The Authorized King James Bible compared to the New KJV in 1 and 2 Chronicles.

The New KJV is very different from the 1611 KJB. It has changed well over 70,000 words, not counting the Thee and Ye. It changes the meaning of hundreds of verses and does not always follow the same Hebrew and Greek texts that underlie the King James Bible.

This comparative study will illustrate just some small portion of these differences that exist between the God honoured King James Bible and this new poor imitation. Occasionally I will also mention the NIV and NASB alterations too, but the main focus will be on the differences between the KJB and the NKJV.

1 Chronicles

1:2 KJB, NIV, NASB – Kenan; NKJV changes this name to Cainan with footnote showing the reading is Kenan.

1:7 KJB – Dodanim – NKJV follows a different text and says Rodanim.

2:50 KJB “These were the sons of Caleb the SON of Hur. See 2: 18-19. This Caleb is the grandson of the more famous Caleb. John Gill comments: ” These were the sons of Caleb the son of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah,…. This is another Caleb, the grandson of Caleb the son of Hezron, called after his name; he was the son of Hur, the firstborn of his wife Ephratah”. Young’s, Geneva Bible, Hebrew Names Bible and many others agree with the KJB.

However the NKJV along with the NASB, NIV follows the LXX and reads: “These were the descendants of Caleb. The SONS of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah, were Shobal…”

4:3 KJB “And these were OF THE FATHER of Etam”; NKJV again follows Some LXX manuscripts and says: “These were THE SONS OF {the father – in italics} Etam”. The NASB, NIV also do the same, but a footnote in the NIV says “sons” comes from some LXX mss. but the Hebrew reads ‘father’.

4:10 KJB “that thou wouldest keep me from evil, THAT IT MAY NOT GRIEVE ME.” NKJV – “keep me from evil, that I MAY NOT CAUSE PAIN.” Not even the NASB, NIV read as does the NKJV here.

4:14 KJB “the father of the VALLEY of Charashim” – NKJV “the father of Ge-Harashim” omits ‘valley’ with footnote: literally ‘valley’.

4:17 KJB “and SHE bare Miriam” – NKJV “and MERAB’S WIFE bare Miriam: footnote ‘literally “she”. If you go through the NKJV and check the footnotes, you will find scores of times where the NKJV alters the reading and then in a footnote tells us that it literally reads as does the KJB. So, why change it? They have to get their copyright in order to make money, so they change literally thousands of words.

5:26 KJB “And God stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, AND THE SPIRIT OF Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria…” Thus there are two different kings. This is the reading of the KJB, Geneva, the Jewish translations, RV, ASV, RSV, Young’s, and many others. The NKJV again joins the NASB, NIV and shows these two kings as being only one king. The NKJV reads: “stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, THAT IS, Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria…” and it also omits “and the spirit of” which is found in all Hebrew texts.

6:28 KJB “And the sons of Samuel; the firstborn VASHNI, and Abijah.” This is the reading of Youngs, Geneva, the Jewish translations, Spanish and others. Yet the NKJV again follows the LXX, Syriac and Arabic and says: “The sons of Samuel were JOEL, the firstborn, and Abijah the second.” The RSV footnote tells us that the Hebrew does not contain the word JOEL.

7:28 KJB “GAZA” is changed in the NKJV to AYYAH. Yet the footnote tells us that many Hebrew mss and the Bomberg text read GAZA, just like the KJB. The NKJV does not always follow the same Hebrew or Greek texts upon which the KJB is based.

10:12 KJB “buried their bones under the OAK in Jabesh” . Oak is even in the NASB, RV, ASV, Young’s, but it is now a TAMARISK in the NKJV. The NIV says “a great tree”.

16:3 KJB “And he dealt to every one…a loaf of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a FLAGON OF WINE” – NKJV – “and a CAKE OF RAISINS.”

20:3 KJB “And he brought out the people that were in it, AND CUT THEM WITH SAWS”. The NKJV here joins the NIV and says: “he brought out the people who were in it and PUT THEM TO WORK WITH SAWS”, then it has a misleading footnote which says: “Septuagint reads ‘cut them'”. This footnote gives the impression that the KJB followed the LXX rather than the Hebrew. However the RSV reads the same as the NKJV, NIV yet in its footnote it notes that the Hebrew reads “cut them”. Not only does the KJB read “and cut them with saws” but so also do the NASB, RV, ASV, Douay, Spanish, Jewish translations of 1917, 1936 and Darby. John Gill again notes: “and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron; whereby they were cut asunder, as some were by the Romans and others , or their flesh torn to pieces, and they put to extreme pain and agony, and so died most miserably.” The NKJV is wrong and then it tries to discredit the KJB’s correct reading.

25:3 Here the NKJV, along with the NIV, NASB, and ESV, adds the name Shimei to the text, even though it is not found in the Hebrew Masoretic text, the RV, ASV, Jewish translations or Geneva bible, to name just a few. The six people listed includes the father, Jeduthun.


“none abiding” or “without hope”?

1 Chronicles 29:15 KJB – “For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on earth are as a shadow, AND THERE IS NONE ABIDING.”

This is pretty straight forward in the King James Bible. There is none abiding here on this earth, we are just passing through and soon die. The common sense reading of “AND THERE IS NONE ABIDING” is also found in the RV, ASV, Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, Young’s, Geneva Bible, Green’s literal, Douay-Rheims, World English Bible, Hebrew Names Version, the Easy to Read Version, the New English Bible 1970, the RSV 1954, and the 2001 English Standard Version.

Foreign language versions that agree with the sense of the KJB that “there is none abiding” are Luther’s German bible 1545, the Spanish Reina Valera 1960, 1995 – “y nuestros días sobre la tierra, cual sombra que no dura.” and the Portuguese Almeida – “e não há permanência”.

However again the NKJV joins the NIV, NASB, Holman Standard with the ridiculous reading of: “our days on earth are as a shadow, AND WITHOUT HOPE.”

One of the main points of David’s public prayer before the congregation of Israel was to emphasize the confidence and hope they all shared in the living God. “and David the king also rejoiced with great joy. Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.”

For these versions like the NKJV, NIV, NASB to then turn around and have king David say that they were “WITHOUT HOPE” is absurd.

We certainly do have a hope in God as the whole passage shows the people of God praising Him for His great goodness towards them and His mighty power on their behalf. The NKJV just blundered badly and followed other corrupt versions here, as it does in many other places.

2 Chronicles

1:16 KJB – “And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and LINEN YARN: the king’s merchants received the LINEN YARN at a price.” NKJV – “Solomon had horses imported from Egypt AND KEVEH, the king’s merchants bought them IN KEVEH at the current price.”

2:13 KJB – “And now I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding, of Huram MY FATHER’S.” RV, ASV, Young’s, Geneva etc. = KJB. NKJV – “edowed with understanding, Huram my MASTER CRAFTSMAN.” NKJV Footnote: literally ‘father’.

An apparent contradiction that is in fact a contradiction in the NKJV, NIV and NASB.

One of the proofs of the true Holy Bible, which in English is the King James Bible of 1611, is that it contains no proveable errors. The modern bible versions all contain numerous real and not just apparent contradictions. A case in point is the differences between 1 Kings 7:26 and 2 Chronicles 4:5 where both sections speak of the molten sea constructed by king Solomon that stood upon twelve oxen. How much water did this molten sea actually contain?

In 1 Kings 7:26 we read: “And it was an hand breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies: IT CONTAINED TWO THOUSAND BATHS.” However in 2 Chronicles 4:5 we read: “And the thickness of it was an handbreadth, and the brim of it like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies; and IT RECEIVED AND HELD THREE THOUSAND BATHS.”

This obviously looks, at first glance, like a contradiction. The NKJV, NIV and NASB all read slightly differently and it is this critical difference that in fact creates a very real rather than an apparent contradiction. The NKJV in 2 Chronicles 4:5 reads: “It CONTAINED THREE thousand baths.” yet in 1 Kings 7:26 the NKJV, NIV and NASB all say: “It contained TWO thousand baths.”

The solution is really quite easy once you look closely at the correct reading found in the KJB. Not only does the KJB read the way it does but so also do both Jewish translations of the Jewish Publication Society of America and the Hebrew Pub. Company of 1917 and 1936, Young’s translation, Green’s interlinear, the Revised Version of 1881 and the ASV of 1901.

There are two verbs found in the Hebrew in 2 Chronicles and only one verb in 1 Kings. The NKJV,NIV, NASB, Darby, Geneva Bible, RSV, NEB and NRSV are all wrong and create a real contradiction by not translating the second verb found in 2 Chronicles 4:5. One verb is RECEIVED # 2388 and the second verb is HELD # 3557 three thousand baths.

1 Kings 7:26 tells us that the molten sea actually contained 2,000 baths of water, while the 2 Chronicles passage tells us that it could receive and hold 3,000 baths but it only contained 2,000 – thus is was only filled to two-thirds of its capacity. It is like saying “This gas tank holds 25 gallons; it contains 15 gallons of gas now.”

There is no real contradiction in the KJB, but a very definite contradiction in the NKJV, NIV and NASB because they did not translate that second Hebrew verb. These versions are false witnesses to the truth. This is only one of many such examples that prove them to be false bibles. “A faithful witness will not lie; but a false witness will utter lies.” Proverbs 14:5

9:21 KJB – “For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of HURAM: every three years once came the ships OF TARSHISH bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and PEACOCKS.”

NKJV – “For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of HIRAM (footnote: literally Huram). Once every three years the MERCHANT SHIPS (footnote: literally ships of Tarshish), came, bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and MONKEYS.” PEACOCKS is the reading of the NASB, RV, ASV, 1917, 1936 Jewish translations, Geneva Bible, Young’s, Darby, RSV, NRSV, ESV and Spanish versions. The NKJV says ‘monkeys’ while the NIV goes with Baboons! Now, biology is not my area of expertise, but I’m pretty sure there is a difference between a peacock and a monkey.

10:10 KJB – “My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s LOINS.” Loins is not an archaic word. In fact the NKJV and NIV frequently use the word loins, which means the upper and lower abdominal area and the region about the hips. Loins is the reading of the NASB, RV, and ASV, RSV, and NRSV here. But the NKJV has joined the NIV and translated this word here as WAIST, and in other places where the KJB correctly has loins, the NKJV changes this to hips Neh. 4:18; backs Ps.66:11; herself Pro. 31:17; yourself Jer. 1:17; heart Eze. 21:6; bodies Eze.44:18, and flanks Nahum 2:10. So much for the accuracy of the NKJV and the false claim that they are just updating the “archaic” language.

10:11 KJB – “but I will chastize you with SCORPIONS”. Scorpions is even the reading of the NASB, NIV, but the NKJV says: ” I will chastize you with SCOURGES”, then in a footnote tells us: literally Scorpions.

13:14 KJB – “And when Judah looked back, BEHOLD, the battle was before and behind.”

This word Behold is used very often in the Bible to draw our attention to something. The RV, ASV, NASB translate it just as it stands in the KJB as either Behold or Lo. The NIV tells us in their concordance that they have not translated this word 550 times of the 1,061 times it occurs in the Old Testament. The NKJV has frequently translated this word as Behold, but very often it completely paraphrases it as “to their surprise” 13:14; “here” 16:3; “note that” 16:11; “now listen” 18:12. “take notice” 19:11; omits in 20:2; “here are” 20:10; “surely” 20:16; “there were” 20:24; “look” 28:9; and “indeed” in 20:34. These are just a few of the examples, yet they correctly render the same word as Behold in many other places. Are the NKJV translators really aiming at greater accuracy, or are they just making changes so they can get a copyright and make royalties?

15: 15-17 There are literally hundreds of annoying changes made in the NKJV. Here is just a small sampling. “sought him with their whole DESIRE” becomes “SOUL”, “she had made AN IDOL IN A GROVE” becomes “AN OBSCENE IMAGE OF ASHERAH”, “the heart of Asa was PERFECT all his days” becomes “heart of Asa was LOYAL”.

24:27 KJB – “Now concerning his sons, and THE GREATNESS OF THE BURDENS LAID UPON HIM, and the repairing of the house of God…” This is the reading of the RV, ASV, Young’s, Darby, Jewish translations of 1917 and 1936. It most likely refers to the great diseases with which God afflicted him and the heavy taxes and tribute exacted by the Syrians whom God sent against Israel. However the NKJV alters this to: “Now concerning his sons, and THE MANY ORACLES ABOUT HIM, and the repairing of the house…”

26:12 KJB – “The whole number of the chief of THE FATHERS” becomes in the NKJV “the number of the chief OFFICERS” with a footnote telling us that literally it is “the fathers”.

32:3 KJB – “He took counsel with his princes and his MIGHTY MEN” which becomes “COMMANDERS” in the NKJV with another footnote telling us that literally it is “mighty men”, just as it stands in the KJB.

32:21 KJB – “THEY THAT CAME FORTH OF HIS OWN BOWELS slew him there with the sword.” This is the literal rendering of the Hebrew and also the reading of the Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, the RV, Young’s, Geneva, World English Bible, Hebrew Names Version, Darby, Douay, and the ASV. However the NKJV says: “SOME OF HIS OWN OFFSPRING struck him down with the sword there.” Now God knows how to say “offspring” and “children” and “sons”. There are distinct Hebrew words to express these ideas, but He didn’t say that here. God said “they that came forth of his own bowels”, so why not just keep it that way?

32:30 KJB – “This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and BROUGHT IT STRAIGHT DOWN to the west side of the city…” The NKJV says: “and brought THE WATER BY TUNNEL to the west…” again with a footnote: literally “brought it straight”.

33:11 KJB – “Wherefore the LORD brought upon them captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh AMONG THE THORNS, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.” The word is clearly ‘thorns’ or thistles and, as John Gill remarks, Manasseh was trying to hide himself, and the thorns were spiritually significant as a picture of the due curse for his sin. In 1 Samuel 13:6 the Israelites previously had hid themselves in the caves, and in thickets, and in rocks and pits.

Yet here the NKJV says: he “took Manasseh with HOOKS, bound him with bronze fetters…”, while the NIV says he “put a hook in his nose”. Young’s says Manasseh was taken “among the thickets”.

33:6 The NKJV has the annoying habit of frequently changing the wording of whole verses. Here the sins of Manasseh are all changed. “also he observed times” becomes “he practiced soothsaying”, “and used enchantments” becomes “used witchcraft”, “and dealt with a familiar spirit” becomes “and consulted mediums” and “with wizards” becomes in the NKJV “and spiritists”. Likewise in 34:4 the KJB’s “images” and “groves” become “incense altars” and “wooden images” in the NKJV.

33:19 KJB – “BEHOLD, they are written among the sayings of THE SEERS”. This is the reading of the Jewish translations, Geneva, NIV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, BBE, Green’s interlinear and the Spanish. Yet the NKJV along with the NASB says: “INDEED, they are written among the sayings OF HOZNAI”, with another misleading footnote that says the Septuagint reads “the seers” as though the KJB is again falsely following the Greek and not the Hebrew.

2 Chronicles 33:19 the seers or Hozai?  Hypocrisy of the modern versions and their lying footnotes.

In 2 Chronicles 33:19 we read of king Manasseh in the King James Bible – “His prayer also, and how God was intreated of him, and all his sin, and his trespass, and the places wherein he built high places, and set up groves and graven images, before he was humbled: behold, they are written among the sayings OF THE SEERS.”

This is the reading found in Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the KJB 1611,  Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible of 1902, the Bible in Basic English 1960, the New Berkeley Version 1969,  the New English Bible 1970,  the RSV 1973, the NRSV 1989, the New Century Version 1991, the ESV 2001, NIV 1984 and 2011,  J.P. Green’s KJV III Literal version 1993, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, the Third Millenium Bible 1998, the NET version and the Message of 2002.

Most Jewish translations themselves, following the Hebrew Masoretic texts, read – “behold, they are written in the history of the seers.” So read the JPS (Jewish Publication Society) 1917, the Hebrew Publishing Company 1936 version and the Complete Jewish Bible 1998, but the Judaica Press Tanach goes with “are inscribed with the wordsof Hozai.

Among foreign language Bibles that follow the Hebrew reading of Seers are the French Martin of 1744, La Bible du Rabbinot 1906 , and the French Ostervald – “dans les paroles des Voyants.”  Luther’s German Bible 1545 – “den Geschichten der Schauer.” the Modern Greek bible – , the Portuguese Almeida and O Livro 2000 – “está relatado nos Anais dos Profetas”, the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, the Reina Valera 1909, 1960, 1995, Dios Habla Hoy 1996, the 2004 Reina Valera Gómez and the 2011 Reina Valera Contemporánea – “en las crónicas de los videntes.

The ESV of 2001 and the NIV 2011 both read like the KJB – “they are written in the Chronicles of the Seers.” but then give us a totally false footnote saying that the reading of “seers” is found in  “One Hebrew manuscript and the Septuagint, but that most Hebrew manuscripts read of Hozai.” This is an outright lie.  The Hebrew Masoretic text reads “seer” and not Hozai. The Interlinear Hebrew-Aramaic Old Testament 1984 clearly says “seers”.

The NKJV also abandons the Hebrew text that underlies the KJB and reads: “indeed they are written among the sayings of Hozai.” Then it gives this totally misleading footnote saying: “the Septuagint reads ‘seers’.”  This partial truth footnote implies that the Hebrew text does not read “seers” and that the KJB translators followed the so called Greek LXX and not the Hebrew texts in this place.  This is totally untrue.

The NASB reads – “…behold, they are written in the records OF THE HOZAI.”

The ASV of 1901 has: “behold, they are written in the history OF HOZAI.”

The Holman Standard reads: “in the Records OF HOZAI.”

Adam Clarke says – “Written among the sayings of the seers. 

“They are written in the words of Chozai.”-Targum. So says the Vulgate. The Syriac has Hunan the prophet; and the Arabic has Saphan the prophet.”

I have a copy of the 1936 translation of the Syriac done by George Lamsa and it says in 2  Chronicles 33:19 “…they are written among the sayings of HANAN THE PROPHET.”

It is true that the Latin Vulgate reads – “scripta sunt in sermonibus Ozai”  and so read Wycliffe’s Bible of 1395 which was translated from the Latin Vulgate. So also read SOME Catholic versions like the Douay 1950, the New Jerusalem bible 1985 and the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version but the 1970 New American Bible St. Joseph reads “seers”.

This is the present state of confusion that exists among today’s Bible Babble Buffet Versions and every day fewer and fewer Christians believe in the Infallibility of “the Bible” in any language.


34:8 KJB – “when he had purged the land, and the HOUSE…” the NKJV says “and the TEMPLE” with a footnote saying literally “house” as in the KJB.

36:10 KJB – “and made Zedekiah, HIS BROTHER king over Judah and Jerusalem.” His brother is the reading of the Jewish translations, RV, ASV, Young’s, Geneva, Spanish, Darby and others, but the NKJV says: “JEHOIAKIM’S brother” with a footnote that says: literally “his brother”. The NASB has “his kinsman” while the NIV goes with “Jehoiachin’s uncle” none of which is in any Hebrew manuscript.

Ezra and Nehemiah in the NKJV

Here are a few more examples of the many shortcomings found in the NKJV, as compared to the Authorized King James Bible.

Ezra 6:11 – Here king Darius makes a decree “that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made A DUNGHILL for this.”

Obviously a dunghill is where they piled up the dung that came from the animals. Dung or manure was used to fertilize plants and also as fuel. Agreeing with the King James reading of DUNGHILL are the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the Revised Version, American Standard Version 1901, the Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, the Spanish Reina Valera, Lamsa’s translation of the Peshitta, Darby, Young’s, the RSV, NRSV, and the 2004 ESV.

Even the wildly paraphrased ‘The Message’ says: “A MANURE PIT”. However the NKJV joins the NASB and says: “let his house be made A REFUSE HEAP.” Refuse is just junk or rubbish in general and includes many things, but not DUNG. The NIV says “A PILE OF RUBBLE”, while the Holman Standard has: “a garbage dump.” All of these versions are wrong.

This exact same Aramaic word is used only three times in the O.T. All three times the KJB and many others correctly translate it as A DUNGHILL. The other two times are found in the book of Daniel 2:5 and 3:29 where king Nebuchadnezzar threatens to turn the houses of those who disobey his commandments into “a dunghill”. However in both these places in Daniel the NKJV has now mistranslated this same word as “AN ASH HEAP”. Hint – “ashes” are not the same thing as “dung”, nor even as “refuse”. The NKJV is wrong in all three.

The frequently ridiculous NET bible by Daniel Wallace agrees with the NKJV saying: “and his house is to be reduced to A RUBBISH HEAP” (17), then in the footnote Wallace tells us that he altered the text, but that the Aramaic (in which the book of Ezra was written) says “dunghill”.

Ezra 9:5 – In this section Ezra is informed of the many sins God’s people had committed, the chief of which was intermarrying with the heathen that surrounded them. Then Ezra and all those who trembled at the words of God assembled together and he sat astonished until the evening sacrifice.

In Ezra 9:5 we read: “And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from MY HEAVINESS; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD, my God.”

Ezra was in HEAVINESS and with this reading agree Coverdale 1535, Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Webster’s 1833, the KJV 21st Century, Young’s (I was in AFFLICTION), Wycliffe, Young’s, the Spanish Reina Valera, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible 1902, and Green’s Modern KJV 1998.

Even The Message says: “I rose up from my UTTER DEVASTATION”. However the NKJV joins the RSV and the ESV and says: “I rose up from MY FASTING.” Ezra had not been fasting at this time. He did not begin to fast till later, as recorded in Ezra 10:6. The Hebrew word used here comes from the verb “to trouble, to afflict, or to humble”, but it is not the Hebrew word for “fasting”.

The Holman Standard and the NASB say he rose up “FROM MY HUMILIATION”, while the NIV says “my SELF-ABASEMENT.”

The Book of Nehemiah

Nehemiah 1:1 “The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass….as I was in Shushan THE PALACE…”

The reading of “the palace” (the city is identified with the palace of the king) is found in the Geneva Bible, the RV, ASV, Young’s, Lamsa’s, and many others, but the NKJV says: “I was in Shushan THE CITADEL”.

This particular word is found 17 times in the Hebrew texts and all 17 are translated as “palace” in the King James Bible. In 1 Chronicles 29:1 and 19 king David speaks to his son Solomon “to build THE PALACE, for the which I have made provision”, “for the PALACE is not for man, but for the LORD.”

The RV, ASV, Geneva, Darby, Young’s, the RSV, and many others have correctly translated this word as “palace”, but the NKJV in both places now renders this word as “THE TEMPLE”, but then in a footnote the NKJV tells us that the word is literally “palace”. If it’s “palace”, then why change it?

Nehemiah 1:5 “…the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for those who love HIM and observe HIS commandments.”

Even the NIV, NASB, RV, ASV, RSV, ESV and Holman all read the same as the KJB and the Hebrew texts here, but ONLY the NKJV has changed this to read: “for those who love YOU and observe YOUR commandments.”

Nehemiah 2:13 “And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before THE DRAGON WELL, and to THE DUNG PORT, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem.”

Here the reading of “the dragon well” is found in the Geneva Bible, the Jewish translations 1917, 1936, the RV, NASB, NRSV, ESV, Douay, and Spanish versions. However the NKJV says “THE SERPENT WELL”, while the NIV has “THE JACKAL WELL”.

Dragon…serpent…jackal…Hey, it’s all the same, right?

Again in this verse the reading of “the DUNG port” is that of the RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Youngs, and even the NIV and the Holman Standard. But the NKJV again joins the NASB and reads “the REFUSE GATE”. Clue – dung is not the same thing as refuse, and the dung was put to good use (thus, it was not refuse) by the Israelites.

Nehemiah 3:5 “…but the nobles put not their NECKS to the work of their Lord.” The NKJV says: “did not put THEIR SHOULDERS to the work of their Lord.” – then in a footnote tell us that the word is literally “necks”. So why change it?

Nehemiah 6:10 “Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, WHO WAS SHUT UP; and he said, Let us meet together….”

“who was shut up” is the reading found in the Geneva Bible, the RV, ASV, the Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, Darby, and even the RSV. Even the NASB, ESV, NIV and Holman give basically the same meaning to this verse by saying that this man “WAS CONFINED AT HOME”.

However, ONLY the NKJV has radically changed the meaning of this phrase and it tells us: “who was A SECRET INFORMER”

Matthew Henry and others comment: “The pretended prophet was Shemaiah, of whom it is said that he was SHUT UP in his own house, either under pretence of retirement for meditation and to consult the mind of God or to give Nehemiah a sign in like manner to make himself a recluse.”

Shemaiah was a false prophet, but the Hebrew text does not say he was “a secret informer” as does the NKJV.

One of the annoying things about the NKJV is its constant unnecessary changing of words, which often result in a less accurate translation.

In Nehemiah 9:1 we read of the children of Israel being “assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and EARTH UPON THEM.”

“EARTH UPON THEM” is the reading of the Geneva Bible, the Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, the RV, ASV, Young’s, and several others. However the NKJV says “with DUST ON THEIR HEADS”. Then in a footnote the NKJV tells us that this literally reads “earth upon them”. The NKJV has changed the word “earth” (# 127) to “dust” (#6083) and added the word “heads” which is not in any Hebrew text.

God knows how to say “dust on their heads” if He wants to, as found in Job 2:12, but He did not say this here. God inspired the words “earth upon them”. So why change it?

One of the Hebrew words the NKJV is constantly changing for no good reason is the word SEED. In Nehemiah 9:2 we read: “And the SEED of Israel separated themselves from all strangers…”

The Hebrew word is SEED # 2233, and is used for both the seed of plants and the seed of men. Here SEED is also the reading of the Geneva Bible, the Jewish translations, the RV, ASV, Young’s, and many others. Even the NKJV often correctly translates this word as “seed”, but not here and not in many other places as well.

Here, instead of the correct “the SEED of Israel”, the NKJV says “THE LINEAGE of Israel”, the NASB has “the descendants”, NIV and Holman “those of Israelite DESCENT”, and the RSV and 2003 ESV simply omit the word altogether – “the Israelites”.

Here is a PARTIAL list of some of the places where the NKJV unnecessarily changes the word “seed” to something else. In all these places the King James Bible correctly has the word “seed”. In Genesis 7:3 “to keep SEED alive upon the face of all the earth” becomes SPECIES; Genesis 9:9 “I establish my covenant with you, and with your SEED after you” becomes DESCENDANTS – NKJV footnote: Literally Seed; Genesis 15:13 OFFSPRING; Genesis 19:32 LINEAGE; In Genesis 38:8-9 the King James Bible correctly says “to raise up SEED to thy brother” but the NKJV incorrectly translates this as “to raise up AN HEIR to your brother”. The Hebrew word for “heir” is a totally different word than “seed”. In Leviticus 15:16 “SEED of copulation” becomes “EMISSION OF SEMEN” In Numbers 5:28 “and shall conceive SEED” becomes “shall conceive CHILDREN”. In 2 Kings 25:25 “the SEED royal” becomes “the royal FAMILY”, and in 2 Chron. 22:10 “she arose and destroyed all the SEED royal” becomes “she destroyed all the royal HEIRS.” In Esther 6:13 “the SEED of the Jews” becomes “the Jewish DESCENT”, and in Esther 10:3 “to all his SEED” becomes “to all his KINDRED”, with a footnote that the word is literally “seed”. The “SEED of the righteous” in Proverbs 11:21 becomes “THE POSTERITY of the righteous”, and in Isaiah 1:4 “a SEED of evildoers” becomes “a BROOD of evildoers” in the NKJV.

The Hebrew word zeh-rag (#2233) means “seed”. There are other Hebrew words for “heir, offspring, family, and kindred”, but it is not this particular Hebrew word. The NKJV frequently mistranslates the Hebrew text.

One of the results of the NKJV’s tendency to translate this Hebrew word incorrectly is a textual blunder that occurs by cross-referencing Galatians 3:16. There we read in all Bible versions: “Now to Abraham and his SEED were the promises made. He saith not, And to SEEDS, as of many; but as of one, And to thy SEED, which is Christ.”

Here the apostle under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost stresses the fact that God uses a singular word rather than a plural; and it refers in its ultimate sense to one Person, that is, to Christ.

In quoting Galatians 3:16 the NKJV then footnotes three verses found in the book of Genesis which allegedly serve as cross-references to this singular “seed”. They are Genesis 12:7; 13:15 and 24:7. In the King James Bible all three verses in Genesis have God telling Abraham “Unto thy SEED will I give this land.”

In all three verses “to thy SEED” is the reading found in the King James Bible, Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the Revised Version 1881, the American Standard Version 1901, Webster’s 1833, Young’s, Darby, Douay, the Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, Green’s Modern KJV 1998, and the Third Millenium Bible.

However in all three reverenced verses in Genesis, the NKJV follows the liberal RSV (the first modern version to change the references to the promised “seed”) and in all three verses has God telling Abraham “to your DESCENDANTS will I give this land.” Obviously the word DESCENDANTS is plural, and not singular, and so the whole argument of Galatians 3:16 breaks down in the NKJV. The NASB and Daniel Wallace’s NET bible version also read as do the RSV and the NKJV with “to your descendants”. Wallace notes that the literal Hebrew word is SEED, but he goes ahead and mistranslates it as “descendantS” anyway.

The NIV, ESV and Holman Standard all read “to your OFFSPRING”, and the Message also misses the significance of the singular word SEED by saying “to your CHILDREN will I give the land.” The modern versions are getting worse, not better.

It should be obvious that the NKJV is not just “updating archaic words” in an effort to be more accurate, but is rather introducing thousands of unnecessary word changes just to be different.

I hope this little comparative study allows you to see that the NKJV has changed far more than just a few “archaic” words found in the King James Bible.