This is a difficult issue to address in one message, but because of the continual questions we receive on this matter, we have put together an explanation of the evidence behind the Bible.
We, here at The Lion and Lamb Ministry, believe that in spite of certain so-called “archaic” words and in spite of what some have called “difficult English” for today’s contemporary generation, the Authorized King James Bible is based on solid manuscript evidence, and that most “modern” English versions are based on manuscript evidence that varies greatly from the King James, the Textus Receptus, the Accepted Received Text
Now, we are not saying that the King James Bible is the ONLY English Bible that should be used. We are in favor of “updating” the English of the King James whenever possible AS LONG AS the manuscript evidence is not altered or ignored. We do not possess any so-called “original autographs,” but the manuscript evidence that we DO have is greater than any other piece of literature in the history before the invention of the printing press. May the LORD use these simple facts to guide us all in getting the Word of God into the language of the people of this world!
INFORMATION ON THE MANUSCRIPT EVIDENCE BEHIND THE KING JAMES VERSION OF THE BIBLE
(called “Textus Receptus”, the Received Text or Accepted Text)
Our focus will be on the New Testament where most of the arguments come. It was originally given to us in the Greek language, the largest language in the history of the world!
The first edition of the Greek text to be published was that of Desiderius Erasmus in 1516 AD, followed by his edition in 1519 AND WHICH WAS USED BY MARTIN LUTHER for his German translation of the Bible. Erasmus also published editions in 1522, 1527, and 1535 AD, the last two of which contained some changes from the Complutensian Polyglot printed in 1514 AD, but not circulated until 1522 AD. This Complutensian Greek text was reprinted with only a few changes in 1571, 1572, 1573, 1574, 1583, 1584 AD, and in Geneva, editions were put out from 1609 to 1628 AD.
Simon Colinaeus, a printer in Paris, published an edition of the Greek text in 1534 AD based upon those of Erasmus and the Complutensian Greek NT. It was superseded by the famous editions of his stepson, Robert Stephens, who printed editions in 1546, 1549, and 1550 AD, the last one known as the “royal edition.” This was the primary Greek text used by the King James translators, along with additions by Theodore Beza, especially the one of 1598 AD.
The Elzevir partners, Bonaventure and Abraham, published editions of the Greek text in 1624, 1633, and 1641, following primarily the 1565 edition by Theodore Beza. The preface to the 1633 edition gave the name to this historical tradition of manuscript evidence and called in “Textus Receptus.” In the course of time, it was applied to the Stephens text of 1550 AD and those which followed. The primary edition behind this Greek text is that of F.H.A. Scrivener that was published by Cambridge University Press in 1894 and 1902 AD.
About two thirds of the NT Greek text was discovered in the 20th century AD. And these manuscripts that were discovered in the 20th century A.D. actually PRECEDED 300 AD, AND the famous Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, and Codex Alexandrinus. This is very important!
Codex Vaticanus, used for the Roman Church version differs greatly from the Textus Receptus throughout the New Testament
Codex Vaticanus differs greatly from the Textus Receptus throughout the New Testament. The great Greek scholar Dean Burgon published in 1881 that in the gospels alone, Codex Vaticanus omits 2877 words, adds 536, substitutes 935, transposes 2098, and modifies 1132 – making 7578 total changes! Codex Sinaiticus has 8972 changes from the Textus Receptus.
Now, pay attention here, the POPULAR Greek texts of TODAY are dependent upon TWO “ECUMENICAL” institutes in Germany. That’s right! RIDICULOUS!
So now let us consider the following: the 26th edition of the Nestle Greek text was done, according to Kurt Aland, “in cooperation with the appropriate agencies of the Roman Catholic Church.” Codex Vaticanus is the Greek text used by the Emphatic Diaglot which is behind the Watchtower Bible of the Jehovah Witnesses. Codex Vaticanus ends at Hebrews 9:14 ! And then excludes the Pastoral Epistles and the book of Revelation. It contains all 14 Apocryphal books, and worst of all contains 7579 changes from the Textus Receptus. Codex Sinaiticus has one half of its NT leaves missing! And then contains the Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermes. It has 9000 changes from the Textus Receptus. Tischendorf, the one who found Codex Sinaiticus, made 3369 changes in his 8th edition from his 7th edition. So, let’s review, what this means is that these two MSS make over 30,000 changes.
Today we have over 5500 Greek MSS, over 10,000 Latin MSS, and over 4000 in other primary languages. We also have over 86,000 separate references in the writings of early church leaders.
The King James Bible was translated by 54 men who labored from 1607 to 1610 AD. They spent hours in prayer and insisted on unanimous decisions on the readings of the text. It was indeed a remarkable effort and has been the Bible of the English speaking world for over 400 years.
However, after all this, the most important thing to consider is that this generation needs to return to the reading and study of the Bible itself, the Textus Receptus, The AKJV! May our pastors, preachers, and teachers, re-emphasize the importance of the Bible in everything we say and do!
In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 . BELIEVE today. The time is short.
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide.
Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20 )
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