The challenges continue to come in concerning GodSaidManSaid’s stand in support of the majority-text Authorized King James Version of the Bible. Some think the issue is much to do about nothing, but be assured, its importance cannot be exaggerated. This feature will address various e-mail messages concerning this subject.
E-mailer Frank said concerning Bible translations:
“Do we Christians really need one more thing to disagree about?”
Dear Brother Frank, since the publishing of the King James Bible from the majority-text manuscripts (over 90% of all existing manuscripts), all subsequent translations came from the minority-text. The issue is very serious. Entire doctrines have been altered, and such a critical one, for example, as the Christian’s super weapon against evil, prayer and fasting, has been omitted completely. For details, please click on to “Which Bible” on this website and then respond.
Another e-mailer, S. T., posed the question of the Old Testament Apocryphal books and certain Apocryphal chapters that are missing from the current King James Version—chapters that he asserts should be included. He writes:
I noticed you follow the King James Version of the Bible. The seven books that were removed by Martin Luther were only part of what was removed. Chapters 13 and 14 of Daniel were removed. Also, seven chapters in Esther were removed. The Jewish canon that removed these seven books in 100 A.D. made a terrible mistake because Jesus studied the COMPLETE Septuagint, or Old Testament, when He was on earth. Don’t you think Jesus would have removed those books if they were not inspired?
Apocrypha means secret or hidden. The Apocrypha is positioned chronologically between Malachi, the last book of the Hebrew Old Testament, and Matthew, the first book of the New Testament. The term refers to a collection of books from 11 to 16 in number. The list that is in front of me is found in the Thompson Chain Reference Bible published by B. B. Kirkbride Bible Co. The list is as follows:
Additions to Esther
The Wisdom of Solomon
The Epistle of Jeremiah
The Song of the Three Holy Children
The History of Susanna
Bel and the Dragon
The Prayer of Manasses
I and II Maccabees
III and IV Maccabees
The number of books quoted as making up the Apocrypha differs depending on the authorities speaking. The difference is simply on how the books are grouped. For example, the Epistle of Jeremiah may be included in the book of Baruch, and so forth.
It wasn’t until over 1,500 years after the resurrection of Jesus Christ that 11 of the Apocryphal books were canonized by the Roman Catholic Church at the Council of Trent in 1546 A.D. The Apocryphal writings are Old Testament.
It must be noted that the Hebrew Old Testament found in the King James Version is known as the Masoretic text. It was faithfully protected by the Hebrew Levitical order and Hebrew scholars. They were the keepers and protectors—the source of the Old Testament. The Hebrew canon rejects the Apocryphal books.
Concerning the Old Testament, Dr. Henry Morris weighs in with the following:
As far as the Hebrew text is concerned, the King James is based on the Masoretic (meaning, handed down) text, while the modern versions rely heavily on Kittel’s revised Masoretic text.
The Masoretic text was compiled from the ancient manuscripts of the Old Testament by the Hebrew scholars dedicated to guarding and standardizing the traditional Hebrew text “handed down” from the earlier Hebrew scribes, who has in turn meticulously copied the ancient Hebrew manuscripts, scrupulously guarding against error. As far as the Hebrew text developed by Rudolf Kittel is concerned, it is worth noting that Kittel was a German rationalistic higher critic, rejecting Biblical inerrancy and firmly devoted to evolutionism. [End of quote]
The Christian church received the Old Testament from the Masoretic text. The Apocrypha is not in it.
In the New Testament, there are 219 direct quotes from the Old Testament covering 300 verses. Forty-four Old Testament people are mentioned in the New Testament. In addition, the Old Testament is alluded to hundreds of times in the New Testament. Keep that in mind as you read the following.
Concerning the Apocrypha, the Thompson Chain lists the following:
1. They are never quoted by Jesus, and it is doubtful if they were ever alluded to by the apostles.
2. Most of the early Fathers regarded them as uninspired.
3. They did not appear in the Ancient Hebrew canon.
4. The inferior quality of most of the writings as compared with the canonical books, stamps them as unworthy of a place in the sacred Scriptures. [End of quote]
Jerome, who produced the Catholic Vulgate, which was a translation of scriptures into Latin, did not originally endorse the Apocryphal books.
According to Bible researcher G. A. Riplinger, the translators of the King James Version said that the Apocrypha was not to be viewed as Holy Scripture because it was not written in Hebrew, nor ever accepted by the Jewish canon or early Christians, nor ever mentioned by Jesus Christ. Riplinger points out some false doctrines that were spawned by the Apocrypha:
1. Almsgiving expiates sins. Almsgiving saves from death and purges every kind of sin. (Ecclesiasticus 3:30; Tobit 12:9)
2. Purgatory and prayers for the dead. (II Macabees 12:39-45)
3. The immaculate conception for Mary; reincarnation and transmigration of souls for New Agers and Hindus. (Wisdom 8:19-20)
S. T., the Apocryphal writings are missing because they are not deemed worthy of the classification of Holy Writ.
S. T. alleges that Jesus Christ studied the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament.
It must be noted that the battle of translations finds it root in Egypt—the place where Israel was commanded by God never to return. Egypt was to Israel the origin and symbol of their bondage. During the days of Jeremiah the prophet, the remnant of the children of Israel considered returning to Egypt to escape their fear of the king of Babylon. These following 11 verses in Jeremiah 42:19-22 and 43:1-7 depict the situation:
42:19 The LORD hath said concerning you, O ye remnant of Judah; Go ye not into Egypt: know certainly that I have admonished you this day.
20 For ye dissembled in your hearts, when ye sent me unto the LORD your God, saying, Pray for us unto the LORD our God; and according unto all that the LORD our God shall say, so declare unto us, and we will do it.
21 And now I have this day declared it to you; but ye have not obeyed the voice of the LORD your God, nor any thing for the which he hath sent me unto you.
22 Now therefore know certainly that ye shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, in the place whither ye desire to go and to sojourn.
43:1 And it came to pass, that when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking unto all the people all the words of the LORD their God, for which the LORD their God had sent him to them, even all these words,
2 Then spake Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men, saying unto Jeremiah, Thou speakest falsely: the LORD our God hath not sent thee to say, Go not into Egypt to sojourn there:
3 But Baruch the son of Neriah setteth thee on against us, for to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they might put us to death, and carry us away captives into Babylon.
4 So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people, obeyed not the voice of the LORD, to dwell in the land of Judah.
5 But Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, took all the remnant of Judah, that were returned from all nations, whither they had been driven, to dwell in the land of Judah;
6 Even men, and women, and children, and the king’s daughters, and every person that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah.
7 So they came into the land of Egypt: for they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: thus came they even to Tahpanhes.
These Jews were fully rebellious against the Word of God. It should be no surprise that they participated in the contamination of it. The Jews of Alexandria, Egypt, purportedly gave the world the Septuagint. In regard to the Septuagint and the Apocryphal books, Thompson Chain states:
The Jews of the Dispersion in Egypt placed a high estimate upon these books, and included them in the Greek translation of the Old Testament, called the Septuagint, but they were rejected from the Hebrew canon by the Jews of Palestine.
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
Only the Hebrew text of the Bible was honored in the temple and synagogues. Jesus was not reading from the Greek Septuagint. The Jews considered the Greeks as dogs.
Riplinger, citing The Septuagint by Zondervan Publishing, and The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, reports the following:
Even the edition of The Septuagint marketed today points out in its preface that the stories surrounding its B.C. creation and existence are fables. All of the LXX manuscripts cited in its concordance were written after A.D. 200. The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics elaborates calling “the Letter of the pseudo-Aristeas, a manifest forgery and the fragments of Aristobulus, which have also been highly suspect.” The existence of an entire Greek Old Testament predating the life of Christ has no extant documentation. In fact, only scraps containing a few Old Testament chapters in Greek have ever been found.
Also out of Alexandria, Egypt, comes Origen, who in A.D. 213, headed up the Philosophical School located there. Riplinger suggests the true authorship of the Septuagint belongs to Origen. Riplinger records the following in the 690-page research work, New Age Versions:
The Septuagint (LXX), a Greek translation of the Old Testament, is used today by textual critics, in many instances, to determine the wording of new versions. It appears that Origen was the author of this A.D. document. The NIV translators admit they use the O.T. text which was “standardized early in the third century by Origen.” Hence, Origen’s six column Old Testament, the Hexapla, is used as the LXX today. It is freely drawn from by new translation editors to alter the Masoretic Hebrew Text. Recall, the colophon at the end of Sinaiticus (Aleph) stated that it was ’the Hexapla’ of Origen. Hort concedes in his Introduction to the New Testament in the Original Greek that the LXX, Aleph and B are “the same manuscript Bibles.” Therefore, some New Testament quotes match the LXX because, as Carlson writes, “[S]cholars have argued that Vaticanus [B] came from the same hand [as the LXX]. Jerome, a contemporary of this ’revision’, agreed.” [End of quote]
The name Origen is an important name to remember. He was a promoter of the Greek Septuagint which includes the Apocrypha as well as a promoter of the minority-text New Testament Greek manuscripts which were used by Westcott and Hort. It’s from this fountain that today’s modern English translations hail (See “Which Bible” on this website.).
The following excerpt is from the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia (www.newadvent.org):
Nevertheless, it is certain that St. Jerome greatly praised and made use of Origen, that he even transcribed some erroneous passages without due reservation. [End of quote]
Keep in mind that it was Jerome who gave the world the Catholic Latin Vulgate Bible, and from the Vulgate comes the Catholic English Douay.
Concerning Origen, Riplinger reports in New Age Bible Versions:
The church declared Origen a heretic because he held the following beliefs:
1. The Logos is subordinate to the Father and has some characteristics similar to the Logos of the Gnostics.
2. The soul is preexistent; Jesus took on some preexistent human soul.
3. There was no physical resurrection of Christ nor will there be a second coming. Man will not have a physical resurrection.
4. Hell is nonexistent; purgatory, of which Paul and Peter must partake, does exist.
5. All, including the Devil, will be reconciled to God.
6. The sun, moon and stars are living creatures.
7. Emasculation, of which he partook, is called for males. [End of quote]
Dr. Edward Hills, Harvard and Yale scholar, relays:
Origen. . .was not content to abide by the text which he received but freely engaged in the boldest sort of conjectural emendations. And there were other critics at Alexandria. . .who deleted many readings of the original New Testament text and thus produced the abbreviated text found in the papyri and in the manuscripts Aleph and B [the Greek manuscripts used to create the recent new versions].
John Burgon, author of scores of scholarly books on the transmission and corruption of the original Greek manuscripts and dissenting member of Westcott and Hort’s Revision Committee said:
I am of the opinion that such depravations of the text [as found in Aleph and B] were in the first instance intentional. Origen may be regarded as the prime offender. . .the author of all the mischief. . .[Clement used] ’hopelessly corrupt’ versions of the New Testament which there is in these last days an attempt to revive and palm off on an unlearned generation the old exploded errors. [End of quote]
S. T., Jesus did not study the Septuagint nor did He endorse by reference the Apocrypha contained in it.
Finally, S. T. claims:
Come on guys, the Bible was canonized by the Catholic Church during the councils of Hippo and Carthage in 382 and 397 A.D. Get your history straight because only the Catholics’ Bibles are authentic.
S. T. suggested we get our history straight. Let’s take a look at his. The word canon, according to Noah Webster, means “a cane, reed or measuring rod.” He defines canon in regard to our discussion as “the genuine books of the Holy Scriptures, called the sacred canon, or general rule of moral and religious duty, given by inspiration.” [End of quote]
As early as 100 A.D., all 27 books in the New Testament contained in the canon today were widely honored by the believers of old. In addition, these books were in use and circulated as soon as they were written. One of the credentials of Holy Writ was that they were written by the Apostles or endorsed by the Apostles such as Brother Luke. The criterion of apostolicity was laid out by Tertullian, who was known as “the Father of Latin Theology.” He died in 225 A.D. — long before the councils noted by S. T.
Canons of the New Testament precedes S. T.’s history by over 200 years. A partial list follows:
Marcion, A.D. 140
Muratorian, A.D. 170
Barococcio, A.D. 206
Apostolic, A.D. 300
The canon of Cyril of Jerusalem, A.D. 350
Cheltenham, A.D. 360
The canon approved by the Synod of Laodicea, A.D. 363
Athanasius, A.D. 367
The canon of the New Testament remains the same as it was in 100 A.D. It was either written by the Apostles or by an author endorsed by the Apostles.
S. T. asserts that only Catholic bibles are authentic. The Catholic Douay-Rheims is an English translation of the Bible taken from Jerome’s Catholic Latin Vulgate Bible. It not only shows deference to corrupt Alexandrian manuscripts and discredited Apocryphal writings, but it is a secondary translation. Any of Jerome’s errors were simply translated into English. And since that time, it has undergone numerous changes. According to William Bradley, author of Purified Seven Times, Catholic Cardinals Newman and Wiseman attest to these changes. Cardinal Wiseman is quoted as saying, “It [the Douay-Rheims translation] has been altered and modified until scarcely any verse remains as it was originally published.” [End of quote]
The Authorized King James Version of 1611 finds its Old Testament in the Masoretic text endorsed by the Hebrew canon, and its New Testament in the majority-text. The majority-text represents well over 90% of the over 5,000 Greek handwritten manuscripts that contain the New Testament scriptures. On grounds of sourcing, age, and scholarship, it is the authority in the English speaking world, whether the world likes it or not.
King James Bible
Bradley, W., Purified Seven Times, Revival Fires! Publishing, p103
Burgon, J., Causes of Textual Corruption, London: George Bell and Sons, 1896, pp95- 108
Hills, E. F., The King James Version Defended, Des Moines, Iowa: The Christian Research Press, 1973, p144
House, H. W., Chronological and Background Charts of the New Testament, Zondervan, 1981
Morris, H., Founder, Institute for Creation Research
Riplinger, G. A., In Awe of Thy Word, pp603-606
Riplinger, G. A., New Age Bible Versions, AV Publications
Thompson Chain Reference Bible, Kirkbride Bible Co., p1584
www.ntcanon.org, “The Development of the Canon of the New Testament”