The following study, while I may not agree with all that
is written, is basically a very worth while study
KING JAMES VERSION TRANSLATION ERRORS
by Richard Nickels, firstname.lastname@example.org
What's wrong with modern translations of the Bible? Which ancient
manuscripts are the most reliable and accurate to use for the New
Testament? Which Bible translation should YOU use for studying
What are the few translation errors, unjustifiable additions and
misplaced verses of the King James Version Bible?
We use the King James Version as our main study Bible. Why the
King James? Because all the major Bible aides are based on the
KJV. We have documented KJV translation errors and have marked
them in our Bible. Newer versions are often not as faithful to
the original text. As the September-October 1988 The Good News
magazine states, "The Authorized or King James Version is clearer
and more faithful to the original Hebrew [and Greek] than most
modern translations because the King James Version is not an
attempt to interpret the text" (page 21).
What's Wrong With Modern Translations?
The Old Testament has been faithfully preserved by the Jews in
what is known as the Masoretic Text. There are few translation
problems with the Old Testament.
However, most modern translations, from the Revised Standard
Version (RSV) to the New International Version (NIV), use as
their source for the New Testament a Greek Text based upon the
Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus of the fourth century. This
text, publicized by Westcott and Hort, is also known as the
Alexandrian Text. It originated in Egypt and has been massaged by
"higher critics" down through the ages. These manuscripts, used
in the RSV, represent less than 5% of known Greek Biblical
manuscripts, but are supposedly more authentic because they are
The bulk of New Testament manuscripts were copied century after
century from earlier ones as they wore out. Older copies did not
survive because these texts were used until worn out. This text,
the so-called "Received Text" or "Byzantine ext" (also termed
"Syrian", "Antioch", or Koine text ) was used in the King James
Version. Nearly 4,000 manuscripts of this Byzantine or Official
text agree almost perfectly with each other, and are far better
standard to go by than corrupt copies no matter how early they
were made. Located primarily at Mt. Athos in Greece, copies of
the Official Greek Text give us a very reliable record of the New
PROOF THE RECEIVED TEXT IS CORRECT
Jay P. Green, Sr., General Editor and Translator of the
Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, states in his preface:
"The market-place is being glutted with new books which are being
represented as versions of the Bible. Each one claims to be the
very word of God, yet there are literally thousands of
differences between them .... they all leave out dozens of
references to the deity of Jesus Christ, and they add words which
tend to question His virgin birth, His substitutionary, fully
satisfying atonement. This is due to their decision to depend
upon an Alexandrian [Egyptian] textbase, instead of that body of
God's words which has been universally received and believed in
for nineteen centuries, known to us as the Received Text. These
new versions [such as the NIV, New Jerusalem Bible and others]
are not only marked by additions, but also by subtractions, since
some four whole pages of words, phrases, sentences and verses
have been omitted by these new versions. And these are words
attested to as God's words by overwhelming evidence contained in
all the Greek manuscripts . . .
" . . . it has been written, 'For I say to you, Until the heavens
and the earth pass away, in no way shall pass away one iota or
one point from the Law, until all things come to pass.' - Matthew
5:18 [Green's paraphrased] ....
"What then is the evidence these Bible alters offer to persuade
you to give up the precious words they have removed from their
versions? Mainly, they cite two manuscripts, admittedly old, but
also admittedly carelessly executed. The Sinaiticus was so poorly
executed that seven different hands of 'textual critics' can be
discerned as they tried to impose their views on the Bible . . .
it was discarded, found in a wastebasket fourteen centuries after
it was executed. The Vaticanus manuscript lay on a shelf in the
Vatican library at Rome until 1431, and was considered so corrupt
that no one would use it.....they have systematically removed
Luke's witness to the ascension of Christ and of course they have
done away entirely with Mark's witness to the ascension, simply
because these last twelve verses do not appear in those two
corrupt manuscripts, the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus ....
Origen, an early textual critic.....said that 'the Scriptures are
of little use to those who understand them as they are written .
.....given the opportunity, many like Origen will actually alter
the manuscripts to make them say what they understand them to
mean ....Justin Martyr, Valentinus, Clement of Alexandria,
Marcion, Tatian, and a horde of others practiced their 'textual
science' by operating on manuscripts, or by writing their own
Today there are more than 5,000 manuscripts and lectionaries in
Greek as witnesses to the New Testament text. And 95% of them
witness to the Received Text readings [contained in Green's
Interlinear and the King James Version]. Partly due to the fact
that ancient manuscripts containing the Received Text were worn
out by use, while the Alexandrian textbase manuscripts were
preserved by the dry conditions of Egypt, some have sought to
discredit the Received Text because they say it is not ancient.
But now that manuscript portions from the second century are
being unearthed, it is found that many of the readings of the
Received Text which had been tagged scornfully as 'late readings'
by nearly unanimous consent of the 'textual scientists' are
appearing in these [newly found] manuscripts. Readings which were
before called late and spurious have been found in these
early-date manuscripts.....Yet strangely, in textual criticism
classes, such discoveries are swept under the rug, not reported
to the class."
We use the King James Version exclusively as our main study
Bible, only using other translations to aid study of certain
passages, to get another perspective. The fact that modern
versions slavishly depend on the Egyptian and Vatican corruptions
of the New Testament should make us avoid them as a "main Bible."
WHAT ARE THE ERRORS IN THE KJV
You have probably heard the joke about the bigoted Protestant
fundamentalist who said, "If the King James Version was good
enough for the apostles, it is good enough for me!" People
sometimes forget that the KJV was published in 1611 A.D.
For centuries prior to 1611, Latin was the only scholarly
language in Europe. The Latin Vulgate translation of Jerome,
based upon a corrupt Alexandrian Text, was the "official" text of
the powerful Roman Catholic Church.
Protestant translators sometimes did not have access to all of
the Received Greek Official Text, and being familiar with the
Vulgate, they sometimes put words into their translations based
upon the Latin which were never there in the original Greek.
Schaff points out that in about 80 places in the New Testament,
the KJV adopts Latin readings not found in the Greek. Erasmus had
a corrupt, incomplete text of Revelation to work from, and hence
this book has many errors in the KJV.
The King James translators did a marvellous job with the
materials they had. While this article is necessary to point out
the KJV errors, it should be noted that the errors, omissions and
additions made by the RSV, NIV, and other modern translations are
much, much worse!
Here is a partial listing of King James Version translation
Genesis 1:2 should read "And the earth became without form...."
The word translated "was" is hayah, and denotes a condition
different than a former condition, as in Genesis 19:26.
Genesis 10:9 should read ".....Nimrod the mighty hunter in place
of [in opposition to] the LORD." The word "before" is incorrect
and gives the connotation that Nimrod was a good guy, which is
Leviticus 16:8, 10, 26 in the KJV is "scapegoat" which today has
the connotation of someone who is unjustly blamed for other's
sins. The Hebrew is Azazel, which means "one removed or
separated." The Azazel goal represents Satan, who is no
scapegoat. He is guilty of his part in our sins.
Deuteronomy 24:1, "then let him" should be "and he." As the
Savior explained in Matthew 19, Moses did not command
divorcement. This statute is regulating the permission of divorce
because of the hardness of their hearts.
II Kings 2:23, should be "young men", not "little children."
Isaiah 65:17 should be "I am creating [am about to create] new
heavens and new earth . . . ."
Ezekiel 20:25 should read "Wherefore I permitted them, or gave
them over to, [false] statutes that are not good, and judgments
whereby they should not live." God's laws are good, perfect and
right. This verse shows that since Israel rejected God's laws, He
allowed them to hurt themselves by following false man made
customs and laws.
Daniel 8:14 is correct in the margin, which substitutes "evening
morning" for "days." Too bad William Miller didn't realize this.
Malachi 4:6 should read "....lest I come and smite the earth with
utter destruction." "Curse" doesn't give the proper sense here.
Same word used in Zechariah 14:11.
Matthew 5:48 should be "Become ye therefore perfect" rather than
"be ye therefore perfect." "Perfect" here means "spiritually
mature." Sanctification is a process of overcoming with the aid
of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 24:22 needs an additional word to clarify the meaning. It
should say "there should no flesh be saved alive."
Matthew 27:49 omits text which was in the original. Moffatt
correctly adds it, while the RSV puts it in a footnote: "And
another took a spear and pierced His side, and out came water and
blood." The Savior's death came when a soldier pierced His side,
Matthew 28:1, "In the end of the sabbath as it began to dawn
toward the first day of the week...." should be translated
literally, "Now late on Sabbath, as it was getting dusk toward
the first day of the week....." The Sabbath does not end at dawn
but at dusk.
Luke 2:14 should say, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth
peace among men of God's good pleasure or choosing." That is,
there will be peace on earth among men who have God's good will
in their hearts.
Luke 14:26 has the unfortunate translation of the Greek word
miseo, Strong's #3404, as "hate", when it should be rendered
"love less by comparison." We are not to hate our parents and
John 1:31, 33 should say "baptize" or "baptizing." IN water" not
with water. Pouring or sprinkling with water is not the
scriptural method of baptism, but only thorough immersion in
John 1:17 is another instance of a poor preposition. "By" should
be "through": "For the law was given by [through] Moses ......
Moses did not proclaim his law, but God's Law.
John 13:2 should be "And during supper" (RSV) rather than "And
supper being ended" (KJV). (This one I must comment on because
the KJV is very correct, the Greek tense is aorist - an action
done in the past and completed - Keith Hunt).
Acts 12:4 has the inaccurate word "Easter" which should be
rendered "Passover." The Greek word is pascha which is translated
correctly as Passover in Matthew 26:2, etc.
I Corinthians 1:18 should be: "For the preaching of the cross is
to them that are perishing foolishness; but unto us which are
being saved it is the power of God", rather than "perish" and
"are saved." Likewise, II Thessalonians 2:10 should be "are
perishing" rather than "perish."
I Corinthians 15:29 should be: "Else what shall they do which are
baptized for the hope of the dead, if the dead rise not at all?
why are they then baptized for the hope of the dead?"
II Corinthians 6:2 should be "a day of salvation", instead of
"the day of salvation." This is a quote from Isaiah 49:8, which
is correct. The day of salvation is not the same for each
individual. The firstfruits have their day of salvation during
this life. The rest in the second resurrection.
I Timothy 4:8 should say, "For bodily exercise profiteth for a
little time: but godliness in profitable unto all things ......
I Timothy 6:10 should be, "For the love of money is a [not the]
root of all evil . . . ."
Hebrews 4:8 should be "Joshua" rather than "Jesus", although
these two words are Hebrew and Greek equivalents.
Hebrews 4:9 should read, "There remaineth therefore a keeping of
a sabbath to the people of God."
Hebrews 9:28 is out of proper order in the King James. It should
be: "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and
unto them without sin that look for him shall he appear the
second time unto salvation."
I John 5,-7-8 contains additional text which was added to the
original. "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the
Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and
the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one." The
italicized text was added to the original manuscripts. Most
modern translations agree that this was an uninspired addition to
the Latin Vulgate to support the unscriptural trinity doctrine.
Revelation 14:4 should be "a firstfruits", because the 144,000
are not all the firstfruits.
Revelation 20:4-5 in the KJV is a little confusing until you
realize that the sentence "This is the first resurrection." in
verse five refers back to "they lived and reigned with Christ a
thousand years" in verse four.
Revelation 20:10, "And the devil that deceived them was cast into
the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false
prophet are [correction: should be 'were cast' because the beast
and false prophet were mortal human beings who were burned up in
the lake of fire 1,000 years previous to this time, Revelation
19:20], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
The is that Satan will be cast into the same lake fire into which
the beast and false prophet were cast a thousand years
Revelation 22:2 should be "health" rather than "healing."
ITALICS SOMETIME HELPFUL SOMETIMES WRONG
No language can be translated word for word into another
language. Hebrew and Greek idioms often do not come through
clearly into literal English. Thus, beginning in 1560 with the
Geneva Bible, translators initiated the practice of adding
italicized clarifying words to make the original language more
plain. The fifty-four King James translators did the same. Often,
the added italicized words do help make the meaning clearer. At
other times, the translators through their doctrinal us
misunderstandings added errors instead.
Psalms 81:4, "was" is totally uncalled for and not in the
original Hebrew. New Moons are still a statute of God.
We have shown how in Revelation 20:10 that the italicized "are"
is incorrect and that "were cast" in italics would have been more
Another instance is John 8:28 where Jesus said (KJV), "I am he."
The "he" is in italics and was not actually spoken by Jesus,
completely obscuring the fact the Jesus was claiming to be the
great "I AM" of the Old Testament, John 8:58 and Exodus 3:14.
In Luke 3:23-38, the italicized words "the son" are not in the
original Greek. Actually, Luke gives the fleshly descent of the
Savior through Mary, while Matthew gives the legal descent
Matthew 24:24 should not have the italicized words "it were". It
IS possible for the elect to be deceived. We need to be on guard!
Romans 1:7 incorrectly has the italicized words "to be." The fact
is, Christians are now saints.
I Corinthians 7:19 needs some italicized words to make the
meaning clear. It should say: "Circumcision is nothing, and
uncircumcision is nothing, but [the important thing is] the
keeping of the commandments of God."
Colossians 2:16-17 can be properly understood only if the KJV
italicized word "is" in verse 1 is left out, as it should be. The
message of these verses is: don't let men judge you as doing
wrong when you observe the holy days, new moons and sabbaths; let
the body of Christ (the Church) do the judging.
I Timothy 3:11 has "their" in italics, which is not implied in
II Peter 2:5 should not have "person" Noah was the eighth
preacher of righteousness.
I John 2:23 has "[but] he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the
Father also" in italics. This is an addition based upon the Latin
text and not in the original Greek.
Luke 23:43 has been erroneously used by some to claim that Jesus
went straight to heaven at His death. The original Greek did not
have punctuation marks as we do today. The KJV states, "And Jesus
said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with
me in paradise." The comma should not be after "thee", but
"day." The believing malefactor would be with Christ in the
paradise of the redeemed when he was resurrected far into the
Mark 16:9 does not say that Jesus was resurrected Sunday morning.
There is a missing implied comma between "risen" and "early" and
there should be no comma after week as the KJV has it: "Now when
Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared
first to Mary Magdalene...." Thus, it should say, "Now when Jesus
was risen, early the first day of the week he appeared first to
(Actually again the KJV is correct in the placement of the comma,
for Jesus was raised from the dead in the early hours of what we
call Saturday evening, which was the beginning of the first day
as God reckons the start of the day at sunset. I have a few
studies in-depth on this on the Website - Keith Hunt).
Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that the 1611 A.D. King
James English is somewhat different than today's English
language. The meaning of certain words has changed, and/or the
King James sometimes uses words not familiar to most people today
in their common speech. In addition, certain idioms in the
original Hebrew and Greek are a little difficult to understand
today. The Oxford Wide Margin KJV has excellent marginal
references which often explain the correct meanings. Here is a
partial listing of changed word meanings:
King James Phrase (on top)
Modern English (on bottom)
"the Kingdom of God" in which the redeemed will have an intimate
relationship with father Abraham in sharing the eternal
inheritance of the earth.
"sonship", as in Romans 8:23. 9:4. Ephesians 1:5.
"passions", as in Galatians 5:24. "mind" as in Colossians 3:2.
"fast", as in Leviticus 23:27, 32 (Psalms 35:13}
"judge against you", as in Colossians 2:18.
"early", as in Proverbs 13:24.
"blisters", as in Exodus 9:9.
bosom, in his
"have an intimate relationship with", as in II Samuel 12:3, 8,
"report, rumor", as in Jeremiah 10:22, Nahum 3:19.
"spiritual love", as in I Corinthians 13.
"right attitude", as in Psalms 51:10, 73:1.
"share", as in Hebrews 13:16.
"associations, companionships", as in I Corinthians 15:33.
"conduct", as in Philippians 2:27,1 Peter 3:1, "citizenship" as
in Philippians 3:20.
"convict", as in Titus 1:9, James 2:9.
"grain", as in Leviticus 23:14, Deuteronomy 23:25.
cover his feet
"go to the toilet", as in I Samuel 24:3.
"creation", as in Romans 8:20-21,11
Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 6:15.
"judged", as in Mark 16:16.
"demons", as in I Timothy 4:1.
"hypocrisy", as in Galatians 2:13.
"different" places, persons or things as in Matthew 24:7 and Acts
19:9, Hebrews 1:1, James 1:2.
"expounding, dissecting", as in II Timothy 2:15.
"sick", as in I Timothy 6:4.
"sexual dues", as in I Corinthians 7:3.
"examples, types", as in I Corinthians 10:11.
"give up" as in Luke 18:1, Galatians 6:9.
"evil, wrong", as in Proverbs 2:12.
"expensive, costly", as in James 2:3.
"Holy Ghost" should be rendered "Holy Spirit."
TO BE CONTINUED