Spiritual Deception in the Highest 21.3

What happened in the process of translation? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We are now returning against to Johnson’s *ahem* work. I got this started and I do look forward to finishing it. KJV-onlyism is awfully tedious to deal with. At any rate, the source material, if you can call it that, can be found here.

When the King James Bible was translated from Hebrew/Greek into English each scholar first made his own translation. His work was passed on to other scholars within his own section for review. This work was then passed on to other sections for their review. Lastly, the work went to a final committee to iron out differences. All the work was done in the open.

Assuming for the sake of discussion all this is true, so what? That means that this was the best way to do this? It’s good because this is how it was done before? I want to know why did they do it this way. What was thought by the society at large? Who was funding it? How much of this would be known to the general public.

The work of Westcott and Hort was VERY different:

“The Old Testament committee met together SECRETLY as one body for ten years. The New Testament committee also met together SECRETLY for ten years. All was done in secret” [S4P103-104].

Okay. So what? Perhaps they didn’t want the two committees to influence each other? That’s just off the top of my head, but it’s certainly plausible. Notice something important about this. If you have an explanation that all things being equal doesn’t impugn the person with an evil action and is also plausible, charity says to go with that one first.

“This arrangement left the committee at the mercy of a determined triumvirate to lead the weak and to dominate the rest. All reports indicate that an iron rule of silence was imposed upon these revisers during all that time. The public was kept in suspense all the long, weary ten years. And ONLY after elaborate plans had been laid to throw the Revised Version all at once upon the market to effect a tremendous sale, did the world know what had gone on” [S2P257-258].

I find this confusing. The public was in suspense and yet at the end, they didn’t know what was going on? Those two don’t go together. How can you be at suspense of a group doing work if you don’t know what work is being done or even if there is a group at work? Johnson doesn’t make it clear what is meant here.

Also, who was this triumvirate supposedly? If it was Westcott and Hort, well that makes sense. They’re the ones directly behind this. The final work has their name behind it. They should get to look at it and see if turned out the way they thought it should.

This same tactic, of buying sight unseen, was used to ‘sell’ the RSV Bible on September 30th, 1952. We know that: “Pastors had no opportunity to review the new Bible, yet they were asked to open their churches for a tremendous advertising campaign”

We know this? How? Pastors just suddenly found a new Bible in their pulpit and had to use it? Was there a threat if they didn’t? Who would enforce it?

A KJV-onlyist reading this would likely agree, but only because it agrees with them. If so, Johnson is only convincing people who are already convinced. Color me skeptical still that Johnson is really reporting accurately.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Spiritual Deception in the Highest 21.2

What about a unitarian? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So before I wrote this one, I wanted to speak to someone who knew more about this than I do since my searches hadn’t found anything. I spoke to Dr. Warren on campus here who runs our center for New Testament manuscripts. His thoughts were mine. The new translation committee did have a Unitarian, but God uses flawed instruments. I was also told the KJV scholars weren’t all the salt of the Earth either. So as always, the source material can be found here.

“When the company of New Testament revisers (for the Revised Version) were ready to begin their work, a communion service was held in Westminster Abbey. A Unitarian member of the committee partook along with the others. There was serious criticism of this … The upper house of the Convocation of Canterbury passed a resolution that NO person who denied the deity of Christ should take part in the work” [S2P156].

“Westcott expressed his loyalty to apostasy when he threatened to quit if the Convocation were successful in ejecting Smith [the Unitarian] from the Committee. ‘I never felt more clear as to my duty. If the Company accepts the dictation of the Convocation, my work must end. I see no escape from the conclusion'” [S1P165].

Westcott and Hort found an ally for their plan to abolish the Traditional Majority Text, when Dr. Vance Smith, a Christ denying, Unitarian preacher, was seated on the committee.

The language of the last paragraph is problematic as one gets the impression of Westcott and Hort as wicked schemers making a devilish plan to destroy the KJV. Hardly. There is no sense here that Westcott endorsed the beliefs of Smith, but he could have endorsed the credentials and ability.

As to the Unitarian, Dr. Hort said: “It is, I think, difficult to measure the weight of the acceptance won before the hand for the Revision by the single fact of our welcoming a Unitarian” [S1P165].

What were some of Dr. Smith’s beliefs? Dr. Smith called the belief in Christ’s 2nd coming ‘erroneous’. He said:

“This idea of the Second Coming ought now to be passed by as a merely TEMPORARY incident of early Christian belief. Like many another ERROR, it has answered its TRANSITORY PURPOSE in the providential plan, and may well, at length, be left to rest in peace” [S1P165].

Which is all really poisoning the well. It’s interesting that Johnson didn’t spend any time telling us anything about the members of the KJV team. What problems did they have?

Dr. Vance Smith was NOT the only problem within the translation committee. The following quote summarizes the members in general:

“The reputations of the committee members were so tainted that Queen Elizabeth and her chaplain … refused to give it official sanction … Half the Church of England declined involvement, as did the American branch …” [S3P435]. Also: “Others … left after seeing the SINISTER character of the ‘New’ Greek text” [S3P435].

There are so many ellipses and I question a primary source using the idea of sinister and putting it in caps. I remain skeptical of the context of the quote until Johnson can go to primary sources and give it.

When comparing the scholars of his day to those of the King James committee: Bishop Ellicott, the CHAIRMAN of the Revised Version Committee, said:

“We have certainly NOT YET ACQUIRED sufficient critical judgment for any Body of Revisors to undertake such a work as this” [S3P435].

(Please note: “Advocates of modern versions assume that they are the product of scholarship far superior to that of the translators of the King James Version of 1611, but this assumption is not supported by the facts” [S2P13]).

Which is shown by looking at just one translation and not considering all we have learned about text since then and the Greek and Hebrew language.

It was said that Bishop Ellicott was the committee chairman. Actually, the FIRST chairman was Bishop Wilberforce. One meeting, was enough for him. He wrote to a friend: “What can be done in this most miserable business?” [S2P291] “Unable to bear the situation, he absented himself and never took part in the proceedings … One factor had disturbed him considerably – the presence of Dr. G. Vance Smith, the Unitarian …” [S2P291].

I understand some people having concerns, but I don’t. God used Judas to fulfill His plan. Ultimately, aside from Jesus, God has to use flawed instruments in this way. That’s all that there is.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Spiritual Deception in the Highest 21.1

So what about Westcott and Hort? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Okay, folks. I put this one off for a bit because I had tried to find the Westcott and Hort quotations, but I had no luck. Unfortunately, Johnson never gives primary sources and I don’t trust the sources he has, particularly Riplinger. If there is a reader out there who can provide more context, I welcome that. For now, the main source material can be found here.

In the last chapter, we learned ‘Codex Vaticanus’ and ‘Codex Sinaiticus’ are two manuscripts from the corrupted minority of Greek texts.

No. We saw that asserted.

‘Vaticanus’ was found in the Vatican library. ‘Sinaiticus’ was found in a Mt. Sinai trash can.

And the scroll of the law was found while cleaning the temple. Apparently, it had been abandoned. I suppose Johnson would have scrapped it then. Right?

We also know these 2 manuscripts form the basis for the Westcott and Hort Greek text. And, the corrupt Westcott and Hort Greek text forms the basis for ‘modern’ versions of the Bible.

In this chapter Westcott and Hort use the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus manuscripts to make their ‘own’ Greek text. This they submit to a Bible translation committee. The result will be the “English Revised Version of 1881”. Later on, other ‘modern versions’ will follow the W&H text.

We pick up the history of the Bible, in England, in 1870.

Okay. Let’s go.

“In 1870, the Convention of the Church of England commissioned a revision of the Authorized Version” [S1P162].

A revision committee was assembled.

It’s too bad Johnson never stops to ask why. Did the Church of England abandon a belief in the perfection of the KJV, or did they just never have it to begin with?

The Revision Committee was instructed: “… NOT to deal with the underlying Greek text of the Authorized Version. They were instructed to do as follows: (1) to introduce AS FEW alterations as possible into the text of the King James Bible, and (2) to limit … the expression of any alterations TO THE LANGUAGE of the Authorized Version” [S1P163].

“Westcott and Hort had other plans. They had edited the corrupt Vatican and Sinaitic manuscripts … and produced their own Greek text. Wisely they had never published it” [S1P163].

Why wisely? Was it found to be better or worse? Johnson has never made a convincing case for worse.

“Westcott and Hort had been working together on their text since 1853; in 1870 they printed a tentative edition for private distribution only. This they circulated under pledge of secrecy within the company of New Testament revisers, of which they were members (of which came the Revised Version of 1881). It soon became evident that the New Testament committee was NOT going to be content merely to revise the Authorized Version, but was determined to revise the UNDERLYING Greek text radically” [S2P153-154].

All of this would need to be shown. We have the text that was used. We can see how well they did.

In November of 1870, Westcott said: “In a few minutes I go with Lightfoot to Westminster. More will come of these meetings, I think, than simply a revised version” [S1P162-163].

Gotta love the assumption that there’s some devious plan by Westcott in this.

Hort to Westcott: “This may sound like cowardice-I have a craving that our text should be cast upon the world before we deal with matters likely to brand us with suspicion” [S3P407-408]

Westcott to Hort: “… strike blindly … much evil would result from a public discussion” [S3P408].

Unfortunately, we are not told the context. Is there evil intent here? Johnson wants us to believe so, but he does not give us the context and what this is about. He never once considers going to the writings of Westcott and Hort and showing where they are in them, which is just not good research.

But considering his record so far, color me skeptical.

We’ll continue next time.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Spiritual Deception in the Highest 20.2

What about Sinaiticus? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We’re returning to this one today. The second great codex to discuss is Sinaiticus. As always, the source material can be found here.

“The Sinaiticus is a manuscript that was found in 1844 in a trash pile in St. Catherine’s Monastery near Mt. Sinai, by a man named Mr. Tichendorf” [S5P61].

“Mr. Tischendorf.” No mention from Johnson that Tischendorf was a great scholar in his day. From this writing, you’d think someone just wandering through found it. Tischendorf was on a search for manuscripts.

“The date of its writing is placed at around 340 A.D. …” [S4P20].

“The Sinaiticus is extremely unreliable, proven by examining the manuscript itself. John Burgon spent years examining every available manuscript of the New Testament” [S5P61]. He writes about Sinaiticus:

“On many occasions 10, 20, 30, 40 words are dropped through very carelessness. Letters, words or even whole sentences are frequently written twice over, or begun and immediately cancelled; while … a clause is omitted because it happens to end in the same words as the clause proceeding, [this] occurs no less than 115 times in the New Testament” [S5P61].

Even if this is granted, it does not prove it is unreliable. This happens with many copies we have of various parts of the New Testament. This was in an age when copyists could be done by non-professionals as well and there were no erasers to erase mistakes.

“On nearly every page of the manuscript there are corrections and revisions done by TEN different people” [S5P61].

Dr. Scrivener agrees with John Burgon. Dr. Scrivener says (of Codex Sinaiticus):

“… it is clear that this document was corrected by ten different scribes at different periods”. He tells of “the occurrence of so many different styles of handwriting, apparently due to penmen removed from each other by centuries, which deform by their corrections every page of this venerable looking document” [S2P307-308].

Yet somehow the rest of the scholarly world still considers it valuable. Of course, Johnson never gives us their side of the case. Johnson is the less informed counterpart to Bart Ehrman sadly.

And Dr. M. Reynolds tells us:

“Tischendorf, the discoverer of the Sinaiticus manuscript noted at least 12,000 changes which had been made … by OTHERS than the original copyist” [S17P3].

It would be good to know where Tischendorf said on this himself, but under no circumstances will Johnson cite primary sources.

G.A. Riplinger cites some ‘advanced’ analysis of Sinaiticus:

“[With] more recent detailed scrutiny of the manuscript … by the use of [the] ultra-violet lamp, Milne and Skeat discovered that the original reading in the manuscript was erased … [in places]” [S3P552].

In Sinaiticus: “There are about 9,000 changes from … the Majority … Text, amounting to one difference in every verse. It omits some 4,000 words from the Gospels, adds 1,000, repositions 2,000 and alters another 1,000. It has approximately 1,500 readings that DO NOT APPEAR IN ANY OTHER MANUSCRIPT …” [S3P552-553].

I still have no reason to take Riplinger seriously in anything she says and it is a shame that Johnson does.

“Philip Mauro was a brilliant lawyer who was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court in April 1892. He wrote a book called ‘Which Version’ in the early 1900’s” [S5P61]. He writes concerning Sinaiticus …

“From these facts, therefore, we deduce: … the impurity of the Codex Sinaiticus, in every part of it, was fully recognized by those who were best acquainted with it, and … it was finally cast aside as WORTHLESS for any practical purpose” [S5P61].

Except it wasn’t. It was used by scholars then. It is used by them now. All of this still assumes that there is a perfect manuscript also. Thus, any differences from the KJV manuscripts show the other manuscripts are in error.

We’ll continue next time.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)



Spiritual Deception in the Highest 20.1

What about the manuscripts the KJV didn’t use? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We’re going to skip a brief introduction here as there’s not much to say. This time we start looking at the other manuscripts that weren’t used by the KJV translators. The link to the source material can be found here.

Vaticanus: ” … was written on fine vellum (tanned animal skins) and remains in excellent condition. It was found in the Vatican Library in 1481 A.D.” [S5P60]

In spite of being in excellent condition:

“This Codex omits portions of Scripture vital to Christian doctrine. Vaticanus omits Genesis 1:1 – Genesis 46:28, Psalms 106 – 138, Matthew 16:2,3; Romans 16:24; the Pauline Pastorial Epistles; Revelation; and everything in Hebrews after 9:14” [S1P72]. “These parts were probably left out on purpose” [S5P60].

I couldn’t find anything about this, but I will grant it for the sake of argument. What I want to know though is about the last part at least. How is it known these were left out on purpose? Johnson doesn’t say.

“Moreover having been found in the Vatican library, the suspicion was all the more compounded. We must recall that the Renaissance was lifting the great curtain hiding medieval superstition and forged documents, allowing the light to shine in …” [S6P135].

Ah yes. Anything Catholic must be bad. Strange the Reformers never seemed to question the manuscripts that way that I know of at least.

“According to authorities the date of its writing is placed within the years 325 A.D. to 350 A.D.” [S4P20].

This could be true, but what authorities? Johnson doesn’t tell us. Did he do any research on his own?

“Vaticanus, though intact physically, is found to be of very poor literary quality. Dr. Martin declares, ‘B’ exhibits numerous places where the scribe has written the same word or phrase twice in succession” [S1P72].

Which wouldn’t be a problem anyway. We could recognize that easily. This is a common scribal issue.

“Besides all that – in the gospels alone it leaves out 237 words, 452 clauses and 748 whole sentences, which hundreds of later copies agree together as having the SAME words in the SAME places, the SAME clauses in the SAME places and the SAME sentences in the SAME places” [S5P60].

I have looked over this a few times and I am still not sure what he’s arguing.

“It seems suspicious indeed that a MSS possessed by the Roman Catholic Church omits the portion of the book of Hebrews which exposes the ‘mass’ as totally useless. (Please read Hebrews 10:10-12). The ‘mass’ in conjunction with the false doctrine of purgatory go hand in hand to form a perpetual money making machine for Rome. Without one or the other the Roman Catholic Church would go broke!” [S1P72].

Yet somehow when the Catholics produced their own translation they left in that portion of Hebrews. Odd.

G.A Riplinger adds the following about Vaticanus (i.e. ‘B’):

“The use of recent technology such as the vidicon camera, which creates a digital form of faint writing, recording it on magnetic tape and reproducing it by an electro-optical process, reveals that B has been altered by at least two hands, one being as late as the twelfth century … A few passages … remain to show the original appearance of the first hand. The corrector omitted [things] he believed to be incorrect” [S3P551].

Which is also a common scribal practice anyway…..

“B agrees with the Textus Receptus only about 50% of the time. It differs from the Majority Greek in nearly 8,000 places, amounting to about one change per verse. It omits several thousand key words from the Gospels, nearly 1,000 complete sentences, and 500 clauses. It adds approximately 500 words, substitutes or modifies nearly 2,000 and transposes word order in about 2,000 places. It has nearly 600 readings THAT DO NOT OCCUR IN ANY OTHER MANUSCRIPT …” [S3P551].

Considering Riplinger isn’t a scholar, I give her zero credibility here based on what I know of her, but all Johnson cares about is “Does this person agree with my conclusion?”

And: “Linguistic scholars have observed that B is reminiscent of classical and Platonic Greek, NOT the Koine [common] Greek of the New Testament …” [S3P551].

Which linguistic scholars? Name them.

“Protestant theologians question its lack of use by anyone for 1300 years-then its sudden ‘discovery’ in the Vatican in 1481” [S3P552].

Which ones?

“Its [i.e. Vaticanus’] immediate use to suppress the Reformation and its subsequent release in 1582 as the Jesuit-Rheims Bible are logical, considering the manuscripts omission of anti-Catholic sections and books (ie Hebrews 9:14 and Revelation etc.)” [S3P552].

Also, Vaticanus: “… agrees essentially with Origen’s Hexapla, omitting the deity of Christ frequently …” [S3P552].

Origen would be quite surprised to know he omitted the deity of Christ.

In summary, history records that:

“… Vaticanus was available to the King James translators but they didn’t use it because they knew it was unreliable” [S5P60].

Unfortunately, Johnson will not tell us where they said this. I tried to find it and had no luck.

We’ll continue next time.

Spiritual Deception in the Highest 19.3

How do we wrap up the wording of the KJV section? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Again, I am leaving a lot of stuff out that is tedious as it is just doing things like counting the number of syllables. This chapter ends with some odds and ends and we’re going to go ahead and get to those. As always, the source material can be found here.

Not only does the King James use simpler words, but it also uses a shorter vocabulary of ‘different’ words. In his book “The Majority Text”, Theodore Letis points out:

“The AV contains only about six thousand words as compared to Shakespeare’s fifteen to twenty thousand and Milton’s thirteen thousand …”

Okay. And? Even if I grant this as true, what follows from this? What is asked is not how many different words are used but how easy those words are to understand. There are times fewer words are better and there are times more words are better. It depends on the situation. For instance, we don’t want to have endless vocabulary lists to learn to say something, but meanwhile, Greek has four different words for love and we only have one to contain everything.

What about the King James’ words we don’t recognize? G.A. Riplinger responds to this question:

“The … words in the KJV, which are unfamiliar, at first glance, to dictionary shy Americans are actually simpler and more accurate than their new substitutes. A ‘stomacher’ for example (Isa. 3:24) is NOT a belt, as new versions indicate, but a chest ornament. (It seems the only ‘simpler’ words in new versions are incorrect or from a corrupt Greek text.) New versions not only do not improve the KJV’s ‘sackbut’ (Daniel 3:7), calling it a ‘trigon’, but in the same sentence change the KJV’s simple ‘harp’ to a ‘zither’

This seems like a bizarre argument. How do I know that a stomacher is a chest ornament? I went to Blue Letter Bible to look up the verse and found that it says it’s a robe. Maybe it’s right. Maybe it’s a belt. Since this is the only place the word shows up in Scripture, it’s harder to tell.

It’s hard to understand how replacing one difficult term, a sackbut, with another difficult term, a trigon, is an argument. It amounts to “Well they do it to!” This doesn’t deal with the wording of the KJV. As for harp, the word is best translated as a lyre or zither.

But supposedly Riplinger has dealt with the whole argument by citing two verses. Well done.

A second claim is that: ‘thee’, ‘thou’, ‘thy’, and ‘thine’ are out of date. The ‘pitch’ is that these words were spoken in 1611, are archaic, and need to be eliminated.

Let’s examine this claim. In his book ‘The King James Version Defended’, Edward F. Hills gives us some interesting insight into these words. On page 218, he says:

“… the English of the King James Version is not the English of the 17th century … It is Biblical English, which was not used on ordinary occasions even by the translators who produced the King James Version. As H. Wheeler Robinson (1940) pointed out, one need only compare the preface written by the translators with the text of their translation to feel the difference in style … The King James Version … owes its merit, not to 17th century English – which was very different – but to its faithful translation of the original. Its style is that of the Hebrew and the New Testament Greek. Even in their use of thee and thou the translators were not following 17th century English usage but biblical usage, for at the time these translators were doing their work these singular forms had already been replaced by the plural you in polite conversation” [S12P218].

In his book ‘The Old Is Better’, Alfred E. Levell also comments on the need for thee’s and thou’s. On page 31, he says:

“Why did the AV translators not adopt the up to date English of their time? For one reason … accuracy of translation! Whenever the Hebrew and Greek texts use the singular of the pronoun, so does the AV; and whenever those texts use the plural, so does the AV … There is a distinct loss of accuracy in translation if ‘You’ is used for singular as well as the plural: it becomes an ambiguous word … Thus in Luke 22:31-32 the Lord says to Peter “Satan hath desired to have you, to sift you as wheat,” “you” here referring to Peter and the other disciples; “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not,” “thee” and “thy” referring to Peter only. Such shades in meaning are completely lost when ‘you’ is used throughout” [S13P31].

The words: ‘thee’, ‘thou’, ‘thy’ and ‘thine’ are clearly needed. The Holy Spirit picked these words for a reason: It is to distinguish the ‘singular you’ from the ‘plural you’ for the purpose of clarity. Praise God!

I can easily grant this shows a lack in our language today. At the same time, that doesn’t mean we still speak in thee and thou today. (Gotta love the statement that this is what the Holy Spirit chose, something I am sure the KJV translators would not want said.) It’s one reason in my recent Greek classes we even talked about how in the South we differ between you and y’all.

Objective, analytical, data shows new versions are NOT EASIER to read, they are HARDER. Also, new versions are wordier, have more syllables per word, and use harder words.

The words God chose, for His Traditional Majority Text, are simpler. And, like the use of ‘thee’, ‘thou’, ‘thy’ and ‘thine’; each word was chosen for a reason. We may or may not understand each word, but it is there for a purpose; just like you and I are here for a purpose.

Lately; Bible publishers are trying to tell Christians the King James Bible is ‘hard to understand’. Their ‘claim’ is that we need to buy a ‘new version’.

Well, if the King James Bible is ‘hard to understand’, then this is a very, very, RECENT phenomenon. Our grandparents were able to read the King James!

And, how would Bible publishers explain this supposed problem with King James ‘readability’ when we are actually MORE EDUCATED than our grandparents?

No; their claim does not make sense. Something else is wrong.

And meanwhile, our great-great-great grandparents down the line were able to read Elizabethan English. Our older ancestors were able to read languages like Greek and Latin and Hebrew. People can read different things at different times due to the changes in language.

The truth is that the King James Bible is NOT the problem.

“The real gap is one of distance between God and man, not a lapse between us and Father Time … The spiritual chasm is so vast that even those close to Jesus could not understand him. He was NOT speaking archaic Aramaic to Mary and Joseph yet, “they understood NOT the saying which he spake unto them”. Obsolete words were NOT the obstacle when he asked Peter, “Are ye also yet WITHOUT understanding?” [S3P635].

Something to think about.

And many of the great heroes in the Bible didn’t understand, including Mary and Joseph, the apostles, and others in the Old Testament. Are we to assume that all of these figures didn’t understand because they were obstinate in sin?

I am not against the KJV if one prefers it and wants to use it. I am against saying it is the only one you should use and all others are wicked translations.

But we’ll go on next time.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)


Spiritual Deception in the Highest 19.2

How readable is the KJV? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This time, I’m not quoting everything. There is information that is just bit by bit that I find tedious. This is not hiding anything. I always link to the material here and I recommend you go and read it. Anyway, let’s answer the question of if the material is more readable or not in the KJV.

One persistent advertisement is that new versions are ‘easier to read’. If this is true, it is easily verified.

The Flesch-Kincaid research company has a formula which measures the grade level of a book. The higher the grade level the more education is required. And, the lower the grade level, the less education is required.

The Flesch-Kincaid formula is:

Grade level = (.39) times (the average number of words per sentence) + (11.8) times (the average number of syllables per word) minus (15.59)

From this formula; fewer syllables per word lowers the grade level and/or shorter sentences lowers the grade level. Both make sense.

Now, let’s compare some ‘modern’ versions to the King James Bible.

In her excellent book “New Age Bible Versions”, on page 196, G.A. Riplinger gives us the Flesch-Kincaid readability results of various ‘Bibles’. In her first analysis, she compares the average grade level required to read the first chapter of the first and last books of both the Old and New Testaments.

Leaving aside Kiplinger as a source, I have a few concerns here. For one thing, this could work well all things being equal if we use modern language, but what if we don’t? What if we use an ancient book still? For instance, in this case, I went to the metaphysics of Aristotle which I got here.

So what did I get?

(https://archive.org/stream/aristotlesmetaph0001aris/aristotlesmetaph0001aris_djvu.txt) has an average reading ease of about 80.6 of 100. It should be easily understood by 9 to 10 year olds.

There are PhDs who are struggling to understand this work. No. It will not be easily understood by 9 to 10 year olds.

So next I went here to the first part of the Summa of Aquinas dealing with questions of existence. Results?

(https://www.newadvent.org/summa/1001.htm) has an average reading ease of about 62.5 of 100. It should be easily understood by 14 to 15 year olds.

Again, PhDs are struggling and debating with this.

I next went to Romeo and Juliet.

That one was deemed too complicated, yet I bet many of us understand that more than we do Aristotle and Aquinas.

How about the transcript of Joe Biden’s inauguration address?

That one got the same rating as Aquinas, which means you would have a harder time understanding that address than you would understanding Aristotle.

Finally, I put in my article on the virgin birth, which I do affirm. The results are it is fitting for 10 to 11 year-olds. There you have it folks. I’m writing material that is slightly harder to understand than Aristotle. Never knew it.

So did Johnson ever bother to check on any of this? You already know the answer. The test itself could be fine, all things being equal, but there are some problems.

There is material on memorization after which Johnson says the following:

READER NOTE: The Word is “The Sword of the Spirit”. When G.A. Riplinger says that: “The memorization of scripture is a necessary self-defense against sin” and that: “simple sentence structure and single syllable words … simplify this task”; I believe she has hit on a very SUBTLE but EXTREMELY important point.

The memorization of scripture REQUIRES repetition. And, it requires hearing the SAME words again and again. When each ‘modern’ version, substitutes different words (so it can ‘sell itself’ as a ‘new’ version), it hinders and confuses the memorization of scripture.

When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, I suspect He DID NOT have scrolls of scripture with him. Nor do I think He fumbled around with which version to quote back to Satan. The only thing Jesus had was the Word, memorized! Think about it!

The problem is that if you look at the same story in different Gospels, you would find different words being used. Which is it? What you will normally find is the same idea is being expressed. Frankly, unless you’re quoting the words in Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic, you’re already not using the exact words that were used.

And yes, there were variants in Old Testament manuscripts. What Johnson is doing is treating the text like it’s a magic book. You have to say the words the exact right way or else the effect won’t happen.

Now I will grant that there are many passages I still remember in the KJV. John 3:16 anyone? But I do know I have many other passages memorized and even if I don’t have the exact words, I have the voice that is being used. It’s ironic that in wanting to defend a position he considers orthodox, Johnson really has a view of language that is pagan.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Spiritual Deception in the Highest 19.1

What about modern translations? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So now we’re about to look at modern translations. Some stuff, I’m actually going to skip because it’s just so tedious. At any rate, the source material can be found here.

In the last chapter we learned that:

“… The KJV reverberates with ETERNAL FAMILIARITY … Priests, atheists, skeptics, devotees, agnostics, and evangelists, are generally agreed that the Authorized version of the English Bible is the BEST EXAMPLE OF ENGLISH LITERATURE that the world HAS EVER SEEN … Ivy league scholars have selected the King James Bible as ONE OF THE FINEST SAMPLES OF WRITING STYLES IN EXISTENCE … The KJV … has proven itself for almost 400 years, it is the MOST BEAUTIFUL, it BEARS THE MOST FRUIT, it produces SPIRITUAL REVIVAL, it is the EASIEST TO MEMORIZE … the version of 1611 … is probably the BEST version EVER MADE … etc. etc. etc.

Actually, we just heard this asserted. One can say the KJV was a fine work for its time, but that doesn’t mean it will be the same today. If anything, this sounds eerily like the way that Muslims treat the Qur’an.

Now contrast those quotes with sales pitches for ‘modern versions’:

… the King James Bible is too hard to understand … its words are archaic … people don’t understand it … it has thee’s and thou’s …. today’s Christian needs is a ‘more readable’ version … etc. etc.

There is some validity to this. The English language has changed and we need translations that match the way of the usage of language for our time. One can say the KJV was beautiful for its time and still does maintain some great beauty today, but it is also a difficult translation to understand using words and idioms we no longer use.

These two views are diametrically opposed to one another. Only one of them is true. Either the King James Bible IS the … BEST EXAMPLE of English literature the world HAS EVER SEEN or it ISN’T.

So, should we believe:

  1. A) The ‘non-financially’ compensated comments of the first view?


  1. B) Should we believe ‘salesmen’ and ‘marketing ads’ ?

We should believe what is true regardless of what the motivations are for someone saying it. I could just as well say that Johnson is a salesman for the position of KJV-onlyism so should I believe him? Of course, I can also point out that he is only giving one side of the equation.

Instead of emotionally (and philosophically) debating this question, let’s get the facts.

Sounds like a good plan, but I doubt that that will happen. To get the facts, one actually needs to consult both sides of the equation. Johnson does not have any opposing sources in his bibliography. He only quotes KJV-onlyists and then what they have to say about his opponents.

Sales pitches for new, modern, versions contain several ‘claims’. In this chapter, we will test them for truth.

And throughout this work I have been testing Johnson for truth and so far, he isn’t doing good. We’ll see if this gets any better, but I doubt that it will.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)


Spiritual Deception in the Highest 18.4

What was the response to the KJV? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So as we continue, now we get to the rave reviews of the KJV. It’s strange to point to what would normally be considered the approval of men. Also, I can point to high praise of modern translations, but I suspect that will not count. At any rate, the source material is here.

What do you get when you start with the true Word of God and then add: the anointing of the Holy Spirit, godly men in excellent health, an optimum work environment, an organized work approach, and a system of quality control though comprehensive peer reviews?

Gotta love the stacking of the deck. It’s noteworthy that nothing is said about the preface of the KJV which we have talked about in earlier posts.

You get the following:

“The KJV reverberates with eternal familiarity” [S6Pvi].

Of course, Johnson doesn’t tell us who said this. No. I’m not going back and checking all his sources to find justification for one quote.

Of the Bible: Queen Victoria said: “… That book accounts for the supremacy of England”, George Washington said: “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible”, Patrick Henry boasted: “The bible is worth all other books which have ever been printed” [S9P3].

While Washington did use the KJV, it doesn’t follow that he means only the KJV here. I couldn’t find what Bible Henry used, but a user of modern translations could easily agree with these statements. The same applies to Queen Victoria.

“Priests, atheists, skeptics, devotees, agnostics, and evangelists, are generally agreed that the Authorized version of the English Bible is the BEST example of English literature that the world HAS EVER SEEN …” [S2P260].

Someone point me to these atheists and skeptics and others please.

Ivy league scholars have selected the King James Bible as: “one of the FINEST samples of writing styles IN EXISTENCE” [S3P212].

And someone who agrees with modern translations can affirm this as well.

“… 250 different versions of the Bible were tried in England between 1611 and now, but they ALL FELL FLAT before the majesty of the King James” [S2P253].

No references are given for this. It would be interesting to explore what other factors could be in place, but unfortunately, Johnson doesn’t bother with that.

“[The King James Bible] was accepted in common use by the people, without coercion, and has been blessed of God as no other book of any language …” [S9P1].

The KJV: “… has proven itself for almost 400 years, it is the most beautiful, it bears the most fruit, it produces spiritual revival, it is easiest to memorize, its readers are the most zealous to read it often” [S9P2].

It would be interesting to see how anyone could demonstrate any of these claims.

“But upon the whole the version of 1611 … is probably the best version ever made for public use. It is not simply a translation, but a living reproduction of the original scriptures in idiomatic English, by men as reverent and devout as they were learned. It reads like an original work, such as the prophets and apostles might have written in the seventeenth century for English readers. It reveals an easy mastery of the rich resources of the English language, the most cosmopolitan of all modern languages, and blends with singular felicity Saxon force and Latin melody. Even its prose reads like poetry, and sounds like music. It is the first of English classics, and the greatest modern authors have drawn inspiration from this pure well of English undefiled. Its best recommendation is its universal adoption and use … Next to Christianity itself, the version of 1611 is the greatest boon which a kind Providence has bestowed upon the English race. It carries with it to the ends of the globe all that is trulyvaluable in our civilization, and gives strength, beauty, and happiness to our domestic, social, and national life” [S6P96].

This is all well and good, but it doesn’t make the case for Johnson. You can believe this and still not be a KJV-onlyist. Of course, primary sources are never used.

“The Majority text, it must be remembered, is relatively uniform in its general character with comparatively low amounts of variation between its major representatives. NO ONE HAS YET EXPLAINED how a long, slow process spread out over many centuries as well as over a wide geographical area, and involving a multitude of copyists, who often knew nothing of the state of the text outside of their own monasteries or scriptoria, could achieve this widespread uniformity out of the diversity presented by the earlier forms of text … an unguided process achieving relative stability and uniformity in the diversified textual, historical, and cultural circumstances in which the New Testament was copied, imposes IMPOSSIBLE strains on the imagination” [S2P34]

This is similar also to claims made about the Koran and about the Book of Mormon and the account of the seventy in making the Septuagint.

“Herein lies the greatest weakness of contemporary textual criticism. Denying to the Majority text any claim to represent the actual form of the original text, it is nevertheless unable to explain its rise, its comparative uniformity, and its dominance in any satisfactory manner. All of these factors CAN be rationally accounted for, however, IF THE MAJORITY TEXT REPRESENTS SIMPLY THE CONTINUOUS TRANSMISSION OF THE ORIGINAL TEXT FROM THE VERY FIRST” [S2P34].

And isn’t the last one the question to be asked? Also, go talk to any of these scholars. They easily can explain what happened.

We will continue next time.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)


Spiritual Deception in the Highest 18.3

What manuscripts did the KJV scholars use? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Okay. It looks like we’re finally getting into some substance, but I suspect that even what should be substantial will not be. As always, the original material can be found here.

“… it was … the principle of the numerical majority of the readings which gave us the … Textus Receptus” [S13P17].

“Dean Burgon a learned textural critic and collator of Manuscripts, Presbendary Miller, Dr. Scrivener and others, uphold the Textus Receptus because of the immense number of manuscripts which are in agreement with it” [S4P28].

Good for them. Okay. Why did they? Unfortunately, Johnson doesn’t tell us this. Instead it’s more of the “Godly man in authority” argument.

The KJV agrees with the massive amount of witnesses (more than 5,000 Greek manuscripts) and also: “Virtually no [KJV] MSS are known to be copies of any others …” [S6P57].

This doesn’t really make sense. This would mean that none of the KJV manuscripts are alike and thus all of them would have variants. This also doesn’t say anything about the Old Testament manuscripts.

Thus, when we say that the majority of the 5,000 witnesses agree with the King James Bible, we are saying that these 5,000 witnesses are ‘INDEPENDENT’ witnesses.

I am still wondering how this makes sense. The manuscripts disagree and yet all are witnesses? I do understand how that works in general, but saying it applies to only one school doesn’t make sense.

“We can safely conclude from scholars on both sides of the issue that the vast majority of manuscripts agrees with the readings in the King James Version … [And] Not only does the KJV have a firmer foundation numerically, but also geographically. It comes from numerous localities …” [S3P479].

It would be nice to hear those scholars on the other side. Color me suspicious that one side will say “Yes, the manuscripts agree, but I prefer the other version.”

Thus, the testimony to the validity of the King James Bible is deep: 5,000 independent witnesses. And, the testimony is wide: these witnesses come from a variety of locations.

Quite likely true, but what of it? Versions today use all manuscripts as well.

But what about the corrupted minority of Greek texts? Did the King James translators know about these manuscripts? Did they use them?

History documents that:

“… the translators of 1611 had available ALL of the variant readings of these manuscripts and rejected them” [S2P254].

All? Doubtful. New manuscripts are being uncovered regularly. Furthermore, why was any particular variant rejected? According to the above, it looks like the manuscripts the KJV translators used themselves had variants.

Thus, the King James translators knew about the corrupted minority of manuscripts and they rejected this corruption.

Corrupted implies intention. That needs to be shown.

The KJV translators went on to make a Bible which has been shown to be in agreement with the majority of the Greek texts.

To make the King James Bible, the translators selected and used a representative sample of the majority texts. This was easy to do because the majority texts agree with one another.

They agree, but they aren’t copies, and a sample was used. If you’re confused by now, you’re not the only one.


“The [KJV] translators drew on the earlier 16th century translations, such as the Bishop’s Bible and the Geneva Bible, but especially on Tyndale’s translation. His was a very great influence on the Authorised Version – it has been said that some 80% or more of the AV derives from Tyndale. In a sense the AV was the culmination of nearly a century of Bible translation … it came out of the Reformation which was the greatest revival since the first Christian Pentecost” [S13P8].

As for the Geneva Bible, it: “… was the first English Bible to have verse numbers; the first to use italics for words that were not in the original languages, but necessary for understanding the English; the first to use the Roman type, rather than the Gothic (Old English); and they were small and inexpensive” [S9P2].

The King James Bible followed the example of the Geneva Bible. In other words, in the KJV: “All words which were not found in the Hebrew and Greek Manuscripts, were placed in italics. In this way these men [the KJV translators] made a vast difference between the words given by inspiration of God, and the words originating in the thoughts of men. This is the way it should be” [S4P103].

( Reader note: ‘Modern’ versions DO NOT separate God’s Words from man’s words. Instead the two are mixed together ).

Gotta love this final comment here. The translators of modern translations have to be corrupt after all.

“In conclusion, recent scholarship demonstrates that the majority of manuscripts, as seen in the traditional Greek Textus Receptus, and its translation, the King James Version, represent the earliest, broadest (numerically and geographically) and most consistent edition of the New Testament” [S3P503].

Without citing any of the scholars on the other side, we can tell what scholarship thinks! Incredible!

So we had something that should have been substantial, and now we see there was no substance.

We’ll continue next time.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)