Modern ‘Bible’ translations contain many translation errors and contractions and also remove many important doctrines from the Bible. These criticisms are then often used with regards to the King James Bible, however we will examine some significant teachings and errors in the modern versions that help to show the superiority of the King James Bible.
For example, the King James Bible does not contain any contradictions. Any supposed contradictions can be examined and understood to support the infallible text of God’s word. However, modern Bibles do actually have explicit contradictions that cannot be argued, leading people to doubt God’s word and its perfection. We will look at a few of these examples below.
Who killed Goliath?
In the NASB, 1 Samuel 17:50 says “Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David’s hand.” Reading the chapter tells us the Philistine is Goliath. Every Christian (and most of those who aren’t) knows David killed Goliath.
However, also in the NASB, 2 Samuel 21:19 reads “There was war with the Philistines again at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.” This verse says that Elhanan killed Goliath, creating a contradiction in the Bible, and also contradicting itself with 1 Chronicles 20:5.
The King James Bible’s reading of 2 Samuel 21:19 says “And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.” This poses no contradiction – David killed Goliath, Elhanan later killed Goliath’s brother.
Did all the Israelites rebel?
Hebrews 3:15-16 in the King James Bible says “While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.” We know that not all of the Israelites rebelled against God while they were being led through the wilderness into the promised land, but “some” did. For example in Numbers 14, the Israelites rebel but Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb say “rebel ye not against the LORD” in verse 8.
Furthermore, Numbers 32:11-12 says “Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me: Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD.”
The error arises when we compare with the NIV’s translation of Hebrews 3:16, which says “Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt?” This verse says that everyone Moses led out of Egypt rebelled, contradicting Numbers 32:11-12, as we know Caleb and Joshua did not rebel against God, they “wholly followed the LORD.”
Isaiah or Malachi?
Mark 1:2-3 in the NIV reads, “as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way” – “a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the LORD, make straight paths for him.’”” This makes no distinction between the quotes, but says they were both written by Isaiah.
However, in the NIV, Isaiah 40:3 reads, “A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”” but the first half of the verse comes from Malachi 3:1, which reads “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me.” So the NIV creates a contradiction by saying “as it is written in Isaiah the prophet” and then quoting Malachi and then Isaiah.
In the King James Bible, there is no contradiction as Mark 1:2 says, “As it is written in the prophets…” and then quotes Malachi and Isaiah.
Jesus or Satan?
In the NIV, Isaiah 14:12 says, “How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!” This explains Satan’s downfall, and calls him the “morning star”.
However, in Revelation 22:16, the NIV also says, “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” The NIV calls both Satan and Jesus the morning star!
In the King James Bible, Isaiah 14:12 says, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” The NIV not only removes “Lucifer”, but also gives Jesus and Satan the same title, and implies that Jesus was fallen from heaven, whereas the King James Bible calls Jesus the “morning star” and Satan the “son of the morning”.
Baptism for salvation?
In the King James Bible, Acts 8:35-38 tells the story of Philip helping the Ethiopian eunuch to get saved. It says, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptised? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptised him.”
Modern Bibles remove verse 37 which says “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” This verse clearly teaches that baptism is for believers, because the only thing hindering the eunuch was being baptised was that he needed to be born again and believe on Christ first. Once this had happened, he was baptised. Baptism is not necessary for salvation.
Therefore, modern Bibles read something like what the NASB says, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him.” Occasionally verse 37 is added as a footnote, but saying that manuscripts do not contain the verse.
This removes the salvation of the eunuch, and also says that nothing is stopping us being baptised, even before we are born again. This can be used to teach that baptism is necessary for salvation, or comes before salvation, or that we should baptise infants, which are false doctrines.
Does Jesus go to the feast of tabernacles?
In John 7:2-3, Jesus’ brothers ask him if he is going to Judaea for the feast of tabernacles, and in verses 8-10 he replies, “Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast: for my time is not yet full come. When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee. But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.”
Jesus tells his brothers to go without him, and he says “I go not up yet”. But after his brothers leave, he then goes.
However, modern Bibles remove the word “yet”, for example, verse 8 in the NIV reads, “You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” This makes Jesus into a liar! He tells his brothers he will not go, and then two verses later he goes. Was Jesus lying, or did he tell his family he was not going “yet”?
Furthermore, Deuteronomy 16:16 says, “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:”. Attending the feast of tabernacles was a commandment, so the modern Bibles also make Jesus transgress the law for saying he would not attend.
Is it just a few changes?
The examples given above are just a few of the most significant changes modern Bibles make, calling Jesus the same as Satan, calling Jesus a liar, removing baptism being for believers only, and so on.
However, the attack does not stop here, all throughout the Bible countless verses, words and doctrines are removed. Please see our page doctrinal changes and omissions for comparisons of many verses that are altered in a range of modern Bibles, and why these changes do remove the true meaning of the text.
Here are some key figures summarising the changes in modern Bibles, and showing the doctrines that modern Bibles hugely change.
- The NIV is missing over 64,000 words compared to the King James Bible. This is equivalent to removing the four Gospels, or from Acts to Revelation.
- The NKJV makes over 100,000 translation changes compared to the King James Bible, averaging to around 80 changes per page, 3 changes per verse.
- ‘Hell’ is completely missing from the Old Testament in the NIV, and only occurs 15 times in the New Testament, compared to 54 times total in the King James Bible.
- The NKJV removes 2289 words from the King James Bible.
- The NIV removes ‘Christ’ 25 times, the NRSV removes it 87 times.
- The NASB removes ‘Lord’ 438 times, the NIV 352 times, TLB 2368 times.
- The NIV removes ‘God’ 468 times, the NASB 87 times.
- ‘Godhead’ is completely removed from the NIV, NASB, RSV, NCV, TLB and so on.
- ‘Lucifer’ is also completely removed from modern Bibles.
- ‘Calvary’ is completely removed from modern Bibles.
- ‘Devil’ or ‘devils’ is removed from the NIV 80 times, the NASB 82 times, the NKJV 81 times, the RSV 82 times.
- ‘Heaven’ is removed from the NIV 160 times, the NASB 127 times, the NKJV 50 times, and so on.
- ‘Damned’/‘damnable’/‘damnation’ is completely removed from modern Bibles.
- ‘Salvation’ is removed from the NIV 42 times, the RSV 33 times, the NCV 94 times.
- The ‘word of God’ is removed from the NIV 8 times.
- ‘Lord Jesus Christ’ is removed from the NIV 24 times and the NASB and RSV 21 times.
- ‘Jehovah’ is removed from the NIV.
Modern Bibles also omit a huge number of complete verses, for example the NIV removes 16 verses and the RSV removes 25. The following verses are just some of those that are completely missing from a large range of modern versions. A few of the verses have been given for further emphasis and clarity.
- Matthew 16:2-3
- Matthew 17:21
- Matthew 18:11, “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.”
- Matthew 21:44
- Matthew 23:14, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.”
- Mark 7:16
- Mark 9:44, “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”
- Mark 9:46
- Mark 11:26, “But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
- Mark 15:28, “And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.”
- Mark 16:9-20
- Luke 17:36
- Luke 22:43-4
- Luke 23:17
- Luke 24:12
- Luke 24:40, “And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.”
- John 5:4
- John 7:53-8:11
- Acts 8:37, “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
- Acts 15:34
- Acts 24:7
- Acts 28:29
- Romans 16:24, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”
- 1 John 5:7, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
All of these verses are missing across a range of modern Bibles, which has a significant impact on how they are read. For example, Acts 8:37 shows that salvation comes before baptism (ruling out infant baptism or the doctrine of salvation including baptism as a work being necessary), and 1 John 5:7 clearly teaches the doctrine of the trinity.
In conclusion, modern Bibles can lead people to doubt God’s word by creating clear contradictions and undermining key doctrines of Christianity, such as salvation and baptism, the Holy Trinity, heaven and hell. Christians are commanded to study the Bible, but how can we do this if we doubt it or it does not make sense? The King James Bible is superior in translation and also cannot be faulted, as well as containing every word of God.