And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
Exodus 19:18

This verse is among those that confuse John Ankerberg and James R. White. On page 16 of Ankerberg’s deceptively titled book The Facts on the King James Only Debate, which has a footnote that cites White, he states that this verse is “actually confusing.” This is not too surprising since these gentlemen confuse quite easily and frequently.

There is not a lot that can be said about this comment. I don’t know why he and White are confused by this verse. It is worded in a somewhat unusual poetic manner, but it is straightforward enough that anyone with a trifling amount of intelligence should be able to understand it without even having to pause. What I’d like to know is how these gentlemen define confusing. When something is confusing it usually means that its meaning is unclear, or that it can have alternate meanings that are not obvious to the reader. It seems obvious that the verse is telling us that a thick smoke covered the mountain. What possible alternative meaning could it have that confuses these men who profess to be educated? Do they think that the mountain was resting on top of the smoke? Surely they are smarter than that! Perhaps they just think that the readers of their books are complete idiots and might think that this verse is suggesting that the mountain was resting on top of the smoke. This is very condescending, to say the least. Perhaps, the attention spans of these so called theologians are so short that anything written much beyond the level of literature concerning the adventures of Dick, Jane and Sally throws them off balance, and they actually do have trouble understanding the verse.

The funny thing about this verse is that it would seem unlikely that any version would pervert it, and all that I looked at provide translations that make as much sense as the KJV. On the other hand, Ankerberg’s beloved version, the one that is owned by the same folks who own The Satanic Bible of Anton LaVey (NIV), has “Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain [a] trembled violently.” There is nothing wrong with this translation, is there? Wrong, there is something wrong with it. The Rupert Murdoch Version adds the following footnote in order to cast further doubt in the minds of its readers that we do not really have God’s word: “Most Hebrew manuscripts; a few Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint all the people.” Ankerberg and White think that we need to toss out eloquence in order to cast doubt. What shameful men they are!

In any event this criticism of the King James Bible is another reflection of the mental stagnation and blind foolishness that characterizes the entire modern bible version only movement, and it is further proof of the incompetence of Ankerberg and White.

John Hinton, Ph.D.
Bible Restoration Ministry
A ministry seeking the translating and reprinting of KJV equivalent
Bibles in all the languages of the world.