Question from a faithful reader in South Africa concerning Galatians 1:4: I am puzzled by the wording "God and our Father" in the KJV which has been translated by all other bibles as "our God and Father". I would be grateful if you could please explain.
For those who keep up with the King James Bible Debate and other related Facebook groups, Kent Settlemyer keeps us aware of the great depth of writing that has been done over the last century and a half defending the King James Bible. In his almost daily posts he copies brief excerpts from books by various men of God who have expressed rational concerns over the new versions. I have found them enlightening and encouraging. This morning he posted the following prescient observation by Alexander McCaul from 1857.
"The possibility of having our theological language and therefore our theology changed (as might be the case), makes us rather satisfied to hold fast what we have than to run the risk of emendations of so sweeping a character."
Among the many doctrines that morph into unintelligible goo in the new bibles is the doctrine of the Father. At the end of this post I will repost a post from October 17th 2017 which covers the unique place given to the Father by the King James Bible as opposed to the popular new versions that are out today. Before I do that, I want to reason with my readers. Jesus Christ said this; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him, Matthew 11:27.
The person of the Father cannot be discovered through the reasoning of man. In the reasoning of man, God himself is the Father of mankind. That of course is commendable. God did create man and in that respect he is the Father of all men. Every liberal theologian knows that, every new age hipster knows that, and every crass politician repeats it.
The Apostle Paul himself makes it plain that they are correct. For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device, Acts 17:28, 29. So then why does Jesus Christ say that he is the only one who can reveal the Father if even pagan Greeks can figure him out?
The answer to that question is at the heart of the new version issue. To the world, God is the Father of all of mankind and they are correct. The Christian who has been born again knows the Father as a unique individual. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Ephesians 3:14. Is there a difference? Yes, there is, to the user of the new versions, God in the sense of his entire Godhead is the only Father that they can conceive. The new versions can give no more insight into God the Father than pagan Greeks could discern through human logic.
Look at Galatians 1:4 in the new versions. Invariably the most popular versions say something akin to "our God and Father". The King James Bible says; Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: Galatians 1:4. This difference has puzzled some and annoyed others for many years. In 1979 I had a young graduate of Prairie Bible College (at that time called the Bob Jones of Canada) explained to me that the King James Bible was wrong on that account. It made the Father distinct from God.
She hit the nail on the head. The King James Bible does make the Father distinct from the entire Godhead. Just as Jesus Christ is God but he is a distinct person in the Godhead, and just as the Holy Ghost is God but he is a distinct person in the Godhead, so also is the Father. What the new versions fail to tell you is that seeing the entire Godhead as the Father is correct in a superficial sense that he did create us. Is is no revelation at all. The idea that there is a distinct person called the Father who can never be known without the new birth is not available in the new versions. It is plain in a King James Bible.
The Revelation of the Godhead: The Father in a King James Bible October 17, 2017
Dr. John M. Asquith
All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him, Matthew 11:27. If my readers were to browse the libraries of the next 50 Christians whom they happen to visit, they will find multiple works about the Holy Spirit. They will find books about Jesus Christ. What they will not find are books about the Father.
The Father is the least understood member of the Godhead. According to Jesus Christ he is only revealed by Jesus Christ. The absolute lack of literature about the Father, and the almost complete ignorance of him is pretty shocking proof of how few people are taught by Jesus Christ. The Father loses his identity as a distinct person within the Godhead in all new versions of scripture.
As an example of this, look at James 1:27, Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. God and the Father is so written that each are separate entities. In a King James Bible when God is mentioned, there are three distinct different persons who reside in that Godhead. The Father is a person in his own right just as Jesus Christ is a person and the Holy Ghost is a person. The Godhead is not complete with out the three of them.
New versions contradict that. For example, the NIV says, "Religion that God our Father accepts". By saying "God our Father", the Father loses his distinction as a person within the Godhead. The entire Godhead becomes the Father in that scenario. That places the NIV on a par with all non-christian religions who generically see God as the Father of mankind. What those religions don't believe is that within the Godhead exists an individual who is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and can be the Father of every person born of God.
Anyone ignorant enough to be using an NIV will be just as Blind. How apt is Gail Riplinger's title for her seminal* book, New Age Versions of the Bible! Likewise, the New American Standard Version in James 1:27 says, "our God and Father". Again, the Father is likened to God, not a person in the Godhead. It is simply impossible for Jesus Christ to reveal his Father to anyone reading new versions of the English Bible.
The ESV is no better. It says, "God, the Father" The use of the comma makes the word "Father" an appositive, meaning that it is restating and defining the word that precedes it. The King James Bible says, God and the Father. They are two different entities in that statement. God (the Godhead) is one entity, and the Father who dwells within that Godhead is another.
The translators of the new versions labor to obscure the Father wherever they can. Over and over, our authorized version makes God and then Father to be distinct one from another. The Father is God just as Jesus is God and the Holy Ghost is God, but God is more than the Father, and more than the Holy Ghost. To be a Christian means that the term "God" implies three distinct different persons.
Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father, Galatians 1:4.
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Ephesians 5:20.
Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen, Philippians 4:20.
We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Colossians 1:3.
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him, Colossians 3:17.
Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father, I Thessalonians 1:3.
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you, I Thessalonians 3:11.
In each of the above instances, the other versions get it wrong.
Seminal here means: adjective1.(of a work, event, moment, or figure) strongly influencing later developments."his seminal work on chaos theory"synonyms: influential, formative, groundbreaking, pioneering, original, creative, innovative.