NIV -vs- AV
Chapter 3 - The Hebrew Old Testament Text

     The NIV editors list different and varied Old Testament texts that they used for their version throughout. They played pick and choose as to whatever suited their fancy at the time, to complete it. The Authorized Version (KJV) used the Traditional Masoretic Hebrew Text and here is a reason why.

     The Jewish people were named by God to be a guardian of the Old Testament Text.

  "WHAT advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? (2) Much every way; chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God"  
  Romans 3:1-2 AV  

         Let us take a look at how the Jewish people fulfilled this Biblical challenge.

     An abbreviated version of the strict rules governing the copying of the Traditional Masoretic Hebrew Text follows:

  1. The ink was to be prepared by a special recipe.

  2. There were special rules for making the parchments, as well as the color of the parchments.

  3. There were particular rules for the lining and columning of the parchments.

  4. Strict rules were given concerning the forms of letters, the spaces between letters, words and sections, the use of the pen, etc.

  5. No word or letter could be written from memory. The scribe must have an authentic copy before him. He must read and pronounce aloud each word before writing it (word by word).

  6. He must reverently wipe his pen each time before writing the word for God. He must wash his whole body before writing God’s Name.

  7. Every word and every letter was counted. If a letter were omitted, an extra letter inserted, or if one letter touched another the entire manuscript was condemned and destroyed at once.

  8. Proofreading of the whole manuscript must be made within 30-days after the completion of it, otherwise it was deemed worthless. One mistake on a sheet condemned the sheet. If three mistakes were found on any sheet, the entire manuscript was condemned.


     This abbreviated version of the historic rules utilized by the Jewish people, show that these men believed that the words they were copying were God’s Holy Words.

     The Lord Jesus Christ himself flatly stated in Matthew 5:18 AV...

  "For Verily I say unto you. Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled"  

     When our Lord spoke about the "jot" and the "tittle", the smallest parts of the Hebrew letters, what was he referring to? The "jot" refers to the Hebrew letter ‘yodh’. It is about the size of an apostrophe, which is the height of the other Hebrew letters. The "tittle" refers to the horns, or minute extensions of some Hebrew letters. Something like the tip of the vertical stroke on our English ‘m’ or ‘n’.

     The above verse also signifies that the Savior read from, and put his approval on, the Traditional Masoretic Hebrew Text during his ministry on this earth.

     Then you have the extraordinary evidence of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Since their discovery in 1947 at Wadi Qumran, there have been scrolls found dating back to the 3rd Century B.C. The most remarkable thing is that they found a complete scroll of, 'The Book of Isaiah' which dated back to before the 1st century B.C., and it is word for word the same as the Traditional Masoretic Hebrew Text, which was the same text used for the Authorized King James Version.

     But just as the Greek Text has its corrupters, so it is with the Hebrew Text.

     The strong intellectual temptation of Greek philosophy began its subtle encroachment into scripture with this man, Philo (20? B.C. - 40? A.D.). Philo was an apostate Jewish intellectual who founded Alexandria’s infamous Catechetical School of Philosophy, Science, and Theology. So here we find ourselves back in Egypt. This is the same school that Origen was later president of, before he was given the boot. There is also the same attempt to harmonize the Scripture with pagan philosophy. Except back then, Philo only had the O.T. to corrupt.

     As stated previously, the NIV lists varied sources they used for their Hebrew text of the Old Testament. So through the events of history, Philo wasn’t the only corrupter. But as with the Greek, so it is with the Hebrew as apostate 'scholars' claim that the Bible was preserved in Alexandria. By an equating of spirituality with religious intellectualism, the typical Bible college faculty will venerate a host of Egyptian heretics from Philo to Clement to Origen on through to the likes of Westcott and Hort in England.

  "Ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth"  
  2 Timothy 3:7 AV  

         Now we have briefly gone over the Greek and Hebrew Texts that comprise the New and Old Testaments. We will move on to how these were put together in the Authorized Version (KJV) and the New International Version in particular, and the other modern versions in general.

-- by Ed Elkins

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