A treatise on the theological reasons to reject most modern Bible versions


Imagine an atheist is preaching Christianity to you. The atheist claims that he has a far better understanding of Christian teachings than many faithful pastors who you know. However, the atheist does not believe in the contents of his own preaching and frequently expresses doubts and scepticism as he preaches. Would you trust the atheist and his preaching? Would you even bother to continue listening to what the atheist has to say?

Dear reader, I am certain that you would agree with me that it would be very ridiculous to trust and promote what the atheist said. Tragically, many of you are unknowingly and unintentionally doing something very much worse than that. Do you know that many modern Bible versions are not the Word of God? In this treatise, I will endeavour to prove to you using theological reasons that you should return to the Authorised Version (KJV) and reject almost all modern versions published since 1881.

The Bible is the infallible Word of God and is rightly the only rule of life and faith. Our Lord Jesus Christ said God’s word is truth in His high priestly prayer (John 17:17). Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4). We know with certainty by faith, God is the author of His Word (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21) and He will preserve His Word throughout the ages and generations (Psalm 100:5, 117:2; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18, 24:35; Luke 21:33; 1 Peter 1:23-25). Christians will always have access to the Word of God (Isaiah 59:21). These are the beliefs of the Reformers and Puritans and they are reflected in the very first chapter of the 1646 Westminster Confession of Faith. The Apostle Saint Paul taught us that faith comes by hearing and hearing from the Word of God (Romans 10:17). It is then of absolute importance to ensure the Bible version we are reading and holding in our hands is truly the Word of God.

The New Testament is originally written in koine Greek. Many of you may not know that there are two main Greek texts in use today – the Traditional Text (Received Text / Textus Receptus) and the Modern Critical Text. These two texts have significant differences that they cannot both simultaneously be the true representative of the original New Testament text. Only one of the two is the accurate and reliable New Testament text that we can read and trust.

(i)                 The Traditional Text (Received Text / Textus Receptus)

The Traditional Text (Received Text / Textus Receptus) is the Greek New Testament text that is passed down by Christians from generation to generation throughout the ages and centuries. Editions of this text were published by Erasmus, Stephanus, Beza, and the Elzeviers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It is very important to note that the men who compared the manuscripts to publish editions of the Traditional Text were Christians who believed in God and His Word.  The Traditional Text was read by the Reformers and used as the basis for New Testament translation for the Authorised Version, Geneva Bible, William Tyndale’s New Testament, and other Reformation era Bibles. This is also the text used for Bible translations until the nineteenth century.

(ii)              The Modern Critical Text

Unfortunately, from the nineteenth century onwards and even including the present day, unbelievers have involved themselves in the scholarship and publication of the Greek New Testament text. These people do not believe the Bible to be the Word of God, neither do they believe in the Divine Preservation, the truth, and the infallibility of the Word of God.

The first widely used Modern Critical Text was constructed by Westcott and Hort in 1881. This text is mainly based on the then recently discovered Sinaiticus and Vaticanus manuscripts that were said to have originated from fourth century Egypt. However, they were lost for 1,400 years until their discoveries in the nineteenth century. Pages of Sinaiticus were also said to be in a waste basket or were about to be burned when they were discovered by von Tischendorf in 1844.

Sinaiticus and Vaticanus displayed a so-called Alexandrian text type that is different to the Traditional Text. The accuracy of the Alexandrian text is highly questionable and that text type was used only in ancient Egypt before the fifth century. The text also contains missing verses (examples include Mark 16:9-20, John 5:4, John 7:53-8:11, Acts 8:37) and readings (different from the Traditional Text) that obscure the truth of the divinity of Christ (examples include Romans 14:10, 1 Timothy 3:16). This is the reason you see in your modern versions, notes and brackets with questionable comments that introduce doubts to the reader such as ‘the most reliable manuscripts do not contain these verses’ and ‘some manuscripts have [a certain reading]’.

Despite being clergymen of the Church of England, Westcott and Hort did not believe the Bible to be the Word of God. Hort even believed in Darwinian evolution. These two men hated the Traditional Text and they dreamt of replacing the text with the Modern Critical Text. The textual criticism method they developed based on unbelief unreasonably rejected the Traditional Text while heavily favouring the Alexandrian text. Weaknesses of the Alexandrian text such as difficult and shorter readings were ridiculously turned into strengths based on unproven theories and illogical reasonings. Being members of the Church of England committee that sought to revise the Authorised Version, Westcott and Hort introduced their Modern Critical Text to be used to produce the Revised Version in 1881. It is very important to note that the actions of Westcott and Hort and their Modern Critical text were opposed by Burgon and Scrivener, two Church of England clergymen in the same revision committee who defended the Traditional Text.  

Over the years, the Westcott and Hort text evolved into the modern Nestle-Aland text widely in use today. More unbelievers such as Metzger and Aland who did not believe the Bible to be the Word of God, have continued to influence and direct the development of the Modern Critical Text. Unsurprisingly, those unbelievers also reject the Traditional Text while at the same time, use and develop textual criticism methods based on that of Westcott and Hort.  Beginning with the Revised Version in 1881, the Modern Critical Text has been used as the basis for New Testament translation for almost all modern Bible versions.


Dear reader, with the Traditional Text and the Modern Critical Text, how do we know which text to read and trust? We are not going to simply listen to the reasons given by the many modern scholars who promote the Modern Critical Text. Why? Remember it is also the modern scholars who question if St. Peter was the author of 2 Peter and who claim that six Pauline Epistles were not written by St. Paul. This is despite authorship is clear in the very first verse of these Epistles. If we cannot trust an atheist preaching Christianity, why should we trust the theological scholarship done by unbelievers?

The Word of God is the only rule of life and faith and therefore, the infallible Scriptures alone will determine the text that is the true representative of the original Greek New Testament text. In this treatise, two biblical standards will be used, namely the doctrine of the divine preservation of Scriptures and the requirement of faith.

1.      The doctrine of the divine preservation of Scriptures

Only the Traditional Text meets this standard. Christians throughout history always have access to this text. This is the text passed down to us by generations of Christians. Over 90% of discovered historical manuscripts also reflect the Traditional Text. Despite fierce opponents such as Westcott, Hort, Metzger, and Aland, the Traditional Text and translations based on this text (for example, the Authorised Version) are still in popular use today. 

It is ridiculous to think that God would hide His Word for 1,400 years and during those years Christians had no access to the Word of God. It is also ridiculous to think that man has to use his own methods based on his own understanding to figure out the true New Testament text. The effective disappearance of the Alexandrian text for 1,400 years clearly shows that the Modern Critical Text is not the Word of God and is rejected by ancient Christians.

2.      The requirement of faith

Hebrews 11:6 teaches that without faith it is impossible to please God while Isaiah 64:6 teaches that our righteousness is as filthy rags. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that unbelievers have no right to be involved in any theological work and that the works of unbelievers are certainly and absolutely rejected by our holy God. Theological scholarship cannot be independent of faith.

While the Traditional Text is passed down to us by Christians, the Modern Critical Text is a work of unbelievers. Supporters of the Modern Critical Text have frequently failed to acknowledge that the Alexandrian text came from a time (fourth century) and a place (Egypt) of the Arian heresy. This would also be one of the reasons the Alexandrian text contains readings that obscure the truth of the divinity of Christ. Therefore, it is reasonable to call the Alexandrian text the Arian text. You may not know that this Arian text is also promoted and used by the modern Arians, namely the self-claimed Witnesses.


In conclusion, the Traditional Text is the true representative of the Word of God. On the other hand, the Modern Critical Text is not the Word of God and is rejected by God.

Have you wondered why Westcott and Hort and the unbelieving modern scholars after them reject and even hate the Traditional Text? The reason is very clear: The Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Men subconsciously know that the Traditional Text is the Word of God and unbelievers are pricked in the heart. 

The Authorised Version is the most accurate English translation of the Bible, faithfully translated by Christians using the Hebrew Masoretic Text of the Old Testament and the Greek Traditional Text of the New Testament. However, almost all modern versions since the Revised Version of 1881, are not the Word of God because they are translated from a Modern Critical Text that is not the Word of God. Since the Modern Critical Text is a work of unbelievers, it is not surprising that the notes in many modern versions are introducing doubts to the reader.

Dear reader, theological scholarship cannot be independent of faith. You must now make a choice between the Word of God and a work of unbelievers that is rejected by God. This is a decision you must make and that would have very significant effects on your understanding of Christianity.

No comments:

Post a Comment