VIALS or BOWLS in the book of Revelation?
It is always a wonder to me to see how some men who seem to pride themselves on their “deep scholarship” make fools of themselves when they try to criticize or find fault with God’s amazing Book - the Authorized King James Bible.
Not one of these men believes that there exists a single book called the Holy Bible in ANY language under the sun that they consider to be the complete, inerrant, inspired and infallible words of God.
Instead, each of them places his own mind and understanding as his final authority, and of course, whatever his opinion happens to be, is not universally shared by others of equal or greater understanding.
“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25.
Such a case presents itself in the translation of a single word in the book of Revelation - the word VIALS, as in “the VIALS of the wrath of God”.
Here are a couple examples of men who do not believe that any Bible in any language is now the inspired and inerrant words of God.
One such Bible critic, names David G. says: “The King James Version says that the angels had seven golden VIALS full of the wrath of God. THE WORD VIALS IS A REALLY POOR TRANSLATION. They are really “Shallow, pan-like, golden bowls, or censers, such as were used in the temple to hold the fire when incense was burned.”
Another Christian site comments: And golden vials - ”The word "vial" with us, denoting a small slender bottle with a narrow neck, evidently DOES NOT EXPRESS THE IDEA HERE. The article here referred to was used for offering incense, and MUST HAVE BEEN a vessel with a large open mouth. The word "bowl" or "goblet" would better express the idea, and it is so explained by Prof. Robinson, Lexicon, and by Prof. Stuart. The Greek word - phiale - occurs in the New Testament only in Revelation 5:8, Revelation 15:7; Revelation 16:1-4, Revelation 16:8, Revelation 16:10, Revelation 16:12, Revelation 16:17, Revelation 17:1, Revelation 21:9, and is uniformly rendered "vial" and "vials," THOUGH THE IDEA IS ALWAYS THAT OF A “BOWL” OR “GOBLET.” [End of Bible critics comments]
When we look at the Greek word translated as VIALS (φιαλας) in the King James Bible and many other translations as well, we find that the English word “vial” comes directly from this Greek word. Webster’s New Word dictionary, college edition, tells us that a vial is a small vessel or bottle, usually made of glass, and that it comes from the Latin word phiala and the Greek word phiale - which just happens to be the exact Greek word used all 12 times in the book of Revelation - φιαλας.
Why do many modern versions translate this word as BOWL instead of VIAL? Is it because long after God’s Book (the King James Bible) came on the scene in the English language, that some guy wrote a lexicon that says the word should be translated as “bowl", or "saucer" or "platter”?
How much of God’s concentrated wrath do they think is needed to bring judgment upon a wicked world? One drop could destroy the universe, let alone 7 entire vials of it. Do they think that by changing “vials” to “bowls” this will somehow add to the terror? I don’t get it.
Versions that actually mistranslate the Greek word phialas as “bowls” instead of the more accurate “vials” are the NKJV, NASB, NIV, RSV, ASV, RV, NRSV, ESV, NET, ISV, the Holman Standard, The Jehovah Witness New World Translation and the latest Catholic versions like the Douay 1950, St. Joseph New American Bible 1970 and the New Jerusalem bible 1985 and the Jehovah Witness New World Translation.
Some like the New Life Version have POTS or JARS, while the 1961 Bible in Basic English has VESSELS, and the American Bible Union N.T. has "CUPS", the Living Bible 1971 has "FLASKS" and the Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795 has "VASES of gold" and the Pickering N.T. 2005 has "JARS".
However the word is correctly translated as VIALS in the following Bible translations: the ancient Latin versions of 425 A.D, Jerome in 382 A.D. and the Latin Clementine- “fialas irae Dei”.
"VIALS of the wrath of God"
In the English language we have the word VIALS in the translations of Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Bishops’ Bible of 1568, the early Douay-Rheims 1582 (though later Catholic versions now have “bowls”), the Geneva Bible 1587, The Beza New Testament 1599, the Bill Bible 1671, Mace’s N.T. of 1729, Whiston's New Testament 1745, John Wesley’s translation of 1755 reads “phials”, Worsley N.T. 1770 - "VIALS", The Revised Translation 1815, Kneeland N.T. 1823 "phials", Webster’s 1833 translation, Living Oracles 1835 - "and golden VIALS full of perfumes", the Longman Version 1841, the Hussey N.T. 1845, the Morgan N.T. 1848 "phials", Etheridge Translation of the Syriac 1849, the Hewett N.T. 1850, The Commonly Received Version 1851, Julia Smith Translation 1855, the Kenrick N.T. 1862, the Ainslie N.T. 1869, the Noyes Translation 1869, The Alford N.T. 1870, the Davidson N.T. 1876, The Revised English Bible 1877, the Dillard N.T. 1885, Young’s ‘literal’ translation 1898, Lamsa’s 1936 translation of the Syriac Peshitta, the 21st Century KJV 1994, the Third Millennium Bible of 1998 and the Jubilee Bible 2010 - "the VIALS of the wrath of God".
Other English Bibles that correctly have the word VIALS throughout the book of Revelation are The Word of Yah 1993 - "the VIALS of the wrath of God", The Revised Webster Bible 1995, God's First Truth 1999, The Tomson New Testament 2002 - "the VIALS of the wrath of God", The Evidence Bible 2003, The Resurrection Life New Testament 2005 - "the VIALS full of the wrath of God", The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, the Bond Slave Version 2009, The Conservative Bible 2010 - "golden VIALS full of incense", Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2011 (Mebust) - "and golden VIALS", and The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011 - "the VIALS of the wrath of God", The Revised Douay-Rheims Bible 2012.
Look up the early Bible commentators like John Gill, Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, John Wesley, Matthew Henry, B.W. Johnson of the People’s New Testament, John Darby, Adam Clarke, or Albert Barnes in his New Testament Notes, and you will see that every one of these Bible commentators expounded upon the VIALS of the wrath of God, and not the alleged “BOWLS”.
Not one of them tried to correct "the really poor translation” of the King James Bible’s “vials” because they all knew it was the correct word.
It isn’t until Wescott and Hort got their apostate hands on God’s pure words and the perversions started with the Revised Version that we begin to read about the “really poor translation” found in the King James Bible, and that it should actually read “bowls” instead of “vials”.
Have you ever noticed that it is ONLY the King James Bible these "Every man for himself Bible rummaging experts" think they are smart enough to correct?
Why is it that people like James White, Doug Kutilek, Rick Norris, James Price, John MacArthur or Daniel Wallace and company don't say things like: "Well, this is a really poor translation in Wycliffe, Tyndale, Bishops' bible, Geneva, Wesley, Young's, Lamsa's and the KJV 21"?
Why is it that they always claim error, wrong texts or poor translation with just one Book - the King James Holy Bible?
May I suggest it's simply because the only Book hated by Satan and despised by fallen man who would set up his own mind as his final authority is the only one that is the true words of God.
Don’t fall for the constantly changing opinions, pontifications, and personal preferences of those who do not believe that ANY Bible in any language is now the complete, pure and inerrant words of God. If you do, you will end up just like them.
The King James Bible is always right. Get used to it.
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