On Versions of Scripture

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The Statement
Of the modern versions of Scripture with which I have some experience the Greek portions of all are translated from the corrupt Greek manuscripts of Hort and Westcott or derivations of those manuscripts. Even the New King James Version uses the Nestle-Aland Greek text which is itself a derivative of the Hort-Wescott. These men were the driving human forces behind the first modern translation, called The Revised Version, which was commissioned in 1871, and published in 1881. Using these corrupt manuscript sources, so far as I am concerned, puts the versions in the corrupt status deserving of those manuscripts.


The Question
. . . therefore, will you please:
Explain to me briefly how you learned of the corruption of the manuscripts of Hort and Westcott, and what exactly do you mean by "corrupt" in this context? Do you 'value' this corruption as apostasy, or as simple human error/misjudgment?

The Response
My Friend,

Very early in my studies I discovered that all of the Scripture versions that I had showed disagreement with other versions in certain areas and in some cases flatly disagreed with other versions. This was most apparent when I was attending a wannabe Christian assembly and the preacher would be reading from his NIV and I was reading from my KJV. Some of the things he read just weren't in my version and some of the things that were in my version weren't in his. Asking the preacher about this did no good. He just brushed it off as "personal preference" and made statements to the effect that all versions were okay. I also made the discovery that some of these disagreements between versions were not just differences in rendering during translation, but were actually differences in the underlying texts. This of course piqued my curiosity so I started looking for the reason for the disagreements. I found that the preacher didn't know his head from a hole in the ground, and needless to say, I was very disappointed in this guy. I decided that if I wanted to know the truth, I was going to have to seek it out for myself being very careful with any information that I gained from other people. This decision has proven to be as valid today as it was when I first made it well over twenty-five years ago.

One of the most apparent things that I noticed was that in some versions there were marginal notations at certain passages that disclaimed the text as "probably not in the original," or "according to older manuscripts," etc., and this statement was based upon the translators use of theoretically "older" manuscripts than those of the Textus Receptus. From the proofs that have been offered as the basis for the manuscripts of Hort and Westcott being the older ones, I have seen nothing to convince me that it's the truth. You have heard politicians and others "prove" something by alluding to an unproved "fact" briefly in the beginning of a speech and then referring back to their previous statements of "fact" as the proof of what they are now saying? Same thing. Invalid assumptions pile up upon invalid assumption until the whole pile falls of its own weight and there has still been no solid piece of evidential proof given.

One of the best known of the marginal notations of which I speak is at Mark 16:9-20. This whole passage is excluded from the versions that have sprung from the Hort-Westcott Greek unless it is included with the marginal notation disclaimer. Yet out of 620 known Greek manuscripts that contain the book of Mark, 618 have this passage and 2 do not. The two that do not are the Vaticanus and the Sinaiticus, which are the foundation for the Hort-Westcott Greek texts and also from which come the Nestle's Greek. The reasons behind this passage not being in the corrupt manuscripts are interesting in itself. If you read the books I've listed below you will see the story.

The Vaticanus MSS, as can be guessed from its name, was found in the Vatican Library and had been there and unpublished for centuries. It was looked upon by the clerics of the library as an incomplete and invalid manuscript and was kept only because of its possible value for comparison studies.

The Sinaiticus MSS was discovered IN THE GARBAGE CAN of the Saint Catherine's monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai. It was being discarded due to the many strike-throughs, erasures, deletions, and additions that were known to the Catholic clerics there. They considered it to be invalid and useless enough to be totally invalid and were discarding it.

I will flatly state that Hort and Westcott were agents of Satan who knowingly and deliberately apostatized the Scripture to steer mankind away from the truths of the word of Yahuwah and the diety of Yahushua, and in so doing, caused mankind to disbelieve the correct doctrine. Their life stories before and after their translation was released support my contentions of their motivations.

The major doctrines that are changed or denied by the Hort-Westcott versions are those of the deity of Yahushua. They also removed certain passages concerning the three manifestations of Yahuwah that they were not happy about. I know that the word trinity is not to be found in any version of the Scripture, but the concept of Yahuwah the Father, Yahuwah the Son, and Yahuwah the Sacred Spirit is seen in all of them. Where possible the Hort-Westcott versions have edited out this concept, such as in 1 John 5:7-8 (below), and they have modified the wording or deleted too many passages to list in order to deny the deity of Yahushua.

1 Yahuchanan (John) 5:7-8 is one of the most obvious places of confirmation of the one Elohiym in three manifestations and therefore was not acceptable to those guys. There are many other additions and deletions when these versions are compared to the King James Version too. The magnitude of these variations causes the books to be so different that something is obviously wrong. Either the Textus Receptus is the word of Yahuwah or the Hort-Westcott texts are the word of Yahuwah. They both cannot be because of the many striking doctrinal differences in the two. Some of the translational vernacular in the modern versions is superior to that found in the King James Version, but only where they agree with the Textus Receptus.

This is kind of like asking which 'church' is really "Christian" since they hold so many doctrinal disagreements. The Roman Catholic, the Mormon, the Baptist, the Methodist, the Jehovah's Witness, etc. cannot all be the "true church" since they all disagree about some of the most basic doctrine and the Spirit is unity, with ALL of the adherents of Yahushua believing and saying basically the SAME thing. So how do you decide which one is the true assembly? They will all tell you that they are it, but by their actions when compared with His word, no matter which version you look at, you can see that none of them are. They all obey Yahuwah to some extent, but none of them obey completely.

Many people have taken the time to sit down and compare the different versions to point out these many additions and deletions to which I have alluded. A couple of good references by some of these people that have pretty good references in their bibliographies are:

  1. Final Authority, William P. Grady. Available from Eye Opener Publishers, P.O. Box 7944, Eugene, OR, 97401. ISBN 0-9628809-1-4 LOCC 92-085282

  2. New Age Bible Versions, G.A. Riplinger. Available from AV Publications, Box 388, Munroe Falls, OH 44262. ISBN 0-9635845-0-2 LOCC 93-92561

I will warn you that if you obtain these books or others like them, to beware of some of the denominational doctrine that are to be found in them. These authors do have their own axes to grind and they on occasion take liberties with some of the information they present that in my opinion isn't exactly kosher. Their references and many of the comparisons they make are invaluable to seekers of the truth though, but I still recommend that you check out for yourself what these authors are saying. I have found some shaky areas in their theology.

For your edification, I have included four versions of 1 Yahuchanan 5:7-8 below. Both the KJV and the NKJV are from the Textus Receptus and the other two are from Hort and Westcott originated manuscripts. The RSV of course you know about, and the NIV is from the Nestle's Greek that also derives from Hort-Westcott. Most other versions use either the NIV or the RSV rendering presented here.

KJV - Textus Receptus - For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

NKJV - Textus Receptus - For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.

RSV - Hort/Westcott - And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth. 8 There are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree.

NIV - Nestle's Greek - For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

Please do not misunderstand me. I am NOT a KJV-onlyist. The KJV has many translational errors of which I will not go into right now, but when you are aware that these errors are there, it should make you more careful to really study for yourself to see what was said in the underlying language.

Related Articles:
Some Answers to KJV Onlyists
Translational Errors in the KJV

C.F. Castleberry