8/1/15 “How We Got Our Bible – What Translation Is Best?” – Pastor Shane Idleman


Complete Sermon Notes

How Did We Get Our Bible – What Translation Is Best?

17:14 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son [his heart was right], for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”

17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

Interesting Sidenote: Some manuscripts omit vs. 21


The church split into 2 groups: The eastern orthodox church, which continued using Greek as its primary language, and the Western church which used latin; hence the Roman Catholic Church.

  1. Byzantine – Received text” [older but more]: traditional text of the Greek speaking churches – textus receptus: KJV, NKJV, Geneva

  1. Alexandrian [the earliest; the minority]: two newly discovered [codex vaticanus & codex sinaticus] – they disagree with each other in a number of places: NIV, ESV

  • The Byzantine text is geographically closest to the originals in Antioch. BUT both flow from the original source…

  1. Majority Text: it adds to the TR because it offers more insight by looking at the majority of Byzantine manuscripts vs. the 5 OR 6 Erasmus used – [“eclectic” or “critical text”] – KNJV and why it catches heat from KJV Only camps.

SOME DISTURBING WEBSITES: The New King James changed thousands of words, ruined valuable verses, and when not agreeing with the King James Bible, it has instead copied the perverted NIV, NASV or RSV. And this you must know: those who translated the NKJV did not believe God perfectly preserved His words!

We will now give some special attention to one of the deadliest translations on the market–the New King James Version, first published in 1979. It is a deadly version because it’s editors have succeeded in deceiving the body of Christ on two main points: (1) That it’s a King James Bible (which is a lie), and (2) that it’s based on the Textus Receptus (which is only a partial truth). The following information should be helpful when dealing with Christians who have been swindled by the Laodicean lovers of filthy lucre:

  • NKJV logo. It is a “666” symbol of the pagan trinity

THEN WE HAVE – Dynamic vs. Formal Equivalence TO CONSIDER

FEW EXAMPLES of Alexandrian vs. Byzantine:

  • Matthew 9:13, “for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

  • Matthew 9:13, “For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

  • Matthew 6:13, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

  • Matthew 6:13, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Other variations are because emphasis was added: James R. White referred to additions of LORD as “expansion of piety” – There are charts showing both sides.

  • I’m reading NIV now – takes 2+ years – but the translators add a bit more

Out of about 500 pages in the Greek New Testament, the manuscript variations represent only about half of a page. Let’s not ignore the witness of 95% of those manuscripts.

*After 30 years of exceptionally thorough research, using the laws of legal evidence, involving investigation of every consonant in the entire Old Testament (some 1 ¼ million), including manuscript variations, Dr. Robert Wilson concluded, “I can affirm that there is not a page of the Old’ Testament concerning which we need have any doubt” and, apart from minor copyists mistakes, “We can be absolutely certain” that “we have the text of the Old Testament that Christ and the Apostles had, and which was in existence from the beginning’.” [Facts on King James Only – John Ankerberg]

  • The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in eleven caves along the northwest shore of the Dead Sea between the years 1947 and 1956. The area is 13 miles east of Jerusalem and is 1300 feet below sea level. The mostly fragmented texts, are numbered according to the cave that they came out of. They have been called the greatest manuscript discovery of modern times. Isaiah 1900 yrs earlier.

  • The following principles were used to determine whether a New Testament book was truly inspired by the Holy Spirit: 1) Was the author an apostle or have a close connection with an apostle? 2) Is the book being accepted by the body of Christ at large? 3) Did the book contain consistency of doctrine and orthodox teaching? 4) Did the book bear evidence of high moral and spiritual values that would reflect a work of the Holy Spirit? Again, it is crucial to remember that the church did not determine the canon. No early church council decided on the canon. It was God, and God alone, who determined which books belonged in the Bible. It was simply a matter of God’s imparting to His followers what He had already decided. The human process of collecting the books of the Bible was flawed, but God, in His sovereignty, and despite our ignorance and stubbornness, brought the early church to the recognition of the books He had inspired.

         [GotQuestions.org: http://www.gotquestions.org/canon-Bible.html]

KJV ONLY CAMP: “Is my stance leading to love, joy, peace, contentment, gentleness, and kindness. Or is it leading to rigidity, arrogance, legalism, divisiveness, and anger?”

  • Raised in a certain denomination or taught a certain way, it’s hard to break that pattern

  • Pause for concern with Westcott and Hort – deity of Christ

  • Lesbian sympathizer Virginia Mollencott was involved in the NIV translation- she sat on the literary (stylistic) committee, but only for a few months. However, she had nothing to do with the translation, and once her sexual views were known, she was asked to resign.

The King James Bible has been SCIENTIFICALLY proven to be easier to read than modern versions: Words like almug, neesing, chode, habergeon, purtenance, aceldama, blains, wot, trow, churl, ambassage, collops of fat, wimples, hole’s mouth, ouches of gold, naughty figs, and fetched a compass (which does not mean to go find a compass but “to turn around”). These were the words chosen by KJV translators in their day to signify the meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words.

Translators now find current English words in use that more accurately convey the meaning for our own era. [Facts on King James Only – John Ankerberg]

  • EXAMPLE IN Mark 6:25 – KJV: And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. – NKJV: Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”

If the KJV is the only inspired version then all missionary endeavors to translate the Bible are failures.

KJV CHANGES – In 1611, the KJV had “Then cometh Judas” in Matthew 26:36. Today it says, “Then cometh Jesus.” This is SIGNIFICANT. There were also a few embarrassing printing errors. The 1613 printing omitted the word “not” from the seventh commandment – “encouraging” people to commit adultery.

  • Since 1611 there have been a grand total of 421 word changes – Matt. 13:6 – Reads now ‘had no root’ instead of had not root.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE: KJV John 3:36 – “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life,” – the NASB reads, “He who does not obey the Son shall not see life”. Is this unbelief or disobedience?

  • Apeitheo can be translated unbelief or disobedience. The KJV translates it as disobedience in other places such as 1 Peter 3:1 (obey not) & 4:17 (obey not). New translations translate the term as “disobey” because its the primary meaning of the term.  .  .The verb is in the active present tense…to “disobey”

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Charges against modern translations: These manuscripts allegedly deny salvation by grace through faith, the resurrection of Christ, and the existence of hell, and affirm many other heresies and errors.

  1. Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

  2. Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

  3. Matthew 25:46 Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

  4. God’s Wrath Against Mankind romans 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen. 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

If you believe Scripture, you may want to remove the rainbow from your Facebook image – the rainbow is a reminder of judgment and grace not perversion and sin.

ESV [more literal but same school of manuscripts as NIV]

  • Romans 1:5 – ESV The obedience of faith; NIV the obedience that comes from faith

  • Romans 3:20 – ESV By works of the law; NIV by observing the law

  • Romans 13:8 – ESV Owe no one anything; NIV Let no debt remain outstanding

OUTCOME: We would worship THE BIBLE vs. Christ if it was Perfect – Most mainline “FORMAL” translations are good – KJV, NKJV, NASB, ESV…


  • This is the only way to know the heart of God. This is why many “believers” support things that God opposes –

  • SATAN tested Jesus by using Scriptures out of context: “Don’t judge”; “God is love”…Ask, “how many times have you read through the entire Bible?”

The nature of God has not changed – you cannot fully understand Him with only a few pieces of the puzzle. Leaky vessels needs constant refilling.

NIV 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

KJV 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

J.B. Phillips N.T. 12:2 Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.


Make a commitment tonight – to Stay, Pray, and Obey – there will be a fight.

  • Why are praying and reading and obeying so challenging?