Another King James Bible Believer


"Science" of Textual Criticism book of Romans


Wilbur Pickering, ThM. PhD. writes in his book The Identity of the New Testament Text, 2014 - 

"Bruce Metzger said, "It is understandable that in some cases different scholars will come to different evaluations of the significance of the evidence".4 A cursory review of the writings of textual scholars suggests that Metzger's "in some cases" is decidedly an understatement. In fact, even the same scholars will vacillate, as demonstrated by the "MORE THAN FIVE HUNDRED CHANGES" introduced into the third edition of the Greek text produced by the United Bible Societies as compared with the second edition (the same committee of five editors prepared both).

K. Aland, M. Black, C.M. Martini, B.M. Metzger, and A. Wikgren, eds., The Greek New Testament, third edition (New York: United Bible Societies, 1975), p. viii. Although this edition is dated 1975, Metzger's Commentary upon it appeared in 1971. The second edition is dated 1968. IT THUS APPEARS THAT IN THE SPACE OF THREE YEARS ('68-'71), WITH NO SIGNIFICANT ACCRETION OF NEW EVIDENCE, THE SAME GROUP OF FIVE SCHOLARS CHANGED THEIR MIND IN OVER 500 PLACES. IT IS HARD TO RESIST THE SUSPICION THAT THEY WERE GUESSING."


Romans 1:16 KJB - “ For I am not ashamed of the gospel OF CHRIST: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

ESV (NIV, NASB, NET, Catholic Versions, Jehovah Witness NWT) - “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

The reading of “the gospel OF CHRIST” -  το ευαγγελιον του χριστου - is that of the Reformation Bibles in all languages, and the Majority of all manuscripts including the uncial copies of K, L, P, Psi and D correction.  It is also found in Lamsa’s 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta.  

“The gospel OF CHRIST” is the reading found in the Greek texts of Erasmus, Stephanus 1550, Beza 1598, Elzevir 1624 , Scrivener 1894 and the Modern Greek Bible - Διοτι δεν αισχυνομαι το ευαγγελιον του Χριστου

And the Modern Hebrew Bible - כי אינני בוש מבשורת המשיח באשר גבורת אלהים היא לתשועת כל המאמין ליהודי בראשונה וכן גם ליוני׃ = “gospel of the Messiah”

The omission of the words “OF CHRIST” is that of the Egyptian manuscripts of Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, A and C.

Bibles that read like the King James Bible - “For I am not ashamed of the gospel OF CHRIST” are  Tyndale 1534, Coverdale 1535, The Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Beza N.T. 1599, Wesley’s N.T. 1755, Worsley Version 1770,  Haweis N.T. 1795, the Thomson Bible 1808, Webster’s Bible 1833, The Commonly Received Version 1851, Julia Smith Translation 1855, Calvin Bible 1856, the Smith Bible 1876, Young’s 1898, the Clarke N.T. 1913,  the Living Bible 1971, the NKJV 1982, the Amplified bible 1987 edition, The Word of Yah 1993, Third Millennium Bible 1998, the Lawrie Translation 1998, The Koster Scriptures 1998 - “the good news of the Messiah”, The Last Days N.T. 1999, The World English Bible 2000, the Tomson N.T. 2002, The Complete Apostle’s Bible 2003,  The Pickering N.T. 2005, The Resurrection Life N.T. 2005 (Vince Garcia), Green’s literal 2005, Bond Slave Version 2009,  the Online Interlinear 2010 (André de Mol), the Jubilee Bible 2010, the Conservative Bible 2011, the Far Above All Translation 2011, The Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2011 - “I am not ashamed of the good news of Mashiach”, The Hebraic Roots Bible 2012, The New Living Translation 2013, The English Majority Text Version 2013, The Translators Translation 2014, The Hebrew Names Version 2014, The Modern Literal N.T. 2014 and the Modern English Version 2014.

Foreign Language Bibles

Foreign language Bibles that also read “the gospel OF CHRIST”  are Luther’s German Bible 1545 and the German Schlachter Bible 2000 - “des Evangeliums von Christo”, the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Cipriano de Valera 1602 and the Reina Valera 1995, the French Martin Bible 1744, Ostervald 1998 and the French Louis Segond 2007, the Italian Diodati 1649, La Nuova Diodati 1991 and Italian Riveduta 2006 - “non mi vergogno dell'evangelo di Cristo”, the Portuguese O Livro 2000 and Portuguese Almeida Corrigida 2009,  the Hungarian Karoli Bible - “a Krisztus evangyéliomát”, the Norwegian En Levende Bok 1988 - “evangeliet om Kristus”, the Polish Updated Gdansk Bible 2013 - “ewangelii Chrystusa”, the Romanian Fidela Bible 2014, the Russian Synodal Bible - “благовествования Христова”, the Tagalog Ang Salita ng Diyos Bible 1998 - “ebanghelyo patungkol kay Cristo, the Czech Kralicka Bible - “evangelium Kristovo”, the Danish Bible - “Christi Evangelium”, the Finnish Bible 1776 - “Kristuksen evankeliumia”, the Smith & van Dyke Arabic bible - “لاني لست استحي بانجيل المسيح لانه قوة الله للخلاص لكل من يؤمن لليهودي اولاثم لليوناني.”, Verne’s Contemporary Bulgarian Bible - “благовестието Христово”, the Afrikaans Bible 1953 - “evangelie van Christus”, the Dutch Staten Vertaling Bible - “Evangelies van Christus “.

So, you have your choice - either the Reformation Bible text or the Vatican Versions

Undeniable Proof the ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman Standard, NET etc. are  the new "Vatican Versions"  


Romans 5:1-2 "...we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access BY FAITH into this grace wherein we stand..."

"By faith" is found in the Majority of all texts as well as Sinaiticus, C, most Old Latin copies, the Vulgate, Syriac Peshitta, Harkelian, Palestinian, Coptic Boharic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Georgian and Slavonic ancient versions. It is also in the RV, ASV, NASB, NIV, and ESV.

However Vaticanus omits "by faith" and so do the RSV and the NRSV. So the revision and the revision of the revision omit the words "by faith", but then the revision of these (ESV) now has put it back in! Westcott and Hort put the words in brackets, but later in the 4th edition of the Nestle text they took away the brackets. But now in the 27th edition of the Nestle text they have once again put the brackets around the words, thus indicating doubt as to their authenticity.

Romans 5:12 "all have sinned" or "all sinned"?

When asked to give me his Number One example of proven error in the KJB a certain Bible agnostic posts:

Will Kinney yes, rom 5:12 where it is translated all have sinned, should read all sinned."

My Response - 

Seriously, Bruce? Is this the best example you have?

Romans 5:12 KJB - Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Also reading "all have sinned" are the Christian Standard Bible 2017, Common English Bible 2012, Beza N.T. 1599, Haweis N.T. 1795, the Bishops' bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, Darby 1890, the New Life Version 2003, the NRSV 1989, Modern Literal Version, An Understandable Bible, Bible in Basic English 1961, Worsley N.T., the Resurrection Life N.T. 2005 and the Tomson N.T. 2002.

All you have here is your own opinion, and that is coming from a guy who doesn't believe that ANY Bible in any language you can show us is the inerrant words of God.

Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH, BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT."

These last 10 words are found in the Majority of all remaining Greek manuscripts, several uncials (capital letter Greek mss.) like D correction, K, L, P, Sinaiticus correction and some Old Latin copies (ar, e, o)  which predates anything we have in Greek.

They are also found in the Syriac Harkelian, Georgian, and Slavonic ancient versions. It is also the reading of Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, The Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Beza N.T. 1599, Young's 1898, the NKJV 1982, Amplified and the Hebrew Names Version 2014, The Modern English Version 2014.

Codex Alexandrinus includes "who walk not after the flesh", but it omits "but after the Spirit", and so reads the Catholic Douay version 1950. However, later Catholic versions have removed these words and now match versions like the NASB, RSV, NIV.

Vaticanus, C, and the uncorrected Sinaiticus omit all of these words and so do the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, Holman, and Jehovah Witness versions.


For a much more complete study on any verse in Romans, See Textual Criticism in the Book of Romans.


Romans 8:2 "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made ME free from the law of sin and death."

"made ME free" is the reading of the Majority, A, C, D and is found in Tyndale, Coverdale, Bishops, Geneva, the Revised Version 1881, ASV 1901, NIV 1984, NKJV 1982 , RSV 1952, Douay 1950, and the brand new ISV. However Vaticanus and Sinaiticus read: "made YOU free" and so do the NASB and the NRSV, ESV, Holman Standard, and the 2005 TNIV. 

Notice that the NASB is a revision of the American Standard Version, yet they do not agree with each other nor with the NIV. The TNIV now disagrees with the previous NIV, so I guess the Old NIV is now out of date. 

The NRSV, ESV are revisions of the RSV, and they don't agree with each other. The two latest evangelical Bible of the Month Club versions have now come out, and the 2003 Holman reads one way, with the new International Standard Version reading the other way. 

No new evidence was uncovered during this time; the scholars just change their minds every few years to keep you on your toes. Alter a few words and out comes a new ver$ion with the late$t in $cholar$hip.

Romans 8:26 "but the Spirit itself maketh intercession FOR US with groanings which cannot be uttered."

Again, FOR US is the reading of the Majority, C and Sinaiticus correction. Vaticanus, A and Westcott - Hort omit these words. The NIV includes them but the NASB, ASV have them in italics, as though they were added to the text. The NRSV 1989 completely omitted the words "for us", but they were included in the previous RSV, and are now found once again in the 2001 ESV and the Holman Standard.

Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love GOD, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

This is the reading of the Majority of Greek texts, C, D and Sinaiticus. It is also the reading of the RV, ASV, NRSV, NKJV, Holman Standard 2003, and the ESV 2016.  Also reading this way with GOD mentioned only once in the verse are Tyndale 1524, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568 and the Geneva Bible 1587.

However the "scholars" who "scientifically" put together the Nestles 26th edition of the Greek Critical text, follow the reading of Vaticanus and A by adding the word "God" a second time in this verse. 

The Vatican manuscript, A and P 45 all say: "we know that for those who love GOD, all things works out GOD for good to according to purpose are called."

In fact, the Nestle-Aland, Westcott-Hort, UBS critical texts have changed FOUR different times. When WH first came out they included the extra word [God] in italics. Later the 1934 4th edition Nestle text omitted the word. Then later on the Nestles once again put it back in, and then finally the Nestles 27th edition took it back out again!


Accordingly the NASB and the Jehovah Witness versions read: "And we know that GOD causes all things to work together for good to those who love GOD", while the NIV, TNIV and RSV have: "And we know that in all things GOD works for the good of those who love HIM." There is no text that reads as does the NIV, TNIV.

The NASB reads like the Jehovah Witness New World Translation, and the NIV reads like the Catholic St. Joseph NAB and the New Jerusalem bible.

What is of interest here is that the newest Nestle-Aland 27th and 28th editions and the UBS 4th edition have gone back to the reading of the Majority and the one the King James Bible had all along. In other words, if you have a NASB or the NIV, they are no longer "up to date".


Again, no new evidence has been uncovered in some cave somewhere, but the "scholars" have once again changed their minds. Nothing is settled; everything is constantly evolving. They have revised their Greek texts in scores if not hundreds of places on the average of once every three and one half years for the past 120 years and will continue to do so.

Romans 8:34 "Who is he that condemneth? It is CHRIST that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."

"It is CHRIST that died" is the reading of the Majority, D and Vaticanus. However Sinaiticus, A and C add the word JESUS, so that the NASB, NIV, ESV, RSV read: "it is CHRIST JESUS that died." Notice that in this verse Sinaiticus differs from Vaticanus, yet the new versions seem to side with A and C and this pushes them over to that reading.


However in this same verse both A and C and Sinaiticus correction all add the words "FROM THE DEAD" (ek nekroon) after "it is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again (from the dead). Yet the NASB, NIV and ESV do not follow the very manuscripts they adopted in the first part of this verse for the reading which adds JESUS. The J.W. version and the RSV both do follow Sinaiticus correction, A and C and read: "Christ JESUS that is raised again FROM THE DEAD." If all this seems confusing, that's because it is.

Romans 8:35 "Who shall separate us from the love of CHRIST?"

CHRIST again is the reading of the Majority of all Greek manuscripts and C and D. The NASB, NIV and ESV this time follow the KJB reading, but it should be noted that of the "oldest and best" that are used to omit literally thousands of words from the New Testament of the King James Bible, Sinaiticus reads "love of GOD" instead of "love of Christ", and Vaticanus has "love of GOD which is in CHRIST JESUS", and the NASB footnote informs us that "some ancient manuscripts read GOD".

Romans 14:10-12 - "the judgment seat of CHRIST" = Jesus Christ is GOD! 


In the King James Bible and in the Traditional Greek texts of the Reformation Bibles we read: "But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of CHRIST, For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to GOD. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to GOD." (Caps are mine) 


These verses clearly teach that the Lord Jesus Christ is God Himself. We will stand before the judgement seat of Christ = shall give account of himself to God. We also read of the judgment seat of Christ in 2 Corinthians 5:10, and John 5:22-23 tell us "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father." 


Here in Romans 14:10-12 we have a clear testimony to the deity of Christ, who is both the Son of man and God.


The reading of "the judgment seat of CHRIST" is that of the Majority of all remaining Greek texts, including Sinaiticus correction, C correction, L, P, Psi, the Greek Lectionaries, the Old Latin dem, gue, r1, the Syriac Peshitta, Harkelian, the Gothic, Armenian and Ethiopic ancient versions and is so quoted by many early church witnesses as Marcion, Polycarp, Tertullian, Origen, Ambrosister, Didymus, Chrysostom, Theodore, Cyril, Theodoret, Gennadius and Antiochus.




However many modern critical text Vatican Versions like the ESV, NIV, NASB, ISV, NET, Holman, RSV, Common English Bible and most modern Catholic bible versions have a different reading here. They do not say judgment seat of CHRIST and then equate Christ with God, but they say "we will all stand before the judgment seat of then each of us will give an account of himself to God."  ESV 2001. 


Gone is any parallelism showing that Christ Himself IS God. This different reading comes from the usual suspects, namely the Vatican manuscript. Sinaiticus original also read "God" but another scribe corrected it to read Christ and the same with codex C.


However Vaticanus almost alone also omits the words "of God" in verse 12 - "give account of himself TO GOD." The words "to God" ARE found in Sinaiticus, and the textual 'scholars' decided here not to follow the Vatican mss. and so they included the word God in verse 12. The "science" of textual criticism is a marvel to behold, isn't it?


The Catholic Connection


What is also of interest are the various Catholic bible versions which, like today's ever changing Evangelical/Vatican versions, continue to change from one bible to the next.  The older Catholic Douay-Rheims bible of 1582 read like the KJB and followed the traditional Greek texts.  Is says: "For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of CHRIST. [11] For it is written: As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. [12] Therefore every one of us shall render account to God for himself." 


BUT then in the 1950 Douay, again in the 1968 Jerusalem bible, the 1970 St. Joseph New American bible and again in the 1985 New Jerusalem bible they all read like the RSV, ESV, NIV, NASB, ISV, NET and say "we must all stand before the judgment seat of GOD" (not Christ). 


Oh, but wait!  Now the latest Catholic bible version to come down the pike is the 2009 The Sacred Bible Catholic Public Domain Version. It can be seen here -


It has now gone back to using the Traditional Greek text and reads: {14:10} "So then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of CHRIST. {14:11} For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” {14:12} And so, each one of us shall offer an explanation of himself to God." 


Agreeing with the reading whereby we can witness to the full deity of the Lord Jesus Christ as being the very GOD before whom we will stand in judgment are the following Bible translations: Wycliffe 1395 - "for alle we schulen stonde bifore the trone of Crist.", Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, The Beza N.T. 1599, Mace N.T. 1729, Wesley's translation 1755, Worsley Version 1770, Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, the Living Oracles 1835, Murdock's translation of the Syriac 1852 - "the judgment seat of MESSIAH", Calvin's Version 1856, Youngs 1898, J. B. Phillips 1962, Hebrew Names Version, Lamsa's 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta - "for we must all stand before the judgment seat of CHRIST.", the NKJV 1982, Third Millennium Bible of 1998, the Lawrie Translation 1998,  and Green's literal of 2005.  


Also reading in Romans 14:10 - "the judgment seat of CHRIST" are The Word of Yah Bible 1993, The Interlinear Greek N.T. 1997 (Larry Pierce), The Koster Scriptures 1998 -"the judgment seat of MESSIAH.", God's First Truth 1999, The Last Days Bible 1999, The Tomson N.T. 2002, The Apostolic Polyglot Bible 2003, The Resurrection Life N.T. 2005, The Pickering N.T. 2005, the Bond Slave Version 2009, English Majority Text Version 2009, the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010 - "the judgment seat of MESSIAH", The Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010,  the Online Interlinear 2010 (André de Mol), the Conservative Bible 2011, The Work of God's Children Bible 2011, The World English Bible 2012, The Far Above All Translation 2014, The Modern Literal N.T. 2014 and the Modern English Version 2014.


Foreign Language Bibles


Among foreign language Bibles that have the correct reading of "judgment seat of CHRIST" are the Afrikaans Bible 1953, the Arabic Smith & Van Dyke Bible, the Albanian Bible, the Basque Navarro-Labourdin N.T., the Romainian Cornilescu Bible, Dutch Staten Vertaling, the French Martin 1744, French Ostervald 1996 and the Frence Louis Segond 21 of 2007 - "nous comparaîtrons tous devant le tribunal DE CHRIST.", Luther's German bible 1545 and the 2000 Schlachter Bible - "Richterstuhl CHRIST", the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras of 1569, the Reina Valeras of 1909, 1960, 1995 and 2011 - "Porque todos estaremos delante del tribunal del CRISTO.", the Russian Synodal Version and the Victor Zhuromsky N.T. - "Все мы предстанем на суд Христов.", the Czeck BKR bible, the Polish Biblia Gdanska, the Hungarian Karoli - "KRISZTUS", the Italian Diodati of 1649 and the Nuova Diodati of 1991 -"Poiché tutti dobbiamo comparire davanti al tribunale di CRISTO.", the Portuguese A Biblia Sagrada em Portugues, and the Almeida Corrigida E Fiel 2009 - "Pois todos havemos de comparecer ante o tribunal de CRISTO.",The Polish Updated Gdansk Bible 2013 - Wszyscy bowiem staniemy przed trybunałem CHRYSTUSA.”, The Romanian Fidela Bible 2014, and Cornilescu Revised 2014 - "de judecată al lui HRISTOS.", the Tagalog Ang Salita ng Diyos 1998 - “sa harapan ng upuan ng paghatol ni CRISTO.” and the Smith and Van Dyke Arabic Bible - واما انت فلماذا تدين اخاك. او انت ايضا لماذا تزدري باخيك. لاننا جميعا سوف نقف امام كرسي المسيح. = "the judgment  seat of CHRIST."


And the Modern Greek New Testament and of course the Traditional Greek New Testament used by the Greek Orthodox churches all over the world today - "πάντες γὰρ παραστησόμεθα τῷ βήματι τοῦ Χριστοῦ"



John Gill on Romans 14:10 - the judgment seat of Christ - CHRIST will be the Judge, he is so appointed by his Father, and is every way fit for it, BEING GOD OMNISCIENT AND OMNIPRESENT; and when he shall appear in his glory, he shall sit on his judgment seat, the dead will be raised, the books will be opened, and all shall be summoned to appear before him”



Matthew Henry - “Christ will be the judge, and he has both authority and ability to determine men's eternal state according to their works, and before him we shall stand as persons to be tried, and to give up an account, expecting our final doom from him, which will be eternally conclusive. To illustrate this (v. 11), he quotes a passage out of the Old Testament, which speaks of Christ's universal sovereignty and dominion, and that established with an oath: As I live (saith the Lord), every knee shall bow to me. It is quoted from Isa. 45:23…HERE IS PROOF OF CHIRST’S GODHEAD: HE IS LORD AND HE IS GOD, EQUAL WITH THE FATHER. Divine honour is due to him, and must be paid.”



Get yourself a copy of God's pure, inspired and 100% true words - the Authorized King James Holy Bible - and you can be sure that you have the true "book of the LORD".  Accept no substitutes.  God bless. 


Romans 15:19 "Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the SPIRIT OF GOD...I have fully preached the gospel of Christ."

Textually speaking, this is a very interesting verse in that it reveals a great deal about the mindset of the men behind the multitude of conflicting modern versions. The reading of "the Spirit OF GOD" is that of the Majority of all texts, including Sinaiticus and P46, which is about 200 years older than Vaticanus.

"Spirit of GOD" (pneumatos theou) is found in Tyndale, Geneva, KJB, NKJV, and Lamsa's translation of the Syriac Peshitta. The modern versions of the NRSV, ESV, ISV, and the Holman Christian Standard all read "Spirit of GOD", just as the King James Bible.

When Westcott and Hort first came out with their totally revised Greek text in the 1881 Revised Version, their text read: "power of the HOLY SPIRIT" (pneumatos hagiou) and so read the Revised Version, ASV, and the RSV of 1952.

I have in my possession three different Nestle-Aland Greek texts, which is basically the Westcott-Hort text that underlies most modern versions since 1881. All three of these are different here in Romans 15:19. The one from 1934 (4th edition) says: HOLY Spirit. The one dated 1962 changed this to simply "the SPIRIT", thus omitting "Holy" and "God". This reading comes from only one manuscript and that is Vaticanus. The NASB and the NIV both follow only one Greek manuscript here and read: "through the power of the SPIRIT".

Then sometime between the 1962 edition and the 1993 edition, the Nestle-Aland text changed for the third time and now reads: "the Spirit OF GOD", as has the King James Bible for almost 400 years now. We can clearly see here the constantly changing opinions of the noted scholars behind the modern versions.

Here is a brief chart showing the conflicting readings of just this one phrase.

"power of the SPIRIT OF GOD" - KJB, NKJV, NRSV, ESV, ISV, Holman

"power of the HOLY SPIRIT" - RV, ASV, RSV

"power of the SPIRIT" - NASB, NIV

Romans 16:1 Phebe - a servant, a deacon or a deaconess?

KJB - I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is A SERVANT of the church which is at Cenchrea:

NIV - 1973, 1978, 1982 editions - “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, A SERVANT of the church in Cenchrea”

Footnote: Or, deaconess.

NIV 2011 edition - “ I commend to you our sister Phoebe, A DEACON of the church in Cenchreae.”

Footnote: Or, a servant.

Deacons, as a church office, are men; not women.

1 Timothy 3:12 - “ Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.”

The underlying Greek word in question is διακονον - diakonos. But it has several meanings.  In the KJB it is translated as DEACON only twice and these are in 1 Timothy 3:8 and 12 where it refers to one of the offices in the local church. We have elders and deacons.  But both were men who were to be married to godly wives.

The main meaning of the word is minister, meaning a servant, and the word SERVANT itself.  It is used in such places as John 2:5 and 2:9 where Jesus turned the water into wine.

“His mother saith unto the SERVANTS, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.”  John 2:5

 “When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the SERVANTS which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom” John 2:9

The verb form of this word is diakoneo and it also means TO SERVE or to MINISTER - as in Hebrews 6:10 - “ For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that YE HAVE MINISTERED  to the saints, and DO MINISTER.”

In John 12:26 both the verb and the noun are used, and are translated the same way in the NIV.

John 12:26 -“If any man SERVE me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my SERVANT be: if any man SERVE me, him will my Father honour.

The NIV itself translates the word diakonos as servant or servants some 20 times, minister 4 times, attendants once, and deacon 3 times. 

The NIV had it right in the first 3 editions, but the latest 2011 NIV edition went off the rails by labeling a woman as a deacon. 

Most Bibles throughout history have translated Romans 16:1 as “Phebe our sister, which is a SERVANT of the church which is at Cenchrea”.  - or “minister” meaning a servant.


The NASB, ESV, NKJV, Holman Standard and NET versions all have “our sister Phoebe, A SERVANT of the church”

But there is a growing movement in these modern times to promote women to the place of leadership in the church by making them either Pastors or Deacons, especially in the  more liberal churches  - contrary to what the Bible teaches.


The Roman Catholic Connection 

Douay-Rheims bible 1610, 1950 - “Phoebe, our sister, WHO IS IN THE MINISTRY of the church”

Catholic St. Joseph New American Bible 1970 - “Phoebe, who is A DEACONESS of the church”

Catholic New Jerusalem bible 1985 - “our sister Phoebe, A DEACONESS of the church”

Jehovah Witness New World Translation - “Phoebe our sister, who is A MINISTER of the congregation”

The Liberal RSV was the first major English translation to change this verse.  

RSV 1952, 1971 - “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, A DEACONESS of the church at Cen′chre-ae,”

The NRSV of 1989 went with: “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, A DEACON of the church at Cenchreae”

But the revision of the revision of the revision - the ESV, went back to the more traditional and biblical - “our sister Phoebe, A SERVANT of the church at Cenchreae”, BUT it still has that footnote in it that says: “Or DEACONESS”.

The Contemporary English Version 1995 says: “I have good things to say about Phoebe, who is A LEADER  in the church at Cenchreae.”


This entire verse is found in the Majority of all texts, as well as the Old Latin, the Syriac, and all English Bibles from Wycliffe to Tyndale and the Geneva Bible. Vaticanus and Sinaiticus omit this entire verse and so do the RV, RSV, NIV, and ESV. However though the NASB omitted the verse from 1960 to 1972, in 1977 and again in 1995 the NASB now includes the verse in its text and so does the 2003 Holman Christian Standard Version, but the ISV does not. So I guess we can all confidently rest in the findings of our present day noted scholars, huh?  


You can see the whole study on this verse here -

ALL of grace, believing the Book - the King James Holy Bible,

Will Kinney