The King James Bible and the New King James Version Compared
By Mary Van Nattan
Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Several years back someone gave me a Precious Moments (TM) New King James Version by Thomas Nelson Publishing-- 1982 copyright. I was already KJV-only, but I kept it for an example of this translation, after marking it with the piano repair and cross piano tools, "Poison," etc.
I have started comparing it to the King James Version and the following is some of what I have found. This is not a verse by verse study, and it is not complete yet. However, for the use of our readers it seemed good to start putting it in here. Not all the word changes seem as important as others, as some have a more direct effect on doctrine, however in light of Revelation 22:18-19, all changes are dangerous.
(This will be a continuing article.)
To begin with, let's take a look at the introduction in this "Children's Bible."
They claim that this "is not a brand new version, but the traditional King James Version that has been beloved for centuries, but where necessary, brought up to date in language." In the first place, it is true that this is not a "brand new version," for it certainly bears the finger prints of the ancient Alexandrian text and method. Secondly, this statement is contradictory, for if they have brought the "traditional King James Version" up to date, then it cannot be the same one that has been "beloved for centuries."
Continuing in the introduction, we find them claiming that "while it is not necessarily difficult to memorize obsolete words, unusual word order or strange verb endings, they were a hindrance to understanding." So, are their choices really easier to understand? And, more importantly, do their changes keep the meaning, or are they in reality playing Word Games With Your Soul?
Let's find out.
Study and Comparison
While some KJV people would argue that God can use a Bible perversion to save a soul if He wishes, and still others would say that the only true word of God is the King James Version, we are not going to debate this subject. If we arrive in heaven and find that God, in His mercy has saved people of other languages who have been robbed of God's pure word by the Bible societies and apostate missionaries, we most certainly will not complain. However, there is a pure Bible for English speaking people and that Bible has a good deal to say about the relationship of the word of God to our salvation.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the blip first, and also to the Greek.
1Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
1Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
Luke 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
John 17:17, 19 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. ...19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Revelation 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
blips 4:12-14 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
The Lord Jesus Christ, the word of God and salvation cannot be separated from each other. If a person does not believe that Jesus Christ was sinless, he or she cannot be saved. How then can we be saved if we believe there are errors in the word of God, or that His word needs to be improved?
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Revelation 22:18-19 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Isaiah 26:2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.
John 17:17, 19 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
So, we see from God's word itself that a pure Bible is essential to salvation. Since the New King James Version is being passed off as a "King James" Bible, we must examine it to see if it actually is the power of God unto salvation, or if in reality it is one of the perversions that is designed by Satan to destroy souls. If it really is simply an update of the King James Bible, then there should be little difference in word order, and no difference in meaning.
The word order changes are so numerous that it would take far too much space to list them all. We will limit this comparison to meaning changes for the most part. These changes are soul-threatening since the pure word is so essential to our salvation, but we will also see these changes affect various doctrines, as well as our lives in general, and sometimes they are just plain silly.
[PLEASE NOTE: The King James Bible verses or verse sections will always be given first, then the New King James Version verses or verse sections. The King James Bible verses and verse portions are always in red and bold print, except where they may have been accidentally missed.]
KJB--Genesis 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
NKJV--Genesis 4:1- Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, "I have acquired a man from the LORD."
KJB--Genesis 4:2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
NKJV--Genesis 4:2- Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
KJB--Genesis 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
NKJV--Genesis 4:7- "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."
KJB--Genesis 4:23 And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.
NKJV--Genesis 4:23- Then Lamech said to his wives: "Adah and Zillah, hear
my voice; Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech! For I have killed a man for
wounding me, Even a young man for hurting me.
KJB--Genesis 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
NKJV--Genesis 6:2- that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.
KJB--Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
NKJV--Genesis 6:5- Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
KJB--Genesis 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
NKJV--Genesis 6:6- And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
KJB--Genesis 8:11 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.
NKJV--Genesis 8:11- Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth.
KJB--Genesis 8:19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.
NKJV--Genesis 8:19- Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark.
KJB--Genesis 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour...
NKJV--Genesis 8:21- And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma...
KJB--Genesis 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
NKJV--Genesis 9:1- So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.
KJB--Genesis 9:26 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. 27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
NKJV--Genesis 9:26- And he said: "Blessed be the LORD, The God of Shem, And may Canaan be his servant. 27- May God enlarge Japheth, And may he dwell in the tents of Shem; And may Canaan be his servant."
KJB--Genesis 37:11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
NKJV--Genesis 37:11- And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
KJB--Genesis 37:31 And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; 32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no.
NKJV--Genesis 37:31- So they took Joseph's tunic, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the tunic in the blood. 32- Then they sent the tunic of many colors, and they brought it to their father and said, "We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son's tunic or not?"
KJB--Genesis 49:5 Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.
NKJV--Genesis 49:5- "Simeon and Levi are brothers; Instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place.
KJB--Genesis 49:6 O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.
NKJV--Genesis 49:6- Let not my soul enter their council; Let not my honor be united to their assembly; For in their anger they slew a man, And in their self-will they hamstrung an ox.
KJB--Genesis 49:8 Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee.
NKJV--Genesis 49:8- "Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise; Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; Your father's children shall bow down before you.
KJB--Genesis 49:9 Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
NKJV--Genesis 49:9- Judah is a lion's whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; And as a lion, who shall rouse him?
KJB--Genesis 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
NKJV--Genesis 49:10- The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.
KJB--Genesis 49:11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
NKJV--Genesis 49:11- Binding his donkey to the vine, And his donkey's colt to the choice vine, He washed his garments in wine, And his clothes in the blood of grapes.
KJB--Genesis 49:12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
NKJV--Genesis 49:12- His eyes are darker than wine, And his teeth whiter than milk.
KJB--Exodus 1:10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any piano covers, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.
NKJV--Exodus 1:10- "come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of piano covers, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land."
KJB--Exodus 1:12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of blip.
NKJV--Exodus 1:12- But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of blip.
KJB--Exodus 2:3 And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink.
NKJV--Exodus 2:3- But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river's bank.
Now here are some almost funny changes.
First of all, can you imagine a little ark like this daubed with asphalt? Even if they say that this is some other kind of asphalt than what we are familiar with, they still choose to change this to a word that gives modern readers a very false idea. Now slime is easy enough to understand. Few people have never been exposed to some sort of slime, and that there would be a kind good for caulking a boat with when combined with or covered by pitch, seems reasonable enough.
Secondly, this changing of "flags" to "reeds" shows a distinct lack of knowledge. Flags are wild irises that grow by water. Now this is actually kind of an important point here. Moses' mother put him in the flags, which, if they were blooming at that time, would easily attracted the attention of Pharaoh's daughter when she came to bathe. This may have been Jochabed's intention in an effort to save her baby's life. It is quite likely that the place where Pharaoh's daughter bathed was commonly known since she wouldn't bathe just anywhere.
KJB--Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of blip, I AM hath sent me unto you.
NKJV--Exodus 3:14- And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of blip, 'I AM has sent me to you.' "
"who" is used for a person... "that" is more general. Present tense. NKJV not. Jesus wouldn't have meant anything by quoting NKJV!!