There are three verses which are frequently brought up by those who believe the King James Bible has mistranslated references to the deity of Jesus Christ. They are Romans 9:5, Titus 2:13, and 2 Peter 1:1. We will examine each of the three, and show that the first two verses are not only correct but more accurate, and the third is just as valid as other versions.
#1 - Romans 9:5 says regarding the Jews: “Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever.”
Those who criticize the KJB say the rendering here does not declare the deity of Christ, but only says He is over all, and that God is blessed forever. I and many others believe they are correct in their understanding of the verse as it stands in the KJB. However, if you understand this particular verse as teaching the deity of Christ, even as it stands in the King James Bible, I would have no problem with that view. I fully believe that Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh; He is JEHOVAH God of the Old Testament.
But, as I understand this particular verse, it is not expounding that truth here. The phrase “who is over all, God blessed for ever” in the Greek reads: “ καὶ ἐξ ὧν ὁ χριστὸς τὸ κατὰ σάρκα, ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων, θεὸς εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. Ἀμήν.” This is the text as it appeared even by Westcott and Hort.
See laparola.net http://www.laparola.net/greco/
This is what the KJB correctly says. Christ is over all, and it is God the Father Who placed Him there, after He finished His work of redemption.
Ephesians 1:20 -22 tells us of the mighty power of God “which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in the world to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.” This is what God the Father has done in Christ, and God is to be blessed and praised for ever for having done this.
Other versions that read exactly as does the KJB are Daniel Mace's N.T. 1729 - "and of whom as to the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.", Whiston's Primitive N.T. 1745, Webster's Bible 1833, the Living Oracles 1835 - "and from whom the Messiah [descended], according to the flesh; who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.", Noyes Translation 1869 - "and from whom, as to the flesh, was the Christ. He who is over all, God, be blessed for ever! Amen.", the Revised Version of 1881, the ASV of 1901 - "and of whom is Christ as concerning the flesh, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.", the New American Standard Bible 1963 - 1995 - "whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.", Young's literal 1898 - "and of whom is the Christ, according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed to the ages. Amen." Darby 1890 - "and of whom, as according to flesh, is the Christ, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.", the Jerusalem Bible 1969, The New Berkeley Version in Modern English 1969, the 21st Century KJB 1994, the RSV 1952 and the NRSV 1989 - "and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ. God who is over all be blessed for ever. Amen.", Douay-Rheims1582, the Douay 1950, the Third Millenium Bible 1998, The American Bible Union N.T., Worrell N.T.1904, The N.T. Translated from the Sinaitic Manuscript 1918 - "and from whom is Christ according to the flesh: who is over all, God blessed for ever, Amen."
Other Bible that read like the KJB are World English Bible 2000, Hebrew Names Bible 2014, the 1998 Complete Jewish Bible, the Orthodox Jewish Bible 2011, Weymouth's N.T. 1912 - "To them the Patriarchs belong, and from them in respect of His human lineage came the Christ, who is exalted above all, God blessed throughout the Ages. Amen." Goodspeed's N.T. 1943- "and from them physically Christ came—God who is over all be blessed forever! Amen.", Montgomery N.T. 1924, the 1969 Berkeley Version in Modern English, the New American Bible St. Joseph 1970, the 1989 Revised English Bible, The Word of Yah 1993, Tomson N.T. 2002, The Evidence Bible 2003, The Resurrection Life N.T. 2005, Bond Slave Version 2009, Context Group Version 2007, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, Far Above All Translation 2011, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011, Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2012 (Mebust) - "whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh the Mashiyach came, who is over all, Elohim blessed forever. Amen.", World English Bible 2012 - "of whom are the fathers, and from whom is Christ as concerning the flesh, who is over all, God, blessed forever. Amen.
Other versions that read in a similar way, as saying that Christ is over all, and that God is to be blessed or praised for ever for this victory are the New English Bible 1970, New Life Version 1969, Contemporary English Version 1995, the Twentieth Century new testament 1904 - "as far as his human nature was concerned, from them came the Christ—he who is supreme over all things, God for ever blessed. Amen.", Wesley’s N.T. 1755, Williams translation 1937, James Moffatt N.T. 1922- "and theirs too (so far as natural descent goes) is the Christ. (Blessed for evermore be the God who is over all! Amen.)", Williams New Testament 1937, Riverside N.T. 1923 - "whom by physical descent the Christ came. God who is over all be blessed through the ages! Amen.", The Voice of 2012 - "and from their bloodline comes the Anointed One, who reigns supreme over all things, God blessed forever. Amen." So the King James Bible is hardly alone in its rendering of this verse.
French Louis Segond of 1902 and of 2007, and the 1999 La Bible du Semeur both equal the King James Bible meaning with: - “et les promesses, et les patriarches, et de qui est issu, selon la chair, le Christ, qui est au-dessus de toutes choses, Dieu béni éternellement. Amen!”
Spanish La Biblia de las Américas 1997 - de quienes son los patriarcas, y de quienes, según la carne, procede el Cristo, el cual está sobre todas las cosas, Dios bendito por los siglos. Amén.
The Portuguese Ferreira de Almeida Actualizada equals the KJB - “de quem são os patriarcas; e de quem descende o Cristo segundo a carne, o qual é sobre todas as coisas, Deus bendito eternamente. Amém.”
The Italian Conferenza Episcopale Italiana- "da essi proviene Cristo secondo la carne, egli che è sopra ogni cosa, Dio benedetto nei secoli. Amen."
The Romanian Fidela Bible of 2009 also equals the KJB - "conform carnii este Cristos, care este peste toate, Dumnezeu binecuvantat pentru totdeauna. Amin."
The German Schlachter Bible of 2000 is translated like the KJB - "und von ihnen stammt dem Fleisch nach der Christus, der über alle ist, hochgelobter Gott in Ewigkeit. Amen!"
To accuse the KJB of not showing the deity of Christ in a verse which does not teach this truth is hardly a fair argument. The versions which are usually cited in this attack on the KJB are the New KJV, the ESV and the NIV. None of these versions follow the Greek word order, but have altered it to teach the deity of Christ, and then blame the KJB for not doing the same. The NKJV says: “of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, [the] eternally blessed God.”
The NKJV has added the word “the” to the text. It changes the meaning and there is no justification for adding the word "the". The phrase “for ever” has wrongly been altered in the NKJV to read “eternally”. It is rather the NKJV which has added to God’s word and changed the meaning of this verse.
Likewise the NIV has an almost complete paraphrase of the whole verse and has altered its meaning. The NIV says: “Theirs are the partriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.”
The NIV has changed the order of the Greek words to come up with a different meaning than what I believe the Holy Ghost who inspired this text intended. In fact, the NIV has a footnote here that recognizes the KJB and NASB rendering. It says: ‘or, “Christ, who is over all. God be forever praised.”
The ESV does a similar thing by re-arranging the Greek word order. It says: "To them belong the partiarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen." There are zero words here in the Greek for "their race" and the literal word order in all Greek texts is "of whom the Christ according to the flesh who is over all God blessed for ever. Amen."
This is how the King James Bible and many others have correctly translated the verse. The King James Bible translators were being honest about what the verse actually says. They certainly believed in the full deity of the Lord Jesus Christ and did not have an agenda to either deny or promote His deity when it was not warranted by what was actually written in the Holy Scriptures.
Christ is not “ God over all” because this would exalt Christ above the Father. Christ was, is, and shall always be the second Person of the triune God, in submission to the Father. John 5:30 “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”
1 Corinthians 11:3 “the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”
1Cor. 15:28 “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”
#2 James White and his criticism of Titus 2:13 in the King James Bible
Titus 2:13 - " Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ"
James White has a lot to say in his book, The King James Version Controversy, about how badly he thinks the King James Bible mangles the meaning of this verse and obscures the Deity of Christ. On page 81 he says: "the KJV is shown to be wanting in Titus 2:13." On page 201 he says, regarding Titus 2:13 in the KJB: "The simple fact is that the KJV provides an inferior translation, one that unintentionally detracts from the presentation of the full deity of Jesus Christ. The unwillingness of KJV defenders to overlook this fact is most disturbing."
James White is entitled to his personal opinions, but there are a couple of things you should know about this man. He SAYS he believes the Bible IS the infallible words of God, but if you ask him to show you a copy of this infallible Bible he professes to believe in, he will never tell you. He will immediately try to change the subject.
Secondly, I believe he and many like him have been deceived when it comes to the Bible version issue. The modern version he promotes like the ESV, NIV, NASB are all in fact the new Vatican Versions. The Vatican has made a formal agreement with the United Bible Society to create an "inter confessional" text to unite "the separated brethren" and one of the main editors of this text was the Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Martini. Nobody seriously believes any of these modern versions are the inerrant words of God; certainly not the people who put them together. Don't believe it? Then please see my article and the links found in it called James White - the Protestant Pope of the new Vatican Versions
And thirdly, James White is completely wrong in his understanding and analysis of Titus 2:13 as it stands not only in the King James Bible but in many others as well. The King James Bible is actually the most literal translation of the Greek text here and it brings out a special truth that apparently is hidden from Bible correctors like James White.
Titus 2:13 “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of THE GREAT GOD AND OUR SAVIOUR Jesus Christ”
Here the critics like James White and others say the KJB rendering does not fully bring out the deity of Jesus Christ. I don’t really understand what they are talking about, because when I read this passage, it clearly declares that Jesus Christ is both the great God as well as our Saviour.
Even a basic Greek grammar book like Dana and Mantey in their book A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, on page 147 when discussing the definite article with nouns connected by kai, give Titus 2:13 as one of the examples - του μεγαλου θεου και σωτηρος ιησου χριστου - and then states in no uncertain terms - "After the same manner, του μεγαλου θεου και σωτηρος ιησου χριστου, ASSERTS THAT JESUS IS THE GREAT GOD AND SAVIOUR."
Dr. Larry Bednar, who also addresses this passage at his KJV Textual Technology site correctly asks: "One wonders if White thinks saints and faithful brethren (Col.1:2) separates saints and faithful brethren, as if they were two different types. Or does he think God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Col.1:3) separates God from the Father, as if the Father were not God?"
The NKJV, NIV, ESV and NASB translate this verse in different ways. They don't even agree with each other. The NKJV is not quite as bad as the NIV, NASB, ESV in that it says: "looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of OUR great God and Savior Jesus Christ". The NKJV does not follow the literal Greek word order as does the King James Bible and it obscures the full and wonderful truths we see in the King James Bible.
But the NIV, NASB, ESV don't have us looking for THE APPEARING OF GOD AND OUR SAVIOURJesus Christ" but instead looking for THE APPEARING OF THE GLORY of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ." God's glory and His actually appearance can be two different things. The heaven declare the glory of God, but it is not God Himself.
However, it is necessary to point out two very important things in this verse. Number one is that the Greek reads exactly as it stands in the KJB, and not as it is in the NKJV, NIV, ESV and NASB.
The Greek in all texts reads “the great God and OUR Saviour.” This is one of the few verses in the N.T. that has no textual variants; they all read the same and the King James Bible is the most literal by far. All Greek text read -προσδεχομενοι την μακαριαν ελπιδα και επιφανειαν της δοξης του μεγαλου θεου και σωτηρος ημων ιησου χριστου
This is the important part here - της δοξης του μεγαλου θεου και σωτηρος ημων ιησου χριστου = the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
The crucial difference in meaning is this. When Christ appears again in glory, He is the God of everybody - every man, woman and child, believer or unbeliever - but He is OUR Saviour. He is the Saviour of only those who are true Christians, but He is the God and creator of all, and He will be the judge of those who have not believed on Him. Jesus Christ is BOTH the Great God AND OUR Saviour. We are looking for Him to appear as such, and this truth is fully brought out in the King James Bible and many others that have likewise translated it this way by following the literal Greek text.
Another big difference in meaning between the KJB and such modern versions as the NASB, NIV and ESV is this which was pointed out to us recently on a Facebook King James Bible club. The Bible believing brother wrote the following: "The glorious appearing of our great God in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ is taught by Paul in one single text in Titus 2:13. Modern bibles twisted and denied it!
Titus 2:13 (King James Version) “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Comment: You see the words glorious appearing of the great God?
Titus 2:13 (New International Version) “while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,“ Comment: Where are the words glorious appearing of the great God? We are not waiting for the glory of God but His glorious appearing!
Titus 2:13 (New American Standard Bible) "looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” Comment: Where are the words glorious appearing of the great God? We are not waiting for the glory of God but His glorious appearing!
Titus 2:13 (English Standard Version) waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” Comment: Where are the words glorious appearing of the great God? We are not waiting for the glory of God but His glorious appearing!
Comment: Where are the words "the glorious appearing of the great God? We are not waiting for the glory of God but His glorious appearing!" At first glance you may think modern bibles say the same as KJV says, but they are not!" (end of comments by this Bible believer. And he is right!)
So the KJB is actually more accurate here than the NIV, ESV, NKJV or the NASB.
Other Bible translations that read as does the KJB are Wycliffe’s 1380, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535 - " appearynge of the glory of ye greate God and of oure Sauioure Iesu Christ", the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishop's Bible 1568, the Douay-Rheims 1582 - " the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.", the Geneva Bible 1599 - "that mightie God, and of our Sauiour Iesus Christ", Mace's N.T. 1729, Whiston's Primitive N.T. 1745, John Wesley's translation 1755, Worsley Translation 1770, Etheridge Translation 1849, Murdoch's translation 1851 and Lamsa's translation of the Syriac Peshitta 1933 - "the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ", the Aramaic Bible in Plain English - "the revelation of the glory of The Great God and Our Lifesaver, Yeshua The Messiah", the Emphatic Dioglott 1865, the Living Oracles 1835, Julia Smith translation 1855, Noyles Translation 1869, the ASV of 1901 - "the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ", Webster’s Bible 1833, J.B. Phillips 1962, Rotherham's Emphasized Bible 1902 "the glory of the great God and our Saviour Christ Jesus", Worrell N.T., Alford N.T. for English Readers, James Moffatt N.T. - "the Glory of the great God and of our Saviour Christ Jesus", Riverside N.T., the World English Bible 2000 - " appearing of the glory of the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ", Hebrew Names Version 2014, the New American Bible 1991, the KJV 21st Century 1994 and the Third Millennium Bible 1998 - "the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."
Foreign Language Bibles
Many foreign language Bible translate the passage exactly as the King James Bible has it. Among these are the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, the Spanish Reina Valera of 1909, Spanish Jubilee Bible 2000, and Spanish La Palabra 2010 - "la manifestación gloriosa del gran Dios y Salvador nuestro Jesucristo.”, the French Martin 1744, Louis Segond 1910 - “l'apparition de la gloire du grand Dieu, et notre Sauveur, Jésus-Christ”, the Italian Diodati 1649, and La Nuova Diodati 1991 - “della gloria del grande Dio e Salvatore nostro, Gesú Cristo.”, the Portuguese de Almeida 1681 and A Biblia Sagrada em Portugués - "o aparecimento da glória do grande Deus e nosso Salvador Jesus Cristo", the Russian Zhuromsky New Testament, the Norwegian Det Norsk Bibelselskap 1930 - "og åpenbarelsen av den store Guds og vår frelser Jesu Kristi herlighet," the Dutch Staten Vertaling Bible - "van den groten God en onzen Zaligmaker Jezus Christus;" = "of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ"
Martin Luther’s German translation of 1545 also reads just like the King James Bible as does the German Schlachter Bible of 2000 with: “großen Gottes und unsers Heilandes Jesu Christi”. = "the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."
Matthew Henry comments - "Jesus Christ, that great God and our Saviour, who saves not only as God, much less as Man alone; but as God-man, two natures in one person. He loved us, and gave himself for us."
John Gill comments - "and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ; not two divine persons, only one, are here intended."
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown comment - "the great God and our Saviour Jesus—There is but one Greek article to "God" and "Saviour," which shows that both are predicated of one and the same Being.
Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - "Of the great God - There can be little doubt, if any, that by “the great God” here, the apostle referred to the Lord Jesus...No one, accustomed to Paul‘s views, can well doubt that when he used this language he had his eye throughout on the Son of God"
Matthew Henry comments - "The great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ for they are not two subjects, but one only, as appears by the single article"
Matthew Poole comments - "And the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; and in order thereunto, looking for the coming of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ, to the last judgment. The same person is here meant by the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."
James White, who is now promoting the modern Vatican Versions and who SAYS the Bible is the infallible words of God but will NEVER tell you where to get one, is dead wrong in his criticisms of this verse, and the King James Bible is absolutely correct and infallible, as always.
All of grace, believing the Book - the King James Holy Bible.
See also Dr. Larry Bednar's explanation of Titus 2:13 in the KJB and why it is absolutely correct and better than the ESV, NIV, NASB and NKJV at his KJV Textual Technology site here -
The King James Bible is right, as always.
#3 - The third verse that critics cite against the KJB is 2 Peter 1:1. Here we read
2 Peter 1:1 - “To them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Some Bible critics tell us that this verse, as it stands in the KJB, does not clearly show the deity of Jesus Christ. The NKJV, NIV and NASB read: “through the righteousness of OUR God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
First, it needs to be pointed out that there are several textual differences in the Greek readings of this verse.
And Secondly, it may not be God's intent to use this verse as a proof text of the deity of Christ. You can either see it this way or not depending on how you read the text, regardless of which one you go with. (As we will see in a moment).
All through both First and Second Peter the word God us used to refer to God the Father, and Jesus Christ is presented as the Son, Lord and the Saviour.
See for example 1 Peter 1:2, 3; 2:5; 3:18,, 22; 4:11, 14, 5:10, 2 Perter 2:2 and 17.
1 Peter 1:2 - Elect according to the foreknowledge of GOD THE FATHER, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of JESUS CHRIST: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
1 Peter 1:3 - Blessed be the GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 Peter 2:5 - Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to GOD BY JESUS CHRIST
1 Peter 3:18 - For CHRIST also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to GOD, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
1 Peter 3:22 - Who is gone into heaven, and is ON THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
1 Peter 4:11 - If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of GOD; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which GOD giveth: that GOD in all things may be glorified THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 5:10 - But the GOD of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory BY CHRIST JESUS, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
2 Peter 2:2 - Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of GOD, AND OF JESUS OUR LORD
2 Peter 2:17 - For he received from God THE FATHER honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, in whom I am well pleased.
Different Greek readings in 2 Peter 1:1-2:
One of the “oldest and best” manuscripts called Sinaiticus reads “righteousness of the Lord” or kurios instead of righteousness of God. But the NASB and NIV didn’t follow this, but rather the majority reading of "God".
In the next verse we read: "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge OF GOD AND OF JESUS OUR LORD."
Here several texts omit "of God and of Jesus" - The Expositor's Greek Testament does this. Other texts omit just "of God", and Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus both add the word CHRIST and so say: "of God and of Jesus CHRIST our Lord".
Other Greek manuscripts read "Jesus our Saviour" instead of "Jesus our Lord", and others still reverse the word order and add Christ and end up with "of our Lord Jesus Christ" instead of "of Jesus our Lord", while a few others say "of OUR God" instead of "of God".
Lamsa's translation of the Aramaic/Syriac Peshitta reads differently than them all. It says: "to those who through the righteousness of OUR LORD (not God) and Saviour Jesus Christ"
You can verify all this information by looking carefully at the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament 4th edition. There is thus a wide variety of different readings found in these first two verses of 2 Peter.
Greek Manuscript 621 (11th century) and several of the Old Latin copies read literally as the KJB has it with ”δικαιοσυνη του θεου και σωτηρος ημων ιησου χριστου" = “righteousness of (the) God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”
The text followed by the King James Bible seems to be that of Scrivener 1894, Beza 1598 and Elzevir 1624.
2 Πετερ 1:1 εν δικαιοσυνη του θεου ημων και σωτηρος ημων ιησου χριστου = This text has the literal “righteousness of the OUR God and OUR Saviour Jesus Christ.
Several Bible translations actually read this way. Among these are the Worsley Version of 1770 “the righteousness of OUR God and of OUR Saviour Jesus Christ”, the New Simplified Bible - " the righteousness of our God, and of our Savior Jesus Christ", Green’s KJV lll of 1993, the French Sainte Bible of 1759 and La Bible du Semeur of 1999 - “notre Dieu et notre Sauveur”.
Likewise the Weymouth translation of 1912 has “righteousness of OUR God and of OUR Savior Jesus Christ.” Etheridge’s 1849 translation of the Syriac has “righteousness of OUR Lord and OUR Redeemer Jeshu Meshiha. Lawrie Translation 1998 - “through the righteousness of OUR God and OUR Savior Jesus Christ”
The ASV of 1901 DOES seem to distinguish between God and the Lord Jesus saying: "in the righteousness of our God and the saviour Jesus Christ"
See also the article on 2 Peter 1:1 at KJV Today where he discusses both the textual variations found in this verse and the use of the Granville Sharp Rule.
As I understand it, the King James Bible translators saw both words "our" as referring to the same Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is both God and our Saviour. He is the God of everyone, but he is OUR Saviour.
No matter which Greek readings we go with, it is possible to see the passage as teaching that we are speaking of one person who is both God and the Saviour, or we can see it as referring to both God the Father and the Son of God who is the Saviour.
Other verses in the epistles of Peter show us that just because the word "and" occurs, we are still talking about one person. For example. In 1 Peter 1:3 we read: "Blessed be the God AND Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again". He is both the God and the Father of our Lord.
There are several passages like this in 2 Peter. In 1:11 we read of "the everlasting kingdom of our Lord AND Saviour Jesus Christ".
In 2 Peter 2:20 - "have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord AND Saviour Jesus Christ".
In 2 Peter 3:2 - "and of the commandments of us the apostles of the Lord AND Saviour".
and in 2 Peter 3:18 we close out the epistle with these wonderful words: "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord AND Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen."
It is a distinct possibility that they wanted to maintain this single identity of the full Deity of Christ, and so they chose to not translate one of the words "our" so as to avoid a translation that would suggest the passage is speaking about two different persons.
OR it may well be that 2 Peter 1:1 was not intended as a "proof text" for the deity of Christ at all, but he is distinguished from God the Father, (as he is all through both 1 and 2 Peter) though we know from many other passages of Scripture that the Son of God is also himself Jehovah.
Bible Translations that agree with the King James Bible reading -
The Cambridge Paragraph Bible by Frederick Scrivener 1873 - "through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." http://thebiblecorner.com/englishbibles/thecambridgeparagraphbible/2peter/1.html
The Italian Diodati of 1649 reads like the KJB with “righteousness of God and OUR Saviour, Jesus Christ.” - “giustizia dell’Iddio e Salvator NOSTRO, Gesù Cristo.” The 2009 Romanian Fidela Bible reads this way too - "de preţioasă prin dreptatea Dumnezeului şi Salvatorului nostru Isus Cristos".
So too do The Bill Bible 1671, Whiston's Primitive N.T. 1745 - "through the righteousness of God, and OUR Saviour Jesus Christ.", the Clarke N.T. 1795, Webster’s 1833 translation, the Pickering N.T. 1840 - "the righteousness of God and OUR Saviour Jesus Christ", the Hammond N.T. 1845, The Morgan N.T. 1848 - "to those obtaining like faith, in the righteousness of God, and OUR savior Jesus Christ, with us.", The Commonly Received Version 1851, the Dillard N.T. 1885 - "of God and OUR Saviour Anointed Jesus.", The Word of Yah 1993 - "through the righteousness of God and OUR Saviour Yahshua the Christ”, the KJV 21st Century version 1994, The Revised Webster Bible 1995, the Third Millennium Bible of 1998, the Bond Slave Version 2012, the Revised English Version of 2010, The Conservative Bible 2011 - "through the righteousness of God and OUR Savior Jesus Christ”.
The Resurrection Life New Testament 2005, the Evidence Bible 2003, the Heritage Bible 2003, and the Urim-Thummin Version of 2001 by Dallas James all read the same with "through the righteousness of God and OUR Saviour Jesus Christ."
The reading as it stands in the KJB “the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” can easily be seen as stating that He is both God and our Saviour; but the difference is this - Jesus Christ is God but He is not every body's Saviour. He is OUR Saviour and 2 Peter is written to born again, blood bought Christians.
Compare other verses with similar wording. In Isaiah 44:6, 24 we are told “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, AND his redeemer the LORD of hosts: I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God...Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, AND he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things...” Even though there is the word “and” is between the two nouns, we know there is only one person who is being referred to - God.
The same thing is found in 1 Thessalonians 3:11 “Now God himself AND our Father, AND our Lord Jesus Christ direct our way unto you.”; Galatians 1:4 “according to the will of God AND our Father.” The “and” is not implying another person, but is bringing out another aspect of the same one. He is both God and our Father.
So too, in 2 Peter the “God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” can be seen as showing another aspect of the same divine Person, just as 2 Peter 1:11 “kingdom of our Lord AND Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Even the reading of the NKJV, NIV and NASB could be looked upon as describing two distinct persons; it all depends on how one reads it.
“Righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ”, can be compared to statements like “our Mom and Dad won’t let us go to the party” or “our owner and manager will be at the meeting”.
In Scripture we have “ye are our glory and joy” 1 Thessalonians 2:20, and Acts 15:25 “our beloved Barnabas and Paul”. Both Barnabas and Paul were beloved but they obviously were two different people. You see, if you wish to see a declaration of Christ’s deity in this verse, it is there. Likewise, it can be explained away by those who do not wish to see it in either rendering.
The Jehovah Witness New World Translation reads much the same way as the NKJV, NIV, NASB - "by the righteousness of OUR God and [the] Savior Jesus Christ" (NWT) and yet they manage to explain away the full deity of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
I hope this has been of some help to those who believe that we have all of God’s inspired, pure words today, and that they are found in the King James Holy Bible.
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