An “older” woman was questioned about which “translation” of the Bible she preferred. Her reply was, “If the King James Version was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me!” While some may laugh at this statement, there are people who really believe this Bible was there in Jesus’ time, and was the version He used.
One thing we must remember: there were no Bibles in Jesus’ time. Any time He referred to scripture, it was available in the scrolls and other writings from the Old Testament prophets, and other Holy Spirit- inspired writers.
After all, Jesus is God (John 10:30), and He did not need a script of any kind to follow. He is the author of the entire book that we have today. One other thing: the word Bible is not in the scriptures; neither is Trinity; apple is not mentioned in Genesis; it does not say Three Wise Men; it’s a large fish, not a whale that swallowed Jonah; “God works in mysterious ways,” “God Helps those who help themselves,” and “The lion shall lay down with the Lamb” are not there as well. We’ve all heard these things, but they don’t exist in the texts. Also, Jesus spoke with authority and didn’t need any scripts to refer to.
In case you may be wondering why I’m bringing these things up: I was “chastised” by a reader for one of the messages that I have posted because I mentioned the New English Translation (NET) as the translation I prefer. I was basically told I’m referring to “false doctrine,” and by doing so am putting out lies in my messages. It should be noted that I have read cover to cover the King James Version; The New King James Version; New American Standard Bible; the New English Translation; and even a “devotional Bible” authored by Max Lucado. None of these works contradicted each other, but the translations just offered a better understanding by using our current language.
The KJV was very good for its time, but was written almost 1,600 years after Jesus was here. It was made for people who understood medieval ancient King’s English, which I dare say is not used anywhere except for stage plays and movies.
For the next few paragraphs, I would like to present the King James Version (KJV); New King James Version (NKJV); New American Standard Bible (NASB); and the New English Translation (NET). I went online (wikipedia) and looked up their origins, sources of information used, and contents that are no longer used. Just a note: I did not include the New International Version (NIV) as I have never studied from it. I leave that up to any and all who choose that particular Bible.
First, the King James Version (KJV). It’s also known as the King James Bible (KJB), and Authorized Version (AV). This is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England. It was “sponsored” by King James 1, and was written from 1604 to 1611.
The original version had 39 Old Testament books; 14 Books of Apocrypha; and 27 New Testament books. After about 1769, the Apocrypha was omitted from just about all works. Some of the Apocrypha books were: 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom and so forth. I would imagine very few of you ever heard of any of these books. But a question does come to mind; if they were in the original KJV, are all the versions since 1769 false Bibles?
The original KJV was completed by 47 scholars, all members of the Church of England. They used Greek (New Testament); Hebrew and Aramaic (Old Testament); and Greek and Latin (Apocrypha). Calvinists had produced the “Geneva Bible” in 1560 from original Hebrew and Greek, and this influenced the writing of the original KJV.
Next, the New King James Version (NKJV). The English translation was first published in 1982 by Thomas Nelson Publishing. The New Testament was completed in 1979; Psalms in 1980; and the full Bible in 1982.
There were 130 translators using Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew texts, and including the Dead Sea Scrolls. Also included was a new Bible Dictionary and an updated Concordance. The “main purpose” was to update the vocabulary from the KJV, and bring the grammar current.
Then we have the New American Standard Bible (NASB). It was first published in 1963 and as a complete Bible in 1971. It was an English (modern) translation of the Bible by the Lockman Foundation.
It’s considered by some as most “literally translated” of major 20th Century English Bible translations. Their aim was to use exclusively true Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, and make them grammatically correct. Also, it was to be very understandable with the focus on the Lord Jesus, and no other personalized work.
The NASB is based on the American Standard Version (ASV) of 1901, and an alternate of “Revised Standard Version” (1946-1952) which is classified as theologically “liberal.” Elizabethan Language such as “thy” and “thou” are modernized, and punctuation and paragraphing for modern times is used. Until I received my NET Bible, this (NASB) was the version I studied the most.
Last, we have the New English Translation (NET). I was actually called a “sinner” for using this Bible.
The complete Bible in NET was published in 2005, and gives a reading level of “middle school” for easier understanding. It is a completely new translation, but leaves nothing out from the original texts.
This translation and extensive notes are by 20 Biblical Scholars, taken from Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic texts. Originally, the project was started to provide a “digital” version of modern English that could be placed on, and downloaded from, the internet for free. The translation is non-sectarian, interdenominational, and evangelical. It’s known for an immense number of footnotes for further explanation of textural translations. Anything from any of the other translations can be found here.
The Bible I use was produced by a modern, well-known Christian minister, and is a “study Bible.” It has many footnotes from the original translators, as well as comments from that pastor. After studying this translation, I can assure anyone it is as accurate as any other Bible ever written.
On my cell phone, I have a Bible app that allows me to check other translations while reading a certain passage. Starting with the NET, I can call up the KJV, NKJV, ASB and just about any other Bible ever published. However, these are the only four that I refer to. Sometimes, a passage may not seem clear, but checking other translations right then can open my mind for better understanding.
I believe the Father wants all of us to be able to read and understand His word, and has allowed true translations of the original texts to be made. Jesus spoke in parables so the uneducated people could understand what the Kingdom of Heaven was all about. God wants no one to be left behind (2 Peter 3:9), but wants all to be able to come to Him.
To be perfectly clear, there are versions of what are being called Bibles, that are definitely false and evil. There are some where God is “gender neutral,” and Jesus is described only as a “good prophet.” Any Bible that does not follow John 14:6 – “Jesus said I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” – is dead wrong. Some religions actually mention Jesus, but as a “prophet” that will serve their deity in the future.
Some so-called Bibles are being produced stating that the “abominations” that God hates were only for the people of ancient times, and do not apply today. Some are changing texts to imply that the LGBT and all the other letters are actually okay with the Father. False prophets (preachers) are “tweaking” their messages to say these things, and misrepresenting the true word of the Lord.
I am totally influenced by James 3:1 which says any teacher, preacher or whatever will be judged more strictly. Also, the warnings of Revelation 22:18-19 are very real to me. The NET, NASB, NKJV and KJV all give the same warnings in these passages. Just taking a passage and putting it into a form that can be understood without actually changing the meaning is not wrong. Adding to or taking away from God’s word will result in severe penalties at the Great White Throne Judgment.
My point here is Jesus will be coming for His Church (all believers) when the fullness of the Gentiles takes place (Romans 11:25). At that time, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 (Rapture) will happen. Any version or translation of the true word of the Father will tell you the same thing. Just looking at all the events taking place around the world today, we see the scriptures lining up with newscasts almost word for word. We need to be getting ready to meet the Savior as He could come at just any moment. Those unprepared for Him will go through a time like has never been on this earth before, and it will be totally miserable.
Pick a translation of the True Word that you can read and understand. Read from it daily, and ask the Father (prayer) to give you enlightenment so the passages will make sense to you.
For the person that accused me of being a sinner, please know that our Jesus was accused of lying by the religious leaders of that day in reference to Him being the Messiah. I forgive you, and love you for your soul. Please remember Matthew 7:5, which advises us to remove the plank from our eyes in order to remove a speck from someone else. If the KJV is good for you, so be it. But do not discount the value of other true translations for those who prefer them.