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Old 05-18-2008, 10:50 AM
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Will Kinney Will Kinney is offline
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Location: Colorado, a beautiful state with four distinct seasons; sometimes in the same day!
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Default Luke 17:9 "I trow not"

Luke 17:9 I trow not

In Luke 17:9-10 of the King James Bible we read the words of the Lord Jesus Christ saying: "Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I TROW NOT. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: for we have done that which is our duty to do."

There are a multitude of anti-King James Bible sites that love to bring up the rendering of this verse - "I trow not". They mock at this expression; tell us it is impossible to understand; and then try to get you to switch to a version like the NIV, NASB, Holman Standard or the ESV.

Do any of these people actually believe that ANY Bible or any single Hebrew or Greek text is the inspired, inerrant, complete words of God? Of course not. All they have to recommend to you is a confusing variety of multiple-choice, contradictory, Probably Close Enough, "reliable versions" (whatever that means) which each of them considers to be imperfect translations that they feel free to "correct" at any time according to their own understanding.

Let's examine the words "I trow not" and the surrounding texts in Luke 17. I think you will begin to see some of the serious problems these Bible critics fail to mention.

First of all, the English expression "I trow not" is simply an archaic way of saying "I think not".

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.


Intransitive verb: Inflected forms: trowed, trow·ing, trows

1. Archaic To think. 2. Obsolete To suppose. ETYMOLOGY: Middle English trowen, from Old English trowian, to trust.

My Webster's 1999 Dictionary defines trow as an archaic or old word meaning "to think, to believe, or to suppose"; akin to "true" and "trust."

Not only does the King James Bible say "I trow not" in Luke 17:9 but so do Tyndale's Bible 1525, the Coverdale Bible 1535, the Bishops' Bible 1568, and the Geneva Bible of 1599.

God forbid that we should have to look up and learn an unfamiliar word in English! Do any of these modern version proponents suppose there are no English words in their own recommended versions that most high schoolers wouldn't know how to define?

Of far greater significance than having to learn what an old English word means is the textual issue of most modern versions. Do we have the infallible words of God today or not? Without exception, I have not found one modern version promoter who believes that any single Bible out there is the complete, inerrant word of God.

Let's look at just a few of the more significant textual and translational changes in this same chapter of Luke 17.

Most modern versions are based on a very different Greek text than the Traditional Greek text that underlies the King James Bible. These modern versions like the NIV, NASB, RSV, ESV and Holman omit or substitute some 5,000 words from the New Testament Greek text that underlies the King James Bible, and they often do not even agree with each other.

In Luke 17:9 the Greek words translated as "I trow not" are ou dokw. These two little words are found in the vast majority of all Greek texts as well as in Alexandrinus, D, and the Old Latin versions of b, d, f, i, l, q and r. The Old Latin text preceeds anything we have in Greek by about 150 years. These words are also found in the Syriac Peshitta version that predates the two main manuscripts of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus which are used to produce most of today's conflicting modern versions.

The very words "I trow not" or "I think not" (NKJV) are entirely omitted by such versions as the NIV, NASB, ESV, and Holman Standard. Why? Mainly because of the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus manuscripts. But the interesting thing here is that Vaticanus and Sinaiticus do not even agree with each other. Vaticanus omits the words for "I trow not", but Sinaiticus not only omits these two words but the next nine words as well!

We need to ask ourselves: Did the Lord Jesus Christ originally speak these words or not? Remember, He said "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Did He mean this or was He just kidding?

In Luke 17:3 we read the Lord Jesus saying: "Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass AGAINST THEE, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him."

These two little words "against thee" affect the entire application of the verse. Versions like the Holman, NASB, NIV, RSV all omit these two words and say: "If your brother sins, rebuke him. And if he repents, forgive him."

The words "if thy brother trespass AGAINST THEE" are found in the majority of all Greek texts, as well as D, plus at least 24 uncials and the Old Latin copies c, d, e, q and r.

The reading of "If thy brother trespass AGAINST THEE" is found in Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Bishops', Geneva Bible, Webster's, Youngs, Darby, the Spanish Reina Valera, Italian Diodati, NKJV, Green's MKJV, World English Bible, Hebrew Names Version, and the Third Millenium Bible.

But Sinaiticus and Vaticanus omit these two words and so do the NASB, NIV, RSV and Holman Standard. But wait! Now the brand new TNIV has come out and they put these words back in their latest version.

In Luke 17:36 we read again the Lord Jesus saying: "Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left."

This entire verse is omitted by such versions as the NIV, RSV, ESV, and the TNIV. The NASB is of interest in that from 1960 through 1972 the NASB omitted this verse from the text and placed it in the margin. Then in 1977 and again in 1995 they have now put it back in the text but in brackets indicating that it is not "in the originals". The Holman Standard has also placed this verse in brackets.

Why do these modern versions omit Luke 17:36? Mainly because it is not found in Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. But guess what. Sinaiticus also omits all of Luke 17:35 as well!!! "Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left." However Vaticanus does contain 17:35 and so the versions include it. These two "oldest and best" manuscripts disagree with each other over 3000 times in the gospels alone, and yet most modern versions are based on these two corrupt texts, and as a result they omit thousands of inspired words from the New Testament text.

The whole verse of Luke 17:36 is found in many Greek manuscripts and ancient Bible versions. It is in D, the Old Latin a, aur, b, e, f, ff2, i, l, q, and the Syriac Peshitta, Sinaitic, Curetonian, and Harclean. It is also in the ancient Georgian and Armenian versions and quoted by several church fathers.

The whole verse is in the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Wesley 1755, Webster's 1833, the Spanish Reina Valera 1602 and 1960, the Italian Diodati, NKJV, Green's MKJV, and the Third Millenium Bible. It is either inspired Scripture or it isn't. Your Bible is either the complete word of God or it is missing many whole verses and thousands of words.

One last example of a translational error found in many modern versions.

In the last verse of this chapter we read in Luke 17:37 - "And they answered him and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will THE EAGLES be gathered together."

The word used here for "eagles" is the same in all texts. It is aetoi and is always translated as "eagles" in the King James Bible and many others. The verse is even a reference to the Old Testament book of Job 39:27-30 where all versions speak of the EAGLE and where the slain are, there is she.

Among the versions that correctly translate this word as "eagles" are: Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Bishops', Geneva, the Revised Version 1881, the American Standard Version 1901, the RSV of 1952, the NKJV, Youngs', Darby, Italian Diodati, Spanish Reina Valera, and the Third Millenium Bible to name just a few.

However the NRSV, NASB, NIV, ESV and Holman Standard have all mistranslated this word as "vultures" here instead of "eagles", even though they all have twice rendered the same word as "eagle" in Revelation 4:7 and 12:14!

There is an entirely different Greek word that means vultures - gups. It is not even close to the word for eagles - aetoi. The national bird of the United States of America is the bald eagle. I'm quite sure that if someone referred to our national symbol as a vulture instead of the eagle many Americans would be quite upset over this change. Yet modern perversions of God's holy words keep rolling off the presses and nobody bats an eyelash.

If I have to choose between that old King James Bible that occasionally uses an unfamiliar word I might have to look up, and a modern multiple choice version that omits thousands of God's inspired words, and changes the meaning of hundreds of verses, it is not a difficult decision to make at all. I will take the inspired and inerrant King James Holy Bible that God has clearly set His mark of approval on for the last 400 years.

Do I or anybody else actually think one of these new bible versions is the true words of God? I trow not.

Will Kinney