Joseph and Luke 2:33 – Are Modern Translations Corrupt?

Let me start this and state from the outset, that I do not have any issue with the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. This is not an anti-KJV post but rather one to balance some of the arguments the KJV-only proponents have used to ridicule and malign some of the modern translations such as the NASB, NIV, ESV etc.

Just so it is clear, my position is this: that the version of Bible you use (be it KJV, NASB, NIV etc) is a personal preference and it will not affect your ability to live a godly life, your walk with the Lord, or your ability to win souls to Christ. Most of the modern translations are extremely accurate to the original texts in their original languages of Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic.

The argument that the KJV is the only perfect version of God’s Word is incorrect and most of the arguments used to support that position are wrong, or disingenuous. As I complete other posts about the KJV-only issue, they can be found here.

The passage below is one of those used to argue the superiority of the KJV.

Luke 2:33 in a couple of different translations says the following:

KJV: And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.

ESV: And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him.

NASB: And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him.

NIV (1984): The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.

This passage is one which is often used to support the erroneous view that the modern translations (often labelled “perversions” by KJV-only supporters) are trying to deny the virgin birth, of all things. Their argument basically states that the modern translations state that Jesus’ father was Joseph and not God and thus He was born of a natural union between Joseph and Mary. Only the KJV refers to Joseph by name and thus preserves the truth of the virgin birth.

A quote from the site “Scion of Zion” for example states this: “The effect of changing “Joseph” to “father” will teach that Jesus had an earthly father which completely voids the cardinal doctrine of the virgin birth of Christ. If Joseph was the earthly father of the Lord Jesus, then He would have had to inherit the sin nature which was passed down from Adam. . . . By removing verses which support the virgin birth, it brings Jesus down to the level of just a human being. If Jesus was born with a sin nature, then He was an unqualified candidate for atonement for the sins of His people and therefore we Christians are still in our sins.”

So, are the modern versions trying to mislead the people and deceitfully move people away from the virgin birth and thus into a position of deny the ability of Christ to save? Not at all. The concept is absolutely preposterous. This is an argument which typifies the idiocy in the KJV-only movement. It tends to be based on hysteria and deception.

There are many facts of evidence which clearly state that the modern translations are not trying to deny the virgin birth.

Firstly, if that was the case, they would need to systematically remove all reference to the virgin birth. However, in the previous chapter, the NASB, for example, mentions the virgin birth 3 times (Luke 1:27, 34). Also, in verse 35, the miraculous aspect of His birth is mentioned a couple more times. So the conspiracy essentially dies with that.

Secondly, to all intents and purposes, Joseph was Jesus’ father. He raised Him, cared for Him, loved Him, provided for Him, and taught Him a trade even. Now, my wife is adopted. She was raised by a couple who were not her birth parents. Yet she calls them her mother and father. She does not specifically her “adoptive mother” and “adoptive father”. That is clumsy and impractical. The same goes for this situation too – Joseph was Jesus’ father – an adoptive father.

Thirdly, the KJV actually has no problem calling Joseph His father elsewhere. Luke 2:41 in the KJV says: “Now His parents went to Jerusalem…” And again in Luke 2:48 the KJV says: “Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.” Here the KJV itself has referred to Joseph as His father and His parent.

The modern translations in no way hint or suggest or otherwise to be trying to deny our Lord’s virgin birth. They simply have used a word clearly understood by the read to convey the relationship Joseph had with Jesus. To suggest otherwise almost insults the intelligence of readers. So, it is actually not the KJV that is the problem here, it is rather the people who use it as a tool of their manipulation in their war on God’s Word.

In this instance, the KJV and the modern translations both provide a perfectly valid translation for their readers. No one is left bereft of vital, fundamental information.

May God bless you all.

Bible “Contradiction”: A Body or an Ear?

As time goes along, I come across all manner of supposed “contradictions” or errors. I may read about them in a magazine, an article online, or a blog post. So I thought that as I read about them or they cross my path, I might apply a Biblical perspective to them and help, in some way, to provide confidence in the inerrant Word of God.

From the start, I completely and utterly believe in the inerrancy of God’s Word and that there are absolutely no contradictions. The Bible does not contain any errors whatsoever.

As the collection grows, you can find them here. Below is a brief article on such a contradiction.

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Lucifer and Isaiah 14:12 – Are Modern Translations Corrupt?

Let me start this and state from the outset, that I do not have any issue with the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. This is not an anti-KJV post but rather one to balance some of the arguments the KJV-only proponents have used to ridicule and malign some of the modern translations such as the NASB, NIV, ESV etc.

Just so it is clear, my position is this: that the version of Bible you use (be it KJV, NASB, NIV etc) is a personal preference and it will not affect your ability to live a godly life, your walk with the Lord, or your ability to win souls to Christ. Most of the modern translations are extremely accurate to the original texts in their original languages of Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic.

The argument that the KJV is the only perfect version of God’s Word is incorrect and most of the arguments used to support that position are wrong, or disingenuous. As I write posts related to this issue, they can be easily found here.

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Questions: Willful sin and Hebrews 10:26

What does it mean in Hebrews 10:26 when it says we no longer have a sacrifice for sins if we wilfully go on sinning?

The passage in the NASB states the following:

“For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins” (Heb 10:26)

It goes on to say that rather, we can have a terrifying expectation of judgement and the fury of fire (v27).

This verse is part of a wider passage that encompasses the verses 26-39. It is specifically talking to the Jews who despite hearing the truth of Christ and His offer of salvation turn their back and carry on in their sin and thus trample Christ’s blood under their feet. Essentially it deals with apostates who know more than enough to be saved and yet walk from God’s saving grace wilfully and deliberately.

On top of this, the Greek word used for “wilfully” is hekousios. This also has an element of a way-of-life. In other words, if your life deliberately and consistently displays a pattern of rejecting Christ’s message, then there is not a sacrifice for this sin. Hebrews 6 covers this as well.

This book really targets people who have been presented the Good News and who may have even believed that it made sense and responded in some manner but not a saving manner. These people are told that if they continual to pattern their life wilfully rejecting Christ – despite knowing and understanding what the gospel demands of them – they will find themselves in a position whereby there is no sacrifice available to them.

Do Not Yield! (Gal 2:3-5)

Read Galatians 2:3-5 (NKJV):

Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

In the prior 2 verses, we see that Paul’s purpose to go back to Jerusalem is to have his message confirmed for the sake of the Apostles, not himself – he was completely confident in his message for he had received it directly from Jesus Himself.

As has been noted many times, Paul’s message (and authority!) had been challenged by a group who were trying to convince (and it was working well) the Galatians that to actually be saved, they needed to be circumcised on top of their faith. Paul refutes this obviously and says such a teaching is another gospel and that anyone preaching such a gospel, whether it be him, and angel, or anyone else, should be accursed (Gal 1:8-9). Strong words but this was a matter of spiritual life and death. For if one believes that Christ’s work is insufficient and that there must be some work or works to complete it, cannot be a Christian. That is why Paul says they that preach such a damning lie, should be accursed. Only by confessing and trusting that Christ’s work is sufficient, can you be saved. Your trust needs to be handed to Him.

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Not a Gospel in Vain (Gal 2:1-2)

Read Galatians 2:1-2 (NKJV):

Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me. And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain.

Paul now returns to the main issue at hand – that of the Galatians being capitivated and lead astray by a false, legalistic gospel of man-centred works. As we have seen in other posts from earlier passages in Galatians (here), the church was being stricken by false teaching which suggested it was not just faith that saved but you also had to do things too. In this situation, the main issue seemed to be that they had started believing that they needed to be circumcised too.

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Matthew Henry – A Man Who Loved God and His Word

One of the most famous historical figures associated with Christendom has to be Matthew Henry. Many know of him because of his famous commentary that he did on the whole Bible. It is an exquisite work. My family have benefited immensely from this marvellous work which spans 6 volumes. It has to be a must for any serious Christian family. In fact, George Whitefield, is was said, read through the whole work 4 times and the 4th time was done while on his knees. Charles Spurgeon said, “Every minister ought to read it entirely and carefully through once at least.”

However, for many Christians their knowledge of him stops there. They know of him as the author of the commentary but do not know anything of the man himself. To be honest, until recently I was in the very same boat. I knew nothing of him personally. When I started digging, I found some wonderful accounts of his life growing up, how he got saved, and how he went about his calling to serve the church through his writing and his pastoring – he was a pastor for much of his life. I also learned that he suffered a lot during his life which makes the work he produced and the service he rendered all the more remarkable and inspiring. He was a man who was extremely devoted to the Word and whose love for it influenced Christians for hundreds of years.

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