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Q&A #163 - Worshipping God, rather than worshipping a particular Bible version
by Robert Nguyen Cramer
This BibleTexts website administrator has very much enjoyed questions and insights that have been emailed to him ever since this site was launched in September of 1996. On this page I share with BibleTexts browsers a few of the questions, insights, and responses, so that we all can further learn from and with each other.
Your website is good, but it is not conclusive. May I ask then which Bible you are using while you are still living in this earth? To have no standard Bible for life, faith and practice is just ending up in hell. I am a Christian and believe that the KJV Bible has been tested and is still being attacked by you and all other liberal, evil leaning people.
When I am reading English Bibles, I primarily use the English Standard Version, the Holman Christian Standard Bible, the Good News Bible, and the Revised English Bible, but I refer to many others as well.
For a comparison of Bibles and the Greek texts that each used for its New Testament translation, see:
If you are looking for a Bible free from corruptions, make sure it is free from the corruptions of the Latin Vulgate text of 1Jo 5:7-8, Rev 22:19, and Act 9:5-6.
Those corruptions in the Latin Vulgage text had never appeared in any Greek New Testament until Erasmus included them in his Greek New Testament, now known as the Textus Receptus, in the early 16th century. They clearly were not included in the original texts of 1 John, Revelation, and Acts that were written in the first century. Unfortunately the translators of the KJV used the Textus Receptus to translate their New Testament; therefore, the KJV contains those corruptions found in no earlier Greek texts but only in the Latin Vulgate. For more information on this, see:
You do not have a good answer. You were just born yesterday, and now you make a conclusion that the KJV written 400 years ago is corrupted. Will you be able to put your so-called accurate translation in the hands of all faithful believers who fought for the translation of Hebrew/Greek text into English language some 500 years ago? Think about it!!!. There were countless Christians now in heaven who heard the gospel from the preaching of the word of GOD in the English KJV Bible. Will you be able to tell them (brothers/sisters in Christ who went ahead in heaven) that you have made an accurate version during this perilous times full of perverted generations -- and you are one of them?
My answer may not be what you want to hear, but it is completely historically accurate. This is not my conclusion. The facts about the Latin Vulgate's corruptions of the Textus Receptus and the KJV are firmly established. There is no honest, informed basis for disputing these facts. These facts also are taught in all major theological seminaries and upheld by all of the best scholars in the world who specialize in early Greek manuscripts of the New Testament.
There were many "faithful believers" who read the Bible only in Greek or Latin who were persecuted in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th centuries and whose Bibles did not contain the corruptions of 1Jo 5:7-8, Rev 22:19, and Act 9:5-6. In fact the pilgrims who arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in America, in the beginning of the 17th century were "faithful believers" who were escaping the persecution of King James in England. They insisted on using the Geneva Bible and rejected the King James Bible. (By the way, the New Testament of the Geneva Bible was based upon the Textus Receptus; therefore, it, too, had the corruptions of 1Jo 5:7-8, Rev 22:19, and Act 9:5-6.)
In Biblical Hermeneutics, Second Edition (edited by Bruce Corley, Steve W. Lemke, and Grant Lovejoy, Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002, page 388), Baptist biblical scholar Harold Freeman, in his chapter on "Biblical Criticism and Biblical Preaching" honestly comments on the textual corruption of 1Jo 5:7, which appears in both the Textus Receptus and the KJV:
Textual criticism is the discipline that seeks to identify the original wording of an ancient document. Textual criticism of the Bible benefits preaching by preventing nonbiblical sermons... We regret giving up a nice doctrinal sermon on the Trinity based on 1 John 5:7b (KJV). Nevertheless, if it is determined that these are additions to the original writings, whether intentional or accidental, biblical preaching based on these texts cannot occur... Sermons based on spurious or corrupted texts cannot be genuinely biblical. The determination of exactly what the Scripture said is the starting point for biblical preaching.
I have read a lot of explanations, not only from you. Sorry to say it, but none of all the English versions can replace the KJV Bible. That's all. You are telling me proofs that support your allegations. Why not mention the first century Christian leaders, like Tertullian, etc., who quoted the verses you refer to?
You just promote divisions in the churches. People in a faithful local church using the KJV Bible now are deceived by your allegations, and you created divisions, strife, schisms.
Christians in all languages worship God. We do not worship any particular version of the Bible. If we are divided by a particular version of the Bible, then we have let a book become a god to us, which would mean we are breaking both the first and second commandments. Let us agree to be Christians and to worship the one God and to love each other, as Jesus taught.
By the way, Tertullian was not a first century Christian. He lived from about 155-250 A.D. in northern Africa, primarily Carthage, and his known writings are from the end of the second century to the early part of the third century. According to the Ante-Nicene Fathers, which includes all of Tertullian's known writings, he never referred to 1Jo 5:7-8, Rev 22:19, or Act 9:5-6.
Someone sent me the following:
1Jo 5:7 - "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."
The genuineness of this text has been called in question by some, because it is wanting in the Syriac version, as it also is in the Arabic and Ethiopic versions; and because the old Latin interpreter has it not; and it is not to be found in many Greek manuscripts; nor cited by many of the ancient fathers, even by such who wrote against the Arians, when it might have been of great service to them. To all it may be replied that the Syriac version, which is the most ancient and of the greatest consequence, is but a version -- and a defective one.
The passage in 1 John 5:7, "the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one, " was referred to by Tertullian (Contr. Praxeam, c. 25) about, the year 200; and this was within a "hundred" years, or little more, of the writing of the epistle; which may be enough to satisfy anyone of the genuineness of this passage; and besides, there never was any dispute about it till Erasmus left it out in the, first edition of his translation of the New Testament; and yet he himself, upon the credit of the old British copy before mentioned, put it into another edition of his translation. The heavenly witnesses of Christ's sonship are: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost.
You highlighted the following part of the forwarded statement:
The passage in 1 John 5:7, "the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one, " is referred to by Tertullian (Contr. Praxeam, c. 25) about, the year 200; and this was within a "hundred" years, or little more, of the writing of the epistle; which may be enough to satisfy anyone of the genuineness of this passage;
That statement is very misleading and may assume that a reader does not have the resources to check on the accuracy of the statement.
"Contr. Praxeam , c. 25" refers to the 25th chapter of Tertullian's writing, Against Praxeas. In the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Tertullian's chapter heading reads as follows:
Chapter XXV. - The Paraclete, or Holy Ghost. He is Distinct from the Father and the Son as to Their Personal Existence. One and Inseparable from Them as to Their Divine Nature. Other Quotations Out of St. John's Gospel.
You can read that chapter of Tertullian's writing for yourself online at:
You also can read Tertullian's words in Volume 3, page 621, of Ante-Nicene Fathers (10 volumes, edited by A. Roberts and J. Donaldson, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1994, originally Vol 1-8 & 10: 1885-1887, Vol 9: 1896-1897).
As you will see, Tertullian believed in a form of the Trinity, but he did not quote 1 John 5:7. This is also evident from the fact that 1 John 5:7 is not mentioned in the footnotes at the bottom of that page in the Ante-Nicene Fathers.
No known first, second, or third century writer used the wording found in the Textus Receptus of 1 John 5:7, "Ho pater, ho logos, kai to hagion pneuma" (the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost). Even Cyprian, who, writing in Latin, came the closest to using wording similar to 1 John 5:7 referred to "the Father, the Son [not "the Word"], and the Holy Ghost."
The Textus Receptus wording of 1 John 5:7, "in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one," did not appear in any known Greek text until the 16th century.
Dr. Bruce M. Metzger is Professor Emeritus of Princeton Theological Seminary and is one of the leading authorities in the world on all known manuscripts of the New Testament. Most of his many books are published by Oxford University Press. He is also an ordained minister. In his A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition (New York: United Bible Societies, 1993, page 647-649) he writes regarding 1 John 4:7-8:
That these words [KJV: "in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth"] are spurious and have no right to stand in the New Testament is certain in the light of the following considerations.
(A) EXTERNAL EVIDENCE.
(1) The passage is absent from every known Greek manuscript except eight [all of which are no earlier than the 16th century], and these contain the passage in what appears to be a translation from a late recension of the Latin Vulgate. Four of the eight manuscripts contain the passage as a variant reading written in the margin as a later addition to the manuscript...
(2) The passage is quoted by none of the Greek Fathers, who, had they known it, would most certainly have employed it in the Trinitarian controversies (Sabellian and Arian). Its first appearance in Greek is in a Greek version of the (Latin) Acts of the Lateran Council in 1215.
(3) The passage is absent from the manuscripts of all ancient versions (Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Arabic, Slavonic), except the Latin...
The earliest instance of the passage being quoted as part of the actual text of the Epistle is in a fourth century Latin treatise entitled Liber Apologeticus (chap. 4), attributed either to the Spanish heretic Priscillian (died about 385) or to his follower Bishop Instantius. Apparently the gloss arose when the original passage was understood to symbolize the Trinity (through mention of the three witnesses: the Spirit, the water, and the blood), an interpretation that may have been written first as a marginal note that afterwards found its way into the text. In the fifth century the gloss was quoted by Latin Fathers, in North Africa and Italy as part of the text of the Epistle, and from the sixth century onwards it is found more and more frequently in manuscripts of the Old Latin and of the Vulgate...
(B) INTERNAL PROBABILITIES.
(1) As regards transcriptional probability, if the passage were original, no good reason can be found to account for its omission, either accidentally or intentionally, by copyists of hundreds of Greek manuscripts, and by translators of ancient versions.
(2) As regards intrinsic probability, the passage makes an awkward break in the sense.
You need to find more evidence, but, you know, no evidence is enough to prove the correctness of the verses in question to those who do not believe. On the other hand, no evidence is required to those who believe the verses. There is a lot of debate already, but the KJV still is the most honored Word of God above all kinds of versions. You can't throw down the Word of God in the English KJV Bible.
As noted in a previous email, we need to worship God -- not to worship a particular Bible version. It would be well to consider translations of the Bible, including the King James Version, as angels providing us with messages from God. Revelation 22:8-9 has special relevance:
I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, but he said to me, "You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.
I do not know which church you belong to. I just guess maybe a Baptist church? I hope not!
As I have replied to you before, I worship my LORD JESUS CHRIST who saved me by his grace. But I was only able to worship him righteously when he showed to me his mercy and grace manifested at the cross as I found in his written words, and I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior forever and ever.
God my Savior Jesus Christ has added me into his body, and I am a member of a Fundamental, Bible believing, Christ-centered, and local Bethany Baptist church.
In Christ Jesus,
Dear (writer's name),
I am grateful for our fellowship in Christ.
With warm best regards, agape love, and blessings,
Robert Nguyen Cramer
God bless you...
Copyright 1996-2005 Robert Nguyen Cramer