Why the use of Italicized words in the King James Bible? Are they also inspired Scripture?
Note - For the sometimes disputed example of Psalms 19:3 "There is no speech nor language WHERE their voice is not heard." See the last section of this article.
At one of the Bible clubs on the internet a Bible critic asks: "If the KJV-only supporters believe fully in the word-for-word inspiration of the KJV, why would italics be necessary?"
First of all, we Bible believers believe in a word for word meaning, not necessarily a strictly literal word for word translation. Sometimes the literal translation would not make sense to us.
ALL translations into another language require the "addition" of certain words for a passage to make proper sense. Why? Because the Hebrew and Greek languages are often elliptical languages. That is, they sometimes omit the Subject or the Verb, or the Direct Object, the Indirect Object or even the word "not" when the text requires it when placed into another language.
The King James Bible translators were honest enough to put most of these "added" words in italics so you could see where they did this. Versions like the NASB, NKJV, ESV, NIV, NET, Holman Standard ALL still "add" those words but they do not always put them in italics so a person reading them is not aware of this.
In fact, there are many places in the Hebrew text where a word is not literally in the text but placed in italics, but when the passage is quoted in the Greek, the word IS there.
Here is one of many examples:
"And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did they fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live."
You will note that the word "word" is in italics, meaning of course, that it was not in the Hebrew text. Upon examination of Deuteronomy 8:3 in Hebrew one will find that the word "dabar" which is Hebrew for "word" is not found anywhere in the verse. Yet in His temptation experience in the wilderness with Satan we find Jesus quoting Deuteronomy 8:3 as follows in Matthew 4:4 - "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
While quoting Deuteronomy 8:3 Jesus quotes the entire verse including the King James italicized word! Even an amateur "scholar" can locate "remati," a form of "rema," which is Greek for "word," in any Greek New Testament.
Deuteronomy 25:4, "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out THE CORN.” (Geneva, Coverdale, Bishops’ bible, Wycliffe, Revised Version, Darby, Douay-Rheims; THE GRAIN -NIV, RSV, ESV, NKJV) The Hebrew word for "corn" or "grain" is not found in the Hebrew text but it is supplied by almost every translation done by man, including the Jewish translations. Yet when this verse is quoted in the New Testament, the apostle Paul “adds” the words “the corn” to the inspired Greek text. - I Corinthians 9:9. "For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out THE CORN. Doth God take care for oxen?"
Another example showing both the importance and inspiration of a verb in italics is seen by comparing Exodus 3:6 with our Lord's words in Matthew 22:32. Jesus argues for the vital importance of a present tense verb as proof of the resurrection in Matthew 22:32 where He says: "But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God saying, I AM the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living."
Here He is quoting the verse found in Exodus 3:6. But when we look closely at Exodus 3:6 in the Hebrew, there is no present tense verb IS in the Hebrew text. It has to be supplied in italics. But it IS written in the Greek text of the New Testament.
All bible versions include the verb IS in Exodus 3:6, even though it is not literally in the Hebrew text. It's just that most of them don't put the verb IS in italics, as the KJB does. There in Exodus 3:6 we read of God saying to Moses: "Moreover he said, I AM the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God." The italics are also the inspired words of God.
Another example is found in Romans 10:20, where the apostle Paul quotes Isaiah 65:1 - "I am sought of THEM THAT asked not FOR ME." In Isaiah 65:1 the words "THEM THAT" and "FOR ME" are in italics; they are not in the Hebrew. However, in Romans 10:20, the words are not in italics because the Greek words for "THEM THAT" and "ME" are all there. The apostle Paul quotes the Hebrew as if the words are there, but they are not in any Hebrew text.
Also compare Psalms 16:8 with Acts 2:25 "I have set the LORD always before me: because HE IS at my right hand, I shall not be moved." The words "HE IS" are not in the Hebrew text; they are italicized in the KJB. Yet when the same Psalm is quoted in Acts 2:25 the words "FOR HE is on my right hand, that I should not be moved." the words "FOR HE" are there in the Greek text.
Again in Psalms 94:11 we read: "The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they ARE vanity." The verb "ARE" is missing in the Hebrew text; yet when it is quoted in 1 Corinthians 3:20 - "The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they ARE vain." - the verb IS in the Greek text. In other words, the "italicized words" ARE inspired Scripture!
2 Corinthians 8:15 with Exodus 16:18
Here is a case where the opposite is true. The words are in the Hebrew text, but NOT in the Greek text when the verse is quoted. In 2 Corinthians 8:15 we read: "As it is written, He that HAD GATHERED much had nothing over; and he that HAD GATHERED little had no lack." The apostle is clearly quoting a verse from the Old Testament. Yet the Greek text entirely OMITS the verbs "had gathered".
But when we look at the Hebrew O.T. these words ARE in the text. There we read: "And when they did mete it with an omer, he that GATHERED much had nothing over, and he that GATHERED little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating."
Deuteronomy 22:15-20 "the tokens of" - "shekels"
In this section of Scripture ALL the major translations in all languages "add" certain words in order for these verses to make sense. In the King James Bible we read the phrase that has been added three times to verses 15, 17 and 20 the phrase "the tokens of" and in verse 19 the word "shekels".
Let's just look at verse 15. "Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth THE TOKENS OF the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate."
Without these "added" words we would be left with "bring forth the damsel's virginity unto the elders".
All versions "add" words at this point and do not put them in italics. The NIV adds "the proof that she was" a virgin. The ESV, NASB, NKJV all add "the evidence of" and the 1917 Jewish Publication Society and Young's 'literal' translations have "the tokens of the damsel's virginity" just like the King James Bible.
Likewise in verse 19 we read: "And they shall amerce him in an hundred SHEKELS of silver..."
The JPS 1917, NASB, NIV, ESV, NKJV, RSV, NRSV, Holman, NET etc. ALL also "add" the word "shekels" to this verse so it doesn't read something like "and they shall fine him a hundred of silver" and we end up asking "A hundred of WHAT of silver?"
Other examples found in all bible translations. (And I have MANY of these) Exodus 23:2 KJB - "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest JUDGMENT."
You will notice that in the KJB the word "judgment" is in italics. That is because it is NOT in the Hebrew text.
You will find both words in the text in verse 6, just four verses later, where it says: "Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of the poor in his cause." But the word "judgment" in Exodus 23:2 is simply not in the Hebrew text. Yet it needs to be supplied in order to have the verse make sense. Not only does the KJB "add" this extra word there in italics, but almost all translations also add the word "judgment" or "justice" to the verse, but they do so in regular print, so that you think it is actually in the text; but it isn't.
Among those that "add" this extra word to Exodus 23:2 are Darby, JPS 1917, the RV, ASV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NIV, NET, NKJV, Holman Standard and just about every Bible in every language out there. Some of them put it in italics, but most of them do not.
In 1 Samuel 2:3 we read: "Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let NOT arrogancy come out of your mouth"
The simple word "not" is not literally in the Hebrew text, yet how different the meaning (the opposite) if not supplied. Check out your bible versions; they all "add" the word "not" to the text.
Here is another one like it. In Proverbs 24:28 we read: "Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive NOT with thy lips." Check out your modern versions like the NIV, NASB, ESV, NKJV, Holman etc. If the word "not" is not "added" then we get the totally opposite meaning from the verse.
In Psalm 9:18 we read: “For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall NOT perish for ever.”
Once again the word “not” is not in the Hebrew text and if it were not “added” then the verse would mean the complete opposite - “the expectation of the poor shall perish”. So translations like the NIV, NASB, NKJV, ESV and Holman all “add” the word “not” or “nor” to the passage.
In 1 Samuel 16:7 a case is found where the subject and the verb are not found in the Hebrew texts, yet almost every translation in almost every language “adds” these extra words to their texts.
Here we read: “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for THE LORD SEETH not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
The words “the LORD seeth” are not found in the Hebrew texts, but they are supplied, and usually not even in italics, with either “for God sees” or “the LORD seeth” by such translations as the Bishops’ bible, the Geneva Bible, the RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NASB, NIV, NKJV, Holman Standard and NET versions.
Likewise we find these "added" words in foreign language bibles like the Italian Diodati, French Ostervald, Spanish Reina Valera and the Portuguese Almeida translations.
Again, in Exodus 33:9 we read: "And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and THE LORD talked with Moses."
Here the words "the LORD" are not found in the Hebrew text, yet all translations "add" the words "the LORD" talked with Moses. If the supplied words were not there, it would read in such a way that "the cloudy pillar talked with Moses", instead of "the LORD talked with Moses".
Most English and foreign language translations "add" these extra two words to the text, and usually NOT in italics, including the NIV, ESV, NASB, NKJV, NET, RSV, ASV, Revised Version, the 1917 Jewish Publication Society Bible, Hebrew Names Version, the Complete Jewish Bible, the Spanish Reina Valera, Italian Diodati and Riveduta, the French Martin and Ostervald, and the Portuguese Almeida to name but a few.
In 2 Chronicles 3:1 we read: "Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where THE LORD appeared unto David his father..." Here the words "THE LORD" are absent from the Hebrew text, yet they are "added" by such translations as the Bishops' bible, the JPS 1917, RV, ASV, NASB, NIV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NKJV, NET and Holman Standard. Even Young's has to add HE, and the Complete Jewish Bible adds ADONAI in order to have the verse make sense.
Verbs are “added”
Take a look at how many verbs need to be supplied or “added” to the text for the verses to make much sense. In 2 Samuel chapter 9 we read the following verses where ALL the versions (NASB, NIV, ESV, NKJV etc.) “add” the verbs plus other parts of the sentences that are not found in the Hebrew text.
2 Samuel 9:2 “And THERE WAS of the house of Saul a servant...” (NASB, NIV, ESV, NKJV, Holman etc.)
2 Samuel 9:3 “And the king said, IS there not yet any of the house of Saul...? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, WHICH IS lame on HIS feet.”
2 Samuel 9:4 “And the king said, Where IS he? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold he IS in the house of Machir...”
2 Samuel 9:8 “And he bowed himself, and said, What IS thy servant...”
2 Samuel 9:10 “Thou therefore, and thy sons shall till the land for him, and thou shalt bring in THE FRUITS...(NKJV - the harvest; ESV, NASB - the produce; NIV - the crops)
2 Samuel 9:12 “And all the house of Ziba WERE servants unto Mehpibosheth.” (NKJV, NIV, NASB, ESV, Holman etc.)
Psalm 19 - Let’s look for a moment at a more familiar passage of Scripture and see what all the translations “add” to the text.
Psalm 19:5 “Which IS as a bridegoom coming out of his chamber...” (NIV, NASB, NKJV, ESV, Holman etc.)
Psalm 19: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 - “The law of the LORD IS perfect...testimony of the LORD IS sure...statutes of the LORD ARE right...commandment...IS pure...fear of the LORD IS clean...judgments...ARE true... THERE IS great reward.” (NKJV, NIV, NASB, ESV, Holman etc.)
Psalm 19:12 “Who can understand HIS errors? cleanse thou me from secret FAULTS.” (NIV, NKJV, NASB, ESV, Holman etc.)
There are literally hundreds of such examples found in all Bible translations in both English and foreign languages. It is due in large part to the elliptical nature of the Hebrew and Greek languages.
Consider how Psalm 18:3 would read without the italicized words added. If we remove these "added" words the Psalm says: "I will call upon the LORD to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies."
The meaning would be that we should call upon the Lord to praise us, and after God praises us, we are then saved from our enemies! Hardly a biblical concept, right? So these extra words are "added" to the text so it makes sense - "I will call upon the LORD WHO IS WORTHY to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies."
And so such translations as the Geneva Bible, the RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NIV, NASB, NKJV, NET and numerous other foreign language translations all "add" the extra words, most often not even in italics, even though they are not there in the Hebrew.
One more example should suffice to demonstrate the point that "italicized words" are often necessary to the sense of the passage.
In Psalm 34:16-17 we read: "The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. THE RIGHTEOUS cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles."
Without the added italicized words (often not in italics in many modern versions) it would appear that the wicked and them that do evil are both cut off and also delivered out of their troubles. That would be a direct contradiction. So the words "the righteous" are added to give the right sense to the passage in such bible translations as the Geneva Bible, the RV, ASV, NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NKJV, NET, Holman and numerous other bible translations in many foreign languages as well.
Personal Names are "added"
There are several examples found in both the Old Testament and the New Testament where a certain name must be "added" to the text in order to have it make sense and avoid complete confusion as to who is saying what. Let's look at a couple examples.
In 1 Kings 20:34 we read a section that would be very confusing if the proper names of the men speaking were not "added". Here we read: "And BENHADAD said unto him, The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then SAID AHAB, I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away." Try reading this verse without the names and see how confusing it is.
So to clear up the ambiguity translations like the following have all "added" the proper names of Benhadad and Ahab: the Geneva Bible, the Jewish translation (JPS) 1917, the RV, ASV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NET, NIV, NKJV and Holman.
The classic example of "adding" words to the text in order to agree with other Scriptures and not to create a direct contradiction is the one found in 2 Samuel 21:19 where we are told of a man who killed THE BROTHER OF Goliath.
2 Samuel 21:19 Who killed Goliath?
KJB, NIV 2011 edition - "And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where ELHANAN to son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, SLEW THE BROTHER OF GOLIATH the Gitite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's beam."
ESV, NASB, NIV 1978, 1984 editions - "And there was again war with the Philistines at Gob, and ELHANAN the son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, STRUCK DOWN GOLIATH the Gitite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam."
The New Testament examples -
Again, in the New Testament we read in John 19:5 "Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And PILATE saith unto them, Behold the man!"
Imagine how confusing this verse would be if we omit the proper name of Pilate. It would then have Jesus coming forth wearing the crown of thorns and saying "Behold the man!". So, to clear up this possible confusion, the following Bible translations "add" the word Pilate: the Geneva Bible, the RV, ASV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NET, NIV, NKJV and Holman Standard, to name but a few.
Here are a few examples from the N.T.
The Elliptical Greek language.
The Greek language used in the New Testament is often elliptical and so also is the Hebrew in the Old. That is, certain parts of speech, including everything from the subject, the verb or the direct and indirect objects are frequently omitted in the literal sense but are implied in the context.
ALL Bible translations OFTEN “add” words like “him, them and you” to their English or foreign language translation. The KJB is honest about this in that it places these “added” words in italics, whereas most modern versions still “add” the extra words but put them in regular print so you can’t see where they did it.
Here are just a FEW of the literally hundreds of examples that could be given. The Bold faced CAPITALIZED words are “added” to the Greek texts.
John 1:18 - “No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared HIM.” (NASB, NIV, NKJV, ESV, Holman)
John 4:26 - “Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am HE.” (NIV, NASB, NKJV, ESV)
John 5:21 - “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth THEM; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.” (NKJV, NIV, NASB, ESV, Holman)
John 6:5 - “When Jesus then lifted up HIS eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” (NKJV, NASB, ESV)
John 6:52 - “The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us HIS flesh to eat?” (NKJV, NIV, NASB, ESV, Holman)
John 8:44 - “Ye are of YOUR father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.” (NKJV, NIV, NASB, ESV, Holman)
John 8:47 - “He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear THEM not, because ye are not of God.” (NIV, NASB, RV, ASV, RSV)
John 9:9 - “Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am HE.” (RV, ASV, NKJV, - NIV, ESV “THE MAN”, NASB “THE ONE”)
John 10:29 - “My Father, which gave THEM me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.” (RV, ASV, NASB, NIV, ESV, NKJV, Holman)
John 12:42 - “Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess HIM, lest they should be put out of the synagogue” (NASB, NKJV, Holman; NIV THEIR FAITH; ESV, RSV - IT)
John 13:9 - “Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also MY hands and MY head.” (NKJV, NIV, NASB, ESV, Holman)
John 13:10 - “Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash HIS feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. “ (NKJV, NASB, NIV, ESV, Holman)
John 13:19 - “Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am HE.“ (NKJV, NASB, NIV, ESV, Holman)
John 15:6 - “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather THEM, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” (RV, ASV, NKJV, NASB, Holman; - NIV SUCH BRANCHES; ESV THE BRANCHES)
John 19:1 - “Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged HIM. “ (NKJV, NASB, NIV, ESV, Holman)
John 19:15 - “But they cried out, Away WITH HIM, away WITH HIM, crucify him. “ (NKJV, NASB, NIV, ESV, Holman)
John 20:22 - “And when he had said this, he breathed ON THEM, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” (NKJV, NASB, NIV, ESV, Holman)
John 21:18 - “...but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry THEE whither thou wouldest not.” (NKJV, NIV, NASB, ESV, Holman)
1 Corinthians 8:6 - This entire verse has no verbs in the Greek text.
1 Corinthians 8:6 KJB - "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 by him."
Yet all translations like Young's, RV, ASV, NKJV, NIV, NASB, NET, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Holman etc. ADD the verbs, some in italics but most in regular print.
Psalms 19:3 “There is no speech nor language WHERE their voice is not heard.”
Psalms 19:1-3 KJB - “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.”
One particular bible agnostic and unbeliever in the existence of a real, complete and inerrant Bible who “uses” the ever changing NASB writes complaining about the use of the word “where” in the KJB. He says it was added to the Hebrew text and then reminds us that the Bible tells us not to add to nor take away from the words of God. He says his NASB and ESV are better when they give the opposite meaning to that found in the KJB.
Of course he failed to mention that both the NIV 1984 and the NKJV 1982 both read exactly as the King James Bible saying: “There is no speech or language WHERE their voice is not heard.” (NIV 1984) But Bible Agnostics have no final authority except their own minds and personal preferences, so he is allowed to piece together his "bible" as he goes along.
The NASB along with the ESV reads: “19:1-3 -The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard.”
The KJB says that there is no place where the voice of creation is not heard, while the NASB, ESV tell us that There is no voice that is heard at all.
Apparently he thinks the KJB’s “adding” words in italics to complete the sense of the Hebrew is wrong, but it doesn’t seem to bother our Bible correcting friend that his own NASB “adds” the words THERE IS at the beginning and the verb ARE to “nor ARE there words”. You see, these words are NOT in the Hebrew text either, but since his NASB doesn’t put the words in italics, he might think that they are. Well, they are not.
Versions like the NASB and ESV add literally hundreds of words to both the Hebrew and Greek texts in order to attempt to bring out the meaning into the English language, and the NASB rarely and the ESV never puts them in italics to let you know this is what they did.
Both the Hebrew and the Greek languages are elliptical languages, that is, they often omit verbs, connecting words, direct and indirect objects and sometimes even the subject of a sentence. (See John Calvin's notes below)
Does this Bible critic really believe that his constantly changing, Vatican supervised NASB is the inerrant words of God? Of course not. He is an “only the originals were inspired and inerrant” type of guy who couldn’t show you a copy of a complete and inerrant words of God Bible in any language if his life depended on it.
I and many others believe the King James Bible is right, and I will show in a minute that MANY other Bible translators agree with the way they translated the verse. The KJB is telling us that the voice and speech of the witness of creation is heard in every nation on this earth.
And Romans 1:19-20 confirm this witness - “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse”
Not only does the King James Bible say that “There is no speech nor language, WHERE their voice is not heard.” but so too do the following Bible translations - the Geneva Bible 1587, Webster’s Bible 1833, The Hebrew Publishing Company Scriptures 1936, The New Life Version 1969, the NKJV 1982, The NIV 1984, The Word of Yah 1993, The KJV 21st Century Version 1994, The Revised Webster Bible 1995, The Third Millennium Bible 1998, J.P. Green’s literal 2005, The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, the Bond Slave Version 2009, The Asser Septuagint 2009 - “There are no tongues nor words WHERE their voices are not heard.”, The Sacred Bible Public Domain Version 2009, The Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010, The New European Version 2010 -“There is no speech nor language WHERE their voice is not heard.”, The English Jubilee Bible 2010, the New Heart English Bible 2010, The Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011 - “WHERE their voice is not heard”, The Work of God’s Children Illustrated Bible 2011 - “There are no speeches nor languages, WHERE their voices are not heard.”, The Orthodox Jewish Bible 2011 - “There is no speech nor devarim (language), WHERE their voice is not heard.”, The Revised Douay-Rheims Bible 2012, The Hebraic Roots Bible 2012 -“WHERE their voice is not heard.”, The World English Bible 2012, The BRG Bible 2012, The Natural Israelite Bible 2012 - “There is no speech nor language WHERE their voice is not heard.”, and The Biblos Bible 2013 - “There is not speech nor language WHERE their voice is not heard.” and The Hebrew Names Version 2014 - “There is no speech nor language WHERE their voice is not heard.”
The Great Bible 1540, and Matthew’s Bible 1549 say: “but their voices are heard among them.”
The Bill Bible 1671 says: “There is neither speech nor language, but their voices are heard among them.”
Darby 1890 says: “yet their voice is heard.”
God’s First Truth 1999 says: “but their voices are heard among them.”
The NIV 1984 edition read exactly like the KJB. They changed it in the NIV 2011 but it still has the same basic meaning. It now says: “Yet their voice goes out into all the earth.”
A Conservative Version 2005 has: “There is no speech nor language in which their voice is not heard.”
The Complete Apostle’s Bible 2005 - “There are no speeches or words, in which their voices are not heard.”
The New Brenton Translation 2012 says: “There are no speeches or words IN WHICH their voices are not heard.”
Jamieson, Faussett and Brown Commentary - “Though there is no articulate speech or words, yet without these their voice is heard.”
John Wesley’s Notes on the Bible - “Verse 3. Heard - Or, understood; there are divers nations in the world, which have several languages, so that one cannot discourse with, or be understood by another, but the heavens are such an universal teacher, that they can speak to all people, and be clearly understood by all.”
Charles Spurgeon - “Verse 3. "There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard." Every man may hear the voices of the stars. Many are the languages of terrestrials, to celestials there is but one, and that one may be understood by every willing mind. The lowest heathen are without excuse, if they do not discover the invisible things of God in the works which he has made. Sun, moon, and stars are God's traveling preachers; they are apostles upon their journey confirming those who regard the Lord, and judges on circuit condemning those who worship idols.”
Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible - He mentions the other view, but then concludes: “High as these authorities are, yet it seems to me that the idea conveyed by our common version is probably the correct one. This is the idea in the Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate. According to this interpretation the meaning is, “There is no nation, there are no men, whatever may be their language, to whom the heavens do not speak, declaring the greatness and glory of God. The language which they speak is universal; and however various the languages spoken by men, however impossible it may be for them to understand each other, yet all can understand the language of the heavens, proclaiming the perfections of the Great Creator.”
Matthew Poole’s Annotations on the Bible - “The sense is, There are divers nations in the world, which have several languages, so that one cannot discourse with or be understood by another; but the heavens are such a universal and admirable teacher, that they can speak to all people under them, and be clearly understood by all.”
John Calvin also discusses both views and comes down solidly in favor of the way the King James Bible has it. He says: “The other exposition, therefore, as it is more generally received, seems also to be more suitable. In the Hebrew tongue, which is concise, it is often necessary to supply some word; and it is particularly a common thing in that language for the relatives to be omitted, that is to say, the words which, in which, etc., as here, There is no language, there is no speech, [where ]their voice is not heard…The difference and variety of languages does not prevent the preaching of the heavens and their language from being heard and understood in every quarter of the world…David, therefore, by making a tacit comparison, enhances the efficacy of the testimony which the heavens bear to their Creator. The import of his language is, Different nations differ from each other as to language; but the heavens have a common language to teach all men without distinction, nor is there any thing but their own carelessness to hinder even those who are most strange to each other, and who live in the most distant parts of the world, from profiting, as it were, at the mouth of the same teacher.”
John Gill comments - “though they are ever so different one from another, so as not to be able to understand each other; yet the voice of the heavens, uttering and proclaiming the glory of their Maker, is heard and understood by them all”
The King James Bible is a perfectly acceptable and accurate translation that conveys the truth that the heavens declare the glory of God, and day unto day utter speech bearing witness to His creative power, and this witness is heard in every nation under the sun.
The King James Bible is always right. Get used to it.
Psalm 7:11 - Another Bible Critic Bites the Dust
Psalm 7:11 KJB - “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry WITH THE WICKED every day.”
Psalm 7:11 ESV - “God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.”
NIV - “God is a righteous judge, a God who displays his wrath every day.”
NET - “God is a just judge; he is angry throughout the day.”
NASB - “God is a just judge; he is angry throughout the day.”
Young’s “literal” actually reads different than most, and says: “God is a righteous judge, And HE IS NOT ANGRY at all times.”
And so does The Sharpe Bible 1883 and the Complete Apostle’s Bible 2005 - “God is a righteous Judge, and strong, and patient, NOT inflicting vengeance every day.”
As well as Lamsa’s 1933 translation of the Syraic, and the Aramic Bible in Plain English 2011 - “God is a righteous judge; yea HE IS NOT ANGRY EVERY DAY.”
And the Catholic Douay-Rheims and The Work of God’s Children bible 2011 make it into a question, saying: “God is a just judge, strong and patient: IS HE ANGRY EVERY DAY?”
Some Bible critics, none of whom actually believes that ANY Bible in ANY language is the complete and inerrant words of God, have criticized the King James Bible in this verse for “adding” the words “WITH THE WICKED” to describe those with whom the Lord is angry every day.
The words ARE in italics. This is true. But both the Hebrew and Greek languages are often what is called elliptical languages. That is, they do not always include the subject or the verb or the direct objects.
First, ALL bible translations often “add” extra words to their text in order to clarify what the Hebrew and Greek text are saying.
See “If the King James Bible is inspired, then Why the use of italics?”
And Secondly, the context of the entire Psalm is that between the righteous and the wicked and the different fates God will bring upon them.
For example - “Arise, O LORD, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.” Psalm 7:6
“Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.” Psalm 7:9
And look at the verses that immediately follows 7:11 - “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
12 If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.
13 He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.
14 Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.
15 He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.
16 His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.”
If WHO turn not, and for whom are prepared the instruments of death? And WHO turns not, and travaileth with iniquity and does mischief and violent dealings? It’s the wicked that are mentioned in verse 11.
“God is angry WITH THE WICKED every day.”
Not only does the King James Bible say “God judgeth the righteous (He pleads on their behalf and for their cause) , and God is angry WITH THE WICKED every day.” but so too do the following Bible translations - Wycliffe 1395 - “The Lord is a righteous judge; every day he is angry WITH THE WICKED.”, the Bill Bible 1671, Webster’s bible 1833, The Lesser O.T. 1835, The Longman Version 1841, The Boothroyd Bible 1853, The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907 - “God judges the righteous, and God is angry WITH THE WICKED every day.”, The Hebrew Publishing Company bible 1936 - “God is angry WITH THE WICKED every day.”, the Living Bible 1971, The NKJV 1982, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, The Third Millennium Bible 1998, Green’s Literal 2005, Jubilee Bible 2010, Expanded Bible 2011, The Bond Slave Version 2012, The Biblos Bible 2013 and The New Living Translation 2015 - “He is angry WITH THE WICKED every day.”
The Hebrew Transliteration Bible 2010 - “Elohim (אלהים) judgeth the tzaddik, and Elohim (אלהים) is angry [WITH THE WICKED] every day.”
The Natural Israelite Bible - “Yahweh is a just judge. And Yahweh is angry WITH THE WICKED every day.”
The Mebust Bible 2007 - “Elohim is a righteous judge, and El is angry WITH THE EVILDOERS every day.”
International Standard Version 2014 - “God is a righteous judge, a God who is ANGRY WITH SINNERS every day.”
The New English Bible 1970 - “every day he requites THE RAGING ENEMY.”
The Voice 2012 - “God is a just judge; He passes judgment daily AGAINST THE PERSON WHO DOES EVIL. “
New Life Version 1969 - “God is always right in how He judges. He is angry WITH THE SINFUL every day.”
The New Jewish Version 1985 - “God vindicates the righteous; God pronounces DOOM each day.”
Common English Bible 2011 - “God is a righteous judge, a God who is angry AT EVIL every single day.”
Names of God Bible 2011 - “Elohim is a fair Shophet, an El who is angered BY INJUSTICE every day.”
New Century Version 2005 - “God judges by what is right, and God is always ready to punish THE WICKED.”
Easy-to-Read Version 2006 - “God is a good judge. He always CONDEMNS EVIL.”
God’s Word Translation 1995 - “God is a fair judge, a God who is angered BY INJUSTICE every day.”
Good News Translation 1992 - “God is a righteous judge and always CONDEMNS THE WICKED.”
International Children’s Bible 2015 - “God judges by what is right. And God is always ready TO PUNISH THE WICKED.”
Foreign Language Bibles that read like the KJB
The Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569 AND the Spanish Cipriano de Valera 1602 - “Dios es el que juzga al justo; y Dios está airado contra los impíos todos los días.” = God is angry AGAINST THE WICKED every day.
Spanish Reina Valera 1960-1995, and the Reina Valera Gómez Bible 2010 - “Dios es el que juzga al justo: Y Dios está airado todos los días contra el impío.”
The Italian La Nuova Diodati 1991 - “ DIO è un giusto giudice e un Dio che si adira ogni giorno CONTRO I MALFATTORI.” = AGAINST THE EVILDOERS
The Portuguese O Livro 2000 - “Deus é um juiz perfeitamente imparcial; os seus severos avisos repetem-se, dia após dia, CONTRA OS MAUS.” = AGAINST THE WICKED.
The Romanian Fideal Bible 2014 - “Dumnezeu judecă pe cel drept şi pe cel stricat Dumnezeu este mânios în ecare zi.” = with the wicked
The Bible Commentators
John Gill - “and God is angry with the wicked every day; wicked men are daily sinning, and God is always the same in his nature, and has the same aversion to sin continually; and though he is not always making men examples of his wrath, yet his wrath is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness of men; and there are frequent stances of it; and when he is silent he is still angry, and in his own time will stir up all his wrath, and rebuke in his hot displeasure.”
Jamieson, Faust and Brown - Commentary on the Whole Bible - “the wicked — Though not expressed, they are implied, for they alone are left as objects of anger.”
John Trapp, English Puritan, Commentary - “Ver. 11. God is angry with the wicked every day Or, all day long; they are under the arrest of his wrath, and liable to the wrath to come. Children they are of wrath, because of disobedience.”
Matthew Poole’s English Annotations - “With the wicked; which though it may seem a bold supplement, yet is necessary, and easily fetched out of the next and following verses. “
Matthew Henry Complete Commentary - “That they are children of wrath. They are not to be envied, for God is angry with them, is angry with the wicked every day. They are every day doing that which is provoking to him, and he resents it, and treasures it up against the day of wrath. As his mercies are new every morning towards his people, so his anger is new every morning against the wicked, upon the fresh occasions given for it by their renewed transgressions. God is angry with the wicked even in the merriest and most prosperous of their days, even in the days of their devotion; for, if they be suffered to prosper, it is in wrath; if they pray, their very prayers are an abomination. The wrath of God abides upon them (Jn. 3:36) and continual additions are made to it.”
1 Corinthians 4:6 - Why does the King James Bible “add” the words “of men” to the clause “not to think OF MEN above that which is written”?
Let’s compare some versions.
NKJV - Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not TO THINK BEYOND what is written, that none of you may be [a]puffed up on behalf of one against the other.
NASB - Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not TO EXCEED exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become [a]arrogant in behalf of one against the other.
ESV - I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not TO GO beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.
First of all, there IS a textual variant in this verse. The traditional Reformation text has the verb TO THINK (phronein) in it. The Vatican variant has NO verb there and it doesn’t even make sense without it. That is why versions like the NASB and ESV have to ADD a verb for the sentence even to make sense.
The NASB adds the word “to exceed” and the ESV adds the words “to go”. Try reading either of them without these added words and you will see why their versions would not make sense without this added verb.
Without the added verb in the Critical Text versions it would read “that you might learn in us not beyond what is written”, which wouldn’t make any sense at all.
You can see this in the ASV - 1 Corinthians 4:6 (ASV) Now these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes; that in us ye might learn not [to go] beyond the things which are written; that no one of you be puffed up for the one against the other.
The verb “to think” is found in the Majority of all Greek texts as well as Sinaiticus correction, C, D correction, L, P and the Syriac.
There is good reason why the KJB reads the way it does in 1 Corinthians 4:6 - And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think OF MEN above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.
Just go with the context of all that is being addressed from chapter 3 into chapter 4. Some were saying "I am of Paul", and others "I am of Apollos."
Then Paul goes on to explain that all are ministers of God and that each one will be accountable for what he teaches. 3:21 "Therefore let no man glory in men".
If you read the whole context of chapters 3 and 4 you can then see why the KJB translators "added" the words "of men" to 4:6, and it is simply because that is the context of the whole passage.
A couple of translations I ran into say "not to think more OF TEACHERS than what it written", and others read like the KJB here.
Reading like the KJB here are John Wesley's 1755 translation as well as Webster's Bible 1833 do and the KJV 21st Century 1994, the Hebrew Transliteration Scriptures 2010, the Modern English Version 2014 - “not to think of men above that which is written”, and the Third Millennium bible 2010 - "And these things, brethren, I have in a sense transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes, that ye may learn through us NOT TO REGARD MEN above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another."
The Resurrection Life New Testament 2005 - “…so you might learn from us not to overly exalt any human man”
John Gill comments - “that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written: meaning… rather in the above places in this, and the foregoing chapter, where he gives the fore mentioned characters of ministers; where, in the apostles themselves, in their own words, from their own account, they might learn, on the one hand, not to ascribe too much to them, nor, on the other hand, to detract from their just character and usefulness”
Matthew Henry comments - “The advice the apostle would by this means inculcate was that THEY MIGHT LEARN NOT TO THINK OF MEN ABOVE WHAT IS WRITTEN (above what he had been writing), nor be puffed up for one against another (1 Corinthians 4:6). Apostles were not to be esteemed other than planters or waterers in God's husbandry, master-builders in his building, stewards of his mysteries, and servants of Christ. And common ministers cannot bear these characters in the same sense that apostles did. Note, We must be very careful not to transfer the honour and authority of the Master to his servant. We must call no man Master on earth; one is our Master, even Christ, Matthew 23:8, Matthew 23:10. We must not think of them above what is written.
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