The New KJV is a Hack Job Translation
The following are just a few of the many places where the NKJV 1982 does not follow or translate the literal Hebrew texts. The NKJV translates hundreds of verses in such a way that they completely change the meaning found in the King James Bible, of which it is supposedly a modern revision. The NKJV also contains many misleading footnotes designed to discredit the Authorized King James Bible. We will look at just a few of these.
Micah 7:19 - “and thou wilt cast all THEIR sins into the depths of the sea.”
“THEIR sins” is the reading of the Hebrew texts as well as that of the Geneva Bible 1599, the RV 1881, ASV 1901, NASB 1963-1995, Darby, Young’s, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible 1902, Jewish Publication Society 1917, Hebrew Names Bible, 2001 Judaica Press Tanach.
NKJV - “You will cast all OUR sins into the depth of the sea.” Footnote- literally “THEIR”
Agreeing with the the NKJV bogus reading of OUR sins (instead of THEIR sins) is the RSV, NRSV, ESV, NIV and Holman. The ESV footnote also tells us that the Hebrew reads “THEIR sins” just as the KJB and the Jewish translations have it. The NRSV also reads “our sins” like the NKJV now does, but the NRSV informs us in their footnote that the reading of “OUR sins” comes from the Greek LXX, the Syriac and the Vulgate, while the Hebrew says “their sins.”
Micah 2:6 “PROPHESY ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy TO THEM, that THEY SHALL NOT TAKE SHAME.”
NKJV - “DO NOT PRATTLE, you say to those who prophesy, So they shall not prophesy TO YOU; THEY SHALL NOT RETURN INSULT FOR INSULT.”
Here the NKJV needlessly changes the word “prophesy” to “prattle” even though it still translates the same word as “prophesy” in the same verse. Then it changed “prophesy TO THEM” to “prophesy TO YOU”, and then in a footnotes tells us the literal reading is “to them” (not “to you”). Then in the NKJV footnote they try to imply that the KJB got its reading of “that they shall not take shame” from the Vulgate rather than the Hebrew by stating: “Vulgate reads ‘he shall not take shame’.”
The fact is the Hebrew itself can be translated as “that they shall not take shame” and so do the Geneva Bible, Bishops’ bible, and the Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, the Complete Jewish Bible, and the Judaica Press Tanach!
Micah 2:12 KJB - “I will put them together as the sheep of BOZRAH, as the flock in the midst of their FOLD.”
NKJV - “I will put them together like sheep of THE FOLD, like a flock in the midst of their PASTURE.” Then the NKJV footnotes “Hebrew - BOZRAH”
Micah 3:2 KJB - “Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from OFF THEM, and their flesh from off their bones.”
NKJV - “who strip the skin from MY PEOPLE” Footnote - Literally THEM.
Micah 3:12 KJB - “...and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of THE HOUSE as the HIGH PLACES of the forest.”
NKJV - “...Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, and the mountain of THE TEMPLE like BARE HILLS of the forest.” Footnote - literally HOUSE (not ‘temple’)
Micah 6:5 KJB - “...what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from SHITTIM unto Gilgal...”
NKJV - “what Balaam the son of Beor answered him, from ACACIA GROVE to Gilgal...” Footnote - Hebrew - SHITTIM.
Micah 6:14 KJB - “Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied; and THY CASTING DOWN shall be in the midst of thee; AND THOU SHALT TAKE HOLD, but shall not deliver...”
NKJV - “You shall eat but not be satisfied, HUNGER shall be in your midst. YOU MAY CARRY SOME AWAY (18), but shall not save them.” Footnote: Targum and Vulgate read “you shall take hold” (as the KJB has it).
First of all, the KJB says “THOU SHALT TAKE HOLD” and so do the Geneva Bible, Bishops’, Coverdale, and the KJV 21st Century versions. Even the Holman Standard has “you will acquire” while the NIV has “you will store up”, but the NKJV says “You may carry some away” and then casts doubt on the legitimacy of the KJB reading by saying that the Vulgate reads “you shall take hold”, as though the Hebrew could not possibly be read this way.
Micah 6:14 -The KJB says “THY CASTING DOWN shall be in the midst of thee” and so do the Geneva Bible, Bishops’, Coverdale, the KJV 21 and the Spanish Reina Valera (tu abatimiento), but the NKJV says “hunger”, while the ASV has “humiliation”, the NASB has “vileness” and the NIV says “your stomach will be empty”. Hey, it’s all pretty much the same “message”, right?
Micah 7:11 KJB - “In the day that thy walls are to be built, in THAT DAY SHALL THE DECREE BE FAR REMOVED.”
In the day of Israel’s restoration, the decree to judge her for her sins will be far removed. So read the Geneva Bible, Bishops’ bible, Revised Version, the American Standard Version and the KJV 21st Century. However the NKJV says “in that day THE DECREE SHALL GO FAR AND WIDE.” - the opposite meaning.
Micah 7:12 KJB - “In that day HE shall come even to thee from Assyria...”
NKJV - “In that day THEY shall come to you from Assyria...” Footnote - Literally HE.
Micah 7:15 KJB - “According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto HIM marvellous things.”
NKJV - “I will show THEM marvelous things.” Footnote - Literally HIM.
Nahum 1:5 KJB - “The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth IS BURNED at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.”
NKJV - “And the earth HEAVES at His presence” - Footnote: Targum reads BURNS.”. Thus the NKJV implies that the KJB translators got their reading of “burned” from a Targum rather than a possible meaning of the Hebrew.
First of all, note the context “He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers” (v.4) “Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire...”(v.6)
The Hebrew word in question has many meanings including “accept, arise, burn, forgive, bring, set up, lift up, went, bear, regard, respect, carry away, fetch, and to pardon.”
2 Samuel 5:21 “burned the idols” or “carried them away”?
2 Samuel 5:21 - David had recently become king of all Israel and the Philistines came up with a great army to attack him and the people of Israel. David enquires of the LORD and God tells him to go out against them and that He would doubtless deliver the Philistines into his hand.
David and the children of Israel defeat the armies of their enemies and in 2 Samuel 5:21 we read that the Philistines had left their idols behind. “And there they left their images, and David and his men BURNED them.”
But the NKJV and many modern Vatican Versions like the ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman tell us that David and his men “CARRIED THEM AWAY” with them instead of burning them.
2 Samuel 5:21 NKJV 1982 - “And they left their images there, and David and his men CARRIED THEM AWAY.”
Yet the parallel account given in 1 Chronicles 14:12 when the Philistines went to make war with David and the children of Israel in the valley of Rephaim, we read: “And when they had left their gods there, David gave a commandment, and they were BURNED WITH FIRE.”
The Hebrew word in question has many meanings including “accept, arise, burn, forgive, bring, set up, lift up, went, bear, regard, respect, carry away, fetch, and to pardon.” Often the correct meaning of a word is to be found in the context.
2 Samuel 5:21 - Agreeing with the King James Bible that David and his men BURNED the images of the false gods instead of “carrying them away” are the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 - “they left their images, and Dauid and his men BURNT THEM.”, Websters 1833, Lesser Old Testament, The Word of Yah 1993, the KJV 21st Century version 1994, Wycliffe Update 2001 - “And they left their idols there, which David and his men BURNED TO ASHES.”, the Judaica Press Complete Tanach 2004 - “And they forsook there their images, and David and his men BURNED them.”, Bond Slave Version 2009, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, English Jubilee Bible 2010, Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011 - “and BURNED THEM.”, Conservative Bible 2011 and the Orthodox Jewish Bible 2011 - “BURNED THEM.”
Foreign language bibles that tell us David and his men BURNED the images are the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Reina Valera 1909, 1960, 1995, 2011 - “David y sus hombres los QUEMARON”, Luther’s German Bible 1545 - “David aber und seine Männer huben sie auf.” = David and his men BURNED it”, the Dutch Staten Vertaling Bible - “en David en zijn mannen namen ze op.” = “BURNED THEM”
The Catholic Connection
All Catholic versions like the Douay-Rheims 1610, Douay 1950, St. Joseph New American Bible 1970, New Jerusalem bible 1985 and the Jehovah Witness New World Translation unite in telling us that David and his men “CARRIED THEM AWAY.”
Other Versions that got this wrong in 2 Samuel 5:21 and tell us that David and his men “CARRIED THEM AWAY” instead of burning them are Coverdale, Great Bible, Darby, Young’s “David and his men LIFT THEM UP”, JPS 1917, NKJV, NIV, NASB, ESV, RSV, Green’s literal, ISV, Green’s Literal 2005, Dan Wallace NET version 2006 - “and David and his men PICKED THEM UP.”
Some Bible Commentators
John Gill comments - “and David and his men burnt them: that is, his men burnt them at his command, 1 Chronicles 14:12; agreeably to the law of God, that so no profit might be made of them, Deuteronomy 7:5”
Jameson, Fausset and Brown’s Critical Commentary of the Whole Bible - “And there they left their images, and David and his men burned them. There they left their images - probably their lares or household deities, which they had brought into the field to fight for them. These were burnt, as ordained By law (Deuteronomy 7:5).”
Matthew Poole’s Commentary - “David burned them, as God had commanded, Deuteronomy 7:5.
Matthew Henry Commentary - “David and his men converted to their own use the rest of the plunder, BUT THE IMAGES THEY BURNT, AS GOD HAD APPOINTED (Deu. 7:5): “YOU SHALL BURN THEIR GRAVEN IMAGES WITH FIRE”, in token of your detestation of idolatry, and lest they should be a snare." Bishop Patrick well observes here that when the ark fell into the Philistines' hands it consumed them, but, when these images fell into the hands of Israel, they could not save themselves from being consumed.”
In Nahum 1:5 not only does the King James Bible say “the earth IS BURNED at his presence” but so do the Bishops’ Bible, the Geneva Bible, Las Sagradas Escrituras 1569 (y la tierra SE ABRASA delante de su presencia), the Spanish Reina Valera 1909, Webster’s, and the KJV 21st Century.
Nahum 2:2 KJB - “For the LORD HATH TURNED AWAY the excellency of Jacob, as the excellency of Israel: for the emptiers have emptied them out, and marred their branches.”
So read or mean Wycliffe 1395, the Geneva Bible, the 1936 Hebrew Publication Society translation (For the Lord hath turned away the excellency of Jacob), Douay, Webster’s, and the KJV 21st Century version.
However the NKJV says the exact opposite with: “For the LORD WILL RESTORE the excellence of Jacob like the excellence of Israel.”
It is not a question of the Hebrew word, for such versions as the NASB has translated this same word as “turn back” 43 times, and “turn away” another 42 times, but it is one of interpretation. Yet here the NASB and NKJV are in basic agreement reading: “The Lord WILL RESTORE the splendor of Jacob”.
As is usually the case, the “scholars” as well as the multiple-choice bible versions are in radical disagreement about both the text and its meaning. What one affirms another denies. Jamieson, Fausset and Brown comment: “For the Lord hath turned away the excellency of Jacob--that is, the time for Nineveh's overthrow is ripe, because Jacob (Judah) and Israel (the ten tribes) have been sufficiently chastised. The Assyrian rod of chastisement, having done its work, is to be thrown into the fire. If God chastised Jacob and Israel with all their "excellency" (Jerusalem and the temple, which was their pre-eminent excellency above all nations in God's eyes, Ps 47:4; 87:2; Eze 24:21; see on Am 6:8), how much more will He punish fatally Nineveh, an alien to Him, and idolatrous? MAURER, NOT SO WELL (caps are mine) translates, "restores," or "will restore the excellency of Jacob."
Likewise John Wesley notes: “ Israel and Jacob were more to God, yet he punished them; much more will he punish Nineveh. Turned - Laid low.”
And Matthew Henry comments: “ The Lord has turned away the excellency of Jacob, as the excellency of Israel, that is, The Assyrians have been abusive to Jacob, the two tribes (have humbled and mortified them), as well as to Israel, the ten tribes, have emptied them, and marred their vine-branches.”
John Calvin remarks: “God has taken away the pride of Jacob as he has the pride of Israel.”
Nahum 2:3 KJB - “...the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and THE FIR TREES SHALL BE TERRIBLY SHAKEN.”
So read the Spanish Reina Valera, the Geneva Bible, the 1936 Jewish translation, Young’s, Websters and the KJV 21st Century.
However the NKJV says: “...in the day of his preparation, AND THE SPEARS ARE BRANDISHED.” Then it footnotes: Literally ‘the cypresses are shaken’.
The NIV says “The PINE trees are brandished”, NASB has “the Cypress spears are brandished”, the RSV, NRSV read: “THE CHARGERS PRANCE”; the Douay has “and THE DRIVERS ARE STUPIFIED”, Wycliffe says “THE LEADERS THEREOF BEEN ASLEEP”, Bishops’s has “THE FIR STAVES ARE DRENCHED IN POISON”, the Bible in Basic English 1960 says: “THE HORSES ARE SHAKING”, Coverdale reads: “HIS ARCHERS ARE WELL DECKED AND TRIMMED”, and the New English Bible 1970 says: “ARE LIKE FLICKERING FIRE.” Yep, it’s just like noted author and scholar James White says. “Having a variety of translations helps us to better understand the Bible.” Don’t you agree?
Nahum 2:7 KJB - “And HUZZAB shall be led away captive..” So read the Geneva Bible, Bishops’ bible, the Revised Version and others, but the NKJV says: “IT IS DECREED”, then footnotes - Hebrew - Huzzab.
But don’t worry, the RSV, ESV say “its mistress” and the NET versions says “Nineveh”.
Nahum 2:13 KJB - “...and I will burn HER chariots in the smoke..” NKJV - “I will burn YOUR chariots in smoke..” Footnote: Literally HER.
Habakkuk 2:6 KJB - "...Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with THICK CLAY!"
NKJV - "Woe to him who increases What is not his--how long? And to him who loads himself with MANY PLEDGES?"
Then the NKJV footnotes: "Syriac and Vulgate read 'thick clay'", thus implying again that the KJB translators got this reading from these foreign language versions rather than from the Hebrew. It should be noted that the Hebrew word used here is found only one time in the entire Bible, and there are many different ways the various versions have translated it.
Secondly, Lamsa's 1936 translation of the Syriac does not read "thick clay" but "How long will he load himself with EARTHLY GOODS?" I also noticed that this time the modern versions did not make any reference to the so called Greek LXX. Maybe this is because this fabled version reads: "Woe to him that multiplies to himself the possessions that are not his! How long? AND WHO HEAVILY LOADS HIS YOKE."
And thirdly, it should be asked Why do all these bible correctors always try to discredit the King James readings by referring to the Vulgate? Isn't it more than likely that the Latin translations are often right? If the Vulgate says 'Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead" are we then to toss this out of our Bible? I think not.
Not only does the King James Bible read "to him that ladeth himself with THICK CLAY" but so also do Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, Bishops's Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the Spanish Reina Valera of 1602 and 1909 "amontonar sobre sí ESPESO LODO", the Douay-Rheims, the 1950 Douay, Websters 1833, and the KJV 21st Century version.
The 2001 Jewish translation called the Judaica Press Tanach is very similar to the KJB reading: "How long? And who loads himself with A BEAM OF MUD!". Darby's translation notes "There is a play on the word, which may also mean "thick clay".
John Gill makes no attempt to "correct" the KJB reading but says: "and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay: such is gold and silver, no other than yellow and white dust and dirt; and may be called clay, because dug out of the earth, as that; and as clay is defiling, so are gold and silver, when ill gotten, or ill used, or the heart set too much upon them; and as that is very ponderous and troublesome to carry, so an abundance of riches bring much care with them, and often are very troublesome to the owners of them, and frequently hinder their sleep, rest, and ease; and as clay when it sticks to the heels hinders walking, so riches, when the affections are too much set on them, are great obstacles in the way of true religion and godliness."
Matthew Henry likewise comments: "he is lading himself with thick clay. Riches are but clay, thick clay; what are gold and silver but white and yellow earth? Those that travel through thick clay are both retarded and dirtied in their journey; so are those that go through the world in the midst of an abundance of the wealth of it; but, as if that were not enough, what fools are those that load themselves with it, as if this trash would be their treasure! ... They overload their ship with this thick clay, and so sink it and themselves into destruction and perdition."
John Calvin also agrees with the King James reading of "thick clay" and comments on the meaning of the Hebrew word.
Nevertheless, here the NKJV reads: "...to him who loads himself WITH MANY PLEDGES?", while the NASB has "And makes himself rich with loans?", and the NIV "and makes himself wealthy by extortion!".
Habakkuk 2:7 - KJB - "Shall they not rise up suddenly THAT SHALL BITE THEE, and awake that vex thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them?"
Here the NKJV says: "Will not YOUR CREDITORS rise up suddenly?", but then in a footnote they tell us: "Literally THOSE WHO BITE YOU". The Hebrew word is # 5391 can be used figuratively as "to lend upon usury", but the usual literal sense if found in such phrases as "if a serpent had bitten any man" Num. 21:9, "and a serpent bit him" Amos 5:19, "an adder that biteh the horse heels" Genesis 49:17; "fiery serpents... and they bit the people" Num.21:6; "every one that is bitten" Num. 21:8; "the serpent will bite without enchantment" Ecc. 10:8,11; and "the prophets...that bite with their teeth" Micah 3:5.
NKJV - "Will not YOUR CREDITORS rise up suddenly?", while the NIV gives the opposite meaning of "creditors" with "Will not YOUR DEBTORS suddenly arise?".
However agreeing with the literal "that shall bite thee" are the following translations: the 1901 ASV "Shall they not rise up suddenly THAT SHALL BITE THEE, and awake that shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for booty unto them?", the Revised Version 1881, Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Darby, the Douay-Rheims, the Judaica Press Tanach, the KJV 21st Century, the Spanish Reina Valera Antigua (¿No se levantarán de repente los que te han de morder?), Lamsa's translation of the Syriac, and, Yes, even the Latin Vulgate "non repente consurgent qui MORDEANT TE".
For the NKJV to be consistent in their implied criticisms of the KJB readings, they should have footnoted just like they did in the previous verse - "Syriac and Vulgate read "those that bite thee" ;-)
Habakkuk 3:9 KJB - “Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the TRIBES, even thy WORD.”
NKJV - “Oaths were sworn over YOUR ARROWS.” Footnote: Literally tribes.
Zephaniah 1:12 KJB - “...I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled ON THEIR LEES...” So read the RV, ASV, Darby, the 1917, 1936 Jewish translations and several others.
NKJV - “...and punish the men who are settled IN COMPLACENCY” Footnote: Literally ‘on their lees’.
Haggai 1:4, 8; 2:3 - KJB- “Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this HOUSE lie waste?” “Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the HOUSE; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.” “Who is left among you that saw this HOUSE in her first glory?”
NKJV - “...in your paneled houses, and this TEMPLE to lie in ruins...and build the TEMPLE that I may take pleasure in it...” “Who is left among you who saw this TEMPLE in its former glory?” Footnote for all three verses: Literally HOUSE.
Zechariah 1:21 KJB - “...but THESE are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles...” NKJV - “but THE CRAFTSMEN are coming to terrify them, to cast out the horns of the nations...” Footnote: - literally THESE.
Zechariah 5:6 KJB - “And I said, What is it? And he said, This is AN EPHAH that goeth forth.” NKJV - “And he said, It is a BASKET that is going forth” Footnote: Hebrew EPHAH.
Zechariah 7:2 KJB - “When THEY had sent unto the house of God...” NKJV - “When THE PEOPLE sent...” Footnote: Literally THEY.
Zechariah 8:17 KJB - "And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against HIS neighbour". So read the RV, ASV, Geneva, Youngs, Darby, and the Jewish translations. However the NKJV says: "...in your hearts against YOUR neighbor", but then footnotes "Literally, HIS".
Zechariah 8:23 KJB - "In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold OF THE SKIRT of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you." So read Geneva bible, the Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, the Judaica Press Tanach 2001, the RV, ASV, Darby, Youngs, Douay, Lamsa, Rotherham's Emphasized Bible, and the KJV 21st Century. The NIV says "hem" which is acceptable, but the NASB has "garment". However the NKJV says: "shall GRASP THE SLEEVE of a Jewish man". The sleeve is part of a shirt, not a robe. The word for "skirt" refers to the bottom part of a robe, as in when David "cut off the skirt of Saul's robe" in 1 Samuel 24:4. However even the NKJV still translates this same word as "skirt" in Jeremiah 2:34 - "Also in thy SKIRTS is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents."
Zechariah 9:17 KJB - “For how great is HIS goodness, and how great is HIS beauty!” Many commentators like Calvin, John Gill, Matthew Henry, Adam Clarke and John Wesley have all seen this verse as a reference to the goodness and beauty of God the Messiah.
Other translations that refer to HIS goodness and HIS beauty are the Geneva Bible, the RV, ASV, Darby, Young’s, 1936 Jewish translation, Douay, NRSV and the ESV. However this has all been changed in the NKJV, for it says: “For how great is THEIR goodness and how great is THEIR beauty.” Then in a footnote the NKJV informs us: Literally HIS!!! Versions like the NASB, NIV, and Holman also change the text to read “THEIR” goodness and beauty.
Zechariah 14:5 KJB - “And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains:...ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with THEE.”
So read the Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, the Judaica Press Tanach, Hebrew Names Version, the Revised Version, ASV, Youngs, Darby, Green’s, KJV 21, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible 1902, the Geneva Bible, and Webster’s 1833 translation.
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, John Wesley, and other Bible commentators have seen a reference here to God Himself. JFB comments- “Lord my God . . . with thee--The mention of the "Lord my God" leads the prophet to pass suddenly to a direct address to Jehovah. It is as if "lifting up his head" (Lu 21:28), he suddenly sees in vision the Lord coming, and joyfully exclaims, "All the saints with Thee!" So Isa 25:9. “
The Geneva Bible notes read: “Because they did not credit the Prophets words, he turns to God and comforts himself in that that he knew that these things would come, and says, "You, O God, with your angels will come to perform this great thing."
Matthew Henry comments: “The Lord my God shall come, shall come to the comfort of all that are his; for, "Blessed Lord, all the saints shall be with thee, and it shall be their everlasting happiness to dwell in thy presence; and therefore come, Lord Jesus." The Lord my God shall come, shall come to the comfort of all that are his; for, "Blessed Lord, all the saints shall be with thee, and it shall be their everlasting happiness to dwell in thy presence; and therefore come, Lord Jesus."
John Calvin notes: “All the saints WITH THEE (caps are mine). There seems to be here a kind of indignation, as though the Prophet turned himself away from his hearers, whom he observed to be in a measure prepared obstinately to reject his heavenly doctrine; for he turns his discourse to God.”
Though the NKJV still reads: “The LORD my God will come, and all the saints with YOU.” YET it footnotes: “The ancient versions and some Hebrew manuscripts read HIM.”
Versions that do read “The Lord my God will come, and all the saints with HIM” are the RSV, (which footnotes that HIM comes from the Greek LXX, Syriac, Vulgate and Targum, but the Hebrew reads YOU), NIV, NASB, the NRSV, ESV and Holman Standard.
Back to the beginning - GENESIS
I’m not going to list every one of the scores upon scores of examples of where the NKJV unnecessarily paraphrases or changes the Hebrew texts. (Gen. 9:9 “your descendants” Ft. Lit. seed = KJB; Gen. 18:11 “had passed the age of childbearing” Ft. Lit. ‘the manner of women had ceased to be with Sarah’ = KJB; Gen. 27:36 “Esau” Ft. Lit. “he” = KJB; Gen. 29:30 “Jacob” Ft. Lit. “he” = KJB) It would be exhausting and of little value. If you can’t see the weight and significance of the changes by now, then producing a hundred more examples will not change your mind about the NKJV.
What I will do is mention a few of the more salient examples of where the NKJV misses the whole point, or tries in subtle and not so subtle ways to discredit the King James Bible by its misleading footnotes.
Genesis 20:16 presents us with another example of paraphrasing found in the NKJV and other modern versions which misses the whole point of the passage and results in confusion.
Abraham had been told by God that He would give him a son by his wife Sarah. Yet we see the faltering steps of faith in our spiritual father as he and Sarah sojourned in the land of Gerar. Upon entering the region of king Abimelech, Abraham thought "Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake." So he told Sarah to say that he was her brother. The result of this was that Abimelech took Sarah into his house, thus putting her into a very precarious position. Then God came to Abimelech by night in a dream and told him that Sarah was Abraham's wife and that he was "but a dead man".
Abimelech arose early in the morning and called Abraham and asked him why he had done this. Then the king gave Abraham sheep, oxen, men and womenservants and restored him Sarah his wife and told him to dwell where he pleased. Then in verse 16 we read: "And unto Sarah he said, BEHOLD, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: BEHOLD, HE IS TO THEE A COVERING OF THE EYES, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: THUS SHE WAS REPROVED."
"Covering of the eyes" is the literal reading of the Hebrew and is also found in the Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535 - (lo, he shalbe vnto the a couerynge of the eyes, for all that are with thee); Bishops’ bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the 1917 and 1936 Jewish translations, the 2001 Judaica Press Tanach, the RV, ASV, Young's, Darby, Douay, the KJV 21st Century version and the Spanish Reina Valera bibles. Even the NKJV shows in its Footnote that the literal Hebrew is "COVERING OF THE EYES FOR YOU.”
The Spanish Reina Valera’s from 1909, 1960 and 1995 read just like the King James Bible with: “mira que él te es como un velo para los ojos de todos los que están contigo, y para con todos” (Look, he is to thee as a covering of the eyes to all those who are with you, and for all).
Abimelech is saying to Sarah that the truth is now known that her "brother" is in fact her husband and that Abraham will serve as a covering of other men's eyes so that they will not look upon Sarah as a potential wife. Thus she was reproved for her part in the deception that almost cost Abimelech his life.
However the NASB, NIV, and NKJV all miss this point and even contradict each other. Instead of "Behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved" the NKJV says: " INDEED, THIS VINDICATES YOU before all who are with you and before all others. Thus she was REPROVED."
The NASB has: " Behold, IT IS YOUR VINDICATION before all who are with you and before all men YOU ARE CLEARED.", while the NIV reads: " THIS IS TO COVER THE OFFENSE AGAINST YOU before all who are with you; you are COMPLETELY VINDICATED."
Now the Holman Standard has come out and it reads “IT IS A VERIFICATION OF YOUR HONOR TO ALL WHO ARE WITH YOU. YOU ARE FULLY VINDICATED.”
So which is it? Was she reproved as the KJB, NKJV and others say or was she cleared and vindicated as the NIV - NASB have it? And what on earth does "this vindicates you" mean? The NIV omits the word "behold" three times in verses 15, 16, adds "offence" though it did get "cover" more or less right but yet the meaning is totally different than either the NKJV, NASB or the KJB.
The Geneva Bible of 1599 notes: 20:16 "And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved." "God caused this heathen king to reprove her because she concealed her identity, seeing that God had given her a husband as her veil and defence."
Matthew Henry and John Wesley both say the same thing in their commentaries. "He gives to Sarah good instruction, tells her that her husband (her brother he calls him, to upbraid her with calling him so) must be to her for a covering of the eyes, that is, she must look at no other, nor desire to be looked at by any other. The marriage-covenant is a covenant with the eyes, like Job says in ch. 31:1."
John Gill notes: "behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee; a protection of her person and chastity: so an husband, in our language, is said to be a cover to his wife, and she under a cover: thus Abraham being now known to be the husband of Sarah, would for the future be a covering to her, that no one should look upon her, and desire her, and take her to be his wife."
The King James Bible is right and the NKJV is a hack job that misses the whole point.
Exodus 1:5 KJB - “And all THE SOULS THAT CAME OUT OF THE LOINS of Jacob were seventy SOULS.”
So read the Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, the Geneva Bible, Coverdale, the Revised Version, American Standard Version 1901, Darby and the KJV 21st Century 1994. However the NKJV says: “All THOSE (not ‘souls’) WHO WERE DESCENDANTS (1) of Jacob were seventy PERSONS (not ‘souls’). Then in a footnote the NKJV tells us: “Literally ‘who came from the loins of’” So why not just say it?
Numbers 21:14 “Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the LORD, WHAT HE DID IN THE RED SEA.”
Here the NKJV changes the meaning of the verse and tries to discredit the KJB reading. The NKJV says: “Therefore it is said in the Book of the Wars of the LORD: “WAHED IN SUPHAH.” Then in a footnote the NKJV tells us: “Vulgate reads ‘WHAT HE DID IN THE RED SEA.”, as though the King James translators got their reading from the Vulgate rather than the Hebrew texts.
However, agreeing with the King James Bible reading of “WHAT HE DID IN THE RED SEA” are the following Bible translations: Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Webster’s 1833, the KJV 21st Century version.
The Spanish Reina Valeras 1569, 1909 and 1960 likewise agree with the King James Bible reading: “Lo que hizo en el mar Rojo” (What He did in the Red Sea).
It basically comes down to whether the Hebrew words in question form a verbal phrase (What he did in the Red Sea) or are specific names of places (Waheb in Suphah). However if it refers to physical places or cites, (as the NKJV, NIV, NASB do) there are no other Biblical or historical references to any such alleged places as Waheb or Suphah. The King James Bible reading just makes a lot more sense.
There are several quite different translations of this verse with the Judaica Press Tanach saying: “What He gave at the Sea of Reeds”, Rotherham’s Emphasized bible of 1902 with: “Waheb with a hurricane”, and Lamsa’s 1936 translation of the Syriac says: “A flame of fire is in the whirlwind.”
Adam Clarke remarks on the passage: “What he did in the Red Sea, and in the brooks of Arnon. This clause is impenetrably obscure. All the versions, all the translators, and all the commentators, have been puzzled with it. Scarcely any two agree.”
Numbers 24:17 KJB - “...and shall smite the corners of Moad, and destroy all the children of SHETH.” So read the NASB, NIV, RSV, NRSV, ESV and Holman Standard.
NKJV - “and batter the brow of Moab, and destroy all the sons of TUMULT.” Footnote: Hebrew SHETH.
Numbers 24:24 KJB - “And ships shall come from the coast of CHITTIM, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and HE ALSO shall perish forever.” Chittim or Kittim is the reading found in the Jewish translations, the RV, ASV, NASB, NIV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Young, KJV 21 and Holman.
NKJV - “But ships shall come from the coasts of CYPRUS and they shall afflict Asshur and afflict Eber, and so shall AMALEK until he perishes.” Footnotes: Hebrew Kittim (not Cyprus); Literally “he” (not Amalek)
Numbers 25:1 "And Israel abode in SHITTIM, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab." SHITTIM is the Hebrew word and is found even in the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, RV, ASV and the Jewish translations.
However the NKJV changes this to read: "Then Israel remained in ACACIA GROVE..." Then it footnotes: "Hebrew - Shittim". The NKJV did this all 5 times the word Shittim occurs in the O.T. See Joshua 2:1; 3:1; Joel 3:18 and Micah 6:5.
SEED or Descendants?
An important prophetic statement found in the book of Galatians is all messed up in the NKJV references. In Galatians 3:16 we read: “Now to Abraham and his SEED were the promises made. He saith NOT, And to SEEDS, as of many; but as of one, And to thy SEED, which is Christ.”
The NKJV N.T. verse reads basically the same, but in giving cross references to this distinction between SEED (singular) as opposed to SEEDS (plural) the NKJV footnotes three Old Testament references found in Genesis 12:7; 13:15; and 24:7.
Let’s take a look for a moment at these three O.T. references listed in the NKJV and see what we find. In the King James Bible we read in all three: 12:7 -“And the LORD appeared unto Abraham, and said, Unto thy SEED will I give this land...”; 13:15 - “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy SEED for ever.”; 24:7 - “The LORD God of heaven...sware unto me, saying, Unto thy SEED will I give this land.”
However when we look at all three of these references in the NKJV, we do not read of a singular SEED, but instead of a plural DESCENDANTS. 12:7 - “To your DESCENDANTS will I give this land”; 13:15 - “for all the land which you see I give to you and your DESCENDANTS for ever.” (Footnote: Literally SEED) 24:7 - “To your DESCENDANTS I give this land.”
Esther 10:3 - King James Bible - “For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to ALL HIS SEED.”
The literal Hebrew texts all say “seed” and so read the RV 1881, ASV 1901, Jewish Publication Society 1917, Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, Bishops’ Bible 1568, Geneva bible 1599, Rotherham’s Emphasized bible 1902, Darby, Douay, Young’s, Green’s 2000 literal, KJV 21st Century Version, Spanish Reina Valera “toda su simiente”, and the Judaica Press Tanach.
NKJV 1982- . The NKJV shows its confusion in that the printed 1982 edition says: “...speaking peace to all HIS KINDRED.”, then footnotes: Literally seed. However the online NKJV 1982 says: “seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all HIS COUNTRYMEN.”, and then footnotes: Literally ‘seed’.
NASB 1972-1995 - “who sought the good of his people and one who spoke for the welfare of HIS WHOLE NATION.”
NIV 1984, TNIV 2005 - “he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of ALL THE JEWS.”
RSV 1956 - “he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all HIS PEOPLE.”
NRSV 1989 - “for he sought the good of his people and interceded for the welfare of ALL HIS DESCENDANTS.”
ESV 2001 - “he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to ALL HIS PEOPLE.”
The Message 2002 - “he cared for the peace and prosperity of HIS RACE.”
More examples of NKJV silliness and word changes in the book of First Samuel.
These are just a few of the many examples found in this single book where the NKJV needlessly changes words and the meanings found in the King James Bible. The same pattern can be seen in every single book of the Old Testament.
1 Samuel 1:16 “Count not thine handmaid for a DAUGHTER OF BELIAL:”
So read the Revised Version, Darby, Wycliffe, Webster’s bible and others, but the NKJV says: “A WICKED WOMAN”, and then footnotes: “Literally daughter of Belial.”
1 Samuel 1:28 “And HE worshipped the LORD there.” The “he” refers Eli, the high priest. So too read the RV, ASV, NASB, NIV and even the ESV, but the NKJV reads “So THEY worshipped the LORD there.”
1 Samuel 2:1 “MY MOUTH IS ENLARGED OVER mine enemies”. So read the Hebrew translations, RV, ASV, Geneva, Youngs and many others. The NASB says “My mouth speaks boldly”, and the NIV has “My mouth boasts over my enemies”, but the NKJV says “I SMILE AT my enemies”!!!
1 Samuel 2:8 “He...lifteth up the beggar from the DUNGHILL, to set them among princes...” So read the Geneva bible, the RV, ASV, JPS (the 1917 Jewish Publication Society bible), Douay, Darby, Youngs, and the Spanish Reina Valera. However the NKJV joins the NASB, NIV and changes “dunghill” to “THE ASH HEAP”.
1 Samuel 2:12 “Now the sons of Eli were SONS OF BELIAL; they knew not the LORD.” SONS OF BELIAL is the reading of the Revised Version, Bishops’ bible, Coverdale, Wycliffe, Darby and even the NKJV tells us in their footnote: “Literally sons of Belial”, but in their text the NKJV says “the sons of Eli were CORRUPT.”
1 Samuel 2:25 “If one man sin against another, THE JUDGE shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him?” So read the Geneva Bible, Coverdale, Bishops’ bible, Spanish Reina Valera, 1936 Jewish translation, the Complete Jewish Bible and others. However the NKJV says: “If a man sins against another, GOD will judge him.”
1 Samuel 4:5 “...all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth RANG AGAIN.” This verb is used only twice and it has to do with making a sound. The second use of this Hebrew verb is in 1 Kings 1:45 where we read that “the city RANG AGAIN” (RV, ASV and others = KJB),and there the NKJV says “the city IS IN AN UPROAR.” Here in 1 Samuel 4:5 “the earth RANG AGAIN” (made a noise) is the reading of Bishops bible, Geneva, the 1917 and 1936 Jewish translations, the RV, ASV and others, but the NKJV says: “the earth SHOOK”.
1 Samuel. Here is a small sampling of how the NKJV changes the simple word BEHOLD, (which it does have many times). In every one of these places the KJB and many other translations have the word “BEHOLD”, but notice how the NKJV continually changes this word merely for the sake of change. (Afterall, they have to get their copyright so they can sell bibles.)
NKJV - 1 Samuel 9:7 “LOOK”, 9:12 “THERE HE IS”, 9:14 “THERE WAS”, 9:17 “THERE HE IS”, 9: 24 “HERE IT IS”; 10:8 “SURELY”, 10:10 “THERE WAS”; 12:1 “INDEED”, 12:3 OMITS; 12:13 “TAKE NOTE”; 13:10 OMITS; 14:7 “HERE I AM”; 14:8 “VERY WELL”; 14:17 “SURPRISINGLY”; 14:20 “INDEED”; 16:11 “THERE HE IS”;16:15 “SURELY”; 19:19 “TAKE NOTE”; 25:36 “THERE HE WAS”; 26:7 “THERE”;. These are just a very few of the numerous examples of where the NKJV makes these changes.
1 Samuel 10:19 “Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes, and by your THOUSANDS.” So read the 1917 JPS, RV, ASV, Youngs, Geneva Bible and others. But the NKJV says “by your tribes and your CLANS”, then footnotes: “Literally thousands.”
1 Samuel 10:25 “Then Samuel told the people the MANNER OF THE KINGDOM, and wrote it in a book...” So read the RV, ASV, 1917, 1936, but the NKJV says: “explained to the people the BEHAVIOR OF ROYALTY.”
1 Samuel 10:27 “But THE CHILDREN OF BELIAL said...” NKJB has “But SOME REBELS said...”
1 Samuel 13:21 “YET THEY HAD A FILE FOR THE MATTOCKS”. So read the RV, ASV, Hebrew Names Version, Geneva Bible, Young’s, Diodati, Spanish Reina Valera 1602, Lamsa’s Peshitta, and the Thrid Millennium Bible.
However the NKJV reads: “AND THE CHARGE FOR SHARPENING WAS A PIM”. Not quite the same, is it?
1 Samuel 14:13 “And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his FEET”. So read the RV, ASV, NASB, NIV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Geneva and many others. The NKJV says “climbed up on his hands and KNEES”. The Hebrew word is cleary “feet” and not “knees”.
1 Samuel 14:16 “...the multitude melted away, and they went on BEATING DOWN ONE ANOTHER.” This directly ties into verse 20 where “every man’s sword was against his fellow”. It is also the reading of Bishop’s bible, the Geneva Bible, Youngs, Darby and the KJV 21st Century version. However the NKJV says: “the multitude, melting away: and they WENT HERE AND THERE.” The Hebrew word means to break down, smite, or beat. It never means “here and there”.
1 Samuel 16:12 Here we read a description of the young David that he was “ruddy, and withal OF A BEAUTIFUL COUNTENANCE, and goodly to look to.” So read the Geneva Bible, the RV, ASV, Darby, and the Spanish Reina Valera 1602. Even the NIV says he was of “fine appearance”. However the NKJV says: “he was ruddy, with BRIGHT EYES, and good looking.”
1 Samuel 16:14, 15 - Here we read that God sent an EVIL spirit to trouble Saul, and so agree the Geneva bible, RV, ASV, RSV, ESV, NASB and NIV. But the NKJV tells us in both verses that it was “A DISTRESSING spirit.”
1 Samuel 17:6 Here we read of Goliath who “had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a TARGET (a shield, or buckler) of brass between his shoulders. This was a shield that goes around the neck and protects the chest area. So read Wycliffe, Coverdale, Bishops, Geneva bible, Douay, Lamsa, Diodati, the Spanish Valera 1602, and the KJV21st century.
The NKJV, however, tells us he “had bronze greaves on his legs and a bronze JAVELIN between his shoulders.”
1 Samuel 17:18 Here David was commanded of his father to go to his brethren with “these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, AND TAKE THEIR PLEDGE.” So read Coverdale, Bishops, Geneva, the Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, Spanish, Youngs, Darby and the KJV21. But the NKJV says: “see how your brothers fare, and BRING BACK NEWS OF THEM.”
1 Samuel 18:4 “And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his GARMENTS, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.” GARMENTS or apparel is the reading found in the AV, ASV, RSV, Youngs, JPS 1917, Darby, and the KJV21. Even the NIV says “tunic”. However the NKJV says: “with HIS ARMOR”.
1 Samuel 18:21 Here king Saul offers to give David his other daughter to be his wife and he says: “Thou shalt this day be my son in law IN THE ONE OF THE TWAIN.” That is, in one of the two daughters he had.
So read Wycliffe, Coverdale, Bishops, Geneva, Youngs, JPS 1917, Spanish 1602, and the KJV 21. But the NKJV says: “Therefore Saul said to David A SECOND TIME, ‘You shall be my son-in-law today.”
1 Samuel 25:17 and 25 “for he is such a SON OF BELIAL, that a man cannot speak to him.” The NKJV reads: “he is such a SCOUNDREL that one cannot speak to him.” Then it kindly footnotes for us “Literally son of Belial.”
1 Samuel 25:22 and 34 “So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light ANY THAT PISSETH AGAINST THE WALL.” This is literally what the Hebrew text read and so do the following versions: Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, Bishops’ bible 1568, Geneva Bible 1599, Douay, Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Spanish Reina Valera 1602, the Modern Greek Bible, Diodati, Green’s interlinear, and the KJV 21st century version.
However the NKJV totally paraphrases the Hebrew text in verses 22 and 34 and says: “to the enemies of David, if I leave ONE MALE of all who belong to him”.
1 Samuel 28. One of the really annoying features of the constantly changing NKJV is how it continually changes words and meanings just for the sake of change. I will note several of these constant changes in just this one chapter of 1 Samuel 28.
First is will give the King James Bible reading, followed by the changes the NKJV makes.
28:1 “And it came to pass in those days”, NKJV “Now it happened in those days”, 28:2 “Therefore will I make thee keeper of mine head”, NKJV “I will make you one of my chief guardians”; 28:3 “Saul had put away those that had FAMILIAR SPIRITS, and the WIZARDS, out of the land.”, NKJV “Saul had put THE MEDIUMS and the SPIRITISTS out of the land.”; 28:7 “And his servants said to him, BEHOLD, there is a woman that HATH A FAMILIAR SPIRIT at Endor.”; NKJV “IN FACT, there is a woman who is A MEDIUM at Endor.”; 28:8 “I PRAY THEE, DIVINE unto me BY THE FAMILIAR SPIRIT”; NKJV “PLEASE CONDUCT A SEANCE for me”; 28:13 “I saw GODS ascending out of the earth.”; NKJV “I saw A SPIRIT ascending out of the earth.”; 28:17 “And the LORD hath done TO HIM (to him = refers to David) as he spake by me”; NKJV “the LORD has done FOR HIMSELF (for Himself = refers to God) as He spoke by me.”
1 Samuel 30:12 “and when he had eaten, HIS SPIRIT came again to him”. So read the Jewish translations, RV, ASV, Geneva, Douay, Youngs, etc. NKJV “his STRENGTH came back to him”. The Hebrew word is “spirit”, not “strength”.
1 Samuel 30:22 “Then answered all the wicked men and MEN OF BELIAL...” NKJV “Then all the wicked and WORTHLESS MEN...” Footnote - “Literally men of Belial.”
2 Samuel 18:14 How Absalom was killed. "Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three DARTS in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak. And ten young men that bare Joab's armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him." Three DARTS is the reading found in the Revised Version, ASV, 1917 Jewish Publication Society translation, Lamsa, Italian Diodati, Spanish Reina Valera, Geneva Bible and Youngs. It is possible for a man to be alive even with three darts in his heart. But the NKJV along with the NASB and the NRSV says "three SPEARS in his heart" while the NIV and ESV tell us he had three JAVELINS in his heart before he died.
2 Samuel 19:24 "And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king, and had neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed HIS BEARD, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came again in peace." "trimmed his BEARD" is the reading found in Wycliffe, Bishops, Geneva Bible, the RV, ASV, Jewish translations 1917, 1936, Hebrew Names Version, Rotherham's Emphasized bible, Lamsa, Douay, Darby, RSV, NRSV, ESV, French Louis Segond and Spanish Reina Valera.
However the NKJV joins the silly NASB, NIV and reads: "nor trimmed his MUSTACHE"!
2 Kings 10:11 - “So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and HIS KINSFOLKS, and his priests, until he left him none remaining.”
The Hebrew word used here is #1350 and means “to redeem”, “a redeemer”, a “kinsman” or “kinsfolks”. In order to redeem a person or his property, the other person had to be personally related and from the same family. The people Jehu killed were family relatives of the wicked king Ahab.
See how this specific word is used in such passages as Numbers 5:8 “if the man have no kinsman..”; Ruth 2:20; 3:13; 4:1,3, 6, 8, and 14 - “the man is one of our next KINSMEN”. In these passages even the NKJV correctly has “kinsman”, as one who must be related by blood to redeem the property of a fellow family member.
In 2 Kings 10:11 “HIS KINSFOLKS” or ‘members of his family’ is also the reading of Coverdale 1535, Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible, Lamsa, the Judaic Press Tanach, French Martin 1755, Louis Segond 1910, Ostervald 1996, the Spanish Reina Valera 1960, 1995, the Modern Greek (oikeious - relatives), the KJV 21st Century 1994 and the Third Millennium Bible 1998.
However most modern versions like the RSV, NASB, NIV, Holman and NKJV have changed the meaning of the text and tell us: “So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men and HIS CLOSE ACQUAINTANCES”...NKJV, or “close friends” NIV.
In 2 Kings 10:12 and 14 the KJB as well as the Geneva Bible, Youngs, the 1917 JPS, RV, ASV and others tell us: “And he was at the shearing house in the way”; “And they took them alive and slew them AT THE PIT OF THE SHEARING HOUSE”, but the NKJV instead says: “ON THE WAY, AT BETH EKED OF THE SHEPHERDS”; “and killed them at the WELL OF BETH EKED.”
In 2 Kings 10: 25 the King James Bible, the Hebrew texts, the Geneva Bible, 1917 JPS, Lamsa, Darby, Douay, Young, RV, ASV and the Spanish Reina Valera (to name a few) tell us: “and the guard and the captains cast them out, and went TO THE CITY of the HOUSE of Baal. And they brought forth the images out of the HOUSE of Baal, and burned them.”
However versions like the NASB, NIV, NKJV, RSV, NRSV, ESV all tell us: “and went into THE INNER ROOM of the TEMPLE of Baal” NKJV. However versions like the RSV and NASB, after saying “INNER ROOM” then inform us that the Hebrew text literally reads CITY, just like the KJB has it.
Then in the next verse, 2 Kings 10:27 we read: “And they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a DRAUGHT HOUSE unto this day.” A draught house, pronounced as ‘draft house’, is simply a public toilet. ‘Draught house’ is the reading found in such versions as Bishops’ bible, the 1917 JPS, the RV, ASV, Youngs, and Darby. Other versions like Wycliffe, Geneva Bible, Lamsa, and even the NASB, NIV, and RSV all say things like “a public toilet’, “a latrine’, or ‘a privy’, but they all refer to this pagan house being made into a toilet.
The NKJV stands virtually alone in that it has changed the meaning of the verse to read: “and tore down the TEMPLE (lit. house) of Baal and made it a REFUSE DUMP to this day.”
Now, I know of several refuse dumps around most big cities, but there is a huge difference between a refuse dump and a public TOILET. And then they have the nerve to keep telling us the modern bible versions are getting better and just “updating that archaic language” of the King James Bible.
2 Kings 17:27 - Here is an interesting verse in that so many Bible versions actually depart from the Hebrew text and yet I have seen some modern version promoters actually trying to tell us on the forums that the King James Bible is wrong and their modern versions that reject the Hebrew text are right! If they would just think things through, they would realize that the KJB and the Hebrew text are right. But NO. Rather than accepting a very reasonable explanation as to why the KJB and Hebrew are correct, they prefer to accuse them of error. Such are the ways of those who have no Final Written Authority -The Inspired Holy Bible - and instead place their own minds and understanding as their final authority.
In 2 Kings the Lord Himself sent lions among the people who now lived in Samaria because they continued to worship idols and feared not the Lord God of Israel. So the king of Assyria came up with a plan to teach the people about the God of Israel. In 2 Kings 17:27 we read: “Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let THEM go and dwell there, and let HIM teach them the manner of the God of the land.”
Agreeing with the Hebrew text in reading the plural as “let THEM go and dwell there” are the Jewish translations of JPS 1917, the 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company version, the Judaica Press Tanach, the Revised Version 1881, American Standard Version 1901, Darby, Young’s, the Spanish Reina Valera 1909, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible 1902, World English Bible, Hebrew Names Version, and the KJV 21st Century version 1994.
There are many versions like the RSV, NRSV, ESV which change the Hebrew text here and tell us so in their own footnotes. These versions read: “Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let HIM go and dwell there...” Then in a footnote they all tell us that the reading of HIM comes from the Syriac and the Vulgate, but the Hebrew reads THEM.
Not surprisingly, Daniel “scribal error” Wallace’s NET version also adopts this bogus reading and he defends it by telling us in his footnote: “Hebrew “and let THEM go and let THEM live there, and let HIM teach them the requirements of the God of the land.” The two plural verbs seem inconsistent with the preceding and following contexts, where only one priest is sent back to Samaria. The singular has the support of Greek, Syriac, and Latin witnesses.”
Did it ever occur to “scholars” like Daniel Wallace et.al. that the priests themselves were married men with wives and children and that they would take their family members with them when they went to live in another country, and so the priest and his family went to Samaria and he would teach the people about the God of the land, and thus we have “let THEM go and dwell there, and let HIM teach them...”???
Not only do the RSV, NRSV and ESV wrongly read HIM instead of THEM, but so do the NKJV, NASB, the Geneva Bible, Bishops’, Coverdale, and the Holman Standard.
The NIV gets around the “problem” by just omitting the Hebrew word altogether and says: "Have one of the priests you took captive from Samaria go back to live there and teach the people what the god of the land requires."
1 Chronicles 25:3 - Has the Hebrew text been corrupted?
1 Chronicles 25:3 KJB - “Of Jeduthun: the sons of Jeduthun; Gedaliah, and Zeri, and Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, SIX, under the hands of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp, to give thanks and to praise the LORD.”
Agreeing with the Hebrew text and the KJB are Wycliffe, Bishops’ Bible, the Geneva Bible 1599, the RV 1881, ASV 1901, Rotherham’s 1902 Emphasized bible, all Jewish versions including the 1917 JPS, Hebrew Names Version, Judaica Press Tanach, the Complete Jewish Bible, the KJB 21st century version, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, and even Daniel Wallace’s NET version, who mentions the variant reading but apparently sees no need to add it to his version.
The modern versions that add the additional name of SHIMEI to their text are the RSV, NRSV, ESV, NIV, TNIV, NKJV, NASB, Green’s ‘literal’, and the Holman Standard.
The NKJV adds the extra name and the online NKJV says: “Of Jeduthun, the sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, SHIMEI, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, SIX, R158 under the direction of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp to give thanks and to praise the LORD.” Then it footnotes “Shimei, appearing in one Hebrew and several Septuagint manuscripts, completes the total of six sons (compare verse 17).”
In other words, the NKJV editors think something has dropped out of the Hebrew text and that the number six refers to the sons of Jeduthun, and so they need to add the extra name of this additional son to come up with the number six mentioned in the text.
These modern versions tell us “some” or “several” Septuagint manuscripts read such an such because not all alleged Septuagint copies are the same in numerous places. The words “some” or “several” mean more than one, so just how many different ‘Septuagint’ versions exist out there in scholar-land? Well, I guess we poor peons will never know, because they aren’t telling us. The copy of the generally accepted and widely published LXX version I have does NOT add the extra name Shimei.
The NASB’s also add the extra word, and not in italics. The printed versions of the NASB I have seen do not contain a footnote about this added name, but the online NASB has one of the most misleading and deceptive footnotes possible. After placing the additional name in their text, the online version simply footnotes: “So with mss and ancient versions”. And which manuscripts and ancient versions might these be? Not the Syriac, nor the Latin, nor the traditional LXX version. I guess they just expect us to take their word for it and assume that the traditional Hebrew texts have been corrupted and the extra name has managed to fall through the cracks.
Young’s ‘literal’ version is more than a little goofy here. It alone takes the number SIX and changes it into a personal name. Young’s says: “Of Jeduthun: sons of Jeduthun, Gedaliah, and Zeri, and Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, SHISSHAS, are by the side of their father Jeduthun.”
So how do we explain the accuracy of the preserved Hebrew text found in the King James Bible? It is really quite easy. Notice that the text lists SIX names, and says these people were ‘six’. The text does NOT say “six SONS”; it just says ‘six’.
Adam Clarke simply comments: “The sons of Jeduthun-six That is, six with their father, otherwise, there are but five. Hence it is said, they were under the hands of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp.”
Likewise John Wesley mentions: “Six - Jeduthun their father being included in that number.”
The King James Bible is right - as always.
The NKJV is at best a poor substitute for the true Holy Bible. Get yourself the Authorized King James Holy Bible and stick to it. Accept no cheap imitations.
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Further studies comparing the King James Bible with the NKJV -
To see how the NKJV keeps changing it’s English text from one edition to the next, see
If you mistakenly think the NKJV is the same as the KJB, please see -
See also Don’t Go On Safari with a NKJV translator
See a comparative study between the KJB and the NKJV in 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah here:
And for a thorough examination of the differences between the KJB and the NKJV in the Book of Proverbs see: