Which Version Most Glorifies Jesus Christ?
The Scriptures are prophecy given by the Holy Spirit (2PE 1:20-21). REV 19:10 says, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” The Holy Spirit testifies of Jesus Christ in His prophecy. In searching the Scriptures which are given by the Spirit, one finds there a testimony of Jesus Christ (JOH 5:39). Note what the Lord Jesus said about the ministry of the Holy Ghost: "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:" (Joh 15:26) "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you." (Joh 16:13-14) From these words of Christ we can clearly see that the Spirit's ministry is to testify of Jesus Christ and to glorify Him. Therefore, since the Scriptures are given by the Holy Ghost, we may conclude that they testify of Christ and glorify Him. Anything that clouds the testimony of Christ or that detracts from His glory is not of the Holy Spirit! In our day we are faced with numerous versions all claiming to be the Holy Bible, God's prophecy given by the Holy Spirit. Merely claiming to be the Holy Bible does not of itself prove that a book is the Spirit's Book. The Bible warns against false prophets who profess to be giving the word of God when in reality they are not (JER 23:28-31; 1JO 4:1-3). Scripture also warns of those who corrupt the word of God (2CO 2:17) and of those who change the truth of God (ROM 1:25). The Bible reader needs some criterion to discern between the Holy Spirit's “prophecy of the scripture” and the false prophecy. How does one detect that Scripture has not been corrupted? The needed criterion is found in the Spirit's ministry as noted above. The true word of God given by the Spirit will bear a testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ that clearly glorifies Him. Let us compare various modern English versions of the Bible with the Authorized Version of 1611, also called the King James Version. It should be readily apparent from this comparison that the Authorized Version bears a brilliantly clear testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ that greatly glorifies both His person and His work. On the other hand, this testimony of Christ is clouded and weakened in the modern versions. From this comparison, it should then be obvious which Bible is the Holy Spirit's Book. In this essay the following abbreviations will be used to identify the versions we will compare: AV (Authorized or King James Version, 1611) RSV (Revised Standard Version, 1952) NASV (New American Standard Version, 1977) NIV (New International Version, 1978) LB (Living Bible, 1971) DCV (Douay-Confraternity Version, 1961) NKJV (New King James Version, 1982) NSRB (New Scofield Reference Bible, 1967) ESV (English Standard Version, 2001) Occasional reference will also be made to the NWT (New World Translation, 1984). The NKJV and the NSRB both claim to be King James Version. In many cases, they agree with AV. However, there are instances where they join the other versions in detracting from the glory of Christ. They thus reveal that they too are corruptions. One of the Spirit's most glorifying pieces of testimony regarding Jesus Christ is His testimony to His deity. Consider this verse from the AV: "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: GOD WAS MANIFEST IN THE FLESH, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." (1Ti 3:16) In this passage the AV UNMISTAKABLY bears witness that Jesus Christ is God Himself “manifest in the flesh.” This is a clear testimony that glorifies Christ as much as He could be glorified. It puts Him right up there as God Himself! However, the word “God” is DELETED from this verse in the RSV, NASV, NIV, LB, DCV and the ESV. Now which version would you judge to be the Spirit's prophecy? The one that so clearly sets forth Christ as God in this verse or the versions that rob this verse of that testimony? Which book most glorifies the person of Christ? Obviously, the AV. In REV 1:8, the Almighty God declares Himself to be “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending.” On down in REV 1:11 Jesus Christ is speaking. Hear what He says of Himself: "...I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last...” (Rev 1:11) Jesus Christ clearly equates Himself with the Almighty! Here is another clear witness in the AV to Christ's deity. Yet these words are MISSING in the text of the RSV, NASV, NIV, DCV and the ESV. Which version most glorifies Christ's person in this passage? Unquestionably, the AV bears the mark of the Holy Spirit here. The LB confirms the AV reading. The poor thing ought to get it right once in a while. The deity of Christ also receives testimony in the AV in JOH 3:13: "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man WHICH IS IN HEAVEN." (Joh 3:13) The Son of Man, Christ Jesus, was on earth when these words were spoken. Yet He spoke of Himself as being in heaven. This clearly shows Christ is more than a man; He is also God in heaven. The AV again ascribes to Jesus Christ the supreme glory. On the other hand, the RSV, NASV, NIV, LB and ESV leave out the words “which is in heaven” thus robbing the verse of its testimony to Christ's deity. Which book sounds like the Spirit's testimony to you? The Roman Catholic DCV hits it right here. Good. It needs all the help it can get. Scripture teaches that God is a trinity of Persons. There is one God in three Persons. Each Person is the one eternal God; they are all equally God. A text that well supports this is 1JO 5:7: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." (1Jn 5:7) Here Jesus Christ, the Word, is declared to be one with the other Persons of the Trinity. He could not be ascribed a greater glory. Yet this testimony is missing in the RSV, NASV, NIV, LB and ESV. While this verse is found in the text of the DCV and NSRB, there are footnotes in both versions casting doubt on its rightful place in the text. They thus hold in question this clear testimony to Christ's place in the Trinity. This is by no means the work of the Spirit Who is sent to glorify Jesus Christ! In this case, the AV outstrips these others in glorifying Christ. The Holy Spirit further glorifies Jesus Christ in presenting Him as the Creator of all things: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." (Joh 1:1-3) "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:" (Col 1:16) The AV further confirms this testimony in EPH 3:9 which says that God “...created all things BY JESUS CHRIST:” Here the AV gives additional witness to Christ's glory as Creator of all things. This additional glorifying of Jesus Christ shows the effect of the Spirit in this version. On the other hand, those words, “by Jesus Christ” are MISSING in the RSV, NASV, NIV, LB, DCV and ESV. Which version most magnifies Christ in this verse? Which version sounds more like the Spirit's Bible? The Holy Spirit in glorifying Christ very carefully guards His character against a charge of sin in the following verse: "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother WITHOUT A CAUSE shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." (Mat 5:22) Mind that it is not merely anger that is censured in this verse. Were that the case then Christ would have been guilty because we read in MAR 3:5 of an occasion when Jesus “...looked round about on them WITH ANGER...” Considering the context of MAR 3:5, we see that Jesus clearly had a cause for anger. Not all anger is sin. As the AV states, it is anger WITHOUT A CAUSE that is condemned. However, those words “without a cause” are NOT FOUND in the RSV, NASV, NIV, LB, DCV and ESV. Thus, these versions all join together in making a sinner out of Jesus Christ. This most definitely goes counter to the Spirit's testimony which ever glorifies Christ. In the case of MAT 5:22, it is unquestionably the AV that most glorifies Christ. The others flatly detract from His glory by charging sin upon His character! The testimony of the Lordship of Jesus Christ proceeds from the Holy Spirit. This is clear from 1CO 12:3 which says: “...no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” We may well expect the Spirit to bear abundant testimony to the Lordship of Christ as He seeks to glorify Him. It is interesting to notice that in numerous instances the word “Lord” is deleted from the modern versions in places where it occurs in the AV. These several testimonies of the Lordship of Jesus Christ must not be considered unimportant. The Saviour Himself once based a doctrinal question on a single occurrence of the word “Lord” in PSA 110:1. Note MAT 22:43-45: "He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?" (Mat 22:43-45) Hence, we should never de-emphasize any place the Holy Spirit employs the word “Lord.” In MAT 13:51 the disciples call Jesus “Lord.” In MAR 9:24 the father of a boy possessed by a foul spirit prays to Jesus, calling him “Lord.” He calls on the name of the Lord for help. In LUK 7:31 the gospel writer refers to Jesus as Lord when quoting Him. In 2CO 4:10; COL 1:2; 2TI 4:1 and TIT 1:4, Paul gives Jesus the title of Lord. The word “Lord” occurs in the AV in all of the cases mentioned in this paragraph. Yet this word is MISSING in every one of these cases in the RSV, NASV, NIV, LB, DCV and ESV. Hence, the AV glorifies Christ MORE in this respect than do these other versions. And remember, each place the Spirit employs the word “Lord” is important, as we saw above. Take MAR 9:24 as an example. Doesn't it glorify Christ more to have the praying father call upon Him as Lord, than to simply call upon Him without addressing Him as Lord? Doesn't calling someone “Lord” magnify that person? Note the further testimony of the AV to the Lordship of Christ in 1CO 15:47: “...the second man is the Lord from heaven.” Here is clear testimony to the Lordship of the second man, Christ Jesus. That little expression, “the Lord” is missing from the RSV, NASV, NIV, LB, DCV and ESV. The RSV, NASV, NIV, DCV and ESV simply say that the second man is from heaven. The LB says, “Christ came from heaven above.” But none of these versions tell us that that man is the Lord! This is a distinct comparison in which the AV plainly declares the Lordship of Christ where these other versions do not! This again confirms the AV as the Holy Spirit's book glorifying Christ. One of the single most important places where Christ is called Lord is found in LUK 23:42: "And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." (Luk 23:42) The reader will recognize this as the prayer of the dying thief who was crucified next to Jesus. He addresses Jesus as Lord in the AV. According to 1CO 12:3, “...no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” This clearly reveals that the Holy Spirit was working on that thief, moving him to call Jesus Lord. Yet, this word “Lord” is deleted from the thief's prayer in RSV, NASV, NIV, LB and ESV. Note how these versions delete the very evidence of the Spirit leading a man to acknowledge Jesus as Lord. The AV unquestionably bears the mark of the Holy Ghost in this verse as opposed to these other versions. In this case, the Roman Catholic DCV agrees with the AV. John the Baptist clearly exalted Christ above himself. He said in JOH 1:27: "He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose." (Joh 1:27) Then John later quotes this statement about Christ being preferred before him (JOH 1:30). The expression “is preferred before me” is deleted from v. 27 in the RSV, NASV, NIV, LB and ESV. Yet they have John quoting these words (or a variant of them) in v. 30! But they don't give the words in v. 27 that he was quoting in v. 30. On the other hand, the AV has John speaking the words in v. 27 and then quoting them in v. 30. In this instance the AV glorifies Christ in v. 27 in plainly saying that He is preferred before John. The AV is also more consistent in that it renders the words John refers back to in v. 30. Here again, the Catholic DCV confirms the AV. So far we have found three good things to say about the DCV. Again, it needs all the help it can get. The very ground of the Christian faith is the certainty of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1CO 15:1-20). Notice how the AV attests to this fact of the resurrection in ACT 1:3: "To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many INFALLIBLE proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:" (Act 1:3) In the AV, the proofs of Christ's resurrection are infallible, that is, they are INCAPABLE OF ERROR. Here the AV glorifies Christ by attaching maximum certainty to His resurrection. The NASV and NIV have changed the truth of God (ROM 1:25). They change the word “infallible” to the word “convincing.” Anybody should know that some things have been “convincingly proved” only later to be found erroneous. On the other hand, infallible proof is INCAPABLE of error. In this case, which version MORE glorifies Christ in attaching the MOST CERTAINTY to the bedrock of Christianity, the resurrection of Christ? The RSV, LB, DCV and ESV do not attach any adjective describing the proofs of Christ's resurrection. To them, the proofs are neither infallible nor convincing. They flatly detract from the glory of Christ as opposed to the AV. Here the AV undoubtedly ascribes more glory to Jesus Christ. A most Christ-honouring confession is made by the Ethiopian eunuch in ACT 8:37 of the AV: "And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." (Act 8:37) This great confession is left out of the RSV and NIV. While it is inserted in the NASV, LB, DCV and ESV, they all question its authenticity with a footnote. Which version do you think most magnifies the Son of God in this passage? The one with the eunuch's testimony inserted WITHOUT QUESTION, or the ones that leave it out or question it? The AV magnifies the work of Christ in HEB 1:3: "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had BY HIMSELF purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;" (Heb 1:3) That little expression “by himself” magnifies Christ in setting forth the SOLE-SUFFICIENCY of His work in purging sin. He did it BY HIMSELF. No church, no priest, no preacher, no soul-winner helps Him do this. Yet those words “by himself” are MISSING from the RSV, NASV, NIV, LB, DCV and ESV. They discard one of the clearest testimonies to the sole-sufficiency of Christ's atonement. In this case, which version most magnifies Christ's accomplishment on the cross? Which is obviously the Spirit's Book? The AV in keeping with the ministry of the Holy Ghost further glorifies Christ in stating that the Abrahamic covenant of promise “...was confirmed before of God IN CHRIST...” (GAL 3:17). Those words “in Christ” are not found in the RSV, NASV, NIV, LB, DCV and ESV. These versions detract from the glory of Christ in not setting HIM forth in this verse as the very One in Whom God's covenant stands! In GAL 4:7, the AV also magnifies Christ in stating that the child of God is “...an heir of God THROUGH CHRIST.” This shows Christ to be the means whereby we are heirs of God. “Through Christ” is missing in the RSV, NASV, NIV, LB, DCV and ESV. Thus, the very means of our inheritance is missing. In these two passages in Galatians, which version most glorifies Christ? The one that sets Him forth as the surety of the covenant and the means of our inheritance, or the ones that do not? Which sounds like the Spirit's testimony? So far we have seen where all the modern versions in some way give less glory to Christ than the AV with the exception of one. We have yet to see the NKJV falling out of step with the AV in giving less glory to Jesus Christ. But it, too, is guilty of going counter to the Holy Spirit's magnifying of the Son of God. In MAR 15:37 the AV testifies of the death of Jesus Christ: "And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost." (Mar 15:37) In rendering this verse, the NKJV straightly insults the doctrine of Christ's resurrection. It renders the verse this way: “And Jesus....breathed his last.” The RSV, NASV, NIV and ESV also render the verse this way. Anyone who understands the doctrine of the resurrection knows that Jesus did NOT breathe His last when He died. Bless God, He breathed again three days later! These versions thus deny the resurrection with this rendering. This is in NO WAY the testimony of the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit would never detract from the glory of Christ in His resurrection. In this case, the AV is plainly shown to be the Spirit's prophecy! The LB shows better sense here and confirms the reading of the AV. The DCV edges toward the corrupt versions and uses the word “expired,” which can be defined as “breathing one's last.” As usual, the testimony of the AV clearly glorifies Jesus Christ, thus showing that it is the Spirit's Book. The AV bears a pointed witness to the divine Sonship of Jesus Christ in ACT 4:27 and ACT 4:30 in referring to Jesus as God's “holy CHILD.” Here is another case, however, where the NKJV joins the other modern versions in weakening the testimony of this verse. The NKJV substitutes “holy servant” for “holy child” and thus erases the Spirit's testimony to Christ's divine Sonship. This is also done in the RSV, NASV, NIV, DCV and ESV. The LB calls Jesus both a Son and a servant in v. 27 but does not say “Son” in v. 30. Even the NSRB suggests that the word “servant” may be substituted for the word “Son” in these two verses. Mind that Scripture teaches that the status of a servant is less than that of a child/son: "And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever." (Joh 8:35) "For this man [Jesus Christ] was counted worthy of MORE GLORY than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, AS A SERVANT, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ AS A SON over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." (Heb 3:3-6) Hence, in calling Jesus God's “holy child” in ACT 4:27, 30, the AV is giving Him a status above that of a servant. It is giving more glory to Christ than the versions which merely give Him the status of servant in these verses. In these two verses, all the other versions we are considering line up in some way against the AV's testimony of Christ as God's holy child. Now someone might say, “But in MAT 12:18 God says of Jesus, 'Behold my servant...' so Jesus was indeed God's servant.” This is not to be denied: He told his disciples, “...I am among you as he that serveth” (LUK 22:27). But this does not change the fact that the modern versions alter ACT 4:27, 30 so that they DO NOT present Him as the Divine Son, the “holy child.” And those are the only verses in the entire Bible where the phrase “holy child” appears! Thus two important texts which glorify Jesus Christ by confirming His Divine Sonship no longer do so in these modern versions. At the rate the spirit behind these modern versions is working, who knows but what in a few more revisions all clear references to the Divine Sonship of Christ will be altered or deleted. At least then the Jehovah's Witnesses which have always denied Christ's divinity won't feel so lonely and their New World Translation won't be the only game in town! There is more evidence of diminished glory concerning the Sonship of Jesus Christ in some modern versions. The AV always makes it clear that God is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit behind it NEVER calls Joseph (to whom the virgin Mary was espoused) Jesus' father. When the AV speaks about Joseph and Mary's relationship to Jesus Christ, it calls them His “parents” (LUK 2:27, 41) and a parent by definition need not be a biological procreator but sometimes only “a person who holds the position or exercises the functions of a parent.” An adoptive or step-father would be such a parent (as was Joseph). Note how the Spirit speaks of Jesus and His parents in the AV in the following verse: "And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him." (Luk 2:33) However, the RSV, NASV, NIV and ESV all say, “...his FATHER and mother...” As if this does not muddy the water enough, the NWT says, “...ITS FATHER and mother...” Mind that the only version that carefully only refers the Fatherhood of Jesus Christ to God is the AV, a glorifying distinguishing testimony of Jesus Christ! The Scripture teaches that the righteousness of the saints is none other than the very righteousness of Jesus Christ Himself. This righteousness is not the product of their obedience; it is the product of His obedience. See ROM 5:19; 1CO 1:30; 2CO 5:21 and PHIL 3:9. These verses clearly show that the righteousness of the saints is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. The AV very carefully allows for this fact in its wording of REV 19:8: "And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." (Rev 19:8) However, in this case ALL the modern versions line up against this Christ-honouring fact. The NASV, NIV, and NKJV call the fine linen “the righteous acts of the saints.” The NSRB calls it “the righteousnesses, i.e., the righteous acts, of the saints.” The RSV and ESV call it “the righteous deeds of the saints,” while the DCV calls the fine linen “the just deeds of the saints.” The LB says that the “fine linen represents the good deeds done by the people of God.” Hence, all the modern versions considered here have the saints arrayed in their own righteousnesses produced by their own good works. Yet the Scripture declares that “ALL our RIGHTEOUSNESSES (the NSRB used this word in REV 19:8 – imagine that!) are as FILTHY RAGS” (ISA 64:6). That's a far cry from “fine linen, clean and white” (REV 19:8)! The AV glorifies Christ in rendering the text so as to agree with the fact that the righteousness of saints is the righteousness of Christ. The other versions subtract from Christ's honour by ascribing this righteousness to the works of sinners! Which rendering of REV 19:8 sounds like the Holy Spirit's prophecy? Lastly, the glory of Christ is plainly stated in the following verse: "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, BUT ON YOUR PART HE IS GLORIFIED." (1Pe 4:14) Here is a point-blank declaration in the AV text that Jesus Christ is glorified when His followers are reproached for His name. The last part of that verse (“on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified”) is deleted from the RSV, NASV, NIV, LB, DCV and ESV. They leave out a statement that expressly says Jesus Christ “IS GLORIFIED”! Remembering that the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus Christ, which version sounds like the Spirit's testimony in this case: the one that expresses that Christ is glorified, or the ones that don't? In this instance, the NKJV and NSRB behave themselves and agree with the AV.