© 2001 by David W. Daniels
Question: I know the New King James is said to be a "revision of the King James." But were the Greek and Hebrew texts for the New King James the same as they were for the King James?
Answer: The NKJV is not a revision of the King James Bible. It is a subtle perversion of the King James Bible. Though years of extensive research have shown that the Greek and Hebrew texts used for the main NKJV text were similar to those used for the KJV, there is a subtle and deadly poison injected into the NKJV: it changes the meaning of God's words and it lifts up other texts that disagree with the King James.
There is a big difference between God's preserved words and man's perverted words. And keep in mind that two things had to be preserved through the centuries: the accurate text of God's words, and the correct translation of those words.
God preserved the words of the Old Testament by the Levitical priests, who faithfully copied them through the centuries. The best manuscript, used by the King James Bible, was the Ben Chayyim, also called the "Bomberg Text." This faithful Rabbinic Old Testament, used for the King James Bible, was rejected by the NKJV committee in favor of a Vatican-published text. But it still takes a careful eye (and a parallel Bible) to spot the differences.
God preserved the words of the New Testament by His faithful Christian disciples, from Antioch of Syria (Acts 11:26) to the Vaudois people of the French Alps about AD 120. From the 150s on they passed this Old Latin Bible (called "Common Bible" or "Vulgate") throughout Europe and the British Isles. The Vaudois people were regarded by the Protestants and Baptists as "pre-Reformers," passing down the gospel message till the Reformation of the 1500s. Their Bibles and others translated from them, were so accurate they were included in translating the King James Bible. The NKJV committee unwisely used none of these Bibles when deciding the meaning of God's words and how to translate them into English.
The Preserved vs. the Perverted "Vulgate"
Please remember: the Vaudois' Old Latin Vulgate is not the same as the later Roman Catholic Latin Vulgate. The Vaudois' Vulgate is God's preserved words of God in Old Latin which brought the gospel to all Europe. The Roman Catholic Vulgate is completely different. It wrongly mixed God's words with the perverted Alexandrian Greek Old Testament, Apocrypha and New Testament. Modern "scholars" falsely declare there's only one Latin Vulgate. But there are two: the preserved (Vaudois) and the perverted (Roman Catholic).
A Mixture of Perversion
The New King James Version is not a true King James Bible. It mixes some true King James accuracy with a lot of Alexandrian and "new version" errors. We know this because the NKJV tells us which ancient texts they used when they made up their Bible. Don't be fooled by the clever names and symbols. Here is what they say they really used:
If It Looks Like a Duck and Talks Like a Duck…
In most places where the NKJV disagrees with the King James Bible, it agrees with the translations of modern Alexandrian perversions, whether Prostestant like the NIV, NAS, RSV, ASV, etc., or Roman Catholic like the New American Bible.
The King James Bible is God's preserved words in English. The NKJV is just man's most subtle perversion of God's words. Don't be deceived. Insist on the King James Bible, not "New" King James, "Modern" King James, King James "2" or "21" or "Millennium,." Even thought it is very similar to a King James Bible, it is not a King James Bible. Insist on the one you can stake your faith on, the genuine King James Bible. God will bless you.
Footnotes1 See "What is the Septuagint?"
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2 Von Soden never claimed the texts collated by his team were a "majority" of texts. The book Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text by Zane Hodges and Arthur Farstad (1982) used mostly von Soden's work and suddenly called it by a new term: "Majority Text." (Note: NKJV publisher Thomas Nelson also published their book.)
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