One of the things that we constantly hear, and it’s written in books, is that “Sure, there are differences in the words, and yeah, the text is different, too, but not one cardinal doctrine of the faith has been changed by the modern versions.”
David: You know, some people like to say, “Well, there are plenty of verses that teach the Trinity, the Godhead, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost being one God. You don’t need 1 John 5:7.”
You know, there’s a guy with the last name of Russell; Charles Taze Russell. He was going to a Bible study, and he got hold of an English Revised Version. I found the “Zion’s Watchtower” (1882) I downloaded it. I found it online and read it for myself, and he actually tells what happened. He was reading the Revised Version, and he thought, Oh, the scholars say that 1 John 5:7 doesn’t belong. See, I always thought that Jesus Christ wasn’t God.
And he influenced thousands upon thousands of people, across continents, to stop believing in Jesus Christ as God the Son!
Jack: Now there… Am I glad I came, because now I’ve learned that, too. Because that’s gonna be my answer to the person who says to me, “Well, none of verses, of the doctrines are changed.” 1 John 5:7. It’s one thing to say, “It’s been changed.” But it’s another thing to say, “Well, what does that mean? What effect does that have?” How about this? How about an entire religion, or cult, was created because of it?!
The Jehovah’s Witnesses Now I bet the person who tells you those words, “Well, it doesn’t affect any doctrine,” I’ll bet you they absolutely, positively, 100% don’t know that story that you just heard. (See the vlog, Can One Verse Change a Doctrine?)
David: I just found it out last summer because I was teaching a class on different cults, and I was looking up the history of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. And I went, “Hey, these dates look awfully similar! I wonder if there’s some writings from those days?”
So I went and looked it up, and I went, “Wait – our dates are getting really tight here. Let’s check them out!” And I just went down and finally found the actual documents that he wrote and I read them for myself.
David: Right there. And I knew the publishing date, ’cause I just did a vlog on it. I just did a vlog on the publishing date of the English Revised Version, when it actually came out, and then I saw Charles Taze Russell, and (my mouth hung open). And he himself stated it by the [July] issue of that year, he stated that he had switched his belief, and then already, people writing to his Bible column, saying, “Yeah, yeah, I didn’t believe that, either. Good thing those scholars found this out.”
Jack: Wow, boy.
Jack: Wow, that’s amazing. The other thing you think about Unitarianism, that “Jesus is not God,” I mean people who say those things are… two things. One is either they are ignorant of the issues, and I’m telling you there are very smart people who are ignorant of the issues. They are good academically. In other words, they do great passing tests, and that gets them a degree and so forth.
But sometimes, common sense is not very common. And some simple things… A person says to you, “Well, a change in words does not change doctrine, or no cardinal doctrine.” Well, first you have to ask them, “What do you mean by ‘cardinal,’ and list them for me,” which they won’t be able to do. And if they give you three or four or seven ‘fundamentals of the faith,’ what? Does the whole faith depend upon seven things? Or is there any more? So it’s a ridiculous argument on the face of it, when you give it any thought at all.
But even… I lost my train of thought.
David: You’re talking about doctrines being affected.
Jack: Oh, yes. Doctrines HAVE to be affected by wording. For example, when you get.. have you ever gotten a notice from the telephone company, or from your cable TV person, or from your credit card people. Or when you agree to download a piece of software. Or when Apple gives you an update. Or any of those things. And then there’s this big, long thing that says, “I have read, and ….” And then you go [click] “I agree.” Wow. You have no idea about all the things you just agreed to. And by the way, those things, everything in that document means something. They’re not there just for fill. And that’s why it’s in small print. Because if it was in big print, you probably wouldn’t do it, because it would be page after page after page. But it’s there for a reason. Because words mean something!
And you change the words, you change the doctrine. You change what’s taught. You change what’s believed.
So anybody that tells you that… I don’t know what right words to say about the person that tells you that.
David: They’re deceived.
Jack: It’s just not true.
They are deceived, or they are gaming you. They want you to believe what they have to tell you. And they don’t want you to ask any questions. That’s an important feature.
And now, when somebody does that to you, you have a choice. You can either bounce back at him, or just let it go and move on.
My suggestion is, “Let it go.” You don’t need to chase him. I mean, if you’re in front of a bunch of people, and you get it laid out to you, you can answer it that way. You can talk about documents and that words mean something. But other than that, you don’t have to chase them. You’re never gonna convince them otherwise. Because, to me, they’re either ignorant –but they’re probably not, more likely they’re gaming you. And they’re trying to make you believe what they want you to believe. And that goes on a lot.
David: You know, it’s funny. There’s a verse in 1 Timothy, 3:16. And when you read it, I know everybody talks about it (at least over here; I don’t know if you guys do or not), but it starts out in the King James, with these two words –it’s great. It says “without controversy.”
It’s so funny because this verse has been made so controversial.
1 Timothy 3:16, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh….”
I can just stop right there. God was manifest in the flesh! Now if you get out one of the ones that comes from Egypt, an Alexandrian-type text, it’ll just say, “He appeared in a body,” like the New International Version says.
Jack: What about the New American Standard?
David: It doesn’t matter. All of them, they all say the same thing. Or “He was manifest” or “Who,” because the Alexandrian word is “who.” Because what they did is, they took a single line out. By taking a single line out of the letter Theta, which is short for God, they made the letter an Omicron –and with the Sigma at the end of it made it “who“: “who is manifest in the flesh.”
Now you say, “Well, the CEV, NLT & LB even say, ‘Christ was manifested in the flesh.‘” Wonderful, but that’s not the point of this verse.
What is “the mystery of godliness”? That God was manifest in the flesh. It’s definitely not that He appeared in a body. Because you appeared in a body, Jack appeared in a body, and I appeared in a body. And that didn’t do anything for the salvation of the universe, did it?
No, God was manifest in the flesh. But if you say, “Christ was,” there’s no manuscript on earth that says “Christ was manifest in the flesh.” The fact is, the preserved manuscripts say that God was manifest in the flesh.
And that is an important doctrine. Because there are only a couple of places that say those words like that. And all you have to do is take out one.
And then they go, and they say “Oh, it’s right– Oh, wait. It’s not there after all. Okay, alright, it’s still over here…” Well, the next version may not have it there, either. They’ll change the words just a little bit, and pretty soon you’ll be where we are today!
“I don’t think Jesus was anything other than a good man. I don’t think he was really God.” And their Bible pretty much agrees with them.
Is that what we are presenting to people today? So we’ve gone into saying, I am enhancing my Christianity and the Christianity of others, by giving them a Bible that lets them doubt that Jesus Christ is God, doubt that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are one God, doubt that you’re really going to go to heaven or to hell when you die, doubt that there are angels and devils, doubt that there is a Satan, doubt that you are saved without works, by grace, through faith. Not like that’s important.
Just because every other religion on the face of the earth teaches there’s works you must do to be saved… And only in the gospel do you have that without works, by faith in what Christ did for you –because one person’s gonna pay for the crime. It’s the perpetrator or somebody else. But when it’s paid for, that’s done. It’s a paid-for event. Well, Jesus came, completely sinless, and paid for our crime for us .
He’ll pay it, or we’ll pay it. It’s just a matter of who pays. If you teach a gospel of works from your Bible, then you’re just like every other religion on the face of the earth.
But if you have God’s holy words, you will realize that salvation is by grace through faith. And that’s it. Because He paid for it, for you. You have to trust what someone else did, for you.
If you’re sitting in a prison, and somebody walks up with a pardon, and you’re sitting there with your arms crossed, and he’s saying, “Here’s a pardon from the Governor–you can go free!” And you sit there, going “I refuse to accept that document.” Well then, guess what? You’re gonna stay in that prison. And you’re gonna finish your sentence. You can do it by your own will –literally.
All you have to do is accept the free gift, and you’re a free man. Don’t give them a Bible that tells them, “You’re not free!”
Jack: Moreover, if Jesus Christ is not God, then, assuming He died for someone, that would just be “a life for a life.”
And secondly, if He’s not sinless, then how could He pay the price for somebody else’s sins? So He not only has to be sinless, He has to be God. His Blood has to be of eternal, universal value –the most valuable thing ever. His Blood is sufficient to pay for ALL of my sins. He died for the whole world!
Well, maybe, perchance, somebody can give his life for another. But how can One give His Blood, shed His Blood as an atonement for many? Only if that One, first of all, is sinless Himself, innocent. And secondly, if that Person has eternal value. This means that the deity of Jesus Christ is critical to everything that we believe.