The merits of the A.V.

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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
This continues the remaining portion of Will Kinney’s article excerpted above:
Revelation 22:19 Book of Life or Tree of Life?

"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."

Rather than saying "book of life", versions like the RSV, NASB, NIV, ESV, Holman Christian Standard, Jehovah Witness New World Translation, and the Catholic versions read: "God will take away his share in the TREE of life."

It should be noted that there are several textual differences found in just the last few verses of Revelation, and that not even the modern versions agree among themselves.

For instance, in verses 20 and 21, the King James Bible as well as the Majority of all texts reads: "EVEN SO, come, Lord Jesus." However Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus omit the word for "even so", and so do the NASB, NIV, ESV, and Holman Standard.

Again, in verse 21 in the KJB we read: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with YOU ALL. AMEN." Here the word Christ is found in the Majority of all texts, but again Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus omit it, and so do the NASB, NIV, ESV, and Holman Standard.

Then in the very last part of the last verse of Revelation, where the KJB says: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with YOU ALL, AMEN", here Sinaiticus is different from all other texts, reading "with THE SAINTS". The Revised Version, the American Standard Version, and the Revised Standard Version all read "with the SAINTS" (following Sinaiticus) while the NIV paraphrases the Sinaiticus reading as "with GOD'S PEOPLE".

However the NASB 1995 and the new 2001 ESV (English Standard Version) now reject Sinaiticus and go with Alexandrinus instead, which says: "with ALL" and omits the word "you". But wait. The even newer ISV (International Standard Version), and the upcoming Holman Christian Standard have once again gone back to the Sinaiticus reading of "with the saints". The modern versions don't even agree among themselves.

It is more than a tad hypocritical of Bible correctors to criticize the King James reading "book of life", when the two other variant readings adopted by the conflicting modern versions of "with all" and "with the saints" are found ONLY in ONE manuscript each and, according to the UBS textual apparatus, not in any other ancient version or quoted by any church father.

Regarding the final word AMEN, manuscript Alexandrinus omits this word, but it is found in the Majority of all texts as well as Sinaiticus, but this time the NASB, ESV chose to reject the Alexandrinus manuscript they had just followed, and went back to the Sinaiticus they had previously rejected and now include the word Amen!

Do the modern versions always follow the Majority reading? Not at all. In fact they reject the Majority readings literally thousands of times. Do they always follow Sinaiticus? No, not at all. They continually pick and choose among the various readings; do not always agree with each other, and their own printed Greek texts found in Nestle-Aland or the United Bible Society editions are constantly changing every few years.

I have written a series of examples of the so called "Science" of Textual Criticism, showing that it is more along the lines of Hocus Pocus than a genuine science. Be sure to see all sections for a real eye opener into the real nature of this bizarre, ever changing, pseudo-science the scholars love so much.

Will Kinney


Steve again:

It is written in Matthew 4:4 that the Lord Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

Is it not reasonable to conclude that He would indeed provide that which we needed to live? His every word. Does this not indicate such a preservation as the Westminster Confession confesses in 1.8? There is not much dispute that the KJV faithfully renders the Hebrew and Greek of the texts we affirm were preserved, even though some of the words are archaic.

Our "dogma" of preservation is based on nothing else than our Lord's promise. Not a bird falls to the ground out of His sovereign will, nor a hair from our heads. It is not too much to affirm that One so great as He is cannot preserve intact the words of His Book, for the Bride of His Son.

The "dogma" of some is that the science of textual criticism is neutral, and accurate. We do not believe this; we have seen science so-called bent to the prejudices and aims of those who do not believe in His sovereign power and majesty. The word of our God alone is absolutely accurate, and true.

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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate

Continuing to examine Revelation, particularly where the AV differs from the Majority Text. The book I noted in a previous post, Hodges/Farstad 'Majority' Text Refuted By Evidence (also titled When the King James Departs from the “Majority Text”), by Jack Moorman, is, as I have stated before, the book I would recommend as having the latest and most comprehensive information – to my knowledge, as of this writing.

It is available at The Bible For Today online bookstore (, under the title, Hodges/Farstad 'Majority' Text Refuted By Evidence, and it has the same item #: 1617, and can be purchased from them ($16). I have repeated this information for those who pick up the discussion here.

I will only touch upon some general principles of the AV – MT disparities here, as I want to get into Revelation. Hodges & Farstad, as well as Robinson and Pierpont, in their respective editions of the Majority Text, relied on Hermann Von Soden’s 1913 edition of a massive gathering and collation of the “majority” cursive manuscripts. Although remarkable for the enormity of information gathered, as can be seen in its apparatus, later scholars examining it have declared it “honeycombed with errors” (H.C. Hoskier; JTS, 15-1914, p. 307)

Frederik Wisse, in his, The Profile Method for the Classification and Evaluation of Manuscript Evidence (Eerdmans, 1982), says

Once the extent of error is seen, the word “inaccuracy” becomes a euphemism…

…von Soden’s inaccuracies cannot be tolerated for any purpose. His apparatus is useless for a reconstruction of the text of the MSS he used. (pp. 16, 17)​

Yet, as Moorman remarks, “…Hodges and Farstad went ahead and used von Soden to reconstruct the Received Text!” (When the KJV Departs…, p. 11)

What Moorman brings out, Von Soden's collating of the MSS was very incomplete, and relatively few of the thousands of MSS were represented. It was not a depiction of how the majority of cursives read.

The “Majority Text” of the Book of Revelation, however, is different, as it does not rely on Von Soden’s work. It relies on the more comprehensive and complete work of Herman C. Hoskier, in his two-volume, Concerning the Text of the Apocalypse: Collations of All Existing Available Greek Documents With the Standard Text of Stephen’s Third Edition, Together with the Testimony of Versions, Commentaries and Fathers. Hoskier was also the author of the two-volume devastating-to-the-Westcott/Hort-(CT)-production, Codex B and its Allies: A Study and an Indictment. So why does the MT of Hodges & Farstad differ from the TR (1894) if they used the superior work of Hoskier?

Please note that I am using Jack Moorman’s aforementioned work for my writing here.

What Hoskier showed, basically, is that there are two groups of manuscripts exhibited in those that have the Apocalypse, the Andreas group and the 046 group. Moorman says, “Hoskier did not elevate 046 but merely cited the data.” (p. 17) Hodges and Farstad did not allot to the Andreas group all the MSS due it, and thus “the 046 group in the Majority Text edition is made to look much larger and appear dominant.” (Moorman, Ibid.)

How this happened is through their use of the scholar Josef Schmid’s work and their misconstruing his count of the respective MSS in Andreas and 046. The places where the MT and the TR 1894 differ in Revelation – save at the very end of the book, which we have discussed above – is due to this.

Moorman proceeds with an extended discussion of various factors and issues in this matter. He remarks,

At the outset the Bible believer will be very happy to know that [or is it “what” –SMR] Hoskier’s basic conclusion was toward the 200 plus MSS he collated for Revelation:

I may state that if Erasmus had striven to found a text on the largest number of existing MSS in the world of one type, he could not have succeeded better, since his family-MSS occupy the front rank in point of actual numbers, the family numbering over 20 MSS besides its allies. (The John Rylands Bulletin 19-1922/23, p 118.)​

It should be noted that this exemplary MS used by Erasmus was of the Andreas group, the readings of which we find in the AV. Perhaps needless to say, we do not think it coincidence this primary manuscript fell into the hands of Erasmus. For we believe that the Lord providentially preserved His word, and the only place it makes sense to have been preserved in was the Greek Textus Receptus as discerned by Erasmus, Stephens, Beza, and the AV translators, and given to us in the AV.

This phenomenon – the text-critical business just mentioned – would explain the variant readings you listed and queried concerning in post #23.


I will excerpt below from Will Kinney’s article, where he discusses Revelation 15:3

Revelation 15:3 "thou King of saints"

One of the silliest comments James [White] makes is his criticism of the KJB reading found in Revelation 15:3. Here we read: "And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy words, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King OF SAINTS."

James says on page 66 that King of saints "should be either "King of the AGES (NIV) or "King of THE NATIONS" (NASB), the TR's reading again fails to have Greek manuscript support."

James is such a joker, isn't he? In his book he recommends three different versions as being "reliable and trustworthy" - the NASB, the NIV and the NKJV, yet all three of these "reliable versions" differ from each other, and every "erroneous" reading of the KJB in the book of Revelation that he discusses in his book is also found in the NKJV which he recommends! Then he now gives us two different versions with two different readings, and then [does not tell us the truth] when he says the KJB reading fails to have Greek manuscript support.

According Jack Moorman's book, When the KJV Departs from the "Majority" Text, on page 110 he gives the evidence for the reading found in the King James Bible, as well as that of Tyndale, Coverdale, Bishops' Bible, the Geneva Bible, Young's, Webster's, the Spanish Reina Valera 1909 and 1960, Luther's German Bible, the NKJV, KJV 21, Green's Modern KJV, and the Modern Greek version used throughout the Orthodox churches. This is the reading found in the Greek manuscripts of 296, 2049 and 2066. It is also the reading of the Greek texts of Stephanus, Beza, Elziever, and Scrivenir. "King of saints" is also quoted by various church fathers like Victorinus, Tyconius, Apringius, and Cassiodorus.

Not even the modern versions agree among themselves. The UBS text says "king of NATIONS" and so read the NASB, NRSV, ESV, Jerusalem bible, and Holman Standard. However, versions like the Revised Version, the American Standard Version, RSV, Douay, and the NIV all read: "king of THE AGES".

Notice that the RV, and ASV read "king of the ages", but then the revision NASB changed this to "king of nations". The RSV read "ages" but the revisions of the RSV now read "nations". The Douay read "ages" but the other Catholic revision now says "nations". The NIV says "ages" too, but wait! Now the revision of the NIV has come out. It is called Today's NIV (TNIV of 2005) and it now reads: "king of the NATIONS". NONE of the revisions agree with the previous versions, and yet Mr. White has the temerity to recommend three different bible versions, none of which agrees with the others, and then he [does not tell the truth] to us about the KJB reading not having any Greek support.

End of Kinney


You will pardon, Kinney, I hope, for his sarcasm toward Dr. White. This sort of anger happens sometimes when that Book some hold dearer than life is disparaged and termed invalid, unreliable, and not the true word of God.

Dr. White does admit the reading is found in miniscules 57 and 141, but says of them “Hoskier 141 is almost certainly a copy of Erasmus’ printed text, and hence is nearly worthless as a textual source (the same is true of Hoskier 57)” [The King James Only Controversy, p. 87, footnote 41]

In Post #27 above we talk of MS 141, and what Hoskier thought of it. In the absence of strong evidence to the contrary, I would go with a text critic of Hoskier’s caliber over Dr. White.

For post 27 click:

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