ARE THERE GHOSTS IN THE KING JAMES BIBLE?
By Will Kinney
I work nights and not long ago I was listening to the Art Bell program, Coast to Coast. For those of you who do not know, Mr. Bell has a very weird radio program listened to by millions world wide. His guests include a large number of New Agers, UFO enthusiasts, and witches. His topics include time travel, space brothers, reincarnation and ghosts. Someone mentioned that ghosts were found in the Bible, and this caught my attention. I am a strong believer in the accuracy of the King James Bible, and I didn't remember ever reading about any "ghosts" in the KJB.
There is the Holy Ghost, which is the third person of the Trinity. There is the phrase "to give up the ghost", which is not archaic and simply means to die. But not "ghosts'.
When we hear the word ghost, most of us automatically think of this definition as given in Webster's or the American Heritage Dictionary of 2000. Ghost- the spirit of a dead person, especially one believed to appear in bodily likeness to living persons or to haunt former habitats.
If there were such a thing as ghosts, then this would contradict several biblical truths. It would of course imply that death is not the end of life. This part is true. However, the King James Bible teaches that when a person dies, if he or she is a blood of the Lamb bought child of God, he immediately goes to be with the Lord his Saviour. "having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better" Phil. 1:23; "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." II Cor. 5:8.
To say that ghosts exist, is to deny that at physical death one either goes directly to be with the Lord Jesus Christ, or he goes immediately to hell. In Luke 16 we read of the rich man that "he died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes being in torments." This condemned man was told by Abraham that "between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence." God seems to have placed a barrier of some kind that prohibits the condemned from leaving this place of torment. They cannot go back to the world of the living and wander around as ghosts.
We are also told in I Peter that Christ went in the Spirit and preached unto the spirits in prison which were disobedient in the days of Noah. Man has a spirit and a soul. Those who are redeemed are referred to as "the spirits of just men made perfect" Hebrews 12:23, while the others are called "the spirits in prison". There is no escape.
There seems to be some evidence that a very few of the righteous dead may be permitted to revisit the living, as with Samuel in I Sam. 28:12 and Elijah and Moses at the transfiguration of our Lord in Mat. 17. But in neither case are they referred to as ghosts, but were recognized as who they were even by people who had never seen them before. They knew them to be Samuel, Elijah and Moses.
Can you imagine my shock when I began to examine the modern version bibles and found that the nkjv, nasb and niv all refer to ghosts? The nkjv does this twice, the nasb three times and the niv four times. All of these versions change the meaning of Matthew 14:26 and Mark 6:49. The KJB and Tyndale, the Geneva Bible, Webster's 1833 translation, the Third Millenium Bible and the 21st Century KJB all say: "And when the disciples say him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a SPIRIT; and they cried out for fear." The word here is fantasma, and it something that appears to the sight. The RV, Darby and Young render this as "an apparition." But the nkjv, nasb and niv say: "It is a GHOST."
We know from other passages that deceiving spirits, and other spirits of angels can appear in a visible form. "He maketh his angels spirits" and they are "ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" Hebrews 1:7,11.
The book of Job mentions in chapter 4:13-16 "In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men, Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. Then a SPIRIT passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up: It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice saying, Shall mortal man be more just than God?"
I Kings 22 presents us with another example of a spirit which came forth and stood before the LORD and was sent to be a lying spirit in the mouth of the false prophets. This was an angelic being, and not a man.
So, when the disciples cried out at seeing Jesus walk upon the water, they thought they were seeing a spirit, not a ghost.
The niv alone of the four principal versions we are looking at, changes the KJB, nkjv and nasb reading in Luke 24:37, 39. Here the Lord appears to his disciples after his resurrection. It is recorded that they were terrified and supposed that they had seen a spirit. Jesus said "Handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have." Here the niv changed both words to ghost.
Perhaps the worst example of giving credence to the false idea that such a thing as ghosts exist is found in the nasb and niv. In Isaiah 19:3 God is bringing judgment upon Egypt. He says in verse three: "And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof; and they shall seek to the idols, and TO THE CHARMERS, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards." All of the spiritual resources of Egypt were like so many New Agers today. The spirits of devils who deceive through necromancy and channeling of spirits. These are evil spirits of Satan.
The versions that read along with the KJB's "Charmers" are the ASV, 1936 Hebrew- English, Young's, Webster's, Third Millenium, KJV 21, Hebrew Names Bible, and the nkjv. Other versions have either diviners, sorcerers or mediums. But the niv has they will seek to the "spirits of the dead" and the nasb has "they will resort to GHOSTS OF THE DEAD." No one, especially a devil controlled medium or charmer, can communicate with the spirits of the dead or ghosts! The dead are either in hell right now, with no way to get back, or they are present with the Lord, and certainly will not be sent to give a devil inspired message to the living. The nasb and niv present this impossibility as though it were true.
The next time you hear some New Age wacko tell you that ghosts are found in the Bible, tell him they are not at all found in the true Holy Bible, the King James 1611 Version.