How to Tell if You Have a Real Holy Bible
I have some questions for you. How do you tell if one of the multitude of books with a title of Holy Bible is a Holy Bible and how much error in a Bible is acceptable? One text? Two texts? More? I have heard it said in a Seventh-day Adventist Church by an ordained Seventh-day Adventist minister that "it doesn't matter" which Bible you read as long as you read one. Is that true? In keeping with the counsel of 1 Thessalonians 5:21 to "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good," we'll compare a few bibles to see if there is a way to tell.
How do you like this Holy Bible, my New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Bible? In the preface titled "To the Reader" it says, "Yet the King James Version has serious defects." It also says "This new version seeks to preserve all that is best in the English Bible as it has been known and used through the years" and that "Following the publication of the RSV Old Testament in 1952, significant advances were made in the discovery and interpretation of documents in Semitic languages related to Hebrew."
That sounds pretty good doesn't it? The Seventh-day Adventist Adult Teachers Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, for July, August and September of 2017 in lesson 9 had a memory text from the NRSV which I consider an endorsement of that Bible.
So, here are some NRSV verses from one of my bibles; see how you like them.
"3. Then the young man went down to wash his feet in the Tigris river. Suddenly a large fish leaped up from the water and tried to swallow the young man's foot, and he cried out.
How was that? If you need to cast out a demon, you'd better go fishing. In the unlikely event you believe smoke from a burning fish's heart and liver will drive out a demon consider that a large fish would not have to jump out of a river to try to eat your foot that you were washing in the river. In addition, many of the fish big enough and mean enough to try to eat your foot would also be equipped with a bunch of very sharp teeth so the young man probably would have been too distracted for casual conversation with the angel Azariah about what to use a fish's heart, liver and gall for.
4. But the angel said to the young man, "Catch hold of the fish and hang on to it!" So the young man grasped the fish and drew it up on the land.
5. Then the angel said to him "Cut open the fish and take out its gall, heart, and liver. Keep them with you but throw away the intestines. For it's gall, heart, and liver are useful as medicine."
7. Then the young man questioned the angel and said to him, "Brother Azariah, what medicinal value is there in the fish's heart and liver, and in the gall?"
8. He replied, "As for the fish's heart and liver, you must burn them to make a smoke in the presence of a man or woman afflicted by a demon or evil spirit, and every affliction will flee away and never remain with that person any longer."
If you don't believe the above is holy inspired scripture from the Apocryphal book Tobit, chapter 6, according to the Council of Trent, you are anathema. The initial editions of the King James Bible included the Apocrypha between the old and new testaments. On our shelf is a King James Bible published in 1877. Between the Old Testament and the New Testament is a section titled "The Books Called Apocrypha." Protestants, back in the day when they were really Protestants, and the translators of the King James Bible of 1611 did not accept the Apocrypha as part of Holy Scripture but included those books for historical interest. Maybe we can eliminate this Holy Bible as being a real Holy Bible?
For Lesson 1 of the Seventh-day Adventist Adult Teachers Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, for July, August and September of 2017 the memory text is from another allegedly Holy Bible, the Andrews Study Bible which is a New King James Version (NKJV) Bible. I know that some are very attached to this Bible having been deceived into thinking it was a new and better translation. I think this has been adequately covered on other pages of this site, but just in case a Bible that says Satan is dead isn't enough to convince you that the NKJV isn't the real Holy Bible, I'll give you a little more. The following is taken from Isaiah 49:5 in the NKJV which our Seventh-day Adventist doctors of the law believe is full of light, depth and truth.
"And now the LORD says, Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him; So that Israel is gathered to Him (For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, And My God shall be My strength,)".
And from the King James Bible we have the following for that text.
"And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength."
Notice that one says "is gathered" and the other says "not gathered." One of them has to be wrong. But if after having read on this site about all of the other problems with the NKJV you still think it's a real Bible, I probably can't help you.
Fortunately Lesson 8 of the Seventh-day Adventist Adult Teachers Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, for July, August and September of 2017 did not use a memory text from the NKJV. While it's unfortunate the ESV was used, at least the ESV lacks the corruption seen in the NKJV which some Seventh-day Adventist doctors of the law at Andrews University believe is full of "light, depth and truth." The memory text is from Galatians 4:7 which in the ESV reads:
"So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God".
If they had used the NKJV they would have met an unfortunate contradiction in Galatians 1:10 which says:
"For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still please men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ."
The word bondservant is synonymous with the word slave. You can confirm that with an English dictionary. You don't need to learn any new Greek or Hebrew words to understand this.
The Seventh-day Adventist Adult Teachers Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, for July, August and September of 2017 in lesson 4 takes its memory text from the English Standard Version (ESV) and I have one which is called a Holy Bible. Right inside the cover page is a page titled "A Good Place to Start" where it says "this edition of the Bible is a "word-for-word" translation that expresses the depth and beauty of the original Bible words." The "original" Bible words? That is a lie. Vaticanus and Sinaiticus which are the codices which this version is largely based on, don't have the "original" Bible words. The scholars have used 4 or 5 manuscripts for the ESV translation and have ignored over 5,000 manuscripts that support the translation of the King James Bible. By the way, Jesus only saw copies of the Hebrew Scriptures. No one now living has EVER seen an original manuscript of the scriptures in either Greek or Hebrew.
As far as corruptions go, the ESV isn't far behind the New International Version (NIV) in sharing similar corruptions. A fair number of examples have been given on other pages of this site. For a little variety go to Acts 19:24 where the goddess that all the uprising is about is said to be Artemis rather than the Diana of the King James Bible. Why is that? Maybe because Diana is a goddess of current witches, i.e., Luciferians? After all, someone wants to keep everyone including witches happy (see pages 125 to 127 of G. A. Riplinger's book, New Age Bible Versions).
For Lesson 10 of the Seventh-day Adventist Adult Teachers Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, for July, August and September of 2017 the memory text is from the NIV.
""But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother" Galatians 4:26, NIV."
Compare that to the same text in the King James Bible.
"But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all."
While I believe it's worthwhile to memorize scripture, what benefit does the above verse all by itself have for you? Is the King James Bible in this verse harder to understand than the NIV? If you are going to get benefit from memorizing that verse, you should memorize verses 21 through 31 as well and do it from the Protestant Bible, i.e., the King James Bible. There are other verses that are fairly short with more information than that one. I would doubt, however, that if you polled 1,000 Seventh-day Adventists who attended Sabbath School regularly, that you would find any that had memorized that verse short as it is.
In the preface of my copy of the NRSV Bible it notes that the Revised Standard Version Bible Committee is composed of about 30 members and includes scholars from various Protestant denominations as well as some Roman Catholic members, an Eastern Orthodox member and a Jewish member. Though the prefaces of the various new Bibles will say different things, they all were translated under the influence of various denominations. Consider the following from page 124 of Early Writings:
"I was shown the necessity of those who believe that we are having the last message of mercy, being separate from those who are daily imbibing new errors. I saw that neither young or old should attend their meetings; for it is wrong to thus encourage them while they teach error that is a deadly poison to the soul, and teach for doctrines the commandments of men."
So, if we shouldn't attend their meetings should we then use in our publications and church services, a Bible they have had a hand in changing and corrupting?
In comparing texts from the NKJV, NIV, ESV, New American Standard Bible (NASB), American Standard Version (ASV), I've found the NIV to be the worst, the ESV and NRSV (provided you exclude the Apocrypha) are about the same and not far behind the NIV. Then comes the NASB, the ASV and finally the NKJV (about half as bad as the NIV). My list of Bible text corruptions has grown so long that I now don't add many texts unless the corruption appears in the NKJV. You can pick how much poison you're willing to tolerate.
An excellent book on this subject by a Seventh-day Adventist author (Martin Klein) is Thou Hast Magnified Thy Word Above All Thy Name (ISBN 978-0-9975897-0-2) available from Amazing Discoveries and other sources.
© Martin J. Lohne 2017. Written 9/2/17.