WALTER VEITH AND HIS WAR ON THE BIBLE (WELL…SOME BIBLES) PART 2
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Part 2

On page nineteen of WV’s study (as I mentioned before, his study has no paging as found on his website, it only got paging when I printed it out) WV quotes someone who makes this extremely broad (and extremely damning) statement:

“You cannot teach Adventist doctrine from this new version (the NIV) or from most of the other modern translations.” (The New International Version or The King James Version by George Burnside)

Now, I admit there are flaws in the modern translations. (Some may not like to hear this, and some may not believe this, but there are flaws in all translations, including the KJV. God’s word is infallible, but the human beings who translated it weren’t.) Along with that, I would admit there are passages in the modern translations that don’t as clearly “teach Adventist doctrine” as the KJV does. (There are also passages in the modern translations that teach Adventist doctrine better than the KJV does.) But to make the blanket statement that “you cannot teach Adventist doctrine from the NIV or from most of the other modern translations” is, as I’m going to try to show you, simply not true.

To make my case—in as unbiased and universally acceptable way as possible—I decided to go looking on the internet for some studies by well known, respected SDA pastors on doctrinal questions. And then go through those studies verse-by-verse, using both the KJV and the modern translations—and see how true, or untrue, it is that you cannot teach Adventist doctrine from the NIV or from most of the other modern translations.

It took me some searching, but I finally found two that I thought would be good choices. Both are by Doug Batchelor (hereafter DB). One is on the state of the dead, and the other is on the Sabbath. The one on the state of the dead was in written form and the one on the Sabbath was a video. Both were on DB’s website—https://www.amazingfacts.org. The one on the state of the dead is entitled, “Are The Dead Really Dead?” And the one on the Sabbath, which is part of a debate, is entitled, “Should Christians Keep The Sabbath?” The study on the state of the dead had about forty passages, but to keep this from being too long I’ve only included the first twenty. The video on the Sabbath was about twenty minutes long and had about twenty passages. (There were a couple passages that didn’t really have anything to do with the Sabbath, so I didn’t include those.) As with part 1, I included all the passages DB shared so as not to pick and choose. So as to be totally fair, I didn’t go through the study beforehand to make sure the passages favored my position. And to be as thorough as possible I quote each passage from the KJV and then from the top three selling modern translations: The New International Version, the New Living Translation (1996 edition), and the English Standard Version.

I’ll say three more things before beginning. #1—In the written study, which is the one I’ll be sharing first, DB begins each point with a question, and then after sharing one or more passages, he gives the answer. I’ll be including his questions and answers. (Hopefully that will make the study flow better and be more understandable.) #2—DB sometimes quotes from the NKJV instead of the KJV, but for the sake of this study I’ll be quoting from the KJV. And #3—As you’re reading through each point try to keep in mind WV’s claim that “you cannot teach Adventist doctrine from the NIV or from most of the other modern translations.”

Doctrinal Study #1

The State of the Dead

Q #1: How did humans get here in the first place?

Genesis 2:7

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” {KJV}

“Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” {NIV}

“And the LORD God formed a man’s body from the dust of the ground and breathed into it the breath of life. And man became a living person.” {NLT}

“Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” {ESV}

A: God made us from dust in the beginning.

Me: All three of those modern translations say the same thing the KJV does… except for the very last word, where the KJV says man became a living “soul.” The other translations say man became a living “being,” or “person,” or “creature;” all of which are better and clearer than the KJV, because the word soul causes a lot of confusion. (DB addresses that later.)

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Q #2: What happens when a person dies?

Ecclesiastes 12:7

“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” {KJV}

“And the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” {NIV}

“For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.” {NLT}

“And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” {ESV}

A: The body turns to dust again, and the spirit returns to God, who gave it.

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does.

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 Q #3: What is the “spirit” that returns to God at death.

Me: DB shares two passages before giving the answer.

James 2:26

“The body without the spirit is dead.” {KJV}

“The body without the spirit is dead.” {NIV}

“The body is dead without a spirit.” {NLT}

“The body apart from the spirit is dead.” {ESV}

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does.

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Job 27:3

“The spirit of God is in my nostrils.” {KJV}

“The breath of God is in my nostrils.” {NIV}

“I have breath from God.” {NLT}

“The spirit of God is in my nostrils.” {ESV}

A: The spirit that returns to God at death is the breath of life.

Me: The ESV says exactly what the KJV does. And in keeping with DB’s answer—both the NIV and the NLT use the word “breath” instead of the word “spirit.” And based on Genesis 2:7—“God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life”—the word breath is probably a more correct choice than the word spirit.

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Q #4: What is a soul?

DB Repeats Genesis 2:7

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” {KJV}

“Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” {NIV}

“And the LORD God formed a man’s body from the dust of the ground and breathed into it the breath of life. And man became a living person.” {NLT}

“Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” {ESV}

A: A soul is a living being. A soul is always a combination of two things: body plus breath. A soul cannot exist unless body and breath are combined. God’s Word teaches that we are souls—not that we have souls.

Me: As I pointed out the first time we looked at this passage, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does except for that word soul. And because DB realizes that the word soul tends to cause confusion he repeatedly tries to explain to people what a soul is. Which confirms what I said the first time he shared this passage—the words the modern translations use in place of the word soul are better and more correct.

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Q #5: Do souls die?

Me: DB shares two passages before giving the answer.

Ezekiel 18:20

“The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” {KJV}

“The one who sins is the one who dies.” {NIV}

“The one who sins is the one who dies.” {NLT}

“The soul who sins shall die.” {ESV}

Me: Without question the NIV and the NLT are better and clearer, because the passage has absolutely nothing to do with “the soul.” As with Deuteronomy 24:16, all it’s saying is that each person gets punished for their own sins, not for the sins of others—“The one who sins is the one who dies. The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins.” (Ezekiel 18:20 NLT)

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Revelation 16:3

“Every living soul died in the sea.” {KJV}

“Every living thing in the sea died.” {NIV}

“Everything in the sea died.” {NLT}

“Every living thing died that was in the sea.” {ESV}

A: According to God’s word, souls do die! We are souls, and souls die. Man is mortal (Job 4:17). Only God is immortal (1 Timothy 6:15, 16).

Me: DB repeats what he had just said up above: “We are souls.” And he does that because he’s trying to get the point across to non-SDA’s that there is no soul apart from “we.” And since “souls die,” the verse is just saying, “we die.” That’s why he finishes by saying, “Man is mortal” and “only God is immortal.” (He references Job 4:17 & 1 Timothy 6:15, 16 as proof of that, but doesn’t quote them. But I will.)

Having said all that, I would again say the three modern translations are better and more correct than the KJV.

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Job 4:17

“Shall mortal man be more just than God.” {KJV}

“Can a mortal be more righteous than God?” {NIV}

“Can a mortal be just and upright before God?” {NLT}

“Can mortal man be in the right before God?” {ESV}

Me: All the modern translations say the same thing the KJV does—man is mortal. (Which of course is the opposite of immortal.)

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1 Timothy 6:16

“…who only hath immortality.” {KJV}

“…who alone is immortal.” {NIV}

“…He alone can never die.” {NLT}

“…who alone has immortality.” {ESV}

Me: This time the NIV and the ESV say the same thing the KJV does; while the NLT says basically the same thing, but just simplifies it.

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Q #6: Do good people go to heaven when they die?

Me: DB shares three passages before giving the answer.

John 5:28, 29

“The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth.” {KJV}

“A time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out.” {NIV}

“The time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, and they will rise again.” {NLT}

“An hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voiceand come out.” {ESV}

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does. (It’s certainly a given, but I still like that the NLT adds the words “the dead”—“all the dead in their graves.”)

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Acts 2:29, 34

“David… is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day… For David is not ascended into the heavens.” {KJV}

“David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day… For David did not ascend to heaven.” {NIV}

“David… died and was buried, and his tomb is still here among us… David himself never ascended into heaven.” {NLT}

“David… died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day… David did not ascend into the heavens.” {ESV}

Me:  Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does.

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Job 17:13

“If I wait, the grave is my house.” {KJV}

“If the only home I hope for is the grave.” {NIV}

“I might go to the grave.” {NLT}

“If I hope for Sheol as my house.” {ESV}

A: No. People do not go to heaven or to hell at death. They don’t go anywhere—but they wait in their graves for the resurrection.

Me: Obviously, this time none of the three modern translations say or teach the same thing the KJV does, with only the KJV lending support to Adventist understanding of the state of the dead.

Having said that, I think I should make a few quick points. #1—The modern translations don’t teach contrary to Adventist understanding of the state of the dead, they just say something completely unrelated. #2—Pretty much none of the modern translations, including the NKJV, which tends to follow the KJV extremely closely, say what the KJV says. #3—This is probably one of the least known, and least used, passages on the state of the dead. #4 (and most importantly for me)—The two passages that preceded this one, as well a number of other passages, make it abundantly clear, in all translations, that Christians don’t go to heaven at death.

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Q #7: How much does one know or comprehend after death?

Me: DB shares two passages before giving the answer.

Ecclesiastes 9:5

“The living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing.” {KJV}

“The living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing.” {NIV}

“The living at least know they will die, but the dead know nothing.” {NLT}

“The living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing.” {ESV}

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does.

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Psalms 115:17

“The dead praise not the LORD.” {KJV}

“It is not the dead who praise the LORD.” {NIV}

“The dead cannot sing praises to the LORD.” {NLT}

“The dead do not praise the LORD.” {ESV}

A: God says that the dead know absolutely nothing!

Me: DB says that because that’s what Ecclesiastes 9:5 says—in all translations.

As for Psalms 115:17—All the modern translations say pretty much the same thing the KJV does.

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Q #8: But can’t the dead communicate with the living, and aren’t they aware of what the living are doing?

Me: DB shares two passages before giving the answer.

Job 14:12, 21

“Man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep… His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them.” {KJV}

“He lies down and does not rise; till the heavens are no more, people will not awake or be roused from their sleep… If their children are honored, they do not know it; if their offspring are brought low, they do not see it.” {NIV}

“People lie down and do not rise again. Until the heavens are no more, they will not wake up nor be roused from their sleep… They never know if their sons grow up in honor or sink to insignificance.” {NLT}

“A man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more he will not awake or be roused out of his sleep… His sons come to honor, and he does not know it; they are brought low, and he perceives it not.” {ESV}

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does.

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Ecclesiastes 9:6

“…neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.” {KJV}

“…never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun.” {NIV}

“They no longer have a part in anything here on earth.” {NLT}

“…they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.” {ESV}

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does.

A: No. The dead cannot contact the living, nor do they know what the living are doing. They are dead. Their thoughts have perished. (Psalms 146:4).

Me: DB doesn’t share Psalms 146:4, but I will.

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Psalms 146:4

“In that very day his thoughts perish.” {KJV}

“On that very day their plans come to nothing.” {NIV}

“In a moment all their plans come to an end.” {NLT}

“On that very day his plans perish.” {ESV}

Me: All three modern translations say something different than the KJV does. (What the modern translations say is true, but unlike the KJV, they don’t address the fact that there’s no consciousness in death.)

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Q #9: Jesus called the unconscious state of the dead “sleep” in John 11:11

Me: DB doesn’t quote John 11:11, but I will.

John 11:11

“Our friend Lazarus sleepeth.” {KJV}

“Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep.” {NIV}

“Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep.” {NLT}

“Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep.” {ESV}

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does.

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Q #9A: How long will they sleep.

Me: DB shares two passages before giving the answer.

DB Repeats Job 14:12

“Man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.” {KJV}

“He lies down and does not rise; till the heavens are no more, people will not awake or be roused from their sleep.” {NIV}

“People lie down and do not rise again. Until the heavens are no more, they will not wake up nor be roused from their sleep.” {NLT}

“Man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more he will not awake or be roused out of his sleep.” {ESV}

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does.

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2 Peter 3:10

“The day of the Lord will come… the heavens shall pass away.” {KJV}

“The day of the Lord will come… The heavens will disappear.” {NIV}

“The day of the Lord will come… the heavens will pass away.” {NLT}

“The day of the Lord will come… the heavens will pass away.” {ESV}

A: The dead sleep until the great day of the Lord at the end of the world.

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does.

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DB #10: What happens to the righteous dead at the coming of Christ.

Me: DB shares three passages before giving the answer. (The first one doesn’t really apply here, so I’m not going to include it.)

1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17

“The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout… And the dead in Christ will rise… And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” {KJV}

“The Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command… and the dead in Christ will rise… And so we will be with the Lord forever.” {NIV}

“The Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a commanding shout… all the Christians who have died will rise from their graves… and remain with him forever.” {NLT}

“The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command… And the dead in Christ will rise… and so we will always be with the Lord.” {ESV}

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does. (I like that the NLT adds the word “Christians” there.)

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1 Corinthians 15:51-53

“We shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye… and the dead will be raised incorruptible… For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” {KJV}

“We will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye…the dead will be raised imperishable… For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.” {NIV}

“We will all be transformed. It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye… the Christians who have died will be raised with transformed bodies… For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die.” {NLT}

“We shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye… and the dead will be raised imperishable… For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.” {ESV}

DB: They will be raised, given immortal bodies, and caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does.  (And again, I like that the NLT adds the word “Christians” there.)

That was the end of DB’s study. But before commenting on it I’d like to share a couple more passages. First, since we just had that 1 Corinthians 15 passage, I’d like to share another passage from 1 Corinthians 15. I think this is another good opportunity to try to show you why I believe so strongly in using multiple translations. (As you read through these two translations ask yourself the question: Which one would the average reader find easier to understand and get more out of?)

“Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept… But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” {1 Corinthians 15:20, 23 KJV}

“Christ has been raised from the dead. He has become the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again… But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised first; then when Christ comes back all his people will be raised.” {1 Corinthians 15:20, 23 NLT}

The second passage is one that’s both very well known, and very important. And this time I’m going to use a different modern translation; the one I feel expresses the passage the way God would have it expressed.

“He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell.” {Acts 2:31 KJV}

“David saw what was ahead. So he spoke about the Christ rising from the dead. He said that the Christ would not be left in the grave.” {Acts 2:31 New International Readers Version} (My wife really likes this translation. It’s basically a simplified NIV.)

As an example of how well known that passage is, and what problems it causes—my brother, who’s not an Adventist, just told us that two people in the same week told him that Christ went to hell when He died. And you can be sure—this is where they got it from.

As I was sitting here thinking about that passage it dawned on me that the KJV has a double problem there. Not only does it give the mistaken message that Christ went to hell when He died, it also further fuels the mistaken idea that we have a soul that exists separate from our bodies—“his soul was not left in hell.” (It causes people to think that Christ’s soul was in hell, while His body was in the grave.) The NIrV makes neither of those mistakes.

Okay, those were the first twenty passages of DB’s study on the state of the dead. By my count, in eighteen of those twenty passages the modern translations say either the same thing the KJV does or something extremely close to it. In the two passages where the modern translations said something different than the KJV, neither of the two passages gave a wrong message in regard to the state of the dead, they just read in such a way that the subject of the state of the dead didn’t enter in. And in my opinion, in at least three of the passages the modern translations stated the truth better than the KJV did.

I’ll finish this section by asking the obvious question: Do you think DB could have taught that study from the modern translations?

Doctrinal Study #2

“Should Christians Keep the Sabbath?

(This study will probably be more difficult to follow. It being taken from a video, DB does quite a bit of explaining between each passage, and it’s pretty much impossible for me to write out all that he communicates on the video. So for the most part I’ll just be sharing each of the passages he uses and then making some kind of comment after each one.)

Genesis 2:3

“AndGod blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” {KJV}

“ThenGod blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” {NIV}

“AndGod blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from his work of creation.” {NLT}

“SoGod blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” {ESV}

Me: While all the modern translations say the same thing the KJV does, I like one thing about them better. They all use the word “holy” instead of the word “sanctified,” which for many people, especially those new to Christianity, is easier to understand.

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                                                                        Exodus 20:8-11

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” {KJV}

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work,but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” {NIV}

Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days a week are set apart for your daily duties and regular work, but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any kind of work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; then he rested on the seventh day. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.” {NLT}

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day of each week is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” {ESV & CEV}

Me: For the most part all three modern translations say and teach the same thing the KJV does. (Some might find fault with the NIV and the ESV because instead of saying “the Sabbath” in verse ten, as the KJV does, they say “a Sabbath.” But I don’t think that’s at all significant, because in both verse eight and verse eleven they say, “the Sabbath.”)

As you probably noticed, I quoted from two versions in that last reading. I thought this was a good opportunity to show the value of combining translations. Those words “of each week” are from the Contemporary English Version. As far as I know, no other translation adds those three words. But that’s definitely the intent of the verse, and I think it’s good that the CEV causes people not to be able to miss that point. (Also, I especially like how the NLT reads—“The Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.”)

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Mark 2:27

“He said unto them, The sabbath was made for man.” {KJV}

“Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man.” {NIV}

“He said to them, “The Sabbath was made to benefit people.” {NLT}

“And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man.” {ESV}

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does. (Personally, I like how the NLT reads, because it tends to send the message that the Sabbath was made for people in general, not just the Jews.)

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Isaiah 56:6, 7

“The sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer… for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.” {KJV}

“Foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant—these I will bring to my mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer… for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” {NIV}

“I will also bless the Gentiles who commit themselves to the LORD and serve him and love his name, who worship him and do not desecrate the Sabbath day of rest, and who have accepted his covenant. I will bring them also to my holy mountain of Jerusalem and will fill them with joy in my house of prayer… my Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” {NLT}

“The foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant—these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer… for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” {ESV}

Me: This time the NIV and the ESV say the same thing the KJV does; while the NLT just says “do not desecrate the Sabbath,” but doesn’t specifically say anything about keeping the Sabbath. (I suppose one could make the case that part of not desecrating the Sabbath is keeping it.)

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Luke 4:16

“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.” {KJV}

“He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read.” {NIV}

“When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures.” {NLT}

“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read.” {ESV}

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does.

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Acts 17:2

“And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures.” {KJV}

As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures.” {NIV}

As was Paul’s custom, he went to the synagogue service, and for three Sabbaths in a row he interpreted the Scriptures to the people.” {NLT}

“And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures.” {ESV}

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does.

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Acts 18:4

“And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.” {KJV}

Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.” {NIV}

Each Sabbath found Paul at the synagogue, trying to convince the Jews and Greeks.” {NLT}

“And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks.” {ESV}

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does.

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Acts 13:42, 44

“And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath… And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.” {KJV}

“As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath… On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.” {NIV}

 

“As Paul and Barnabas left the synagogue that day, the people asked them to return again the next weekThe following week almost the entire city turned out to hear them preach the word of the Lord.” {NLT}

“As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next SabbathThe next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.” {ESV}

Me:  This time the NIV and the ESV say the same thing the KJV does, while the NLT says “the next week” instead of “the next Sabbath.” (Obviously, I think the next Sabbath is better.)

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Acts 16:13

“And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made…” {KJV}

On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer.” {NIV}

On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we supposed that some people met for prayer.” {NLT}

“And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer.” {ESV}

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does—“on the Sabbath.”

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Matthew 24:20

“Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day.” {KJV}

“Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.” {NIV}

“Pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath.” {NLT}

“Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.” {ESV}

Me: This time the NIV and the NLT say the same thing the KJV does, while the ESV says “Sabbath” instead of “the Sabbath.”

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Matthew 5:17-19

“Think not that I have come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill. 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. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” {KJV}

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” {NIV}

“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to fulfill them. I assure you, until heaven and earth disappear, even the smallest detail of God’s law will remain until its purpose is achieved. So if you break the smallest commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be great in the Kingdom of Heaven.” {NLT}

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” {ESV}

Me: For the most part, all three modern translations say pretty much the same thing the KJV does. (There are some things about them I like, and there are some things about them I don’t like.)

The most important thing that I like about the modern translations is that all three of them use the word “abolish” instead of “destroy”—“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law.”

I used to not like that the NIV uses the word “commands” instead of the word “commandments,” and the words “sets aside” instead of “breaks.” But then I came across this quote by Ellen White. Notice how she uses those same words the NIV uses:

“anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands.” {NIV}

“God gave the Sabbath to man as a memorial of the work of creation; and the Lord of heaven will not hold him guiltless who sets aside His commands.” {19MR 184}

So now I’m not nearly as down on the NIV there as I was.

I don’t like the word “relaxes” in the ESV. I don’t like the NLT where it adds “of Moses.” (But I do like that the NLT somewhat redeems itself by twice saying “God’s law.”) I also don’t like where the NLT leaves out the word “called”—“you will be [called] the least in the Kingdom of Heaven.” (It tends to give the impression that these people will be in the Kingdom of Heaven.)

Bottom line: All three modern translations have Jesus Himself saying that the law hasn’t been abolished and that everyone who keeps it will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

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Daniel 7:25

“…think to change times and laws.” {KJV}

“…try to change the set times and laws.” {NIV}

“He will try to change their sacred festivals and laws.” {NLT}

“…think to change the times and the law.” {ESV}

“He will try to change the times and laws that were given by God.” {NIrV}

Me: First, as you can see, I included a fourth modern translation. I thought this was another excellent opportunity to show you why I believe it’s so beneficial to use multiple translations. Those added words, “that were given by God,” bring out a most important truth about this beast of Daniel 7 that the other translations don’t.

Going along with that, I also like how the NLT adds a religious element to those laws that this power tries to change. But I don’t like how it takes away the “time” element. I also like how the ESV says “the law” instead of “laws.”

Other than that, and the difference in the words “think” and “try,” all the modern translations teach the same important lesson the KJV does—that this power tries to change the law.

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Matthew 19:17-19

“And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother.” {KJV}

“”Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments. “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and your mother.” {NIV}

““Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “Only God is good. But to answer your question, you can receive eternal life if you keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” the man asked. And Jesus replied: “Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not testify falsely. Honor your father and your mother.” {NLT}

“And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments. He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and your mother.” {ESV}

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does.  

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James 2:10-12/Psalms 119:44, 45

Me: DB includes Psalms 119 here because he says it explains what the “law of liberty” in James 2 is. (Both passages in the KJV use the word liberty.)

“Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty… So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.” {KJV}

“Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom…. I will always obey your law, forever and ever. I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought your precepts.” {NIV}

“The person who keeps all of the law except one is as guilty as the person who has broken all of God’s laws. For the same God who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not commit murder.” So if you murder someone, you have broken the entire law, even if you do not commit adultery. So whenever you speak, or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law of love, the law that set you free… I will keep on obeying your law forever and forever. I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.” {NLT}

“Whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty… I will keep your law continually, forever and ever, and I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts.” {ESV}

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does.

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Exodus 16:25, 28

“And Moses said, Eat that today; for today is a sabbath unto the LORD: today ye shall not find it in the field… And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?” {KJV}

“Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a sabbath to the LORD. You will not find it on the ground today… Then the LORD said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions?” {NIV}

“Moses said, “This is your food for today, for today is a Sabbath to the LORD. There will be no food on the ground today… “How long will these people refuse to obey my commands and instructions?” the Lord asked Moses.” {NLT}

“Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field… And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws?” {ESV}

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does.

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Revelation 12:17

“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God.” {KJV}

“Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands.” {NIV}

“Then the dragon became angry at the woman, and he declared war against the rest of her children—all who keep God’s commandments.” {NLT}

“Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God.” {ESV}

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does.

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Revelation 14:7

“Worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water.” {KJV}

“Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” {NIV}

“Worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all the springs of water.” {NLT}

“Worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” {ESV}

Me: Again, all three translations say the same thing the KJV does. (DB cites this verse because, as he says, “it’s an excerpt from the Sabbath commandment.”)

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Revelation 14:12

“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God.” {KJV}

“This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands.” {NIV}

“Let this encourage God’s holy people to endure persecution patiently and remain firm to the end, obeying his commands.” {NLT} 

“Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God.” {ESV}

Me: Again, all three modern translations say the same thing the KJV does.

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Revelation 22:14

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” {KJV}

Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.” {NIV}

Blessed are those who wash their robes so they can enter through the gates into the city and eat the fruit of the tree of life.” {NLT}

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.” {ESV}

Me: Obviously, all three modern translations say something completely different than the KJV does. (I’ll come back to this passage in a few minutes.)

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Isaiah 66:22, 23

“For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.” {KJV}

“As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the LORD, “so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the LORD.” {NIV}

“As surely as my new heavens and earth will remain, so will you always be my people, with a name that will never disappear,” says the LORD. All humanity will come to worship from week to week and from month to month.” {NLT}

“For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your offspring and your name remain. From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the LORD.” {ESV}

Me: This time the NIV and the ESV say the same thing the KJV does, while the NLT says “from week to week” instead of from “Sabbath to Sabbath.”

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So, those are all twenty of the passages DB used in his attempt to show that Christians should still be keeping the Sabbath. Possibly you don’t agree with me a hundred percent, but as I counted, in nineteen of those twenty passages, at least two of the modern translations say basically the same thing the KJV does. In at least two of those nineteen, and possibly as many as five, I believe that one or more of the modern translations actually do a better job of communicating the truth God wants us to know than the KJV does. That means that in ninety-five percent of the passages DB used, he could have just as easily, and just as effectively—and in a few cases, maybe even more effectively—used the modern translations. Ninety-five percent, or nineteen out of twenty, is about as close to perfect harmony as you can get.

Having pointed that out, I think it’s fair to say that it’s a bit of a stretch, and that’s putting it mildly, to say that “you can’t teach the Sabbath from the modern translations.”

Before I leave this Sabbath study, because there’s so much controversy, and because there’s such a determined effort to turn people away from the modern translations, I want to spend a little time on what the modern translations did in that Revelation 22:14 passage and what bearing it has on Christians keeping the Sabbath.

First, and what I think is extremely important, Revelation 22:14 doesn’t specifically speak of the Sabbath, it only speaks of the commandments in general—“blessed are they that do his commandments.” (KJV) The reason why I say that’s so important is because—as far as I know—in every other passage that speaks of the law and the commandments the modern translations do as good a job, and sometimes an even better job, of upholding the law and the commandments as the KJV does.

If you recall, DB cited four passages that taught the importance of keeping the law and the commandments, and in all four of them the modern translations were just as clear as the KJV. But again, because the modern translations are under such attack, I want to share with you a few more passages that teach the importance of the law and the commandments.

For the most part, all three of those modern translations I’ve been using say the same thing in every one of these passages, but I’m only going to use the NLT. For one, to save time, and for two, because in a couple of the passages (the first two) I especially like how the NLT reads. (For the first two passages I’ll quote the KJV along with the NLT so that you can compare the two translations.)

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“The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” {Luke 16:16, 17 KJV}

“The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. But now the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and eager multitudes are forcing their way in. But that doesn’t mean that the law has lost its force in even the smallest point. It is stronger and more permanent than heaven and earth.” {Luke 16:16, 17 NLT, NIV}

Me: To me, that italicized sentence makes the NLT much clearer and stronger than the KJV.

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“Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.” {1 Corinthians 7:19 KJV}

“It makes no difference whether or not a man has been circumcised. The important thing is to keep God’s commandments.” {1 Corinthians 7:19 NLT}

Me: Again, I believe the NLT is both clearer and stronger than the KJV.

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“If you love me, obey my commandments… Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me.” {John 14:15, 21 NLT}

“How can we be sure that we belong to him? By obeying his commandments. If someone says, “I belong to God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar.” {1 John 2:3, 4 NLT}

Me: Some may not like, or agree with, how the NLT reads there—instead of saying “how can we be sure that we know him (as most translations do), it says “how can we be sure that we belong to him.” But I would hope all would agree—it certainly stresses the importance of “obeying his commandments.”

“Loving God means keeping his commandments.” {1 John 5:3 NLT}

In the light of those five passages I just shared, and the four that DB shared in his study, I believe it’s totally unfair and unfounded for King James only people to quote Revelation 22:14, and then, because of what the modern translations say there—or fail to say there—make the claim that the modern translations downplay the necessity of keeping the commandments. But that’s exactly the kind of thing many of these King James only people do—they cite one passage on a subject and then claim that the modern translations do thus and thus, when there are numerous other passages that prove the exact opposite. What kind of Christian integrity is that?

    Since there was one passage in that Sabbath study where the modern translations get it wrong, I think it’s only fair that I show you one Sabbath passage where the KJV gets it wrong.

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 the sepluchre.” {Matthew 28:1}

Undeniably, it wasn’t “in the end of the Sabbath” when Mary went to the sepluchre. It was “after the end of the Sabbath.” And that’s what all the modern translations say. (That’s also what all three of the other gospels say.)

(My wife and I are friends with a devout non-SDA Sabbath keeper who believes that Christ’s resurrection was on the Sabbath, and he believes that because of how the KJV reads there.)

Now, as much as I hate to do it, I feel I have to touch on one more thing before I make my final remarks. For the better share of you it’s probably totally unnecessary, but for a certain percentage of you—those who are aware of the issue I’m about to touch on—it’s probably very necessary.

The claim is often made that you can’t teach Adventist belief concerning the sanctuary from the NIV. As far as I know, that claim is based primarily on one particular verse—Hebrews 9:12. In the NIV it teaches that Christ went to the most holy place at His ascension. In the KJV Hebrews 9:12 teaches that Christ went to the holy place at his ascension—not the most holy place. (True Adventism teaches that Christ went to the holy place at His ascension, and not until 1844 did He go into the most holy place.) So yes, the NIV (and many of the other modern translations) is wrong there.

To keep this as short and as simple as possible, I’m only going to bring out two things in response to that. #1—In verse twenty-five of that same chapter nine of Hebrews, we read:

“The high priest entereth into the holy place every year.” (KJV)

“The high priest enters into the most holy place every year.” (NIV)

It was “the most holy place” that “the high priest entered into every year,” not the “holy place.” (The high priest entered into the holy place every day, but he entered into the most holy place once a year.) So this time the KJV gets it wrong and the NIV (and most of the other modern translations) gets it right.

#2 (and what to me is far more important, as well as giving me another opportunity of once again showing the value of using multiple translations)—In my entire Adventist life I’ve not once had a non-Adventist confront me on that Hebrews 9:12 problem. On the other hand, I can’t tell you how many times my wife and I have been told by non-SDA Christians that we’re teaching “doctrines of devils” because we advise people to give up meat eating. And do you know why they tell us that? Because of how the KJV reads in 1 Timothy 4:

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils… Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving.” {1 Timothy 4:1-3 KJV}

It’s common knowledge that the KJV often uses the word “meat” in place of the word “food.” (Genesis 1:29 is probably the most well-known instance, and undeniably it’s talking about food there, not meat.) But that doesn’t stop many non-SDA’s from believing and using 1 Timothy 4 in the KJV against Adventists. But at least I’m able to show them—if they’re open minded—that that’s not what the passage is saying: “…They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods…” {1 Timothy 4:3 NIV}

All the modern translations say food in that passage, not meat. And without question, food is the correct word there, not meat.

To me that’s another very simple, yet very real, example of why it’s good to use multiple translations. (As I said before: All translations make mistakes, and using multiple translations can go a long way toward clearing up some of those mistakes.)

Since I touched on that point concerning the holy and most holy place in Hebrews 9, another important passage came to mind. As I mentioned up above, Adventists believe that it wasn’t until 1844 that Christ went into the most holy place. And while I don’t want to get too deep into this, Daniel 7:9 is one of the key passages. (It deals with the Father moving from the holy place to the most holy place.) But what I want to do is compare how the KJV reads with a couple of the modern translations, and then show you what Ellen White and the pioneers do and say in regard to that verse:

“I beheld till thrones were cast down.” (KJV)

“I kept looking until thrones were set up.” (NASB)

“As I looked, thrones were set in place.” (NIV)

“I beheld till thrones were placed.” (Ellen White in both the 1888 and the 1911 editions of Great Controversy)

“I beheld till thrones were placed.” (Stephen Haskell)

“I beheld till thrones were [placed.]” (J.N. Loughborough)

“Daniel 7:9 speaks of thrones being “cast down,” or, more correctly rendered, “were placed.” (J.N. Andrews)

“By an unfortunate translation in verse 9, a wrong idea is almost sure to be conveyed. The words cast down are from a word which in the original signifies just the opposite, namely, to set up.” (Uriah Smith)

So clearly, the King James translators got it wrong in Daniel 7:9, and the modern translators got it right. And as you saw from all those quotes, obviously Ellen White and the pioneers saw the benefit of using multiple translations. (Something else just came to mind: I’ve often heard a big thing be made of the NIV getting it wrong in that Hebrews 9 passage, but I’ve never once heard this mistake in Daniel 7:9 pointed out. It makes me wonder: Are those critics of the Hebrews 9 mistake just ignorant of the Daniel 7 mistake, or are they biased?)

So again, it’s certainly true that there are mistakes in the modern translations, but it’s equally true that there are mistakes in the KJV. Hence the great value in—and I would even say, necessity of—using multiple translations.