Follies of Armchair Translation – “Another translation would be…”

Marginal readings in the King James Bible are an interesting window into the translation process. Far from giving license for the reader (or preacher) to substitute words or regard “or” as a synonym for “50-50 coin flip,” they show “possible” translations that the translators ultimately regarded as incorrect for the text. It’s interesting to listen to a preacher “trade” words in the text to make his point only because the word exists in a lexicon entry (among so many others) as if the translators were unaware of the possibility. Unlike today’s armchair translators who run to Strong’s lexicon as if it were a Biblical thesaurus, 47 translators under the guidance of the Holy Ghost actually understood the languages they were working with. If an amature translator changes a word in the text to prove a point he is making, he is subjecting the word of God to his personal theology and has decided that his ability to read a lexicon trumps the learned efforts of translators who could actually speak the language– learned efforts that God has honored with over 400 years of blessing and dissemination.

Video: Bottles, wine skins, and phony King James Bibles

So is it bottles or wine skins? And what’s the New Scofield Reference Bible got to do with it? Some comments about the “Mandela Effect” in my post on the Lion and the Lamb (a verse that does not and never has existed in the Bible) prompted me to record this video.

Here’s an outline of the video content.

  • Comments on Misremembered Bible Quotes (Lion and the Lamb) shows the confusion caused by phony “King James Bible updates.”
    • A visitor throws in with the “yea hath God said” chorus offering evidence of stealth changes to the King James Bible:
    • Supposedly, the real King James Bible has “wineskins” but this has been changed to “bottles.” The comment says “WAKE UP! THE KJV now has DOCTRINAL, SPELLING, GRAMMAR, PUNCTUATION errors, and nonsense verses.”
    • His “evidence” is that his 1967 AKJV “still has” wine skins. He thinks it’s “nonsensical” to have “bottles” here because he thinks bottles must be made of glass or plastic.
  • No King James Bible has “wine skins” anywhere. The King James Bible uses the word “bottle” in 25 verses. Example:
    • Joshua 9:4 (KJV) They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up;
  • What’s this guy actually talking about?
    • This person is unaware that the so-called “authorized” KJV they’ve got is actually a fake Bible – a phony “update” to the King James called the New Scofield Reference Bible.
    • In 1967, some people figured there would be some good money in updating the Old Scofield Bible. They change Scofield’s notes, and they inserted their own “helpful updates” to the King James Bible text itself.
    • The fake text of the NSRB: bottles is changed to skins and rent is changed to torn.
      • Picture
      • Note the marginal note that even says the KJV has bottles. How nice of them to leave it in the margin for us. Too bad the guy who posted his comment didn’t take the time to read it—but that is the point, the margin is usually not read as the text is.
    • Notice that despite their change in the Bible text itself, they still call it an Authorized King James.
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    • The word in the King James is bottles. The only people confused by this would be ones who don’t know what a bottle is.
      • Webster 1913: A hollow vessel, usually of glass or earthenware (but formerly of leather), with a narrow neck or mouth, for holding liquids.
      • OED 2: a A vessel with a narrow neck for holding liquids, now usually made of glass; originally of leather.
    • Why does the NSRB change this? It can’t be because skins is clearer, since people can wear Bottles is obviously the correct and more precise noun. A bottle is a container for liquids with a narrow neck. It can be made of anything and was probably leather. Skins can be clothes or something to write on or a million other things. The change is obviously inferior.
    • What about some of the other changes? Time precludes a detailed example, but let’s take this verse in the King James:
      • Genesis 3:5 (KJV) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
      • The NSRB thinks it’s helpful to change as gods to like God.
        • Picture
      • There is nothing archaic about gods in Genesis 3:5. Say what you want, but this is a straight-up change of the highest order. They aren’t fixing a printing error or adjusting the grammar. They are changing the text.
      • You know who else changes as gods to like God here? The New King James Version. The NIV does. And the list goes on.
    • One more:
      • Isaiah 5:14 (KJV) Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.
      • NSRB changes hell to the transliterated Sheol.
        • picture
      • The NSRB editors claim their updates are helpful. Changing a translation to a transliteration is not helpful. They think they are correcting mistakes in the King James Bible with this, not just “updating” old words.
      • You know who else makes this “update?” The NKJV. And the ESV.
      • Don’t try to argue that hell is a mistake here. Fine. You go get yourself an ESV and read that if you think so. Don’t change words in the King James to make it line up with modern translation and keep calling it a King James.
    • So why do they do this?
      • Obviously, God is not the same as gods, and gods is not hard to understand. We know what gods
      • Obviously, Sheol is not easier to understand than hell, so that is not just “updating” the language either.
      • And nobody is going to be overwhelmed with Biblical understanding because somebody changes bottles to skins. So why?
    • A gateway to the Critical Text of the modern versions
      • All you need to know is written in the introduction, where it says:
        • “improvements and further helps to the reader…” because “additional light has been thrown upon the Scriptures by textual scholarship…”
        • You know, all those helpful corrections you find in modern versions because of textual criticism—they’re just helping you out by introducing a few of those to you in the NSRB. They call it an Authorized King James so you’ll trust it.
      • The NKJV is no different in this goal. To wit:
        • Under the pretense of “updating the language,” the word-count for blood dropped from 447 (KJV) to 424 (NKJV), and not surprisingly, bringing it closer to the modern translations based on the Critical Text.
        • The archaic and quaint hell went from 54 appearances in the KJV to a much less difficult 32 in the NKJV, instead using transliterations of the Hebrew and Greek since the English was so difficult.
        • Of course, blood and hell are not difficult for the modern reader; the goal is to introduce what the editors think are corrections to the text that you are missing out on by not using the NIV or NASB.
      • Don’t see the pattern yet?
        • 1 Timothy 6:20 (KJV) O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
        • When the 1885 English Revised Version was published, the word science was changed to knowledge
          • 1 Timothy 6:20 (RV) O Timothy, guard that which is committed unto thee, turning away from the profane babblings and oppositions of the knowledge which is falsely so called;
          • Later, the American Standard Version (1901) and Revised Standard Version (1946) also made this “helpful substitution.” Isn’t the science of textual criticism grand?
        • NSRB, claiming to be the Authorized King James, changes science to knowledge.
          • picture
        • NKJV changes science to
        • NIV (1973, 1984, 2011—take your pick) changes science to knowledge.
        • ESV changes science to knowledge.
        • NASB changes science to knowledge.
        • The NRSB says it’s an Authorized King James Bible. Yet the King James Bible used the word knowledge 172 times and not in this verse. The translators were well aware of the word knowledge but used science For some reason, those textual critics… who regard what they do as a science… figured that we should “update” science to knowledge, matching all of the modern critical-text-based translations in doing so.
        • And by the way, the next time you hear a preacher using a King James come to 1Ti 6:20 and then pull out his Strong’s Lexicon to “helpfully substitute” the word knowledge here, you might wonder why he thinks he needs to make your Bible sound more like a New International Version than a King James…
      • And in the end, if this doesn’t move people closer to the false modern Bibles, it certainly ends in confusion!
        • Yea, hath God said? (Ge 3:1) Look back at the blog post comment that got me started on this. Somebody thinks that the real King James Bible is “nonsensical” because it has the word “bottles” while his so-called King James (the New Scofield Reference Bible of 1967) has “wine skins” (so does the NKJV and other modern versions).
        • In the end, this guy and many others have been confused and deceived because of these changes made under the pretense of “updating the language.” They can’t spot a real Bible because of it.

Video: My new favorite Bible, from CBP.

I don’t really mean to be a “Bible review guy.” There are plenty of those on YouTube already. But I have my new favorite Bible and I just can’t help but share it with you.

Church Bible Publishers (not to be confused with Local Church Bible Publishers) is really doing a great job coming out with high-quality King James Bibles. And when I learned that they were printing my favorite text block, the Cambridge Cameo, I had to get my hands on one.

I liked it so much I ended up using their “build a Bible” system to get one with a full-yapp goatskin cover and custom ribbons. I expect this will hold me for many years to come!

And so nobody has to ask: CBP did not send me these for review. I purchased them.

Preservation of Scripture, Preservation of the Sanctified.

Psalm 12:6-7 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Jude 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

I recently received a comment from a reader who stated in so many words that modern Bibles have done a lot of damage, but that the “Once Saved Always Saved” (OSAS) eternal security “heresy” has done as much or more.

Let me start with this: if you are saved, and are trusting that your position in Christ has secured you a place in heaven (Eph 2:6) and that you will be preserved in Jesus Christ, but you don’t think God could preserve his words, you have a problem. God has magnified his word above his own name (Psalm 138:2). If he can’t take care of his word like he promised, something that has always been pure (Pro 30:5), then why is he going to preserve you?

But here’s the flip side: if you are one of those people who claim to hold to the preserved word of God in the King James Bible, but think that your salvation is something that can be forfeit and lost, then you don’t understand preservation either! Look at Jude 1:1. God the Father is the great preserver — of both his own word, and those in his own Son.

Because I have had to field comments on this issue more times than I care to say, from folks who think they are Bible Believers, I have obtained permission to reproduce David F. Regan’s excellent booklet: So… you want to lose your salvation. If you have any questions about this issue — ever had any doubts as to whether or not something you have done (or not done) could cost you your place in Christ, please read it.  Reagan presents the answer to this question as 14 steps you would have to take to lose your salvation. And of course, none of them are possible.

Why is this so important? Because if you truly believe you can lose your salvation, then it follows that you must also believe you have a part in cleansing yourself. You are robbing Christ of his own glory in doing this. Only Christ’s blood can clean your filthy soul (1Jo 1:7) — you certainly possess no faculty capable of affecting any of that washing. And do you really expect me to believe that I need Christ’s blood to cleanse me of my sin, but that after that has happened, I need to do something to keep it clean?

And please, if you think your salvation is contingent on your willingness to keep certain laws or avoid committing certain sins, don’t pretend to be a Bible Believer, because you certainly don’t know what it means for God to preserve something.

Sadly, those who believe they have to keep their own salvation don’t know what it means to be “Kept by the power of God” (1Pe 1:5) and should probably review this gospel tract to see if they have ever truly placed their full faith in Christ in the first place.

Finally, before posting an angry comment or your favorite proof-text, read the booklet.

For the rest of you: isn’t it amazing that the very same God who has preserved his word has also promised to preserve you? Amen! 2018 refresh! Plus VerseClick updates.

Eight years is a long time on the internet.

That’s how long it’s been since I did a full site redesign for and the King James Bible Page.

Eight years ago, hardly anyone visited this site with a smartphone.

Now, almost half of all visits are from mobile devices. An eight year-old layout designed for desktop PCs doesn’t make for a great experience on smartphones.

So, I’ve spent the last two weeks completely overhauling with a fresh, clean look for both desktop browsers and mobile devices.  I hope you like it! All of the old content is here.

Major updates have especially occurred with the KJV text pages. You can now conveniently browse Bible chapters on a smartphone with no zoom issues.

Also, lots of little fixes and updates to the VerseClick reference tagger were made. In particular, tapping a VerseClick link (like this: Psalm 68:11)  doesn’t leave behind an unwieldy pop-up on mobile devices.

Finally, everything has been moved to secure https:// URLs, since Google Chrome is going to start “complaining” about “insecure” sites served over http:// in a few months. If you’re using VerseClick on your web sites, you’ll want to update the script src to the new https URL. See the VerseClick page for the link.

I still have a few more things to do. For one thing, I’d like to ditch the Google-provided site search with a comprehensive ad-free search system hosted on the local server. Hopefully I will get to that in the coming weeks.

So, please let me know if you’ve got any difficulties with the new design. (If anything doesn’t look quite “new,” like it should, hold down CTRL while you click refresh on your browser. It could take up to a week for cached files to get refreshed.)

Once this work is behind me, I hope to work on new content for the site. There is always more to do.

Where does God say the book of Esther is perfect Scripture?

Not to spoil the ending too badly for you, but: nowhere.

Let me back up a bit.

There are a class of questions one hears when discussing the Bible version issue that I call “stumpers.” I use the word derisively, because of course, none of these questions are really stumpers at all. These are questions usually asked as if they end the debate and are rarely posed by someone interested in an honest answer or examination of the question.

Here is a good one:

Where in the Bible does God say the KJV is perfect?

To the uninitiated, maybe this seems like a logical question that any King James Bible proponent must be expected to answer and defend, right? If somebody is telling you the King James Bible is pure, you can just ask this simple question, to which he has no answer, so you can just mosey right along and give the issue of Bible versions nary another thought.

I was informed a moment ago, by someone refusing to answer the very real problems that deleting verses from the Bible represent, that this is “the most important question.”

For a moment, let’s focus on two things we can all agree came long before the King James Bible was translated, or before even Tyndale set out to make ploughboys know more of the Scriptures than the Pope. Before we got there:

  • 66 books were written and eventually were adopted as the standard Christian scriptural canon.
  • Perfect divine authorship of these books was assumed — we have the general ideas of infallibility and inerrancy because of this.
    • Yet, few if any of these books have clear claims of perfection, and some of these books even include claims of personal opinion, like 2Co 8:8 could imply.

So, in the spirit of the question “Where does God say the KJV is perfect:”

  • Can somebody show me which verse in the Bible says the book of Jude is Scripture? Or the other 65 books?
  • Can somebody show me where these books are each called out as “perfect?”
  • Try to do so without begging the question. Citing a verse that says God’s word is pure (Ps 119:140; Pr 30:5) only returns us to the first question.

Don’t misunderstand me. I believe the 66 book canon is correct. I believe all of the text from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 are God’s pure, perfect word. I even take the “extreme” position that God’s hand was in the division of that text into its 31,102 verses of 1,189 chapters, but I digress.

Here is what I am getting at: Can the same guy who demands a Bible verse to state that the King James Bible is perfect show a Bible verse that says the 66 book canon is correct?

No, of course, he cannot. There are no such verses. Period. They do not exist.

But here’s where it gets fun: the same guy will not ask (or answer) these questions:

What verse of the Bible says only the originals are inspired, infallible, and inerrant?

Where does God say that he permits competing, conflicting “versions” in English that are all to be considered equally “the Bible” and chosen based on personal preference?

Where does God say that his word can only be perfect in Greek or Hebrew? Or that it is only to be preserved in those two languages?

Nowhere, of course.

You see, the minister of questions who asks “where does God say the KJV is perfect?” is not consistent in his own thoughts. He is double minded, and we know what that means (well, Bible readers do. James 1:8). He doesn’t care to find a Biblical basis for his ideas that “only the originals are inspired.” He isn’t interested too much in finding a “God-breathed” list of the contents of the Bible so he can know for sure that 2nd Sam 1:18 is supposed to be in the Bible but the book of Jasher that it mentions is not. He doesn’t much care that there are no verses that say God doesn’t involve himself in translations of his word, even though he strongly believes that any translation of the Bible is merely the work of sinful man.

There are, in fact, many verses and precepts in the Bible that address all these issues, and all quite to the contrary of the opinions of the modern versionist. This website is full of such discussions and answers, of course.

Now here is the crux of the matter:

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Start with faith, because without it, your questions are pointless.

And then go here:

Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Once you come to the point of faith where you recognize that the book you hold really is God’s word, and therefor must be pure, you don’t need much help “making the leap” calling your Bible perfect. And if you can’t muster the faith to call your Bible PERFECT, maybe you have the wrong one. Nobody calls the ESV or NIV perfect, and for good reason!

Now I already know what many of the “no perfect Bible” proponents will say: “King James Onlysim is man-made doctrine,” or “you aren’t answering the question,” etc., etc. All of the things I point out in this post go right over the heads of people who adamantly refuse to begin from a position of faith on the topic.

You aren’t going to find “a verse” that says “the King James Bible is the Bible in English” because it’s right next to the verse that says which 66 books are supposed to be in the Bible.

And Esther. Where does God say the book of Esther is perfect, let alone part of the Bible? It doesn’t even directly mention God anywhere.

Once you can honestly answer that question, maybe you will be able to handle the really hard ones.

VerseClick web script now supports https

The VerseClick script for webmasters will now work with the https protocol. Webmasters using the VerseClick script to make Bible references automatically hyperlinked on their websites can use the https link to avoid annoying security warnings in web browsers when their site is using SSL.

VerseClick is a free tool for webmasters to use with Bible-related material on their web sites. It’s the same script used on to automatically link verse references for popups. Click here for full details.

In Defense of the Authenticity of 1 John 5:7 (A review)

No verse of sacred writ has endured more assault than this wonderful testimony of the Heavenly Witnesses:

1 John 5:7 (KJV) For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Obviously a clear proclamation of the triune nature of God, and a verse in partnership with John 10:30, it came under attack by Arians and other deniers of Christ’s deity soon after it was provided by the Holy Spirit. Due to this early and unrelenting violence against God’s revealed word in this verse, it is missing from the majority of Greek manuscripts (though not all).

Naturally, God’s promise to preserve his words was never in danger of breach of contract, and the true wording of this valuable passage, now called by many the Johannine Comma, survived in thousands of copies and translations. Early editors of Greek New Testaments included the text as genuine, even if only after publishing inadequate editions that left it out, because among the believing Church there was never any widespread doubt as to its genuineness before the 19th century.

After the insidious Drs. Westcott and Hort crafted a new profane, materialistic methodology for examining the text of the Bible, their concocted New Testament Text was thrust upon the Church as they sought to overturn the testimony of the Holy Spirit of 18 centuries. Their text was a compilation of readings which included many of the rejected and false variants scoured from ignored and useless manuscripts that survived if for no reason other than their lack of use, and combined to form a new “Bible” that no church prior to the late 19th century had ever possessed, copied, or read. This garbage text (some of which was, quite literally, rescued from a trash can in a monastery by Tischendorf) became the basis if the English Revised Version of 1885 and the American Standard Version of 1901.

Both of these translations obliterated this verse from their pages, creating a grammatical disaster, and changed the versification of the passage to cover their deed:

1 John 5:6-8 (King James) This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

1 John 5:6-8 (English Revised) This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. 7 And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is the truth. 8 For there are three who bear witness, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and the three agree in one.

Although these new translations were rejected by the Church at large, and their published copies consigned to haunt the bookshelves of many scholars and preachers who would use them in their private study when they wished to correct the word of the living God, the damage was done. “Biblical scholarship” slowly began to accept this leaven into the dough of esteemed Christian thought and study, and virtually all future translations would eventually accept this abominable monstrosity into the loving embrace of their covers as well.

Over time commentators would discontinue using 1st John 5:7 as a powerful text that proves the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ and his personal unity with the Father and the Holy Ghost. The essential heresy of Arianism, already strong in these scholars, would eventually assert itself again among the many cults that have achieved great followings to this present day.

But, what of the evidence? What of the claims? What of the charges against this wonderful sentence in our Holy Book? Is it really true that it only exists because of the unscrupulous actions of an overzealous scribe? Was its inclusion in Canon just the error of an ignorant, unwitting Church for nearly two millennia; the Holy Ghost powerless to excise the work of a man’s meddling pen until the esteemed scholarship of Drs. Westcott and Hort entered the scene to rescue us from our belief in an inspired Book, and to sire more worldly scholars like Eberhard Nestle, Bruce Metzger, Daniel Wallace, and James White to continue “helping” us away from our immature reliance on a completed and delivered testimony from our Lord?

Well, no. The claims against this verse are false and do not withstand honest scrutiny. If one is able to ignore preconceptions built by Critical Text scholarship (such as it is), the reality is that the testimony of the Holy Spirit through 20 centuries before the deluge of modern translations fell upon us ought to be enough. But there is still more with which to answer the charges of those who attack our Holy Bible and its Comma. On this website I have posted an excerpt from Dr. Holland’s book that spends a brief dozen or so paragraphs disputing the claims of modern Bible correctors, which you should read. Also, in 1995, a tireless librarian named Michael Maynard, M.L.S., published an almost 400 page book called A History of the Debate over 1st John 5:7-8. That author exhausted the tomes of history in a valiant attempt provide the reader with every known discussion of this verse and its contents since the first century. Unfortunately, it is out of print, the author is deceased, and the book could cost you several hundred dollars to buy used due to its rarity.

Thankfully, a new treatment of this topic is available for our edification. Dr. C. H. Pappas, ThM, has produced for us a well-thought out and helpful book he calls In Defense of the Authenticity of 1 John 5:7 which is in its second edition now (my digital copy says it was revised August of 2016). I have completed reading the second edition on Kindle, and I recommend it to anyone who has lingering questions over this verse and its inclusion in our perfect Bible.

The author states from the beginning:

“One does not take leave of one’s senses to embrace the King James Version. Neither does one shut one’s eyes to the facts. Men with sound minds, clear heads, and strong convictions hold and defend the Authorized Version. Better still, such men in an open debate will silence their critics.”

This is well said. There is nothing wrong in holding to the text of the King James in this verse (or any other) and the author offers much in support of it. More importantly, he provides ample logic against those who would assail this verse.

His first chapter is devoted to the external evidences for the Comma. He responds to the charge that it does not appear in enough manuscripts and catalogs those in which it does.  It is satisfying that the author does not restrict himself merely to 1Jo 5:7 but is willing to address this important verse in the context of the greater war against God’s word that has been waged since God gave it. After discussing the merits of the tired “older is better” idea foisted upon us by critics, he says:

“…one may be led astray by the false assumption that the earlier copies of the Scriptures are more reliable. To hold to such a position is to deny the doctrine of the preservation of the Scriptures, which our Lord clearly taught (Matt. 24: 35).”

He goes on at reasonable length discussing important evidence for the Comma such as Cyprian’s quotation of it:

“He lived a hundred years before the earliest extant manuscript we have in our possession. Cyprian quotes 1 John 5: 7 in his first treatise on the unity of the church. This was a universal letter written to the churches. All of this implies that the Comma was well accepted throughout Christendom.”

I spent much time in my own writings in this post above belaboring the point that the Church itself is a witness to this verse, and Pappas does similarly so in his second chapter. In the third chapter, he addresses directly the complaint that the Comma appears in too few manuscripts and tells us why that would be.

Chapters 4 and 5 offer some of the most compelling arguments of all, in my opinion: the Internal Witness to the text. While I would first argue that the flow of the text is nonsensical in English without the Comma, Pappas is clearly at home in Greek as well and explains that the structure of the text proves the validity of the words in question by grammar alone.

“By ‘internal witness,’ it is understood to be an appeal to the witness of the Scriptures themselves. Regardless of what the critics may say in denying the authenticity of the Comma, they cannot refute the internal evidence, that is, if they are honest with the Scriptures. The reading of the Scriptures in the original language demands without any equivocation the acceptance of the Comma.”

In the latter portions of this book, Pappas succeeds in demonstrating that the approach many have taken on this topic is backwards. By that I mean that the critics have put those who accept this verse on the defensive. But it is they, like the Arians before them, who have demanded that this verse be removed from the Bible. It is they who must prove that it is spurious, and yet they only offer unsubstantiated theories as to how it may have been added. We do not really need to prove that it should be included. The Holy Spirit has seen to that for centuries! But regardless of that fact, Pappas piles on the Bible’s critics with ample evidence for its inclusion.

So in the sixth chapter, Reflections, we have such statements as this:

“…we have the record of the controversy in the Greek Church as early as AD 379 with the Arians seeking to remove the Comma. But when it comes to adding the Comma to the Scriptures, there is a dead silence. The Arians were not challenging Gregory for adding the Comma, but rather, Gregory challenged the Arians for omitting the Comma from the Sacred Text. This in itself is telling.”

Re-read that and think about it. The early dispute over this verse was over someone removing it, not someone adding it. Those who would seek to remove this verse today are aligning themselves with the heretical Arians who did remove it from their copies – and whose corruption is probably the primary cause of its absence in the relatively few copies of the passage in early Greek manuscripts that have been found. And remember, when these old manuscripts have survived, it is logically because of their lack of use. This is also a well-developed theme in the book and one I have often had to repeat over and over to people who just don’t seem to understand why “older is better” is not necessarily true.

Chapter 7 spends much time “Exposing the Critics” and is a good general overview of the severe lack of fidelity among those who attack the Bible and not just this verse.

“No longer are the Scriptures revered as the ‘Voice from Beyond.’ They are no longer regarded as the very Word of God. Professors in our schools and universities present the Bible to young scholars as fables of ancient literature. The source critics have accomplished their end. They are rightly defined as ‘Unholy Hands on the Holy Bible.’ Presently, pastors in many churches are correcting the Scriptures rather than correcting the people by the Scriptures.”

Chapter 8 address more about the work done for the 1881 Revised Version.

The author offers a useful appendix containing “The witness of the Church Fathers,” “The Arian Persecutions,” the “Two Greek Texts” (introductory information for the whole controversy over Bible versions), and several more, including a brief section on Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, the two corrupt manuscripts that make up the basis for the majority of readings chosen against the King James Bible in modern versions.

If there is any criticism I could level against the author’s work, it would be the over-emphasis on the Greek Orthodox church in his chapter titled Reflections and also in the third chapter, but the amount of information provided in this book far outweighs such a minor point.

In parting let me say this. It is sad to see that many teachers, when expositing on this passage of the Bible or on the topic of the Trinity, limp over this verse as if it is not there for their use and instruction. It is as if the marginal note in their Scofield Reference Bible has rendered them impotent. Even some of those who would regard the King James Bible to be God’s word in English seem reluctant to bellow this verse out with the vigor that they would give other disputed but true readings, such as “God was manifest in the flesh” in 1Ti 3:16. Perhaps they may read this book and remember that they can and should confidently and boldly declare the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). The living God of the Bible has seen to the inclusion of this verse in billions of copies of his words throughout history and to this day. There is no reason this powerful verse should be ignored.

I can recall that when I first read Michael Maynard’s long book on this topic in 1995 that I calculated that a defense of one of the most questioned verses in the King James Bible could increase one’s willingness to believe the rest of it. Over 20 years later I have learned that for most people, there is simply no reaching them on this issue regardless of the facts – they enjoy their “smooth things” (Isa 30:10) and multiple versions and do not want a final authority to contend with. But still, the fact remains that 1Jo 5:7 is, without a doubt, the most attacked verse in the Book. It may be true that more ink, toner, and electrons have been spilled on various other “problem texts,” but that is only because in the eyes of most critics, 1Jo 5:7 was disposed of long ago and nothing more need be said. But they are wrong about that. If you doubt the accuracy if the Received Text in our King James Bible anywhere, perhaps the rigorous yet concise defense of this beloved passage presented in In Defense of the Authenticity of 1 John 5:7 will help you realize you can trust all of it. It’s only 158 pages in print. Why not read it?

Misremembered Bible Quotes: The Lion and the Lamb

We all know that the phrase “God helps those who help themselves” is not in the Bible. It’s one of those false proverbs that people who don’t read the Bible think comes from the Bible. But how many phrases do you think you know of the Bible are actually nothing more than phrases spoken by men? Here’s an example, one that I am often asked about in fact:

“The lion and the lamb shall lie down together.”

The convenient alliteration “lion and lamb” is easy to remember. But it is not out of the Bible, at least not as a direct quote. The phrase goes back at most a few centuries and appears in sermons and commentaries, but never as a direct Bible quote. But because of the picture it paints, and the alliteration of the spoken words said, it took hold and many people assume that is a direct Bible quote. So when they read the actual verse, they can be caught off-guard:

Isaiah 11:6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

A lion and a lamb do also appear in one verse in Isaiah 65:25, but again, the Bible paints the picture of a wolf and a lamb together:

Isaiah 65:25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

The force of memory is so strong that many people have emailed me when reading these verses assuming that something happened to their Bibles because it doesn’t match up with what they have heard preached. “The lion and the lamb shall lie together” is an allusion to verses in Isaiah that appeared in sermons and commentaries, but eventually became remembered as Bible quotes. Here is an example. In a few minutes of research this is the oldest quotation of this phrase I found in the commentaries I have easy access to (there may be others that are older, but this one is certainly the oldest well read use):

And peace there shall be no end; this respects both the increase and perpetuity of the peace of Christ’s kingdom. The peace of believers, under the Gospel dispensation, is greater than that of the saints under the legal dispensation, whose sacrifices could not remove a consciousness of sin and its guilt; and who, through various laws threatening with death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage; but great is the peace of New Testament saints, through the blood, righteousness, and sacrifice of Christ, and which may be increased more and more; and in the latter day there will be more peace among themselves; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, nor Judah vex Ephraim; the sticks of Joseph and Judah shall be one nor will there ever be any more discord between Jew and Gentile, the lion and the lamb shall lie down together; there will be no more war among the nations, after the battle of Armageddon; and no more persecution, after the slaughter of the witnesses; and this abundance of peace, spiritual and temporal, will be as long as the moon endures, Ps 72:7 and all this will issue in eternal peace in the world to come:…” -John Gill, comments on Isaiah 9:7, 18th century.

Carefully notice that Dr. Gill includes the phrase but does not offer attribution to the Bible for it. Thus we see Gill’s allusion (not quotation) worked its way into collective memory through other speakers and teachers who used the same (non-Bible) phrase.