Will the Real Catholic Bibles Please Stand Up
Bible critics (none of whom believes that any Bible in any language IS the complete, inspired and 100% historically true words of God) often attack King James Bible believers for using a Bible with "Roman Catholic" roots. For example Doug Kutilek's “Is the King James Version a Roman Catholic Bible?”. Recently I was at a Calvinistic Christian Forum on Facebook and I got more than a couple of remarks like: “Well, we can thank the Catholic church for the King James Bible” or “you wouldn't have the KJV without the RCC. They sponsored Erasmus (RC scholar) who rushed the manuscripts which are the basis for the the KJV.”
Their argument goes something like this: the Textus Receptus Greek text was edited by Erasmus, the King James New Testament was based upon the Textus Receptus. Erasmus was a loyal Roman Catholic so the King James Bible has strong Catholic roots.
As usual, the KJB critics’ argument is misinformed, deeply biased and misapplied. Learn more about the man Erasmus and his theology here:
The most important point to note is that what is called the Textus Receptus was NOT the basis for the Catholic Bibles, but rather for the Reformation Bibles like Luther’s German Bible, the French Olivetan, the Italian Diodati, the Spanish Reina Valera, the English Geneva Bible and of course the King James Holy Bible.
The King James Bible translators themselves did not even primarily use the Greek text of Erasmus for their magnificent translation, but rather the Greek texts of Stephanus and Theodore Beza, though all three are in basic agreement.
So, what exactly is the primary basis for such modern bibles as the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV and Daniel Wallace’s NET versions etc? It’s is the United Bible Society’s ever changing and evolving “nothing is settled or sure” Greek text based primarily on the VATICANUS manuscript found in the Vatican library, and put out by a joint effort of Evangelicals and the Catholic Church! Hello? Is any body home? I like to call this ever changing Greek text used by many of today’s “No Bible is inerrant” crowd the Textus Corruptus.
King James Bible defender David Cloud writes: “It is also important to note that there is no comparison between the situation with Erasmus and what we find in the field of modern textual criticism and the modern Bible versions today. Erasmus edited the Greek New Testament on his own. He was not doing that work in any official capacity in the Catholic Church nor did he have Rome’s backing but rather was criticized for it and his work was condemned in the strongest terms. On the other hand, the Roman Catholic Church has accepted modern textual criticism and the modern Bible versions with open arms. In 1965, Pope Paul VI authorized the publication of a new Latin Vulgate, with the Latin text conformed to the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament (Michael de Semlyen, All Roads Lead to Rome, p. 201). In 1987 a formal agreement was made between the Roman Catholic Church and the United Bible Societies that the critical Greek New Testament will be used for all future translations, both Catholic and Protestant (Guidelines for International Cooperation in Translating the Bible, Rome, 1987, p. 5). Most of the translations produced by the United Bible Societies are “interconfessional,” meaning they have Roman Catholic participation and backing.” (David Cloud)
Guess which bible versions match the Catholic bibles today. Check out any modern Catholic bible version today like the St. Joseph New American Bible 1970 or the New Jerusalem bible 1985 and compare the following New Testament verses: Matthew 6:13 "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen" (gone), all of verses Matthew17:21 (gone), Matthew 18:11 (gone), Matthew 23:14 (gone), Mark 9:44, 46 (gone); Mark 11:26 (gone), Mark 15:28 (gone), Most of Luke 9:55-56 (gone) Luke 17:36 (gone), Luke 23:17 (gone) John 5:4 (gone), Acts 8:37 (gone), Acts 15:34 (gone), Acts 24:6 (gone), Acts 28:29 (gone), Romans 16:24 (gone) and 1 John 5:7-8 missing are the words "in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth". Then check your modern versions like the NIV, ESV, RSV, NET, NASB and the Jehovah Witness version called "The New World Translation". Surprise! What’s missing? Why... it’s the same verses!
Luke 9:54-56 present an interesting case. In the King James Bible we read: "And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, EVEN AS ELIAS? But he turned, and rebuked them, AND SAID, YE KNOW NOT WHAT MANNER OF SPIRIT YE ARE OF. FOR THE SON OF MAN IS NOT COME TO DESTROY MEN'S LIVES, BUT TO SAVE THEM. And they went to another village." All the capital lettered words in these three verses are found in the Majority of all Greek texts, including A and C and are found in many ancient versions like the Syriac Peshitta, Curetonian, Palestinian, Harkelian, Georgian, Gothic, Coptic Sahidic and Boharic, Ethiopian and the Old Latin. They are also in the Modern Greek and the Modern Hebrew bibles as well as Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the King James Bible, the French Martin 1744, French Ostervald 1996, Italian Diodati 1649 and New Diodati 1991, Luther's German Bible 1545 and 1951 German Schlachter, the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569 and the Reina Valera 1909, 1995 and even the older Catholic bibles like the Douay-Rheims 1899 and the Douay of 1950.
The NASBs reveal their fickle nature in that when it first came out in 1963 they completely omitted all these words from the text, as also in the 1972 and 1973 editions. I have these NASBs right here in my study and all these words are omitted from their texts. Then in 1977 and again in 1995 they put them back in [but in brackets] indicating doubt as to their authenticity. What is happening here is that Vaticanus and Sinaiticus omit all these words, as do the Westcott-Hort and UBS Greek texts and so all these words are now omitted by such versions as the NIV, RSV, ESV, Holman Standard, the J.W. New World Translation, Daniel Wallace's NET version AND (you guessed it) the Catholic St. Joseph NAB 1970 and the New Jerusalem bible of 1985. As a result, these Catholic Connection versions read like the ESV - "...Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them? But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village."
By the way, ALL of 1 John 5:7 “the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost” are found in Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible (John Rogers) 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the King James Bible 1611, John Calvin’s translation, the French La Bible de Geneva 1669, the French Martin 1744, French Ostervald 1996, the Italian Diodati 1602, 1649, the New Diodati 1991, the Spanish Reina 1569, the Reina Valera of 1602, 1909, 1995, and the NKJV of 1982, plus a multitude of other foreign language Bibles. For more information on why these words are inspired Scripture see - http://brandplucked.webs.com/1john57.htm
Guess why the UBS (United Bible Society) Greek texts are the basis for all these new versions? It's because Catholics and Evangelicals were united to produce this text. One of the 5 chief editors was the New Age Catholic Cardinal Carlos Martini, who believed god was in all men and in all religions. These are the "bibles" most modern Christians are using.
Modern versions like the ESV, NASB, NIV, RSV, NET and Jehovah Witness NWT are for the most part Catholic bibles, not Reformation bibles. They are headed in the wrong direction and getting worse, not better. As for the ESV, I believe it is for the most part just like the liberal RSV, of which the ESV is a revision. The ESV rejects even more whole verses than the NASB, NIV. The ESV omits Matthew 12:47 too, just like the Catholic New Jerusalem, but it is still in the NASB, NIV.
The ESV often rejects the Hebrew readings (as do the NASB, NIV, RSV, NET), and they have already come out with the 2nd ESV in 2007 which changed over 350 verses from the previous ESV of 2001. The so called "science" of textual criticism is a joke and a fool's game. If you want to see more concrete information about the ESV, check out this study I did on my own of this new version that is now beginning to grow in popularity. The NASB is rapidly disappearing from the scene and the ESVs are coming on. The shelf life of these modern versions is not very long.
For Proof that versions like the NASB, NIV, ESV all often reject the clear Hebrew readings and not even in the same places see these two articles I have put together by my own comparative studies. This is not empty theory and innuendo, but concrete facts you can see and verify for yourself. Because of the recent totally false accusations that the King James Bible is a Catholic influenced Bible, I decided to check out the readings of names and numbers found here in the first part of this study with the Catholic New Jerusalem bible of 1985. It is devastating for the modern version promoter to see where the New Jerusalem Catholic bible lands on these verses. Take a look.
The following short list is just a sampling of the divergent and confusing readings found among the contradictory modern bible versions. There are numerous other examples. Among these “details” are whether Jeremiah 27:1 reads Jehoiakim (Hebrew texts, RV, ASV, NKJV, KJB) or Zedekiah (RSV, NIV, NASB, ESV, NET, Holman, Catholic New Jerusalem 1985)
whether 2 Samuel 21:8 reads Michal (Hebrew texts, KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV) or Merab (RSV, NIV, NASB, ESV, NET, Holman, Catholic New Jerusalem)
or 70 (NASB, NKJV, RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, Holman, KJB) being sent out by the Lord Jesus in Luke 10:1 or 72 (NIV, ESV, NET, Catholic New Jerusalem)
or in Matthew 18:22 does the Lord say to forgive your brother not “until 7 times, but unto 70 times 7 times” (= 490 times - KJB, RV, ASV, NASB, NKJV, RSV, ESV, ALL Greek texts) or 77 times (NRSV, NIV, Catholic New Jerusalem)
or the 7th day in Judges 14:15 (KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV) or the 4th day (RSV, ESV, NASB, NIV, NET, Catholic New Jerusalem)
Or Hannah taking young Samuel to the house of the LORD with THREE bullocks in 1 Samuel 1:24 (KJB, Hebrew texts, RV, ASV, JPS 1917, NKJV, Youngs, NET) or “A THREE YEAR OLD BULL: (LXX, Syriac RSV, ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman, Catholic New Jerusalem)
or God smiting 50,070 men in 1 Samuel 6:19 (KJB, RV, ASV, NASB, NET) or 70 men slain (RSV, NIV, NRSV, ESV, Catholic New Jerusalem), or “70 men- 50 chief men” (Young’s), or “70 MEN OUT OF 50,000 Holman Standard
or there being 30,000 chariots in 1 Samuel 13:5 (KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, ESV) or only 3000 (NIV, NET, Holman, Catholic New Jerusalem)
or 1 Samuel 13:1 Here we read: “Saul reigned ONE year; and when he had reigned TWO years over Israel, Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel.” reading - ONE/TWO years (NKJV, KJB, Geneva, Judaica Press Tanach), or 40/32 (NASB 1972-77) or 30/42 (NASB 1995, NIV), OR 30 years/ 40 years (NET) or _____years and.______and two years (RSV, NRSV, ESV, Catholic New Jerusalem), or even “32 years old...reigned for 22 years” in the 1989 Revised English Bible!
2 Samuel 15:7 “forty years” (KJB, Hebrew, Geneva, NKJV, NASB, RV) OR “four years” (NIV, RSV, ESV, NET, Catholic New Jerusalem)
or whether both 2 Samuel 23:18 and 1 Chronicles 11:20 read “chief of the THREE” (KJB, Hebrew texts, RV, ASV, NKJV, NRSV, Holman, NIV, NET, Holman, NET) or THIRTY from the Syriac (NASB, RSV, ESV, Catholic New Jerusalem)
or 2 Samuel 24:13 reading SEVEN years (KJB, Hebrew, ASV, NASB, NKJV, NET) or THREE years (LXX, NIV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Holman, Catholic New Jerusalem)
or whether 1 Kings 4:26 reads 40,000 stalls of horses (Hebrew, KJB, RV, ASV, NASB, ESV, NKJV) or 4,000 stalls (NIV, NET, Catholic New Jerusalem)
or whether 1 Kings 5:11 reads 20 measures of pure oil (Hebrew texts, Geneva, KJB, ASV, RV, NASB, NRSV) or 20,000 (RSV, NIV, ESV, NET, LXX and Syriac, Catholic New Jerusalem)
or in 2 Chronicles 31:16 we read "males from THREE years old" (Hebrew texts, KJB, Geneva Bible, Wycliffe, LXX, Syriac, RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NIV, NKJV, Holman, NET) or "males from THIRTY years old" (NASB - ft. Hebrew “three”, Catholic New Jerusalem)
or where 2 Chronicles 36:9 reads that Jehoiachin was 8 years old when he began to reign (Hebrew texts, KJB, NASB, NKJV, RV, ASV, KJB, RSV, NRSV, ESV 2001 edition) or he was 18 years old (NIV, Holman, NET, ESV 2007 edition!!! and once again the Catholic New Jerusalem)
or that when God raised the Lord Jesus from the dead it is stated in Acts 13:33 “this day have I begotten thee” (KJB, NASB, NKJV, RV, RSV, NRSV, ESV) or “today I have become your Father” (NIV, Holman, NET, Catholic New Jerusalem).
The King James Bible is right, and the Bible critics are wrong, as always.
“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 11:15
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