Saint Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and John the Divine. Is the King James Bible a Catholic Bible?
The Bible agnostics (who do not know for sure what God said in hundreds of verses), the Bible critics, Bible Rummagers and the New Vatican Version lovers of the ESV, NIV, NASB, NET, Holman, etc. are getting more and more desperate and ridiculous in their claims that the King James Bible is not the inerrant words of God.
Recently someone sent me a video called “The Rage of the KJV Only Cult”. It is filled with the usual ignorance about how Erasmus was a Catholic humanist, and how languages change (Golly, I didn’t know that), and how many readings found in the King James Bible aren’t found in “the originals”, yada, yada, yada.
If interested, see my rebuttal in “Are King James Bible believers Idolaters?
Do these people ever stop to THINK before they make these silly claims? I guess that is a rhetorical question, isn’t it.
Hint to all Bible Agnostics - There ARE NO ORIGINALS to compare anything to.
Not one of these Bible critics could show you a complete, inspired and inerrant Bible in ANY language (translated or untranslated) they they honestly believe is the inerrant words of God, and they know they can’t.
But this fact doesn’t seem to stop them from constantly referring to “the originals” as though they all had exact copies of these mysterious originals right there in front of them and they could actually read them for themselves, make the comparisons and then tell you what is wrong with our King James Bible.
One of the really silly objections this video brought up was the accusation that the King James Bible is somehow a “Catholic” bible because it refers to Saint Matthew, St. Luke. Other sites bring up the issue of how the book of Revelation is titled “The Revelation of St. John the Divine”, and this somehow proves that the King James Bible is a Catholic bible.
The purpose of this article is to point out not only the ignorance of these Bible critics of their own English language, but of the hypocritical shallowness of their arguments.
To say that because the King James Bible places titles over the Four Gospels such as
“The Gospel According to St. Matthew”, or “The Gospel According to St. Mark” as somehow indicating that this proves the KJB is a Catholic bible is absurd.
There were no Greek titles to these books. Even what you find in the UBS/Nestle-Aland/Vatican Critical texts is a man made title like Kata Markon, or Kata Mathaion. All this means is “According to Mark” or “According to Matthew”. And what is titled in the King James Bible as The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans” is simply called Pros Romaius in the Critical Greek text, which means nothing more than “To the Romans”.
These are just man made names that make it easier for us to identify the books we are looking at. But to suggest that they are Catholic influenced is absurd if you know anything about the history of other Bible translations.
In the Bible a “saint” is not some special category of super Christian who performed miracles and is officially recognized and canonized by some Pope. No, a saint is any believer in the true God. It is no special category of super Christian or super Jew who believes in the Lord God Jehovah. All believers are called saints in both the Old and the New Testaments of the King James Bible.
Not only did the King James Bible translators title the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in such a way as “The Gospel According to St. Matthew” but so did Tyndale 1534 - The Gospel of St Mark”, the Geneva Bible 1587 and 1602 - “The Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ, According to S. Matthew”, the Revised Version 1885 “The Gospel According to S. Luke” and Lamsa’s 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta - “The Gospel According to Saint Luke”.
These are merely man made titles of the various books of the New Testament. There is NO “original Greek” title to any of them, not even the titles given like Kata IWANNHN, as found in the UBS text which just means “According to John”.
These are just a convenient way of labeling each individual book for easy reference. But to suggest that Tyndale, the Geneva Bible and the King James Bible, all whose translators were virulently anti-Catholic in their stated beliefs, are somehow “Catholic Bibles” is absurd.
Even today’s Catholic bibles like the St. Joseph New American bible of 1970 and the New Jerusalem bible 1985 both merely say “The Gospel According to Matthew” or “The Gospel According to John”.
Are we then to make the claim that because such versions as the NASB, NKJV, NIV, ESV etc. ALSO label their gospels as “The Gospel According to Matthew” and “The Gospel According to John”, that on this basis alone we can also call them Catholic Bibles? Try a little consistency, folks.
The Revelation of St. John the Divine
As for the title found in the King James Bible in the book “The Revelation of St. John the Divine”, what people need to do is to simply learn a little bit more of the richness and variety of meanings found in our own English language.
The title “the divine” simply means, as the Oxford English Dictionary tell us, “a cleric or a theologian”. The Collins English Dictionary tells us that one of the meanings of this English word is “a priest, especially one learned in theology”.
Need you be reminded that according the the Bible, all believers are priests unto God? See Revelation 1:6; Revelation 5:10 and 20:6 as well as 1 Peter 2:5 and 9.
Dictionary.Com informs us that one of the definitions of “the divine” as a noun is 10. “a theologian; a scholar in religion.” and 11. “a priest or member of the clergy.”
And the Online Free Dictionary tells us that the noun “the divine” means - 1. A cleric. 2. A theologian.
Not only does the King James Bible title the book of Revelation as “The Revelation of St. John the Divine” but so too do Tyndale 1534 - “The Revelation of St. John the Divine”, the English Revised Version of 1885 - “The Revelation of S. John the Divine” and Lamsa’s 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta - “The Revelation of Saint John The Divine”. The Geneva Bible titles it “The Revelation of Saint John The Apostle”.
Modern day Catholic bibles like the St. Joseph New American Bible1970 and the Catholic New Jerusalem bible 1985 merely have “The Book of Revelation” (St. Joseph) or “The Revelation to John” (Jerusalem) as do the modern versions like the NKJV, NIV, NASB, ESV and Holman Standard.
So, for this silly argument to be consistent, we would also have to claim that all these modern versions are therefore Catholic bibles.
Actually, there IS a very good reason that the modern versions like the ESV, NIV, NASB, NET and Holman ARE the new Vatican Versions, and it has nothing to do with how they titled the Gospels or the Book of Revelation.
They are the new Vatican Versions for the simple and easily proven fact that the Vatican has made a formal agreement with the UBS (United Bible Society) and the Nestle-Aland Critical Greek text group to create “an inter confessional” text to help unite “the separated brethren”.
It is this text that forms the translation basis for the modern Catholic bible versions, the Jehovah Witness New World Translation and such “Evangelical” versions as the ESV, NIV, NASB, NET and Holman.
And this UBS/Nestle-Aland/Vatican critical Greek text is directly supervised by the Vatican itself.
See Undeniable Proof the ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman Standard, NET etc. are the new "Vatican Versions"
All of grace, believing The Book - the Authorized King James Holy Bible
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