1 Peter 1:13-21 KJV/NKJV Comparison

Have you ever noticed how some generations can hear someone say one thing while another generation hears something totally different? For example, my kids enjoy watching the old Flintstones programs, but they always giggle at a certain point in the theme song. It says:

“When you’re with the Flintstones
Have a yabba-dabba-doo time
A dabba-doo time
We’ll have a gay old time”

Now, in 1960, the primary definition of gay meant “lighthearted and carefree.” In 2018, with the perverting of our culture, even down to the smallest child, everyone recognizes the word “gay” to mean “a homosexual, especially a man.” So, while kids in the 60s heard “We’ll have a light-hearted, carefree time,” today’s generation hears “We’ll have homosexual sex!”

Generations hear words differently, so we should expect nothing different to occur when studying a comparison of the KJV and NKJV. The KJV translates into English an ancient language into the English of 1611 and later on updates it to the English of 1769. Most KJV bibles that you will find being used in churches today are from the 1769 update. The NKJV attempts to translates into English an ancient language into the English of 1982. They don’t always update the language perfectly in my opinion, but I respect them for using the correct Greek New Testament text and attempting to make the Word understandable to a new generation. I certainly was blessed by God when I picked up a NKJV many years ago and saw how the Word became more accessible to me as a young man when I read it in the English of 1982.

Today I am going to look specifically at two Greek words in today’s passage: ἀναστροφή anastrophē and μάταιος mataios.

1 Peter 1:15 King James Version (KJV) 1611

But as hee which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all maner of conuersation;

1 Peter 1:15 King James Version (KJV) 1769

15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

1 Peter 1:15 New King James Version (NKJV) 1982

15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,

Conversation or Conduct?

Our first Greek word is ἀναστροφή anastrophē. The KJV translates this word as conversation every time it appears in the Textus Receptus Greek New Testament. The problem is, though this Greek word clearly means behavior, all 13 times this Greek word appears, it is rendered as conversation. Is it a conspiracy on behalf of the 1611 translators to render this word as something different? No.

So then, why would the KJV translators use the word conversation for a Greek word that means behavior? It would be misleading to tell someone that God is only concerned that you be holy in your, as Merriam Webster defines conversation, “oral exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions, or ideas.” God certainly wants us to be holy in those things, but ἀναστροφή anastrophē goes deeper than that. There is no doubt it is referring to how you live your life and the behaviors that you engage in. While that certainly includes oral correspondence, it also includes actions.

The KJV isn’t attempting to mislead you. It is just using the language of 1611. In 1611, conversation meant your conduct and behavior. If you pull out your Webster’s dictionary, you will see that that definition of the word is now obsolete. The KJV isn’t wrong, no more than it was wrong for a children’s television show in 1960 to tell the children to have a “gay, old time.” Neither is the Greek word wrong because that is the God inspired word that God gave Peter to write down. The NKJV merely updates the Greek word to the English equivalent for this generation to understand it.

1 Peter 1:18 King James Version (KJV) 1611

For as much as ye know that yee were not redeemed with corruptible things, as siluer and golde, from your vaine conuersation receiued by tradition from your fathers;

1 Peter 1:18 King James Version (KJV) 1769

18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

1 Peter 1:18 New King James Version (NKJV) 1982

18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,

Vain or Aimless?

The Greek word is μάταιος mataios. It means, according to Strong’s concordance, empty, in other word profitless, devoid of force or truth or success, useless, or of no purpose. The KJV consistently translates this word (the six times that it appears in the Textus Receptus Greek New Testament) as vain or vanities.

Now, the top definition in Webster’s Dictionary for Vain is “having or showing undue or excessive pride in one’s appearance or achievements.” If you read this verse thinking of the two primary definitions for vain and conversation, you will hear that you were redeemed from arrogant speech. That isn’t what the Greek is saying.

Now, in this instance, the secondary definition for the word vain isn’t obsolete today, like the word conversation was, and it does mean exactly what the Greek word is conveying: “marked by futility or ineffectualness.” The NKJV just updates the English word to an instantly understandable word here. The KJV again, isn’t wrong, it just isn’t as clear because a new generation will “hear” the word differently today.

Finally, I want us to pay attention to the point of this passage. It says that we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ from the aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers. This passage is saying that these Jews were once bound by tradition, a tradition that was aimless, devoid of force, empty, profitless, vain, useless, and/or of no purpose. Have you been redeemed of that? A good way to see is to ask this question of yourself: Is tradition what you are willing to die for or the gospel?

I find that many who claim the name of Christ are more concerned with their tradition than they are with the fact that God wants to see the world saved and understand how much He loves them. They don’t care if the correct message is clear or not. They only care that the tradition received from their fathers continues. These types of people would not care that this word update would help someone more clearly see how God loves them or understand what He desires for their lives more clearly.

It must always be “vain conversation” for them.

I am certain we all have found ourselves acting like that before. I know that I have found myself holding to tradition and then realizing I was doing that because of me and not because of how it would help God and others.  When we find ourselves with attitudes like that, we need to remember that traditions that don’t lift Christ up are more like the “tradition of our father that were aimless conduct.” Who wants to base their lives on aimless conduct? I want to base my life on the only thing that matters: Receiving and Sharing the gospel.

I recently preached a message on the topic of why people do not accept change from Jonah 4. I would encourage anyone reading this to watch it and ask yourself the question, “Will I not change something because of me or because of HIM?” The honest answer to that question can make a lot of things very simple in your walk with Christ and keep you from “vain conversation” in either definition of those words.


1 Peter 1:3-12 KJV/NKJV Comparison

Have you ever been ashamed of being tempted by something? The truth is that we have all been tempted. Sometimes that temptation is a great struggle that fills one with depression. Don’t let the temptations of today get you down! You will rejoice one day if you persevere through them!

Sadly, in my KJV/NKJV study today, I found that temptation had been eliminated from the trials that we might face as far at the modern bible reader might think when he or she studied 1 Peter 1:6-7.

1 Peter 1:6-7 King James Version (KJV)

temptation6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

1 Peter 1:6-7 New King James Version (NKJV)

6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,

7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

Heaviness or grieved?

The Greek word is λυπέω lypeō and means to cause grief, grieve, be in heaviness, This word appears 26 times in the Textus Receptus Greek New Testament and the KJV translates it as “be sorrowful , grieve, make sorry, be sorry, sorrow, cause grief, and, finally, only once as “heaviness” as it is translated here.

For many English-speaking people of the past, to say that you were in heaviness would have caused one to have a clear understanding of what you were going through: a period of grief. Grief or heaviness are both acceptable English words to translate λυπέω lypeō. I believe we all know what it feels like to have the heaviness of grief.

Temptations or Trials?

The Greek word here is πειρασμός peirasmos. According to Strong’s Concordance it means “a putting to proof (by experiment (of good), experience (of evil), solicitation, discipline or provocation” In other words, a temptation to do good or evil has been placed before you.

For the KJV translators, there was no doubt that this word should be translated as temptations rather than a trial. This Greek word appears 21 times in the Textus Receptus and the KJV translates it as “temptation” 19 times, as “temptations” once and “try” once. We all face many trials in life but they aren’t necessarily tests that prove our moral conditions. They aren’t temptations.

The NKJV Study Bible from Thomas Nelson claims that this word doesn’t mean what the KJV translators consecutively translated it as throughout the New Testament. The note at this verse states “by various trials: In this context (v. 7), trials refers to ordeals that we encounter in life rather than those things that would induce us to sin. Note that no one particular problem is in view here, but rather all the testings of life.”

So, from this understanding, modern translators have changed this word solely based on their feeling that this word isn’t correct in context! Now, it isn’t necessarily wrong to translate this word as “trial,” but it loses the idea that dealing with temptations do cause us to become depressed. I think that is an important understanding for Christians to grasp. It is good to know that others have felt that same way. This probably why the NASB has a footnote next to “trials” that reads “or temptations.” They don’t want you to miss that truth. This decision to translate this word as trial in the NKJV is one of the reasons the next word that we will look at will be changed as well.

Trial or Genuineness?

The Greek word is δοκίμιον dokimion and means a testing and, if considered by implication: trustworthiness. The Textus Receptus Greek New Testament has this word appear twice and the KJV translates it as “trying” once and once as “trial” here. A good definition of this Greek word would be “the proving that by which something is tried or proved, a test.”

The NKJV is translating this word by implication. The word genuineness only gives us the end result of a trial and fails to reveal to us that a battle is taking place.

Why was the NKJV not able to use the word trial here as the KJV did? They had already used the word trial in the verse beforehand and it would not sound correct to say “grieved by various trials, that the (trial) of your faith.” Therefore, they had to give us the end result of the “trial” created by not translating peirasmos as “temptations.” You will see this same occurrence in many translations today such as the NIV which states: “in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness.” The older Geneva Bible states it as “through manifold tentations (temptations), That the trial of your faith.” It would seem that the modern scholar is dead set against the idea that temptations make us sorrowful as a part of the trials that we go through.

Tried or Tested?

The Greek word here is δοκιμάζω dokimazō. It means to test with the idea of to prove or try. The Textus Receptus has this word appear 23 times and it appears as such English words as “prove” 10, “try” 4 times, “approve” 3times, “discern” 2 times, “allow” twice, “like” once, and “examine” once.

I think that the NKJV’s “test” is just a good a translation as the KJV’s “tried.” Both of these are acceptable translations of this word. Notice that the NKJV has no problem translating this derivative of the earlier Greek word as “test” here. Why? Because of the change that was made to πειρασμός peirasmos. Just one changed word can cause several changes.

Appearing or revelation?

The Greek word here is ἀποκάλυψις apokalypsis. You may recognize this word from some end-times movie that you may have watched. The word doesn’t mean world-wide destruction as many imagine it means, but, rather, a disclosure: — an appearing, coming, lighten, manifestation, be revealed, revelation.
The Textus Receptus has this Greek word appear 18 times. The KJV translates is as “revelation” 12 times, “be revealed” twice and as various other words such as “appearing” as it does here.

The idea of this word is that something has become clear that beforehand wasn’t so clear. I think if we hide the idea that temptations are a part of our depression in our Christian life, it cannot be beneficial to us. Someone reading this may be going through a trial where temptation is a part of it and think that they are the only one who has ever felt depression over such a thing. Peter showed us that a depressed state does occur when one is facing temptation, but, even though the fire of that trial is painful, we will one day “be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ!”

That is a revelation that many of use would benefit from knowing!

1 Peter 1:1-2 KJV/NKJV Comparison

I am excited about heading in to a new KJV/NKJV Comparison in the book of 1 Peter. It should be an interesting study because 1 Peter has some very difficult passages to translate and the choices of the translators should be interesting to see in the KJV and NKJV. For example, John MacArthur states: 

First Peter 3:18–22 stands as one of the most difficult NT texts to translate and then interpret. For example, does “Spirit” in 3:18 refer to the Holy Spirit, or to Christ’s Spirit? Did Christ preach through Noah before the Flood, or did He preach Himself after the crucifixion (3:19)? Was the audience to this preaching composed of the humans in Noah’s day, or demons in the abyss (3:19)? Does 3:20, 21 teach baptismal regeneration (salvation), or salvation by faith alone in Christ? 

MacArthur, John F., Jr. The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006. Print. 

Someone might ask why would I want to look at the word choices between these two particular translations? Well, these two, in my opinion, hold the most weight among the myriad of translations of the bible available today because they use the Greek Textus Receptus for the translation of their New Testament. It has been considered by the church to be THE New Testament translated down across the centuries. Even the Orthodox church still holds that the Textus Receptus is the authoritative New Testament Greek text. All other modern versions (except the MEV, which I am not referencing because it is not as well known) use the Critical Text. This Critical Text is a recent invention, changes often, and literally deletes verses that have been held as authoritative scripture for centuries!  

For more info on this debate:  

Now, on to 1 Peter… 

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Strangers or Pilgrims? 

The Greek word is παρεπίδημος parepidēmos. It basically means an alien alongside, a resident foreigner. This word appears 3 times in the Textus Receptus New Testament and the KJV translates it twice as pilgrim and once as stranger. Obviously, the KJV translators saw that it could be interpreted with either word.  

Now, the straight forward meaning of the word is “someone who comes from a foreign country,” but there is also a hidden meaning in the ideal that Peter is relating here as well. All Christians can be known as pilgrims or strangers in this world. In the NT, this word can be used as a metaphor in reference to heaven as the native country and the pilgrim or stranger as the one who sojourns on earth. 

If you are a Christian, you do realize that this world isn’t your real home? You are just passing though on your way to a better country. When a Christian learns to have this attitude, that he or she is just a pilgrim, the problems and trials of this world don’t hold the weight that they once did. I can lose everything, yet, still be the owner of a mansion in my true home (John 14:2). 

Scattered or Dispersion? 

The Greek word here is διασπορά diaspora and means dispersion. The word appears 3 times in the Textus Receptus NT and the KJV translates it once as “dispersed,” once as “scatter abroad,” and once as “scattered” in this verse. 

There are two ways of looking at the translation of this word and both are correct. Scattered is certainly the straight forward meaning and implies a universal understanding of the text to all generations who would read this letter later on. The capitalized word Dispersion used in the NKJV is referencing an historical event that the KJV didn’t impress upon the text. The Believer’s Bible Commentary was edited by the Editor-in-Chief of the NKJV, Arthur Farstad, and is a good source to see why some of the translation choices were made in the NKJV. In the note on 1 Peter 1:1 it states: 

The Letter is addressed to the pilgrims or foreigners scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. Who were these exiles? 

Peter’s use of the words “of the Dispersion” predisposes us to think that they were Jewish believers because James uses that same word concerning believers from the twelve tribes of Israel (Jas. 1:1). Also the word in John 7:35 describes Jews who were scattered among the Gentiles. But it is quite probable that Peter is writing to the Gentile believers who had been dispersed by persecution among the surrounding nations. 

MacDonald, William. Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. Ed. Arthur Farstad. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995. Print. 

So, the NKJV is assuming Peter is giving us a reference to the historical event of the Dispersion of the Jews throughout the empire while the KJV is making a more general statement and choosing not to lean either way. While the historical reference is helpful, it can also be misleading. What if that isn’t what Peter is meaning and you have changed the understanding of what he meant? Even the commentary states that they weren’t sure. It would seem best to do as the KJV did and leave the meaning of the diaspora to the deeper study of the reader. 

In or Through sanctification? 

The Greek word is ἐν en. According to Strong’s Concordance, it is a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), or, in other words, “a relation of rest.”  

This little word is the Holy Spirit’s part is setting us apart (sanctification) for salvation. How does that work? 

This word appears 2,782 times in the Textus Receptus NT. The KJV mainly translates it as “in” and does so 1,874 times. It also translates this word as “by” 141 times, “with” 134 times, “among” 117 times, “at” 112 times, “on” 46 times, “through” 37 times and various other words 321 times.  

Webster’s Dictionary states that the word “in” is “used as a function word to indicate inclusion, location, or position within limits.” “Through” is firstly defined as “used as a function word to indicate movement into at one side or point and out at another and especially the opposite side of,” but it can also be “used as a function word to indicate a period of time: such as “during the entire period of” as in “all through her life”.  

In that sense, the KJV translators seem to be using “through” to show us that the Holy Spirit is Who this particular part of our election is occurring because the verse also states that we are elect according to the foreknowledge of the Father and the blood of the Son. Never let anyone tell you the bible doesn’t teach the trinity! The NKJV uses the word “in” to show the aspect of the “fixed position in place time or state” that was referenced in Strong’s Concordance. Again, we can reference the Believer’s Bible Commentary to, perhaps, gain some of the NKJV’s translators choice in using the word “in.” 

The second step in salvation is sanctification of the Spirit. This aspect of sanctification takes place before conversion. It is a ministry of the Holy Spirit by which He sets people apart to belong to God (see also 2 Thess. 2:13). It logically follows election by God the Father. In eternity God foreknew and chose men. In time the Holy Spirit operates to make that election real in the lives of the individuals concerned. 

MacDonald, William. Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. Ed. Arthur Farstad. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995. Print. 

I think this is helpful in understanding election based on the understanding that time is a created thing. It had a beginning and will have and end. At a certain point in time, through the Holy Spirit, you were set apart for salvation. At the point in time in your life, He drew you to Himself. Both of these translations are legitimate, as you can see above that the KJV mainly translates this word as “in.” The ancient Greek language, even more so than the English language, has many words that can have more than one meaning. I think that is why God chose such a special language to pen the New Testament. It can provide for us deeper meaning. 

Unto or For obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ? 

The Greek word is εἰς eis. According to Strong’s Concordance, it is a primary preposition; to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result, etc.).  

This word appears 1,774 in the Textus Receptus New Testament. The KJV translates it as “into” 573, “to” 281 times, “unto” 207 times, “for” 140 times, “in” 138 times, “on” 58 times, “toward” 29 times, “against” 26 times, and several other words 322 times.  

This word “unto” is “used as a function word to indicate reference or concern” according to Webster’s dictionary and Webster’s first definition of “for” states that it is “used as a function word to indicate purpose.” Notice that both of these words are used as word to reference the end result. This is the end result of your salvation. Peter is stating the logical progression of your salvation. You were chosen according to the foreknowledge of the Father, in or through the sanctification (setting apart in time) of the Holy Spirit, which is the moment you were saved in time, and the result is that you are now a new person in Christ.  What does that look like? You are in submission to Jesus and purified (sprinkled) by His Blood! You have been made holy and Jesus is your Lord where, beforehand, you were just like the rest of the world.  

As today’s study began and as it ends, we see that Christians really are just strangers in this world passing through because, before time began God chose you, in time the Holy Spirit sanctified you and now you are a new creature in Christ different than the rest of this world. 

Matthew 28 (KJV/NKJV Comparison) 2-13

When did Jesus rise from the tomb? Some say that there is a conflict in the wording of Matthew 28:1, but is there really any conflict? Some things become clearer the second or even third time you look at them…

Matthew 28:1 (KJV)

28 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

Matthew 28:1 (NKJV)

28 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.

In the end of the Sabbath or Now after the Sabbath?

Now, we must remember that Jesus was in the tomb for 3 days. He was crucified on Friday and placed in the tomb, His body stayed there through the Sabbath, and He arose on Sunday morning. Many have seen a problem with this verse because of that timeline. They say that Matthew 28:1 is placing the resurrection to occur on the Sabbath day before Sunday. This would have Jesus only being in the tomb 2 days and would make His prophecies of a three day resurrection wrong. They also believe the translation of this verse conflicts with the other gospel accounts.


There are only two Greek words in this controversial opening phrase to the verse, even though four to six words are being represented in English.

The first Greek word is δέ de. It is a primary particle which can be adversative or continuative. It can be represented in English by “but”, “and”, etc. The Greek Textus Receptus New Testament has this word appear 2,870 times. It is represented in English in the KJV with “but” 1237 times, “and” 934 times, “now” 166 times, “then” 132 times, “also” 18 times, “yet” 16 times, “yea” 13 times, “so” 13 times, “moreover” 13 times, “nevertheless” 11 times, “for” 4 times,”even” 3 times, and various other words or phrases including “In the end of.”

The second Greek word is σάββατον sabbaton. It is of Hebrew origin and is the seventh day, the Sabbath day, or, as we commonly call it, Saturday.

Based on those two words, with the first word having so many differing interpretations available, it is correct that you can translate that phrase as “Now after the Sabbath” as the NKJV does,  BUT NOTICE, which word is the NKJV translating as δέ de? The only word that would fit as a translation of δέ de is “Now”, not “after!” The after is coming from another source. This is wordplay between two differing source texts. While researching this, I even found this type of wordplay represented in the KJV study bible comment on Matthew 28:1, produced by Thomas Nelson, the producers of the NKJV:

All four Gospels essentially agree in reporting the facts of the Resurrection. The variety of details in each account supplement rather than contradict one another. The empty tomb was discovered in the end [Gr. opse, used as improper preposition for “after”] of the sabbath, agreeing with the other evangelists. By Jewish reckoning the day ended at sunset and the new day began at the same time. Thus, Saturday night by our reckoning was actually Sunday by their calendar.

(King James Version Study Bible . electronic ed. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997. Print.)

The disturbing thing about that reference is that it isn’t referencing the Greek Textus Receptus New Testament that the KJV and NKJV use as the basis for their translations. It is using the Greek Critical Text when it states that the Gr. opse, used as improper preposition for “after” is being translated with the KJV! Instead of the Greek word δέ de which appears in the Greek Textus Receptus New Testament, it states that “In the End” is referring to a Greek Word from a Greek source text that the original translators weren’t even using in 1611! The Critical Text is a modern invention that all the modern bible translations use as their base text (except for the NKJV and the MEV), but all of the older English translations use the Greek Textus Receptus New Testament. (I did a video on the differences in the Textus Receptus and the Critical Text if you would like to know more about that issue: Why are Verses Missing in My New Bible?)

Now, after a little study, we can see that the NKJV translates “Now” as δέ de, then uses the words “after the” to help fix any conflict that others might find within the timeline by referencing the Critical Text. The KJV just translated the Greek word as it stood in the Textus Receptus as “end” adding the “In the” and “of the” for clarification as a phrase. The NKJV translators obviously felt that there was no better way to translate the text but to reference both the Critical Text and the Textus Receptus in their translation. I believe they are just trying to work with what they have, but I don’t believe they had to do all of this wordplay around this verse. They had enough to translate it well already using only the Textus Receptus.

Which brings us to the big question: Does this represent an error in the Bible or the Textus Receptus? Did Matthew give the wrong timeline for the most important event in his entire life? This is the very event that he would face martyrdom for because he believed in it so strongly that he would refuse to not preach the truth of it for the rest of his life. Did he not recall how it happened that well? Did the compilers of the Textus Receptus get the wrong word as it went down throughout the centuries?

I don’t think so. First, let’s see what the other gospel writers state about this event to see if there really is a conflict.

Mark 16:1-3  (KJV)

16 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?

Luke 24:1-2 (KJV)

24 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

John 20:1 (KJV)

20 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

Even Augustus thought at first this was a problem for the timeline, but, after another look, said that he didn’t think it was a problem at all. According to the Ancient Christian commentary on Scripture, “St. Augustine was concerned that an initial reading of the verse indicated the Saturday date, but argued it could also be read as referring to Sunday morning and thus in keeping with the other gospels.” (Matthew 14-28 – Ancient Christian commentary on Scripture: New Testament. ed. Manlio Simonetti. InterVarsity Press, 2002) What could be a different perspective on this verse that would cause us to see it that way?

I believe that what is happening in this verse isn’t a statement about when Jesus rose or when the stone was pulled away (that is addressed in the next verse, Matthew 28:2), but when the ladies started their journey toward the tomb. Isn’t that what it is stating when you look at it again? “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” Matthew 28:1 isn’t talking about how the ladies ended their journey, but how they began it. Now, Mark 16:2, Luke 24:1, and John 20:1 are all describing when they arrived, not when they began the journey. Only Mark 16:1 goes deeper to give us the understanding of the timing of the beginning of their journey, as Matthew 28:1 does also, and they don’t contradict.

John Gill, famous English Baptist pastor of the 18th century, explains this well in his commentary on this verse:

In the end of the sabbath,.… This clause is by some joined to the last verse of the preceding chapter, but stands better here, as appears from Mark 16:1, and intends not what the Jews call the sabbath eve, for that began the sabbath; but what they call מוצאי שבת, “the goings out of the sabbath”; and as Mark says, Mark 16:1, “when the sabbath was past”: that is, when the sun was set, and any stars appeared. The Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, and Munster’s Hebrew Gospel render it, “the evening of the sabbath”; and the Persic version, “the night of the sabbath”; but must mean, not the evening and night, which preceded the sabbath, and was a part of it, but what followed it, and belonged to the first day.

As it began to dawn; not the day, but the night; a way of speaking used by the Jews, who call the night, אור, “light”: thus they sayF25אור לארבעה עשר, “on the light, or night of the fourteenth” (of the month Nisan) “they search for leavened bread”, &c. And so the word is used, in Luke 23:54, of the eve of the sabbath, or the beginning of it, as here of the going out of it;

(Gill, John. “Commentary on Matthew 28:1”. “The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible”. 1999.)

So, as we can see, there is no contradictions here at all. The ladies began their journey at “the goings out of the sabbath” another way of saying at that time, as Mark says in Mark 16:1, “when the sabbath was past.” If God can send His Son to earth to die and rise again in order for us to be saved from the judgement, He surely can get His word to agree in a timeline across the centuries about the most important event in history. Amen.



Matthew 27:45-66 (KJV/NKJV Comparison) 2-12

Do you know the difference in a ghost and a spirit…or is there a difference at all?

Matthew 27:50 (KJV)

50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

Matthew 27:50 (NKJV)

50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.

Ghost or Spirit?

The Greek word is πνεῦμα pneuma. It literally means a current of air, in other words, a breath (blast) or a breeze. The word is where we get out English word Pneumatic from. If used by analogy or figuratively, it means a spirit, in other words, (human) the rational soul. If used by implication, it means a vital principle, mental disposition. If used in reference to something supernatural, it can mean an angel, demon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, or the Holy Spirit. The Greek Textus Receptus New Testament has this word appear 385 times. The KJV translates it as Spirit 111 times, Holy Ghost 89 times, Spirit (of God) 13 times, Spirit (of the Lord) 5 times, (My) Spirit 3 times, Spirit (of truth) 3 times, Spirit (of Christ) twice, human (spirit) 49 times, (evil) spirit 47 times, spirit (general) 26 times, spirit 8 times, (Jesus’ own) spirit 6 times, (Jesus’ own) ghost twice, and various other uses.

The first thing that hit me, after looking up this definition in Strong’s, is that the word spirit was available to the KJV translators, but they chose not to use it. Why?

According to GotQuestions, in reference to translating terms such as the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost in the Bible, they say this:

“Of the modern English translations of the Bible, it is only the King James Version of the Bible which uses the term “Holy Ghost.” It occurs 90 times in the KJV. The term “Holy Spirit” occurs 7 times in the KJV. There is no clear reason as to why the KJV translators used Ghost in most places and then Spirit in a few. The exact same Greek and Hebrew words are translated “ghost” and “spirit” in the KJV in different occurrences of the words. By “ghost,” the KJV translators did not intend to communicate the idea of “the spirit of a deceased person.” In 1611, when the KJV was originally translated, the word “ghost” primarily referred to “an immaterial being.” 

I guess in this verse, according to their studies, Jesus was yielding up the immaterial part of Himself? In most studies that I have read on this subject, everyone claims that people today understand ghost as something different. This is why modern translations must always represent ghost as spirit. They say that when the modern person says “ghost,” we imagine spooks and when we say spirit, we mean “an immaterial being.” In that sense, spirit has replaced what most people in 1611 understood in the term ghost… But, is that really the case? Are people so confused when one uses the term “Yielded up the ghost” or “Yielded us His Spirit?”

When I looked up the modern definitions of both words, this is what I found in Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary as of today:

Definition of ghost

1the seat of life or intelligence soul 

  • give up the ghost
2a disembodied soul; especially the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear to the living in bodily likeness
3spirit, demon

4a a faint shadowy trace 

  • ghost of a smile

b the least bit 

  • not a ghost of a chance
5a false image in a photographic negative or on a television screen caused especially by reflection
6one who ghostwrites
7a red blood cell that has lost its hemoglobin

Definition of spirit

1an animating or vital principle held to give life to physical organisms
2a supernatural being or essence: such as
a capitalized holy spirit
b soul 2a
c an often malevolent being that is bodiless but can become visible; specifically ghost 2
d a malevolent being that enters and possesses a human being

3temper or disposition of mind or outlook especially when vigorous or animated 

  • in highspirits
4the immaterial intelligent or sentient part of a person

5a the activating or essential principle influencing a person 

  • acted in a spirit of helpfulness
b an inclination, impulse, or tendency of a specified kind mood

6a a special attitude or frame of mind

  • the money-making spirit was for a time driven back
  •  —J. A. Froude

b the feeling, quality, or disposition characterizing something 

  • undertaken in a spirit of fun
7a lively or brisk quality in a person or a person’s actions
8a person having a character or disposition of a specified nature

9a mental disposition characterized by firmness or assertiveness 

  • denied the charge withspirit
10a distillate 1: such as 
(1) the liquid containing ethanol and water that is distilled from an alcoholic liquid or mash often used in plural 
(2) any of various volatile liquids obtained by distillation or cracking (as of petroleum, shale, or wood) often used in plural
b a usually volatile organic solvent (such as an alcohol, ester, or hydrocarbon)

11a prevailing tone or tendency 

  • spirit of the age

b general intent or real meaning 

  • spirit of the law

12an alcoholic solution of a volatile substance 

  • spirit of camphor

13enthusiastic loyalty 

  • school spirit
14capitalizedChristian Science god 1b
So, there are 14 different definitions of what a spirit is and there are 7 different definitions of what a ghost is. It seems like the term ghost is less complicated. As a matter of fact, I found that the Urban Dictionary (a place online for everyday phrases and word definitions by common folks) even defines a similar term, “give up the ghost,” as “to die in a submissive, peaceful fashion; or to die quickly, with finality, often brutally.” Both spirit and ghost hold in their modern definitions  a similar understanding it would seem by just looking up their definitions.  Here are the first two definitions again:
Ghost: the seat of life or intelligence soul 
Spirit: an animating or vital principle held to give life to physical organisms
Of those two, ghost seems to fit what it being represented in this verse in the sense that any common person would understand what is being translated, but that is only my humble opinion. Both ghost or spirit are correct. Share your opinion with me wherever you found this at on social media and we will discuss…
Either way, the point of all of this is Jesus chose when He died. He yielded up His ghost (or His spirit) on His own. The Greek word referring to Him Yielding up is ἀφίημι aphiēmi. It means literally to send forth. No one took His life, He gave it. He yielded it for you and me when He, as God, chose to do so. Have you yielded to the Holy Ghost’s call to receive Jesus as your personal Savior? If you haven’t, I pray that you would do so today.

Matthew 27:27-44 (KJV/NKJV Comparison) 2-11

What was Jesus offered to drink while being tortured during His crucifixion and why does it matter?

Matthew 27:34 (KJV)

34 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

Matthew 27:34 (NKJV)

34 they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink.

Vinegar or Sour Wine?

The Greek word is ὄξος oxos. vinegar,in other words sour wine. The Greek Textus Receptus New Testament has this word appear 7 times and each time the KJV translates this word as vinegar.

According to the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States, “Sour wine, a staple in the Roman soldier’s diet commonly used by poor people, was certainly considered unpalatable for the Jewish and the Roman upper class to partake of. The sour wine, offered to the Lord Jesus Christ during His crucifixion, has been frequently referred to as vinegar. Vinegar was a drink consisting of wine or a strong drink generally turned sour. In the Old Testament Holy Book of Psalm, vinegar is associated with poison, “They gave me gall for my food, and they gave me vinegar for my drink” (Psalm 68:22; LXX).” (Coptic Orthodox).

John MacArthur gives us further information based on Mark’s account of the substance that was mingled with the vinegar in his study bible,

“Mark 15:23 identifies (this substance) as myrrh, a narcotic. The Jews had a custom, based on Pr 31:6, of administering a pain-deadening medication mixed with wine to victims of crucifixion, in order to deaden the pain. Tasting what it was, Christ, though thirsty, “was unwilling to drink,” lest it dull His senses before He completed His work. The lessening of physical pain would probably not have diminished the efficacy of His atoning work (see notes on 26:38, 39). But He needed His full mental faculties for the hours yet to come. It was necessary for Him to be awake and fully conscious, for example, to minister to the dying thief (Lk 23:43).

MacArthur, John F., Jr. The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006. Print.

The English word Gall is a translation of the Greek word χολή cholē. This word is “gall” or bile, in other words (by analogy) poison or an anodyne. The word only appears twice in the Greek Textus Receptus New Testament and both times it is translated in the KJV as gall. Strong’s give us more information on the definition of this substance that was mixed with the vinegar by giving us this added information: This substance was “bile, gall in the OT used of other bitter things wormwood, possibly myrrh” So, there we see the Myrrh that Mark referenced in Mark 15:23 that was offered to the Lord. Now, we understand that this substance was a mixture of poison and vinegar to dull the pain.

You will also note that what was happening here was a fulfillment of prophecy. It was prophesied in Psalm 69:21 that Jesus would be offered this gall (or myrrh) and vinegar (or sour wine) to drink on the cross. How did the KJV and NKJV translate that?

Psalm 69:21 (KJV)

21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

Psalm 69:21 (NKJV)

21 They also gave me gall for my food,
And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.


The Hebrew word being translated as vinegar is חֹמֶץ ḥômeṣ and it means vinegar. The Hebrew word being translated as gall is רֹאשׁ rô’š; or רוֹשׁ rowsh (Deut. 32:32), roshe. It is a poisonous plant of an unknown origin.

The big point to see here though is that the NKJV doesn’t translate Psalm 69:21 as sour wine. It translates it as vinegar. Why didn’t they translate it as sour wine there too? I am not sure. I would assume that they were thinking that using sour wine would make this more “instantly understandable” but, I am afraid that it confuses the prophecy in Psalm 69.

Either way, isn’t it amazing how the words were chosen so specifically by people writing them down centuries apart from one another. What is even more amazing is that the Roman soldiers, who had no idea there was a prophecy that the Messiah was to be offered their drink and, yet, they offered it to Him… several times. You can’t plan events in your torture and execution to match prophecies about you. It just doesn’t happen. This is just more proof that Jesus fulfilled His claims to be the Messiah Who would pay for our sins upon the cross! Praise Him!

You also will notice that Jesus didn’t drink the vinegar wine then, but He did drink it later. The Scripture even says that He drank it to fulfill the prophecy!

John 19:28-30 (KJV)

28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.

30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Jesus knew exactly what He was doing. He knew that the Hebrew word for “give” in Psalm 69:21 meant that He was to take it, not just be offered it. The Hebrew word for give there is נָתַן nâṯan. It means to give, used with greatest latitude of application (put, make, etc.). In other words, it was to be pushed upon Him and received! He did this right before He “gave up the ghost” in order “that the scripture might be fulfilled!” That way He had His senses throughout the entire crucifixion feeling each pain for our sins and having the ability to minister to the crook that was being crucified beside Him! OH what a Savior!!!

Don’t tell me every word doesn’t matter when you study the Bible. Jesus certainly must have thought it did.


Matthew 27:1-26 (KJV/NKJV Comparison) 2-10

How much difference is there between saying “Thou sayest” or “It is as you say?”

Matthew 27:11 (KJV)

11 And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

Matthew 27:11 (NKJV)

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus said to him, It is as you say.”

Thou sayest or It is as you say?

Thou is the English translation of the Greek word σύ sy. This word can only be translated as thou in English because it is the person pronoun of the second person singular. There isn’t any other word in English that accurately defines this word from the Greek other than thou. The word thou is a second person singular pronoun in English. It is now largely archaic, having been replaced in almost all contexts by you. It is used in parts of Northern England and in Scots, and also in rural parts of Newfoundland albeit as a recessive feature. Thou is the nominative form; the oblique/objective form is thee (functioning as both accusative and dative), the possessive is thy (adjective) or thine (adjective before a vowel or pronoun) and the reflexive is thyself.

The translators of the King James Version attempted to maintain the distinction found in the original languages between singular and plural second person pronouns. As such, they used “thou” for singular, and “you” for plural. The Greek Textus Receptus New Testament has this word appear 178 times and 178 times the KJV translators translate this word as thou.

The second word is sayest. There is a reason why it has the -(e)st added to it. When thou is the grammatical subject of a finite verb in the indicative mood, the verb form typically ends in -(e)st (e.g., “thou goest”; “thou do(e)st”), but in some cases just -t (e.g., “thou art”; “thou shalt”). This explains why many words in the KJV seem to be represented in such a strange way. It is the proper English when using second person singular pronouns.

Sayest is represented by the Greek word λέγω legō. It means, properly, to “lay” forth, in other words (figuratively) relate (in words (usually of systematic or set discourse)). The Greek Textus Receptus New Testament has this word appear 1,343 times. The KJV translates it as “say” 1184 times, “speak” 61 times, “call” 48 times, “tell” 33 times, and various other ways.

By all understanding here, the NKJV should just say, when brought into the modern English and not taking into account the second person singular aspect of the word as the KJV does, “You say.” But, it doesn’t. It adds words.

These words are shown in italics because they are being honest with us that the words aren’t in the original Greek. The KJV used this practice as well in order to explain the Greek or Hebrew into English better.  The italacized words are  It is as . That seems to say that Jesus is affirming that He is the King of the Jews. He most certainly is the only true King of the Jews, but here it seems that He is just affirming that Pilate has said this about Him.

What do other translations say?

Matthew 27:11 (1599 Geneva Bible) 

11 And Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou that King of the Jews? Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest it.

Matthew 27:11 (NIV)

Jesus Before Pilate

11 Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,”Jesus replied.

Matthew 27:11 (ESV)

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.”

Matthew 27:11 (NASB)

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor questioned Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And Jesus said to him, It is as you say.”

You will notice that the NASB also italicizes  It is as just like the NKJV. Why are they pressing this issue. I think i found the answer in the verses that are in the notes of the NKJV. They are John 18:37 and 1 Timothy 6:13.

John 18:37  (KJV)

37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

The NKJV translates that same verse this way:

John 18:37 (NKJV)

37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

Notice that here it puts in italics the word rightly in agreement with Matthew 27:11. The next verse that is given was 1 Timothy 6:13:

1 Timothy 6:13 (KJV)

13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;

I believe that the NKJV is stating that that, because of 1 Timothy 6:13, Matthew 27:11 and John 18:37 must be implying that Jesus was confessing Himself as King of the Jews instead of just affirming that Pilate has said this about Him. In the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Edited by the Editor-in-Chief of the NKJV, Arthur Farstad, it says,

In Matthew’s Gospel we hear Pilate interrogating Him on the third charge. Asked if He was the King of the Jews, Jesus answered that He was. This brought forth a torrent of abuse and slander from the Jewish leaders. Pilate marveled greatly at the Defendant’s silence; He would not dignify even one of their charges with an answer. Probably never before had the governor seen anyone remain silent under such attack.

(MacDonald, William. Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. Ed. Arthur Farstad. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995. Print.)

The only problem with this is that isn’t in the Greek text. The Greek Text just says σύ sy λέγω legō or Thou sayest. Now, could Jesus have meant that by saying thou sayest? Maybe, but it seems dangerous to add the ideal like this. What do you think?

Matthew 26:58-75 (KJV/NKJV Comparison) 2-9

Today, I found few major differences in my KJV/NKJV study, but was drawn in by a point made in the narrative that relates to this study. I have been told at times that I am being nit-picky by going through every differing word in these two English translations and comparing them with the original languages. I guess I would really be nit-picky if I produced all of the differences here, but I only write on the one’s that I feel God would have me to share. I want to share something with you today that you may have not ever heard before.

Within today’s reading a trial takes place. It is the trial of Christ before the Jewish people. Though the Jewish leaders are seeking one, they cannot find one false witness against Christ, though later on, they did find two.

59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;

60a But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. 

In this study that I have been doing, I want to see the truth of Christ. His witness is in the original languages. This is the only tangible witness that we have in the 21st century of who He was and is. This is why it is so important!

Today, we have different English translation appearing faster than any other time in history. In this study, I have chosen two that use the same compilation of manuscripts for their New Testament. The KJV and NKJV both use the Greek Textus Receptus New Testament compilation of the original manuscripts. Some say this Greek manuscript compilation is outdated or needs to be revised, but I disagree with that ideal.

God promised to preserve His Word down through the centuries within His Word. To imagine that we can (2,000 years after the fact) claim that verses like Acts 8:37 can be cut from the main text or that we should now cast doubt on whether Jesus actually said “Father forgive them” at the crucifixion is unthinkable to me. How could God only give us the correct Bible twenty centuries later? Why can’t anyone in academia today imagine that, in history past, those ancient translators might have had access to more manuscripts than we have today? Why do so many Christians not even know that the NIV, NASB, ESV, NLT, and many others use a different Greek basis for their translation of the New Testament known as the Critical Text?

In the Preface to the NKJV, the translators describe why they have chosen to use the traditional text of the Textus Receptus and why others were seeing a problem with using the Critical Text utilized by most modern translation today even back in 1982:

The King James New Testament was based on the traditional text of the Greek-speaking churches, first published in 1516, and later called the Textus Receptus or Received Text. Although based on the relatively few available manuscripts, these were representative of many more which existed at the time but only became known later. In the late nineteenth century, B. Westcott and F. Hort taught that this text had been officially edited by the fourth-century church, but a total lack of historical evidence for this event has forced a revision of the theory. It is now widely held that the Byzantine Text that largely supports the Textus Receptus has as much right as the Alexandrian or any other tradition to be weighed in determining the text of the New Testament. Those readings in the Textus Receptus which have weak support are indicated in the side reference column as being opposed by both Critical and Majority Texts (see “Notes”).  

Since the 1880s most contemporary translations of the New Testament have relied upon a relatively few manuscripts discovered chiefly in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Such translations depend primarily on two manuscripts, Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus, because of their greater age. The Greek text obtained by using these sources and the related papyri (our most ancient manuscripts) is known as the Alexandrian Text. However, some scholars have grounds for doubting the faithfulness of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, since they often disagree with one another, and Sinaiticus exhibits excessive omission.  

A third viewpoint of New Testament scholarship holds that the best text is based on the consensus of the majority of existing Greek manuscripts. This text is called the Majority Text. Most of these manuscripts are in substantial agreement. Even though many are late, and none is earlier than the fifth century, usually their readings are verified by papyri, ancient versions, quotations from the early church fathers, or a combination of these. The Majority Text is similar to the Textus Receptus, but it corrects those readings which have little or no support in the Greek manuscript tradition.  

Today, scholars agree that the science of New Testament textual criticism is in a state of flux. Very few scholars still favor the Textus Receptus as such, and then often for its historical prestige as the text of Luther, Calvin, Tyndale, and the King James Version. For about a century most have followed a Critical Text (so called because it is edited according to specific principles of textual criticism) which depends heavily upon the Alexandrian type of text. More recently many have abandoned this Critical Text (which is quite similar to the one edited by Westcott and Hort) for one that is more eclectic. Finally, a small but growing number of scholars prefer the Majority Text, which is close to the traditional text except in the Revelation.  

In light of these facts, and also because the New King James Version is the fifth revision of a historic document translated from specific Greek texts, the editors decided to retain the traditional text in the body of the New Testament and to indicate major Critical and Majority Text variant readings in the notes. Although these variations are duly indicated in the notes of the present edition, it is most important to emphasize that fully eighty-five percent of the New Testament text is the same in the Textus Receptus, the Alexandrian Text, and the Majority Text.  

I would personally hold that that the Textus Receptus can be trusted as reliable in the other 15% of the text as well and can be trusted as God’s Word. The compilers of it had access to manuscripts that we don’t even know about from across the centuries. As the preface of the NKJV states of the manuscripts used to create the Textus Receptus,  these were representative of many more which existed at the time but only became known later. There are most likely some manuscripts that still may be lost to history yet to be found. 

It seems that the NKJV translators had a favorability toward the Majority Text, but I respect that they produced the NKJV in order to give us a modern translation of the Textus Receptus today. I know this because the General Editor of the NKJV, Arthur Farstad, compiled the Majority Text with Zane Hodge. You can still purchase a copy of it on Amazon here:

The Greek New Testament According to Majority Text (English and Greek Edition) 

I believe that I have God’s Word. I understand that there can be differences of interpretation for each Greek or Hebrew Word, but I don’t believe that any of it has been lost. God said He would preserve His tangible witness down through History to us:

Psalm 12:6-7 

The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 

Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. 

Psalm 33:11 

11 The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. 

Psalm 100:5 

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. 

Psalm 119:160 

160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. 

Isaiah 40:8 

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. 

Matthew 24:35 

35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 

1 Peter 1:23-25 

23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 

24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 

25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. 

Matthew 5:17-18 

17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 

18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 

 I believe Him. Some may say I am taking an oversimplified view, and that is ok with me if they say that. I feel I can trust the Bible in my hands. The Pharisees were seeking a false witness in order to dismiss Christ, but I am seeking the true one in order to lift Him up to all people. I believe that I have found it. What do you think? Wherever you found this at on social media, go there and leave a comment and we will discuss. 

For more on these ideals, you can watch this short video that I produced at the church where I am blessed to pastor, Sunrise Missionary Baptist Church.  Thank you!



Matthew 26:31-57 Feb 8 (KJV/NKJV Comparison)

I remember a running joke from the “Back to the Future” films. Marty McFly, the time traveler from 1985, would use a common phrase from the 80s “Man, that is heavy!” but, in the 1950s and the 1880s, no one would understand the meaning or imagine that it didn’t have something to do with weight. The funny thing is, as people have watched the movie since, many don’t understand today why Marty is speaking of something being heavy either because “Man, that is heavy!” didn’t last long as a phrase after 1985…. and another funny thing is, people in the past probably would have understood heavy more than the movie implied…

Matthew 26:37 (KJV)

37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.

Matthew 26:37 (NKJV)

37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.

Very Heavy or Deeply Distressed?

The Greek word is ἀδημονέω adēmoneō; from a derivative of ἀδέω adeō (to be sated to loathing); to be in distress (of mind): — to be full of heaviness, to be very heavy. This word only appears 3 times in the Greek Textus Receptus New Testament. The KJV translates is as “be very heavy” twice and “be full of heaviness” once.

The word ἀδημονέω adēmoneō means to be troubled with great distress or anguish! It refers to deep depression. This is the strongest of the three Greek words in the New Testament for depression (the other two being  916 βαρέω bareó meaning “weight, load, burden” and 3076 λυπέω lupeó meaning “pain, grieve, vex.”).  That means that the Lord Jesus was in the most deepest of depressed states in the Garden of Gethsemane.

This is why the NKJV translates it as deeply distressed. Jesus felt emotion just like the rest of us, yet, He never sinned because of His emotional state. Why would the KJV translate this word as heavy?

This kind of goes back to the “Back to the Future” phrase. Heavy doesn’t just mean “having great weight.” It can also refer to “being characterized by depth or intensity” as Marty McFly was using it in 1985. But, as it is seen here in reference to how Jesus felt on the eve of His crucifixion, it means “difficult to bear; specifically causing or characterized by severe pain or suffering heavy sorrow.” So, both these words describe the same thing.

I want to warn now of something that is easy to do. As I go through these words, sometimes it is easy to forget these words refer to events that were profound. The Son of God felt the most intense type of depression that can be revealed in that language among the words of the New Testament. I don’t want to miss that truth. We can rush through a reading and not really feel the words. It all just becomes noise in the background and I don’t really hear what is being said. Jesus took that… and much more… for me.

As I decipher the meanings of these words, I never want to forget to allow them to touch, not only my mind, but also my heart.


Matthew 26:3-30 Feb 7 (KJV/NKJV Comparison)

A covenant is defined as “a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement.” That is the secular sense of the word.

In a church, a covenant is known also as:

a solemn agreement between the members of a church to act together in harmony with the precepts of the gospel.”

In the Bible, a covenant is defined as

  1. the conditional promises made to humanity by God, as revealed in Scripture.
  2. the agreement between God and the ancient Israelites.

So, as you can see, covenant is a many faceted word in Christian circles. Today, I found an incident where the KJV and the NKJV both chose to not use the word covenant in favor of another word.

Matthew 26:15 (KJV)

15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

Matthew 26:15 (NKJV)

15 and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.

Covenanted or Counted out?

The Greek word is ἵστημι histēmi. It means to stand (transitively or intransitively) and is used in various applications (in the literal or figurative sense), such as: abide, appoint, bring, continue, covenant, establish, hold up, lay, present, set (up), stanch, stand (by, forth, still, up). The Greek Textus Receptus New Testament has this word appear 158 times. The KJV uses the English word “stand” 116 times, “set” 11 times, “establish” 5 times, “stand still” 4 times, “stand by” 3 times, and various other references including covenanted.

The KJV is making it clear here that this is the standing amount that had been agreed upon beforehand for the Jews to pay to Judas, which relates the word covenanted to the meaning of the Greek word which was “to stand.” Therefore, the KJV is showing us that Judas was making a promise by covenant, a pledge to betray the Son of God for thirty pieces of silver.

The NKJV just states “counted out” which relates to one of the other meanings of ἵστημι histēmi, which is to “present.” Both translations are correct, but the KJV gives us the more exact meaning that relates to the idea of “to stand” by saying covenanted, even though many probably wouldn’t get that understanding straight off.

Matthew 26:28 (KJV)

28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Matthew 26:28 (NKJV)

28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Testament or Covenant?

The Greek word is διαθήκη diathēkē. It is defined as a disposition, arrangement, of any sort, which one wishes to be valid, the last disposition which one makes of his earthly possessions after his death, a testament or will. The Greek Textus Receptus New Testament has this Greek word appear 33 times. The KJV translates the word as covenant 20 times and testament 13 times. So, the KJV translates this more often with the same word the NKJV uses. Why does it use this word here?

living-will-massachusettsThe English word testament means “a person’s will, especially the part relating to personal property.” The word covenant, as I stated above means “a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement.” When looking at these two definitions, it is obvious that the word testament more accurately defines διαθήκη diathēkē. BUT, is the aforementioned definition what the NKJV was trying to convey by using covenant?  Could it be referring to the biblical idea of covenant which is “the conditional promises made to humanity by God, as revealed in scripture?”

As stated before, The Believer’s Bible Commentary is edited by Arthur Farstad, the Editor-in-Chief of the NKJV. It is a good place to get an idea of why the translation made certain word choices. Here it gives us a description of what must have been assumed by the NKJV translators when translating this verse:

“The cup contained the fruit of the vine, which in turn was a symbol of the blood of the new covenant. The new, unconditional covenant of grace would be ratified by His precious blood shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

(MacDonald, William. Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. Ed. Arthur Farstad. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995. Print.)

So, from that added understanding, the NKJV is stating the biblical meaning of covenant. So, the word covenant is correct for διαθήκη diathēkē in this instance, but testament is also a great translation that gives us the additional meaning of the word. Remember, διαθήκη diathēkē carries the sense of one’s will. Jesus would die to fulfill this agreement. Matthew Henry makes this clear in his commentary:

It is my blood of the New Testament. The Old Testament was confirmed by the blood of bulls and goats (Heb. 9:19, 20; Ex. 24:8); but the New Testament with the blood of Christ, which is here distinguished from that; It is my blood of the New Testament. The covenant God is pleased to make with us, and all the benefits and privileges of it, are owing to the merits of Christ’s death.

(Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994. Print.)

Both translations are correct, for the new covenant and new testament are realized, but the KJV’s version gives us the understanding of why things are different in the New Testament. The new covenant of grace has been established by the death of the Testator. This is His last will and Testament to save the world! It is the New Testament, brought about through the blood of Jesus Christ, shed for the sins of many!

That is exactly what Hebrews 9:14-18 describes to us as well.

 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.

Strangely enough, the NKJV doesn’t change the word testament to covenant in vv 16-17 where it speaks of His death, but reverts to covenant in the other verses in this passage (we will look at that deeper when we get there). Either way, by using the word testament in these passages, it helps us all to understand why the part of the Bible that I am studying this year is called the New Testament.