Why can't the KJV quote itself correctly?
Some have alleged that the KJV (King James Version) is a letter-for-letter perfectly Divinely inspired version of the scriptures. Many of these people go so far as to allege that even though the Greek or Hebrews texts the KJV came from may have errors , the KJV does not.
If this is the case, then why can't the KJV quote itself correctly? In Matt 12:19, the KJV says:
"He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets." (Matt 12:19 in KJV, quoting Isa 42:2)
One problem with this is that there's verse after verse in which the Gospels record Yeshua being heard to speak outside. Let's see how the KJV reads in Isa 42:2
"He shall not cry, nor lift up; nor cause his voice to be heard in the street." (Isa 42:2 in KJV)
OK, this is much better. It is merely saying He won't force anyone to listen to Him. It doesn't say He wouldn't speak in the streets. Our Messiah taught and acted in such a way that people wanted to hear Him. But they didn't have to. He wasn't the rabbi of their synagogue. No one was ever tricked into listening to Him. The Hebrew word for "Street" here simply means "outside". But we also have this problem; if the KJV is a letter-for-letter inspiration of what G-d intended us to have, how come Matt 12:19 doesn't agree with Isa 42:2? Why does Matt 12:19 say Yeshua would not be heard in disagreement with Isa 42:2? Did G-d inspire Matt 12:19 to misquote Isa 42:2? Isaiah either said "street" (singular) or "streets" (plural), if he meant "street" at all (since the Hebrew word simply means "outside"). But since the KJV doesn't agree with itself anywhere here, did they misquote what came out of Isaiah's mouth when they recorded it as "street" in Isa 42:2 or did they misquote what came out of Isaiah's mouth when they recorded it as "streets" in Matt 12:19? Obviously, one of these has to be "off".
Now some people will say "the reason for that is the translation from Hebrew to Greek to English" and perhaps point out that other translations have this issue due to multi-language translation. But that's not the issue I'm addressing. I'm addressing the absurdity that is promoted when many KJV Onlyists claim that all the problems with the Hebrew or Greek manuscripts were "fixed" when G-d inspired the KJV to be created, and that the KJV now perfectly preserves His Word, whereas the texts they came from do not.
And its not just the Gospel, but we find this in a multiple quotation of the Tanakh. For example,
- Heb 3:11 "So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest" (Heb 3:11 quoting Ps 95:11)
- Heb 4:3 "As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest" (Heb 4:3, quoting the same verse)
- Ps 95:11 "Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest."
Not only does the KJV change the verse when it quotes it, but changes it in 2 different ways. Did G-d inspire the KJV translators to translate this several different ways? The Greek text the KJV translates from in Hebrews is identical in both cases, but the English translation is different.
Ps 95:11 in the KJV says they should not enter (but maybe they'll do it anyway, huh, since you can still do what you shouldn't in English thought?) Heb 3:11 says they won't, not just that they should not. And Heb 4:3 doesn't make good sense, and is a result of an overliteral translation from Hebrew to Greek, and then from Greek to English.
The KJV often is inconsistant in how it translates words. In Acts 17:19, it transliterates "Areion pagou" as "Areopagus" , but only 3 verses later, in Acts 17:22, it translates this exact same word as "Mar's hill". In Acts 16:14 , it translates "sebomenh" as "worshipped", but then translates it in Acts 17:17 as "devote".
Introducing Unecessary Gospel Conflicts
Sometimes inconsistant translation produces conflicts in places where the same text is common to more than one place.
One of the most commonly cited reason for renouncing the faith by those who have read the scriptures daily is contradictions in the New Testament. Is the KJV adding unnecessarily to apostacy by poor translations?
Mistranslations, added text, and inconsistant translating have all caused the KJV version of the Gospels to appear to conflict more than they do.
In Matt 24:32 = Mark 13:28, the KJV creates an unecessary conflict where
- Matt 24:32 = "...when his branch..." (KJV) while
- Mark 13:28 = "...when her branch..." (KJV)
Yet in the Greek, both verses read "authV", which is feminine, and thus both should read "her", not "his" ! So in the Greek, Matt 24:32 = Mark 13:28 perfectly fine, but the KJV mistranslates "her" in Matt 24:32 as "his". This pronoun replaces the word "fig tree (thV sukhV)", which is feminine, adding confirmation that this should be "her", not "his". Then, in this same passage, all 3 Gospels agree in the Greek by saying "near", but the KJV adds "at hand" to Luke 21:30 & 21:31 without even putting it in italics, creating several unnecessary conflicts.
Matt 24:32 = Mark 13:28 = Luke 21:29-30 Matt Mark Luke
Actual text =
"near" "near" "near"
KJV reads =
"near" "near" "near, at hand", but
should be "near, at hand"
Matt 24:33 = Mark 13:29 = Luke 21:31
Actual text =
"near, at the doors" "near, at the doors" "near"
KJV reads =
"near, at the doors" "near, at the doors" "near, at hand", but
should be "near, at hand"
So suddenly, we have Luke reading "near, at hand" when the original text doesn't, thereby creating a conflict between the Gospels that doesn't exist and the KJV does not even mark this addition in italics, like it usually does.
Also, inconsistant translation on the part of the KJV causes even more unecessary inconsistancy between the Gospels. In Matt 13:31-32 = Mark 4:30-32 = Luke 13:18-19, it talks of the birds (peteina) of the air. The KJV renders this word "birds" in Matthew and Mark, but as "fowls" in Luke, giving the impression that the Gospels disagree on which word to use. It translates "katanoeiV" as "considerest" in Matt 7:3, but as "percievest" in the parallel passage of Luke 6:41, creating another unecessary conflict by reading differently in these two parallel passages even though the Greek reads the same in both places.
"genhtai" is inconsistantly translated as "fullfilled" in Matt 24:34 = Luke 21:32, but translated as "done" in Mark 13:30, making Mark the "odd man" out in the KJV readings, but reading identically the same in the 3 Greek versions. Matt 26:41 matches Mark 14:38 exactly in the Greek, reading "pneuma proqumon h de sarx asqenhV " in both Gospels, but the KJV translates it
- "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak" (Matt 26:41, KJV)
- "the spirit is ready but the flesh is weak" (Mark 14:38, KJV)
Leaving the English reader thinking the Gospels are worded with more variance than they appear in Greek.