Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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April 22, 2013
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April 22, 2013
Tyndale's Use Of "Senior" Instead Of "Elder" Irks The Church, "Presbuteros" Is Someone Who Is Advanced In Age, Comparison Between KJV Bible And Tyndale New Testament, Tyndale's Bible Threatened The Ecclesiastical Power Of The Church Of England, Tyndale Accused Of Heresy Strangled And Burned At The Stake, The Israelites Served As Slaves Four Hundred Years In Egypt, The Absence Of Words Slave Slaves And Slavery In KJV Bible, Vile Practice Of Slavery In England And The United States Original 1611 King James Bible Included Books Of Apocrypha, Which Is Inerrant Word Of God: 1611 KJV With Apocrypha Or Modern KJV Without Apocrypha, Apocrypha Removed From KJV By 1646 Westminster Assembly, KJV Extremists' Misunderstanding Regarding Psalm 12, The Holy Spirit Leads Us Into All Truth, Importance Of Reading And Understanding God's Word In Right Context, King David Prays For God's Help For The Righteous Godly Poor And Needy Against The Generation Of The Wicked, God's Word Is Pure And Very Trustworthy, God Does Not Lie
While using the word "congregation" instead of "church" is no doubt what raised the ire of the church authorities against Tyndale the most, it is not the only thing in his translation which irked them. Tyndale used a number of other English words -- which were actually more literal translations -- which were likewise viewed as a threat to the Church of England, and to the Roman Catholic Church as well. For example, while the KJV Bible often uses the words "elder" and "elders" -- which are very church-oriented words -- William Tyndale chose the more literal words "senior" and "seniors". These words are derived from the Greek word "presbuteros", which means someone who is older and more advanced in age; that is, an old man. The word does not mean someone who is an authority in an established church; that is, a presbyter or elder. As occurred with the word "ekklesia", this latter meaning was applied to the word later on, in order to support the ecclesiastical structure of organized religion.
That "presbuteros" simply means a person who is older in age becomes apparent in the very first example below where we see that the Apostle Paul is making an obvious contrast between the older men and the younger men, and the older women and the younger women. Where the verse says "elder women", it is again translated from the Greek word "presbuteros". In each case, the KJV Bible version of the verse is followed by the Tyndale New Testament version of the same verse so that you can compare the two of them:
"Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity."
1 Timothy 5:1-2, KJV
"Rebuke not a senior: but exhort him as a father, and the younger men as brethren, the elder women as mothers, the younger as sisters, with all pureness."
1 Timothy 5:1-2, Tyndale
"Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul."
Acts 11:29-30, KJV
"Then the disciples every man according to his ability, purposed to send succour unto the brethren which dwelt in jewry, which thing they also did, and sent it to the seniors, by the hands of Barnabas and Saul."
Acts 11:29-30, Tyndale
"And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed."
Acts 14:23, KJV
"And when they had ordained them seniors by election in every congregation, after they had prayed and fasted, they commended them to God on whom they believed."
Acts 14:23, Tyndale
"The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:"
1 Peter 5:1, KJV
"The seniors which are among you I exhort, which am also an senior, and a witness of the afflictions of Christ, and also a part taker of the glory that shall be opened:"
1 Peter 5:1, Tyndale
So as you can see, these elders were simply older people in the congregations which met in people's homes who were chosen by their peers to lead the Lord's flocks, due to their wisdom and advanced age. However, because "elder" is a word that was in use by the ecclesiastical powers of the day, and signified a person who had some degree of authority in the church, the Church of England did not like Tyndale using "senior" instead. As with his use of the word "congregation" instead of the word "church", his choice of "senior" detracted from the power of the established church, focused the people's attention on regular elderly men, and pointed to the Scriptural truth that the power really lies within the Body of Believers themselves, who are the real Church on Earth, and not the false church of organized religion.
In other words, if the words which had been chosen by William Tyndale had remained in his New Testament, the end result is that they would have eventually eroded the oppressive power of the church -- or organized religion -- at that time, which is why they were eventually removed, and replaced with a lot less threatening words, which supported the ecclesiastical structure. As we have seen, the most notable change which the church authorities made was to replace the word "congregation" with the word "church", so that it would send the message to the common people, that if one is a Christian, his duty is to attend church services, and also to submit to the authority of the Church of England.
While I have only shared with you two clear examples of word changes which were made in later versions of the Bible which followed Tyndale's New Testament, you should know that there are a number of others. In fact, to be honest, I am not sure how many there are in all, being as I really do not have the time to read both versions side-by-side, and compare them in their entirety. Regardless, with the limited evidence which I have provided here, I hope you have begun to understand how the Scriptures -- including the KJV Bible -- were translated in such a way, so as to give power to organized religion and the established church of the day, and to manipulate people towards that church.
As a result of his translation, as well as the Bible-based doctrines which he embraced, Tyndale was charged with heresy, sentenced to death, and strangled and burned at the stake. He was too dangerous, so the church had to get rid of him before the common people rose up against the corrupt church. The real tragedy here, as I first mentioned in part one, is that even though Tyndale was burned as a heretic, all later versions of the Bible -- up to and including the King James Version of the Bible -- were still about ninety per cent based on Tyndale's work. His translation was so efficient, that the church only changed those parts which threatened their own power. All of the rest remained basically the same.
Let me give you another clear example which demonstrates how the KJV Bible has been purposely manipulated by political and religious forces. The fact of the matter is that slavery is mentioned throughout the Scriptures. For example, all of you are familiar with the fact that the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob became slaves in Egypt for over four hundred years, exactly as God had warned the Patriarch Abraham years earlier. This historical and Biblical fact is made evident by verses such as the following:
"Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt."
Exodus 12:40-41, KJV
"And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."
Genesis 15:12-21, KJV
"And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years."
Acts 7:6, KJV
Despite this obvious fact, other than one time in the Book of Jeremiah where the word "slave" is inserted in italics -- which is to signify that the word was added by the English translators for the sake of clarification -- the three words "slave", "slaves" and "slavery" cannot be found anywhere in the entire King James Version of the Bible. Instead, other more politically-correct, less harsh words are used, such as "bondage", "servant", etc. Here is the verse that is found in the Book of Jeremiah. The word in brackets is actually in italics in the actual KJV Bible:
"Is Israel a servant? is he a homeborn [slave]? why is he spoiled?"
Jeremiah 2:14, KJV
Why is this? Why would slavery be described throughout the pages of the Bible, and yet the actual words are never used? The answer seems simple in my view: intentional manipulation of the Scriptures. In other words, I suspect that being as England still practiced blatant slavery at the time -- which vile, wicked practice was also imported by the colonists to the United States of America as well -- perhaps the English translators thought that King James I might take offense if the words "slave", "slaves" and "slavery" were used in their translation. Thus, they opted for less harsh words. Friends, try as we might, we can't avoid the fact that this represents intentional manipulation of the Scriptures. This means that the King James Version of the Bible is not the inerrant Word of God. Similar to other versions, it too is the manipulated and interpreted Word of God. It has been translated so that we understand it in a certain way. However, the more modern versions are a lot worse, which is why I still prefer using the KJV Bible.
For diehard KJV extremists -- yes, I am KJV-only, but I am not an extremist like you -- allow me to offer you a final piece of irrefutable evidence which clearly points to the fact that the King James Version of the Bible is by no means the inerrant Word of God, and that it has been significantly manipulated since its creation. For those of you who are not aware of it, similar to Luther's Bible of 1534, the original King James Bible included the Apocrypha. In fact, the early Reformers also viewed the Apocrypha as "books proceeding from godly men", considered them recommended reading, and therefore included them in the 1560 Geneva Bible which preceded the KJV.
For those of you who may not be familiar with it, the word "apocrypha" refers to writings which were hidden away, and not accepted as a part of the Biblical canon, because there were doubts concerning their authorship, Divine Inspiration and genuineness. The Apocrypha with which we are concerned consists of various Books which still remain in the Catholic Bible. I no longer possess a Catholic Bible -- a friend of mine sent me a huge one many years ago -- but unless I am mistaken, the included Books are some or all of these:
Additions to Esther
Bel and the Dragon
Daniel and Susanna
Letter of Jeremiah
Prayer of Azariah
Prayer of Manasseh
Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)
Wisdom of Solomon
The 1611 version of the King James Bible included most of these Books. Now, if you were not aware of the fact that the Apocrypha was at one time included in the King James Bible, you are probably a bit surprised at this moment. If you are one of those obnoxious KJV extremists who likes to insist and promote the erroneous belief that the KJV Bible is the inerrant Word of God, you are probably even more surprised, and perhaps even shocked. After all, I have just shown you clearly that the KJV Bible has been manipulated. If any of you KJV extremists doubt my word, I invite you to go ahead and conduct your own personal research, and see what you discover. You will see that I have no agenda, and that I am telling you the absolute historical truth.
This fact regarding the inclusion of the Apocrypha in the original 1611 King James Bible presents us with a challenge. If the KJV Bible is truly the inspired and inerrant Word of God, then please explain to me why modern versions of the KJV Bible do not contain the Apocrypha. If someone removed the Apocrypha from the original 1611 KJV Bible, doesn't that equate to intentional manipulation of the Sacred Text? Does that not also mean that the modern KJV Bible is not truly an inerrant text? I mean, really folks, stop and think about it. If we accept the KJV extremist argument that the King James Bible is the inerrant Word of God, we are faced with a major dilemma.
For those of you who may not be following my reasoning, allow me to state it more clearly. How can the modern version of the King James Bible even be considered the inerrant Word of God when it is missing a set of Books which were a part of the original 1611 KJV Bible? The argument here is not whether or not the Apocrypha is inspired text, it is the fact that both of these versions cannot be the inspired, inerrant Word of God. Actually, for reasons which I have already explained, I do not believe that either is inerrant, but that is beside the point. This discussion regarding the Apocrypha is simply being made to prove a point to KJV extremists. If the 1611 version of the King James Bible with the Apocrypha is truly the inerrant Word of God, then the present version of the KJV without the Apocrypha cannot be, because it is missing those Books.
Obviously, the exact opposite holds true as well. If the KJV Bible which we use today -- which does not include the Books of the Apocrypha -- is the inspired and inerrant Word of God, then the original 1611 King James Bible cannot be. Isn't that easy enough to understand? Let me rephrase that one more time for those of you who still don't grasp the key point here. If for the sake of argument we view the original 1611 version of the KJV -- which contained the Apocrypha -- as God's inspired and inerrant Word, then that means that someone tampered with and manipulated God's Word, and made a serious mistake when they chose to remove the Apocrypha from later versions, which are what we still use today. We can only conclude from this that today's version of the KJV is a tampered, manipulated, erroneous version, because it is missing a set of Books which the original translators and compilers deemed to be inspired.
In contrast, if today's version of the KJV Bible -- without the Apocrypha -- is really the true, inspired and inerrant Word of God, it is indirectly making the statement that the original 1611 translators and compilers made a very serious mistake when they included this set of Books. They published a Bible which contained a grievous error in the form of the Apocrypha. It cannot be considered inerrant, if we consider today's version of the KJV Bible inerrant. I hope that you can see now that it really comes down to both the political and religious influences of the day, as well as the whims of men. What is deemed acceptable, inspired and inerrant is solely determined by those in power at any given time, and opinions change. However, God's true, pure Word as guarded in Heaven, and as spoken to the holy Prophets and Apostles of old never changes.
The tragedy here is that some of these KJV extremists are probably so ignorant when it comes to the history of their own Bible, that they don't even know that if they are using a modern version without the Apocrypha in between the Old and the New Testaments, they are not even using the real, original 1611 King James Bible, yet they are claiming that it is the inerrant Word of God. How can it be when it is missing Books which the original translators and compilers deemed inspired?
If you are wondering what happened to the Apocrypha in the 1611 version of the KJV Bible, it was removed as a result of the 1647 Westminster Confession of Faith. This confession of faith was crafted by the 1646 Westminster Assembly as a part of the Westminster Standards, and thus became the doctrinal confession of the Church of England. Today, hundreds of years later, it still forms the basis for the confessions of faith of a variety of Protestant denominations. At any rate, from that point forward, any Bibles that were printed by English Protestants who had separated themselves from the Church of England, no longer included the Apocrypha.
As a result of all of the evidence which I have now shared with you -- and I have really only scratched the surface -- I remain convinced that while the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts were the inspired and inerrant Word of God, in contrast, modern Bibles -- including our beloved KJV Bible -- are no such thing. As I have already stated, while I do believe that the King James Bible is inspired, I can in no way accept that it is perfect and inerrant, because there is simply too much evidence which contradicts that position. Of course, KJV extremists do not accept my position, and they are quick to judge and condemn me as a result of it. One set of verses which they often point to in their attempt to try to justify their dogmatic position is the following:
"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
Psalms 12:6-7, KJV
Sadly, based on those two verses alone, such people accuse me of being a liar and a false prophet. They claim that I am deceived, misguided and of the Devil. Some of them have even rebuked me. They basically say "See! God says right there that He will preserve His Word forever! That means that you are a liar!". Well, folks, I have something rather heavy to share with you. I can tell you with confidence that the way in which KJV extremists are interpreting the aforementioned verses is completely wrong. That is not what those verses are saying whatsoever. King David's concern in the previous two verses is not the preservation of God's Word, as these KJV extremists would have us to believe.
When I first read those verses, I immediately fell for the ruse. I accepted at face value that what the KJV extremists were saying about the verses is true. However, as I noted earlier, Jesus promised us that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth, if we are open to it. I am so thankful for that promise, and I can't tell you how many times God has led me in my understanding, because I sincerely wanted to know the truth. Quite often, the truth is contrary to what is being preached and taught by organized religion, or in this case, by misguided KJV extremists.
As I studied the original Hebrew words that are used in the previous two verses, and then expanded my study to include not only the entire Psalm in which they are found, but also the Psalms which come both before and after this Psalm, I made an interesting discovery which totally contradicts what is being promoted by the KJV extremists. The word "keep" is derived from the Hebrew word "shamar". This word signifies to keep, guard, observe, watch over, preserve or protect. In similar fashion, the Brown, Driver, Briggs, Gesenius Hebrew Aramaic English Lexicon explains that the word "preserve" is derived from the Hebrew word "natsar". This word likewise means to guard, watch over, observe, keep or preserve.
However, the important question which we need to ask is this: What is the object of King David's statement? Exactly what is being kept, guarded, watched over, preserved and protected? What is the "them" in verse seven? Is it really "The words of the LORD" as these KJV extremists state? If we accept their interpretation, we run into a problem, because David writes "thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." Are we to assume then that prior to that generation, God did not preserve His Word? Even more strange, are we to believe that David is saying that the Lord must protect His Word from that generation? Is there something about David's generation that God needs to be extra careful about guarding and protecting His Word from it?
As I hope you can likewise see, no matter how we choose to look it, the KJV extremists' interpretation of those two verses in Psalm 12 is rather suspect. There is something that is just not right about it. However, if you just look at those two verses alone -- which is what they want you to do -- you won't see it. You will do as I did at first, and say to yourself, "Yes, that is what those verses are saying. God will preserve His Word and keep it pure forever." If you do that, you will be making the very same mistake that they have made. Please note that I am not saying that God's Word is not pure, or that He does not protect it. All I am saying is that this is not what those two verses are saying, as I will clearly prove to you in the paragraphs which follow.
Now, please pay close attention, because I am going to teach you an important lesson regarding Bible study and research, in case you are not already aware of it. When endeavoring to understand God's Word, it is important that we read it in context; because if we fail to do this, we can easily arrive at the wrong conclusions, as these KJV extremists have done with the aforementioned two verses. Like the Psalms which come both before and after it, Psalm 12 is a short Psalm of only eight verses. However, there is a common theme which runs through all three of the Psalms, and it is precisely by understanding exactly what this theme is, that we can gain the proper interpretation of David's words in the previous two verses.
The first thing we notice in reading Psalm 12, is that it is both a lamentation and a plea for God's help. In fact, the very first two words in the Psalm are "Help, LORD". For whom is King David asking help? If you read all three Psalms -- I encourage you to stop and do so now -- you will quickly see that the king is discussing the ongoing battle between the wicked and the righteous, the faithful and the faithless, the godly and the godless. In fact, the very first verse of Psalm 14 is one which I have often quoted in my articles, as well as on my Facebook timeline. It begins with the famous words "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." In verse four of Psalm 12, the wicked and the unrighteous proudly boast that they will prevail over the godly and the righteous, as we see here:
"Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?"
Psalms 12:4, KJV
However, please notice how the LORD responds in the very next verse. This verse is very important, because it tells us what King David means in verse seven:
"For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him."
Psalms 12:5, KJV
Do you see that? The LORD very clearly states via the king that He is going to arise to protect the oppressed poor and the needy of David's generation. He is going to place them in His care in a safe place. In other words, this is really the "them" that King David is talking about in verse seven. This is the real "them" that God is going to keep, guard, observe, watch over, preserve and protect. The "them" is most definitely not referring to God's Word whatsoever. To even suggest such a thing is to take these verses out of context. Now, let's put verses five and seven together so that you can see how clear this becomes:
"For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him . . . Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
Psalms 12:5, 7, KJV
Thus, when David writes "thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever", we should actually understand this to mean "thou shalt preserve [the righteous, the faithful, the godly, the poor and the needy] from this generation [of wicked, faithless and godless men] for ever." The "them" in verse seven is actually reflecting back to what David said in verse five, and in other verses that are found in these three related Psalms. Furthermore, the phrase "from this generation" in verse seven is reflecting back to the phrase "from him that puffeth at him" which is found in verse five. Verse seven is simply a continuation or rephrasing of verse five.
Do you see how clear it becomes when we take the time to read these two verses in context with the rest of the Psalm, and even with the tone and theme of the surrounding Psalms? Now, why is David so confident that God will do this thing for his people? Why is the king so certain that the Lord will protect the poor and needy from the wicked generation who boasts with their tongues? The answer is found in verse six, as we read here:
"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times."
Psalms 12:6, KJV
In other words, King David knows that God's Word is extremely trustworthy. It is as good as pure silver which is purified in the furnace seven times. David knows that if God makes a promise to him and gives His word to him, He will keep it. It is for this reason that the king is so confident that if he asks the Lord for His help in protecting and preserving his people, God will do it for him. This wonderful truth regarding the trustworthiness of God's Word is supported by a number of other verses which are found throughout the Scriptures as well. Consider the following examples:
"God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"
Numbers 23:19, KJV
"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."
1 John 5:14-15, KJV
"God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged."
Romans 3:4, KJV
"In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"
Titus 1:2, KJV
Please go to part eight for the conclusion of this series.
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