Type to search

KJV:  Which verses demand the Greek text to understand? 

Gary Googe Apr 29

Because there are so many verses in the King James Version of the Bible that fit this description, there’s not enough space in this article for me to name them all. However, the ones I’ve listed are some of the more important ones.

The dishonest claim of “KJV only” people, saying they do not go elsewhere for their understanding of the Scriptures, is amazing and sad to see.  They either had to go to the Greek text or to someone else who did to get a correct understanding of God’s Word in certain passages of Scripture.  Otherwise, they’d never know what was said there.  What you’ll find below are a few of the very many examples of this.


Philippians 3:20 

20 For our conversation [POLITEOU = citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: [Emphasis added]

A person could study that verse for a thousand years and still never know what it was saying.  If YOU know what it means it is because you or someone went to the Greek text and the word’s meaning in a lexicon to find the answer.  There you find that the subject is “citizenship” in Heaven.  There’s nothing there at all about a “conversation” as we use the word today.  Doesn’t this verse alone clearly show us the need for the Greek text from which the “New Testament” was translated? Is it not important that we know the truth concerning such matters as this that is given in this passage?  Isn’t it great to know that even though we as ones who’ve accepted by faith God’s provision for our salvation don’t live in Heaven now but eventually certainly will?  We’ll even live there in a new and perfect resurrection body with all the capabilities of our Lord’s resurrection body.  If you’re not familiar with that long list of features, you can read my article about them on this website—

Resurrection:  What will your resurrection body be like?


1 Corinthians 15:51 

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery [MUSTERION = secret]; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [Emphasis added]

No, this verse isn’t about a “who done it” story.  Instead, it is about one of the most important of all truths of Scripture—the new and special revelation that was first given to the apostle Paul concerning us today that was a “mystery,” a matter that had been kept secret since the world began.  You can find out more about this important truth on this website.  Here are the names of several of the articles—

Mystery:  What is this secret that Paul wrote about?

Mystery:  What is the Key to Understanding the Bible?

Mystery:  What is the fellowship of the mystery?

What does the word “mystery” connote? The apostle Paul used it multiple times.  The Greek word from which this comes is MUSTERION.  To make matters worse, instead of providing a translation, it has been transliterated.  Instead of giving its actual meaning, a new word was created, leaving people still in the dark as to what was being stated.  No one would guess that this verse was talking about the secret regarding the Rapture that was held in the mind of God until it was first revealed to the apostle Paul. Again, for more information about that, please refer to the articles like this one on our website.

Rapture:  How is this different from the Second Coming?

A THIRD CASE for us to note is to do with something wonderful God does for every believer the moment they are saved.

Ephesians 2:1 & 5

1 And you hath he quickened [ZOOPOIEO = to make alive], who were dead in trespasses and sins;

5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened [SUZOOPOIEO = made alive with] us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) [Emphasis added

No, to be “quickened” doesn’t mean to be made fast or something else.  It speaks of the spiritual life we gained at salvation and have now and forever. Before we accepted the gospel message, we were all spiritually dead.  But that changed immediately when we accepted the gospel message.  It was then that we gained a type of life that we never had before.  Furthermore, we were separated from a life of everlasting cursing because of our dead condition spiritually.  Isn’t it important for us to understand that salvation provided for us a form of everlasting life we didn’t have before?

A FOURTH CASE speaks of “the bowels” of Jesus Christ.  Seriously, what came to your mind when you first saw that term in your Bible?

Philippians 1:8 

8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. [Emphasis added]

No, this has nothing to do with Christ’s “bowels” or having a bowel movement.  Instead, it speaks emotions.  This speaks of the strong feelings Paul had about getting to be with these people again.  He had strong affections for them as we should have toward Christ and fellow believers.

A FIFTH CASE of this involves the occasion of our resurrection.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-16 

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [PHTHANO = precede or come sooner] them which are asleep.

The verse isn’t about preventing anything! It is about preceding a group of people in resurrection.  But how would you know that if you only had a King James Version of the Bible? Such statements have created many errors in understanding what is being said.  How would anyone know what was being said without going to the Greek text?

There in the context of this verse we find that believers who have passed away in death will precede in resurrection those who are alive when this takes place.  We are told there that they will be the ones who actually rise first from their graves.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: [Emphasis added]

Because of verses like these it is no wonder that there’s so much confusion and misunderstanding about what the Bible teaches.

A SIXTH CASE involves what is spoken of as “a falling away.” I’ve known people who thought this was speaking of “a falling away” from the truths of the Bible.  But is that what is under discussion here?

2 Thessalonians 2:3 

3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away [APOSTASIA = a departure] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; [Emphasis added]

In this case he’s not speaking of a falling away from truth but a departure from the Earth.  This is a reference to what we speak of as the Rapture or resurrection of the church which is called the Body of Christ.  It is after this “falling away” that the “man of sin,” the one also known as the antichrist, appears who then makes his appearance on the world stage of history.  For more information about him, please see my article—

Antichrist:  Is he alive today?

For more information about this “falling away” which is quite different from the Second Coming of Christ, see my articles about it—

Rapture:  What is the meaning of this term?

In this next article you’ll see ten (10) distinct differences between the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ.  Unfortunately, most pastors don’t even know about it or believe there will be a Rapture.  My article should help anyone understand this subject—

Rapture:  How is this different from the Second Coming?

Such will be a glorious event that you want to be sure you don’t miss.

A SEVENTH CASE involves a simple but important word.

1 Timothy 2:3-4 

3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. [Emphasis added]

Will ALL men be saved? Is EVERYONE going to Heaven? Not hardly! Actually, MOST people aren’t going to Heaven because they’ve not accepted the provision God made for them to have a way of getting there.  Also, does this mean He predetermined all who would be saved? No!  It simply tells us He DESIRES [THELO] all to be saved and He provided a way for all to be saved.

2 Corinthians 5:15

15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. [Emphasis added]

The payment for sin was made for all but only by personal faith in Christ can someone be saved.

John 14:6

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. [Emphasis added]

Acts 4:12

12 Neither is there salvation in any other [speaking of Christ]: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. [Emphasis added]

An EIGHTH CASE involves the word “wax.” What do YOU think of when you see or hear that word? Do you think of candles or ear wax? But what does it mean in the King James Version of the Bible?

2 Timothy 3:13

13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. [Emphasis added]

Here we are warned that things overall aren’t going to get better before the end times.  People sometimes foolishly think the world will somehow evolve into a utopian society.  The Bible tells us otherwise and here’s one example of that.  The Greek word for wax here is PROKOPTO which means advance. But would you guess that to be the meaning if all you had was a King James Bible? Probably not!  It takes a study of the Greek and how the word was used in the original text to know its meaning.  Otherwise, we’re “left in the dark” about it.

A NINTH CASE involves the word hell as it is found in the King James Version of 2 Peter.  In the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16, it is used to refer to the place of torment where all unbelievers go after physical death.  The Greek word there for it is HADES.

Luke 16:23

23 And in hell [HADES = hell] he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. [Emphasis added]

But what about the 2 Peter passage? There also the King James Version of the Bible has the word hell.  But please notice that in the Greek text an entirely different word is found, not HADES.  That means the King James Version translators translated two completely different Greek words with the same word—hell.  Was a distinction being made in the original text that the KJV translators missed? Yes! That appears to be exactly what happened. Let’s look at the verse.

2 Peter 2:4

4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell [not HADES but TARTARUS = a compartment in the area of HADES], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; [Emphasis added]

For a thorough understanding of what all this verse is talking about, please see my articles about it—

Genesis 6:1-4:  Who are these sons of God?

Spirits:  Who are the ones in 1 Peter 3:19?

But, here again, without the Greek text and the meaning we’d be without a complete and correct understanding of this verse.


Matthew 7:22

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? [Emphasis added]

There are numerous passages where the Greek word DAEMON has been mistranslated in the KJV with the word devils.  Everyone should know there’s only ONE devil, but many DEMONS.  The correct translation of DAEMON would be demons, not devils! Isn’t it important for us to know there’s only one devil? But if all you had was a KJV Bible, you’d have to conclude that there are many.

Even in Old Testament words we find a similar situation to what we’ve found in the Greek New Testament.  These are typically not as important because they usually don’t deal with doctrinal issues.  But even there we find words that demand a look at the Hebrew text and meaning for a correct understanding.  Instead of commenting on each one, let’s just look at how the King James Version translates these words.  Then I show their actual meaning.

Exodus 13:12 – “matrix” = womb

Exodus 30:35 – “confection” = perfume

Leviticus 11:14 – “kite” = hawk

1 Kings 10:16 – “target” = shield

2 Chronicles 35:13 – “sod” = cook

Joel 2:24 – “vat” = winepress

Psalm 4:2 – “leasing” = lying

Isaiah 3:19 – “muffler” = scarf

Isaiah 64:6 – “filthy rags” = menstrual rags

Ezekiel 3:9 – “Adamant = a diamond

Can’t it rightfully be said that the KJV needs correcting in all these verses? What more evidence does one need for that? How else could we possibly understand what is being stated in these passages where these words are used? 

Every translation of the Bible has its problems because words and their meaning often change.  But also, many times instead of translating the Scripture, the words were interpreted to mean whatever the translator thought they should or might mean.  I know it can seem hard to believe that translators of the Bible would do such a thing, but they have.  Did they make the changes they made by divine inspiration? NO! They did not! There’s no evidence for that.  It appears that this was usually done so the Scripture would be consistent with whatever the translators’ theology, or beliefs might be.  If you think this hasn’t happened, that’s just wishful thinking on your part because I know for a fact that it has.  A perfect and very important example of this is found in Paul’s letter to the Galatians.

Galatians 2:7

7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; [Emphasis added]

Here in one verse Paul speaks of TWO different gospel messages.  But you’ll find that some Bible translations make it read so that it appears as just one but to different people.  For more information, please see my articles about this—

Bible:  What are The Two Programs?   

Gospels:  Did Peter and Paul preach the same gospel?

You can even watch a video about it—

#27 ~ Two Gospels – Peter’s and Paul’s – What is the difference?

The King James translation was put together by six committees, three assigned to work on the Old Testament, two on the New Testament, and one on the Apocrypha.  Yes, even the fourteen books of the Apocrypha were included in the 1611 King James Version.  I’ve found that many of the staunch “King James only” people don’t even know that. Once the work of the committees was completed, two members from each committee met for the final review before its publication.   The translators were told to follow the Bishop’s Bible translation as much as possible.  They were also told to be guided by the previous translations of William Tyndale and Myles Coverdale when they agreed better with the original texts and manuscripts.  The New Testament was translated using what is called the Textus Receptus [Received Text] series of Greek texts.  For the Old Testament, the Masoretic Hebrew text was used, and for the Apocrypha, the Greek Septuagint text was used primarily.  Many other Bibles were also used to help in this process.  The translators were told to use the Bishops’ Bible [1568] as a guide, which was a revision of The Great Bible [1539], which was a revision of the Matthew’s Bible [1537], which was a revision of Coverdale’s first Bible that included all of Tyndale’s translation [1535]. The King James Version includes much of the wording of the Tyndale and Coverdale translations.  Therefore, the preface to the first edition of the KJV says that the translators never set out to make a totally new translation, but to make a new one out of many that were thought to be good.  Also, it is interesting to note that the King James Version reflects the English language of the early 1500s rather than the early 1600s in which it was printed.  Furthermore, each new translation tended to be better than what was before.  There, also, the English language changed somewhat from generation to generation as it does today and in every generation.  The meaning of some words can change drastically even from one generation to the next, let alone over hundreds of years.  It can’t be justly said that any of these TRANSLATIONS were perfect, nor were they inspired, including the King James VersionThe original writings clearly were inspired but not all the subsequent translations. Though the KJV is a good one, that one, too, is just a Version of the Bible, something some present-day believers are unwilling to admit despite all the clear evidence.  The KJV, like the others, was carefully done, being as faithful as possible to the available texts and manuscripts, but it is by no means a PERFECT translationTherefore, there’s always some need for correction.


The King James Version of the Bible is a wonderful translation.  If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t use it all the time as I do.  But please understand—they call it the King James Version because that’s what it is— a VERSION of the Bible.  To claim that it is a “perfect” translation is pure nonsense.  Even the translators themselves admitted that their translation was not to be thought of as “perfect.” 

Well over six hundred English words have a different meaning today than what they had in the 1600s.  That should not surprise us since the meaning of many English words change in every generation.

So, why do I still use the King James Version? Here are my main reasons.

  1. There’s no evidence that there’s such a thing as a “perfect” translation.
  2. More English-speaking people have a KJV than any other translation.
  3. Some Bibles include false interpretations and are not just translations.
  4. I am personally more familiar with the KJV than any other.

The bottom line to all this is that since there are variations even in the King James Version texts from edition to edition and from publisher to publisher since 1611, all of these being different, it cannot possibly be the collective or individual word-for-word, perfect, infallible, inerrant translation of the Word of God as some claim.  Therefore, I’ll continue to refer to the Greek and the Hebrew to get a correct understanding of the Bible.

The words stated in the preface of the 1873 King James Version are important to our subject— 

“There has never been a standard edition to which all printings are conformed.  No two early printings of the King Jame Version were identical – not even the two printings of 1611 – and no two modern settings are identical either.  These differences are due to accidental human error as well as to intentional changes by printers and editors and to conform the text to their standards of English usage.”

Therefore, you should feel free to make your own decision about which translation or version of the Bible you choose to use.  But I highly recommend that you use the King James Version primarily. Due diligence on your part will surely lead you to the truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

15 Study [SPOUDAZO = be diligent] to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [Emphasis added]

Nothing I’ve said takes away from the authority of the sixty-six books of the Bible as they were originally written.  Here we have that in the apostle Paul’s own last words to us and to every generation.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God [THEOPNEUSTOS = God-breathed], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect [ARTIOS = brought to maturity], thoroughly furnished unto all good works. [Emphasis added]

Just remember that when the Apostle Paul penned these words he was not talking about ANY subsequent translation, including the KJV.

Share this article:
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop

    Contact 4Us/2Us

    [super_form id="692"]

    Support Our Ministry


    Your gifts will be a part of the means by which this ministry is supported and sustained.

    Our objective is to give people the truth they need by which to gain salvation and to grow spiritually.

    We very much appreciate your part in this great work.

    Donation amount
    Donation frequency

    Don't worry - your information is safe with us!