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1 John 5:7-8


King James Version (KJV)

7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

retained as:

New King James Version (NKJV)

7 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.

8 And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.

versus:

English Standard Version (ESV)

7 For there are three that testify:

8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.


The KJV is widely considered as inauthentic. I'm curious as to why this was retained in the NJKV?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Probably for continuity.

The translation philosophy of the NKJV version was to essentially follow the original King James Version but update the language.

They did realize that there was textual discrepencies. That particular passage included words found in later Greek editions of the text but not in earlier editions.

Regarding textual discrepancies of the NKJV, Arthur L. Farstad, the Executive Editor of the NKJV version addressed some of these concerns stating:

"None of the three [textual] traditions on every page of the New Testament ... is labeled 'best' or 'most reliable.' The reader is permitted to make up his or her own mind about the correct reading."

(source)

Summary

They knew about it, but left it the way it was in order to maintain the original translation as much as possible.

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2  
Ugh. This is such a terrible translation decision. I enjoy reading and listening to the NKJV, but this choice makes me want to throw my copies away. The footnote on this particular passage reads: "1 John 5:8 NU-Text and M-Text omit the words from in heaven (verse 7) through on earth (verse 8). Only four or five very late manuscripts contain these words in Greek." –  Jon Ericson Oct 6 '11 at 19:26
3  
Admittedly, it's not ideal, but they weren't trying to "fix" the authorized version, but rather they were just trying to make it more understandable. I think this comes from the desire to preserve the KJV as much as possible for the love of the old, poetic phrasing. I agree it is a bit annoying, but it's not like the trinity is solely based on this verse. –  Richard Oct 6 '11 at 19:32

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