38. Is the New King James Version an improvement over the KJV?
The New King James Version is based on the Antiochian manuscripts. Is it an improvement over the King James Bible?
The New King James Version is to the English Bible what the Alexandrian manuscripts are to Greek. A corruption of a pure text by men who hold the deplorable doctrine that the Bible cannot be perfect (regardless of what they may say when they preach) and must be corrected by the feeble intellect of man.
The New King James Version unlike most modern translations is based on the correct Antiochian manuscripts instead of the corrupt Alexandrian manuscripts. Unfortunately, the men doing the translation work view the Bible as imperfect. They would vehemently deny this charge in public because their jobs depend on it, but in fact they do not believe that ANY Bible is perfect. Not even their own New King James Version! Thus, to them, the Bible is lost (“settled” in heaven) and the minds of scholars are the only hope of rescuing its “thoughts” from oblivion.
Many of the men on the board of translator may indeed be great preachers and pastors, but that by no means entitles them to correct the Bible.
Sincerity cannot improve on perfection. Thus, instead of making a good thing better” they have only managed, for all of their trouble, to make a “perfect thing tainted”.
It must he remembered, there is a great deal of prestige in sitting on the board of translators of a “modern” version of the Bible (Matthew 23:5-7).
There were several issues I took with the NKJV. Had I not read into my KJV, these would have gone unnoticed. One example I can think of is found in Romans, chapter 6, where it goes over our servitude to both righteousness and sin. In verses 17 and 18, it reads as follows: “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”
Now compare this to what is written in the NKJV: “But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”
Now what difference can you immediately point out? The word servant found in the original KJV was replaced with the word slave in the NKJV. Now some may ask, “Why is that a big deal? I mean, it’s just one words difference. And servant and slave are pretty similar, aren’t they? It’s not like the difference is that great.”
Well, that’s where they’d be wrong. The definition for the word servant is as follows: “a person who performs duties for others, especially a person employed in a house on domestic duties or as a personal attendant.” Also “a person employed in the service of a government.” or “a devoted and helpful follower or supporter.”
Now the definition of slave is as follows: “a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them.”
You can see how changing this one word alters the entire context of these verses. A servant is one who, of their own will, chooses to serve a cause or a person. A slave is someone who, against their will, is forced to perform certain duties; Often under threat. A man cannot be a slave to righteousness. Righteousness would not force a man to labor in it. Another issue I took with the NKJV I found in Proverbs. It was going over the consumption of alcohol and the effects it has on a person and their judgement.
“Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.” – Proverbs 23:31-33 (KJV)
Now in the NKJV: “Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it swirls around smoothly; At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, And your heart will utter perverse things.”
The KJV said you shall behold “strange WOMEN”, while the NKJV says “strange THINGS”. Wouldn’t you agree that taking the word WOMEN, which is VERY specific, and changing it to the word THINGS, which is very broad, changes the ENTIRE context of the verse? It changes EVERYTHING. It is my belief that in the KJV, it is describing adultery when a man sees “strange women” as a result of his drinking. A strange woman would be a woman who is not his wife, but another. This is a very aimed and specific directed verse at a particular subject. With the NKJV however, it uses the word “things” which could be used to describe ANYTHING. The word is too general and too broad to be about anything in particular. What WAS a verse warning against adultery has become a vague warning about… WHAT? Who’s to say? It’s any man’s guess at that point.
So, as we can clearly see by these two examples alone, the NKJV has alterations within it’s passages that can change the entire course of the verse’s intended purpose. I can only imagine how many more issues I can find within it’s pages. There is a reason I only trust the KJV.