Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
April 20, 2012
Last Updated :
April 20, 2012
How Would You React To Genocide And Ethnic Cleansing Today?, Psalm 83 War Doctrine, Misguided Christians Supporting A War Against Iran, We Are Not Of This World And Shouldn't Become Overly Entangled With It, Were Alterations Made To The Old Testament War Accounts To Favor The Israelites?, Holy Wars: Christian Crusades, Muslim Jihads, The Conquest Of Canaan, Reactions Amongst Christians, Israelites Sacrifice Children To Molech, KJV Bible Is Inspired, Is KJV Bible Inerrant?, Original KJV Included Apocrypha, Many Corrections Were Made To The KJV, 1611 Or 1769 Version?, Original Autographs Were Inspired By God, The Translators To The Reader, Objective Of KJV Translators, Intentional Manipulation Of The Scriptures, "Slave" Only Used Once In Entire KJV Bible Despite Slavery Being Widely Practiced In 1611, Ease With Which Corruption Can Occur And Meanings Changed In The Scriptures, Luke 23:43, Doctrines Are Directly Affected By Textual Manipulation And Corruption, Manipulation By Roman Catholic Church, God Has Preserved Most Important Elements Of His Word Despite Human Manipulation, Light Of Salvation, Biblical Cafeteria Or The Whole Course, Importance Of Textual Criticism To Find Truth
Having stated all of the above, allow me to ask you a simple question. If an incident very similar to the aforementioned Biblical events that are described in the Books of Numbers and Deuteronomy were to occur today, how would you react to it? Would you personally accept the wholesale slaughter of men, women and children as being the Will of God if it were painted as such? If some of your non-believing friends were to ask you directly "Do you really believe that is the will of your Christian God?" How would you respond to them? It is an uncomfortable question, isn't it?
So shouldn't we be just as uncomfortable regarding these Old Testament stories where the Israelites slaughtered men, women and children? If we are not, then why aren't we? Do you see my point? We Christians have been conditioned to accept these stories regarding extreme violence being committed by the Jews for the past two thousand years. However, if something similar were to occur today, we would not accept it. We would find it disgusting, repulsive and even ungodly. If we received reports of hundreds or thousands of young children being murdered in the name of God, we would immediately condemn it without any hesitation. Well, at least most of us would.
Sadly, as I point out in the series "The Psalm 83 War False Doctrine Exposed!", there are some misguided Christians even now who are foolishly making war cries, and fully supporting Israeli intentions of bombing Iran; even though there is no clear evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapon, or will have a nuclear bomb anytime soon, or even has intentions of dropping a bomb on Israel, if it did have one. Let's remember what the Lord said regarding "wars and rumors of wars" and take heed! If we Christians are not of this world, and are not supposed to become entangled in the affairs of this current life -- as the Apostle Paul informs us -- then why are these Christians taking sides in this matter, and hoping that Israel will bomb Iran? Isn't this contrary to the Scriptures? Consider the following verses:
"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."
John 15:19, KJV
"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,"
2 Corinthians 6:17, KJV
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
Colossians 3:1-2, KJV
"No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."
2 Timothy 2:4, KJV
"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."
Hebrews 11:13-16, KJV
"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."
James 4:4, KJV
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
1 John 2:15-16, KJV
To reiterate, taking sides in any war or potential war -- even if it involves the Jews -- is in total contradiction to the previous Scriptures. It is making ourselves a part of the world, which we are not supposed to do. That some Christians have even openly expressed their desire on the Internet that Israel will "kick butt" in Iran, just demonstrates how very deceived these people are, in my view.
To be quite honest, I have been so perplexed by the opposing images of God that we find in the Old and the New Testaments, and the bloody, merciless wars of the ancient Israelites who slaughtered everyone -- including young children -- that it has caused me to ponder the possibility that perhaps some of the Old Testament stories were written with a particular bias by the original authors, and if not by them, then perhaps by later scribes who copied the original texts which eventually wore out and decayed, due to the passage of time. After all, let us not forget that what we have today in the form of the Bible is the result of copies of copies of copies over a huge period of time, millennia in fact.
In other words, is it possible that certain accounts were purposely written -- or later rewritten -- so as to appear as if they were the Will of God, when in reality they were no such thing? Is it remotely possible that the "glorious wars" and the "glorious conquests" of the Israelites, as they marched their armies into the land of Canaan, weren't any different -- or more holy -- than the countless bloody wars which violent human beings have always waged against each other ever since man first walked upon this Earth?
More to the point, is it possible that the Hebrews' ancient land grabs, genocide and ethnic cleansing -- including the murder of children -- have been disguised as the Will of God by unknown ancient Jewish writers who had a particular agenda in mind? Was God used as a justification for their heinous acts of cold-blooded murder of men, women and children? Bold questions indeed; but before you outright dismiss them, let me remind you of something which may possibly help you to see these ancient Biblical events in a new light.
During the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, something somewhat similar to the Old Testament war campaigns of the Israelites occurred in Europe, Western Asia and the Middle East. At that time, many thousands of volunteer military units -- that were primarily under the banner and control of the Catholic Church -- marched across Europe in order to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslims, and to stem the tide of the Muslim advances into Turkey and Europe. Just like the Israelites, they plundered and massacred -- Jews and Muslims alike -- in the name of our Christian God. The Crusades were framed by the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church as holy wars which were blessed by God, just as the wars of the Israelites were also framed as holy wars, and just as the jihads -- or holy wars against infidels and unbelievers -- of the Muslims were said to be blessed by Allah.
So here we see the three monotheistic religions -- Judaism, Christianity and Islam -- all waging bloody wars, massacring people, and pillaging and plundering, each in the name of their particular god. But the irony of the situation is this. If you ask a non-Catholic, Bible-believing Christian what he thinks of the Muslims' jihads, he will condemn them. If you ask him what he thinks of the Christian Crusades, he will also condemn them. In fact, I found it interesting that when I visited the Wikipedia website in order to obtain some info regarding the Christian Crusades, I couldn't even find it by using the term "Christian Crusades". I had to look for it by the word "crusades" alone. I couldn't help but wonder if it was an attempt to disassociate the Crusades from our modern Christian faith, because they are an embarrassment to what most Christians believe concerning our faith.
However, if you ask that same Christian person what he thinks of the Old Testament wars which were waged by the Israelites, he will offer a very different response, particularly if he happens to be an American Christian. Despite the blatant acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing which are revealed in the verses that I shared in part one, the typical response will be something like "Oh, they are the 'Chosen People'. It was the Will of God." Jaw drop! Do you see something wrong with this picture? Just like that, the Jews are the chosen of God, so their acts of genocide, ethnic cleansing, plundering and pillaging are acceptable, yet if Christians or Muslims engage in the same things, it is a horrible crime worthy of strong condemnation.
Of course, not all Christians react in that fashion. There are some who hesitantly accept these Old Testament accounts, and who will even refuse to discuss them, because they are such an embarrassment to them, or because they simply do not want to be associated with the violent, vengeful God of the Old Testament who even seemed to order the Israelites to kill children. Should we even view it as a contradiction that God condemned the Israelites for offering their own children to the sacrificial fires of the false god Molech, while at the same time He ordered them to mercilessly kill the children of their enemies? Consider these verses:
"And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD."
Leviticus 18:21, KJV
"Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not: Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people."
Leviticus 20:2-5, KJV
"For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded."
1 Kings 11:4-10, KJV
"For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have only done evil before me from their youth: for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, saith the LORD. For this city hath been to me as a provocation of mine anger and of my fury from the day that they built it even unto this day; that I should remove it from before my face, Because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction. But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it. And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin."
Jeremiah 32:30-35, KJV
So once again we see what appears to be a double standard which says "You shouldn't kill your own children, but it is okay to kill your enemy's children." Was this placed in the Scriptures by the original writers, or is it possible that it was added sometime later by someone else who wanted to paint these terrible massacres of men, women and children by the Israelites as God's Will?
Before anyone accuses me of being a heretic for daring to ask such bold questions, allow me to point out a few facts concerning our beloved KJV Bible. As I ask in my eight-part series entitled "Roman Catholicism, Water Baptism and the Trinity", is the Bible that we use today truly the inspired, inerrant Word of God? As a dedicated user of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible for forty years, my personal position is that while I believe that the KJV Bible is truly inspired, I cannot say with all honesty that it is inerrant. In other words, I am not convinced that every single word is God-breathed and "Thus saith the Lord". Furthermore, I dare say that this same truth can be equally applied to all of the other versions of the Bible which are available at this current time, and probably even more so.
Contrary to the belief which is held by some KJV extremists who insist in the inerrancy of the King James Version of the Bible, there is sufficient textual evidence to indicate that the KJV has not escaped the pen of the revisionists who were motivated by either political or religious reasons. Allow me to give you a simple example which you can easily verify for yourself. If the King James Bible is truly the inerrant Word of God, and if it has never been manipulated as certain KJV extremists like to claim, then please explain to me why it is that the original 1611 KJV included the Apocrypha, while the same books are excluded from modern versions of the alleged 1611 King James Bible.
The word "inerrant" signifies "without error"; yet since the Authorized King James Version of the Bible was first printed in 1611, a substantial number of corrections have been made to it. These include printing error corrections, spelling corrections, changing some words from singular to plural and vice versa, removing words, inserting words, and much more. In fact, it may surprise you to know that what is passed off today as the 1611 King James Bible is in reality the 1769 version of the KJV Bible. But it gets worse, as you will see in a moment.
Now, let me make something clear for you. Insofar as the New Testament is concerned, the original First Century autographs -- or manuscripts -- as authored by the First Apostles and Disciples were inspired. As these verses reveal, the same can be said of the original writings of the authors of the Old Testament as well. They were indeed inspired by God's Spirit:
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
2 Timothy 3:16, KJV
"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts . . . 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."
2 Peter 1:19, 21, KJV
However, what we need to recognize is that since that time when the original autographs were first written by the Old and New Testaments authors, humanity has had thousands of years in which to alter and manipulate God's Word; and it has indeed happened, whether you are willing to accept this truth or not. I'm not just referring to printing corrections and spelling correction as I mentioned a moment ago, but to more serious manipulations. Therefore, it is my view that to continue to stubbornly insist that the KJV Bible is without any errors whatsoever -- or is inerrant -- is to purposely, wishfully and naively ignore the historical facts.
If you are interested in reading what the actual translators of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible had to say regarding their translation, I encourage you to read their "The Translators to the Reader" introduction text, which you will find on the following page of the Bill's Bible Basics website:
What you will learn from the aforementioned text is that the translators did not necessarily view their translation as the final translation of the Holy Scriptures. Their desire was to make something good, even better. However, better does not necessarily equate to perfect or inerrant: In their own words the translators inform us of the following:
----- Begin Quote -----
"Truly, good Christian reader, we never thought from the beginning, that we should need to make a new translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one (for then the imputation of Sixtus had been true in some sort, that our people had been fed with gall of dragons instead of wine, with whey instead of milk); but to make a good one better, or out of many good ones, one principal good one, not justly to be excepted against. That hath been our endeavor, that our mark."
----- End Quote -----
As I stated a moment ago, aside from printing and spelling corrections, more significant changes have been made to what we know as the Authorized King James Version of the Bible. Whether these changes were well-meaning alterations that were implemented in order to enhance the reader's understanding, or errors which resulted from confusing marginal notes with the actual Biblical text, or intentional falsifications which were made in order to promote certain doctrinal or political ideologies which were embraced by the individuals who were involved in the manipulation, nevertheless, they were made to the original autographs of the Prophets and the Apostles. As I said, if something is considered inerrant, then there is no need to correct it, because it contains no errors.
One form of intentional manipulation occurs in the manner of the translation from the original languages themselves. One obvious example which I mention in the article "The Lamb of God Was a Goat", as well as in "The International Jews and the Protocols of Zion", concerns the word "slave", and its Hebrew equivalent "ebed". It may surprise some of you to learn that even though slavery is mentioned throughout the entire Bible, except for one solitary instance that is found in the second chapter of the Book of Jeremiah, the two words "slave" and "slavery" are not to be found anywhere in the entire King James Version of the Bible. Why is this, and how could this happen?
The verse in question where the actual word "slave" is used is the following. For the sake of my readers who are not reading this series online, I have put brackets around the three words which are actually in italics in the King James Version of the Bible. The fact that they are in italics is to denote that they were inserted by the KJV translators as a means to clarify what the verse means and to make it fluid:
"[Is] Israel a servant? [is] he a homeborn [slave]? why is he spoiled?"
Jeremiah 2:14, KJV
I find it amazing that even though the descendants of Jacob and his twelve sons spent hundreds of years working as lowly slaves, and were forced to endure hard labor in the land of Egypt, they are never directly referred to as slaves in the KJV Bible. Why is there such an obvious omission? I suspect that it may be due to the fact that "slave" was a politically sensitive word for the KJV translators. We need to remember that at that particular time in history, England was heavily indulged in slavery. Furthermore, this same attitude towards slavery and the practice of keeping slaves was carried over to America by white European Christians. Look how long it took to eradicate this evil in the USA. Shameful, isn't it?
Is it possible then that if the KJV translators had chosen to use the word "slave" in the Bible, it would have offended the king, and other readers of the Bible as well? Is this why the translators chose to use softer, less offensive words? At any rate, the omission of the word "slave" amounts to intentional manipulation and corruption of the Scriptures, due to both political and religious considerations. Furthermore, this is just one small example; and it is minor compared to much more serious corruptions of God's Word.
As some of you probably already know, the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts were not divided into chapters and verses, as we know the Bible today. This organizational division of the Scriptures was a more modern manipulation of God's Word that actually began during the thirteenth century. But what I would like to point out to you is this. By just changing the method in which the original manuscripts are divided into individual verses, we can substantially change the meaning of God's Word. If a sentence is broken in half, for example, and one half is included in one verse, and the other half is in the next verse, it could potentially alter the intent of the original author.
In fact, translation is so sensitive of an issue, that just by placing one punctuation mark in the wrong place, we can substantially alter the meaning of God's Word. Allow me to give you a simple example with the verse Luke 23:43. In the King James Version of the Bible, this verse states:
"And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise."
Luke 23:43, KJV
Imagine, however, if somewhere along the way, and over the course of years, some unknown individual wasn't careful, and instead of copying Luke 23:43 as we see it above, he copied the following instead:
"And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee to day, thou shalt be with me in paradise."
Luke 23:43, KJV
By simply moving one comma to after the words "to day", and reversing "shalt thou" to "thou shalt", we have altered the meaning of the verse. The original KJV version seems to say that the thief would be with Jesus in Paradise the very same day. The altered verse does not say this, simply because the comma has been moved. It indicates that the thief will be with Jesus in Paradise, but it does not clearly say when he will be in Paradise. Will it be the same day, or will it be at some other time? We honestly don't know, because moving the comma has made the verse unclear. Just one comma moved. That is all it really took in order to alter the meaning of the verse. The question is, how did the translators know where to place it, and how did they determine that it is now in the right place?
The above example is a simple demonstration of how unintended corruption of the Scriptures can occur. However, as I stated a moment ago, there are clear indications that more serious and intentional manipulations exist in God's Word. Obviously, I am not the first person to make this fact known. There have been a number of prominent theologians and textual critics who have shared their observations down through the years. I discuss some of these in my series "Roman Catholicism, Water Baptism and the Trinity". I encourage you to read it if you have the time and the interest. If you still doubt that what I am saying is true concerning the KJV, then conduct a Google search using "What corrections have been made to the 1611 KJV Bible?" and see what happens.
The problem is that when more serious manipulation occurs in the Scriptures, it can have a direct affect on the doctrines of our faith. If you take the time to conduct a fair amount of research, you will discover a number of corruptions in the KJV Bible text which demonstrate how various heretical teachings have been insidiously introduced into our faith by entities such as the Roman Catholic Church, beginning around the Fourth Century -- and possibly earlier. Again, these are intentional alterations which were made to the Scriptures. Evidence suggests that partial alterations have been made to some verses, while in other instances, verses have actually been invented and added to the Biblical text.
If you are learning this information for the very first time, you may be alarmed. You may possibly even be wondering "Well, if what you are saying is true, then what am I supposed to believe? If the Bible is not inerrant, why should I even read it?". My response to you is this: While I do not believe that the Bible -- KJV or otherwise -- is inerrant, I do embrace the belief that God is more powerful than man, and that He is more than capable of preserving what He considers to be the most important aspects and elements of His Word, regardless of what man has tried to do to it over the millennia.
In other words, in spite of the tampering by humanity, whether accidental or intentional, I am still of the opinion that what God wants us to know remains safely intact in the Scriptures. What it really comes down to is faith. We simply must have the faith to believe that God has trumped the machinations of both political and religious authorities, inattentive printers and slothful scribes. His main message to us has never been lost. Of course, God's primary message to humanity is Salvation by Grace, through faith in the Atoning Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This Gospel -- or Good News -- is the Light which no man has been able to extinguish, and hopefully, will never be able to extinguish until the Lord returns.
Some of my longtime readers may be thinking to themselves, "Well, wait a minute. In "A Biblical Cafeteria or the Whole Course?", didn't you say that we cannot and should not treat God's Word like a spiritual cafeteria? Didn't you write that we cannot pick and choose, or accept just those things which we like and agree with? Didn't you say that we must accept it all?". Indeed I did, and I stand by my words. To clarify, I do believe that the bloody wars of the Israelites occurred as they are described for us in the Old Testament. I likewise believe that the Bible translators endeavored to accurately translate into English what was written in the Hebrew texts.
What I am questioning is the accuracy and the reliability of some of those Hebrew texts. I am not questioning or doubting God's Word, I am questioning what unscrupulous individuals may possibly have done to God's Word. I am questioning how much of what we read in some of these Old Testament stories is God's original, unaltered Word as it was first written in the Hebrew language, and how much of it has been manipulated by unknown individuals over the course of millennia. Do you understand the difference? This is what textual criticism is all about. It is an endeavor to distinguish between what is true and what is false, what is chaff and what is real wheat. It is a serious endeavor to determine if what we are reading is actually the true, original Word of God, or if something has been altered, or added to it.
Please go to part three for the conclusion of this series.
⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .