Another King James Bible Believer


1 Timothy 1:4 godly edifying

1 Timothy 1:4 KJB - “Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than GODLY EDIFYING, which is in faith: so do.”

NASB, ESV, NIV - “the administration of God” (NASB), “GOD’S WORK” (NIV), “the stewardship from God” (ESV) “God’s plan” (New Jerusalem bible).


The Catholic Connection


The Catholic bible versions keep on changing their texts. The older Douay-Rheims 1582, the Douay 1950 and the latest 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version all say “edification of God”, whereas the St. Joseph New American bible of 1970 and the New Jerusalem bible of 1985 have “that training in faith that God requires” (St. Joseph) or “God’s plan” (New Jerusalem)

The Jehovah Witness New World Translation also follows the Nestle-Aland, UBS/Vatican critical text and paraphrases it as "a dispensation of anything by God in connection with faith."


This is a textual issue. The KJB is based on the Textus Receptus that underlies the Reformation Bibles which read “oikodomian Theou” - οικοδομιαν θεου  - whereas the modern versions are based on the Westcott-Hort, UBS, Vatican manuscripts and read “oikonomian” - οικονομιαν. The two Greek words are very similar, one had a "d" and the other has a "k".  

[As a side note, when the King James Bible was first printed in 1611 there was a printing error that occurred in this verse. The word "godly" was omitted. The 1611 printing read: "rather than edifying which is in faith".  This printing error was soon discovered and corrected in 1638. (page 193, The Authorized Edition of the English Bible 1611, It's subsequent Reprints and Modern Representatives, by F.H.A. Scrivener, 1884)  

How do we know it was a printing error and not a change in the text? Simply because the word "godly" is found in the Greek text that underlies the King James Bible and the phrase "GODLY edifying" was found in the previous English Bibles like Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, the Great Bible, Matthew's Bible, the Bishop's Bible and the Geneva Bible.]  

For more information of "The Printing Errors Ploy" see


The reading found in the King James Bible is found in the Greek texts of Erasmus, Beza, Elziever brothers and Scrivener.  It is found in manuscript D and is so quoted by Irenaeus in 202 A.D., Hilary (300 -368 A.D.) Zeno in the 4th century and is found in the Syriac Peshitta. It is also found in the Latin Vulgate of Jerome in 382 A.D., the Latin Vulgate of 425 and the Clementine Vulgate - “aedificationem Dei quae est in fide.”  It is also the reading found in the ancient Syriac Bible and is the reading of those translations of the Syriac Peshitta by Etheridge 1849, Murdock in 1852 and Lamsa in 1936.

John Calvin likewise translates it as “edification of God” and comments: “He calls it “the edification of God,” either because God approves of it, or because it is agreeable to the nature of God.”

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown mention - the oldest Latin versions, and IRENÆUS and HILARY, support English Version (KJB) reading.

"the edification of God"

Agreeing with the the KJB reading are the following English Bible versions: Wycliffe’s translation 1395 - “more than edificacioun of God, that is in the feith.”, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale’s Bible 1535, the Great Bible (Cranmer) of 1540 -”Godlye edifyinge, which is by fayth”, Matthew’s bible of 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568 - “godly edifying which is in fayth.”, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Beza N.T. 1599, Whiston’s Primitive New Testament of 1745, the Worsely Version of 1770, the Clarke N.T. 1795, Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, The Thomson Bible 1808, The Revised Translation 1815, the Webster Bible 1833, the Living Oracles of 1835, The Longman Version 1841, the Hewett N.T. 1850, The Commonly Received Version 1851, The Boothroyd Bible 1853, The Calvin Version 1856, The Revised N.T. 1862, Young’s literal 1898, the Douay-Rheims of 1899 -”the edification of God”, the Clarke N.T. 1913,  the New KJV 1982, The Word of Yah 1993, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, the Third Millennium Bible 1996, The Lawrie Translation 1998, God's First Truth 1999, The Tomson N.T. 2002, The Evidence Bible 2003, The Resurrection Life N.T. 2005 (Vince Garcia), the Bond Slave Version 2009, The Faithful N.T. 2009, the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version, the Jubilee Bible 2010, The Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010 - "GODLY edification", The Online Interlinear 2010 (André de Mol), The Conservative Bible 2010 - "divine growth", The New European Version 2010, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011 - EDIFICATION OF GOD", The BRG Bible 2012, The English Majority Text N.T. 2013, the Modern English Version 2014 and The New Matthew Bible 2016 - "godly edifying".  


Among foreign language Bibles that follow the Textus Receptus reading found in the King James Bible are the French Martin of 1744 and the French Ostervald of 1996 - “que l'édification de Dieu”, Luther’s German bible of 1545 - “mehr denn Besserung zu Gott im Glauben.”, the Italian Diodati 1649 - “che edificazion di Dio”, the Modern Greek Version as seen here  "μαλλον παρα την εις την πιστιν οικοδομην του Θεου, ουτω πραττε·", the Portuguese Almeida Actualizada - “edificação para com Deus”, the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras of 1569, and the Reina Valera of 1909, 1960 and 1995 -”la edificación de Dios que es por fe.”

The King James Bible is right, as always.

 Will Kinney

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