Share this Page | Back To Main Page | Email Us


Barbara Aho Bids Goodspeed to King James 1611

At first glance it appears that Mrs. Barbara Aho adheres to the KJV 1611 [See Watch.pair Warning] but a thesis (1) posted to her site that lends credence to modern bible versions suggests otherwise. This thesis was written by the late Edgar J. Goodspeed, a liberal theologian and linguist who authored and co-authored his own modern bible versions based on the Westcott-Hort corrupt Greek text. Goodspeed did not believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ:

"Edgar Goodspeed was on the Revised Standard committee. Goodspeed did not believe in the deity of Jesus Christ. He looked at Jesus as a social reformer who gave his life as a martyr for a 'cause…' Goodspeed called Genesis the product of an 'Oriental story teller at his best.' " (An Understandable History of the Bible by Samuel Gipp pages 197-198)

Edgar J. Goodspeed used "The Translators to the Reader Preface to the King James Version 1611" as a platform to advance his modernist viewpoints. Below are my observations regarding the modernist bible version paradigm shift that Goodspeed's thesis accomplished in his time...and that is continuing to be accomplished in our time.

[All indented text, unless otherwise indicated, are excerpts from Goodspeed's thesis.]

Modernism:  Bibles in All Forms Greatly Serve Religion

Edgar J. Goodspeed began his modern version paradigm shift by stating that bibles in all its forms have greatly served religion and that the "meaning comes out more clearly" in modern forms:

In all its forms it has greatly served religion, and in its modern forms its meaning comes out more clearly and more tellingly than ever.

The NKJV publisher continues to build on Goodspeed's modernist foundation:

"With care, the translators brought the majesty of God's word into a language that everyone can understand." (2)

Modernism:  King James 1611 Version was Revised

After setting the reader up to believe that modern versions are more understandable, Goodspeed went on to send the message that the King James 1611 had to be heavily revised from 1611 until 1769 to change obsolete words and spellings that might confuse the ordinary reader.

The King James Version is predominantly the Bible of the layman, and it will undoubtedly continue to be so for a long time to come. This fact makes it doubly important that it be presented to him as intelligently and as intelligibly as possible. This well-recognized fact has led its publishers through the generations to have it tacitly revised from time to time, so that the obsolete words and spellings might not confuse the ordinary reader. This commendable activity began immediately upon the first publication of the version in 1611 and continued intermittently until 1769 when, under the hands of Dr. Blayney of Oxford, it reached its present form. It has cleared the text of the version of innumerable antique spellings, such as Hierusalem, Marie, assoone, foorth, shalbe, fet, creeple, fift, sixt, ioy, middes, charet and the like. Comparatively few verses in the version have escaped such improvements and modernizations, and most verses contain several such changes.

In conjunction with Barbara Aho's statement that the King James Bible has undergone many revisions, Goodspeed's message conditions the reader to believe that since the King James Bible has supposedly been revised and is still regarded by many as the word of God in English, then one more revision [i.e. NKJV] in these days of apostasy will not cause it to cease being God's word.

Goodspeed's partial truth, "This well-recognized fact has led its publishers through the generations to have it tacitly revised from time to time, so that the obsolete words and spellings might not confuse the ordinary reader" reminds me of an advertisement for modern 'bible' versions. The words of the 1611 King James Bible have not been altered through the years. Spelling and printing errors have been corrected. The words remain the same. (See: King James 1611: The Myth of Early Revisions)

Goodspeed, writing in the spirit of the modern-day King James Bible critic, brought up the removal of the Apocrypha and the insertion of other historical (not canonical) material as another "serious change" the original 1611 King James Bible:

The omission of the Apocrypha from most modern printings of King James and the insertion of Archbishop Ussher's chronology, which first appeared in its margins in 1701, were more serious changes from the original King James; the chronology in particular has certainly outlived its usefulness and, as at best a late accretion upon the version, out not to continue.'

Since Goodspeed had such high regard for the Apocrypha that he translated it into contemporary English, it is no wonder that he considered the removal of this document from the King James 1611 a serious change.

Modernism: KJV 1611 is Not the Ultimate Bible in English

This pro-Westcott-Hort liberal theologian proceeded to instruct the "untrained" readers of the King James Bible that it is not the original or the ultimate [English] Bible:

Not only do most readers of the King James Version suppose it to be the original English Bible; they are actually unconscious that there is any more ultimate form of the Bible to translate or consult. A leading layman, in one of our most intellectual communions, has told me that he always supposed the modern translations of the Bible were made from the King James Version, and not long ago a newspaper paragraph, with the commanding endorsement of the Associated Press, explicitly made that assertion. The same idea appeared in the New Republic as recently as April of last year. What can save these untrained, well-meaning people from the idea that the King James Bible is the "original"? Nothing but the statements of its own Preface.

The King James 1611 was not the original English Bible but it is the ultimate English Bible. It is the last or concluding element in a series of authentic English Bibles.

Modernism:  KJV 1611 Not Authorized by God

This modernist of his day, whose preface to the King James Translators' Preface serves to undermine the readers' faith in the King James Bible, did not want anyone to believe the King James 1611 was authorized by God. He defined authorized as meaning that it was "officially recognized for use in public worship" but he was especially disturbed that Christians of his day believed the King James Bible was authorized (approved) by God:

Another widespread impression as to the King James is that it is the "Authorized" Bible. The dean of a well-known New England divinity school recently insisted upon that designation for it, and strongly resented the application of it of any other name. We need not go into the old vexed question of whether or not it was ever actually authorized. For practically it certainly was so, and so regarded, being in fact the third Authorized Bible of the English Church. The first was the Great Bible of 1539, which was intended for church use. The second was the Bishops' Bible of 1568, and the third was the King James of 1611. "Authorized" meant, of course, officially recognized for use in public worship, as the phrase "Appointed to be read in Churches" shows.

He said the King James was not the Authorized Bible of his day:

The Roman Catholic Church in this country uses in public worship the Douay Bible. It will be seen that the King James is far from being the Authorized Bible today.

Goodspeed's citation of a bible version favored by a false church in order to 'prove' the King James 1611 was not the Authorized Bible speaks volumes.

Edgar J. Goodspeed, like the rest of the infiltrators who held (and who currently hold) positions of authority in the church, was determined that none of his readers believe that God authorized the King James Bible:

But the tragic part of it all is that the people who still call it the "Authorized Bible" understand by that term something very different from this. They understand it to mean DEVINELY AUTHORIZED.

There is plenty of evidence that the NKJV publisher and translators also did not believe that God preserved his word.

Modernism: New Versions More Suitable

Next Goodspeed mentioned a "more suitable bible for purposes of public worship"--the Revised Version of 1881:

But when the Convocation of Canterbury in 1870 inaugurated the revision of the English Bible, it was definitely with a view to providing a more suitable Bible for purposes of public worship, and as a matter of fact the English Revised Bible of 1881-85 has, we are told, actually displaced the King James in the use of Canterbury Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.

Goodspeed also cited the American Standard Version:

In the Protestant Episcopal Church in America, Canon 45 provides that the lessons at the morning and evening shall be read in the King James Bible ("which is the standard Bible of this church"), or in the Revised Version, or in the American Standard Version.

Goodspeed's citations of modern bible versions is not surprising. He was on the translation committee for the Revised Standard Version and he wrote his own bibles, one of which he named after himself!

Modernism: Translators' Words Undermine Authority of KJV 1611

This liberal scholar, who devised 'bible' versions of his own from the corrupt WH Greek Text and regarded the King James Bible as a mere 'version' that was being phased out by newer ones, introduced the subject of verbal inspiration.

 I have today received a letter from a very zealous young minister in Atlantic City, definitely declaring his belief in the verbal inspiration of the King James Version. This extraordinary view is very widely held.

Goodspeed (as well as modern-day King James Bible critics) used the words of the King James translators to try to cast doubt on the authority of the King James Bible. After citing some passages, Goodspeed remarked:

These candid, scholarly words of the Translators are not the words of inspired men, oracularly confident of every word they use; they are the unmistakable words of careful, sincere scholars, well aware of the inevitable limitations of their knowledge. The doctrine of the inspiration of the Translators was not held by them, and it is difficult to see how it can be held by anyone who will read even this much of their Preface.

The issue concerning the King James Bible, is not whether the translators were inspired by God to write the Bible (God already inspired men to write his word) but did God commission and help these godly, scholarly men to accurately translate his inspired word into the English language, thus producing the Holy Bible in English that God approves.

In the case of the King James Bible we trust in the expertise of its translators and more than that in the providential protection that God exercised in the form of preservation (not double inspiration).

(Quote source: Can You Trust Your Lexicon?

Modernism: King James 1611 is Not the Word of God

It is plain that Edgar J. Goodspeed did not want anyone to believe the King James Bible had any more authority than any other 'version.'

But of course the greatest illusion about the King James Bible is that it is the sole, unique, divine Bible, untouched by human hands.

Goodspeed regarded the doctrine that the King James Bible is the sole, divine Bible in the English language as grotesque:

This doctrine, grotesque as it is, is actually held as a matter of course by the vast majority of people.

Of course he cited the preface from the Translators again in an attempt to 'prove' that the King James 1611 is not to be regarded as the actual word of God:

The publication of any preface from the Translators to the Reader would, by its very presence, whatever its contents, do much to remedy this. The superstitious veneration with which some very pious people regard it would be corrected by the reprinting of the Preface.

The Translators remarks did not cast doubt upon the authority of the King James Bible. They acknowledged that those who traveled before them were raised up by God:

"... we are so far off from condemning any of their labors that travelled before us in this kind, either in this land or beyond sea, ... that we acknowledge them to have been raised up by God, ... and that they deserve to be had of us and of posterity, in everlasting remembrance. ... Yet for all that, as nothing is begun and perfected at the same time, and the later thoughts are thought to be the wiser; so, if we building upon their foundation that went before us, and being helped by their labors, do endeavor to make that better which they left so good; no man, we are sure, hath cause to mislike us; they, we persuade ourselves, if they were alive, would thank us." (Quoted from the real Translators' Preface to the King James Version 1611.)

That is the reason Goodspeed's thesis had to be written--to cause the reader to believe that God did not raise up men who, in spite of their own human weaknesses, translated his inspired word to his satisfaction. Only those who are desperate to 'prove' that God was impotent to enable those modest but learned men to translate his inspired word correctly into the English language use the Translators' Preface in this fashion.

Scholars who esteem man's word over God's word are hereticks and must be rejected. God promised to preserve his Word. After the first and second admonition, reject those who tell you otherwise.

Modernism: Accept Scholars of the Critical Greek Text Kind

Goodspeed was deeply committed to textual criticism (correcting 'errors' in the Traditional Text) and was not pleased that God's people (especially at that time in history) were rightly wary of modernists.

One of the most unfortunate things about the adherents of the King James Version is their antipathy to scholars. They regard them with grave suspicion. Yet their own version is the masterpiece of biblical scholarship in Jacobean England. If the Preface reveals no more to them than this, it would be worth printing, for it is precisely this rift between piety and learning that is most dangerous to the church. As a matter of fact, we owe the English Bible to university men, from the sixteenth century to the twentieth. It could hardly be otherwise. But today, not one reader of King James in ten thousand even dreams that any biblical scholar had anything to do with his English Bible.

It was not godly biblical scholars that Christians of Goodspeed's day rejected. Those who were wise distrusted scholars of the critical Greek text kind:

Large numbers of King James Bible defenders in 19th-century Britain understood the theological apostasy associated with the critical Greek texts.

(Quote source: Textual Criticism and Infidelity

The 'version' as Goodspeed repeatedly called the Holy Bible King James, was translated in a better time because it was God's time. This translation was conducted by men that God commissioned for this purpose and as such, they handled the text as though it was the very word of God:

 And this is the word of God, which we translate.

(Quote source: The Translators to the Reader Preface)

The King James translators did not produce a mere 'version' to be corrected by occultists Westcott and Hort who were themselves commissioned by Satan to alter the Greek Text.

Modernism:  King James Bible 1611 is Hard to Understand

Edgar J. Goodspeed continued his thinly disguised diatribe against the King James Bible by stating that the translators' Preface was removed from the King James 1611 due to its obscurity and the King James 'version' is just as obscure as the Preface:

It may require some patience for the modern reader to peruse the King James Preface. But think of the patience he is called upon to exhibit in reading long obscure areas of Paul and the prophets! He is by no means unaccustomed to reading his Bible in the midst of obscurity. And it is an admirable idea to have a genuine piece of first class Jacobean prose before him, side by side with the Jacobean revision, to show him how these revisers actually wrote when not translating but expressing their own thoughts. Here their real literary standards appear, in an authentic sample. If to their modern publishers their style appears obscure, it may in part explain the greater obscurity of their version. And at all events, it shows how they thought one should write. This affords their readers an example of what they considered clear and forceful English, and the value of this to any serious reader of King James, as a measuring rod, a standard of style, is unmistakable. Anyone who can understand the Preface can understand the version.

Goodspeed's message that the King James Bible is obscure reinforces his earlier assertion that modern bibles are more clear:

In all its forms it has greatly served religion, and in its modern forms its meaning comes out more clearly and more tellingly than ever.

Modernism: Man's Notes Needed to Understand  the Bible

Goodspeed was distressed by the removal of Myles Smith's Preface to the King James Version 1611. He feared that the "ignorant and untrained people who use the "version" would fail to read Smith's Preface and thus be denied the opportunity to learn that the translators had no confidence in the flesh to translate God's word.

The result of this upon the hosts of ignorant and untrained people who use the version is disastrous in the extreme. My own correspondence abounds in letters from well-meaning people who have been led into the strangest misconceptions by its absence. It is indeed long, controversial, and pedantic, but this very fact is significant. And with all its faults, it says some things about the version and its makers and their aims that still greatly need to be said, indeed, that must be said, if the readers of the version are to be given the protection and guidance that they deserve and that its makers provided for them.

Goodspeed indicated that without the inclusion of the Translators to the Reader Preface, the King James Bible 1611 can be used for evil:

The King James Version is a tremendous force in the modern world, very potent for good if it be intelligently used, but for evil if it be left unexplained.

Goodspeed considered the high regard that Christians of his day had for the King James Bible an evil thing! He was opposed to the "ignorant" King James Bible readers holding to what he deemed was a strange misconception: that God worked in the translators both to will and to do of his good pleasure regarding the translation of his word.

He stated, "no greater service" can "be done to biblical study today than to put back the King James Preface into its rightful place." His statement reveals that he believed the King James Bible could not be comprehended without the Preface! Indeed, he wrote, "It [the Preface] is essential to any real understanding of the King James Version."

For my part, I know of no greater service that can be done to biblical study today than to put back the King James Preface into its rightful place, in every copy of that great version, to the understanding of which it is so indispensable.

Goodspeed's "Man's notes are needed to understand the bible" paradigm shift paved the way for the acceptance of the Scofield Reference Bible of 1909 and 1917.

Modernism: King James 1611 is Outdated

This author sounded like a modern 'bible version' salesman by referring to the King James text as "quaint and antique" that belongs in the museums of literature. His likening of the beautiful language of the King James Bible with denying a sick man medical modern treatment that leads to his death is downright sinister.

To me, of course, the religious values of the Bible far outweigh any mere literary considerations. It has great messages which the modern world greatly needs. To obscure these messages in phraseology which may once have conveyed them but is now so quaint and antique as to belong to the museums of literature, seems to me a very shocking and tragic business. It is like denying a very sick man the medical aid of today and giving him instead the treatment of the 16th century, because it is so picturesque! It is like insisting upon cupping him and bleeding him, at the risk of his health and even his life.

Edgar J. Goodspeed concluded his anti-King James Bible thesis as follows:

But even to those who take the Bible less seriously -- to the dogmatist and the dilettante -- it must be clear that the King James Preface belongs at the beginning of the King James Bible, where its makers put it and meant it to remain; and that the reasons advanced by its publishers for omitting it are really very cogent reasons for restoring it to its rightful place.

Not once in this thesis did Edgar J. Goodspeed refer to the Holy Bible as the word of God.

Closing remarks

Barbara Aho's expose, ""The Nineteenth Century Occult Revival: The Legacy of Westcott and Hort" (3) sends the message that she disapproves of the Westcott-Hort revision of the Greek text. Why then is she sending the opposite message by advancing Edgar J. Goodspeed's modernist 'bible' version paradigm shift on her website?

update 8/19/05: Barbara Aho recently added an explanation (4) for her promotion of this "modern manuscript scholar" on her website. So as not to cause others to spiritually stumble, it is best that she endorse the Translators' Preface to the 1611 King James Version without posting the spiritually corrupt thesis of an unbeliever in bible scholar garb.

Edgar J. Goodspeed denied the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. He believed Jesus was a social reformer who gave his life as a martyr for a 'cause' and that " 'Genesis [was] the product of an 'Oriental story teller at his best.' " (See: An Understandable History of the Bible by Samuel Gipp pages 197-198)


(1) Edgar J. Goodspeed's thesis, "The Translators to the Reader Preface to the King James Version 1611"
(2) About the NKJV
(3)The Nineteenth Century Occult Revival

(4) Barbara Aho's explanation for her promotion of Edgar J. Goodspeed, an anti-Christian theologian who scattered the sheep rather than gathered with Jesus Christ can be found at

return to: New King James Version and the One World Church

Share this Page | Back To Main Page | Email Us

Liberty To The Captives Established in June 2001