New Bibles Diminish God’s Words

Does your Bible give you the full meaning of scriptures?

Users of the modern Bibles need to look carefully at the breadth of the meanings of the words that have been chosen compared to those used in the King James version. One example is the elimination of Acts 8:37. Here we have a diminishing of the requirements for baptism. With this crucial verse missing, the eunuch is simply baptized, and the requirement that he first believe with all his heart is removed. In another way, this also diminishes Jesus, Himself, by taking out of the Bible one of the references to His deity. (See Acts 8:37) Actually, there are several places where this happens to Jesus in the modern Bibles.

Another example is Jesus’ prayer, where He prays that His disciples would be kept from “the evil” (John 17:15). Some new Bibles change that to “evil one.” The concept of “the evil” is much broader than confining the evil to a diabolical individual. “The evil” is the pervasive atmosphere of evil that has come to dominate the cultures of the world. It alerts the reader to the much larger scope of the attack on his determination to obey God.

Another example is the doubt cast on Mark 16:9-20. Few modern Bibles dare to leave this completely out, but most include footnotes that this section is not in the earliest manuscripts. If this scripture is not trustworthy, this diminishment has several consequences. It diminishes the record of Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. It also diminishes the emphasis on the great commission and leaves one of the Gospels without a full narrative.

Another classic example of this diminishment involves the Great Commission. The emphasis in Matthew 28:19 is on “going” and “teaching.” In Mark 16:15, it is on “preaching.” These are the only two gospels that give specific instructions other than “ye shall be witnesses unto me” in Acts 1:8 and similar references in Luke and John.

Most of the new Bibles have changed this concept to “make disciples.” Some would argue that “making disciples” includes “going,” “teaching,” and “preaching.” Yet, practically, this has encouraged a church-centered attitude for both pastors and congregation. What you hear in most churches is “get them into the church where they can get saved.” Pastors do not model the “witnessing” of the gospel in the community and therefore the members do not feel an obligation to present the gospel at work or in their neighborhoods.

If unbelievers can be attracted into the church, an occasional convert is baptized with great celebration. Even then, little is usually done to help him to be a serious disciple. Thus with this shift in “translation” the sense of obligation to the Great Commission by the average believer is diminished. And if you eliminate Mark 16:9-20, you take the very heart out of it.

This is particularly sensitive to a believer in gospel tracts, since they are a simple way to “witness,” and “preach” the gospel, sorting out those who might be interested in becoming “disciples.”

When we come to the Bible, we want all that God has for us. That can best be assured by a formal translation, one made by a translation committee that is dedicated to exact meanings, eliminating any one member’s personal bias. Modern research has proven that there is only one Bible that results from this approach, the one authorized by King James.

To a greater or lesser degree, modern Bibles suffer from this diminishment of content. Their translation committees departed from the literal meaning-for-meaning approach used by the KJV translators, and lost some of the robustness of the original.

For a comprehensive study of the various approaches to Bible translation, David Daniels has given that history in his book, Why They Changed the Bible.

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