18 Alterations Made to the Bible and its Consequences

18 Alterations Made to the Bible and its Consequences

By Larry Holzwarth
18 Alterations Made to the Bible and its Consequences

To some, the Bible is the infallible and unchangeable word of God, written by Him and eternally sacrosanct. But which Bible? There are many different Bibles which contain different books within, and the several differing translations of those books has changed their content over the centuries. Verses have been added, removed, and modified to alter their meaning. Some have been simply forgeries, inserted for political and social reasons. Words which mean one thing in Greek or Hebrew have been given entirely different meanings by interpreters, sometimes out of ignorance, and sometimes out of plan.

When the Bible has been edited to modernize its language, for the purpose of making it more readily understood, its editors have used verses already modified from the original and modified them yet further. Entire verses have been moved and footnoted, changing the meaning of the original, not only to make it more readable to modern eyes, but to reflect the opinions and beliefs of the editors. This has been done despite the scriptural admonition against changing one word of the biblical prophecy, a verse which has itself been changed, its meaning altered, until another future editor decides to alter it yet again.

John Calvin’s views of a God of wrath and punishment found their way into the Geneva Bible, and thence to the King James Version. Wikimedia

Here are several changes to the Bible which have been made over the years, changing what is called by believers the Word of the Lord into the words of man.

A 1772 rendering of Philip baptizing the eunuch as described in Chapter 8 of the Book of Acts. Wikimedia

1. Acts 8:37 from the King James Version of the Bible confuses readers on requirements of Baptism – but sometimes this verse is omitted entirely!

In Acts chapter 8, the Apostle Philip preached the Gospel of Jesus to a eunuch, and when the two came to a “certain water”, the eunuch asked what “doth hinder me to be baptized?” Philip replied in Acts 8:37 (KJV); “And Philip answered, If though believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Philip then baptized the eunuch in the ensuing verses, after which he was spirited away, so that the eunuch “saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8: 39). Numerous later translations of the bible removed Acts 8:37 entirely, while others modify the story.

In the New International Version, for example, Acts 8:38 tells of Philip stopping the chariot in which they were traveling and baptizing the eunuch without responding to his question. The verse was removed in its entirety, though in some editions it is included as a footnote, stating that some versions of the bible contain the verse. The Jehovah’s Witness bible (NWT), the New American Standard Version (NASV) and the Revised Standard Version (RSV) all removed the verse from the King James Version. When the removal of the verse is not explained, it implies a change to the requirements for baptism, without delineating what those changes may be.