Acts 7:20--Authorized King James Holy Bible
By Will Kinney
7:20-- "In which time Moses was born, and was EXCEEDING FAIR,
I am continually amazed at the barrage of silly arguments raised against the authority and accuracy of the King James Bible. As for those who raise objections to the KJB text, I have yet to find one of them who actually has any Bible version they defend as being the pure, preserved, infallible words of God. Instead, "every man doeth that which is right in his own eyes" and they become their own final authority with a mystical bible that exists only in their own minds.
Other versions that read like the NKJV, and NASB are Tyndale, the Geneva Bible, the RSV, NRSV, ESV, ISV, Young's, and the upcoming Holman Christian Standard.
However there are also many versions that read like the KJB with "was exceeding fair". Among these are the Revised Version 1881, the American Standard Version 1901, Darby, New American Bible 1970, the Bible in Basic English 1960, Webster's 1833 translation, the KJV 21, Third Millenium Bible, John Wesley, Goodspeed 1943, Weymouth, Rotherham's Emphatic bible, the 20th Century New Testament, the Comtemporary English Version 1991, the modern Hebrew Names Bible, the World English Bible, and the New Century Version of 1988.
The NIV and the TNIV are a bit unusual in that they both say Moses "was no ordinary child", but like the KJB, they do not contain the words "of God" in their translation.
There is a simple and thoroughly biblical explanation as to why the KJB and many others translated this phrase as "exceeding fair" instead of "lovely to God". The Greek reads the same here in all texts (kai hn asteioV tw qew) so it is not a textual but rather a translational issue.
Some of the meanings of the word "God" or Elohim in Hebrew and God or Theos in Greek are "mighty, very great, exceeding, or judges". ALL bible versions at times translate Elohim as "great, mighty, or exceeding". The NIV, for example, shows the word Elohim as translated in the following manner: "God, angels, godly, idols, majestic, sacred, MIGHTY, GREAT, and VERY." The NASB also lists "God, mighty, great, judges, and rulers."
Notice how the post-Christian Greek Septuagint version renders these verses from the Old Testament, and how they employ the word "God, or Theos".
Jonah 3:3 "Now Nineveh was and EXCEEDING great city of three days' journey" - h de nineuh hn polis megalh tw qew
Genesis 23:6 "Hear us, my lord: thou art a MIGHTY prince among us" - basileus para qeou ei su en hmin
Genesis 30:8 "And Rachel said, With GREAT wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed." - kai eipen rachl sunelabeto moi o qeos
Exodus 9:28 "Intreat the LORD (for it is enough) that there be no more MIGHTY thunderings and hail" -fwnas qeou kai calazan
1 Samuel 14:15 "and the earth quaked: so it was a very GREAT trembling"- egenhqh ekstasis para kuriou
The King James Bible is NOT incorrect in Acts 7:20 by saying Moses was "exceeding fair". In fact, it makes more sense and is consistent with what we are told in Exodus 2:2. "And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months." That he was a goodly child simply means that Moses was a beautiful baby, and that is exactly what we are told again in Acts 7:20.
To say, as the NKJV and NASB do, that this little baby boy of only a few weeks old was "well pleasing to God" when all he could do was cry, wiggle, eat and poop his diapers is to attribute a spiritual life to him that babies simply do not have.