Time Shall Be No More
“And sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, Who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things therein, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should BE TIME NO LONGER:” (Rev. 10:6, KJV)
“…shall be no further delay:” (Weymouth N.T.)
“…shall be no further delay.” (Living Bible)
“…will be no more delay.” (Today’s English Version)
“…will be no further delay.” (International Standard Version)
“…shall be no further delay.” (Phillips Modern English)
“…should be no more delay.” (Revised Standard Version)
“…the time of waiting is over.” (Jerusalem Bible)
“…shall be no more delay.” (New English Bible)
“…should be delay no longer.” (New King James Version)
“…shall be delay no longer.” (New American Standard)
“…will be no more delay.” (New English Translation)
“…will be no more delay.” (Complete Jewish Bible)
etc., etc., etc.
I think the reader will agree there is a big difference between no more time and no further delay. If time ceases in Revelation 10:6, then why is New Jerusalem still open in Revelation 22 with an invitation to come into the city? Recent translations have corrected this error. Even some revisions of the King James Bible have made the correction. Many Christians are not aware that the Revised Version, American Version, Revised Standard Version, American Standard Version, New Revised Version, New American Standard Version and the New King James (and several others) are all revisions of the original 1611 King James Bible. They are NOT new translations even though they corrected many, but far from all of the thousands of errors in the original KJV.
There are Christians who believe the King James Bible is the only English Bible translation God gave to mankind. All other translations, according to them, are perversions from Satan. As a new believer in Christ, this teaching did me great harm. It wasn’t until many years after becoming a Christian that I decided to thoroughly study the field of Bible translations. Boy, was I surprised. Little of what I was taught in Sunday school or Bible studies regarding Bible translating was true.
No one told me, for example, that the original King James Bible has been changed MANY times over the last 350 years. Well, if it was “inerrant” in 1611, what need was there to change it? I could write a whole book on this subject, but for this short Bible Matters snippet, I’ll just mention a few brief points. The above error in the King James Version is only one of thousands that are still in current printings of that version even after thousands of errors have already been removed. Many of these errors involve important doctrinal issues.
The original KJV of 1611 was riddled with typographical mistakes. Few Christians realize or have been told that there are actually SEVERAL different 1611 King James Bibles. One original 1611 KJV contained “Then cometh Judas” in Matthew 26:36 which should have been “Then cometh Jesus.” Another 1611 edition repeated twice twenty words of Exodus 14:10. These odd printing errors became quite embarrassing. One printing was called the “Wicked Bible” because it omitted “not” from the seventh of the ten commandments. Another became the “Unrighteous Bible” because it had “the unrighteous will inherit the earth.” We had the “Vinegar Bible” with its “Parable of the Vinegar." Then there was to “Ears to ear” King James Bible. These embarrassing spelling errors are just the tip of the iceberg regarding the trustworthiness of the original King James Bible.
There have been thousands of corrections of this translation over the last few centuries. But the publishers don’t like to tell us this. Why? Because they want to perpetuate the “inerrant Bible” myth, that’s why. Having thoroughly studied the subject of the many transformations of the KJV Bible, it amazes me that there are still thousands of pastors, evangelists, Bible and Sunday school teachers today that perpetuate the “Inerrant King James Myth.” What is more tragic is that many Christians swallow the myth hook, line and sinker. This reveals how little the average Christian knows about the field of Bible translating. “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6) How true!
If the publishers of modern day King James Bibles had left in 'The Translators' Notes to Reader' that was in the original “Authorized Version” perhaps many Christians would not be duped into perpetuating the KJV-only cult. Here’s a part of what it said:
“Now to the latter we answer; that we do not deny, nay we affirm and avow, that the very meanest (poorest) translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our profession, (for we have seen none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God. As the King's speech, which he uttereth in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and Latin, is still the King's speech, though it be not interpreted by every Translator with the like grace, nor peradventure so fitly for phrase, nor so expressly for sense, everywhere.”
As we can see, the King’s translators themselves were NOT KJV-onlyites. This paragraph is also a good example of how much English has changed in less than 400 years. Many school children would have a hard time understanding the last sentence. There are many words in the King James Bible that are no longer used in English speaking countries. There are scores of words in this version that are no longer in English Dictionaries because the words are no longer used in English speaking countries.
So contrary to the KJV-only beliefs of today, the translators of the King James Bible had no problem with other translations before them and even called the poorest of translations, the very word of God. I personally would take exception to the latter part of that statement. I’ll get to that a little later in the article. Furthermore, they thought marginal readings where there was doubt of meaning were helpful:
“Some peradventure would have no variety of senses to be set in the margin, lest the authority of the Scripture for deciding of controversies by that show of uncertainty, should somewhat be shaken. But we hold their judgment not to be so sound in this point.”
The original King James Bible contained many alternate readings in the margins which publishers of subsequent printings of this Bible took out. Why? To perpetuate the myth of the “inerrant Bible” that was being spread by certain church leaders. One can’t call the KJV “inerrant” if it’s full of marginal notes revealing the translators were uncertain of some of their translating. And what did the King’s translators say about the idea that the King James Bible was the only one English-speaking Christians should use? Contrary to the KJV-only belief, they recommended reading a “variety of translations.”
“Variety of translations is profitable for the finding out of the sense of the Scriptures…must needs do good, yea, is necessary, as we are persuaded.”
“Do we condemn the ancient?… We are so far from condemning any of their labors, that translated before us, either in this land or beyond the sea. We acknowledge them to have been raised up of God for the building and furnishing of His church.”
So the King James translators did not believe in condemning other translations as modern KJV-onlyites do today.
We can see from the translators' very own words, that they merely built upon previous men’s work (other English Bible translations like Wycliffe, Bishops Bible, Tyndale, Coverdale, etc.) and they fully expected others to improve upon their own work in time to come. Surely, these translators did NOT think they were producing an error-free translation considering their very own words and marginal readings. (By the way, these translators chose to put the 14 Apocryphal books into their version which is also no longer in modern printings of the KJV. If the original translators of the KJV felt they belonged in the Bible, why do modern publishers of the KJV take them out? I’m not advocating putting them back in, I’m merely pointing to another major change from the original KJV)
I have about a hundred different English translations of the entire Bible or the New Testament. There is not a single one that does not contain errors of some kind. Some of these errors such as the KJV Rev. 10:6 error touch important doctrinal issues. It is VITAL for Christians to compare translations. It is VITAL one does not make their favorite translation an idol. Remember, your favorite translation is just a human being or group of human being’s best attempt at conveying into our current language what the Hebrew and Greek text they believe is closest to the original autographs means. There is disagreement even among the scholars as to which manuscripts are the closest to the originals. That is why one finds entire verses missing or added in some translations, because they use different Greek and Hebrew texts.
The Bible Is NOT the Word Of God
The Bible is NOT the word of God as is commonly taught. It is a false tradition of men to point to the Bible and then blast someone with “The word of God says…” I realize tens of thousands of preachers, evangelists, Bible teachers, etc have done so. I have done it myself, but it is wrong. The Bible is a very valuable tool that can bring one TO the True Word of God. The Bible (Scriptures) is actually many different translations with some very great differences between them. The Scriptures themselves make it very plain what the word of God is. (I have much more to say on this subject in another Bible Matters writing.) Here is the REAL Word of God:
“And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God.” (Rev. 19:3, KJV)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1, NASB)
“You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me to have life.” (John 5:39, 40)
“And thus you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 'This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. “But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’” (Matt 15:7-9, NASB)
Our very traditions and teachings regarding our Bible translation, according to Jesus Who IS the true Word of God, can actually make Him of no effect in our lives. Our traditions have great power. They can cause us to have faith in the wrong things. Yes, our Bible translation often becomes an idol, a substitute for a real relationship with the LIVING WORD OF GOD, Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit. It happened to the Jews in Jesus’ day. It has happened to millions of Christians since then as well.
“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said, that He takes of Mine, and will disclose it to you.” (John 16:12-15, NASB)
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols!” (1 John 5:21)
In future editions of Bible Matters, we’ll point out some of the key errors in various translations among many other things. We’ll include some Bible trivia, compare translations, discuss methods of translating, problem verses, etc. My hope is that through these brief articles on the Bible that the reader studies deeper and develops a closer relationship with the Ones the Scriptures are all about, Jesus the Messiah and Yahweh, His Father through the Ruach Ha Kodesh, that is, the Holy Spirit.
“It shall greatly help ye to understand scripture if thou mark--not only what is spoken and written,
but of whom,
and to whom,
with what words,
at what time,
to what intent,
with what circumstances,
considering what goeth before
and what followeth.”
(Miles Coverdale in his introduction to his Bible translation.)
“What we really need, after all, is not to defend the Bible but to understand it.”