The Bible Agnostic Test
The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy affirms the following -
“We deny that Biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, exclusive of ASSERTIONS IN THE FIELD OF HISTORY AND SCIENCE."
Well, as a King James Bible believer (with a real Bible to give to anyone who wants to read it for himself) I agree that the true and INFALLIBLE WORDS OF GOD MUST ALSO BE 100% HISTORICALLY TRUE." IF IT IS NOT, THEN WE SHOULD ASK AT WHAT POINT AND WHEN DOES GOD START TO TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT ALL THOSE OTHER THINGS FOUND IN HIS BOOK."
So, let’s take the following few examples and ask our “originals only” brethren to tell us what their “inerrant Bible” actually says in these following places. I have basically limited this list to different historical events regarding the names of the people or the numbers of the things or people involved in these historical events.
The following short list is just a sampling of the divergent and confusing readings found among the contradictory modern bible versions. There are numerous other examples.
I hear from many unbelievers in the existence of a complete and infallible Bible when they say: "I'm not a bible agnostic! You don't know my heart. How can you say I am a bible agnostic and an unbeliever in the inerrancy of the Bible? How dare you? You are being judgmental."
So I ask them if they are willing to take The Bible Agnostic Test. A bible agnostic is someone who does not know (a = not + gnostic = to know) for sure what God said in many instances. Just go through this first part where you will find about 20 examples of completely different names and numbers in todays Bible Babble Buffet Versions and tell us if you know which readings are the ones God inspired in His Book. Just pick two examples if you like and let us know. OK? Most bible agnostics simply dodge the whole test and refuse to answer it. What about you? Willing to take the Test?
The Bible Babble Buffet Versions
Among these “historic details” are the following examples:
Judges 18:30 Manasseh or Moses?
KJB - (NASB) "And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of MANASSEH, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land."
ESV (NIV, NET, Holman Standard, Catholic versions, Jehovah Witness NWT) - "And the people of Dan set up the carved image for themselves, and Jonathan the son of Gershom, son of MOSES, and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land."
whether 2 Samuel 21:8 reads Michal (Hebrew texts, KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV, Douay-Rheims) or Merab (RSV, NIV, NASB, ESV, NET, Holman, Catholic New Jerusalem)
or the 7th day in Judges 14:15 (KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV, Douay-Rheims) or the 4th day (RSV, ESV, NASB, NIV, NET, Catholic New Jerusalem)
Or Hannah taking young Samuel to the house of the LORD with THREE bullocks in 1 Samuel 1:24 (KJB, Hebrew texts, RV, ASV, JPS 1917, NKJV, Youngs, NET, Douay-Rheims) or “A THREE YEAR OLD BULL: (LXX, Syriac RSV, ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman, Catholic New Jerusalem)
1 Samuel 6:19 - 50,070 men slain or only 70 or 75 or 70 men 50 chief men or 50 oxen of a man? Why we cannot trust the Bible commentators or the modern versions.
1 Samuel 6:19 King James Bible (NASB, NET, NKJV, ISV) - "And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked INTO the ark of the LORD, even he smote OF THE PEOPLE FIFTY THOUSAND AND THREESCORE AND TEN MEN: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter."
ESV 2016 (NIV 2011, Catholic St. Joseph New American bible 1970, Catholic New Jerusalem 1985) - "He struck SEVENTY men of them, and the people mourned because the LORD had struck the people with a great blow."
Young’s "literal" translation reads: “He smiteth among the people SEVENTY MEN - FIFTY CHIEF MEN”.
The Voice of 2012, one of the new Critical Text versions, actually says: “God struck down 75 men”
The Holman Christian Standard Bible 2009 has come up with a reading that is different from them all. The HCSB now says: "He struck down 70 men out of 50,000 men."
or there being 30,000 chariots in 1 Samuel 13:5 (KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Douay-Rheims) or only 3000 (NIV, NET, Holman, Catholic New Jerusalem)
Look at the new "revision" of the ESV 2011. It came out in 2001 and they revised and changed about 300 verses in 2007 and then they revised it again in 2011. Take a look at what they have done with 1 Samuel 13:1. The ESVs have TWO different readings and they are BOTH wrong.
A similar thing happens with the constantly changing NASB. Notice it has TWO different readings depending on which edition you get and neither one agrees with any of the ESVs. From 1972 to 1977 they had 40/32 years, but now in the 1995 edition it reads 30/42 years, and BOTH ARE WRONG.
1 Samuel 13:1 Here we read: “Saul reigned ONE year; and when he had reigned TWO years over Israel, Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel.” reading - ONE/TWO years (NKJV, KJB, Geneva, Judaica Press Tanach, Orthodox Jewish Bible), or 40/32 (NASB 1972-77) or 30/42 (NASB 1995, NIV), OR 30 years/ 40 years (NET) or _____years and______and two years (RSV, NRSV, ESV 2001 edition, St. Joseph New American Bible 1970, Catholic New Jerusalem 1985), or "was 40 years old...and when he had reigned 2 years" (Amplified bible 1987) or "____years old and reigned 2 years" (Complete Jewish bible, Knox bible) or "was 30 years old...ruled for 42 years" (ISV, Common English Bible) or “32 years old...reigned for 22 years” in the 1989 Revised English Bible, or even "was 50 years old and reigned 22 years."!
But wait. There's even more. The ESV 2001 edition had "Saul was________years old when he began to reign, and he reigned____and two years over Israel." But now the 2011 edition of the ESV has come out (I have a hard copy right here in front of me) and it now has the perhaps even more ridiculous reading of "Saul LIVED FOR ONE YEAR AND THEN BECAME KING, and when he had reigned FOR TWO YEARS over Israel, Saul chose 3000 men of Israel...". Think about it. "Saul lived for one year and then became king". They just get loopier and loopier, don't they?
Can you guess which other bible version reads like the latest ESV? You got it. The Catholic Douay-Rheims and the Douay Version 1950 - "Saul WAS A CHILD OF ONE YEAR WHEN HE BEGAN TO REIGN, and he reigned two years over Israel."
By the way, here is a more in depth study showing why the King James Bible got it right, as it ALWAYS does.
1 Samuel 17:4 How Tall Was Goliath?
In 1 Samuel 17:4 the Hebrew texts tell us that the height of Goliath was SIX cubits and a span, which would make him about 9 feet 6 inches tall. That indeed is a giant. However the LXX tells us that Goliath was a mere FOUR cubits and a span - "ὕψος αὐτοῦ τεσσάρων πήχεων καὶ σπιθαμῆς" - which would make him only 6 feet 6 inches tall, which would hardly be much among NBA players today. King Saul himself was head and shoulders taller than the other Israelites, and yet he was afraid of this giant. If he were only 6ft. 6 inches, this would not make much sense.
Agreeing with the Hebrew text the he was 6 cubits and a span tall are the RSV, ESV, NASB, NIV, NKJV and all Jewish translations.
However there are a few loonies out there like Daniel Wallace and gang's NET version that says: "His name was Goliath; he was from Gath. He was CLOSE TO SEVEN FEET TALL."
Dan Wallace's group chose the reading found in SOME LXX copies of FOUR and a half cubits tall. Other LXX copies have FIVE and others still have SIX cubits and a span. Also reading this way are the new ISV (International Standard Version) and the Catholic St. Josepeh New American bible 1970. So, which one is right? Was he 4 or 5 or 6 cubits and a span tall?
For more information on this see Scatterbrained Septuagint Silliness -
2 Samuel 15:7 “forty years” (KJB, Hebrew, Geneva, NKJV, NASB, RV, Douay-Rheims) OR “four years” (NIV, RSV, ESV, NET, Catholic New Jerusalem)
or 2 Samuel 24:13 reading SEVEN years (KJB, Hebrew, ASV, NASB, NKJV, NET, Douay-Rheims) or THREE years (LXX, NIV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Holman, Catholic New Jerusalem)
or whether 1 Kings 4:26 reads 40,000 stalls of horses (Hebrew, KJB, RV, ASV, NASB, ESV, NKJV, Douay-Rheims) or 4,000 stalls (NIV, NET, Catholic New Jerusalem)
Again, notice that in 2 Chronicles 36:9 the ESVs have come out with TWO different textual editions. The first one followed the Hebrew text while the second edition rejected the Hebrew text as well as both the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus LXX readings and went with the Alexandrinus LXX reading. Not even the so called Greek Septuagint versions agree among themselves.
or where 2 Chronicles 36:9 reads that Jehoiachin was 8 years old when he began to reign (Hebrew texts, KJB, NASB, NKJV, RV, ASV, KJB, RSV, NRSV, ESV 2001 edition, Douay-Rheims) or he was 18 years old (NIV, Holman, NET, ESV 2007, 2016 editions!!! and once again the Catholic New Jerusalem)
Jeremiah 27:1 JEHOIAKIM or ZEDEKIAH? Has the Hebrew text been corrupted?
Jeremiah 27:1 - Is there a scribal error in the King James Bible and in the Hebrew Masoretic text?
Jeremiah 27:1 KJB - "In the beginning of the reign of JEHOIAKIM the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying...."
ESV, RSV, NIV, NASB, NET, Catholic New Jerusalem bible 1985 - "In the beginning of the reign of ZEDEKIAH the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD."
The King James Bible is right, as always. And here is why -
Luke 10:42 How many things are needed? "ONE THING" or "A FEW THINGS"? Bible Babble Buffet at its Best.
King James Bible (ESV, NKJV, ASV) - Luke 10:42 - But ONE THING IS NEEDFUL: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
NASB 1963-1977 editions - “But ONLY A FEW THINGS ARE NECESSARY, REALLY ONLY ONE, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
NASB 1995 edition - “But ONLY ONE THING IS NECESSARY, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
NIV 1973, 1978 and 1982 editions - "BUT ONLY ONE THING IS NEEDED. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her."
NIV 2011 edition - "BUT FEW THINGS ARE NEEDED - OR INDEED ONLY ONE. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her."
Did you notice that both the NASB and the NIV changed THE TEXT from one edition to another, AND that they REVERSED THEIR CHOICES? What is going on here in Bible Babble Buffet Land?
Luke 10:1,17 were there 70 sent out to preach (NASB, NKJV, RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, Holman, ISV, KJB) or 72 sent out? (NIV, ESV, NET, St. Joseph NAB, Catholic New Jerusalem)
Notice again in Matthew 18:22 the TWO different ESV translations of the same verse. The first 2 ESV editions followed the Greek text. The second 2 ESV just made up a number.
or in Matthew 18:22 does the Lord say to forgive your brother not “until 7 times, but unto 70 times 7 times” (= 490 times - KJB, RV, ASV, NASB, NKJV, RSV, ESV 2001, 2007 editions, ISV, Douay-Rheims, St. Joseph NAB, ALL Greek texts) or 77 times? (NRSV, NIV, ESV 2011, 2016 editions, Catholic New Jerusalem, Jehovah Witness New World Translation)
or that when God raised the Lord Jesus from the dead it is stated in Acts 13:33 “this day have I begotten thee” (KJB, NASB, NKJV, RV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Douay-Rheims) or “today I have become your Father”? (NIV, Holman, NET, Catholic New Jerusalem).
If you go back and read through this list of just some of the numerous very real differences that exist among these Bible of the Month Club versions, ask yourself Which (if any) are the 100% historically true words of God. IF "the Bible" is not 100% historically true in the events it narrates, then when does God start to tell us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
So, try to honestly answer the basic question here. Do you or do you not believe there IS (or ever was) a complete, inspired and 100% true Bible in any language that IS the inerrant and infallible words of God? Are you a Bible believer or a Bible “agnostic” who doesn’t know if such a Bible exists or not and what it might look like if it did?
ALL of grace, believing the Book - the King James Holy Bible.