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Many people have strong and serious objections to the translation methods and textual basis for the new translations and therefore take a strong stance in favor of the King James Version. Others ar...
I used to subscribe to the KJV-only view. Then one night - I was fully awake - but had a conscious dream. It's a little hard to describe. However, I was both awake, dreaming, and being fully aware of it. I saw a young boy about 6 years old getting pushed over a cliff edge. It was one of those cartoon type cliffs where the bottom goes down forever and ever. I couldn't see who or what was pushing the boy. It was more like a presence was pushing him off. The boy didn't seem concerned at all. I asked who would do such a thing? At that point I was zoomed in up close to the boy's skin. It had tiny maggots sprinkled all over. And his skin - which looked perfectly clean before - now zoomed in, was very grubby. Then I asked in my mind, "who is he?" I distinctly heard, "King James". Like I said I was fully conscious through this entire sequence. And I was REALLY shocked, because at he time I was only reading NKJV and KJV versions of the Bible. Anyway, it got me researching intensely around the topic. These days, although KJV is still my main Bible for daily reading, if I truly want to understand the meaning of a passage I use the http://scripture4all.org tool, and revert to various literal translations of Greek and Hebrew. I've unearthed some surprising discrepancies by studying literal translations like YLT and CLT alongside the KJV. Simply assuming a translated work is going to be accurate is extremely dangerous. I've found gross mis-translations in the KJV, and NKJV already. I'm sure if I put NIV, NASB, etc. Under the same microscrope that they'll render similar surprises from the original intent of the manuscripts. Long story short, every popular translation in existence likely has some problems with it. The problem is that you don't know where until you cross reference various different translations. Even then you won't really won't know unless your teacher is the Holy Spirit. He is the true inspiration behind the written words in the Bible. Only by humbling ourselves, asking Him to lead us, and asking Him to make us sensitive to His voice can we hope to hear his word. This shouldn't be a surprise to us. Jesus said that only those who sincerely sort after the truth would find it. And when they did they would be free and have overflowing life.
Just to clarify: The "King James Version" is itself, A TRANSLATION, and was, as all subsequent versions, compared to PREVIOUS translations—in the case of the AV/KJV, Tyndale's Bible, Wycliffe's Bible, The Great Bible, The Bishop's Bible, and the Latin Vulgate. The AV/KJV translators were good scholars, and they used the best source material they had, but modern-day Biblical Archaeology has provided us with even older, better sources than what those men had, thereby, making our modern translations also more accurate. AS AN ADDITIONAL SIDE NOTE: Erasmus is the medieval scholar responsible for what came to be called the "Textus Receptus" which undergirds the AV/KJV/NKJV. His intention was to produce a cohesive and complete text of the New Testament in Greek (basically, a compilation). But, HE did not have a COMPLETE GREEK TEXT as an ultimate source, but had bits and pieces. He, as all serious translators do, used the oldest and best sources he could find, which included fragments and some mostly complete portions of the New Testament, but there were some places where he had no previous Greek source. IN THOSE SPOTS, his solution was to TRANSLATE THE LATIN TEXT (produced by Jerome, which the Medieval Roman Church was using) INTO GREEK! In that regard, the "Textus Receptus" of Erasmus is markedly inferior to the collection of the older, "nearer to the originals" New Testament portions and fragments that have been uncovered by organized Biblical Archaeological research of our own era. FURTHER, those of you who think that the newer translations "left stuff out" should actually bother to read the footnotes in your Bibles. The places where some phrases were "left out" are places where those phrases weren't actually there in the first place! Some stuff that showed up in the AV/KJV had been inserted by earlier scribes or translators (and also, Erasmus himself, in his supplementing the text by translation from the Latin) in order to either "make it read better" or to "correct" phrasing that didn't support certain traditional views. We have no "autographed" sources of either the Old or New Testament texts, and that's probably a good thing. If we did, there would be some who would fall down and worship them as "autographs" instead of the God they were intended to reveal. The text, as such, is worthless, without the Holy Spirit to enliven it in our hearing and understanding.
I have always heard that the KJV was the best version for accuracy but I find it hard to read and understand. Most of the time my mind wanders off and I give up. Reading other versions is easier for me and I always compare between the KJV and the NIV to be sure the scripture wasn't changed. Reading one allows me to understand the other better. What it seems people tend to forget is that the King James Version is still a "version" of the Bible, it could be just as inaccurate as any other. Unless we're going to learn to read in Hebrew and Greek we have to pray that God gives us wisdom and knowledge of His word regardless of which version we choose to read.
Despite God's warning Newer translations completely REMOVE the following 17 verses! Matthew 17:21, 18:11, 23:14 Mark 7:16, 9:44, 9:46, 11:26, 15:28, Luke 17:36, 23:17 John 5:4 Acts 8:37, 15:34, 24:7, 28:29 Romans 16:24 1 John 5:7! But some have parallels Matthew 17:21 // Mark 9:29 Matthew 18:11 // Luke19:10 Matthew 23:14 // Mark12:40 & Luke 20:47 Mark 7:16 // Matthew 11:15, Matthew 13:9, Mark 4:9 & Mark 4:23 Mark 9:44 & Mark 9:46 // Mark 9:48 Mark 11:26 // Matthew 6:15 Mark 15:28 // maybe Luke 22:37 Luke 17:36 // Mark 24:40 Luke 23:17 // Matt 27:15 Acts // none Romans 16:24 // Philemon 1:25, 1 Corinthians 16:23 & Philippians 4:23....... many more. 1 John 5:7 // maybe Matthew 28:19 Here's a small (very small) sampling of words removed in the NIV! Matt. 6:13, "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." Matt. 19:9, "and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery." // Mark 10:12 Matt. 20:7, "and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive." Matt. 20:16, "for many be called, but few chosen." // Matt. 22:14 Matt. 20:22, "and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with" Matt. 25:13, "wherein the Son of Man cometh." Matt. 27:35, "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet They parted my garments among them and upon my vesture did they cast lots" Mark 6:11, "Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city." Mark 9:49, "and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt." Mark 10:21, "take up the cross." Luke 1:28, "blessed art thou among women" Luke 4:4, "but by every word of God" Luke 4:8, "get thee behind me Satan" Luke 4:18, "he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted" Luke 11:2-4, "Our... which art in... Thy will be done, as in heaven so in earth... but deliver us from evil" John 1:27, "is preferred before me" John 3:13, "which is in heaven" John 3:15, "should not perish" John 11:41, "from the place where the dead was laid" John 16:16, "because I go to the Father" Acts 10:6, "he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do" Acts 15:18, "Known unto God are all his works" Acts 20:24, "But none of these things move me" Acts 23:9, "let us not fight against God" Rom. 8:1, "who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" Rom. 13:9, "Thou shalt not bear false witness" I Cor. 6:20, "and in your spirit which are God's" I Cor. 11:24; "Take eat... broken" Gal. 3:1, "that you should not obey the truth" Eph. 5:30, "of his flesh, and of his bones" Phil. 3:16, "let us mind the same thing" I Tim. 6:5, "from such withdraw thyself" Heb. 7:21, "after the order of Melchizedek" I Pet. 1:22, "through the Spirit" I Pet. 4:14, "on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified I John 4:3, "Christ is come in the flesh" I John 5:13, "and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God" Rev. 1:11, "I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last" Rev. 5:14, "him that liveth for ever and ever" Rev. 14:5, "before the throne of God" Rev. 21:24, "of them which are saved" I like newer translations but I believe they should have left these verses and sub-verses alone.
My introduction to the King James Only movement was in my teens. I heard and read material by a pastor in Florida named Peter Ruckman. While I am sure he meant well, his material was filled with vitriol for those who did not agree that the KJV was the translation God wanted for English speaking people. English language translations differ because the original language manuscripts (mainly Hebrew and Greek). There is no agenda by translators to remove, erase, or delete any biblical doctrine. The King James Bible is becoming more and more difficult for modern English speakers. The meanings of some words do not have the same meanings that they did in 1611.
Spiritual things can not be understood nor resolved by material things like translations or even by physical means like eyes and ears. Remember the narrative between Christ and Peter when the latter was asked who Christ was Matt. 16:17? The Holy Spirit given to us by grace from God is the only tool or power that can help and guide us discern what the truth is. While there can be discrepancies in the translated versions, the key is not textual but contextual. What is the overriding concept that comes from the context that can be confirmed by other writers of the Bible? When Paul, who was well-versed in the Hebrew writings having been schooled by Gamaliel, saw the principle of imputation, the truth about grace, love of God, reconciliation to God by Jesus' death, faith "of" Jesus, "saved by his life" (not by his death), etc. All of these were not clear from the written or oral Torah documents or Tanach at that time, but was interpreted or translated spiritually to him via the Holy Spirit and directly by Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Akin to what we know now about computers, we needed a language, driver or code, a Spirit-power to be guided to the truth. With all the translations and monks for centuries, still the God of the Old Testament is understood to be the same as the God of the New Testament. When in fact, they are distinct and separate bodily although "one" or concurring completely with one another. Everything was created by the Father through the Son Jesus, the Creator-God, the YHVH, EL SHADDAI who was and is the God identified in the Old Testament. The "Father" was introduced officially by the Son and rightly so, as he was the only one with the Father. The Father is the God identified in the New Testament, although alluded to as the "Ancient of Days" in Daniel. It is disappointing to see that in spite of all translations, a number of us are still blind and deaf, while having "eyes and ears".
There is no accurate translation of the Bible. Read Ezekiel 14:1-11 sometime and learn what it means. There is not a one of us without these idols of the heart that always filter and interpret God's word to us. In theory, where a committee does the translating much individual bias will be filtered out but there is such a thing as group or social bias which still affects the interpretation. These problems exist whether we are looking at translations or original languages, so it matters little if there are errors in the translation, and I have not found a single English translation that is not adequate for most study. While there is considerable error in all of them, mostly minor but much that greatly effects doctrine and has not been corrected in any of them, all are substantially correct and suitable to those not studying the deep things of God (see Heb 5:11-6:3). No theologian should be studying doctrine only from a translation; (s)he needs to go to the original languages. The biggest problem with any translation is that there are no two languages in which every word has an exact translation between those languages. Most words have more than one definition. Furthermore those definitions change over time, and the changes in one language will not be the same as in the other; but this problem means even a 100 year old text may have a considerably different meaning to the writer than it does to the reader of a later time. Nor is time the only factor. In fact the factors are too many to enumerate, and most of them don't matter much to most of us; we see them every day in our news media, most clearly in dealing with race or social class differences but they exist everywhere. A carpenter sees things differently than a mason does; a mathematician sees things differently than a musician does, even though they often use the same terminology. However, the deeper one studies any subject the more important these subtleties become, and the more you know about both subjects the more substantial these subtle differences seem to be. The Hebrew language is considerably different than English. As I have studied the Bible in Hebrew I have found that often it is necessary to consider all the meanings of the Hebrew word and apply more than one of them at once. Bible prophecy is all symbolic (see Num 12:6-9) and the because the Hebrew language is so picturesque it lends itself to this symbolism especially well. The most common Hebrew word for spirit is ruach, which also means wind and breath, and in God's symbolic/prophetic language even if he says wind or breath he is usually also speaking of spirit, so the reader doing deeper study must be aware of this as well. There is no way for that to translate into English, even in the most ultra-literal translations. I have found this to be of great importance in many doctrinal studies and have discovered many great truths no denominations teach, but the casual reader would even miss them if reading in Hebrew. The next most important factor is the Greek manuscripts. We are used to reading them and applying Greek thought to what they say, but in every case they are teaching Hebrew thought using Greek words, and those Greek words often carry very different ideas. The doctrine of Hell is probably where this is most obvious, but this problem colors our interpretation of a number of other doctrines as well, and no translation can really "correct" for this. In fact the problem is complicated by translation (and time) when we interpret these passages by our own perspective and experiences. Finally there is a book (permanently out of print), I believe by a guy named Wagner, which documents a large number of translation error in the KJV. These were first documented in 1659 by William Kilburne who claimed over 20,000 errors. These are easily verifiable with the use of any Hebrew lexicon, and many of these errors are major, effecting doctrine, some intentional to conform to doctrine.
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