Mincing Words

By | March 15, 2016

The KJV uses the words “believe on”…, while the NIV uses the words “believe in”… What is the scriptural difference between these phrases?

Curious about the word.

This would be yet another example of the watering down of the Word of God. (NIV) Acts 16:31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.” Have you ever been asked by someone if you Believe In something? In other words it’s a step of accepting something, not necessarily holding any stock or need any natural or spiritual proof of, but just believe in something. This is saying that if you believe in His name then you have the right to become a child of God. For a while as a little child I believed in Santa Claus. After I became older and realized that dear ole Santa was just a figure that represented the Christmas spirit, I no longer believed in Santa as an actual person.

However, when read as properly translated from the KJV: Acts:16:31: And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house., we see that not only are we believing in but on the very name of Jesus Christ. This is a much deeper and fuller meaning because we are putting our hope on the entire being of the Lord and Savior. Not as merely a symbol but on every fiber of what He came here for, what He preached, what He did, how He did what He did, and what He is doing for us this very day. There is a major difference here in these two examples.

The same can be said of the following verses:

  • (NIV) John 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–
  • (KJV) John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

You can also plainly look at the difference in the words right & power. Sure, we’ll then have the right, but then we also need the power. And that power comes from no other place than from God Himself.

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