At GodSaidManSaid, we received a lengthy letter from a man by the name of Brian. He visited the subject "Which Bible?" on this website and aired the following disagreement:
"During the time that I read this article, I noticed several views that are nonscriptural, and more that are based on sheer opinion—and not fact."
We are taking the time to respond to Brian's disagreements because we are sure there are others of this mindset who challenge the credibility of this website. Let's take a look at Brian's disagreements.
Brian's first disagreement:
The view that the devil trembles because of his belief in God: This may well be true, but you got this from James 2:19, which states that "the devils (plural, meaning demons) also believe, and tremble.
It must be noted that the word "demon" is not to be found in the majority-text King James Bible. According to the Word of God, the plural of the word "devil" is "devils" and not "demons." Concerning Satan, Matthew 4:8-11 reads:
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
James 2:19 reads:
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Satan is the devil and is included in the term "devils." Satan trembles with the lot of them. He has been fully spoiled and has been cast down to the earth. The devil knows that his time is short.
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
James 4:7 reads:
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
The devil flees from those who walk in Christ Jesus and apply the above formula. Noah Webster defines the word flee: to run with rapidity, as from danger; to attempt to escape; to hasten from danger or expected evil. That sure sounds like trembling to me.
Another note about Brian's reference to demons: those who follow GodSaidManSaid are familiar with the law or rule of first occurrence. In etymology, which is the study of words and their origins, the true definition of a word is typically provided during its first occurrence in the history of language. If the term demons is not found in the Bible, from whence did it come? Again, a portion of Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary: the definition of demon is a "spirit, or immortal being, holding a middle place between men and the celestial deities of the Pagans. The ancients believed that there were good and evil demons, which had influence over the minds of men, and that these beings carried on an intercourse between men and gods, conveying the addresses of men to the gods, and divine benefits to men. Hence, demons became the objects of worship." Lest we become confused, some thought that a number of these demons were good and worthy of worship. Of course, they were incorrect, but be advised that the word "demons" is not plural for "devil," but rather the word "devils" is plural for "devil."
Finally, the exact quote in question from "Which Bible?" is, "The Bible also teaches that the devil believes in God and trembles," and it is the truth.
Brian's second disagreement:
The view that "the Blood-Bought Soul" is the most valuable commodity in the universe is also contrary to Scripture, especially Romans 5:8 which states that "...while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." This spiritual battle is not a battle for wealth, and it is not a struggle to see who will get richer, God or Satan. We are not commodities; we are children of God.
Brian, you are truly grasping at straws. The contest is over the words commodity and valuable: The word commodity deals with the principles of buying and selling. Buying and selling are very real concepts of the Scriptures. Romans 7:14 reads:
For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
In order to escape damnation, it was necessary that we were purchased back—redeemed. Jesus Christ the Redeemer made the transaction. The word redeem is defined as "to purchase back; to purchase what has been sold." Souls are purchased not by green currency—recycled mud—but purchased nevertheless with the blood of Jesus Christ. Thus, the term "Blood-Bought Souls."
I Corinthians 6:20 reads:
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
II Peter 2:1 reads:
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
As believers, we purchase things in Christ, and the currency is faith. Revelation 3:18:
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Sons and daughters of God were once sold into sin by Adam and Eve, but redeemed—bought back—by the blood of Christ. We have become the most valuable commodity in the universe.
Brian's third disagreement:
You speak of how we (humans) are constructed out of words, yet you fail to realize that we (humans) are the only creation not spoken into existence. In the creation account in Genesis 2, it states that God formed Adam out of the dust of the ground, and then breathed the breath of life into his nostrils. It makes no mention of God speaking man into existence, unless you take the place in Genesis 1, where God states, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:" It never states, as it does with the creation of light, that we were spoken into existence.
By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
The first verse of Genesis reads, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." It does not say that God spoke the earth into existence in this passage, but it expounds and clarifies this beginning process in various other passages such as the ones cited above. Then God said, in the passage Brian cited, Genesis, chapter 1, verse 26(a):
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:
The dust of the ground was spoken into existence by God's Words. We are made out of words. The exact step-by-step scientific creation procedure is not discussed in these passages.
Brian's fourth disagreement:
In your argument you state that the King James Bible is the only right Bible, yet, I have to wonder if you read the actual 1611 version or not, seeing as how the 1611 version is in King's English, or Old English. If you do not read that version, then do you read a revised version? Who was that version revised by? Was it revised by an evolutionist? Can you trust the person who revised it?
Yes, we have and do read the 1611 KJV. Every weekday—Monday through Friday—for nearly five years, in group Bible study, we have and do read an exact copy of the original KJV, comparing it with a current copy of the King James Version purchased in today's book stores. We have diligently searched for the thousands of changes the skeptics claim exist. The only differences, besides a handful of typographical printer's errors—which have no doctrinal effect—are some spelling changes involving the letters f, i, j, s, u, and v. The English alphabet was undergoing changes when the King James Version was translated. Even this situation is easily remedied after the reading of a few verses. Basically, the two are identical. By the way Brian, the original King James Version is not Old English, or even Middle English, but Early Modern English. Yes, Brian, we read it—but it's apparent you have not.
Brian's fifth disagreement:
When you cite Dr. Morris' opinion on whether God would use "liberals, rationalists, and evolutionists" to preserve His Word, or if He would use devout scholars, you are placing into your arguments one man's opinion of what God would do. Who are you—and, for that matter, who am I—to be a spokesperson for God's thoughts? If God wants to use an evolutionist to preserve His Word, He is allowed, for "God's foolishness is wiser than man's wisdom" (as the Scriptures state).
God's mind is easily established in this matter. II Peter 1:20-21:
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
God chooses those who handle His Word: holy men such as Moses, the prophets, the apostles, and those recognized by these men of God. We do know God's thoughts concerning this matter.
Brian's sixth disagreement:
You provide the "fact" that the King James Bible proved easier to read in a survey. Who was being surveyed and who performed this survey? These are things which you failed to publish in your argument.
Brian must have speed-read this section of the article. No one was surveyed—and neither did the article suggest such an idea. The Flesch-Kincaid research company's Grade Level Indicator is an analytic formula that measured the first chapters of the first and last books of both the Old and New Testaments. The findings showed the average grade level required to understand the King James Version was fifth grade, eighth month. The average grade level required to understand the NIV was eighth grade, fourth month.
Brian's seventh disagreement:
You state in the latter part of your argument that Satan wants you to believe in any other God as long as it isn't the God of the King James Bible. The last time I checked, God was the God of the universe. Is He just the God of the King James Bible? Is He not the God of the other versions? Is He not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Is he not Yahweh—whether we believe in Him and read the New Revised Standard Version, or the New King James Version, or the New International Version?
God is the creator of the universe and He is the God of those who surrender themselves to His Word. Jesus Christ says in John 8:41-44:
41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
God is His Word. John 1:1:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
God defines Himself with His Word, and the majority-text is the authority. When the words are changed, so is the definition of God. We are commanded in the Scriptures not to add or subtract, and that is just what the new translators of the minority-text have done. Many words have been changed, verses have been omitted, words have been added, and doctrines have been eliminated or even altered. In the Garden of Eden, Satan simply changed the words. God is the God of the truth. Discover which word is true and you will have your answer.
Brian's eighth disagreement:
In your disagreement on the changes between the NIV and the KJV, all you really proved—other than in the one occurrence (the Lord's Prayer, which by the way in the NIV, in Matthew 6, does include all of the things omitted in the Luke account)—is that words are replaced with synonyms. But you seem to be stretching to prove your point. Changing one word to a synonym does not change the meaning, just the word. Changing the word "truth" to "verity" does no harm. Just the word is changed, though the meaning stays the same.
Remember, all Satan must do, as stated in the article "Which Bible?," is create doubt concerning what the truth is. He knows that when doubt exists, the mountain won't move (Mark 11:23). I'm afraid, Brian, you're not being completely honest—or possibly you've been speed-reading again. I highlighted several doctrines, and there are many more which have been changed, altered, or have had doubt cast upon them. Remember that we are forbidden to add to or take away from the Word of God. If the examples cited are not sufficient for you, I hope the fact that the following verses that have been totally omitted (i.e. taken away) will raise your concern: Matthew 17:21; 18:11; 23:14; Mark 7:16; 9:44; 9:46; 11:26; Luke 17:36; John 5:4; Acts 8:37; 28:29; and Romans 16:24. And all of these verses are found in the vast majority of all existing manuscripts.
Brian's ninth disagreement:
You state that in the NIV, God becomes the reason for man's sin, yet I fail to see how that is so. Please explain that to me.
The passage in "Which Bible?" for which Brian is asking clarification, is as follows:
In James 4:5, the majority-text King James records, "Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?" In the minority-text NIV we become victimized by God's own design. It reads, "Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?" The carnal spirit that dwells in man is a product of man's sin and not of God's design. In the NIV, God becomes the reason for man's sin.
I still think it is self-explanatory, but the key words are "the spirit he caused"—which are found in the NIV—versus "the spirit that dwelleth" found in the KJV.
Brian's tenth disagreement:
You state that Hell is in the "bowels of the earth" yet there is no Scripture to support you in that opinion—which you state as fact. You just negated your own argument according to yourself, since in the third page you said that "Satan is successfully making opinion more popular than 'It is written.'" Is it written that Hell is in the bowels of the earth?
Brian, I recommend you do your homework before making these wild accusations. Webster's definition of bowels: is "the interior part of anything; as the bowels of the earth." The Scriptures are loaded with passages concerning Hell. Following are just five of them:
• Amos 9:2:
Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:
• Proverbs 9:18:
But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.
• Psalms 55:15:
Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.
• Isaiah 14:9:
Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.
• Matthew 11 23:
And thou, Capernaum, which are exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in Thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
Brian's eleventh disagreement:
You state that the end of the world is in question in the NIV, yet in Revelation, it still tells of the end of the world, so why do you state lies in your argument?
Brian, again you've missed the point. The article says that Satan creates confusion and doubt. Satan's business is to create a reasonable doubt—loopholes. Over and over again, the words "end of the world" in the majority-text have been changed to "end of the age." And, in Acts 15:18, the KJV reads, "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world." The NIV reads, "...that have been known for ages." An age is not even close to the concept of the beginning and the end of the world. An age is simply a period of time, such as the Ice Age, the Iron Age, the Industrial Age, and others. Doubt has been sown and confusion will be its fruit. In the article, I stated, "the end of the world is in question," and that is the concept of doubt.
Brian's twelfth and final disagreement:
I will make my final example with your final example. Lucifer, which actually refers to the morning star—or Venus as we know it—becomes Satan's name for the passage in Isaiah 14. Lucifer is Latin for Venus, the morning star. We get it from the Vulgate. So when you say Lucifer, you are actually saying "Morning Star," or "Venus" in Latin. So the NIV isn't giving Satan the name that Jesus reserved for Himself, we are.
Brian, you are upside-down again. The following excerpt is from Bible translations researcher G.A. Riplinger in the 690-page book New Age Bible Versions.
An examination of the original Hebrew will dispel any illusion that "morning star" is an acceptable substitute for the word "Lucifer." The Hebrew is "helel, ben shachar," which is accurately translated, "Lucifer, son of the morning." The NIV and NASB give an English translation as if the Hebrew said, "shachar kokab, ben shachar" or morning star, son of the morning (or dawn). Yet the word for star (kokab) appears nowhere in the text. Also 'morning' appears only once, as the KJV shows, not twice as new versions indicate. The word kokab is translated as 'star' dozens of other times by NIV translators; morning or dawn is likewise used hundreds of times. New version editors know "boger kokab" is 'morning star' since it is used in Job 38:7. If God had intended to communicate 'morning star', He could have repeated it here. The word He chose, helel, appears nowhere else in the Old Testament, just as "Lucifer" appears nowhere else. The matching of Lucifer with the morning star rises not from the Hebrew Bible but from classical mythology—a fount of bitter water not intended by God as our "fountain of living waters" (Jeremiah 17:13). Reference works concede that the switch is based on "...classical mythology for the planet Venus." Just because Satan has convinced the heathen world to connect him with Venus—the morning star—it is not a basis for the repetition of that "myth" by Christian scholars. But II Timothy 4:3-4 says the time for myths has come:
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Should it be any surprise that Lucifer would like to have his name converted to a name reserved for the Lord Jesus Christ? He clearly states this desire in the passage in question. Isaiah 14:12-15:
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
The Bible commands the saints to "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (I Thessalonians 5:21). I'd suggest a little more consideration of what is written—whether it could be true or not—before criticism kicks in. The Bible also commands the children of God to be steadfast, unmovable, and not to be tossed about with every wind and doctrine. Brian, you have demonstrated your willingness to move. I leave you with this passage. Revelation 3:15-19:
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
King James Bible
Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language.
Riplinger, G.A., New Age Bible Versions, A.V. Publications, 1993.