The doctrinal significance of some of the omissions which characterize the modern versions of the Holy Scriptures
Those who favor the modern English versions of the Holy Scriptures contend that they present the reader with translations more accurate and intelligible than the Authorized Version, and that they rest upon a more ancient and reliable form of the Greek text. Although these claims are often repeated and widely accepted, they are not supported by the facts. The undue deference paid by textual critics to the Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus, and their allies has had the effect of popularizing in the present era a defective and unreliable form of the text prevalent in Egypt in the latter half of the third century and the first half of the fourth. The deficiencies of this form of the text were widely recognized in the fourth century, with the result that most of the manuscripts produced since that period preserve the text substantially the same as that found in the documents available to the scholars responsible for the production of the Authorized Version.
The most significant shortcomings of the modern versions are the inevitable result of the adoption of a defective text. The effect, which is often underestimated, becomes more apparent when the omissions of the modern versions are carefully examined. Omissions in the Greek text adopted by modern translators account for the omission of more than 2000 corresponding English words from about 500 verses in the Gospels alone, involving the complete loss of 42 verses, substantial parts of another 69, and words and phrases from the remainder. For the whole New Testament the figures are considerably higher.
It is often asserted that these changes do not affect any Biblical doctrine, but this also is far from true. They do not eliminate any doctrine, but many of the omissions certainly occur in passages of doctrinal importance, and have the effect of diminishing the testimony of Holy Scripture to the Deity and Sonship of the Lord Jesus Christ. In these passages it cannot be truly said that all the versions are "theologically the same", for in most of the modern versions the emphasis on the Deity of Christ is considerably diminished. A few examples will be sufficient to show how these vital truths are affected.
Those who value the Bible as the Word of God will not lightly dismiss these testimonies as matters of trivial or minimal significance. In its basis the Graceway Bible Society undertakes to circulate "the Holy Scriptures which are given by inspiration of God", and requires that "the copies in the English language shall be those of the Authorized Version, which contains the disputed words in all of the passages quoted above.
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Thursday, February 7, 2002