Appendix 1 – The Effect of the Trinity Doctrine on the NKJV/KJV

It is a well-known fact that the translation of the Bible has been influenced by the personal theological beliefs of translators.

We first mentioned this in Chapter 7. In the famous verse of Exodus 3:14, translators, as noted by Encyclopedia Britannica, have translated “I AM WHO I AM” in accordance with their own religious beliefs. The original text says, “I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE.” In Chinese, this has been translated into a poetic form as “Self-Existing, Forever-Existing.”

There are several other examples of this kind of translation, which we will see.

In other cases, changes to the original text have occurred through the handwritten copying of the original text.

The King James Bible was based on the third edition of the Greek New Testament, of 1550, issued by the Parisian publisher Stephanus. This Greek text was based on the first printed Greek New Testament, compiled by Erasmus in 1516, and dedicated to Pope Leo X.

Erasmus, in his day, opposed Martin Luther and any challenge of Catholic Church doctrine. It is perhaps with this mindset that he favored the most recent manuscripts recognized by the Church.1Bruce Metzger, The Text of the New Testament. Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, Oxford University Press, 1992, p. 102.

To compile his text, Erasmus used manuscripts: Codex Basilensis A. N. IV. 2; Minuscule 2814; Codex Basiliensis A. N. IV. 1; Codex Basilensis A. N. IV. 4; Minuscule 2816; Minuscule 7; and Minuscule 817 (Gregory-Aland). All are dated from the eleventh to fifteenth century.

These so-called “manuscripts” were of course just “copies of copies of copies” of the Bible, which had been made by hand over 1500 years, before Erasmus’ compilation was used to create the first printed version of the Greek New Testament. In some cases, such as Revelation 22:16–21, Erasmus had no Greek manuscripts at all, so he created the Greek text from the Latin text, which he himself also updated.

The Stephanus edition on which the KJV was based made some improvements to Erasmus’ text, based on manuscript evidence and was considered the first step in Textual Criticism. About 13 years after the KJV was published, the first version of the Elzevir edition was produced, and was self-proclaimed as the “TR”—Textus Receptus, “the text which is received by all.” It substantially followed the Erasmus and Stephanus text. The expression TR is now applied to Erasmus’ editions.

Since the translation of the KJV, dozens of earlier Greek manuscripts have been found, many from the second to fourth century.

The most accurate Greek text recognized by scholars and theologians today is the NU text, the Nestle-Aland and United Bibles Societies text. The 1904 edition can be read in the interlinear version at This is also known as the Critical Text, because it is based on a “Textual Criticism” of the oldest manuscripts. The details of the oldest and most important manuscripts currently available can be seen at The manuscripts are listed in date order. We reference those manuscripts, when discussing Acts 20:28 below.

Through the study of older manuscripts, many errors have been corrected in more recent translations of the Bible.

As mentioned, many errors in translation result when translators are not faithful to the original language. In these cases, we have not provided any explanation for the differences.

To explain some of the errors, we have referred to the Pulpit Commentary, published in 1890. It is a well-respected conservative, public domain commentary, of more than 22,000 pages, that relied on over 100 Trinitarian believing contributors and was assembled over a 30-year period.

(Chapter)NKJVOriginal Text
1 (7)Exodus 3:14
“Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
“Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I WILL BE has sent me to you.’”
2 (25)Matthew 1:20
″An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.’”
Correct in the KJV as “the Angel of the Lord.”Apollonius’ Cannon requires the translation of Matthew 1:20, Acts 5:19, 8:26, and 12:7 as “the Angel of the Lord,” just as in the Old Testament. The Spirit of Christ continued to appear as “the Angel of the Lord,” after Christ became a man.
3 (2)John 1:1
“And the Word was God”
“And God was the Word.”
Meaning – ELOHIM in Genesis 1 was Christ.
4 (2)John 1:18
“The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”
“The only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”
5 (17)John 4:26
Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you AM.”
6 (17)John 8:24
“. . . for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
“. . . for if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.”
7 (17)John 8:28
“When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He”
“When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM . . .”
8 (17)John 13:19
“Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.”
“Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I AM.”
9 (22)John 17:11
“keep through Your name those whom You have given Me.”
“NU-Text and M-Text read, ‘keep them through Your name which You have given Me.’”(footnote in the NKJV Bible)The TR is based “on the very feeble authority from the codices, simply D2,2It is unclear what D2 is; if it is the Codex Bezae, the Greek text in this verse has been completely obscured. The oldest evidence is likely lectionary L845, dating to the 9th century, 100 of 109, 8th to 11th century lectionaries read, “Your name which You have given Me”—see “The textual tradition of the Gospel of John in Greek Gospel Lectionaries from the middle Byzantine Period, 8th to 11th century,” p. 486, Jordan. 69,369 is a 15th century Miniscule. and some versions.”4Pulpit Commentary
10 (22)John 17:12
“While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept.”
NU-Text reads, “in Your name which You gave Me.”(footnote in the NKJV Bible)NU refers to the oldest most reliable manuscripts. The manuscript evidence on this verse is balanced. The external evidence favors the NU reading.
11 (17)John 18:5
“They answered Him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus said to them, “I am He.”
“They answered Him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus said to them, “I AM.”
12 (17)John 18:8
“I have told you that I am He.”
“I have told you that I AM.”
13Acts 17:29
“Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the (Godhead – KJV) Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.”
Corrected in the NKJV(The phrase Godhead was invented by the translators, and used for three obscure Greek words found in Acts 17:29; Romans 1:20; and Colossians 2:9.)
14Acts 20:28
“To shepherd the Church of God, which He purchased with His own blood.”
According to the Committee of the United Bible Societies, it should be “To shepherd the Church of God which He purchased with the blood of His own.”

CLICK TO EXPAND In the view of the Committee, the manuscript evidence for “Church of the Lord” and “Church of God” is balanced. They decided on “Church of God” because Paul uses only this expression in his epistles.

However, in the Book of Hebrews, where the theme is “the Firstborn” (Heb 1:6), there is little doubt that Paul is the writer and calls it “the Church of the Firstborn” (Heb 12:23). In the Book of Acts, where the theme is “I will build My Church” (Matt 16:18, Acts 2: 47), he likely calls it “the Church of the Lord.” But if you believe Paul said, “Church of God,” you should, as the Committee says, recognize that “blood of His own,” means “His own (people)” as in John 1:11, “He came to His own.”
15Romans 1:20
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and divine nature, so that they are without excuse” (see NIV).(See Godhead comment under 13)
16 (13)Romans 9:5
“of whom are the fathers and from whom , according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.”
“of whom are the fathers and from whom Christ came in the flesh. God WHO IS (ὁ ὢν) over all blessed forever. Amen.”

CLICK TO EXPAND The New King James translation of: ὧν οἱ πατέρες καὶ ἐξ ὧν ὁ Χριστὸς τὸ κατὰ σάρκα, ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων θεὸςc εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, ἀμήν. relies on a comma after σάρκα. The oldest manuscripts with punctuation: the A, B, and C uncials, have a period after σάρκα.The ending of Romans 9:5, θεὸςc εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. “God WHO IS (ὁ ὢν) over all blessed forever.” is a doxology.

It is nearly identical to 2 Corinthians 11:31, ὁ Θεὸς – ὁ ὢν εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. “God WHO IS blessed forever.”

ὁ ὢν is the name of God that was given to Moses at the burning bush, as recorded in the Greek Septuagint of Exodus 3:14. This common everyday phrase “WHO IS” ὁ ὢν appears only at Exodus 3:14 in the Greek Septuaginst.

ὁ ὢν appears 14 times in the New Testament, and 7 times it refers to God, as He WHO IS. (Romans 9:5, 2 Cor 11:31, Rev 1:4, 1:8, 4:8, 11:17, and 16:5.) Only John used the phrase ὁ ὢν in a casual manner, 7 times in his gospel, where he also used the name “I AM” for Jesus, 7 times.

You may wonder why the Apostles were so careful about the phrase ὁ ὢν. The Greek Septuagint translated Leviticus 24:16 as “He that names the Name of the Lord (ὀνομάζων δὲ τὸ ὄνομα Κυρίου), let him die the death.”

In Roman 9:5, if Paul wanted to refer to Christ in the previous phrase, as “over all,” he could have just ο ἐπὶ πάντων as he did in Ephesians 4:6. But the expression “over all” only describes the “one God and Father of all.”

In Greek, the word position of God has no significance, because the word order does not define the subject. The topic of the sentence is defined by the nominative case for θεὸς. God is the subject of this sentence, and is equated to WHO IS, which is also in the nominative case.
17 (8)Ephesians 1:13-14
“… the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance …”
“…the Spirit of Promise, the Holy One, who is the guarantee of our inheritance …”The literal reading of the Greek text.
18 (28)Colossians 1:15
“He is the firstborn over all creation.”
“He is the firstborn of every creature (all creation).”

CLICK TO EXPAND As appeared in the King James Version, and the 4th century Latin Vulgate.The Greek text does not include the phrase “over all” ἐπὶ πάντων, that we find in Romans 9:5, and Ephesians 4:6. For the Apostle Paul, only the Father is “over all.”

It is an unfortunate thing, that many grammatical theories have been advanced to prove the Trinity doctrine, and these are taught as the way to interpret New Testament Greek. In the past “firstborn of creation” was translated with the default meaning of the genitive case, which is the possessive. However, grammarians may more specifically refer to it as the “partitive genitive” or “belonging to a whole” which is just a subdivision of the possessive genitive. The idea that we must translate this verse as “firstborn over creation” came in the late 20th Century, from the advancement of a category they call a “genitive of subordination.” For this new category, they provide examples like “King over Israel” which was previously understood to mean “King of Israel.” Perhaps, the only passage really seems to qualify for this new category is Mark 6:7, “He gave them authority over unclean spirits.” Otherwise, the default meaning of the genitive is the possessive, and this is how a writer will expect his reader to understand it.

In English, it appears there is a contradiction between this phrase, and the following phrase, “for by Him all things were created.” How can He be the firstborn of the things created, and have created “all things”? In the Greek, the reader sees the word “firstborn,” as “prototokos,” “pro” means “before.” The Greek reader can understand the text as, “begotten before all created things,” which eliminates any apparent contradiction (see Barnes’ Notes, Ellicott’s Commentary, and Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary).

In his Dialogue with Tryphos, Chapter LXI, Justin Matryr, in 150 wrote, “I give you another testimony from the scriptures, that God begat a beginning before all the created things.” His understanding can only come from Colossians 1:15, and Revelation 3:14, which calls Christ, “the beginning of the creation of God.”
19Colossians 2:9
“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”
“For in Him dwells the fullness of the divine nature bodily” (see NIV).(See Godhead comment under 13.)
20 (19)Philippians 2:6, 7
“who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.”
“who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but He emptied ἐκένωσεν Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.”
21 (19)1 Timothy 3:16
“God was manifest in the flesh.”
“Ὃς Who (Christ) was manifested in the flesh.”5Pulpit Commentary, He who for God, A.V. and T.R.
221 John 5:7
“For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.”
“not found in any Greek manuscript before the fourteenth century” – footnote in the NIV version.
23 (27)John 10:20
“I and My Father are one.”
“I and the Father are one.”(Jesus used the expression “My Father” only in respect of His role as “the Son,” which began at His baptism. He used the expression “the Father” when describing His relationship with “the Father,” which began in the Old Testament.)
24-53 (24, and Appendix 5)John 3:5; 7:39; Acts 1:5; Romans 7:6; 8:4,5,9; I Corinthians 2:4; 14:2; Galatians 4:29; 5:5,16,18,25; Ephesians 2:22; 4:4; 5:18; 6:18; Philippians 1:27; 2:21; Colossians 1:8; 1 Timothy 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 Peter 3:18; 4:6; Jude 1:19; Revelation 1:10; 4:2; 17:3; 21:10In these 30 verses, the Greek text does not include the article that distinguishes the Spirit of Christ, “the Spirit” from the anointing of the spirit of God, “spirit.”In John 3:5 “spirit” may refer to Christ’s words as “spirit.”

1 Timothy 3:16 – Ὃς Who was manifest in the flesh

In the nineteenth century, it was recognized that the earliest manuscripts showed “who” Ὃς and not “God,” but a debate arose regarding the Alexandrine text, which was the oldest. It seemed to show “Theos” or “God” in the short form. The short form of “Theos” needed a line through the middle, making it “Theos” and a line on the top, to indicate it was a short form of the word.

The Alexandrine text lacked the line in the middle making it “Theos,” but it had the line on top indicating it was a short form. The whole debate climaxed when several scholars examined the text under a microscope to see that the short form line had been added later on, in order to cause us to believe that “who” was a short form of Theos.

Comments on 1 Timothy 3:16 from The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges.

Since the minute inspection of the Alexandrine ms. by Bps Lightfoot, Ellicott, and others, there is no doubt of its original reading being ‘who,’ as is also the reading of א, and all the Versions older than the seventh century, of Origen, Epiphanius, Jerome, Theodore, and Cyril.

Comments on 1 Timothy 3:16 from Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers.

Possibly the difficulty in the construction is due to the fact of the whole verse being a fragment of an ancient Christian hymn, embodying a confession of faith, well known to, and perhaps often sung by, the faithful among the congregations of such cities as Ephesus, Corinth, and Rome—a confession embodying the grand facts of the Incarnation and the Resurrection, the preaching of the cross to, and its reception by, the Gentile world, and the present session of Christ in glory. In the original Greek the rhythmical, as well as the antithetical character, of the clauses is very striking. In the English translation they can hardly be reproduced:

“Ὃς Who was manifested in the flesh,
justified in the Spirit,
seen of angels,
was preached among the Gentiles,
believed on in the world,
taken up into glory.”

Fragments of similar hymns to Christ are found in 2 Timothy 2:11, and perhaps also in Ephesians 5:14.