Acts 15:18 - "Known UNTO GOD ARE ALL HIS WORKS from the beginning of the world."
Acts 15:17-18 King James Bible - "That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. 18 Known UNTO GOD ARE ALL HIS WORKS from the beginning of the world."
ESV (NASB, NET, Holman, Jehovah Witness NWT, Catholic St. Joseph, New Jerusalem) - 17. "that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things 18 known from of old."
NIV - 17. that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things — 18. things known from long ago."
It should be obvious that the modern, ever changing critical Greek text has omitted the words "UNTO GOD ARE ALL HIS WORKS" and the resultant meaning of the verse has been radically changed. The meaning of the King James Bible is that God knows perfectly everything that He will do in the future. It reveals the omniscient God who knows all things from the beginning of the world.
The critical text reading merely describes a God who knew certain facts before they happened. A prophet can do that, but only an omniscient God can know ALL His works from the beginning of the world.
The differences between the two texts can best be seen by showing both in the Greek. The Byzantine, Majority reading of Acts 15:17-18 looks like this:
Acts 15:17 ὅπως ἂν ἐκζητήσωσιν οἱ κατάλοιποι τῶν ἀνθρώπων τὸν κύριον, καὶ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, ἐφ' οὓς ἐπικέκληται τὸ ὄνομά μου ἐπ' αὐτούς, λέγει κύριος ὁ ποιῶν ταῦτα πάντα. Acts 15:18 γνωστὰ ἀπ' αἰῶνός ἐστιν τῷ θεῷ πάντα τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ."
And the Westcott-Hort, UBS, Nestle-Aland/Vatican critical text looks like this: Acts 15:17 ὅπως ἂν ἐκζητήσωσιν οἱ κατάλοιποι τῶν ἀνθρώπων τὸν κύριον, καὶ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη ἐφ' οὓς ἐπικέκληται τὸ ὄνομά μου ἐπ' αὐτούς, λέγει κύριος ποιῶν ταῦτα Acts 15:18 γνωστὰ ἀπ' αἰῶνος.
Agreeing with the Vatican Critical text's shorter reading are the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, NET, Darby, Holman Standard, the Jehovah Witness New World Version, the modern Catholic versions like the St. Joseph New American Bible 1970 and the New Jerusalem bible 1985 and the Common English Bible.
The Catholic Connection
It is interesting that the earlier Catholic Douay-Rheims of 1582 and the Douay of 1950 both were more like the King James Bible - "To the Lord was his own work known from the beginning of the world." This is actually the reading found in the Latin Vulgate, Alexandrinus and P 74 - γνωστὰ ἀπ' αἰῶνος τῷ κυρίῳ τὸ ἔργον αὐτοῦ
But the more modern Catholic versions like the St. Joseph, St. Joseph NAB 1970, New Jerusalem 1984 and the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version read like the modern Vatican Versions ESV, NIV, NASB, NET. - "the Lord who made this known so long ago." (New Jerusalem bible 1985)
A lot of this confusion is due to the critical texts that are normally used in the modern Vatican Versions. P74 and A read one thing; D reads another, while Sinaiticus and Vaticanus have yet a third different reading.
The Majority text and the Received Greek text agree and is the one found in the King James Bible, the Reformation Bibles and in the Traditional Greek text used by the Greek Orthodox churches all over the world to this day - "γνωστὰ ἀπ’ αἰῶνός ἐστι τῷ Θεῷ πάντα τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ."
"Known UNTO GOD ARE ALL HIS WORKS from the beginning of the world"
Agreeing with the reading found in the King James Bible in Acts 15:18 "Known UNTO GOD ARE ALL HIS WORKS from the beginning of the world" are Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525 -"knowne vnto God are all his workes from the begynninge of the worlde.", Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540 - " Knowen unto God are all his workes from the begynning of the world", Matthew's Bible 1549 - "knowen vnto God are all hys workes from the beginning of the worlde.", the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Douay-Rheims 1582 - "To the Lord was his own work known from the beginning of the world.", the Geneva Bible 1587 - "From the beginning of the worlde, God knoweth all his workes.", the Beza New Testament 1599, Mace's N.T. 1729 - "for the works of God are all known to him from the beginning of the world.", Whiston's N.T. 1745, Wesley's translation 1755, the Thomson Bible 1808, The Revised Translation 1815, Etheridge 1849, Murdock's 1852 and Lamsa's 1933 translations of the Syriac Peshitta, Webster's translation 1833, the Living Oracles 1853, The Commonly Received Version 1851, The Boothroyd Bible 1853, The Revised English Bible 1877, Youngs 1898, The Clarke N.T. 1913, J.B. Phillips The N.T. in Modern English 1962 - "Known to God from eternity are all his works."
Other Bibles that read like the KJB are the New Life Bible 1969, the NKJV 1982, The Word of Yah 1993, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, The Interlinear Greek N.T. 1997 (Larry Pierce), the Laurie Translation 1998, Third Millennium Bible 1998, God's First Truth 1999, The Last Days Bible 1999, The World English Bible 2000, The Tomson N.T. 2002, the Apostolic Polyglot Bible 2003, the Complete Apostle's Bible 2005, The Resurrection Life N.T. 2005 (Vince Garcia), Green's Literal 2005, The Pickering N.T. 2005, the Concordant Version 2006, the English Jubilee Bible 2010, the Online Interlinear 2010 (André de Mol), The Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010 - "Known to Elohim (אלהים) are all His works from the beginning of the world.", the Conservative Bible 2011, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011, the Knox Bible 2012, The Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2012 (Mebust), The Hebraic Roots Bible 2012, The World English Bible 2012, the Biblos Interlinear Bible 2013, The English Majority Text 2013 (Paul Esposito), The Hebrew Names Version 2014, The Modern Literal N.T. 2014 and the Modern English Version 2014.
Foreign Language Bibles
Among foreign language Bibles that have the much fuller reading of "Known UNTO GOD ARE ALL HIS WORKS from the beginning of the world." are the Apostolic Bible Polyglot Greek, Luther's German Bible 1545 and the German Schlachter of 2000 - "Gott sind alle seine Werke bewußt von der Welt her.", the Italian Diodati 1649 and Nuova Diodati 1991 - "A Dio son note ab eterno tutte le opere sue.", the Portugues Almeida Corrigida E Fiel 1681 and A Biblia Sagrada em Portugués - "Conhecidas säo a Deus, desde o princípio do mundo, todas as suas obras." = "Known unto God, from the beginning of the world, are all his works" , the French Martin 1744 and Ostervald 1996 - "Toutes les ouvres de Dieu lui sont connues de toute éternité.", and the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569 - "Conocidas son a Dios desde el siglo todas sus obras.", Cipriano de Valera 1602, and the Reina Valeras of 1909 and the 2010 Reina Valera Gómez Bible - "Conocidas son a Dios todas sus obras desde la eternidad." = "Known are to God all His works from eternity."
The Romanian Fidela Bible of 2014 reads like the KJB - "Cunoscute sunt lui Dumnezeu toate faptele lui, de la in- ceputul lumii.", as does the Afrikaans Bible 1953 -"Aan God is al sy werke van ewigheid af bekend.", the Czech BKR Bible - "Známáť jsou Bohu od věků všecka díla jeho.", and the Tagalog Ang Salita ng Diyos Bible 1998 - "Alam ng Diyos ang lahat ng kaniyang mga gawa mula sa walang handgun.", The Polish Updated Gdansk Bible 2013 - “ Znane są Bogu od wieków wszystkie jego sprawy.”
And the Modern Greek Bible - "Απ' αιωνος ειναι γνωστα εις τον Θεον παντα τα εργα αυτου."
The Pulpit Commentaries on Acts 15:18 - "As regards the reading of the R.V. in verse 18, it is a manifest corruption. It is not the reading of either the Hebrew or the Greek version of Amos, or of any other version; and it makes no sense. Whereas the T.R., which is the reading of Irenaeus (3.12.), as Meyer truly says, "presents a thought completely clear, pious, noble, and inoffensive as regards the connection,"... Nothing could be more germane to St. James's argument than thus to show from the words of Amos that God's present purpose of taking the Gentiles to be his people was, like all his other works, formed from the beginning of the world (comp. Ephesians 1:9, Ephesians 1:10; Ephesians 3:5, Ephesians 3:6; 2 Timothy 1:9, etc.)"
John Gill expounds the meaning of the passage as: "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world - These are the words of James, and not of Amos; all the things which God does in the church and in the world, they were all foreknown and predetermined by him: from the beginning of the world; or from eternity; even all his works of creation, providence and grace."
A. W. Pink -In his book The Attributes of God, in the third chapter called The Knowledge of God, A. W. Pink quotes this verse when he says: "Nothing relating to the future is in anywise uncertain so far as the actualization of God’s counsels are concerned. None of His decrees are left contingent either on creatures or secondary causes. There is no future event which is only a mere possibility, that is, something which may or may not come to pass,"Known unto God are all His works from the beginning" (Acts 15:18)."
John Calvin - “God saw, before the world was created, what he would do, and the calling of the Gentiles was hidden in his secret counsel.”
John Wesley - “Known unto God are all his works from eternity - Which the apostle infers from the prophecy itself, and the accomplishment of it. And this conversion of the Gentiles being known to him from eternity, we ought not to think a new or strange thing.”
John Trapp Commentary (English Puritan) - “18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. And consequently the calling of the Gentiles is foreknown and foreappointed by him, as a thing to be done in due time, though they be never circumcised.”
The King James Bible is right and it is not missing any whole verses or parts of verses that add up to literally thousands of words as the modern Vatican Versions like the ESV, NIV, NASB, NET do.
It is the complete, inspired and 100% true words of the living God and the true Book of the Lord. Accept no substitutes. God bless,
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