Bible Versions

I've heard people say it's wrong to read anything besides the King James Version. However, it's a little difficult to understand. Are the different versions different enough to where I should be concerned? I did read one verse about peddling God's word (KJV said corrupting, which is a lot different than peddling, IMO). Are there a lot of issues like this?

Jesus Freak

Previously DanaCovert68
The only versions I have read are the NKJV and the NLT=New Living Translation, and to tell you the truth, I like the NLT. I have never heard it's wrong to read different versions. Read whichever version that makes it easy for you to understand.

Each version is going to give different ways of how each verse is said. Like John 3:16:

16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.NLT

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.KJV

See what I'm saying? It will be the same verse, just translated differently and have the same meaning. Hope all this helps.
17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.

This one seems different to me.
The best thing you can do is use the Greek & Hebrew; we use the KJV and seek further clarification in the original text:

I sometimes reference the NKJV or NASB for 'concept/ thought' clarification.

There are certain versions I would not use based on certain changes made during the translation process that removes the Holiness from God and Jesus' divinity. I will not bash these translations here....
I've heard people say it's wrong to read anything besides the King James Version. However, it's a little difficult to understand. Are the different versions different enough to where I should be concerned? I did read one verse about peddling God's word (KJV said corrupting, which is a lot different than peddling, IMO). Are there a lot of issues like this?

I read multiple translations at the same time. If I feel uncomfortable about any differences I come across, I can look into it to see what's going on. The 2 Cor 2:17 corrupt/peddle conflict you noticed is a great example.

I quickly looked into the corrupt/peddle thing, and here's what I found. The word in question here is the Greek word kapēleuō. I'm no expert in ancient languages, and this is actually a tough word, because this verse is the only time it's used in the whole Bible. So we don't have a lot of context for its usage.

The dictionary (Strong's) definition of the word is:
From kapēlos (a huckster); to retail, that is, (by implication) to adulterate (figuratively): - corrupt.

So both translations are, technically, correct.

The KJV translation accurately translates what the word implies, but leaves out the "profit/sell/retail" element, which is the literal definition of the word. It's not necessarily monetary profit, though, the implication is just some form of personal gain.

The NIV translation, technically, accurately translates the word, but the "corruption" element is absent, which also seems to be part of the connotation of that word. The NIV also feels like the implication is monetary profit, which is not necessarily what this word must exclusively mean, although it could easily be used that way.

So this is a really good example of why I read multiple translations: both translations are technically accurate, but reading them together gives you the most complete understanding of the word.

Interesting side note:
In this case, The New Living Translation (surprise!) seems to give a more complete rendering than either of the above translations, as it implies the "trickery/corruption" concept as well as includes the "profit" concept:

"You see, we are not like the many hucksters who preach for personal profit."

Also, here is Thayer's definition of the word for your consideration (note 2c1 especially):
1) to be a retailer, to peddle
2) to make money by selling anything
2a) to get sordid gain by dealing in anything, to do a thing for base gain
2b) to trade in the word of God
2b1) to try to get base gain by teaching divine truth
2c) to corrupt, to adulterate
2c1) peddlers were in the habit of adulterating their commodities for the sake of gain
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Thing is by preaching God's word for money, that is the corruption. God's word is free to everyone. That doesn't mean the publishing houses should not charge for the Bibles they print though.

As for reading different versions, compare Deuteronomy 22:28,29 from a Godly translation with the same verses from the niv.
I can't readily paste from said niv because it is not permitted disk space on my computer. But it is an unsavory translation at best IMNSHO.
It does matter what we read SP.

Roads, there are over 6 ancient authors who use that word,(kapēleuō) so scholars can be confident of contextual usage.
I know this is a long reply but bare with me....

Can we rely on the NIV translators. Let’s see if they are trustworthy…

First issue is that it is based on the Westcott/Hort critical text as their default text…this is a problem for many other reasons not here expounded.

Secondly, it has a built in bias being primarily translated by the National Association of Evangelicals (who’s president that approved the translation was exposed as having a relationship with a homosexual much younger man for quite a long time). These translators were not objective because as we know, they favor a “standard evangelical doctrine” and thus reworded portions of text from the original Greeks to support their doctrine..

Now though no modern translation is totally reliable here are some of the problem factors with the NIV translation:

Genesis 2:7 says “"but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die."

While the NIV Translators (from now on the NTs) change the text to say

but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for when you eat of it you shall surely die"

Again in Genesis 2 they are confused by the second set of animals created after Adam, and thus add the word “had” which is not in the text.

'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.' Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name."

In Genesis 15:2, they render Adoni YHVH, the covenant name of God, usually translated ‘Lord GOD’, as ‘Sovereign LORD’. Thus hinting at a meaning they more fully implant later which agrees with and allows them to preach their view of what being Sovereign means.

In many other places all throughout they switch “the Lord of hosts” to “the Lord Almighty” and though this IS another name or title for God its inference in the context carries a different meaning altogether.

In Psalm 23:6 they change “mercy “ to “love” giving the first time readers a whole different understanding compared to the Author’s intent (who is the Holy Spirit…may the lord forgive them). Not in the text at all...chesed and chashuq are very different terms.

Look at Isaiah 9:3 the Hebrew clearly says You have multiplied the nation and NOT increased the joy but the NTs deleted the word not so that it says “and increased their joy” The total opposite of the inspired word.

Jeremiah 7:22 says "For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices,” as it was some 40 days later.

But the NTs being confused by what they erroneously saw as a contradiction with Exodus 18 and 20 again added to the word of God and say

For when I brought your forefathers out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices."

Which now makes the story in context incorrect (as to the timeline), making the day He spoke to them the very same day that they left. Absurdity!

The Hebrew particle “na” which means an urgent entreaty or request is ignored sometimes softened to mean a casual request or in some cases like having Abram say to Sarai “Say you are my sister” or Moses tell God “show me your glory” they make these entreaties a hard command (which is simply not in the text). Or in Judges 19 when speaking to the sodomites at the door, instead of saying “No my brethren, I pray you, do not so wickedly” the NIV says “no my friends, don’t be so vile” see how it is softer in its rebuke?

They utterly delete the word “Behold” in many places (ex. Genesis 1:20 and 12:11 and more) thus “taking away”.

They totally omit John 5:4 (why, who says they may pick and choose what to “take away” when God says they may not do it?) as well as Matthew 17:21; 18:11; 23:14; Mark 7:16; 9:44; 9:46; 11:26; 15:28; Luke 17:36; 23:17; Acts 8:37; 15:34; 24:7; 28:29; Romans 16:24, and others. They just cut them out as irrelevant or not meaningful but was that really the motive? Hmmm? As if this is not bad enough they have taken away over 6,000 words. In the Lord’s prayer in Luke 11 they totally remove “who is in heaven” “Your will be done, as in heaven so on earth” and “deliver us from evil”…WHAT? Can we really cut and paste as we see fit? In Matthew 27:35 they take away notice that this was a fulfillment of prophecy (a very important aspect of that verse totally gone)

“Christ” has been taken away from Romans 1:16; Acts 16:31, and more)

Jesus name has been removed from Matthew 8:2; 2 Corinthians 5:18, and more, and even the word “Lord” in relation to Jesus has been removed in some places.

Why did they change 2 Samuel 21:19 to make it seem like another killed Goliath inviting accusation of contradiction where none exists in the LXX or the pre-JPS Masoretic (or the Peshitta, or the Byzantine Majority Text, or the Vulgate, or the Geneva Bible, or the KJV, and on and on)

They change “light bearer” (which is allegedly Satan) of Isaiah 14:12 into “morning star” (which is clearly Jesus in Revelations 22:16)…why? What are they trying to say? Are they meaning to make people misunderstand the text or leave open the possibility our Lord is Satan? Or are they saying Jesus rebelled against Gid and was cast out of heaven? See the confusion these NTs have caused…the undiscipled and unlearned pass right over these issues and make the connectiuons unconsciously believing what they are reading are God’s breathed words…

They seem to take these liberties, adding to the text in many places, what they think clarifies the text (making it to agree more with their preconceived conclusion) all the way up to and including 1 Peter 4:6 (where they make “the dead” those who are “now dead”.

Now in light of God’s command not to add to or take away from, they should have at least been faithful to the corrupted Westcott/Hort text they relied on and not corrupted it further.

Thirdly, their approach was the modern Dynamic Equivalent method which means that to them the alleged thoughts, phrases, or truths expressed in the writings are more important than the actual words, however what we always end up with in these translations is what the translators think were their thoughts, phrases, or truths. This method is notorious for unintentionally (and in the case of the NRSV intentionally) implanting the human factor into the text (sometimes choosing obscure never used meanings to most commonly rendered words). So what happens is the translators opinion of what the reader needs to see takes precedence over the actual words and phrases of the inspired text (making themselves lords of the text). One might as well read the NWT as they follow the same approach.

So my vote? They and all others who take such liberties are not trustworthy translators….

In His love

Brother Paul
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Hi all,

I really like the ESV. It is a literal translation of the Greek and, while it can sometimes seem confusing, it is the next best thing to the KJV. I had a hard time at first with it because I was comparing to to the other mainline version, the NIV. I found the NIV to be very understandable but not completely accurate. The ESV sometimes leaves you scratching your head (but then again so di the apostle Paul) but it is accurate. I always tell those who inquire...always start your bible reading/study with prayer. Ask the Lord to give you His word and it's meaning. Always use a concordance & dictionary to help with difficult passages. There are some translations that I would not use, but as Brother_Mike_V says, there is no need to bash. Be diligent and let the Holy Spirit guide you as you study.
Wow, lots of info! Thank you for the replies!

Brother Paul, which one do you read?

I'll have to look into the ESV. I do have the blue letter bible on my ipad, so I guess I can compare the KJV with the ESV.

Calvin, looking into that... thanks!
I like the ESV for a more literal rendition of the Westcott/Hort (along with the NASB, my favorite, and the original RSV) but even these delete over 1oo passages and change 1,000s of wordings, disconnect Messianic links between the OT and the NT, shorten texts,and are obviously the result of heavily edited texts, and so on...I guess for me I prefer the versions based more on the Majority Text (95% of all examples) and "Received Text" (which for centuries was accepted by all). When I find OT texts in the MT and the RT I see the LXX and Hebrew are in agreement. Though these are not without their issues, I find their inclusions and translations agree more with the quotations from the earliest church from long before A and B were even written (like when Irenaeus quotes Kuje 23:24 or Mark 16 9 and infers the rest elsewhere). For example I have collected 19 pages of Biblical quotes from his Against Heresies (around 130 - 150 A.D.) and they almost predominately reflect what later became the majority text (even quoting some passages claimed by the adherents of the CT to not be in the "oldest" or "best" manuscripts, which IMO they are not.

I own copies of these other texts for comaparison but i have found too much tampering to be satisfied they are the word of God.


brother Paul
I see the LXX (Septuagint) as being a fairly reliable standard as it was the 'Bible' used by the Apostles, and hence the foundational document upon which much of the New Testament was written. A good example could be Romans 3:4 Just what was it Paul was referencing?? Is it that the Lord will judge? or is it that the Lord will be judged? Comparing back and forth between Psa 51:4 and Romans 4 across the various translations...:cautious::cautious:. Studying the Septuagint tends to clarify things though.