The Book of Jude - James White's "inferior" texts
James White will NEVER show you a copy of The Bible he SAYS he believes IS the infallible words of God.
In his book, The King James Only Controversy, James White makes a lot of outrageous statements in an attempt to destroy the Christian's faith in the King James Bible.
In one section of his book he discusses the reading of the KJB in Jude verse four. On page 206 of his book Mr. White brings up his experience in speaking to Jehovah witnesses and he says: "I have often pointed this passage out to Jehovah's Witnesses and asked, 'Now, can you say with Jude that you have only one Sovereign Lord? Or do you have two, Jehovah, and Jesus Christ?' The point is rarely missed. But the KJV's rendering obscures this by following INFERIOR (caps are mine) manuscripts, resulting in a reading that allows one to distinguish between the "Lord God" and "the Lord Jesus Christ."
It should first be pointed out that many Christians see a reference to two persons of the Godhead in this verse, both God the Father and God the Son.
Matthew Henry comments: "Those who turn the grace of God into lasciviousness do in effect deny the Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ; that is, they deny both natural and revealed religion. They strike at the foundation of natural religion, for they deny the only Lord God; and they overturn all the frame of revealed religion, for they deny the Lord Jesus Christ. "
Likewise John Gill remarks: "And denying the only Lord God; God the Father, who is the only sovereign Lord, both in providence and grace; and the only God, not to the exclusion of the Son and Spirit, but in opposition to nominal and fictitious deities, or Heathen gods; And our Lord Jesus Christ; as his deity, or sonship, or humanity, or that he was the Messiah, or the alone Saviour, or his sacrifice, satisfaction, and righteousness."
Secondly, even if we adopt the other view that this verse speaks of only the second Person of the Godhead, the only Lord God, and OUR Lord Jesus Christ, the King James reading is more accurate than the NASB, ESV and NIV.
Jesus Christ is the sovereign Lord God over all His creation, including both the saved and the lost among men, but He is OUR Lord Jesus Christ. Mr. White misses on both of his objections to the KJB reading. The King James Bible is both theologically correct and based on superior manuscripts as we shall soon see.
It is also hypocritical of Mr. White to attack the KJB here, while at the same time he recommends the New KJV as being an excellent version to use. The NKJV reads exactly the same as the KJB in this verse - "who deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ."
If this verse is referring to Jesus Christ as THE only Lord God and OUR Lord Jesus Christ, the KJB is correct. Jesus Christ is THE only Lord God and creator of all people and things, but He is "OUR Lord" only of His redeemed.
Notice the distinctions brought out in Jude 9, 14, 17, 21 and 25. In verse 9 Michael the archangel says to Satan "the Lord rebuke thee"; in 14 it is "the Lord" who comes to execute judgment upon the ungodly; in 17 he speaks to other Christians 'of the apostles of "our" Lord Jesus Christ"; in 21 we are looking for the mercy of "our" Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life; and in 25 he closes in a benediction to the only wise God "our" Saviour.
In Jude 4 the NASB and ESV read: "deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ."
The NIV has: "deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord", while the J. W. bible reads: "our only Owner and Lord, Jesus Christ."
The Jehovah Witness version reads basically like the NASB and the JWs still don't believe Jesus Christ is God. In fact, with neither the NIV, ESV nor the NASB can you prove that Jesus Christ is God simply because the word "God" is missing Jude verse four. Mr. White's objection to the KJB is pointless.
A Jehovah Witness can easily reply that Jesus is sovereign only in so far as JEHOVAH gave him that designated authority, but Jesus is still less and inferior to Jehovah.
As a side note, I personally am convinced that the Lord Jesus Christ is JEHOVAH God, but if you are using the NKJV, NIV or NASB you might well ask "Who is JEHOVAH? I don't see that word in my bible." The name JEHOVAH has been removed from the NKJV, NIV and NASB. See my study on the name JEHOVAH here -
The main point I want to look at is the statement by Mr. White that the KJB follows INFERIOR manuscripts. The omission of the word "GOD" in the NASB, ESV, NIV is based on a handful of Greek manuscripts that Mr. White seems to imply are then SUPERIOR to the "inferior" majority of all remaining Greek copies we have today which are the basis of the King James Bible and all Reformation Bibles. According to Mr. White these "superior" manuscripts are Sinaticus, Vaticanus, A, C and P72.
Yet, as we shall soon see, these five "superior" manuscripts are in constant disagreement, not only with the Majority of all remaining Greek manuscripts, but more importantly, they are in constant disagreement with EACH OTHER! Let's examine more closely what these "superior" manuscripts actually say.
Verse 1. "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them THAT ARE SANCTIFIED by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called"
"Them that are sanctified" is the reading of the Majority or 90% plus of all remaining Greek manuscripts we have today, including K, L, P, 049 056 0142 6 18 35 61 93 104 181 254 307 322 323 326 424 431 453 614 665 808 909 945 1175 1501 1678 1735 1836 1837 1844 1875 1877 1881 2127 2374 2412 Byzantine Lectionaries, Slavonic ancient version, and so quoted by Theophylact.
It is also the reading found in the Modern Greek New Testament - "τους ηγιασμενους υπο Θεου Πατρος".
"Them that are sanctified by God the Father" is also the reading found in Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540 - "and sanctifyed in God the father, and preserued in Iesu Christ", Matthew's Bible 1549 - " sanctyfied in God the father, and preserued in Iesu Christe.", Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the KJB 1611, Mace N.T. 1729, Worsley Version 1770, Living Oracles 1835, Youngs 1898, the NKJV 1982, The Word of Yah 1993, Interlinear Greek N.T. 1998 (Larry Pierce), the Last Days Bible 1999, the Third Millenium Bible 1998, Lawrie Translation 1998, God's First Truth 1999, Tomson N.T. 2002, The Evidence Bible 2003, Green's Literal 2005, Bond Slave Version 2009, the Jubilee Bible 2010, the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, Online Interlinear 2010 (André de Mol), The Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010, the Far Above All Translation 2011, Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2012 (Mebust), World English Bible 2012 and The Holy Bible, Modern English Version 2014 - "to those WHO ARE SANCTIFIED" .
Among foreign language Bibles it is found in the French Martin 1744 and the French Ostervald 1996 and the French Louis Second 2006 - "été sanctifiés en Dieu le Père, et gardés par Jésus-Christ.", the Italian Diodati 1649 and La Nuova Diodati 1991 - "santificati in Dio Padre", the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569 and the Reina Valera 1602, 1909, 1995 and Gómez of 2010 -"santificados en Dios Padre", the Portuguese Almeida Corrigida E Fiel 1681 - "santificados em Deus Pai, Luther's German Bible 1545 and the 2000 Schlachter Bible - "die durch Gott, den Vater, geheiligt und in Jesus Christus bewahrt sind." and it is the reading found in the Greek N.T. used by the Greek Orthodox churches all over the world today - "τοῖς ἐν Θεῷ πατρὶ ἠγιασμένοις"
However the NASB, ESV, NIV and Holman Standard read BELOVED or LOVED instead of sanctified. This reading comes from Sinaticus, Vaticanus, C and P72 and is that found in all Catholic versions like the Douay-Rheims, St. Joseph NAB and the New Jerusalem bible 1985.
It is also the reading found in the Jehovah Witness New World Translation.
In verse three the NKJV departs from the Greek text of the KJB and follows the Wescott-Hort text of the NASB, NIV. The NKJV does not follow the same Greek text of the KJB in at least 40 places I have personally found so far, and I am not yet done with that study.
"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of THE common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."
The reading of the TR of the KJB and the Majority is THE (τῆς) common salvation. The TR is the Textus Receptus, or the traditional Received Text that underlies the King James Bible. This is in contrast to the modern Critical Text that differs from the TR by changing or omitting some 5,000 words from the New Testament. I like to refer to it as the Textus Corruptus.
However Sinaticus, Vaticanus, A and P72 say OUR (ἡμῶν) common salvation and this is the reading of the NKJV, ESV, Catholic Douay and NASB. The NIV paraphrases even this as "the salvation we share" (as do the Catholic St. Joseph NAB and New Jerusalem bible 1985) introducing a verb where none is found in any Greek text. It should also be noted that Sinaiticus adds additional words to this text which are not found in the others. Sinaiticus says: "our salvation AND LIFE", but no version has adopted this additional reading - Yet.
Verse 4 is where we get into the interesting and totally hypocritical comments made by James White in his book The King James Only Controversy.
The reading of the Textus Receptus, the Majority, K, L, P and others is as it stands in the KJB. "...ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord GOD, and our Lord Jesus Christ." In the NASB and NIV the word GOD is missing because the word God or Theos is not found in Sinaticus, Vaticanus, A, C and P72.
The ESV reads: "and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ." The NASB is similar with "...and deny our only Master AND Lord, Jesus Christ." The NIV says: "...and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord."
All three of these - the ESV, NASB, NIV are not really following the same word order as that found in the Westcott-Hort text nor that of the UBS 4th edition. They rearrange the word order in order to come up with their translations. The UBS text actually says: "και τον μονον δεσποτην και κυριον ημων ιησουν χριστον αρνουμενοι" = "and the only Master AND the Lord of us Jesus Christ denying." So both James White and these modern Vatican Versions are being deceptive.
The Catholic Douay-Rheims of 1582 follows the same Greek readings as those found in the UBS, Westcott-Hort texts and it is actually a far more literal translation of these texts. It says: "and denying the only sovereign Ruler AND OUR Lord Jesus Christ."
The Traditional Greek text is that followed by the King James Bible and many others. The Greek texts of Stephanus 1550 and Scrivener 1894 both read: "και τον μονον δεσποτην θεον και κυριον ημων ιησουν χριστον αρνουμενοι" This is also the exact same reading found in the Greek texts used today by the Greek Orthodox churches all over the world.
Agreeing with the Majority reading and the King James Bible's "denying the only Lord GOD, and our Lord Jesus Christ" are the following Bible translations: Tyndale 1525 - "denye God the only Lorde and oure Lorde Iesus Christ.", Coverdale 1535, Cranmer Bible 1539, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 - "and denie God the onely Lord, and our Lord Iesus Christ., Lamsa's translation of the Syriac Peshitta - "and denying the only LORD God, and our LORD Jesus Christ.", Webster's translation 1833, the NKJV 1982, Green's literal 2000, and the 1998 Third Millenium Bible.
The Aramaic Bible in Plain English of 2010 follows the same Greek texts found in the KJB and says: "and deny him who is the only Lord God and our Lord Yeshua The Messiah.”
The World English Bible says: "and denying our only Master, God, and Lord, Jesus Christ."
Young's literal has - "and our only Master, God, and Lord -- Jesus Christ -- denying"
Among foreign language translations that follow the same texts as the KJB are the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras of 1569, the Reina Valera's of 1909, 1960, 1995 - "y niegan a Dios el único soberano, y a nuestro Señor Jesucristo.", the French Martin 1744, and the French Ostervald 1996 - "et qui renient Dieu, le seul Dominateur, et Jésus-Christ, notre Seigneur.", Luther's German bible 1545 - "und verleugnen Gott und unsern HERRN Jesum Christum, den einigen HERRSCher.", the Africaans Bible 1953 -"en die enigste Heerser, God, en onse Here Jesus Christus verloën.", the Portuguese Almeida Corrigida E Fiel - "e negam a Deus, único dominador e Senhor nosso, Jesus Cristo." and the Modern Greek N.T. - "και αρνουμενοι τον μονον Δεσποτην Θεον και Κυριον ημων Ιησουν Χριστον." = "And denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ." The Italian Diodati of 1649 and the Nuovo Diodati of 1991 along with the Italian Riveduta of 2006 and the 1996 La Parola e Vita all actually say: "e negano l'unico Padrone Dio e il Signor nostro Gesú Cristo." = "denying the only Father God and our Lord Jesus Christ".
Barnes Notes on the Bible quotes Jude 4 as it stands in the King James Bible and says regarding Jude 4: "That is, the doctrines which they held were in fact a denial of the only true God, and of the Redeemer of men...Some have proposed to read this, "denying the only Lord God, even (και kai) our Lord Jesus Christ;" but the Greek does not demand this construction even if it would admit it, and it is most in accordance with Scripture usage to retain the common translation. It may be added, also, that the common translation expresses all that the exigence of the passage requires."Barnes also discusses the omission of the word "God" found in some texts and comments: "Whichever of the readings is correct; whether the word (Θεον) "God," is to be retained or not, the sentiment expressed would be true, that their doctrines amounted to a practical denial of the only true God; and equally so that they were a denial of the only Sovereign and Lord of the true Christian."
In the very next verse these same 5 "superior" manuscripts all go each one their separate ways and they continue to do so in the remainder of this small book of Jude which contains only 25 verses.
In the King James Bible verse 5 starts off with: "I will therefore put you in remembrance, THOUGH YE ONCE KNEW THIS..."
The words translated as "though ye once knew this" are four words in the Greek text - "εἰδότας ὑμᾶς ἅπαξ τοῦτο". Notice the word order. Literally it would be 1. having known, 2. ye (plural, you all), 3. once, 4. this. The Majority of all remaining Greek texts read this was as well as the Traditional Greek text follow by the Reformation Bibles. However the recent UBS, Nestle-Aland eclectic, critical Greek text follows a word order with omissions that not even Westcott-Hort, nor Tishendorf nor the Traditional text contain. They just made up their own text out of bits and pieces from the contradictory "superior" manuscripts James White recommends.
In fact, the Nestle-Aland critical Greek text 27th edition does not have the same words or the same word order as the previous Nestle-Aland Greek texts. They keep changing them all the time. I have hard copies of the Nestle Greek text 4th edition 1934 and the Nestle 21st edition of 1975 and they both read "knowing once all things" (εἰδότας ἅπαξ πάντα) BUT the Nestle critical text 27th edition now has "knowing you all things" (εἰδότας ὑμᾶς πάντα) thus ADDING the word "you" (ὑμᾶς) and omitting the word "once" (ἅπαξ) and placing it in an entirely different place in the sentence than where it was before.
The "superior" manuscripts that James White refers to that omit the word GOD from verse 4 are Sinaticus, Vaticanus, A, C and P72. Yet here in verse 5 not one of them agrees with any of the others just in these words "though ye once knew this" nor in reading "the Lord" or "Jesus".
Of these 5 only manuscript C adds the word "therefore" (οὖν) before the word "knowing" and omits the word "ye" (ὑμᾶς) and then C was changed from reading "the Lord" to read "God" (ὁ θεὸς) instead.
Manuscript A omits "ye" (ὑμᾶς) but does not have "therefore".
Manuscript P72 also omits "ye" (ὑμᾶς) but instead of saying "the Lord" (ὁ κύριος) or even "Jesus" (Ἰησοῦς) it says "GOD CHRIST" (θεὸς Χριστὸς).
Sinaiticus omits the word "once" (ἅπαξ) and instead of reading "this" (τοῦτο) it says "all things" (πάντα) but it does have "the Lord" (ὁ κύριος).
And last of all is the Vatican manuscript and it has the word "once" (which is omitted by Sinaiticus) and it also reads "all things" instead of "this", but it reads "Jesus" (Ἰησοῦς) instead of "the Lord" (ὁ κύριος) which IS in Sinaiticus.
Not one of these 5 manuscripts agrees with the Majority reading nor with each other. And these are James White's "superior" texts he so piously refers to.
In the KJB and the Majority of all Greek texts as well as in Sinaiticus and C original we read:
Jude 5 KJB -"I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that THE LORD, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not."
ESV - "Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that JESUS, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe." “THE LORD, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt” is the reading found in the Majority of all Greek manuscripts including Sinaiticus and was the reading that even Westcott and Hort went with - οτι ο κυριος λαον εκ γης αιγυπτου σωσας
It is the reading found in ALL Reformation Bibles including Luther’s German Bible 1545 and the German Schlachter Bible 2000 - “daß der HERR, da er dem Volk aus Ägypten half”, the French Martin 1744, Ostervald 1996 and the Louis Segond 2007 - “que le Seigneur”, the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Cipriano de Valera 1602 and Reina Valera 1909-2011 - “que el Señor, habiendo salvado al pueblo”, the Italian Diodati 1649 and La Nuova Diodati 1991 and La Nuova Riveduta 2007 - “che il Signore” and the Portugueze A Biblia Sagrada, O Livro 2000, NIV Portuguese 1999 and the Almeida Actualizada - “havendo o Senhor salvo um povo”.
However both Alexandrinus and Vaticanus, as well as the Latin Vulgate actually read JESUS instead of the LORD, even though the passage is speaking about the Lord God, the Father, bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt. These two manuscripts tell us that Jesus saved the people out of the land of Egypt.
The Latin Vulgate has: “IESUS populum de terra Aegypti salvans” and the Clementine Vulgate reads: “JESUS populum de terra Ægypti salvans”
The correction of manuscript C reads God instead of Lord, and P72 actually says "God Christ" brought the people out of Egypt! Confusion reigns among James White’s so called “oldest and best manuscripts”.
The ESV does not even follow the UBS 1st through 4th editions, or the first 27 editions of the Nestle-Aland Critical Text Greek here. The UBS text says "the Lord" (ο κυριος) and the reading of "Jesus" (Ἰησοῦς) is merely placed in a footnote as being found in the Vatican mss. and A.
But wait a minute. Now the 28th Nestle-Aland critical text has just come out in 2012 and it now has removed the word "Lord" which was in it for 27 different editions, and now they actually put the word "Jesus" into their late$t text.
Don’t forget, the ESV came out in 2001 and again in 2007 and a third edition different from the previous 2 ESV editions in 2011. So at that time they weren’t even following the UBS/Nestle-Aland critical Greek texts. This reading of JESUS is primarily that found in the Vatican manuscript, the Latin and Clementine Vulgates, and the Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims and Douay versions.
A couple other recent modern versions that now adopt this "new" reading of JESUS instead of THE LORD are Dan Wallace's NET version (Surprise!), the New Living Translation (even though the previous Living Bible 1971 said “the Lord”) and the Lexham English bible 2012.
What is to be noted is that not all of the modern Critical Text versions follow this reading that the ESV and Catholic versions have.
The reading of "how that THE LORD, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not" is the reading found in Tyndale 1525, Coverdale, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible, the Geneva Bible 1587, the RV 1881, ASV 1901, NIV 1978-2011 editions, NASB 1995 (critical text version), NKJV 1982, Holman Standard 2003 (critical text), Jubilee Bible 2010, Names of God Bible 2011 (critical text), Common English Bible 2011 (another Critical text version), the ISV (critical text) and the Voice 2012 (another critical text version.)
This is also the reading of the Modern Greek Bible - “οτι ο Κυριος, αφου εσωσε τον λαον εκ γης Αιγυπτου”
and the Modern Hebrew Bible - ויש את נפשי להזכיר אתכם את אשר כבר ידעתם כי הושיע יהוה
Just a few of the foreign language versions that read "THE LORD having saved the people" instead of "JESUS having saved the people" are the Spanish Reina Valera 1995 and Contemporánea 2011 and Spanish NIV 1999, the French Louis Segond of 2007, the Italian New Diodati of 1991 and the Italian Riveduta of 2006, the German Luther of 1545 and German Schlachter of 2000, the Portuguese Almeida, the NIV Portuguese version 1999 (Nova Versão Internacional) and the Portuguese O Livro of 2000, the Tagalog Ang Salita ng Diyos 1998 and the Romanian Fidela Bible 2014.
The Catholic Connection
The Catholic versions are their usual mixed bag with the previous Douay-Rheims of 1582 and the Douay of 1950 both reading JESUS (which they got from the Latin Vulgate), while the later Jerusalem bible 1968, New American Bible 1970, and the New Jerusalem bible 1985 reading THE LORD, instead of 'Jesus".
But wait! It's not over yet with the Catholic church and their Merry-Go-Round Versions. Now the latest Catholic Public Domain Version (The Sacred Scriptures) of 2009 has come out, and they have gone back to the Vatican reading of JESUS. It says: "Those who once knew everything that JESUS, in saving the people from the land of Egypt"
This same confusion is seen in the revision of the revision of the revision, called the ESV. Instead of reading THE LORD the RSV of 1952 says HE (found in no text at all), then the NRSV of 1989 went back to THE LORD, but then in 2001 the ESV (English Standard Version) has now adopted the reading found in Vaticanus and it actually says JESUS saved the people out of the land of Egypt.
Daniel Wallace's NET version has also adopted this weird variant of JESUS too and in his footnotes he says: "As difficult as the reading "Jesus" is, in light of v. 4 and in light of the progress of revelation, it is wholly appropriate."
In other words, because it is clearly wrong it must be right! This is the nature of the so called "science" of textual criticism. Every man does that which is right in his own eyes.
Back in the days spoken of when the LORD brought the people out of the land of Egypt, THERE WAS NO JESUS. Jesus is His human name given to Christ, the Son of God when He took on human flesh at the incarnation. Before the Incarnation He was Christ the eternal Son of God, but He was not yet a partaker of flesh and blood. There was no Jesus before the incarnation. His human name is Jesus.
Matthew 1:20-21 - "But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and THOU SHALT CALL HIS NAME JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."
“But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see JESUS, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour” Hebrews 2:9
The Lord Jesus Christ is never referred to as Jesus until after his incarnation when He took on Him the seed of Abraham and was made in the likeness of men.
The reading now found in the ESV, Catholic Douay-Rheims, Douay and most recent Catholic Public Domain Version as well as Dan Wallace's NET version is just another proof that the ESV is a bogus Vatican Version. It doesn't even follow the previous 27 editions of the Nestle-Aland critical texts, let alone the traditional Greek texts found in the King James Bible.
Dan Wallace, of NET version fame, says: “Another significant change is found in Jude 5. NA27 reads πάντα ὅτι [ὁ] κύριος ἅπαξ, while NA 28 has ἅπαξ πάντα ὅτι Ἰησοῦς. The key difference is Ἰησοῦς for κύριος. The text now says that Jesus saved his people out of Egypt and later destroyed the unbelievers. The NET Bible and the ESV also have the reading Jesus. As the primary textual critic for the NET, I felt that this reading would be the most controversial of any that we adopted."
Continuing in Jude verse 5, we see that Sinaticus reads "You knew ALL THINGS (panta), instead of THIS (touto), and it omits the word ONCE (hapax), while P72, A and C omit the word YOU (humas), though it is in Vaticanus and Sinaiticus.
Sinaticus omits the definite article THE in "the Lord", but it is in C, while A and Vaticanus read JESUS (ESV 2001) and P72 reads GOD CHRIST instead of THE LORD! These are the "superior" manuscripts Mr. White refers to when he calls the KJB texts inferior! None of them agree with each other in very substantial ways, and all this occurs right after the verse 4, which Mr. White criticizes in the KJB.
And still the NASB, ESV and NIV do not agree with each other. The NASB says: "though you know ALL THINGS once for all, that the Lord..." while the NIV has: "though you already know ALL THIS" - the NIV makes up its own text here as none of the 5 "superior" nor any of the majority texts read this way.
Before going on with more of the textual differences, let's examine some of the places where the Greek text is the same but the modern versions have come up with very different meanings.
In verse 8 we read: "Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of DIGNITIES." (δόξας) This is a question of translation and context, not of the text itself.
DIGNITIES is the reading of the KJB, Mace N.T. 1729, Wesley's translation 1755, Webster's 1833, the RV, ASV, Rotherham's Emphasized bible 1902, Darby, Young's, Updated Bible Version 2004, the Third Millenium Bible 1998 and others.
Tyndale and the Geneva Bible read: "them that are in authority". These versions indicate that the people of whom they speak evil is anyone in civil authority like kings, ministers and presidents. They despise all forms of government.
Also reading "dignities" are the Italian Nuova Diodati 1991 and the Italian Riveduta of 2006 - "dignità.", the Portuguese Almeida Actualizada - "das dignidades." and the French Martin 1744 and French Ostervald of 1996 - "des dignités."
The NKJV has dignitaries, which is acceptable, but the NASB says ANGELS, the ESV has "GLORIOUS ONES", and the NIV has CELESTIAL BEINGS. This is pure fantasy and speculation.
Verse 11 describes these false teachers as having "perished in the GAINSAYING of Core." To gainsay is not an archaic word and it means to speak against. The Greek word here is antilogia and means literally the speaking against or gainsaying.
Gainsaying is the reading of the RV, ASV, Darby, Young's, Geneva and others but the NKJV unites with the NIV/NASB in reading REBELLION.
Verse 12 presents us with an interesting example. "These are SPOTS in your feasts of charity..." Spots is the reading of the KJB, NKJV, the Spanish (manchas), Tyndale, New Century Version and Today's English Version plus others. Even the NIV, RSV and NRSV say BLEMISHES and the Douay and New American Bible say either stains or blotches. But the NASB says HIDDEN REEFS instead of SPOTS.
In Jude 12 we read of these wicked men "feeding THEMSELVES (heautous) without fear", and so read Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, but C reads "feeding YOU", while P72 says "feeding THEM".
Also to be noted is that the Majority, TR, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus read "in your FEASTS OF CHARITY", But A and C read: "in your DECEPTIONS".
Another significant difference occurs in the phrase which describes these false teachers as "trees WHOSE FRUIT WITHERETH, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots". Versions that agree with the KJB are Mace's N.T. 1729, the KJV 21, the Third Millenium Bible, Murdock's translation of the Syriac Peshitta, the Italian Diodati and the Bible in Basic English.
The NKJV again joins the NIV/NASB/ in reading AUTUMN trees without fruit, or LATE AUTUMN trees, instead of WHOSE FRUIT WITHERETH. There is always a good reason why the KJB is translated the way it is. The word used here is a combination of a verb and a noun. Phthinoporinos is used only one time in the New Testament. It is composed of the verb Phthino which means to wane, to waste away or pine away, and the word opoora which can have several meanings.
The word opoora can mean autumn, or even summer. It also means Fruit in a general sense or metaphorically it can mean Ripeness. The Lexicon of Liddell and Scott shows on page 1247 that this word means Fruit and also is used in combination with other words to mean "a fruiterer, one who sells fruit, a fruit storage room, a fruit eater, and bearing fruit. Thus we have trees whose fruit is wasting or withering as in the KJB and others.
A lot of modern versions have not translated the verb part of this word and have changed the meaning of the phrase as it is found in the KJB and others.
The KJB describes the progressive degeneration and final doom of these false teachers. They are trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots.
Now back to some of the textual differences. In verse 11 we read of those who have greedily run "after the error of BALAAM" the false prophet, but P72 says: "the error of BALAAK" (the king of Moab). In 14 we read of a future prophecy. "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord COMETH with ten thousand of his saints."
"The Lord COMETH" or "IS COMING" is the translation of the KJB, Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, Mace N.T. 1729, Wesley's translation 1755, Lamsa's translation of the Syriac Peshitta, the NKJV 1982, even the NIVs of 1984 and 2011, the NRSV 1989 Holman Standard 2003, but the NASB and ESV say "the Lord CAME with many thousands of his holy ones" - like it already happened - Uh... I don't recall that happening yet, do you?
"Ten thousand of his saints" is the reading of the Majority, B, A and C, but again we see the so called superior manuscripts contradict each other. Sinaticus and P72 omit HIS (autou) and read ANGELS (aggeloon) instead of SAINTS or holy ones (hagioon).
V. 15 "To execute judgment upon all, and to convince ALL THAT ARE UNGODLY AMONG THEM of all THEIR UNGODLY DEEDS..." This is the reading of the Majority and the TR of the KJB.
"All the ungodly" is the reading of the Majority, Vaticanus, A and C. It is also the reading found in the NKJV, NASB, NIV, TNIV, RSV, and the ESV. But Sinaticus and P72 again split off and read EVERY SOUL (pasan psuke) instead of "all the ungodly" (pantas tous asebeis). What is of great interest here is that the modern Nestle-Aland Greek texts keep changing every few years. The Nestle-Aland text USED TO READ "all the ungodly", but NOW they have once again changed their actual Greek text to read "to convict EVERY SOUL", so even their latest modern versions do not agree with their own latest Nestle-Aland, UBS Critical text.
The words AMONG THEM are also omitted by the 5 "superior" texts, but found in the Majority. In this same verse the phrase "of all their ungodly deeds" (peri pantoon toon ergoon asebeias autoon) reads the same in the Majority and C, but Vaticanus omits THEIR, while Sinaticus and C add WORDS (logoon) and Sinaticus omits "ungodly deeds" altogether. Thus we see that Mr. White's oldest and best manuscripts are in total disarray and disagreement among themselves - and this not once but hundreds of times throughout the entire New Testament.
In verse 16 we read: "These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and THEIR MOUTH SPEAKETH GREAT SWELLING WORDS, HAVING MEN'S PERSONS IN ADMIRATION because of advantage."
In this verse P72 omits the whole phrase "walking after their own lusts", but it is found in the others. "Their mouth speaketh great swelling words" is the reading of the KJB, the ASV and the Revised Version word for word.
The NASB says: "they speak arrogantly" omitting the literal "their mouth" and changing the meaning of the phrase. There is a difference between speaking great swelling words and speaking arrogantly. The NIV says: "they boast about themselves" again omitting "their mouth", changing "speak" to "boast" and adding "about themselves", which is not in any text at all.
The part about having men's persons in admiration is the same exactly or in sense of the Geneva Bible, the ASV, RV, Tyndale and Young's and others. The NKJV again unites with the NIV/NASB and says FLATTERING people to gain advantage."
The word thaumazo does not mean to flatter but rather to wonder at, marvel at or admire. To have men's persons in admiration is to think highly of them and hold their opinions in esteem when referring to them - much like today's scholars do for one another. But to flatter someone is to speak directly to them with personal adulation. The meaning is not the same in the NKJV as it is in the KJB and others.
In verse 19 the NKJV again departs from the Textus Receptus of the KJB. "These be they who separate THEMSELVES (heautous). The Nestles-Aland Greek text omits this word and so do the NKJV, NIV and NASB. The NKJV reads like the NASB in saying "who CAUSE DIVISIONS" and the NIV again paraphrases with "men who divide YOU" - which is not found in any text.
In verse 20, "building up yourselves on your most holy faith", P72 has a different word order, spells 5 words differently than any other text and omits YOUR faith, while manuscript C changes YOUR faith to OUR faith.
In 21 we read: "Keep YOURSELVES in the love of God" and this is the reading of the Majority, Sinaticus and A, but Vaticanus and C read LET US KEEP. But both the NASB and NIV rejected the reading of their favorite Vaticanus here and read as does the KJB.
In verse 22 we read: "And of some HAVE COMPASSION, MAKING A DIFFERENCE." The verb "have compassion" is eleeite in the Majority and TR, but Sin/Vat have a different form in eleate; both A and C say REBUKE instead of have compassion and P72 entirely omits the verb .
The confusion of how to render this verse is seen in the NASB and NIV which say : "be merciful to those who doubt"; the RSV says: "Convince some who doubt", Douay has: "some who are judged reprove." Boy, am I glad that 's all cleared up for us.
23. "And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." This is the reading of the Majority and the TR of the KJB. However the NASB and NIV add "AND ON SOME HAVE MERCY" to this verse. This reading comes from Vaticanus, Sinaticus and A. However A and Vaticanus omit "on some", though it is in Sinaticus and C reads as does the KJB and does not include these extra words. Are you beginning to get the picture of how mixed up and confused these "superior" texts are that Mr. White recommends?
24. "Now unto him that is able to keep YOU from falling..." YOU is found in all the texts except A which reads US instead of YOU and P72 omits the word altogether.
Jude 25. KJB "To the only WISE God our Saviour be glory AND majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."
Jude 25 ESV (NIV, NASB, NET, RSV, Holman, Catholic Versions, Jehovah Witness New World Translation) - "to the only God, our Savior, THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, BEFORE ALL TIME and now and forever. Amen."
Again the Text in the KJB is the reading of the Majority and the TR, but the "superior" texts of Mr. White have added a lot of different words to this verse.
The NASB, ESV and NIV omit WISE from "only wise God" - (P72, Sinaiticus and Vaticanus omit "wise") - and omit the word AND, though it is found in P72 which predates Sinaticus and Vaticanus by about 100 years.
Jude 25 - “the only WISE God our Saviour” - μονω σοφω θεω σωτηρι ημων
This little word “wise” σοφω is found in the Majority of all texts, including K, L, P among the uncial copies and is the reading of the Slavonic ancient version.
“WISE God” is found in the Greek texts of Erasmus, Stephanus, Beza, and Scrivener. It is also the reading of the Modern Greek Bible - “εις τον μονον σοφον Θεον τον σωτηρα ημων”
And the Modern Hebrew Bible - לאלהים אשר לו לבדו החכמה המושיע אתנו לו
This is the reading of the Reformation Bibles and that of Tyndale 1534, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, Beza’s N.T. 1599, Mace N.T. 1729, Worsley Version 1770, Haweis N.T. 1795, Webster’s Bible 1833, Young’s 1898, the NKJV 1982, the Koster Scriptures 1998, The World English Bible 2000, The Pickering N.T. 2005, and the Modern English Bible 2014 to name but a few.
It is found in the Spanish Reina Valera 1569 to 1995 - “al único y SABIO Dios”, the French Martin 1744, Ostervald 1998 and the French Louis Second 2007 - “à Dieu seul SAGE”, Luther’s German bible 1545 and the German Schlachter Bible 2000 - “ dem allein WEISEN Got”, the Italian Diodati 1648 and La Nuova Diodati 1991 - “ all'unico Dio SAPIENTE” and the Portuguese Corregida Y Fiel 1997 - “Ao único Deus SABIO”
Jude 25 in the Vatican Versions
Some Vatican supervised Text Versions like the ESV, NIV, NASB, NET, etc. Bible critics are so blinded by their basic unbelief in an inerrant Bible that they actually accuse the KJB of diminishing the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, while they tell us their ESV, NIV teach it here in this verse.
One such critic I ran into said "The KJV is taking away the deity of Christ." It seems these Bible critics can no longer reason their way through the plain sense of the English language any more. Let's take a look, and see if there is any possibility their criticisms can be valid.
King James Bible (Reformation text) says: "To the only WISE God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."
The NASB, ESV - NIV say: "to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, BEFORE ALL AGES, now and forevermore. Amen."
Read this way it does NOT teach that Jesus Christ is God or our Saviour. All the glory goes to God THROUGH Jesus Christ, who is just "our Lord".
All of these eight added words in the NIV, ESV, NASB represent 10 extra words in the Greek which come from the usual suspects - Vaticanus, Sinaticus, A and C. These extra 10 words are NOT found in the vast Majority of all Greek texts, nor are they found in the Greek Bible used by the Greek Orthodox churches all over the world today.
The few manuscripts that DO contain them are in disagreement even with each other. For example, Sinaticus omits the word pantas (ALL) while included in Vaticanus and A. But what is quite interesting here is that P72, which is 100 years older than Sinaticus and Vaticanus, reads differently than all of them.
P72 omits "Wise" before "to the only wise God", and it does NOT contain the extra phrase added by Sinaiticus/Vaticanus of "before the ages" - pro pantos tou aiwnos -, but it does contain the extra words that are not found in the Majority Text and the Textus Receptus of "through Jesus Christ our Lord".
The Catholic Connection
Once again we see that the added words of "THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, BEFORE ALL AGES" comes from the Latin Vulgate and this is the reading of ALL Catholic version like the Douay-Rheims 1582, Douay 1950, St. Joseph NAB 1970 and the New Jerusalem bible 1985.
Catholic Douay-Rheims 1582 - "To the only God our Saviour THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, be glory and magnificence, empire and power, BEFORE ALL AGES, and now, and for all ages of ages. Amen.
This is also the reading of the Jehovah Witness New World Translations 1961 and 2013.
Bibles that agree with the King James Bible - "To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." (without adding the extra words "through Jesus Christ our Lord before all ages") are Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540 - "to God oure sauyour: which onely is wyse be glory, maiestye, dominion, and power, now and euer. Amen.", Matthew's Bible 1549 - "that is to saye, to God oure sauyoure whiche onelye is wise be glorye maiestye, dominion and power, now and for euer. Amen.", the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 - "That is, to God only wise, our Sauiour, be glorie, and maiestie, and dominion, and power, both nowe and for euer, Amen.", Beza's N.T. 1599, Mace's N.T. 1729, Worsley Version 1770, Webster's translation 1833, Living Oracles 1835, The Boothroyd Bible 1853, The Revised N.T. 1862, Young's 1898, the NKJV 1982, Hodges and Farstaad Majority Text 1982, The Word of Yah Bible 1993, The English Majority Text by Paul Esposito 1998, Third Millennium Bible 1998, Interlinear Greek New Testament 1997 (Larry Pierce), The Koster Scriptures 1998, The Lawrie N.T. 1998, The Last Days Bible 1999 (Ray Johnson), The Tomson N.T. 2002, Evidence Bible 2003, Apostolic Bible Polyglot Greek-English 2003, The Resurrection Life New Testament 2005 (Vince Garcia), J.P. Green's 2005 Literal Translation Bible, The Pickering N.T. 2005, The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, Bond Slave Version 2009, and Jubilee Bible 2010- "to the only WISE God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, now and in all the ages. Amen.", Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, Online Interlinear 2010 André de Mol, Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010 (Paul Becker), the Natural Israelite Bible 2012 "To Yahweh our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amam.", the World English Bible 2012, The Hebrew Names Version 2014, The Far Above All Translation 2014, the Modern English Version 2014 and the Modern Literal Version New Testament 2015 (Allen Walker)
Foreign Language Bibles
Foreign language Bibles that have the same reading as that found in the King James Bible are Luther's German Bible 1545 and the German Schlachter Bible 2000 - "dem Gott, der allein weise ist, unserm Heiland, sei Ehre und Majestät und Gewalt und Macht nun und zu aller Ewigkeit! Amen." the Portuguese A Sagrada Biblia em Portugués - "Ao nico Deus sbio, Salvador nosso, seja glria e majestade, domnio e poder, agora, e para todo o sempre. Amm.", the Italian Diodati 1649 and La Nuova Diodati 1991 - "all'unico Dio sapiente, il nostro Salvatore, sia gloria, grandezza dominio e potestà, da ora e per tutte le età. Amen.", the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Cipriano de Valera 1602, Reina Valera 1909- 1995 - "al único y sabio Dios, nuestro Salvador, sea gloria y majestad, imperio y poder, ahora y por todos los siglos. Amén.", the French Martin 1744 and Ostervald 1996 - "A Dieu, seul sage, notre Sauveur, soit gloire et magnificence, force, et empire dès maintenant et dans tous les siècles, Amen!"
John Gill - “To the only wise God our Saviour,.... BY WHOM IS MEANT, not the Trinity of Persons in general, nor the Father in particular; but THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, who is truly God, though not to the exclusion of the Father and Spirit; and is the wisdom of God, and the author of all wisdom, natural and spiritual; and is the only Saviour of his people.”
Joseph Benson’s Commentary - “From the appellation here used, OUR SAVIOR, IT IS ARGUED BY SOME THAT THIS DOXOLOGY IS ADDRESSED TO THE LORD JESUS, WHOSE PROPER TITLE IS OUR SAVIOR, AND WHO IS CALLED GOD IN OTHER PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE."
Adam Clarke Commentary - “To the only wise God - Who alone can teach, who alone has declared the truth; that truth in which ye now stand. Our Saviour - WHO BY HIS BLOOD WASHED US FROM OUR SINS, AND MADE US KINGS AND PRIESTS UNTO GOD THE FATHER.”
Thomas Coke Commentary - “To this God our Saviour, who, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, is infinitely, originally, essentially and communicatively the only wise God: to him, as well as to those other adorable Persons, be ascribed, as is equally due, all the glory of his divine nature and attributes as God, and of all his love and grace, designs, undertakings, and performances, as likewise all the grandeur of heavenly Majesty as GOD-MAN MEDIATOR, together with universal rule and government, might and authority, over all persons and things, in the kingdom of providence and of grace, now, henceforth, and for evermore. In this ascription of glory, may we and all the saints and angels join, as with one heart and voice! Amen." IT SEEMS TO ME, THAT THE DIVINE PERSON HERE MOST IMMEDIATELY INTENDED, IS OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, who is principally spoken of all along in the preceding context, and is often styled, by way of eminence, The Saviour, and God our Saviour, as in Ephesians 5:23, Philippians 3:20, Titus 2:13, 2 Peter 1:1; 2 Peter 1:21 and is here called the only wise God ,not to the exclusion of the Father and the Holy Spirit, but only of all idols.”
Matthew Poole’s Commentary - “To the only wise; only wise infinitely, and of himself. God our Saviour; either God, who is sometimes called by this title; OR RATHER CHRIST.”
So once again it is a pretty clear choice between the Bible text of the Reformation Bibles versus the Vatican Versions.
If Mr. White's "superior" manuscripts are the best we have, then we are in BIG trouble and God has failed to preserve His words. We are left with the vain hope that somehow our great present day scholars, like Mr. White, might get lucky and rescue God's words from the dumpster of history. James White's criticism of the KJB reading in Jude 4 is seen to be without basis. His assertion that the KJB is based on "inferior" texts and that the others are "superior" has been shown to be completely false.
Either God has been faithful to preserve His pure, perfect and inspired words in the King James Bible or they are lost forever. If God cannot preserve His words as He promised, then maybe He will also fail in preserving our souls. How can a Christian trust Him for the one and yet deny the other?
Summary of main differences between the KJB and the NKJV.
3. KJB - THE common salvation NKJV - OUR common salvation - different Greek text.
4. KJB - certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation
NKJV- men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation
6. KJB - angels kept not their first estate
NKJV- angels did not keep their proper domain
8 KJB - despise dominion and speak evil of dignities.
NKJV - reject authority and speak evil of dignitaries.
11 KJB - perished in the gainsaying of Core
NKJV - perished in the rebellion of Korah
12 KJB - feeding themselves without fear...trees whose fruit withereth
NKJV - serving only themselves... late autumn trees
16 KJB - their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.
NKJV - they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.
19 KJB - These be they who separate themselves, sensual
NKJV- These are sensual persons, who cause divisions - follows different Greek text again.
Return to Articles - http://brandplucked.webs.com/kjbarticles.htm
Notes from the Internet -
How a Bible Agnostic Thinks -
If you wish to see the utter confusion in the Critical text versions in the book of Jude, see The Book of Jude - James White and his "inferior" texts
I had posted: - "Hi James Snapp. I find it almost humorous to watch you go on and on about the added words "through Jesus Christ our Lord" in Jude 25. Let me ask you a simple question, James. Would YOU include those extra words in this personal translation you are working on and putting together? Yes or No? Thanks."
And James Snapp succinctly and clearly says "Yes"
Hi James. Interesting. This just reveals where you are coming from on the Bible version issue. You jump around among the various Greek texts and manuscripts as you go about putting together your "infallible Greek New Testament".
Sometimes you go with the so called "Majority Text" - BUT NOT THIS TIME. Then you may pick up a Textus Receptus reading you happen to fancy, and then on another occasion (like here) you decide (undoubtedly led by the Divine Hand of Providential Guidance) to go with the ever changing Vatican Critical Text.
Of course NO Bible in history has ever read like the not yet in print James Snapp Official Inerrant Greek New Testament nor will there ever be one like it again.
And no other "also ran but not called" Greekophile scholar will ever totally agree with Mr. Snapp's findings that he diligently obtained through his finely honed intellect and unparalleled spiritual discernment, but such minor considerations do not stop our undaunted hero Mr. Snapp from pursuing his calling.
So the world awaits the soon to be unveiled and long anticipated masterpiece Mr. Snapp has been laboring to bring forth to the world for wide distribution and the general improvement of all mankind - his very own "James Snapp's Official Inerrant Greek New Testament".
Golly, James. It gives me goosebumps just to think about it. Can I be one of the first to get an autographed copy?