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Thursday, March 30, 2017
Date Posted:
7/3/2003

Contemporary English Version


The Contemporary English Version Bible – The Latest In The Perversion Of The Scriptures Of Truth In The English Tongue


Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley

Yet another colossal lie is being sold by the Ecumenical World in the publishing of another perversion of the Holy Scriptures, in the C.E.V. the CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH VERSION BIBLE.

This publication claims to be – “THE CRYSTAL – CLEAR C.E.V. Bible translation and declares that it is combined with user-friendly guides and introductions, maps and a mini dictionary – helping you to read and understand the Bible and see how it connects with modern life”. (See Introduction page 2)

It seeks to claim that it is the climax of the new translations and lists 51 Bible Societies in its introduction (page 2).

It will be of interest to those from the United Kingdom that the Bible Society in Belfast Northern Ireland and the British and Foreign Bible Society of England and Wales are included in this list.

The Bible claims the Title – “INTO THE LIGHT”.  The true Bible’s warning, Matthew 6:22-23 ‘The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!’ would need to be heeded by all who would handle this crowning perversion of God’s most precious word.

Well might we put to the translators the great test question, ‘What think ye of Christ?’

An examination of the interpretation, which they are trying to palm off as a translation will soon reveal their answer.

The Westminster Confession of Faith gives the following answer, of the Historic Christian Faith as founded on the Word of God, to that test question.

‘The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance, and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon Him man’s nature, with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, of her substance.  So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion.  Which person is very God and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man.’  (W.C.F. Chapter 8 Section 2.)  Just how far the manufactures of The C.E.V. depart from the Historic Christian Faith we set out below.

GEN 3:15 Authorised Version (A.V.) reads:-

‘And I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.’ The Contemporary English Version (C.E.V.) reads:-

‘You and this woman will hate each other: Your descendents and hers will always be enemies.

One of hers will strike you on the head and you will strike him on the heel.

If ever there was an attempt to destroy the productive prophecy concerning the Person and Work of Christ this is it.

By changing ‘It’ to ‘one of hers’ the verse ceases to speak of the special seed of the woman.

Moreover the suffering of the Cross-work is undermined by the removal of the word ‘bruise’ from the text.

Eve was in no doubt about the Person referred to in the promise.  This is evident form her exclamation when Cain was born.

‘I have gotten a man, the LORD.’ (Genesis 4:1) (There is no word in the Hebrew corresponding to the word ‘from’ in the A.V.)

The learned Dr. Gill comments:

‘It would appear that she took that seed to be a divine person, the true God even Jehovah, that should become man.’

Eve, of course, was mistaken in thinking that Cain was the promised seed, but she made no mistake in thinking that the promised seed, when He came, would be none other than God Himself.

This glorious glimpse, in the twilight of Messianic prophecy, of the Deity of the Lord Jesus, the C.E.V. completely demolishes.

What is more, the makers of this faithless interpretation have no textual grounds whatsoever for their rendering.

GENESIS 49:10 The A.V. reads:-

‘The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.’ The C.E.V. reads:-

‘You will have power and rule until the nations obey you and come bringing gifts.’

The C.E.V. deletes entirely ‘until Shiloh comes’ and ‘unto him shall the gathering of the people be’.  It removes the sceptre altogether and dismisses the lawgiver.

The name of Judah means ‘Glory to God’ and the name Shiloh, ‘peace’.  In this connection, Dr. Munro Gibson points out:

‘There is, I cannot help thinking, something more than curiosity in the fact, that if the Hebrew equivalents were given for the Greek words in the hymn which was sung by the angels over Bethlehem’s plains, when the great Son of Judah was born there, a Prince and a Saviour, it might read thus, ‘Judah’ in the highest and on earth ‘Shiloh’ Glory to god in the highest and on earth peace’.

ISAIAH 9:6

The A.V. reads:-

‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.’ The C.E.V. reads:-

‘A child has been born for us.  We have been given a son who will be our ruler.   His names will be Wonderful Adviser and Mighty God, Eternal Father and Prince of peace’.

Notice how the C.E.V. seeks to take away entirely one of the precious names of our Lord Jesus Christ, ‘Wonderful’ made into an adjective to ‘Adviser’ and thus deleted as one of Christ’s titles.  Again this is without any textual authority whatsoever.

MICAH 5:2

In Micah the morning gives place to mid-day.  The very place of Christ’s birth is foretold.

The A.V. reads:-

‘But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee he shall come forth unto me that is to be ruler of Israel whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.’ The C.E.V. reads:-

‘Bethlehem Ephratah, you are one of the smallest towns, in the nation of Judah.  But the Lord will choose one of your people to rule the nation – Someone whose family goes back to ancient times.’

The C.E.V. makes Christ a creature of time.  The true Christ is from everlasting to everlasting God.’

MALACHI 3:1

In Malachi, we come to the evening of the Old Testament prophecy, just before the dawning of the day of New Testament fulfilment.

The A.V. reads:-     ‘Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.’ The C.E.V. reads:-

‘Then suddenly the Lord you are looking for will appear in his temple.  The messenger you desire is coming with my promise and he is on his way.’

The C.E.V. completely alters the great testimony of the verse to our Lord’s Deity and Advent.  Notice the Lord is the messenger of the covenant and He has come to His temple according to the faithful A.V. rendering.

Not so the C.E.V., The Lord will appear in His temple but the messenger is on His way.

According to the C.E.V. the Lord and the Messenger are not one and the same person.  Here we have the confusion of error.

The reasons for these deliberate attacks on the Deity of our Lord by the makers of this C.E.V. are not difficult to find. These men themselves have rejected Christ as God manifest in flesh, hence their endeavour to doctor the scriptures for their own pernicious ends.  The C.E.V. is not their faithful translation of scriptures, but rather their faithless interpretation of scriptures.  The C.E.V. is a monument in print to their rejection of the Christ co-equal and co-eternal with the Father.

It is appropriate to quote here that giant amongst his fellows, William Jennings Bryan.

‘To those who try to measure Christ by the rules that apply to man, He is incomprehensible; but take Him out of the man class and put Him in the God class, and you can understand Him.  He also can be measured by the work He came to perform; it was more than a man’s task.  No man aspiring to be a God could have done what He did; it required God condescending to be a man.

‘When once His divine character is admitted, we have an explanation that clears away all the perplexities.  We can believe that He was conceived of the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary.  We can believe that He opened the eyes of the blind when among men – we see Him today giving a spiritual vision of life to those who have known only the flesh and the pleasures that come through the flesh.  We can believe that He wrought miracles when upon earth – we see Him so changing hearts today that they love things they used to hate, and hate things they used to love.  We can even believe that, at his touch, life was called back to the body from which it had taken its flight – we have seen Him take men who had fallen so low that their own flesh and blood and deserted them, lift them up, wash them and fill their hearts with a passion for service.  A Christ who can do that now, could have broken the bonds of the tomb’.

ROMANS 9:5

 The A.V. reads:-       ‘Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen’. The C.E.V. reads:-

‘They have those famous ancestors, who were also the ancestors of Jesus Christ.  I pray that God who rules over all, will be praised forever. Amen’.

This text has always been a Gibraltar for Trinitarianism.  The C.E.V. version is a tremendous triumph for the Unitarians, who have long contended that these words do no ascribe Deity to Christ but are rather a benediction to God.  The A.V. rendering is the perfectly natural one, and as such was universally translated by the ancient Church, by all the Reformers, by the Puritans and indeed by all who believe in the Deity of Christ.

The C.E.V. rends instead of rendering the text and instead of Christ being ‘over all God blessed for ever’ the later part of the text is taken to be a doxology having no reference to the Deity of the Son of God whatsoever.

The term ‘the Son of God’ expresses the co-equality of the Son with the Father.  This is evident from John 10:33 where the Jews took up stones to stone Christ because He said He was the Son of God.  ‘The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for a blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.’  The term ‘The Son of God’ then, refers to the Deity of Christ as well as to His relationship with the Father.

JOHN 6:69 The A.V. reads:-      ‘And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God’. The C.E.V. reads:- ‘We have faith in you, and we are sure that you are God’s Holy One.’ The C.E.V. removes ‘the Son of the Living God’ and replaces it with ‘God’s Holy One.’ JOHN 9:35,36,37 The A.V. reads:- ‘Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?       And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.’ The C.E.V reads:- ‘When Jesus heard what had happened he went out and found the man.  Then Jesus asked, Do you have faith in the Son of Man?  He replied, Sir if you will tell me who he is, I will put my faith in him.  You have already seen him, Jesus answered and right now he is talking with you’.

Notice the A.V. states that Jesus declared Himself to be the Son of God.  The C.E.V. alters this to read that Jesus declared Himself to be the Son of Man and further reduces the attitude of reverence to Christ by making the man, who was healed, address Jesus at the first as ‘Sir’ instead of ‘Lord’.  The Greek word ‘Kurios’ primarily means Lord.  The A.V. consistently had men address Jesus with the title ‘Lord’ and the reader was left to determine for himself the amount of understanding and reverence for Christ, which was in the mind of the one who thus addressed Him.  The C.E.V. proceeds with its policy of interpretation and seeks to water down the content by translating the word as ‘sir’.

N.B. Professor R.C. Foster points out: ‘As to the manuscript difference between ‘Son of God’ and ‘Son of Man’, it is again a battle between Aleph-B combination and the main body of Greek manuscripts. Although the American Revised Version tended to give great weight to Aleph-B, they refused to yield to them here, and change ‘Son of God’ to ‘Son of Man.’

JOHN 3:16 This is perhaps the best loved verse of the whole Bible.  It is indeed as Luther said, ‘the little Bible.’

The A.V. reads:-      ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life’.

The C.E.V. reads:-

‘God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die.’

The Greek word ‘monogenes,’only begotten’ is not fully translated.  ‘Begotten’ is completely omitted.  In this connection it is interesting to note that every reference in the New Testament in which Christ is referred to as the only begotten of the Father the C.E.V. deletes the term ‘begotten’.

JOHN 1:14

The A.V. reads:-

‘And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.’ The C.E.V. reads:-

‘The Word became a human being and lived here with us.  We saw his true glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father.  Form him all the kindness and all the truth of God have come down to us.’

‘Begotten’ left out.

JOHN 1:18 The A.V. reads:-

‘No man hat seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.’

The C.E.V. reads:-

‘No one has ever seen God.  The only Son who is truly God and is closest to the Father, has shown us what God is like’.

‘Begotten’ left out.

JOHN 318

The A.V. reads:-   

‘He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.’

The C.E.V. reads:- ‘No one who has faith in God’s Son will be condemned.  But everyone who doesn’t have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God’s only Son’. ‘Begotten’ left out. JOHN 4:9 The A.V. reads:- ‘In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.’ The C.E.V. reads:- ‘God shewed his love for us when he sent His only son into the world to give us life’ ‘Begotten’ left out. When we find such an important term left out in every passage we can only conclude that it has been done deliberately.  In this connection where the word occurs in Hebrews 11:17 in reference to Isaac being the only begotten of Abraham, rather than give the word ‘begotten’ the translators added the word ‘son’ which is not in the original, in order to cover up the omission of ‘begotten’.  In the A.V. the word ‘son’ is in italics, showing that it was added by the translators, but the text reads just as clearly without its addition.  C.E.V. adds to the text, not to clarify it, but to cover up its own deliberate omission.  To leave out the word ‘son’ in their translation would make the verse nonsensical. Why their hatred of this word ‘begotten?’  As can be seen from Hebrews 11:17 the word shows the link between father and son.  The term when used of Christ refers to His unique relationship in the Godhead to the Father.  To omit the term ‘begotten’ is to strike at the Deity of the only Redeemer of God’s elect.  This omission also prepares the way for the denial by the translators of the Virgin Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.  If Christ were the only begotten of the Father, Joseph could not have begotten Him. 1 TIMOTHY 3:16 The A.V. reads:-      ‘And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.’ The C.E.V. reads:- ‘Here is the great mystery of our religion.  Christ came as a human. The Spirit proved that he pleased God; and he was seen by angels.  Christ was preached to the nations.  People in this world put their faith in him and he was taken up to glory’ Notice the many changes in this great text of scripture. Every effort is made to jettison from it its mighty testimony to the Incarnation and Virgin Birth of our Lord and Saviour. We will come back to this subject and have another look at this latest addition to the Devil’s already long list of Perverted Scriptures.  Any believers using such perversions are guilty of disloyalty to our Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible Societies who have made their perversions of the Scriptures say what the Bible does not say at all are guilty of tampering with God’s Holy Word. Their Bible, the C.E.V., can be renamed the Contemptuous English Version and should be utterly rejected. The devil tried by misquotation to make the Scripture speak a lie to the Lord Jesus in his temptation and the same devil by the C.E.V. is endeavouring, aided by the apostate Bible Societies, to make the scriptures speak lies in hypocrisy. May God confound him and all his works and workers!

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