Answer: No, it is not. The Old Testament of the KING JAMES VERSION, and a few other versions, is translated from the Ben Chayyim Masoretic Text, which was edited by a Born Again Masorite Jew, and the New Testament of the KJV is translated from the Greek Textus Receptus, (also known as Majority or Received Text). Many Christians are surprised to find, that in spite of the misleading title, the texts underlying the NKJV are not the same Greek and Hebrew texts the KJV is translated from...
Just as Hort and Westcott utterly rejected the Majority/Received for their Greek New Testament, and chose instead the deeply flawed Egyptian Minority texts, the translators of the New King James Version rejected the Ben Chayyim Masoretic text for the Old Testament and chose instead a Masoretic text that differs significantly from the text the King James Version was translated from.
In addition to using differing texts in translating the Old Testament portion of the NKJV, the Egyptian Minority texts were consulted and used to some extent in the New testament portion. Although the translators attempted to retain the familiar rhyme and rhythm of the KING JAMES VERSION, and it does adhere in places to the Received Text *it does not entirely do so. It is deceptive to lead the readers of the NKJV into believing they are reading the same Bible as the KJV--only without the thee's an thou's--when in reality they are not.
Question: Who are Hort and Westcott?
Answer: Professor Fenton John Anthony Hort and Bishop Brooke Foss Westcott were the [human] driving forces behind the Revised Standard Version (RSV).
These two Anglicans formulated the theory that the Received text (which the N.T. of KING JAMES VERSION is translated from) is full of errors and that the Egyptian Minority Texts (that they based their Greek New Testament on) were pure texts and completely error-free (a preposterous claim that no one today takes seriously). Their theory is known as The Hort Westcott Theory. Today, the Greek text they created (or one virtually identical to it) is used to train ministers in almost every English speaking Bible college.
Facts pertaining to both Hort and/or Westcott:
- Involvement in the occult (séances etc.)
- Professed disbelief in either the divine inspiration of scripture or the deity and physical resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- Hated the idea of the blood atonement, hence preference for manuscripts which deleted references to both the blood and deity of Christ (see insidious footnotes, omissions and changes to Colossians 1:14 and 1 Timothy 3:16 in most Bibles).
Their scholarship and fitness for handling the Word of God was challenged by godly scholars of their day. And godly scholars, today, continue to stand against the heresy that has flooded the church as a result of the translations based on the Greek New Testament these two unregenerate men produced. In more recent years, many have attempted to distance themselves from the obviously flawed Hort Wescott Greek New Testament, but the United Bible Society's Nestle-Aland Greek text (used in its stead) is virtually identical to it (approximately 85% identical).
This means that almost every modern Version--including the New King James Version--is heavily influenced by the work of two men who demonstrated no fear of God, nor respect for his Word, during the course of their lifetimes.
Question: Why should we trust the Received Text the New Testament that the KJV and a few other versions are based upon (Young's and Green to name a few)?
Answer: Although all Bible translations are flawed to some extent due to human fallibility, the New Testament of the King James Version is based on texts that can be traced to Apostolic times. There are over 5000 extant (existing in their original forms) copies of Majority/Received Text manuscripts, texts and versions available today that exhibit the agreement needed to be considered reliable. These texts come from all over the world and can be traced to many different time periods--including the time period of the the early church.
The Received Text is not riddled with errors, but that claim is made with accuracy in connection with the Minority Texts, which not only exhibit obvious errors but contradict both one another and the Majority Texts in denying the blood atonement, deity, and virgin birth of Christ (without which eternal life for all who accept Jesus as Savior would be impossible).