The churches of Christ Greet You (Romans 16:16)

We understand that it was the original autographs or writings of the apostles and prophets which were inspired (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 14:37). However, for centuries men have been translating the original Scriptures (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) into their native vernacular. Each time a translation is produced there is the hope that it will be the perfect one. It never is! Why? Because translations, unlike the original autographs, are not inspired. Translations are the productions of fallible men, and “to err is human.” Thus, every Bible translation has its strengths and weaknesses. Those who translate ought to translate, not mistranslate, omit, add to, rewrite, paraphrase, and offer personal commentary. 

We are not opposed to a new version per se. But the need for a new version has been grossly exaggerated, and many of those which have been produced are truly perversions rather than versions. They are for the propagation of denominational and theological error under the guise of a Bible. Such deception and lack of integrity ought never to be dignified by faithful brethren. Some degree of subjective interpretation is woven into the fabric of any Bible version. Admittedly, though, some translations are better than others. Some "translations" couldn't be farther from accurate translations. There are the so-called paraphrases which include The Living Bible and Good News for Modern Man. Very little reliability can be found here, since men have put into their own words what THEY think the text says. 

Then, there are translations such as the NIV, which in many instances are reliable, but have a publisher’s bias which must be recognized. The NIV was translated by a group of Greek scholars who are Calvinistic and premillennial in theology. Thus, one can find elements of Calvinism in it. For instance, Romans 8 in the NIV reflects the Calvinistic tenet that man has a "sin nature." Yet, Romans 8 does not use such words in the Greek text. The translators became interpreters and commentators in this case. 

Loved ones, our humble lips cannot clearly express to you the danger of promoting the use of the NIV and ESV. The devil is sooooo smart. For approximately six thousands years he has put up with men reading the Bible. He has done his best to get man away from the Bible by giving them other books (Qur’an, Book of Mormon, etc.). However, this tactic has worked for him only in a limited way (he has a few million Mormons and maybe a billion or so Muslims). He now has become so smart that he has devised a way to give man a Bible to read that is NOT really a Bible. 

The devil has given man a Bible that is NOT a Bible because it takes man, sin, and God out of the Bible (NIV/ESV). Below are a few errors (FALSE TEACHINGS) from the NIV and ESV that brethren have fought against for years (see Ephesians 5:19 in the NIV – “sing and make music” instead of “sing and make melody”). But before you go to them, just do a quick verse by verse comparison of two chapters from the NIV/ESV. The NIV/ESV is attractive to many because of its readability; however, please notice what these versions say compared to what the KJV says. Notice how they take God, man, and sin right out of the Bible. Use Ecclesiastes chapters 5 and 6 for the comparison. Notice especially 5:8 (the "high official" vs the "highest"), 9, 12 ("full stomach" vs "abundance,") 14 and 6:3, 4 (“it” vs “he” – man), 9 ("appetite"- play on verse 7 vs "desire," also "wind" vs "spirit") 10, 11. 

The NIV is very much a paraphrase in many places.  It is impossible to take the NIV and translate from its English back into the original languages. Friends, please imagine what the world is going to be like 100 years from now because our children have been brought up using a Bible which is NOT a Bible (NIV/ESV). Ohooo, that scares me (us) to the bone… 

The NIV & ESV Downgrade the Deity of Christ

They say the spotless Son of God had to be purified! "...their purification" (Luke 2:22).  The KJV says, "...her purification." 1 Timothy 3:16 omits "God," and replaces it with "he." Acts 8:37 is omitted even though 95 % of the evidence demands it. The ESV renders the present participle, hyparchon (“being” KJV; “existing” ASV), in Philippians 2:6, as a past tense form – “was in the form of God” – which could leave the impression that Jesus was not deity while in the flesh. The Lord always existed, and continued to exist, as deity, even though incarnate (Fee, 1995, p. 203; Vine, 1991, pp. 279-80). R.C.H. Lenski noted that Jesus never existed apart from the nature of deity (p. 774). There is no reason not to give the participle its full, present tense flavor. Philippians 2:7 (NIV & ESV), Jesus "made himself nothing." The KJV, "But made himself of no reputation." If something is nothing, then it does not exist. Jesus is made to be a non-entity. How could a self existent being cease to exist? This is an absurdity and is evidence of poor scholarship. 1 Peter 2:8 (NIV) says, "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that causes men to fall." The NIV teaches that Jesus causes men to stumble, and makes men fall. Jesus is the stone, but He does not cause or make men stumble; it is man's own disobedience. Here, the translators are guilty of paraphrasing, not translating. The KJV reads, "...which stumble at the word, being disobedient..." 

The NIV & ESV Contradict the Bible

Mark 1:1 (KJV), "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." Mark 1:1 (NIV), "The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God." The KJV involves the gospel Jesus preached and the NIV is what one believes about Jesus. Mark 1:2 (KJV), "As it is written in the prophets." Mark 1:2 (NIV & ESV), "It is written in Isaiah the prophet." They say Isaiah and then quote Malachi 3:1. Hebrews 11:17, Abraham sacrificed "his one and only son" (NIV); “only son” (ESV). The Bible says Abraham had TWO sons (Galatians4:22). "For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman." These versions refer to Jesus as God's "one and only Son" or "only Son” (John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9). But 1 John 3:2 (KJV), "Beloved, now are we the sons of God..." 

These versions teach that a non-Christian cannot understand the Gospel, thus contradicting Romans 1:16. 1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV), "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot (is not able to - ESV) understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." They teach that Christ did not come to abolish the law. Matthew 5:17, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill" (KJV). They say, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." But Christ did abolish the law. “By abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations” (Eph. 2:15 – NIV). Thus, these versions contradict themselves as well as the Bible. Hebrews 10:9 (KJV), "Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.” 

The NIV & ESV Teach Premillennialism

Matthew 19:28 (NIV), "at the renewing of all things," “in the new world” (ESV), rather than "in the regeneration" (KJV). This accommodates the literal 1000 years reign as does Acts 3:21 (which says) "restore everything" (NIV), and “restoring all the things” (ESV). The KJV reads, "Times of restitution." However, both passages refer to the Christian age. Ephesians 1:10 (NIV), "to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment." This teaches a future state rather than one fulfilled in Christ. KJV, "That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him." Galatians 4:4 (KJV) settles it, "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.” 

The NIV & ESV Teach Salvation by “Faith Only”

Romans 10:10 (KJV), "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." They say, "For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." THIS IS FALSE, for it teaches CALVINISM - that is - a sinner is saved before he puts Christ on in baptism. Salvation is found only in Christ (2 Tim 2:10). God teaches that one gets into Christ at the point of water baptism (SEE Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3-4; 1 Pet. 3:21). The NIV includes one in Christ WHEN he hears the word (Eph. 1:13). In 1 Peter 3:21 (NIV), a saving baptism is merely a "pledge of a good conscience toward God," rather than an appeal to God. Romans 1:17 (KJV), "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith..." Romans 1:17 (NIV), "a righteousness that is by faith from first to last..." In Romans 3:27 the NIV takes "the law of faith" right out of the text and replaces it with just the word "faith." 

The NIV obliterates the subjunctive mood. In John 3:16 it makes the text say exactly opposite what the original text says. It changes the word "should" to "shall" (Once saved Always saved). "Should be saved" gives hope but does not give a guarantee. "Should" reflects the subjunctive mood of the original text but "shall" puts the translation into the indicative mood which indicates a statement of fact. If this condition were true only in a case or two, it might not make so much difference, but the NIV has eliminated the subjunctive mood throughout the New Testament. 

The NIV & ESV Teach that Miraculous Gifts Continue

In 1 Corinthians 2:12, the NIV and ESV have the Holy Spirit enabling us to "UNDERSTAND what God has freely given us." They equate "seizures" or “epilepsy” with demon possession in Matthew 17:15. Here the translators did not translate but interpreted by saying the boy was an epileptic. The KJV reads, "Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed..." Demon possession is not epilepsy. First Corinthians 13:8-10 (NIV) has miraculous gifts ceasing when PERFECTION comes...rather than "that which is perfect" (KJV).  In Ephesians 4:13 (NIV), we are waiting for unity IN the faith rather than unity OF the faith (KJV) before miracles will cease.

The NIV & ESV Add Doubt and Deception in the Footnotes

Mark 16:9-20, the NIV states, "The most reliable early Manuscripts omit Mark 16:9-20." This is very misleading. Mark 1:1, they say, "Some early MSS omit the Son of God." Luke 22:43-44, they say, "Some early MSS Omit verses 43-44." 

Acts 2:38, the NIV Study Bible says, “Not that baptism effects forgiveness. Rather, forgiveness comes through that which is symbolized by baptism.” Acts 22:16, the NIV Study Bible says, “Baptism is the outward sign of an inward grace. The reality and symbol are closely associated in the New Testament.”

The NIV Teaches the church was Built on Peter

Matthew 16:18 (NIV), "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church." Then the footnote says, "Peter means rock." But Jesus says Peter is a pebble, and the great confession Peter made concerning the Deity of Christ (vs. 16) is the “ROCK” foundation upon which the church is built (1 Cor. 3:11). The NIV translators did what the Catholics have wanted to do for years but did not have the nerve to do. 

The NIV Teaches Total Hereditary Sin (Original or Inherited sin)

Psalm 51:5 (KJV), "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." Psalm 51:5 (NIV) says, "Surely I have been a sinner from birth, Sinful from the time my mother conceived me." However, the NIV is incorrect because this contradicts other clear Bible statements. Ezekiel 18:20 (KJV), "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father; neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son..." Matthew 18:3 (KJV), "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." 1 John 3:4 (KJV), "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." The KJV teaches that a man is born into a sinful world, not born sinful. This Calvinistic idea is carried over into the New Testament by rendering "flesh" (KJV) as "sinful nature" (Rom. 7, 8, 9; Gal. 5 - NIV). Human nature is not sinful because we were made in the image of God and after His likeness (Gen. 1:26-27). Men "go astray," they are not "born astray."

The NIV suggests that if an unbeliever leaves his Christian mate, the Christian “is not bound” to the relationship any longer (1 Cor. 7:15). This is at variance with Matthew 19:9.

In the preface to the NIV the church of Christ is listed as a "denomination." 

The ESV removes the fact that God Hates Divorce
Malachi 2:16 (KJV), God "...hateth putting away." ESV - "For the man who hates and divorces, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts." This is inexcusable. The idea expressed in the ESV is not that GOD HATES DIVORCE, but that the man who HATES AND DIVORCES is guilty of violence.

The ESV places a Time Element in 1 Thessalonians 2:16
"By hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved - so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But God's wrath has come upon them at last." The words "at last" express a time element. While the Greek word can express time fulfillment, the primary word is QUANTITATIVE. The KJV captures the force, expressing God's wrath coming upon them to the "UTTERMOST."

The ESV says a man shall not SUFFER for the Sins of his father
Ezekiel 18:20 (ESV), "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, or the father suffer for the iniquity of the son...."  The KJV express the idea that the son shall not BEAR the INIQUITY of the father. An individual shall not BEAR the iniquity (or guilt) of his father, but he VERY WELL MAY SUFFER for his father's sins. There is a difference. Didn't David's son suffer death due to David's sins? (2 Sam.11:27-12:15). Didn't Christ suffer for our sins? (1 Pet. 2:21). 

The ESV translates porneia (fornication - KJV) as “sexual immorality” (Matt. 19:9; etc.) This is too general. Lust is a form of “sexual immorality,” but evil thoughts are not a justification for terminating a marriage.

The ESV renders the original words aner as “husband” and gune as “wife” (1 Cor. 11:3ff). This is inconsistent with the immediate context, and at variance with other contexts dealing with the same gender theme (1 Corinthians 14:34-35; 1 Timothy 2:8ff.). The headship of “man” (in general) over “woman” is in view, rather than the husband wife relationship. 

CONCLUSION: It is impossible for God to lie (Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:18). Thus, all the removals of man, sin, and Deity, plus the omissions, additions, contradictions, poor translating, and paraphrasing in the NIV and ESV are from the devil. Those who love the Word of God should use them for their own study and comparison purposes (if desired); however, we do not believe the use of these versions should be promoted in the church.

ELDERS, beware! Your job is to watch over yourselves and the flock. YOU and many of your preachers and teachers are promoting and using these versions when teaching the flock. God is not pleased! What we should look for are Bible translations which attempt to make word for word translations. Elders who are faithful in their work of feeding and protecting the flock should request that only reliable translations (ASV, KJV, NKJV, NASV, etc.) be used in sermons, classes, and public Scripture readings. This does not always make for ease of readability, but it does, as a general rule, provide the reader with a reliable translation. 

Edited only to remove extra links; content unchanged. Added 5-2-2012


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