James White on Luke 23:34-Jesus Didn’t Forgive Them

Posted: November 24, 2013 in King James Only Debate
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By Will Kinney

[Editor’s Note: The following is exactly why the ANTI KJVO “scholars” make LOUSY apologists.  The Muslims and atheists are well aware of the corruption in the modern versions and they capitalize on it to prove that the Bible in ANY version is fallible because you have folks like White who lump all of the texts and versions together trying to claim that they are ALL the word of God.
The video posted is posted on a MUSLIM APOLOGETICS site. Muslims and atheists don’t have to work very hard at attacking the Bible when they have Christian “scholars” that agree with them.]

James White on Luke 23:34 – “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

James White (big surprise;-) is now denying that this saying of Jesus is inspired Scripture (big surprise;-) He says “there is a huge amount of doubt attached to it” and he equally denies that John 7:53 to John 8:11 (the woman taken in adultery) is inspired Scripture along with John 5:4 and Mark 16:9-20. He says he would not preach on these things but would skip them.

See his short 6 minute video here where he tells us these verses are not part of the inspired Bible.


Luke 23:34 – “THEN SAID JESUS, FATHER, FORGIVE THEM; FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”

This is the reading found in the Majority of all Greek manuscripts as well as Sinaiticus original and Sinaiticus 2nd correction, A, C, D correction, E, F, G, H, K, L, M, Q, S, U, V, X, Gamma, Delta, Lambda, Pi, Psi, the Old Latin copies air, b, c, e, f, ff2, l, r1, the Latin Vulgate, the Syriac Peshitta, Curetonian, Harclean, Palestinian, some Coptic Boharic and Sahidic copies and well as the ancient Armenian and Ethiopian versions. The whole sentence was originally in the Sinaitic mss. Then some scribe removed it, and then another scribe put the words back in the text.

However Vaticanus omits all the capital lettered words “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” But it has the rest of the verse – “And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”

Every Bible version I am aware of includes these words in Luke 23:44 but the NRSV 1989 puts them in [[double brackets]] and the Holman Standard [brackets the words] to indicate doubt as to their authenticity. The latest Nestle-Aland 28th edition and the UBS 4th edition critical texts both [[put the words in double brackets]] indicating serious doubt as to their authenticity. So they may very well disappear from the up and coming “late$t in $cholar$hip Advance$ in the future.

Meanwhile the RSV, ESV and NIV all cast doubt as to whether or not they are God’s inspired words by footnoting: “Some early manuscripts do not have this sentence.”

We see the same pattern among the Catholic versions. The earlier Douay-Rheims 1582 and the 1950 Douay and even the 1968 Jerusalem bible all include the words with NO footnotes. But then the 1970 St. Joseph NAB and the New Jerusalem bible 1985 [bracket] the words (St. Joseph) and footnote (New Jerusalem) “This verse is retained despite its omission by some good and diverse ancient authorities.”

Dan Wallace’s NET version also includes the words but he has these mind numbing, typical Bible agnostic mumblings that cast doubt on whether or not these words are inspired Scripture or not. He says: “Many important mss (Ì75 א1 B D* W Θ 070 579 1241 pc sys sa) lack v. 34a. It is included in א*,2(A) C D2 L Ψ 0250 Ë1,(13) 33 Ï lat syc,p,h. It also fits a major Lukan theme of forgiving the enemies (6:27-36), and it has a parallel in Stephen’s response in Acts 7:60. The lack of parallels in the other Gospels argues also for inclusion here. On the other hand, the fact of the parallel in Acts 7:60 may well have prompted early scribes to insert the saying in Luke’s Gospel alone. Further, there is the great difficulty of explaining why early and diverse witnesses lack the saying. A decision is difficult, but even those who regard the verse as inauthentic literarily often consider it to be authentic historically. For this reason it has been placed in single brackets in the translation.”

In other words, maybe it is, maybe it isn’t; “a decision is difficult”, it might be “literally inauthentic” but it is “historically authentic” – Say what? As long as they can cast doubt with their “Yea, hath God said…?” footnotes, the Jesuits have accomplished their goal of overthrowing the final authority of God’s words.

Numerous early church writers made allusion to this verse –


Archelaus Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarch Manes: and here, our Lord Jesus prayed that the Pharisees might be pardoned, when He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”[531]

Clementine Homily XI: prayed to the Father that the sin of those who slew Him might be forgiven, saying, `Father, forgive them their sins, for they know not what they do.’[8]

Constitutions of the Holy Apostles Book II: For our Saviour Himself entreated His Father for those who had sinned, as it is written in the Gospel: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”[88]

Constitutions of the Holy Apostles Book V: And a little afterward, when He had cried with a loud voice, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,”[114]

Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians: but prayed for His enemies, “Father, forgive them; they know not what they do.”[82]

Gospel of Nicodemus I The Acts of Pilate: Then Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: Father, let not this sin stand against them; for they know not what they do.[106]

Irenaeus Against Heresies Book III: And from this fact, that He exclaimed upon the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,”[348]

Of the Journeyings of Philip the Apostle: was made to drink gall and vinegar, and said, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.[14]

Recognitions of Clement VI: Wherefore, in short, the Master Himself, when He was being led to the cross by those who knew Him not, prayed the Father for His murderers, and said, `Father, forgive their sin, for they know not what they do!'[7]

All these words are found in the Latin Vulgate 405 A.D., the Anglo-Saxon Gospels Corpus Christi mss. Aelfric circa 1000 A.D. – ” Ða cwæð se hælend. fæder. forgyf him forþam hig nyton hwæt hig doð; Soðlice hig dældon hys reaf & wurpun hlótu.” Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bibld 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Douay Rheims 1610, and in the more modern versions like the RV, ASV, NASB (ft.), RSV, NRSV, ESV (ft.), NIV (ft.), Holman (ft.), NKJV, the Modern Greek Bible with NO brackets – ” Ο δε Ιησους ελεγε· Πατερ, συγχωρησον αυτους· διοτι δεν εξευρουσι τι πραττουσι. Διαμεριζομενοι δε τα ιματια αυτου, εβαλον κληρον.- “, the Orthodox Jewish Bible and the Modern Hebrew Bible (again, with NO brackets) – “ויאמר ישוע אבי סלח להם כי לא ידעו מה הם עשים ויחלקו בגדיו להם ויפילו גורל׃”

James White is getting loopier and loopier. And he is a flat out liar. He SAYS he believes The Bible IS the infallible words of God, but ask him where to get a copy of this infallible Bible he PROFESSES to believe in and he will NEVER tell you.

Now he is “correcting” even the versions like the NASB, NIV, ESV, NET, Holman, NKJV etc. In fact, EVERY BIBLE out there that has ever been printed. All of these bible versions contain Mark 16:9-20 and John 7:53-8:11 in them, yet James White they are not Scripture and he would just “skip over them”.

James White has clearly made HIMSELF his own final authority, and in his way of thinking you have to go to HIM to find out what God REALLY said or didn’t say.

May God deliver us from men like James White.

“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Luke 8:8

All of grace, believing The Book,

Will Kinney

  1. James White is an anti-KJV, polemic, valley-girl/boy hubris heretic masquerading as a self acclaimed “bible” scholar. Sadly he has inspired many to follow his scurrilous example of deceit, distortion, and dishonesty.

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