One Verse, Two Versions

King James Bible vs. Revised Standard Version

As a result of more people turning to the new Bible versions, it has become increasingly rare to find articles, tracts, books, DVDs, churches, and people who quote from and use the King James Bible in their ministry. Frankly as soon as I encounter a quote from one of the new versions, whether written or spoken, I almost always turn away. Not only is it a matter of what I dis-like, more importantly it is a matter of mistrusting the new versions to properly render the meaning of what God said in their translation. Another reason for not wanting to read or hear new versions quoted is because it is confusing when trying to memorize or even just recall what a verse said. I know the devil loves that aspect of confusion he has caused, but I try to not play into his hand and wish more people did likewise.

The wording of the newer translations are usually not very different from each other, but their meanings are nearly always vastly different than that of the King James Bible. A casual reading often does not pick up on the difference in meaning and message since it has usually been stated in a very subtle manner. Sad to say that even a glaring difference would not be recognized by perhaps most new version readers because increasingly they have never bothered to even crack open a King James Bible. Actually there are passages that are glaringly different with seemingly little concern on the part of the translator or the reader as to how wide the difference. How can this not be a case of adding to or taking away1 from the Word of God? Yet, not everyone is indifferent or uninformed, for behind the scenes there is a struggle for the purity and continued preservation of God's Word. The other side, whether knowingly or not, I cannot say, seem determined to rob God’s Word of it's divine power and accuracy.

One of the most effective tools of Satan in this battle is his appeal to the carnal nature of those new version readers. Millions are convinced by his manipulation of facts on a number of points from texts, manuscripts, and at his bidding they even mock staunch King James Bible advocates accusing them of being ignorant and “behind the times” on the Bible version controversy.

While there are many translations and verses we could examine we will confine this limited study to the Revised Standard Version and Proverbs 14:30. I find this passage to be very misleading, dangerous, and downright wrong. It is a good example of the subtly we mentioned previously. We will compare the rendering given this verse by the Revised Standard Version to that of the King James Bible and look at the meanings of key words contained in both.

A tranquil mind gives life to the flesh, but passion makes the bones rot. Proverbs 14:30 - Revised Standard Version

A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. Proverbs 14:30 - King James Bible

First of all we need to look at four significant words used in these two passages, mind, heart, passion, and envy. We will begin by examining the dictionary definition of the first two words as they are used here, and compare them to each other.

mind - The intellectual or intelligent power in man; the power that conceives, judges, reasons, wills, imagines, remembers or performs any other intellectual operation; the understanding; the soul.

heart - The human heart regarded as the seat of the mental faculties or capacities; the seat of the affections and passions; the seat of the will or inclination; mental tendency; conscience, or sense of good or ill; the seat of moral life and character. The inner part of anything; the part nearest the middle or center. The chief part; the vital or most essential part; the core. Strength, power of producing, vigor.

These definitions reveal that the mind and the heart are not the same. They serve two very different spiritual purposes since the heart, not the mind, is the more central part of man and feeds the mind in more ways than one. Notice part of the definition of heart states it to be the seat of moral life and character. The mind is aware, but who you are, and what you are, is in the heart.

...for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart... Matthew ~ 12:34b; 15:18

So we see that the very words that we speak reveal our heart, not our mind, as so many think. In Acts chapter eight verse thirteen when Simon attempted to buy for himself the power to give the Holy Ghost to others, Peter sharply rebuked him. Peter did not say Simons' mind or thinking was not right, but that his heart was not right in the sight of God. This was after Simon became a believer by the way.

We will now look at the remaining two words on our list, passion and envy.

passion - a powerful emotion or appetite, intense affection or longing; an emotion by which the intellect is swayed.

envy - discontented desire or resentment aroused by another's possessions, achievements, or advantages.

Once again we have two distinct words conveying significantly different meanings, and they are not interchangeable without changing the meaning of the sentence in which they are used. Notice in the definition that passion is an emotion and emotions are ruled by the flesh, not by the Spirit. However there are good or useful passions such as a passion for Heaven, Jesus Christ, or the things of God. Hopefully as Christians we have a longing for Heaven, and an intense affection for Jesus Christ. Viewing some overwhelming aspect of God's creation, such as a sunset, or the Grand Canyon for example, can arouse such emotion as to cause an atheist to change their mind and believe in a Divine Creator. This would be an example of passion, the emotions swaying the intellect. So we know the fact that the intellect was swayed came originally from the heart, the seat of the affections and passions.

These passions are good and even desirable in helping to create and maintain a strong relationship with the Lord. Yet the Revised Standard Version, counts these feelings as undesirable, as they are by definition passions and the RSV claims passion makes the bones to rot.

On the other hand to envy because of who someone is, what they have, or what they have accomplished, is to be discontented, unsatisfied, and unhappy and is generally considered to be a sin. As the King James Bible declares, it leads to a very unhealthy condition. Paul realized the destructiveness of envy when he wrote;

...for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. ~ Philippians 4:11

Passion is necessary if upon the return of the Lord Jesus, we are to be found by Him to be other than lukewarm. Clearly it is as stated in the King James Bible, that envy, not passion, is the rottenness of the bones.

It is simply untruthful to say that all passion makes the bones rot and it is impossible for the mind, tranquil or otherwise, to give life to the flesh.

Many a deceived person has a tranquil mind because they have reasoned away their sins, they have imagined God to be other than He is. Their heart, not being right with God, is therefore wicked, they are still dead in sins and trespasses. Ephesians 2:1; also Colossians 2:13.

Head knowledge does not and cannot bring life, only a changed heart brought about by trusting in Jesus Christ can do that, and that brings a sound heart.

Folks, we would be foolish indeed to think that Satan has not attacked God’s Word and tried to rob us of the comfort, and power of the truth. Satan knows that the mind is changeable and so easily influenced when the heart is not soundly anchored. We must shun envy, embracing a passion for our Saviour Jesus Christ, and then we will have a sound heart that gives life to the flesh, and a part of that life is a tranquil mind.

Some of you should be asking yourselves what else is being misrepresented and passed off as the Word of God. The King James Bible is the only Bible we can trust and it is the only Bible since 1611 given by God and protected by Him. Folks, many men and women suffered and died carrying out the work God called them to do. Their sacrifice and faithfulness has given us an accurate translation that we can hold in our hand and read in our own language. Please honor them and their memory as well as honoring God by reading and studying the King James Bible. You will grow spiritually as never before in wisdom and in understanding. tiny cross


  • 1 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Revelation 22:18-19; emphasis added