Who Can Say Jesus is the Lord?

The King James Bible says, in 1 Corinthians 12:3:

Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. (emphasis added)

We are told that the NIV, ESV, NASB and many other modern translations are the direct efforts of the Devil to deceive Christians, and ultimately attack Jesus Christ. What then, pray tell, do we do with passes like Jude 1:25 in the modern verses?

New International Version
to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

English Standard Version
to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

New American Standard Version
to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Compare these verses with the same passage in the King James Bible:

King James Bible
To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Note the omission of “through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages” in the King James Bible. In light of a major King James Onlyism thesis (that the newer versions are tools crafted to attack Christ), and the assertion made in 1 Corinthians 12:3 that one cannot truly profess Christ as Lord, but by the Holy Ghost, does this strike you as the type of “corruption” we should expect from a bunch of “Satanic bible-correctors”? I don’t think so.

I would love to have dug a bit deeper into this variant, but I recently gave my only copy of Philip Comfort’s New Testament Text and Translation Commentary to a dear friend, and well-known King James Onlyist. If you would like to help me reclaim a copy, you can always purchase one for me off of my wishlist.

Satire: NIV Onlyism Works Just as Well

I just saw some King James Onlyists on facebook discussing the frequency of certain words/phrases in the King James Bible as opposed to other versions. Just to show that a foolish handler of the NIV can play the same game, I’ve written the following – please note that this is entirely satire, and I do not endorse this type of reasoning.

Term(s) NIV Instances KJV Instances Difference
“Jesus” 1,284 924 28% Deleted
“Christ Jesus” 82 56 32% Deleted
“Messiah” 73 2 98% Deleted
“Redemption” 24 20 17% Deleted

“Jesus” appears in the NIV 1,284 times, and only 924 times in the KJV. The KJV has deleted 28% of all references to the name “Jesus”!

“Christ Jesus” appears in the NIV 82 times, and only 56 times in the KJV. Again, that’s a 32% reduction in the number of references to “Christ Jesus” in the KJV!

“Messiah” appears in the NIV 73 times, but only 2 times in the KJV – you read that right, TWO TIMES! That’s a 98% deletion!

“Redemption” appears 24 times in the NIV. 4 and 2 make 6, the number of man, which is more proof that man will be redeemed. In the KJV, this same glorious word shows up only 20 times! And let’s not forget that Joseph was sold by his brothers for “20 pieces of silver,” which is itself a shadow of the attack on Christ where he was sold for a price as well.

Don’t you see? Can’t you tell just how deep the corruption flows in the KJV? It is readily obvious to anybody who has “eyes to see, and ears to hear.”

We do this research to proclaim the message of Jude 1:25, “to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” (NIV)

Oh, look, Jude 1:25 happens to be one of the instances where “Jesus” and “Christ” are deleted in the KJV, making no reference to “our Lord”!

“To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

Note here, again, how the KJV deletes nearly 20% of the words!

Anderson Uncovers the Mark of the Beast in the NIV!

Many of you may be familiar with Pastor Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church out in Arizona. He’s been featured in videos on YouTube getting harassed by border-patrol, praying for President Obama to get brain cancer, and stressing the importance of urinating standing up – really, that last one is legit.

Pastor Anderson is back with more of his anti-NIV nonsense. This time, it’s some special mathematic revelation in the book of Mark as found in the NIV.

So the argument is this: there are 678 verses in the book of Mark found within the King James Bible. The NIV lacks calls into question the last 12 verses of Mark, which means the NIV has (678-12) verses, or 666 for ease! Clearly this is no coincidence!

I don’t know what it is with King James Onlyists and trying to find special meaning in arbitrary math. I had thought that this type of ‘reasoning’ was limited to Gail Riplinger alone and her Titanic theory, but apparently it’s all over.

At the surface, we must say that this is incredibly silly. Even if it were true, what would this prove? Is the Devil trying to sneak little signatures into the NIV for King James Onlyists to discover? I think not.

Of course, not only is this silly at the surface, but it’s just wrong as even a cursory study would reveal.

The error was in assuming the NIV contains all of the verses the KJV has up to the last verses of Chapter 16. So we started with the assumption that if we count the last 12 verses of the NIV, we would have 678 verses in the book of Mark. Remove those verses and we are left with 666. This is wrong.

The long-ending of Mark isn’t the only portion of the book of Mark that is thought to be a deviation from the original text of the document. Several other passages are also not present in the NIV, due to lack of support.

Mark 7:16, Mark 9:44 and 9:46, Mark 11:26 and lastly Mark 15:28 are all easy examples. These are 5 verses that the NIV lacks in the book of Mark. But Mr. Anderson either didn’t feel like sharing this, or didn’t actually take the time to look at the very translation he was criticizing – either way, a ounce of research would have ruined his conspiratorial story-telling.

So when he take off another 5 verses, we end up with 661 verses in the NIV in the book of Mark. Sorry, Mr. Anderson, but we don’t find 666 verses in the NIV. Please apologize to your congregation for misleading them.

Micah 5:2, and the NIV.

The Conflict

Micah 5:2 happens to be another verse in the New International Version that King James Onlyists detest. This is a prophetic verse speaking of Christ, and his coming. Let’s take a look at the King James Version and then the New International Version:

Micah 5:2 King James Version,
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”

Micah 5:2 New International Version,
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans [a] of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins [b] are from of old, from ancient times. [c] “

The last part of both texts is what we’re interested in. The “origins” and “ancient times” as the New International Version puts it. King James Onlyists teach that by using the word “origins” to refer to Christ, the NIV teaches that Christ is a created being whose existence had a beginning. Furthermore, they teach this beginning was later in Creation, a long time ago during “ancient times.”

Don’t be so Presumptuous

One must always be cautious when they hear “The [insert translation] teaches [insert odd doctrine]” after reading a single verse. You can teach just about anything if all you are required to do is quote a single verse. Teachings in scripture come from studying the scriptures, not from reading a single verse. An equivalent example from the King James could be John 6:54:

John 6:54 King James Version,
“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Do you see the harm in suggesting any translation teaches anything after reading only one verse, or a small portion of a context? We’ve just argued, by King James Onlyist standards, that the King James Bible teaches cannibalism of Christ is a Christian teaching. Of course if you fail to study the text, you may indeed come away with some very unscriptural ideas – but that isn’t the text’s fault, it’s the fault of the lazy reader.

Is Christ a Created Being in the NIV?

So, back to our text. King James Onlyists prefer the King James’ “goings forth” over the NIV’s “origins.” Why? Because they assume the origin is in reference to Jesus’ existence. This is not the case though, as we can see from other passages in the NIV. For instance, John 1 in the NIV still teaches that Christ is The Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1 refutes the idea that Christ was created:

John 1:3 New International Version,
“Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”

Note the point here, everything that was ever made, was made through Christ. This precludes the possibility that Christ was made, because Christ cannot be made through himself. He must exist for anything to be made at all, and all that was made, was made through Him – again, precluding the option of He Himself being made.  This statement is made in other places in the NIV as well.

Colossians 1:16 New International Version,
“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.”

Again, the NIV teaches emphatically that Christ was the Agent by which all that has been made was made. All things created, things in Heaven and Earth, visible things and invisible things – everything. Everything was made by Christ, and through Christ. So don’t permit the King James Onlyist to say the NIV teaches that Christ is a created being – He isn’t. He is the uncreated Creator of all that is created, according to both the King James Bible, and the New International Version.

Back to the Origin!

So if Christ was not a created being, how can he have an “origin”? The use of “origin” is in regard to what place Christ came from, not whether Christ was created. Somebody may ask you where your family originated – they’re not asking how your family came into being, but rather where they came from. This is the same thing with Christ.

The thoughtful King James Onlyist shouldn’t consider this a problem. Or, if he does, he should note that it is then a problem for him as well. You see, the phrase “goings forth” only appears once in the King James, preventing us from getting a better understanding of how it’s used, and what it is intended to mean. But, if you look it up in Strong’s (H4163) you will see that it’s under the noun mowtsa’ah. This word has the following definition.

  1. origin, place of going out from
    • origin
    • places of going out to or from
      • privy

So the word “goings forth” also means “origin” or the “place of going out from,” which is pretty much the same thing we stated above. Christ had an origin in the sense that he came from some location, but not in the sense that he was created. Both the NIV and the KJV are saying the same thing, they’re just using different terms. While the NIV uses a more familiar wording, the KJV uses a very strange and foreign wording.

From Ancient Time?

This is one that baffles me. I’m not sure why the King James Onlyist even finds this alarming. Most of our King James Onlyist friends attend rather conservative Churches which undoubtedly sing Hymns – I’m sure many of them know and love the “Ancient of Days” hymn. Clearly when we refer to God as “Ancient” we are not placing him in history alone, for God is timeless, from eternity to eternity.

We find the “ancient of days” phrase throughout Daniel 3 times. Further, we happen to find the exact phrase “ancient time(s)” found in the King James too five times.

2 Kings 19:25 King James Version,
“Hast thou not heard long ago how I have done it, and of ancient times that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste fenced cities into ruinous heaps.”

Psalm 77:5 King James Version,
“I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.”

Isaiah 37:26 King James Version,
“Hast thou not heard long ago, how I have done it; and of ancient times, that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste defenced cities into ruinous heaps.”

Isaiah 45:21 King James Version,
“Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.”

Isaiah 46:10 King James Version,
“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:”

So these are the instances of “ancient time(s)” in the King James Bible. Does it sound like we’re just looking at events that took place in recorded history? When does God’s declaration about what will happen really take place? When did God declare the end from the beginning, and the things that are not yet done? This phrase seems to be pushing events back into eternity past.

Although the NIV says Christ is from “ancient times,” this doesn’t mean he is from history. Although the KJV calls God “wise,” this doesn’t mean He learns new things. While we use these terms to help understand our Creator, we must keep in mind how their meanings differ from when we use them against any other object. Man’s origin is unlike God’s origin. Man’s wisdom is unlike God’s wisdom. This distinction must always be made.

Digging a little deeper

The phrase “ancient times” appears in the Hebrew as qedem yowm. This also happens to be the same exact Hebrew words found in Micah 5:2 (KJV), translated “from of old, from everlasting.” While you may hear Onlyists object to the NIV’s wording in Micah 5:2, the fact is that the King James performed the exact same translation in other instances of these words. Hardly sounds like a conspiracy now, right?


So in the end, we don’t have any grand conspiracy, no Satanic secrets, nothing of which to base a Dan Brown book on – just two translations of the same text, using different words but saying the same thing. In fact, we even have strong testimony from the King James that the translation made in the NIV “ancient times” of qedem yowm is a legitimate translation, thanks guys!

Does the NIV Confuse Jesus and Lucifer?

I recall sitting in my sister’s apartment many, many years ago playing around on the internet, looking up topics related to the Bible, and various doctrinal debates when I came across the claim that the NIV confuses Jesus and Lucifer. “Certainly this can’t be true,” I thought, considering I was reading exclusively from the NIV at the time.

Who is the “morning star”?

Upon reading the article, I saw that the heart of the debate essentially was between a passage in Isaiah, and a reference to Christ found in Revelation. First let’s look at the King James reference in Isaiah:

Isaiah 14:12 King James Bible:
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!

Note the word “Lucifer,” described as “son of the morning.” Then we consider the same text from the New International Version:

Isaiah 14:12 New International Version:
How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!

If you’re not familiar with this argument, you may be wondering what the big deal is. We see that in the place of “Lucifer,” the NIV says “morning star.” It is at this point the King James Onlyist will ask the rhetorical question “So the NIV says the ‘morning star’ was ‘cast down to the earth,’ right?” And of course, it does. So they gladly take us over to Revelation to “interpret Scripture with Scripture”:

Revelation 22:16 New International Version:
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.

Notice how Jesus says “I am…the bright Morning Star.” There you have it, they conclude, the NIV teaches that Jesus was cast down to the Earth. Case-closed, the NIV is “perverted.”

Does the KJV teach that there are many Jesus’?

It wasn’t until years later, during a typical bible-reading, that this issue came up in my mind again. As I strolled through Job in the King James Bible, I came across the following passage:

Job 38:7 King James Bible:
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

I was shocked to see Jesus’ title “morning star” used in the plural form! What was the meaning of this? Are there many Jesus’? Was Christ only one of them? This is, for obvious reasons, absurd. Note the damage this understanding would do to the Christian doctrine of the trinity, and that’s only the beginning. Clearly, my understanding of what “morning star” means must have been flawed.

What does “lucifer” mean?

This is the basic question that leads to the solution. Unfortunately, many (not all) in the King James Only crowd are anti-intellectual, and will get upset if you ask what the word “lucifer” means. We are generally conditioned to handle it as a proper name, when in fact it’s actually an untranslated Latin word. Consider the Isaiah passage in Latin:

Isaiah 14:12 Latin Vulgate:
quomodo cecidisti de caelo lucifer qui mane oriebaris corruisti in terram qui vulnerabas gentes

Note the same word, “lucifer,” appearing here just as it does in the King James Bible. This word, like many others has an actual meaning. Like many English words, it can be broken up into smaller words that have meanings of their own. Consider other words that have the same root, such as “lucem,” found in Genesis as meaning “light.”

Genesis 1:4 Latin Vulgate:
et vidit Deus lucem quod esset bona et divisit lucem ac tenebras

So when we actually look at the full meaning of “lucifer,” we see that it means, literally, “light-bearer,” “shining-one,” “day-star,” or “morning-star.” You see, when we realize that this is not a name, but a description, it removes all issues. It is not inappropriate to call Satan a “shining one,” or a “light-bearer,” or a “morning star,” or even the “son of the morning” as the King James Bible does. We also see that the passage in Job 38:7 doesn’t indicate many Jesus’, but instead many “light-bearers,” or many “shining-ones” – Angels.

Gesenius's Lexicon - Latin: lucifer, Hebrew: heylel

But, “morning star” causes confusion!

This is probably the best response that I’ve seen so far. The concern is that translating “lucifer” as “morning star” may cause confusion amongst those who read the Bible. I’m not convinced of this. If this were a valid concern, then we ought to treat the King James Bible the same, when it uses the same term in Job 38:7, which potentially “causes confusion.”

Our jobs as Christians is to be studious, (2 Timothy 2:15, “study to shew thyself approved…“), and to actually spend time in the scriptures – not hopping from one verse to another. Nobody could conclude, after sincere study, that Christ (“The Bright and Morning Star”) was cast out of Heaven, and cut down to the Earth. Nobody would conclude, after sincere study, that Christ (“The Bright and Morning Star”) was one of many Jesus’, and that the trinity actually is indefinitely large, occupied by many Jesus’.


My fear is that many in the King James Only camp feel it’s acceptable to use false arguments if it wins a convert over, and away of “corrupt” versions. Advocates of King James Onlyism shouldn’t be leveraging sinful arguments (lies) to their benefit.

Years ago I sat down with a very respected minister who used this argument in a sermon he was preaching. I took him to Job 38:7, and pointed out the passage that used “morning star” in the plural form. He seemed to have conceded the point, and understood that the argument (as he presented it during the service) was incorrect.

Unfortunately, years later I heard that same minister use the same argument again during a radio show. Perhaps he merely forgot the Job 38:7 reference, or perhaps he just felt it was morally-acceptable to lie in order to remove the NIV from somebody’s hands.

I sincerely pray that he just forgot.

Does the NIV “Pervert” the Virgin Birth?

Bad Arguments Don’t Die Soon Enough

This is an argument I have heard for years. I’ve found it in print, used in casual conversation, and more frequently online where everybody gets a soap-box from which to echo the ideas and opinions of those whom they adore. I must be honest, of all the anti-NIV arguments I’ve heard, this one seems to be the weakest at the surface, and it really shocks me that King James Only proponents would even bring this argument up.

…at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established?

As is typical with King James Only advocates, we’ll be given a list of offending passages from the NIV to prove their point. I’ve gathered up three popular example texts to make their case for them.

Luke 2:33 King James Bible:
And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.

Notice here how Mary is identified as Jesus’ “mother,” whereas Joseph is merely identified by name. Now consider the same verse in the NIV:

Luke 2:33 New International Version:
The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.

This is where the Ruckmanites and Riplingonians get up in arms. “How dare the NIV call Joseph Jesus’ “father”,” they shout. They are persuaded that this is a direct attack on the Virgin Birth. Of course it only adds fuel to their fire when it happens a again a few verses later:

Luke 2:43 King James Bible:
And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.

Again, the King James Bible says “Joseph and his mother,” while we read the following in the New International Version:

Luke 2:43 New International Version:
After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.

Here, again, the NIV says “his parents,” identifying Joseph as Jesus’ father. And then to really seal the deal, the King James Only advocate will provide one last passage:

Luke 2:48 King James Bible:
And when they saw him, they were amazed…

Note how the King James says “they,” rather than “his parents,” or “his father and mother.” And from the NIV we read the following:

Luke 2:48 New International Version:
When his parents saw him, they were astonished.

Notice the use of “parents,” which is again calling Joseph Jesus’ father. After three examples of this, coupled with a stern and authoritative voice from the KJVOnlyist, many Christians may concede defeat, and abandon a perfectly good version of the Bible.

Equivocal Terminology, and King James Only Confusion

There are words in the Scriptures that have various meanings. “Father,” “Mother,” “Brother,” and “Sister” happen to be great examples. Consider the Words of Christ as he hung on the Cross, speaking to the disciple and Mary:

Luke 19:26-27 King James Bible:
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

Note how Jesus used “mother,” and “son,” to suggest a non-biological relationship. He basically told Mary to care for the disciple, and the disciple to care for Mary. Mary would be the disiple’s “mother” because she would care for him. The disciple would be her “son” because he too would care for her.

To add to this, consider The Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:2,18 and 2 Timothy 1:2. Paul constantly referred to others as “son,” including Onesimus in Philemon 1:10. The examples go on and on.

So these words don’t necessarily mean anything specific when they’re stripped from their context. This is the important thing to remember when dealing with King James Only advocates – they detest context. This is why they take you to a verse, or a portion of a verse, rather than asking you to study the general text with them.

From the scriptures we can list numerous uses of the word “father,”

  1. God, the Father (John 14:8)
  2. Ancestral Father (Romans 4:1)
  3. Biological Father (Mark 1:20)
  4. Husband of your Mother (Jesus’ case)
  5. Spiritual Elder (1 Timothy 5:1)

Because of the various meanings, the important thing is not the word you’re saying, but what you mean when you say it. So when the NIV calls Joseph Jesus’ “father,” what does it mean? Well, the King James Only advocate would have us believe that it’s claiming a biological relationship. If that is the case, we should expect this use to be consistent with the rest of the NIV’s coverage over the virgin birth. Remember, if we are going to ignore the rest of the text then we can argue that the KJV teaches Paul was the father of Timothy and Onesimus because he called them both “my son.”

The NIV and the Virgin Birth

If the KJVO argument is correct, that the NIV “perverts” the Virgin Birth of Christ, then we ought to see this in a less ambiguous manner than merely calling Joseph Jesus’ “father,” as we’ve demonstrated that this was justified since Joseph was married to Mary, and raised Jesus from birth. But what else does the NIV say regarding the Virgin Birth?

Matthew 1:18 New International Version:
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

There’s really not much to question here. The NIV states very clearly that the conception was “through the Holy Spirit,” and that this had taken place “before they [Mary and Joseph] came together.” We recall that Joseph was going to leave Mary after learning of her condition, but decided not to after an angel visited him:

Matthew 1:20 New International Version:
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

Note, again the NIV clearly records “what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” Joseph did as the angel commanded.

Matthew 1:24-25 New International Version:
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Notice that “he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son,” whom Joseph gave the name “Jesus” after the angel’s command. So anybody who studies the text, rather than reading a verse in exclusion, will come to the conclusion that the NIV emphatically and unequivocally teaches the doctrine of the Virgin Birth.

“…” – The King James Onlyist’s Friend

One thing I’ve learned to do when dealing with King James Only arguments is to simply continue reading even after the verse in question has come to an end. In fact, I’ll even start about 5-10 verses before the offending verse, and read till about 5-10 verses after. You’d be amazed at how much confusion can be cleared up when you bring the context back into the equation. Let’s look at the earlier references from the beginning of this post with their context:

Luke 2:43 (with context, 2:40-2:45) King James Bible:
40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. 41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. 43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. 44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. 45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.

Now if you’ll recall, the King James Onlyists will quote Luke 2:43, demonstrating the King James Bible calls Joseph and Mary “they,” rather than “his parents” like the NIV. But notice just two verses earlier, in Luke 2:41 what we read:

Luke 2:41 King James Bible:
Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.

The King James Bible even says “his parents.” Why do you think this isn’t considered when the NIV is accused of attacking the doctrine of the Virgin Birth for calling Joseph and Mary “his parents” when the King James Bible does the same exact thing? This is a sign of weakness from the King James Only crowd. This demonstrates pretty well how illogical, and one-sided their criteria is.

Consider also our last reference from the beginning of this post:

Luke 2:48 King James Bible:
And when they saw him, they were amazed…

The NIV says “when his parents saw him.” But why would those who quote this instance not include the rest of the verse? Primarily because these types of references are shared from an extra-biblical medium, such as a book or a list of verses on a piece of paper – many people, after seeing the references, wouldn’t go to their NIV to see how it ends. We will though.

Luke 2:48 King James Bible:
And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

Here we have Mary, of all people, calling Joseph Jesus’ “father.” Mary knew better than anybody else that Joseph wasn’t the father. Mary knew that Jesus was born of a miraculous conception. Recall her astonishment in Luke:

Luke 1:34 New International Version:
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

Joseph too knew that he wasn’t the biological father, as he too received instruction from God’s Angel in Matthew 1:20. It would seem absolutely foolish to interpret the use of “father” in this text as having any biological implications as it is Mary who is using it, and Joseph who is standing by as she does.


It’s clear to anybody who studies the New International Version that Christ was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:18), named by Joseph (Matthew 1:21,25), and raised by both. Joseph was indeed Jesus’ father, and no biological relationship is necessarily implied by the use of that term as “father, mother, brother, sister, son, etc” are all used in non-biologically-constraining manners all throughout Scripture.

Anybody suggesting the NIV “perverts” the virgin birth is at best ignorant of what the Scriptures teach, and at worst attempting to deceive others by willingly skewing the text of the NIV.

Luke, Jesus, and Isaiah vs King James Onlyism

We’ve all heard the arguments from our King James Only friends that “the NIV, and other modern versions, remove, modify, and delete from the Word of God.” When asked for examples they may have a nice fold-out sheet of 100 examples where “God” in the King James Bible is rendered as “he” in the NIV/Modern Version. These lists can be found all over the internet, in books, and at your local 1611 Baptist Bookstore. I’ll admit, the lists are really impressive – I bought into it when I first saw one (ultimately leading me to adopt the King James Only perspective). But is this really an “attack” on God’s Word, as some would have us believe? No. Pretty blunt and straight forward, right? Let me explain why I am no longer convinced this is an attack on God’s Word.

Rotten at the Core

This argument fails for many, many reasons. But at the very heart of it, it’s fallacious. When a King James Only advocate suggests the NIV “changes the Word of God” when it doesn’t say what the King James Bible says, he is begging the question. Most proponents of King James Onlyism don’t get called out on this very often, but they should. They arbitrarily assume from the beginning that the King James is God’s perfect Word. This hasn’t been established Scripturally, or Historically. Instead, they base it on feelings.

By this reasoning, you could assume from the beginning that the NIV is God’s perfect Word, meaning the King James “changes the Word of God” every time it disagrees with he NIV.  You could even make pretty strong cases for this using King Jame Onlyism reasoning. Consider the following:

Jude 1:25, New International Version:
to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

Compared to the following

Jude 1:25, King James Version:
To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Note how the King James “deletes” the part saying “through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages.” We could continue down the King James Only mindset adapted to fit the NIV and argue that the translators of the King James clearly didn’t think that Jesus Christ was our Lord, and so they removed it. Furthermore they didn’t like the idea of Christ being before all ages, so they removed that too.

Two can play this game. But in all honesty, neither should.

Special Pleading – A Fallacy of the King James Only Advocate

Any truthful position ought to be a consistent position. If a text that replaces a more specific title like “God” with a pronoun like “he” is bad in the NIV, it’s bad anywhere it happens. King James Only advocates are often times very illogical, speaking from the gut rather than from their mind. One such fallacy that you will see in King James Only literature is “special pleading.” To put it briefly, if the King James Only advocate tells you the NIV can’t do something, but the KJV does that very thing, they are arguing fallaciously.

King James Only Advocates vs Luke, Jesus, and the prophet Isaiah.

Often times in Scripture the New Testament will quote the Old Testament and the two sources will vary in details, and even at times contain something completely different. Such is the case in the book of Luke, where Jesus reads from the book of Isaiah (Esaias). Isaiah’s words happen to be recorded in our Bibles today, so we are able to line up the two sources (as we have them today) side-by-side and follow through.

Luke 4:17-20 King James Bible:
And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

The “place where it was written” is available for us to read today:

Isaiah 61:1-2 King James Bible:
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

The Internal (in)Consistency of King James Onlyism

Recall all the times that you were told how evil, and corrupt the NIV was because it says something other than what the early text (King James) says. Well, here we have two texts which also differ one from the other. Isaiah’s text, written several hundred years before Christ, and Luke’s record of Isaiah’s text – both available in your nearest Bible. When we examine the two passages more closely, we see a lot of what the typical King James Only advocate would scoff at.

They’ve Removed “GOD”!

For starters, Jesus read “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,” whereas our King James Bible records Isaiah saying “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me.” So why does the book of Luke not include Jesus saying “GOD” during his reading of Isaiah’s text? If this were the NIV, we’d have all sorts of reasons: Satanic corruption, attacks on “God” in the text, etc.

Isaiah continues with “because the LORD hath,” whereas Jesus reads “because he hath.” Here we have an example of a pronoun in the place of a noun. This is another thing the NIV is constantly attacked for, but why are we not told that the very same thing happens in the KJV, while Jesus is reading from the Prophets, of all places?

They’ve Weakened the Word!

And then we arrive at “the gospel,” a phrase that is deeply protected by King James Onlyists. Note how Jesus says “…he hath anointed me to preach the gospel,” whereas the actual text provided for us by the King James Bible says “…the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings.” I’ve heard complaints that the modern translations “water down the word,” or “weaken the word” when it does stuff like this. Of course then there’s the issue of whether Isaiah said “…unto the meek” like our King James Bible says, or “…to the poor,” like Luke records from Jesus’ reading.

They’ve Denied the Miracles!

Our next point of emphasis is a big deal. Jesus, while reading from the book of Isaiah adds the statement “and recovering of sight to the blind,” when according to the copy of Isaiah in our King James Bible, that wasn’t actually there. Read the Isaiah passage again, you will not find that message in there. Imagine for just a moment what would happen if several words turned up missing in the NIV like this. Well, no need to imagine it, because they do. And every instance of it is called an attack on God’s Word. Why doesn’t the King James Only advocate conclude that whoever translated the text of Isaiah for the King James Bible removed this part to keep people from thinking Jesus was the Messiah? That’s the kind of things they say of the modern versions.

And they’ve Attacked the Savior!

Of course this isn’t the only omission we find between these two texts. Note how Isaiah concludes this portion of the text, “To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;” But the book of Luke cuts us off short, “To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down.

Why didn’t Luke record the words “and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn“? Or why didn’t Jesus read the rest of the text? Was he or Luke trying to soften the Word by not talking about “vengeance” and making Jesus seem unloving by not talking about comforting “all that mourn“? You can be sure that if the NIV missed something like this, we would hear about it.


So does the King James Bible survive the same scrutiny applied to all other versions? No. Not by a long shot. Do these differences matter? No, not really. It is true that “God” may be rendered as “he” in some places, but you would only find ambiguity if you read a single verse in exclusion, which is contrary to the moral obligation that Christians have to be studious, to “study to shew thyself approved unto God” as commanded in 2 Timothy 2:15.

It’s not uncommon for a King James Only advocate to pull a verse out of its context, paste it onto a paper, and then run around trying to convince others the modern version is corrupted. Any serious student of God’s Word doesn’t study that way to begin with. We don’t read a single Bible verse, we study dozens, hundreds, and even thousands for an understanding of how they relate to one another, what is being stated, taught and defended, etc.

The text of the NIV, when studied, will render the same teachings as the KJV. This point is rejected by King James Only advocates though. They argue that the NIV fails to teach the Virgin Birth, the Eternal existence of Christ, and so much more. We’ll leave those attacks for another time though.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and “Homosexual Offenders”

Proponents of King James Onlyism aren’t always known for making thoughtful statements. That isn’t a blanket-statement for all of them, as I know many who are very thoughtful, and provide great conversations. But, unfortunately for them, the unthoughtful ones greatly outweigh the others.

Nor “those who hurt other people’s feelings”?

Today I heard the statement from a King James Onlyist claiming “the NIV says all Christians who preach against homosexuality will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” This set me back, as I hadn’t heard this argument yet, but like the others, I was sure it would be superfluous and lacking any real substance. The scriptural reference was 1 Corinthians 6:9-10:

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Note the emphasis on “nor homosexual offenders.” My friend claims that this means “those who offend homosexuals.” Now, the Bible being a book that speaks of all types of sin is very offensive to our sin-nature. We are offended when the Bible calls us liars, thieves, adulterers, and more. Likewise, many homosexuals may also be offended when their sin is pointed out as well. For instance in Romans 1:26-27:

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Note here that God gave up this group of people to go with their desires, and contrary to what is expected of them. The women went in unto other women, and men in unto other men. Many homosexuals may find this to be offensive, since it speaks of their relationships with others of the same gender as a sinful act.

So, here we have the Word of God, saying something that may indeed offend homosexuals. What we can see here is that the NIV isn’t soft when it comes to the sin of homosexuality – it still deals with it very plainly. But according to my KJVO friend, the Apostle Paul is a “homosexual offender,” since some homosexuals will be offended by his words.

When Arguments Backfire

As is the case often times, many of these arguments backfire on the KJVO proponent. This is one great example. If the word “offender” in 1 Corinthians 6:9 means “one who hurts anothers feelings,” then we have a problem.

Paul uses this term in the KJV in Acts 25:11:

For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.

Paul says that if “if be an offender,” that he would “not refuse to die.” In Paul’s mind here, an “offender” is “worthy of death,” so he would welcome his punishment if in deed he were an “offender.” So the question is, did Paul ever offend anybody? Of course, he preached the truth. Paul was the author of Romans 1, where we happen to find this text that may offend some homosexuals. So if Paul meant “offender” as “one who hurts other people’s feelings,” then he would have gladly accepted that he deserved punishment. But that isn’t what paul means.

The word “offender” in the KJV here is dereived from adikeō. When we look at the meaning of this word, we see what Paul meant when he used it:

  • to act unjustly or wickedly, to sin,
  • to be a criminal, to have violated the laws in some way
  • to do wrong
  • to do hurt

So what did Paul mean when he said “if I be an offender”? I think it’s pretty clear. He meant, “If I have broken the law, sinned, or acted wickedly, and am worthy of death, I will not refuse it.”

So when the NIV uses the term “homosexual offender” it means the “offender” is guilty of “homosexual” activity. Not that the homosexual was offended. What astounds me is that this causes confusion at all. In English we say things like “big house” and we understand that “big” describes “house.” As such, “homosexual offender” describes the offender in this context.

…but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety

One thing I tend to do when I come across these types of objections and potentially ambiguous language is to consult more translations, and even foreign ones I have access.  I speak Portuguese, so I’m able to cross-reference this type of stuff in a language that is structured differently than English, helping me understand what the English is communicating at times. Unfortunately I don’t have access to a Portuguese NIV (Nova Versao Internacional) online, but I do have access to the NIV in Spanish online, where we read 1 Corintios 6:9

¿No saben que los malvados no heredarán el reino de Dios? ¡No se dejen engañar! Ni los fornicarios, ni los idólatras, ni los adúlteros, ni los sodomitas, ni los pervertidos sexuales,

Now I understand that many of you may not understand Spanish, but the last two statements should be pretty evident to most English speakers: los sodomitas, and los pervertidos sexuales.

Notice how it doesn’t speak of anybody offending anybody else. It merely says “nor the sodomites, nor the sexually-perverse.” This is one of the great advantages of using many versions, editions, and languages to your advantage. Unfortunately, KJVO proponents have vetoed this arbitrarily in their assumption that all others are at best incompetent, and at worst Satanic devices.

So in the end we see that the text makes complete sense, and is not a charge against those who happen to offend homosexuals. Instead, anybody making this argument should be ashamed, and perhaps consider studying English a bit more.