Are the NKJV and NASB corrupted translations?


[The original question contained two links to sites as "proof" of his points. Those links were removed to avoid advertizing questionable sites.]


I visited your site and thank you for shedding some light on the Greek primacy vs Aramaic primacy of the original New Testament scriptures. I think the Aramaic argument is being used to sow doubt and as a vehicle for false doctrine.

But my purpose in emailing you is in response to your use of NKJV and NASB. In the spirit of your arguments acknowledged above, I encourage you not to compromise in any way about the Word of God. We know that God has preserved his pure word for us (Psalm 12:7). But it's man's nature to corrupt what he puts his hand to, especially when it is done in the context of trafficking (marketing). Both of these bible versions which you claim to be using are privately owned works, testified by the copyright applying to them and the requirement to get permissions to use. It is an inadequate and gross understatement to say that assuming commercial ownership of God's Word is wrong.

Furthermore, this copyright was obtained by fulfilling certain commercial law requirements - notably the need to meet minimum new material requirements. This alone has led to gratuitous changes in translation. Again, it is an inadequate and gross understatement to say that altering God's Word for commercial reasons is wrong.

I wish to direct your attention to the following:

On a simple word count, (which does not account for additions and changes) the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament text is 2,922 words shorter than the Received Greek Text. This is the text used to produce the NASB.

See also the testimony of Frank Logsdon.



In many countries, including the United States, original works are automatically granted copyright protection when they are recorded on a tangible medium ["Copyright in General"]. "Works are original when they are independently created by a human author and have a minimal degree of creativity" ["What is Copyright?"]. Thus, the fact that various translations have copyrights is a non-argument.

Copyrights do eventually expire and the works move into the public domain. Some translations, such as the American Standard Version and the King James Version, are sufficiently old enough to have moved into the public domain. This is not an indication of the quality of the translation but solely its age.

You do realize that printers of the various King James Version Bibles are commercial ventures? The various editions have copyrights covering their cross-references, study notes, etc. This protection of their investment to create the materials they are selling does not mean they own God's Word. And in the same way, those who invested money to develop a new translation retain control of their work for a period of time. The Lockman Foundation (NASB) and the Thomas Nelson publishing company (NKJV) have very generous terms for the use of their works. For example, Thomas Nelson's terms for the use of the NKJV states:

"The text of the New King James Version (NKJV) may be quoted or reprinted without prior written permission with the following qualifications: (1) up to and including 1,000 verses may be quoted in printed form as long as the verses quoted amount to less than 50% of a complete book of the Bible and make up less than 50% of the total work in which they are quoted; (2) all NKJV quotations must conform accurately to the NKJV text."

The Lockman Foundation's terms are a bit more restrictive but are still generous:

"The text of the New American Standard Bible may be quoted or reprinted up to an inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of The Lockman Foundation, proving the verses do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for more than 25% of the total work in which they are quoted."

You claim that these translations alter God's Word for commercial reasons. You did not prove that the translations are inaccurate in any way. Accusations are not proof and making false accusations is wrong.

The Received Greek Text is one name for a composite Greek text created by Erasmus in 1516. Erasmus only had access to five or six 12th-Century hand-copied manuscripts from which he created his composite. All his manuscripts were from the Byzantine family of manuscripts. He modified the readings in many places to make them more compatible with the Latin Vulgate translation. There are few cases where the Latin Vulgate had text that wasn't in the Greek manuscripts, so Erasmus translated the Latin text into Greek to use in his composite text. He was in such a rush to be the first to publish a printed Greek text that his original composite text had numerous errors. Thus, two more editions were published in 1527 and 1535. Numerous corrections were published after this all based on Erasmus' work. It was a work published in 1633 (after the King James Version was published in 1611) that gained the name "Received Text" from its preface that said, "so you hold the text, now received by all, in which is nothing corrupt." The one that is usually called the Received Text today is actually a composite of these various Erasmus-based texts using the King James Version to guess which reading most closely matched the King James Version. It wasn't the text used to produce the King James Version; instead, it is a text produced after the fact to support the King James Version.

As thousands of additional Greek manuscripts were located, more work was done to create a composite text of greater accuracy. This led to the Nestle-Aland composite that started in the late 1800s and continues to be updated to this day. The United Bible Society publishes a version of the Nestle-Aland in a more user-friendly format.

You assume that greater word counts mean greater accuracy, but this would only be true if errors in copying manuscripts are only caused by words being accidentally dropped. That is not true. We have documented cases where words were added, such as marginal notes accidentally added into the text.

I tracked down the claim of 2,922 fewer words in the Nestle-Aland Text. I tracked it down to a paper written by a Dr. Floyd Jones. He compared the 1550 edition of Stephanus' corrections to Erasmus' composite text (even though this edition was not used to translate the King James Bible) to the Nestle-Aland 26th edition. Whether his counting was accurate or not, I have no idea. What is missing is any analysis of whether those words should be in the text or not.

The testimony of Frank Logsdon comes from a radio interview. There is strong evidence that what Mr. Logsdon claimed was not true. See The Lockman Foundation’s Official Response to KJVO claims about Frank Logsdon.  You can compare this to what Mr. Logsdon claimed in Frank Logsdon Denounces New American Standard Version. It is being wildly spread by the King James Only believers simply because it is what they want to hear. But of the two testimonies, it sounds like the Lockman Foundation's statement is accurate and based on their records. Mr. Logsdon has motives to overstate his self-importance in order to promote his agenda.


Dear Jeffrey,

Thank you for your reply. You certainly seem to be gifted at research and writing.

Intellectual arguments can be played backward and forward like a game of tennis, but at the heart, God has made the truth accessible to a child. It is all about faith without which it is impossible to please God.
Do we believe that God has preserved His word in its purity as He promised in one verse of the Bible, which if we were a bit careless, we might miss altogether? If we do then let's ask Him to direct us to it.



What I notice is that you have no response. Instead, you are determined to hold on to your beliefs regardless of the evidence against them.

God has preserved His Word, but not in the form of one English translation done 400 years ago. The fact that we have far more ancient copies of the text than any other book shows God's hand in preserving His teachings.

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