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The King James Bible is an amazing book, and it is a wonder to read. Part of the wonder is that it has survived as well as it has. Joseph Smith was ahead of his time when he said in 1843:
Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 6:57–58; Oct. 15, 1843, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Willard Richards; cited in Chapter 17: Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2007), p. 206
I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors. …
Despite Joseph Smith’s rather unique position for his time, it must be admitted that some great early scholars recognized the same facts. For example, Erasmus, the scholar of Greek of the 15th and 16th centuries, said:
Epistle 337, Collected Works of Erasmus, Vol. 3
“But one thing the facts cry out, and it can be clear, as they say, even to a blind man, that often through the translator’s clumsiness or inattention the Greek has been wrongly rendered; often the true and genuine reading has been corrupted by ignorant scribes, which we see happen every day, or altered by scribes who are half-taught and half-asleep.”
It is now a well established historical fact that the ancient manuscripts of the Bible, particularly for the New Testament, show evidence of thousands of changes, most minor, but some major (see e.g., Bart Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus, 2005, New York: HarperCollins).
In an essay posted on the New Testament Baptist Church website, Pastor (Dr.) Jim Ellis makes a heroic defense of the King James Bible, arguing that modern translations are too often based upon “corrupt Egyptian” sources, instead of the Greek Textus Receptus, the ultimate source of the New Testament in the King James Version of the Bible.
Pastor Ellis is bothered that modern translations are based in the Egyptian Codices Vaticanus (B) and Sinaiticus (Aleph), leading to awkward translations, such as found in Mark 1:2. Many modern versions of this verse refer to “Isaiah the prophet,” instead of the more generic reference of the King James Version: “As it is written in the prophets.” The Pastor’s concern makes sense in this context, because the last phrase in the verse is a quotation from Malachi 3:1, not Isaiah.
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