What’s Right? vs. James White
The previous chapter reveals the magnitude of the changes in the modern versions concerning the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Even the most precious of Bible doctrines falls prey to Satan’s penknife. Despite the immense variations, many of the modern version gurus fail to admit the problems associated with these differences. Some of the least honest Bible critics go so far as to claim that the modern versions are superior in this area!
The next passage is a favorite of those proclaiming the superiority of the modern versions. Of course, all attempts to elevate the modern versions must first try to prove the inferiority and mistranslation of the King James Bible! For this reason, extra attention is devoted to completely refuting this errant position.
One man that has written an entire book attacking the KJB is James White. Mr. White mentions the next passage on eleven different pages in his book and devotes four full pages in an attempt to prove that the modern versions are superior to the King James Bible in their treatment of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. On the surface, it may appear that he uses credible evidence for this verse, but not if one fully considers the implications of these differences.
(KJB) Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
(NIV) Titus 2:13 while we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
The main differences between the two versions are clearly seen: "…the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" in the KJB versus "…our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ" in the NIV. James White provides a chart listing 12 verses (including the subject verse) and concludes that "…we can see that the NIV provides the clearest translations of the key passages that teach the deity of Christ, the NASB just a bit less so, and the KJB the least of the three." He also claims that the NIV and NASV are clear; whereas the King James Bible is ambiguous.1 If necessary, go back to the previous chapter and see if you arrive at the same conclusion concerning the NIV’s supposed superiority in its treatment of the deity of Jesus Christ. A few pages later, Mr. White’s attack on God’s word concerning this passage continues.
The insertion of the second ‘our’ in the AV translation makes it possible to separate ‘God’ from ‘Savior,’ as indeed those who deny the deity of Christ would assert.But this is an error, as is demonstrated elsewhere. The fact is that the KJV provides an inferior translation in these passages, one that unintentionally detracts from the presentation of the full deity of Jesus Christ. The willingness of the KJV defenders to overlook this fact is most disturbing. 2 [Emphasis mine]
This "KJV defender" (the author) does not feel compelled to overlook this passage. In spite of devoting almost 300 pages to the attack of the King James Bible, Mr. White’s book contains an introduction which emphasizes that, "This book is not against the King James Version." 3 Such a statement would be similar to my claiming that this book isnot against the New International Version. I would be a hypocritical, deluded liar if I made such a ridiculous claim and expected anyone to believe me.
In addition to those pages already mentioned, Mr. White spends four entire pages (pages 267 to 270) discussing Titus 2:13 in an attempt to prove the inferiority of the King James Bible. Here is another of his comments, "The KJV translators, through no fault of their own, obscured these passages through less than perfect translation. Modern versions correct their error." He then runs to the Greek and Granville Sharp’s Rule attempting to prove his point. What exactly is his point? (See additional material at the end of the chapter concerning Granville Sharp’s Rule.)
He claims that when the KJB says "…the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ," the use of "our" between God and Saviour makes it possible to separate "God" from "Savior." This is TRUE and exactly what the Holy Spirit intended to convey. However, the separation of God and Saviour does not make the KJB inferior. In fact, the reading from the KJB should bolster one’s faith in the inspiration and preservation of God’s perfect word as found in the pages of one book — the King James Bible. Let me explain.
"The" is used in reference to "the great God" because there is only one great God. This fact holds true whether a person accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour or not. The reason that "our" is used before Saviour is because He may be the great God, but not one’s personal Saviour. Therefore, Paul proclaims that we are looking toward the day when the great God and our Saviour returns (because he addressed a saved man in the book of Titus). Jesus is the great God, but a personal, conscious decision must be made to make Him one’s personal Saviour (the our in the verse). When the NIV and all of the other modern versions change the passage to read: our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, it can imply that there is more than one great God — our great God and their great God.
This reading allows those that claim false gods to have an "out." With the wording of the NIV, one could construe that there is our great God (the Christian God) and their great God of choice. One does not have this problem when allowing the King James Bible to remain the standard. According to the Bible, when the Lord returns, He will be THE great God and OUR Saviour to those that have trusted in Him. However, He will not be everyone’s Saviour. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe (I Timothy 4:10).
Furthermore, the construction in each of the three chapters of Titus in the King James Bible testifies to the design planned by God. The parallel composition of each chapter does not indicate that there are two Saviours, but instead that the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father are one and the same. The modern versions retain the construction in chapters one and three, but arbitrarily eliminate it in chapter two. Take note of the unique construction of the KJB:
"…God our Saviour" (Titus 1:3)
"…Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour." (Titus 1:4)
"…the doctrine of God our Saviour ..." (Titus 2:10)
"...our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13)
"…love of God our Saviour..." (Titus 3:4)
"…through Jesus Christ our Saviour" (Titus 3:6)
In each case, God is pointed out as the Saviour, then Jesus Christ is pointed out as the Saviour. The modern versions eliminate the construction of the second chapter, but retain it in the first and third chapters. Moving the "our" in Titus 2:13 in front of "great God" as the new versions do, destroys the parallelism and weakens the truth.
One cannot devote the time or the space necessary to refute all the errors and inconsistent treatment against the KJB by those claiming the superiority of the modern versions. However, when we consider how the critics emphasize and then distort the truth concerning Titus 2:13, their position in other areas becomes equally suspect. Mr. White and others use the same tactic concerning a similar passage in the book of Jude.
Another favorite "proof text" used by the modern Bible critic to attack the King James Bible is Jude 4. Again, KJB critics claim that the modern versions are actually stronger concerning the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Once again, Mr. White states that "Few KJV Only works address this passage, though it would seem like consistency would demand at least some explanation of the difference between the KJV and the modern texts." I do not find it necessary to dodge any of the passages that Mr. White claims Bible believers must avoid. Once again he misinterprets the passage by reading the corrupt translation of the modern version and concludes, "The last passage we will examine wherein the deity of the Lord Jesus is more plainly revealed in modern translations than in the KJV is Jude 4." 4
He goes on to say that the TR (Textus Receptus) adds one word here, "God," which he says disrupts the flow and introduces a second person into the text. He implies that the "the Lord God" should not be differentiated from the Lord Jesus Christ. He concludes by saying that most would feel that "Lord God" refers to the Father.
(KJB) Jude 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
He says that "the modern texts contain a very clear testimony to the deity of Christ." Once again, his virulent attack against the word of God is without basis. The confusion caused by the mistranslation of the text in the NIV has caused the readers to miss God’s purpose for the distinctions given by the King James Bible. Once again, the NIV inexcusably fails to make any distinction between THE only Lord God and OUR Lord Jesus Christ.
(NIV) Jude 4 For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
Mr. White’s argument sounds quite plausible on the surface; however, like so many of his other statements, this one has no basis in truth. The King James Bible differentiates between the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. God is "THE only Lord God"! However, He is only "OUR Lord Jesus Christ" to those that have trusted in Him as Lord and Saviour.
Clearly showing his true colors, Mr. White attacks the foundation for the King James Bible in his concluding comments concerning this passage. He says that "the KJV’s rendering obscures this by following inferior manuscripts, resulting in a reading that allows one to distinguish between the ‘Lord God’ and the Lord Jesus Christ." 5 The "inferior manuscripts" to which he refers are those used by the churches for centuries and known as the Received Text (Textus Receptus). In their place, he elevates two Roman Catholic texts.
Mr. White believes that the Westcott and Hort Greek text (with the Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus as their basis) are the most reliable manuscripts. He calls the Sinaiticus agreat codex that was found in a wastebasket by Tischendorf in a monastery of St. Catherine. 6 So much for supernatural preservation.
Mr. White states that he is fully aware that these two (corrupt) manuscripts were used by (corrupt) men to eventually produce the glut of (corrupt) bibles on the market. He states: "Wescott and Hort used (Sinaiticus) and (Vaticanus) to produce their New Testament, a work that displaced the text used by the KJV, later known as the Textus Receptus, in scholarly studies."7 This is the main reason that the modern versions differ from the King James Bible.
The differences are not due to the "scholars’" desire to simply update the Bible into today’s modern language. All of the modern versions have a significantly different foundation. Mr. White points out that these (corrupt) Greek texts replaced the true text in scholarly studies. That means that the seminaries moved away from the TextusReceptus/Received Text King James Bible first. No wonder our seminaries are creating scholarly infidels.
Hopefully, the comparisons between the KJB and the NIV have sufficiently convinced the reader of the infidelity of the Bible critic. However, the scriptural evidence is not limited to simply comparing the truth with the counterfeit. It was common practice in the word of God for the writer to refer to our Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, one will find the phrase 56 different times in the New Testament and in each and every one of Paul’s epistles save one.
Finally, take note of the clear distinction between the LORD and our Lord given in Psalm chapter 135. For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods (Psalm 135:5).
David distinguishes between the LORD that is great and our Lord that is above all gods. The Bible will never lose its capacity to silence the critic. However, for those that still need a little more evidence — examining the reason that the Bible distinguishes between Lord and LORD reveals much. The Hebrew word Jehovah is translated as "LORD" (all capitals) in the King James Bible to distinguish it from the Hebrew word Adonai, which is translated as "Lord" (only the L capitalized). Could the variation be significant? Read the next passage, keeping this distinction in mind.
Psalm 110:1 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
The Lord Jesus Christ quotes David’s remarks unmistakably revealing their meaning. One can see that the second Lord is Christ Himself.
Matthew 22:41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. 43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? 46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
David understood the significance between THE great God and OUR Lord. The passages say "The LORD (the Father) said unto my Lord (the Son)…" Too bad history does not repeat itself today in the bible-rejecting seminaries around the world. Obviously, from the reaction of the Pharisees (in verse 46), they were much more convicted and quickly silenced than the critics of today. One day, the enemies of our Lord and Saviour will be made His footstool and silenced forever (Hebrews 10:12-13).
At the great supper of the Lamb everyone will finally realize that OUR Lord is THE great God too. No more excuses for those that have rejected Him. "And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God" (Revelation 19:17).
Just as the King James Bible says, one day He will be revealed as THE great God! The gods of these false religions will not be able to protect the lost. Either they accept Him as their personal Saviour or suffer the consequences. God requires a personal relationship!
(KJB) Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
I hope the reader realizes that He is not to be just THE great God, but every person must make a personal, conscious decision whether to include himself in the statement when we say, "He is OUR Saviour Jesus Christ." Is He YOUR Saviour?
James White — Further Comments.
The introduction to a book is used to introduce the basic premise of the book to the reader. Here is one statement from the introduction of Mr. White’s book.
This book is not against the King James Version. 8
James White makes the previous statement in the introduction to his book. However, the facts seem to indicate otherwise. Here is just a sampling of comments gleaned from just two chapters of his book to prove the absurdity of his stated position on the King James Bible. Can one really trust a man that seems to have such a hatred and disdain for the King James Bible, all the while claiming that he is not against it?
Therefore we see that, in reality, the KJV rendering is inferior to all the modern translations, which more faithfully bring out what Paul is referring to. 9
Here the KJV rendering is better than it was in the previous example, though it is still found to be inferior to the modern versions. 10
…we discover that the modern translations are much more accurate than the rather free, and misleading, translation of the KJV at this point. 11
The KJV is the favorite version of a number of groups that promote works-salvation. 12
Yet, this is a case in which the modern translations are more literal, and more correct, than the KJV. 13
…cultic groups such as Jehovah’s Witnesses have made great use of the KJV’s ambiguous rendering of words that have to do with the afterlife…this is one place in which many modern translations far surpass the KJV in accuracy. 14
While the KJV’s translation of these terms is certainly unfortunate… 15 [Emphasis mine]
Any honest person must admit that the modern translations provide a much needed element of clarity and precision that is lacking in the AV. 16
Again we find the modern translations quite honestly surpassing the KJV in clarity and exactitude. 17
The modern translations recognize the context in which this word is found and translate it accordingly, bringing out the meaning that is, quite simply, obscured in the KJV. 18
The great scholars who labored upon the AV would have been the first to admit that their work was liable to correction and revision as the study of biblical languages and the textual history of the Bible advanced. (Better known as the evolution of mankind — see II Timothy 3:1-2, 7.) Surely they would have welcomed the study undertaken by Granville Sharp late in the 1790s. Sharp’s work resulted in a rule of koine Greek that bears his name, a rule that was not fully understood by the KJV translators. Because of his work, we are able to better understand how plain is the testimony to the deity of Christ that is found in such places as Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1. The KJV translators, through no fault of their own, obscured these passages through less than perfect translation. Modern translations correct their error. 19 [Emphasis mine]
He goes on to justify the changes already discussed in the body of this chapter, but the humorous statement comes on the next page. After he spends a full page justifying why the Granville Sharp rule would have changed the outcome of the wording of the King James Bible in II Peter 1:1, he makes the following statement.
The little book of 2 Peter contains a total of five ‘Granville Sharp’ constructions. They are 1:1; 1:11; 2:20; 3:2; and 3:18. No one would argue that the other four instances are exceptions to the rule. 20
Let me try to rephrase Mr. White’s "insightful" comments. This rule that did not exist when the King James translators did their work is being used to justify changes that are unnecessary and unscriptural. Furthermore, his arguments for the changes in the modern versions are bolstered by a rule that he says applies five times in one book, but four of them are clearly EXCEPTIONS to the rule???!!! Here is a better rule: Any rule that contradicts the plain teaching of scripture is satanically inspired and has no basis in truth.(See Psalm 12:6-7, Matthew 24:35, Hebrews 4:12.)
The purpose of this book is to keep our discussions simple; however, answering the critic sometimes necessitates a more technical rebuttal. Please pardon the technical nature of this short answer to Mr. White’s scriptural infidelity. Mr. White fails to recognize that the statement "God and our Saviour" is a Hebraism called Hendiady (en dia dis). This means "one by means of two." Other such constructions can be found in many scriptures such as I Timothy 1:1, II Timothy 1:2, and Titus 1:4.
Other examples of the Hebraism are found throughout the Old Testament. Here are three.
Zechariah 9:9 …riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass
Isaiah 49:7 …the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One
Isaiah 45:21 …a just God and a Saviour
Each of these examples reveals a clear Hendiady. They are all one by means of two. In addition to the fact that the construction of II Peter 1:1 is correct, the style is plainly the Apostle Peter’s style of writing.
The Apostle Peter’s inspired style of writing is "our Lord Jesus Christ," Jesus our Lord," and "our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." (See II Peter 1:1, 1:2, 1:8, 1:11, 1:14,1:16, etc.).
Now consider the passage in Second Peter under attack by Mr. White. Once again, OUR Bible (like OUR Saviour) differentiates between God and our Saviour. Over and over again, the true word places an emphasis upon a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
(KJB) II Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
The importance of a personal relationship with our Saviour Jesus Christ cannot be overemphasized. The KJB correctly makes this distinction; the modern versions fail to do so. In the NIV, the personal relationship is confused because the "our" is moved out of place. Instead of salvation being emphasized, it seems as though more than one God could be recognized — our God and their God.
(NIV) II Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
Anyone can create a rule that supposedly corrects an error, but first you must prove that the error exists and then prove the veracity of the rule in its application to the particular passage. In this case, once again, the critic fails on both counts. He cannot prove the error and fails to establish that this rule applies or even exists. Furthermore, he cannot even justify that the rule is valid.
Men like Mr. White and his cohorts should read the next passages very carefully. Pay particular attention to the fact that there is a distinction concerning our God (versus their God), and that OUR God is THE God of salvation. The verse thus distinguishes between OUR God and the God of the heathen. Their God does not save and He will not save anyone that does not know Him personally.
Psalm 68:20 He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto God the Lord belong the issues from death.
Mr. White’s book and many others like his attack the greatest book ever given to man. As we have seen, some of their arguments are very easy to disprove. God foreknew that books like his would be written, and I believe that is why He included verse 20 to stop the mouth of the gainsayer. God’s warning follows in the very next verse (21). Be warned!
Psalm 68:21 But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses.
God is not mocked; one day, He will judge the infidelity of those that attack His precious word. Why would anyone want to continue in error when the truth is so plain and the judgment is so certain?
© 2001 McCowen Mills Publishers One Book Stands Alone
Dr. Douglas D. Stauffer http://www.mccowenmills.com/
Chapter 3 Endnotes
1 White, The King James Only Controversy, op. cit., p.197.
2 Ibid., p. 201-202.
3 Ibid., p. vi.
4 Ibid., p. 206.
5 Ibid., p. 206.
6 Ibid., p. 32.
7 Ibid., p. 33.
8 Ibid., p. vi.
9 Ibid., p. 114.
10 Ibid., p.115.
11 Ibid., p. 132.
12 Ibid., p. 133.
13 Ibid., p. 133.
14 Ibid., p. 137.
15 Ibid., p. 138.
16 Ibid., p. 141.
17 Ibid., p. 142.
18 Ibid., p. 145.
19 Ibid., p. 267.
20 Ibid., p. 268.