Codex Vaticanus: Hebrews 1:3
 marginal note – A corrector had erased and substituted a word in what would be verse 3. A second corrector reinserted the original word with this marginal comment: “Fool and knave, leave the old reading and do not change it.” Vaticanus is a very heavily corrected and corrupted text!

Matthew 7:15-20 “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (16) Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (17) Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. (18) A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (19) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

Luke 6:44-49 “For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. 46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: 48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”


My premise is a simple one: I will demonstrate to you that the Modern Bible Versions are the evil fruit from a corrupt tree, planted by Wolves in Sheeps clothing, whose plan was and is to confuse the sheep and ultimately destroy their faith in the Word(s) of God, thus getting them to build their lives on the unsure shifting sands of human reason instead of building their lives on the SURE FOUNDATION OF GOD’s WORD, the King James Bible, which is accurately translated from the texts that God has preserved.
Why is that important? 

For genuine believers, the Bible is the foundation of literally every doctrine, belief and practice in New Testament Christianity! If a belief, principle or practice does not have a biblical base it should be rejected. We read in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." The English word prove is a translation of the Greek word dokimazete – dokimazete (dok-im-ad’zate). The word carries the idea of proving a thing whether it is worthy or not. So, the question is, how are we to go about proving something? I believe Isaiah 8:20 gives us insight into the answer to this question – “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” In other words, examine everything by the words of the Bible and if it does not line up, reject it!

It should be obvious to you that I believe in the Verbal Plenary Inspiration for the 66 books of the Bible and I also believe in the Verbal Plenary preservation of those same 66 books! I believe that the process of God’s breathing out His Words occurred only once when He breathed out or ‘inspired’ the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts. Though the process of inspiration has never been repeated, the product of inspiration, that is, the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek Words, have been preserved by God in the Words of the Masoretic Hebrew and Textus Receptus (traditional) Greek that underlie the King James Bible. 

I assert that we DO have the words of God today and that our King James Bible is the best translation of those preserved words. There has been none better, there is none better, there will be none better in the future. 

Now here is the problem. If the Bible was not inspired, then it CANNOT be used as a reliable standard! If the Bible was inspired and the readings lost, then it CANNOT be used as a reliable standard! And if the Bible texts are not preserved, then it CANNOT be used as a reliable standard! 

That is the belief and teaching of those who laid the foundation of the modern Bible versions. They do not believe God has preserved His Words and therefore the Bible is NOT a reliable standard! They adopted the higher critical view of the Bible. But that is NOT what I believe!

So what is “Higher Criticism?” Higher criticism treats the Bible as a text created by human beings at a particular historical time and for various human motives. “They based their interpretations on a presupposition that the Bible is not divinely inspired and that a conglomerate of unknown authors and editors assembled and modified the Bible as they desired.” 

The phrase, Higher Criticism was coined in 1778 by Johann Gottfried Eichhorn (1752 to 1827). It originally referred to the work of liberal German Biblical scholars, under the leadership of Ferdinand Christian Baur of the Tübingen School Theology, part of the University of Tübingen, located in the city of that name in Germany. The phrase “higher criticism” became popular in Europe (and England) from the mid-18th century.

· Brief Overview of The Motley Crew Behind The Modern Bible Versions

There are many men who undermined the authority of the Scriptures by denying its divine inspiration and preservation and promoting what we call textual criticism. 

If you were to take the time to look into those who have laid the foundation for the modern Bible versions, you would understand the title of this message. You would find a group of doubters, deceivers, skeptics, occultists, heretics, unbelievers and more. I do not have the time in this series to thoroughly expose the beliefs, teaching and practices of these men, however, I will name some of the key players in this motley crew and make brief comments about their beliefs.

Richard Simon (1638-1712) is often called the Father of Biblical Criticism. ( He was a French Roman Catholic who held apostate and heretical views that undermined the authority and preservation of the Word(s) of God. For instance, he believed there were men before Adam. He rejected the Bible as the soul authority for faith and practice and held that Catholic tradition was of equal authority with the Bible. However, his revolutionary apostasy was his contention “that no original text of the Bible exists, that the texts one possesses have developed and have been altered through the ages, and that it is therefore necessary to apply the method of critical evaluation to biblical materials to establish the most accurate human form of the revelation. This method involves philology (study of texts and trying to reconstruct them), textual study, historical researches, and comparative studies.” (

This is a key building block of undermining the preservation of the Word and Words of God. He published numerous books supporting his apostate teachings including his 1689 Critical History of the Text of the New Testament that advances the idea that the Scripture has not been carefully preserved and therefore the Bible cannot be entirely authoritative. Previous to that volume, he published one called Critical History of the Old Testament where he denied Moses was the author of the Pentateuch. Further, he stated that the Old Testament is a mixture of truth and myth. In 1702 he published a four volume New Testament based on the Latin Vulgate but it included variant readings from the Greek and critical remarks. 

JOHANN SALOMO SEMLER (1725-1791) is sometimes called the Father of German Rationalism. Rationalism is basically the theory that human reason is the best guide for belief and actions. It is the theory that the exercise of reason, rather than experience, authority, or spiritual revelation, provides the primary basis for knowledge and truth. “He rejected the deity of Jesus Christ and believed that revelation must be judged by human reason. The sophisticated mind should have no obligation to believe what is ‘unreasonable’ in the Bible.” (

The common thread is that Semler was strongly influenced by Richard Simon, and particularly his 1689 book Critical History. More important to the focus of this message, Semler is The Father of the Recension Theory. This theory claims that the Received text is an editorial recension created centuries after the Apostles. Additionally, the textual readings favoring theological orthodoxy should be suspect. Why? Because he denied biblical preservation and falsely believed the orthodox readings were created by textual editors during the early centuries. Because of this view, he taught other manuscripts, particularly the older ones, which shortens the passage or leaves it out, should be followed. 

I should also point out that Semler began group manuscripts into three families: Alexandrian (Egyptian), Western and Asiatic (Byzantine). He believed the Alexandrian was superior to the Byzantine. 

As an aside, Semler became a believer in alchemy whereby ordinary metals are converted into gold. Tragically, what he managed to do was convert the Gold of the Word of God into dirt of doubt. 

JOHANN JAKOB GRIESBACH (1745-1812). He adopted Selmer’s recension theory that claimed that the Received Text was an editorial revision created centuries after the apostles. This myth, as you well know, was later popularized by Westcott and Hort. 

J. J. Griesbach was one of the earliest fathers of modern textual criticism. Marvin R. Vincet says in his book A History of the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, published in 1899, “With Griesbach, really critical texts may be said to have begun.” 

The late Bruce Metzger said, “Griesbach laid the foundations for all subsequent work on the Greek text of the New Testament.” He further asserted, “the importance of Griesbach for New Testament textual criticism can scarcely be overestimated.” (Metzger, The Text of the New Testament)
He rejected the deity of Jesus Christ and the supernatural infallibility of Holy Scripture. Griesbach was the first to declare Mark 16:9-20 spurious. He omitted it from the 1796 edition of his critical Greek New Testament. 

I own a copy of his 1809 American critical edition of his Greek New Testament. It was published by Harvard College. “They published this edition because it was “a most powerful weapon to be used against the supporters of verbal inspiration.” (Theodore Letis, The Ecclesiastical Text) This was done around the same time that Harvard College gave way to Unitarianism. 

Here is the point: The enemies of the inspiration of the Bible clearly understood that in general, modern textual criticism and specifically Griesbach’s critical New Testament weakened the key doctrines of the Christian faith (such as inspiration, preservation, etc.) and undermines the authority of the Bible. 

KARL LACHMANN (1793-1851) was not even a Bible scholar but a professor of Classical and German Philology at Berlin. He has been described as a German rationalist [human reason is the sole source and final test of all truth]. Lachmann’s theory and belief was that all of the extant New Testament manuscripts were corrupt and that it is not possible to dogmatically reconstruct the apostolic text (McClintock & Strong Cyclopedia). His goal was to secure the text that was in widest use in the 4th Century, the time of Jerome, and he referenced the Alexandrian manuscripts and the writings of Origin and others. Lachmann did not study the New Testament as the supernaturally-inspired and divinely preserved Word of God but as a mere book. He was a profane man who treated the Bible like any other book and his textual research was a mere scholarly venture. He began to apply the same rules that he had used in editing texts of the Greek classics to the N.T. Greek text because he presupposed it was hopelessly corrupted. His theory undermined the doctrine of divine preservation by claiming that the apostolic text can not possibly be known for certain and the best that could be done was to rediscover the 4th century text. 
Next we come to…

Brooke Foss Westcott (January 12, 1825–July 27, 1901) (pictured at the left) and John Anthony Hort (1828-1892) (pictured right). They are the Fathers of the Modern Bible Versions. They got many of their ideas from Griesbach and Lachmann. Westcott and Hort built their own critical Greek New Testament text based primarily on two conflicting Greek uncial MSS – Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus. These perverted MSS do not even agree among themselves. In the Gospels alone they differed in over 3,000 places. The ironic thing is that Westcott and Hort knew this when they created their text! Virtually all the modern versions are based on Westcott and Hort’s critical Greek New Testament. In the introduction to the 24th edition of Nestle’s Greek New Testament, editors Erwin Nestle and Kurt Aland make the following admission: “Thus THE TEXT, BUILT UPON THE WORK OF THE 19TH CENTURY, HAS REMAINED AS A WHOLE UNCHANGED, particularly since the research of recent years has not yet led to the establishment of a generally acknowledged N.T. text” (Erwin Nestle and Kurt Aland, Novum Testamentum Graece, 24th edition, 1960, p. 62).

EUGENE NIDA was born in Oklahoma in 1914. He has the dubious distinction of being the father of the heretical dynamic equivalency theory of Bible translation that is used in most all of the modern Bible versions. He believes the record of Jacob wrestling with the Angel was not a literal event. He denies the substitutionary blood atonement of Christ (Nida, Theory and Practice, 1969, p. 53). He denies that Christ died to satisfy God's justice. He believes the blood of the cross was merely symbolic of Christ's death and is never used in the Bible "in the sense of propitiation." He retired from being the Executive Secretary for Translations for the American Bible Society in the 1980. Today he lives in Brussels, Belgium. 

KURT ALAND (March 28, 1915-April 13, 1994) of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament fame, denied the verbal inspiration of the Bible and wanted to see all denominations united into one “body” by the acceptance of a new ecumenical canon of Scripture which would take into account the Catholic apocryphal books (The Problem of the New Testament Canon, pp. 6,7,30-33).

BRUCE MANNING METZGER (February 9, 1914 – February 13, 2007). He edited and provided commentary for many Bible translations and wrote dozens of books. He was one of the editors of the United Bible Societies' standard Greek New Testament, the starting point for nearly all translations of the New Testament in recent decades. In 1952, he became a contributor to the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible, and became general editor of the Reader's Digest Bible (a condensed version of the RSV) in 1982. From 1977 to 1990, he also chaired the Committee on Translators for the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible, which included the Apocrypha.

What Metzger Believed

1. Metzger believed the Old Testament was a “matrix (compilation) of myth, legend, and history. (Note: Jesus affirmed the Old Testament’s authenticity Luke 24:44-45)
2. Metzger did not believe that Moses wrote the Pentateuch but that “the Pentateuch took shape over a long period of time." (Note: Jesus affirmed that Moses wrote it – John 7:19; Matthew 8:4; John 5:46).
3. Metzger did not believe in the biblical worldwide flood. (Note: Jesus affirmed the global flood – Matthew 24:37-39)
4. Metzger believed the book of Job is a folktale. 
5. Metzger believed Isaiah was written by Isaiah plus two or three unknown men who wrote centuries later. (Note: Jesus affirmed that Isaiah wrote the book that carries his name – Luke 3:4
6. Metzger believed that Jonah was a “didactic narrative [story intended to teach a lesson] which has taken older material from the realm of popular legend and put it to a new, more consequential use." (Note: Jesus affirmed that Jonah was real – Matthew 12:39-41).
7. Metzger believed that Paul did not write the Pastoral Epistles [1 & 2 Timothy and Titus]. 1 Timothy 1:1 says he did. 2 Timothy 1:1 says he did. Titus 1:1 says he did!

What puzzles me is that Metzger is adored by modern day Bible scholars, theologians, preachers, students and even many fundamental Baptists. I concur with Dr. Jeffrey Khoo who said – “True and faithful Biblicists ought to be warned that Metzger’s scholarship is not one to be desired nor admired.” Christian friend, “Metzger’s philosophy and methodology will only lead to chronic uncertainty and perpetual unbelief of the total inspiration and perfect preservation of the Holy Scriptures.” James 3:11-12 “Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? (12) Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.”

Conclusion – These men were all apostates! There is not a believer in the bunch. These are indeed a motley crew, each contributing a wide variety of apostate and heretical ideas that undermine the Word(s) of God. These are the men behind the modern versions! 


Gary Alberding

Pastor Emeritus

David L. Brown

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