The Word of God

Just as all religions aren’t the same, modern Bible translations are also different. How can we tell which one’s best? Why does it matter?

Well, if we’re not committed to obeying our bible then it really doesn’t matter; we’ll go with whatever happens to make us feel good … hardly noticing when it encourages men to abuse their families, as many of our newer English translations actually do.

Clements Mountain, Montana

But if we’re hiding our bible in our heart, meditating on it daily and conforming our lives to every word of it, then I think the version we choose makes a big difference: we should trust it as God’s inspired Word. Is any translation worthy of our trust? How can we know?

As it turns out, I don’t think we need a seminary degree to nail this one; no need to master ancient biblical languages. The consistency of the Majority text sheds invaluable light: most of our English translations are based on patent absurdity: The Syrian Recension.

Of the few that remain, the King James Version (KJV) empowered two Great Awakenings, was the backbone of the English-speaking world for nearly 300 years and is the only English bible to have ever been generally accepted as inspired by God’s people. In my humble opinion, this one’s a no-brainer.

The Bible isn’t just any old book; it’s alive and powerful (He 4:12); it cannot be broken. (Jn 10:35) God’s Word is food for our soul (Je 15:16), a light to our way (Ps 119:105), a map for our journey (1Ti 3:16-17), and the Spirit’s sword, our weapon of war. (Ep 6:17) Let’s choose our bible wisely; pick one we trust and obey it as the very Word of God to us. Our spiritual health depends on it.

articles      blog

2 thoughts on “The Word of God”

  1. In this video, questioning the reliability of the KJB, Tim Berg claims the KJB is copyrighted (see his article); he provides as evidence that a Royal Charter or Patent, which was granted by the Crown to Cambridge University Press, is equivalent to copyright, which is a good argument, but nonetheless debatable. ChatGPT refutes this claim (that the text of the KJB is copywrited), as in this chat, so there may be some real difference between the rights held by Cambridge University Press and the modern concept of copyright (as the Chat asserts). For example, the right to reproduce a text in printed form (ie. the Royal Charter) is evidently not equivalent to owning rights to the text itself as intellectual property (as with a copyright). In any case, it is relatively clear that outside the UK anyone may treat the KJB as being in the Public Domain, and even within the UK restrictions are not placed upon replication and distribution of the KJB other than to preserve its integrity, which is a good thing. This is clearly not the case with most other English translations, which do appear (to me) to be driven by a profit motive to restrict the free dissemination of their texts.

    The video’s general content, as well as Berg’s website, appear to me to make significant efforts to cast doubt on the reliability of the KJB via an assortment of claims, many of which are likely true, but none of which actually imply, or really even suggest, that the KJB is unreliable, or that it should not be trusted as the Word of God.

  2. Here is a Q&A with ChatGPT on the unusual grammatical construction in Rom 1:3-4.

    Why does the king James Bible include the phrase Jesus Christ our Lord in Romans 1:3 when this does not appear in the Greek?”

    The inclusion of the phrase “Jesus Christ our Lord” in Romans 1:3 of the King James Bible, despite it not being in the earliest Greek manuscripts, is largely due to differences in manuscript traditions and the translation choices made by the King James translators.

    Manuscript Variants
    Textual Variants: The New Testament manuscripts have numerous textual variants. Some later manuscripts included expansions and clarifications that were not present in the earliest texts. The phrase “Jesus Christ our Lord” appears in some later Greek manuscripts but is absent in the earliest and most reliable ones.

    Source Texts: The King James Version (KJV) was translated primarily from the Textus Receptus, a Greek text compiled by Erasmus in the early 16th century. The Textus Receptus includes many readings found in later Byzantine manuscripts, which sometimes contain expansions not present in earlier Alexandrian manuscripts.

    Translation Philosophy
    Translation Decisions: The translators of the King James Bible often aimed for a translation that was both faithful to their source texts and doctrinally clear. They sometimes included phrases from the Textus Receptus that aligned with their theological understanding, even if those phrases were not in the earliest manuscripts.

    Harmonization: Scribes in the early centuries of Christianity sometimes harmonized texts by adding clarifying phrases, especially in contexts where they felt the identity of Jesus needed to be explicitly stated. These additions were then carried forward in later manuscripts.

    Theological Emphasis
    Doctrinal Clarity: The phrase “Jesus Christ our Lord” emphasizes key Christian beliefs about Jesus’ identity and authority. Including it in Romans 1:3 may have been seen as enhancing doctrinal clarity for readers.
    The King James Bible’s inclusion of “Jesus Christ our Lord” in Romans 1:3 reflects the textual tradition of the manuscripts available to its translators and their translation philosophy, which sometimes favored fuller expressions of theological truths as understood in their time. Modern critical editions of the Greek New Testament, like the Nestle-Aland and UBS texts, prioritize earlier manuscripts and often omit such expansions, reflecting a different approach to textual transmission and authenticity.

    The correct answer seems to be that these Greek words are actually in verse four at the end, but were moved into verse three by the translators in order to be more grammatically consistent since they modify the word “son”. There is no manuscript difference related to these particular words since they appear in both the Majority Text and the Alexandrian Text.

    You’re correct, and I apologize for the oversight in my previous response. The phrase “Jesus Christ our Lord” indeed appears in Romans 1:4 in the Greek text, but the King James translators placed it at the end of verse 3 to maintain grammatical consistency and clarity in English.

    Explanation of the Phrase Placement
    Grammatical Consistency: The King James translators moved the phrase “Jesus Christ our Lord” to the end of verse 3 to make the English text more readable and coherent. In Greek, the syntax and structure can allow for phrases to be understood differently than in English. The translators aimed to ensure that the relationship between “Son” and “Jesus Christ our Lord” was clear.

    Verse Structure: In the original Greek text, Romans 1:3-4 reads:

    Verse 3: “περὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ, τοῦ γενομένου ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυὶδ κατὰ σάρκα”
    Verse 4: “τοῦ ὁρισθέντος Υἱοῦ Θεοῦ ἐν δυνάμει κατὰ Πνεῦμα ἁγιωσύνης ἐξ ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν, Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν”
    The phrase “Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν” (Jesus Christ our Lord) is indeed at the end of verse 4.

    Translation Decisions: To make the English translation more coherent, the KJV translators placed this phrase in verse 3, effectively making it part of the description of the Son. This ensures that the phrase directly modifies “Son,” which improves the flow of the passage in English.

    Textual Integrity: There is no manuscript difference concerning the presence of the phrase “Jesus Christ our Lord” in the Greek text. It is found in both the majority text (Byzantine tradition) and the Alexandrian text. The alteration is purely a translational decision to enhance clarity and grammatical consistency in English.

    The inclusion of “Jesus Christ our Lord” at the end of Romans 1:3 in the King James Bible is a result of a translational adjustment for grammatical clarity and coherence, rather than a difference in manuscript tradition. The phrase appears in the original Greek text at the end of verse 4 and was moved by the translators to better connect it to “Son” in the English text.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.