The Revised Standard Version and
One significant feature of the use of the perverted
manuscripts of Scripture is its influence upon those of other faiths.
This aspect has, we believe, received no attention in any other work
considering the new translations of Scripture. The influence of the new
translations is most marked in Islam. To many in the West it may seem to
be a matter of minor import. But such ignore that Islam is growing at a
rate which exceeds that of Christianity and that almost one-fifth of the
population of the world professes this faith. Only nine nations upon
earth have populations exceeding 100 million. Yet three of these
(Indonesia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) are Islamic nations and three
others (India, China, and the former U.S.S.R.) have large Islamic
minorities. Even in huge nations which we traditionally see as
Christian, Islam is making giant strides. Thus the Islamic population of
Brazil has reached two million. In Colombia where the population
contained only four Islamic believers per 10,000 citizens in 1988, no
fewer than 26 adherents of that persuasion were members of parliament;
two held ministerial portfolios and many of the journalists of the
country professed the Islamic faith.
The use of the corrupted version of Scripture is
understandably cited by Moslem apologists as proof beyond dispute that
the Bible has been corrupted by human devising. And unquestionably, so
it has, in the manuscripts upon which the new translations are based. In
his book, The Choice—the Qur’an or the Bible, the South African
Moslem author, Ahmad Deedat, devotes an entire chapter to the topic of
The Multiple Bible Versions. He avidly quotes from the demeaning
introduction to the Revised Standard Version of Scripture which falsely
The King James Version has grave defects and that
these defects are so many and so serious as to call for revision.
Ahmad Deedat, The Choice—the Qur’an or the Bible, 7, The
Thinker’s Library, Selangor, Malaysia
Little could the writers of this disgraceful
introduction have anticipated that their words would be seized upon as
evidence of the inferiority of the Bible as compared with the Qur’an,
concerning which Sir William Muir is credited with asserting two hundred
There is probably in the world no other book that
has remained twelve centuries with so pure a text. Ibid, 9
It is of no casual interest that Deedat invariably
points to the Catholic and the modern Protestant versions as more
accurate than the King James Version. This latter version always appears
to strike at the heart of unbelievers and call forth their greatest
wrath. This striking power in itself should be cause for contemplation.
Quoting God’s denunciation of those who delete material from Scripture
(Revelation 22:18-19), Deedat attacks Protestants who have
bravely expunged seven whole books from their
Book of God. Ibid., 9, emphasis in the original
His reference is here to the absence of the
Apocryphal books from the King James Version of Scripture.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses have, for their own purpose,
also made efforts to destroy the credibility of the King James Version
of the Bible. They claim that
as early as 1720, an English authority estimated
that there were at least 20,000 errors in the two editions of the New
Testament commonly read by Protestants and Catholics. Modern students
say that there are probably 50,000 errors. Awake, September 8,
This article did not escape Deedat’s attention. When
visited by a Jehovah’s Witness in his home, he produced the article, The
following conversation ensued.
I asked, "Is this yours?" He readily recognized his
own. I said, "It says: 50,000 errors in the Bible, is it true?"
"What’s that!" he exclaimed. I repeated, "I said, that it says that
there are 50,000 errors in your Bible."
"Where did you get that?" he asked. (This was
printed 23 years ago, when he was perhaps a little nipper.) I said,
"Leave the fancy talk aside—is this yours?" pointing again to the
monograph, "Awake." He said, "Can I have a look?"
"Of course," I said. I handed him the page. He
started perusing. They (the Jehovah’s Witnesses) are trained. They
attend classes five times a week in their "Kingdom Halls." Naturally
they are the fittest missionaries among the
thousand-and-one-sects-and-denominations of Christendom. They are
taught that when cornered, do not commit yourself to anything, do not
open your mouth. Wait for the Holy Ghost to inspire you with what to
say. I silently kept watching him, while he browsed the page.
Suddenly, he looked up. He had found it. The "Holy Ghost" had tickled
He began, "The article says that most of these
errors have been eliminated."
I asked, "If MOST are eliminated how many
remain out of the 50,000? 5,000?, 500?, 50? Even if 50 remain, do you
attribute those errors to God?" He was speechless. He excused himself
by suggesting that he will come again with some senior member of his
Church. That will be the day! Ahmad Deedat, op. cit., 13-14
The perversions of Scripture relating to Christ’s
divinity have been eagerly exploited in the Islamic world. Referring to
the exclusion of 1 John 5:7 from all modern versions, Deedat asserts:
This verse is the closest approximation to what the
Christians call their Holy Trinity in the encyclopedia called
the Bible. This keystone of the Christian faith has been scrapped from
the Revised Standard Version without even a semblance of explanation.
It has been a pious fraud all along and well-deservedly has been
expunged in the RSV for the English-speaking people. Ahmad Deedat, op.
Here the perverted text used in the modern versions
of Scripture is used as a powerful argument by Moslems against the
divinity of Christ, whom they debase to the status of a mere prophet.
Another Islamic author seizes upon the "evidence" of
some modern versions of Scripture which state that the last verses of
Mark, chapter 16, are not authentic, to cast doubt upon Christ’s
Neither Matthew nor John speaks of Jesus’
Ascension. Luke in his gospel situates it on the day of the
Resurrection and forty days later in the Acts of the Apostles, of
which he is said to be the author. Mark mentions it (without giving
a date) in a conclusion thought today not to be authentic. The
Ascension, therefore, has no solid scriptural basis. Maurice Bucaille,
The Bible, The Qur’an and Science, 62. The Socialist People’s
Libyan Arab Jamahiriyah, Tripoli, emphasis added
Many more examples of the misuse of the new versions
of Scripture by Islamic apologists could be cited. There is no doubt
that these versions are accomplishing much more harm to God’s cause in
the non-Christian world. Missionaries there must meet these arguments.
Much time is thus needlessly expended which could be better invested
presenting positive truth.
The new translations of Scripture are the work of
Catholics, a segment of Christianity which has never valued God’s Word,
and of Protestant higher critics, and often of Jews. This unholy
alliance has performed untold evil to the cause of God. That Protestants
would promote translations of Scripture bearing such poor credentials
needs thorough investigation. We should be careful not to support such
works. Virtually all the arguments used against the Holy Bible by
Islamic authors are not original but are extracted from the works of
"Christian" theologians with a penchant for higher criticism. Platitudes
used by "Christian thinkers" who do not believe the historicity of the
gospels are understandably scorned by writers from Moslem nations. Their
opposition to Scripture is bolstered by that which they read in
"Christian" literature. Thus Bucaille used Roguet’s wordy excuse for
ignoring the plain statements of fact in the gospels as proof of the
Bible’s lack of veracity. Roguet’s offending statement follows:
Here, as in many similar cases, the problem only
appears insuperable if one takes biblical statements literally, and
forgets their religious significance. It is not a matter of breaking
down the factual reality into symbolism which is inconsistent, but
rather of looking for the theological intentions of those revealing
these mysteries to us by providing us with facts we can apprehend with
our senses and signs appropriate to our incarnate spirit. Roguet,
Initiation to the Gospel, 187, 1973
By subtly using the doubt-engendering words of
apostate theologians and their scriptural translations, non-Christian
authors powerfully hinder the progress of the gospel. This hindrance to
our missionary endeavors has scarcely received attention in the West.
But for those who are on the cutting edge of the worldwide commission,
it is significant. The time surely has come for God’s people to take a
stand against perverted scriptural versions.