What’s In A Name?

By Martin A. Shue


If you frequent any Christian supply store you have no doubt seen the large displays promoting the “newest” Bible. Practically every time I visit my local bookstore there is a new Bible being promoted either by the salesclerks or by a publishing house display. Without fail they say that this “new, updated, revised” version is the Bible that YOU need. “It is the closest to the autographs and in the most modern English”, they say. The odd thing about it is that if you will visit that same store several months later they will be promoting another Bible that is “newer and more updated” than the one you just bought. Even though there haven’t been any new manuscript discoveries in the last several months, and the ‘originals’ certainly haven’t been discovered, they will again tell you that this “newer and more updated” version is “closer” to the autographs than the one you bought just months ago. Do you see just how absurd this issue has become? What the ‘scholars’ (sic) tell you is closest to the originals today will most likely not be the same in a few months. They are constantly changing, constantly thinking of new ways to alter God’s words. The Nestle-Aland (N-A) Greek text is now on their 27th edition and the United Bible Society (UBS) Greek text is now on its 4th edition. What I want to do in this article is start a short series of articles dealing with some of the blunders in either the modern versions themselves or the Greek texts that directly underlie them. Often times what is said of the Greek text can be said of the modern versions. I will also be dealing a great deal with Codex Vaticanus (B) and Codex Sinaiticus (Aleph; symbol = N). These, as you may know, are practically worshipped by modern scholarship and are considered by them to be the “oldest and best manuscripts”. I believe by the time I am finished with this series of articles you will easily be able to see that these codices are certainly not the ‘best’ neither are they the ‘oldest’. I have titled this series “What’s In a Name?” because a lot of what I will be discussing will have to do with names. I proceed now to look at our first example, that being Luke 4:44.

This first verse I want to discuss happens to be a geographical blunder that is not only in Aleph(N), B, N-A and UBS but it has also found its way into many modern verions. Here in Luke 4 Jesus has been and still is preaching in Galilee. In fact we read in 4:14 "And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee:". Then we read in v. 31 "And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee,". Again, we see that Jesus is still preaching in Galilee. Now, this is where we find our typical Alexandrian blunder. We look at v. 44 where N and B read "ths Ioudaias" (of Judea). Likewise we find this to be the reading of nearly every modern version (NIV, NASV, NRSV, CEV etc.). What's wrong with this, you ask? Nothing other than the fact that Jesus was clearly preaching in Galilee and NOT Judea! It is yet another Alexandrian error--plain and simple, and our modern versions have slavishly followed those two 'scandalously corrupt' codices. This they have done despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Greek witnesses read “ths Galilaias” (of Galilee). It should also be noted that this is also the reading of all the Latin manuscripts.

It is certain that Galilee was not part of Judea. Neither was Judea part of Galilee. Accordingly, our Authorized Version renders the verse "And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee." Again, we see that God has watched over His words and has providentially preserved them in the AV. Joining our AV in reading "of Galilee" is Wycliffe, Tyndale, Cranmer and the Geneva Bible. To further solidify the matter we read in 5:1 (the very next verse) that Jesus "stood by the lake of Gennesaret,". Again, why is this important? Well, perhaps you know this "lake" by its more common name----THE SEA OF GALILEE! And this ‘sea of Galilee’ is nestled deep in the hills of Galilee NOT Judea!

The most common argument for this obvious blunder is that “Galilee and Judea are one in the same”. But was Galilee and Judea really considered to be the same place? Consider the following verses of Scripture:

Matt. 19:1 (NIV) When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan.

I use the NIV here purposely to show that even in the modern versions we see a clear distinction between GALILEE and "the region of Judea". If they were one in the same then why the distinction?

Luke 5:17 (NIV) One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there.

Again, we see a clear difference between GALILEE and JUDEA.

John 4:3 (NIV) When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

If "Judea" included "Galilee", as they feign, then how is it that Jesus could *leave* "Judea" and go "back once more to GALILEE"??? The reason, of course, is because these individuals know not what they are talking about. "Judea" is not "Galilee" and "Galilee" is certainly not "Judea". These were separate and distinct regions! In fact, Holman Bible Dictionary says "By New Testament times the land had been divided into provincial designations, "Judea," "Samaria," "Galilee,". Later in that same entry, "Three divisions are evident: Judea, Samaria, Galilee." These regions had very defined boundaries and they defended these boundaries vigorously. What makes their claims even more ridiculous is that the Judeans would have taken exception to the thought of the 'Galileans', or the Samaritans, being numbered among them. Likewise, I am sure that the Galileans and the Samaritans would have taken exception to the Judeans being considered among them. Most everyone, I am sure, knows of the deep hatred the Jews had for the Samaritans. Though not near the same degree, the Judeans had a distrust for the Galileans as well. In fact Galilee was composed of predominantly *Gentiles*! They were even recognizable by their distinguishable speech. Again, the Holman Bible Dict. says, "Galileans had a reputation for rebellion and disregard of Jewish law (Acts 5:37), so they could be regarded as sinners (Luke 13:2)." It is ludicrous to imagine that the Judeans would go along with this "argument" that Judea and Galilee were considered as part of each other. [sic]

Galilee was the NORTHERN most region of Palestine. Judea was the SOUTHERN most region of Palestine. Now, get this--situated BETWEEN these two regions was the hated region of SAMARIA. In fact Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary says, "In the time of Jesus, Palestine west of the Jordan River was divided into three provinces of Galilee, Samaria, and Judea… Situated between Galilee and Judea, Samaria was the natural route for traveling between those two provinces." So, how in the world anyone could make the claim that Judea and Galilee were one in the same is beyond me. Clearly the regions were separated by Samaria and could not have been recognized as one region.

Yet again it has been demonstrated why you cannot trust the modern versions. They are in obvious error in reading “of Judea” and their feeble attempt to cover up their blunder is mockery. We will continue this series on “What’s In A Name?” in our next mailing. I trust you have found this article informative. As always stick with our Authorized Version and you will not be disappointed.


"He that hath ears to hear, let him hear" and "let him that readeth understand".

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