Hebrews 11:11

Hebrews 11:11 – All Messed Up in the NIVs

There is no Greek text anywhere that allows the NIV bible to render the text of Hebrews 11:11 the way they have it.

King James Bible – Hebrews 11:11 “Through faith also SARA HERSELF received strength to conceive seed, AND WAS DELIVERED OF A CHILD when SHE was past age, because SHE judged him faithful who had promised.”

The NIV editions of 1973, 1978 and 1984 editions say: “By faith ABRAHAM, even though HE WAS PAST AGE – AND SARAH HERSELF WAS BARREN – was enabled to BECOME A FATHER because HE considered him faithful who had made the promise.”

In the NIV 1973, 1978 and 1984 editions the subject is Abraham and not Sarah and it is Abraham who became a father, rather than Sarah who conceives seed, bears a child and believes God. By the way, there is not a known Greek manuscript on this earth that even has the words “Abraham” nor “become a father” in this verse at all!

NASB “By faith even SARAH herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised.”

ESV – “By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.”

Dan Wallace and company’s goofy NET version reads differently than them all, not following any particular Greek text (Not the UBS, Nestle-Aland, Majority nor the Textus Receptus) and says:

“By faith, even though Sarah herself was barren and HE was too old, HE received the ability to procreate, because HE regarded the one who had given the promise to be trustworthy.”

So the NET version introduces Abraham three times in the verse, when all the others refer to Sarah who was too old and Sarah who received strength and Sarah who believed God – NOT Abraham.

NKJV 1982 – “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, AND SHE BORE A CHILD when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.”

In the KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV, RSV, ESV, NASB, Message, Darby, Youngs, NEB, Berkeley, ISV, Common English bible, Complete Jewish Bible and just about every Bible version out there in any language it is always Sarah who receives strength to conceive seed and Sarah who was past age and it is Sarah who believes God.

Something is surely amiss here in the NIV, and this obvious blunder was not just an oversight or printing error. The NIVs continued with the same made up reading through three different editions – 1973, 1978 and 1984.

In addition to this, the KJB and NKJV textually have a phrase – “AND WAS DELIVERED OF A CHILD” – which is not found in the RSV, NASB, ESV. The Greek word translated as “was delivered of a child” is found in the Majority of all remaining Greek texts and in Sinaiticus correction and D correction, but is omitted in many modern versions that are based on the ever changing UBS texts.


The phrase IS found in Tyndale 1525 – “and was delivered of a chyld”, Coverdale 1535, The Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587- “and was deliuered of a childe when she was past age”, The Beza N.T. 1599, Mace N.T. 1729, Thomson Translation 1808, Webster’s 1833, The Revised N.T. 1862,The Revised English Bible 1877, The Clarke N.T. 1913, The Moffat Translation 1913, The NKJV 1982, The Word of Yah Bible 1993, the KJV 21st Century 1994, The Third Millennium Bible 1998, The Koster Scriptures 1998, God’s First Truth 1999, The Last Days N.T. 1999, Green’s literal 2000, World English Bible 2000, The Tomson N.T. 2002, Complete Apostles’ Bible 2003, The Mebust Bible 2007, The Jubilee Bible 2010, The Hebrew Transliteration Scripture 2010, Bond Slave Version 2012, The Modern English Version 2014 and the Modern Literal New Testament 2014.

It is also the reading found in Lamsa’s translation of the Syriac Peshitta – “AND WAD DELIVERED OF A CHILD when she was past age”.

Foreign Language Bibles

Also including the phrase “and was delivered of a child” are the French Martin 1744 and the French Ostervald 1996 – “Par la foi aussi Sara reçut la vertu de concevoir un enfant, et elle enfanta hors d’âge”, Martin Luther’s German Bible 1545 and the German Schlachter of 2000 – “Durch den Glauben empfing auch Sara Kraft, daß sie schwanger ward, und gebar über die Zeit ihres Alters”, the Italian Diodati 1649 and New Diodati 1991 – “e partorì fuor d’età”, the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569 and Spanish Reina Valera 1602, 1858, 1909, 1960, 1995 -“Por la fe también la misma Sara, siendo estéril recibió fuerza para concebir generación; y dio a luz aun fuera del tiempo de la edad, porque creyó ser fiel el que lo había prometido.”, the Russian Victor Zhuromsky, the Chinese Union Traditional Bible, the Portuguese A Biblia Sagrada em Portugués, and the Almeida Corrigida E Fiel – “e deu à luz já fora da idade”

and the Modern Greek N.T. – “Δια πιστεως και αυτη η Σαρρα ελαβε δυναμιν εις το να συλλαβη σπερμα και παρα καιρον ηλικιας εγεννησεν”

Well, guess what! Now the new New International Version of 2011 has come out and it goes back to the correct reading saying: “And by faith even SARAH, WHO WAS PAST CHILDBEARING AGE, WAS ENABLED TO BEAR CHILDREN BECAUSE SHE considered him faithful who had made the promise.”

Let’s contrast the two very different readings found in the various NIVs so you can see the differences.

NIV 1973, 1978 and 1984 editions – “By faith ABRAHAM, even though HE WAS PAST AGE – AND SARAH HERSELF WAS BARREN – was enabled to BECOME A FATHER because HE considered him faithful who had made the promise.”

NIV 2011 edition – “And by faith even SARAH, WHO WAS PAST CHILDBEARING AGE, WAS ENABLED TO BEAR CHILDREN BECAUSE SHE considered him faithful who had made the promise.”

The NIV Spanish edition (La Nueva Versión Internacional) of 1999 and the 2000 Portuguese NIV (Nova Versão Internacional) both STILL read like the NIV 1984 English edition with – “Por la fe Abraham, a pesar de su avanzada edad y de que Sara misma era estéril, recibió fuerza para tener hijos”, Portuguese NIV – “Pela fé Abraão — e também a própria Sara, apesar de estéril e avançada em idade — recebeu poder para gerar um filho”.

If you want to learn a lot more about the ever changing NIVs see – What About the “New” NIV of 2011?


If you read English and want The Bible with ALL the God inspired words in it and with the correct meaning every time, then get yourself the Bible God has used more than any other – the King James Holy Bible. It is always right!


Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock”

Revelation 3:20Behold, I stand at the door and knock

Is this a passage that proves “free will” for the unconverted?

Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

Those who believe in “free will” theology will often bring up this verse in an attempt to promote the idea that “I chose of my own free will to open the door of my heart and accept Jesus as my Saviour.”

Does this verse actually teach these things?

Free will” theology always ends up pitting one verse of Scripture against other verses of Scripture, as though the Bible were full of contradictions or “tensions” that cannot be resolved or understood.

They always end up making Jesus Christ out to be both a liar and a colossal failure.

See Who is Lying? Jesus Christ or the “Free Willers”?


The Free Will explanation of Revelation 3:20 is that Revelation 3:14-22, where the church of the Laodiceans is addressed, speaks to the Unconverted sinner who needs to “open his heart and accept Jesus” as his Saviour, and this is how he becomes redeemed and forgiven.

However their explanation conflicts with and contradicts, not only the immediate context, but many other Bible verses as well.

First of all, the book of The Revelation is clearly addressed to those who are the servants of God. In Revelation 1:1 we read of those to whom this revelation was given. “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew UNTO HIS SERVANTS things which must shortly come to pass

Secondly, in the letter to the Laodiceans the Lord Jesus is speaking to church members that are not DEAD, nor even cold, but are lukewarm. They have grown colder in their affections for, devotion to and love for the Saviour. They have grown distant and indifferent.

He tells them “As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and CHASTEN: be zealous therefore, and repent.” Revelation 3:19

Those Christ loves are his own.

Jesus…having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” John 13:1

“...Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it.” Ephesians 5:25

“…Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” Romans 9:13

“...Unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own bloodRevelation 1:5

And those he “chastens” ARE his sons.

For whom the Lord LOVETH HE CHASTENETH, and scourgeth EVERY SON whom he receiveth.

7 If ye endure chastening, God DEALETH WITH YOU AS WITH SONS; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.Hebrews 12:6-8

For much more on this, Does God Love Everybody?


Thirdly, it is GOD who opens the door for the unconverted, not man.

And when they were come (Paul and Barnabas), and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that GOD HAD DONE with them, and HOW HE HAD OPENED THE DOOR OF FAITH UNTO THE GENTILES.”

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, HE THAT OPENETH, AND NO MAN SHUTTETH; AND SHUTTETH; AND NO MAN OPENETH.Revelation 3:7

It is GOD who opens the heart and gives the gift of faith, not man.

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: WHOSE HEART THE LORD OPENED, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.” Acts 16:14

Rather than teaching that fallen, dead in sins, rebellious and unregenerate man has some ability in himself to choose of his own free will to decide to open the door of his heart and allow Jesus to come in to him to redeem him, (which would contradict numerous other clear verses about God’s election of grace and predestination) Revelation 3:20 is speaking about a church of believers who have grown lukewarm in their affections toward their Lord and need to welcome him back into lives in a closer and more intimate communion and fellowship.

If they do not repent of their lack of affection for him, then Christ will (not send them to hell or condemn them) but “spue them out of his mouth”. That is, he will reject them as being a strong testimony and witness to his name and cause.

Even IF the verse were talking about the unconverted – which it is not – it STILL would not prove “free will” theology because the Lord Jesus says “If any man HEAR my voice” and “HE THAT HATH AN EAR, let him HEAR what the Spirit saith unto THE CHURCHES (Not – the unconverted or the non-elect)

Why? Simply because once again, it is GOD who gives EARS TO HEAR to some and closes the ears of others. Man does not, and can not do this of himself.

See “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17


ALL of grace, believing the Book – the King James Holy Bible, and the God who inspired it.

Will Kinney