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Bible versions/translations

Comparison of the New International
Version & the King James Version

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The New International Version (NIV) and the King James Version (KJV) are the two most popular versions of the Bible among conservative Christian pastors. 1 The NIV is by far the most used translation of the Bible among evangelical pastors. The KJV is by far the most popular translation of the Bible among Pentecostals and Charismatics. In the chart below, passages from NIV and KJV are compared

Recently found discrepancies:

Many manuscripts of biblical books have been discovered in recent centuries which are older than those which had been available to the translators of the KJV in 1611 CE. Comparisons of the texts in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek have found differences among the copies. Theologians have two explanations for these mismatches:

bullet The vast majority of Old and New Testament scholars conclude that the occasional ancient copyist has changed some of the text. Sometime, it appears that someone added margin notes to an ancient manuscript and that a subsequent copyist has included the notes in the Bible text. In other cases, the text has been embellished with his/her own ideas. Thus, phrases and verses which were accepted in the KJV as Holy Writ in the 17th century are believed to be forgeries -- either accidental or intentional.
bullet A small minority of theologians belong to the "King James Only movement." They believe that the KJV translation is superior to all others. A minority within that movement view the KJV as a new revelation from God. They believe that in those places where the KJV differs from the most ancient manuscripts, that the latter are in error. They believe that God guided the KJV translators to correct errors in ancient manuscripts and produce a perfect, error free, copy of the Bible in 1611 CE.

Translators of the NIV have assumed that the most ancient copies are generally the most accurate, and have translated the Bible accordingly.

Examples of differences between the NIV - KJV translations:

Exodus 22:18 Do not allow a sorceress to live. Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. [see notes 1 & 4]
Deuteronomy 18:10-11 Let no one be found among you who ... practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. [see notes 1 & 4] There shall not be found among you anyone ....that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. [see notes 1 & 4]
Matthew 5:44 ...Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, ...Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Matthew 17:21 No such verse. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
Matthew 18:11 No such verse. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
Matthew 27:35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
Mark 3:15 And to have authority to drive out demons. And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:
Mark 7:16 No such verse. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
Luke 9:55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them, But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
Luke 9:56 And they went to another village. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
Luke 24:42 They gave him a piece of a broiled fish. And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
John 5:4 No such verse For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
Acts 8:37 No such verse. 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 No such verse. Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still.
Acts 24:7 No such verse. But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands,
Romans 16:24 No such verse. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
1 Corinthians 6:9 ...Do not be deceived. Neither the...male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders...shall inherit the kingdom of God. [See note 2] ...Be not deceived: Neither...effeminate nor abusers of themselves with mankind,...will inherit the kingdom of God. [See note 2]
Galatians 5:19 ...sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft,... [5 items; see notes 3 & 4] adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft..." [6 items; see notes 3 & 4]
1 Peter 4:14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the spirit of glory and of God rests on you.  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
I John 5:7-8 For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. [See note 5]
Revelation 1:11 Which said: "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches ... Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches... 

Note 1: The Hebrew word "m'khashepah" has generally been translated as witch or sorceress in most Bible versions. The word in the original text means a woman who uses spoken spells to harm others - e.g. causing their death or loss of property. "Witch" is an invalid translation because about 16 types of very different "witches" exist.   "Sorceress" by itself is a poor translation, because in modern day usage, some sorcerers or sorceresses restrict themselves to performing positive healing magic. Clearly, "evil sorceress" or "woman who does evil magic" would be the most accurate phrase. Why the evil, male version of "m'khashepah" was not persecuted is lost in the mists of time.

Note 2: The New American Bible translates this passage as: "Do not be deceived; neither...boy prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals...will inherit the kingdom of God." A footnote defines "practicing homosexuals" as adult males who sexually abuse young boys. The translators appear to imply that all active homosexuals are abusive pedophiles. This is similar to describing all men as rapists.

It is not clear whether the author Saul/Paul is referring to boy prostitutes, abusive pedophiles, gay or lesbian adult prostitutes, effeminate persons, or abusers of themselves with mankind (whoever they are). Much of the confusions is caused by the Greek words: "malakoi arsenokoitai"  Their precise meaning has been lost, but they appear to be related in some way to male sexual activity. And so translators insert whatever phrase that they wish. The same Greek words appears in 1 Timothy 1:9-10, and generate the same problem.

Note 3: The word translated "witchcraft" is the Greek word "pharmakia" from which the English words "pharmacy" "pharmaceuticals," and "pharmacology" are derived. Interpreted literally, it refers to the practice of preparing poisonous potions to harm or kill other humans. Symbolically, it might mean poisoning people's minds with heretical thoughts. It is most commonly translated "sorcery" by other versions of the Bible. Again, evil sorcery would be a much better translation.

Note 4: Biblical references to witches and witchcraft are totally unrelated to modern-day Wiccans who are also called Witches, or to any of the 15 or so other types of "witch."

Note 5: This is apparently a forged section added to 1 John in order to support the concept of the Trinity, which only became official Christian doctrine three centuries after Jesus' execution.

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  1. Paul Payton, email questionnaire. He is associated with 

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Copyright 2000 to 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2000-NOV-2
Latest update and review: 2009-JUN-21
Author: B.A. Robinson

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