Bible Study Course

Examining The New King James Version

Part 2


Welcome to Book 2 in the Examining Bible Translations series of the Liberty Bible Course. This booklet continues looking at the examination of the New King James Version (NKJV). This study is written to be used with the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible, otherwise your answers are going to be incorrect. Please get your Bible, and begin another exciting study in God’s Word, that just might change your life!

Chapter 1


#14 — Proverbs 18:8

KJV (King James Version)    -   “The words of a talebearer are as ____________, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”

NKJV (New King James Version)   -   “The words of a talebearer are like TASTY TRIFLES,[a]And they go down into the inmost body.”

NWT (New World Translation — Jehovah’s Witnesses)   -   “The words of the slanderer are like THINGS TO BE SWALLOWED GREEDILY, which do go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”

Note:    Remember what was the stated purpose of the translators? “To update… words whose English meaning has changed.” Has the word wound now changed to tasty trifle?  The word wound means, “an injury to the body (as from violence, accident, or surgery) that typically involves laceration or breaking of a membrane (as the skin) and usually damage to underlying tissues; a mental or emotional hurt or blow.” (Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary).  The word trifles means, “a dessert typically consisting of plain or sponge cake often soaked with wine or spirits (as brandy or rum) and topped with layers of preserves, custard, and cream” (Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary).  As you can see, the translators were not honest in their stated purpose. They did not update anything here in this verse — they totally changed the meaning of the verse.

Remember little Joe Moore's request?   "Daddy, you make so many Bibles, why can't you make a Bible that I can understand?" (The New King James Version, by Arthur L. Farstad, pg. 1).    Do you think that this change helped him, or confused him? Do you think that the next time he was hurt, he came crying to his mother, "Mommy, mommy, I got hurt, and I need a bandage!"  "What happened, Joey?"  "I fell off my bike and got a tasty trifle -- right here!"  This is clearly not an update of language, but a complete change of words and meanings.  Now, what the verse says is not true at all.

NKJV (New King James Version)    -   “The words of a talebearer are like TASTY TRIFLES,[a]And they go down into the inmost body.”


Do you find it like a tasty dessert  to hear that someone has been spreading rumors about you?

Does that settle sweetly  in your stomach? No it does not. It takes away your appetite.

It makes you feel tense in your stomach.


Note:    Remember one part of the definition of the word wound? “A mental or emotional blow” (Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary).    Who in their right mind enjoys being the target of rumors, like they enjoy eating a tasty dessert? No one.

Note:   If they try and change around the person in view here, from the one being talked about in a bad way — to one who is hearing rumors about someone else, then they are contradicting their translation of Proverbs 25:23. Remember how they changed that verse? The Bible (KJV) says, “The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.” They (NKJV) changed it to say, “The north wind brings forth rain, And a backbiting tongue an angry countenance.” They stated that a backbiting tongue will (guaranteed) bring forth an angry countenance. As we have seen, that is not true, because many people love to hear gossip and rumors about other people, and do not get angry at all if you spread such information to them. But are the translators now trying to say that people who hear the words of a talebearer take it all in like a tasty dessert? If that is what they are trying to say here, then they have flat out contradicted what they said in Proverbs 25:23. The honest person looking at this would have to admit that the translators of the NKJV have dug themselves into a hole.

   1. Ecclesiastes 10:8 says, "He that diggeth a ______ shall ________ into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him."
    2. Psalms 57:6 says, "They have prepared a ______ for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a ______ before me, into the midst whereof ________ are ____________ themselves. Selah."
    3. Proverbs 30:5-6 says, "__________   ________ of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he ______________ thee, and thou be found a ________."

#15 — Ephesians 5:1

KJV (King James Version)    -   “Be ye therefore __________________ of God, as dear children.”

NKJV (New King James Version)    -   “Therefore be IMITATORS of God as dear children.”

NWT (New World Translation — Jehovah’s Witnesses)   -   “Therefore, become IMITATORS of God, as beloved children.”

Note:  Once again, it is interesting that the translators of the NKJV chose to make the same exact change as did the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  You do not become a Christian by imitating Christ or a Christian. You could imitate Christ on the cross and die and shed your blood in like manner — but that would not make you a Christian. Instead of dying and going to paradise, you would die and go to hell.  If imitating Christ could save, then both dying thieves on the crosses would have been saved — but only one was — the one who repented and placed his faith in Jesus Christ.

    1. Luke 23:39-43 says, “And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering ______________ him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for ____ receive the ______ reward of our __________: but this man hath done ______________ amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, ________________ me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in ________________.”

Note: What we find taught in the Bible is that it is very dangerous to imitate Christ or Christians, if you are not truly born again.

    2. Acts 19:11-17 says, “And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. Then certain of the ________________ ________, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, ____ adjure you by Jesus whom ________ preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, __________ I know, and ________ I know; but who are ____? And the man in whom the evil spirit was ____________ on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and ______________. And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and ________ fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.”

Note:   When choosing a word to most accurately convey the meaning intended, which is the better word, follow, or imitate?

The word follow   means, “to come after; to engage in as a calling or way of life; to walk or proceed along;

to be or act in accordance with; to accept as authority; to obey” (Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary)

The word imitate   means, “to mimic, to counterfeit, to resemble” (Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary)

That is not a hard choice at all, is it? The word follow  is clearly the best choice of what the Bible teaches.

Translating the Bible is much more that just looking up a word in a Hebrew or Greek dictionary. It is

considering the context of the verse, and taking into account the whole teaching of Scripture.


    The word follow has more of the idea of actually obeying the Lord and making that the way of your life. But the word imitate in our day has the heavy suggestion of just playing a part — but not necessarily in sincerity. Many times mimicking someone is done in a mocking fashion. If the NKJV translators were truly stressing up-to-date-accuracy, then they would have left that verse alone the way that it was translated. Sadly, many good imitators are going to wind up in hell, because they were only copying what others were doing, and were not truly born again themselves.

    3. Notice how the following verses show the widespread imitation that is going on in the Tongues/Charismatic movement of today. Matthew 7:21-23 says, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. ________ will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not ____________________ in thy name? and in thy name have cast out ____________? and in thy name done many __________________ works? And then will I profess unto them, I __________ knew ______: ____________ from me, ye that work iniquity.”


God considers it iniquity to be imitating Christ or Christians,

when a person is not even saved; and all such imitators will be cast into hell.

#16 — Luke 16:22, 23

KJV (King James Version)    -   “22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;  23 And in ________ he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”

NKJV (New King James Version)    -   “22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.
23 And being in torments in HADES, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”

NWT (New World Translation — Jehovah’s Witnesses)   -   “22 Now in course of time the beggar died and he was carried off by the angels to the bosom [position] of Abraham. Also, the rich man died and was buried.  23 And in HADES he lifted up his eyes, he existing in torments, and he saw Abraham afar off and Laz´a·rus in the bosom [position] with him.”

Note:    Notice, once again, how the NKJV translators changed to the exact same word as did the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Did the Jehovah’s Witnesses make their translation, because the KJV was not accurate? No true Christian would say that (that the NWT is more accurate than the KJV). The Jehovah’s Witnesses made the changes to try and prove their false doctrine. Why, then, did the translators of the NKJV follow in their changes?

Note:   Do you remember the reason given why the New King James Version was produced? The idea was born out of a conversation between Joe Moore and his dad, who was the president of the Thomas Nelson Publishing Company. He said, “Daddy, you make so many Bibles, why can’t you make a Bible that I can understand?” (The New King James Version, by Arthur L. Farstad, pg. 1)


Do you think that little Joe Moore could understand the word hades  better than the word hell?

Not a chance, because the word hades  is not even an English word. It is a Greek word

which has been transliterated (brought over into English, sound-for-sound), — not translated.


    How many little boys know Greek? Are you beginning to see the dishonesty of the NKJV translators? Their stated purpose was, “To update… words whose English meaning has changed.” They did not update the English here in this verse — they changed it back to Greek.
    Do a little test. Ask several children where hades is, and what it is like there. Now ask the children where hell is, and what it is like there. If the word hell is clearly understood, even by the children (and it is), then what was the real purpose in switching it to read hades?
    More and more, people do not believe in a literal place called hell. The NKJV accommodates them very well, by taking the word right out and replacing it with a Greek word spelled in English.



                                       Chapter 1   Chapter 2   Chapter 3   Chapter 4   Chapter 5   Final Test     Liberty Bible Course Directory                              

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