Although I have already written an article on the KJV version of the Bible, after receiving from a reader the video posted below, I realized I needed to augment that article by responding to the statements and accusations on this video. I did this because these are the attacks being made by the anti-KJV people, and people need to know how to respond to them. As I address virtually every statement he makes (or at least tried to catch them all) it isn't really necessary to watch it to understand this article, as I do state what is said before responding to it. I would however recommend that if you have not read my article that you do so before reading this one, as I reference that article rather than repeating here the facts that can be found there, to try to shorten this already far too lengthy article.
My article on the KJV only issue:
The Myth of the King James Only by Tim Conway
In listening to this gentleman, I hear what God would label “enticing words.” Col. 2:4 “And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.” I am not saying this man is deliberately setting out to deceive people. I believe he is merely reciting (as all pastors do) what he has been taught in seminary. The problem with this is that seminaries teach to their own bias. They do not present all sides of an argument, nor do they countenance anyone challenging the status quo. Nor, it seems, do they teach their students to investigate everything through the Word of God, but rather to read voluminous commentaries on the books of the Bible, the approved ones, naturally. They teach that understanding comes from going to your commentaries and seeing what the particular church “father” of that denomination's theology says. God forbid that someone should study the Scriptures themselves and let the Holy Spirit guide them into the truth, as the Bible tells us to do. I once heard a young seminarian preach a sermon. Throughout the entire sermon he would make a statement, and then to ensure that he was honest about his thoughts, that he not be credited with any that were not his own, he would say from whose commentary he got that thought. I listened with interest as he quoted commentary after commentary, never having a single thought of his own on the passage. I found that quite telling of a seminary education. That is how they are taught to study the Scriptures and compile their sermons. They do not seem to have thoughts of their own in many cases.
Added to the fact that Mr. Conway has not done the adequate research (as will be shown during the course of this article), he speaks in an enticing way. His way of presenting information is geared toward biasing a person against an idea, not simply presenting facts.
To start, he states that any English version of the Bible is the Word of God by first quoting a Scripture, “Thy Word is truth.” The implication is that as long as it is basically the general information that one finds in the Bible, it isn't all that important how accurate it is. As if any version of the Bible is going to be truthful, regardless of the translation. Granted there should be a lot of truth in any version, but there might also be some serious fallacies. These are the versions that need to be avoided as they might lead to further error. Then he follows this by saying that he doesn't read anywhere in the Bible where it says the KJV is the only Bible.
Addressing that first statement, my answer to that is, God's original Word in the original language in the original manuscripts is absolute truth. Any translation is only 1) as good as the source material and 2) as accurate as the translators, who are fallible men, make it. And these fallible men, decide how the manuscripts should be translated, or in the modern versions, often paraphrased, although they do not use that word. They say “translations” which is not necessarily so, thereby putting their own ideas of what they think God should mean into that “translation.” Even Mr. Conway admits that at the end of his sermon.
As can be read in my article on the KJV only issue, the KJV (over the course of its life) was translated trying to keep as much as possible to a word for word translation within the limitations of grammatical rearrangement and trying to use the best textual evidence they could find at that time. They were also under some restrictions imposed by the king, which over time God weeded out. In the KJV, if understanding required an article (a, the) or simple verb (is) to make sense in English, they would add it, but it was deliberately put it in italics so that one might know that there was no word in the original language and that that word had been added. God oversaw and orchestrated this translation over a period of time, making sure that the printer errors, or other errors such as spelling were corrected over the course of time. As opposed to the implication by the speaker in the video that these were major changes in words or theology, the actual truth is that the vast majority of errors tended to be in spelling, punctuation, and the like. Tiny inconsequential things, not major things.
In contrast, the modern versions often take all kinds of liberties with the original languages by interpreting the word's meaning for you, rather than translating the words directly, and often paraphrasing what is said, not only adding many words that are not in the original, but not informing you that these words are not actually there by italicizing them. They will also delete not only words, but entire passages. Examples will be provided further on.
Then Mr. Conway appeals to the Bible as being the source to prove that a version is valid or not, saying that the Bible does not say the KJV is the only version. Of course God did not directly say what versions were good or bad. As if there would be a list somewhere in the Scriptures saying “My Word can be found in the ESV, NIV, NAS, KJV, but not in the ….etc.” It is a silly appeal to make to prove one's point. That there exist very bad versions is quite evident. How are we to know that? We use the brains the good Lord gave us to determine what version is good or bad. We look at the source material, the translation itself, the agenda of the people behind the translation. All of these things must be examined. To appeal to the Bible as the source to tell us whether one is good or bad is rather a silly argument to use in the manner he is suggesting. He's trying to appeal to the idea that if something is not clearly stated in the Word of God, it just isn't so. Clearly he is clutching at straws here to have some sort of reason for his opinion.
The accusation is made that the modern versions do not delete Scriptures, but that the KJV adds to them. But all that is in the KJV can be found in the five thousand plus manuscripts on which it is based. On the other hand, the few manuscripts (about 1% of all existing manuscripts) of the text that is used as the basis for the modern translations are missing much, not to mention the sloppy copying in the few manuscripts they do possess which leads one to ask, how careful were the original copyists? The fact that these manuscripts also came from a gnostic school would tend to make one wonder what they wanted changed or eliminated and if that is why so much is missing from them. That question as well as statistics and facts are addressed in my other article.
This brings up a point about his message. He does not until the very end distinguish that the KJV uses entirely different manuscripts than the modern versions, and when he does briefly mention it, he does not explain the differences between these two sources. Again, this subject is covered in my other article and is the very basis for why KJV proponents say that it is the version one should use. Just in brief, the Majority texts are from the area of Antioch and the first churches. The Minority texts came from the gnostic schools in Alexandria. Does that fact alone not send up red flags?
The next idea that he wants to implant in his audience is that the idea that one version is more truth than the others is an opinion of man, not what God's Word says. Again, first He is basically saying that any English version is a valid translation. But again in my article, I pointed out that the manuscripts that are used for the modern versions are not the same as the manuscripts used for the KJV. The majority texts are in agreement with each other to a high percentage and are very numerous. They had stringent rules about copying and recopying them. The minority texts upon which the new versions are based, have all kinds of errors in them and do not even agree among themselves. And there are some very bad versions of the Bible as demonstrated below.
Second, once more he appeals to the Bible itself as the authority to determine whether a version is good or not. The only thing the Bible says is that God will preserve His Word. God does not directly tell us by name where that preserved Word is to be found. He expects us to use our knowledge and brain to determine that. If all Bibles are equal, does that mean that the newly made Queen James Version by the homosexual community is just as valid as the King James Version? Obviously not all English versions are created equal. How about the Word on the Street version? It is made to be conversational, the vulgar language of the common man, which this gentleman seems to be very big on. Let's take a look at Genesis 1:1-4 “First off, nothing. No light, no time, no substance, no matter. Second off, God starts it all up and WHAP! Stuff everywhere! The cosmos in chaos: no shape, no form, no function—just darkness ... total. And floating above it all, God’s Holy Spirit, ready to play. Day one: Then God’s voice booms out, ‘Lights!’ and, from nowhere, light floods the skies and ‘night’ is swept off the scene.” This is certainly in the vernacular. Everyone should understand it, but is it really accurate? It might not seem all that different from the original in this verse, as far as relating the idea, but there is some vital missing information. Information that can mean all the difference between believing in creationism or evolution. What of other more difficult verses? Accuracy matters in God's Word.
Mr. Conway brings forth another argument that the KJV advocates say that God inspired the KJV translation, but there is not a bit of evidence in the Bible to prove that true. Notice how in every case his argument comes back to a sly method of trying to convince people that what he is saying is correct by appealing to the Word of God not saying something, rather than saying it. There are many things that are not directly addressed in the Word of God, but our common sense and research should lead us to the truth of a situation. He is deliberately manipulating people's minds to accept a fallacy, that all English Bibles are created equal. They are not. The research I presented in such an encapsulated form in my other article should explain that. If you desire more proof, there are many books on the subject with a great deal of information. As to being inspired, if anyone does make that claim about the 1611 KJV Bible, then they do so out of a zealousness to protect God's Word, not really understanding what the KJV went through to become the Bible we now have. God did, I believe, oversee and orchestrate all the events that came together to give us the Bible we have today, and directed men to bring it to that point through the corrections made over the years. If that can be called “inspired” then I guess it would be inspired, but I prefer to say that God has preserved His Word and the place where I feel I can most truly find His preserved Word in the English language is in the form of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.
What follows next is the posing of questions that actually seem to question God's wisdom. He asks - What did people do before the KJV in 1611? (As if waiting that long was a mistake.) English was not a language at the time of Christ, and it went through several changes before it became the language we know today. We cannot even understand Old English and barely make heads or tails of Middle English. We can still understand the language of the KJV, even with those few archaic words that it uses, as well as the thees, thous, and thines. There was a Middle English Bible by Wycliffe, but God waited until English had gotten to the point where it would last to the end of days relatively still understood in its form, before creating an English Bible.
Another question posed is, what do people of other languages around the world do? (As if God has to provide a Bible in every language in the world.) What he is doing is implanting the idea that any translation in any language must be God's preserved word and a good translation, because God wants everyone to have it in their own language. There is something to consider here. When God gave the Old Testament through his prophets and historians to Israel, His Word was only for Israel, and so He gave it in the language they spoke, Hebrew and a small portion in Daniel in Aramaic. When Jews began to be Hellenized some scholars put together the Septuagint in Greek (the world language of the time) for those people. When the New Testament was written, it was written for the world at large. And what was the world language of the time? Greek. So God had his writers use that world language that permeated throughout the known world of the time, thereby ensuring that there was someone in all parts of the world (for traders had to speak Greek in order to do business) who would understand what His Word said. When the world language was becoming English, at that perfect point in time (as God's timing is always perfect) God started moving in the hearts of people to bring forth a new translation. There were several different ones before one stood out and stood the test of time to last to today.
The statement is made that the scholars of the KJV stated that all the English translations were the Word of God. They did state this, but was it completely true? Is his using this as a defense valid to say that all translations are God's preserved Word? Wycliffe translated his Bible from the Latin Vulgate. Here is what we know of that Bible.
“In the 1490’s another Oxford professor, and the personal physician to King Henry the 7th and 8th, Thomas Linacre, decided to learn Greek. After reading the Gospels in Greek, and comparing it to the Latin Vulgate, he wrote in his diary, “Either this (the original Greek) is not the Gospel… or we are not Christians.” The Latin had become so corrupt that it no longer even preserved the message of the Gospel…” (http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/) This would cast some doubt on the accuracy of the Wycliffe translation, as that is what he used. So not every single English translation was truly the Word of God, for this one was corrupt due to its text source. The rest of the early versions were actually based upon the good texts, although it is hard to say whether they were as accurate as they could have been. The fact that they have fallen out of favor of the populace and that the KJV has been the primary English Bible for centuries would tend to lead to the conclusion that God did not think them as good as the KJV.
The accusation is made that Erasmus did not translate from the Greek text but translated from the Latin Vulgate back into Greek to create his Textus Receptus. In fact he did have Greek texts for almost all of the Scriptures and did use them almost exclusively. He felt the Latin Vulgate was corrupt, so set about correcting that problem as well, by creating a new Latin version. “..the great scholar Erasmus was so moved to correct the corrupt Latin Vulgate, that in 1516, with the help of printer John Froben, he published a Greek-Latin Parallel New Testament. The Latin part was not the corrupt Vulgate, but his own fresh rendering of the text from the more accurate and reliable Greek, which he had managed to collate from a half -dozen partial old Greek New Testament manuscripts he had acquired. This milestone was the first non-Latin Vulgate text of the scripture to be produced in a millennium…” (ibid.)
Now we must look again at the accusation that he translated from the Latin Vulgate. Is there any truth to that? Yes, there is some truth in it. “....there are numerous instances where he edits the Greek text to reflect his Latin version. For instance, since the last six verses of Revelation were missing from his Greek manuscript, Erasmus translated the Vulgate's text back into Greek. Erasmus also translated the Latin text into Greek wherever he found that the Greek text and the accompanying commentaries were mixed up.. (wickipedia) So it is acknowledged that Erasmus did have to fudge a few places where there were problems. Does that mean God could not protect His Word, knowing that this would eventually be used as the basis for the English Bible? No, it does not. God did not do a complete work in a moment. He orchestrated the creation of this Bible over a long period of time, refining it along the way. So does that mean that we should then just lump it with the rest of the Bibles and say, so then it doesn't matter if it is accurate or not, so the modern versions are acceptable? No, it does not. There is much more to the matter than that.
What Erasmus did do was to create a fresh Latin rendering of the text from the Greek text. Furthermore it says, “The 1516 Greek-Latin New Testament of Erasmus further focused attention on just how corrupt and inaccurate the Latin Vulgate had become, and how important it was to go back and use the original Greek (New Testament) and original Hebrew (Old Testament) languages to maintain accuracy… and to translate them faithfully into the languages of the common people, whether that be English, German, or any other tongue.” ((http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/)) Erasmus did his level best to try to see that his Textus Receptus was as accurate as possible and faithful to the majority texts that were available at that time. This is all one can ask.
Mr. Conway spends a lot of time denouncing Erasmus version of the Textus Receptus as being very inaccurate and references this at the beginning as being the only Textus Receptus, yet at the end admits the following. “The Textus Receptus terminology is vague. Lots of men added to it. There are different versions and varieties.” Yes, the Textus Receptus has become much more than Erasmus' version. The KJV is based upon the Majority texts. Revisions were made both to it and the Textus Receptus as new manuscripts came to light. Is this not the way it should be? Correcting any faults to make it as accurate as possible rather than leaving in errors?
We then find that Tyndale made an English translation from this parallel Bible of Erasmus. “William Tyndale wanted to use the same 1516 Erasmus text as a source to translate and print the New Testament in English for the first time in history. Tyndale showed up on Luther's doorstep in Germany in 1525, and by year's end had translated the New Testament into English. Tyndale had been forced to flee England, because of the wide-spread rumor that his English New Testament project was underway, causing inquisitors and bounty hunters to be constantly on Tyndale's trail to arrest him and prevent his project. God foiled their plans, and in 1526-1526 the Tyndale New Testament became the first printed edition of the scripture in the English language.” (ibid.)
During this time, the Reformation was changing some of the apostate doctrines, and the people needed to be able to have the Bible themselves, not rely on priests to tell them what it said. This was what prompted people to start translating it into the language of the people. Luther in German and Tyndale in English. This was followed by Coverdale's Bible, the Matthew-Tyndale Bible, the Great Bible, and the Geneva Bible. All based on the Textus Receptus. By this time, the reformation was well under way, which was a movement back to the truth of Scripture, and the English language had become modernized, so as to make even us today be able to understand what it says, as opposed to Old or Middle English. While the KJV retains some (not all that many that it is a problem) archaic words, it is only at maximum found to be a fifth grade reading level, which most people should be able to read. In fact it has been found that the reading level increases slowly from Genesis through Revelation, allowing a reader who reads it in chronological order to slowly improve and understand what is written, through what comes before. As for the thees, thous and thines, these words were archaic at the time of the translation. It was decided to include them so as to make clear the difference between a singular “you” and plural “you” which is not distinguishable in English. This was for the sake of accuracy, which should be applauded. And no matter what people might say, they understand what thee, thou, thy, and thine mean. Nor do I thinketh that people cannot understandeth when a verb possesseth an “eth” at the end.
The reason God had the entire Bible translated into English was because it was the next world language on the rise. The Scripture was in two languages, Hebrew and Greek. English pulled it all together. (While Latin may have done this before English came along, the Vulgate was a very corrupted text and not what God wanted people to have.) Today English is taught in pretty much all countries of the world as a second language, as it is the world language. This makes the KJV available to people in every country. Those who want to get the closest possible translation to the truth can access a KJV or as many do these days, they study Hebrew and Greek and look to the originals (copies naturally) themselves.
What might be the problem with translating the Bible into all these other languages, which has been done? Well, in some of the more primitive cultures, they do not have equivalent words. Let me give an example. One Wycliffe Bible translator that I knew was telling how they were living with this primitive tribe and trying to learn their language, so they could give them the Bible in their own vernacular. It turned out that they didn't know what a lamb was. But a pig was a revered animal, so this translator chose to translate it as Jesus Christ, the pig of God. Does that sit well with you? Considering that in the Old Testament a pig was an unclean animal, and when they translate that portion it will set up a serious dilemma for the people of this language, not to mention we know that it is blasphemy to call Jesus a pig regardless of how this culture may view them, do we still want to say that all translations are equally valid and that we should even attempt to put the Bible in every language? In a situation like this, would it not be better to teach people English, and find a way to show them the things they may not be familiar with, such as a lamb, so that they may read the Word of God in as close to the original as possible?
Next he implants the idea that it is arrogant (and who wants to be considered arrogant?) to think that only the English speaking world has the true unadulterated Word of God. No, the Word of God can be found in three languages, Hebrew, Greek, and English. I can't speak for the other language translations. I do not know what source material they are using for these translations. Nor do I know how they are being translated, as pointed out earlier with the Wycliffe translator. I do know that God has used the languages that have been the most important over the course of history, in the creation of His Word throughout the centuries. As for the use of Latin, it has already been mentioned that the Vulgate, which was the Bible of the Catholic church, was terribly corrupt. However the Vaudois Bible which was handed down to the Waldensians was a Latin translation that was created apart from the Latin Vulgate and Catholic Church, and might have been more accurate.
It is next brought up that God has promised to preserve His Word. Yes, He has. But He has not said He is going to do it in hundreds of different translations. He used one language for the Old Testament. He used one language for the New Testament. And He used one language for the combined Testaments (the other language Bibles such as Luther's have not become the main Bibles of the world). It falls to us to find the preserved Word and try to use it. There have always been scholars who teach these languages throughout history. Most serious scholars try to learn the original languages of Hebrew and Greek to do their studying. Most of the world teaches the English language. And there are concordances that translate and define the Hebrew and Greek words for us, if we cannot learn the original languages. As a great many missionaries were sent out by the English speaking world, who then learned the language of the people to whom they were sent, they could teach the people what the Word of God said. This partially explains why God would want a good Bible in English. As so many people were illiterate in these countries to whom missionaries were sent, Bibles in their language were not a necessity for a long time. And these missionaries could teach them English so that they could learn to read the Bible. So having the Bible in English was not such a detriment as is implied. It is only within the last couple of centuries when people in all countries started becoming literate (often through the work of missionaries) that the need for Bibles for everyone became more important. With men now reading God's Word entirely for themselves, would it not make sense that Satan would plan on some strategy to attack that, so that men would not be getting the truth? It only makes sense that he would. He would not want the truth of God in the hands of every man. So at the same time that literacy was on the rise, so also did these modern versions start coming into being. Coincidence? I think not.
The speaker then quotes and misuses the verse that says that there will be people saved from every nation, tribe, and tongue, as if this is proof that God's Word should and has been properly translated into many tongues. Of course there will be people from every tribe and tongue. That was why missionaries were sent out. To bring the gospel to the world according to God's mandate. That has nothing to do with what language God uses to translate the Bible. It's a red herring, as they say. Something to lead you down the wrong road or in this case to a wrong conclusion. Something that has nothing to do with the matter.
Once more the speaker demotes the KJV to being one translation among many. It is not simply one translation that is no better or worse among many. First, it is as word-for-word translation as is possible, rather than a paraphrase, and it is the only one that has come from the valid manuscripts. To a version, the modern ones come from the corrupted manuscripts of the minority texts out of the Alexandrian School which was known for its heretics. It was a gnostic school.
He continues to harp on the fact that the Bible itself does not say that the KJV is the only true translation. Of course it doesn't state it as such. Does it say that the only true Hebrew text is the Masoretic text, or the only true Greek text the Majority manuscripts? Does it say any particular texts are the correct texts? These are historical facts that must be investigated to determine the truth. He keeps appealing to the Bible as the only source of truth, and it is truth, but it does not hold all the history of the world between its covers. God gave us a brain to figure these other things out. By continuing on a regular basis to appeal to the Bible as his proof, due to its lack of saying anything on the subject, he is implanting the idea that if something isn't mentioned in the Bible, then it cannot be truth. This in itself is a lie. And it shows that he has no real evidence to present. He only has innuendos and attacks to offer. But if he really would accept what the Bible says, as the Bible does in a way say something about this matter, I can give him a verse that does absolutely without question negate all of the modern versions as being valid. Isaiah 19:14 “The LORD hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit.” This tells us that God has mixed into all the works of Egypt, a perverse spirit that causes everything that comes from there to be in error. If we are to believe the Bible, to which the speaker is constantly appealing to tell us which version is valid, then it is telling us that the modern Bibles translated from the manuscripts that come out of Egypt should not be used as they are in error, does it not? Egypt is the home of the worship of Osiris and Horus. The all-seeing eye. The religion upon which the Masons base their freemasonry religion. Nothing spiritual coming out of Egypt is to be trusted, for it comes from a place with perverse spirits who control every work.
We are then told that KJVers say that the KJV is the only inspired English version. There may be some people who erroneously think that the original English words of the 1611 were inspired, and maybe many or even most of them were, but I do not think that most KJVers use the term “inspired” to refer to the English translation in that way. We understand that it is inspired in the sense that it used copies of the originally inspired manuscripts in the original languages (majority texts) as the basis for the translation. Not that there were not some errors that might need fixing over time. The 1611 KJV is not the exact same text as the one we have today. He repeats that several times. This is a truth. And what I have quoted below may explain some of the problem. That God needed to work out man's tampering is not debated. But the truth remains, that it is the only Bible using the accurate, inspired texts for its foundation.
The fact that Mr. Conway twists the way the word “inspired” is used by most of us and then proves his point by demonstrating that the KJV took a while to get to the point it is, misrepresents the truth of the matter, which again is, it is the original texts that matter the most.
He makes the comparison that the original translators put in marginal notes, but Paul didn't write marginal notes on his letters. No. First, Paul was the original author and was inspired. Second, translating is not like initially writing something in a language. Sometimes translating is extremely difficult due to the differences in language. A marginal note may have been made to try to get across a word or concept that could not easily be explained in English without some note. That is trying to avoid error, not showing error. Again, the point is that the English translation was not “inspired” as much as orchestrated by God, and needed to have man's errors worked out, but the originals, such as Paul's letter in the original Greek, were inspired, and therefore the KJV is better having had as its basis the accurate manuscripts at the start.
He brings up the point that even in the original language texts used, that there were some differences. Yes, there were and this was addressed in my first article. But the differences were minor in most cases, being merely words that usually fell into the categories of articles, conjunctions, etc. Not in theological concepts. The fact still remains, that even within the differences between these majority texts, they are still in harmony with each other to a great extent, while the minority texts are in complete disharmony among themselves. Refer back to my article to see the facts on this. And the theological differences between the majority and minority texts is radical in some cases, as can be demonstrated with this verse.
Philippians 2:5-7 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” The verse in question in particular is verse 6, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” This verse as written says that Christ, in the form of God did not think it robbing God of any of His glory or position to be equal with God. In other words, He was not robbing God of anything to accept the worship of men, or when He declared that He and the Father were one. This was true even in His human form. This is the mystery of the Trinity. God the Father and God the Son are both God.
The particular version of the Bible that Mr. Conway likes is the ESV. So let us look at the ESV and see what it says. “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped.” Wait, the way I understand this as worded, it says that even in His deity form, He did not try to grasp at such a thing as equality with God. In other words, He did not consider Himself being the equal of God, even when in His godly (not human) form. Neither did He think it something He should try to attain. Is that saying the same thing? No, it most certainly is not. This translation demotes Christ out of the Trinity to merely a lesser person, although higher than anyone else.
Let us look at some other modern versions' translation of this verse.
NAS “who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,” Hmm, that means the same as the ESV.
American Standard Version “who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped.” Now there is a verse that I find grammatically difficult. This is supposed to be easier?
World English Bible “who, existing in the form of God, didn't consider equality with God a thing to be grasped.” Almost identical to ESV and ASV.
New King James (2000) “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not a thing to be grasped to be equal with God.” (The New KJV is not the same as the KJV.) This sounds as if it means the same as the others.
They all seem to say the same sort of thing, which is not surprising given that they all come from the minority or Egyptian texts
A couple other versions that I found interesting were:
English Revised Version “who, being in the form of God, counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God.” This makes it sound as if Christ almost had contempt for being equal with God and did not consider it any great thing.
One other version that I found interesting given the complaint that the KJV is hard to understand was the Darby Version of this verse. “who, subsisting in the form of God, did not esteem it an object of rapine to be on an equality with God.” I have to admit, I had no idea what the word “rapine” meant. I have never seen it before and I read extensively. Who on earth decided this word was understandable and easier than the KJV rendering of “robbery”? In looking it up I found it means, according to my thesaurus, “rape.” In my vocabulary robbery and rape are two decidedly different things. Christ did not esteem it rape to be equal with God? Is that really a good translation? First the word rapine is not understandable, and second it is not a good word to use to describe the Son's relationship to the Father.
Interestingly, one of the teachings that the gnostics (the Alexandrian school from which the minority texts came) taught was that Jesus was merely a human who attained divinity through gnosis and taught his disciples to do the same. It was not his death that brought salvation, but spiritual enlightenment. He was a “messenger of light”. Oddly enough it is this very teaching that has resurfaced in the modern “spiritual” movements such as New Age and even in UFO groups, that Jesus was either merely a human of a higher spiritual level, or a superhuman, or part alien, or whatever you want to call him. The point being that as this idea starts permeating the church, (and it has) this verse now reconciles that teaching for Christians, for it says that Christ did not consider himself the equal of the God of the universe. He was merely a higher being. The KJV, though, would immediately refute that teaching. So we can see that verses that teach the Trinitarian concept would be a threat to this gnostic teaching and would need to be removed. And that is the very case in the Johannine Comma which is another name for the controversial verse 1 John 5:7 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” This verse is only found in the KJV Bible.
Now the speaker makes a great point of using this verse to prove the error of the KJV. According to him, and I am not calling him a liar, but merely saying that he has listened to a person who taught him this and believed it without checking himself, he says that out of the thousands of Greek texts, this verse only appears in one text, Codex 61. Well, he should have done his homework, for that is not the only place this verse is mentioned. It is also mentioned in #88, 221, 429, 629, 636, 918, and 2318. Added to these manuscripts, it is found referenced in the writings of the following church fathers.
200 AD Tertullian,who quoted the verse in his Apology, Against Praxeas. Tertullian was not that far removed from the original manuscripts of the actual authors of the New Testament. If he were aware of the verse, surely it existed. And we see he is not the only one familiar with it.
250 AD Cyprian of Carthage referenced it in On the Lapsed, On the Novatians.
350 AD Priscillian referred to it in Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, Academia Litterarum Vindobonensis, vol xviii, pg. 6.
350 AD Idacius Clarus in Patrilogiae Cursus Completus, Series Latina by Migne, vol. 62, col 359.
350 AD Athanasius in De Incarnatione
398 AD Aurelius Augustine use it to defend Trinitarianism in De Trinitate against Sabellianism.
415 AD Council of Carthage appealed to it when debating Arian belief.
450-530 AD Several orthodox African writes quote the verse when defending the doctrine of the Trinity against the Vandals. The writers are:
Vigilius Tapensis in Three Witnesses in Heaven
Victor Vitensis in Historia persecutionis,
Fulgentius in The Three Heavenly Witnesses
500 AD Cassidorus in Patrilogiae Cursus Completus, Series Latina by Migne, vol. 70, col. 1373.
550 AD Old Latin ms has it
550 AD The Speculum has it
750 AD Wianburgensis referred to it.
800 AD Jerome's Vulgate has it (brought into the Vulgate in 800 AD)
1000s AD miniscule #635 has it
1150 AD miniscule #88 has it
1300's AD miniscule #629 has it
159-1400 AD Vaudois Bibles have it
1500 AD ms 61 has it – This is the one mentioned by Mr. Conway.
He says that people should do their research. I agree. He should have done more himself. He says that every doubtful passage can often be found in the early writings of the church fathers. This helps to give credence to the verse. Well, 1 John 5:7 can be found in many of those writings as seen above. I believe this is enough evidence to say that the verse is a valid piece of the Scriptures. And it is the only verse which so totally and clearly teaches the concept of a Trinity. The fact that the gnostics did not accept this doctrine would make it very important that this verse be removed from their manuscripts and that is exactly what we find.
Are there any other verses that remove this doctrine? Yes, we find there are. 1 Timothy 3:16. The KJV reads, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” This says clearly and unmistakeably that God was manifest in the flesh. This is telling us that Jesus was God. Not just the Son, but God himself. This goes along with Philippians 2:6 and 1 John 5:7. What do the modern versions say? Let's again start with the ESV. “Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.” Who was manifest here? “He.” The understood He in this is Christ, as it is in the KJV version, but look at the difference. Jesus is no longer God. He is merely “He.” What of the other versions?
NIV “Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.”
New Living Translation “Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels and announced to the nations. He was believed in throughout the world and taken to heaven in glory.” This one clearly says Christ, not God.
NAS “By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.”
ISV “By common confession, the secret of our godly worship is great: In flesh was he revealed to sight, kept righteous by the Spirit's might, adored by angels singing. To nations was he manifest, believing souls found peace and rest, our Lord in heaven reigning!” Notice the addition of “souls found peace and rest”. These words aren't in the manuscripts at all. This is a paraphrase.
ASV “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; He who was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the spirit, Seen of angels, Preached among the nations, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.”
ERV “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; He who was manifested in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, received up in glory.”
Need I put any more? Here are three different verses that teach that Christ is God in the flesh, part of the Trinity, that have been altered, if to not deny it, to not verify it either. Mr. Conway says the KJVers complain that doctrines are under attack with these modern versions, but he says they are not. Is that true? Clearly the idea that Christ is one of the Trinity and the equal of God is a doctrine that is being removed as much as possible from the newer versions. Here are three verses alone. How many more might there be that I have not discovered? And when one considers the lie that Satan is now propagating, that Jesus was not God but an enlightened evolved individual, one that shows us how to become as He was, is it not apparent that these versions help his agenda? It is said that if one searches the Scriptures that these little changes don't matter, for the doctrines are in there somewhere. That may very well be true, but it is also very true that people are not studying or even reading their Scriptures. They are relying on their pastors and teachers to tell them what is in the Bible and when those pastors do not truly believe in the Word of God, they can use these changed verses to twist the doctrines to fit what they want the people to believe. If you do not believe this, then from where do cults like the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Campingites come? They use altered verses to create new doctrines and because the people look at the words and don't look any further, their interpretation makes sense given what the verse says, and they lead people astray. And therein lies the very problem which the speaker denies.
He makes the accusation that KJVers don't want to admit to the truth of all the changes that the KJV has gone through. Possibly that is because many are unaware of some of the facts. Unfortunately even people in the KJV camp do not study as they should. I, however, am addressing his allegations and explaining them. But it remains that the real problem is one which he is still avoiding. The problem comes back to that fact that the KJV is based on the majority texts, and the Textus Receptus which translated is “The Received Text” meaning the one that earlier churches accepted as the best possible manuscript evidence. The modern versions use as their texts ones edited by the gnostic school in Egypt.
He brings up the problem of the original KJV including the apocrypha. The apocryphal references had to do with the fact that we are speaking of the Church of England which was an offshoot of the Catholic Church, which accepts the apocrypha as cannon. It took God pulling His people out of those churches to also clean up His Word to the English speaking world. Again, this took time, as God refined this translation, but that does not negate the real problem, which as I keep reiterating is, the source material for the translations.
Mr. Conway makes the point that the translators admitted in some places it was hard to translate exactly. In some cases they provided alternative translations (marginal notes). Of course it was difficult. Anyone who speaks a second language knows this when they try to translate what they are saying in one language to another. Every language is slightly different and sometimes there is simply no way to translate word for word. You do the best you can, but the only way to convey as accurate a meaning as possible is to sometimes give several alternative translations, trying between them to convey what the original is saying. Including all of the information - various possibilities of the obscure passages - ensures that in time if someone were to find which was correct, it can be corrected.
He makes the point of the fact that there are thousands of manuscripts with slight variations and that it makes translating difficult. First of all, these are slight variations in minor things, not major changes in the meaning of a text. Second, the fact that there are so many manuscripts helps to decide which is correct. But the Bibles he promotes do not have thousands of manuscripts to help them come to the truth. The manuscripts for the modern versions are about 1% of the existing manuscripts. That is not very many for comparison. And they do not agree with each other as the majority texts do to a very high percent, as he admits. They are also full of copyist errors. Which is the better?
He attacks the translation using the word “baptize” as being a transliteration rather than a translation, saying that the Greek “baptizo” should have been translated by the word “immersed”, therefore it is a less accurate translation. Why do Baptists call themselves Baptists and not Immersists? Because the word “baptize” in English carries a greater significance than just to immerse someone in water. One does that to take a bath. To immerse someone simply means to dunk them under water. To baptize someone means that not only should they be immersed (although some churches changed this to mean sprinkle) but that there is a statement of conversion that goes along with it. Anyone who understands the history of baptism (and I have an article on this in my archives), knows that immersion baptism (called the mikva in Hebrew), was a regular part of the conversion process in Judaism and as such carried over into the Christian church at its inception as immersion. This was the only method of baptism in the early church. That is exactly what the New Testament writers meant when they used the word “baptizo” and that is originally what it would have meant to the early Christians before the Catholic Church changed it to sprinkling.
So when it said in Greek “baptizo” as written by the original authors of the Bible, it would have automatically in Greek meant immersion to the readers. The English word “baptize” is not just a transliteration, it is the English word for that procedure. There is no other word to convey this concept of a public conversion display using water. To simply immerse someone in water does not baptize them. One does not baptize themselves every day; they take a bath. Yet to take a bath is to immerse oneself in water. There is something more needed for it to be a baptism. It requires a public statement of faith before someone else, as well as being immersed. We do not call a baptism in any church an “immersion” as in “John was immersed tonight.” There needs to be something more conveyed in the message. We say “John was baptized tonight, by immersion.” We define the word “baptize” by saying it was by immersion. The point being that baptism was the ritual of coming under the water when announcing one's conversion. At the beginning a baptizo was always by immersion. It was the Catholic church who, incorporating the Babylonian Mysteries, changed the meaning of what a baptism was (immersion) to sprinkling, which is what was done in the Mysteries. That does not negate the word “baptism” as an accurate translation. It is the only word that truly describes the entire event – a public statement of faith, accompanied by being immersed in water. Again, he is manipulating the facts to try to divorce people from the idea that the KJV is the most accurate rendition we have of the original Word of God.
Speaking of baptism, it is interesting given what I said above, that baptism requires not only immersion, but must be accompanied by a statement of faith, that we find that the latter is removed from the modern versions in Acts 8. Sprinkling is not Scripturally defensible, given what is taught in the passage in Acts 8:36-38 if verse 37 is not removed, but it is removed from all modern translations. Let's look at that passage. “And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?  And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.” In all the modern translations it jumps from the eunuch asking Philip what stops him from being baptized, to being baptized. In all of those cases there is no response that anything more is needed. They simply stop the chariot and down he goes to the water to be baptized. No confession of faith was required. The KJV demands that there must be a belief, which must be confessed. A baby cannot do this. So which is the problem? That the word “baptizo” should have been translated “immersion”? Or is it that the confession of faith before baptism has been removed allowing room for infant baptism by sprinkling?
It is pointed out that the KJV had critics. Yes the KJV in its inception had its critics. It obviously still has critics today or I would not be writing this. And yes it needed some revising to remove the Catholic/Church of England influences, which God did. As for the original translators saying that other translations, even the least of them, was the Word of God, this was valid in that they used the Textus Receptus as their source. The fact is, whether he realizes it or not, he is saying that people were seeking to make it more exact, more perfect, which makes it more trusted to be the truth and the one we should use. In truth that is what the translators themselves said. Not that they sought to make a new translation per se, but that they were seeking to make what they already had more accurate. This process of continuing to refine it only made it the most accurate translation possible, not something to be shunned. Have the modern Bibles ever put themselves through such scrutiny to improve themselves? No. They let their errors stand. As for it being profitable to look at the various English translations of the Textus Receptus when studying, this may be profitable. However as shown at the beginning and throughout this article, that is not true of the modern versions, due to the gross errors inherent in them due to the manuscripts used as their source.
Once again, he misdirects people in that he points out that even the original manuscripts are not exact, but only vary within a very small 2%, and concedes that the KJV is a good translation of those very accurate manuscripts. This is a very true statement. He states that no other piece of literature has been sustained with such accuracy and that God has preserved His Word. Again a true statement. But good deception always comes in the form of fallacies wrapped in truth. And this truth is used in a less than honest way to mislead people. That is because what he fails to point out at this juncture, after saying these truthful things, is that it is not these manuscripts that are being used for these modern translations. And the minority texts have a far greater variance than 2%. Much further. So which are you going to trust to give you as much truth as possible? The one Bible which uses as its foundation the texts where even he admits God has preserved His Word, or the ones based upon the corrupted and altered texts?
He points out that when the KJV was first translated, people faulted it for being too simple to read. In fact, it has been determined that it is no higher than a 5th grade reading level, in spite of people saying it is hard to read, and that it progresses from beginning to end in a progressive fashion. In other words, it is in a 5th grade reading level at the end, but a lower grade reading level at the beginning. Is this a problem, or does this show us that God orchestrated it to be written that way so that even the least intelligent among us can understand it? In some of the modern translations there are some places where the verbiage is so convoluted and difficult that it is almost impossible to understand, while the KJV is easily read.
He attacks the KJV as being archaic. He uses the word “suffer” as an example and says it means “allow.” He says that because that is how his Bible (and other modern Bibles) translates it, as “let, “allow,” or “permit.” He should have checked to see if he and his translation were correct, for it is not. That is not what the word “suffer” (from the Greek “aphiemi”) means. It means “to send forth” or “yield up” which is not the same as “allow, let, or permit” which is how all the modern versions have translated it. It is more than just indulge them if they want to go visit with Christ, it means to hand them over and deliberately send them to Christ, knowing that to turn something over to Christ means it is on a permanent basis. It is not just to be obliging to let the child do what it wants at that moment. There is a much deeper meaning here. We are to hand over our children to Christ....... permanently. To not just let them go, but to release all rights of ownership, to give them away. To sacrifice them to His service, not just temporarily stay out of their way if they want to go visit with Him. The word “suffer” now makes much more sense in our modern sense does it not? For giving up your child makes one suffer in the very way he says this term does not apply. Yet he says this is not a translation of God with an anointing upon it?
He next finally admits that the KJV is based upon “longer” manuscripts and that the modern ones are based upon “shorter” ones. That they are not based upon the same manuscripts. But that in and of itself is deceptive wording. The words should not be “longer” and “shorter” but “more prolific” and “barely any” documents. He argues that while KJVers say that the modern translations have taken away from the Word of God, that KJV has added to it. So which is correct? Should we go with thousands of documents that reaffirm something, or a few documents that can't agree on a lot of things? Which is the sensible path?
He tells the people that the manuscripts were hand written, and so if a copier made an error, the error was there. Yes, in the manuscripts from Alexandria that is exactly how things were done. Verses were often copied twice by mistake, sometimes they crossed out their errors, but in the majority texts that is not how the copying was done. They were scrupulous in their copying. They did not tolerate mistakes in the same way, for the very reason that they did not want to promulgate errors. Most manuscripts are not complete due to their age and falling apart. So yes, they have to be pieced together, but within the fragments themselves, there were not the kind of errors in the original copying that one would find in the Alexandrian texts. The manuscripts that mainly had all these errors and notes he is speaking of were the minority texts, not the majority texts, but he never delineates that fact. He makes statements in certain contexts without clearly defining them and lets the listener draw conclusions that may not be correct.
He equates older with being more accurate, which as I showed in my previous article on the KJV Bible does not mean a thing. It depends on how careful the copiers were, and the documents that were found in Alexandria had very many mistakes in them. The reason they were found in the trash is because they were considered faulty. They had been abandoned long before as no good. Without stating the entire truth, that the 2% variable is only found in the majority texts, he says again that God has preserved His Word. I agree.....in the majority texts with their 2% variance.
He makes the truthful statement “There are inferior Bibles. There are translations that their translational philosophy is not even intended to be word for word. But I like that. I want a Bible and I hope you want a Bible that we're getting as close to the truth....we want it readable....we just don't want all our word structures in the same order as you find in the Greek. We want it readable. But we do want a good healthy solid, strong... I mean in English language you know probably the most scholarly translations today would be the new King James Bible, the New American Standard Bible, they're good scholarly translations.” So first he says that he likes that the translators' philosophy is not intended to be word for word? I am sure he must have misspoken when he said that, because surely he would not sacrifice accuracy for readability? He is correct that there are inferior Bibles. He wants a Bible as close to the truth as possible? Then why use the modern translations from the gnostic school? Do we really want our Word of God coming from them? And if concerned about readability, often the readability is not made easier in the paraphrasing. If he truly wants a healthy, solid, strong, scholarly English translation, there simply is no better translation than the KJV.
He makes the statement, “Steer away from translations where the translators themselves are being forced to interpret. And then putting their interpretation down. Because if their interpretation isn't right....You know when you go in and you just wanna word for word equivalent and you're looking for the equivalence, sometimes when you don't understand exactly what the original is saying, because you did the word for word equivalence, even though the translation is somewhat ambiguous, in other words, it's difficult to figure out, at least you've been faithful to the text. If you as the translator say well I think that means this and you go away from the original wording, and now you just put your thought about what you think it means, if you're wrong, you're wrong. I think that's a dangerous way to interpret scripture. And the looser, the more you get these paraphrases of scripture, the more likely you're going to get translation that the translator's actually giving their interpretation and the more they do that, the more there's a possibility that they are going to misinterpret.”
The point is well made. This is exactly the problem. The original Minority manuscripts were tampered with and the gnostics put a lot of their own interpretations into it. And as he said, if their interpretation is wrong, where does it lead? To further error of course. He says that if something is difficult (as sometimes the KJV is) is it not better to remain faithful to the text rather than have somebody's idea as to what that text meant? I agree whole-heartedly, which is why I use the KJV. It is the best translation out there, in spite of the difficulties. He even says that to interpret Scripture any other way is dangerous. Why? Because it will lead to misinterpretation and error. Why is it that he cannot see the very point he is making?
He compares the stand for the KJV as the same sort of problem that occurred when the KJV came out. He equates it with people not wanting to give up their traditions and in some cases considers it idolatry to only accept the KJV as the truest English translation of God's Word. To that I can only say that I can't speak for why the people initially were against the KJV, maybe they were simply being cautious, who knows. I do know that the reason most KJV only people take that stand now is because we have looked at the evidence and realized that there is a very good reason for taking this stand. I have outlined much of it in my previous article and this article. If someone can argue with those facts and wants to continue to use the modern versions, well that is their choice. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord, to the best of our ability in truth, and that includes the using the best source of His Word that we have available to use.
The speaker states “My main reason for going from a translation derived from the Textus Receptus, away from that was not primarily a textual matter. It was an evangelistic matter. I want Scripture in the common man's language. And when I have preachers stand in our pulpit whether that by myself or anybody else, I want us preaching in the common man's language.”
So let me understand this. He moved away from the KJV, not for textual reasons, in other words, he didn't think that textually the modern versions were better. He moved to the modern versions for evangelistic reasons. Why is going to a modern translation better for evangelism? He states that he wants preaching in the common man's language. Nothing says that a preacher has to preach in KJV language. No preacher still talks as if they were living with Shakespeare, so the statement seems a little ridiculous. A preacher should be able to take the text and preach upon it even if it is in the KJV language. And many do.
Another statement he makes. “Shortly after I made the switch to the ESV, I went to a church where the King James Version was the accepted version. It's the one you had to preach from if you were going to preach in the pulpit there. And I sat there and it was during a conference time and a man came up and he preached on a text and it might have been in 1 Timothy chapter 1, if I remember right. That man took the first 20 minutes of that sermon to put words in the text into the common man's language. Because in the King James Bible its not. He took 20 minutes and when he was done, what he said was almost verbatim of what I had in my ESV.” I have a hard time believing that the man spent twenty minutes trying to merely rephrase a KJV verse or two into the language of ESV. I am sure he preached on that passage. But is that not what I suggested he do? Take the KJV and put it in the language of the modern man as he expounded upon it? So was it necessary for him to use the ESV, or was it better to start with an accurate as possible translation and expound upon it from there? I think Mr. Conway is exaggerating quite a bit to try to favor his view. If one must go to this extreme, is that not just showing us that he really does not have real evidence to back up his opinion? And does this not just prove my point that a man can use the KJV and preach in the common man's language without having to sacrifice an accurate text?
Finally in the last couple of minutes of his sermon he admits to the truth. “If you do all of your studies, and you become convinced that you want to go with the textual family of the majority texts or the textual family of the received text, away from these Alexandrian texts, you see there's different groups within this whole assortment of texts that we have, but if you feel compelled to go, then go to the New King James, because that's gotten rid of a lot of the archaic language.”
He finally in the last minutes admits that the modern versions are based upon the Alexandrian texts. Something that he has not disclosed to the people during the course of the talk. He admits that there are two textual families that do not agree. He barely mentions it, and does not give them any information about what these two families are, nor why they are different. For to do so might give some of them pause and make them consider that they are using corrupt Bibles. If he were being honest with them, he should have given them the entire truth. If he is so sure of his position, why hide the truth?
As for the New King James Version, the NKJV does not follow the same Hebrew and Greek texts as the Authorized KJV. It even changes wording between editions. Many meanings of hundreds of verses have drastically been changed and some even paraphrased. This has resulted in doctrinal issues being corrupted and contradictions being introduced. It also changes many of the words to words that are actually more difficult to understand than the original. It should not be used any more than any of the other modern versions.
Aside from the accuracy of the text, there is a literary quality to consider. The KVJ is a poetic Bible. But it has been discovered that the Old Testament in particular was written to be sung. Yes, the entire Old Testament is a song, not just the Psalms. And the music was discovered to have been written into the original Hebrew text. Being such, it was written poetically in the original language. This makes sense, as it was and still is the custom to sing the Scriptures in Judaism. And this was a wise choice, for not only does God like to be sung to and about, it makes the Scriptures much easier to memorize that way. What a great God we have to do that for us.
Looking at this subject from a completely different perspective, we get some insight from a literary critic, rather than a Bible critic. Here is what we find. Mr. David Norton, a Professor of English at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and author of A History of the Bible as Literature, The New Cambridge Paragraph Bible, and A Textual History of the King James Bible wrote the following in his introduction in the Penguin Classics KJV Bible which he edited.
“William Blake as he was beginning to learn Hebrew wrote to a correspondent, 'I read Greek as fluently as Oxford scholar & the [New] Testament is my chief master: astonishing indeed is the English translation, it is almost word for word, & if the Hebrew Bible is as well translated...we need not doubt of its having been translated as well as written by the Holy Ghost.' Modern readers who can read this Bible in the light of the originals can share this astonishment. More than many recent versions, it trusts the original texts, believing that their way of saying things can speak with clarity, without much resort to paraphrase.” (pg xiv)
“Its language is, of course, antiquated, and this presents the reader with both challenges and rewards. The challenges are the old grammatical forms (these only take a little getting used to), a number of unfamiliar words and the changed sense of some words. The rewards are a language that is usually highly meaningful (there are places where, like the originals it can be obscured) and also highly pleasing. The King James Bible offers the reader both the meaning of the Bible and a religious or aesthetic experience of language that no modern translation can match. For instance, after Adam and Eve have eaten fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the King James Bible has Adam give this simple reply to God. 'And the man said, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”' (Gen. 3:12) The meaning is clear except perhaps for 'she gave me of the tree', but in context it is obvious that he is saying she gave him fruit from the tree. The language is simple, almost entirely monosyllabic English, without a trace of pretence to grandeur. Only the archaic form, 'thou gavest', marks it out as biblical English. It is when one listens to it that its power becomes obvious. Two words stand out, 'she' and 'did'. 'The woman...she gave' places the stress on her in a way that 'the woman...gave' could not. Then 'I did eat' rather than 'I ate' gives a strong sense of Adam's guilt, as if he was saying, 'yes I did. I ate from the tree'. As well as these ringing words, stressing both accusation and confession, there is a rhythm to the verse. The last ten words make a pentameter. Milton recognised this, and 'she gave me of the tree, and I did eat' became a line of Paradise Lost (1667).
Modern versions usually stay close to the King James in this verse. Here is the New International Version: 'The man said, “The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”' It is still powerful, but not as powerful. There are no uncertainties of meaning, nor any archaism, but the rhythm has almost vanished, and there are several touches, all of them associated with a move from literal translation towards paraphrase, which make it less effective. The dash before 'she gave me' underlines the effect of having the subject stated twice (as it is in the Hebrew), but it goes along with changes that make Adam close to vindictive in his attitude to Eve. 'The woman you put here with me' is a bitter statement, as if Eve were inflicted on him. The sense of Eve as a gift is lost – 'The woman whom thou gavest to be with me'; lost too is the parallel between Eve being given and Eve giving – 'she gave' (the Hebrew uses the same verse in both places). The change at the end of the verse, 'and I ate it', comes about not just because modern translators are uncomfortable with using 'did', but because the New International Version, paraphrasing for clarity, has added 'some fruit' (not in the Hebrew), and so must finish it with 'it' (again not in the Hebrew).
I have kept the Hebrew in sight in discussing this example because most readers of the Bible would agree that fidelity to the meaning of the originals is essential, and that felicity of language is less important. Every detail in the King James rendering of the verse comes from the Hebrew. The excellence of the writing comes from the excellence of the Hebrew. Yet the language of the King James does matter for its own sake. Beauty and truth are not always close companions, but they can never be entirely divorced. 'Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness,' cries the Psalmist (Psalms 29:2, 96:9). If beauty if lacking, some of the holiness is lost.” (pgs. xiv, xv)
Notice that the author of these quotes mentions that the verse is monosyllabic. As said earlier, the KJV Bible has a very simple reading level at the beginning. The words are not hard. Next, note how the sense of the text goes from acknowledging Eve was a gift, to an accusation that she was foisted upon him and he is bitter that she was, because all has been lost because of her. Adam not only accuses Eve in the modern translations, he also blames God. Likewise the confession of guilt and absorbing some of the blame is lost. And some words are added that are not in the original. So while the understanding of the mechanics of what transpired is not changed in the modern translation, the attitude of Adam does change, which changes the text from conveying exactly what God wants conveyed, to putting man's interpretation of what Adam felt upon it. It is a subtle change, and maybe doesn't seem all that important, but how do we not know that further along there are changes like this that are far more consequential? And as is pointed out, the beauty of the lyricism of the language is lost too.
The author of this passage also makes a statement that he believes to be true, but which I do not think is. He says, “most readers of the Bible would agree that fidelity to the meaning of the originals is essential, and that felicity of language is less important.” It would seem from Mr. Conway in his video (and the vast majority of Christians that use corrupt Bibles, because they are "easier" to read) that the felicity of language far outweighs the fidelity to the meaning of the original. Few people seem to think fidelity to the meaning of the original is essential, except for the KJV only crowd. Is that not a sad state of affairs? How do you think God feels about that attitude?