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John 5:44 the hounour that cometh from God only
Sat Feb 26, 2011 , 03:20 PM
Post: #1
John 5:44 the hounour that cometh from God only
John 5:44 - "How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from GOD ONLY?"

NKJV, NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV - "How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from THE ONLY GOD?"

Is the King James Bible really an error as some bible agnostics claim, or it is absolutely correct? Well, you all know where I stand on this issue - the King James Holy Bible is the infallible words of the living God and the Standard by which all other bible translations are to be measured. Those I refer to as the Bible agnostics do not believe that any Bible in any language is or ever was the complete, inspired and infallible words of God. Each one is his own final authority and they will never be happy until each one of them finally gets to make up his own bible version.

It is a bit humorous to see the modern versionists criticize the King James Bible in this passage, when the Greek texts these fellas usually follow, like P65, 75 and Vaticanus completely omit the word GOD from their texts, but most of them have chosen to go with the traditional text here instead and include the word "God". They also are apparently unaware that the traditional way to translate this verse has always been the way the King James Bible translators have done it too.


In John 5:44 the Lord Jesus draws a striking contrast between those who receive honour one from another rather than from God only. The King James Bible rightly reads: "How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?"

John Gill does not say the KJB reading is wrong, but he says "OR from the only God". Apparently in his mind it can be translated either way - from God only, or From the only God.

Matthew Henry leaves it as it stands in the KJB and comments on the verse accordingly.

Likewise John Calvin translates the verse as it stands in the KJB and comments: "So, then, in order that any man may seek glory from God alone, he must be overwhelmed with shame, and flee to the undeserved mercy of God. ..So far as relates to the present passage, Christ’s meaning is, that there is no other way in which men can be prepared for receiving the doctrine of the Gospel, than by withdrawing all their senses from the world, and turning them to God alone..."

The contrast here is receiving honour from each other or from God alone. This is one perfectly acceptable view of what the passage means and how to translate it and it is the one followed by the King James Bible and many other translations, as we shall immediately see.

The same Greek construction of word order is found in Luke 5:21 where we read: " Who can forgive sins, but GOD ALONE?" and so also read versions like the NKJV, RV, ASV, NASB, NIV, ESV, RSV and Holman. Not one of them has translated the same Greek word order as: "Who can forgive sins but THE ONLY GOD?" The RSV says: "Who can forgive sins but God only?"

The bible agnostics who criticize the King James Bible here are ignoring the whole context of chapter 5 and are ignorant of Greek grammar. Not one time anywhere in this section of Scripture is anyone questioning Monotheism or the belief in One God. It is not even under consideration or doubt. The real issue is whom do men seek to please and receive honor from - from men or from God.

Beginning in verse 30 in John 5, Jesus Christ discusses the number of witnesses that testify to his ministry and authority. He lists the testimony of John the Baptist (vs. 32-35); his works (vs. 36); the Father (vs. 37); the scriptures (vs. 39); and notice in verse 41 where Jesus Christ states exactly where he does not get His honor from - "I receive not honour from men."

"A Grammar of New Testament Greek," by James Hope Moulton, Vol. III-Syntax, by Nigel Turner, pg. 225-226: "There is therefore not surprisingly some confusion of monos with the adv. monon: Mk 6:8- meden ei me rhabdon monon (D monen); Acts 11:19- medeni ei me monon (D monois) Ioudaiois; Heb. 12:26 OT seiso ou monon ten gen, alla kai...; 2 Tim. 4:8; I Jn 5:6- ouk en to hudati monon (B mono). In Jn 5:44 monou is best TAKEN ADVERBIALLY; not from him who alone is God, but only from God (Jewish monotheism was unimpeachable; Jesus was referring to their love of human praise), in spite of the word order. Lk 5:21 adv. monos."

In John 5:44 not only does the KJB say: "How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh FROM GOD ONLY?", but so also doesthe Anglo Saxon Gospels Corpus Christi Manuscript #140 circa 1000 A.D. It is hard to read but you can make out the words "from God only" - "þt wuldor þe is fram gode syluum." So too do the following Bible translations: Wycliffe 1395 -"ye seken not the glorie `that is of God aloone?", Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549 - "the honoure that commeth of God onlye?", the Bishops' Bible 1568 - "the honour that commeth of God only?", the Geneva Bible 1587, Mace's N.T. 1729, Whiston's Primitive N.T. 1745, John Wesley's translation 1755, the Worseley Version 1770, Webster's 1833 translation, the Living Oracles 1835 Alexander Campbell, Murdock's Translation 1851, Young's "literal", Darby 1890 - "the glory which comes from God alone?", Lamsa's 1961 translation of the Syriac Peshitta, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, the Third Millenium Bible 1998, the New Living Translation 1998, the Laurie Translation 1998, the Urim-Thummim Version of 2001, the Heritage Bible 2003, the Concordant Version 2006, the Complete Jewish Bible, the Catholic Public Domain Version of 2009 and the Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2008 - http://www.lookhigher.net/englishbibles/...sites.html
Martin Luther's German bible of 1545 reads the same as the King James Bible in John 5:44 - "und die Ehre, die von Gott allein ist, suchet ihr nicht." The French Martin 1744, Louis Segond of 1910, the French Ostervald of 1996 and La Bible du Semeur of 1999 all read the same as the KJB with - "la gloire qui vient de Dieu seul?", as does the Italian Diodati of 1649, the Riveduta of 1927 and the New Diodati of 1991 - " la gloria che viene da Dio solo?", and the Spanish Las Sagradas Escrituras of 1569 as well as the Reina Valera of 1909 and the 2004 Reina Valera Gomez all read as does the King James Bible with: "y no buscáis la gloria que de sólo Dios viene?"y no buscáis la gloria que de sólo Dios viene?"

The King James Holy Bible is right, as always, and the bible agnostics are still searching desperately for just one provable error in the greatest Book ever printed and the only one believed by thousands to be the infallible words of God - the Authorized King James Holy Bible.

Will Kinney

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