Question: Is the New King James Version trustworthy to the Hebrew and Greek text?
Answer: After reading the preface in the NKJV concerning the King James Translation, one would wonder why Thomas Nelson publishers would even consider it possible to improve upon this translation. Here is what is said in the preface of the NKJV concerning the King James Bible.
“The King James translators were committed to producing an English Bible that would be a precise translation, and by no means a paraphrase or a broadly approximate rendering. On the one hand, the scholars were almost as familiar with the original languages of the Bible as with their native English. On the other hand, their reverence for the Divine Author and His Word assured a translation of the Scriptures in which only a principle of utmost accuracy could be accepted.”
The next paragraph continues by substantiating the previous one:
“In 1786, Catholic scholar Alexander Geddes said of the King James Bible, ‘If accuracy and strictest attention to the letter of the text be supposed to constitute an excellent version, this is of all versions THE MOST EXCELLENT.”
Thomas Nelson Publishers acknowledge the translators of the KJT as producing a translation that is “precise,” with the “utmost accuracy.” The Catholic scholar states that the KJT is the most excellent of all versions. Then WHY the New KJV? Remember, if you can fool the publisher into thinking that something new is better, it generates MONEY in your bank account.
Of all the people I have talked with about why they use the NKJV, the answer is basically the same. “It is easier to read without the "thee's" and "thou's."
Now, let us look into the NKJV and examine some of the changes that are not readily noticed by the casual reader. But, before we do, allow me to quote from the next to last paragraph at the end of the preface, which states,
“…Furthermore, no established DOCTRINE is called in question by any doubts about the correct reading in this or that text. The Christian can approach his New Testament, i.e., NKJV, with confidence.”
Yes…only if you are ignorant enough to believe this statement!
The NKJV uses a multiplicity of references that they state do not appear in the “NU.” Most people have no idea what “NU” stands for. The “N” is referring to the 26th Edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament. The “U” is referring to the 3rd Edition of the United Bible Society’s Greek New Testament. Remember, the “NU” New Greek Testament is based largely upon two corrupt manuscripts, the Sinaitic and the Vaticanus. These two manuscripts disagree with each other in hundreds and hundreds of places. Let us examine some of the changes and suggestions that the NKJV makes, in leading you to doubt whether certain verses are supposed to be in the Bible or not.
- Luke 4:8: “Get behind me Satan” is referenced to a foot-note at the bottom of the page which reads, “NU omits, Get behind me Satan.”
- Mark 9:44: “Where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” The NKJV has a footnote which says “NU omits Verse 44.”
- Mark 9:45,46: “Into the fire that shall never be quenched, where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” The footnote to the last part of Verse 44 and Verse 45 says, “NU omits the rest of Verse 45 and all of Verse 46.”
- Matthew 6:13: “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. A footnote which reads, “NU omits the rest of Verse 13.”
- Matthew 13:51: “Jesus said unto them, Have you under-stood all these things? They said to Him, ‘Yes Lord.” Their footnote reads, “NU omits “Jesus said unto them." NU omits “Lord.”
- Matthew 17:21: “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Footnote says, “NU omits Verse 21.”
- Matthew 18:11: “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.” Footnote says, “NU omits Verse 11.”
- Matthew 1:25: NKJV has “firstborn Son” with a reference to the footnote which says, “NU a Son.” The NU, by omitting “firstborn” discredits the fact that Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus. Since Mary had four other sons, James, Joses, Simon, Judas, and at least two daughters (Matthew 13:55,56); by omitting “firstborn,” Jesus could have been the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or even the 7th child born to Mary. Therefore, if Jesus was not the firstborn; then Mary would not have been a virgin when Jesus was born. Is it any wonder people are confused by the NKJV.
- Acts 3:13,26: NKJV substitutes “Servant” for “Son.” Why?
- Acts 4:27,30: The KJT reads, “Your holy child Jesus”; but, again, the NKJV substitutes “Servant” for “child.” This is purposely done by the NKJV translators, as they translate the same Greek word as “son” in John 4:51 concerning the Nobleman’s biological son. Yet, when it refers to the spiritual relationship as the Second Person of the Trinity, they substitute “Servant” instead of “Child of God” and “Son of God.” Anyone can be a servant without being physically or spiritually related. Very subtly did they “water down” the Deity of Christ, that “God was manifest in the flesh.” (1 Timothy 3:16).
- Reference English “Hell” and the Greek “Hades.” In the following verses you will find that the NKJV left the Greek word “Hades” in the text, without even translating it “Hell,” as done by the KJT. Look these verses up for yourself: Matthew 11:23 and 16:18. Luke 10:15 and 16:23. Acts 2:27 and 2:31. Revelation 1:18; 6:8; and 20:13,14.
In the Publishers’ Foreword of the NKJV it is stated concerning the Biblical scholars (translators) that,
“They came from England, Scotland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands, Taiwan, as well as from the United States, so that the New King James Version would reflect internationally accepted English usage.”
One would think that with all these so-called translators and scholars from all these countries that, at least, one would have suggested they translate the Greek word “Hades” into the English “Hell,” as did the King James translators. And not only that, in every case where “Hades” appears, they never once put a reference to a footnote explaining what the English is for Hades. So, unless you know Greek, you would have no idea what the word means. You could be confused into thinking this is the "mystical underworld" of Greek myth and legend.
May I draw your attention to another place where the NKJV attempts to confuse and place doubts in the minds of people concerning the Word of God. Go with me in the NKJV to Mark 16:9-20, and notice the reference to the footnote concerning these verses. This is what we read:
“Verses 9-20 are bracketed in NU-Texts as NOT ORIGINAL. They are lacking in Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, although nearly all other manuscripts of Mark contain them.”
Now those reading the NKJV are alerted that Verses 9-20 do not appear in the Original, which is composed of two corrupt manuscripts, the Sinaiticus (Aleph) and the Vaticanus (B). Then, they admit that nearly all other manuscripts have them. In other words, they want you to believe that two corrupt manuscripts constitute the ORIGINAL Greek text, in lieu of the Majority Text of approximately 5,400 manuscripts. This is brainwashing to the height of deception! The Lord warns Christians to beware of men who use trickery and craftiness as their tools regarding the NKJV and the NU, to spread doubt as to what really is God’s Word. Ephesians 4:14 is God’s warning to all,
“That we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine (i.e. teaching), by the sleight (i.e. trickery) of men; and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”
This is only a drop in a rainstorm of what could be written concerning the perversion of God’s Word as set forth in the NKJV. For publishers, the “name of the game” with all these new versions is MONEY! Remember, in order to avoid plagiar-ism of another work or translation, you have to delete words, add words, change words, etc. to obtain a copyright. In short, the copyright guarantees that only the publisher can reap the dividends of his work. Money is what it is all about.
If the Christian is sincere and wants God Word in English, the finest translation to be had by bringing the Hebrew and Greek, word for word, into the English, is the King James Translation of the Bible.
“Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” - Proverbs 30:6
“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” -Psalm 118:9