John 10:16 KJB - "And other sheep I have, which are not of this FOLD; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be ONE FOLD, and one shepherd.
ESV, NASB, NKJV, NIV, Jehovah Witness NWT, Catholic St. Joseph NAB - "And other sheep I have which are not of this FOLD; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be ONE FLOCK and one shepherd." (NKJV 1982)
In John 10 the Lord Jesus speaks of Himself as the good shepherd who gives His life for the sheep. In verse 16 of the King James Bible we read: "And other sheep I have, which are not of this FOLD (αυλης )them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one FOLD (ποιμνη), and one shepherd."
Many Bible correctors have criticized the King James Bible in this verse for translating two different Greek words as "fold", instead of reading like the NKJV, ESV, NASB which say: "other sheep I have which are not of this FOLD...and there shall be ONE FLOCK and one shepherd."
The NIV says: "I have other sheep that are not of this SHEEP PEN. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one FLOCK and one shepherd."
Rick Norris, in his book The Unbound Scriptures, criticizes the King James Bible's translation saying: "In the KJV, two different Greek words are translated "fold" in John 10:16 which removes the distinction between them. Mr. Norris then quotes several noted scholars who agree with him. Mr. Norris says Lightfoot observed that the point of our Lord's teaching depends mainly on the distinction between the many folds and the one flock.
Then Mr. Norris tries to somehow tie the KJB reading into a Catholic doctrine by quoting A.T. Roberson who said the Latin Vulgate's use of one Latin word for these two Greek words confused the distinction and "helped Roman Catholic assumptions" (Word Pictures, V, page 181).
He then quotes another "expert", Marvin Vincent, who says: "It will readily be seen that the incorrect rendering fostered by the carelessness or the mistake of some of the Western fathers, and by the Vulgate, which renders both words by ovile, fold, has been in the interest of Romish claims." (Word Studies, ll, p. 194).
Well, this might seem at first glance like an impressive attack on our beloved King James Bible, but let's look a little closer to see if there is any merit to this criticism. The first thing you need to keep firmly in mind whenever you run into an attack or a criticism of the King James Bible, either in its text or translation, is that not one of these Bible critics actually believes that ANY Bible (66 books in a single volume) in any language IS or ever WAS the complete, inspired and inerrant words of the living God. Not one of them.
They will never tell you where you can find a real, in print, complete and inerrant Bible you can read and believe every word is absolute truth. They are, each and every one of them, Bible Rummagers who have placed their own mind and personal preferences as their "final authority" (subject to change at any moment), and they have NO inerrant Bible to either believe in themselves or to give to anybody else. Don't believe it? Just ask them to show you a copy of this complete and inerrant Bible they seem to want you to think they actually believe in.
I have had many dealings with Rick Norris over the years. I have read his silly book, and have written a rather lengthy response to the main points he brings up. If interested, you can see it at my site here -
Now, let's look at John 10:16 in more detail. If the Catholic church were trying to gain ground by supposedly confusing these two words as one FOLD, their bible versions do not reflect this. I have three modern Catholic bible versions in my study - the 1968 Jerusalem Bible, the 1970 St. Joseph New American Bible and the 1985 New Jerusalem bible.
All three read just like the NKJV, ESV, NASB saying: "Other sheep I have which are not of this FOLD...and these will be only one FLOCK." They make the same alleged distinctions that are found in the modern English versions like the NKJV, NASB, ESV, NIV, RSV, rather than that of the old King James Bible.
Secondly, it is well known that a single word in any language can have multiple meanings. The same word translated as "fold" (aules - αυλης)) in the first part of verse 16 in the KJB and in the NKJV, NASB, ESV and in the NIV as "sheep pen", is also rendered in the NASB, NKJV, NIV not only as "fold" but also in a wide variety of other ways.
The NASB renders this same word in other parts of the New Testament as: "court, courtyard, fold, homestead, and palace". The NIV has also translated this same word as: "courtyard, palace, court, house, pen, and sheep pen." The NKJV likewise shows this same variety of translation for this single word.
Why is it OK for the NKJV, NIV, NASB to have several completely different meanings for one word (aules - αυλης)), but not OK for the KJB to have two synonymous meanings for one word (poimeen - ποιμνη)? All these modern versions will frequently translate 2, 3 or even 4 completely different Greek or Hebrew words as "love" or "rule" or "obey" or even "God" or a hundred other examples. So, is the King James Bible automatically wrong for doing the same thing these modern translations themselves do in a hundred other places? I trow not.
Thirdly, and most importantly, a "fold" and a "flock" BOTH can mean simply a flock of sheep. If there is one FOLD, then there is only one FLOCK. It means the same thing! I utterly fail to see how the King James Bible's rendering of both Greek words as "fold" in any way contributes to Catholic doctrine anymore than the NKJV, NASB, NIV, ESV renderings would.
Merriam-Webster's modern English dictionary defines the word "fold" in this manner.
fold - Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English falod; akin to Old Saxon faled enclosure
1 : an enclosure for sheep. 2 a : A FLOCK OF SHEEP b : a group of people or institutions that share a common faith, belief, activity, or enthusiasm.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.
1. A fenced enclosure for domestic animals, especially sheep. 2. A FLOCK OF SHEEP.
Collins English Dictionary - Fold - Noun. 1. a small enclosure or pen for sheep or other livestock. 2. the sheep gathered in such an enclosure. 3. A FLOCK OF SHEEP.
Wordsmyth English Dictionary - Fold - synonyms "drove, FLOCK, herd."
Dictionary.Com - fold - Noun. 1. an enclosure for sheep. 2. the sheep kept within it. 3. A FLOCK of sheep.
The obvious conclusion is that a "fold" is a "flock" of sheep! Hellooooo? Is anybody home?
Fourthly, there are several other Bible versions that translate these same two words in the identical way as does the King James Bible.
The early Anglo-Saxon Gospels of 1000 A.D. and 1200 A.D. (English comes from the Anglo-Saxon language) both have the same word for both - "heorde".
The King James Bible translators were obviously aware of other previous English translations that had both "fold" and then "flock" in this verse because this is what Tyndale, Coverdale and Matthew's bible translations said. This means they made a conscious and deliberate choice to translate both words as "FOLD".
Also agreeing with the KJB reading and translating both words as "fold" are Wycliffe 1395, the Great Bible 1540, "other shepe I haue, which are not of thys FOLD. Them also must I bring, and they shall heare my voyce, and there shal be one FOLD and one shepherd.", the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible "fold" "sheepfold", Mace's N.T. 1729, Whiston's Primitive N.T. 1745, Worsley Version 1770, Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, Webster's 1833 translation, The Boothroyd Bible 1853, The Godbey N.T. 1902, the New Testament translated from the Sinaitic Manuscript 1918 by Henry Anderson, Godbey's N.T. 1902, the Douay 1950, the KJV 21st Century version 1994, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, the English Jubilee Bible 2010, the Aramaic Bible in Plain English - "But I hav other sheep which were not from this FOLD; I must bring them. They also will hear my voice, and the entire FOLD shall be one, and One Shepherd.", and The Work of God's Children's Bible 2011.
And The Hebrew Transliteration Bible 2010 - "And other sheep I have, which are not of this FOLD; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one FOLD, and one shepherd."
The Geneva bible makes no distinction either but renders it: "Other sheepe I haue also, which are not of this FOLDE: them also must I bring, and they shall heare my voyce: and there shalbe one sheepeFOLDE, and one shepheard."
The Tomson New Testament 2002 reads like the Geneva Bible with "which are not of this FOLD"..."and there shall be one SHEEPFOLD, and one Shepherd."
The 2006 Easy to Read version, The New Century Version 2005, The Resurrection Life N.T. 2005, The Voice 2012, International Children's bible 2015 and The Passion Translation 2017 all go the other way and translate both words as "flock". "I have other sheep too. They are not in this FLOCK here. I must lead them also. They will listen to my voice. In the future there will be one FLOCK and one shepherd."
The Conservative Bible 2010 has: "I have other sheep who are not from this SHEEP YARD. I must also lead them, they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one SHEEP YARD and one shepherd."
Fifthly, there have been many commentators who found no problem at all with the King James rendering of both words as "fold", and they proceeded to expound the Scriptures as they stand in the KJB.
John Gill comments: "which are not of this fold, of the Jewish nation and church, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise; were as sheep going astray, and were scattered about in the several parts of the world; and were to be redeemed out of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation: and there shall be one FOLD, and one shepherd consisting both of Jews and Gentiles; the middle wall of partition being broke down, these two coalesce in one, become one new man, and members of one and the same body; for though there may be several visible Gospel churches, yet there is but one general assembly and church of the firstborn, one family to which they all belong; for what reasons a church is comparable to a FOLD. And over this FOLD, or flock, there is but one shepherd, Jesus Christ."
Matthew Henry likewise comments: " There shall be one FOLD and one shepherd. As there is one shepherd, so there shall be one FOLD. Both Jews and Gentiles, upon their turning to the faith of Christ, shall be incorporated in one church, be joint and equal sharers in the privileges of it, without distinction. Being united to Christ, they shall unite in him; One shepherd makes one FOLD; one Christ makes one church."
Criticisms like this one about "fold" or "flock" that some scholars make against the King James Bible only reveals how desperate they are to find what they consider to be just one tiny mistake in our Holy Bible. Then they can open the floodgates to allow the multitude of conflicting versions to come in to replace it with something new and different.
One would think that of far greater concern is the reliability of the two "oldest and best" manuscripts (Sinaiticus and Vaticanus) upon which most modern versions, which are in fact the Vatican Versions, are based.
See Undeniable Proof the ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman Standard, NET etc. are the new "Vatican Versions" - http://brandplucked.webs.com/realcatholicbibles.htm
In closing, let's examine just SOME of the textual differences between Sinaiticus and Vaticanus in this one chapter of John 10.
In John 10:4 we read: "And when he putteth forth his SHEEP..."
Instead of "his sheep" Vaticanus reads "ALL HIS OWN" (NASB, NIV, ESV, omitting "sheep"), while Sinaiticus simply reads "his own", omitting both ALL and SHEEP.
10:7 "Then Jesus said UNTO THEM AGAIN, Verily, verily, I am the door of the sheep." Here Sinaiticus omits AGAIN but has "UNTO THEM", while Vaticanus omits UNTO THEM, but has AGAIN.
10:8 "All that ever came BEFORE ME (pro emou)are thieves and robbers." Here Sinaiticus omits "before me" but it is found in Vaticanus.
10:10 "I am come that they may have life." Here Sinaiticus adds ETERNAL life, but no version follows it here.
10:12-13 "and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth THE SHEEP. THE HIRELING FLEETH because he is an hireling." Here both Sinaiticus and Vaticanus omit all the capitalized words, and so do the NASB, NIV, ESV replacing them with made up words like "they" or "he".
10:16 "and THERE SHALL BE one fold, and one shepherd." "There shall be" is the singular geneesEtai, and this used to be the Nestle text reading as well as the Majority, P66, A, and Sinaiticus original. It is still the reading of the NIV, ESV. However, the Nestle text has once again changed and now the verb is plural geneesONtai, following Vaticanus, and the NASB says: "and THEY SHALL BE one flock, and one shepherd."
10:18 "No man TAKETH IT from me, but I lay it down of myself." So read the majority of texts, P66, A, D, Sinaiticus correction and the newer Nestle text. This is also the reading of the NIV, ESV. The older Nestle texts used to follow Vaticanus and the NASB still does which has the absurd reading of "no man TOOK IT from me, but I lay it down of myself."
10:26 "But ye believe not, because ye are not my sheep, AS I SAID UNTO YOU." The words "as I said unto you" refer back to John 8:39-47, and are found in the Majority of all texts, A, D, and P66. But Sinaiticus and Vaticanus omit these words and so do the NASB, NIV, ESV.
10:29 "My Father, WHICH GAVE THEM ME, is greater than all." These words are missing from Sinaiticus, but found in Vaticanus.
10:38 "that ye may know AND BELIEVE, that the Father is in me, and I in him." Here the majority, A, and Sinaiticus read "that ye may know and BELIEVE", but Vaticanus says "thay you may know AND KNOW, that the Father is in me" and the NASB, NIV, ESV have followed Vaticanus rendering it as "that you may know and UNDERSTAND that the Father is in me..."
These are just A FEW of the textual differences in this chapter alone between "the oldest and best manuscripts" that form the ever changing and conflicting texts of the modern bible versions - and the Bible critics are more concerned about the KJB translating the word in 10:16 as "fold" rather than "flock", when any good English dictionary will clearly tell us that both words mean exactly the same thing! Go figure.
All of grace, believing the Book - the Authorized King James Holy Bible. Accept no inferior substitutes.
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Additional Notes - Who are the "other sheep" Jesus refers to that He has?
There are several different views of what Jesus is referring to when He says: "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."
I and many others believe the "other sheep" refers to God's elect people among the Gentile nations who are His sheep and whom He must bring into the one fold of God.
Adam Clarke - "Other sheep I have - The Gentiles and Samaritans. As if our Lord had said, Do not imagine that I shall lay down my life for the Jews, exclusively of all other people; no: I shall die also for the Gentiles; for by the grace, the merciful design and loving purpose of God, I am to taste death for every man, Hebrews 2:9; and, though they are not of this fold now, those among them that believe shall be united with the believing Jews, and made one fold under one shepherd, Ephesians 2:13-17.
Matthew Henry Commentary on the Bible - "Other sheep I have, have a right to and an interest in, which are not of this fold, of the Jewish church them also I must bring. The eye that Christ had to the poor Gentiles. He had sometimes intimated his special concern for the lost sheep of the house of Israel to them indeed his personal ministry was confined but, saith he, I have other sheep. Those who in process of time should believe in Christ, and be brought into obedience to him from among the Gentiles, are here called sheep, and he is said to have them, though as yet they were uncalled, and many of them unborn, because they were chosen of God, and given to Christ in the counsels of divine love from eternity."
John Wesley - "I have also other sheep - Which he foreknew; which are not of this fold - Not of the Jewish Church or nation, but Gentiles. I must bring them likewise - Into my Church, the general assembly of those whose names are written in heaven."
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commenary on the whole Bible- "Other sheep I have...not of this fold: them also I must bring - He means the perishing Gentiles, already His “sheep” in the love of His heart and the purpose of His grace to “bring them” in due time."
John Calvin on John 10:16 - "And I have other sheep. Though some refer this indiscriminately to all, both Jews and Gentiles, who were not yet disciples of Christ, yet I have no doubt that he had in his eye the calling of the Gentiles...Them also I must bring. He means that the election of God will be secure, so that nothing of all that he wishes to be saved shall perish."
John Darby - "Thus He laid down His life for the sheep; and He had other sheep who were not of this fold, and His death intervened for the salvation of these poor Gentiles. He would call them. Doubtless He had given His life for the Jews also-for all the sheep in general, as such (John 10:11). But He does not speak distinctly of the Gentiles until after He has spoken of His death. He would bring them also"
John Gill - "And other sheep I have ... Not distinct from those for whom he laid down his life, but from those who were under the Old Testament dispensation... others besides the lost sheep of the house of Israel, or the elect among the Jews, to whom Christ was sent; and by whom are meant the chosen of God among the Gentiles, who were sheep, though not called and folded"
David Guzik's commentary -"Other sheep I have which are not of this fold: These “other sheep” are Gentile believers, not of the fold of Israel."
Matthew Poole's Annotations on the Bible - "And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; our Saviour meaneth the Gentiles, who belonged not to the Jewish state and church, so were not under the same laws and government; for, 1 John 2:2, he was not only a propitiation for the sins of the Jews, but for the sins of the whole world: he calleth those sheep, because the Lord knew who were his from eternity; and they were sheep in the counsels of God"
John Trapp Commentary (English Puritan) - And other sheep I have] viz. The elect Gentiles, whose conversion to Christ was, among other types, not obscurely foreshadowed…There shall be one fold] Of Jews and Gentiles.