Colossians - A demonstration of the "Science of Textual Criticism"
Also known as "Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe"
Do we have God's infallible, inerrant, inspired words today? The Lord Jesus Christ promised that "heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Matthew 24:35.
The originals are long gone from this earth. We are left then with two possibilities. Either God has kept His promises to preserve His words somewhere on this earth to all generations, or He has failed to do so, and the best we can hope for is an endless series of conflicting approximations and contradictory guesses concerning what He probably originally inspired. We either have access to an inspired Holy Bible, or we do not.
The modern scholarly view is that the New Testament text is only 85 to 90% settled. They rarely speak of the Preservation of God's words except in a general sense that the true reading is "Out There" somewhere in all the manuscripts. This X Files mentality leads us into cloud land with no sure foundation.
Most modern bible versions reject the Traditional Text of the Greek New Testament, which has been used throughout history, and which underlies the King James Bible and all other Reformation Bibles in numerous foreign languages. They are based primarily on two Greek manuscripts, Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, which are often referred to as the oldest and best, yet these two constantly disagree with each other.
Some scholars who have adopted the Westcott-Hort theory are more honest than others in admitting where their textual theories logically lead. Let's hear from a couple of them.
F.C. Conybeare: “The ultimate New Testament text, if there ever was one that deserves to be so called, is for ever irrecoverable.”
Kirsopp Lake: “In spite of the claims of Westcott-Hort and of Von Soden, we do not know the original form of the gospels, and it is quite likely that we never shall.”
I and thousands of other Christians believe God has preserved His words and given them to us in the greatest Bible ever produced, and the All Time Best Seller in all of history - the King James Bible.
God has providentially born witness to His approval of the King James Bible. It has no provable errors. It was the Bible used during the great world wide missionary movement. It is the Bible of the Reformation period in England, and has stood the test of time for over 400 years. It is the only Bible today that is vigorously defended and believed by thousands of blood bought saints of God to be the complete, infallible and inspired words of the living God.
In this study of Colossians, we will see how many words have been either omitted or changed in such versions as the NASB, NIV, ESV, Jehovah Witness NWT and the modern Catholic versions.
It will become evident that Sinaiticus and Vaticanus often disagree with each other, and the bibles based on these two texts differ from each other as well. The modern versions present us with no sure words of God, but rather an almost endless series of conflicting guesses. They fail to acknowledge the providential hand of God in history to preserve His words through the priesthood of believers in the King James Bible.
The conflicting readings begin in the first verse of Colossians 1:1 and continue all the way to the last Amen of 4:18.
"Paul, and apostle of JESUS CHRIST..."
The first is a minor variation, but JESUS CHRIST is the reading of the Majority of all remaining Greek texts and manuscript D, Lamsa's translation of the Syriac Peshitta, Spanish Reina Valera 1569, 1909, 1960, 1995 and Contemporánea of 2011 - "apóstol de Jesucristo", Italian Diodati, 1649 and Nuova Diodati 1991 and the Italian La Parola é Vita of 1997 - "apostolo di Gesù Cristo per volontà di Dio", the French Martin 1744, Ostervald 1996 and French Louis Segond of 2007 - "apôtre de Jésus-Christ", the Portuguese O Livro of 2000 - "mensageiro de Jesus Cristo", Luther's German Bible of 1545 and the German Schlachter Bible of 2000 - "Apostel Jesu Christi durch den Willen Gottes", the Modern Greek N.T. "αποστολος Ιησου Χριστου δια θεληματος Θεου".
"an apostle of JESUS CHRIST" is the reading of Tyndale, Coverdale, the Great Bible, Matthew's Bible, the Bishops' Bible, the Geneva Bible, Douay-Rheims 1582, Mace N.T. 1729, Wesley's translation 1755, Worsley Version 1770, Thomas Haweis 1795, Young's 1898, Godbey 1902, Douay 1950, the NKJV 1982, Third Millenium Bible 1998 and the NASB.
However the NIV, ESV, RSV, NET, Holman Standard, Jehovah Witness NWT and the more modern Catholic versions like the St. Joseph NAB and the New Jerusalem of 1985 reverse the word order and say: "an apostle of CHRIST JESUS", because of the reading of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus.
I have no idea why the NASB decided to reject the Sin/Vat reading here, because usually they follow one or the other.
The second variant is of a more serious nature and it is found in verse two.
KJB - "Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST."
ESV (NIV, NASB, NET, Catholic versions, Jehovah Witness version) - "Grace to you and peace from God our Father."
The whole phrase "and the Lord Jesus Christ" is omitted from the NASB, NIV, NET, Jehovah Witness NWT (New World Translation), Holman 2009, ISV 2014 and the ESV 2001-2011.
It is omitted by Vaticanus and D, yet the reading is found in Sinaiticus, A, C, and the majority of all texts as well as some Old Latin copies, the Coptic Boharic and the Syriac Peshitta and Harclean ancient versions. So once again, the "oldest and best mss." differ among themselves. The reading is in Sinaiticus but omitted by Vaticanus.
The words "and the Lord Jesus Christ" have been in Bible translations for centuries until modern times. They are found in Wycliffe's Bible of 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Douay-Rheims of 1582, the Geneva Bible 1587, The Beza N.T. 1599, the King James Bible, Youngs 1898, the NKJV 1982, Third Millennium Bible 1998, Jubilee Bible 2010, Holy Bible, Modern English Version 2014.
Some Critical Text Versions have put the words back in the text. Among these are J.B. Phillips 1962 and The Voice of 2012.
Among foreign language translations the words "AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST" are found in Luther's German bible 1545 and the 2000 German Schlachter Bible - "Gott, unserem Vater, und dem Herrn Jesus Christus!", the French Martin 1744 and Ostervald 1996 and the French Louis Segond of 2007 -"de Dieu notre Père et du Seigneur Jésus-Christ!", the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Reina Valera 1909-2011 -"Gracia y paz sean a vosotros, de Dios nuestro Padre y del Señor Jesucristo.", the Portuguese A Biblia Sagrada em Portugués and Almeida Corregida 2009 - "de Deus nosso Pai e da do Senhor Jesus Cristo.", the Italian Diodati 1649, New Diodati 1991 and Italian La Parola e Vita 1997, and Riveduta 2006 - "da Dio nostro Padre e dal Signore Gesú Cristo.", the Romanian Cornilescu and Romanian Fidela 2014 - "Tatăl nostru, şi dela Domnul Isus Hristos.", the Russian Synodal, Afrikaans bible 1953, the Dutch Staten Vertaling, the Czech BKR, Hungarian Károli Bible, the 1998 Tagalog Ang Salita ng Diyos - "at mula sa Panginoong Jesucristo." and the Polish Updated Gdansk Bible 2013 - "i od Pana Jezusa Chrystusa.
The words "AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST" are in the Modern Hebrew Bible - אל הקדשים והאחים הנאמנים במשיח אשר הם בקולשא חסד לכם ושלום מאת האלהים אבינו ואדנינו ישוע המשיח׃
and the Modern Greek Bible used in the Greek Orthodox churches all over the world -"χαρις ειη υμιν και ειρηνη απο Θεου Πατρος ημων και Κυριου Ιησου Χριστου."
The Catholic Connection
The Catholic versions are in the usual disarray. The words "and the Lord Jesus Christ" are not in the Vulgate but they are in the Clementine Vulgate. They were in the 1582 Douay-Rheims but removed in the 1950 Douay, the 1970 St. Joseph New American Bible and in the New Jerusalem bible of 1885. But the 2009 the Catholic Public Domain Version has once again put them back in!
Frequently the names of deity have been shortened or changed in the modern versions. James White and other KJB critics falsely speak of "expansions of piety", as though later scribes added to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet clearly here Sinaiticus is just as old as Vaticanus, and the new versions have omitted it.
The same thing is seen in many other places. In fact, in the very next verse where we read: "We give thanks to God AND the Father of our Lord Jesus CHRIST", the word Christ is found in Sinaiticus but again omitted by Vaticanus, but this time the modern versions decided to reject the Vaticanus omission and include the word CHRIST.
Yet in this same verse the little word AND (kai) is found in Sinaiticus, A, C, the majority, Geneva Bible, NKJV, and Douay, yet because Vaticanus omits AND, it is not found in the NASB, NIV, Holman, modern Catholic versions and ESV. Here we see how the modern scholars go back and forth between these two "oldest and best" even in the same verse!
1 Thessalonians 1:1 and the dubious "science" of textual criticism.
1 Thessalonians 1:1 KJB - “Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, FROM GOD OUR FATHER, AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.”
ESV (NIV, NASB, NET, Holman, Jehovah Witness NWT, all Catholic versions) - “Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.”
In 1 Thessalonians 1:1 all the words in capital letters "Grace unto you and peace FROM GOD OUR FATHER, AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST" have been entirely omitted by the NASB, NIV, RSV, Holman, NET, ESV and all Catholic versions because Vaticanus omits them.
Yet they are all found in Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, D as well as the majority of all texts. So once again, the so called “oldest and best manuscripts” are divided and do not agree with each other. Not even all “Critical Text” versions agree with each other, as we shall see in a moment.
ALL these words "from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ" are found in Tyndale 1534, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Beza N.T. 1599, Mace N.T. 1729, Wesley's translation 1755, Worsley 1770, Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, the Thomson Bible 1808, The Revised Translation 1815, Living Oracles N.T. 1835, the Pickering N.T. 1840, the Longman Version 1841, the Morgan N.T. 1848, the Boothroyd Bible 1853, the Julia Smith Translation 1855, The Revised N.T. 1862, The Revised English Bible 1877, Young’s 1898, the Clarke N.T. 1913, Living Bible 1971, the NKJV 1982, Revised English Bible 1989 (a Critical text version), Third Millennium Bible 1998, Lamsa's 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta, The Word of Yah 1993, the Lawrie Translation 1998, The Koster Scriptures 1998, God’s First Truth 1999, The Last Days Bible 1999, The Tomson N.T. 2002, Apostolic Bible Polyglot Greek 2003, Green’s literal 2005, The Pickering N.T. 2005, A Conservative Version 2005, the Concordant Version 2006, Bond Slave Version 2009, the Jubilee Bible 2010, The Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, Online Interlinear 2010 (André de Mol), The Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011, The Far Above All Translation 2011, World English Bible 2012, The Voice 2012 (Critical Text version), The Hebraic Roots Bible 2012, The English Majority Text N.T. 2013, the ISV 2014 (International Standard Version, another Critical text version), The Hebrew Names Version 2014, The Modern Literal N.T. 2014 and the Modern English Version 2014.
Foreign Language Bibles
Among foreign language Bible that contain all these words are the Italian Diodati 1649 and La Nuova Diodati 1991 and Riveduta 2006 - "Paolo, Silvano e Timoteo, alla chiesa dei Tessalonicesi in Dio Padre e nel Signore Gesú Cristo: grazia a voi e pace da Dio nostro Padre e dal Signore Gesú Cristo.", the French Martin 1744, Ostervald 1996 and French Louis Segond 2007 - "que la grâce et la paix vous soient données de la part de Dieu notre Père et du Seigneur Jésus-Christ!", the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Cipriano de Valera 1602, the Reina Valera 1909, 1960, 1995 - "Gracia y paz sean a vosotros, de Dios nuestro Padre y del Señor Jesucristo.", Luther's German bible 1545 and Schlachter Bible 2000 - "Gnade sei mit euch und Friede von Gott, unserm Vater, und dem HERRN Jesus Christus!", the Dutch Staten Vertaling Bible, Finnish Bible 1776, the Afrikaans Bible 1953, the Czech Kralicka Bible, the Hungarian Karoli Bible, the Polish Updated Gdansk Bible 2013, the Russian Synodal Bible, Smith & van Dyke’s Arabic Bible, the Romanian Fidela bible 2014 and The Tagalog Ang Salita ng Diyos Bible 1998 - “sa Diyos na ating Ama at mula sa Panginoong Jesucristo.”
and the Portuguese A Biblia Sagrada em Portugués, Almeida Corrigida 2009 AND even the NIV Portuguese edition of 1999! - Paulo, Silvano e Timóteo, à igreja dos tessalonicenses, em Deus Pai e no Senhor Jesus Cristo: A vocês, graça e paz da parte de Deus e de nosso Senhor Jesus Cristo."
The Modern Greek Bible - “χαρις ειη υμιν και ειρηνη απο Θεου Πατρος ημων και Κυριου Ιησου Χριστου.”
And the Modern Hebrew Bible - פולוס וסלונוס וטימותיוס אל קהלת התסלוניקים באלהים האב ובאדון ישוע המשיח חסד לכם ושלום מאת אלהים אבינו ואדנינו ישוע המשיח׃
Even though the NIV English edition omits the words “FROM GOD OUR FATHER, AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.” yet the NIV in Portuguese, called Nova Versão Internacional 1999, includes them.
1 Tessalonicenses 1:1 Nova Versão Internacional 2000 -"Paulo, Silvano e Timóteo, à igreja dos tessalonicenses, em Deus Pai e no Senhor Jesus Cristo: A vocês, graça e paz DA PARTE DE DEUS E DE NOSSO SENHOR JESUS CRISTO.”
You can see it here -
One more of many examples is found in Acts 20:21 where the KJB says: "testifying ...repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus CHRIST."
CHRIST is found in the Majority of all Greek manuscripts, Sinaiticus, A, C, D, P74, the Old Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Georgian and Slavonic ancient versions and the ASV, RSV, ESV, NASB, but the word "Christ" is omitted in the NRSV, NET, Holman and NIV, because not in Vaticanus.
Did you notice how the RSV retains it, then the NRSV omits it, and then the next revision of the ESV puts it back again? And the NASB, which includes it, does not agree with the NIV which omits it.
The Catholic versions follow the pattern of these modern day Vatican Versions as well. The older Douay-Rheims 1582 and Douay of 1950 keep the word CHRIST in the full title of "our Lord Jesus CHRIST", but then the 1968 Jerusalem bible, the 1970 St. Joseph NAB and the 1985 New Jerusalem omit the word "Christ".
Oh, but wait a minute. Now the brand new 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version has once again put the word back in the text and now it reads: "faith toward our Lord Jesus CHRIST." There is no "science" here folks. It is as scientific and consistent as eenie, meenie, miney, moe.
"As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is FOR YOU a faithful minister of Christ."
"who is FOR YOU a faithful minister" is the reading of the Majority as well as the recent UBS Greek text, Sinaiticus correction and the NKJV, NRSV, and the 2001 ESV.
However, again the NASB, NIV, RSV are out of date, having followed Vaticanus which reads: "who is FOR US a faithful minister."
"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, AND TO DESIRE that YE MIGHT BE FILLED with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding."
"and to desire" is kai aitoumenoi, and is found in all texts except Vaticanus which omits these words. The modern versions this time rejected the Vaticanus omission and followed Sinaiticus and the majority reading by retaining the words.
"to desire THAT YE MIGHT BE FILLED" is exactly what all texts say and is the basic reading of all versions except the NIV. The NIV says: "asking GOD to fill you with the knowledge..." The word GOD does not occur in any text at all. In fact, a look at the NIV concordance shows they have added the word GOD to the New Testament a total of 115 times when not found or implied in the expression. See also Colossians 1:19, 21, and 2:13 where the NIV adds the word GOD.
"Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made US meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light."
Several things should be noted about this wonderful verse. First of all "made us meet" is not archaic. "To be made meet" means to be be made suitable or fitting. It is also the reading of the Revised Version, ASV, Tyndale, Coverdale, the Great Bible, Matthew's Bible, the Bishops' Bible, the Geneva, John Wesley's N.T., Webster's, Young's, the Third Millenium Bible and others.
Secondly, "Giving thanks unto THE FATHER" is the reading of all texts except Sinaiticus which says "to GOD the Father", but Vaticanus reads as does the KJB. Nobody I am aware of followed the Sinaiticus reading here.
Thirdly, instead of "who hath made us meet" (τῷ ἱκανώσαντι ἡμᾶς) only Vaticanus adds other words to this verse and says "who CALLED US and made us meet". But again, the modern versions this time discarded the Vaticanus reading. So both Sinaiticus and Vaticanus differ significantly from each other twice in this single verse.
Fourthly "which hath made US meet" is the reading of the majority, A, C and the NKJV, NASB, RV, ASV, and RSV.
However, following Sinaiticus/Vaticanus the NIV and ESV say: "who has made YOU qualified..."
Colossians 1:14 KJB - "In whom we have redemption THROUGH HIS BLOOD, even the forgiveness of sins."
The Reformation Text or the New Vatican Versions?
ESV (NIV, NASB, NET, Holman, Jehovah Witness New World Translation, Modern Catholic versions) -
"In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
The important words "through his blood", which express the price paid by the Son of God to redeem guilty sinners, are found in numerous Greek texts, ancient versions and quoted by several early church writers.
Marty Shue lists: "206 223 330 383 424 614 630 876 1505 1518 1912 1960 2005 2200 2344 2412 2464. It can also be found in many of the Old Latin mss. including g (9th century), f (9th century), c (11th century) and dem (12th century). It is also found in the Syriac Harclean and the Philoxenian, as well as the Armenian (4th to 5th century) and in the Latin Vulgate of Jerome (382 A.D.)
As for early church writers who quoted Colossians 1:14 as it stands in the Reformation bibles such men as Theodoret (420 A.D.), Cassiodorus and John Cassian (360 A.D.) who contending with Nestorius John Cassian (360 AD) writes: "Giving thanks to the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light, who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the remission of sins; who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature: for in Him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominations, or powers: all things were created by Him and in Him. (Cassian, Against Nestorius, 5:7)" [End of notes by Marty Shue]
"in whom we have redemption THROUGH HIS BLOOD, even the forgiveness of sins" is the reading of the Reformation Bibles and that of the Greek texts of Erasmus 1516, Stephanus 1550, Beza 1598, Elziver 1624, Scrivener 1894 and the Modern Greek Bible.
"In whom we have redemption THROUGH HIS BLOOD" is found in Tyndale 1525 - "in whom we have redempcion thurow his bloud that is to saye the forgevenes of sinnes.", Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Douai-Rheims 1582, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Beza N.T. 1599, the Bill Bible 1671, Wesley's translation 1755, John Worsley N.T. 1770, the Clarke N.T. 1795, the Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, the Thomson Bible 1808, The Revised Translation 1815, Webster's 1833, the Longman Version 1841, Hammond N.T. 1845, the Morgan N.T. 1848, the Hewett N.T. 1850, The Commonly Received Version 1851, the Boothroyd Bible 1853, Kenrick N.T. 1862, The Revised New Testament 1862, the Smith Bible 1876, Dillard N.T. 1885, Young's 1898, the Clarke N.T. 1913, New Life Version 1969, The New Berkeley Version in Modern English 1969, Living Bible 1971, the NKJV 1982, Amplified Bible 1987, Interlinear N.T. Greek 1998 (Larry Pierce), The Scriptures 1998 by Institute for Scriptural Research, Lawrie Translation 1998, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, The Koster Scriptures 1998, God's First Truth 1999, The Last Days N.T. 1999, Tomson N.T. 2002, The Evidence Bible 2003, the Apostolic Bible Polyglot English Bible 2003, J.P. Green's Literal 2005, The Resurrection Life N.T. 2005, The Pickering N.T. 2005, Bond Slave Version 2009, the 2011 Orthodox Jewish Bible - "In whom we have the pedut (redemption, Geulah release on payment of ransom) through the [kapporah] dahm of Moshiach the selicha (forgiveness) of chatoteinu (our sins).", Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010, Jubilee Bible 2010, Conservative Bible 2011, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011, The Voice 2012 (a Critical text version), the Natural Israelite Bible 2012, the Hebrew Names Version 2014 and the Modern English Version 2014 - “in whom we have redemption THROUGH HIS BLOOD, the forgiveness of sins.”
This is also the reading of the Modern Greek Bible - "εις τον οποιον εχομεν την απολυτρωσιν δια του αιματος αυτου, την αφεσιν των αμαρτιων·".
and of the Modern Hebrew Bible -אשר יש לנו בו הפדיון בדמו סליחת החטאים׃ = "in whom we have redeemption THROUGH HIS BLOOD, the forgiveness of sins."
Foreign Language Bibles
Among foreign language Bible that contain the phrase "THROUGH HIS BLOOD" are the Italian Diodati 1649 and the Nuova Diodati of 1991 and the Italian Riveduta of 2006 (the 1994 Riveduta had removed it, but the 2006 put it back in!) - "in cui abbiamo la redenzione PER MEZZO DEL SUO SANGUE e il perdono dei peccati.", the French Martin Bible 1744 and French Ostervald 1996 - "En qui nous avons la rédemption par son sang the Afrikaans Bible 1953 - "in wie ons die verlossing HET DEUR SY BLOED", the Dutch Staten Vertaling Bible - "In Denwelke wij de verlossing hebben door Zijn bloed", Luther's German Bible 1545 and the 2000 German Schlachter Bible - "an welchem wir haben die Erlösung durch sein Blut", the Finnish Bible 1776 - "Jonka kautta meillä on lunastus hänen verensä kautta", Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1549, Cipriano de Valera 1602, Reina Valera 1909 to 2011 - "en quien tenemos redención POR SU SANGRE, el perdón de pecados.", the Portuguese Almeida Corrigida E Fiel 1861 and 2009, A Biblia Sagrada em Portugués - "Em que temos a redenção PELO SEU SANGUE, a saber, a remissão dos pecados" and the Portuguese O Livro of 2000.
It is also the reading found in the Romaina Cornilescu Bible and the 2014 Romanian Fidela Bible - "în care avem răscumpărarea, prin sîngele Lui", the Czech BKR Bible - "V němžto máme vykoupení skrze krev jeho", the Polish Updated Gdansk Bible 2013 - " W którym mamy odkupienie przez jego krew, przebaczenie grzechów.", the Hungarian Károli Bible - "Kiben van a mi váltságunk az Õ vére által", the Afrikaans Bible 1953, the Russian Synodal Bible 1876 - "в Котором мы имеем искупление Кровию", the Arabic Smith & Van Dyke bible - الذي لنا فيه الفداء بدمه غفران الخطايا.. = "redemption THROUGH HIS BLOOD"
It is also found in the ancient versions of the Syriac Harclean, Philoxenian, some Old Latin, the Vulgate 382 A.D., Slavonic and Armenian ancient versions.
The Catholic Connection
Once again we see the familiar pattern in the Catholic versions. The older Douay-Rheims of 1582 included the phrase "THROUGH HIS BLOOD", but then the later Douay 1950, the St. Joseph NAB 1970 and the New Jerusalem bible of 1985 omitted the words.
But the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version has put them in again, and now reads: "in whom we have redemption THROUGH HIS BLOOD, the remission of sins."
The issue here is not "Well, this reading is found in other places of the Bible." It is; but the issue is Did God inspired these words specifically in Colossians 1:14 or didn't He? Does your Bible read "redemption THROUGH HIS BLOOD" in Colossians 1:14 or not?
Are you going to go with the Reformation Text of the Bible or the New Vatican supervised Versions?
"And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; BY HIM, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven."
The second "BY HIM" (δι' αὐτοῦ) is found in the Majority of all texts, plus Sinaiticus, P46, A, C, and is in the NASB, RV, ASV, NET, Amplified 1987 and the NKJV. However Vaticanus omits "by Him" (di' autou) and so does the NIV, Holman, RSV and ESV.
The UBS, Nestle-Aland critical texts have these two little words - δι' αὐτοῦ - in their text, but [in brackets]. Some critical text versions choose to include them and others do not. It's called Every Man For Himself Versionism!
This loopy philosophy is summed up in the NKJV's stated reason for including hundreds of footnotes about the variant readings when they tell us: "It was the editors' conviction that the use of footnotes would encourage further inquiry by readers. They also recognized that it was easier FOR THE AVERAGE READER TO DELETE SOMETHING HE OR SHE FELT WAS NOT PROPERLY A PART OF THE TEXT, than to insert a word or phrase which had been left out by the revisers." Page 1235 of the NKJV 1982 edition, Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Changed meaning in Colossians 1:25
"Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, TO FULFIL THE WORD OF GOD."
All the texts read the same here, but the NASB, NIV and ESV have missed the meaning and paraphrased it to mean something else. The apostle Paul was raised up by God to preach to the Gentile nations and bring them into the promised kingdom of Christ. Many Old Testament prophecies foretold that God would gather in the Gentiles, and Paul was being used in this way to "fulfil the word of God".
All texts read "plerosai (fulfil) ton logon tou Theou". To fulfil is used many times in this sense, as whenever events in the life of Christ fulfilled O.T. prophecies, the writers would say: "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by the Lord in the prophet saying...." Christ also said that He had not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it.
TO FULFIL THE WORD OF GOD is the correct reading found in the RV, ASV, Tyndale, Geneva, NKJV, Young's and many others. However the NASB, NIV, ESV all miss the point and paraphrase the text. The NASB says: "that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God"; the NIV "to preach to you the word of God in its fullness"; while the ESV has "to make the word of God fully known." Think about it. The meaning is not the same as the KJB correctly has it.
"that we may present every man perfect in Christ JESUS."
Here again, the word JESUS is found in the majority of all texts, Sinaiticus correction, Old Latin, Syriac, Gothic, Armenian and Ethiopic ancient versions. It is even found in the Catholic Douay-Rheims and Douay Catholic versions, but omitted in the more modern Catholic versions like the St. Joseph NAB 1970 and New Jerusalem bible 1985.
But because of Vaticanus, the NASB, NIV Holman and ESV omit the word JESUS.
"that we may present every man perfect in Christ JESUS" is the reading found in Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible, Mace N.T. 1729, Wesley 1755, Webster's 1833, Youngs, the NKJV, Third Millenium Bible 1998 and many others.
Among foreign language Bibles "Christ JESUS" is in Luter's German Bible 1545 and the 2000 German Schlachter Bible - "vollkommen in Christo Jesu", the French Martin and Ostervald 1996 and Louis Segond 2007, the Spanish Reina Valera 1960, 1995 and Contemporánea 2011, the Italian Diodati 1649 and New Diodati 1991 - "perfetto in Cristo Gesú", and the Portuguese Almeida Corrigida E Fiel and A Biblia Sagrada em Portugués - "perfeito em Jesus Cristo" to name just a few.
Colossians 2:2- "the mystery of God, AND OF THE FATHER, AND OF Christ."
"That their hearts might be comforted...to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, AND OF THE FATHER, AND OF Christ."
All the words "AND OF THE FATHER, AND OF" are found again in the Majority of all texts - του μυστηριου του θεου και πατρος και του χριστου
The other so called "oldest and best" are in hopeless confusion. Vaticanus has a nonsensical reading which is "the mystery of God, of Christ."- του μυστηριου του θεου, χριστου
Sinaiticus original had -"the mystery of God Father of Christ" - τοῦ θεοῦ πατρὸς Χριστοῦ
Then Sinaiticus was changed to read like A and C - "the mystery of the God and Father of the Christ" τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ πατρὸς τοῦ Χριστοῦ
But D original had "the mystery of God who is Christ - τοῦ θεοῦ, ὃ ἐστιν Χριστός
and then D was changed to read like the Majority, K, L, and the TR - "the mystery of God and the Father and of Christ." - τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Χριστοῦ
The Catholic Connection
The Catholic Versions are all over the board. They have come out with at least 4 different versions. The Douay-Rheims of 1582 said - "unto the knowledge of the mystery of God the Father AND of Christ Jesus".
But the 1950 Douay changed this to "so as to know the mystery of God the Father OF Christ Jesus." Then the 1970 St. Joseph New American Bible changed to "by THEIR knowledge of the mystery of God -NAMELY Christ."
But once again in 1985 the New Jerusalem came out and it reads: "and have knowledge of the mystery of God IN WHICH all the jewels of wisdom and knowledge are hidden." - Thus omitting not only "the Father" but "CHRIST" as well.
The Jehovah Witness New World Translation 1961, 2013 reads like the NIV, with: "in order to gain an accurate knowledge of the sacred secret of God, NAMELY, CHRIST."
The words "the mystery of God, AND OF THE FATHER, AND OF Christ" are found in Lamsa's translation of the Syriac Peshitta "the knowledge of the mystery of God, THE FATHER, AND OF CHRIST", Tyndale 1534, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible, the Geneva Bible 1587, Whist's N.T. 1745, Wesely's N.T. 1755, Worsley Version 1770, Young's 1898, the NKJV 1982, The Word of Yah 1993, Interlinear Greek N.T. 1997 (Larry Pierce), Lawrie Translation 1998, God's First Truth 1999, The Last Days Bible 1999, The Evidence Bible 2003, Green's Literal 2005, Hebrew Names Version - "may know the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Messiah”, Bond Slave Version 2009, English Majority Text Version 2009, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010 - "to the acknowledgement of the mystery of Elohim, and of ha Avi, and of Mashiach", Online Interlinear 2010 (André de Mol), Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010, Conservative Bible 2011 - "to the recognition of the secret of God, AND OF THE FATHER, AND OF Christ.", Far Above All Translation 2011, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011, Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2012 (Mebust), World English Bible 2012 - "know the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ" and the Holy Bible Modern Literal Version 2014.
The Modern Greek Bible - "γνωρισωσι το μυστηριον του Θεου και Πατρος και του Χριστου."
And the Modern Hebrew Bible - למען ינחמו לבותם ונקשרו יחד באהבה ולכל עשר דעת נכונה להשכיל סוד האלהים אבינו וסוד המשיח׃
Among foreign language Bible the words "AND OF THE FATHER AND OF" are in the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, the Spanish Reina Valera 1909 to 2011, the Portuguese Almeida Corrigida E Fiel - "do mistério de Deus e Pai, e de Cristo", the Italian Diodati 1991 -"l mistero di Dio e Padre e di Cristo", the French Martin 1744, Ostervald 1998 and the 2007 Louis Segond - "le mystère de Dieu, aussi bien du Père que de Christ.", Luther's German Bible 1545 and the 2000 German Schlachter Bible - "Gottes, des Vaters, und des Christus", the Afrikaans Bible 1953 - "van God en die Vader en van Christus", the Victor Zhuromsky N.T. - "для познания тайны Бога и Отца и Христа", the Czech BKR - "ku poznání tajemství Boha i Otce i Krista Pána", the Tagalog Ang Salita ng Diyos Bible 1998 - "ng hiwaga ng Diyos, at ng Ama at ni Cristo.", the Romanian Cornilescu Bible and Fidela 2014 - "cunoască taina lui Dumnezeu Tatăl, adică pe Hristos" and the Polish Updated Gdansk Bible 2013 - "ku poznaniu tajemnicy Boga, Ojca i Chrystusa"
However, the NASB, NIV and ESV follow Vaticanus and omit all these words. As it stands, Vaticanus is a nonsensical reading, so the NASB, NIV and ESV all have to add words to the text in order for it to make sense.
A literal translation of the Vatican text (εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν τοῦ μυστηρίου τοῦ θεοῦ, Χριστοῦ) would be - "to the acknowledging of the mystery OF THE GOD, OF CHRIST".
The NASB adds several words not in the text so their version makes some kind of sense. The NASB says: "RESULTING in A TRUE knowledge of God's mystery, THAT IS, Christ." All the capitalized words have been added.
The ESV doesn't add so many extra words as the NASB. It says: "the knowledge of God's mystery WHICH IS Christ."
The NIV adds "the mystery of God, NAMELY, Christ." These new versions, by following the Vatican reading, actually change the subject of what the mystery referred to is.
The mystery is NOT Christ Himself, but rather the same mystery the apostle just got done talking about in Colossians 1:26-27 - "this mystery among the Gentiles; WHICH IS CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY." That is the mystery that has now been revealed; that Christ would be in and among the Gentiles as His people.
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of THE GODHEAD bodily."
James White, a well known King James Bible critic, ignorantly harangues against the use of the word Godhead in the KJB. In his book, The King James Only Controversy, when discussing Colossians 2:9 Mr. White says on page 204: "Yet, the KJV rendering of this verse is probably the least clear of almost all currently available translations. How does one explain what "Godhead" means? Who really uses this term any longer? And what about the fact that the KJV uses "godhead" in other places when it is translating a completely different Greek term?"
Then Mr. White has a chart which shows the NASB rendering of the three passages where the KJB has Godhead in all three. Here are the NASB renderings: Acts 17:29 the Divine Nature (Theios); Romans 1:20 divine nature (theiotes), and Colossians 2:9 Deity (theotes).
As for Mr. White's puzzlement about how one explains what Godhead means, he might try looking at any number of current English dictionaries. Actually the word Godhead is much stronger and more accurate than the "deity" of the NASB, NIV and ESV.
Merriam Webster's Dictionary " the nature of God especially as existing in three persons -- used with the"
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000. 1. Divinity; godhood. 2. Godhead The Christian God, especially the Trinity.
The Greek lexicons of both Kittel and Thayer's also show Godhead as being one of the meanings of this Greek word used in Colossians 2:9.
The word Godhead implies the Three Persons of the Trinity, whereas the simple word Deity does not. It is more than just coincidence that the KJB has the word Godhead three times in the New Testament.
As for Mr. White's charge that all three Greek words are "completely different", please note that all three have the base word Theos, which by itself means God. Not only does the KJB translate all three of these related words as Godhead, but so also do Tyndale, the Geneva Bible, Webster's 1833 translation, Young's "literal" translation, the KJV 21st Century Version, and the Third Millenium Version.
Mr. White complains about the translation of Godhead here in Colossians 2:9, yet the NKJV, which he recommends in his book as a reliable translation, also has Godhead in Colossians 2:9. Not only do all seven translations just mentioned have Godhead in Colossians 2:9, but so also do Lamsa's 1960 translation of the Syriac Peshitta, the Revised Version, American Standard Version, Darby, New English Bible 1961, Wycliffe, Hebrew Names Version, the World English Bible, Douay-Rheims, Amplified, Green's Modern KJV, and Rotherham's Emphatic Bible. That is a total of at least 19 English bible versions that disagree with Mr. White's "scholarly" opinions.
As for Mr. White's question, "Who really uses this term any longer?", I suggest he get on the internet or read any number of current magazines or books. He will soon learn that it is still a very common word used especially when discussing the Trinity.
I have also heard radio preachers today who use the modern versions talking about the Godhead, little realizing that this word no longer appears in the bible versions they use. Something very damaging happens to the minds of those like James White who criticize the King James Bible - their arguments become silly, hypocritical and even stupid. As a well known KJB defender says, If you mess with the Book, God will mess with your mind.
Mr. White also shows his hypocricy when he says the KJB translates three "completely" different words as Godhead. The NASB, for whom he now works, has two very different words translated as deity - daimonion in Acts 17:18 and theotes in Colossians 2:9 - and also four very different words translated as Divine. In Acts 17:29 theios is translated as "divine nature", in Romans 1:20 Theiotes is "divine nature", in Romans 11:4 kreematismos is translated as "divine response" and in Hebrews 9:1 latreia is translated as "divine service".
The word Godhead in orthodox Christian theology clearly implies the Trinity. If anyone studies their Bible, you know that Christ was God manifest in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16 in the KJB, but not the NASB, NIV). The Lord also said in John 14:10 "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?...the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works."
The Lord Jesus Christ was conceived of the Holy Ghost (Luke 1:35) and God anointed him with the Holy Ghost and with power (Acts 10:38). In Christ dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
People like James White have no inspired Bible or sure words of God. They set up their own minds as being the final authority and correct every bible version out there. Mr. White often corrects his own NASB and thinks it too has errors.
They don't believe any translation can be the inspired words of God, and since the "originals" no longer exist, they have no inspired Bible and resent the fact that many of us believe we do. They want to be the Final Authority and have you come to them to find out what God really said. It is a big ego trip, easy to get into and very hard to get out of. I feel sorry for all the Christians who have been robbed of the true Holy Bible by these puffed up charlatans.
To see much more on the word "Godhead" and why this is correct and James White is wrong, see
"In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body OF THE SINS of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ."
Here the words OF THE SINS (τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν) are found in the majority of all Greek texts, Sinaiticus correction, Syriac Peshitta, the Gothic, and in modern Greek.
Mainly because of Vaticanus, the NASB, NIV, ESV omit these words.
"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath HE quickened * together with HIM, having forgiven YOU all trespasses."
This verse presents us with a multitude of conflicting readings, and the modern versions present no unified front. The NIV makes it even more difficult by adding the names of GOD and CHRIST when not found in any text at all.
First of all the NASB and NIV add an extra YOU in this verse by saying "He made YOU alive together with Him" (NASB). This extra YOU comes from Sinaiticus original, A and C. However Vaticanus reads and extra US instead of YOU. Then Sinaiticus was corrected to omit the extra "you" or "us", and follows the many other copies that read as does the KJB, NKJV, and all other Bibles translated from the Traditional text.
It is interesting that the RSV and ESV follow the KJB reading and do not add the extra "you" or "us".
Secondly, where we read "having forgiven YOU all trespasses", this is the reading of Sinaiticus correction, the Syriac Peshitta, Textus Receptus, Wycliffe, Tyndale, Geneva, and the NKJV. But Vaticanus and other Alexandrian texts read: "having forgiven US all trespasses", and so the NASB, NIV and ESV reading.
Thirdly, the NIV plays very loose with the names of God in their paraphrase. Contrary to the NASB, ESV and RSV, the NIV adds GOD and CHRIST to this single verse where no text has them.
The NIV says; "GOD made you alive with CHRIST". The NIV adds the word CHRIST 15 times in the N.T. where it does not occur. See Colossians 1:22; 2:9,10 and 13 for examples.
The NIV continually adds to and takes away from the true words of God in both the Old and New testaments. There are certain expressions where the word God or Lord are implied and in these cases the KJB as well as many other translations express this. However in the NIV what we often find is the word God or Lord being left out of these expressions and instead, the NIV adds the word God, Lord, Jesus or Christ when it is not in any text, be it Hebrew or Greek.
You might want to take a look at the NIV complete concordance. In it you will find by their own documentation that the NIV has added the name of Jesus to the New Testament a total of 336 times when it is not found in the Greek texts they themselves are using. That's three hundred and thirty six times!.
It may also interest you to know that they have omitted the name of God or JEHOVAH # 3378 thirty eight times (38 not translated) when it occurs in the Hebrew texts, and 52 times they have added LORD, or GOD when it is not in the Hebrew text.
The word Elohim, or God found on page 454 of the NIV concordance has not been translated 13 times when found in the Hebrew text and it was placed in the NIV another 52 times when not in the Hebrew for a total of the word GOD being added 104 times when not in the Hebrew and not translated when in the Hebrew text 51 times in the Old Testament.
The NIV has also ADDED the word God 117 times in the New Testament alone when it does not occur in any Greek text nor when it expresses the idea of "God forbid" and they have not translated it three times when it is in their Greek texts.
The NIV has also added the word Lord to the New Testament 6 times when it is not found in any Greek text - for example I Cor. 1:2; and 7:34. If you read the NIV, you are never sure if you are reading God's words or the words of men who feel free to "edit" what God inspired.
All this factual information is found by merely looking at their own NIV complete concordance.
Colossians 2:18 - "NOT seen" or "SEEN"?
KJB - "Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath NOT seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind."
On the other hand, that little word NOT has been removed from the NASB, NIV and ESV versions, which results in the opposite meaning. Has this false teacher seen or NOT SEEN the things of which he speaks?
ESV (NIV, NASB, NET, Jehova Witness NWT, modern Catholic versions) - "Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in details about VISIONS, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind." Footnote: "about the things HE HAS SEEN"
The ESV just paraphrases a bad text. The NASB says "taking his stand on visions HE HAS SEEN". It just adds the word "visions". The NIV says "goes into great detail about WHAT THEY HAVE SEEN."
The reading of NOT SEEN is found in the Majority of all texts, Sinaiticus correction, D correction, C, F, G, K, L, P, Psi, the Old Latin copies ar, c, dem, div, f, g, mon, o, x, z, the Vulgate, Syriac Peshitta, Herclean, Gothic, and Armenian, Ethiopic, Georgian and Slavonic ancient versions. It is so quoted by such early church writers as Origen, Ambrose, Chrysostom, Pelagius, Jerome, Theodore, Augustine, Theodoret and John-Damascus.
The Catholic Connection
Even the previous Catholic Douay Rheims of 1582 and the 1950 Douay version read "those things he hath NOT SEEN". But the more modern Catholic versions (St. Joseph NAB 1970, New Jerusalem bible 1985) have now changed to the other reading.
The word "NOT" is omitted by Vaticanus and A, and so we have the opposite meaning given in the NASB, NIV, ESV, NET, Jehovah Witness New World Translation and the more modern Catholic Versions.
The reading of "intruding into those things HE HATH NOT SEEN" is also that of Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1534, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Douai-Rheims 1582, the Geneva Bible 1587, Mace 1729, Wesley's N.T 1755, Worsley Version 1770, Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, Sawyer N.T. 1858, Etheridge 1849, Murdock 1852 and Lamsa's translations of the Syriac Peshitta, Noyes Translation 1869, Darby 1890, Young's 1898, NKJV 1982, the Hebrew Names Version, The Word of Yah 1993, Interlinear Greek N.T. 1997 (Larry Pierce), Lawrie Translation 1998, God's First Truth 1999, The Last Days Bible 1999, Green's Literal 2005, Bond Slave Version 2009, English Majority Text Version 2009, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010 - "things he HAS NOT SEEN", Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010, Jubilee Bible 2010, Conservative Bible 2011, The Far Above All Translation 2011, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011, the Natural Israelite Bible 2012, Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2012 (Mebust), the Hebraic Roots Bible 2012 - "things he HAS NOT SEEN", the World English Bible 2012 and the Holy Bible Modern Literal Version 2014.
The Modern Greek Bible - εμβατευων εις πραγματα τα οποια δεν ειδε - "into things he has NOT seen"
And The Modern Hebrew Bible - אל תתנו לאיש לעקב אתכם על ידי שפלות רוח ועבודה מלאכים המהלך בדברים אשר לא ראו עיניו ומלא רוח גאוה על לא דבר משכל בשרו׃
Foreign language Bibles that also read "things HE HAS NOT SEEN" are the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Cipriano de Valera 1602, Reina Valera 1909 to 2011- “metiéndose en lo que no ha visto”, the Portuguese Biblia Sagrada - “metendo-se em coisas que não viu”, the Romanian Fidela Bible 2014 - “vârându-se în cele pe care nu le-a văzut”, the French Martin 1744, Ostervald 1996 - “s'ingérant dans des choses qu'il n'a point vues”, Luther’s German bible 1545 and German Schlachter bible 2000 - “indem er sich in Demut und Verehrung von Engeln gefällt und sich in Sachen einlässt, die er nicht gesehen hat” = “things he HAS NOT SEEN”, the Italian Diodati 1649, La Nuova Diodati 1991 - “ponendo il piè nelle cose che non ha vedute”, the Afrikaans Bible 1953 - “en indring in wat hy nie gesien het nie”, the Dutch Staten Vertaling Bible - “intredende in hetgeen hij niet gezien heeft” = “intruding into those things he has NOT SEEN.”, the Hungarian Károli Bible - “ a melyeket nem látott”, the Tagalog Ang Salita ng Diyos Bible 1998 - “ Siya ay nagkukunwaring nakakita ng mga bagay na hindi naman niya nakita.” and the Polish Updated Gdansk Bible 2013 - " wdając się w to, czego nie widział" = "thing HE HAS NOT SEEN"
So, once again it comes down to either the Reformation Bibles text of "NOT seen" or the new Vatican Versions "HAS SEEN".
Colossians 2:23 The Superiority of the King James Bible
God is in control of history and His providential hand is clearly seen upon the history and the use of the King James Bible. For the biblical relativist, any remotely possible interpretation is acceptable, even though it directly contradicts another. Each man becomes his own final authority and every man does that which is right in his own eyes. If he doesn't like this particular reading, he then chooses another that he understands as being better or more suitable to his liking; or he will make up his own interpretation.
One of the reasons the King James Bible superseded all previous English versions is because it is right and the others were wrong. I know God used imperfect men to produce His Book, but if I am accused of believing "1611, straight from Heaven", so be it.
We have such an example of the superiority of the KJB in Colossians 2:23, where it has the correct meaning and many other translations did not get it right. I and many others embrace the final authority of the King James Bible and we believe every word. The correct meaning is found in the phrase: "NOT IN ANY HONOUR TO THE SATISFYING OF THE FLESH."
Let's look at the context. The apostle is speaking about false ascetic religions based on a merit system of self discipline, and not on the finished redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Colossians 2:20-23 "Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom IN WILL WORSHIP, and humility, and neglecting of the body; NOT IN ANY HONOUR TO THE SATISFYING OF THE FLESH."
The Greek reads exactly as the King James Bible has it- "not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh" (ouk en timee pros pleesmoneen tees sarkos).
The Holy Ghost is telling us here that these man-made religious practices, instead of being an honour to God actually serve to puff up and satisfy the carnal desires of man to make himself acceptable to God by his own efforts. He can then boast over others and to God that by dint of his own will and ability he "made it". This is the religion of the flesh.
Let's now look at some of the many translations that got it wrong and then we'll see some of the others that got it right.
Here is the KJB reading again, so you can compare it to the others.
"Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, an humility, and neglecting of the body; NOT IN ANY HONOUR TO THE SATISFYING OF THE FLESH.
Tyndale - "which things have the similitude of wisdom in chosen holiness and humbleness, and in tht they spare not the body, AND DO THE FLESH NO WORSHIP UNTO HIS NEED." (Say what?!)
NKJV - "These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, BUT ARE OF NO VALUE AGAINST THE INDULGENCE OF THE FLESH." (opposite meaning than that of the KJB. The NKJV is a sham version that perverts the meaning of the KJB in hundreds of verses and often agrees with the NASB, NIV.)
NASB - "These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, BUT ARE OF NO VALUE AGAINST FLESHLY INDULGENCE." (opposite, again.)
NIV - "BUT THEY LACK VALUE IN RESTRAINING SENSUAL INDULGENCE." (again, the opposite meaning.)
ESV - "BUT THEY ARE OF NO VALUE IN STOPPING THE INDULGENCE OF THE FLESH."
Now for the Versions that got it right. Among these are the Geneva Bible, which though the wording is different, carries the same meaning. "which are things of no value, since they pertain to the filling of the flesh."
John Wesley made his own New Testament translation in 1755 and he agrees with the meaning found in the King James Bible. His translation reads: ""Therefore if ye are dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as living in the world, receive ye ordinances, (Touch not, taste not, handle not: All which are to perish in the using,) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things, (Though they have indeed a show of wisdom, in voluntary worship and humility, and not sparing the body,) yet are not of any value, BUT ARE TO THE SATISFYING OF THE FLESH."
Spanish Reina Valera 1909 (not the 1960 version, which has changed a lot of things). "no en alguna honra para el saciar de la carne." (not in any honour for the satisfying of the flesh.)
The Italian Diodati - "per satollar la carne; non in onore alcuno." (are for satisying the flesh; not in any honour at all.")
Geneva Bible - different words, and not as good as the KJB, but the meaning is the same. "which things are of no value, since they pertain to the filling of the flesh."
Douay Version - "but are not to be held in esteem, and lead to the full gratification of the flesh."
Wycliffe - "not in any honour to the fulfilling of the flesh."
Webster's 1833 translation - "Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will-worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh."
Young's "literal" - "not in any honour, unto a satisfying of the flesh."
Other versions that have the same reading as does the KJB are Green's Modern KJV, George Ricker Berry's interlinear N.T., Rotherham's Emphatic Bible and A Conservative Version (ACV)
The King James Bible contains the true meaning intended by God Almighty and the NKJV, NASB, NIV and ESV got it wrong.
Colossians 3 This chapter particularly shows the confusion of the modern versions and the disparity among the "oldest and the best" manuscripts. But first, we will address a translation issue.
Colossians 3:2 KJB: "Set YOUR AFFECTION on things above, not on things on the earth."
NKJV: Set YOUR MIND on things above, not on things on the earth. "
King James Bible critic Reese Currie writes: "I guess the big issue here is between "set your affection" and "set your mind". The Greek word phroneo means to exercise the mind, so the NKJV is more accurate yet again. "
Once again, our Bible critic is mistaken. The word phroneo can also have an emotional element, rather than a purely mental assent. Even the NKJV translates this word twice as "care" in Philippians 4:10. "But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last YOUR CARE of me hath flourished again; wherein YE WERE ALSO CAREFUL, but ye lacked opportunity."
The NKJV has "care" and the NASB, ESV say "concern". The same word is used in Philippians 1:7 where the KJB says "it is meet for me to THINK this of you all", but the NIV, NASB, ESV say "for me TO FEEL this way about you"
It should be obvious that if you "care" about someone or something or "feel" a certain way about them, then you have set your affections on these things.
The Greek Lexicons tell us the same thing. Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon says the word phroneo means "to feel by experience, to be disposed a certain way about someone or something; to be concerned." Thayer's Lexicon says the word means "to FEEL or think". Kittle's Theological Dictionary of the New Testament tells us that phroneo "is used with reference to disposition, attitude or purpose." And Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich tell us the same thing - "to think or FEEL".
Even the modern Greek dictionary says the noun form of this verb, phroneema, means "the mind, SENTIMENT or morale." So there can very definitely be an emotional component to this word and that is why the KJB and several others correctly translate this verse as "SET YOUR AFFECTION on things above, not on things on the earth."
Other Bible translations that read like the KJB here in Colossians 3:2 are Tyndale 1525 - “SET YOURE AFFECCION on thynges yt are above and not on thinges which are on ye erth.”, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549 “SET YOUR AFFECTION on things above”, the Bishops’ Bible 1568 - “SET YOUR AFFECTION on thynges aboue”, the Geneva Bible 1587 - “SET YOUR AFFECTIONS on things which are aboue”, The Beza N.T. 1599, The Bill Bible 1671, Whiston’s N.T. 1745, John Wesley’s N.T. 1755, The Thomson Bible 1808, The Revised Translation 1815, Webster’s translation 1833, the Living Oracles 1835,The Pickering N.T. 1840, The Longman Version 1841, The Commonly Received Version 1851, The Boothroyd Bible 1853, The Clarke N.T. 1913, The Montgomery N.T. 1924, The Word of Yah 1993, KJV 21st Century Version 1994, the Third Millennium Bible 1998 - “SET YOUR AFFECTIONS on things above”, God's First Truth 1999, Tomson New Testament 2002, The Evidence Bible 2003, The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, The Bond Slave Version 2012, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2012 (Mebust), and The Modern English Version 2014 - "set your affection on things above".
Other versions -
Wycliffe’s translation 1395 has “SAVOR the things that are above”. Rotherham’s Emphasized bible 1902 says “hold in esteem”. The Concordant Literal Version 2009 has: “BE DISPOSED TO that which is above”. The 2010 English Jubilee Bible says: “SET YOUR SIGHT ON things above”. The Montgomery N.T. says: “SET YOUR HEART ON things above”. J.B. Phillips N.T. 1962 - “GIVE YOUR HEARTS TO the heavenly things, not to passing things of earth.” The 2010 Jubilee Bible has - “Set your sight on things above”. The Voice 2012 - “STAY FOCUSED ON what’s above, not on earthly things”, the 1998 Lawrie Translation says "CARE FOR the things that are above." and The Translators Bible 2012 -"So BE CONSTANTLY WANTING what is associated with heaven, where Christ sits."
"When Christ, who is OUR life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."
OUR life is the majority reading, the TR as well as Vaticanus and the Revised Version 1885, American Standard Version 1901, the RSV 1946-1971, J.B. Phillips 1962, New Life Version 1969, Living bible 1971, Catholic St. Joseph NAB 1970, Amplified 1987, the NASB 1995, Orthodox Jewish bible 2011, The Voice 2012, Modern English Version 2014.
However Sinaiticus reads YOUR life, and so do the NIV, NRSV 1989, ESV, Holman, ISV, NET, Catholic Douay 1950, New Jerusalem bible 1985.
Even Westcott and Hort went with OUR life and the Nestle 4th edition 1934 also reads OUR life.
But by the time the 21st edition of the Critical text had come out, they changed the reading to YOUR life. There were no "new manuscript discoveries" made; they simply changed their minds and decided to go with the other reading.
This is how their "science" of textual criticism works, and if a reading is different from the KJB, then it is more likely to eventually make it into their new "bibles".
Colossians 3:6 - "the wrath of God cometh ON THE CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE."
KJB - "For which things sake the wrath of God cometh ON THE CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE."
ESV (NIV) - "On account of these the wrath of God is coming."
One of the whackiest examples of the so called "science" of textual criticism and how it really works is found in Colossians 3:6 and the phrase "the children of disobedience".
In Greek this phrase is composed of 5 words - "ἐπὶ τοὺς υἱοὺς τῆς ἀπειθείας" It is also found in Ephesians 5:6 and the phrase refers to those who remain in unbelief of the gospel and are the children of the devil. They are not among the redeemed children of God.
This reading is found in the Majority of all remaining Greek manuscripts including Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus (A), C and D correction. It is also found in the Latin Vulgate, the Greek Lectionaries, the Old Latin copies of ar, c, d, dem, div, f, g, mon, t, x and z as well as the Syriac Peshitta, Harclean, the Coptic Boharic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Georgian and Slavonic ancient versions.
Westcott and Hort originally omitted the phrase altogether because not found in Vaticanus, P46 and D original. The Nestle critical text 4th edition 1934 as well as the Nestle 21st edition 1975 also omitted the phrase and simply said: "For which things sake the wrath of God comes."
However, now the Nestle-Aland 27th edition and the 28th edition have decided to put the phrase back into their critical Greek texts and it is found there today.
Now here is the curious thing. In spite of the fact that Westcott and Hort omitted the phrase, yet reading like the King James Bible were the Revised Version of 1881 and the ASV of 1901. Both read - "cometh the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience."
But now that the phrase is put back into the critical Greek text, the more modern versions like the NIV and ESV omit it! Go figure!
But wait! There's more. The NASB 1963, 1972, 1973 and 1977 editions all OMITTED the phrase and read: "For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come." But in 1995 the new NASB has put it back in and it now reads: "the wrath of God will come UPON THE SONS OF DISOBEDIENCE."
The liberal RSV was the first major version to actually follow the then Nestle critical text and it omitted the phrase. But then the 1989 New RSV put it back in and read rather incorrectly: "On account of these the wrath of God is coming on THOSE WHO ARE DISOBEDIENT." Footnote - "Greek - the children of disobedience".
But then the revision of the revision of the revision - the ESV 2001- has now gone back to omitting it again and simply reads: "On account of these the wrath of God is coming." and then footnotes: "Some manuscripts add 'the sons of disobedience.'" SOME???
Other critical text versions that omit the phrase are Goodspeed 1943, Weymouth 1902, Rotherham's Emphasized bible 1902, New International Reader's Version 1998 and the Jehovah Witness New Word Translation 1961 and 2013.
Bible translations that include the reading of "the sons of disobedience" are Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 - "wrath of God commeth on the children of disobedience.", the KJB, Wesley translation 1755, RV, ASV, Darby, Youngs, J.B. Phillips N.T. 1962, Complete Jewish Bible, Hebrew Names Version, New Life Bible 1969, the Berkeley Version in Modern Speech 1969, the NRSV 1989, NKJV 1982, God's Word Translation 1995, Third Millenium Bible 1998, Green's literal 2000, the Holman Standard 2009, the Common English Bible 2011, the Knox Bible 2012, Lexham Bible 2012, The Voice 2012, Aramaic Bible in Plain English 2010, and the 2012 ISV (International Standard Version), though it has a poor paraphrase. The 2012 ISV reads: " It is because of these things that the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient." Footnote - Literally "on the sons of disobedience."
Even Dan Wallace's NET version reads: "Because of these things the wrath of God is coming ON THE SONS OF DISOBEDIENCE."
But then he has these typical bible agnostic, mumbo jumbo, "Yea, hath God said?" footnotes - "there are other places in which B and Ì46 share errant readings of omission. Nevertheless, the strength of the internal evidence against the longer reading is at least sufficient to cause doubt here. The decision to retain the words in the text is less than certain."
How is THAT for a real faith booster in the inerrancy of the Bible?
The Catholic Connection
Among the Catholic versions the phrase IS in the Douay-Rheims of 1582 and the Douay of 1950.
Then the 1968 Jerusalem bible and the 1970 St. Joseph New American Bible omitted it.
But then the 1985 New Jerusalem put it back in again!
Foreign language Bibles that correctly read "the wrath of God comes UPON THE CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE" are the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569 - "por estas cosas la ira de Dios viene sobre los hijos de rebelión", the Spanish Reina Valera's 1909, 1960, 1995 - "la ira de Dios viene sobre los hijos de desobediencia", the French Martin 1744, the Ostervald 1996 and the 2007 Louis Segond - "la colère de Dieu vient sur les enfants rebelles", Luther's German Bible 1545 and the 2000 Schlachter Bible - "über die Söhne des Ungehorsams", the Italian Diodati 1649 and La Nuova Diodati 1991 - "l’ira di Dio sopra i figliuoli della disubbidienza.", the Portuguese Actualizada, A Biblia Sagrada em Portugués AND the NIV Portuguese edition 1999 Nova Versão Internacional (even though it is not in the English edition of the NIV) - "a ira de Deus sobre os filhos da desobediência."
These words are in the Modern Greek Bible - "δι α ερχεται η οργη του θεου επι τους υιους της απειθειας."
And in the Modern Hebrew Bible - כי בגלל אלה בא חרון אלהים על בני חמרי׃
In summary, the ever changing modern critical Greek text versions that OMIT the phrase "upon the children of disobedience" are the REB (Revised English Bible) 1989, the NIV 1984, 2011, the ESV 2001-2011, and the NASB 1963 to 1977. But the modern critical Greek text versions that INCLUDE the phrase are the Holman Standard 2009, NET 2006, Common English Bible 2011, ISV 2012 and the NASB 1995!
Modern $cholar$hip is a Wonder to behold, isn't it? You are always Wondering what they will come up with next.
Stick with the Bible people actually believe - the King James Holy Bible. You will never go wrong.
"Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as CHRIST forgave you, so also do ye."
The reading of CHRIST is in the Majority of all manuscripts, C, D2, Sinaiticus correction, and a multitude of ancient versions including the Syriac Peshitta, Harclean, Coptic Sahidic and Boharic, the Gothic, and Ethiopic versions. It is also that of the Spanish Reina Valera, Diodati, Luther and the Russian Bibles.
Sinaiticus original, before it was corrected to read as the KJB said "even as GOD IN CHRIST forgave you."
Primarily because Vaticanus reads "even as THE LORD forgave you" the NASB, NIV and ESV have the Lord instead of Christ. The Vulgate also reads "the Lord" as do these modern versions. I mention this because many MV defenders like to falsely accuse the KJB of following the Latin Vulgate (which it doesn't), yet they ignore the instances where their versions agree with the Vulgate. A careful look at the previous verse shows that Vaticanus alone omitted the word HOLY, from the phrase "holy and beloved", yet they chose not to follow Vaticanus there. See how "scientific" this whole thing is?
"And let the peace OF GOD rule in your hearts..."
GOD is the majority reading, and Sinaiticus correction, the Spanish, Diodati, and Luther, but Vaticanus reads "the peace of CHRIST" and so do the NASB, NIV and ESV. Again, as a side note, so does the Latin Vulgate.
"Let the word OF CHRIST dwell in you richly in all wisdom."
CHRIST again is the majority reading, along with Vaticanus and this time the NASB, NIV and ESV follow the KJB reading. However the NASB, ESV footnotes tell us that some manuscripts read GOD (A), and others read THE LORD (Sinaiticus original), just so we won't get too comfortable with thinking God's words are settled and sure.
"singing WITH GRACE in your hearts TO THE LORD."
"WITH GRACE in your hearts to THE LORD" is in the majority of texts, as well as the corrections of C and D, plus the Old Latin, Spanish, Diodati, and Luther.
Again the NASB, NIV and ESV follow the Alexandrian texts which read: "with THANKSGIVING in your hearts TO GOD." Oops, so does the Latin Vulgate :-)
"do all in the name of the LORD JESUS, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."
This verse again reveals the general confusion of the Alexandrian texts, upon which many modern versions are based. Instead of "the Lord Jesus", which is the majority reading as well as that of Vaticanus, the manuscripts of A and C read "Jesus Christ" omitting Lord and adding Christ, while Sinaiticus says: "the Lord Jesus Christ". Now what was that James White said about expansions of deity?
"Servants, obey in all things your masters ACCORDING TO THE FLESH (kata sarka); NOT WITH EYESERVICE, (mee en ophthalmodouleiais) as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing GOD."
I have highlighted a couple of phrases here "according to the flesh" and "not with eyeservice", which is literally what all texts say, in order to show how the vaunted NASB is not nearly as accurate or literal as they like to tell us.
" your masters according to the flesh" is the correct reading and is found in the Revised Version, ASV, NKJV, Geneva, Young's and many others. However the NASB paraphrases this as "your masters ON EARTH", while the NIV, which is almost always a paraphrase, and the ESV have "your EARTHLY masters."
"not with eyeservice" is again literally what the texts say and is the reading of the RV, ASV, NKJV, RSV and even the ESV. You can even see the Greek word for "eye" from which we get the word ophthalmologist (Greek - ophthalmos + service - douleiais). However again the NASB paraphrases this as "not with EXTERNAL service, as those who MERELY please men", while the NIV in typical fashion says: "do it not only when their eye is on you, and to win their favor."
It is the job of a translator to TRANSLATE, not to explain what they think the words mean - that is the job of the Bible teacher, but not that of the translator. The NIV is a comic book bible, based on the wrong texts and frequently with the wrong meaning.
The main textual difference in this verse concerns the part about "fearing GOD." GOD is the reading of the majority of all texts, as well as P46 which predates Vaticanus. God is also the reading of Sinaiticus correction, the NKJV, Spanish Reina Valera, Diodati, Luther, Hebrew Names Version and even the Douay Rheims, to name just a few.
However Vaticanus reads "fearing THE LORD" and so do the NASB, NIV and ESV; and so does the Latin Vulgate! There is no "scientific method" or consistency to the textual changes made in most modern versions. The only consistency seems to be, if it is different than the time tested King James Bible, then they put it in.
Colossians 4:8 (7-8 for context)
"All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that HE MIGHT KNOW YOUR estate, and comfort your hearts."
"that HE might know YOUR estate" is the reading of not only the Majority of all remaining Greek texts, but also of P46 which is the oldest we have, Sinaiticus correction, and C. This is also the reading of Wycliffe, NKJV, Tyndale, Geneva, Spanish Reina Valera, Diodati, Old Latin, Syriac Peshitta, Harclean, Ethiopian, Gothic, Boharic and Georgian ancient versions. It is also the reading of the Hebrew Names Version, Douay and the New English Bible, which usually follows the Westcott-Hort texts.
The Alexandrian texts go all over the place here, with most modern versions, but not all, following Vaticanus. Vaticanus and A, along with the NASB, NIV and ESV read the opposite with: "I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that YOU may know about OUR circumstances", instead of HE might know of YOUR estate.
Colossians 4:10 KJB - “Aristarchus my fellow prisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, SISTER’S SON to Barnabas…”
ESV, Geneva bible, RV, ASV, RSV, NET, ISV, NKJV, NIV, NASB, Jehovah Witness NWT, ALL Catholic versions like Douay-Rheims, St. Joseph New American bible 1970 and New Jerusalem bible 1985 - “Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, with Mark THE COUSIN of Barnabas.”
The question is, was Mark the “sister’s son” (a nephew) or a “cousin”. A nephew and a cousin are not the same thing. A nephew is the son of one's own brother or sister. A cousin can be either the son or daughter of one's aunt or uncle. The two words do not mean the same thing.
The Greek word in question here is “ο ανεψιος” (ho anepsios) and it is found only one time in the entire Greek New Testament. The Lexicons and dictionaries are divided or tell us that the word has two different meanings.
Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon tells us that the word means “a niece, nephew, or the masculine form (which is found here) means “sister’s son”.
The word is clearly masculine. There is also a feminine form - anepsias - which Thayer says means a niece. But Liddell and Scott tell us the word means a “cousin”, and that in later usage it also came to mean niece or nephew.
Divry’s Modern Greek-English Dictionary, which has nothing to do with the Bible, but is just a modern day Greek dictionary, gives us one meaning of the word ο ανεψιος, and that meaning is “nephew”, not “cousin”.
Here is an online Greek-English Dictionary.
Go to the English to Greek side. Type in the word ‘nephew’ and click ‘Find’. Up comes the word ο ανεψιος. This is the word used here in Colossians 4:10 and translated as “sister’s son” in the KJB and others, or “nephew” in others. It is NOT the word for cousin.
The Modern Greek Bible still reads this way, using the word ο ανεψιος
Modern Greek Bible - Σας ασπαζεται Αρισταρχος ο συναιχμαλωτος μου και Μαρκος ο ανεψιος του Βαρναβα
The Modern Hebrew Bible likewise translated this verse as it stands in the King James Bible. It translates the portion as “And Marcus, sister bar Barnabas” and the word “bar” means “son”. It reads ארסטרכוס השבוי עמי יחד שאל לשלומכם ומרקוס בן אחות בר נבא אשר צויתם עליו אם יבוא אליכם תקבלהו׃
There is biblical evidence for Mark being in fact the sister’s son to Barnabas, or his nephew, and not his cousin. It is found in Acts 12:12.
Here we read about Peter, who had been jailed for preaching about Christ, was awakened at night by an angel and his chains fell off and he walked out of the prison.
“And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.”
Apparently Mary was the sister of Barnabas, and Mark was her son and his nephew. Or as the King James Bible and several others put it in Colossians 4:10, “sister’s son to Barnabas.”
"SISTER'S SON TO BARNABAS"
In Colossians 4:10, not only does the King James Bible say “sister’s son to Barnabas” but so too the following Bible translations - Tyndale 1534 - “Marcus Barnabassis systers sonne”, Coverdale 1535 - “and Marcus Barnabasses sisters sonne”, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549 - “and Marcus, Barnabas sisters sonne”, the Bishops’ Bible 1568 - “& Marcus Barnabas sisters sonne”,
[Note - the Geneva bible 1587 said "cousin" so the KJB translators made a conscious and deliberate choice to put "sister's son" instead, AND the Revised Geneva bible of 2005 now has "sister's son"]
Also reading "SISTER'S SON to Barnabas" are Whiston’s N.T. 1745 -“and Marcus sisters son to Barnabas”, John Wesley’s N.T. 1755, Haweis N.T. 1795, The Thomson N.T. 1808, Webster’s Translation 1833, The Pickering N.T. 1840, The Longman Version 1841, The Commonly Received Version 1851, The Boothroyd Bible 1853, the Julia Smith Translation 1855 - “and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas”, The Revised N.T. 1862, The Smith Bible 1876, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, the Third Millennium Bible - "Marcus, Barnabas' SISTER'S SON", God's First Truth Translation 1999, The Resurrection Life N.T. 2005, The Revised Geneva Bible 2005 - "and Marcus, Barnabas SISTER'S SON", The Mebust Bible 2007, The Hebrew Transliteration Scriptures 2010, The Bond Slave Version 2012,
Some Bible translations read “NEPHEW” (which would be the same meaning as found in the KJB). Among these are Mace’s N.T. 1729 - “and so does Mark, nephew to Barnabas”, Worsley Version 1770, Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, the Living Oracles 1835 - “and Mark, the nephew of Barnabas, The Etheridge Translation 1849, the Sawyer’s N.T. 1858, Young’s literal Translation 1898, the New Testament Translated from the Sinaitic Manuscript 1918 by Henry Anderson - “Mark, the nephew of Barnabas”, Emphatic Diaglott New Testament 1864, Anderson N.T., The Lawrie N.T. 1998, The Conservative Bible 2010, the Jubilee Bible 2010, The Pioneer's N.T. 2014.
Foreign language Bibles that also tell us that Mark was “sister’s son” or the “nephew” and not the cousin of Barnabas are the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Spanish Cipriano de Valera 1602, Reina Valera 1909-2011, Spanish Jubilee Bible 2000, Reina Valera Gómez 2004 - “os saluda, y Marcos, EL SOBRINO de Barnabás”, Luther’s German Bible 1545 - “und Markus, der NEFFE Barnabas” = “nephew”, the Dutch Staten Vertaling Bible, the Portuguese A Biblia Sagrada and the Almeida Corregida E Fiel - “e Marcos, o SOBRINHO de Barnabé and the 2009 Romanian Fidela Bible - "şi Marcu, fiul surorii lui Barnaba" = "and Marcus, SISTER'S SON to Barnabas".
Some modern versions apparently don’t know if the Greek word refers to a “nephew” (sister’s son) or a “cousin” and so they translate it as “a RELATIVE”. Among these are the Living Bible 1971 and the Amplified Bible 1987.
John Gill - “and Marcus, SISTER'S SON son to Barnabas; the same with John Mark, whose mother's name was Mary, said here to be sister to Barnabas, Acts 12:12”
Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible "And Marcus, SISTER'S SON son to Barnabas; and John Mark, who was NEPHEW to Barnabas, Acts 12:12; 13:13; and having sometime displeased Paul by his departure and accompanying his uncle Barnabas, Acts 15:37, 39, yet afterwards repented, and was reconciled to Paul, 2 Timothy 4:11 Philemon 1:24; being profitable to him for the ministry as an evangelist."
John Trapp Complete Commentary - "Marcus, SISTER'S SON to Barnabas. Hence Barnabas stood so stiff for him against Paul his faithful fellow traveller, Acts 15:37. Natural affection sways overly much with some good men, as it did with Eli, and perhaps with Samuel, 1 Samuel 8:1; 1 Samuel 8:3."
Whedon's Commentary on the Bible - "Sister’s son— ανεψιος, a name given to the sons and daughters of brothers and sisters."
William Burkitt Commentary - "Mark, SISTER'S SON to Barnabas, who, though he did desert St. Paul and Barnabas, and went not with them to the work, yet returning to is duty, he is recommended to the church's reception."
You can find commentaries, translations and lexicons on both sides of this issue. Some tell you the word should be "cousin" and others that tell you it is "sister's son" or "nephew". Bible translations in both English and in many foreign languages translate it as found in the King James Bible, and others do not.
But since I and many thousands of other Christians believe that God has acted in history to give us His Absolute Standard of written truth in the King James Bible, and nobody seriously believes that any other Bible in any language (including "the" Hebrew and "the" Greek) is the complete and inerrant words of God, we will take our stand on the King James Bible being right every time.
God's Persistent Witness to the Absolute Standard of Written Truth - The King James Holy Bible
"Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of CHRIST, saluteth you."
CHRIST, standing alone, is the Majority reading, as well as P46 (the oldest) D, Syriac Peshitta, Harclean, Gothic, Ethiopic ancient versions, as well as again the NKJV, NEB and Hebrew Names Bible.
However, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus add an extra Jesus and say: "a servant of Christ Jesus."
"For I bear him record, that he hath A GREAT ZEAL for you..."
A GREAT ZEAL (Zeelon - looks like zeal) is in the majority of texts, but the Alexandrian manuscripts have a really silly reading here. The NASB, NIV had to change what it literally says to avoid the ridiculous. Their texts say "who has great PAIN for you" (ponon). This word is found only three times in the Traditional Text, all in Revelation, where it speaks of those who gnawed their tongues for pain, and neither shall there be any more pain.
So the NASB says: "He has DEEP CONCERN for you"; while the NIV in typical paraphrase, says: "he is working hard for you"; which actually is closer in meaning to the KJB/Majority text.
Colossians 4:15- "...Nymphas, and the church that is in HIS house."
Colossians 4:15 KJB - "Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in HIS house."
Revised Version 1881, ASV 1901 - " Salute the brethren that are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church that is in THEIR house."
ESV, NIV, NASB - "Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in HER house."
Westcott and Hort and the present UBS/Nestle-Aland/Vatican Critical text read "the church that is in HER house" καὶ τὴν κατ' οἶκον αὐτῆς ἐκκλησίαν.
While Tischendorf went with "the church that is in THEIR house." - τὴν κατ' οἶκον αὐτῶν ἐκκλησίαν.
"HIS house" -(- καὶ τὴν κατ' οἶκον αὐτοῦ ἐκκλησίαν.) - again is the Majority reading including D, F, G, K, L, Psi, the Old Latin ar, c, d, den, div, e, f, g, mon, x, z, and the Armenian, Syriach Peshitta and Gothic ancient versions and is so quoted by early church writers as Chrysostom, Theodoret, Euthalius and John-Damascus.
"HIS house" is the reading of and that of Etheridge, Murdock and Lamsa's translations of the Syraic Peshitta, Aramaic Bible in Plain English and all Bibles translated from the Traditional Reformation Texts, which include Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, The Beza N.T. 1599, Wesley's N.T. 1755, Haweis N.T. 1795, Sawyer N.T. 1858, Darby 1890, Youngs' 1898, Living Bible 1971, The Lawrie Translation 1998, The Koster Scriptures 1998, God's First Truth 1999, The Last Days N.T. 1999, The Faithful N.T. 2009, World English Bible 2000, The Tomson N.T. 2002, The Apostolic Polyglot Bible 2003, The Pickering N.T. 2005, The Conservative Bible 2010, The Jubilee Bible 2010, The Hebraic Transliteration Scriptures 2010, The Far Above All Translation 2014, the Modern English Version 2014 and the NKJV 1982.
It is also the reading of Luther's German bible 1545 - "Nymphas und die Gemeinde in seinem Hause." = "Nymphas and the church in his house.", the Modern Greek Bible - "Ασπασθητε τους εν Λαοδικεια αδελφους και τον Νυμφαν και την κατ' οικον αυτου εκκλησιαν·" and the Modern Hebrew Bible - שאלו לשלום האחים אשר בלודקיא ולשלום נומפס והקהלה אשר בביתו׃
However Vaticanus, virtually all by itself, says HER house ( αὐτῆς - autees) and so do the NASB, NIV, RSV, NRSV, Holman, Jehovah Witness NWT, the ESV and (quite naturally) Dan Wallace's NET version. Then Wallace footnotes -
"The harder reading is certainly αὐτῆς (HER house), and thus Nympha should be considered a woman."
Oh..., because it has hardly any textual support except that of the Vatican manuscript, and is the least likely and the hardest reading, therefore it MUST BE the legitimate one! Do you see how this "science" of textual criticism really plays out?
But Sinaiticus, A and C read THEIR HOUSE (αὐτῶν - autwn) and so also do Tischendorf's and Tregelles Greek texts, the Revised Version 1881, the American Standard Version of 1901, Godbey N.T. 1902, Weymouth 1912, the Bible in Basic English 1961, The Yah Sacred Scriptures 2001 and The New European Version 2010 - "the church that is in THEIR house".
The Catholic Connection
The older Douay-Rheims bible of 1582-1610 read "and Nymphas and the church that is in his house.", and so did the 1950 Douay Version. But the 1969 Jerusalem bible said "HER house". Then the 1970 St. Joseph NAB went with "HIS house" and then the 1985 New Jerusalem went back to "HER house". Oh...but there is more. Now the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version has come out and it once again goes back to "Nymphas and the church that is at HIS house."
So, is it HIS house or HER house or THEIR house?
"Who knows and Who cares? They're all the inspired word of God, right?" (This seems to be the attitude of so many Christians today.)
"Grace be with you. AMEN."
The final word AMEN is found in the Majority of all texts and even in Lamsa's Peshitta and the Catholic Douay versions, but the Alexandrian texts omit the word and so do the NASB, NIV and ESV.
In this short epistle, we have seen that the "oldest and best" Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, upon which most modern versions are based, disagree with each other in the following verses - Colossians 1:2, 7, 12, 20, 28; 2:2, 7, 11, 13, 18, 20; 3:4, 5, 6, 12, 13, 15, 16, 22; and 4:8, 12, and 15.
We have also observed that the versions which reject the traditional Greek texts, don't always agree with each other as to which reading to follow nor how to translate them. This confusion contributes to the modern view that we have no sure words of God and everything is in a state of flux and uncertainty.
When the modern version proponent says: "The Bible is the inspired word of God" (which you hear less and less these days) he is not referring to anything you can hold in your hands and believe with all your heart. No, he is referring to some mystical bible he has never seen, because it doesn't exist except in his own mind.
On the other hand, the King James Bible believer trusts that God has been faithful to His promises to preserve His infallible words and that we can believe the Book when it says: "Thus saith the LORD...."
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