Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Response to Jeremy Nelson | by D. Adams



This is a basic response to a pdf electronic publication written by Jeremy Nelson of For website that speaks out against New Bible Translations. For each page of the forgenerations pdf file I will reply accordingly. From this point forward, the pdf file will be abbreviated as MBV (Modern Bible Versions). The original document can be found here:

I would say there are many people unaware of the work that has been performed through textual criticism. Textual Criticism is defined as a comparison of particular texts with related materials in order to establish authenticity. Some have suggested that textual criticism started a long time ago. More recently, a few of the methods for editing of classical texts was developed principally by three German scholars, Friedrich Wolf (1759-1824), one of the founders of classical philology, Immanuel Bekker (1785-1871), and Karl Lachmann (1793-1851). (Earlham College, n.d.)

There have been many websites that speak out against Westcott and Hort as far as their beliefs concerning the faith and so forth. It needs to be stated clearly that the text of Westcott and Hort was not the first printed Greek Testament that deliberately and substantially departed from the textus receptus on the basis of manuscript evidence. Westcott and Hort were preceded in the late 1700s by Griesbach, and in the 1800s by Lachmann, Alford, Tregelles, and Tischendorf (and others), all of whose texts made numerous revisions in the textus receptus on the basis of manuscript evidence; these texts, especially the last three named, are very frequently in agreement with Westcott and Hort, against the textus receptus.[1]

So who are the folks behind

The website is maintained by Jeremy Nelson. What are his beliefs, I am not certain there is no statement in regards to his faith. I understand his view to be Christian in nature. However, within Jeremy’s website there seems to be a fascination with conspiracy theories that tie into such topics as; the illuminati, the occult, Bible translations, and exposing Christians having questionable beliefs. This fascination of sensationalism is also true of his sources that he cites.
We still believe that the newer versions of the bible are based on manuscripts translated by occultists. …The owners of this site are not King James Only-ists (Forgenerations, n.d.)
While Jeremy may make claim that he is not a KJV only-ist, certainly to ascribe manuscripts as being transcribed by occultists is vituperative[2] on his part. While there are things about Westcott and Hort[3] that are disturbing it is not equitable to use a hasty generalization about any methodologies concerning textual criticism or techniques towards all translators.
David J. Stewart ( also quotes from either an older version of Dr. Matto’s webpage or may have added the claim about NIV being ordained of God. Clearly anyone making a claim for any translation as inspired or ordained from God may paint themselves into a corner.
**Between 1933 and 1944 Rudolph Kittel had a leadership role in the "Forschungsabteilung Judenfrage" which was a Nazi organization and publication. What a heritage the NIV has, homosexuals and Nazis! Do you still think your NIV is ordained of God? If you do, then you are just plain stupid! (Matto, n.d.)
However, Dr. Matto updated his webpage on December, 23 2010 and this quote is not on the Dr. Matto's updated page.

In response to page 1 of the MBV

… “God began to honor us for listening to the Holy Spirit when He told us to stop reading ANOTHER Gospel; because whether we liked it or not, we had taken part in following another Gospel”. John 8:32 says that “We shall know the Truth and the Truth shall MAKE you free.” (Forgenerations, 2004, p. 1)
We should recognize that every Bible translation is just that, a translation. Since we no longer have the originals (autographa) all we are left with are copies that have been handed down from generation-to-generation (tradition). From a textual critic’s point of view, Daniel B. Wallace breaks down the advocates for Byzantine manuscripts (used for KJV Bible).
There are a number of serious problems with the theological premise of Byzantine text advocates. Generally speaking, however, they all fall into one of three groups: (1) a question-begging approach, (2) faulty assumptions, and (3) a non-biblical doctrinal basis. As will be readily seen, there is a great deal of overlap between these three areas. (Wallace, Inspiration, Preservation, and New Testament Textual Criticism, 2001)
I am going to provide a summation from Mr. Wallace’s article that breaks down and responds to these three groups of the Textus Receptus (TR, or Byzantine text advocates) group respectively.

Question Begging approach:

1.      Byzantine group only count the Greek Manuscripts, despite their being 10,000 copies in Latin.
2.      Byzantine text did not become the majority text until the ninth century.
3.      For the letters of Paul, there is no majority text manuscript before the ninth century.
4.      Not one solid shred of evidence that the Byzantine text even existed in the first three centuries of the Christian era To embrace the MT/TR text for the corpus Paulinum, then, requires an 800-year leap of faith.
6.      No majority text was readily available to Christians in Egypt.
So in essence, this list stands against the methodology concerning how a KJV only-ist would approach the manuscripts. The KJV only approach also leads to the eliminating of the Latin manuscripts and side-stepping the first 800 years of faith. But now the question is why?
Should the Latin manuscripts be counted or not, what did the late Bruce Metzger, professor at Princeton Theological Seminary and Bible editor who served on the board of the American Bible Society think?
If the Latin manuscripts were to be counted, then modern translations would be vindicated rather than the King James, because the early Greek manuscripts which stand behind the vast bulk of Latin manuscripts and behind modern translations are quite similar. (Wallace, Inspiration, Preservation, and New Testament Textual Criticism, 2001)[4]
So should the early Church Fathers patristic writings be also ignored, despite those reaching a conclusion about the Trinity before affirming at the council of Nicaea? If the deity of Christ is compromised by the early Church Fathers (Mr. Nelson assuming they are all Gnostic influenced) why was there a belief in a Triad, and why did Tertullian write so much about the Trinity during his lifetime? How did the early Church come to a defined statement about the deity of Christ? How does one hold a Trinitarian view through reading of the new Bible translations?
The faulty assumptions of Textus Receptus (TR) advocates portion of Mr. Wallace’s article.

Faulty Assumptions:

1.      TR advocates assume the editor must have been just as inspired as the original writers.
2.      TR advocates reject the text of Westcott and Hort because (in part), as high church Anglicans, they had Roman Catholic leanings.
3.      Preservation must be through “majority rule.”
According to Daniel Wallace, there are between six and ten variations per chapter for the closest two manuscripts. Every manuscript has scribal errors in it. Wallace also points out that, to be specific, the last leaf of Erasmus’ copy of Revelation was missing, so he “back-translated” from Latin into Greek and thereby created numerous readings which have never been found in any Greek manuscript. So if Erasmus utilized the Latin text for the book of Revelation, then why is it forbidden by KJV only (or TR) camp? Do these Revelation back-translations automatically receive the stamp of inspiration by the KJV only camp; are they fully consistent with their methodology in doing so?
In regards to the Textus Receptus group being against Roman Catholic leanings, Erasmus himself was a Roman Catholic battling against the Reformers. So if majority rules were to take place concerning the Latin Text, then Metzger has it correct that modern translations would be vindicated. This seems to be a sleight of hand argument on the KJV only-ist part, what is meant by the term majority text.
Pertaining to Galatians 1:6-8:
Adam Clarke states regarding these verses:
“We have the names of more than seventy of these spurious narratives still on record, and in ancient writers many fragments of them remain; these have been collected and published by Fabricius, in his account of the apocryphal books of the New Testament, 3 vols. 8vo. In some of these gospels, the necessity of circumcision, and subjection to the Mosaic law in unity with the Gospel, were strongly inculcated. And to one of these the apostle seems to refer.” (Clarke, 1715-1832)
Concerning 1 John 4:3; 2 John 1:7, this speaks most likely of the Gnostic sects that had a dualistic dichotomization nature where spirit is viewed as good and flesh is bad. So basically, these so called antichrists are those that now are already in the world that do not confess Jesus as Christ coming in the flesh. Clearly if Gnostics with such beliefs--most likely would have denied the human side of Christ and not have written much positively in that respect.

Deity of Christ

 “He never speaks of Himself directly as God, but the aim of His revelation was to lead men to see God in Him. “ (Westcott, The Gospel According to St. John, p. 297). (Forgenerations, 2004, p. 6)
The case being made as Jesus speaking of implicit versus explicit claims concerning the Deity of Christ is of major importance. Suffice it to say that the conclusion can be reached before any English Bible versions have been published. Historically, we know that the Nicene, Caledonian, and Athanasian creeds all speak about the Deity of Christ concerning the Trinity before any English translations. (Library, 2005)
John 1:18 “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.” (International Bible Socieity, 1995)
John 1:18 “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (Oxford Authorized edition, 1995)
In the IBS (NIV) translation above, we see that “God—the One and Only” is in reference to Jesus. From a technical standpoint, we see that it is much clearer in the NIV that Christ is God in this verse than the KJV in respect to Occidentalized[5] mindsets. So the emphasis on deity seems much clearer in the newer translation in this verse. Of course, John 1:1 begins the claim of deity of Jesus Christ. Bosom is an idiom for closeness or nearness. [6]
Albert Barnes on the Bosom:
In the bosom of the Father - This expression is taken from the custom among the Orientals of reclining at their meals. It denotes intimacy, friendship, affection. Here it means that Jesus had a knowledge of God such as one friend has of another - knowledge of his character, designs, and nature which no other one possesses, and which renders him, therefore, qualified above all others to make him known. (Barnes, Notes on the Bible, 1798-1870)

There are a number of scriptures that are typically used to prove the Deity of Christ by most theologians. These verses express more of an explicit claim to his deity. There are slight differences between the NIV and KJV, however; one can quickly see that more verses are in agreement in regards to the deity of Christ than not. Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1; and Jude 1:4 are what I consider to be anchor verses making strong claims of Deity. I consider the NIV as stronger to the claim than KJV in Titus 2:132 Peter 1:1 makes claim as Jesus as God and Savior in both versions with slight variations in word order (in which Greek may not place emphasis on word order compared to English). Jude 1:4 the NIV seems to make a clearer statement as Jesus being our only Sovereign and Lord, the KJV seems to differentiate Lord God, and Lord Jesus Christ (which can be used to support Trinitarian views). When the smoke clears, either translation (KJV or NIV) can be implemented to support the deity of Christ.

Explicit Statements to Christ's deity

John 1:1
The Word was God
The Word was God
John 1:18
God the One and Only
The only begotten Son
John 20:28
My Lord and my God!
My Lord and my God.
Acts 20:28
The Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
The Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Rom 9:5
Christ, who is God over all
Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever.
Phil 2:6
Who, being in very nature God
Who, being in the form of God
Col 1:15
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Col 1:16
By him all things were created
By him were all things created
Col 1:17
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist
Col 2:9
in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,
In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily
2 Thes 1:12
Lord Jesus Christ
Lord Jesus Christ
1 Tim 3:15-16
He appeared in a body,
God was manifest in the flesh,
Titus 2:13
Appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ
Appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Heb 1:8
About the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever
Unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever
2 Peter 1:1
Our God and Savior Jesus Christ
Of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ
Jude 1:4
Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord
Only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus claims to be God

John 8:58-59a
"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"
 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
John 8:59a
 At this, they picked up stones to stone him
Then took they up stones to cast at him:

John 10:30-33
I and the Father are one.
 I and my Father are one.
Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him
Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
You, a mere man, claim to be God.
Thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

John 1:1 the Word was God, and in John 1:14 the Word became flesh. Both the NIV and KJV make the same claim about the Word being God and becoming flesh. The NWT translates much different simply because the Jehovah’s’ Witnesses deny the Word being God in which no Greek scholar would agree with them.
Despite the claims or beliefs of Westcott, it is clear that in the NIV the translators are affirming Jesus’ deity.  Notwithstanding, the numerous attempts at lambasting of Westcott and Hort within Mr. Nelson’s (et al.) article aside, what does Westcott and Hort believe concerning the rules of textual criticism?  

Critical Rules of Westcott & Hort

The following summary of principles is taken by permission from the compilation in Epp and Fee 1993, pages 157-8. References in parentheses are to sections of Hort's Introduction, from which the principles have been extracted.
1.      Older readings, MSS, or groups are to be preferred. ("The shorter the interval between the time of the autograph and the end of the period of transmission in question, the stronger the presumption that earlier date implies greater purity of text.") (2.59; cf. 2.5-6, 31)
2.      Readings are approved or rejected by reason of the quality, and not the number, of their supporting witnesses. ("No available presumptions whatever as to text can be obtained from number alone, that is, from number not as yet interpreted by descent.") (2.44)
3.      A reading combining two simple, alternative readings is later than the two readings comprising the conflation, and MSS rarely or never supporting conflate reading are text antecedent to mixture and are of special value. (2.49-50).
4.      The reading is to be preferred that makes the best sense, that is, that best conforms to the grammar and is most congruous with the purport of the rest of the sentence and of the larger context. (2.20)
5.      The reading is to be preferred that best conforms to the usual style of the author and to that author's material in other passages. (2.20)
6.      The reading is to be preferred that most fitly explains the existence of the others. (2.22-23)
7.      The reading is less likely to be original that combines the appearance of an improvement in the sense with the absence of its reality; the scribal alteration will have an apparent excellence, while the original will have the highest real excellence. (2.27, 29)
8.      The reading is less likely to be original that shows a disposition to smooth away difficulties (another way of stating that the harder reading is preferable). (2.28)
9.      Readings are to be preferred that are found in a MS that habitually contains superior readings as determined by intrinsic and transcriptional probability. Certainty is increased if such a better MS is found also to be an older MS (2.32-33) and if such a MS habitually contains reading that prove themselves antecedent to mixture and independent of external contamination by other, inferior texts (2.150-51). The same principles apply to groups of MSS (2.260-61).
(Marlowe, Bible Researcher--textual criticism--bibliography, n.d.)
What about Erasmus and his methodology towards the KJV? Does Erasmus implore a methodology that was critical of the text or was it a question of a race to meet deadlines.
Method: Erasmus himself later said that the Greek text of his first edition was "not edited, but done headlong;" that is, thrown together hastily. His publisher, John Froben, desired to get the edition out on the market quickly, and so Erasmus obtained what manuscripts he could find on short notice, marked on them a few changes, and gave them as copy to the printer. (Marlowe, Bible Research, textual criticism, bibliography , n.d.)
So what changes were made, did Erasmus follow the mindset that Latin manuscripts (MSS) were not to be utilized or did Erasmus have a different view than is purposed by today’s KJV camp.
Most of the changes were made in order to present a text which displayed the Greek readings he had followed in his Latin translation, which he had been preparing for some time, and which appeared alongside the Greek in this edition. These readings were already supported by unspecified Greek manuscripts and other sources mentioned in the appended Annotations. The Annotations show that quotations from the early Latin ecclesiastical writers (called Fathers) were often decisive in his choice of readings, despite lack of support in Greek copies. (Marlowe, Bible Research, textual criticism, bibliography , n.d.)
The newer Bible translations do not completely follow the Westcott and Hort process model. In fact, the UBS editors used the Westcott-Hort text as their starting point and departed from it as their evaluation of manuscript evidence required. (Aland, 1966, p. 5)
None of the major modern English Bible translations made since World War II used the Westcott-Hort text as its base. This includes translations done by theological conservatives — the New American Standard Bible, the New International Version, the New King James, for examples — and translations done by theological liberals — the Revised Standard Version, the New English Bible, the Good News Bible, etc. The only English Bible translation currently in print that the writer is aware of which is based on the Westcott-Hort text is the New World Translation of the Jehovah's Witnesses. (Kutilek, 1996)
Here is a basic list of Textual Criticism principles:
Basic Principles of Text Criticism:
1. The shorter reading is normally preferred.
2. The harder reading is normally preferred.
3. The earlier the occurrence of the variant reading adds weight to its authenticity.
4. The wider the geographical distribution of the variant reading adds weight to its authenticity.
5. The number of representative manuscripts that contain the variant reading adds weight, but only to the degree that its representation is early and/or wide spread. (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2006)

1 John 5:7-8

Was the Comma Johanneum present in the early translations of the KJV. The Comma Johanneum is in reference to the most popular verses concerning the Trinity (1 John 5:7-8). According to the NET Bible study textual critic notes; this longer reading is found only in nine late mss, four of which have the words in a marginal note. The oldest ms with the Comma in its text is from the 14th century (629), but the wording here departs from all the other mss in several places.
However; Daniel B. Wallace (NET Bible Senior NT Editor and Textual Critic) recently admits on his CSNTM website that he ran across an early 5th century Greek manuscript that seemed to have the Trinitarian formula from 1 John 5:7-8.
I had the privilege of examining one of the world’s oldest and most precious New Testament manuscripts, Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, in Paris. And I was dumbfounded by the discovery of the ‘Trinitarian formula’ in 1 John 5.7–8 in a Munich manuscript—which had been previously overlooked for two centuries. (Wallace, 2010 Christmas Update, 2010)
So what did Erasmus think about adding this verse into the KJV version. Was this verse disputed or did he have no qualms with this passage in the Bible.
Erasmus rejected the testimony of the Vulgate in a very important doctrinal passage: in 1 John 5:7-8 the words in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, which express the doctrine of the Trinity more clearly than any in Scripture, are omitted in Erasmus' first two editions. (Marlowe, Bible Research, textual criticism, bibliography , n.d.)
So the point here is that while the KJV is a fair Bible translation, there are a few things that should be noted as far as the time constraints for publishing, the small selection of manuscripts utilized, and the problem of the book of Revelation in the last six verses where he had no Greek manuscripts. So Erasmus was forced to back-translate the Latin into Greek. The conjecture is that he created seventeen variants which have never been found in any other Greek MS of Revelation in doing so. The question of course is if this is considered as corruption in accordance to the methodology of the KJV only camp, if not, then why the special pleading in regards to the newer translation committees. Rev 22:18 “I testify to the one who hears the words of the prophecy contained in this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.”


Jeremy Nelson seems to consider something suspect about Westcott and Hort’s view about hell regarding Mark 9:44 and its omission from modern Bible translations.
Perhaps this is why their Greek text does not have Mark 9:44, and their English translation replaces "everlasting fire" [Matt. 18:8] with "eternal fire" and change the meaning of eternal as cited by Hort in the above quote. (Forgenerations, 2004, p. 6)
In the KJV: Mark 9:44 “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” (Oxford Authorized edition, 1995)
Textual Critics seem to agree that this appears to be a scribal addition from verse Mark 9:48 and is almost certainly not an original part of the Greek text of Mark, according to the NET Bible textual critic notes. Notwithstanding what does verse 48 contend, and is it in the newer translations?
Here is what we have in the newer translations for verse Mark 9:48:
NIV (1995):
Mark 9:48 “Where ‘their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched’”. (Quotation from Isaiah 66:24)
Isaiah 66:24 “And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind” (International Bible Socieity, 1995)
From the Bible Gateway website the updated NASB also seems to be close to the KJV.
 Mark 9:48 “‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’” (Bible Gateway)
So the argument does not work on Mr. Nelson’s (et al.) part, despite the verse missing in the newer versions, Mark 9:48 is in the newer translations which basically state the same thing as Mark 9:44 in the KJV. No conspiracy warranted; however there seems to be an error of omission on Mr. Nelson’s part that this verse is not omitted in Mark 9:48. We as Christians are not to bear false witness, so again, is Jeremy correct in claiming the newer translators as occultists concerning this verse in question?
Concerning Matt 18:8 everlasting fire versus eternal fire, what is everlasting? Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries describes this as aiōnios (G165).We see that this term means eternal, forever, everlasting. If the three terms are interchangeable, what is the real issue? What is the difference between forever, everlasting, and eternal?
Aiōnios (ahee-o'-nee-os)
From G165; perpetual (also used of past time, or past and future as well): - eternal, forever, everlasting, world (began). (Strong, 1890)
Matt 18:8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.
NASB (2010):
Matt 18:8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire.
Matt 18:8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.

Concerning David J. Stewart

From this point of Jeremy’s pdf file there seems to be a shift to another author named Martin A. Shue and a hyperlink to the website. This website is supposedly owned by David J. Stewart. There are a number of criminal allegations against a David J. Stewart (may or not be the same person) that are posted on a number of websites. I am not sure if these allegations are true or even if they are pointing towards the same person as the Jesus-is-Savior website owner. The only thing I am certain of is that Stewart is heavily into conspiracy theories, and this philosophy tends to overspill into the majority of his articles. Most of the arguments posted against newer Bible translations are surrounded around the word “only begotten”.

Only Begotten

The 1769 King James Version of the Holy Bible (also known as the Authorized Version) which includes Strong's numbers for looking up the original Hebrew or Greek word in a lexicon has a total of six verses where “only begotten” is utilized.[7]
(John 1:14)  AndG2532 theG3588 WordG3056 was madeG1096 flesh,G4561 andG2532 dweltG4637 amongG1722 us,G2254 (andG2532 we beheldG2300 hisG846 glory,G1391 the gloryG1391 asG5613 of the only begottenG3439 ofG3844 the Father,)G3962 fullG4134 of graceG5485 andG2532 truth.G225
(John 1:18)  No manG3762 hath seenG3708 GodG2316 at any time;G4455 theG3588 only begottenG3439 Son,G5207 which isG5607 inG1519 theG3588 bosomG2859 of theG3588 Father,G3962 heG1565 hath declaredG1834 him.
(John 3:16)  ForG1063 GodG2316 soG3779 lovedG25 theG3588 world,G2889 thatG5620 he gaveG1325 hisG848 only begottenG3439 Son,G5207 thatG2443 whosoeverG3956 believethG4100 inG1519 himG846 should notG3361 perish,G622 butG235 haveG2192 everlastingG166 life.G2222
(John 3:18)  He that believethG4100 onG1519 himG846 is notG3756 condemned:G2919 butG1161 he that believethG4100 notG3361 is condemnedG2919 already,G2235 becauseG3754 he hath notG3361 believedG4100 inG1519 theG3588 nameG3686 of theG3588 only begottenG3439 SonG5207 of God.G2316
(Heb 11:17)  By faithG4102 Abraham,G11 when he was tried,G3985 offered upG4374 Isaac:G2464 andG2532 he that had receivedG324 theG3588 promisesG1860 offered upG4374 his only begottenG3439 son,
(1John 4:9)  InG1722 thisG5129 was manifestedG5319 theG3588 loveG26 of GodG2316 towardG1722 us,G2254 becauseG3754 that GodG2316 sentG649 hisG848 only begottenG3439 SonG5207 intoG1519 theG3588 world,G2889 thatG2443 we might liveG2198 throughG1223 him.G846 (Oxford Authorized edition, 1995)

Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries (G3439) is defined as monogenēs
From G3441 and G1096; only born, that is, sole: - only (begotten, child). (Strong, 1890)
Albert Barnes states that the term, Only-begotten - is never applied by John to any but Jesus Christ. It is applied by him five times to the Savior (in John’s writings). These verses show John’s sense of the meaning of that phrase, as denoting an intimate and full knowledge of God. Barnes also goes on to state that it shows the depth of the love of God, that he was willing to give his only Son into the hands of sinful men that he might be slain, and thus redeem them from eternal sorrow. (Barnes, Notes on the Bible, 1798-1870)

Who was Cerinthus?

Cerinthus was an early Gnostic teacher who flourished around A.D. 100. He was educated in the wisdom of the Egyptians, denied that Jesus was born of a virgin—represented him as the son of Joseph and Mary. He also taught about and earthly reign of Christ after the resurrection the kingdom of Christ is to be on earth and that the flesh dwelling in Jerusalem is again to be subject to desire and pleasures. (Bercot, 2008)
Cerinthus did not have much, if any influence upon the translators, nor is there any evidence of Cerinthus as a scribe of the NT. The Nicene Creed states: “I believe… in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of God; Begotten of His Father before of worlds.”
When the student of the Nicene Creed comes to the phrase “Begotten, not made,” it often appears that here there is a divergence between the Creed and the pre-Nicene church. There is, however, actually no difference in belief. There is only a difference in phraseology. The Nicene Creed affirms that the Son of God was begotten; he was not made or created out of nothing. The pre-Nicene church firmly believed this. …From the writings of the pre-Nicene Christians, it is quite apparent that many of them used “begotten” [Fr. gennētos] and “created” [Gr. genetos and ktizein] as interchangeable terms. This was partially based on usage in Scripture. (Bercot, 2008, p. 109)
More on the argument about the “Only-Begotten” can be found at Bible-Researcher website.[8]

Who are the parents of Jesus?

This segment begins the answer of Martin A. Shue’s article titled “The Deity of Christ and Modern Versions. Shue begins with Luke 2:33 and compares various translations to the KJV.
We will begin examining the belief that Joseph and Mary was His father and mother. Luke 2:33 reads as follows:
New International Version (NIV)- The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him.
New American Standard Version (NASV)- And his father and his mother were marvelling at the things which were spoken concerning him;
King James Version (KJV)- And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
Notice how the NIV, NASV, and NWT all agree in calling Joseph Jesus’ “father”. The KJV rightly states “Joseph” instead of “father” knowing that Joseph was not Jesus’ Father. (Shue, n.d)

The NIV notes state that this verse Luke is referring to Joseph as Jesus’ legal father. We also can read Luke 1:34-35 which implies a virgin birth will take place. Mary is not named within this scripture. [NWT omitted from quote] Luke was a physician (Col 4:14), and most likely a Gentile and was well educated in Greek culture.
John Gill states
The Vulgate Latin reads, "and his father and mother". The Ethiopic version retains both his name and his relation, and reads, "and Joseph his father, and his mother"; but all the ancient copies read only "Joseph", without the addition, his father (Gill, 1690-1771)
The next verse in question is Luke 2:43 which is also another claim about the parents. Again, note that in Luke 1:34-35 The NIV and NASV do not deny the virgin birth.  While Mr. Shue assimilates that Cerinthus’ teachings somehow influenced the manuscripts he really provides no evidence in regards to why Luke 1:34-35 are still intact which affirm the virgin birth in new translations. Nor do the newer translations omit Matt 14:33, 26:64, 27:43, 27:54; Mark 1:1, 3:11; Luke 1:35, etc concerning Jesus as the Son of God.
Luke 2:43
NIV- After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.
NASV- and when they had fulfilled the days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and his parents knew it not;
KJV- And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
Again, we see that the NIV and NASV agree with the NWT. And again the KJV is careful to call him “Joseph”. Think this is insignificant? Remember the beliefs of the Gnostics and the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW’s). Any small change is important when it fosters heresy. But believe me it only gets worse from here. (Shue, n.d)
One has to inquire if Jesus ever calls Joseph his father in the New Testament; most likely that isn’t the case. In the ASV Bible version, Jesus uses the nomenclature “My Father” at least 48 times; none of these are in reference to Joseph. In fact, the KJV 1611 uses the term “My Father a total of 51 times in reference to God the Father, while the KJV 1769 uses “My Father” 59 times. So does the KJV only-ist acknowledge that the later KJV they utilize adds to the text in such manner?[9]
It isn’t a question of the KJV being careful; from textual critics point of view it’s a matter of did the scribes make additions to the scripture to provide clarity and are we getting closer to the autographs by using the earlier manuscripts. The implication is if the earlier manuscripts have shorter passages there is speculation as to adding to the verses in later copies, to which that seems to be the case within the KJV translations themselves.

Luke 23:42

In regards to the passage of Luke 23:42. The implication is that the KJV records the malefactor as saying “Lord”. The question is that if Jesus is Lord is he only Lord in spirit or both in spirit and flesh. Will Jesus return spiritually or in the flesh? Shue believes the problem of this passage stems from a Gnostic view that the spiritual Christ left before the crucifixion and his only proof is that the newer translations omit the word Lord.
Remember the Gnostic/JW’s belief that the “Christ” did not die on the cross? They believe that the “Christ” (the spiritual) left, leaving only “Jesus” (the physical) to die on the cross. Let’s take a look at a verse that pertains to this exact issue. Luke 23:42
NIV- Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
NASV- And he said, Jesus, remember me when thou comest in thy kingdom.
KJV- And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
Again, notice the NIV, NASV, and NWT are all in agreement in having the malefactor call Him “Jesus” (the physical) , his earthly name. This adds to the belief that the “Christ” (the spiritual) had left. However, the KJV rightly records the malefactor as saying “Lord” (the spiritual) thus refuting the belief that “Christ” had left before the crucifixion. Again, this may seem like a small thing to you but it carries alot of weight doctrinally. (Shue, n.d)
Suppose Shue’s implication is true, why does the malefactor ask Jesus to remember him when he (Jesus) comes into his kingdom? Does the omission of the word Lord mean that the verse that follows (Luke 23:44) cannot be validated. If one believes (Gnosticism) that the human flesh is not Lord, then how does the flesh (word that became flesh) make the promise of being in paradise today. Wouldn’t it make sense to completely omit verse 23:44 to carry out a Gnostic interpretation, perhaps. The Jehovah’s Witness’ would not make claim to Jesus as deity as many Gnostics would, however the JW do conclude that Jesus did die just not on a cross but a stake.[10] So the adhering of Gnostics with JW is completely incorrect on Shues’ part. Must Jesus be referenced as Jesus, Lord in every verse, and is Shue reading his tendency of conspiracy beliefs into this verse.

Daniel 3:25 side-stepped

Daniel 3:25 is the next reference Shue makes about the new translations. Whilst he seems to conclude that there shouldn’t be much commentary on this verse, I strongly take issue his egregious disregard as to the importance of the implication. These words in Dan 3:25 are spoken by a pagan who is seeking to explain things from his own polytheistic frame of reference. Shue explains Daniel 3:25:
All are familiar with the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace. Let’s take a quick look at how our Bibles translate Dan. 3:25:
NIV- He said, "Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods."
NASV-He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the aspect of the fourth is like a son of the gods.
NWT- He was answering and saying: “Look! I am beholding four able-bodied men walking about free in the midst of the fire, and there is no hurt to them, and the appearance of the fourth one is resembling a son of the gods.
KJV- He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
I don’t think this one needs a whole lot of commentary. I believe you can see the absurdity of the NIV, NASV, and NWT translation of “a son of the gods”. Again, the KJV upholds the integrity of “the Son of God”. (Shue, n.d)
I reach this conclusion (that the implication of a pagan seeking to explain things from a polytheistic frame of reference) by deeper examination of the internal evidence. Besides, Nebuchadnezzar himself in Dan 3:28—he understood the fourth to be an angel. So is the Son of God an angel, the KJV translation (and Shue) seems to predicate that Jesus is an angel much like the Jehovah’s Witness’ (or Gnostics) or so one could imply. So I can see why Shue tries to quickly sweep this passage in question under the rug as it refutes his position. Context is everything.
Many patristic writers understood this phrase in a christological sense (i.e., “the Son of God”). But it should be remembered that these are words spoken by a pagan who is seeking to explain things from his own polytheistic frame of reference; for him the phrase “like a son of the gods” is equivalent to “like a divine being.” (NET Bible, 1995)
Dan 3:28  Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. (Oxford Authorized edition, 1995)[Emphasis mine]

The attack of the Son ship of Jesus

For KJV-only-ists there seems to be an attack of the son ship, but if that is the case why are not all other verses attacking the son ship of Jesus. Shue states:
Another attack on the Sonship of Jesus can be found in Acts 3:13, 4:27, and 4:30. For the article we will only look at Acts 3:13:
NIV- The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus.
NASV- The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Servant Jesus;
NWT- The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our forefathers, has glorified his Servant, Jesus,
KJV- The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus;
Again, the NIV and the NASV stand shoulder to shoulder with the NWT. Now Jesus is no longer a “Son” but rather a “servant”. (Shue, n.d)
I doubt if Jesus is no longer a “Son”, in fact within the NIV for we have John 3:16. Besides, is it incorrect to state Jesus as a servant?  The KJV doesn’t seem to think so. Let’s look at a few passages within the KJV that state Jesus as a servant.
KJV Matt 12:18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. [Quote from Isa 42:1-4].
KJV Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
No need to press the panic button regarding this passage. Evidently Mr. Shue hasn’t read the KJV in its completeness. Perhaps all the time spent researching conspiracy theories could have been better spent on reading the Bible on his part.
By way of comparison concerning of the Son of God; The KJV 1611 words 1 John 5:12 different than the KJV of 1769, omitting the Son of God. Should the KJV only-ist call this a conspiracy as well?
KJV 1611:
1John 5:12 Hee that hath the Sonne, hath life; and hee that hath not the Sonne, hath not life.

KJV 1769:
1John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

Joshua versus Jesus

So why is there no mention of Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8 from Shue and Nelson? Are they aware of the implications of either verse in the KJV?
KJV Acts 7:45  Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David;
Barnes: With Jesus - This should have been rendered “with Joshua.” Jesus is the Greek mode of writing the name “Joshua.” But the Hebrew name should by all means have been retained here, as also in Heb_4:8. (Barnes, Notes on the Bible, 1798-1870)
Clarke: Brought in with Jesus - That is, with Joshua, whom the Greek version, quoted by St. Stephen, always writes Ιησους, Jesus, but which should constantly be written Joshua in such cases as the present, in order to avoid ambiguity and confusion. (Clarke, 1715-1832)
KJV Heb 4:8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
This could mean that the implication is that if this is Jesus, he was inadequate.
The passage is saying that although Joshua brought his people into the promised land, he could not give them the eternal rest that they needed. But by having “Jesus” here, the KJV is thus saying that Jesus was inadequate, that he was not able to save his people from their sins. In Greek, both ‘Joshua’ and ‘Jesus’ are written the same way— jIhsou'". The issue is not one of textual variant, but of inattention to the details of the interpretation of the text. (Wallace, Part II: The Reign of the King James, The Era of Elegance, 2001)[11]

The confusion over the KJV 1611 and the KJV 1769

Many of the KJV only-ists often state they read and quote from the KJV 1611; however that is not the case at all. In fact, if that is the case, where is the Apocrypha within their Bible, as it was in the KJV 1611? Do they realize that from the KJV 1611 to the KJV of today (1769) there were a total of 100,000 changes (mostly spelling and punctuation)? The KV has 100 places where the KJV translators used the Latin Vulgate (The longest utilized version); Erasmus always produced the Greek translation on one side and the Latin on the other. The KJV is considered the 5th revision of the Tyndale Bible and according to Daniel Wallace used 90% of the Tyndale’s translation (William Mounce, one of the top Greek scholars of today, states 80%).
All verses quoted in Jeremy’s article (including his sources) utilize the KJV of 1769. Here is a sample of the KJV 1611:
KJV 1611 John 3:16 For God so loued ye world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne: that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life.

In 1762 and 1769, the KJV was revised again for a third and fourth time, respectively. So as we see the (Elizabethan) English spelling changed from 1611 to 1769 to give us the translation we have today of the KJV. How many changes were made during this period of 158 years.
Altogether, nearly 100,000 changes have been made to the 1611 KJV. The vast bulk of these are rather minor (mostly spelling and punctuation changes), but in the least this fact shows how impossible it is today for any church or any Christian to claim, “We read only the original 1611 King James Version of the Holy Bible”! (Wallace, Part II: The Reign of the King James, The Era of Elegance, 2001)

KJV Translation Methodology

So what was the methodology that was implored with the KJV. Albert Barnes sheds some light on how this methodology was to take place.
To these companies the king gave instructions to guide them in their work, of which the following is the substance: (Barnes, Albert Barnes on the King James Version, 1835)
Ø  The Bishop's Bible, then used, to be followed, and to be altered as little as the original would permit.
Ø  The names of the sacred writers to be retained as they were commonly used.
Ø  When a word had different significations, that to be kept which hath been most commonly used by the fathers, and most eminent writers.
Ø  No alteration to be made in the chapters and verses. No marginal notes to be affixed, except to explain the Greek and Hebrew words that could not be briefly and fitly explained in the text. Reference to parallel places to be set down in the margin.
Ø  Each man of a company to take the same chapters, and translate them according to the best of his abilities; and when this was done, all were to meet together, and compare their translations, and agree which should be regarded as correct.
Ø  Each book, when thus translated and approved, to be sent to every other company for their approbation.
Ø  Besides this, the translators were authorized, in cases of great difficulty, to send letters to any learned men in the kingdom to obtain their opinions.

The Question of the Triquetra

The New King James Bible uses the Triquetra symbol composed of three overlapping Vesica piscis symbols (Name meaning the "bladder of a fish" in Latin). Certainly Christians have utilized fish symbols over the years as imagery (fisher’s of men) and such symbols can or have been utilized for other religions and representing several things. Also, the cross has been utilized for other beliefs such as the Egyptians (Ankh) and Satanists (upside down cross). [12]

The question becomes, does this symbol mean only one thing and is there a trademark ownership that would not allow for usage of this symbol from other sects. Pastor James L. Melton seems to think that this symbol was used by Aleister Crowley, the ancient Egyptian pagans as if they had a patented trademark upon this symbol.
There's nothing "new" about the NKJV logo. It is a "666" symbol of the pagan trinity which was used in the ancient Egyptian mysteries. It was also used by Satanist Aleister Crowley around the turn of this century. The symbol can be seen on the New King James Bible, on certain rock albums (like Led Zeppelin's), or you can see it on the cover of such New Age books as The Aquarian Conspiracy.  (Forgenerations, 2004, p. 29)
It is beyond the scope of this article to state whom was the first to utilize the Triquetra symbol. The reader should decide if this symbol can be utilized by Christians and have a different meaning than non-Christian groups. Besides, the Trinity came before Pagans, POD, Led Zeppelin, and Aleister Crowley.

More on Textual Criticism

The basic principles of textual criticism are based upon certain criteria, the emphasis being on the earliest possible manuscripts. There are unintentional errors and intentional errors that the scribes performed. The fine folks at Reclaiming the Mind offer a quick course on Bibliology and Hermeneutics.

Transmission of the NT
Three types of evidence:
1. Original Greek Manuscripts
Ø  John Ryland Papyri (125 A.D.)
Ø  Codex Sinaiticus (a; 350 A.D.)
Ø  Codex Vaticanus (B; 350 A.D.)
2. Early Church Fathers
Ø  Commentaries, diaries, books, and letters
Ø  Polycarp, Clement of Rome, Justin Martyr, Ignatius, Irenaeus, Tertillian, etc.
Ø  John Burgeon, a biblical scholar, catalogued over 86,000 quotations before A.D. 325. Reconstruction could be accomplished within 50 years of its completion using these manuscripts.
3. Translations
Ø  15,000 copies
Ø  Syriac, Old and New Latin, Sahidic, Bohairic, Middle Egyptian, Armenian, Gothic, Georgian, Ethiopic, and Nubian versions. (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2006)

Rather than point out the importance of early manuscripts within this article, I still am skeptical of the KJV only-ist crowd specifically showing how the early Codex’s are in error. Rather than saying the scribes deleted or omitted verses, it is up to them to prove this as the case. When the early manuscripts do not have the longer readings or verses the odds are that they were not there to begin with. As we know Chapter and Verses were not established until much later in the English Bibles. Textual scholars have proven that scribes were more likely to add to the verses rather than purposely omit them. Whether intentional or not on the omissions, there are no major theological principles threatened when reading the entire Bible (hint scriptures are often repeated throughout). 

More can be found about the Codex Sinaiticus from the website

More can be found about the Codex Vaticanus from the website

Comparing other Bible translations against a word for word formal equivalence is not a fair game. Each translation carries its own theory about how the groups reach a final passage. So, comparing an ASV (formal) to the Message (paraphrase) Bible you will find that the scriptures do not always deposit the same sentences. A good translation would balance between a formal and dynamic equivalence.

Translation Theories

Earlier English Bibles

So what were some of the earlier English Bibles before the KJV (Marlowe, The English Versions of Scripture, n.d.)
Ø   William Tyndale (New Testament 1526)
Ø   Coverdale's Bible (OT & NT 1535)
Ø   Matthew's Bible (OT & NT 1537)
Ø   Taverner's Bible (OT & NT 1539)
Ø   The Great Bible (named due to its physical size 1539)
Ø   The Geneva Bible (NT 1557, first Bible to use verse numbers)
Ø   The Bishops' Bible (OT & NT 1568)
Ø   The Douay-Rheims Bible (NT 1582)


Despite the claims and references that Jeremy Nelson comprised for his article, it is clear that some of the facts were not brought to the forefront. It seems as more time was spent on the ad hominem[13] attack of Westcott and Hort and the NIV translator’s sexual preferences than examining the truth about the science of textual criticism. Can one attest that the manuscripts utilized for the KJV come from the first century, and how does one circumvent the fact that there are only fragments from the first century? Textual criticism establishes the groundwork for determining the original texts from the copies.

The response of this article is not to lambast against the KJV Bible but to make the point that as Christians we should use more than one Bible. All Bible translations have imperfections; a translation that is good for daily devotions may not be the best for theological study. I keep many translations handy when studying difficult passages. Commentaries, lexicons, books on literary forms, Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) social-culture, and expository dictionaries all are great sources a Christian should have in their library. [14]
Christians do not need to be afraid of science, especially the science of textual criticism. Such sciences help to grow in our faith, so there is no need to draw a false dichotomy between faith and science. My hope is to bring others together and grow stronger in our faith, I hope this article encourages the reader to further research more on the history of our Bible.

Works Cited

Aland, K. (1966). The Greek New Testament. (e. al, Ed.) London: United Bible Societies.

Barnes, A. (1835). Albert Barnes on the King James Version. Retrieved Feb 08, 2011, from Bible-Researcher:

Barnes, A. (1798-1870). Notes on the Bible. E-Sword Version 9.5.1.

Bercot, D. W. (2008). A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers.

Bible Gateway. (n.d.). Mark 9:48 NASB, 2010. Retrieved Feb 06, 2011, from Bible Gateway:

Clarke, A. (1715-1832). Commentary on the Bible. E-Sword Version 9.5.1.
Earlham College. (n.d.). Textual Criticism. Retrieved Feb 04, 2011, from

Forgenerations. (n.d.). Bible Tools. Retrieved Feb 05, 2011, from

Forgenerations. (2004, July 20). Forgenerations. Retrieved Feb 04, 2011, from Expose darkness preach truth:

Gill, J. (1690-1771). John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible.

International Bible Socieity. (1995). The NIV Study Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan.

Kutilek, D. (1996, May 24). Westcott & Hort vs. Textus Receptus: Which is Superior? Retrieved Feb 19, 2011, from Bible Researcher:

Library, C. C. (2005, July 13). Creeds of Christendom Vol I The History of Creeds. Retrieved Feb 04, 2011, from

Marlowe, M. (n.d.). Bible Research, textual criticism, bibliography . Retrieved Feb 06, 2011, from Bible

Marlowe, M. (n.d.). Bible Researcher--textual criticism--bibliography. Retrieved Feb 05, 2011, from Bible Researcher:

Marlowe, M. (n.d.). The English Versions of Scripture. Retrieved Feb 04, 2011, from Bible Research > Englsh Versions:

NET Bible. (1995). NET Bible Textual Critic Notes and Study Notes.

Oxford Authorized edition. (1995). KJV Bible 1769. Oxford, England, UK: Oxford University Press.

Reclaiming the Mind Ministries. (2006, July 18). Bibliology and Hermeneutics Workbook. Frisco, Texas.

Shue, M. A. (n.d). The Deity of Christ. Retrieved Feb 06, 2011, from Jesus is Savior:

Strong, J. (1890). Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. Dictionaries, Strong’s Hebrew and Greek .

Wallace, D. B. (2010, Dec 09). 2010 Christmas Update. Retrieved Feb 06, 2011, from Center for the study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM):

Wallace, D. B. (2001, Aug 06). Inspiration, Preservation, and New Testament Textual Criticism. Retrieved Feb 05, 2011, from

Wallace, D. B. (2001, March). Part II: The Reign of the King James, The Era of Elegance. Retrieved Feb 08, 2011, from


[1] See the page notes in The Englishman's Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1970. Reprint of 1877 edition). Caspar Rene Gregory states that in the Epistle to the Hebrews, when the texts of Tregelles, Tischendorf and Westcott-Hort are compared, Tregelles stands alone in only ten very minor matters, Westcott-Hort in seven, and Tischendorf only four. Canon and Text of the New Testament (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1907), p. 527. [Retrieved from:]

[2] Vituperative: Marked by harshly abusive criticism
[3] For more on Westcott and Hort:
[4] B. M. Metzger, The Early Versions of the New Testament: Their Origin, Transmission and Limitations (Oxford: Clarendon, 1977) 359.

[5] Occidentalized: Denoting or characteristic of countries of Europe and the western hemisphere.
[6] More on John 1:18 can be found at:
[7] The ASV & RV Bible versions also have the same six verses as the KJV.
[8] More on only begotten:
[9] Based upon an exact phrase—extended search using E-Sword software.
[10] More on this subject about JW…
[11] Note Daniel Wallace’s admission about his error of the 1998 NET Bible within this article.
[12] Read more
[13] Ad hominem (also called personal abuse or personal attacks)
[14] Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words