Not the King James Version (NKJV Expoed)
2 Corinthians 11:14-15
We see here that Satan is a great imitator, a master counterfeiter.
And what I want to preach about today is a counterfeit version of the Bible, known as the NEW King James Version.
Even though they claim otherwise, the NKJ is not that much closer to the King James Version than most other modern translations. It’s just a better counterfeit.
The NKJV claims to be a faithful rendition of the KJV with only an update to the so-called “archaic words”, like the “Thees” & “Thous” and “maketh” and “doeth” or “hadst”; and it pretends to make NO substantial changes to the original KJ text.
But that’s an outright lie!
The NKJV purports to follow the Textus Receptus, which is the underlying Greek manuscript of the KJ, but the NKJV is actually in many ways a cleverly hidden rendition of the same corrupt minority manuscripts that modern versions use, like the NIV, the ESV, etc.
Proverbs 30:5-6: “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”
And that’s exactly what the NKJV does. It adds & removes from God’s Word.
And the reason I’m singling out the NKJV today, is because it’s the BEST counterfeit among the modern versions.
And by counterfeit, I don’t mean it’s the closest or the most accurate to the original.
I mean that it’s the most cleverly hidden deception.
It’s the best counterfeit, the one that for some is the hardest to distinguish as being fake.
The NKJV tricks the most amount of Christians into believing that it’s just as reliable as the King James version.
But that’s completely false.
For example, in my current secular job, I deal in diamonds & gemstones …
Diamonds are natural. You can’t recreate a genuine diamond. Only God can make a natural diamond.
Diamonds are formed when crystals of pure carbon are exposed to intense pressure and extreme heat deep within earth’s mantle.
Now let’s say that the diamond represents the Word of God.
It’s the real thing.
But then you have the cubic zirconia stone, which is a man-made imitation of a real diamond.
And that’s exactly what the NKJV is: it’s a man-made imitation of the Holy Bible.
So you can manufacture a synthetic diamond in a lab.
And within the range of synthetic diamonds, you have your cheap imitations like a CZ Stone or cubic zirconia …
Or you can get a high-end, more expensive imitation that will be more difficult to distinguish by the untrained, naked eye, even if you put the stones together side by side.
And that’s what the NKJV is. It’s a fairly high-end imitation of God’s Word. But it’s still an imitation!
IT IS NOT the pure Word of God!
Now I don’t even think that the NKJV is necessarily the best counterfeit that’s out there anymore.
• The complete version was published in 1982 … and since then we’ve had other imitations.
For example, the latest serious man-made imitation of the Bible came out in 2001 with the English Standard Version (ESV), or as we all like to call it, the Easy Satanic Version.
But what makes the NKJV unique is their false claim that they follow the same exact original Greek & Hebrew manuscripts as the King James Bible … and that the only changes they make is to modernize the language.
They claim to follow the same underlying Textus Receptus of Erasmus, which the King James uses.
The Textus Receptus is what ALL historic English Bibles have used, from the first English Bible all the way up to the KJ … from the Tyndale Bible to the Bishops Bible, to the Geneva Bible, etc.
• All Bibles up to the KJ, used the TR as their foundation.
Even Luther, translated the German Bible using the TR.
• And the Textus Receptus, which was compiled by Erasmus, was based on the Majority Text or what’s called the Byzantine text.
• These are the largest number of Bible manuscripts that have the vast majority of agreement with one another.
• So these are the largest number of surviving extant Bible manuscripts.
And Erasmus, known as Erasmus of Rotterdam or simply Erasmus used the Majority Text to publish the Textus Receptus (which is Greek for “the Received Text”).
Now I don’t want to get too technical …
But the NKJV claims to follow The Textus Receptus of Erasmus and stay true to the King James Bible, minus the modernization of certain words which supposedly none of us understand anymore.
Here’s a direct quote from Thomas Nelson Publishers in ad from a Christian magazine in 1982: “NOTHING HAS BEEN CHANGED except to make the original meaning clearer.”
But that’s an outright lie!
The NKJV actually veers away from the King James Textus Receptus over 1,200 times and in many of those instances – especially where it matters – they actually alter the text to agree with the minority manuscripts …
… such as the minority texts like the Alexandrian / Egyptian text & Sainaticus Aleph & Vaticanus B, which was actually found buried in a secret Catholic vault for centuries … which the modern versions now use.
These are only approx. 5% of the existing Greek manuscripts …
• So when there’s a discrepancy between The TR & the Minority Text, modern translators go with the minority Egyptian or Catholic manuscripts.
And in many cases, the NKJV follows the same process & manuscripts.
And in other cases, where they DON’T CHOOSE the minority, they include a “footnote” w/ the minority alternative & leave a question mark in the mind of the reader.
• It’s estimated the NKJV makes over 100,000 overall changes!
Think about that.
There are 31,103 verses in the Bible.
That means that the NKJV averages about three changes for EACH verse!
Here are some of the sweeping changes that they make:
Hell is removed 22 times.
Blood is removed 23 times
Repent is removed 44 times
Heaven is removed 50 times
God is removed 50 times
Lord is removed 66 times
The words “damn” & “damned” & “damnation” are COMPLETELY removed from the NKJV.
I guess they don’t believe anyone gets damned.
They replace it with “condemnation”.
God’s name: JEHOVAH is completely removed from the NKJV.
So JEHOVAH appears nowhere in the NKJV Bible!
• So before we dive in to some of the side by side comparisons, I just want to show you something …
That symbol is called the Triquetra …
The triquetra is a three-pointed symbol most strongly associated with paganism.
It also is similar to the Valknut which is a symbol of Odin, the Norse God.
And so the triquetra has a lot of different meanings, none of which is Christian.
So why would you choose this as the symbol to plaster all over a Bible?
Harpers’ Encyclopedia of Mystical & Paranormal Experience says that “symbols are important to all esoteric teachings, for they contain secret wisdom accessible only to the initiated.
And if you look closely … you can trace 666 within its shape.
The triquetra is also a symbol of a pagan trinity.
Modern witches and some New Agers associate it with a “triple goddess”.
It’s also on the cover of a prominent New Age handbook, “The Aquarian Conspiracy” &
also appears on the cover of an old Led Zeppelin album.
Led Zeppelin, if you don’t know, was a rock band heavy into the occult and Satanism w/ guitarist Jimmy Page who was also very heavily into Aleister Crowley, a very prominent occultist & Satanist himself.
This symbol also appears on the Book of Shadows, a Wiccan magic book and on the TV show, “Charmed”, about three sister witches working together as one.
The triquetra is also used as the logo for the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, a New Age school, whose stated goal is: “… to reach the recognition of divinity within”.
So you have to ask yourself, what is this Pagan, Satanic New-Age symbol doing on the cover of the New King James Bible?
• This is Satan marking his territory.
The NKJV was baptized and marked with this Satanic symbol when it first came out.
And a lot of publishers since then have removed it from their editions, as people caught on to it, but it is essentially the NKJB logo!
I know that there are some who’ve been saved reading corrupt modern Bible versions.
And the reason for that is because they still have John 3:16, and Romans 3:10 and Ephesians 2:8-9 and those are relatively untouched for now.
And the parts of the modern versions that generally agree in substance with the original manuscripts are still inspired, even though they’ve been muddied and altered; but doctrines have been affected!
And once you realize that the NKJV is a fallible, corrupt man-made version that’s been tampered with by the devil, why would you want anything less than the PURE Word of God?
Why would you drink water that’s impure? Why would feed on food that’s been genetically altered?
And people get hung up on the fact that King James’ name is on the Bible … but you have to understand that when the King James version was translated, it wasn’t called the King James translation, it wasn’t called the KJV. That’s just what we call it today.
It was simply called the Bible, the Holy Bible.
It was a faithful and providentially-preserved rendition of God’s Holy Word in the English language. Now, God used human agency to preserve His word, but it was still guided by His providence.
King James had nothing to do with the translation. And why is that important? Because there are charges leveled at King James’ character today, in a targeted onslaught of discrediting God’s Word.
And I’m not going to get into all the different accusations leveled against King James today – that’s for another sermon – but suffice it to say that King James had nothing to do with the translation itself, other than authorizing, approving, and funding the translation.
He handed it over to best most learned scholars and Christian theologians of his day who were fluent in dozens of languages, including Hebrew & Greek.
They didn’t use just a lexicon or take two semesters of Greek in college and pretend to be experts like today’s watered-down pastors!
They translated the Bible at a time in history when learning and intellect was at its prime in the history of the world.
And GOD used them providentially … He used King James providentially, the way that God used King Cyrus of Persia to authorize the re-building of the Jewish temple in Israel after the Babylonian captivity.
King Cyrus had nothing to do w/ rebuilding the temple, but he did authorize it.
And the reason I use the word “providential” rather than “supernatural”, is because people who oppose the preservation of God’s Word, make the false claim that we believe the Bible was supernaturally re-inspired.
I just saw an interview between the infamous James White & Eric Hovind, Kent Hovind’s apostate son, who made this false accusation: that we think the Bible was re-inspired in the KJV.
But that’s not our claim at all! The Bible was not re-inspired. It was providentially-preserved!
What is providential? It’s God’s divine insight and intercession within the seemingly natural human progression of history.
In other words, God gets involved and shapes the workings of humanity throughout history to His advantage, when He chooses.
It’s like Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
That’s God’s providence in our personal lives, as believers.
It was God’s providential design – to bring together the King James translation of the Bible at the perfect time in history in order to preserve the infallible Word of God in English … this was the Bible that would shape Western civilization.
There had always been a commonality between Christians in our culture, because we had 1 Bible – we had at least that in common – but as the modern versions try to splinter the Word of God and increase in discrepancies and a multitude of errors, the continuity and unity that we had as believers is shattered and fractured; new doctrines are formed.
The Bible says: “And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand” in Mark 3:24-25.
Nothing supernatural or providential occurred in 1982.
It wasn’t God’s providence at work. God wasn’t involved at every level of this translation. He didn’t bring the forces of the universe and human history together in 1982 to preserve His Word in the NKJV.
It was a completely human endeavor by the puffed up scholars of the day … It was the formation of the synthetic man-made diamond counterfeit …
Truly Jesus said: “Beware of the scribes …”
And notice that the King James Bible is not copyrighted! You can’t copyright God’s Word! What kind of an abomination is that? … to place a copyright on the Word of God?
The NKJV, the ESV, the NIV, all the modern versions are copyrighted! Because the publishers are in it for 1 thing and 1 thing only: mammon, money, greed!
1 Timothy 6:10 says, in the King James: “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
NKJV: “For the love of money is A root of all kinds of evil …”
Notice: Not …. THE ROOT, but A ROOT, not of ALL EVIL, but ALL KINDS OF EVIL …
The NKJV translators and editors are not interested in coming up with a more accurate version, they’re interested in coming up with a new copyright that they can market.
So let’s get into some of the changes & we’ll begin to wrap up w/ that …
Let’s start with the THEEs & THOUs.
These are the most attacked portion of the KJB, but they’re actually very important.
First, one thing that people may not realize, is that the THEEs and THOUs were already considered archaic when the KJB was translated.
It was already outdated by the 13th century. The King James was written in the 17th century – 400 years later.
If you read the King James translator notes, they never used thee and thy in their own contemporary writings.
So why did they include the THEES & THOUS?
In the Hebrew & Greek, there was a singular and a plural form for “you” and “your.”
They had different ways of expressing the singular & plural forms.
Whereas in the English, we only have 1 word for both.
So even the THEEs and THOUs have a legitimate function within God’s Word.
And it’s really not that hard to understand.
The basic rule is if it starts with a: “TH”, like THEE, THY, or THOU, then it’s singular.
If it begins with a “Y”, like You, Your, or Ye, then it’s plural.
It’s that’s simple … So why does this matter?
Luke 2:31-32: “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired [to have] you, that he may sift [you] as wheat:
32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
• All of that would be lost in the modern versions because it would be the generic “you”.
Understanding the difference between the singular & plural let’s look at this. This is the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well.
19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
And so, again, we see, these subtle nuances are lost when reading from the modern versions. And it makes a difference, because we’re dealing with the Word of God.
If we want to understand doctrine …. We have to turn to the pure Word of God, not a generalized version of the Bible.
John 3:7 … 11:
Jesus to Nicodemus.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
And we can go on like this forever with the THEEs and THOUs; and it really opens up the Scriptures once you understand this. You can really get a better grasp on who’s being spoken to.
MAJOR DOCTRINES, like SALVATION:
Matthew 7:13-14: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
What is “strait” mean? It simply means “narrow” – think about the “strait of Gibralter”:
A “strait” is a narrow waterway that connects two bodies of water.
So strait just means narrow.
NKJV: 13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
NKJV changes NARROW to DIFFICULT!
Salvation is NOT difficult. Jesus did it all. He paid the price. We just freely receive it.
The Bible is talking about 2 things here: (1) There’s only 1 way to heaven. The way is narrow: it’s through Jesus Christ. (2) Few people will be saved because most people will go through the broad gate … not the narrow one.
But NKJV makes salvation DIFFICULT.
Jesus said: “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
He didn’t say it’s difficult!
In Acts 16:30-31: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 says salvation is a “free gift”.
Hebrews 10:14: “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”
The NKJV changes salvation to a process!
NKJV: For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.”
This is exactly what the NIV and the ESV does.
So here’s an example where the NKJV follows the modern versions, not the KJ.
1 Corinthians 1:18: “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
NKJV: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
2 Corinthians 2:15: “For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
NKJV: “For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”
Again, this agrees with the modern versions, not the KJV.
But the Bible says salvation is a one-time event.
1 Peter 3:18: “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit”.
The NKJV attacks ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED and the eternal security of the believer:
1 John 5:13: “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
NKJV: “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life,[a] and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”
Now in this case, even the modern Bibles don’t make this corruption. The NIV and the ESV are BETTER translators of 1 John 5:13. They actually get that one right!
Let’s look at some other changes.
Titus 3:10: “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;”
NKJV: “Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition”.
So here being divisive is the issue, not being a heretick. That’s a big change.
In Luke 12:51 Jesus said: “ Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:”
So according to the NKJV, Jesus should be rejected according to Titus 3:10.
Do you see how discrepencies are created when you mess with Word of God?
The modern versions, again, agree with the NKJV … they also replace heretick with a divisive person.
2 Peter 2:1: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”
The NKJV changes “damnable heresies” to “destructive heresies”.
Damnable & destructive … are pretty far apart in meaning.
• Again, the modern versions agree w/ the NKJV.
So you can see over & over again how these important changes are actually in concord with the modern versions, not as the NKJV editors claim with the KJ.
They’re not just updating “archaic” language. They’re changing the meaning and the words.
2 Timothy 2:15:
You would all agree that we should study God’s Word right?
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
NKJV: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
IN THE VERY VERSE that the Bible instructs us to study to shew ourselves approved, the NKJV alters the meaning completely and removes STUDY from the passage.
2 Corinthians 2:17: “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.”
NKJV: “ For we are not, as so many,[a] peddling the word of God.”
The NKJV changes “Hell” to “Hades” in the New Testament.
Matthew 16:18: “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
THE NKJV says: The gates of “Hades” shall not prevail against it, again agreeing with modern versions.
Hades is from Greek mythology.
This also creates room for other heresies such as the myth of Abraham’s bosom being a place in the afterlife w/ two separate compartments … and that Jesus didn’t suffer in Hell but actually went to the “cool” / shady part of Sheol or Hades.
THE NKJV completely removes the word “REPROBATE”, and replaces “reprobate mind”, for example, in Romans 1”28 w/ a “debased-mind” …
Completely removing the reprobate doctrine from the Bible.
They also remove “reprobate” from Jeremiah 6:30 where the Bible says that GOD has rejected reprobates.
The Word “Sodomite” is changed in many instances in the NKJV.
In Deuteronomy 23:17 which talks about not letting sodomites into the congregation, “sodomite” is changed to “ritual harlot”.
We could go on like this all day …
But let’s just wrap it up w/ the last chapter of the Bible.
18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.