The New King James Version Bible (which isn't a King James Bible)
What follows is a list of just a few of the corruptions in the New King James Version (NKJV). I picked the NKJV to illustrate the problems with the new Bibles because many are under the mistaken impression that it's just an updated King James Bible. If you compare versions such as the New American Standard Bible (NASB), New International Version (NIV), English Standard Version (ESV), New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) and many others, you will many of these same corruptions and even more.
When will a glimmer of dawn enter the minds of people so they can comprehend there is a problem when the Roman Catholic Church that denied people of Bibles for hundreds of years has a hand in the translation and publication of the new bibles? Why is that church OK with various new bibles and wants nothing to do with the King James Bible? If people weren't so blind they could see the fox is guarding the hen house.
- In 1 Thessalonians 4:16 the King James Bible says, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first." The NKJV says "an archangel" rather than "the archangel." This is one of the very few texts I've found where the problem was with the NKJV and not with either the NIV or the NASB. The wording leaves room for more archangels such as Gabriel and Raphael as Roman Catholics believe. The ONLY archangel is Michael who is also Jesus Christ. Also implied is that any archangel can perform resurrections such as the resurrection of Moses by Michael in Jude 1:9.
- The next text is 1 Thessalonians 5:22 which in the Protestant Bible reads "Abstain from all appearance of evil." The NKJV says "Abstain from every form of evil" so it might be OK to have the appearance of doing something that's evil as long as you don't really do something that's evil.
- In 1 Timothy 6:10 the Protestant Bible says "For the love of money is the root of all evil" while the NKJV says "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil." So, according to the latter source, there are some kinds of evil that money isn't the root of. According to a 2017 internet source, "the annual sales of all versions of the Bible routinely tops $425,000,000." The King James Bible has long been in the public domain so a publisher can't copyright it unless they change words, add a concordance, add some commentary, etc. The NKJV is not in the public domain so only the copyright owner can sell it and make a LOT of money as can those who add their own copyrighted commentary thus getting a cut of the profits. But since money isn't the root of ALL evil, the various purveyors are OK selling corrupt Bibles.
- In the King James Bible in Acts 17:22 Paul said, "Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious." According to the NKJV Paul said "Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious." Paul isn't complimenting them when he calls them superstitious and superstitious they were. Ellen G. White in The Acts of the Apostles page 237 where she refers to this passage says, "Paul drew the minds of his idolatrous hearers beyond the limits of their false religion to a true view of the Deity, whom they had styled the "Unknown God.""
There is nothing wrong with being very religions. When one is converted and has a change in his or her actions that correspond to God's will, that person will be accused many times by unbelieving friends and relatives of being a fanatic. There are those who are happy to be called football fans. In that context the English word fan (no Greek or Hebrew needed) is short for the word fanatic. I'll be happy to be called a fanatic for the right reasons. In Revelation chapter 3 you will find that the "Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God" would prefer you to be cold or hot. Religious is fine; superstitious is not.
- According to Acts 3:26, the Protestant Bible says that God "raised up his Son Jesus." The NKJV says that God "raised up his Servant Jesus." Servant is not the same as Son. There are those mentioned in the Bible like Cyrus who were not converts to Israel's God (see Isaiah 45:1) who were "anointed" and were God's servants for some task but were not a son of God.
- In Isaiah 7:14 it says "a virgin shall conceive" in the Protestant Bible while in the NKJV it says "the virgin shall conceive." The word "the" makes the virgin a particular one and a special one, i.e., Mary, who according to Roman Catholics was sinless from conception. It also is saying that "the virgin" was in existence at the time this Scripture was written.
- The Protestant Bible counsels Christians in James 5:16 to "confess your faults one to another." According to the NKJV, you are supposed to "confess your trespasses to one another." In the NIV you are told to "confess your sins to each other." This text is used to support the doctrine of auricular confession to a Roman Catholic priest. In Steps to Christ on the first page in the chapter titled "Confession" it says, "Confess your sins to God, who only can forgive them, and your faults to one another." Trespasses is the same as sins and you shouldn't confess them to a human being. Faults is another thing; it's perfectly appropriate and beneficial to admit to fellow Christians that you have faults and ask their forgiveness if you've wronged them but you confess the sin to God and ask His forgiveness.
- In Luke 21:34 the word "surfeiting" that is used in the King James Bible is changed to "carousing" in the NKJV. If reading the King James Bible is too hard for you because you don't know what surfeiting means, get out an English dictionary or Google it; you don't need to know any Greek or Hebrew. Carousing means drunken revelry which many Christians in a Seventh-day Adventist church have never been guilty of. Surfeiting, on the other hand, means going to excess in anything which probably most Seventh-day Adventists have been guilty of in some form at one time or another because of too much TV, food, OSU football (it's an Ohio thing), etc.
- In Matthew 1:23 there is another example of "a virgin" in the King James Bible being changed to "the virgin" in the NKJV.
- In Matthew 20:20 we read in the real Holy Bible that "Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshiping him, and desiring a certain thing of him." In the NKJV the text goes "Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him." Kneeling down in that culture would have been appropriate when approaching a person in high office and is NOT the same as worshiping. That lady was acknowledging Jesus as the Son of God and worship was appropriate.
- In Numbers 33:52, the NKJV omits all reference to destroying pictures. Now why would they do that?
- First read Matthew 26:31 in the King James Bible (a.k.a., the real Holy Bible). Then read Zechariah 13:6,7 (which is the messianic prophecy referred to) in the real Holy Bible and then in your easy to read, NKJV Bible that's allegedly full of light, depth and truth. The real Holy Bible and Spirit of Prophecy sources describe how we'll be dressed in heaven and, in the case of Jesus Christ, we know that we'll be able to see the prints of the nails in His hands and in His feet. What does "between your arms" mean? Is Jesus perhaps going to be dressed in swimming trunks or shorts and maybe no shirt? If you read the footnote in the allegedly full of light, depth and truth Andrews Study Bible, you'll find the explanation that the "wounds between your arms" are "probably resulted from self-mutilation while participating in idolatrous rituals." Yes really, the footnote says that. The book The Acts of the Apostles discusses Zechariah 13:6 on page 226 and it is clear that Ellen G. White understood it to be about Jesus Christ and not about a false prophet with self inflicted wounds. Whichever Seventh-day Adventist Andrews University theologian is responsible for that footnote is either an apostate or incredibly poorly informed.
- There is in the Andrews Study Bible another faith destroying footnote for Mark 16:9-20. It says in part that, "there is considerable scolarly debate over whether these verses were original with Mark's Gospel" and "we should be cautious about building any specific teaching only on this passage." That sounds very learned and holy. Well, you don't usually take one text and build a doctrine from it without comparing with other verses. First of all, there is NOTHING in those verses that contradicts other Bible verses. Secondly, some of those verses are quoted on pages 821 and 827 of The Desire of Ages. The ONLY thing that "helpful" footnote does in this allegedly full of light, depth and truth Andrews Study Bible is to cast doubt on the Holy Scriptures and on the inspiration of Ellen G. White.
- The NKJV is a Bible that reads in John 1:3 "All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." The Protestant Bible reads "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." The reason for using through rather than by is because it supports the apostate doctrine that Jesus Christ was a created being and while things could be made by God through him, He had no power in himself to create things.
- In 1 Corinthians 11:1, the King James Bible says, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." The NKJV says, "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." A follower is not the same as an imitator. Satan tries to imitate Christ but does not try to follow Him.
- In the Protestant Bible, Hebrews 4:7-8 reads, "Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day." The Andrews Study Bible reads in Hebrews 4:8, "For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day." Hmmmm. Jesus versus Joshua. I do know how to read marginal notes and footnotes and the scholars have given us an excuse in the margin that "Jesus, same as Heb. Joshua." Note; it is the scholars JOB to get the translation right without having to make lame excuses in the margin or footnotes. NOWHERE in the Old Testament in the King James Bible will you find the name Jesus and NOWHERE will you find the name Joshua in the New Testament. Since the New Testament was written in Greek (the scholars have no ancient manuscript of the book of Hebrews written in Hebrew), why are they using a Hebrew equivalent for Jesus here and nowhere else in the book of Hebrews? If you believe the reason is that Hebrews was originally written in Hebrew, you must explain why it says Joshua in Hebrews 4:8 and Jesus in Hebrews 4:14 and 12 other places in the book of Hebrews. Do you think Paul, "brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law" as it says in Acts 22:3, didn't know enough to say Jesus the son of Nun if he meant Joshua? In Colossians 4:11, Paul spoke of another "Jesus which is called Justus" so he knew enough to explain names when there was any chance of confusion. I believe someone didn't want you to make the connection of Psalms 95 with Jesus, which shows that Jesus led the Children of Israel AND is God AND the Creator.
- In Matthew 13:39 the NKJV reads "The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels." The phrase "end of the age" is used instead of "end of the world" in the King James Bible. This is in keeping with New Age thinking that there won't be an end of the World; just that one age will end and we'll go into another. You will find other texts, which mention the end of the world, have been changed in a similar fashion.
- In 1 Kings 14:24, sodomites has been changed to "perverted persons." Did someone think "sodomites" was too hard to understand? What is a perverted person? The translators have made a statement that was very plain quite vague. Did the "perverted persons" forget their wife's birthday? Maybe were eating pork? Two other texts in 1 Kings have been changed in the same way?
- In John 4:29 in the King James Bible, the woman says "is not this the Christ?" In the NKJV it says "Could this be the Christ?" The latter reading implies some doubt as to whether Jesus is the Christ.
- The Sabbath School Bible Study Guide (SSBSG) for April, May and June of 2018 is titled "Preparation for the END TIME." Usually the scholars (in this case Norman R. Gulley, PhD who is a research professor at Southern Adventist University) manage to avoid using corrupt Bible texts in the SSBSG even when using corrupt Bibles but Dr. Gulley either accidentally let one slip through or maybe did it on purpose. For the lesson for Tuesday, May 1, he references Hebrews 9:12 from the NKJV which says, "Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption." This is not a prophecy but refers to what Jesus already did. The King James Bible says he went into the "holy place."
This is not a minor error but strikes at the heart of Seventh-day Adventist doctrine about the heavenly sanctuary as recorded in the King James Bible and in the writings of Ellen G. White. If Jesus went immediately into the Most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary after His resurrection, then Seventh-day Adventists will have to discard their view of what happened on October 22, 1844 and will have to reject Ellen G. White as prophet inspired by the Holy Ghost. On the Sabbath corresponding to this lesson, I inquired of the teacher as to which bible was wrong. Both could not be right. It was a clear and easy question. In spite of asking the same clear question two or three times, no answer was forthcoming. Very sad; it would seem teacher didn't know, didn't think it mattered or perhaps chose to avoid controversy.
- I recently heard an excellent metaphor, "spiritual junk food." All texts are from Revelation 19:8.
From the King James Bible, "And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."
From the ESV frequently used in the current Sabbath School Bible Study Guide. "it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints."
From the NIV which is the pew bible in the Loma Linda University Church, the Pacific Union College Church and I'm sure many others. "Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God's holy people.)"
Now from the NKJV (which isn't a King James Bible) sold by the Andrews University Press and other Seventh-day Adventist outlets and said to be full of light, depth and truth. "And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints."
The American Standard Version (ASV) reads "And it was given unto her that she should array herself in fine linen bright [and] pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints." So she is clothing herself with her righteous acts. The ASV was based on work done for the Revised Version (RV) which was the first of the "modern" alleged revisions of the King James Bible of 1611 if you'll accept 1885 as modern.
The Revised Standard Version (RSV) of 1952 was a new and improved version of the Revised Version (RV) of 1885. It read "it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure - for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints." Notice that in this version fine linen was "granted her" while in the ASV she "should array herself." A subtle difference wouldn't you say? The RV reads, "And it was given unto her that she should array herself in fine linen bright and pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints."
And finally from another bible used in a Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, the NRSV. Since I couldn't get a free download of this Bible from the App Store, I bought one in excellent condition on eBay for $14 shipped. It says, "to her it has been granted to be clothed with fine linen bright and pure for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints." My Bible is the "Catholic Edition" with the deuterocanonical books. The only way it differs from the so-called Protestant version of this Bible, is the presence of the deuterocanonical books.
In the unlikely event you don't understand the above, the fine, clean and bright linen is not our righteous acts but the righteousness of Christ. So, which Bible contains spiritual junk food?
- Ezekiel 28 was discussed adequately on the Home page of this site.
For those interested in other versions not discussed here, I'd recommend the book, Look What's Missing by David W. Daniels available from Chick Publications and probably other sources. It would be nice if the various denominational outlets would sell this book and abandon the marketing of the NKJV but that probably won't happen because money isn't the root of ALL evil.
© Martin J. Lohne 2017. Written 7/10/17. Revised 5/5/18.