Practical Bible Studies

Click here to edit subtitle

A List of Popular Bible Translations in English

Word for Word Translations:
Tyndale New Testament (1526)
Coverdale Bible (1535)
Matthew's Bible (1537)
The Great Bible (1539)
Geneva Bible (1560)
Bishops' Bible (1568)
King James Version (1611)
American Standard Version (1901)
Revised Standard Version (1952)
New American Standard Bible (1971)
New King James Version (1982)
New Revised Standard Version (1989)
English Standard Version (2001)
New Cambridge Paragraph Bible (2005)
Modern English Version (2014)

Partially Word for Word Translations:
New English Bible (1970)
New International Version (1978)
Revised English Bible (1989)
Holman Christian Standard Bible (2004)
Today's New International Version (2005)
New English Translation (2005)
Christian Standard Bible (2017)

Meaning for Meaning Translations:
Good News Translations (1976)
New Century Translations (1987)
God's Word (1995)
Contemporary English Version (1995)
New Living Translation (1996)

Paraphrased Translations:
The Living Bible (1970)
The Message (2002)

Catholic Versions:
Jerusalem Bible (1966)
New American Bible (1970)
New Jerusalem Bible (1985)

Heretical Texts:
Joseph Smith Translation (1828)
New World Translation (1961)
Clear Word Bible (1994)
Queen James Bible (2012)

The King James Only Movement

     The King James Only movement has been a mess for the last few decades. Many have taken to both sides of the fence to varying degrees. I want to explain a little bit about my point of view.
     First, I have read a lot of material and listened to debates about this to the point where I can safely say that I am in what Dr. James White would classify as "Group One" of King James Onlyist. What does that mean? I am in the camp that believes that the KJV is divinely inspired by God, but am not opposed to a better translation in to English.
     Having said that, I believe that SOME modern translations contain things that are not of divine inspiration, but instead seek to corrupt the word of God. However, I don't think that many of them have succeeded, because the power of God is much stronger than anything the devil can conjure. Let me expand...

     The two major groups of manuscripts that the English bibles are translated from are the Byzantine texts of a specific lineage that were gathered in to the Textus Receptus (TR) and the Alexandrian texts that were gathered in to the Wescott & Hort (WH) translation. The TR Greek translation is what the KJV, NKJV, MEV and NCPB are translated from. Most others are largely based on the WH Greek translation.
     The reason Wescott and Hort decided to use the Alexandrian texts is that they were older. A valid argument, but there are some other key differences. The Alexandrian texts are missing some key verses like: Matthew 17:21, 23:14, Mark 7:16 9:44, 9:46, 11:26, 15:28, 16:9-20, Luke 17:36, John 5:4, 7:53-8:11, Acts 8:37, 15:34, 24:7, 28:29, Romans 16:24 and the most important part of 1 John 5:7. A lot of these are otherwise irrelevant verses, but some are critical. Take Acts 8:36-38

36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Now let's read it without 37:

36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

     Sure makes a big difference to the story; It really changes everything. The reason why it is not included in most newer Bibles is the lack of older manuscript evidence, but we can see there is overwhelming historical evidence for it. Aside from it's existence in Codex Laudianus (E), it also appears in the writings of Cyprian in 250 AD and in writings by Irenaeus in as early as 180 AD. The exclusion of this verse could be due to the Roman Emperors Diocletian and Maximian. In the late third century, they sought to destroy all legitimate Christian manuscripts. It is by the grace of God that we still have the bible today. It was almost destroyed before it's formation.

 Another major difference is 1 John 5:7-8

7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

That is one of the defining verses that shows the trinity. Let's look at the Alexandrian text...

7 For there are three that testify.
8 The Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

     I contend that this verse does, indeed, belong in the Holy Bible. The story goes that Erasmus only included it in his third through fifth edition of the Textus Receptus because of a manuscript that was brought to him later. Scholars think it was a forgery, but the verse also appeared in the Latin Vulgate for about 1200 years before that.

     Starting to sound like a conspiracy? The Alexandrian texts came out of Alexandria, Egypt. A popular group of early "Christians" were the Gnostics. They also came out of Egypt. In the 1940's, two brothers discovered a Gnostic library in near Nag Hammadi, Egypt. They were written in Coptic and appeared to be new gospels of Jesus that had been lost to time. It has now been largely agreed that they were written to late to be the real deal. The problem is their uncomfortably close proximity to where the the Alexandrian texts came from.
     Why does it matter? The bibles of today are translated from these Alexandrian texts compiled by Wescott & Hort. They play the pronoun game by calling Jesus He or Him in numerous places, they have less verses, and key verses on the trinity have been changed.
     Now, a lot of scholars will look at these older manuscripts and simply say that the Byzantine texts have been altered and added to. That future scribes added to God's word. But Jesus said in Matthew 24:35 that heaven and earth shall pass away, but his word wont. So has God preserved His word?
     I am of the belief that these Byzantine manuscripts were read more so they deteriorated over time. We don't have older ones because they were more frequently read. I believe that the Alexandrian texts were influenced by Gnosticism and that Wescott & Hort were influenced by the devil to bring more doubt in to the world. If I go out and talk to an atheist, I am using the KJV, NCPB, or MEV. But if you are already a believer, I do not think God will hold it against you if you read the NIV or ESV. In fact, I recommend the NIV or MEV for ease of study to those who are already Christians.
     So what do you believe? Are you King James Only? Tell us why in the contact page. We would love to hear from you! You can also find me on the social media platforms depicted below!

-Andrew Heckmaster