Christians the Bible is a divine revelation, written by holy
men of old, who wrote as they were moved by the Spirit of God.
(II Pet. 1:21) However, it was not originally given in the convenient
form in which it is now possessed by millions throughout all
parts of the earth. Neither were the original copies of the
Bible written in the English language.
The ancient Hebrew language, in which the Old Testament portion
of the Bible was written, is now the official language of Israel,
while the language used in Greece today somewhat compares with
that which was used in the original writings of the New Testament.
All modern versions of the Bible are translations. Today, it
seems, a new translation of the Bible appears every few years.
Ever since the Revised Version, published in 1884, appeared
with corrected errors of the authorized King James Version,
which is so widely used in the Christian world, many new versions
came upon the scene. About the same time, (1872 -- 1st edition;
1902 -- 3rd edition) Rotherham's Emphasized Bible was published.
Ferrar Fenton's, "The Holy Bible in Modern English,"
issued in 1903, was republished with slight modifications several
times into the 1940's.
In 1939, The Complete Bible, an American translation by Goodspeed
and Smith also known as The Goodspeed Bible became available.
The original Revised Version was revised in 1901, and became
known as the American Standard Version. The copyright to this
1901 ASV Bible was procured by the National Council of Churches
of Christ in the 1920's, and they began a revision to the ASV
in 1946, publishing the Revised Standard Version in 1952. This
work, conducted by a committee of many scholars, received wide
publicity because it was sponsored by the Federal Council of
Churches of the USA.
translations of the Bible did not end there. A list of the more
notable ones follows:
- New Testament in Modern English, (1958), J.B. Phillips
- Berkley Version, (1959)
- Amplified Bible, (1965), by the Lockman Foundation
- Jerusalem Bible, (1966), Roman Catholic translation in French
at the Ecole Biblique et Archeologique in Jerusalem
- New Testament: A New Translation, (1968), William Barclay
- New English Bible, (1970). Scholars from England, Scotland,
Wales, and Ireland, in cooperation with Cambridge and Oxford
- New American Bible, (1970), by Catholic scholars and the first
departure from the Latin Vulgate
- New American Standard, (1971), by the Lockman Foundation
- Living Bible, (1974), K.N. Taylor<197>paraphrase of
- Today's English Version, (1976), also known as the Good News
Bible, sponsored by the American Bible Society
- New International Version, (1978), sponsored by the New York
Bible Society using worldwide scholars, each book of the Bible
assigned to a team of scholars
- New King James Version, (1982), sponsored by the International
Trust for Bible Studies and Thomas Nelson Bible Publishers using
- Revised English Bible, (1989). Updating and revising of New
- New Revised Standard Version, (1994), Revision of Revised
so many translations of the Bible becoming available, many people
wonder what they should do with their old Bible, which in most
cases is the authorized King James Version, and whether or not
the new translations are of great importance to them. When the
highly publicized Revised Standard Version was published in
1952, many Protestant and other Fundamentalists were opposed
to it. The opposition on the part of some was very bitter, manifesting
itself in public burnings of the new translation. In many quarters
it was condemned as a work of the Devil. Such opposition continues
to many of the succeeding translations that have appeared.
It is well to realize that no translation of the Bible is perfect.
Our own observation to date is that where vital doctrines of
the divine plan are not involved, these new translations frequently
state the thought more clearly than does the King James Version.
However, the new translations are not always entirely trustworthy.
This can be ascertained by consulting reliable Greek and Hebrew
concordances of the Bible.
MEANING OF WORDS
the Revised Standard Version of the Bible was issued, the publishers
called special attention to the changed meaning of many English
words since the King James Version was first published. This
is true, and the use of modern English in the new version helps
to clarify some texts. For example, the King James Version translates
Psalm 119:147: "I prevented the dawning of the morning,
and cried: I hoped in thy Word." The Revised Standard Version
of this text reads, "I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I hope in thy words." Obviously, this is more correct,
for David could not very well `prevent' the `dawning of the
morning'. In Old English the word prevent meant `to precede',
so it was a correct translation when first used.
Another English word which has greatly changed in meaning is
hell. Originally it meant `to cover', or `conceal'. In Scotland
burying potatoes in the ground for the winter was referred to
as `helling' the potatoes. Putting a thatched roof on a cottage
was `helling' the cottage. Now, through misuse, hell usually
suggests fire and torment. In the new translation, this word
is not used to translate sheol of the Old Testament and hades
of the New Testament. Instead, these words are usually left
untranslated. This is a step in the right direction, but the
student of the Bible would have been much better informed on
the state of the dead had sheol and hades in every instance
been properly and uniformly translated.
In Matthew 16:18, the King James Version translates hades by
the English word hell, in the expression "the gates of
hell." Here the Revised Standard Version translates hades
by the word "death" the expression reading, "the
powers of death." This is better than the word `hell',
with its modern meaning, but it still leaves the student to
determine what `death' might be. Probably the best translation
of sheol and hades would have been "oblivion." This,
indeed, is the Bible's own definition of sheol, as given in
In the King James Version, Matthew 6:34 reads, "Take therefore
no thought for the morrow." The Revised Standard Version
gives a more correct thought. It reads, "Therefore do not
be anxious about tomorrow."
In some texts which deal with God's great plan of redemption
and restoration, the Revised Standard Version is not as accurate
as the King James Version. Acts 3:21 is an example. Here the
King James Version uses the word `restitution', which is an
equivalent of the Greek word which it translates. The text is
part of the Apostle Peter's sermon in which he explains that
following the second coming of Christ there would be "times
of restitution of all things."
The Revised Standard Version uses the word `establishing' instead
of `restitution', omitting the prefix `re', which is definitely
contained in the Greek text. By this omission the reader is
not made to realize that what is to be established as a result
of Christ's return had previously existed, particularly life
and man's lost dominion over the earth. Matt. 25:34
WE GOT OUR BIBLE
story of how the Bible reached us in its present form is a very
interesting one. The first copies were handwritten, and in manuscript
form -- not in book form at all. These manuscript copies of
the Bible were exceedingly scarce in the days of the Early Church.
Not all the individual members of those early congregations
possessed them. It was not until the year A.D. 120 that the
books of the New Testament, as we know them, were complete and
available for use, but even then they were very scarce.
Seemingly larger congregations of Early Christians possessed
manuscript copies of at least parts of the Bible. There were
some manuscripts of the Old Testament in the Hebrew language,
and some which had been translated from the Hebrew into the
Greek language. This Greek translation of the Old Testament
was known as the Septuagint Version. Besides, there were copies
of the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the various apostolic
epistles, and the Book of Revelation<197>all in manuscript
form. These have reached us by a long and complex chain of circumstances,
including the hand copying of manuscripts and translating, both
of which were often done under most trying conditions. The early
translators were usually persecuted -- sometimes even unto death
-- not by the worldly, but by their contemporary religionists,
who often took the viewpoint, as one of the early translators
expressed it -- that "ignorance is holiness." The
bitter opposition manifested by some against the Revised Standard
Version of the Bible indicates that human nature has not changed
much since those early days.
One of the first English versions of the Bible was translated
by John Wycliffe about the year 1367, although no part of it
was printed before the year 1731. Concerning the death of Wycliffe,
one of the church writers at the time said: "On the feast
of the passion of St. Thomas of Canterbury, John Wycliffe, the
organ of the devil, the enemy of the church, the idol of hypocrites,
the restorer of schisms, the storehouse of lies, the sink of
flattery, being struck by the horrible judgment of God, was
seized with palsy throughout his whole body."
Wycliffe was referred to by another writer as "that pestilent
wretch, the son of the old serpent, the forerunner of Antichrist."
He was evidently himself keenly aware of the opposition that
would be aroused by his translation of the Bible, and in the
preface had the following inscribed: "God grant us, to
ken and to kepe well Holie Writ, and to suffer joiefulli some
paine for it at the laste."
The first book to be printed was the Bible. It was published
by Mr. Gutenberg, the inventor of moveable type for the printing
press. This was in 1455 or 1456. It was in Latin, and bound
in two volumes.
Then in 1526 came Tyndale's English Version of the Bible --
the first English translation to be printed. The language of
Tyndale's translation was essentially the same as that in our
Common, or King James Version. Tyndale, even as former translators
of the Bible, was persecuted by the orthodox church of his day.
In order to complete his task he was forced to leave England,
and he became an exile in Germany. But it was this, in the providence
of God, that put him in touch with the printing press. This
resulted later in large quantities of his printed Bible being
smuggled into England contrary to the decree of the church,
and distributed among the people. It was in the year 1524 that
Tyndale left his native land, never to see it again, and as
the historian states: "At Hamburg, in poverty and distress,
and amid constant danger, the brave-hearted exile worked on
his translation, and so diligently that the following year we
find him at Cologne with sheets of his quarto New Testament
already in the printer's hands."
It was difficult enough to stop the circulation of the Wycliffe
Bible, when it required months to finish a single copy. But
what could be done about Tyndale's translation? These books
were pouring into the country in great numbers because they
were coming off the printing press at the rate of a hundred
a day, and at a price within the reach of many. The Bishop of
London hit upon what he thought was an excellent plan to put
a stop to this plague. He contacted a man by the name of Augustine
Pakington, a merchant trading between England and Antwerp, and
asked what he thought of the possibility of buying up all of
Tyndale's copies of the Bible, bringing them to England, and
burning them. Pakington was a friend of Tyndale's and sympathetic
with what he was doing, so he quickly agreed with the bishop,
saying: "My lord, if it be your pleasure, I could do in
this matter probably more than any merchant in England, so if
it be your lordship's pleasure to pay for them -- for I must
disburse money for them -- I will insure you to have every book
that remains unsold." The bishop agreed to this, thinking,
as one humorous writer of the time said, "that he hadde
God by the toe, whenne in truthe he hadde, as after he thought,
the devyl by the fiste."
What happened is this: Tyndale accepted the offer, charged a
good price for the Bibles he had on hand, and with the money
paid his debts and then published a much larger and better edition.
Hence the bishop's plan acted as a boomerang, and Tyndale's
Bible continued to pour into England. Poverty, distress, and
misrepresentations were Tyndale's constant lot. Prison and death
were ever staring him in the face. Finally, in October 1536
he was strangled at the stake and then burned to ashes, fervently
praying with his last words, "LORD, open the King of England's
After this, various translations appear such as the Coverdale
Bible, the Great Bible, the Geneva Bible, and others. There
was also published in 1568 the Bishops' Bible. And then, in
January 1604, at a conference of bishops and clergymen held
in the drawing rooms of Hampton Court Palace, the first suggestions
were made which led to the revision of versions then in use.
This, in turn, led to our authorized King James Version, in
To prepare this translation, forty-seven learned men from Oxford,
Cambridge, and London were selected as impartially as possible
from high churchmen and Puritans, as well as from those who
represented scholarship totally unconnected with any party.
King James I authorized that the cooperation of every Bible
scholar of note in the entire kingdom should be secured. Excellent
rules were adopted to govern the work of translating. Never
before had such labor and care been expended upon translating
the English Bible. The language of the King James Version follows
closely the pattern of that used by Tyndale in his translation.
Revised and improved by a committee of such excellent scholars,
it has stood the test of more than three hundred years of popular
Since the publishing of the King James Version of the Bible,
many other translations have appeared for the use of students.
In addition to the first official revision of the King James
Version starting in 1881 in both England and the USA, we have
seen such translations<197>in addition to those mentioned
earlier<197>as Weymouth, Moffatt, Wilson's Emphatic Diaglott,
as well as study Bibles such as Scofield's, and the Thompson
Chain Reference Bible. All of these have their merits, but none
of them is any more than a translation. All translations thus
far made have one thing in common, which is that they reflect
more or less the theological viewpoints of their translators.
the greatest weakness of the King James Version is the fact
that when it was translated only eight manuscripts were available
from which the work could be done -- the oldest one dating back
only to the tenth century. Since then, many hundreds of manuscripts
have come to light, some of them dating back as early as the
fourth century, and a few even back to the second century.
This fact has been given a great deal of publicity in connection
with the new Protestant translation of the Bible. Some have
the idea that these newer manuscripts have only been recently
discovered; but this is not true. Many students of the Bible
have known of the older manuscripts, and for years have been
taking advantage of the more accurate presentation of God's
Word which they afford.
The original writings of the Bible are all lost, therefore manuscripts
now available are merely copies, usually copies of copies, many
times removed. The value of a manuscript for critical textual
examination depends largely upon its age. The oldest manuscripts,
and therefore tending to be the most valuable, are written in
printed-style (pre-uncial) letters, in the style of the original
writings of the Bible. They contain no punctuation, and they
show no division between words.
The Old Testament was divided into chapters, as they now stand,
by Cardinal Hugo, in the middle of the thirteenth century. These
chapters were divided into verses, as we now have them, by Rabbi
Nathan and adopted by Robert Stevens, an English printer, in
his edition of the Vulgate, in 1555. The chapter and verse divisions
in the New Testament, likewise were done in 1551, long centuries
after the original manuscripts were written.
Punctuation was not used in the original writings of the Bible,
nor does it appear in the oldest of the manuscripts, as punctuation
was not generally used until the end of the fifteenth century.
It is important to keep this fact in mind when we study any
English translation of the Bible, and to remember that the punctuation
is not a part of the inspired record.
Generally speaking, the punctuation of all the English versions
of the Bible is very good, but at times it has helped to confuse
the meaning of the text. The accompanying lines in Greek are
the words of Jesus to the thief on the cross (Luke 23:43), as
they appeared from the pen of the original recorder: When punctuation
was introduced into this statement -- which in the King James
Version says: "Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou
be with me in paradise," the misplacement of the comma
makes it appear that Jesus expected to be in Paradise with the
thief on the very day he died. But, by placing the comma where
it should be, in harmony with what the Master really meant,
Jesus' words simply emphasized that the promise he was making
to the thief was made on a day when, from the human standpoint,
it seemed impossible that it could be fulfilled: "Verily
I say unto thee this day, with me shalt thou be in Paradise."
-- Luke 23:43, Rotherham Translation
It is well also to remember that all the manuscript copies of
the Bible were written by hand, and that each additional copy
of these copies, when needed, also had to be written by hand,
letter by letter, at a great expense of time and trouble. And
very often, also at some expense of the original correctness.
Careful though the scribe might be, it was well nigh impossible
to keep from making mistakes. One letter could be mistaken for
another. If the manuscript were read to the scribe he might
confound two words of similar sound. Remarks and explanations
written in the margin might, sometimes, in transcribing, be
inserted into the text.
In these, and various other ways, errors might creep into the
copy of the manuscript. Naturally these errors would be repeated
by the copyist. To these, at times, would be added other errors
of his own. It is evident, as copies increased, that errors
would also be liable to increase. Therefore, as a general rule,
the earlier the manuscript the more nearly correct it is likely
Even in the case of the printed Bible, errors are liable to
occur, as all acquainted with the publishing business are painfully
aware. And this despite every precaution and care in the preparation
of copy by proofreaders and editors with years of training and
experience. For example, in an edition of the Bible published
in 1653, I Corinthians 6:9 reads: "Know ye not that the
unrighteous shall inherit the kingdom of God?" In an old
version known as the Printer's Bible, Psalm 119:161 reads, "Printers
have persecuted me without a cause."
three oldest known nearly-complete (major) manuscripts of the
New Testament available for use today are those designated the
Sinaitic, the Vatican 1209 (3rd century), and the Alexandrian
(5th century). The Sinaitic and the Vatican 1209, were written
about the same time. The Sinaitic, however, is complete. The
Vatican has a number of omissions, including the entire Book
of Revelation. The Sinaitic manuscript is so named from the
place it was found in a convent at the foot of Mt. Sinai. It
was discovered by the great German scholar, Dr. Tischendorf,
The Alexandrian manuscript is the latest of the three, has a
good text from Acts to Revelation but is also incomplete. The
original of this manuscript can be seen at the British Museum,
but copies which exactly represent it are kept in many of the
principal public libraries. The Arabic inscription on the first
sheet states that it was written by the hand of "Thekla
the Martyr." Much of the New Testament is also covered
by ancient papyrus manuscripts from a century or more earlier.
These generally support Sinaitic and Vatican 1209.
Dr. Tischendorf, who naturally was interested in making a careful
comparison of the Sinaitic manuscript with the King James Version,
has made available a long list of additions and alterations
appearing in the King James Standard Version translation which
do not appear in this old manuscript. Careful students of the
Bible will wish to be on guard against the unscriptural teachings
fostered by these obviously uninspired additions to the sacred
Below we present an abbreviated list of interpolations. Many
have found it helpful to strike out these interpolations in
their own Bibles, so that when they read the sacred Word they
will not be reading thoughts that have been injected into it
To take proper notice of these spurious passages which were
added through the centuries is not in the category of `higher
criticism'. It is merely using sanctified common sense, with
the aid of concordances and old manuscripts now available, to
discover as nearly as possible the purity of God's inspired
Word. Higher criticism, on the contrary, is a deliberate decision
on the part of the worldly-wise that the historical records
of the Bible, its prophecies and its miracles, are but legendary,
and at best allegorical tales by which lessons in morality and
righteousness are taught.
the list of spurious passages, sentences, and words compiled
by Dr. Tischendorf, based on his careful and analytical study
of the Sinaitic manuscript, we have selected for comment what
seem to be the most important from the standpoint of the effect
they have upon the teachings of the Bible as a whole. In each
case we have offered a brief suggestion as to how the interpolation
changes the meaning of the text. In some cases we have suggested
a possible reason why the copyist who made the addition may
have thought it desirable.
These selections follow, and the spurious text, or portion of
text, is shown in bold-face type at the beginning of the paragraph,
followed immediately by our own observations. To save space,
we have not quoted the entire passage in which these interpolations
appear. We strongly recommend, however, that the reader look
up these passages in his own Bible, which will most likely be
the King James Version, and study it in connection with the
6:13 -- "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the
glory, for ever. Amen." These words which were added to
our Lord's Prayer make it contradictory. It would be useless
to pray for God's kingdom to come if the divine rule is already
fully operative in the earth. At the time these uninspired words
were added to the Lord's Prayer, it was the general belief that
Christ's kingdom was ruling through the church-state systems
of Europe, hence this effort to make the Bible support the claim.
16:2 -- "When it is evening, ye say, it will be fair weather:
for the sky is red." This is merely a tradition, having
no foundation in fact. The use of such a statement in the inspired
Word tends to discount the authority of the whole Book in the
minds of reasoning people.
16:3 -- "And in the morning, It will be foul weather to
day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can
discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs
of the times?" This entire verse is spurious. Note suggestion
17:21 -- "and fasting." That this is spurious is evident
from the fact that Jesus cast out the devil to which reference
is made without being prepared by a season of fasting.
25:6 -- "cometh." To announce that the Bridegroom
is coming is contrary to the prophecies which show that none
would know in advance the time of his arrival. With the spurious
word `cometh' out of the text, the statement reads, "Behold
the Bridegroom," which indicates a recognition that Christ
has already returned and is present.
4:37 -- "so that it [the ship] was now full." This
is obviously an enthusiastic exaggeration of a copyist, for
no ship could be `full' of water without being awash, which
evidently was not the case.
7:14 -- "unto me every one of you," This was evidently
added by a copyist who had the erroneous idea that Jesus did
all he could to convert everyone, which is not in keeping with
the Master's teachings. Jesus did not expect everyone to understand
at that time. Indeed, he often spoke in parables so they could
not understand. The time for the general enlightenment of the
world is yet future.
10:30 -- "houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers,
and children, and lands, with persecutions;" Verses 29
and 30, without these added words, contain a wonderful promise
to Christians, assuring them of abundant compensating blessings
of a spiritual kind in this life for every sacrifice they make,
and in the world to come, eternal life. But no Christian has
ever received a hundred houses in return for a house he may
have sacrificed in the LORD's service. Material blessings are
not promised to the Christian, and such statements as this tend
to discredit the reasonableness of the Bible.
16:9-20 -- All these verses are spurious. Christians are not
promised protection from harm resulting from snake bites and
drinking poison, as in the 18th verse that says: "They
shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing,
it shall not hurt them." This, like many other interpolations,
tends to make the Bible seem unreasonable.
16:16 -- "and every man presseth into it." It is not
true that `every man presseth into' the kingdom. On the contrary,
the privileges of the kingdom are available only to "a
little flock" (Luke 12:32) during this Gospel Age. The
addition to the inspired text was evidently made by a copyist
who held the view that the divine plan for this age is the conversion
of the entire world.
22:68 -- "me, nor let me go." These added words give
the thought that Jesus was attempting to put up a defense that
would result in acquittal, but this was not the case. Jesus
knew that he was to die as man's Redeemer, and that his hour
for the supreme sacrifice had come, so he was not asking to
be set free.
23:34 -- "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they
know not what they do." Some copyist added these words
with the evident thought of revealing the Master's benevolence
toward his enemies, but actually they are not in harmony with
the known facts. Whatever Jesus requested of the Heavenly Father
would be granted. But those who crucified him were not forgiven.
It was a national sin for which they have suffered severely.
3:13 -- "which is in heaven." Jesus, the Son of Man,
was not in heaven at the time of his dialogue with Nicodemus.
Whoever added these spurious words may have believed that Jesus
was God himself, and in some mysterious way could be on earth
and in heaven at the same time.
4:9 -- "for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.<170>
These words are historically incorrect, as is indicated by Luke
5:3,4 -- From the word "waiting" in the third verse,
through verse four. These words reflect superstitions which
played such an important role in the religious lives of professed
Christians during the Dark Ages.
John 5:25 -- "and now is," Soon after the apostles
fell asleep in death the church began to lose sight of the real
hope of the resurrection. The heathen doctrine of immediate
survival after death -- which, in professed Christian circles
became the doctrine of inherent immortality -- made void the
necessity of a resurrection of the dead. The addition of the
words "and now is" to this text is intended to convey
the thought that Jesus' promise of the resurrection is fulfilled
in some mysterious way when one hears the call of truth and
becomes a Christian. Thus not only is the real meaning of this
promise voided, but the text is made to contradict itself, because
the resurrection could not be `coming' and `now is' at the same
8:1-11 -- All these verses are spurious. A very interesting
story, but evidently merely legendary.
21:25 -- This entire verse is also spurious. Obviously no one
could say enough in three and one-half years -- the length of
Jesus' ministry -- to fill so many books that the world would
not hold them. Passages like this help to discredit the Bible,
regardless of what its friends had in mind when adding them.
15:32 -- "and confirmed them." These words, descriptive
of a traditional ordinance, may have been added in an attempt
to justify a practice not otherwise authorized in the Bible.
8:26 -- "for us" These two little words may seem like
a harmless addition to this text, but when we analyze the passage
we find that by their use the Holy Spirit, or power of God,
is made to appear as a person who intercedes at the throne of
grace on behalf of Christians, with groanings which cannot be
uttered. By omitting these added words, we get the real meaning
of the text. It is the Christian's own spirit, which oftentimes,
for the lack of adequate words to express himself, approaches
God in the attitude of prayer.
Corinthians 6:20 -- "and in your spirit, which are God's."
An evident attempt to bolster the erroneous theory which was
introduced into the church during the Dark Ages that the `spirit'
is an entity separate and distinct from the body.
5:30 -- "of his flesh, and of his bones." The body
of Christ glorified, of which Christians are prospective members,
is not a fleshly body, as these words tend to indicate.
Timothy 3:16 -- "God" The addition of the word `God'
in this text represents another effort to prove that Jesus and
God are one and the same person. The personality discussed in
this text is Christ Jesus, who is introduced in verse 13. According
to the Greek text, the word "who" should be used instead
I Peter 2:5 -- the second usage of the word "spiritual."
The sacrifices offered by Christians are their earthly rights
and privileges. They are promised a spiritual reward, but are
not asked to sacrifice spiritual things.
John 3:16 -- "of God" These words were supplied by
the translators and are not in any Greek text. This is another
effort to have the Bible prove that God and Jesus are the same.
God did not lay down his life for us, but the Son of God did.
John 5:7 -- "in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy
Ghost: and these three are one." These words were added
in an effort to prove the Trinitarian doctrine. It is the only
expression in the King James Version of the Bible that in any
way suggests a triune God, but it is spurious, so should not
be accepted as part of the inspired Word.
John 5:8 -- "And there are three that bear witness in earth."
Having added the above noted words in verse 7, the copyist evidently
felt it necessary to add these words to verse 8 to make the
entire passage seem more complete and reasonable.
20:5 -- "But the rest of the dead lived not again until
the thousand years were finished." These words were added
at a time when the church claimed to be fulfilling scriptural
promises concerning the thousand-year reign of Christ. The dead
were not being raised during this pseudo-millennium, so it was
convenient to make the inspired record teach that the resurrection
should not be expected until the close of the thousand years.
21:24 -- "of them which are saved." The copyist who
added these words had evidently lost sight of the divine promises
to bless all the nations of the earth. While the Scriptures
do not teach the universal salvation of all individuals, yet
all the families of the earth are to have an opportunity to
be blessed during the kingdom reign of Christ, which fact these
added words tend to annul.
OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES
is not much that need be said analytically concerning the Old
Testament manuscripts. It is rather surprising to realize that
the earliest Hebrew manuscripts in existence, of most of the
Old Testament, do not date back earlier than about the 9th century
A.D. Within recent years, however, manuscripts of the Book of
Isaiah and parts of others have been discovered which date back
to the first and second centuries before Christ. This general
lack of early Hebrew manuscripts is less important than it might
As far as can be learned, there appears to have been a gradual,
though a not too critical revision of the Palestine manuscripts
going on almost continually from the days of Ezra. History indicates
that from the Dispersion, this process of Hebrew manuscript
revision ceased. At that early date, the Hebrew Old Testament
was made as nearly correct as the best scholarship of the Jewish
academies could make it. After this, the older manuscripts gradually
disappeared. The manuscript of the Book of Isaiah, recently
discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls, is nearly identical with
those from which our English versions of the Bible have been
While it is true that the existing Hebrew Masoretic manuscripts
are not very old, yet much dependence can be placed upon them,
owing to the great reverence the Jewish scribes held for the
Word of God, and their consequent carefulness in transcribing.
It is said that these scribes were so scrupulous that even if
a manifest error appeared in the copy from which they were transcribing
they would not change the text, but would write an explanatory
note in the margin, giving the proper thought.
It is claimed, also, that even if one letter were larger than
another, or a word running beyond the line, or other irregularity,
they would copy it exactly as found. Another important factor
which enters into the accuracy of the Old Testament is that
in the recensions more than one person was occupied in making
the copies. One scribe copied the consonants; another inserted
the vowels, points, and accents, in fainter ink; a third revised
the copy; and a fourth wrote in the Masorah.
briefly, is the story of the Bible as it has come to us from
earliest times, all the way to the King James Translation --
and now to the most modern translations. All the details have
not been presented, as the story would have been too long. But
our hope is that the question, how our Bible has reached us,
has been answered comprehensively enough to increase our enthusiasm
for its use, and to cause its influence to be more effectual
in our lives.
Equally important to the purity of the Bible, in obtaining the
most exact and best translation and separating from it the interpolations
of men and mistranslations, is an understanding of the message
of the divine plan which it presents. Of great assistance to
this end are the availability today of Hebrew and Greek concordances
listing every word in the Bible, together with the meaning of
the Hebrew or Greek term from which it is translated.
Likewise, we believe that it is due time for God's Word to be
better understood. Therefore, there have been other valuable
helps provided by God. Most important among these is the book,
"The Divine Plan of the Ages." It is the first volume
of a series of six entitled, "Studies in the Scriptures."
Thousands have been helped to a better understanding of the
harmony of the Bible through the use of these wonderful volumes,
and we commend them to every thoughtful person interested in
the study of God's precious and inspired Word.
following list of interpolations is taken from notes by Professor
C. Tischendorf, based on the Sinaitic Manuscript which he discovered
at the foot of Mount Sinai. There are many others, but those
contained in this list seem to be the only ones which materially
change the meaning of the texts in which they appear. Although
some have contested the exclusion of these, individuals have
deemed it wise to delete these from their Bible:
5:22 -- without a cause
Matthew 6:13 -- For thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and
the glory, for ever. Amen.
Matthew 6:25 -- or what ye shall drink
Matthew 16:2 -- When it is evening, ye say, it will be fair
weather: for the sky is red.
Matthew 16:3 -- This entire verse.
Matthew 17:21 -- and fasting
Matthew 18:12 -- into the mountains
Matthew 20:7 -- and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive
Matthew 22:13 -- and take him away
Matthew 23:35 -- son of Barachias
Matthew 24:10 -- and shall hate one another
Matthew 24:31 -- sound of a
Matthew 24:41 -- women shall be
Matthew 25:6 -- cometh
Matthew 27:52 -- and the graves were opened
Matthew 27:53 -- and went
Matthew 28:19 -- therefore
Mark 4:37 -- so that it was now full
Mark 6:51 -- beyond measure, and wondered
Mark 7:8 -- For . . . as the washing of pots and cups: and many
other such like things ye do
Mark 7:14 -- unto me every one of you
Mark 9:24 -- with tears
Mark 9:29 -- and fasting
Mark 9:44 -- This entire verse.
Mark 9:45 -- into the fire that never shall be quenched
Mark 9:46 -- This entire verse.
Mark 9:47 -- fire
Mark 9:49 -- and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt
Mark 10:24 -- for them that trust in riches
Mark 10:30 -- houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers,
and children, and lands, with persecutions
Mark 14:30 -- twice
Mark 14:68 -- and the cock crew
Mark 14:72 -- the second time, twice
Mark 16:9-20 -- All these verses.
Luke 2:40 -- in spirit
Luke 8:45 -- and sayest thou, Who touched me?
Luke 16:16 -- and every man presseth into it
Luke 17:12 -- which stood afar off
Luke 17:35 -- women
Luke 18:11 -- with himself
Luke 22:43 -- This entire verse
Luke 22:44 -- This entire verse.
Luke 22:68 -- me, nor let me go
Luke 23:5 -- teaching
Luke 23:34 -- Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they
know not what they do
Luke 24:42 -- and of an honeycomb
John 1:25 -- asked him, and
John 3:13 -- which is in heaven
John 4:9 -- for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans
John 5:3 -- waiting for the moving of the water
John 5:4 -- This entire verse.
John 5:25 -- and now is
John 8:1-11 -- All these verses.
John 8:59 -- going through the midst of them, and so passed
John 16:16 -- because I go to the Father
John 19:23 -- and also his coat
John 21:25 -- This entire verse.
Acts 6:3 -- Holy Ghost and should read: spirit of
Acts 6:8 -- faith should read: grace
Acts 8:37 -- This entire verse.
Acts 9:31 -- churches should read: church
Acts 15:32 -- and confirmed them
Acts 18:5 -- pressed in the spirit should read: earnestly occupied
with the Word
Acts 18:21 -- I must by all means keep this feast that cometh
in Jerusalem: but
Romans 3:22 -- and upon all
Romans 6:12 -- it in
Romans 7:6 -- that being dead should read: being dead to that
Romans 8:26 -- for us
Romans 11:6 -- But if it be of works, then is it no more grace:
otherwise work is no more work
Romans 14:6 -- and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord
he doth not regard it
I Corinthians 2:1 -- testimony should read: mystery
I Corinthians 6:20 -- and in your spirit, which are God's
I Corinthians 7:5 -- fasting and
I Corinthians 10:28 -- for the earth is the LORD's, and the
I Corinthians 15:24 -- cometh
Galatians 3:1 -- that ye should not obey the truth
Galatians 3:17 -- in Christ
Galatians 5:19 -- adultery
Galatians 5:21 -- murders
Ephesians 5:9 -- Spirit should read: light
Ephesians 5:30 -- of his flesh, and of his bones
II Thessalonians 2:9 -- Even him
I Timothy 3:16 -- God should read: who
I Timothy 4:12 -- in spirit
I Timothy 6:5 -- from such withdraw thyself
II Timothy 3:3 -- without natural affection
Hebrews 12:18 -- mount that might be touched, and that burned
should read: fire that might be touched and burned
Hebrews 12:20-- or thrust through with a dart
I Peter 2:5 -- spiritual (before the word sacrifices)
I Peter 3:8 -- courteous should read: humble
II Peter 1:1 -- God and should read: our Lord and>
I John 3:16 -- of God
I John 5:7 -- in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost:
and these three are one
I John 5:8 -- And there are three that bear witness in earth
I John 5:13 -- and that ye may believe on the name of the Son
Revelation 1:17 -- unto me, Fear not
Revelation 2:22 -- their should read: her
Revelation 5:3 -- neither under the earth
Revelation 6:2 -- to conquer should read: he conquered
Revelation 9:4 -- neither any green thing
Revelation 9:13 -- the four horns of
Revelation 10:6 -- and the sea, and the things which are therein
Revelation 11:17 -- and art to come
Revelation 12:12 -- inhabiters of (before the sea)
Revelation 14:5 -- before the throne of God
Revelation 14:12 -- here are they
Revelation 16:5 -- and shalt be should read: the holy
Revelation 16:7 -- another out of
Revelation 16:11 -- and their sores of their deeds
Revelation16:17 -- from the throne
Revelation 18:22 -- whatsoever craft he be and the sound of
a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee
Revelation 20:5 -- But the rest of the dead lived not again
until the thousand years were finished
Revelation 21:24 -- of them which are saved and honor
Revelation 21:26 -- and honor
Revelation 22:3 -- more