediation and intercession of
the Son. Following Tischendorf, Westcott and Hort", and the critics generally,
the modern language Bibles have dropped almost all the vast manuscript and
version authority to rest their case on mainly the two, Codex Sinaiticus (Aleph)
and Codex Vaticanus (B). A lower case "m" might well designate these two,
standing for "mutilated," for they leave us a shredded Bible. W.N. Pickering
tells us in "The Identity of the New Testament Text" that Aleph and B have 3,000
mistakes between them, and that at least 1,000 are in B!
A 1982 Version
A word relative to the New King James Version: does this
version follow in the line of the liberal Westcott and Hort scholarship, as
practically all the other modern Bibles do? In all fairness and honesty, it does
not. Is it based on the German critical Nestle-Aland Greek text, also of Hortian
scholarship? No, it is not; but is based on the Majority Text, which is the
basis of the old King James Bible. Many of the current criticisms of the New
King James Version are unfair. Recently, 55 verses in the New King James were
cited as containing errors, but unjustifiably so. However, there are four points
in the New King James Version worthy of some criticism.
(1) John 5:24, "condemnation." New King James: "judgment."
True, this word krisis appears in the New Testament 48 times, and is rendered
judgment about 40 times (cf. John 5:22, judgment; verse 24, condemnation; verse
27, judgment; verse 29, damnation). Nevertheless, the translation condemnation
in verse 24 is correct. For all men shall come to judgment, but the believer
shall never come into condemnation.
(2) I Timothy 6:5, "supposing that gain is godliness." The
New King James reads, "supposing that godliness is a means of gain." This is
just the opposite to the Authorized Version, and, as a matter of fact, to the
Greek original. This reading presents the Fundamentalists, not only, but also
the Reformed, as fanatics, that is, they are all "holier-than-thou" who suppose
their ultra-piety proof of their spiritual prosperity. Whereas the text applies
to: (a) the burgeoning hierarchical church which boasts of being the leader in
modern ecumenism; and (b) the giant super churches, the mammoth evangelistic
crusades and the colossal and opulent religious television enterprises. They
suppose that all their ostentatious gain (chiefly Numerically, but also
financially) is evidence of their "godliness." At this point, the New King James
obscures the truth, while the Authorised Version opens up the truth.
(3) Matthew 20:20, "worshipping Him" in the New King James
is, "kneeling down." The word in the original appears 60 times in the New
Testament, either "worship" or "worshipping," but never "kneeling down." What
the New King James has done at this point is to remove from the text the idea of
worship given Jesus as a divine person, to replace it with mere polite
(4) Philippians 2:8, "and being found in fashion [scheemati]
as a man" in the New King James is "and being found in appearance as a man." The
word means "figure" or "bearing" and everything about a man which strikes the
senses, including his appearance; yet the word "fashion" is better than
"appearance," since the latter term seems inclined to the ancient heresy of
One More Concluding Point
Within the last three chapters of Luke (especially at
22:19-20, 43-44, 64; 23:17, 34, 38; 24:6, 9, 12, 17, 36, 40, 42, 51, 52), the
critics, Westcott and Hort (1870), deleted material from the Greek New Testament
Received Text on the sole authority of the inferior manuscript D (6th century,
reserved in Cambridge), which itself has subtracted 329 words from the genuine
Received Text, adding 173 words, substituting 146 and transposing 243! So D is a
wild chaotic mess, bringing its value close to zero. 80 Burgon. You may imagine,
then, how this affects the value of the spate of Modern Bibles based on the
Westcott and Hort critical system. This system produced the English Revision
Committee (1881) controlled by Westcott and Hort and their obsession with Aleph
and B. Besides changes in the Old Testament, this revision made 5,337 changes in
the Received Text of the New Testament, thus producing a new Greek New
Testament. The result was, in the English, that the Revisers made 36,000 changes
from the King James Bible, averaging eight or nine changes in every five verses.
In this way the English Revised Version, forerunner of the American Standard
Version (1901), was produced.
Now this American Standard Version is one of the best of the
lot, if not the best. Its boast is that it is based on the oldest and therefore
the best manuscripts (mainly only two, Aleph and B, and definitely not the
best). For the soundest textual scholarship (the Burgonian) in John William
Burgon's The Revision Revised presents an unanswered and unanswerable exposure
of the Westcott and Hort system of textual criticism as based on, not the best,
but the worst manuscript authority. What has happened then is that the American
Standard Version differs from the King James Bible, and its New Testament Greek
textual basis in an unbelievable multitude of places throughout. So that to
check this out for yourself would involve meticulous effort in labours both
physically and mentally wearying in comparing the American Standard Version with
and conforming it to the only acceptable pattern of the King James Version.
Take, for example, just one feature of the American Standard Version, its
marginal notes. This Bible is just loaded with marginal notes, some unnecessary,
some providing worthless information, some insinuating suspicion and distrust as
to textual authenticity. In some places a note ought to appear (where one does
not, as at Matthew 1:25) indicating an omission. So these marginal notes spread
doubt as to the truth of Scripture.
But then there are the later and more recent modern versions.
What about them? They all, with one exception (the New King James Version)
follow exactly in the line of the American Standard Version and the modern trend
and train of the German "higher" critical system of evaluating manuscripts,
versions, and church fathers. This means that the new Bibles will be honeycombed
with flaws and untrustworthy divergences from the incomparable King James
Version and its time-tested textual basis, the Majority Text. The modern
versions take one farther and farther away from that safe and sound text. Study
the modern versions; but to study aright one must always return to the King
James Version which is like an oasis of welcome refreshment and rest and alone
providing the feeling of being "at home."
The conclusion we come to is that the whole Word of God is
preserved in our beloved King James Bible. The Lord God had and ever has "a
special care" for His "holy and divine Scriptures" ( Belgic Confession 3).
Exactly what these "Scriptures" are the next article in the Confession
(Art. 4) makes plain. They are the sixty-six "canonical books of the Holy
Scripture." Then these books are named and listed by their titles. These very
books are all found in our King James Bibles. We, therefore, rightly conclude
that the King James Bible in "all these books" is nothing less than "the Holy
Scriptures" (Art. V). So the King James Bible "fully contain[s] the will of God,
and that whatsoever man ought to believe unto salvation is sufficiently taught
therein" (Art. 7). We conclude, then, that we know that we hold the very Word of
God right in our hands. Let us prayerfully memorise it, praying by the grace of
the Holy Spirit, "Thy Word have I hidden in mine heart that I might not sin
against thee" (Ps. 119:11).