AGES OR ETERNITY
AND THE KING JAMES VERSION
© 1977 by JOHN DOKAS
After reading this feel free to study Aion - Aionios in the advanced materials section for a more in-depth study.
As the King James Version is not a direct translation from the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament nor of the Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament, the student of God's written Word will find many incorrect words used between its covers.
For the sincere student who is attempting to arrive at the truths of God, the uppermost requirement is to have before them the most accurate words as dictated or written by the inspired writers. To do less is like an attempt by the astronomer to search for a particular star in this vast universe in a non-intelligent and haphazard manner.
The error of using incorrect words in arriving at a particular truth of God can change the entire meaning of this truth and compound the error in its related subjects.
THE ENGLISH WORD AGE
Let us examine the English word AGE as used in the Old and New Testaments of the King James Version. The English word AGE is a true single word translation of the Hebrew word OLAM and the Greek noun AION. These words have a common meaning and are used interchangeably as the scriptures well note. Check Psalms 45:6 and Hebrews 1:8.
Although the word AGE is a direct translation of the words OLAM and AION, it must quickly be added that AGE will not imply the same meaning to everyone. Now our only course of action, in order to form a most correct definition of this word AGE as was in the mind of the inspired writers, is to observe the way it is used in the scriptures.
Let us proceed to observe the use of the Hebrew word CLAM, and the English noun AION, its plural AIONS, and their adjective AIONION, to ascertain their common meaning.
Leviticus 24:8 tells of the Mt. Sinai or Mosaic covenant as being an everlasting covenant yet Jeremiah 31:31 prophesies its end with a second and better covenant. Hebrews 8:7-13 reiterates this prophecy as being fulfilled.
OLD TESTAMENT WORD STUDIES
This seeming contradiction is solved by checking the Hebrew words of the inspired writers. We find in Leviticus 24:8 the word OLAM used instead of the erroneous word everlasting of the King James Version. A student of Bible chronology can determine that the Sinai covenant lasted over 1500 years and was not an unlimited duration of time as everlasting connotes.
Genesis 13:15. For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
Genesis 17:8. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession: and I will be their God.
After reading and studying these two scriptures we know that something is not in accord because the seed of Abraham has not always retained possession of the land of Canaan. From A.D. 70 up to the middle of this century, the people of Israel have been scattered throughout this entire earth and thus did not possess their promised land endlessly, as the words for ever and everlasting signify. Again by examining the Hebrew manuscripts we do not find the two words for ever and everlasting in this scripture but instead we find the word OLAM or AGE.
Exodus 21:5-6. If a Hebrew servant serves his Hebrew master six full years and then does not desire his freedom, the 6th verse says, "Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; lie shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever."
This last word ever is in error and the Hebrew manuscripts read OLAM, meaning the servant will serve his master from that time till the servants death, and not throughout eternity.
Exodus 40:15, Numbers 25:13 declares the Aaronic priesthood as an everlasting priesthood but this everlasting came to its finality with the closing of the Sinai covenant to the Jewish nation.
The Word of God is proven to be sound and true again and not a contradiction by examining the old Hebrew manuscripts. The two mentioned scriptures reveal that the Aaronic priesthood is an OLAM priesthood or one that lasts for a definite period of time and not an everlasting priesthood or one that endures for an unending length of time.
Deuteronomy 23:3-5. The for ever in this scripture is self explanatory by its contents. It is a period of ten generations and the Hebrew word is again OLAM or AGE.
Let us advance to the New Testament to investigate a few of the many incorrect renderings of the King James Version in regard to the Greek word AION or AGE.
NEW TESTAMENT WORD STUDIES
Philemon 1:15. For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;
Paul is writing to Philemon, a Christian, in behalf of Philemon's former servant or bond servant by the name of Onesimus. Paul is admonishing Philemon to accept Onesimus back again, not as a servant this time but as a brother in Christ. The for ever at the end of the sentence is an incorrect translation of the King James Version and should be AIONIOS. Now the sentence correctly reads that Philemon should accept Onesimus back for the duration of the AGE and not throughout all eternity.
2 Timothy 4:10. For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
The word world in this first sentence of the King James Version does not appear in the Greek manuscripts. The correct word as written by Paul is AION or AGE, meaning that Demas had left him and the cause of Christ, loving instead the things of that particular age or period of time.
Jude 1:7. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Also read Genesis 19:24-29.
After studying this scripture, we note that something is not valid. There are no ruins that remain on fire today as an example of the wickedness of these cities as this scripture proclaims. Archaeologists have noted the most possible sites of these cities as being at the southern end of the Dead Sea because of the great quantities of artifacts found there and because the region of the Old Testament's description matches that of this location. What then is amiss? By examining the text of the Greek manuscripts we find the word AIONIOS or AGE-LASTING in place of the word eternal of the King James Version. Now we have harmony of events. The cities were on fire and smoldered only during that Age or length of time that combustible materials remained to burn.
1 Corinthians 1:20 the King James Version reads: Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this World? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
Please notice that the word world appears twice in this paragraph Upon examining this scripture with the Greek manuscripts we find that the last world is correct, coming down from the Greek word KOSMOS. Now if the King James translators are consistent, we will find the first world in this paragraph to be KOSMOS also. This is not the case. The first world in the Greek is AION. This is a classic example of inconsistency of bringing down from two different Greek words into one and the same English word. The reverse is also true.
The limited space of this study restricts the listing of a greater number of scriptures that could be used to prove the full meaning of the word AGE. By scriptural usage, AGE never denotes eternity, endlessness, time without end, perpetuity of time, unending or unlimited duration. We now have arrived at the true definition of the word AGE. AGE is a duration of time having a beginning and an ending. The duration of this time differs with the context of the scripture it is used in. AIONION the adjective modifies its noun AION or AGE and means lasting during the AGE, or AGE LASTING.
AION or AGE = a limited duration of time
AIONIOS or AGE-LASTING = lasting during the age
*****For that meticulous student of the Word of God, that was pennned by the inspired writers, I am including this concordance of the Greek noun AION and its adjective AIONIOS with their deviations for your reference in your studies.
Note: In the table below mistranslations of King James Version are in ( ) Words missing in King James Version in " "
|Mat 6:13||glory for (ever)||ever or AIONAS not in oldest
AIONAS in late century manuscripts.
|Mat 12:32||in the (world)||in this the AIONI or age|
|Mat 13:22||care of this (world)||care of the AIONOS or age|
|Mat 13:39||end of the (world)||end of the AIONOS or age|
|Mat 13:40||end of this (world)||end of the AIONOS or age|
|Mat 13:49||end of the (world)||end of the AIONOS or age|
|Mat 18:8||into (everlasting) fire||the fire the AIONION or age-lasting|
|Mat 19:16||may have (eternal) life||may have life AIONION or age-lasting life|
|Mat 19:29||inherit (everlasting) life||life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Mat 21:19||hence forward for (ever)||produced to the AIONA or age|
|Mat 24:3||end of the (world)||end of the AIONOS or age|
|Mat 25:41||into (everlasting) fire||the fire the AIONION or age-lasting|
|Mat 25:46||into (everlasting) punishment||AIONION or age-lasting|
|Mat 25:46||into life (eternal)||into life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Mat 28:20||end of the (world)||end of the AIONOS or age|
|Mar 3:29||forgiveness "to the age"||forgiveness, to the AIONA or age|
|Mar 3:29||of (eternal) damnation||of AIONION or age-lasting|
|Mar 4:19||cares of this (world)||cares of the AIONOS or age|
|Mar 10:17||inherit (eternal) life||AIONION or age-lasting I may inherit|
|Mar 10:30||in the (world) to come||in the AIONI or age to come|
|Mar 10:30||to come (eternal) life||life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Mar 11:14||hereafter for (ever)||to the AIONA or age|
|Luk 1:33||house of Jacob for (ever)||Jacob to the AIONAS or age|
|Luk 1:55||his seed for (ever)||him even to AIONOS or age|
|Luk 1:70||since the (world) began||of those from AIONOS or age|
|Luk 10:25||inherit (eternal) life||life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Luk 16:8||children of this (world)||sons of the AIONOS or age|
|Luk 16:9||(everlasting) habitation||AIONIOUS or age-lasting|
|Luk 18:18||inherit (eternal) life||life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Luk 18:30||the (world) to come||the AIONI or age|
|Luk 18:30||life (everlasting)||life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Luk 20:34||this (world) marry||the AIONOS or age this marry|
|Luk 20:35||obtain that (world)||the AIONOS or age that to obtain|
|Joh 3:15||have (everlasting) life||have life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Joh 3:16||have (everlasting) life||have life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Joh 3:36||hath (everlasting) life||has life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Joh 4:14||never thirst, "to the age"||not may thirst to the AIONA or age|
|Joh 4:14||into (everlasting) life||into life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Joh 4:36||unto life (eternal)||for life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Joh 5:24||hath (everlasting) life||has life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Joh 5:39||ye have (eternal) life||life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Joh 6:27||unto (everlasting) life||into life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Joh 6:40||have (everlasting) life||have life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Joh 6:47||hath (everlasting) life||has life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Joh 6:51||shall life for (ever)||shall live into the AIONA or age|
|Joh 6:54||hath (eternal) life||has life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Joh 6:58||shall live for (ever)||shall live into the AIONA or age|
|Joh 6:68||words of (eternal) life||words of life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Joh 8:35||house for (ever)||house to the AIONA or age|
|Joh 8:35||Son abideth (ever)||Son abides to the AIONA or age|
|Joh 8:51||see death. "to the age"||see to the AIONA or age|
|Joh 8:52||of death. "to the age"||taste of death to the AIONA or age|
|Joh 9:32||Since the (world) began||From the AIONOS or age|
|Joh 10:28||them (eternal) life||life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Joh 10:28||never perish, "into the age"||perish into the AIONA or age|
|Joh 11:26||shall (never) die||die into the AIONA or age|
|Joh 12:25||unto life (eternal)||into life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Joh 12:34||Christ abideth for (ever)||Christ abides into the AIONA or age|
|Joh 12:50||is life (everlasting)||life AIONIOS or age-lasting|
|Joh 13:8||(never) wash my feet||the feet of me into the AIONA or age|
|Joh 14:16||with you for (ever)||with you into the AIONA or age|
|Joh 17:2||give (eternal) life||life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Joh 17:3||And this is life (eternal)||and this is the AIONIOS or age-lasting|
|Act 3:21||since the (world) began||from AIONOS or age|
|Act 13:46||unworthy of (everlasting) life||of the AIONION or age-lasting|
|Act 13:48||ordained to (eternal) life||life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Act 15:18||beginning of the (world)||known from AIONOS or age|
|Rom 1:25||who is blessed for (ever)||into the AIONAS or ages|
|Rom 2:7||immortality (eternal) life||life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Rom 5:21||unto (eternal) life||into life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Rom 6:22||the end (everlasting) life||life AIONIOS or age-lasting|
|Rom 6:23||is (eternal) life||life AIONIOS or age-lasting|
|Rom 9:5||God blessed for (ever)||praise into the AIONAS or ages|
|Rom 11:36||be glory for (ever)||the glory for the AIONAS or ages|
|Rom 12:2||conformed to this (world)||conform yourselves to the AIONI or age|
|Rom 16:25||since the (world) began||in times of AIONIOS or ages|
|Rom 16:26||of the (everlasting) God||of the AIONIOU or age-lasting God|
|Rom 16:27||Jesus Christ for (ever)||glory for the AIONAS or ages|
|1Co 1:20||the disputer of this (world)||disputer of the AIONOS or age|
|1Co 2:6||wisdom of this (world)||of the AIONOS or age|
|1Co 2:6||princes of this (world)||rulers of the AIONOS or age|
|1Co 2:7||ordained before the (world)||before the AIONON or ages|
|1Co 2:8||princes of this (world)||rulers of the AIONOS or age|
|1Co 3:18||wise in this (world)||in the AIONI or age|
|1Co 8:13||the (world) standeth||to the AIONA or age|
|1Co 10:11||the (world) are come||the AIONON or ages|
|2Co 4:4||(world) hath blinded||AIONOS or age, this blinded|
|2Co 4:17||(eternal) weight of glory||AIONION or age-lasting|
|2Co 4:18||not seen are (eternal)||not being seen AIONIA or age-lasting|
|2Co 5:1||(eternal) in the heavens||AIONION or age-lasting in heavens|
|2Co 11:31||blessed for (evermore)||blessed for the AIONAS or ages|
|Gal 1:4||this present evil (world)||present AIONOS or age of evil|
|Gal 1:5||glory for (ever) and (ever)||AIONAS of AIONON or ages of the ages|
|Gal 6:8||reap life (everlasting)||reap life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Eph 1:21||only in this (world)||only in the AIONI or age|
|Eph 2:2||according to the (course)||according to the AIONA or age|
|Eph 2:7||That in the ages||in the AIONI or ages|
|Eph 3:9||beginning of the (world)||from the AIONON or ages|
|Eph 3:11||the (eternal) purpose||plan of the AIONON or ages|
|Eph 3:21||Jesus throughout all (ages),||Jesus to all the generations|
|Eph 3:21||(world without end).||of the AIONOS of the AIONON
or of the Age of the Ages.
|Eph 6:12||of this (world)||world or AIONOS not in
oldest manuscripts. |
AIONOS in late century manuscripts.
|Phi 4:20||glory for (ever) and (ever)||AIONAS of the AIONON or ages of the ages|
|Col 1:26||hid from ages||hid from the AIONON or ages|
|2Th 1:9||(everlasting) destruction||destruction AIONION or age-lasting|
|2Th 2:16||(everlasting) consolation||consolation AIONIAN or age-lasting|
|1Ti 1:16||life (everlasting)||life AIONION or age-lasting|
|1Ti 1:17||the King (eternal)||now King of the AIONON or ages|
|1Ti 1: 17||glory for (ever) and (ever)||AIONAS of the AIONON or ages of the ages|
|1Ti 6:12||hold on (eternal) life||AIONION or age-lasting life|
|1Ti 6:16||and power (everlasting)||AIONION or age-lasting|
|2Ti 1:9||the (world) began||AIONION or age-lasting|
|2Ti 2:10||with (eternal) glory||with glory AIONION or age-lasting|
|2Ti 4:10||loved this present (world)||loved the present AIONA or age|
|2Ti 4:18||glory for (ever) and (ever)||AIONAS of the AIONON or ages of the ages|
|Tit 1:2||The hope of (eternal) life||life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Tit 1:2||before the (world) began||times AIONION or age-lasting|
|Tit 2:12||this present (world)||the present AIONI or age|
|Tit 3:7||hope of (eternal) life||life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Phi 1:15||receive him for (ever)||so that AIONION or age-lasting|
|Heb 1:2||he made the (worlds)||the AIONAS or ages he made|
|Heb 1:8||is for (ever) and (ever)||AIONA of the AIONOS or age of the ages|
|Heb 5:6||a priest for (ever)||a priest for the AIONA or age|
|Heb 5:9||author of (eternal)||of salvation AIONIOU or age-lasting|
|Heb 6:2||and of (eternal) judgment||of judgment AIONIOU or age-lasting|
|Heb 6:5||the (world) to come||coming AIONOS or age|
|Heb 6:20||high priest for (ever)||for the AIONA or age|
|Heb 7:17||priest for (ever)||priest for the AIONA or age|
|Heb 7:21||priest for (ever)||priest for the AIONA or age|
|Heb 7:24||he continueth (ever)||for the AIONA or age|
|Heb 7:28||consecrated for (evermore)||AIONA or age having been perfected|
|Heb 9:12||obtained (eternal) redemption||AIONIAN or age-lasting redemption|
|Heb 9:14||the (eternal) Spirit||Spirit AIONIOU or age-lasting|
|Heb 9:15||of (eternal) inheritance||AIONIOU or age-lasting inheritance|
|Heb 9:26||the end of the (world)||an end of the AIONON or ages|
|Heb 11:3||the (worlds) were framed||adjusted the AIONAS or ages|
|Heb 13:8||today and for (ever)||and for the AIONAS or ages|
|Heb 13:20||(everlasting) covenant||covenant AIONIOU or age-lasting|
|Heb 13:21||glory for (ever) and (ever)||AIONAS of the AIONON or ages of the ages.|
|1Pe 1:23||and abideth for (ever)||for ever or AIONA not in
oldest manuscripts. |
AIONA in late century manuscripts.
|1Pe 1:25||Lord endureth for (ever)||abides to the AIONA age|
|1Pe 4:11||for (ever) and (ever)||AIONAS of the AIONON or ages of the ages|
|1Pe 5:10||his (eternal) glory||into the AIONION or age-lasting|
|1Pe 5:11||dominion for (ever) and (ever)||AIONAS of the AIONON or ages of the ages|
|2Pe 1:11||(everlasting) kingdom||AIONION or age-lasting kingdom|
|2Pe 2:17||reserved for (ever)||ever or AIONA not in oldest
AIONA in late century manuscripts.
|2Pe 3:18||now and for (ever)||of an AIONOS or age|
|1Jo 1:2||that (eternal) life||life the AIONION or age-lasting|
|1Jo 2:17||abideth for (ever)||abides for the AIONA or age|
|1Jo 2:25||even (eternal) life||AIONION or age-lasting|
|1Jo 3:15||hath (eternal) life||has life AIONION or age-lasting|
|1Jo 5:11||to us (eternal) life||life AIONION or age-lasting|
|1Jo 5:13||ye have (eternal) life||life AIONION or age-lasting|
|1Jo 5:20||and (eternal) life||life AIONIOS or age-lasting|
|2Jo 1:2||with us for (ever)||for the AIONA age|
|Jud 1:7||vengeance of (eternal) fire||of fire AIONION or age-lasting|
|Jud 1:13||of darkness for (ever)||darkness for AIONA or age|
|Jud 1:21||unto (eternal) life||life AIONION or age-lasting|
|Jud 1:25||both now and (ever)||for all the AIONAS or ages|
|Rev 1:6||dominion for (ever) and (ever)||AIONAS of the AIONON or ages of the ages|
|Rev 1:18||I am alive for (evermore)||AIONAS of the AIONON or ages of the ages|
|Rev 4:9||who liveth for (ever) and (ever)||AIONAS of the AIONON or ages of the ages|
|Rev 4:10||Liveth for (ever) and (ever)||AIONAS of the AIONON or ages of the ages|
|Rev 5:13||Lamb for (ever) and (ever)||AIONAS of the AIONON or ages of the ages|
|Rev 5:14||liveth for (ever) and (ever)||ever and ever or AIONAS and
AIONON not in |
oldest manuscripts. AIONAS and AIONON
appears in the late century manuscripts.
|Rev 7:12||our God for (ever) and (ever)||AIONAS of the AIONON or ages of the ages|
|Rev 10:6||liveth for (ever) and (ever)||AIONAS of the AIONON or ages of the ages|
|Rev 11:15||reign for (ever) and (ever)||AIONAS of the AIONON or ages of the ages|
|Rev 14:6||the (everlasting) gospel||glad tidings AIONION or ages lasting|
|Rev 14:11||ascendeth up for (ever) and (ever)||AIONAS of AIONON or ages of ages rises up|
|Rev 15:7||liveth for (ever) and (ever)||AIONAS of the AIONON or ages of the ages|
|Rev 19:3||up for (ever) and (ever)||AIONAS of the AIONON or ages of the ages|
|Rev 20:10||night for (ever) and (ever)||AIONAS of the AIONON or ages of the ages|
|Rev 22:5||reign for (ever) and (ever)||AIONAS of the AIONON or ages of the ages|
By checking this correct concordance, it can be quickly noted that when the King James Version states the word age, it is correctly used in Ephesians 2:7 and Colossians 1:26 but is incorrectly used in Ephesians 3:21. All the remaining itemized scriptures of this concordance reveal the mistranslations of the King James Version that should have been rendered age, ages, or age-lasting.
For the in-depth student or the scholar of the Biblical languages, I wish to make it quite plain that whether the searcher for truth considered the Majority or Received text to be the true renderings from the inspired writers, or considers the oldest or most ancient Greek manuscripts to be the true text coming from the inspired writers, you will find this concordance to be accurate and in accord with both schools of thought.
NOTE: To save space we will abbreviate the words King James Version to K.J.V. in the following study.
******* When I discussed with many Christian friends (many of different religious persuasions) the theme of this writing, they echoed the same cry as I would have ten years ago. They replied most emphatically, "I believe the K.J.V. to be thee written word of God, the Bible he desires us to study from to learn of Him." Their common reason of proof being that it has endured as the most popular Bible these hundreds of years.
THE KING JAMES VERSION IN CRITICISM
Let us examine their sincere words by answering these two questions. Why has the K.J.V. remained the most popular Bible? and is the K.J.V. an accurate record of the writings of the inspired authors?
A. Why has the K.J.V. remained the most popular Bible?
1. It must be recognized that the K.J.V. is not the Bible of the Christian world.
a. Since the Reformation Era, new translations appeared in each Protestant nation by scholars from their particular country. Let us consider Denmark as an example.
In 1605-7 a Bible translated from the Hebrew and Greek by Prof. Hans Poulsen Resen was published. It was highly accurate and much more correct than the K.J.V. of 1611. In 1647 Hans Svane revised the Resen Bible. This Bible lasted till 1819 when the New Testament of the Resen Svane Bible was revised again as was the Old Testament in 1871. The 1907 Bible consisted of the same Resen Svane Old Testament of 1871 but included a revised New Testament. Then appeared a new translation from the Hebrew Old Testament in 1931 and was followed by the New Testament from Greek in 1948.
b. Having been challenged by the Protestant zeal to distribute the Bible in the native language of the common man, the Catholic countries began translating many new Bibles of their own. Again these new versions were translated by native scholars but leaned toward translating from the Latin Vulgate or other Latin versions.
2. History reveals that the K.J.V. has not endured longer than other Bibles. The Latin Vulgate and other early Latin versions ruled the Christian world as the only Bible from the third century to the Reformation Age or over one thousand years.
3. Is the K.J.V. thee Bible of the English speaking people is a question that needs answering. In the U.S.A. alone, forty five per cent of the Christian community is Catholic which does not use the K.J.V., many other denominations use their own translations while many more use modern day language Bibles. It must be added that there are thousands of non denominational churches that study from the texts of the ancient manuscripts to learn of God.
4. Let us now proceed into the reasons why the K.J.V. has remained the popular Bible of the English speaking Protestant peoples.
a. It was published by 'His Majesty's special command' and King James pressed for its acceptance by all his subjects. He required the largest volume of his new Bible placed in every church in the land.
b. The dedicatory at its beginning was exceedingly flattering to the vain King James I.
c. King James ordered the halt to the printing of the very popular Bishops Bible many years before the printing of his new Bible.
d. It was written in a style of simplicity, grace and beauty and above all it was most suitable for public reading because of its rhythmic mellow voice.
e. Although new and more accurate translations appeared through the years, the K.J.V. remained popular because the English speaking Protestant people did not have access to textual criticism. They did not have a measure to check the authenticity of their cherished K.J.V.
f. This last reason for the popularity of the K.J.V. is by far the most weighty of all previous reasons summed together.
The majority of English speaking Protestant church denominations derived their basic teachings from the K.J.V. and used it as their final authority, and so when the more authentic translations appeared, plus the many thousands of Greek New Testament manuscripts and other related documents, they were not accepted or appreciated.
B. Is the K.J.V. an accurate record of the writings of the inspired authors?
1. Many words that were in common usage during the writing of the K.J.V. have since changed meaning. This is not the error of the King James scholars but proves to be erroneous today and thus these words are not a true reflection of the inspired writers' words into today's English. These words cannot be used today as scripture to study about God.
Let us observe a few of these three hundred outdated words. For the Greek word immediately, the K.J.V. uses the words immediately, straightway, by and by, Presently and anon. The last three can be most misleading as this example of "by and by" reveals.
Luke 21:9 But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified; for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. This should read, ".......but the end is not immediately."
Consider a few other outdated King James words as demand that should be ask, the word let for hinder, communicate for share, prevent for precede, and conversation for conduct.
2. The language of the K.J.V. consisted of beautiful and easy flowing words and was written expressively in that style but at the expense of accuracy. Rather than bringing down a word from the ancient manuscripts consistently as would be accurate, the King James scholars abandoned the inspired writers intention of repeating a word that would serve to impress the reader and instead (because of their love for variation) used a variety of English words for one and the same word from the ancient manuscripts.
Along this line of thought, let us note what the King James scholars wrote about themselves in their Preface to the K.J.V.
"Another thing we think good to admonish thee of, gentle reader, that we have not tied ourselves to an uniformity of phrasing, or to an identity of words - - - For is the kingdom of God become words or syllables? Why should we be in bondage to them, if we may be free? use one precisely, when we may use another no less fit as commodiously?"
Here is an example of this error (for achieving variation) in using three different words (underlined) which are one and the same Greek word in the ancient manuscripts.
Romans 5:2 - we stand and rejoice in hope
Romans 5:3 - we glory in tribulation
Romans 5:11 - we also joy in God
3. There are added passages found in the K.J.V. that were not written by the inspired writers. Here is one example of many. All underlined words are erroneous additions and not scripture.
"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth the spirit and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one" (I JOHN 5:7,8).
Two editions of the New Testament by the Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus appeared without the spurious words. He was greatly assailed by people who insisted that the additional words would be a valuable proof for their favorite doctrine of the trinity. Erasmus replied that if any Greek manuscript could be shown him that contained these added words, he would include them in his next addition. One such Greek manuscript was found but was only some twenty years old and was a copy from the inferior Latin manuscripts. True to his word, Erasmus inserted the erroneous words in his third edition of 1522. Since his time one other Greek manuscript has been found with the added words but it is a late copy of the sixteenth century. Only two late century copies with the added words compared to the several thousand Greek manuscripts without the added words is overwhelming evidence against their authenticity.
The earliest complete Bible of note was that written by John Wycliffe 1380 and his inclusion of the added verses were of little weight since he translated directly from the revised Latin Vulgate. Tyndale used the 1522 edition of Erasmus in his translation and from these two sources, these non scriptural words found their way into the K.J.V.
4. The forty seven Revisors were restricted in their duties on the new Bible by fifteen rules as dictated by King James. Here is one of these rules for our examination.
Rule 3. The old ecclesiastical words to be kept, --- King James needed this rule to make his new Bible appear familiar to his subjects who were accustomed to the earlier English Bibles and also to further some of his cherished doctrines and those of the established English Church. It was also directed against the trend of the Puritans who wanted to abolish terms taken from Catholic ritual.
Consider this example of Rule 3
The Greek word ANGELOS should be correctly translated messengers. The K.J.V. brings down two words, angel and messenger for this one Greek word ANGELOS. Had the K.J.V. used the correct translation instead of the ecclesiastical word angel, many scriptures would have become more defined and clear.
If the King James revisors had been consistent in bringing down their word angel for every Greek word ANGELOS, then Mark 1:4 would be calling John the Baptist an angel (also Luke 7:27), and in Luke 7:24 the two disciples of John the Baptist would be the angels of John the Baptist.
Note the salutation to the angels of the seven churches --- in Asia as recorded in the K.J.V. in Revelation chapters 1, 2 and 3. The word angel conveys the idea that these are heavenly overshadowing beings when in fact they refer to earthly messengers (the message givers) or the pastors of these seven churches.
5. A study of the scholars of the K.J.V. produces several interesting facts worthy of our attention.
a. For the most part, the scholars were clergymen and most of these from the English Church. Although most of the scholars were skilled in the Greek or Hebrew languages, yet the wording of the K.J.V. was slanted toward the English Church.
Dr. Robert Gell, the author, was also the chaplain to the renown Archbishop Abbot (one of the scholars of the New Testament of the K.J.V.) wrote concerning the K.J.V. and its scholars. He remarked that some of the translators complained that they could not follow their own judgment in the matter, but were restrained by reason of state.
b. Several of the scholars of the K.J.V. were selected because of patronage rather than their being a linguist of the Hebrew and Greek. One example of this was John Overall Bishop of Norwich, who was a brilliant Latinist but not an authority in the Biblical languages. Another example was Richard Thomson, a man of only moderate skill in Hebrew and a notorious drunkard but a friend of one of the revisors L. Andrews.
6. The exclusion of some of the greatest minds of that day casts a definite reflection on the selection of scholars for the writing of the K.J.V. Had they contributed, their talents would have greatly enhanced the new Bible. Let us note one of these exclusions.
Hugh Broughton was not only the most intellectual scholar of the Hebrew language and customs, but also a foremost authority in Rabbinical writings. His skill in the Greek was described as rare by a contemporary scholar. After studying a copy of the new K.J.V. he remarked, "The late bible --- was sent to me to censure: which bred in me a sadness that will grieve me while I breathe, it is so ill done. Tell His Majesty that I had rather be rent in pieces with wild horses than any such translation by my consent should be urged upon poor churches --- The new edition crosseth me. I require it to be burnt."
7. The Apocryphal books or those books not considered to be divinely inspired by God were included in the K.J.V. of 1611. Article VI of the Church of England in 1562 authorized the reading of these books for the populace.
The scholars for the work on the K.J.V. were divided into six companies, the fourth company consisted of seven scholars whose duty was the revising of the Apocryphal books. Shortly after the publication of the K.J.V. Archbishop Abbot forbade the issue of the K.J.V. without the Apocrypha on pain of one years imprisonment.
Reluctantly, but because of limited space, I have shortened all these points (0 thru 7) and completely omitted others such as: erroneous chapter headings, the additional and biased rules of King James governing his new Bible, the very small number of authentic manuscripts the revisors used, the great number of inconsistencies of bringing down a Hebrew or Greek word into many different meaning English words in the K.J.V., and others.
I would have added a chapter on the testimony of numerous authorities who had noted the errors in the K.J.V. such as William Kilburne (1650's) 20,000 errors, John Wesley (in 1755) 12,000 changes in the New Testament alone, the Revised Version of 1881 consisted of 36,000 differences and on and on.
Should this study prove different or even odd to you sincere reader, rest assured it is factual. Be encouraged for in such word studies, as even this modest one represents, the person of God who is seeking a higher height of maturity in God but who cannot rise above a certain plateau, may be able to do so, and become more like Him.
Seeing the people of God of the most strict religious persuasions living on a lower level of maturity than they were one or two decades ago causes one to grieve. This is also their common testimony. I am persuaded this is so, at least in part, because we are studying God and his methods through erroneous words.
In closing I must add that a further in depth study of the English word AGE coming from the Hebrew and Greek will greatly enhance the fact that a life exists hereafter, one that never ceases. This is not only our hope, but a reality that we have experienced many times, in part. Praise God forever.