Why does the KJB have Noe instead of Noah, Esaias instead of Isaiah and Elias instead of Elijah and James instead of Jacob?
A brother asked me why there are some spelling differences in the NT and between OT and NT. For example, Noah is also spelled Noe in NT. Also Isaiah in OT but Esaias in NT. I don't really have a good answer for him. He is not attacking KJB, but just asking. Thanks much. Ron
Hi Ron. Good and fair questions. Noe and Esaias are the more literal renderings of the Greek
Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
The Greek looks like this -
ωσπερ δε αι ημεραι του νωε ουτως εσται και η παρουσια του υιου του ανθρωπου
νωε = Noe
Also spelling it this way were Wycliffe, Tyndale 1524, Coverdale, The Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, Douay-Rheims 1582, the Geneva Bible 1587, The Beza N.T. 1599, Mace N.T. 1729, Whiston’s N.T. 1745, Thomson Bible 1808, The Smith Bible 1876, Darby 1890, Worrell N.T. 1904, The Word of Yah Bible 1993, God’s First Truth 1999, The Tomson New Testament 2002.
We also find the name NOAH in three places in the KJB. Hebrews 11:7 - “By faith NOAH, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house”. Noah is also found in 1 Peter 3:20 and 2 Peter 2:5.
Mark 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
The Greek is -
ο δε αποκριθεις ειπεν αυτοις οτι καλως προεφητευσεν ησαιας περι υμων των υποκριτων ως γεγραπται ουτος ο λαος τοις χειλεσιν με τιμα η δε καρδια αυτων πορρω απεχει απ εμου
ησαιας = Esaias the “n” is pronounced like a long E.
Also spelling it Esaias are Tyndale, Bishops’ bible 1568, Mace N.T. 1729, Whiston’s N.T. 1745, Worsley N.T. 1770, Julia Smith Translation 1855, Darby 1890, Emphatic Diaglott Greek N.T. 1864, The Smith Bible 1876, The Word of Yah Bible 1993, God’s First Truth 1999, The Jubilee Bible 2010 and The Bond Slave Version 2012.
Some older bibles like Coverdale have Esayas. and the Tomson N.T. 2002 has Esai.
Elias = Elijah
Once again, Elias is the literal Greek.
John 1:21 KJB - “And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
και ηρωτησαν αυτον τι ουν ηλιας ει συ και λεγει ουκ ειμι ο προφητης ει συ και απεκριθη ου
ηλιας = Elias. What looks like an “n” is the long E in Greek. Then followed by the l then ias.
Not only does the KJB use the name Elias for Elijah but so too do the following Bible translations - Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1534, Coverdale 1535, Matthew’s Bible 1549 (Helias), Douay-Rheims 1582, the Geneva Bible 1587, The Beza N.T. 1599, Mace N.T. 1729, Whiston’s N.T. 1745, Worsley N.T. 1770, Haweis N.T. 1795, The Thomson Bible 1808, The Revised Translation 1815, The Revised New Testament 1862, The Smith Bible 1876, Darby 1890, The Word of Yah Bible 1993, God’s First Truth 1999 (Helias), The Tomson N.T. 2002 - Elias, and The Scripture 4 All Translation 2010 -“Elias”
Jude, Judas, Judah or Juda?
Another name that sometimes comes up is Judah (one of the twelve original tribes of Israel) spelled "Juda" in Luke 3:33, Hebrews 7:14 and elsewhere in the New Testament.
Spelled JUDAH in Hebrews 8:8 and the Old Testament.
Spelled JUDAS in Matthew 1:2-3, the tribe of Judah, not Judas the traitor.
Actually what we find here is that the Greek texts themselves spell this name in two different ways. In Matthew 1:3 we read: "And JUDAS begat Phares and Zara of Thamar”. The Greek text here is ιουδας = Judas.
But when we look at Hebrews 8:8 - “For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of JUDAH” and the Greek here is ιουδα = Judah.
And it can also be spelled as JUDA as we see in places like Matthew 2:6 “thou, Bethlehem, in the land of JUDA - ιουδα.
This word also occurs in places like Mark 6:3 “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of JUDA, and Simon?” And in Revelation 5:5 - “And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of JUDA, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” - ιουδα = Juda.
But most of the time, the Greek New Testament has ιουδας, and the KJB as well as most bibles read Judas.
BUT we also have JUDE one time and this is in the book of Jude verse 1. “JUDE, the servant of Jesus Christ…” - ιουδας. And almost all bible translations have this as Jude.
This type of thing is not at all uncommon in the Bible. For example, we find both NebuchadNezzar AND NebuchadRezzar, and even in the same book. See Jeremiah 27:6, 8 NebuchadNezzar and Jeremiah 25:1, 9 - “NebuchadRezzar”
and we have both Penial in Genesis 32:30 and PenUEL in Genesis 32:31.
And some of the kings of Israel and Judah with two names as well. We have JOASH who is also called JEHOASH.
King Ahaziah and king Uzziah are the same person with two names, even in the same chapter of the Bible. See 2 Kings 15:7 (Ahaziah) and 32 (Uzziah)
We also have Abram and Abraham.
Sarai and Sarah.
Hadassah and Esther.
Simon, Cephas and Peter.
And Moses’s father in law was called Reuel (Exodus 2:18) and Jethro (Exodus 3:1) and even “RAGUEL the Midianite, Moses’ father in law” (Numbers 10:29)
And then of course we have that great apostle to the Gentiles himself, who was named both Saul and Paul.
God didn't write the Bible to be easily understood in every part. There are parts of the Bible that a child can understand. But there are other things where it takes a bit more study to figure out, and there are parts where we still see through a glass darkly.
The English name James.
Some anti-King James Bible folks I have run into are so blindingly ignorant in their hatred towards the King James Bible that they come up with some of the wildest accusations imaginable.
I have recently run into two rabid anti-King James Bible nuts that actually posted these remarks.
“King James wanted to pad his ego, so he had his name put into the Bible.”
Another said: “The King James Version can’t be inerrant because king James wanted to be worshipped so he put his name in the KJV.”
One has to wonder at such abject stupidity coming out of the mouths of professing Christians.
You can go online to any number of sites that discuss the origin and meaning of names. Here is just one of many, called Behind the Name.
Here we read: “Meaning & History
English form of the Late Latin name Iacomus which was derived from Ιακωβος (Iakobos), the New Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name Ya'aqov (see JACOB). This was the name of two apostles in the New Testament. The first was Saint James the Greater, the apostle John's brother, who was beheaded under Herod Agrippa in the Book of Acts. The second was James the Lesser, son of Alphaeus. Another James (known as James the Just) is also mentioned in the Bible as being the brother of Jesus.”
Another site about the Origin and Meaning of Names tells us the following -
Etymology of the name James
The English name James comes from the Greek name Iakobos, and Iakobos comes from the Hebrew name Jacob. The name Jacob comes from the Hebrew verb עקב (aqab) meaning to take by the heel or supplant.”
It is so easy to prove that king James did NOT have his name put into the Bible in order to have his ego padded and much less so that he would be worshipped.
All you have to do is to simply look at the older English Bibles. They all have the name James in them in about 38 times in the New Testament in places like James 1:1 - “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.”
and Galatians 1:19 - “But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.”
You can see these older English Bibles online here -
Wycliffe Bible 1395 - “JAMES, the seruaunt of God, and of oure Lord Jhesu Crist, to the twelue kinredis, that ben in scatering abrood, helthe.”
Tyndale 1524 - “Iames the seruaut of God and of the Lorde Iesus Christ sendeth gretinge to ye .xii. trybes which are scattered here and there.”
Coverdale 1535 - Iames the seruaunt of God and of the LORDE Iesus Christ, sendeth gretinge to the xij. trybes which are scatered here & there.
The Great Bible 1540 - Iames the seruaunt of God & of the Lorde Iesus Christ, sendeth gretyng to the twelue trybes which are scattered abroade.
Matthew’s Bible 1549 - Iames the seruaunte of God and of the Lorde Iesus Christ sendeth gretyng to the twelue trybes whiche are scattered here and there.
The Bishops’ Bible 1568 - Iames a seruaunt of God, and of the lorde Iesus Christ, to ye twelue tribes which are scattred abroade, greetyng
The Geneva Bible 1560-1599 - Iames a seruant of God, and of the Lord Iesus Christ, to the twelue Tribes, which are scattered abroade, salutation.
You will notice that most of the older English bibles used the letter “I” for both James and Jesus. The sound of the “J” was always there, but the letter J itself did not become popularly used until the mid 1500’s.
Since the man who became king James of Scotland and later of England wasn’t born until 1566 it would be more than a little difficult for him to have decreed that his name should be placed in the English Bibles that preceded his birth or his coming to the throne.
And keep in mind that the English bible is an English translation. The name James is also found in the RV, ASV, RSV, ESV, NIV, NASB, NKJV, NET, Holman and virtually every English translation that has ever been made.
Jeremy the prophet - Jeremiah.
KJB Matthew 27:9 - “Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by JEREMY the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;”
In the New Testament of the KJB then name of Jeremiah (O.T. spelling) is food three times. Once it is spelled as Jeremias - Matthew 6:14 - And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, JEREMIAS, or one of the prophets.”
And twice it is spelled as JEREMY. Here in Matthew 27:9 and in Matthew 2:17 - “ Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by JEREMY the prophet, saying,”
Also spelling this name as JEREMY in Matthew 2:17 are Tyndale 1525, Mace N.T. 1729, Whiston’s N.T. 1745
IEREMIE - Bishops’ bible 1568
IEREMY - Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Great bible 1540, Matthew bible 1549
Beza N.T. 1599, Geneva Bible 1587 - IEREMIAS
The Thompson Translation 1808 and Tomson New Testament 2002 spell it as JEREMIAS.
ALL of grace, believing the Book - the King James Holy Bible,
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