Chapter 8: Westcott and Hort — 1 of 3

Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1903) and Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828-1892) have been highly controversial figures in biblical history.

On one side, their supporters have heralded them as great men of God, having greatly advanced the search for the original Greek text.

On the other side, their opponents have leveled charges of heresy, infidelity, apostasy, and many others, claiming that they are guilty of wreaking great damage on the true text of Scripture.

I have no desire to «sling mud» nor a desire to hide facts.

I believe it is essential at this time that we examine what we know about these men and their theories concerning the text of the Bible.

I long sought for copies of the books about their lives. These are The Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westeott, by his son, Arthur, and The Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, written by his son.

After literally months of trying, I was able to acquire copies of them both for study. Most of the material in this section will be directly from these sources so as to prevent it from being secondhand.

We cannot blindly accept the finding of any scholar without investigating what his beliefs are concerning the Bible and its doctrines. Scholarship alone makes for an inadequate and dangerous authority, therefore we are forced to scrutinize these men’s lives.

A Monumental Switch

Westcott and Hort were responsible for the greatest feat in textual criticism. They were responsible for replacing the Universal Text of the Authorized Version with the Local Text of Egypt and the Roman Catholic Church. Both Wescott and Hort were known to have resented the pre-eminence given to the Authorized Version and its underlying Greek Text. They had been deceived into believing that the Roman Catholic manuscripts, Vaticanus and Aleph, were better because they were «older.» This they believed, even though Hort admitted that the Antiochian or Universal Text was equal in antiquity. «The fundamental text of the late extant Greek MSS generally is beyond all question identical with the dominant Antiochian or Graeco-Syrian Text of the second half of the Fourth Century.»85

Vicious Prejudice

In spite of the fact that the readings of the Universal Text were found to be as old, or older, Westcott and Hort still sought to dislodge it from its place of high standing in biblical history. Hort occasionally let his emotions show, «I had no idea till the last few weeks of the importance of text, having read so little Greek Testament, and dragged on with the villainous Textus Receptus … Think of the vile Textus Receptus leaning entirely on late MSS; it is a blessing there are such early ones.»86

Westcott and Hort built their own Greek text based primarily on a few uncial MSS of the Local Text. It has been stated earlier that these perverted MSS do not even agree among themselves. The ironic thing is that Westcott and Hort knew this when they formed their text!

Burgon exposed Dr. Hort’s confession, «Even Hort had occasion to notice an instance of the concordia discourse.» Commenting on the four places in Mark’s gospel (14:30, 68, 72, a, b) where the cock’s crowing is mentioned said, «The confusion of attestation introduced by these several cross currents of change is so great that of the seven principal MSS, Aleph, A, B, C, D, L, no two have the same text in all four places.»87

A Shocking Revelation

That these men should lend their influence to a family of MSS which have a history of attacking and diluting the major doctrines of the Bible, should not come as a surprise. Oddly enough, neither man believed that the Bible should be treated any differently than the writings of the lost histor-ians and philosophers!

Hort wrote, «For ourselves, we dare not introduce considerations which could not reasonably be applied to other ancient texts, supposing them to have documentary attestation of equal amount, variety and antiquity.»88

He also states, «In the New Testament, as in almost all prose writings which have been much copied, corruptions by interpolation are many times more numerous than corruptions by omission.» (Emphasis mine.)89

We must consider these things for a moment. How can God use men who do not believe that His Book is any different than Shakespeare, Plato, or Dickens? It is a fundamental belief that the Bible is different from all other writings. Why did these men not believe so?

Blatant Disbelief

Their skepticism does, in fact, go even deeper. They have both become famous for being able to deny scriptural truth and still be upheld by fundamental Christianity as biblical authorities! Both Westcott and Hort failed to accept the basic Bible doctrines which we hold so dear and vital to our fundamental faith.

Hort denies the reality of Eden: «I am inclined to think that no such state as ‘Eden'(I mean the popular notion) ever existed, and that Adam’s fall in no degree differed from the fall of each of his descendants, as Coleridge justly argues.»90
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The Enemy continued…

A New Plan

Let it be remembered, Jesuits do not give up. They would have to bide their time. They would once again resort to undercover activities as they had so many times before. Their task would be a difficult one, yet for the unfaltering Jesuits, not impossible. They would have to discredit the Reformation. They would have to dislodge the Universal Greek Text from the firm position it held in the minds and hearts of English scholarship. They would have to «wean» Protestantism back into the fold of Rome. To do this they would use the same plan as they had in similar situations: captivate the minds of scholarship.

Men have long been worshippers of education. If an educator makes a claim, the «common» people will follow, because they have convinced themselves that anyone with that much education can’t be wrong.

Evolution has been accepted as a fact by the average American because educators claim that it is true. The fact that they can produce no evidence to substantiate their theory is incidental. Education says it is so!

The Jesuits’ task was to entice Protestant scholarship back to Rome. They knew that they could not wean the leaders of Protestantism back into Rome as long as the stubborn «heretics» clung to the pure text of the Reformers. This Bible would have to be replaced with one which contained the pro-Roman Catholic readings of Jerome’s Vulgate and the Jesuit translation of 1582. It would be necessary to «educate» the Protestant scholars to believe that their Reformation Text was unreliable and that their Authorized Version was «not scholarly.» Once thus programmed, the egotistical scholars would spontaneously attack their own Bible and believe that they were helping God.

The most important objective to be realized would be to replace the Bible as the final authority.

The Authorized Version had become a mightier foe than Rome had anticipated as Dr. McClure points out: «The printing of the English Bible has proved to be by far the mightiest barrier ever reared to repel the advance of Popery, and to damage all the resources of the Papacy. Originally intended for the five or six millions who dwelt within the narrow limits of the British Islands, it at once formed and fixed their language, till then unsettled; and has since gone with that language to the isles and shores of every sea.»

The Dreaded Happening

What the Roman Catholics had always dreaded had come to pass. The Word of God was translated from the true text into the clearest form of the common language, English. Protestants had long refuted and neutralized Roman Catholicism by the phrase, «The Bible says so.» The Roman Catholic Church had been built on about 10% twisted Scripture and 90% superstition. Where men were ignorant, it could rule by playing on their fears. But, when the «ignorant and unlearned» people received Christ as personal Saviour and clung faithfully to the King James Bible, they were not only immovable but could easily refute any heresy, be it Catholic or otherwise.

Aiding The Enemy

The job of the Jesuits would be aided by the natural process of time. Every major religious persuasion follows a natural pattern which is nearly impossible to avoid. They begin in the form of a revival, not a week long revival meeting, but a spiritual awakening which leads its followers away from the world system and into Bible literalism. The Reformation is a good example. People drew nearer to the Bible, believed it literally, and the end result was a revival which swept Europe and drew people out of the Roman Catholic system.

The next step is education. The infant Reformation had nowhere to send its converts to learn the Bible. It certainly could not allow them to return to the Roman school of philosophy for their education. So the second step is to build your own schools and train your own preachers and teachers.

The third step is culture. Once a movement has established itself, it forms its own culture. This process takes from 50 to 100 years. After this period of time, the movement has proved to the world that it is not a «fly by night» outfit but is a force to be reckoned with. This was true of Lutheranism, as it is now true of Fundamentalism.

Fifty years ago, a Fundamentalist preacher was considered a backwoods «hick» with no education and was able to preach nothing more than «hell, fire, and damnation.» Today, the world has awakened to the fact that Fundamentalism is a powerful force. Fundamental churches are found to be the largest and fastest growing in the country. Television and magazines are producing special stories concerning the Fundamental movement. The election of 1980 showed the amount of influence that Fundamentalism could have. Fundamentalism has proven that it is here to stay.

This acceptance produces a kind of «home-grown» arrogance. This is not a derogatory comment, but is true.
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Chapter 7: The Enemy

«It is necessary to salvation that every man should submit to the Pope.» (Boniface VIII Unum Sanctum, 1303.)

«For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.» Ephesians 2:8, 9.

Here lie two totally contradictory statements. They cannot both be correct. The one which you believe will depend on which authority you accept.

The Roman Catholic Church has long been antagonistic to the doctrine of salvation by grace. If salvation is by grace, who needs «mass?» If salvation is by grace, who needs to fear purgatory? If Jesus Christ is our mediator, who needs the Pope? If the Pope cannot intimidate people into obeying him, how can he force a nation to obey him?

The true Bible is the arch-enemy of the Roman Catholic Church. Rome can only rule over ignorant, fear-filled people. The true Bible turns «unlearned and ignorant» men into gospel preachers and casts out «all fear.»

Rome must find a way to supplant the true gospel with «another gospel.» The only way to do this is to eliminate our faith in the Word of God.

Rome received the corrupted Local Text of Alexandria, Egypt and further revised it to suit her own needs. Some scholars call this revision the «Western» text. This, of course, makes it part of the already corrupted text and, therefore, still contains the Local Text readings. This text suited the Roman Catholic Church well, since it attacked the doctrines of the Bible. Rome is wise. To attack salvation by grace directly would expose her plot to all. So instead she used subtly. The Roman Catholic Church strips Jesus Christ of His deity, separates the divine title «Lord» and «Christ» from the human name Jesus, having the thief on the cross address Him as «Jesus» instead of «Lord» (Luke 23:42). It also removes the testimony to His deity in Acts 8:37, and it eliminates the Trinity in I John 5:7.

You may ask, «Would not a weakening of the place of Jesus Christ weaken the Roman Catholic Church’s reason for even existing?» The answer is «No.» The Roman Catholic Church does not even claim to represent the gospel of Jesus Christ. Romanist Karl Adam admits this: «We Catholics acknowledge readily, without any shame — nay with pride — that Catholicism cannot be identified simply and wholly with primitive Christianity, nor even with the Gospel of Christ.»45

The vacancy left by the removal of Christ would be easily filled by Mary and other «saints» along with a chain of ritualism so rigid that no practitioner would have time to really «think» about the true gospel.


The true gospel was fast spreading all over Europe due to the Old Latin translation of the Universal Text into the «vulgar» or «common» language. This Bible became known as the «Vulgate» since it was used so commonly all over Europe.

Rome enlisted the help of a loyal subject by the name of Jerome. He quickly translated the corrupt Local Text into Latin. This version included the Apocryphal books, fourteen books which no Bible-believing Christian accepts as authentic. To insure its success over the Old Latin, the Roman Catholic Church gave it the name «Vulgate,» meaning «common.» There was one problem which the Roman Catholic Church did not anticipate, the same problem which the businessmen publishing new versions cannot seem to avoid. The common people recognized the true Word of God because the Holy Spirit bears witness to it! They refuse to accept other versions!

True, many versions have been sold in the past and are being sold now. Yet, this is primarily due to the media «blitz» by which EVERY new Bible has been introduced since 1881. This is the same tactic used by Satan in Genesis chapter 3. Notice his first recorded words. Do you believe that Satan just walked up to Eve and asked, «Yea, hath God said?» No! In Genesis 3:1 we are picking up in the middle of a conversation, possibly one of many. Satan paved the way for his attack on God’s Word by a little «softening up» publicity. Christians today do not realize that they «need a better translation» until they are told so by the Bible salesman a few times. Suddenly, they «realize their need» for a translation which is «closer to the originals.» (Most of these Christians have never even read the one they have.) The next thing they know, they have eaten the fruit, and God’s blessing is gone. To get God’s blessing back, obviously, they need the next «thoroughly reliable» translation.

This is not an overstatement. An example of the «Bible business» is revealed by Dr. Edward Hills. He speaks in reference to the committee of the American Standard Version promising not to publish their translation at the same time as the English Revised Version. He points out, «They promised not to publish their own revised edition of the Bible until 14 years after the publication of the English Revised Version (R.V.), and in exchange for this concession were given the privilege of publishing in an appendix to this version a list of the readings which they favored but which the British revisers declined to adopt.»46 It was obvious to these «contenders for the faith» that two new Bibles hitting the market at the same time just would not be conducive to good profits. These men are obviously «led by the spirit» but I am not entirely sure it is «Holy.» It is a sad thing when men make merchandise of the Word of God.

The name «Vulgate» on the flyleaf of Jerome’s unreliable translation did little to help sales. The Old Latin Bible, or «Italic» as it is sometimes called, was held fast by all true Christians who upheld the authority of the Bible over the authority of education.

Dr. Wilkenson informs us in reference to the Old Latin, «Not only were such translations in existence long before the Vulgate was adopted by the Papacy, and well established, but the people for centuries refused to supplant their old Latin Bibles by the Vulgate.» He records Jacobus’ words, «The old Latin versions were used longest by the western Christians who would not bow to the authority of Rome — e.g. the Donatists; the Irish in Ireland, Britain, and the Continent; the Albigenses: etc;»47

Dr. Wilkenson also records the words from the «Forum» of June 1887, «The old Italic version, into rude Low Latin of the second century, held its own as long as Latin continued to be the language of the people. The critical version of Jerome never displaced it, and only replaced it when the Latin ceased to be a living language, and became the language of the learned. The Gothic version of Ulfilas, in the same way, held its own until the tongues in which it was written ceased to exist.»48

So we see that the Vulgate of Jerome was unused and unwanted by the true Christians for over nine hundred years. This caused the Roman Church much grief. There was only one remedy to the situation, eliminate the «other» old, archaic Bible. If it was necessary to violently eliminate the people who used this faithful translation, then they did it.
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Chapter 6: The Witnesses

It would be extremely beneficial at this point if we could simply produce the original autographs for examination. This would greatly simplify the operation of establishing correctly the New Testament text. But this simply cannot happen. It has long been acknowledged by scholars that we no longer have the «originals.» They have long since passed from the scene. This is due to the fact that scribes were known to have destroyed worn out MSS after they had copied them. Apparently the early church valued the words of the original more than the original itself. Therefore, the readings of the originals must be preserved with us somewhere, or else God’s words have «passed away» which we surely know, from the Scriptural record, cannot happen. (Psalms 12:6, 7 and Matthew 24:35). We must review the witnesses of the Bible record which have come to us through history. We will be required to keep two things in mind:

1. There is a marked disagreement between the two basic families of readings.

2. Due to the truth above, we must remember our spiritual considerations as well as historical. Remember, the Bible is like no other book. All other books are written and then cast adrift on the sea of time; this is not the case with the Bible. We must remember that God had His hand in its inception and will be seen to have His hand in its journey through history to the present. It must also be remembered that just as God will be active in its preservation, Satan will be active in attempting to disrupt or destroy it.
The «hard» evidence at hand today available for our examination consists of three groups:

The Copies

1. Copies — Since there are no originals, every record of Scripture will be a copy. Copies are divided into three groups:

A. Miniscules — These are by far the most numerous of extant copies which we possess. Miniscules in Greek are like the lower case letters of our alphabet. The oldest copies of this type are papyrus MSS which were sewn together into a roll or scroll. Papyrus was an inexpensive paper somewhat like newsprint. Some were also written on vellum scrolls. Vellum is made from animal skins. This was used because of its durability although it was more expensive than papyrus.

In early copies the words were written end to end with no space in between. Words like God, Son, Father were abbreviated in this manner: God — gd, Son — sn, Father — ftr. Later MSS separated the words for ease of reading. An example is shown here: «No-man-hath-seen-gd-at-any-time-the-only-begotten-sn-
which-is-in-the-bosom-of-the-ftr-he-hath-declared-him.» (John 1:18).

Some miniscules were composed in book form instead of a scroll. These are known as codice (plural). Codex is the singular form. These also were written on either papyrus or vellum. In some cases, all that remains of a scroll or codex are fragments.

B. Majuscules or Uncials — These are equivalent to the upper case letters of our alphabet. In the same verse as above, John 1: 18, letters of our alphabet would appear in this manner in an uncial MSS:

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Chapter 4: The 100 Year War

For approximately one hundred years now, a battle has been raging over the question, «Where is the Word of God?»

Surely we Christians cannot expect a Christ-rejecting world to accept our Book as its authority. We can, of course, expect rebellion. We can expect the world to make attempts to discredit the Bible’s reliability. The battle of the lost theologians against the Bible has been waged since the Garden of Eden.

But the war that I am referring to is not the war between the lost world and born again Christians. For the last one hundred years the same kind of war has been raging within Christian ranks! Up until the late 1800’s there was, generally speaking, only one Bible, the Authorized Version. There had been others, but the translation instituted by King James I in 1603 A.D. and published in 1611 A.D. had become known not just in England, but throughout the entire world as the «Authorized» Version. It is a historical fact that the King James Bible had become known as the «Authorized» Version due to its universal acceptance among Christians of the world, and not due to a proclamation from King James himself.

Hills states: «Although it is often called the ‘Authorized Version,’ it actually was never authorized by any official action on the part of the Church or State. On the contrary, it’s [sic] universal reception by the common people of all denominations seems clearly to be another instance of the providence of God working through the God-guided usage of the Church.»3
Ruckman points out: «As anyone knows, the A.V. 1611 had no royal backing, no royal promoting, no act of Parliament behind it, and the University Press was allowed to print any other version of the Bible along with it.» 4

McClure states concerning the King James Bible: «Its origin and history so strongly commended it, that it speedily came into general use as the standard version, by the common consent of the English people; and required no act of parliament nor royal proclamation to establish it’s [sic] authority.»5
As well, the footnote from the above reference in McClure’s book reads as follows:

Says Dr. Lee, Principal of the University of Edinburgh: «I do not find that there was any canon, proclamation, or act of parliament, to enforce the use of it. ‘The present version’ says Dr. Symonds, as quoted in Anderson’s Annuals, ‘appears to have made its way, without the interposition of any authority whatsoever; for it is not easy to discover any traces of a proclamation, canon or statute published to enforce the use of it.’ It has been lately ascertained that neither the King’s private purse, nor the public exchequer, contributed a farthing toward the expense of the translation or publication of the work.»
Then in the mid to late 1800’s a theory was initiated by two scholars of the names Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort. This is the theory that the Traditional Text was a «conflate» text produced by editors and not merely by scribes. Their theory has remained over the years, as Darwin’s theory of evolution has remained, just a theory. It has never been proven and has in fact lost support over the years. Fuller confirms this when he records Martin’s statement that «the trend of scholars in more recent years has been away from the original Westcott-Hort position.»6

Their theory will be looked at in depth in a later chapter of this book.
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There are many good works that one can read on the authority of the King James Bible, and this particular effort offers nothing really new. However, it does attempt to explain the issue in a simple and brief manner for all to understand. Over the years I have learned a great deal about this issue, and I believe that a truth worth learning is a truth worth telling.
Many preachers and teachers across our land talk about «preferring» and «using» the KJV, but I haven’t heard them speak much about BELIEVING it. Many prefer it and use it, because that’s what their congregations prefer and use, but they do not BELIEVE it to be the infallible words of God. They are taught in college to USE, PREFER, and RECOMMEND the KJV, but they are NOT taught to BELIEVE it. Most «Christian colleges» teach that the King James Bible is only a translation, and that NO translation is infallible. Consequently, the average minister today uses a Book which he doesn’t even believe.

Now, I thank God that I don’t have that problem. I don’t have to play make-believe with anyone about the word of God. I believe it. I believe the King James Bible is the preserved and infallible words of God. It doesn’t merely «contain» the word of God: it IS the word of God. I’m absolutely sure of it, and I’d like to give a few reasons why. Here are twelve reasons how I know that the KJV is the word of God:

God Promised to Preserve His Words

Psalm 12:6-7 says, «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.» Then we read in Psalm 100:5 that «. . . . his truth endureth to all generations,» and Jesus said in John 17:17 that God’s WORD is truth.

These words state very clearly that God’s preserved word MUST be available to us today, because God PROMISED to preserve it for us. There MUST be an infallible Book somewhere.

You say, «But ALL translations are God’s word, not just one.» That’s impossible, because the various translations contain different readings, and God is not the author of confusion (I Cor. 14:33). Besides, if all of the versions are the word of God, then where are the «corrupt» and «perverted» versions that we are warned about in II Corinthians 2:17 and Jeremiah 23:36? If everyone is innocent, then where are those who are said to be GUILTY of subtracting from and adding to the word of God (Rev. 22:18-19)? God wouldn’t have warned us about Bible perversion if it wasn’t going to be a reality. According to the scriptures, there must be a single Book that is the word of God, and there must be MANY which are involved in CORRUPTING the word of God.

Now, if the Authorized Version isn’t the infallible word of God, then WHAT IS? There has to be a Book somewhere in «all generations» which is God’s word; so what book is it? Those who «use» the new versions believe that these are good and reliable translations, but they do NOT believe these to be INFALLIBLE translations. However, I know MANY people who believe the King James Bible to be an infallible Book. Why? Because they know that the One True God has ONE TRUE BOOK. He promised to preserve His words, and we believe that He has done just that. Jesus said, «Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away» (Matthew 24:35). If His words didn’t pass away, then where are they? I want to read them. There has to be a perfect volume somewhere. I know the King James Bible is the word of God because God promised to preserve His words.

The Authorized Version Was Translated Under A God-Ordained English King Read the rest of this entry »

The preservation of God’s holy and inspired words is self-evident as promised within the covers of the Holy Bible. It is in fact, quite amazing for Christians to believe that the only inspired Holy Bible is an invisible Bible because most of them believe that only the original autographs are inspired and yet they can still discuss Bible doctrines and be dogmatic on many issues pertaining to the Christian faith.

It is therefore, questionable as to on what basis do these Christians form their convictions on Biblical issues. Since they believe that a translation cannot be inspired, how can they be sure what they believe are indeed Bible truths as they do not have a physical inspired Holy Bible to begin with? They claim that believing that a translation is also the inspired word of God would be tantamount to imputing double inspiration to the version concerned which is a heresy of the highest order.

But is such a claim justifiable and supportable by Scriptures? Who is the author of languages? Is Almighty God bound by the original Biblical languages when revealing Bible truths to His people? If the perfect inspired Holy Bible is only found in the original Bible languages, should not all Christians learn these original Bible languages to know the perfect meanings of His words and to live according to God’s perfect will?

Should not all Christians discuss Bible truths in these original languages since Biblical truths can be lost during the process of translation? They claim that only the originals in the original languages from which they were written are pure and that a translation can never attain to the same status of these originals. Why then only a select class of Christians is given the privilege to learn these languages and become master and custodian of Bible truths? So when these highly privilege Christians discuss and share Bible truths to those who are less privilege, can they ensure that what they disseminate are indeed perfect and true since exact meanings are lost during the process of translation as they so claim?
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This is the Creed of the Alexandrian Cult by Dr. Peter S. Ruckman
1. There is no final authority but God.

2. Since God is a Spirit, there is no final authority that can be seen, heard, read, felt, or handled.

3. Since all books are material, there is no book on this earth that is the final and absolute authority on what is right and what is wrong: what constitutes truth and what constitutes error.

4. There WAS a series of writings one time which, IF they had all been put into a BOOK as soon as they were written the first time, WOULD HAVE constituted an infallible and final authority by which to judge truth and error.

5. However, this series of writings was lost, and the God who inspired them was unable to preserve their content through Bible-believing Christians at Antioch (Syria), where the first Bible teachers were (Acts 13:1) and where the first missionary trip originated (Acts 13:1-52), and where the word “Christian” originated (Acts 11:26).

6. So, God chose to ALMOST preserve them through Gnostics and philosophers from Alexandria, Egypt, even though God called His Son OUT of Egypt (Matthew 2), Jacob OUT of Egypt (Genesis 49), Israel OUT of Egypt (Exodus 15), and JosephÂ’s bones OUT of Egypt (Exodus 13).

7. So, there are two streams of Bibles: the most accurate—though, of course, there is no final, absolute authority for determining truth and error: it is a matter of “preference”—are the Egyptian translations from Alexandria, Egypt, which are “almost the originals,” although not quite.

8. The most inaccurate translations were those that brought about the German Reformation (Luther, Zwingli, Boehler, Zinzendorf, Spener, etc.) and the worldwide missionary movement of the English-speaking people: the Bible that Sunday, Torrey, Moody, Finney, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Wesley, and Chapman used.

9. But we can “tolerate” these if those who believe in them will tolerate US. After all, since there is NO ABSOLUTE AND FINAL AUTHORITY that anyone can read, teach, preach, or handle, the whole thing is a matter of “PREFERENCE.” You may prefer what you prefer, and we will prefer what we prefer; let us live in peace, and if we cannot agree on anything or everything, let us all agree on one thing:
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Many books and websites list faulty statistics on the King James Bible. Of course the number of books (66) and chapters (1,189) are fairly easy to count. However when it comes to verses, words and letters, there are a wide variety of numbers floating around. For example when it comes to verses I have read and heard preachers and teachers say there are 31,000 verses, 31,101 verses, 31,102 verses, 31,170 verses and 31,175 verses.
Many use the latter number and then proceed to tell you the middle verse is Psalm 118:8. It reads as follows: It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. Wow, what a verse to be right in the middle of your Bible. Then they tell you to count the words in this middle verse. There are fourteen. That’s seven plus seven. That’s the number of completeness and spiritual perfection doubled. Then they direct you to the middle two words and they read «the Lord». So the King James Bible has the words «the Lord» right in the center of it.

I have read this in numerous books and on several websites. I have heard it on tapes. I have also received e-mails informing me of this information. On top of all this I have heard my two most favorite preachers proclaim it from the pulpit. It’s funny how people copy from one another. Here’s the problem. They started off with a faulty statistic. They were taught there were 31,175 verses in the King James Bible and that’s not true.

Hey but it gets even worse. If there were 31,175 verses the middle verse would not be Psalm 118:8. It would be Psalm 104:16. This is the 15,588th verse in the King James Bible. It reads as follows: The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted; — hey nothing very astounding there that jumps off the page and slaps you in the face and makes you say wow! In order for Psalm 118:8 (the 15,968th verse in the KJB) to be the middle verse there would have to be 31,935 verses in the King James Bible, which is simply not the case.

One thing that is real ironic about all this is that the New King James Version has kept this verse intact as it is written in the King James Bible. Nevertheless they did not hesitate to tamper with the previous seven verses in Psalm 118. Apparently some one on that committee was aware of all this stuff going on in the center of the Bible. It makes me laugh just to think about it.

The truth is there are 31,102 verses in the King James Bible. Therefore there is no single middle verse. You cannot have a middle verse with an even number of verses. However there are two middle verses. These would be verses 15,551 and 15,552 (Psalms 103:1-2.)
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Psalms 8:1 O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Isaiah 45:20-25 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that SET UP THE WOOD OF THEIR GRAVEN IMAGE, and PRAY unto a god that CANNOT HAVE. Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time: who hath told it from that time: have not I the Lord: and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour;

there is NONE BESIDE ME. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and THERE IS NONE ELSE.

I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return.


Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

Philippians 2:5-11 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Who, BEING IN THE FORM OF GOD, thought it not robbery TO BE EQUAL WITH GOD:

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Wherefore God also hath HIGHLY EXALTED HIM, and given him a NAME WHICH IS ABOVE EVERY NAME:

That at the NAME of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth: And that EVERY TONGUE SHOULD CONFESS that Jesus Christ IS LORD, to the GLORY of God the Father.


1) Highly exalted.
2) A name above every name.
3) Universal dominion.
4) Over everything in heaven.
5) Over everything on earth.
6) Over everything under the earth.
7) Absolute Lordship.

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