Another King James Bible Believer


John Baptist - Matthew 14:8; Luke 7:20 Was Baptist his last name?

John Baptist

At our Facebook King James Bible Debate forum a man named Patrick posted the following alleged “error” in the King James Bible. He undoubtedly got this little gem from some other Bible agnostic who, like him, does not believe that ANY Bible in ANY language IS or ever was the complete and infallible words of God.

I have seen this alleged error repeated several times over the years, so I thought I would finally address it.  Here it is.

Patrick, the bible agnostic, posts: "Another obvious error in the KJV. Matthew 14:8 - And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger. Obviously Baptist wasn't John's last name so this should read JOHN THE BAPTIST. Since the Holy Spirit couldn't possibly make that error, it means one thing, translation error, thus once again, proving the KJV is a translation, but nothing more."

These nit-picking, self important Bible critics come up with ridiculous examples like this so that they can feel better about themselves and justify their own unbelief in the existence of an infallible Bible in any language on the earth today.

So, let’s take a closer look at this passage and the expression “John Baptist” to see if he has a valid point or if he is just another ignorant Bible corrector who himself does not believe in the Infallibility of any Bible on this earth.

Matthew 14:8 John Baptist. "Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger." 

Actually we also find the words "John Baptist" twice in the KJB and several others too. It is also found in Luke 7:20.  "JOHN BAPTIST hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or do we look for another?"

In Scripture we find both John Baptist, and John THE Baptist.  "Baptist" is not his last name, but is a title describing who he was and what his ministry was. This in fact is how we got many last names in English.  John Carpenter. John Mason, John Smith (black smith), John Baker, John Cook, etc.  

Likewise we find in Scriptures both "Jesus Christ", and "Jesus the Christ." - "Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was JESUS THE CHRIST."  Matthew 16:20.  

Christ is not the last name of Jesus, but a title of who He is.

Definite articles are not used the same way in Greek as they are in English. There is NO Bible translation out there I am aware of that always translates the Greek definite articles, nor should they always be translated.

Here's a quote from Dana and Mantey's "A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament", p. 150-151. "It is important to bear in mind that we cannot determine the English translation by the presence or absence of the article in Greek. Sometimes we should use the article in the English  translation when it is not used in the Greek, and sometimes the idiomatic force of the Greek article may best be rendered by an anarthrous noun in English."

The Definite Article in Greek

Does the KJV fail to translate the Greek article properly?

It is often alleged that the KJV erroneously translates the Greek definite article (ο, η, τό) as an English indefinite article (a, an).  An example is in Matthew 5:1: “he went up into a mountain.”  The Greek says, “ανεβη εις το ορος,” which has the definite article “το” preceding “mountain (ορος).”  The KJV is not in error.  The definite article in Greek can function as a categorical article having a qualitative force (Daniel Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics at 228), in which case the English indefinite article could be a valid translation.  As with Greek, the English definite article (the) can also be used to determine the category and nothing more.  For example, we might say “On sunny days, people go to the beach.”  Despite the definite article, no specific beach is implied.  Thus we are actually saying, “On sunny days, people go to a beach.”  “The beach” is a categorical determination, not a determination of a specific beach.  The definite article’s purpose is only to determine the specific category, and not to determine the specific thing in the category.  Likewise, when Matthew 5:1 says, “ανεβη εις το ορος,” “το” can be translated with the English indefinite article, signifying that the category of the location was a mountain as opposed to something else (e.g. town, beach).  The NIV, which attempts to convey the sense of the passage, agrees with the KJV and reads, “he went up on a mountainside.”

The Definite Article in Greek

This from KJV Today
Not even the Holy Ghost Himself, Who inspired the Scriptures, uses the definite articles in such a precise and consistent manner as our Bible critic assumes.  Many times in the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, when the same exact events are being related, sometimes the definite articles are used in the one but not in the other. 

For example - In Matthew 17:1 we read “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart.”

If we were to put the definite articles in this verse it would read: “Then after six days THE Jesus taketh THE Peter, and James and John and THE brother of him and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart.”

Yet in Mark the exact same even is recorded as: “After six days THE Jesus taketh THE Peter, THE James and (THE -Critical text) John and leadeth them up into an high mountain...”

But the same event in Luke 9:28 is recorded in the Greek texts as: “he took Peter and John and James and went up to THE mountain to pray.”

Not one of these three inspired recordings of the same event consistently uses the definite articles in the same places and hardly any Bible translation in any language even puts them into their translation.

There are many other examples of this type of thing, but one is found in Ephesians 3:11.  Here we read in every Bible translation I looked at (ASV, NASB, NKJV, NIV, ESV, Holman and even Young's) "According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Yet the "literal Greek" with the definite articles would be "...which he purposed in THE Christ Jesus THE Lord of us."

Here in Matthew 14:8 not only does the King James Bible simply say "John Baptist", and again in Luke 7:20, but so do the following English translations: Wycliffe's bible 1395, Tyndale 1534 - "IOHN BAPTISTE sent vs vnto ye sayinge: Arte thou he that shall come: or shall we wayte for another?", Coverdale 1535, Cranmer's Bible (the Great Bible) 1539, Matthew's Bible 1549 - "IHON BAPTISTE sent vs vnto the saying" the Bishop's Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 - "IOHN BAPTIST hath sent vs vnto thee, saying",  the Beza New Testament 1599, the King James Bible, the Bill Bible 1671, Mace's New Testament 1729, and Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795 - "JOHN BAPTIST hath sent us unto thee.", the Clarke N.T. 1795, The Revised Translation 1815, the Hussey N.T. 1845, The Revised New Testament 1862, The Clarke Bible 1913, The Word of Yah Bible 1993 - "JOHN BAPTIST",  the 1999 God's First Truth Yes Word - "JOHN BAPTIST sent us unto you saying", the Tomson New Testament 2002, the Bond Slave Version 2009, the Wycliffe New Testament 2010 by Terence Noble - "JOHN BAPTIST sent us to thee, and said [saying], Art thou he that is to come, or we abide another?", the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010 - “Give me here Yochanan Immerser's head in a charger.”

This is definitely NOT an error in the King James Bible and those who claim it is are themselves people who do not believe that ANY Bible in ANY language, including "the" Greek and Hebrew, is the complete, inspired and infallible words of God.

Many foreign language translations have done the same thing, translating this passage and others as “John Baptist”. 

Among these foreign language Bibles are the following: The NIV Portuguese bible 1999 La Nueva Versión Internacional - "JOAO BATISTA nos enviou para te perguntarmos : ‘És tu aquele que haveria de vir ou devemos esperar algum outro?’”. The French Martin of 1744, the French Ostervald 1996 and the French Louis Segond 1910 & 2007 editions - "JEAN-BAPTISTE nous a envoyés vers toi pour te demander",  The French La Bible du Semuer 1999 - "la tête de JEAN-BAPTISTE",  The Icelandic Bible -á fati höfu? Jóhannesar skírara.", the Italian Diodati of 1649, the Italian Rivudeta of 1927 and the Italian Diodati of 1991 - “la testa di GIOVANNI BATTIST”., the Portuguese O Livro of 2000  and the Portuguese Easy to Read Version of 1999 - “a cabeça de JOAO BAPTISTA numa bandeja!´”, the Romanian Fidela Bible 2014 "IOAN BAPTIST" = John Baptist.”,  The 2006 Romanian Nouă Traducere În Limba Română - “IOAN BOTEZATORUL ne-a trimis la Tine să Te întrebăm: “Tu eşti Cel Care urma să vină sau trebuie să aşteptăm pe altul?” the Albanian Bible - “kokën e Gjon Pagëzorit'', the Indonesian Bible Terjemahan Lama - “kepala Yahya Pembaptis“,  the Basque bible Navarro-Labourdin - “hemen platen IOANNES BAPTISTAREN buruä. “, the Latvian New Testament -”Jāņa Kristītāja” and the Lithuanian New Testament - “Jono Krikštytojo ”, the Croation Bible - “glavu Ivana Krstitelja.”, the Maori Bible - “Hoani Kaiiriiri.”, the Polish Bible Gdanska - “Jana Chrzciciela.”,  the Finnish Bibles of 1776 and 1938 - “Johannes Kastajan” , the Russian New Testament Victor Zhuromsky-"Иоанна Крестителя", the Maori N.T. - "Hoani Kaiiriiri", the Swahili N.T. - "Yohane Mbatizaji", the Tagalog Ang Dating Biblia 1905 - "Juan Bautista", and the Vietnamese Bible 1934 - “Giăng Báp-tít “.

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

All of grace, believing the Book,

Will Kinney

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