Will J. Kinney
If you can't trust the numbers in the Holy Bible to be right then how can you trust the words that are between the numbers?
The following examples show how modern versions like the NIV, RSV, ESV, NET, NASB, and Holman Standard disagree with each other and often reject the Hebrew texts that underlie the King James Holy Bible. Numbers do not usually lend themselves to a variety of ways to translate them. That is why this specific study will focus on some of the differences in the numbers found in the various modern versions. All "bibles" are not the same, and they do not all teach the same truths but with different words.
The following short list is just a sampling of the divergent and confusing readings found among the contradictory modern bible versions. There are numerous other examples. Among these “details” are whether Jeremiah 27:1 reads Jehoiakim (Hebrew texts, RV, ASV, NKJV, KJB) or Zedekiah (RSV, NIV, NASB, ESV, NET, Holman); whether 2 Samuel 21:8 reads Michal (Hebrew texts, KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV) or Merab (RSV, NIV, NASB, ESV, NET, Holman), or 70 (NASB, NKJV, RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, Holman, KJB) being sent out by the Lord Jesus in Luke 10:1, 17 or 72 (NIV, ESV, NET), or in Matthew 18:22 does the Lord say to forgive your brother not “until 7 times, but unto 70 times 7 times” (= 490 times - RV, ASV, NASB, NKJV, RSV, ESV, ALL Greek texts) or 77 times (NRSV, NIV), or the 7th day in Judges 14:15 (KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV) or the 4th day (RSV, ESV, NASB, NIV, NET), Or Hannah taking young Samuel to the house of the LORD with THREE bullocks in 1 Samuel 1:24 (Hebrew texts, RV, ASV, JPS 1917, NKJV, Youngs, NET) or “A THREE YEAR OLD BULL: (LXX, Syriac RSV, ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman) or God smiting 50,070 men in 1 Samuel 6:19 (KJB, RV, ASV, NASB, NET) or 70 men slain (RSV, NIV, NRSV, ESV), while Young’s "literal" translation reads: “He smiteth among the people SEVENTY MEN- FIFTY CHIEF MEN”. Green’s “literal” is different still, reading: “Yea, He struck SEVENTY among the people, FIFTY OUT OF A THOUSAND MEN.” or “70 MEN OUT OF 50,000 Holman Standard, or there being 30,000 chariots in 1 Samuel 13:5 (KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, ESV) or only 3000 (NIV, NET, Holman), or 1 Samuel 13:1 reading - ONE/TWO years (NKJV, KJB, Geneva, Judaica Press Tanach), or 40/32 (NASB 1972-77) or 30/42 (NASB 1995, NIV), OR 30 years/ 40 years (NET) or _____years and.______and two years (RSV, NRSV, ESV), or even “32 years old...reigned for 22 years” in the 1989 Revised English Bible!; 2 Samuel 15:7 “forty years” (Hebrew, Geneva, NKJV, NASB, RV) OR “four years” (NIV,RSV, ESV, NET), or whether both 2 Samuel 23:18 and 1 Chronicles 11:20 read “chief of the THREE” (Hebrew texts, RV, ASV, NKJV, NRSV, Holman, NIV, NET, Holman, NET) or THIRTY from the Syriac (NASB, RSV, ESV), or 2 Samuel 24:13 reading SEVEN years (Hebrew, ASV, NASB, NKJV, NET) or THREE years (LXX, NIV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Holman), or whether 1 Kings 4:26 reads 40,000 stalls of horses (Hebrew, RV, ASV, NASB, ESV, NKJV) or 4,000 stalls (NIV, NET), or whether 1 Kings 5:11 reads 20 measures of pure oil (Hebrew texts, Geneva, KJB, ASV, RV, NASB, NRSV) or 20,000 (RSV, NIV, ESV, NET, LXX and Syriac) or in 2 Chronicles 31:16 we read THREE years old (Hebrew texts, Geneva Bible, Wycliffe, LXX, Syriac, RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NIV, NKJV, Holman, NET) or THIRTY years old (NASB - ft. Hebrew “three”) or where 2 Chronicles 36:9 reads that Jehoiachin was 8 years old when he began to reign (Hebrew texts, NASB, NKJV, RV, ASV, KJB, RSV, NRSV ESV 2001 edition) or he was 18 years old (NIV, Holman, NET, ESV 2007 edition), or does Acts 25:6 read "more than TEN days" (Geneva, KJB, NKJV) or "not more than EIGHT OR TEN days" (NASB, NIV).
Luke 10:1 "After these things the Lord appointed other SEVENTY also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come."
A Bible Agnostic recently told me that “all Bibles are 100% historically true”. Well, that is a very good standard - being 100% historically true - but unfortunately for this particular bible agnostic, he has no such “100% true Bible” to give to anyone.
Here is just one of scores of examples I can list where there are completely different numbers or names given among today’s Bible Babble Buffet versions.
Luke 10:1, 17 - Did Jesus send out 70 or 72?
Luke 10:1 - "After these things the Lord appointed other SEVENTY also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come."
Luke 10:17 - “And the SEVENTY returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.”
Here Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, the so called oldest and best manuscripts upon which most modern versions are based, differ from each other. These two manuscripts differ in significant ways from each other more than 3000 times in the gospels alone. See many examples of these differences here:
The reading of SEVENTY is found in the majority of all texts including, A, C and Sinaiticus. The reading of SEVENTY is that of Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Cranmer’s Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Wesley 1755, the Revised Version 1885, the ASV 1901, Weymouth 1912, Bible in Basic English 1960, NASB 1963 - 1995, NKJV 1982, RSV 1954, the Complete Jewish Bible, the Hebrew Names Version, the Amplified 1987, the NRSV 1989 (by Bruce Metzger), KJV 21st Century 1994, God’s Word 1995, Third Millenium Bible 1998, the Message 2002, the Holman Standard 2003, and the ISV 2008.
Among foreign language Bibles that have our Lord Jesus sending out SEVENTY (and not 72) are the following: The Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, the Reina Valera 1909, 1960, 1995, the 1997 Biblia de las Américas, and the 2005 La Biblia de los Hispanos. Also reading 70 are the Italian Diodati 1649, the Riveduta 1927, the New Diodati 1991, La Parola e Vita 1997, the Portuguese Almeida, Luther’s German bible 1545, the German Elberfelder 1871, the Russian Synodal version, the Dutch Staten Vertaling, the Chinese Union Traditional bible, and both the modern Hebrew and the modern Greek Bibles.
However English versions like the NIV 1984, TNIV, NET and the 2001 ESV (English Standard Version), along with the Catholic Douay, St. Joseph NAB 1970, and New Jerusalem bible 1985 all read seventy TWO, which is the reading of Vaticanus.
It is of interest to see the fickleness of the scholars in that the previous RSV and NRSV both read "70", but then the revision of the revision of the revision - the ESV - has now adopted the reading of "72", but the two newest English versions to come down the pike, the Holman Standard of 2003 and the ISV (International Standard Version) of 2008, have retained the reading of "70".
Likewise when Westcott and Hort came out with their very different Greek text, their Critical text read SEVENTY [two], with the number two in brackets, indicating doubt. But later on the Nestle text 4th edition 1934 read “seventy” with no “two” either in the text nor in the footnotes. Oh but wait. Later still the Nestle texts changed and now, once again, they read “seventy [two]” with “two” being in brackets. Their only consistency is their inconsistency.
The NIV, ESV and NET say: "The Lord appointed seventy TWO others". The number 72 is the reading of Vaticanus, but most manuscripts including Sianaiticus read 70.
Daniel Wallace’s NET version reads 72 in Luke 10:1 and 17 and then he footnotes: “several OT passages that refer to groups of seventy people (Num 11:13-17; Deut 10:22; Judg 8:30; 2 Kgs 10:1 et al.); this reading also has slightly better ms. support... All things considered, “seventy-two” is a much more difficult reading and accounts for the rise of the other.” In other words, because 72 makes less sense, and has weaker manuscript support, it must be right! OoooKaaay.
So, was it 70 or 72 men whom Christ sent out? Is your Bible the inerrant word of God or do you prefer one of the multiple-choice Probably Close Enuf Versions?
In Acts 10:19 "While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, THREE men seek thee." The text says Three men because in verses 7 and 8 there were three men sent from Cornelius, two of his household servants and a devout soldier. Three is the reading of the majority of all texts, A, C and Siniaticus; D omits the number altogether, while Vaticanus has TWO men. Here the NASB and NIV wisely rejected Vaticanus and have "three men."
In Acts 19:14-16 we are told of some vagabond Jews, exorcists, who tried to cast out evil spirits in the name of the Lord Jesus. There were SEVEN sons of one Sceva, and in verse 16 we are told "And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them and overcame them." This is the reading of the majority of all texts and the King James Bible. However in "the oldest and best" Siniaticus and Vaticanus there is another word added to the text - the word amphoteros, which means "both". This word is found 14 times in the King James Bible and is always translated as both, as in "Let both grow together", "they were both righteous before God", "he frankly forgave them both" and "he is our peace, who hath made both one."
Around 1881 the Wescott-Hort Greek text began to be translated into the Revised Version, and was soon followed in 1901 by the the American Standard Version. This Greek text differs from the Greek text that underlies the King James Bible by about 4000 words. When the RV and the ASV came out they read in Acts 19:16 "the man in whom the spirit was leaped on them and overcame them BOTH."
The NASB from 1960 to the 1972 editions also said "subdued BOTH OF THEM." A clear reading of the context shows there were seven sons overcome by the evil spirit, not two. So in 1977 the NASB changed their version to read "overcame them ALL." The NIV reads as does the NASB now. However, there is no word in any text for the word "all".
The new ESV (English Standard Version) says in Acts 19:16 "the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered ALL OF THEM and overpowered them..." Then it footnotes: "or BOTH". Well, I'm sorry, but we can't have it both ways. "Both" does not mean "all of them" and the ESV is alluding to the false reading of two corrupt manuscripts.
In Acts 27:37 Luke is relating the shipwreck of Paul on his way to Rome. The majority of all texts, and Siniaticus read "And we were in all in the ship 276 souls." But Vaticanus has the unique reading of "ABOUT 76 souls". It is possible to say "about 20, or about 100" but you would not say "about 76." There is a big difference between 276 and "about" 76. The Vaticanus reading is rejected in this place.
In Matthew 13:33 all the texts read the same. "The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in THREE measures of meal, till the whole was leavened."
Many have seen this passage as representing the progressive introduction of error into the Christian church, affecting the doctrine of each of the three persons of the Trinity. The RV, ASV, NASB, NKJV, RSV, ESV correctly translate the word as "three measures" but the NIV says "a woman took and mixed into A LARGE AMOUNT of flour." The significance of the number Three is lost.
But wait. Now the new TNIV (Today's New International Version) has come out and it says: "a woman took and mixed into ABOUT EIGHTEEN POUNDS of flour", and the new Holman Standard 2003 says: "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into 50 POUNDS of flour until is spread through all of it." Then in a footnote it tells us the literal reading is "three".
The 2002 paraphrase called The Message says: "yeast that a woman works into the dough for DOZENS of loaves of barley bread."
So is it "three measures", or 18 pounds or 50 pounds, or dozens of loaves? Hey, they all mean the same thing, right?
In Matthew chapter 18 Peter asks the Lord Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother. He says: "Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?". The Lord answers him in verse 22 "I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN." This is the reading in all Greek texts. The single word "seventy times" (hebdomeekontakis) occurs only once in the entire New Testament and that is here.
The RV, ASV, Tyndale, Geneva, Young's, Douay, Darby, RSV, NRSV, NASB, NKJV, and even the new versions of the ISV (International Standard Version), ESV, The Message, and the Holman Christian Standard Version all read "seventy times seven" but the NIV and the TNIV read: "I tell you not seven times, but SEVENTY SEVEN times."
In 2 Peter 2:5 we are told that God "spared not the old world, but saved Noah the EIGHTH person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly." This is the reading of all texts. The Greek word used here is ogdoon and means 8th. The word for the number 8 is ogdos. The word is "eighth" as in "circumcised the eighth day".
Agreeing with the King James reading of Noah being the EIGHTH PERSON, are Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Bishop's Bible 1568, Geneva Bible 1599, Young's, Darby, and the NKJV. However the RV, ASV, RSV, NASB, ESV, Holman, and NIV all say "Noah and SEVEN OTHERS." This reading is not found in any Greek text.
You may ask, So what is the big deal?. Numbers often have a spiritual significance. Seven is spiritual perfection, and eight is the number of a new beginning. A man child was to be circumcised on the eighth day, Genesis 19:12, signifying a new relationship with the covenant God. The land was to be at rest from the sixth to the seventh year, and the eighth year the children of Israel were to sow there crops again - Leviticus 25:22.
There are seven days in a week, ordained by God, and the eighth is the start of a new week. So too with Noah the eighth person and his family after the flood. God began again to repopulate the earth. The number 8 has a spiritual significance of a new beginning. All the texts read this way, and the NASB, RSV, ESV, NIV, and Holman have no right to change what God has been pleased to give us in His words.
Judges 14:12-18. - the Seventh day or the Fourth day?
12."And Samson said unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if ye can certainly declare it me WITHIN THE SEVEN DAYS OF THE FEAST, and find it out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of garments; 13. But if ye cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty sheets and thirty change of garments. And they said unto him, Put forth thy riddle, that we may hear it. 14. And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not IN THREE DAYS expound the riddle. 15. And it came to pass ON THE SEVENTH DAY, that they said unto Samson's wife, Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father's house with fire: have ye called us to take that we have? is it not so?"
In verse 15 the Hebrew text clearly says ON THE SEVENTH DAY. This is the reading of the Latin Vulgate of 425 A.D., Wycliffe's translation of 1395, Coverdale 1535, Matthew's Bible 1537, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the King James Bible, the Revised Version 1881, American Standard Version 1901, Webster's 1833 translation, Darby, Douay, Young's, the 1917 and 1936 Jewish translations, the Hebrew Names Version, the 1998 Complete Jewish Bible, Third Millenium Bible, the KJV 21, Green's Modern KJV, the Spanish Reina Valera 1960, the Italian Diodati, the French Louis Segond, and the Modern Greek Bible. The NKJV also reads "on the seventh day" but it has a footnote that says "some ancient authorities read the 4th day", thus casting doubt on the true reading.
Many modern versions change the Hebrew text from THE SEVENTH DAY to THE FOURTH DAY, and their footnotes tell us the reading of the 4th day comes from "SOME Septuagint manuscripts (they are not all the same) and the Syriac", while the Hebrew text clearly says the 7th day.
Among these versions that reject the Hebrew text of "the seventh day" and change it to "the fourth day" are the NASB, NIV, RSV, NRSV, NEB, the 2003 Holman Christian Standard, the Living Bible, New Living Translation, Bible in Basic English 1960, the 2001 English Standard Version, Today's English Version, The Message, and the New Century Version.
For a complete explanation of this apparent contradiction, which shows why the King James Bible reading is the correct one, please see my article on this at: http://brandplucked.webs.com/jud1415samsonsriddle.htm
In 1 Samuel 6:19 the King James Bible reads: “And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.”
The Bible versions that read 50,070 are the King James Bible, Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, Bishop's Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible of 1599, the Italian Diodati 1602, Webster's 1833, the Revised Version 1881, American Standard Version 1901, the Greek Septuagint, the Spanish Reina Valera of 1909 and 1960, both the 1917 and 1936 Hebrew-English translations from the Masoretic text, the New American Standard Version 1960 -1995, modern Italian, the Modern Greek bible, the Portuguese, French and Rumanian bibles, the World English Bible, the modern Hebrew Names Version, as well as the Third Millenium Bible and the 21st Century KJV. These versions translate what the preserved Hebrew texts actually read.
However the NIV, RSV, ESV tell us in 1 Samuel 6:19 "But God struck down some of the men of Beth Shemesh, putting SEVENTY of them to death, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD.” These versions completely omit the number 50,000.
The NIV, RSV, ESV just made this number up! The ESV footnote tells us the Hebrew reads "of the people seventy men, fifty thousand men."
Young's so called "literal" translation goes off on its own (as it often does) and tells us: "He smiteth among the people SEVENTY MEN - FIFTY CHIEF MEN." while Green’s “literal” is different still, reading: “Yea, He struck SEVENTY among the people, FIFTY OUT OF A THOUSAND MEN.”
But wait. It gets even better. Now the new Holman Christian Standard of 2003 has come out and it reads differently than any other version out there. It says: "He struck down 70 men OUT OF 50,000 men."
This time the Syriac reads: "The Lord smote 5,070 men", while the LXX has the correct number of 50,070.
You have to admit, there is a slight difference between 50,070 men slain, or 70 men, or 5,070 men, or "70 men out of 50,000". So, which one is right?
For a more detailed study of this passage see my article at
My friend and brother in Christ, Martin Shue, has also written a very good article about this passage which can be seen at his Authorized Version Defense site here.
In 1 Samuel 13:1 the King James Bible, NKJV, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Webster's translation of 1833, Lamsa's translation from the Peshitta of 1933, Catholic Douay, Italian Diodati, Spanish Reina Valera, the Third Millenium Bible and the 21st Century KJB say: “Saul reigned ONE year; and when he had reigned TWO years over Israel...”
The NASB 1972 says: ”Saul was 40 years old when he began to reign and he reigned 32 years over Israel.” But now the 1995 NASB changed this to "Saul was THIRTY years old...and he reigned FORTY TWO years." The NIV and Holman have:”Saul was 30 years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel 42 years.” Gleason Archer, one of the translators of the NIV and the NASB, says in his book Bible Difficulties on page 171 that the Hebrew text here has been lost. Did God lose some of His words or has He preserved them as He promised?
Versions like the RSV, NRSV, and the ESV actually read this way: "Saul was...years old when he began to reign, and he reigned...and two years." Then in a footnote tell us "the number is lacking in Hebrew and Septuagint."
Which reading is correct - ONE/TWO years, or 40/32 or 30/42, or ...years and...and two years? The NASB, Holman and NIV not only disagree with each other but contradict Acts 13:21 where we are told that Saul reigned for 40 years. The Hebrew text is not lost. Check out the concordances of NASB - NIV and you will see they have at times translated the words “one” and “year” just as found in the King James Bible.
For my more detailed article on this passage see
In 1 Samuel 13:5 we read: "And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, THIRTY thousand chariots..." Here the Geneva Bible, NKJV, RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NKJV, NASB read as the King James Bible - THIRTY thousand. 30,000 chariots is also the reading of the Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, Complete Jewish Bible 1998, the Judaica Press Tanach, and the Hebrew Names Bible. But the NIV and the Holman Standard say "THREE thousand chariots." A footnote tells us in the NIV: Some LXX manuscripts and Syriac 3000, Hebrew 30,000. My copy of the LXX reads the same as the Hebrew text - 30,000 chariots. Daniel Wallace's silly NET version has also rejected the clear Hebrew text for the Syriac and says "3000 chariots". The even more absurd The Message now reads: "THREE companies of chariots".
The NIV, NET, Message and Holman all toss out the clear Hebrew text, and substitute the reading of SOME LXX texts and the Syriac, or else just make one up. Why? Because they are relying on carnal human reasoning rather than believing God's word as He preserved it.
Gleason Archer (Bible Difficulties) says regarding this passage: "Much more likely is the possibility that 3000 was the original number and somehow in later transmission it was miscopied as 30,000. The accurate preservation of statistics is notoriously difficult and 1 Samuel has more than its share of textual errors." It is sad to see so many Christians following the opinions of scholars like Gleason "Scribal Error" Archer, and modern versionists like Hank Hannegraf recommend his book.
The Hebrew word used here for chariots is #7393 reh'chev and is generally translated as chariot. However Webster's dictionary defines chariot first as "a wheeled vehicle for transporting goods, as a cart or wagon" and secondly as a vehicle used in battle. One way of explaining the passage in 1 Samuel 13:5, WITHOUT changing the Hebrew text itself, is that the number 30,000 may refer to chariots of all kinds, including those that were used to carry the food and provisions for this vast army that numbered "as the sand which is on the sea shore". In fact, chariots were used in other ways than just for war as we see from Genesis 50:9; Isaiah 21:7, and Acts 8:28-29. In fact, this same Hebrew word is translated as "wagons" by the Geneva Bible, Bishops', the Updated Bible of 2004, the NKJV and others in Ezekiel 23:24.
In spite of the fact that one commentator after another tells us that 30,000 is a scribal error (Gill, Clarke, Jamieson, Faussett and Brown, and others) or even that 3000 (which comes from the Syriac, and not the Hebrew) is too high, there are some that hold to the Hebrew texts.
Matthew Henry comments: "Never did the Philistines appear in such a formidable body as they did now, upon this provocation which Saul gave them. We may suppose they had great assistance from their allies, for besides 6000 horse, which in those times, when horses were not so much used in war as they are now, was a great body, they had an incredible number of chariots, 30,000 in all: most of them, we may suppose, were carriages for the bag and baggage of so vast an army, not chariots of war. But their foot was innumerable as the sand of the sea-shore, so jealous were they for the honour of their nation and so much enraged at the baseness of the Israelites in destroying their garrison."
Likewise John Wesley agrees, saying: "Thirty thousand chariots, - Most of them, we may suppose, carriages for their baggage, not chariots of war, tho' all their allies were joined with them."
Even the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia tells us of the Philistines: "In the war of Michmash they put into the field the incredible number of 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen, only in the end to suffer a grievous defeat - 1 Samuel 13:5; 14:20.
2 Samuel 15:7 forty years or four years?
In 2 Samuel we read of Absalom's rebellion against his father, king David. Verses 7-8 say: "And it came to pass after FORTY years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go a pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in Hebron. For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Syria, saying, If the LORD shall bring me again indeed to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD."
Here all Hebrew texts read FORTY years. The versions that agree with the King James Bible reading of "after FORTY years" are Coverdale 1535, The Great Bible (Cranmer) 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Brenton Translation 1851, Lesser Bible 1853, Rotherham's Emphasized Bible 1902, the NKJV 1982, the 1917 Jewish Publication Society translation, and 1936 Hebrew-English versions, the Complete Jewish Bible 1998, the Hebrew Complete Tanach 2004 by A.T. Rosenberg, the NASB 1972, 1995, Revised Version 1885, American Standard Version 1901, Douay 1950, Darby 1870, Young's, Webster's 1833, Green's Literal Translation 1993, and the Third Millenium Bible 1998.
Among foreign language translations, those that follow the Hebrew texts and read "after FORTY years" are the Modern Greek Bible used in all the Greek Orthodox churches all over the world, the French Martin 1744, La Bible du Rabbinat 1906, the French Louis Segond 1910, the French Ostervald 1996 - " Au bout de quarante ans", the Italian Diodati 1649 " in capo di quarant’anni", the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, the Spanish Reina Valera of 1909 (though the 1960, 1995 have been corrupted and now read "four" (cuatro), the 2004 Reina Valera Gomez bible.
However, the NIV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NET, Holman Standard and The Message all read "after FOUR years Absalom...". The footnote in the RSV, NRSV says the number 4 comes from the Greek and Syriac, while the Hebrew says 40. The NIV footnote says SOME LXX, Syriac and Josephus say 4, while the Hebrew says 40. My copy of the LXX says 40. The NKJV also includes a sitting on the fence footnote which says: "Septuagint manuscript, Syriac and Josehpus have 4". This is a misleading footnote because the most widely publicized Septuagint in print today clearly says 40 and not 4.
Daniel Wallace's NET bible version has: "After four (10) years Absalom said to the king, “Let me go and repay my vow that I made to the Lord while I was in Hebron." Then in a footnote Dr. Wallace says: " The MT (Hebrew Masorretic Text) has here “forty,” but this is presumably a scribal error for “four.” The context will not tolerate a period of forty years prior to the rebellion of Absalom."
The scholars like to help one another out in sowing disbelief and doubt, don't they?
Rather than believing God knew what He was doing when He said "after 40 years", and trying to figure out what the inspired Scripture means, the NIV, ESV, NET and Holman "Bible Correctors" adopt the liberal viewpoint that the Hebrew texts were corrupted and rely instead on their own intellects. They reject the clear Hebrew reading of "after 40 years", and instead follow the uninspired Syriac text.
Many commentators also hop on the No Bible is Inerrant Bandwagon, and confidently affirm that "after 40 years" is wrong. Among these are John Gill, Adam Clarke and Jamieson, Fausset and Brown. To his credit, Matthew Henry affirms the Hebrew reading to be correct, and so does John Wesley.
There are three possible ways I know of to explain the number "after 40 years". One possibility is the number refers to 40 years after his father David was originally anointed to be king, before he actually took the throne. See 2 Samuel 2:4 and 3:1 John Wesley held this view saying: "After forty years - From the change of the government, into a monarchy, which was about ten years before David began to reign. So this fell out about the thirtieth year of his reign." So too did Matthew Henry stating: "from his first anointing by Samuel seven years before, or rather (I think) from the people's desiring a king, and the first change of the government into a monarchy, which might be about ten years before David began to reign."
This King James Bible believer's site also holds this basic view -
A second possibility is 40 years refers to the age of Absalom himself.
A third possibility, and the one I believe is the correct one, is that "after 40 years" refers back to the time when his father David invaded the Geshurites and slaughtered the men, women and children of that place. Absalom's mother was the daughter of the king of the Geshurites (See 2 Samuel 3:3 where it lists the sons of David born to him in Hebron - "and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur.") and it could well be that Absalom was taking revenge upon David on behalf of his mother. In the context of "and it came to pass after FORTY YEARS, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow", in the very next verse Absalom mentions his vow that he had taken while he abode at GESHUR in Syria.
The fact that he specifically mentions the town of Geshur in Syria, and his own mother was the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur (2 Samuel 3:3) should cause us to look back in history to what happened years before. - perhaps 40 years before. Long before Absalom rebelled against his father and before David became king, David "and his men went up and invaded the GESHURITES...and David smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, and came to Achish." See 1 Samuel 27:8-9.
When Absalom had first slain his brother Amnon because he raped his sister Tamar, Absalom fled and went to Talmai, his grandfather, who was king of Geshur. "So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years." See 2 Samuel 13:37-38. Then after Joab's intervention, he returned to Jerusalem, but king David, his own father, refused to see him for two years.
Absalom's revenge on behalf of his mother for David slaughtering the people of Geshur, may well be a motivating factor in Absalom's rebellion some 40 years later.
The Hebrew reading of "after 40 years" as found in the King James Bible is correct. There are several ways to explain what it refers to, and there is no need to reject it as do the NIV, ESV, and Holman Standard versions. Always give the benefit of the doubt to the Holy Bible, never to the Bible critics, no matter how many letters they have listed after their names.
2 Samuel 23:18 and 1 Chronicles 11:20 - THREE or THIRTY?
2 Samuel 23:18 KJB - “And Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief among THREE. And he lifted up his spear against three hundred, and slew them, and had the name among three. “
NASB - “Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief of THE THIRTY. And he swung his spear against three hundred and killed them, and had a name as well as the three.”
1 Chronicles 11:20 KJB - “And Abishai the brother of Joab, he was chief of THE THREE: for lifting up his spear against three hundred, he slew them, and had a name among THE THREE.“
1 Chronicles 11:20 NASB - “As for Abshai the brother of Joab, he was chief of THE THIRTY, and he swung his spear against three hundred and killed them; and he had a name as well as THE THIRTY. “
It should be obvious that there is a pretty big difference between the number THREE and THIRTY. Both cannot be what God originally inspired in His precious words.
The footnotes found in 1 Chronicles 11:20 tell us that the number THREE comes from the Hebrew Scriptures and is even the reading in the so called Greek Septuagint LXX and the Latin Vulgate, but the NASB gets its number THIRTY from the Syriac. Even Daniel Wallace’s usually goofy NET version agrees with the King James Bible’s reading and footnotes: “The Syriac reads “thirty” here; this reading is followed by some English translations (NAB, NASB, NRSV, NLT).”
Agreeing with the King James Bible’s reading of THREE in both 2 Samuel 23:18 and in 1 Chronicles 11:20 are the following Bible translations: Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the 1881 Revised Version, the 1901 American Standard Version, the 1917 Jewish Publication Society version, the Complete Jewish Bible, the Hebrew Names Bible, the Douay 1950, Darby, Youngs, the NKJV 1982, World English Bible, the NIV and the TNIV, the Amplified bible, Green’s 2001, the 1991 New Century Version, Rotherham’s Emphasized bible 1902, Daniel Wallaces NET version, the 2001 Holman Standard Version and the KJV 21st Century version 1994.
Among foreign language versions that read THREE and not THIRTY are the Spanish Reina Valera of 1602 and 1909 (though the 1960 and 1995 RV’s followed the Syriac with 30 - treinta -; but the more recent Spanish Reina Valera Gomez of 2004 has gone back to the Hebrew reading of 3 - tres). The Italian Diodati 1602 and the New Diodati of 1991, along with the Italian Riveduta of 1927. The French Martin of 1744, the Louis Segond of 1912 and the French Ostervald of 1996 all agree with the Hebrew and the King James Bible. So too do Luther’s German bible of 1545 and the Modern Greek translation.
However, following the Syriac and rejecting the Hebrew for both Scriptures and replacing the obvious THREE with THIRTY are the liberal RSV of 1954, followed by the NASB, NRSV and 2001 ESV.
The number THREE found in the Hebrew texts refers to the three mighty men who brake through the host of the Philistines and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem to bring it unto David, their beloved king. This is recorded in 2 Samuel 23:13 through 17 - “And three of the thirty chief went down, and came to David in the harvest time unto the cave of Adullam...And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David...”
The Hebrew texts and the King James Bible are right, as always, and versions like the NASB, RSV and ESV are wrong.
In 2 Samuel 24:13 we are presented with what at first appears to be a contradiction, but in reality is not. Trust the King James Bible, believe it and you will not go wrong, even if you do not undersand it at first - it is always right. In verse 13 the prophet Gad is sent from God to confront king David about his sin of numbering the people to boast in the power of the flesh. The prophet Gad tells him to choose one of three things that should come upon him. He says: "Shall SEVEN years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land?"
Here the Hebrew texts clearly say SEVEN years, and so do Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, Bishop's Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Hebrew Names Version, Jewish Publication 1917 version, the NASB, NKJV, RV, ASV, and the Third Millenium Bible. However the RSV, NRSV, ESV, Holman Standard and the NIV have changed this number to THREE. "Shall there come upon you THREE years of famine in your land?" But the NIV, RSV, ESV, Holman all have a footnote that tells us the number "THREE" comes from the Greek LXX, while the Hebrew texts say SEVEN years.
Why did they feel free to change this number? In my opinion, it is because they don't believe God has preserved His inerrant words. They are unwilling to solve an apparent contradiction, and they don't know how to properly read the Scriptures. In 1 Chronicles 21:12 Gad is reported as saying to David "THREE years of famine, or three months or three days"- hence the APPARENT contradiction. Is it three years or seven years of famine? The RSV, NIV, ESV editors could not figure it out so they abandoned the Hebrew text, thought God's word was wrong, and went with the LXX reading.
The solution is found in 1 Samuel itself, which has the reading of "seven years", and which provides us with information not found in 1 Chronicles. The seven years of famine would be the total number of years of famine in the land. You see, in 1 Samuel 21:1 God tells us "Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year". The famine also continued an additional 9 months and 20 days while Joab went through all the land numbering the people. "They came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days." Thus there had already been virtually 4 years of famine upon the land at the time Gad came to David and offered him the three choices. 4 + 3 = 7. Both the numbers 7 years and the 3 years are correct. The King James Bible is right, and the RSV, NIV, ESV, Holman are wrong.
40,000 or 4,000? - 1 Kings 4:26 with 2 Chronicles 9:25
1 Kings 4:26 "And Solomon had FORTY thousand stalls OF horses FOR his chariots, and twelve thousand HORSEMEN.
2 Chronicles 9:25 "And Solomon had FOUR thousand stalls FOR horses AND chariots and twelve thousand horsemen."
In 1 Kings 4:26 not only does the King James Bible read FORTY thousand STALLS FOR HORSES but so also do both Hebrew translations of 1917, 1936, The Complete Jewish Bible, the Hebrew Names Bible, The Geneva Bible 1599, Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the NKJV 1982, Revised Version 1881, ASV 1901, NASB 1995, RSV, NRSV, ESV 2001, Young's, Spanish Reina Valera, Italian Diodati, Third Millenium Bible, Today's English Version, Lamsa's translation of the Syriac, Living Bible, Rotherham's Emphasized Bible 1902, the Holman Standard Version 2003 and even The Message 2002.
However the NIV, and Daniel Wallace's online NET version say Solomon had FOUR thousand stalls for chariot horses, and twelve thousand HORSES." Then in a footnote, the NIV tells us the number four thousand comes from SOME Septuagint manuscripts, but that the Hebrew says forty thousand. My copy of the Septuagint omits all of verses 25 through 28!
Daniel Wallace's typical faith destroying footnotes comment: "tn (These letters mean he has altered the text) The Hebrew text has “40,000,” but this is probably an inflated number (nevertheless it is followed by KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV, TEV, CEV). Some Greek mss of the OT and the parallel in 2 Chr 9:25 read “4,000” (cf. NAB, NIV, NCV, NLT)."
The NIV is wrong and so is Daniel Wallace in both changing the Hebrew text from 40,000 to 4,000 and in translating "horsemen" as "horses".
John Gill comments on 1 Kings 4:26 - 40,000 stalls of horses - “A reconciliation may be made, by observing, that here (1 Kings 4:26) the writer, as Ben Gersom notes, gives the number of the horses that were in the stables, which were forty thousand, there (2 Chron. 9:25) the stables themselves, which were four thousand, ten horses in a stable; or here he numbers the stalls, which were forty thousand, and there the stables, which were four thousand, there being ten stalls in each.”
John Wesley comments - “Forty thousand - In 2 Chron. ix, 25, it is but four thousand. But it is not exactly the same Hebrew word which is here and there, though we translate both stalls; and therefore there may well be allowed some difference in the signification, the one signifying properly stables, of which there were four thousand, the other stalls or partitions for each horse, which were forty thousand.”
Dictionary Definitions of the word Stall.
In English, the word stall can denote either the individual division or stall of a stable, or it can mean the entire stable itself.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary actually shows the different meanings of this word “stall” and then he quotes from the King James Bible and solves this apparent contradiction found in 1 Kings 4 and 2 Chronicles 9 for us.
1. Primarily, a stand; a station; a fixed spot; hence, the stand or place where a horse or an ox is kept and fed; the division of a stable, or the apartment for one horse or ox. The stable contains eight or ten stalls.
2. A stable; a place for cattle.
At last he found a stall where oxen stood.
3. In 1 Kings 4:26 stall is used for horse. Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots. In 2 Chronicles 9:25, stall means stable. Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots. These passages are reconciled by the definition given above; Solomon had four thousand stables, each containing ten stalls; forty thousand stalls. --- Daniel Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the English Language.
Brother Teno Groppi succinctly notes: "Notice that in 2 Chronicles it was 4,000 stalls FOR horses, but 1 Kings was 40,000 stalls OF horses. They kept ten horses in each stall. Therefore there were 4,000 stalls for 40,000 horses. Not a problem at all. That's why EVERY WORD of God is vital." Not only do the NIV and NET version reject the Hebrew text here, but also in literally scores of other places in the Old Testament. So also do the NASB, RSV, NRSV and ESV, but often not in the same places. All of these conflicting modern versions are corrupt bibles.
How much did the molten sea contain?
1 Kings 7:24 - it contained 2000 baths
2 Chronicles 4:5 - it received and held 3000 baths
An apparent contradiction that is in fact a contradiction in the NKJV, NIV and NASB.
One of the proofs of the true Holy Bible, which in English is the King James Bible of 1611, is that is contains no proveable errors. The modern bible versions all contain numerous real and not just apparent contradictions. A case in point is the differences between 1 Kings 7:26 and 2 Chronicles 4:5 where both sections speak of the molten sea constructed by king Solomon that stood upon twelve oxen. How much water did this molten sea actually contain?
In 1 Kings 7:26 we read: "And it was an hand breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies: IT CONTAINED TWO THOUSAND BATHS." However in 2 Chronicles 4:5 we read: "And the thickness of it was an handbreadth, and the brim of it like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies; and IT RECEIVED AND HELD THREE THOUSAND BATHS."
This obviously looks, at first glance, like a contradiction. The NKJV, NIV and NASB all read slightly differently and it is this critical difference that in fact creates a very real rather than an apparent contradiction. The NKJV in 2 Chronicles 4:5 reads: "It CONTAINED THREE thousand baths." Yet in 1 Kings 7:26 the NKJV, NIV and NASB all say: "It contained TWO thousand baths." (Some modern versions, like the NASB, say it "could hold 2000 baths" and "it could hold 3000 baths" which results in the same real contradiction.)
The new Holman Standard has now come along and it confuses matters even worse. It says in 1 Kings 7:26: "The reservoir was three inches thick...it held 11,000 gallons." Then in 2 Chronicles 4:5 it says: "The reservoir was three inches thick...it could hold 11,000 gallons."
The Holman "scholars" have both changed the Hebrew texts and put the same reading in both places. Then the Holman editors tell us in a footnote that they took the liberty of EMENDING the text to fit 1 Kings 7:26, but that the Hebrew literally reads 3000 baths. Fine folks we are dealing with here, aren't they? They decided to "emend" the text based on NOTHING except their own ignorance and presumption. Do you think God will let them know on the Day of Judgment how much He appreciates all their help in correcting His words?
To further show the utter confusion of going to the Greek Septuagint and the Syriac for "light", what we see here is more utter confusion. The Greek copies completely omit any number at all in 1 Kings 7:26, but have the correct number of 3000 in 2 Chronicles 4:5. But the Syriac is the opposite. It has the correct number of 2000 baths in 1 Kings, but in 2 Chronicles the Syriac omits any number at all.
Smith's Bible Dictionary also gets it wrong. It says: "It is said to have been 15 feet in diameter and 7 1/2 feet deep, and to have been capable of containing 2000, or according to (2 Chronicles 4:5) 3000 baths (16,000 to 24,000 gallons).
Easton's Bible Dictionary also gets it wrong. It likewise says: " It was placed on the backs of twelve oxen, standing with their faces outward. It was capable of containing two or three thousand baths of water (Compare 2 Chronicles 4:5)
The solution is really quite easy once you look closely at the correct reading found in the King James Bible. Not only does the KJB read the way it does but so also do both Jewish translations of the Jewish Publication Society of America and the Hebrew Pub. Company of 1917 and 1936, Young's translation, Green's interlinear, the Revised Version of 1881, the ASV of 1901, Hebrew Names Version, Webster's translation, and the Third Millenium Bible.
There are two verbs found in the Hebrew text in 2 Chronicles and only one verb in 1 Kings. The NKJV,NIV, NASB, Darby, Geneva Bible, RSV, NEB, NRSV, and ESV are all wrong and create a real contradiction by not translating the second verb found in 2 Chronicles 4:5. One verb is RECEIVED # 2388 and the second verb is HELD # 3557 three thousand baths.
1 Kings 7:26 tells us that the molten sea actually contained 2,000 baths of water, while the 2 Chronicles passage tells us that it could receive and hold 3,000 baths but it only contained 2,000 - thus is was only filled to two-thirds of its capacity. It is like saying "This gas tank holds 25 gallons; it contains 15 gallons of gas now."
Matthew Henry, the Bible commentator, got it right. He notes: ". There was the molten sea, a very large brass pan, in which they put water for the priests to wash in, v. 2, 6. It was put just at the entrance into the court of the priests, like the font at the church door. If it were filled to the brim, it would hold 3000 baths (as here, v. 5), but ordinarily there were only 2000 baths in it, 1 Ki. 7:26."
There is no real contradiction in the KJB, but a very definite contradiction in the NKJV, NIV, and NASB because they did not translate that second Hebrew verb. The other bible versions like the Holman piece of trash are false witnesses to the truth. This is only one of many such examples that prove them to be something less than the perfect word of God. By their fruits shall ye know them. "A faithful witness will not lie; but a false witness will utter lies." Proverbs 14:5.
I think God puts things like these difficult numbers in his precious word to cause Bible critics to stumble and to reveal their unbelief and readiness to exchange the words of God for carnal, human reasoning. "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." 1 Corinthians 1:19.
Jeremiah 6:19-21 "Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it...Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons shall fall upon them."
Always give the benefit of the doubt to the King James Holy Bible, but never to its critics. God has given us many "clues" and evidence as to where His pure, inerrant words are found today. Believe the promises of God to preserve His inerrant words and ask Him for wisdom to understand them. May God grant us the grace to be like king David who said: "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." Psalm 119:18
Modern Bible translators do not believe in the preservation of the inspired Scriptures. There are many examples of where modern versions like the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV and Holman often reject the clear Hebrew readings and either follow some other source, or just INVENT or make up a reading on a whim. Yet they continually disagree among themselves as to when they do this.
Another example of this is found in 2 Chronicles 31:16. Here we read: "Beside their genealogy of males, from THREE YEARS OLD and upward, even unto every one that entereth into the house of the LORD, his daily portion for their service in their charges according to their courses."
THREE YEARS OLD is the reading found in all Hebrew texts as well as the following Bible translations: Wycliffe 1395, Bishops' Bible 1568, Coverdale, Geneva Bible 1599, King James Bible, Jewish translation 1917, NKJV 1982, Complete Jewish Bible 1998, Revised Version 1881, American Standard Version 1901, NIV, TNIV, RSV 1950, NRSV 1989, ESV 2001, Holman Standard 2003, and even in Daniel Wallace's NET version.
However the NASB tells us instead: "without regard to their genealogical enrollment, to the males from THIRTY YEARS OLD and upward - everyone who entered the house of the LORD for his daily obligations - ." Then some, but not all, NASB's tell us in the marginal note that the Hebrew reads THREE years old, instead of thirty. Not even the Greek LXX nor the Syriac versions read "thirty" as does the NASB, but say "three years old". The only other version I have found so far that also "makes up" this reading of "thirty years old" is the mess called The Message. So why do the NASB "scholars" virtually all by themselves change the Hebrew texts?
John Gill - "Their office was not only to give to the priests, but to those of their males in their genealogy, who were three years old and upwards; for under that age, according to Kimchi, they were not fit to come into the temple; nor have they knowledge to keep what is put into their hands; nor fit to handle offerings, lest they should defile them; but at that age they might be taught how to hold them, and be used to it; but as for females, he says, they were not admitted at any age."
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown - "With the exception of children under three years of age--an exception made probably from their being considered too young to receive solid food--lists were kept of the number and age of every male; of priests according to their fathers' house, and Levites from twenty years."
Joshua 19:2 How many cities? Error in many bible versions.
In Joshua 19:1-6 we read of the lots being cast for the inheritance of the children of Simeon. Notice the number of the cities mentioned - 13 - and then number of cities listed in such versions as the NASB 1972-1977, Geneva, Bishops' bible, Coverdale, Wycliffe, RSV, NRSV, ESV and the Catholic Douay version.
The ever changing NASB has gone through 9 or 10 revisions so far, and each time they change textual readings of both the Old and New Testament, as well as their English translation. The 1972 and 1977 editions of the NASB say: "Beersheba AND Sheba, and....", but in 1995 the latest NASB has now corrected its previous blunder in this verse and now reads "Beersheba OR Sheba...".
To see more about the ever-changing 'literal' NASB, see - http://brandplucked.webs.com/everchangingnasbs.htm
In the King James Bible we read: "And they had their inheritance Beer-sheba, OR Sheba, and Moladah, and Hazarshual, and Balah, and Azem, and Eltolad, and Bethul, and Hormahn, and Ziklag, and Beth-marcaboth, and Hazarsusah, and Bethlebaoth, and Sharuhen; THIRTEEN CITIES and their villages."
If you count the number of cities mentioned in the King James Bible, and correctly take the reading of "OR Sheba" to mean that the town of Beer-sheba was also known as Sheba, then we end up with exactly 13 cities mentioned.
The Hebrew word Beer simply means a well or a pit, and it often formed a prefix for a more complete name. We can see this in names of other cities like the one mentioned in Ezra 2:24 and comparing this with Nehemiah 7:28. In Ezra we read a list of cities and the people who came from each. "The children of Azmaveth, forty and two" but in Nehemiah the same group is called "the men of BETHazmaveth, forty and two." In both cases it is the same city, but in the one example we have the additional "Beth" but not in the other.
However such versions as the NASB 1968-1977, RSV 1952, NRSV 1989, ESV 2001, Geneva bible, Bishops', Coverdale, Darby, Young's, Green's MKJV, and the Jehovah witness New Word Translation all read: "And they had in their inheritance Beersheba, AND Sheba, and Moladah....THIRTEEN cities." Yet a simple count from these wrong bible versions shows that they list FOURTEEN cities and not thirteen.
Good ol' Dr. Daniel Wallace, of Dallas Theological Seminary, with his ongoing scholarly disaster called the NET bible version simply omits the word altogether saying: "Their assigned land included Beer Sheba,(3) Moladah,..." Then in a revealing footnote Wallace tells us that he has "emended" the text (i.e. changed it at his own will) and that: "The MT has “and Sheba” listed after “Beer Sheba.” The LXX suggests “Shema.” The HEBREW TEXT APPEARS TO BE CORRUPT, since the form “Sheba” duplicates the latter part of the preceding name. If Sheba (or Shema) is retained, the list numbers fourteen, one more than the number given in the concluding summary (v. 6)."
This is so typical of today's "Blinded Scholar's Syndrome". These men with all their education are judicially blinded by God in their proud unbelief. Rather than accept a simple and reasonable explanation as to why God's preserved words are true, they prefer to believe that "the Hebrew text is corrupt", when in fact it is their own minds that are corrupt and not the words of God.
John Gill comments on the passage saying: "Or, Beersheba, that is, Sheba; for so the particle "vau" is sometimes used, and must be so used here; or otherwise, instead of thirteen, it will appear that there are fourteen cities, contrary to the account of them, (Joshua 19:6); so Kimchi and Ben Melech make them one city."
Agreeing with the reading found in the King James Bible of "Beersheba, OR Sheba, and Moladah..." are the following Bible versions: the Revised Version 1881, the American Standard Version of 1901, the NKJV "Beersheba (Sheba) and...", the NIV 1982, TNIV 2005, Holman Standard 2003, the NASB 1995 edition (but not all the previous NASBs) and even the Message.
The King James Bible is always right.
The example here in Joshua 19:2 presents us with an interesting case of "printing errors". When the original 1611 Bible came out, it read as do the Cambridge editions today - "Beersheba, OR Sheba, and...". However some later Oxford editions changed this to: "Beersheba, AND Sheba, and...". This printing error is easily explained. A later printer could have been proof reading the text and noticed that Joshua 19 is listing a series of cities followed time and again with the word AND. He could easily have thought that the word OR was a printing error, when in fact it was not. So he "corrected" what he thought was a printing error, and instead created one himself. Later editions merely repeated this error.
There is no copyright law that is now binding on the publication of King James Bibles. You can print one up in your own basement if you wish. My wife has a KJV from World Press and in Deut. 33:6 it reads: "is not he thy father that hath BROUGHT thee?" instead of "thy father that hath BOUGHT thee?". Others have told me they have KJB bibles that read things like "the God of my LITE" instead of "the God of my LIFE". Are we to toss out the doctrine of an inerrant Bible solely on the basis of an occasional printing error that can easily be corrected by comparing the underlying Hebrew and Greek texts of the KJB? I think not.
One such Bible critic who continues to harp on the printing errors ploy in order to promote the idea that there does not exist now any Book that can truthfully be called the inspired and inerrant words of God is Rick Norris. Mr. Norris has written a book called 'The Unbound Scriptures'. Rick's "inspired original languages" (which he never identifies for us) is so Unbound that they can't even be found in a looseleaf notebook. He will NEVER tell you what any of these "inspired original languages" actually SAY for any given verse, and they are not found in any book in print that he can recommend to anyone else. In his book he continues to attack the King James Bible in numerous ways as being incorrect and flawed. Every one of his points has been shot down as having no proof or validity at all. You can check out my Response to The Unbound Scriptures here -
The last shallow foxhole Rick has taken refuge in is the printing errors issue. He keeps telling us that if a book has had printing errors in it, then it cannot be the perfect words of God. Actually, what his argument goes to prove is that there never was a complete Bible and there isn't one now in any language, including the Hebrew and the Greek. All his efforts are ultimately to try to prove that there is no inerrant Bible on the earth today.
Never once in his entire book about the Bible does Rick ever tell us where we can get a hold of a tangible Bible in any language that he believes are the very words of God. Rick has no answers, but lots of questions - all along the lines of the first question recorded in Holy Writ, namely Satan's first words- "Yea, hath God said...?"
Try asking people like Rick Norris if his "inspired original languages" have printing errors in them or not. He doesn't know. Why? Because they don't exist in print anywhere on this earth. Ask Rick if his "inspired original languages" read "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen" in Matthew 6:13, or if 1 John 5:7 and the witness to the Trinity is Scripture or not, or if 2 Chron. 22:2 reads 42 years or 22 years, and Rick will not tell you. Believe me, I have tried many times, and Rick never tells anyone what the Bible really says for any passage of Scripture. Yet he is absolutely sure the King James Bible is not the true and inspired words of God. How does he know this? Well, it's his OPINION, of course, and we should just believe him because he is such a renowned scholar, and he has shown us that there have been occasional printing errors in the various editions of the King James Bible.
If you want to follow the reasoning of men like Rick Norris and Doug Kutilek and many others who deny the King James Bible is the very words of God, go right ahead. God takes the wise in their own craftiness. But realize that when you follow the reasoning of these men, you end up having no Bible to believe in, and each and every one of these men will have their own individual "bible" that differs in texts and meanings in hundreds if not thousands of ways from everybody else's "bible", and not even they themselves believe theirs is the complete and inerrant words of God. "In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes." Judges 21:25