Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
-Psalm 138:2, KJV

Video: Does it really matter which Bible version you prefer?

For this video I decided I would revisit my one of my initial objections to the whole “Bible version controversy” issue. Before I learned about the Textus Receptus, the Critical (Alexandrian) Text, or who Tischendorf, Wesscott, or Hort were, I had to be shown that modern popular Bible versions are vastly different from the Bible of the reformation in significant, substantive ways. Ways that affect core Christian doctrines. Ways that go far beyond how a text “feels” or how one “prefers” God’s word be presented. Differences that can cripple Christians and their ability to combat false doctrines or even learn true doctrine.
A complete outline of the talk follows.

Note: In this video I use quotations from the 1984 New International Version because it’s the one I had. Also, my quotes from The King James Only Controversy come from the first edition, which I purchased when it first became available in 1995.

  • I wasn’t always a King James Bible believer.
  • One of the first objections I had was that this really just didn’t matter. A Bible version was mainly a preference, and surely newer translations had to be superior to older ones and they must be easier to understand.
  • James White, in The King James Only Controversy sums up how I thought. Page 5. (Bethany House Publishers, 1995)
    • “The use of a particular English translation of the Bible is surely a personal choice. Many factors can, and should, go into your decisions as you purchase Bible translations. Whether you like a more literal, formal translation, or a more “dynamic,” free-flowing translation will impact your choices. Study editions, companion volumes, concordances, even the print style and size, are all issues to take into consideration.”
      • Picking a Bible is like choosing a car color. What it actually says is no more important than the font.
  • So is this really true? Is the actual text no more important than the font it’s printed in? Is this a matter of personal choice because they all have an equal message?
  • This can only be true if all Bible versions really say the same thing.
  • Let’s test that.
  • In Acts chapter 8, the Holy Spirit tells Philip to preach the gospel to an Ethiopian Eunuch, and then he’s baptized on the spot.
  • Here’s how this reads in the NIV:
    • Acts 8:36 NIV As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?”
      Acts 8:37 NIV
      Acts 8:38 NIV And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.
  • Did you notice that the NIV jumps from verse 36 to verse 38? Here’s the King James:
    • Acts 8:36 KJV 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?
      Acts 8:37 KJV 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.
      Acts 8:38 KJV 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.
  • Do these books teach the same thing?
    • In the NIV, nothing hinders anyone from being baptized, and Philip treats the Ethiopian’s question as some kind of rhetorical question and doesn’t give him an answer.
    • But in the King James, the Ethiopian Eunuch is told he must believe in his heart, and then he makes a verbal confession. Both of which are not found in the NIV.
  • If you go to a Baptist or Evangelical church that won’t baptize babies, can they show you a clear scriptural reason for that, or is it just tradition? Is your authority on infant baptism the tradition of your church, or is it because the Bible says you must believe in your heart and confess Christ before being baptized?
  • Here’s a good place to point out something else.
    • The NIV footnote says “some late manuscripts” have verse 38. Ah, Then that must mean this verse didn’t exist originally.
    • If you get into this you’ll find critical text scholars want you to believe that this verse was added sometime in the sixth century.
    • But what that footnote doesn’t tell you is that “some” means “more than 25 Greek manuscripts” with this passage do have the verse. What it doesn’t tell you is that Irenaeus cited it in first century, and Cyprian cited it in second. (Note there is an error in my narration in the video. The dates shown on the slide are actually their deaths. Their citations and quotes are earlier.)
    • This is what I found when I started studying these differences. Those footnotes don’t tell you the whole story, and in fact, are misleading.
  • The question I’m answering here is if it even matters which Bible text you choose. Let me frame this for you in a different way.
  • Does it matter if your Pastor gets up on stage this Sunday and says that Jesus Christ was created a long time ago and therefore he can’t be God? Does that matter?
  • If it matters what your pastor says, shouldn’t it matter what your Bible says?
    • Micah 5:2, a prophecy concerning Jesus Christ:
      • NIV: “… out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” There’s the NIV, saying the same thing the pastor is saying. Jesus had an origin in ancient times.
      • KJV: … out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
      • The NIV says the Lord Jesus Christ had an origin in ancient times. The KJV says he is from everlasting (eternity past).
      • Do you still want to believe that it’s not important which Bible you pick? After all, you wouldn’t go to a church that taught Jesus Christ was a created being. Or at least I hope you wouldn’t! But you’re okay with a Bible, which you claim is the source of your doctrine, that says this?
  • Not only does the KJV refute this heresy clearly in the book of Micah, it also makes it perfectly clear who Jesus Christ is:
    • 1 Timothy 3:16 KJV 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.
      • See, absolutely no question about it: God was manifest in the flesh.
    • 1 Timothy 3:16 NIV Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, 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.
    • In the NIV it just says “he appeared in a body.”
      • Nobody disputes that Jesus appeared in a body.
      • The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus appeared in a body: Their fake Bible translation reads just like the NIV and they have no problem proving with this text that Jesus Christ is not God.
  • Check out AV1611.com for more verses like these.
  • Aside: Showing differences in the Bible translations does not automatically mean the King James is right. Before you fire off an email about that, pay attention to what I am showing you here. I am proving to you with these comparisons that Bible translations are not consistent authorities. And when you pick and choose between these on the fly, you are ultimately making yourself, or some teacher or scholar, your final authority.
  • So you have a choice to make. You can continue to pretend that all Bibles really say the same thing, despite the fact that they clearly do not, or you can admit they contradict each other and come to terms with that.
  • If you want to claim to believe that your doctrine comes from the Bible, how can you honestly say that if you don’t also say which one?
    • What about saying “the original Greek and Hebrew” is your final say-so?
      • No originals exist and all we have are copies of copies of copies
      • Convenient that nobody can ever pin you down and you don’t actually have to take a stand on anything, and your final authority is always subject to new revision or discovery.
  • When I was still using my NIV this is what got me started studying the topic of Bible versions.
  • For me, the next step was to learn the reasons for these differences, and to learn why at the end of the 19th century there was a sea change in Christian academia that brought forth a deluge of new translations that contradicted the Bible of the reformation in so many important ways.
  • By now, if you’re being honest with yourself, you should be wondering why so-called conservative Christians and churches would embrace a book that says Jesus Christ has an origin in ancient times.
    • You know what? There are reasons for it. These are not mistakes or differences of opinion. You need to check it out.
  • Some people think it’s crazy to believe that the KJV is God’s word and the NIV (or ESV, NAS, whatever) isn’t. You know what’s really crazy? Calling these both God’s word when they clearly don’t say the same things.
    • The KJV says Jesus Christ’s goings forth are from everlasting.
    • The NIV says his origins are from ancient times.
    • It is sheer foolishness to insist that these are both God’s word.
  • If you’re not going to take a stand and risk someone calling you a “cultist” for actually making a tangible, in your hand book your final authority, at least be honest with yourself and admit that you don’t believe either one of these can be God’s word, and that your mind is really your final authority on everything.
  • If you’ve been using the NIV for years, if you got saved and someone gave you an NIV as your first Bible, I know it’s tough to consider the possibility that it is full of corruption. I was there. I used the NIV. I believed it. I wrote notes in it. But those emotions I had that created fondness for the NIV don’t trump the facts.
  • James White’s book again:
      • He headlines it: “THE ROLE OF CHRISTIAN FREEDOM.”
        • Here he sets the tone: for him, and worldly Christianity, this is about “freedom.” It’s not about what God wants, it’s about what you want.
      • “For them this is not an issue of freedom, but of doctrine, belief, and faith.” (Page 5)
        • What else is it about? Of course this is about doctrine, belief, and faith. What is the source of doctrine? The Bible. How do you know Jesus Christ is God and doesn’t have an origin? How do we know what to believe? The Bible tells us. And faith? How do we know what our faith is supposed to be? The Bible. So what else is the Bible issue about if not these things?
      • A huge chunk of his is devoted to convincing the reader that the King James Bible has terrible errors in it.
        • Why?
          • He does this because he has to try to pull the King James Bible down to the same level as the NIV or New American Standard so that he can make the case that choosing any of them is okay. It’s not acceptable to single one out and say “this is God’s word; our final authority.”
  • What about “THE ROLE OF CHRISTIAN FREEDOM?”
    • Do I really believe this isn’t about freedom? Actually, this is about freedom.
    • John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
      • (MAKE you free, not SET you free, by the way)
    • James White thinks Christians are free so they can pick their own truth.
    • The Bible says we are made free when we know the truth. Let’s not put the cart before the horse. When you don’t have to rely on James White and other scholars to tell you want the phantom “originals” said, when you don’t have to hold to tradition instead of God’s word: that is real freedom.
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28 Responses to Video: Does it really matter which Bible version you prefer?

  1. Krogman, Clint says:

    Amen, I believe in King James Bible is all about right things from God’s breathe inspired in 2 Timothy 3:16..
    God blessed you!

  2. james says:

    Very good. The new king james also needs to be expised as a fraud james

  3. Wes Simpkins says:

    Nice…….powerful with scripture support for every claim. Good bookend to your prior video, which I plan to add to my churches website as well:)
    I really liked your comments on- John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
    Good point– like I tell people, point out the errors!
    Gotta a good teaching topic here going brother that you have studied and prayed up on- don’t be bashful when you need something to do……….

  4. William Ashton says:

    Dear Brandon,

    You might be interested to hear how I came to the KJV.

    When I was a young Christian in the nineteen-eighties, like you I used the NIV. I was reading Hebrews !2, where the NIV tells us the God PUNISHES those he accepts as sons. This troubled me because I had been taught that Jesus had taken my punishment (thank God!). I was alone, and asked aloud for an answer to this, and immediately heard, ‘Look in the Authorized Version!’ (That’s how the KJV was commonly called in Britain.) THREE TIMES I was told this before I got out of my seat and found one. As you will know, this version says God CHASTISES his sons!

    So you see, I believe I was ORDERED to use the KJV. I started taking it to meetings, reading it when people were reading from the NIV, and later checked the discrepancies with an interlinear. After a few months, I stopped bothering, because I found the KJV was always right.

    I’m delighted to have discovered AV1611. I feel a little lonely sometimes!

    William Ashton

    • I know the lonely feeling, but you can be assured you are not alone. There are in fact many, many sound Bible believing preachers/teachers who hold the King James Bible.

      • Richard Duoos says:

        I wish I knew one. The local Pastor of the Berean Baptist Church always preaches from the “KJV”, but he ALWAYS corrects it with his study books and of course, he calls the study book “the original Greek.” I have tried in vain to tell him that the study books are NOT the original Greek and that they always “reveal” that the NIV etc are right and the KJB is wrong. He doesn’t understand. He thinks I am slandering the KJB and his preaching. Dr. Scofield opened the door for all the new versions before they were even written with his margin notes that claimed errors in the text. Bible study text books are based on the same deliberately perverted texts that the new versions are based on. So using lexicons and other study materials will always lead you astray. It is not enough to teach and preach from the KJB. You MUST declare that the KJB is the perfectly preserved Word of God. NOT the best translation, NOT the Bible for English-speaking people, but the very Word of God. It is easy to find a King James church. It is almost impossible to find a church where the leadership believes that the KJB is perfect. It seems ridiculous. If the Bible is the Word of God, OF COURSE it is perfect! Why do we accept the stupid idea that God cannot make a perfect English translation, but He can give us study books to show us where the mistakes are? I am so embarrassed that I used to be a KJ hater. Now I have to deal with those who believe as I used to and it is like talking to a brick wall.

  5. Thank you very much for the last two videos. Somehow I seem to have been missing them. This one my wife and I listened to together. Very encouraging to find someone with sincere intelligence say some of the same things I’ve been saying for years.
    I am going to get on the link that has the chart for actual discrepancies and if allowed print it out. That more than any other argument has helped me. I say thanks once again.
    Oh, and by the way I love your study program. I just updated to your latest version. It is however somewhat like my smart phone, much smarter that feeble mind can absorb. I learn new stuff about it all the time. Thanks for all your hard work.

  6. Prophet Anthony says:

    Thanks so much. When I was saved in the 70’s, I used the KJV. In the early 80’s, someone showed me a NKJV, which would be “easier to understand.” Later on, I purchased a NIV, which thankfully (by the grace of God) I never liked. In the 90’s and early into the 2000’s I went back and forth between KJV/NKJV. After prayer and research I settled on the KJV, and was surprised by the amount of resistance by professing Christians towards it. A number of seminary (cemetery) graduates scoffed at the KJV. These days I find my love of God’s Word increasing, as the Holy Spirit is my Teacher. Praise the LORD! Be thou mightily blessed, Brandon.

  7. c says:

    Legalists, the King James does not save, Jesus saves, quit worshiping the KJV,

    • Brandon says:

      I guess you didn’t watch my other video: Are King James Bible Believers idolaters?

      • Richard says:

        This is the kind of resistance I get every day. I had a week-long discussion with such a one on FB. I offered evidence after evidence of blasphemy and heresy in the new versions and I just couldn’t get through. People continue to choose Bible versions with the same criteria with which they choose their favorite football team. The versions have taught this generation tolerance for errors in what we call “God’s Word.” It is absurd to believe that God’s Word could contain errors, but this generation has been tricked into thinking that it is absurd for God’s Word to be perfect. John chapter one makes no distinction between Jesus and the Bible. One of Jesus’ names is “The Word of God”. One way to blaspheme the Holy Ghost is to proclaim that the Bible is the Word of God and believe in your heart that it contains errors. God chose to preserve His Word in English. The “King James translators” had no more to do with the content than Matthew, Mark or Luke. This is evident by reading their letters and a few of their margin notes. The Bible is the Word of God. It grieves me that I have to include what should be recognized as redundancy-and it contains no errors. In the OT, God declared the test of a prophet, that all of his prophecies come true. If he failed in one, he was to be stoned. The same should be true for Bible versions. One mistake should disqualify the version forever. But today, “tolerance” has come to mean tolerance for sin and personal opinions that are just wrong.

    • Well I don’t think any of us Bible believers say that the KJB died on the cross for our sins…but the KJB does tell us how to get saved. You know one of Christ’s titles is “The Word of God”. (read John 1 and 1 John 5:7) -Brother Hoss

      • Ken Parsons says:

        You know one of Christ’s titles is “The Word of God”. (read John 1 and 1 John 5:7) -Brother Hoss:
        Actually no, it says In the beginning was the Word. Similarly I John 5:7. And John 1:14, the Word was made flesh. The word of God is the Bible. As in Heb 4:12.
        Does it matter? I think it does. If the Word of God was made flesh, then the Bible is another incarnation of the Word. We could, if we chose, do what we are accused of, and worship the Book. But it isn’t.
        Only one scripture says the Word of God is the name of Jesus, and that is Revelation 19:13. Apart from that, the Word is always Logos, the Second Person of the Trinity.
        If we regard the printed word of God as the Word, then people could, and do, begin to theink of the Bible as Jesus. “Sow wheat and it comes up wheat. Sow the Word of God and it comes up Jesus.” I have actually heard this said.

        • Perhaps I came across the wrong way, all I meant in my post was that the Bible is not what we worship and it did not save us, but it is VERY important as the Bible is how we know how to get saved. I may have come across the wrong way. -Brother Hoss

  8. Mike says:

    Excellent! I appreciate the simple truth presented.

  9. Wes Simpkins says:

    Once men reject God’s word they will become fools and liars.

    1 Kings 22:22-23 (KJV) And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. 23 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.

  10. Pingback: Video: Do modern Bible versions really have “everything in there?” | AV1611 Blog

  11. don mitchell says:

    I believe that the King James version is the inspired word of GOD. It was written at a 6th grade level.

  12. Pingback: Video – Does It Really Matter Which Bible You Prefer? | The Vine Vigil

  13. johnny nl says:

    June 24th 1986….
    That is when I came to the LORD JESUS, in the Canadian navy, trying to learn speaking English(francophone), and THE KING JAMES BIBLE, was the pastor’s Bible. God new back at that time what was right for me, God make no mistakes, does HE?
    I do not “worship” The KJV, but as it is my “first” love for the word of GOD, well , I must say: “I cherish The KJV”
    Plus I did spend so much time researching all those new words, for their meaning, That the “KJV English writing type” is easier for me now than regular English speaking.
    In French we have the Louis second, which also have so many mistakes(from KJV)or controversies, that I haven’t touch my French version for years…. The French right/good version from KJV is Ostervald. ( http://www.biblestudytools.com/ost/ )
    Which I hope to see in Swordsearcher one day…..
    You English people have a great saying that I love : “You’ve got to stand for something, or you will fall for everything.” I think this wraps it up !

  14. duaeviae says:

    You are doing a good job Brandon, keep it coming. Olaf

  15. Pingback: Video: Modern Textual Criticism and Acts 8:37 with Dr. James White | AV1611 Blog

  16. Good video Brandon S.. I used to post on the av1611 Forum ( closed now ) , and have “Liked” av1611 dot com on Facebook. James White is a slippery liar , who gets away with telling fibs … why? Because he is a “Baptist” and non-paedos like that. He gets away with his fibs and twisted logic because he is of the “Reformed” camp… and the Reformed folks luuuuve him for that. White gets away with his fibs and twists because he has debated Mormons in Arizona and Utah…. and therefore Christians think White is good guy. Is book is wrongly titled. It should have been titled: “Why every translation – except the King James Version – is A-Okay.” His book is just plain wrong and I would bet that the modern version publishers are thrilled with his lying / half truths and twists. What White and so many other modern-versions proponents do is cite so statements/books/lectures by semi-crazed / screaming / know-nothings from the KJO camp to try and justify their acceptance of BAD minority Greek & Hebrew Texts cooked-up by the Gnostics in Egypt & The Vatican. Yaa cannot bake a good apple pie with wormy apples and bad dough!

    • oops ! ( insert a red-faced ‘smiley’ here. ) The above post should have said: ‘His’ book , not ‘Is’ book. And it should have said: ‘some’ statements , not ‘so’ statements. Carry On! :)

  17. Gord Berta says:

    Thank you again Brandon, these are so well done and very simply tell the truth.

  18. Please read, in the KJB: 1 Peter 1:22-25 and 2 Peter 1:18-21. I use these in defense of the KJB for salvation—by the word, and the Christian walk—by the word, respectively. This is a great way to remember where to take other MV’s Christians to—1st Pet 1 and 2nd Pet 1, for it gives them “the truth” that God “saves” through the word and God causes our upright “walk” through the word of God.

    Remember, Jesus had to “fulfill” the word of God to even be our Saviour, thus, the word of God is the standard to know whom Jesus is!

    If Jesus didn’t line up with the word of God, we should have all kept looking for the real Messiah.

    But He did, and that is another reason Satan wants to change the word of God, so that he can make Jesus fail the test of Scripture.

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