Non Existent Revisions in the King James Bible

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Word Changed

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This amounts to 95 words in 93 verses where that word that was present in 1611 has been changed to a different word in the modern editions. “The” has been changed to another word 21 times, 8 times being changed to “thy”.

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These last three categories are the only ones of the thirteen that can, by any stretch of the imagination, be deemed “revisions”. The thing to note here is that if every one of these stood, in 1611, as they were intended and all were changes by later editors (i.e. not corrections to an incorrect text), the total number of changes would be 280 words (out of 789,629) in 248 verses (out of 31,102), in 393 years. Compare this to the RV which came out in 1885. While it kept much of the wording of, and read like the KJV to fool the unwary, it made over 30,000 changes in the text. While most of these were fairly insignificant, many of them were gross alterations, additions, or deletions in passages that pertain to major doctrinal issues.

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Word Form Changed

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This has occurred 917 times. One of the objections to the KJV is the archaic usage of  “thee, “thou”, and “ye”. But (the modern) “you” in 1611 has been changed to (archaic and hard to understand) “ye” by later editors 210 times! “Doeth” has been changed to “doth” 108 times, “doth” to “doeth” 33 times. “Towards” (“towardes” in Judges 19.9) has been changed to “toward” 81 times, “amongst” to “among” 55 times, and “besides” to “beside” 39 times. “Lift” has been changed to “lifted” 89 times, “my” changed to “mine” 8 times, “mine” to “my” 1 time. This is not a complete listing, just a representative sample. Note that these are not revisions, as the words were not changed, a different form of the same word now appears. Many of these changes were a result of the change of grammar and usage in the English language. Again, some may have been corrections of printer’s errors.

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Archaic Usage Updated

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This has occurred 97 times. “Eight” has been changed to “eighth” 28 times. “Vitaile(s) has been changed to “victual(s)” 5 times, “fet” to “fetched” 9 times, and “causey” to “causeway” 2 times. “Perfit(e)” has been changed to “perfect” 7 times, grinne(s) to “gin(s)” 3 times, and “sith” to “since” 2 times.

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On occasion I was unsure whether something was a printer error or some archaic word which I was not familiar. Here the dictionary was my final arbiter. When I encountered a word that I had never seen before, I went to the dictionary to determine if it was a word or a printer’s error.

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Word Order Changed

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This has occurred in only 9 places, 4 in the OT, 5 in the NT, involving 27 words. Six times it involves 2 words, once 3 words, once 4 words, and once 8 words. In every case no word was changed, added, or removed. They were just rearranged.

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These numbers, although accurate at the present time, are not final. The database is still undergoing verification, correction and additions. The database contained 5,325 records after the first reading of the 1611. As of this writing it contains 5,743 records, with Psalms-Revelation yet to be read and verified. So that number will change on a nearly daily basis as additional things are found which were missed on the first reading.

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We now come to deal with spelling. By far the most frequent type of change that has been made to the AV1611 has been to change spellings of words. We will now look at the original spellings in the 1611 edition, the unusual forms employed as well as the general inconsistency in form. All of these are so commonplace in the edition of 1611 as to be unremarkable, being met with on virtually every page, although the more unusual examples must be searched for diligently. The most noticeable thing when reading the 1611 is the lack of uniformity of spelling, words being spelled differently on the same page and, many times, in the same verse. However, this was not a fault that was unique to the Bible of 1611 but was the common practice of that day. In his book Scrivener says, “... it is only right that the Authorized or King James’s [sic] Bible should be represented, as far may be, in the precise shape that it would have assumed, ... if the same severe accuracy which is now demanded in carrying so important a volume through the press, had been deemed requisite or was at all usual in their age.” (page 2) And speaking of the year 1629 he said, “thus far the reprinting of the Authorized Version had been entirely in the hands of the King’s printers. They had made changes in the text, slight indeed, and far from numerous, yet enough to shew that they doubted not their competency to make more if they had taken the trouble.” (Page 20) Thus Scrivener confirms the impression that one receives upon extensive reading of the 1611 edition, i.e. that each printer, or typesetter, had the last word on the form of the text and spelling of words. “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Many times the spelling of words was altered by the addition or deletion of letters, as needed, to make words fit on a line. Other times there is no apparent reason.

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In order to eliminate needless and boring repetition, I will state the following once. In some of the examples of spelling that follow I will give references where these can be found, and are given so that any reader who has a 1611 edition, or decides to obtain one, can look them up for himself. These are often not the only places where these spellings exist, although in some cases they are, but are only representative examples. In those cases where references are not given, it is usually because that spelling is so common that giving one or two references to it would be meaningless.

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The single most common type of change has been the deletion of additional “e”s on the end of words, the presence of which was very common in the 17th century, due, no doubt, to the strong influence of the French language on the middle English. The letter “e” on the end of words can be met with on every page of the 1611 Bible, and in nearly every verse, often multiple times in a single verse. In order to estimate the number of “e”s that have been removed, I took a statistical sampling. I opened the Bible at random, then turned the pages until I found a page that started and ended with a full verse. I then counted the number of words on that page that had the letter “e” that has since been removed. I did this 10 times. These 10 pages contained 274 verses, 6645 words, 27,081 letters, and 479 words that have had an “e” removed.  The estimated number of “e”s that have been removed from the entire Bible based on total number of verses (31,102) is 54,400, based on the total number of words (789,629) is 56,900, and based on the total number of letters (3,222,408) is 57,000. In these verses, some contained no words with a final “e” that has since been removed. The greatest number encountered within a single verse was 6. The following words all occur many times: hee, yee, bee, wee, shee. Also “loe”, “goe”, “doe”. The spelling without the final “e” is also common.

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“Than” does not exist in the 1611, it is always spelled “then”. I know of no exceptions.

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Many words that end in “y” appeared with the ending “ie” as: heavie, penie, enemie, pitie, duetie, excellencie, beautie, adversitie, magnifie, crucifie, mercie, marrie, conspiracie, happie, trie, iniquitie, authoritie, citie, sorie, to name a few.

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Another common practice was to have a double consonant followed by “e” on the end of a word: sonne, sunne, farre, warre, bagge, kinne, lippe, sinne, starre, tenne, and firre, is only a partial list. Many of these words also occur without the double consonant and “e” as in 2Kings 20.10 where “tenne” and “ten” occur in the same verse, showing the lack of uniformity of spelling. “Righteousness” is also “righteousnes”, and “righteousnesse”. “Lips” occurs in Proverbs 16.21, 27, & 30, but “lippes” in 16.23 & 17.7.

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This inconsistency in spelling is common and is one of  the most compelling reasons for editing of the Biblical text after 1611.

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In 2Chronicles 22.5 - “... from yeere to yere,”. In 1Kings 10.8, “happy” and “happie” are in the same verse.

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“Shall be” also occurs as “shalbe” (732 times), shall bee, shal bee, and shal be. “Will” also occurs as “wil”, and “will be” occurs 2 times as “wilbe” (Joshua 2.20, Psalm 84.4). “Murder(er) also appears as “murther(er). “Diddest” has been nearly eliminated, being changed to “didst”, except for Acts 7.28, the lone place in which it appears in modern editions, which was probably an oversight on the part of the editors. “Command(ment)” also appears as “commaund(ment)” and “comand(ment)”, in this last case usually an expedient to fit the the words to the space on the line.

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“Battle” in our modern editions is “battell” (Genesis 14.8, Numbers 21.33) in most cases in the 1611. But it is also found as “battel” (Numbers 31.14, but “battell” in vs. 21, 27, 28, all of which are on the next page, but in 1Samuel 29.4 both spellings are on the same line), “battaile” (1Chronicles 14.15, 7.11, but “battell” - vs. 40, on the next page; 19.7, but “battell” - vs 9, 10, 14, 17, 20.1, all on the same page).

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"Each" (Genesis 15.10, et.al.)occurs 49 times in the Bible. In the 1611 it is also spelled "ech" in Ezekiel 40.16, Leviticus 24.7, and "eche" in Numbers 7.11.

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"Midst" is also spelled "middest" in Ezekiel 8.11, Psalm 48.9, but it is "mids" in Joshua 4.3, 5, 18, Luke 4.30, and "middes" in Psalm 116.19, Luke 4.35.

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The close of the day, "twilight" in 1Samuel 30.17 is also "twy light" in Ezekiel 12.6&7, and "twylight" in Ezekiel 12.12, this on the same page.

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Your sheep can be kept in a "herd", as in Exodus 10.24, or a "herde", in Deuteronomy 14.23, or in a "heard", as Exodus 10.9.

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Amos was a, “heardman”, Amos 1.1, 7.14, and so every time the word occurred (8) in 1611. Modern editions have “herdman”.

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“Shepherd(s)(‘s)(s’)” occurs 82 times in our Bibles. In the 1611 edition it occurs 77 times spelled “shepheard”, but occurs twice as “sheapheards” (Genesis 46.32, 49.24), and 3 times as “shepherd” (Zechariah 11.16, Mark 6.34, John 10.2).

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"Instead" is also two words: "in stead" as in 2Samuel 17.25, and "in steede" as in Ezekiel 16.32.

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"Fuel", occurs 5 times in our Bibles, is "fuell" in Isaiah 9.19, Ezekiel 21.32 and "fewell" in Isaiah 9.5, Ezekiel 15.4&6. The different spellings found in Isiaiah 9 are on different pages.

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"Brickkiln", occurs only 3 times in our Bibles, is "brick-kilne" in 2Samuel 12.31, "bricke kill" in Jerermiah 43.9, and "bricke-kill" in Nahum 3.4.

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The traveller in 1611 could use a "high-way" as in Numbers 20.17&19, a "high way" as found in Numbers 21.22, or a "hie way" as it is in Judges 21.19 and Isaiah 19.23.

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"Been" also occurs as “beene”, "bene" in Malachi 2.14, Matthew 1.6, and "bin" in Psalm 27.9.

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"Guests" is also "ghests" in Matthew 22.10 and Zephaniah 1.7.

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Other unusual spellings which have been (or beene, or bin) changed in our later editions are:

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Phisitions (physicians), Luke 8.43, musitions (musicians), Revelation 18.22, nource (nurse), 2Samuel 4.4, and pretious (precious) Revelation 18.12&16.

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I really don’t know "Y" they spelled the followyng words as they dyd:

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yer (ere), tydings, yron, handmayd, poyson, noyse, voyce, lye, yce, tyred, oyntment, oyle, tythe, joyne, lyon, toyle, dyed, ayre (air), lyar, yvorie, sayde, wyzard, raysed, spoyled, otherwyse, gyant, and yland (island). There are many more.

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But I have belaboured this point long enough and will now cease lest I weary the reader with endless examples of which the foregoing is but a small sampling, because, after all, "enough" is "inough" (Haggai 1.6) is "ynough" (Deuteronomy 1.6).

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In addition to inconsistent spelling, many forms of spelling became obsolete. One case in point is 1 Timothy 2.9, where "shamefastness" has been changed to "shamefacedness" (say "shamefastness" with both "a"s long). The "t" was used often in the 1611 where we would expect to see "ed". Note "mixt" in Exodus 12.38 has been changed to "mixed", but "mixt" is still present in Numbers 11.4. In Genesis 18.4 one reads "fetched" but in vs. 7, "fetcht". In Numbers 22.25, "crusht" has been changed to "crushed", and in Deuteronomy 4.11 "burnt" has been changed to "burned". So, in like manner, the "t" in "shamefastness" has been changed to "ed", and the "s" to "c", as as it has been in "twise" - Mark 14.30, "thrise" - Acts 10.16, and "choise" - Proverbs 8.10&19.

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Printers symbols in the place of words was another common practice. Although the printing press was a quantum leap in the technology of document production, it was still extremely labor intensive and time consuming, especially in the production of a document as large as the Bible. The use of these special symbols inthe place of common words reduced slightly the number of individual pieces of type that had to be hand set.

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The use of  “&” in place of "and" occurred 1068 times in the 1611, 748 in the OT, 320 in the NT.

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The symbol for "the", a "y" with a tiny "e" directly above it, occurs 96 places, 51 in the NT.

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The symbol for "that", a "y" with a tiny "t" above it, occurs 16 places, 15 of them in the NT.

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What about those differences between Bibles by different Printers?

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As previously mentioned I have found 10 places where a Bible printed by Oxford University Press and one printed by Cambridge University Press contain slight differences. This list is headed by what I call the “Famous Four”, i.e. four places that the two differ and that every critic of the KJV in the world knows what and where they are. I now subjoin the complete list.

Reference Cambridge Oxford
Joshua 19.2 OR                               AND
2Chronicles 33.19      SIN SINS
Jeremiah 34.16          YE HE
Nahum 3.16               FLIETH FLEETH
Exodus34.23             men children menchildren
2King 19.26               housetops house tops 
Ezra 2.2  Mispar Mizpar
Ecclesiastes 8.17      further farther
Matthew 26.39           further farther
Mark 1.19                further farther
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In these 10 places a Cambridge University Press Bible contains the reading as found in 1611 in 9 places, departing from it only in number 6. “Housetop” and “housetops” each occur 8 times in the Bible. They are one word in both Oxford and Cambridge in 14 places, two words in both in Psalm 102.7. The last occurrence is as shown in 6, above.

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A Scofield Bible, although printed by Oxford University Press, contains readings that differ from both both Oxford and Cambridge in 10 specific places, as follows.

Reference C & O Scofield
Genesis 50.10                       threshingfloor                 threshing-floor     
Leviticus 14.36           that                               and
Deuteronomy 22.13          thing                             things  
Deuteronomy 24.10 When thou dost And when thou dost
1Samuel 17.48                       hasted                                    hastened 
2Samuel 12.31                       brickkiln                        brick-kiln
2Samuel 16.15                       people the men              people of the men
Mark 14.14                            guestchamber                guest-chamber
Romans 8.33                         any thing                       anything
Revelation 18.14                   lusted                           lusteth
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In addition, throughout the Scofield Bible all of the sacrifices are made into a single hyphenated word, as in burnt-offering, sin-offering, peace-offering, freewill-offering, etc. This is consistent throughout and must, therefore, have been done by design. This is unique to the Scofield Bible as no other Bible with which I am familiar presents the names of the offerings in this fashion.

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The critics of the AV1611 have made much of the differences in the above list (Cambridge and Oxford). They point with glee to the fact that there are differences and then throw Psalm12.6, 19.8, 119.140, and Proverbs 30.5 back in our faces and ask us to tell them which one is right. But notice that each of those verses is about the word of God being pure. The question is do any of the differences above introduce impurity into God’s Word? The answer is a resounding NO! The critics are trying to substitute the word “exact” into the verses for the word “pure”.

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Certainly no rational person would presume to say that numbers 5, 6, and 7 represent any difference at all in meaning. Likewise, numbers 8, 9, and 10 represent no difference at all, except to a strict grammatical purist. But the meaning is the same. Number 3 likewise represents two synonymous constructions in the context. Since “he” or “ye” refer back to “every man”, either is acceptable, except, possibly, on strictly grammatical grounds. Number 2 is, or should be self-evident, since sin can refer to a single act (2Samuel 12.13), or a large number of sinful actions (Cp. 2Corinthians 5.21 and 1Peter 2.24).

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Number 4, at first glance seems to represent a difference of meaning, but this is not the case. While “fly” is used of the actual act of flight by the fowls, it is also used in the sense of swift movement, thus having a meaning identical to flee. (1Samuel 14.32, 15.19)

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Only number 1 would seem to represent real trouble forasmuch as, at the end of the list of names (vs. 6) the number 13 is given for the number of cities. Having “and” between “Beer-sheba” and “Sheba” would seem to increase the number to 14. But this is not the case. A little searching of the scriptures is all that is needed. This seeming contradiction is so easily resolved that the idea that anyone could be so ignorant of scripture and life in scriptural times, as to consider this a serious argument is laughable.

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Note that Beer-sheba is a “wilderness” (Genesis 21.14), and a “place” (vs. 31) containing a “well” (vss. 25&30). Abraham and Abimelech made a covenant “at” (not “in”) that “place” so he called it Beer-sheba (21.31), where he “planted a grove” (vs. 33), and he dwelt “at” (not “in”) (22.19). In all of these passages there is no reference to any CITY. Beer-sheba was the name of a place containing a well before any city was ever connected with the name. Isaac “pitched his tent there” (26.25). (You pitch a tent in a field, not in a city). Isaac digged out the “well” that his father had digged, because the Philistines had filled it with earth (26.15), and called it by the same name that his father had used (26.18&32). Note that there is still no mention of any CITY. Isaac swore a covenant there with Abimelech, as had Abraham (26.28&31). When his servants told him that they had found water in the “well” that they were digging, he gave it (the well, NOT a city) the name Sheba (the “place” now has two names), therefore the city is called Beer-sheba (26.33). Beer-sheba (or Sheba, since it has two names) is a place having a well outside of the city, but the city was called Beer-sheba after the name of the place that it was near to. Also, note Joshua 17.8, land around a city is called by the same name as the city that it contained, and in this case the city belonged to Ephraim, but the land by the same name belonged to Manasseh. And in Genesis 13.18, Abram “dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron”. Here a “plain” is said to be “in” a city. But it is “in” the land surrounding the city. This land is called the “suburbs”, is used for growing crops and grazing cattle (Numbers 35.1-7), and is part of the city, though outside of it, and called by the same name. And wells were absolutely essential for watering of animals. Note that two of these wells were striven for (26.20&21) (Even in the American west "water rights" were so essential that "range wars" were sometimes started over them.) To use “and” (in Joshua 19.2) indicates Simeon was given the city and the “place” and “well”, called Sheba, outside of it. To use “or” indicates the common knowledge that the place was called by both names, and one of those names was also the name of the city. Having “and” in the text does not increase the count of cities to fourteen, since “Sheba” is not the name of a city. Either one is equally correct.

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Now, here is the real shocker: the events in Genesis and Joshua occurred BEFORE the industrial revolution. In those days people depended for their “daily bread” upon growing of crops and raising of cattle. This was called an “agrarian society”. Thus these suburbs, an area surrounding a city that is called by the name of the city, were an essential and integral part of every city and known to everyone in that day, even though modern Bible critics are completely unaware of it. Boundaries were also less precisely defined back then. They did not have surveyors with transits that defined "city limits" down to the exact inch, and have certified drawings registered in the county engineer’s office. The area defined by the name of a city was much more general than what we think of today. Silly arguments like these arise when those who are “unlearned” try to superimpose their own narrow, restrictive, knowledge and experiences, based on twenty-first century life, onto the conditions of peoples’ lives that lived in the second millenium B.C.

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The so-called “revisions” to the AV1611 are a myth. My 1611 Edition, which I have read from every day for almost 2 years now, reads, except in a very few places, word-for-word identical to any King James Bible that you can go out and buy today. Those who use this argument to justify their own infidelity to the Word of God are dishonest at best, and by using it not only do not strengthen their position, but rather make manifest unto all men the inherent weakness therof.

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Beware the ships of Alexandria!

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As churches become more and more cultural and entertainment centers instead of places for “feeding the flock” ever greater numbers of pastors are “jumping ship” from the King James Bible for those that are “popular” and will help them to swell their numbers. In so doing they are boarding a ship of Alexandria. The book of Acts is very instructive in this regard, for Paul often took journey by sea. On his first journey he traveled by ship in 13.4, 13.13, and 14.26. On his second Journey, in 16.11&12, 17.14, 18.18 and 18.21. On his third journey he “took ship” in 20.1, 6, 14-16, 20.38-21.1, 21.2&3, and 6-8. A total of 13 voyages by sea. All of these, as recorded in the book of Acts, were uneventful and brought him to his “desired haven” (Psalm 107.30). 

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The problem arises in 27.6:

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“And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein.”

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Note the origin of this ship: Alexandria! Note the destination of the ship: Italy! Note who put them into the ship: the official represantative of Rome! So today the Alexandrian scholars sing their “siren song”, “To call passengers who go right on their ways:” (Proverbs 15.9) promising a wind that blows softly to woo us on board their vessel and back into the arms of Rome. The Roman “centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.” He rejected the Word of God at the mouth of Paul for that of the owner of the ship, who was sailing to Italy to make a buck! (Revelation 18.19) But once they were on board, this ship “could not bear up into the wind,” (27.15, Ephesians 4.14), and the ship was lost.

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Not learning from this disastrous experience, the Roman Centurion does the same thing again in 28.11:

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“And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux.” This ship of Alexandria has a sign that is connected with the stars of heaven! Although this ship gets them to their destination, that is small consolation, for that destination is Rome! (Acts 28.16)

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Let us learn this lesson well and beware the ships of Alexandria. For according to the Word of God, there are only two destinations for those who board a ship of Alexandria: one is shipwreck (Acts 27.41, 1Timothy 1.19), the other is Rome (Acts 28.16, Revelation 17.18).

David L. Doughterty

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 25:4

Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.