Another King James Bible Believer


Genesis 3:5 "ye shall be as gods" or "you will be like God"?


Genesis 3:5 KJB - "then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."


NKJV, ESV, NIV, NASB, MEV, Holman Standard, Jehovah Witness NWT - "your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."



Some other wrong translations


The Judaica Press Complete Tanach 2006 got it wrong in a different way. It says: "For God knows that on the day that you eat thereof, your eyes will be opened, and you will be LIKE ANGELS, knowing good and evil."


In this foundational chapter we see the entrance of Satan, the fall of man, its consequences, and a glorious promise of redemption.


The first question found in the Bible is asked by the subtil serpent - Yea, hath God said...? Satan questions what exactly it was that God said. The devil's tactics are clearly seen from the very beginning. He both adds to, and takes away from God's inerrant words.


Satan adds the word "not" and he takes away "freely" and as a result changes what God had said. When we compare the King James Bible with many modern versions, we see that what Satan promised the woman for disobeying God has also been subtly changed as well.


In the King James Bible Satan promises the woman that both she and Adam "shall be as gods". Each of them would be as a god, with a small "g", and in a very real way, this is how the entrance of sin has affected how fallen man sees himself. In our fallen state, each of us becomes our own little god, the center of the universe and think the world revolves around us. By nature we are self centered and selfish.


I believe those versions that have Satan telling man "you will be like God" are wrong for several reasons. Satan is a liar from the beginning. "When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."  John 8:44  


Whatever Satan told the woman was a lie, and it IS a lie that we shall be as gods.  But it is true that we shall be like God.


Scripture tells us this in many places. "we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." 1 John 3:2


"As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied when I awake, with thy likeness."  Psalm 17:15 "


But we all, with open face beholding as in the glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."  


2 Corinthians 3:18. "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."  If Satan had told the woman that she would be "like God", then this would have been a glorious truth.


That is what Satan wants for himself and he will have none his equal. "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."  Isaiah 14:14  But Satan appeals to the pride of man telling them that they will be "as gods".



"ye shall be as gods"



Reading as the King James Bible "ye shall be as gods" are Wycliffe 1395, the Great Bible 1540 - “ye shalbe euen as goddess”, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Douay-Rheims 1582 - "ye shall be as Gods",  the Geneva Bible 1587 - "ye shalbe euen as goddess”, the Bill Bible 1671, The Thomson Bible 1808 - "God knew...your eyes would be opened and you would be like gods",  Webster's translation 1833, the Boothroyd Bible 1853, The Jewish Family Bible 1864, the Sharpe Bible 1883, The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907 - "ye shall be as gods",  the 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company Version, An American Translation 1927, Lamsa's translation of the Syriac Peshitta 1933 - "you shall be like gods",  the Bible in Basic English 1961, the New Berkeley Version in Modern English "you shall be as gods", The Word of Yah 1993, the 21st Century KJV 1994, the Third Millennium Bible 1998 - "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and YE SHALL BE AS GODS, knowing good and evil.", The Apostolic Polyglot Bible Greek 2005 - "έσεσθε  ως  θεοί" = "you shall be Gods",  A Conservative Version 2005, the Complete Apostles' Bible 2005 - "your eyes would be opened, and you would be as gods", the 2009 Public Domain Version, the Bond Slave Version 2009 "you will be like gods", the Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011, the English Jubilee Bible 2010, the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, Conservative Bible 2011, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011, The New Brenton Translation 2012, the Lexham English Bible 2012 - "and you both shall be like gods", and The New English Septuagint Translation 2014 - "For God knew that on the day you eat of it, your eyes would be opened, and you would be like gods knowing good and evil.”

The Jewish Family Bible 1864 - "ye shall be as gods" 

The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907 - "and ye shall be as gods"

The Hebraic Transliteration Bible 2010 - "you shall be as gods"



and this Interlinear Hebrew Old Testament 




Foreign language Bibles that also read "and ye shall be as gods" are the French Martin 1744, Louis Segond and the French Ostervald 1996 - "et que vous serez comme des dieux", the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Cipriano de Valera of 1602, Reina Valera 1909, Spanish Jubilee Bible 2000 and Reina Valera Gómez 2004 - "y seréis como dioses", the Italian Diodati 1649 - "onde sareste come dii", the Finnish Bible 1776 - " ja te tulette niinkuin Jumala", the Russian Synodal Version - "и вы будете, как боги, знающие добро и зло.", the Hungarian Karoli Bible - "és olyanok lésztek mint az Isten" = "ye shall be as gods", the Czeck BKR - " a budete jako bohové",  and the 2014 Romanian Fidela Bible - "atunci ochii voştri vor fi deschişi şi veţi fi ca dumnezei, cunoscând binele şi răul."  = "your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." and the Modern Greek Bible as well as the so called Greek Septuagint - "θελουσιν ανοιχθη οι οφθαλμοι σας, και θελετε εισθαι ως θεοι, γνωριζοντες το καλον και το κακον.", Chinese Union Version Traditional -    便




Even Dan Wallace’s NET version sort of got it right, saying: - “your eyes will open and YOU WILL BE LIKE DIVINE BEINGS who know good and evil.”



To be "as gods" is the promise of eastern religions, Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, Mormonism, Reincarnation and the New Age philosophy of the likes of Shirley McClain and now embraced by millions, that each and every "enlightened" man or woman will evolve and eventually become a god.


It is also the devil's lie being promoted by The “little gods” heresy of the Word of Faith preachers like Ken Copeland, Ceflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, Benny Hinn.  They have swallowed the devil’s lie.  7 minute video


This is consistent with the rest of Scripture. Compare also Ezekiel 28:2 "Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I AM A GOD, I sit in the seat of God"


In Acts 12:22 we read of Herod who sat on his throne and made an oration to the people, who gave a shout saying, "It is the voice of a god, and not of a man." And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost."


A little further in Acts 14:11 when Paul and Barnabas had done a miracle of healing, the people "lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men." The priest of Jupiter also came with sacrifices to offer unto these men who were "gods".


Later in Acts 28:6 the barbarous people on the island of Melita, when they say that Paul did not die after being bitten by a snake, they "said that he was a god."


We read in 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-12 of the culmination of Satan's plan when he finally gets a man in place to decieve multitudes before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The falling away from the true faith occurs and "that man of sin is revealed...Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped: so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God shewing himself that he is God."


This, I believe, is the lie referred to in verse 11 and in Genesis 3:5. For those who receive not the love of the truth "God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe A LIE: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." 


However when we look at a multitude of modern versions including the NKJV, NIV, NET and NASB this temptation presented by the serpent in the garden has changed. The NKJV, NIV and NASB say: "you will be LIKE GOD, knowing good and evil."


There is a big difference between being "like God" and being "as gods". We who are redeemed will in fact be like God in that we are being conformed to the image of His Son, but we will never be "as gods". To be as gods is the false promise of our own deity and this is the ultimate sin of pride and rebellion.


Who do you think would want to obscure and hide this connection between the first lie in the Bible and the ultimate triumph of Satan's man presenting himself as God?  


Matthew Henry comments on Genesis 3:5 - "He tempts them to seek preferment, as if they were fit to be gods. Satan ruined himself by desiring to be like the Most High, therefore he sought to infect our first parents with the same desire, that he might ruin them too."


John Gill - "and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil: as "Elohim", which word is sometimes used of civil magistrates, sometimes of angels, and sometimes of God himself, and of the divine Persons in the Godhead."


John Wesley - "You shall be as gods - As Elohim, mighty gods, not only omniscient but omnipotent too".


Pagan and false religions are full of "gods" and "goddesses", and Mormonism, New Age Philosophy and other false religions teach that man can become "as gods".


"For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we in him."  1 Corinthians 8:5-6


Regarding the Word of Faith false teaching that we are gods. These people take Psalms 82:6 and John 10:34 out of context and apply them to every born again child of God.


The Lord Jesus refers to Psalms 82:6 saying: "Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?  If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?" (John 10:34-36)


He is referring to Psalms 82 that is speaking about the judges of Israel who were appointed by God to explain and enforce the laws of God for the nation of Israel.  But they had been unfaithful in their calling and would die like men.


"And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city,  And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do; for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment. Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts."  2 Chronicles 19:5-7.


In a similar fashion God tells Moses in reference to Aaron: "And he (Aaron) shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God." (Exodus 4:16)  And later on God tells Moses: "And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron shall be thy prophet. (Exodus 7:1)  


But as we can see from Psalms 82:1-8, these earthly judges had failed in their God given ministry.


1.God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.

How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.

Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.

I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.

Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.

Note on 1611 printing error.

When the KJB was first printed, there was a printing error in that the word "god" was capitalized.  It was soon caught and corrected to read as it does now - "ye shall be as gods"

Genesis 3:5 “ye shall be as gods” (from brother Christopher Yetzer)

Concerning Genesis 3:5 - the 1645 English Annotations done by English scholars including one KJV translator has it "as gods", a 1652 KJV printed by John Field in London has 'gods' as well as a 1660 KJV printed in London by Henry Hills, a 1698 KJV printed by Charles Bill in London, a 1716 KJV printed by "his Majesty's Printers" in Edinburgh, a 1747 KJV printed in Edinburgh by Richard Watkins, "His Majesty's Printer", a 1651 book titled "An Exposition with Practical Observations Upon the Three First Chapters of Job" quotes it as 'gods'. It is also printed the same way in the 1562 Italian version by Rustici, as well as the 1588 Pastors and Professors of Geneva French Bible and the 1602 Valera Spanish Bible and Diodati's 1641 Italian Bible.


The King James Bible is right, as always. Accept no substitutes.


Will Kinney


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