David Lee Brown
Deity in New Bible Translations
The name Jesus and the Holy Spirit are being diminished by the newer versions of the Bible. The Deity in New Bible Translations is being relegated to God. So, what’s wrong with that, you might say? Well, there are some problems with that. In my writing, I’m also guilty of doing the same thing in some cases. The term God is just so easy to use it just becomes an old habit. The primary problem is that it diminishes the fact that we have a Triune God. One God in three irreducible persons. All one God but with distinct yet overlapping roles. This is very clear from a study of the King James Version (KJV) Bible but can be somewhat blurred by the study of other versions.
Jesus and Deity in New Bible Translations
There are many verses in scripture that deify Jesus as God in the KJV. None are more poignant than the scriptures that proclaim Jesus as the creator. There are many other scriptures that proclaim Jesus as equal to God but I’m just going to land on this one for the sake of brevity. If Jesus is God and He created everything, He is the creator God. In some versions, Jesus’ role is diminished. In the verse below that is true also. But in this case, the original Greek holds true to the newer versions. It says Theo (God) created. Although we know this verse refers to the Trinity.
“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:” (KJV)
“and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.” (NIV)
The Deity of Jesus in Creation
Yet the fact that Jesus created is clearly illustrated in John 1:1
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
So, then Jesus as the creator is qualified in verse 14, saying,
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (KJV and ESV, NIV, NASB with only slight variations)
So, in Ephesians, the KJV is actually adding to the word for word translation to place the emphasis on Jesus’ deity. While the other versions are actually more accurate translations. This should not diminish or detract from Jesus’ deity because it is clear in John 1:14 that Jesus is the creator and an equal part of the Holy Trinity the singular and eternal God.
Holy Spirit and Deity in New Bible Translations
The newer translations neglect the deity of Jesus but also neglect the deity of the Holy Spirit. The following verse is an example. In this case, the KJV is a much more accurate word-for-word translation of the original Greek. It also clearly demonstrates the triune nature of God and the equality of His three persons.
1 John 5:7
“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” (KJV)
“For there are three that testify:” (ESV, NIV, NASB)
“And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is the truth.” (ASV)
The Deity in New Bible Translations
This is just a very brief study and to truly provide this study justice I would have to write a book. So let me just provide a few little take-aways.
First, there is no perfect English translation of the Bible. The KJV upholds the deity of the trinity best. But you must go back to the original languages and study the scriptures to determine the exact original meaning. So I suggest BibleHub.com for your Hebrew and Greek studies.
Second, the best versions do not leave out verses of scripture. Because many versions leave out verses that are not found in every ancient manuscript. I think that’s a mistake.
Third, the deity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are inseparable. The Trinity is also unmistakably taught within the Bible from the beginning to the end. All equally One God in three Persons.
Forth, you must study the Bible to know it. Any lazy compromise to the study of scripture and the original languages, as well as the cultural norms of each era of the Bible, is unacceptable.
Faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior is only the first step to being a Christian. Then discipleship, logic, and genuine understanding must come next.
The Bible clearly states, in 2 Timothy 2:15.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (KJV)
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” (NASB)
p.s. The KJV is the only version I could find that uses the English word Study in this verse. The Greek word spoudazó means diligence, be diligent, endeavor, labor, or study.
Have a blessed day!
To learn more, I suggest Bible Hub and Bible Gateway. That’s what I use to study the original languages and also various versions of the Bible. You are also welcome to read more of my Devotional Blogs at this Link or my website Biblical Faith & Reasoning.