What is wrong with the NKJV / New King James Version

All it does is modernize the words of the King James Bible, right?  Why should I read the old-fashioned King James version and not the helpful New King James version?

The New King James is not a King James Bible. It changed 64,000 words, ruined valuable verses, and when not agreeing with the King James Bible, it has instead copied the perverted NIV, NASV or RSV. And this you must know: those who translated the NKJV did not believe God perfectly preserved His words!

This is very important to those who want God’s truth in the English language. Here is some of what convinced me to switch to the King James Bible from the “New King James.”

Changed Words Means Changed Meanings

We know that Bible versions disagree on how to translate certain words. Here is an example: Is Jesus God’s “Son” or God’s “servant”? If He is God’s Son, then we all need to listen to what He said! Changed words like this make a great deal of difference in how we understand a passage.

Loss of “Thee” and “Thou”

Please decide what God is saying to Moses:

“And the LORD said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?” (Exodus 16:28, NKJV)

It looks like God is saying, “Moses, you are continuing to refuse to keep My commandments and My laws.” But look carefully at the accurate King James:

“And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?”

Now we understand! It was the people, not Moses, that God was upset with. “Ye” and “you” mean more than one person. “Thee,” “thou,” “thy,” “thine,” “doeth,” “hast,” etc., only mean one person. How do we know? The “y” is plural. The “t” is singular. Isn’t that easy? Now you know what Jesus meant when He said to Nicodemus, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).

What Jesus said was, “Nicodemus, marvel not that I said unto thee, all of you need to be born again.” This is very important. Not only Nicodemus needed to be saved. But everybody, including him, needed to be born again. That’s why Jesus used the plural.
But there is more of a problem than the thousands of times “thee” and “thou” are removed from God’s words. What does a word mean? This is very important, as you shall see.

Which is correct?

The NKJV consistently uses terms that don’t mean the same as in the King James Bible. Here are some examples:

2 Cor 2:17 “For we are not as many which corrupt the word of God” “peddling the word of God” (like the NIV, NASV and RSV)
Titus 3:10 “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject” “Reject a divisive man” (like the NIV)
1 Thess 5:22 “Abstain from all appearance of evil” “Abstain from every form of evil” (like the NAS, RSV and ASV)
Isaiah 66:5 “Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.” [This means that the LORD shall appear, which shall occur at the Second Coming of Christ] “Hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at His word: “Your brethren who hated you, who cast you out for My name’s sake, said, ‘Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy.’ But they shall be ashamed.” (Like the NIV, NASV, RSV and ASV, the Second Coming is wholly omitted from this scripture)

Both translations cannot be correct. If one is right, the other has to be wrong. No matter how you slice it, the NKJV does not have the same meaning as the accurate King James Bible.

Changed Affections

There is a lot of evidence that the translators and publishers did not believe God preserved His words.

The NKJV was translated and is printed under the watchful eye of Thomas Nelson Publishers. Here is part of a timeline they published.

1969: Sam Moore purchases Thomas Nelson Publishers, vowing to return it to its once proud place among the leading publishers of the world.

1976: Nelson initiates the creation of a new Bible translation–The New King James Version.

1980’s: Nelson reclaims its place as a premier publisher of Bibles and Christian Books, expands into international markets, and establishes Markings as Nelson’s Gift division.

It is clear the NKJV made Thomas Nelson Publishers a lot of money. Did a King James-type Bible renew their hearts to God? Note the following facts:

  • They are also the publishers of the American Standard Version, the American revision of Westcott and Hort’s perverted English Revised Version.
  • They are also the publishers of the Revised Standard Version, the revision of the American Standard.
  • To this day they continue to sell at least six Bible perversions. The NKJV was just one moneymaker that helped Nelson “reclaim its place” as a major publisher.
  • The NKJV repeats the lie that “There is only one basic New Testament used by Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Orthodox, by conservatives and liberals.” In fact, there are two: the perverted Alexandrian line that was continued by the Roman Catholic religion and the preserved, apostolic, Antiochian line that progresses from the Christians at Antioch of Syria (Acts 11:26) to our precious King James Bible.

The New King James Translators

Marion H. Reynolds Jr. of the Fundamental Evangelistic Association reveals a little-known fact:

“The duplicity of the NKJV scholars is also a matter for concern. Although each scholar was asked to subscribe to a statement confirming his belief in the plenary, divine, verbal inspiration of the original autographs (none of which exist today), the question of whether or not they also believed in the divine preservation of the divinely inspired originals was not an issue as it should have been. Dr. Arthur Farstad, chairman of the NKJV Executive Review Committee which had the responsibility of final text approval, stated that this committee was about equally divided as to which was the better Greek New Testament text-the Textus Receptus or the Westcott-Hort.

Apparently none of them believed that either text was the Divinely preserved Word of God. Yet, all of them participated in a project to “protect and preserve the purity and accuracy” of the original KJV based on the TR. Is not this duplicity of the worst kind, coming from supposedly evangelical scholars?”

Not “The Real Thing”

What Mr. Reynolds points out is very important to understand. There were basically two groups of translators working on the NKJV. One half believed that the perverted 45 Alexandrian manuscripts, from which came the Roman Catholic Bibles and the modern perversions, were better than the manuscripts behind the King James. The other group believed the thousands of manuscripts supporting the King James were better.

This is a big problem: No one believed that they held God’s words in their hands, only a ‘better’ or ‘worse’ text!  The translators believed they had something close, but not an accurate Bible.  It is a sad thing when a Bible translator doesn’t even believe he has God’s words in his hands.  It sounds like they don’t believe God kept His promise:

Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. (Mark 13:31)

Perhaps that is why some of them had no problem working on other perversions, both before and after working on the NKJV. This is so unlike the 54+ Bible men who faithfully translated the King James Bible from preserved manuscripts of God’s words. The difference between the King James and the “New” King James is the difference between day and night.

Compromising God’s Words

Many Christians are discovering the miracle of God’s words in English. But the enemy has tried to insert a monkey-wrench: the NKJV. Pastors approve it, “scholars” promote it, but the NKJV is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The New King James is just a compromise between the liberal, perverted Bible versions floating around and the rock-solid, accurate and preserved words of God, the King James Bible.

Brothers and sisters, don’t settle for anything less than God’s words.

Is Jesus “God’s Son” or “God’s Servant?”

Do you see a difference between these two Bible versions?

KJV Acts 3:25 –Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Acts 3:26 – Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. NKJV Acts 3:25 –You are the sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Acts 3:26 – To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning every one of you away from his iniquities.

In the KJV, we find that Jesus is God’s Son. In the NKJV, we find that He is God’s servant. These are clearly not the same! The Greek word found in the text here is “pais”. It can be used in Greek for either “son” or “servant.” So which one is correct here?

The solution is simple: look at the context in which it is used. In English, we have many words that can have more than one meaning. If a translator, going from English to another language, came across the word “bear,” he would have a choice of meanings. But it wouldn’t take rocket science to figure out which one to use.

If the passage described a man with a heavy burden, the translator would understand that the man is going to “bear,” or “carry” the burden. If, on the other hand, the passage described a hairy beast climbing a tree, the translator would understand the correct meaning here applies to a forest-dwelling animal that will eat nearly anything it finds. It’s not really very hard.

Now look at the Bible passage above. What is being discussed?

  • “children of the prophets”
  • “covenant which God made with our fathers”
  • “in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.”

It’s clear, isn’t it? The passage is talking about “children,” and “fathers” and “seed.” The word “pais” means “son”. Yet the New King James translators chose “servant”, denying the deity of Jesus, likewise the NIV, ASV, NASB and other modern Bible translations.

Could it be that these modern translators disagree that “pais” can be translated “son?” No, the NKJV committee translates this very word as “boy,” “child” or “son” in Matthew 2:16; 17:18; 21:15; Luke 2:43; 9:42; and John 4:51. Yet they refused to translate the word as “son” in this powerful sermon where Peter presents Jesus as Messiah and Son of God.

One has to ask, why were these translators so determined to deny the deity of Jesus in this passage?

Is this a Bible you can trust with your eternal destiny?

The New King James Bible Examined

Comparison between the KJV, NIV (1984 edition), and the TNIV (2005 edition)


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13 Responses to What is wrong with the NKJV / New King James Version

  1. The translation of Acts 3:26 has nothing to do with promoting Unitarianism (since there’s no way that Art Farstad would stand for such a decision). The translators instead understood the passage to allude to Isaiah’s suffering servant prophecy. Peter’s sermons in Acts focus on Christ’s fulfillment of messianic scripture, not so much on His deity, so the choice of “servant” is warranted in the greater context of the book. Granted, Farstad & Co. should have footnoted the “son” alternative as the RSV, NASB, and NRSV did.

  2. Duane says:

    See also Matthew 12:18 KJV

    • Yes, thank you.

      “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.” (Matt 12:18 KJV)

      “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.” (Matt 12:18 NIV)

      “Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He will declare justice to the Gentiles.” (Matt 12:18 NKJV)

  3. Patrick Joseph Horn says:

    So correct you are. People want to believe a lie we are told God would send a strong delusion. They do not want to listen to truth they want to believe lies. They belong to the devil not God. They are taking the mark and do not even realize it.

    • James says:

      Amen, I sick of these blasphemers telling our lost brothers and sisters that Jesus is a servant. Jesus Christ will always be the son of God, our Lord and Savior who died on the Cross and resurrected the 3rd day. I Can’t wait for Jesus to return. I hate sin and I hate Satan.

      • Phillip Mutchell says:

        The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. Acts 3:13
        The modern translations have Servant because the Greek doesn’t mean Son the KJV translators were perhaps using Son because previous generations viewed children as servants as Paul insists of the heir so long as he is a child.
        So Jesus was and is a Servant of his Father the One True God notwithstanding that all authority has been GIVEN him.

  4. Hans Grubberman says:

    2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
    This verse is the key to any and all understanding of God’s Word as it applies to correctness. But that study must never be an endeavor apart from the presence and power of the Holy Spirit for He is the one Who leads us into all truth.
    Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Word of God is living and active and so the Word is not subservient to time, language or culture. If one truly seeks the Kingdom of God, the truth will not be hidden or distorted.
    The writer of Hebrews also admonishes those who are believers, Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace . . .
    And also, Philippians 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
    All of us as believers have an obligation to help and encourage the weaker brother and all of us at any time may be found as that weaker brother. The Son of God came in the form of a servant both to God and to mankind that the glory of God might be seen in His holiness so that we might be partakers of His grace, mercy and love.

  5. Phillip Mutchell says:

    Do you not think you’re being somewhat arbitrary? Why select the KJV as the example of God ‘perfectly preserving’ his word? Why not the Great Bible, the Geneva, or of course the Vulgate, which the translators of the KJV being far more familiar with naturally had in mind as they translated, and of course was the ‘Church’ bible for the last 1000+ years, if so be you identify as some form of Protestant and your faith is in some historic creed altered to reflect whatever bias is the logo of your religion.
    Peter’s express declaration that this same Jesus was a ‘man anointed of God’ is far more likely to be cited as evidence by the Unitarian. 1John 5:7 by the Oneness adherent. All actual biblical statements ignored or interpreted according to bias, its how mania works just as I’d take bets that the comment by Grubberman tells me he’s some kind of Dispensationalist who chops up the bible and reads everything out of context but he and his fellow sufferers are all ‘rightly dividing’ whereas the others have been sent a ‘strong delusion’.
    If the active word of God doesn’t refer to the Resurrected and Anointed as Priest forever Christ, why one wonders does the next verse say he and the following name Jesus. Just an example of how people just don’t read attentively, ignoring the actual precept that the letter without the spirit kills.
    The best reason for resisting modern translations is the reality of what has happened. An avalanche of ‘versions’ which the enemies of Christ then seize upon as ‘contradictions’ and the egoist – particularly is such thinks a person decide the their self to be saved – wastes effort and frequently sins ‘in the multitude of words’ thus bringing shame upon their profession.
    That said I like the Knox Bible, and the Nicholas King translation, and I would say that the development of the doctrine of Trinity is, quite frankly, incomprehensible without the ‘Apocrypha’ (particularly Ben Sira) which were of course in the original KJV 1611, and later left out to pack more ‘bibles’ aboard ships bound to Britain’s former colonies – before you got all rebellious -:). Peace

  6. Wolfwolveswolf says:

    There’s one thing for sure – King James Bible now evil is pushing everywhere the ways of the demonic. Everything is compounding towards end times. The only hope for we people on this earth system is- YESHUA G-D YHWH אהיה אשר אהיה

  7. Goood reading this post

  8. Brenda K Curtis says:

    I’m not sure what version of The New King James you’re talking about, but the list of omitted verses is not true with my New King James. I use the 1983 copyrighted Open Bible Expanded Study version of the New King James.

  9. James says:

    Who shall add to my words shall be cursed, those who taketh away will parish in the lake of fire. NKJV is blasphemous in the most corrupt form. Satan and his demons want to send as many mislead people to hell. Jesus is the Lord and Savior, He is the Son of God that died for our sins and reserected again. Anyone who says other wise I rebuke them in the name of the Son of God, Jesus.

    • Phillip Mutchell says:

      You are sir doomed by your own beliefs as you insist that those who alter the KJV will ‘parish’ and so you yourself by the will of God change his words, and are forever to be a tormented Anglican stuck in said Parish.

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