Posted in Useful Information by Pastor John Fresia
We use the King James Version as our main study Bible. Why the King James? Because all the major Bible aides are based on the KJV. Newer versions are often not as faithful to the original text.
The Old Testament has been faithfully preserved by the Jews in what is known as the Masoretic Text. There are few translation problems with the Old Testament.
However, most modern translations, from the Revised Standard Version (RSV) to the New International Version (NIV), use as their source for the New Testament a Greek Text based upon the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus of the fourth century. This text, publicized by Westcott and Hort, is also known as the Alexandrian Text. It originated in Egypt and has been massaged by “higher critics” down through the ages. These manuscripts, used in the RSV, represent less than 5% of known Greek Biblical manuscripts, but are supposedly more authentic because they are “old.”
The bulk of New Testament manuscripts were copied century after century from earlier ones as they wore out. Older copies did not survive because these texts were used until worn out. This text, the so-called “Received Text” or “Byzantine Text” (also termed “Syrian”, “Antioch”, or Koine text) was used in the King James Version. Nearly 4,000 manuscripts of this Byzantine or Official Text agree almost perfectly with each other, and are a far better standard to go by than corrupt copies no matter how early they were made. Located primarily at Mt. Athos in Greece, copies of the Official Greek Text give us a very reliable record of the New Testament scriptures.
Jay P. Green, Sr., General Editor and Translator of the Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, states in his preface:
“The market-place is being glutted with new books which are being represented as versions of the Bible. Each one claims to be the very word of God, yet there are literally thousands of differences between them . . . . they all leave out dozens of references to the deity of Jesus Christ, and they add words which tend to question His virgin birth, His substitutionary, fully satisfying atonement. This is due to their decision to depend upon an Alexandrian [Egyptian] textbase, instead of that body of God’s words which has been universally received and believed in for nineteen centuries, known to us as the Received Text. These new versions [such as the NIV, New Jerusalem Bible and others] are not only marked by additions, but also by subtractions, since some four whole pages of words, phrases, sentences and verses have been omitted by these new versions. And these are words attested to as God’s words by overwhelming evidence contained in all the Greek manuscripts . . . .
” . . . it has been written, ‘For I say to you, Until the heavens and the earth pass away, in no way shall pass away one iota or one point from the Law, until all things come to pass.’- -Matthew 5:18 [Green's paraphrased] . . . .
“What then is the evidence these Bible-alterers offer to persuade you to give up the precious words they have removed from their versions? Mainly, they cite two manuscripts, admittedly old, but also admittedly carelessly executed. The Sinaiticus was so poorly executed that seven different hands of ‘textual critics’ can be discerned as they tried to impose their views on the Bible . . . it was discarded, found in a wastebasket fourteen centuries after it was executed. The Vaticanus manuscript lay on a shelf in the Vatican library at Rome until 1431, and was considered so corrupt that no one would use it . . . . they have systematically removed Luke’s witness to the ascension of Christ–and of course they have done away entirely with Mark’s witness to the ascension, simply because these last twelve verses do not appear in those two corrupt manuscripts, the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus . . . .
” . . . Origen, an early textual critic . . . said, that ‘the Scriptures are of little use to those who understand them as they are written’ . . . . given the opportunity, many like Origen will actually alter the manuscripts to make them say what they understand them to mean….Justin Martyr, Valentinus, Clement of Alexandria, Marcion, Tatian, and a horde of others practiced their ‘textual science’ by operating on manuscripts, or by writing their own ‘versions’ . . . .
” . . . Today there are more than 5,000 manuscripts and lectionaries in Greek as witnesses to the New Testament text. And 95% of them witness to the Received Text readings [contained in Green's Interlinear and the King James Version]. Partly due to the fact that ancient manuscripts containing the Received Text were worn out by use, while the Alexandrian textbase manuscripts were preserved by the dry conditions of Egypt, some have sought to discredit the Received Text because they say it is not ancient. But now that manuscript portions from the second century are being unearthed, it is found that many of the readings of the Received Text which had been tagged scornfully as ‘late readings’ by nearly unanimous consent of the ‘textual scientists’ are appearing in these [newly found] manuscripts. Readings which were before called late and spurious have been found in these early-date manuscripts . . . . Yet strangely, in textual criticism classes, such discoveries are swept under the rug, not reported to the class.”
We use the King James Version exclusively as our main study Bible, only using other translations to aid study of certain passages, to get another perspective. The fact that modern versions slavishly depend on the Egyptian and Vaticancorruptions of the New Testament should make us avoid them as a “main Bible.”