John 4:24 - "God is A Spirit" - Is there a mistake in the King James Bible?
A Bible critic and typical Bible agnostic who does not believe that ANY Bible in any language posted the following criticism of the King James Bible.
Richard B. posts: John 4:24: “God is spirit.” (Most modern versions.)
John 4:24 “God is a Spirit.” (KJV) The newer versions are closer to the truth.
I guess this raises the question, what is the difference? If there is a difference between "spirit" and "a spirit" that would mean that the KJV made a mistake. (End of comments by Richard B.)
My Response: The only difference here is that your modern Vatican Versions are getting further and further from the truth. There are many created things that God made that are spirits. Angels are spirits, devils are unclean spirits, and every human being, man, woman and child has a spirit. God is not everything that is spirit, but He is A Spirit, one besides the many He has created.
To say that “God is spirit” is a pantheistic way of saying that everything that is spirit is God. If God is spirit, then everything that is spirit is God.
You cannot say that the KJB and many others did not correctly translate the Greek phrase used here - πνευμα ο θεος - because ALL English translations frequently add the indefinite article “a” or “an” before an anarthrous noun, (a noun that has no definite article in front of it). Anytime you see the words "a" or "an" in any version, they "added" it to the text, because the Greek language does not have an indefinite article.
And all translations also frequently do not translate the definite article when it IS there. There is a definite article here before the word “God” and nobody translated it. ALL versions do this many times over.
"God is A Spirit"
Agreeing the with King James Bible in John 4:24 that “God is A Spirit” are Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Geneva Bible 1587 - “God is a Spirite”, Mace N.T. 1729, Wesley’s N.T. 1755, Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, Webster's Translation 1833, Sawyer N.T. 1858, Noyes Translation 1869, Darby 1890, Young’s 1898, the Revised Version 1881, the ASV 1901 - “God is a Spirit”, Godbey N.T. 1902, Worrell N.T. 1904, Lamsa's Translation of the Syriac Peshitta 1933 - "God is a Spirit", The New Berkeley Version in Modern English 1969, Amplified Bible 1987 - “God is a Spirit”, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, God's Word Translation 1995, Third Millennium bible 1998, the Lawrie Translation 1998, God's First Truth 1999, The Tomson N.T. 2002, The Resurrection Life New Testament 2005 (Vince Garcia), Bond Slave Version 2009, The Christogenea N.T. 2009, the Jubilee Bible 2010, the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010 - "Elohim (אלהים) is a Spirit.", The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011 - "God is a Spirit" and the Names of God Bible 2011.
A Translation For Translators 2011 says: "God is a spiritual being"
Changing this theologically correct translation from “God is A Spirit” to “God is spirit” was the liberal RSV, now followed by the NRSV, NKJV 1979 and 1982 editions, ESV, NIV, NASB, NET, Holman, ISV and the modern Catholic versions.
The Catholic Connection
The older Douay-Rheims of 1582 had it right with “God is a Spirit”, but the more modern Catholic versions like the Douay of 1950, St. Joseph NAB 1970 and the New Jerusalem bible of 1985 read like all these other Vatican Versions with “God is spirit”.
The King James Bible got it right, and those new versions that change this to “God is spirit” are merely opening the way for the New Age concept that Everything is God and we are all a part of Him. The modern versions are getting worse, not better.
All of grace, believing the Book,
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