New King James Version (NKJV)

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coun ter feit \'kaunt-er-fit\: to imitate or copy closely especially with intent to deceive.

The greatest method of deception is to counterfeit. And the master of counterfeit and deception is Satan.

The Bible in 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 warns of Satan's counterfeit: "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness;..." Isaiah 14: 14 tells of Satan's ultimate counterfeit: "...I will BE LIKE the most High."

And among his greatest counterfeit's is the New King James Bible (NKJV). Christians that would never touch a New International Version (NIV), New American Standard (NASB), Revised Standard (RSV), the New Revised Standard (NRSV) or other versions are being "seduced" by the subtil NKJV.

And though the New King James does indeed bear a "likeness" to the 1611 King James Bible, as you'll soon see, there's something else coiled (see Genesis 3:1) "underneath the cover" of the NKJV.

Thee's and Thou's

Among the first changes that greets the reader of the NKJV is the removal of the much maligned "thee, thou and ye". The Preface to the NKJV states, "...thee, thou, and ye are replaced by the simple you,...These pronouns are no longer part of our language." But "thee, thou and ye" were "NO LONGER part of the language" during 1611 either. (just read the intro to the 1611 King James, there are no "thee", "thou" and "ye"). In fact, Webster's Third New International Dictionary, says of ye: "used from the earliest of times to the late 13th century..." (p.2648) And yet the 1611 King James was published 400 years later in the 17th century! So why are they there?

The Greek and Hebrew language contain a different word for the second person singular and the second person plural pronouns. Today we use the one-word "you" for both the singular and plural. But because the translators of the 1611 King James Bible desired an accurate, word-for-word translation of the Hebrew and Greek text - they could NOT use the one-word "you" throughout! If it begins with "t" (thou, thy, thine) it's SINGULAR, but if it begins with "y" (ye) it's PLURAL. Ads for the NKJV call it "the Accurate One", and yet the 1611 King James, by using "thee", "thou", "ye", is far more accurate!

Hell Replaced1

The NKJV claims to make the "old" KJV "much clearer" by "updating obsolete words" (New King James Version, 1982e. p. 1235)

How about that "obsolete word" - "hell". The NKJV removes the word "hell" 23 times! And how do they make it "much clearer"? By replacing "hell" with "Hades" and "Sheol"! Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary defines Hades: "the underground abode of the dead in Greek MYTHOLOGY". By making it "much clearer" - they turn your Bible into MYTHOLOGY! Not only that, Hades is not always a place of torment or terror! The Assyrian Hades is an abode of blessedness with silver skies called "Happy Fields". In the satanic New Age Movement, Hades is an intermediate state of purification!

Who in their right mind would think "Hades" or "Sheol" is "up-to-date" and "much clearer" than "hell"?

Matthew 16:18
KJV: "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

NKJV: "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."

Luke 16:23
KJV: "And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom."

NKJV: "And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom."

Hell is removed in 2 Sam. 22:6, Job 11:8, 26:6, Psalm 16:10, 18:5, 86:13, 116:3, Isaiah 5:14, 14:15, 28:15,18, 57:9, Jonah 2:2, Matt. 11:23, 16:18, Luke 10:15, 16:23, Acts 2:27, 31, Rev. 1:18, 6:8, 20:13,14.

Then the NKJV decides that maybe "Hades" should be "grave"! So the NKJV makes 1 Corinthians 15:55 "much clearer" by changing "grave" to "Hades"! ". . . O Hades, where is your victory?" Clear as mud...

Other Words Replaced or Removed1

Another one of those "obsolete words" is "repent". They take it out 44 times! And how does the NKJV make it "much clearer"? In Matthew 21:32 they use "relent". Matthew 27:3 it's "remorseful" Or Romans 11:29 they change "repentance" to "irrevocable".

The term "new testament" is NOT in the NKJV! (see Matt. 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20, 1 Cor. 11:25, 2 Cor. 3:6, Heb. 9:15,) The NKJV replaces "new testament" with "new covenant" (ditto NIV, NRSV, RSV, NASB). An obvious assault at the written word!

The word "damned", "damnation" is NOT in the NKJV! They make it "much clearer" by replacing it with "condemn" (ditto NIV, RSV, NRSV, NASB). "Condemned" is no where near as serious as "damned"! Damned is eternal! One can be "condemned" and not "damned". Romans 14:22 says, "...Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth." Webster defines "condemned": to declare to be wrong, but the much more serious and eternal "damn": "to condemn to hell".

The word "devils" (the singular, person called the "devil" is) is NOT in the NKJV! Replaced with the "transliterated" Greek word "demon" (ditto NIV, RSV, NRSV, NASB). The Theosophical Dictionary describes demon as: " has a meaning identical with that of 'god', 'angel' or 'genius'". Even Vines Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words (p.157) defines "demon" as: "an inferior deity, whether GOOD or bad". Webster defines "demon" as: "divinity, spirit, an attendant power or spirit", but "devil" as: "the personal supreme spirit of EVIL..."

In 2 Timothy 2:15, the NKJV (like the NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV) remove that "obsolete" word - "study"! The only time you're told to "study" your Bible. Why don't they want you to "study" your Bible? Maybe they don't want you to look too close - you might find out what they've actually done to your Bible! The "real" KJV is the only English Bible in the world that instructs you to "study" your Bible!

That "obsolete" word "virtue" is replaced with "power" in Mark 5:30, Luke 6:19, 8:46! How does anybody confuse "virtue" with "power"? Simple - by being "bosom-buddies" with the NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV! That's what they did!

One of the most absurd changes ever made is changing the word "servant" to "slave"! The NKJV in Romans 6:22, reads: "But now having been set free from sin, and having become SLAVES of God..." The NKJV, in 1 Corinthians 7:22, calls the Christian, "Christ's SLAVE". Talk about a contradiction! John 8:36 says, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." But isn't a Christian supposed to serve? Yes, in love. Not as a slave! Galatians 5:13 explains it, perfectly: "For, brethren, ye have been called unto LIBERTY;(not slavery!) only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by LOVE SERVE one another."

In order to "harmonize" with the satanic New Age Movement (and of course the NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV!), the NKJV changes "end of the WORLD" to "end of the AGE"! And in it's no longer the "WORLD to come" but "AGE to come". The New Age Movement teaches a series of ages (hence the name: New AGE). See Matthew 12:32, 13:39, 13:40, 13:49, 24:3, 28:20, Mark 10:30, Luke 13:30, 20:34,35, 1 Cor 1:21.

The New Age Movement and the occult are longing for one called the Maitreya. The Bible calls him the Anti-Christ. New Ager's refer to him as the "the Coming One" - AND so does the NKJV! In Luke 7:19, 20 (see also Matt 11:3) John told his disciples to ask Jesus: "Are You the Coming One..." In the "The Great Invocation", a "prayer" highly reverenced among New Agers and chanted to "invoke" the Maitreya, says, "Let Light and Love and Power and Death, Fulfil the purpose of the Coming One."

And to really show their sympathy with the satanic New Age Movement - believe it or not - in Acts 17:29 the New Age NKJV changes "Godhead" to "Divine Nature"! ( ditto NIV, NASB)

Required Changes1

And if you think the NKJV just "innocently" updated the "obsolete words", removed the "thee's and thou's" - here's what the translators proudly admit: "It is clear that this revision REQUIRED more than the dropping of "-eth" endings, removing, "thee's" and "thou's," and updating obsolete words." (The New King James Version, 1982e. p. 1235)

Here's a sampling of the REQUIRED changes:

Genesis 2:18
KJV: And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

NKJV: ought to make Hillary Clinton proud: "And the Lord God said, It is not good that man should be alone; I will make a helper COMPARABLE TO HIM"

Genesis 22:8
KJV: God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering:

NKJV:  God will provide for Himself the lamb FOR a burnt offering"

One of the greatest verses in the Bible proclaiming that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. The NKJV adds that little word "for" and destroys the wonderful promise! Where'd they get their little "for"? From the NASB!

Genesis 24:47
KJV: I put the earring upon her face

NKJV: I put the nose ring on her nose

Where did it get the ridiculous idea to "cannibalize" Rebekah? Just take a peek at the NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV!

Ezra 8:36

KJV: And they delivered the king's commissions unto the king's lieutenants...

NKJV: And they delivered the king's orders to the king's satraps...

Who in the world thinks "satraps" is "much clearer" than lieutenants? The NIV, NASB, NRSV, RSV - they do! They put in the same "much clearer" word!

Psalms 109:6 removes "Satan". (NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV).

Matthew 7:14 changes "narrow is the way" to "difficult is the way". There's nothing "difficult" about the salvation of Jesus Christ! Jesus says in Matt. 11:30, "For my yoke is EASY, and my burden is light." The exact OPPOSITE! Talk about a contradiction!

Matthew 12:40 changes "whale" to "fish" (ditto NIV) I don't guess it matters (what's the truth got to do with it?), the Greek word used in Matthew 12:40 is ketos. The scientific study of whales just happens to be - CETOLOGY - from the Greek ketos for whale and logos for study! The scientific name for whales just happens to be - CETACEANS - from the Greek ketos for whale!

Matthew 18:26 & Matthew 20:20 NKJV removes "worshipped him" (robbing worship from Jesus) (NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV)

Mark 13:6 & Luke 21:8 remove "Christ" (NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV)

John 1:3 changes "All things were made BY him;" to "All things were made THROUGH Him" (NIV, NRSV, RSV)

John 4:24 changes "God is a spirit" to the impersonal, New Age pantheistic,"God is spirit" (NIV, NASB, NRSV, RSV)

John 14:2 (NKJV 1979 edition) changes "mansions" to "dwelling places" (NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV)

John 14:16 changes "comforter" to "helper"(refers to Holy Spirit) (NASB)

Acts 4:27, 30 change "holy child" to "holy servant" (refers to Jesus) (NIV, NASB, NRSV, RSV)

Acts 12:4 changes "Easter" to "Passover" (NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV)

Acts 17:22 changes "superstitious" to "religious" (NIV, NASB, NRSV, RSV)

Acts 24:14 changes "heresy" to "sect" (NIV, NASB, NRSV, RSV)

Romans 1:18 changes "hold the truth" to "suppress the truth" (NIV, NASB, NRSV, RSV)

Romans 1:25 changes "changed the truth" to "exchanged the truth" (NIV, NASB, NRSV, RSV)

Romans 5:8 changes "commendeth" to "demonstrates" (NIV, NASB)

Romans 16:18 changes "good words and fair speeches" to "smooth words and flattering speech" (NIV, NASB, NRSV)

1 Cor. 1:21 changes "foolishness of preaching" to "foolishness of the message preached" (ditto NIV, NASB, NRSV, RSV)

There's nothing foolish about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Unless you're not saved! 1 Cor. 1:18 says: "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish FOOLISHNESS. . ." I wonder where that leaves the translators of the NKJV, NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV?

1 Cor. 1:22 changes "require" to "request" (NASB)

1 Cor. 6:9 removes "effeminate" (NIV, NRSV, RSV)

1 Cor. 9:27 change "castaway" to "disqualified" (NIV, NASB, NRSV, RSV)

2 Cor. 2:10 change "person of Christ" to "presence of Christ" (NASB, NRSV, RSV)

2 Cor. 2:17 With all the "corruptions" in the NKJV, you'd expect 2 Cor. 2:17 to change. IT DOES! They change, "For we not as many which CORRUPT the word of God" to "For we are not, as so many, PEDDLING the word of God" (ditto NIV, NASB, NRSV, RSV)

2 Cor. 5:17 change "new creature" to "new creation" (NIV, NRSV, RSV)

2 Cor. 10:5 change "imaginations" to "arguments". Considering New Age "imaging" and "visualization" is now entering the church, this verse in the "old" KJV just won't do. (NIV, RSV)

2 Cor. 11:6 change "rude in speech" to "untrained in speech" (NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV)

Gal. 2:20 omits "nevertheless I live" (NIV, NASB, NRSV, RSV)

Phil. 2:6 (NKJV 1979e.) changes "thought it not robbery to be equal with God" to "did not consider equality with God something to be grasped". (robs Jesus Christ of deity) (NIV, NASB, RSV)

Phil. 3:8 changes "dung" to "rubbish" (NIV, NASB, NRSV)

1 Thess. 5:22 changes "all appearance of evil" to "every form of evil" (NASB, RSV, NSRV)

1 Timothy 6:5 The NKJV changes "gain is godliness" to "godliness is a MEANS OF gain". There are NO Greek texts with "means of" in them! Where, oh where, did they come from? Care to take a wild guess? You got it! The NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV!

1 Timothy 6:10 The NKJV changes "For the love of money is the root of all evil:" to "For the love of money is a root of all KINDS OF evil". The words "KINDS OF" are found in NO Greek text in the world! Where did they get them? Straight from the NIV, NASB, NRSV!

1 Tim. 6:20 changes "science" to "knowledge" (NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV)

Titus 3:10 changes "heretic" to "divisive man" (NIV)

Hebrews 4:8 & Acts 7:45 "Jesus" is changed to "Joshua". (NIV, NASB, RSV)

2 Pet. 2:1 changes "damnable heresies" to "destructive heresies" (NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV)

1 John 3:16 removes "love of God"; (NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV)

1 John 5:13 The NKJV reads: "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may CONTINUE TO believe in the name of the Son of God." They add "CONTINUE TO" without any Greek text whatsoever! Not even the perverted NIV, NASB, NRSV and RSV go that far! A cruel, subtil (see Genesis 3:1) attack on the believer's eternal security!

Rev. 2:13 change s"Satan's seat" to "Satan's throne" (NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV)

Rev. 6:14 "Heaven" is changed to "sky" in (NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV)

And There is Much More

The NKJV removes the word "Lord" 66 times!

The NKJV removes the word God 51 times!

The NKJV removes the word "heaven" 50 times!

In just the New Testament alone the NKJV removes 2.289 words from the KJV!

The NKJV makes over 100,000 word changes!

And most will match the NIV, NASB, RSV, or RSV! And Thomas Nelson Publishers have the audacity to claim in an ad for the NKJV (Moody Monthly, June 1982, back cover), "NOTHING has been changed except to make the original meaning clearer."

The New King James is a Counterfeit! It's NOT new! The changes are already in the NIV, NASB, NRSV, or RSV! And it's certainly NOT true to the 1611 King James Bible!

A Bridge Translation to Westcott and Hort2

Pastor Kirk DiVietro of Franklin Massachusetts, sent an email to David Cloud of Way of Life Ministries in January of 2005 that reveals the hidden agenda behind the publication of the New King James Version. David Cloud prefaced Kirk DiVietro's letter with the following statement:

Kirk DiVietro, Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Franklin, Massachusetts, attended one of the Thomas Nelson planning meetings that prepared the way for the publication of the New King James. He testified to me that the Thomas Nelson representative plainly stated that their goal with the NKJV was to create a bridge to the modern versions, to break down the resistance of those who still revere the KJV. Following is Bro. DiVietro’s testimony as he gave it to me by e-mail on January 9, 2005:

“Over 20 years ago I attended a pre-publication meeting of the NKJV held by the Thomas Nelson People and hosted by the Hackman’s Bible Bookstore in Allentown, PA. I am personal friends with the owners who took great delight in seating me next to the brother of the main translator of the NIV. The meeting was attended by over 300 college professors and pastors. At the meeting we were treated to a slide presentation of the history of the English bible and in particular the King James Bible and its several revisions.

During the presentation of the NKJV the Thomas Nelson representative made a statement which to the best of my memory was, ‘We are all educated people here. We would never say this to our people, but we all know that the King James Version is a poor translation based on poor texts. But every attempt to give your people a better Bible has failed. They just won’t accept them. So we have gone back and done a revision of the King James Version, a fifth revision. Hopefully it will serve as a transitional bridge to eventually get your people to accept a more accurate Bible.’ 
Because of the years, and because I did not write it down, I cannot give you the speaker’s name and I cannot promise you that this is word for word correct, but the meeting so seared my spirit that I have never picked up and opened a NKJV. I can tell you that this is absolutely the substance and nearly the exact words of what was said.”
The accuracy of Pastor Kirk DiVietro's recollection regarding the Thomas Nelson representative's statement, "We would never say this to our people, but we all know that the King James Version is a poor translation based on poor texts" is confirmed by the New King James Version editors: It was the editors' conviction that the use of footnotes would encourage further inquiry by readers. They also recognized that it was easier for the average reader to delete something he or she felt was not properly a part of the text than to insert a word or phrase which had been left out by the revisers.

NKJV Mysterious Symbol1

Symbols are used throughout the occult. Harpers' Encyclopedia of Mystical & Paranormal Experience (p.594) says, "Symbols are important to all esoteric teachings, for they contain secret wisdom accessible only to the initiated."

Thomas Nelson Publishers (publishers of the NKJV) claim, on the inside-cover, the symbol, " an ancient symbol for the Trinity." But Acts 17:29, clearly FORBIDS such symbology: "...we ought NOT to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, GRAVEN BY ART and man's device."

Constance Cumbey, author of The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow and a notable authority on the New Age Movement, said, "On the cover of the Aquarian Conspiracy is a Mobius, it is really used by them as triple six (666). The emblem on the cover of the New King James Bible is said to be an ancient symbol of the Trinity. The old symbol had Gnostic origins. It was more Gnostic than Christian. I was rather alarmed when I noticed the emblem..." (The New Age Movement, Southwest Radio Church, 1982 p.11)

The three esoteric "6"'s separated.
Plainly displaying the interlocked "666"

The NKJV & Witchcraft?

The Craft: A Witch's Book of Shadows (shown to the left)
The Witch's Book of Shadows or Grimoire is a book of spells, enchantments, and rituals. Includes Rituals, Spells, and Wicca Ethics

The Craft Companion: A Witch's Journal (not shown, but contains the same symbol)
By Dorothy Morrison, a high priest of Witchcraft.

NOTE: See symbol circled in YELLOW. Compare the enlarged symbol to that on the NKJV.

Dr. Cathy Burns writes in her book, Masonic and Occult Symbols Illustrated, concerning the "NKJV symbol":
"Marilyn Ferguson, a New Ager, used the symbol of the triquetra (another name for the triskele) on her book The Aquarian Conspiracy. This is a variation for the number 666. Other books and material have a similar design printed on them, such as books from David Spangler, the person who lauds Lucifer, and The Witch's Grimoire. As most people know, the number 666 is the number of the beast (see Revelation 13:18) and is evil, yet the occultists and New Agers love this number and consider it to be sacred.

As stated earlier, many organizations, such as the World Future Society and the Trilateral Commission, incorporate this symbol into their logo. I think it is quite interesting to see that this same symbol appears on the cover of the New King James Bible as well!" (Dr. Cathy Burns, Masonic and Occult Symbols Illustrated, pp. 242-243)


The New King James Version is one of the deadliest translations on the market. It was first published in 1979. It's editors have succeeded in deceiving the body of Christ on two main points: (1) That it's a King James Bible (which is a lie), and (2) that it's based on the Textus Receptus (which is only a partial truth).3

The King James Bible is the gold standard in translations. King James commanded, and received, an accurate translations true to the original Hebrew and Greek. As noted above, most modern Bible translations attack the deity of Jesus and otherwise attempt to defame him (e.g. virgin birth, etc.) See some problem texts in some of the more popular bible translations here.


1 New King James Version ...COUNTERFEIT by Terry Watkins [Backup]
2 New King James Version, Textus Receptus [Backup]
3 The NKJV: A Deadly Translation, By James L. Melton [Backup]

Other Information:

What's Wrong With The New King James? by David W. Daniels [Backup]
Does The New king James Use The same Texts as The KJV? by David W. Daniels [Backup]