The NKJV doesn’t always follow the same Greek texts of the KJB

When the NEW King James Bible departs from the underlying Greek text of the King James Bible.

Matthew 5:37 “But let your COMMUNICATION be, Yea, Yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh OF EVIL.”

The Greek texts read: ἔστω δὲ ὁ λόγος ὑμῶν ναὶ ναί, οὒ οὔ· τὸ δὲ περισσὸν τούτων ἐκ τοῦ πονηροῦ ἐστιν.

Tyndale and the Geneva Bibles agree word for word with the KJB. The NASB agrees with the KJB. However there are several problems with the NKJV. First of all, the NKJV omits the word “communication”, then it adds “and your”, and finally changes the meaning of “of evil” to “from THE EVIL ONE.” “Of evil” is the reading of Tyndale, Geneva, NASB, RSV, and the ESV.

The NKJV reads: “But let your Yes be Yes, (omits “communication”), AND YOUR (added to text) No, No. For whatsoever is more than these is from THE EVIL ONE.” Christ is speaking about the evil that comes from our own hearts, not about Satan.

In Matthew 15:32 the Lord says: “and I will not send them away FASTING”. The people had chosen to go without food in order to listen to the teaching and to see the miracles Jesus had done. – “και απολυσαι αυτους νηστεις”.  But the NKJV says: “And I do not want to send them away HUNGRY.”

Matt 18:26 (KJV) The servant therefore fell down, AND WORSHIPPED HIM, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

Matt 18:26 (NKJV) “The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ (NASV, NIV, NRSV) The word “worshipped him” is in all Greek texts the Geneva Bible and even in the Revised Version and the American Standard Version. The NKJV just chose to omit it as did the RSV, NASB, and NIV.

Matthew 18:35, “if ye from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother THEIR trespasses”. Majority and C have “their trespasses”, but the Sinaticus and Vaticanus omit, so ‘their’ is not in the RSV, NASB or NIV. However the NKJV says, “HIS trespasses”, and ‘his’ is not found in any manuscript. “Their” trespasses is found in other Bibles which are based on the Textus Receptus of the KJB, as are Tyndale, Bishops’ Bible, the Geneva, and Young’s translation.

Matthew 22:10, “THE WEDDING was furnished with guests”. The “wedding” is ‘o gamos’, and is found in the majority, D, B(2), Tyndale, and Geneva; but Sinaticus says ‘o numphon’, the “wedding hall”. The NKJV follows the RSV, NASB, NIV with “wedding hall”.

Matthew 24:13, “But he that endureth unto the end, THE SAME shall be saved.” The word for THE SAME here is ‘houtos’ and is rendered as ‘the same’ in Tyndale, the R.V., ASV, and others. This word adds emphasis, and the NASB reads, “It is he who shall be saved.” The NKJV joins the NIV in omitting this word, and says merely, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”

Matthew 24:40 “THE one shall be taken, and the other left”, there is a definite article before “the one” which is in the majority and TR (Tyndale, Bishops’, Geneva Bible) but is omitted in Sinaticus and Vaticanus and the NKJV along with the RSV, NASB, NIV also omits it.

Matthew 25:17, “And likewise he that had received two, HE ALSO, gained other two.” Here these two little words, kai autos, are found in the majority, TR and A, but W/H omits them and doesn’t even show them as an alternative reading. The NKJV also omits them like the NASB and NIV. It says, “And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.” The Geneva, Young, Darby, Webster’s, World English Bible, Hebrew Names Version, 21st Century KJB, and the Third Millenium Bible agree with the KJB.

Matthew 26:45, “Sleep on now and take our rest,” is a statement in the majority, in the original Wescott/Hort text, the ASV, Revised Version, Tyndale, Geneva, and Douay. But the UBS (United Bible Society) has later changed this to a question, and now the NKJV follows the RSV, NASB, NIV in making it a question. The NKJV has, “Are you still sleeping and resting?”

Mark 2:15 – The text should indeed have ihsou (ieesou – “Jesus”) twice as in the KJB. Scrivener’s text has the word Jesus only once compared to the KJB’s two times. The KJB reading is supported by Spanish pre-1599 Bibles, the French 1599, the OLD Latin (i.e., pre-5th century), Tyndale 1526, Cranmer’s Bible 1539, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, and Geneva 1557. Scrivener’s text did not follow the same reading as the KJV. 

The reading of Jesus found twice in Mark 2:15 is that of: the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, the Reina Valera 1858 – “Y aconteció que estando Jesus á la mesa, en casa de él, muchos publicanos y pecadores estaban tambien á la mesa juntamente con Jesus y con sus discípulos: porque habia muchos, y le habian seguido.” the Spanish Reina Valera 1960, 1995 and the Reina Valera Gómez of 2010, the French Ostervald 1996 – “Jésus étant à table dans la maison de cet homme, plusieurs péagers et gens de mauvaise vie se mirent aussi à table avec Jésus et ses disciples”, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994 and the Third Millenium Bible 1998. 

This is one of the several places where the NKJV does not follow the same Greek texts as the King James Bible. The NKJV, along with most critical text and Catholic versions only has the name of Jesus one time instead of twice in this verse. 

In Mark 9:25, All the texts describe the spirt that attacked a father’s son from his youth as “Thou DUMB and DEAF spirit, I charge thee come out of him.” The RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, Tyndale, and Geneva read as the KJB does, “dumb and deaf” spirit. But the NKJV, NIV and NAS have reversed these two words and say: “you DEAF and DUMB spirit”. This is not even following their own UBS texts.

Mark 12:25 “…nor are given in marriage; but are as THE (hoi) angels which are in heaven.” Here the word “the” (hoi) is found in the Majority of all texts as well as Vaticanus and A, and is even in the NIV. However Sinaiticus and C omit the definite article and so do the NKJV, NASB, RSV.

Luke 1:35, “that holy thing which shall be born OF THEE (ek sou) shall be called the Son of God.”This is the reading in the following manuscripts and fathers: C, Theta, f1, 33, 1230, 1253, 1365, 1646, Old Latin a, c, e, r, Distessaron, Marcion, Valentinians, Irenaeus Latin, Tertullian, Novatian, Gregory, Thaumaturgus, Adamantius, Hilary, Athanasius, Ephraem, Elvira, Diodore, Amphilochius, Ambrose, Didymus, Chromatius, Jerome, Marcus, Eremita, Augustine, Proclus and the Speculum.

 It is also the reading of the Wycliffe Bible of 1395, the Geneva Bible, Whiston’s Primitive New Testament 1745 and the Douay-Rheims of 1899.  Later Catholic versions such as the 1950 Douay, St. Joseph New American Bible and the Jerusalem Bible 1985 omitted the phrase “of thee” but the latest 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version has put the words back in the text once again!  “of thee” is also the reading of the KJV 21st Century version 1994, the Amplified Bible, Green’s 2000 ‘literal’,  the Message 2002, and the Third Millenium Bible 1998.  It is the reading of Lamsa’s 1933 translation from the Syriac Peshitta and the translations from the Syriac of both Etheridge in 1849 and Murdoch in 1851. It is found in the Italian Diodati 1602, 1649 and  La Nuovo Diodati 1991 – “pertanto il santoche nascerà da te sarà chiamato figlio di Dio.”,  and Luther’s German Bible of 1545 – “darum wird auch das Heilige, das von dir geboren wird, Gottes Sohn genannt werden.”  It is also found in the French Martin  1744, the Louis Segond of 1910, the French Ostervald of 1996 and the 1999 La Bible du Semeur – “C’est pourquoi le saint enfant qui naîtra de toi sera appelé Fils de Dieu.”, the Portuguese O Livro of 2000 – ““menino que de ti vai nascer será santo, e será chamado o Filho de Deus.” It is also the reading found in both the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras of 1569 and the 2004, 2010 Reina Valera Gomez Bible – “por lo cual también lo Santo que de ti nacerá,será llamado Hijo de Dios.” It is the reading found in the Modern Greek New Testament -“δια τουτο και το γεννωμενον εκ σου αγιον θελει ονομασθη Υιος Θεου.” – which can be seen here:

 It is quoted by many church fathers, including, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Athanasius, Origen, Agustine, and others. Yet the NKJV, NIV, and NAS, omit these two little words from their translations.

Luke 5:7 “they beckoned unto their partners WHICH (tois) were in the other ship. Tois (which) is found in the majority, A.C. and TR, (Tyndale, Geneva, Bishops’ Bible) but is omitted in Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, and the NKJV also omits this word as do the RSV, NASB, NIV.

Luke 6:4 “It is not lawful to eat but for the priests ALONE (monous). “ALONE” is found in all texts, (Tyndale, Bishops’, Geneva) and is in the NASB too, but the NKJV unites with the NIV in omitting this word. The NKJV reads: “it is not lawful for any but the priests.”

Luke 6:9 “Is it lawful on the Sabbath DAYS to do good or to do evil?”. Here the majority, A and TR have “days” plural (Tyndale, Bishops’, Geneva Bible), but Sinaiticus,Vaticanus have the singular “day”. The NKJV follows NASB, RSV, ESV, NIV and says: “on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil?”

In Luke 11:34 the KJB says: “therefore when thine eye is SINGLE” – οταν ουν ο οφθαλμος σου απλους.  But the NKJV has: “when your eye is GOOD.”

In Luke 11:53 the KJB says: “and TO PROVOKE him TO SPEAK of many things” – και αποστοματιζειν αυτον περι πλειονων. Here, Jesus would be the one speaking (Geneva bible, RV, ASV, Darby, Youngs, RSV, ESV.  But the NKJV translates this as “to CROSS-EXAMINE Him about many things.”, making it the lawyers who were speaking. (NIV, Holman, NASB)

In Luke 11:54 the KJB says: “seeking to catch something OUT OF HIS MOUTH” – εκ του στοματος αυτου. But the NKJV has: “seeking to catch Him IN SOMETHING HE MIGHT SAY” – a complete paraphrase.

Luke 12:49 is a question in the Textus Receptus of the KJB, and also a question in the R.V, and ASV, Tyndale, Geneva and even the Douay. However, the UBS has once again changed and the NASB, NIV, and NKJV unite in making it an exclamation. The KJB says:” I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?” But the NKJV says: “and how I wish it were already kindled!”


Luke 17:18 “There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.” In the Textus Receptus of the KJB this is a statement. It reads the same in the Geneva Bible, Tyndale, Darby and Young’s translation. But the W/H text has this verse as a question. The NKJV follows the NASB and NIV in saying: “Were there not found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”

Luke 22:10 “follow him into the house WHERE he entereth in.” Here the majority, TR, A and D have “where”- hou, which is an adverb of place. It is used in Luke 4:16,17 “where he had been brought up”, and “found the place where it was written”. It is curious that even the RV and ASV, along with Young’s and Darby read “where”. But the W/H text reads EIS HEN- INTO WHICH instead of “where”. The NKJV follows W/H with: “follow him into the house WHICH he enters.”

The NKJV is also wrong in the next verse where all texts say: “Where is the guestchamber, WHERE I shall eat the passover with my disciples?” Here the word is hopou or where, and is so translated even by the RSV, NRSV, and NIV. But the NKJV and NASB have “Where is the guest room IN WHICH I may eat…”

In Luke 22:53 the KJB and Greek have “YE STRETCHED FORTH NO HANDS AGAINST ME” – ουκ εξετεινατε τας χειρας επ εμε. But in the NKJV this becomes the paraphrased “YOU DID NOT TRY TO SEIZE ME”, thus omitting the word “hands” and completely paraphrasing the verb “to stretch forth”.

John 10:6 “This parable spake Jesus UNTO THEM”, autois – to them, is in all texts and even in the NASB, but the NKJV unites with the NIV in omitting it and says: “Jesus used this illustration”. Parable is also the rendering of the RV, ASV, Geneva, Douay and Jerusalem Bible. But the NKJV says “used” instead of “spake: eipon. The NKJV also omits the verb in the latter part of this verse. “But they understood not what things THEY WERE which they spake unto them.” The verb is in all texts and even in the NASB, but the NKJV unites with the NIV and omits it. The NKJV says: “they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.” – thus omitting the verb.

John 10:12 The Majority, TR and A read “and the wolf catcheth THEM and scattereth THE SHEEP. (Tyndale, Bishops’, Geneva Bible = KJB). However Vaticanus/Sinaticus omit “the sheep” and so the NASB has “scatters (them) as though not in the text, while the NIV paraphrases as usual and has “wolf attacks THE FLOCK and scatters IT.” But the NKJV reverses the Greek order of words and has: “the wolf catches THE SHEEP and scatters THEM.”

John 11:18 “about FIFTEEN furlongs off”. So read Tyndale, the Geneva Bible, the RV, ASV, but the NKJV, following the RSV, NASB, NIV changed the Greek numbers to “TWO miles away.”

John 12:40 “and BE CONVERTED” is a passive verb both in English and in Greek, (Tyndale, Geneva Bible, NASB) but the NKJV changed it into an active verb “lest they SHOULD TURN” (RSV, NIV, ESV). We cannot be converted unless God Himself turns us.

John 12:48 “The word that I have spoken, THE SAME (ekeinos) shall judge him in the last day.” (Revised Version, ASV) This word is in all texts and in the emphatic position but the NKJV has omitted it along with the RSV, NIV and NASB.

John 14:9 “Have I been so long TIME (chronos) with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Phillip?” TIME is in all texts (Tyndale, Geneva, ASV, RV, NIV) but the NKJV decided to omit it along with the RSV, ESV, and NASB.

14:10 The NKJV omitted another word in the emphatic position. “but the Father that dwelleth in me, HE (autos) doeth the works.” (Tyndale, Geneva Bible) The NKJV again omits this word as do the RSV, NIV and NASB.

John 14:30 presents a bad translation resulting in bad theology by the NKJV. The KJB, ASV, Geneva, RV, Spanish, Douay and even the NIV say: “the PRINCE of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” The NKJV and NASB call Satan the RULER of this world. God is the Ruler of this world, not Satan.

John 18:11 “the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink IT? IT (auto) is in all texts (RV, ASV, NASB) but the NKJV omitted it as do the RSV and NIV.

John 18:20 “I always taught in THE SYNAGOGUE”. The TR has en TE sunagogee, singular,(Tyndale, Geneva Bible) but the Westcott-Hort texts omit the definite article, and the NKJV says “I always taught in synagogueS”, along with the RSV, ESV, NASB and NIV.

John 18:24. Here the NKJV, NIV, NAS create a contradiction, not because of the text but by the way they have translated it. The KJB, as well as the Spanish, Diodati, Webster’s, 21st Century KJV, Bishops’ Bible and the Geneva Bible, have correctly translated the phrase as: “ Now Annas HAD SENT him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.” The fact that Annas had already sent Jesus to Caiaphas can be seen from verses 13 and 19 of this same chapter, as well as from Matthew 26:57, Mark 14:55 and Luke 22:54. The NKJV, RSV, ESV, NAS and NIV blunder here in saying: “THEN Annas SENT Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.”

John 18:26 the NKJV, like the RSV, NIV, NASB, omits the verb found in all texts. “One of the servants of the high priest, BEING (hoon) his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off…” (“being” in RV, ASV, Youngs)

John 19:10 the NKJV omits the second set of the verb “I HAVE”.

JOHN 19:29 “they filled a spunge with VINEGAR and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.” This is a fulfilled Messianic prophesy found in Psalm 69:21 “in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink”. There even the NKJV has “vinegar” but here in John they have mistranslated it as SOUR WINE, thus obscuring this connection. Vinegar is the reading of the KJB, Tyndale, Geneva, ASV, RV, RSV, Darby and Young, but the NKJV and NASB read “sour wine” even though in the Pslam they still read vinegar.

Acts 10:7 “And when the angel which spake UNTO CORNELIUS (tw kornelio) was departed, HE called two of his household servants…” This is the reading of the majority and TR, but Sinaiticus,Vaticanus omit “unto Cornelius” and have “to him” (auto). The NKJV follows Sin/Vat and makes up its own text by saying: “when the angel who spoke TO HIM had departed, CORNELIUS called two of his household servants”. Here the NKJV tries to combine all of the divergent texts into one, and ends up creating a whole new reading not found in any single manuscript.

Acts 14:3 “AND (kai) granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” The word AND (kai) is found in the Textus Receptus, C, L, 104,323, 945,1175, 1739 and others. It is also in Tyndale, Geneva and Young’s. But the Alexandrian texts omit, and so do the NKJV, NASB, NIV.

Acts 14:8 “BEING (huparkwn) a cripple from his mother’s womb.” The verb BEING is found in the Majority of all texts, the TR, Geneva, Tyndale, Young’s, and even in the NIV!, but again the NKJV joins the NASB, and the Alexandrian texts in omitting this word. In Acts 14:9 the NKJV joins the NIV in adding a word not found in any text at all. Instead of the KJB’s “The same heard Paul speak: WHO steadfastly beholding him…” the NKJV says: “This man heard Paul speaking. PAUL observing him intently…” The word PAUL is not in any text whatsoever.

Acts 15:23 “And they wrote letters by them AFTER THIS MANNER” After this manner is found in the majority, C, D, Sinaiticus correction, and the TR, Tyndale and Geneva, Youngs, and even the Revised Version and ASV, but the NKJV unites with the NASB/NIV, Vaticanus and A and omits these words.

Acts 17:14 “the brethren sent away Paul to go AS IS WERE (ws) to the sea.” is the reading of the majority and TR, Tyndale and Geneva. But the N & B have “TO the sea” (ews). And the NKJV unites with the NASB/NIV in reading so, thus departing from the KJB text.

Acts 18:6 “And when they opposed THEMSELVES (autwn) and blasphemed…” That is, they put themselves in the way, to block the preaching of Paul. All the texts here are the same and even the Revised Version and the ASV read as does the KJB, but the NASB omits “themselves”, the NKJV says “they opposed HIM” which in not in any text, and the NIV says “the Jews opposed PAUL”, again, neither Jews nor Paul is in any text.

Acts 19:9 “disputing daily in the school OF ONE (tinos) Tyrannus. This little word, tinos, is found in the majority and TR. but not in N or B. The NKJV unites with the NASB/NIV and omits it.

Acts 19:39 “but if ye enquire any thing CONCERNING OTHER MATTERS, (peri ‘eteron ) it shall be determined in a lowful assembly.” This is the reading of the majority, A, D and even Sinaticus and other English translations like the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, Webster’s 1833, Darby, Young’s, the KJV 21st Century version 1994 as well as the English Revised Version 1885 and the ASV of 1901 , but it is not found in B (Vaticanus).  

The Westcott-Hort reading uses a Greek word in the singular found only once in their “textus corruptus” text.  The Westcott-Hort reading is “if you seek anything BEYOND” – “εἰ δέ τι περαιτέρω ἐπιζητεῖτε” whereas the reading used in the KJB and many others is two words, one meaning “concerning or about” and the other is a plural word meaning “other things” – “Εἰ δέ τι περὶ ἑτέρων ἐπιζητεῖτε“. 

The NKJV omits the word “concerning” (peri) and changes the plural (heteron) to a singular – “But if you have any other inquiry to make, it shall be determined in the lawful assembly.”, thus following the Westcott-Hort text and versions like the NASB, NIV, RSV.

Acts 21:22 “What is it therefore?” (tí oun esti) is in all texts, but the NKJV omits the verb and has “What then?”

Acts 21:23 “We have four men which have a vow ON THEM” On them is Eph ‘eauton. This is found in all texts, and in the RV, ASV, Tyndale, Young’s, but the NKJV unites with the NIV and NASB to omit them. The NKJV reads “We have four men who have taken a vow.” Also the verb is a present tense “have” (exontes) but the NKJV makes it a perfect tense.

Acts 25:17 “When they were come HITHER…” (enthade) This is in all texts, even in the NASB and NIV, but the NKJV alone has omitted it. The NKJV says: “When they had come together..”

Acts 27:14 “But not long after there arose AGAINST IT (kat’ autns) a tempestuous wind.” All texts read “against it”, referring to the island of Crete. But the NKJV omits this phrase and says: “ a tempestuous head wind arose”, the NASB paraphrases as “from the land” and the NIV as “swept down from the island”.

Romans 7:6 KJB – “But now we are delivered from the law, THAT BEING DEAD wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” 


NKJV (ESV, NIV, NASB) – “But now we have been delivered from the law, HAVING DIED to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.”


Holman Standard – “But now we have been released from the law, since WE HAVE DIED to what held us, so that we may serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old letter of the law.” 


Jehovah Witness New World Translation – “…because WE HAVE DIED to that by which we were being held fast”


Catholic St. Joseph New American Bible 1970 – “…for WE HAVE DIED to what bound us”



Romans 14:9 “For to this end Christ BOTH (kai) died, AND ROSE, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.” (Bishops’ bible, Webster, Young’s)

Here the word for “both” (kai) is found in the TR, and the majority texts. But the Westcott-Hort texts omit this word here and they also omit “and rose”. The NKJV has adopted a middle ground here and omits “both” while retaining “and rose”. The NKJV reads: “For to this end Christ died and rose (footnote) and lived again.” NKJV Footnote: NU text omits and rose.

I Corinthians 6:4, is a statement or a command in the KJB, the Majority, the TR, Tyndale, Geneva, Darby, Young’s, Webster’s, and the Douay. But the Wescott/Hort text has this verse as a question, and the NKJV follows the NASB and Westcott/Hort. The KJB says, “If then ye have judgements of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.” In other words, the Christians were already guilty of judging others in their own congregation, as the context shows, so, he says, set the lowliest of the saints to judge these matters. Paul is using irony.

The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge notes: “The apostle perhaps meant that the meanest persons in the church were competent to decide the causes which they brought before the heathen magistrates.” The People’s New Testament comments: “ An ironical way of hinting that their differences were so petty as to be worthy only of the poorest witted.”

But the NKJV and NAS say, “do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge?” While the NIV has “appoint as judges even men of little account in the church!”. An exclamation in the NIV.

1 Corinthians 15:10, 24 – “but the grace of God WHICH WAS with me”. Here the word translated as “which was” is in the majority, A, Sinaiticus correction and P 46. It is found in the RV, ASV and NIV too. But Vaticanus omits it and so does the NASB. The NKJV wrongly puts these words in italics as though they were not in the Greek text underlying the KJB.

In verse 24 “when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, EVEN (kai – in all texts) the Father”. This word is translated as EVEN by the RV, ASV, Geneva, Youngs and others. The NASB says God AND Father, but the NIV, NKJV both unite in omitting this word altogether. The NKJV says “unto God the Father”. A minor omission, but an omission nonetheless.

2 Cor. 3:14, “for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; WHICH vail is done away in Christ.” The reading “which” (literally that which- 2 words- ‘o ti) is found in the TR of Green, Berry, and Trinitarian Bible Society. It is the reading of Tyndale, Geneva, Darby, Young, Spanish, the Revised Version, and even Douay. But the other Greek texts and Westcott /Hort have produced the reading found in the NKJV, NAS, and NIV. The NKJV says, “the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, BECAUSE the veil is taken away in Christ.” This is a little change from ‘o ti (2 words) to ‘oti (one word) and the NKJV follows the Westcott and Hort text here and not the TR.

2 Corinthians 4:14, “Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also BY (dia) Jesus, and shall present us with you.” BY” or “by means of Jesus” is the reading found in Tyndale 1535, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible (Cranmer) 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Webster’s 1833, Young’s, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, the Italian Diodati 1649, New Diodati 1991, the French Martin 1544, Ostervald 1996, Spanish Reina Valera 1909 – “POR Jesús” (though the Reina Valera 1960 and 95, through the influence of text critic Eugene Nida, adopted the other reading of CON Jesus) and the 2004 Reina Valera Gomez bible all agree with the traditional Greek reading of “BY Jesus” – “nos resusitará POR Jesus”.  The word “by” is in the Majority of all Greek texts as well as the Modern Greek N.T. used in the Greek Orthodox churches all over the world, and Sinaiticus correction, but Vaticanus says “sun” (in Greek) or “with” instead of “by”. The NKJV, along with the RSV, NASB, NIV, ESV, NET reads “will also raise us up WITH Jesus, and will present us with you.” Is Jesus going to be raised up again? Or is Jesus the person by whom we shall be raised? Here the NKJV clearly does not follow the TR reading.

In 2 Corinthians 7:2 the KJB and Greek say “RECEIVE US” – χωρησατε ημας. But the NKJV paraphrases this as “OPEN YOUR HEARTS TO US.”

2 Corinthians 9:4 “Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that WE SAY not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confidence of boasting.”

WE SAY (legoomen) is the reading of the Majority, TR, and even Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. However the recent UBS text has “I SAY” (lego) based on P46.

Agreeing with the KJB’s “we say” are the RV, ASV, Geneva, and Young’s. However to avoid the whole textual issue, the NKJV again joins the NIV, NASB, ESV and does not translate either reading, but instead paraphrases. The NKJV says: “…and find you unprepared, we (NOT TO MENTION YOU!) should be ashamed of this confident boasting.”

The NKJV does not translate the subject of the verb, and does not follow the underlying KJB text.

2 Corinthians 9:5 “…that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, WHEREOF YE HAD NOTICE BEFORE, that the same might be ready…”

“Whereof ye had notice before” is the Majority reading as well as the Textus Receptus. It is proKATEEgelmenee, which is used four times in the N.T. and is always translated as “shewed before”, “foretold”, or “had notice before”. (See Acts 3:18, 24; and Acts 7:52)

The versions that read exactly as the KJB’s “whereof ye had notice before” are Webster’s 1833 translation, the KJV 21, Third Millenium Bible, and those that have the same meaning are Lamsa’s translation of the Peshitta, Young’s and Darby’s, which say “before announced”.

However the Alexandrian texts read “promised before” which is proEPEEgelmenee”. The NKJV follows the NIV, NASB Alexandrian texts again and say: “prepare your bountiful gift beforehand, WHICH YOU HAD PREVIOUSLY PROMISED, that it may be ready…”

2 Corinthians 11:1 “Would to God ye could bear with me A LITTLE IN MY FOLLY: and indeed BEAR with me.”

NKJV – “Oh, that you would bear with me IN A LITTLE FOLLY – and indeed YOU DO BEAR with me.”

First of all, “would to God” is a fixed form of expression and is so rendered by the KJB, Tyndale, Geneva, Douay, Luther’s German, the KJV 21 and the Third Millenium Bible.

Perhaps more importantly, the Majority text and the TR say “bear with me a little in my folly” but the Alexandrian texts add a little word (ti) which changes the meaning to “in a little folly”, and the NKJV now reads as do the NASB, NIV. In addition to this, the verb “bear with me” is taken as an imperative or command in the KJB, but the NKJV again goes along with the nasb, niv and makes it an indicative or present tense, rather than a command.

In Galatians 4:24 the 1979 NKJV said, “which things are an allegory”, which equals the KJB reading, while the 1982 says, “which things are symbolic”.

Philippians 2:9, “God also hath highly exalted him, and given him A name which is above every name”. There is no definite article here in the majority or TR, but the Wescott/Hort text adds it. Bibles that read as the KJB with “a name” are Geneva, Tyndale, Young, and Darby, while those that follow Sinaiticus, Vaticanus and the NKJV have “given him THE name”. I mention this only to point out that the NKJV does not always follow the Greek text of the KJB, but frequently follows the Wescott/Hort text.

While here in Phillipians, notice that the NKJV is not the same from year to year. In just the first 10 chapters of Matthew, the changes from the 1979 NKJV, to the 1982 NKJV would fill up an entire page.

In Philippians 2:6, the 1979 NKJV said Christ, “did not consider equality with God something to be grasped”, but in 1982 they changed it back to, “did not consider it robbery to be equal with God.”

Colossians 3:17 “giving thanks to God AND (kai) the Father by him.” The little word AND is found in the majority and the TR, D, Old Latin, but the Alexandrian texts omit this word, and so do the NASB, NIV and the NKJV.

In Hebrews 12:13, the 1979 said, “so that what is lame not be turned from the way, but rather be healed”, but the 1982 edition says: “so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed”. The 1982 NKJV has this word in italics, as though it is not in the text. But it is in the Greek and the KJB is correct and the NKJV is worse than it was before in 1979.

Hebrews 3:16, “For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.” The Textus Receptus of the KJB is clearly a statement here. With the KJB are Tyndale, Geneva, Webster’s Bible, the 21st Century KJB, the Italian Diodati, the Spanish of 1602 and 1909, the Third Millenium Bible, Youngs translation and even the Catholic Douay of 1950.

However, the NKJV follows the W/H text and reads as do the NASB and NIV. The NKJV says, “For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses?” Not all who came out of Egypt rebelled. Caleb and Joshua did not rebel, but believed God and entered the promised land. This is the whole point of the passage. We are exhorted to believe God and enter into His rest, just as Caleb and Joshua did. The NKJV not only does not follow the Greek text of the KJB here, but creates a contradiction as well.

Hebrews 13:6. “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, AND I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Here the little word “and” kai is in the TR. majority, A and P46. But N & B omit the word “and” and so does the NKJV. Also in the TR, and Tyndale, Geneva, Spanish and even Douay, this verse is a statement of fact. However Westcott-Hort have made it a question and so it stands in the NKJV, NIV and NASB. The NKJV says: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Do you see the differences?

2 Peter 2:15 “Balaam the son on BOSOR”. Bosor is the reading of the majority, P72, N correction,A, and C. It is the reading of Tyndale, Geneva, Darby, Young, Spanish and Douay. However, Vaticanus reads Beor instead of Bosor and the NKJV reads as the NIV and NASB with “Balaam the son of BEOR.”

1 John 3:16 King James Bible – “Hereby perceive we the love OF GOD, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”  


As it stands in the King James Bible we can clearly see a very strong testimony to the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He is GOD and HE laid down His life for us.


The NKJV did NOT follow the same Greek texts in their version. They have omitted these all important words and the NKJV reads like this: “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”


It is odd that the NIV reads: “This is how we know what love is: JESUS CHRIST laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. “  – even though the words “Jesus Christ” are not found in any texts at all.


The words “of God” ARE found in the Greek texts that underlie the King James Bible.  The entire Greek phrase “the love OF GOD” is found in Beza’s Greek texts of 1589 and 1598, the Complutensian polyglot version of 1514, the ancient Armenian bible, the Latin Clementine Vulgate – “In hoc cognovimus caritatem Dei”., Greek manuscript 52, as well as the Greek of the Trinitarian Bible Society put out in 1894.  When the original King James Bible was printed the words “the love OF GOD” were NOT in italics but were in the text in regular print.


When the original 1611 King James Bible came out these words “the love OF GOD” were NOT in italics because they are in the Greek text that underlies the KJB; they still are.  It wasn’t until 1769 that a man named Mr. Blayney had them placed in italics. Notice this article from the Christian Examiner of 1833 that is critical of the changes to italics that Blayney made in 1769.  They even mention the example of 1 John 3:16 saying: “He next passes to the consideration of the unauthorized changes made in Dr. Blayney’s edition in the use of italics. 

” Dr. Blayney and his coadjutors employ them to express their doubts of the authenticity of particular readings,…1 John iii. 16. supplies an instance of modern italics affecting the question of the Divinity of Him, ‘ who laid down his life for us.’ ” — Existing Monopoly, pp. 59, 60.

The Christian Examiner of 1833 criticized Blayney on italics.



The words “hereby perceive we the love of God” or “charity of God” ARE found in Wycliffe of 1380 and 1395, the Douay-Rheims of 1582 and the King James Bible of 1611 (in regular print, not in italics).


The words “love of God” are also found in the Italian Diodati of 1649, the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras of 1569,  the Spanish Reina Valera of 1865, the 2004 Reina Valera Gomez bible, Whiston’s Primitive New Testament 1745, John Wesley’s translation of 1755,  The Holy Bible containing the Old and New Testaments by Charles Thomson 1808, Webster’s 1833 translation, the  KJV 21st Century Version 1994, the Heritage Bible 2003, the English Jubilee Bible 2000, the Urim-Thummin Version of 2001 reads: “Hereby we perceive the Love of Elohim, because he laid down his Life for us” and the Third Millenium Bible of 1998.


When we read the King James Bible text of 1 John 3:16 it is a very strong verse for the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”


As it stands in the King James Bible, it tells us that GOD laid down His life for us.  Compare this verse to 1 John 5:20 – “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. THIS IS THE TRUE GOD, and eternal life.”


The verse would also tie directly into Acts 20:28 in the King James Bible, which has been changed in many modern versions as well.  There we read: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed THE CHURCH OF GOD, WHICH HE HATH PURCHASED WITH HIS OWN BLOOD.”


Jesus Christ is God and God gave His life for us and we were redeemed with the blood of God!


2 John 7 “for many deceivers ARE ENTERED into the world” Here, the majority, other uncials, and the TR of the KJB read EISnlthon – “entered”, while N, B and A read EXnlthon, “went out”. One word means to enter into, and the other means to go out. The NKJV again departs from the KJB text and follows Wescott and Hort with its “many deceivers have GONE OUT into the world.”. Remember, the devil is in the details.

Jude 3 “I gave all diligence to write unto you of THE common salvation”. The TR and majority have THE common salvation,(Tyndale, Geneva, Youngs) but Sinaiticus and Vaticanus say OUR common salvation, and so does the NKJV, agreeing with the RSV, NIV, ESV and NASB.

Jude 19 “These be they who separate THEMSELVES, sensual, having not the Spirit.” The TR, and C read apodiorizontes ‘EAUTOUS. The Wescott Hort text does not have “themselves”. Separate themselves is found in Geneva, Latin Vulgate, Darby, Young, 21st Century KJV, Webster’s Bible and Douay. The NKJV says: ”These are sensual persons, WHO CAUSE DIVISIONS, not having the Spirit” , thus reading as the NASB. The NIV says “these are men who divide YOU”. The “you” is not found in any text, and the whole meaning is changed. In the KJB they separate themselves from the others as a special class with superior knowledge, while the NIV says they divide you, the Christians. Not the same meaning.

 Revelation 16:16 “And HE gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” All texts here read “he” referring to God. The NKJV reads: “ And THEY gathered them together to the place…” The NIV, ESV and NASB are also in error here, because even their UBS Greek texts read suvngogen singular, not suvngogon plural. Wycliffe 1395,Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, Bishops’s Bible 1568, Mace’s New Testament 1729, Worsley Version 1770, Webster’s 1833 translation, the Living Oracles 1835, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible 1902 (based on the Westcott-Hort text) Douay 1950, World English Bible, Green’s 2000 ‘literal’, George Ricker Berry’s Interlinear Greek text (Stephanus), the Spanish Reina Valeras of 1909, 1960 and 1995 – “los reunió en el lugar que en hebreo se llama Armagedón.” and Darby agree with the KJB.  Of interest is the fact that the true Bible says “And HE gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” referring to God, while the English edition of the NIV says: “Then THEY gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.”, BUT the NIV Spanish edition of 1999 (Nueva Versión Internacional) actually says “Entonces los espíritus de los demonios reunieron a los reyes en el lugar que en hebreo se llama Armagedón.” = “Then the spirits of the demons gathered the kings”. Of course there is no Greek text on this earth that reads that way, and you have to admit, there is just a little bit of difference between God (He) and the demonic spirits.


Revelation 18:9 “shall bewail HER, and lament for her.” (Tyndale, Geneva, Bishops’) Here the first “her” is ‘autnv. It is in the TR, and many other mss. –  και κλαυσονται αυτην και κοψονται επ αυτη  But the NKJV again has omitted it by following Sinaticus and the RSV, NASB, NIV. It says “will weep and lament for her.”

Revelation 19:2 “and hath avenged the blood of his servants AT HER HAND”. Here, “at her hand” is ek tns xeipos ‘autns – εκ της χειρος αυτης. Four words in Greek. They are found in all texts, and though they are in Tyndale, Geneva, the RV, the ASV, World English Bible, Webster’s, Spanish and Douay, yet the RSV, ESV, NASB and NIV have shortened it and changed the meaning by saying “has avenged the blood of his bond servants ON HER”, and the NKJV has “the blood of His servants shed BY HER” (omits hand).

I have personally gone through the book of Revelation, comparing every word between the KJB and the NKJV. The NAS and NIV follow a very different text in Revelation, and hundreds words are missing from their texts. However, though the NKJV claims to follow the same text as the KJB in Revelation, I found that the NKJV adds words like “some” in 2:17; “sick” in 2:22; “there” in 4:3; “more” in 9:12; “their” in 20:4 and “as” in 21:16.

The NKJV also omits some 91 words. Eighty of these words are the little word “and” or kai in Greek. That’s eighty times omitted when in the Greek text that underlies the KJB just in one book! For example in 18:12,13 the word “and” is omitted 8 times in just two verses. The NKJV also omits “the same” houtos in 3:5; “nor” (mnte) twice in 7:1,3; “called” (legetai) in 8:11; “for her” ‘autnv in both 16:21, the word “for” (gar) in 21:25 “FOR there shall be no night there.”, and the verb “shall be” (estai) in 22:12. The KJB has, “to give every man according as his work SHALL BE”. The “shall be” is in the majority and TR, but the NKJV merely says, “to give every one according to his work.”

I will keep adding to this list as I study more of the NKJV, but in light of Revelation 22:18-19 where we are told not to add to, nor take away from the words of this book or God will take away his part out of the book of life, I would not recommend the NKJV to anyone. Stick to the King James Bible, and you will not go wrong.