Bible Versions And Apostasy – The Connection
By Stella Paterson
First of all, let us look at the question, “What is the Bible?”
It is doubtful that anyone would argue with the fact that the “Bible” is seen by many as the Word of God. To quote from a very old Bible, which I will tell you about later, John 1:1-5 tells us, “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him: and without him was not any thing made that hath been made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended [Greek: seized] it not.”
Jesus is the Living Word, as John revealed in the above quote. Jesus came to bring Life and Light to a world of darkness, but the “darkness” has not grasped [seized] the truth of that fact. In John 14:6, Jesus said “ I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Because He is the Truth, and “apostasy” is “defection from truth,” Jesus has been forsaken. His Name has been reduced to a buzzword in “Christian” circles, where He is known about, but not KNOWN. How is that possible, when “God’s Word” is faithfully read in churches week after week?
Why have we strayed so far from the reality that Jesus is the Truth? How could this have happened when we have so many “Bibles” being published and sold as “God’s Word?” In the beginning, God’s Word was given to point man to Jesus. The books of the Law, the prophets and the New Testament all point to Jesus. Why then have so many strayed from Him? Should not the plethora of “Bibles” be accomplishing what God originally planned for His Word to do?
Countless people have in their hands a book which bears the title, “Holy Bible.” Under that title can be found other words, or letters, that identify which “version” it is. This raises a further question: “Which one is the true Holy Bible?” Can they all be justified in using the same title, when within each one can be found text that differs one from the other?
Paul, the Apostle, spoke of the “falling away” that would take place before Jesus returns to earth. The Greek word apostasia is translated “apostasy” as well as “falling away.” As already noted above, “apostasy” is “defection from truth.” It has been taking place for centuries, but more aggressively in the past century and a half.
In my book, Calling Forth The Remnant, By Way of The Cross, I presented a very thorough description of how the apostasy has taken place and the one major thing that is the root of all error. If you have not read the book, I will give you a clue – the “root of all error” is flesh. Yes, I said “flesh” – the very reason Jesus had to die! Look at what He said here, in John 6:63: “It is the spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I have spoken unto you, are spirit, and are life.”
What has been done to Jesus’ words which were once “spirit and life?” And why, if the “flesh profits nothing,” have so many creatures of flesh produced books titled “God’s Word?” With every change, it is only the Holy Spirit’s “quickening” that has pointed people to Jesus, because only the Spirit knows God’s mind and His true Word.
God’s hand was on His Word to preserve it through the years. But exalted man, and “educated” man, deceived by the defection from Truth, has taken Bible translations and revised them over, and over, until man’s word has replaced God’s Word. The God of the Bible has been forsaken in man’s quest for a “masterpiece” acceptable to creatures of flesh.
King James Only?
With what I am about to say, lest anyone think that I am a “King James Only” adherent, please wait until you read the full article.
During my many years of in-depth study, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, it was the King James Version that I had in my hands. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals Truth – not the printed word. Unless the Spirit quickens any of the printed word (spoken or read), we cannot know what God has said to us.
We must not make an idol of any printed word, including the “Authorized King James Version” which is a result of several revisions since 1611. It was in 1870 that two groups of scholars from both England and the United States undertook to revise the Authorized King James Version. The one group revised the Old Testament, while the other was responsible for the revision of the New Testament. Because of its size, the New Testament was completed first, with the Old Testament revisions being completed in 1885.
I'm not sure of the dates, but there were some who very much disliked the Revised Version and went about maligning the men who had worked on the New Testament. As a result, it is no longer in print (but is available on e-Sword), and these fiercely committed KJV proponents then produced what we now know as The Authorized King James Version. Over the years there seems to have been a growing, almost militant movement to defend that version. Michael Clark and George Davis, of Idaho, have done an excellent job of exposing error along with a history of the KJV in their book, “The Great Ecclesiastical Conspiracy.” I urge you to read it online, here: http://www.awildernessvoice.com/GEC.html
Immediately following the publishing of the Revised King James Bible (1885), the American group of revisers went on to produce the American Standard Version which is much like the Revised Version. Both are more accurate than the much-touted Authorized King James Version. And since then, we have many, many versions of the “Bible,” revised, “improved” and put in print for all to read.
The newer translations of “The Bible” are promoted as being easier to understand. But because of a lack of understanding, through man's increasing dependence on his inherent knowledge of good and evil, God’s Word has been distorted. Is it possible that it has ceased to be “living, and active, and sharper than any twoedged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.”? (Hebrews 4:12) The enemy of man’s soul is delighted because now “man’s word” is being touted as “God’s Word.” What was once a Book that led man to Christ has become books, and books, and more books, causing man to focus on self and flesh. Where is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart? Where is the call to complete and unconditional surrender to the God of the Bible and the working of His Holy Spirit? Only the Holy Spirit is able to reach beyond what man has done to God’s Word and open eyes to see Jesus.
(In the last paragraph, I mentioned the “knowledge of good and evil.” We must keep in mind that it was that same knowledge that brought about the eviction of man from the Garden of Eden.)
As I said in my book, the King James Version is far from perfect. How can it be perfect, when it has been put together by creatures of flesh? The only “perfect” Word of God was that which was penned thousands of years ago, on the scrolls of that time, as inspired by the Spirit of God. Every Bible since that time has been translated by humans. Were they all full of the Holy Spirit and led by Him to keep the Word from becoming tainted? Maybe some were but, humans being humans, we can know assuredly that not one Bible was perfect.
Allow me to relate my own personal experience with “Bibles.” My husband inherited from his grandmother a number of very old books, including a large Bible. The Bible is so old that its pages have become brittle, and many rolls of tape have been used to hold it together, and to protect it from further deterioration. At the bottom of each page are shown the words and phrases that were removed from the Revised Version in man's endeavor to produce their "perfect" Authorized King James Version. It is impossible, in few words, to relate what has been done to God’s Word. In their "authorized" version, there appears to have been no coordination of the Truth of the Word, because the Old Testament does not support the message of the New Testament in many places. Lost through these changes is the truth about flesh and the role flesh has played in the ensuing apostasy. Jesus gave His all to undo the damage done by the knowledge of good and evil; and yet man has used that very same knowledge to bring oblivion to what Jesus accomplished on His Cross. Carnal man has produced “Bibles” and we are to trust them?
I must hasten to say, that although more accurate, the Revised Version is by no means perfect either.
All of my life I had read the King James Version. The Holy Spirit was so gracious to reveal the Truth to me as I read it, and studied it. But my heart was grieved when I began to study Gran's old bible, and saw the changes they had made that took away from the message God had ordained.
Before we go any further, we need to consider what language the Scriptures were first written in. The Aramaic language preceded the Hebrew and Chaldean languages. The Old Testament we have today was translated primarily from the Hebrew with parts of some books, such as Daniel and Ezra, being translated from the Chaldean language. Jesus was a Jew and His language would have been Hebrew. Although the English New Testament was translated from the Greek language, Jesus and the apostles, as well as others who penned the New Testament, were not Greeks. What changes can we presume took place with the translation from Hebrew to Greek? Is it possible for a Greek “scholar” to influence the New Testament without studying the Hebrew language and the Old Testament so as not to destroy the purity of the message, as God intended for it to be pure?
Having said that, in my studies I found wonderful continuity from the Old Testament to the New Testament in places where the Old was quoted in the New. The Lord showed me a wonderful theme that begins in Genesis and runs throughout the Bible, right to the end of Revelation. Only if we study under the guidance of the Holy Spirit can we actually “see” the one message intended for us to know. That message is “JESUS,” as I showed in my book, Calling Forth The Remnant.
For those who have read my book, or some of the pages on my web site, you may wonder why I quoted passages from some of the more recent versions. This was done so that readers who have a “problem” with the KJV would not reject the book because of quotes that were exclusively from the KJV. The KJV was the Bible I used as the Lord revealed Himself to me and showed me how apostasy has overtaken much of His Church. Therefore, it is natural for the KJV to be my “comfort zone,” so to speak, and the one I often tend to quote. In more recent years I have been quoting from the English Majority Text Version which is a translation from the Greek Majority Text, as opposed to the less-plentiful Textus Receptus from which they derived the Authorized King James Version.
What happens in translation?
The English language fails terribly at translating from the Hebrew language. One word in the Hebrew tongue requires a whole phrase in English to convey its meaning. An example of this can be found in the use of the word “blood.” When we say “blood” we know what it is. When the Hebrew people used their word for “blood” they heard a whole phrase – “that which when shed causes death.” Every word had a depth of meaning unlike anything we have ever used. Their language is wonderful! Their word for blood foretold of the One Perfect Lamb who would one day come to free them, once and for all. How can we even begin to imagine that some of our “anemic” words should replace any of those written so long ago?
We need only to find books written a century or more ago to discover that words used then no longer mean the same today. Just think how much meanings have changed over the centuries since the days of Jesus and the Apostles. To give you an idea of how many changes have been made to Bibles over the centuries, I would ask this: “Who had the ‘correct’ version – right from the heart of God?” Beginning with a more recent period of time, was it one of these translators, reformers or martyrs?
- John Wycliffe, born around 1324, who went against the “religious” of his day and caused them to brand him as a heretic. After which, this religious hierarchy in England declared that all heretics should be imprisoned.
- John Huss, born around 1373, who had an appreciation for Wycliffe’s writings and went on in boldness to preach truth, against the wishes of the “religious” of his day. He was declared a heretic and burned at the stake in 1415.
- Jerome of Prague, born around 1355, was more educated than Huss, yet humble enough to honor Huss and attempt to assist him. Jerome was also burned at the stake in 1416.
- Sir John Oldcastle, whom God changed through the writings of Wycliffe. He went against the religious hierarchy of his day, pledging allegiance to God and was suspended in chains over a fire and roasted to death in 1417.
- Martin Luther, of whom we have heard much, was born in 1483 and died in 1546.
- Philip Melanchthon, a Greek scholar, was a humble man who loved Luther and his work. Of course, he too was opposed but he did die peacefully in 1560.
- Ulrich Zwingli, born in Switzerland in 1484. He memorized much of the Bible and preached boldly, much to the distaste of the Roman Catholic Church. As a chaplain, he was wounded in battle. When his enemies discovered who he was, they put him to death, quartered his body and burned it.
- John Calvin, was born in 1509 and died in 1564.
- William Tyndale, born around 1484, published two versions of the New Testament in 1525, a fifth edition in 1529, followed by the Pentateuch in 1530. In 1534, a new and revised edition of the New Testament was published. Up to then he had published anonymously but, when discovered, was imprisoned and later strangled – his body was burned in 1536.
- John Rogers, born in 1500 – burned in 1555, during the reign of Queen Mary.
- Miles Coverdale, born in 1487, translated the first complete Bible into English. But the Romanists discovered the 2500 copies in print. They were denounced by the Inquisition and condemned to the flames. A few copies were sold as “waste paper” and thus preserved. He died in 1568.
- Thomas Cranmer, born in 1489, was also burned at the stake.
- John Knox, born around 1505, was declared a heretic after he made known his acceptance of the doctrines of the reformers. He fled England when Mary came to the throne, then went from France to Geneva. He later died in Scotland in 1572.
How is it possible that God’s pure words could be preserved, having gone through so many hands? And how can anyone claim rights to a “perfect” version that was produced since then? Did God sit on His throne and declare that “one day an earthly king would sit on a throne in England and give permission to a group of men to publish a Bible in his language, with his name printed on it.”? And did God say that, after many centuries, His Word would finally be available? I refer you again to the book by Davis and Clark, found here: http://www.awildernessvoice.com/GEC.html
The translators, reformers and martyrs, to whom I referred earlier, were all opposed by kings, queens and popes, among others. What authority do kings have to mess with God’s Word? Do you remember King Uzziah? He became puffed up and took it upon himself to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense on the altar. (2 Chronicles 26:16) The priests, whose God-given duty it was to offer incense, stood against Uzziah, making the king angry. At that moment, the Lord God struck Uzziah with leprosy and he later died, still a leper. King Uzziah’s presumptuous belief that he had a right to enter the Holy place, reserved only for the Lord’s priests, cost him dearly.
All people, kings included, will one day stand before God and answer to Him. We also have a solemn warning in Revelation 22:18-19 that we must consider. “For I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Dare we think that He was referring only to the book of Revelation? Or, would that apply to the whole Bible? I would rather be on the safe side and be cautious how I handle the whole Word of God.
The Most Tragic Error
I trust you are still with me, because I now want to show you some dreadful things that have been done to what should be a call for the Bride of Christ to make herself ready to meet Him.
In the thousands of hours that I have spent over the years, comparing the "authorized" KJV to the Revised Version, I have found nothing that would justify the changes. They seem only to have added confusion rather than making improvements. In that old Bible of Gran’s, I found not one instance of contradiction. And the Holy Spirit reveals Truth (Jesus) to a seeking soul – even in the midst of such corrupt “Bible” versions.
What has been done to Bible versions over the centuries pales in comparison to what has been done in many of the versions since that time. Although parts of the new “translations” have a degree of accuracy, there is a disruption in the continuity of truth that originally existed. The accuracy in some of the passages in no way compensates for the error in those parts of the Word that should give clear understanding of the relationship God desires with man.
Mankind was created to worship God and to have an intimate relationship with his Creator as shown in the example of the marriage relationship. But man has become so obsessed with the life of the flesh that he believes everything is about himself and this life. As I wrote in my book, Israel was regarded as the “spouse of Jehovah” and it is common knowledge that from the Ekklesia (erroneously translated "Church") comes the Bride of Christ.
Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh to destroy flesh that had come between man and Himself. He came to free us from self and flesh. All through His Word we can see this, beginning in the Garden of Eden, within the Law of Moses, and all the way to the Cross and His resurrection. But the absence of the knowledge of this truth has brought into existence “Bibles” that can lead us into bondage to the flesh, rather than bring freedom FROM flesh. The cause of the error (flesh) is also the result of the error. This cause, and its effect, is a very deadly, man-made web of deceit. It has obscured the true reason for Jesus’ coming in the flesh. Jesus gave His all to redeem man from flesh and the knowledge of good and evil, yet many continue in oblivion to what Jesus accomplished on His Cross.
Now we will explore what has been done, by comparing verses in various versions.
Here is one example of how flesh has kept the masses from a clear understanding of the relationship the Father requires for His Son’s Bride: In 1 Corinthians 10:8, Paul said, “Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.” Paul is referring to the account, in Numbers, of Israel’s unfaithfulness to God in taking up with a Moabitish deity. (Numbers 25:3) Typically, throughout the Old Testament, words such as “harlot” and “whoredom” were used to describe the adultery of God’s people Israel. Their adultery was committed against the LORD God Himself. When Paul used the word “fornication” in this passage, he was not speaking according to the understanding of fleshly minds that can see only the things of this life: he was referring to the adulterous [Hebrew #5003: apostatizing] acts of Israel with other gods, or “husbands [Hebrew #1167: baal].”
Look at 1 Corinthians 10:8 in this comparison between versions:
-“Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.” (Revised Version and "authorized" KJV)
-“We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did – and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.” (New International Version)
-“Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three fell in one day.” (New American Standard)
-“Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell.” (New King James)
-“We must not gratify evil desire and indulge in immorality as some of them did--and twenty-three thousand [suddenly] fell dead in a single day!” (Amplified Bible)
-“Another lesson for us is what happened when some of them sinned with other men’s wives, and 23,000 fell dead in one day.” (The Living Bible)
In the newer versions, a veil of flesh has obscured the most important relationship that ever was – or ever will be.
The foregoing examples are but a minute part of the major distortion of truth that has been inflicted on potential readers who are desirous to know God. The same distortion has led “Christians” into erroneous doctrines upon which they rely in their quest for an eternity with Jesus their “Bridegroom.” How can they learn from the Word how to become a faithful Bride when “God’s” Word has been changed into man’s word? The answer is, “Only by the Spirit of Grace.”
As another example, in Revelation 2:20-22, the words “fornication” [Greek #4203: idolatry] and “adultery” [Greek #3431 & #3432: apostasy] were used in the KJV. Again, these words were changed to reflect today’s understanding which has served only to dilute the spiritual impact of Jesus’ words when He spoke them to the church in Thyatira. Rather than showing the depths of Jezebel’s evil influence, the newer translations have simply made it seem as though she was seducing the people to commit “sexual immorality.” As evil as that practice is, the “seducing” to idolatry and apostasy is far more harmful because it is against God Almighty.
Whatever version is in our hands, it is ultimately the Holy Spirit who will reveal Truth to us. For that to happen, we must surrender our flesh-life (self) to the Holy Spirit until we are so full of Him that all error will be exposed in the presence of the Spirit of Truth. It is Him we must trust – not some “Bible” version, compiled by a creature of flesh.
This article is already very lengthy. But it is only a tiny fraction of what I could share from all my studies through which the Lord so marvelously revealed Himself to me.
For studies available in PDF check the Bible Study page.
Click here for another article about Bible versions.
Also read: The King James Bible and the Kingdom of God
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