Matthew 27:44 “Cast the same in his teeth”

Matthew 27:44 KJB – “He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. The thieves also, which were crucified with him, CAST THE SAME IN HIS TEETH.”

ESV – “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.”

James White wrote a book called The King James Only Controversy. It contains a great deal of misinformation, unjust criticism, and outright hypocrisy in his attacks on the King James Bible.

On page 231 Mr. White discusses paraphrases in the various versions and says: “The KJV is not free from “dynamic” translations. At times the translators were actually quite free with their terms. They translated the rather straightforward term “reviled” as “cast the same in his teeth” at Matthew 27:44 – there is no word “teeth” in the Greek text.” [End of James White’s comments]

Again, Mr. White is not completely accurate. The single word ‘oneidizo’ is translated as “cast in his teeth”; the part about “the same” is actually in the Greek text as separate words in this sentence.

The Greek text that underlies this verse looks like this: “το δ αυτο και οι λησται οι συσταυρωθεντες αυτω ωνειδιζον αυτω”  The words many modern versions either leave untranslated or mistranslate as “in the same WAY” here are “and the same”= το δ αυτο.

So, to one degree or another, they are ALL “paraphrases”.  

Al Maxey is another NIV using bible agnostic who criticizes Matthew 27:44 in the King James Bible. He posts on his website: “Some supporters of the KJV have maintained over the years that this version of the Scriptures is quite literal — i.e.: It is a virtual word-for-word translation of the original Greek and Hebrew texts. They claim that NO paraphrasing of the text exists in the KJV.

A paraphrase is “a rewording of thoughts or meaning expressed in something that has been previously written.” ALL translations, however, make use of paraphrase. It is simply a fact of translation. When translating from one language into another, paraphrase will always be employed to some extent to make the meaning more understandable. It is the unwarranted use, or abuse, of paraphrase that must be avoided by the translator. Notice the following examples of paraphrase in the KJV:

In Matthew 27:44 the KJV reads, “The thieves also, which were crucified with Him, cast the same in His teeth.” The Greek actually means “to revile, reproach.” This is another example of an obvious paraphrase; employing a common British phrase for what was literally written in the text.

It should be pointed out that paraphrase in a version is NOT wrong. In fact, it cannot always be avoided. However, it becomes a problem if the paraphrase violates the meaning of the text, or promotes a concept inconsistent with the clear teachings of Scripture elsewhere. If the meaning conveyed by the paraphrase to present day readers is the same as would have been conveyed by the literal reading to the original readers, then the paraphrase is acceptable.

Another reason for pointing out the obvious use of paraphrase in the KJV is because some of the KJV supporters will vehemently deny that paraphrase is used in this version. This is a false assertion. They will condemn the use of paraphrase in other translations, but fail to realize it is used in their own!!! Such hypocrisy needs to be exposed!!? [End of Mr. Maxey’s comments]

At least Mr. Maxey is right when he says that a paraphrase is NOT wrong when it conveys the same meaning, and he is also right when he says that all Bible translations do this to one degree or another. But we do not condemn his Vatican Versions like the NIV, ESV, NASB, Holman or even the corrupt NKJV for just “paraphrasing” (although they frequently DO get the meaning wrong) but for using the wrong texts, and for often coming up with the wrong meanings in their translations. 


I have actually found that most of the theological corruptions in the modern versions come not so much from the different texts, but from the way they TRANSLATE them. 


Fake Bibles DO Teach False Doctrine – Here is an article with about 40 examples.

The article is entitled “fake bibles doctrine” call me for this article at 661-619-6434


These modern Vatican Versions frequently reject the clear Hebrew readings and ADD hundreds of words to them – especially the ESV. They omit or [bracket] some 17 entire verses from the New Testament as not being original, and they omit another 2000 words from the New Testament and they teach false doctrines in many verses and have hundreds of totally different meanings in as many verses.


They are perversions of God’s true words and NOBODY believes that any of them are the inspired and inerrant words of God.

For many examples of how these modern Vatican Versions reject the Hebrew readings and not even in the same places, see The NIV, NASB, ESV, NET and other Vatican Versions reject the Hebrew Texts – for the articles that show these modern versions reject Hebrew texts part 1 through 4 call me at 661 619-6434


Does the KJB’s translation “the thieves…cast the same in his teeth” accurately communicate the meaning and intent of the Greek text?  Yes, it most assuredly does, as we shall soon see.

KJV Today remarks: “The thieves also, which were crucified with him, CAST THE SAME IN HIS TEETH.” (Matthew 27:44, KJV)

The idiom “cast in teeth” means “to revile.” Some find it problematic to refer to “teeth” in translating “ονειδέζω,” since it is not the Greek word for teeth (οδοντων). However, the literal NASB uses “hand over” instead of “deliver” in Acts 25:16 despite there being no “hand” in the Greek. The NASB also uses “heading over” instead of “made toward” in Acts 27:40 despite there being no “head” in the Greek. It is not an error to use an English idiom that includes a word referring to an anatomical part. [End of KJV Today quote]

I do not dispute that there are a few instances when the KJB paraphrases some constructions while retaining the intended meaning of the phrase, but the number these is much fewer than those found in the other versions. On the whole the KJB gives us a far more literal rendering of the underlying Hebrew and Greek texts than the NKJV, NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV and others.


You can also see many examples of extreme paraphrasing of body parts in a study entitled “Better hope your Surgeon is not a Modern Versionist” call me for this article at 661-619-6434



The exact phrase in Greek found in Matthew 27:44 is different from the one in Mark 15:32 which is translated as “reviled him”, even in the King James Bible. Mark 15:32 says: “…And they that were crucified with him REVILED him.”  The text in Mark 15:32 looks like this – “και οι συνεσταυρωμενοι αυτω ωνειδιζον αυτον“, but the text in Matthew 27:44 looks like this – “το δ αυτο και οι λησται οι συσταυρωθεντες αυτω ωνειδιζον αυτω

In Matthew 27 there are extra words added in the text, that are not found in Mark 15:32, which make it extremely awkward to translate them literally. In fact, none of the versions, including the NKJV, NASB, ESV, NIV, take a literal approach but they ALL paraphrase to some extent.

The Greek here reads: “το δ αυτο και οι λησται οι συσταυρωθεντες αυτω ωνειδιζον αυτω” which would be something like “and the same also the thieves the ones crucified with him reviled to him“. It would come across as very wooden and awkward.

Here are some of the different ways various versions have translated this construction. It should be noted that none of them is a stricly literal rendering. All of them are “paraphrases” to one degree or another.

In the 1977 edition the NASB has: “AND the robbers ALSO who had been crucified with Him were CASTING THE SAME INSULTS AT Him”, but the 1995 NASB edition says: “The robbers who had been crucified with Him were ALSO INSULTING Him WITH THE SAME WORDS.”

In both editions, there are words added that are not found in any Greek text. Both editions rearrange the word order and there is no word for “words” in the 1995 NASB. Mr. White said it should be “reviled” yet neither NASB uses this word.

NIV – “IN THE SAME WAY the rebels who were crucified with him also HEAPED insults on Him.” 

The NIV rearranges the word order of the Greek text, and doesn’t follow that of either the NASB or the KJB. But notice again, it doesn’t say “reviled” here as James White suggested. The NIV is also a “paraphrase”.

The Holman Standard – “In the same way even the criminals who were crucified with Him kept taunting Him.”

NKJV – “Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.” – again there is no “with” or “thing” in any text.

Young’s – “were reproaching him” – omits “and the same”.

NEB, NRSV – “taunted him in the same way” – no word for “way”.

Bible in Basic English – “said evil words to him”.

Contemporary English Version – “said cruel things to Jesus”.

New Life Version – “made fun of him in the same way”.

Williams New Testament – “made sport of Him in the same way”

“To cast into one’s teeth”

The expression “to cast in one’s teeth” is not archaic or hard to understand. It effectively communicates the meaning intended here. In Dictionary.Com and in Webster’s Dictionary the expression “to cast into ones teeth” is listed as meaning “to upbraid or abuse one for something”.

The Free Dictionary online defines the phrase “to cast in the teeth” as “to upbraid or abuse one for”. And the Online Dictionary at defines the expression “to cast in ones teeth” as  “To cast in the teeth, to report reproachfully; to taunt or insult one with.”

The Brewer Dictionary of Phrase and Fable 1898 defines “To cast into one’s teeth” as To utter reproaches.  “All his faults observed, Set in a note-book, learned, and conned by rote, To cast into my teeth.”  Shakespeare: Julius Caesar, iv. 3.


And Dictionary.Com –  cast / throw in someone’s teeth, to reproach someone for (an action): History will ever throw this blunder in his teeth.”


It should be noted that the KJB does not stand alone in rendering this awkward Greek construction as “cast the same in his teeth”.


So also do the following Bible versions: The Tyndale New Testament 1534, Miles Coverdale 1535 “cast the same in his teethe.”, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549 “theues which were crucified with him cast in his teeth.”, The Bishop’s Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, The Beza New Testament 1599, the Bill Bible 1671, Whiston’s N.T. 1745 “cast the same in his teeth.”, Daniel Webster’s 1833 translation “cast the same in his teeth”, The Longman Version 1841, The Hussey N.T. 1845, The Revised New Testament 1862, The Dillard N.T. 1885, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible 1902 “ were casting in his teeth.”, The Clarke N.T. 1913, The Living Bible 1971, The Word of Yah 1993, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, The Revised Webster Bible 1995, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, God’s First Truth 1999 – “cast in his teeth”, The Tomson New Testament 2002 – “cast in his teeth.”, The Evidence Bible 2003, The Revised Geneva Bible 2005 – “cast in his teeth”, the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010 – “CAST THE SAME IN HIS TEETH.”,  the Bond Slave Version 2012 and The New Matthew Bible 2016.   


God?s First Truth 1999 – “THAT SAME also the thieves which were crucified with him, CAST IN HIS TEETH.”


Conservative Bible 2011 – “The robbers also, who were being crucified with Him, THREW THOSE SAME WORDS IN HIS TEETH.”

Not only do all these versions render the phrase in the exact same way as the KJB but even the Living Bible of 1971 says: “And the robbers also THREW THE SAME IN HIS TEETH.”

The New English Bible of 1970 translates this same Greek word in 1 Peter 4:14 as: “If Christ’s name IS FLUNG IN YOUR TEETH AS AN INSULT, count yourselves happy.”


The King James Bible and all these other Bibles that translated the Greek phrase as “cast the same in his teeth” are not in error at all. Admittedly it IS a paraphrase, but a strictly literal rendering is almost impossible and the phrase “cast the same in his teeth” perfectly communicates the meaning of the passage.


There are many examples in the NASB, ESV and NIV where they are not nearly as literal as the King James Bible, nor even as the previous Revised Version of 1881 nor the American Standard Version of 1901. Here are just a few examples:

Matthew 1:25 “And KNEW HER NOT till she had brought forth her FIRSTBORN son; and he called his name JESUS.”

Aside from the fact that the word “firstborn” is found in the vast Majority of all Greek texts, including C and D, and is found in the Old Latin, the Vulgate, the Syriac Peshitta and Harkelian, the Armenian, Georgian, Ethiopic and Slavonic ancient versions, the NASB, NIV, RSV and Holman omit this word because not in Sinaiticus nor Vaticanus.

However the phrase “And he knew her not” (και ουκ εγινωσκεν αυτην) is the reading of all manuscripts and is the correct literal translation found in the RV, ASV, NKJV, RSV, ESV. But the NASB paraphrases this as: “but he kept her a virgin”, the NIV says: “he had no union with her” and the Holman has: “he did not know her intimately”.

In Luke 1:34 we read the virgin Mary say to the angel Gabriel – “How shall this be, seeing I KNOW NOT A MAN.” -ανδρα ου γινωσκω and so read the Geneva bible, RV, ASV and NKJV. 

However the ESV, NASB, NIV all paraphrase this as “SINCE I AM A VIRGIN?”; the RSV as: “since I HAVE NO HUSBAND?”,  the Holman as “since I HAVE NOT BEEN INTIMATE WITH A MAN?”, and Dan Wallace’s NET version says: “since I HAVE NOT HAD SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH a man?”

In Luke 2:36 all Greek texts read as does the King James Bible with: “she was of great age, and had lived with an husband seven years FROM HER VIRGINITY” (απο της παρθενιας αυτης). So read the RV, ASV, NKJV, RSV.

However the NASB and NIV totally paraphrase this by saying “from her MARRIAGE”. The ESV paraphrases this as “FROM WHEN SHE WAS A VIRGIN.” The Holman also says “7 years AFTER HER MARRIAGE.” but then footnotes for us that the literal word is “virginity”. There is an entirely different Greek word for “marriage”. (gamos)

In Luke 9:44 all the Bible versions have a paraphrase of sorts, but the NIV goes beyond most. The Lord Jesus says to His disciples: “Let these sayings SINK DOWN INTO your ears”.

The ‘literal’ Greek says “Place you into your ears these sayings (or words)”- “ θεσθε υμεις εις τα ωτα υμων τους λογους τουτους.” Agreeing with the King James reading are the NKJV, RV, ASV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, and ESV.

The Holman has: “Let these words sink in”, thus omitting the literal “your ears”, while the NIV is a total paraphrase, with:  “LISTEN CAREFULLY TO WHAT I AM ABOUT TO TELL YOU.”

Dan Wallace’s NET version has: “TAKE THESE WORDS TO HEART.”

In Luke 12:33 the Lord says: “Sell that ye have, and give ALMS” (eleemosuneen). “Alms” is the literal meaning and the reading found in the RV, ASV, NKJV, RSV and the NRSV.

However the NASB paraphrases this as: “give TO CHARITY”; the NIV, NET and Holman have: “give TO THE POOR” and the ESV paraphrases as “give TO THE NEEDY”.

In Luke 12:35 the literal Greek and the reading of the King James Bible is “LET YOUR LOINS BE GIRDED ABOUT, and your lights burning.” (εστωσαν υμων αι οσφυες περιεζωσμεναι) So also read the RV, ASV, and the RSV of 1952.

The NKJV is slightly wrong with: “Let your WAIST be girded”, whereas the NASB, NIV, ESV go way overboard in paraphrasing. The NASB says: “BE DRESSED IN READINESS”; the NIV, NET “BE DRESSED FOR READY SERVICE”; and the ESV has “STAY DRESSED FOR ACTION” and then kindly footnotes for us the literal Greek as “Let your loins be girded”.

In Luke 12:50 all Greek texts have the Lord Jesus saying: “But I have a baptism TO BE BAPTIZED WITH” (baptistheenai) and so read the RV, ASV, NKJV, RSV, NRSV, ESV and Holman, but the NASB, NET and NIV totally paraphrase this as: “But I have a baptism TO UNDERGO”.


Colossians 4:5 “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, REDEEMING THE TIME.”

The literal phrase “redeeming the time” – τον καιρον εξαγοραζομενοι – is also the reading of Tyndale 1525, the RV 1881, ASV 1901, NKJV, and others. 

But the NASB, NIV paraphrase this as “MAKING THE MOST OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY”, while the ESV has “MAKING THE BEST USE OF THE TIME”, NET has “making the most of the opportunities” and Holman reads: “MAKING THE MOST OF THE TIME.”

In 1 Peter 1:13 we read: “Wherefore GIRD UP THE LOINS OF YOUR MIND, BE SOBER” – ” διο αναζωσαμενοι τας οσφυας της διανοιας υμων νηφοντες”


So read the Geneva Bible, RV, ASV, NKJV.  But the Holman  Standard 2003 edition says: “GET YOUR MINDS READY FOR ACTION, BE SELF-DISCIPLINED” but the Holman Standard 2009 edition changed this to “WITH YOUR MINDS READY FOR ACTION, BE SERIOUS”. Then it informs in the footnote that the literal reading is “gird the loins of your mind.”


The NIV 1982 edition reads: “Therefore PREPARE YOUR MINDS FOR ACTION, BE SELF-CONTROLLED.” BUT then the NIV 2011 edition again changed it to now read: “Therefore, with WITH MINDS THAT ARE ALERT AND FULLY SOBER” The NASB says: “PREPARE YOUR MINDS FOR ACTION, keep sober” and then footnotes that the literal Greek is “gird the loins of your mind” 

The ESV  has: “Therefore PREPARING YOUR MINDS FOR ACTION, AND BEING SOBER-MINDED”, and then informs us that the literal Greek is “girding up the loins of your mind”.

Exodus 6:12 and 30 where Moses says to God – “how then shall Pharaoh hear me, WHO AM OF UNCIRCUMCISED LIPS?” This is the literal Hebrew and the reading of the Geneva bible, RV, ASV, Youngs, NKJV, RSV, ESV and many others.


But the NASB paraphrases this as “I am UNSKILLED IN SPEECH.” and the NIV has “I SPEAK WITH FALTERING LIPS.”.  Dan Wallace’s NET version says: “I SPEAK WITH DIFFICULTY.” The Holman Standard gives us a total paraphrase with: “SINCE I AM SUCH A POOR SPEAKER.”

In Exodus 14:8 the literal Hebrew reads: “…and the children of Israel went out WITH AN HIGH HAND.” and so do the Geneva bible, Youngs, the RV, ASV, 1917 JPS, Darby, but the NKJV, NIV, NASB say “went out BOLDLY” while the ESV and NET say “went out DEFIANTLY”.  Yet Wallace’s NET version footnotes that the literal Hebrew is “with an high hand.”

In Exodus 28:3 (as well as in Exodus 31:6; 35:10, 25; 36:1, 2, 4, and 8) we read the literal “And thou shalt speak unto all that are WISE HEARTED, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom….”

The phrase is literally “wise” #2450 and “heart” #3820 and reads this way in Wycliffe, Coverdale, Great Bible, Matthew’s Bible, Bishops’ Bible, the RV, ASV, Youngs, Darby, and the 1917 Jewish Publication Society and others.


However the NKJV paraphrase all these places as “all GIFTED ARTISANS”, while the NASB has “SKILLED PERSONS”, the NIV goes with “SKILLED MEN”, the ESV has “all THE SKILLFUL”, the Holman has “SKILLED CRAFTSMEN” and Dan Wallace’s NET version has “all WHO ARE SPECIALLY SKILLED” and then he footnotes that the Hebrew is literally “wise of heart”.


In Psalms 17:8 we read: “Keep me as THE APPLE OF THE EYE, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.”

The “literal” Hebrew says nothing about “apples”, though there is a Hebrew word for “apple” used in other places. But here it is #380 ee-shohn (pupil, black, obscure) + #1323 bath (daughter) + #5869 gah-yin (eye) = “the pupil the daughter the eye”, yet not only does the KJB say “the apple of the eye” but so too do the RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NKJV, NIV, NASB and Holman.

If being literal is generally a good thing to do when possible, then the King James Bible is far more literal than the NASB, ESV, NKJV and especially the NIV. I marvel at so many who go around telling us the NASB is such a “literal translation”. It is not.



Of a far more serious nature than the occasional “paraphrase” found in the King James Bible is the multitude of textual changes found in the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV. Each of these modern versions departs scores of times from the Hebrew Masoretic text, and often not in the same places as the others. The New Testament text of each of these versions differs from each other and they omit over 5,000 words from the text found in the King James Bible.

The ultimate question we have to ask ourselves is: Did God in fact preserve His infallible words in the Holy Bible as He promised or didn’t He? Either the KJB has added to God’s word or the new versions, which also differ among themselves, have taken away some of God’s words. They both cannot be the pure, perfect, preserved words of the living God.

In this single chapter of Matthew 27 there are several representative alterations that illustrate the problem. In verse 19 Pilate’s wife says: “Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have sufered many things THIS DAY in a dream because of him.” All texts say “this day” (seemeron) and so do the NKJV, RV, ASV, NIV but the NASB says “LAST NIGHT”. Can they tell the difference between night and day?

In verse 24 Pilate says: “I am innocent of the blood of this JUST person: see ye to it.”

The word “just” or “righteous” is found in most manuscripts, Sinaiticus, the Revised Version and the ASV, but Vaticanus omits the word and now the NIV, NASB, ESV have rejected this previous accepted reading.

So the NIV says: “I am innocent of this man’s blood”. The omission of this single word alters the testimony of even the enemies of our Lord as to His perfect character.

In verse 35 the whole phrase: “THAT IT MIGHT BE FULFILLED WHICH WAS SPOKEN BY THE PROPHET, THEY PARTED MY GARMENTS AMONG THEM, AND UPON MY VESTURE DID THEY CAST LOTS”, which is a fulfillment of the prophecy found in Psalm 22, is found in the KJB, NKJV, Tyndale, Geneva, Young’s, TMB, KJV 21, French Louis Segond, Italian Diodati, Spanish Reina Valera, German Luther Bible, Rumanian bible, Portuguese, Danish, the Modern Greek and many others both ancient and modern.

These words are found in many Old Latin copies which predate anything we have in Greek, and in many Greek copies both uncial and cursive, yet the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV and many modern versions completely omit these 25 words. Did God inspire them or not?

In verse 42 the mockers said: “IF he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.”

Here the little word IF is omitted by the NASB, NIV so that it reads: “He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down…” Not quite the same meaning is it?

So, which one is right, or does it even matter?

In verse 49 “the rest said, LET BE, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.” Here the words LET BE are found in all Greek texts and even in the NIV, RV, ASV but the NASB chose to omit them.

Likewise the words “the body” are omitted in verse 58 and “by night” in verse 64 of the NASB, NIV but are found in the KJV, NKJV and an host of other versions.

These are only a very few of the literally hundreds of similar examples that can be pointed out in chapter after chapter of God’s word.

Are we to believe Bible “experts” like James White who recommends such diverse and contradictory versions like the NKJV, NIV and NASB as being “reliable” versions, even though they differ from each other in hundreds of verses in both meaning and text, or should we believe what God said about preserving His pure words? “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:35