Category Archives: BIBLE VERSIONS AND MANUSCRIPTS

The “judgment seat” or the “bema seat?”

THE “JUDGMENT SEAT” OR THE “BEMA SEAT?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

Our King James Bible has come under heavy criticism with especial regards to its term “the Judgment Seat of Christ.” What exactly is the argument, and how much merit does it hold? As they scrutinize the Authorized Version, so we will take this opportunity to judge their line of reasoning.

Here are the two texts we must consider in this matter:

  • Romans 14:10: “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”
  • 2 Corinthians 5:10: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

Some “brethren” have expressed great disappointment in the 1611 King James translators. Allegedly, these scholars were remiss in handling the Greek New Testament text here. How “unfortunate” that they used the word “judgment” when translating these two verses! After all, the term strikes fear in the hearts of people, and Christians should never fear the judgment of God. Textual complaints such as this are unbelievably petty and shallow.

Critics of the Authorized Version have the following “advice” to pass along: “The Greek word for ‘judgment seat’ is ‘bema’ in Romans 14:10 and 2 Corinthians 5:10. It should be left untranslated. A ‘better’ reading is ‘the bema of Christ.’” To be sure, “bema” is the Greek word. Nevertheless, does retaining the Greek (via a transliteration) really help the English reader?! No, it certainly does not. It makes the Bible intimidating.

One commentator rationalized, “I do not know why the King James translators used ‘judgment’ because that word frightens people!” While he meant well, the brother shows us that he is most unqualified in judging the 1611 scholars. Firstly, with all due respect, they were Holy Spirit-filled men more proficient in the Bible languages than he has ever been or will ever be. Secondly, the King James scholars properly translated the Greek “bema.” “Judgment seat” is a perfectly acceptable rendition. (We will say more about this later.) Lastly, the commentator’s replacement word is most ridiculous. He asserted the translators should have left it as “bema”—a meaningless or nonsensical expression to an English reader. Friends, it may seem bizarre, but this author believes an untranslated Greek word is more terrifying to the English Bible reader than that same mysterious Greek word translated “judgment seat!”

If the King James translators had not rendered it “judgment seat,” then the critics would have surely responded, “Why did they not render ‘bema’ as ‘judgment seat’ in Romans 10:14 and 2 Corinthians 5:10 like they did in most of the other passages it appears?!” See, the faultfinders are never satisfied. The King James scholars are treated most unfairly—and the critics are usually ignorant brethren masquerading themselves as “more qualified” expositors and teachers of the Scriptures. We have to beware of these people, and watch them with a great deal of suspicion.

The aforementioned commentator offered a most convoluted line of thinking. After carping about “judgment” being an inappropriate rendering of “bema” in Romans 14:10 and 2 Corinthians 5:10, he said “bema seat” was a superior reading. (Bema seat” is silly terminology because it is repetitious, literally meaning “judgment seat seat” [“bema” itself means “judgment seat,” remember].) He argued we should not look at the Judgment Seat of Christ as the Great White Throne Judgment (and we would agree those are two separate judgments, the first for Christians and the second for the unsaved). However, instead of changing the Bible, we teach and explain the Bible! No confusion will result if the teacher does his job… and the teacher’s job is teaching not retranslating!!!

Moreover, the commentator rightly clarified the “bema” was, historically, where the judges of the ancient Olympics sat to evaluate the performance of the athletes. We would ask him, “Sir, while you will call them ‘judges’ at the bema, you actually think ‘judgment’ is a poor translation in the King James. Exactly what do judges do? Does not their very name imply they make judgments?” Honestly, this is dumb… and he is one of the very people passing sentence on the King James translators for being incompetent!!!

“Bema” appears 12 times in the King James Greek New Testament. It was rendered “judgment seat” 10 times (see list below); the remaining instances are “set his foot on” (Acts 7:5) and “throne” (Acts 12:21).

  • Matthew 27:19: “When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.”
  • John 19:13: “When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.”
  • Acts 18:12: “And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat,….”
  • Acts 18:16: “And he drave them from the judgment seat.”
  • Acts 18:17: “Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things.”
  • Acts 25:6: “And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Caesarea; and the next day sitting on the judgment seat commanded Paul to be brought.”
  • Acts 25:10: “Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest.”
  • Acts 25:17: “Therefore, when they were come hither, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth.”
  • Romans 14:10: “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”
  • 2 Corinthians 5:10: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

Those first eight instances are places where human governmental officials hear cases, look at evidence, and make decisions or render verdicts. Of course, the last two examples are where Jesus Christ will one day sit to judge or evaluate our Christian service. Primarily, the quality of the doctrine we believed, which information motivated our service, will be reviewed and rewarded (1 Corinthians 3:9-15; 2 Corinthians 5:9-10; Colossians 3:23-25). For more information, please refer to our “fire” study linked at the end of this article.

We will add this entry from Thayer’s Greek Lexicon:

“STRONGS NT 968: βῆμα
βῆμα, -τος, τό, (from ΒΑΩ, βαίνω) [from Homer (h. Merc.), Pindar down];

  1. a step, pace: βῆμα ποδός the space which the foot covers, a foot-breadth, Acts 7:5 (for כַּף־רֶגֶל, Deuteronomy 2:5, cf. Xenophon, an. 4, 7, 10; Cyril 7, 5, 6).
  2. a raised place mounted by steps; a platform, tribune: used of the official seat of a judge, Matthew 27:19; John 19:13; Acts 18:12, 16; Acts 25:6, 10, [Acts 25:17]; of the judgment-seat of Christ, Romans 14:10 (L T Tr WH τοῦ θεοῦ); 2 Corinthians 5:10; of the structure, resembling a throne, which Herod built in the theater at Cæsarea, and from which he used to view the games and make speeches to the people, Acts 12:21; (of an orator’s pulpit, 2 Macc. 13:26; Nehemiah 8:4. Xenophon, mem. 3, 6, 1; Herodian, 2, 10, 2 [1, Bekker edition]).”

In other words, “judgment seat” is a perfectly acceptable rendition of the Greek “bema” in Romans 14:10 and 2 Corinthians 5:10 as pertaining to the King James Bible. We should also highlight Thayer’s textual note. The Critical Text—the corrupt Greek text, the manuscript family underlying most modern English versions—reads “theou” (God) in Romans 14:10 where the King James Textus Receptus has “christou” (Christ). To wit, in modern English versions, the term is not “judgment seat of Christ but “judgment seat of God.” This seems innocuous at first, but upon closer examination, we discover it is quite destructive to the Person of Jesus Christ.

If we keep reading Romans chapter 14, we see the Apostle Paul here quotes Isaiah 45:23 in verses 11-12. The Prophet Isaiah was speaking of JEHOVAH God, but Paul applies the passage to “Christ” (read the King James): “[10] But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. [11] For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord [JEHOVAH], every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. [12] So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

However, the text in the modern Greek and modern English versions does not allow us to pair “Christ” with JEHOVAH. All we can do is pair “God” with JEHOVAH, for “Christ” (“christou”) never appears in Romans 14:10 in the modern Greek and its modern English translations! Ultimately, this textual alteration causes us to lose this fascinating reference to the Deity of Jesus Christ. We cannot use modern versions here to prove Jesus and JEHOVAH are one and the same. No one can honestly say this was a “minor mistake;” the editors of the modern Greek deliberately changed the Bible to mar the Person of Jesus Christ. (One final note worth mentioning: the “Jehovah’s Witness” New World Translation also follows the modern Greek reading in Romans 14:10—lest they too confess Jesus and JEHOVAH are equal!)

Also see:
» What is the “fire” at the Judgment Seat of Christ?
» Must one be a “King James Bible Pauline dispensationalist” to have eternal life?
» Which belongs in Romans 8:16 and Romans 8:26 in the King James Bible—“the Spirit itself” or “the Spirit Himself?”

Who is speaking in Proverbs 8:22?

WHO IS SPEAKING IN PROVERBS 8:22?

by Shawn Brasseaux

“The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old,” says Proverbs 8:22. Who is the “me?” Is it Jesus Christ, as often assumed?

In the first few centuries A.D., there arose a heresy by the name of Arianism. Supposedly, the Lord Jesus Christ was a created being, a “begotten God,” rather than the eternal JEHOVAH God of the Bible. You hear a modern-day form of this nonsense when a so-called “Jehovah’s Witness”—better termed a “Russellite” (follower of Charles Taze Russell)—tells you that Jesus Christ is “a god” rather than “God.” In fact, their New World Translation was rendered in John 1:1 so as to reflect their unorthodox theology: “In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” (Our King James Bible, or Authorized Version, reads, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”)

Furthermore, John 1:18 says in the New World Translation, “No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is in the bosom [position] with the Father is the one that has explained him.” (Our King James Bible has, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”) The “conservative” New American Standard Version agrees in John 1:18 “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” Friends, we could not have a more liberal translation here!!!!

Where the King James Bible and its underlying manuscripts read “Son” (“only begotten Son”), some manuscripts have “God” (“only begotten God”). This latter set of manuscripts is the source of the New American Standard Version (NASV) and the New World Translation (NWT). From where did this ancient error originate? One church father and major Bible manuscript editor, Origen (A.D. 185–A.D. 254), held to Arianism. He likely perverted John 1:18 in some ancient Bible texts, among other mutilated textual passages. That would also make Origin responsible for the resultant English translations found in the NASV and NWT. “Son” was changed to “God,” and we can see how heresy has actually crept into certain English Bibles!

In light of the above confusion, some have appealed to other Bible verses to strain to find “Scriptural” evidence that Jesus was a created being, someone who has not existed eternally (as God the Father and God the Holy Spirit have). Proverbs 8:22 is one of their “proof-text” verses—although the wording in the King James Bible cannot be used to teach Arianism. “The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old,” says Proverbs 8:22 in the Authorized Version. Read the verse in the following popular modern English versions, and note how they have unnecessarily added the verb “created”/“made”/”formed,” or the concept of creation or bringing something (someone?) into being:

  • New International Version: “The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old;”
  • Amplified Bible: “The Lord created and possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old [were accomplished].”
  • Holman Christian Standard Bible: “The Lord made me at the beginning of His creation, before His works of long ago.”
  • New Living Translation: “The LORD formed me from the beginning, before he created anything else.”
  • New Revised Standard Version: “The LORD created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago.”
  • Good News to Modern Man: “The LORD created me first of all, the first of his works, long ago.
  • The Living Bible: “The Lord formed me in the beginning, before he created anything else.”
  • Common English Bible: “The LORD created me at the beginning of his way, before his deeds long in the past.”
  • The Message: “GOD sovereignly made me—the first, the basic—before he did anything else.”
  • The New English Translation: “The LORD created me as the beginning of his works, before his deeds of long ago.”
  • The Voice: “The Eternal created me; it happened when His work was beginning, one of His first acts long ago.”
  • Revised Standard Version: “The LORD created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old.”

Some interpret Proverbs 8:22 as Father God speaking of Jesus Christ. Then, the verse is made to read (using modern versions): “God created Jesus Christ at the beginning of creation….” However, this is not only heresy, it violates the context of Proverbs 8:22. The context was set in verse 1 (“Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?”) and in verse 12 (“I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.”) The speaker of Proverbs 8:22 is not Jesus Christ; wisdom is the speaker. Wisdom is personified, given the trait of a living being, and it talks in order to issue counsel.

“The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.” It would be so awkward to say, “The LORD possessed Jesus Christ in the beginning of His way.” What nonsense! “Me” here is wisdom. Proverbs 8:22 is simply teaching that Almighty God—actually Jesus Christ the Son (Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2)—exercised wisdom during the Creation Week. Contrary to what most scientists tell us, the heaven and the earth are not the result of some nebulous, random explosion and expansion of matter. Creation is the work of a wise God, a Supreme Being who had a plan and then brought it into existence by His spoken Word. He had knowledge about time, space, and matter—and then He had wisdom to bring it about. What an awesome God we Christians serve, brethren!

Also see:
» What does the Bible say about blood transfusions?
» Which Bible version should I use?
» “But what if they read the Bible at my church…?!”

What is a “jot?” What is a “tittle?”

WHAT IS A “JOT?” WHAT IS A “TITTLE?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

The Lord Jesus Christ famously announced in Matthew 5:18: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Exactly what is a “jot?” What about a “tittle?”

“Jot” is the transliteration of the Greek word “iota” (the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet), equivalent to “jod” or “yod” (the tenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet).

Psalm 119 is a gigantic acrostic containing 176 verses—eight verses for each of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. While not apparent in our English Bible, each first word of the first eight verses of the Psalm begins with the Hebrew letter “aleph” (equivalent to our “A”), the first word of each of the next eight verses starts with “beth” (comparable to our “B”), and so on. In most Bibles—especially printed ones—you will see a Hebrew letter heading before verse 1, another one before verse 9, yet another before verse 17, and so on. When you come to the tenth eight-verse section (verses 73-80), you will notice the Hebrew letter “jod” (it looks like this: י).

Jod resembles an apostrophe, or a raised comma. It is quite tiny—the smallest Hebrew letter (like our lowercase “i”). In many Hebrew words, it can be removed without changing meanings or sounds. Understandably, jod can be easily overlooked and discounted as insignificant. In English, conveying the idea of the Greek letter, we say, “There is not one iota of evidence,” meaning there is not even the smallest bit of proof.

The “tittle,” in the Hebrew language, is a small, horn-like projection on certain letters to differentiate them from the rounded letters. For instance, the Hebrew letters “cheth” and “he,” “daleth” and “resh,” “beth” and “kaph” are all distinguished by means of the little horn-like “tittle.” The English equivalent of a tittle is the tiny line on the letter “Q” that distinguishes it from the letter “O.” Another example is the horizontal bar placed on a lowercase “T” to differentiate it from a lowercase “L.”

We read Matthew 5:18 again: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” In Greek, “in no wise” is doubly negative (emphatic)—“ou me.” Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says: “Me: a particle of negation, which differs from ou (which is always an adverb) in that ou denies the thing itself (or to speak technically, denies simply, absolutely, categorically, directly, objectively), but me denies the thought of the thing, or the thing according to the judgment, opinion, will, purpose, preference, of someone (hence, as we say technically, indirectly, hypothetically, subjectively).”

Summing it up, here is the teaching of Matthew 5:18: Every intricate detail of the Old Testament prophecies will fully come to pass. Jesus Christ Himself said that the smallest particle not being fulfilled is an impossible scenario, something not even worth thinking about. Not even the smallest letter or stroke of God’s prophecies will fail to be accomplished, for He Himself has come to see to it that all be fulfilled. Luke 16:17, the companion verse, says: “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.”

The God of the Bible is meticulous. He did not utter broad, sweeping statements through the Old Testament prophets. These were rather specific events predicted in minute detail—a virgin of the house of David would conceive, the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem Judaea at a specific time, He would perform miracles and teach the pure Word of God, He would be utterly rejected, He would die with His hands and feet pierced, His clothes would be divided, He would thirst while dying, He would be buried among the rich, He would rise again the third day, and so on.

According to the Lord Jesus Christ, every last part of the prophets’ writings would be fulfilled—each and every type fulfilled, each and every promise fulfilled, everything completely brought to pass. It would be utterly impossible for something therein not be accomplished. “Never, ever (ever, ever, ever!) think that God’s Word will not be fully brought to pass!” Whatever Christ did not fulfill at His First Coming, He will bring it to pass at His Second Coming. By the way, He fulfilled approximately 300 specific prophecies during His earthly ministry! Therefore, He could rightly say…

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17-18).

SUPPLEMENTAL #1: MATTHEW 5:18 AND THE SEPTUAGINT

The concepts in Matthew 5:18, particularly the tittle, concern the Hebrew alphabet (not Greek). There is no reference to the Septuagint (or “LXX”), the supposed “before Christ Greek translation of the Old Testament.” It is commonly taught that the Lord Jesus and His Apostles quoted the Greek Old Testament (Septuagint) instead of the Hebrew Old Testament. Matthew 5:18 does not support that idea. In fact, the Septuagint itself has highly questionable (legendary!) origins, and it contains large apocryphal books scattered throughout the divinely-inspired writings. Matthew 5:18 indicates that Jesus Christ appealed to the Hebrew Old Testament, not the Greek (Septuagint).

SUPPLEMENTAL #2: MATTHEW 5:18 AND BIBLE VERSIONS

According to Matthew 5:18, God the Holy Spirit considers every part of His Word important— every Book, every chapter, every passage, every verse, every sentence, every word, every letter, every stroke of every letter, and even every punctuation mark. He even cares if there is an “s” on the end of a word (Galatians 3:16), and builds a doctrine on its singular form as opposed to its plural sense! Notice how He constructed a doctrine on a single word in Psalm 82:6 (cf. John 10:34-35).

Therefore, it should greatly concern us when people question and/or omit Scripture. It does not bother them to correct it, to remove a word, to insert a word, or cast doubt on a verse. However, it should trouble us. This twisted mentality drives the Bible versions issue. There is a constant push to overthrow the (Protestant) King James Bible and its manuscript family, and replace it with a Roman Catholic text (which contains the Septuagint, by the way!). “This verse should be this, this word should be that…” is a complete disregard for minute details in God’s Word. It is not faith but doubt. Either we believe the Bible, or we do not. It is hypocritical for us to claim to love the Bible and then tear it apart with the idle speculations of lost men!

God the Holy Spirit is interested in bringing 100 percent of His Word to pass. He is a stickler for the text because He is a careful planner. He will not fulfill 99 percent of prophecy but 100 percent of prophecy. He will not bring 99.999 percent of prophecy to pass; He will bring 100 percent to pass. Consequently, we inflict great damage on the Bible text with even one change. A textual alteration for the worse means that a prophecy can be fulfilled but it will not be apparent to us because we tampered with the applicable Scripture!!

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

Also see:
» “Thou shalt not kill” or “Thou shalt not murder?”
» Which belongs in Romans 8:16 and Romans 8:26 in the King James Bible—“the Spirit itself” or “the Spirit Himself?”
» Is the King James word “borrow” a mistranslation in Exodus 3:22?

Does “not” belong in Isaiah 9:3?

DOES “NOT” BELONG IN ISAIAH 9:3?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Isaiah 9:3 says in the King James Bible: “Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.” Does the word “not” belong here?

Even though Dr. C. I. Scofield faithfully circulated basic dispensational truths in his eponymous study Bible (1909 and 1917), he was not without error concerning his center-column notes and footnotes. He walked in the spiritual light he had, and we are quite grateful (!) for his labor. However, he had his blind spots and we would do well to notice and avoid them. This is a case in point. The dear Brother actually recommended “not” be omitted from Isaiah 9:3, thereby removing the authority from the Bible! (Most textual critics today still agree with him.) In this brief study, we will lay out why we hold to the unaltered King James reading of Isaiah 9:3.

  • Reading #1, with “not:” “Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.” (This is the King James Bible wording.)
  • Reading #2, without “not:” “Thou hast multiplied the nation, and… increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.” (The ellipsis […] is where the “not” appears in the KJB.)

Like the majority of modern translators today, Dr. Scofield preferred Reading #2. Reading #1 (the King James Bible) is said to be incorrect. Scan the two readings again. You will see why Reading #2 makes more sense to them. Reading #1 appears to be antithetical toward itself. So we can better see this discrepancy, we paraphrase both readings:

  • Reading #1: God has multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before him…. (KJB verse speaks of no increased joy as well as joy—which is it then, joy or no joy?)
  • Reading #2: God has multiplied the nation, and increased the joy: they joy before him…. (altered KJB verse speaks of increased joy and joy—joy and joy are harmonious here)

The negation makes the King James Bible unpopular in Isaiah 9:3. Textual critics eagerly pounce on it. They will not submit to a Book, as they (sinful man) want to be the authority. Here is the problem. Usually, when people speak of a “King James error,” they look at the word or verse superficially. They do not investigate in-depth, only accuse. They have a limited understanding of a word or its definition. Therefore, if the King James Bible disagrees with their preconceived idea, the Bible (they claim) is wrong. They do not define the words according to Scripture; rather, they define the words according to their theology. When the Bible says otherwise, their theology takes precedence. They do not have enough experience in the Bible—for if they did, they would not go around correcting it. Instead of the Bible adjusting their view, they adjust the Bible to fit their view. We cannot agree to this mentality. Either the Bible is the foundation of our faith, or it is not. Either it is the final authority, or it is not. There is no middle ground!!

Reading #1 is correct, and we need not change the King James Bible by removing the word “not.” “Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.” There was a time when God did multiply the nation Israel. They prospered in the centuries leading up to Isaiah’s ministry. Then, God did not increase the joy. Finally, they do joy before Him. We must approach the verse dispensationally if we are to make sense of it. The whole verse is not applicable all at once. Part of the verse is true at one point on the Bible timeline and the other part of the verse is true at another point on the timeline. There is not joy throughout the verse; there is not uninterrupted joy as commonly assumed. There is sadness and then joy. In other words, the doleful Assyrian Captivity is followed by the glorious Millennium. Note that the colon ( : ) between the first “joy” and the “they” spans more than 2,000 years.

Look at the closing verse of the previous chapter (8:22). Then start at the beginning of the chapter we are investigating (9:1-2), reading all the way through to verse 7. There is judgment then restoration, captivity then kingdom. There is spiritual darkness followed by spiritual light. Messiah (Jesus) comes to bring light at His First Coming, to usher in God’s righteous earthly kingdom at His Second Coming. Compare these verses with Matthew 4:13-16. Look at Christ conquering Israel’s enemies and causing war to cease in Isaiah 9:4-5. (Connect that victory with the closing of verse 3.)

See Messiah’s birth and reign in Isaiah 9:6-7 (which itself is another timeline passage, not fulfilled all at once). Certainly, this timeline (8:22–9:7) spans from before the cross all the way to beyond the Second Coming. Isaiah 8:22 and 9:1 is Israel before Messiah’s birth; the next verses (9:2 and following) pick up from His birth onward. There is scene switching, of course, verses looping back to earlier ones. However, there is no mistake in the King James Bible. The “not” belongs in Isaiah 9:3, for that time of no increased joy (Captivity) is there to contrast with the time when God will increase their joy (yet future from us, when Christ returns to set His earthly kingdom and deliver Israel from their enemies and Captivity).

Read Isaiah 9:3 in that light now: “Thou hast multiplied the nation [pre-Captivity], and not increased the joy [Captivity]: [2,000-plus years later, Captivity lifted, Israel now in Kingdom] they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.”

By the way, nearly all modern English translations eliminate “not” from Isaiah 9:3: American Standard Version, Amplified Bible, Contemporary English Version, English Standard Version, Good News Bible, Holman Christian Standard Bible, Living Bible, The Message, New American Standard Bible, New Century Version, New English Translation, New International Version, New Living Translation, New Revised Standard Version, New World Translation [Jehovah’s Witness “bible”], Revised Standard Version, The Voice). Please note that the NKJV departs from the KJB here, and is not a King James Bible at all!!

We often hear, “All versions say the same thing. The modern versions are no different from the King James Bible.” To say this is to do nothing but advertise Bible ignorance. Whoever says that has not done enough research to comment. No honest person could say that “not increased the joy” is the same as “increased the joy.” There is willful ignorance if someone cannot differentiate between a simple positive statement and a simple negative statement. “Yes” and “no” are not the same—unless you really do not care about facts and just want to vilify the (Protestant) King James Bible so you can promote some modern English translation (a Roman Catholic reading!).

Also see:
» Is “excellent” a King James “mistranslation” in Philippians 1:10?
» Is the King James word “borrow” a “mistranslation” in Exodus 3:22?
» Which belongs in Romans 8:16 and Romans 8:26 in the King James Bible—“the Spirit itself” or “the Spirit Himself?”

Were the King James translators justified in adding the word “quarters” in Acts 9:32?

WERE THE KING JAMES TRANSLATORS JUSTIFIED IN ADDING “QUARTERS” IN ACTS 9:32?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Acts 9:32 says, “And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda.” If you look in a printed King James Bible, the term “quarters” is italicized, meaning there is no corresponding Greek term to that English word. To signify this, the 1611 scholars placed the word in italics. They are often vilified for adding such words, yet (strangely) the people who criticize italicized words usually add or remove words from the English Bible themselves. Indeed, there is quite a difference between a translator adding a word to complete the thought in the new language, and a teacher assuming his job involves questioning and changing the Bible because he has limited insight. The former is the King James Bible translator; the latter is the King James Bible critic.

The Greek Textus Receptus reads thus in Acts 9:32: “Egeneto_de Petron dierchomenon dia panton, katelthein kai pros tous agious tous katoikountas Luddan.” As even the layman could likely discern, “dia panton” is “throughout all.” The word “katelthein” is “came down.” There is indeed no Greek word for “quarters.” Unless that English word is added, the verse would read, “And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all, he came down….” This could read smoother. Peter visited “all” what? Well, our 1611 translators elected to insert “quarters” to clarify the sense—“all quarters.” While they are no longer here for us to ask why they chose that of all English words (as opposed to “regions” or “territories,” for example), we can study the rest of their work to arrive at the simplest—and therefore, most likely—explanation.

Here are other occurrences of the term “quarters” in the Authorized Version:

  • Jeremiah 49:36: “And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come.”
  • Revelation 20:8: “And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.”

Similar terminology is found elsewhere in the King James Scriptures:

  • Isaiah 11:12: “And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
  • Ezekiel 7:2: “Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land.”
  • Revelation 7:1: “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.”

Why did the King James scholars insert “quarters” in Acts 9:32 even though there is no corresponding Greek? It was to make the resultant translation read clearer. Furthermore, they likely picked that particular word so as to indicate the four cardinal directions—north, south, west, and east. “Regions,” “territories,” and “lands,” would not have been descriptive enough. The word “quarters” prompts the reader to think of four regions or quadrants, not any one particular direction but all directions. From where does Peter’s ministry radiate though? It is Jerusalem (the last place where he was seen before arriving in Lydda—Acts 8:25). Peter is going north, south, west, and east of Jerusalem, but he always eventually returns to Jerusalem (read Acts chapters 1–12, 15). Lydda is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northwest of Jerusalem. After Peter visited it, he went on to Joppa (northwest) and Caesarea (northeast), before ultimately heading south to go back to Jerusalem (Acts 11:2).

If we just give the King James Bible the benefit of the doubt, we understand that it does not contain mistakes. Rather than deriding it and attempting to correct it (as a Roman Catholic is taught to criticize this the Protestant Bible), we should study it to see why it says what it does. Conditioned by the modern-version sales pitches, we have been trained to quickly pounce on the Authorized Version and falsely accuse it of so-called “numerous errors” and “inferior translations.” It is far better to let the Holy Bible be the authority than endeavor to change it. Simply put, the word “quarters” in Acts 9:32 is likely being used to refer to the four primary directions. The text reads clearer with it. Leave it there and just believe it!

Saints, please remember us in your monthly giving—these websites do cost money to run! 🙂 You can donate securely here: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux, or email me at arcministries@gmail.com. Do not forget about Bible Q&A booklets for sale at https://arcgraceministries.org/in-print/booklets-bible-q-a/. Thanks to all who give to and pray for us! By the way, ministry emails have really been backed up this year. I am handling them as much as humanly possible. Thanks for your patience. 🙂

Also see:
» Is there a geographical error in 2 Kings 2:2?
» Is “excellent” a King James “mistranslation” in Philippians 1:10?
» Which belongs in Romans 8:16 and Romans 8:26 in the King James Bible—“the Spirit itself” or “the Spirit Himself?”

Why does the King James Bible say “nephews” instead of “grandchildren” in 1 Timothy 5:4?

WHY DOES THE KING JAMES BIBLE SAY “NEPHEWS” INSTEAD OF “GRANDCHILDREN” IN 1 TIMOTHY 5:4?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Does the Authorized Version contain an error in 1 Timothy 5:4? “But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.” All modern English versions—including the New King James Version—unite in replacing “nephews” with “grandchildren.” Why should we leave the Authorized Version as it stands?

It is the strangest phenomenon, dear friends. You would think preachers and commentators would respect the 400-year-old Authorized Version. Alas, they have been trained to pick it apart—deliberately or inadvertently holding virulent Roman Catholic sentiment toward the Protestant Bible! Such wicked thoughts produce all sorts of vilifying remarks, including, “Our clumsy 1611 translators totally missed the original language here! How unfortunate they did not have the manuscript evidence and expertise we have! This word should be this, or that, or whatever you like. Well, we may disagree on which is the correct word, we all agree that Authorized Version is wrong!” This absurd position—believe it or not—dominates “Christian” thinking in pulpit and pew alike. No wonder few believe the Holy Bible!

Deuteronomy chapter 25 is a valuable passage to settle the abstruseness in 1 Timothy 5:4. We turn to it now: “[5] If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her. [6] And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel. [7] And if the man like not to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband’s brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother. [8] Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her; [9] Then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house. [10] And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.”

This “levirate marriage” is prominently illustrated in the Book of Ruth. If a Jewish man died childless, his brother (next of kin) was to marry his bereaved wife and have children with her. Those children were to be raised in the name and land of that deceased brother. Why? It was a way of redeeming the dead man’s estate as well preserving his tribe’s bloodline. The male children born to the bereaved woman would be her former (now deceased) husband’s nephews. After all, her husband’s brother had fathered her children. That brother, and the resulting children or “nephews,” were to bear the financial burdens she or their family had—remember what Boaz did to Ruth. Such nephews (King James Bible) would be closer kin to her than her grandchildren (modern versions).

The Christian widows, Gentiles, of 1 Timothy chapter 5 are experiencing economic difficulties. Similar to (though not exactly synonymous with) the principle the LORD God laid out for Israel in Deuteronomy, the widow’s financial support was to come from her children (“children”) or the sons of her husband’s siblings (“nephews”). The children were first in line of kinship, followed by the nephews. In the absence of her children, these nephews could redeem their “brother’s” (loose term) estate from financial ruin. It is reminiscent of how Boaz fulfilled his duty in the Book of Ruth, although there are differences because no Gentile women (1 Timothy chapter 5) were following Israel’s levirate instructions of having children with their in-laws.

If the Christian widow lacked children and nephews, the local church was to then step in and help alleviate her monetary struggles. Remember, there was no governmental welfare system as we in the United States have today. Therefore, the local assembly of Christians was to meet the needs of the truly destitute believing widows who had no surviving family members to come to their aid. See 1 Timothy 5:3-16 for all the details.

Unfortunately for the King James Bible critics, “nephews” is not an error in 1 Timothy 5:4. If the text is altered to read “grandchildren” (as in modern versions), then we lose the connection to Deuteronomy. The passage thus becomes obscure because there is no self-interpretation anymore. Nephews, not grandchildren, are the widow’s next-of-kin after her children. Grandchildren are not in view in 1 Timothy 5:4!

Also see:
» Which belongs in Romans 8:16 and Romans 8:26 in the King James Bible—“the Spirit itself” or “the Spirit Himself?”
» What does “under colour” mean in Acts 27:30?
» Is the King James word “borrow” a “mistranslation” in Exodus 3:22?

Should “church” be changed to “called-out assembly” in Acts 7:38 in the King James Bible?

SHOULD “CHURCH” BE CHANGED TO “CALLED-OUT ASSEMBLY” IN ACTS 7:38 IN THE KING JAMES BIBLE?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Since people often have such an inadequate understanding of Scripture, they change the Bible text to make it fit what they believe to be the truth, what they assume it should teach or presume it to teach. Friends, this is backwards. The Bible should correct us—we should not be correcting it!! (That goes for any and all words!) One of the most misconstrued Bible words is “church.” As we will see in this study, it is important to approach the word dispensationally, just like we do the Bible as a whole. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

The Greek word “ekklesia” (also “ecclesia”) is derived from the root “kale” (“call”) thereby compounded with the prefix “ek”/“ec” (“out of”). This is translated “church”in our New Testament Scriptures. Our English term “church” finds its origin in the Greek “kuriakon (doma),” meaning “Lord’s (house);” “kurios” translates to “master, lord.” In other words, “church” means “belonging to the Lord.” No matter what the dispensation, regardless of where we are on the Bible timeline, God always has a people reserved for Himself. It could be a man, a family, a nation, a group of nations, et cetera. However, we have been misled to believe “church” always means us, the Church the Body of Christ.

If “church” is found in a context that does not fit the assumption that “church” is always the Body of Christ, the Bible verse is changed to make it support the conjecture. For example, Acts 7:38 is the favorite verse to disparage King James Scripture in this regard: “This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:….”

Here the critic remarks, “Israel was certainly not the Body of Christ, so it is inappropriate to call it a ‘church.’ The word ‘church’ here is better translated as ‘called-out assembly.’” Such a commentator, who is one of many (although hopefully sincere!), has been trained to believe “Bible teaching” means critiquing the textbook and making himself the authority instead of expounding and elevating the Book he claims to “believe, love, and defend.” He only appeals to the Bible when it fits his preconceived ideas—and, when faced with the choice, he is more willing to change the verse than relinquish his perverted theology. It is sad, but it is true. That is the result of unbelievers dominating our seminaries and Bible colleges with their empty human viewpoint!

HOW THE WORD “CHURCH” IS USED IN THE KING JAMES BIBLE

As noted earlier, the Greek is “ekklesia” (“called-out assembly”). The idea here is God calling out a people for His name. That agrees nicely with the English term “church,” meaning “belonging to the Lord.” Israel is a “church” (English) in that they belong to JEHOVAH God. Moreover, they can be labeled an “ekklesia” (Greek) because He called them from out of Egyptian bondage. Hosea 11:1 is a classic verse to this point: “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.” The LORD God “called” Israel in that He sent Moses to lead them from that land of slavery into a new land—the Promised Land. We could thus call Israel here “the Mosaic Church.”

The Apostle Peter speaks of a second “church” in Scripture. First Peter chapter 2: “[9] But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; [10] Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” This is the “Messianic Church,” those in Israel who believed on Jesus as Messiah/Christ beginning with John the Baptist’s ministry onward until early Acts. Note Matthew chapter 16: “[16] And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. [17] And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. [18] And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

It was said of John the Baptist in Luke chapter 1: “[16] And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. [17] And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” From John’s ministry onward, through the preaching of “the Gospel of the Kingdom” (Matthew 9:35), God called out a believing remnant from among Israel (the rest of the nation was apostate, in spiritual darkness and idolatry). So, with Moses, God called out a group, the nation Israel, from Egypt. Starting with John the Baptist, He called out a group from within Israel. That crowd of believers is “the Little Flock,” the heirs of God’s earthly kingdom (Luke 12:32). This “church” also appears in Hebrews 2:11-13, where these Messianic Jews are called Christ’s “brethren” and “the children which God hath given [Him].”

There is a third “church” in Scripture—the “Mystery Church,” a secret God kept to Himself until the appropriate time to manifest it. The risen, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ revealed it directly to and through the Apostle Paul. Ephesians chapter 3: “[1] For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, [2] If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: [3] How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, [4] Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) [5] Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; [6] That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:….” This church, the Body of Christ, is called out from Jews and Gentiles without distinction, without Judaism, without prophecy involved at all. See also 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 2:11-22, Colossians 1:23-28, Colossians 3:11, for example.

In Acts 15:14, the Apostle James says, “Simeon [Simon Peter] hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.” Through Paul’s testimony, and Peter’s experience in chapter 10 to validate it, the Lord Jesus is calling out a people for His name from among the Gentiles. This involves the preaching of Paul’s Gospel—“Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). As long as this Gospel of Grace is preached through Paul’s ministry (Acts 20:24), the Church the Body of Christ is forming and the Messianic Church is paused. The Messianic Church will resume after the Body of Christ has ended (see Romans 11:25-29).

CONCLUSION

“Church” is a generic word simply meaning, “belonging to the Lord.” “Ekklesia” is also general, and just equates to “called-out assembly.” These terms must be further defined according to a context. Who is the church? National Israel? The Little Flock? The Body of Christ? (All three are such.) Out of what are they called? Egypt? National Israel? The world of Jews and Gentiles? (Any of these three could be applicable.) See, there is no mistake and no confusion—provided we let the surrounding verses speak. We keep the general definitions in mind and modify them as the context demands. However, we do not modify the King James Bible text (otherwise we are the authority and we lose clarity that would have else came)!!

By the way, the Bible teacher would be most wise to teach the Bible and explainthe Bible rather than criticize the Bible and change the Bible. If a difficult word or concept is encountered, his job is to study, research, and explain it instead of taking the lazy route of explaining it away. Eliminating the word and/or ignoring the text will notchange what the Bible originally said! It takes work to study and elucidate, but it will prove useful in eternity—infinitesimally more beneficial than “wresting” or distorting God’s Word to make it fit our preconceived (misconceived) notions.

SUPPLEMENTAL: THE WORD “CHURCH” IN SCRIPTURE NEVER APPLIES TO A BUILDING!

It should also be noted that not only is “church” often assumed to always refer to the Body of Christ (wrong), “church” is often used to apply to a building (equally wrong). Christians are the church; they meet at the church building. Never once does the Bible refer to a structure of stone, wood, or metal as “the church.” This is nothing more than religious tradition. Be sure to keep that straight, dear friends, or you will never get the full impact of the word as it appears in Scripture!!

Also see:
» Do we live in the “Church Age?”
» What do you mean—“the prophetic program” and “the mystery program?”
» Which belongs in Romans 8:16 and Romans 8:26 in the King James Bible—“the Spirit itself” or “the Spirit Himself?”