The Dead Sea Scrolls Fiasco
Most Christians today do not believe that any Bible in any language is now the complete and inerrant words of God. This is a simple and undeniable fact. When pressed to the wall, most Christians today will fall back on the idea that "only the originals were inspired and inerrant". Yet we all know that there are no such things as "the originals" and they never did make up a single book called the Bible.
God has promised to preserve His words in the Book of the LORD here on this earth and I and many others believe He has done this in the only Book believed by thousands to be the inerrant and complete words of God - the King James Bible.
Nobody defends the NKJV, NIV, NASB, RSV, ESV, Holman Standard or any other of the alphabet soup versions as being the inerrant words of God. None of these versions agrees with any other in both texts and meanings in either Testament.
All modern versionists believe the Hebrew texts have been corrupted in numerous places, and they differ wildly concerning what texts make up the New Testament. It is well documented that versions like the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV etc. often reject the Hebrew readings and frequently they differ among themselves as to which readings are legitimate and which are not. For proof of this, see the following two articles.
The purpose of this little study is to show by way of a mere SAMPLING just SOME of the textual variants found in today's hodgepodge of multiple-choice versions in just one book of the Bible - the book of Isaiah the prophet. Most of these textual variants are based on the dubious readings found in the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS). I will also have a section of Exodus chapter 10 that will serve as an example of what we find in these so called Dead Sea Scrolls.
Dead Sea Scrolls Information
The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in eleven caves along the northwest shore of the Dead Sea between the years 1947 and 1956.
In all, scholars have identified the remains of about 825 to 870 separate scrolls.
The Scrolls can be divided into two categories, biblical and non-biblical. Fragments of every book of the Hebrew canon (Old Testament) have been discovered except for the book of Esther.
There are now identified among the scrolls, 19 copies of the Book of Isaiah, 25 copies of Deuteronomy and 30 copies of the Psalms.
Prophecies by Ezekiel, Jeremiah and Daniel not found in the Bible are written in the Scrolls.
In the Scrolls are found never before seen psalms attributed to King David and Joshua.
There are nonbiblical writings along the order of commentaries on the OT, paraphrases that expand on the Law, rule books of the community, war conduct, thanksgiving psalms, hymnic compositions, benedictions, liturgical texts, and sapiential (wisdom) writings.
The Scrolls are for the most part, written in Hebrew, but there are many written in Aramaic. In addition, there are a few texts written in Greek.
(Note: It is possible that someone made a Greek translation of the first five books of Moses before the time of Christ, but the readings that remain from these fragments found at the Dead Sea sites are very different from both the Hebrew texts and what passes for the so called LXX of today. The Greek translation fragments found at the Dead Sea sites may very well be no more than individual attempts at translation rather than any kind of the alleged "widespread and authoritative Pre Christian Septuagint" hypothesized by the "No Bible is the complete and 100% true words of God? crowd."
The Dead Sea Scrolls were most likely written by the Essenes during the period from about 200 B.C. to 68 C.E./A.D. The Essenes are mentioned by Josephus and in a few other sources, but not in the New testament.
The last words of Joseph, Judah, Levi, Naphtali, and Amram (the father of Moses) are written down in the Scrolls.
The scrolls contain previously unknown stories about biblical figures such as Enoch, Abraham, and Noah. The story of Abraham includes an explanation why God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac.
This is a varied collection of short texts, representative of several types of DSS literature. One will note several unique mythical motifs developed in the DSS manuscripts, as well as imaginative or visionary reworking of traditional themes. Here are some of the works found in the DSS that have never formed any part of the God preserved Hebrew Bible.
The Divine Throne Chariot
The Book of Secrets (1Q27, 4Q299-301)
The Thanksgiving Psalms (1QHa)
The Parable of the Bountiful Tree (4Q302a)
A Baptismal Liturgy (4Q414)
The Coming of Melchizedek (11Q13)
Tongues of Fire (1Q29, 4Q376)
The Book of Giants (4Q203, 1Q23, 2Q26, 4Q530-532, 6Q8)
This Site shows the Greek texts from DSS minor prophets and compares them to the existing so called LXX readings. They are quite different. There are partial textual readings taken from the Old Testament books of Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah and Zechariah
Here is a little information about what was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls that many people are not aware of. This information comes directly from the recent 1999 book called "The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible" by Martin Abegg, Jr., Peter Flint, and Eugene Ulrich.
At Qumran and a few other sites, there were nearly 900 manuscripts found in some 25,000 pieces, with many no bigger than a postage stamp. Some 227 of these are classified as "biblical scrolls" while another 670 were "non biblical" in nature. These were classified as 1.rules and regulations; 2. poetic and wisdom texts, 3. reworked or rewritten Scripture; 4. commentaries, and 5. miscellaneous writings.
Included among the "biblical scrolls" are the book of Tobit, Ecclesiasticus, the Letter of Jeremiah (a.k.a. Baruch), and "It is also most likely that the Qumran community viewed the books of 1 Enoch and Jubilees as Scripture." (page xvii)
"The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible" includes apocryphal books, new Psalms (there are at least 15 totally new Psalms not found in the Hebrew Scriptures), previously unknown passages, and hundreds of individual readings that are significant..." (page xix)
"But from Psalm 91 onward, many of the Psalms scrolls differ radically from the Psalter as we know it. (page 505). In addition to these Psalms that are found in modern Bibles, at least fifteen "apocryphal" Psalms or similar compositions are also distributed among four manuscripts....nine were completely unknown prior to the discovery of the DSS." (page 506)
"we cannot be sure that Psalm 32 was ever part of these scrolls"...90 is not preserved- both the arrangement and contents of many Psalms scrolls are very different from what we had known previously. These variations are so numerous and radical that it is necessary to provide a table at the end of this introduction to the Psalms in order to assist readers in locating specific Psalms." (page 507)
This is the type of confusion and uncertainty that results from viewing the Bible through a humanistic perspective. We don't know who wrote the DSS or who gathered them nor why they differ so radically in many hundreds of readings from the traditional Hebrew texts we have today. Some scholars have speculated that these were "dump sites" where inferiour manuscripts and personal writings were stored. Who knows for sure? The important question to ask ourselves is this: Has God in fact been faithful to preserve His pure words in a Book somewhere here on this earth, or have they been lost and confused beyond all recognition or hope of recovery? More and more Christians today do not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture.
We could easily do this same type of comparative study in any book of the Bible, but I hope this single book of Isaiah will demonstrate the utter confusion that exists today among the various "scholars" who put together these conflicting versions.
If the first few examples don't grab your attention or awaken a godly concern, then please keep on reading a bit further. Pretty soon the accumulation of example after example should make an indelible impression on your mind and spirit.
Isaiah 3:24 - "...and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and BURNING instead of beauty." "Burning" is the reading of the Hebrew Masoretic texts, the Geneva Bible, Bishops', Green's, New Life Bible and several others while the NKJV, NASB, ESV, NIV translate this as "branding", but the bigger change is found in the RSV and NRSV where they follow the DDS instead and read: "SHAME instead of beauty."
Isaiah 5:17 - "Then shall the lambs feed after their manner, and the waste places of the fat ones shall STRANGERS eat." So read the Hebrew texts and the NASB, NKJV, RV, ASV. However the NIV says: "LAMBS will feed" and then footnotes that "lambs" comes from the LXX but the Hebrew reads "strangers will eat". Also reading "lambs" or "kids" are the RSV and NRSV but the more recent ESV now reads "NOMADS shall eat".
Isaiah 9:17 - "Therefore the Lord shall HAVE NO JOY in their young men...". So reads the Hebrew Masoretic text as well as the RV, ASV, NASB, NKJV, NIV, RSV and ESV. The Holman also reads this way but tells us in a footnote that the DSS reads "NOT SPARE" instead of "rejoice over" and the NRSV follows the DSS reading "Lord DID NOT HAVE PITY on their young people."
Isaiah 14:4 - "...How hath the oppressor ceased! the GOLDEN CITY ceased!". This is the reading found in the KJB, RV, ASV, NKJV, Hebrew Names Version, Third Millenium bible and others. However the NIV, Holman, ESV footnotes tells us that they have followed the Dead Sea Scrolls reading of "fury" and so read the NASB, RSV, and NRSV too saying something like: "how FURY has ceased" (NASB).
Isaiah 19:18 - "...one shall be called the city of DESTRUCTION." So read the Masoretic texts as well as the RV, ASV, NASB, NKJV, NIV and the ESV, but the RSV, NRSV and Holman Standard follow the DSS and say: "the city OF THE SUN", while the LXX has "city of RIGHTEOUSNESS". Let's see, "destruction", "sun" and "righteousness". Yeah, they're all pretty close in meaning. Right?
Isaiah 21:8 KJB ( NKJV, Geneva, Bishops' Bible 1568, Darby, Young's, Jewish translations and many others) - "And he cried, A LION: My lord..." RV, ASV - "And he cried AS A LION: O Lord...."
The NIV, Holman, RSV, NRSV, ESV say: "And THE LOOKOUT shouted" then tell us in a footnote that the word "lookout" comes from the Syriac and Dead Sea Scrolls, but the Hebrew says "a lion". The NASB of 1977 says: "then the SENTRY called like a LION", combining both the Syriac and the Hebrew, but now the 1995 NASB omits "lion" altogether and says: "Then the LOOKOUT called, O Lord..." One NASB is not the same as the next NASB. There are literally thousands of changes between the 1977 edition and the 1995 update edition.
For my article on "The ever changing 'literal' NASB" please see the following link:
Isaiah 23:10 - "PASS THROUGH thy land as a river, O daughter of Tarshish..." "Pass through" is the Hebrew Masoretic readings and that of the RV, ASV, Young's, Geneva, and the NKJV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, ESV and Holman. However the NIV follows what it says is the reading found in the DSS and the LXX and says: "TILL your land as along the Nile, O daughter of Tarshish..."
Isaiah 33:6 "the fear of the LORD is HIS treasure." So reads the Hebrew text as well as the NKJV and NASB, but the ASV says "THY treasure", then footnotes that the Hebrew reads HIS, and the RSV, ESV and Holman say: "the fear of the LORD is ZION'S treasure", then footnote that the Hebrew reads HIS treasure, and the NIV says: "the fear of the LORD IS THE KEY TO THIS treasure", apparently having just made it up out of thin air. By the way, the DSS says "YOUR treasure", but nobody followed this reading so far.
Daniel Wallace's NET version changes this to: "he gives all this to those who fear him." and then footnotes - "tn (text modified) Heb "the fear of the Lord, it is his treasure." Hope this clears everything up for you all ;-)
Isaiah 33:8 says: "The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceaseth: he hath broken the covenant, he hath despised THE CITIES, he regardeth no man."
The CITIES is the reading of the Hebrew Masoretic text and Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Douay-Rheims 1610, the KJB, NKJB 1982, NASB 1995, 1917 Jewish Publication Society, 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company version, Darby 1890, the Douay 1950, the Hebrew Names Version, The Amplified Bible 1987, The Complete Jewish Bible 1998, The Sacred Scriptures Family of Yah 2001, The Judaica Press Tanach 2004, Jubilee Bible 2010, Knox Bible 2012, Lexham English Bible 2012, Orthodox Jewish Bible 2011 and the ESVs 2001 and 2011 editions.
Also following the Hebrew Masoretic text - "he hath despised THE CITIES" are The Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, The Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010, The Online Interlinear 2010 (André de Mol), the Biblos interlinear Bible 2011, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011, the Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2012 (Mebust), The Natural Israelite Bible 2012, The World English Bible 2012, and the Modern English Version 2014.
However the NIVs 1984-2011, RSV 1952, and NRSV 1989 say: "The treaty is broken, ITS WITNESSES are despised", then give us a footnote telling us this reading of 'witnesses' comes from the Dead Sea Scrolls, but that the Hebrew Masoretic text says "cities".
Please notice that the previous liberal RSV and NRSV went with the DSS. reading "witnesses" (RSV 1952) and "OATHS are despised" (NRSV 1989), but then the ESV 2001-2011 went back to the Traditional Hebrew Masoretic text reading of "cities".
The Common English Bible 2011 (another Critical text version) also rejects the traditional Hebrew reading and has "SOLEMN PLEDGES were broken". It then footnotes "Correction; or cities; DSS - witnesses." This perversion doesn't even follow the DSS reading, but paraphrases it. You see, you have to make enough changes in order to get your copyright and make some money.
The Catholic Connection
Also notice that the previous Catholic versions of the Douay-Rheims 1610 and the Douay of 1950 stuck with the Hebrew Masoretic reading of "cities", but the Catholic New Jerusalem Bible of 1985 rejected the traditional Hebrew text and went with "WITNESSES held in contempt" and then footnotes that the Hebrew reads "cities".
But once again, now the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version has come out and it goes BACK to the Hebrew reading and says: "He has tossed aside CITIES."
Not only do many critical text editions not agree with the NIV's choice to follow this particular DSS reading, but we see the typical "toss the dice and see what come up" mentality in the NIV itself.
These same Dead Sea Scrolls in this same chapter of Isaiah 33 also say "AT THY SILENCE nations scattered" in 33:3. Yet the Hebrew Masoretic text AND the NIV 1984-2011, ESV 2001-2011, NASB, Holman 2003 all say "AT THE LIFTING UP OF THYSELF the nations were scattered."
Dan Wallace and company's goofy NET version also follows this particular DSS reading in 33:8 and paraphrases the whole section saying: "Highways are empty, there are no travelers.Treaties are broken, WITNESSES are despised "(22). He then footnotes: "The Hebrew text reads literally, "he despises cities." The term arim, "cities" is probably a corruption of an original edim, "[legal] witnesses"), a reading that is preserved in the Qumran scroll."
You see, Dan Wallace and others like him think something is "PROBABLY A CORRUPTION", but others who know just as much Hebrew disagree with him and go with the traditional Hebrew reading.
Did Dan Wallace's company also decide to follow the Dead Sea Scroll reading of "AT YOUR SILENCE the nations were scattered" in verse 3? No, they did not. They stuck with the Hebrew Masoretic text there and paraphrased it as: "the nations scatter WHEN YOU SPRING INTO ACTION!"
This is how their "science" of textual criticism really works! Most Christians today have only "a PROBABLE Bible" and that is why there is such widespread unbelief in the infallibility of the Scriptures.
The International Standard Version 2014 also rejects the Hebrew text and says "he despises THEIR WITNESSES", and then footnotes that the Masoretic Text says "CITIES".
But the International Standard Version DID adopt the Dead Sea Scroll reading in Isaiah 33:3 (even though the NASB, NIV, ESV, and NET did not) and says: "AT YOUR SILENCE your silence,[a] the nations scatter."
Then it tells us in a footnote that "AT YOUR SILENCE" comes from a Dead Sea Scrolls reading, but that the Masoretic text reads "WHEN YOU RISE UP" and that the Greek Septuagint has "FROM FEAR OF YOU." So now you can have great confidence in knowing what God REALLY said, right?
Do you see how the "scholar game" is played?
Get yourself the Bible God has born witness to like no other as His complete and infallible words - the Authorized King James Holy Bible. You will never go wrong.
Isaiah 34:4-5 - "And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved... For my sword SHALL BE BATHED in heaven". The Holman Standard informs us of two different readings found in these verses that come from the DSS. In verse 4 the DSS adds the words "AND THE VALLEYS WILL BE SPLIT" and in verse 5 it changes "shall be bathed in heaven" to "shall APPEAR in heaven".
However none of the modern versions followed either of these readings this time. But apparently they want us to be aware of the fact that there are variant readings and we can never be sure about what God inspired or not. Daniel Wallace also mentions these two variant readings for us in his NET version footnotes. Nice of them to do that for us, isn't it?
Isaiah 37:25 - "I have digged and drunk water; ". So read the Masoretic text and the RV, ASV, NKJV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, ESV and Holman but the NIV, TNIV follow the DSS reading and add the extra words "IN A FOREIGN LAND".
Isaiah 37:28 - "But I know thy ABODE and thy going out and thy coming in, and thy rage against me." So read the RV, ASV, NASB, RSV, ESV, NIV and Holman. However only the NRSV 1989 follows the DSS reading instead and says: "I know your RISING UP and your sitting down...". It then informs us in their footnote that "the Masoretic Text lacks 'your rising up' ".
Isaiah 40:6 - "The voice said, Cry. And HE said, What shall I cry?" So read the Geneva Bible, NKJV, NASB, Young's, Darby and many others. However as the NKJV footnote tells us, even though the Masoretic text reads this way the DSS, LXX and Vulgate change the HE to "I said" and so read the RSV, NRSV, ESV and NIV.
Isaiah 41:14 - "Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and YE MEN of Israel; I will help thee..." So reads the Masoretic text, the RV, ASV, NKJV, NASB, RSV, ESV and Holman. However the Holman footnote tells us the LXX reads "small number" while the DSS has "DEAD ONES of Israel". The NIV follows the LXX and reads: "Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O LITTLE Israel", while the NRSV 1989 actually says: "YOU INSECT Israel"!!! and then tells us that this supposedly comes from the Syriac, while the Hebrew clearly says "men of Israel". Notice that so far no one has yet followed the DSS reading of "DEAD ONES of Israel".
Isaiah 41:23 - "...or do evil, that we may BE DISMAYED, and behold it together." So read the Hebrew texts and the RV, ASV, RSV, ESV, NIV, and NKJV. The NASB says "anxiously look about", but the Holman Standard informs us that the DSS read "THAT WE MAY HEAR" instead of "by dismayed" but nobody so far has followed this reading.
Isaiah 41:25 - "...from the rising of the sun he shall call upon MY name". So read most versions but the Holman Standard informs us that the DSS read HIS name instead of MY name.
Isaiah 43:19 - "I will even make a way in the wilderness, and RIVERS in the desert." So read the NASB, NKJV, RSV, NRSV, NIV, and the Holman, but Holman footnotes that the DSS reading is PATHS instead of RIVERS. So far no one has adopted this one yet.
Isaiah 44:21 - "THOU SHALT NOT BE FORGOTTEN OF ME". Thus read the Masoretic texts and the RV, NASB, NIV, ESV, RSV, NKJV etc. but the Holman footnote again informs us that the DSS reads: "ISRAEL, DO NOT FORGET ME" instead. Among the modern versions the New English Bible 1970 and the Douay 1950 follow this reading.
Isaiah 45:2 - "I will go before thee, and make the CROOKED PLACES STRAIGHT". So read the Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, the Judaica Press Tanach, the Geneva bible, Coverdale, Young's, NKJV, Lamsa's translation of the Syraic, Spanish Reina Valera, and the Third Millenium Bible. Other versions like the NASB, ASV, and Holman read "the rough places smooth". But the NKJV and Holman footnotes inform us that the Dead Sea Scrolls read MOUNTAINS, and so the NIV, RSV, NRSV "I will LEVEL THE MOUNTAINS", while the Targum reads "I will trample down the walls" and the Vulgate has "I will humble the great ones of the earth". It's nice to keep our options open, isn't it?
Isaiah 49:12 - "and these from the land of SINIM". So read the Hebrew texts and the NKJV, NASB, RV, ASV, and Holman. However the RSV and ESV read "SYENE" and tell us this is the reading of the DSS, but the Hebrew reads SINIM. Then the NIV and TNIV go even further and say: "from the region of ASWAN" and tell us this is the DSS reading while the Masoretic texts has SINIM.
Isaiah 49:17 "children" or "builders"?
King James Bible - "Thy CHILDREN shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee."
Holman Standard 2003, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NASB - "Your BUILDERS make haste; your destroyers and those who laid you waste go out from you."
In this verse the NASB and ESV depart from the Hebrew Masoretic text and this time the NIV doesn't go along with them. These guys have really got their act together, don't they?
In the KJB we read: "Thy CHILDREN shall make haste: thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee." 'Children' is the reading of the Hebrew Masoretic Text, the KJB, NKJV 1982, Revised Version of 1881, Darby, the ASV of 1901 - "Thy CHILDREN make haste", Rotherham's Emphasized bible 1902, the Jewish translations of JPS 1917, Hebrew Publishing Company version 1936 and the 2004 Judaica Press Tanach, Darby, Hebrew Names Version, World English Version, Webster's 1833, Amplified Bible 1987, Lexham English Bible 2012, Green's literal of 2000 and the Third Millennium Bible 1998.
Even the NIV 1984 edition says "Your SONS hasten back" and the 2010 NIV now says: "Your CHILDREN hasten back." This time even Daniel Wallace and company's NET version sticks with the Hebrew text and says: "Your CHILDREN hurry back".
The Hebrew word is # 1121 Ben, which means "sons" or "children" and the context of Isaiah 49 is God bring children taken from among the Gentile nations and bringing them to Israel. See verses 6, 12, 20-22.
Among foreign language Bibles that follow the Hebrew Masoretic text and say "Thy CHILDREN make haste" are the Modern Greek translation, the French Martin 1744 and French Ostervald 1996 and the French Louis Segond of 2007 - "Tes enfants viendront à grande hâte", the Italian Diodati 1649, La Nuova Diodati of 1991 and the 2006 Nuova Riveduta - "I tuoi figli accorrono", the German Schlachter of 2000 - "Deine Söhne eilen herbei" and the Portuguese A Biblia Sagrada em Portugués and the Almeida Actualizada -(modern Portuguese version) as well as the NIV 1999 Nova Versão Internacional - "Os teus filhos pressurosamente virão"
However the NASB, RSV, NRSV, ESV 2001 (English Standard Version), Holman Standard 2003 and The Message say "Your BUILDERS make haste" instead of 'children'. Young's "literal" has this time rejected the Hebrew for some strange reason and reads: "Hastened have THOSE BUILDING THEE."
The NASB never tells you when they depart from the Hebrew Masoretic text, but the ESV tells us in a footnote that the word "BUILDERS" comes from a Dead Sea Scroll manuscript, but that the Hebrew reads 'children'. The Holman Standard footnotes that the word "builders" comes from one DSS manuscript and the Latin Vulgate, but that both the Hebrew and the Syriac reads "sons" or "children".
Yet there are NUMEROUS readings found in the Dead Sea Scrolls copies of the book of Isaiah that NONE of these modern versions have adopted. For example. In this same chapter we read in verse 5 "And now saith the LORD God that formed ME from the womb to be his servant." The Masoretic text says ME, but the DSS has: "..the Lord who formed YOU from the womb." Yet the NASB, ESV, NET and Holman all stick with the Hebrew Masoretic text reading of "ME" and not the DSS "you".
In 49:5 the Masoretic text says "my God shall be my STRENGTH" but the DSS say "my God shall be my HELP", yet the NASB, ESV, NET and Holman stuck with the Masoretic text's "STRENGTH". In 49:6 the Masoretic text reads "to raise up the tribes of JACOB and to restore the preserved of ISRAEL" but the DSS reverses the names and reads "the tribes of ISRAEL and bring back the preserved of JACOB", yet once again the NASB, ESV, NET, Holman stick with "tribes of JACOB and the preserved of ISRAEL" In 49:9 the Masoretic text reads: "They shall feed IN THE WAYS" and the NASB, ESV, NET and Holman stayed with this reading, yet the DSS says: "They will feed UPON ALL THE MOUNTAINS".
In 49:12 the Masoretic text says: "and these from the land of SINIM." and so read the NKJV, NASB, NET and Holman. However the DSS say: "from the land of SYENE" and this time the ESV goes with the DSS reading of SYENE instead of SINIM. The NIV says: "from the region of ASWAN" and then footnotes that this supposedly comes from the DSS (which it doesn't) but that the Hebrew Masoretic text reads SINIM.
And in 49:24 "or the LAWFUL captive delivered?" (one who is righteously or justly taken captive) from the Masoretic text is changed in the DSS into "the captives OF A TYRANT" and so read the ESV and NASB, but the NIV reads: "captives rescued FROM THE FIERCE" and Wallace's NET says "from A CONQUEROR?", but the Holman and NKJV go with the Masoretic text instead. There IS no method to their madness; it's just random madness.
Even these versions are confused among themselves. The RSV has- "Your builders outstrip your destroyers"; the NRSV says - "Your BUILDERS outdo your destroyers" and the ESV has - "Your BUILDERS make haste." The Douay-Rheims and Douay say - "Thy BUILDERS ARE COME." but the newer Catholic versions like the St. Joseph and New Jerusalem read: "Your REBUILDERS are hurrying."
The NIV presents us with contradiction and confusion when they translate it into other languages. In the English NIV and the NIV Portuguese version of 1999 they correctly read "Your CHILDREN hasten back" - "Os teus filhos pressurosamente virão", but the Spanish NIV of 1999 has rejected the Hebrew Masoretic text and says "Your BUILDERS make haste" - "Tus CONSTRUCTORES se apresuran."
Isaiah 49:24 - "Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the LAWFUL captive be delivered?"
In Isaiah 49:24 we read: "Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or THE LAWFUL CAPTIVE delivered?" - that is, one who is justly or righteously taken captive. Here God speaks of delivering His people who were lawfully or righteously given over to captivity. God had judged them because they had broken His law and now He was going to deliver them to show His grace after having chastised them. Once again the NASB, NIV, ESV all depart from the Traditional Hebrew Masoretic text.
The LAWFUL CAPTIVE is the reading of the KJB, Revised Version 1881, the American Standard Version of 1901 (the predecessor to the NASB)- "Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the LAWFUL captives be delivered?", the 1936 Jewish translation put out by the Hebrew Publishing Company, New York, Webster's 1833 translation, the Hebrew Names Bible, the 1969 New Berkeley Version in Modern English - "or shall LAWFULLY HELD captives be rescued?", the Third Millennium Bible 1998, World English Bible and the Hebrew Names Version - "THE LAWFUL captive be delivered?", the Amplified Bible 1987 - "or the LAWFUL captives of the just be delivered?", A Conservative Version - "the LAWFUL captives be delivered?" and the English Jubilee Version 2000.
The Geneva Bible of 1587 had the right idea by saying: "Or the just captiuitie deliuered?" Young's literal was perhaps too "literal" but at least he followed the Masoretic text, as does the Holman Standard of 2003 saying: "And the captive of the righteous delivered?", but still the idea is there that those who took them captive were righteous in doing so. Also reading this way is the Lexham English Bible of 2012.
Rotherham's Emphasized bible of 1902 has the right idea as well with: "Or the captive OF ONE IN THE RIGHT, be delivered?" as does Darby's translation - "and shall HE THAT IS RIGHTFULLY CAPTIVE be delivered?"
Among foreign language Bibles that got it right are the Spanish Reina Valera 1909 (but not the 1960 -1995 editions; they read "tyrant") "la cautividad legítima" = "the LEGITIMATE captivity freed?" and Las Sagradas Escrituras of 1569 - "¿la cautividad justa será dada por libre?", the Italian Diodati 1649, Luther's German Bible 1545, the French Martin of 1744 - "et les captifs du juste seront-ils délivrés?", the Portuguese A Biblia em Portugués - "ou escapariam os legalmente presos?" - "or will escape those LEGALLY prisoners?" and the Portugues Almeida Corrigida E Fiel - "Ou os presos justamente escapariam?" = "those JUSTLY prisoners escape?"
The so called Greek Septuagint actually has THE OPPOSITE meaning with: "Will anyone take spoils from a giant? and if one should take a man captive UNJUSTLY, shall he be delivered?". However the Modern Greek Bible got it right - "Shall be freed those who are JUSTLY taken captives?"
But the NIV says: "Can plunder be taken from warriors, or captives rescued FROM THE FIERCE?". Then in a footnote they tell us this reading comes from the DSS, the Syriac and the Vulgate. The NASB, ISV and ESV likewise read "captives of THE TYRANT" instead of 'lawful captives' and the ESV footnotes that the reading of "THE TYRANT" comes from the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Vulgate and Syriac, but the Hebrew Masoretic text has "of a righteous man".
In typical fashion, Daniel Wallace says the Hebrew reading "makes no sense" and so his NET version goes with the Qumran reading of "tyrant" and he translates it as "or captives be rescued from A CONQUEROR?" (Note: Once a man has messed with the Book as much as Dan Wallace has, it is small wonder that not much of anything "makes sense" to him.)
ALL the Catholic versions reject the traditional Hebrew text here and the St. Joseph New American Bible 1970 and the New Jerusalem bible 1985 read: "captives be rescued FROM A TYRANT?"
The NKJV and Holman also change the meaning of the text by saying: "Or the captives of the righteous be delivered?", but at least it is an attempt to follow the Masoretic text. The word in question can have several meanings including "righteous, just, or lawfully." Even the NASB translated it once as "righteously" and if they had said here "the captives righteously held captive delivered" they would have gotten it right.
Matthew Henry comments: "We were LAWFUL captives to the justice of God, yet delivered by a price of unspeakable value."
The Pulpit Commentary states: "Babylon was mighty. By the laws of war SHE HAD A RIGHTFUL CLAIM TO HER CAPTIVES. How was she to be induced or compelled to give them up?"
John Gill's first explanation is: "or the lawful captive delivered? justly and lawfully taken captive in war, as the Jews were by the Babylonians."
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown correctly comment: "LAWFUL CAPTIVE ?the Jews justly consigned for their sins (Isa 50:1) as captives to the foe. Secondarily, Satan and Death are "the mighty" conquerors of man, upon whom his sin give them their "lawful" claim. Christ answers that claim for the sinners, and so the captive is set free."
And John Calvin comments: "And we ought, first, to observe this metaphor, that the Church is called "the captivity of the righteous," that is, LAWFUL CAPTIVITY. He is said to be the "righteous" possessor who is the lawful possessor; just as the prey, when the war has been righteous, passes into the hands of a righteous possessor. Such was the condition of the ancient people, after having been driven into captivity; for, along with their native country, they had lost their liberty, and were entirely in the power, and at the disposal, of the conqueror."
The King James Bible is ALWAYS right. Accept no substitutes.
Isaiah 51:6 - "...they that dwell therein shall die IN LIKE MANNER". So reads the Masoretic text and the RV, ASV, NASB, NKJV, ESV and Holman. However the Holman Standard informs us that SOME DSS manuscripts read: "die LIKE GNATS". The RSV and NRSV read: "shall die LIKE GNATS" and the NIV reads: "its inhabitants DIE LIKE FLIES".
Isaiah 52:5 - "...they that rule over them make them TO HOWL". Even the RSV, NASB, NRSV, ESV, NKJV, and Holman follow the Masoretic texts here (though the NASB, ESV change the meaning from that found in the KJB), but the NIV rejects them and follows the DSS reading of "those who rule them MOCK".
Isaiah 52:15 - "So shall he SPRINKLE many nations". So read the Geneva Bible, RV, ASV, NASB, NIV, ESV, NKJV and Holman Standard. However the alleged LXX version reads: "he shall STARTLE many nations" and so do versions like the RSV, NRSV, Message and Daniel Wallace's NET version.
The NKJV also casts doubt on this correct reading which refers to the sacrifice of Christ by telling us in a footnote "Or startle". The Hebrew word is #5137 nah-zah, and is used repeatedly in such verses as: "there is sprinkled of the blood", "and sprinkle the blood seven times", "thou shalt take of the blood and sprinkle..." etc. See Exodus 29:21; Leviticus 4:6, 17; 5:9; 8:11, 30 etc. There is no doubt about the correct meaning of the verse. See also 1 Peter 1:2 referring to "the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ".
Isaiah 53:9 - "And HE made his grave with the wicked". So read Green's literal, the Geneva Bible, KJV 21, and the Spanish Reina Valera, KJV 21, and the Third Millennium Bible to name a few. This is a peculiar one in that the Holman footnotes inform us that the DSS read "THEY made his grave with the wicked" and this is what the NKJV says! Then the NKJV footnotes that the "THEY" is literally HE. The NIV, NASB both change the meaning a bit with: "HE was assigned a grave with the wicked", but the RSV, ESV and Holman adopt the DSS reading of "THEY made his grave with the wicked." (Just like the NKJV did!)
Isaiah 53:11 "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities."
So read numerous Bible translations including the Geneva Bible 1587 - " Hee shall see of the trauaile of his soule, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous seruant iustifie many: for hee shall beare their iniquities.", the Bishops' Bible 1568, Young's literal, Darby, the Revised Version 1885 - "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many: and he shall bear their iniquities.", the World English Bible, KJV 21st Century 1994, Third Millennium Bible 1998.
The NKJV 1982 also reads like the KJB - "He shall see the labor of His soul,  and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities." But then the NKJV has this footnote: Footnotes:  : Following Masoretic Text, Targum, and Vulgate; Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint read from the labor of His soul He shall see light."
This NKJV footnote is highly misleading, and in fact, downright deceptive. The so called Greek Septuagint verse of Isaiah 53:11 is almost unrecognizable. It differs significantly from the Hebrew Masoretic text.
Brenton's Greek Septuagint actually says: "THE LORD also is pleased to take away from the travail of his soul, to shew him light, and to form him with understanding; to justify the just one who serves many well; and he shall bear their sins."
Go back and read it again. This is almost totally different in meaning than the Hebrew text or ANY translation in ANY bible ever published. The ONLY thing that is the same is the last line that says "he shall bear their sins". Other than this part, NOTHING IS THE SAME. So for the NKJV to tell us that the NIV's extra words come from "the LXX" is more than a little lame and misleading.
The NIV clearly departs from the Hebrew Masoretic text in verse 11. There we read in the KJB: "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied." This is the exact reading or basic meaning of the NASB, NKJV, RSV and the ESV. Not even the Holman Standard 2003 edition, the 2011 Names of God Bible or even Dan Wallace's NET version decided to follow the NIV here.
The Holman Christian Standard keeps CHANGING its text.
The Holman "Standard" of 2003 says: "He shall see IT out of his anguish, and He will be satisfied with His knowledge. My righteous servant will justify many, and He will carry their iniquities."
BUT now the Holman "Standard" of 2009 says: "After his anguish, HE WILL SEE LIGHT, and be satisfied. By his knowledge, my righteous servant will justify many, and he will carry their iniquities." Then it footnotes that the Hebrew Masoretic Text omits "light".
The recent ISV, Common English Bible and The Voice DO include this extra reading. Do any of these versions follow ALL the many different Dead Sea Scroll readings in the book of Isaiah? Of course not. In fact there are at least FIVE different DSS copies of Isaiah found and they OFTEN disagree even with each other! They just randomly pick one reading and ignore others so they can $ell you the late$t Finding$ in the $o Called $cience of $cholar$hip.
Dan Wallace's NET version is sooooo paraphrased that the first part of the verse hardly makes any sense. His NET version reads: "Having suffered, he will reflect on his work, he will be satisfied when he understands what he has done. My servant will acquit many, for he carried their sins." But at least he did not adopt the DSS reading the NIV did.
The NIV sides with the NRSV (the first English version to introduce this "extra" reading) and adds words not found in the Hebrew Masoretic Text. The NIV 1984 edition says: "After the suffering OF HIS SOUL, he will see THE LIGHT [OF LIFE] and be satisfied."
The NIV 2011 edition changed the text again and took away the brackets and now says: "After HE has suffered, he will see THE LIGHT OF LIFE and be satisfied." Then it tells us in a footnote that 'the light of life' comes from the Dead Sea Scrolls but it is lacking from the MT.
The NRSV footnote likewise tells us this added reading comes from one manuscript called Q but that the Masoretic text does not have it. It is of interest that the late$t in $cholar$hip English Standard Version of 2001-2011 goes back to the KJB reading and rejects the NIV'S added words.
Is it any wonder modern bible proponents are "tossed to and from by every wind" and have no settled Final Authority?
Isaiah 54:9 - "For this is as THE WATERS of Noah unto me". So reads the Masoretic text and even the LXX, the Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, Hebrew Names Version, Judaica Press Tanach, Complete Jewish Bible, RV, ASV, Young's, Darby, NKJV, Geneva, Bishops' etc.
However the DSS reads DAYS instead of "waters" and so do the RSV, NRSV, ESV, NASB, NIV and Holman. Wallace's NET version also reads "DAYS of Noah" and tells us that the Hebrew text literally reads "waters" but in his opinion it should be emended (changed) to "days" because it is supplied by the Qumran scroll and other ancient versions except the Greek Septuagint. Do you begin to see how their minds work?
Isaiah 57:11 - "have not I held my peace even of old, and thou fearest me not?" In this case the NASB, NIV, ESV, NKJV and Holman follow the Masoretic texts but the Holman footnotes tell us that the DSS and LXX read: " And I, when I see you, I pass by", yet no one so far has followed this strange DSS reading.
Isaiah 60:19 - "...neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee...". So reads the Masoretic text and the RV, ASV, NKJV, NASB, NIV and ESV but the RSV and NRSV add two words found in the DSS, which were later omitted by the next series of "revisions". The RSV, NRSV say: "the moon give light to you BY NIGHT" and then tell us this additional reading comes from the DSS and the Greek LXX.
Isaiah 60:21 - "the branch of my planting, the work of MY hands". The Holman Standard informs us that the DSS read "HIS hand", but so far no one has followed this one yet. Daniel Wallace's NET version has paraphrased the verse in such a way that eliminates the Hebrew reading with: "they will be the product of my labor, through whom I reveal my splendor."
Isaiah 61:8 - "For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery FOR BURNT OFFERING". So reads the Hebrew Masoretic text, the modern Complete Jewish Bible, the Judaica Press Tanach, and the RV, ASV, NASB, NKJV, Rotherham's Emphasized bible, Young's and the Geneva bible. However the RSV, NRSV, ESV, NIV, NET version and Holman Standard follow a different reading which Holman says is found in "some Hebrew manuscripts, the DSS, Syriac and LXX while other Hebrew mss. read "burnt offering". These versions say: "I hate robbery AND INJUSTICE" (iniquity - NIV).
Isaiah 65:1 - "I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation THAT WAS NOT CALLED BY MY NAME." So read the Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, the Complete Jewish Bible, Judaica Press Tanach, Hebrew Names Bible, the Revised Version, ASV 1901, NKJV, ESV, Rotherham's Emphasized bible, and even the Holman Standard.
However the Holman footnotes tell us that the DSS and LXX reading is "DID NOT CALL ON MY NAME" and this is the reading followed by such versions as the RSV, NRSV, NIV and NASB. Notice how the previous RV, ASV agree with the KJB reading but then the revised NASB switches it, and how the previous RSV, NRSV followed the DSS reading, but then the later revised ESV went back to the Hebrew reading found in the King James Bible. Go figure.
This is the mindset of all scholars who put together the conflicting and constantly changing multiple-choice versions today. They do the same thing in hundreds of places with the New Testament texts with their so called "science of textual criticism".
For indisputable proof of the fickle and absurd nature of Textual Criticism please see my documented studies that begin
The so called "Science" of Textual Criticism.
The central question to ask ourselves is this: Has God been faithful and true to His promises to preserve His complete and infallible words in "the book of the LORD" or not? I and many thousands of other Bible believers maintain that God does not lie and we have His pure and perfect words ONLY in the Authorized King James Holy Bible.
"As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever." Isaiah 59:21
The Dead Sea Scrolls and Exodus chapter 10 -
Since first writing this article, I have encountered one guy who kept insisting that the Dead Sea Scrolls had some very important readings that we previously did not know about and that these must be put into our modern bibles. He listed several examples, but I will take up just one of them (since they all proved to be of the same dubious nature) and show how absurd this idea is and how it leads to what he himself believes, which is that there is NO infallible Bible on the face of this earth today and never has been. I will deal with some examples taken from Exodus chapter 10 of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
This particular Bible Corrector and Variant Readings Rummager posted at one of the Facebook forums telling us all that an important textual variant found in the Dead Sea Scrolls in Exodus chapter 10 needs to be put into our modern Bibles. He pointed to Exodus 10:24 where the King James Bible says: "And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD." Here the Dead Sea Scrolls say: "And Pharaoh called unto Moses AND TO AARON, and said, Go, serve the LORD." He kept telling us that the words "AND TO AARON" were dropped out of the Hebrew Masoretic text but that they are found in both the DSS and in the so called Greek Septuagint.
Refuting his Arguments -
I then pointed out to him that he himself has NO final written authority to believe in or to recommend to anyone else. It is not the Hebrew Masoretic text, nor the Dead Sea Scrolls variant readings, nor the many different copies of the diverse Greek Septuagints (there are several different ones out there and they all disagree with each other) and it certainly is NOT any English Bible or ANY Bible written in any language.
He is a Variant Readings Rummager with NO infallible Bible and nobody else agrees with him; not even other Bible Rummagers. Has anybody else followed this reading here in Exodus 10:24 and added the words "AND TO AARON" to their translations? No, nobody has. Not the NASB 1995, NIV 1984-2011, Dan Wallace's NET version 2006, the Holman Standard 2003, nor the ESV 2001-2011 nor the Common English bible of 2011. NOBODY has added this reading.
Let's look at some other very notable textual differences here in just this one chapter of Exodus 10. In verse 2 the Dead Sea Scrolls actually ADD SOME 120 WORDS (that one hundred and twenty!) to verse two making it about FOUR TIMES as long as it stands not only in the Hebrew texts but also in the Septuagint. These extra 120 words or so are not found in ANY translation on the face of this earth. What somebody did in the Dead Sea Scrolls was to take all of verses 3, 4 and 5 and they wrote them in TWICE, one time right after the other, and apparently did not even notice! This is the quality of what we find in these Dead Sea Scrolls.
Again, in verse 5 of the Dead Sea Scrolls we find several words ADDED that are NOT found in the Hebrew Masoretic text nor in the Greek Septuagint nor in any modern version. I will CAPITALIZE the added words found in the DSS so you can see them clearly. "And they (the locusts) shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you of every HERB OF THE LAND, AND ALL THE FRUIT OF THE tree which groweth for you out of the field." Does ANYBODY add these extra 10 words to their modern versions? Nope. Not the NIV, ESV, NASB, Holman, The Voice, the Common English bible nor even Dan Wallace's NET version. Nobody does.
Finally, in Exodus 10:21 the Dead Sea Scrolls OMIT some words that ARE found in the Hebrew Masoretic text and in the so called Greek Septuagint. Here we read in ALL versions like the NKJV, NIV, NASB, NET, Holman, Common English Bible and Dan Wallace's NET version - "And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, EVEN DARKNESS WHICH MAY BE FELT." However the words "even darkness which may be felt" are OMITTED by our famous Dead Sea Scrolls.
Once a person starts down the path of not believing in the infallible King James Holy Bible he then becomes his own "final authority" subject to change at any moment, and you end up out there on a limb all by yourself where not even the other Bible Rummagers agree with you.
As the saying goes - "If you Mess with the Book, God will Mess with your mind." Or as the Bible puts it - "For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" 1 Corinthians 1:19-20
Get yourself the Bible God has born witness to like no other as His complete and infallible words - the Authorized King James Holy Bible. You will never go wrong.
The Dead Sea Scrolls and the NIV Psalm 145:5 (one example of many)
Psalm 145:5 KJB - "I WILL SPEAK of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works."
NIV - Psalm 145:5 "THEY WILL SPEAK (NIV 1984 edition) THEY SPEAK (NIV 2011 edition) of the glorious splendor of your majesty and I will meditate on your wonderful works." Footnote: "Dead Sea Scrolls and Syriac; Masoretic text "I will meditate".
First of all, the NIV is wrong in its footnote. Lamsa's translation of the Syriac Peshitta 1933 does not read like the NIV tells us, but rather reads exactly like the King James Bible. It says: "I WILL SPEAK of the glorious honor of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works." I have a hard copy of Lamsa's translation right here in front of me. So, the NIV footnote is wrong, and the rest of the footnote about the Dead Sea Scrolls is very misleading, as we shall shortly see.
The Hebrew word used here for "I will SPEAK" is # 7878 see'agh, and it has several meanings including "to speak, to declare, to tell, to meditate, to muse, to complain and to pray".
Agreeing with the King James reading of "I WILL SPEAK" or "I will TALK" its equivalent or even "I will meditate on" are Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible - "I wyll set foorth in wordes the glorious maiestie", the Geneva Bible 1587, Darby - "I WILL SPEAK of the glorious splendour of thy majesty", Youngs, Rotherham's Emphasized bible 1902, the JPS 1917 (Jewish Publication Society), the Revised Version 1881, the ASV 1901, the Complete Jewish Bible, the Hebrew Names Version, the NASB 1995, the NKJV 1982, the ESV 2001-2011, Dan Wallace's NET version, the Holman Standard 2003 - "I WILL SPEAK of Your glorious splendor and Your wonderful works.", the Lexham Bible 2012, the Jubilee Bible of 2000 - "I WILL SPEAK of the beauty of the glory of thy majesty" and the Orthodox Jewish Bible 2011 - "I WILL SPEAK"
To repeat, the NIV says: "THEY SPEAK of the glorious splendor of your majesty", and then tells us that this reading comes from the Dead Sea Scrolls. Agreeing with the NIV reading are the Common English bible 2011 (another critical text edition), the Catholic Douay-Rheims of 1610, and the Douay of 1950, the St. Joseph New American bible 1970 and the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version - "THEY SHALL SPEAK of the magnificence of the glory of thy holiness: and shall tell thy wondrous works." This means that the NIV reading actually comes from the Latin Vulgate and the Dead Sea Scrolls and now reads like the Catholic versions.
BUT let's take a closer look at these Dead Sea Scrolls. The book of Psalms in the DSS is numbered very differently from the Traditional Hebrew Masoretic text. They are all completely out of order. For example, they number 119, 135, 136, 145, 154, then a completely unknown Psalm, then 139, 137, 138 and then another completely unknown Psalm called Ben Sira 51 followed by The Apostrophe to Zion, and then Psalm 93. The whole book is very, very different.
Then in Psalm 145 itself all 21 verses in this DSS copy, including verse 5, are followed by the words "BLESSED BE THE LORD AND BLESSED BE HIS NAME FOR EVER AND EVER." Does the NIV include all these extra words that are also found in the Dead Sea Scrolls? No, of course not. And they call this type of selective nonsense "the science" of textual criticism and "new findings of scholarship"! I think God has a different opinion of it - "ye have PERVERTED the words of the living God" - Jeremiah 23:36
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