I received the following question:

I had a question though about something you mentioned in response to something the person arguing the KJV-only position said. You mentioned the “Sopherim” and referred to Bullinger’s appendix about it, so I read into that and tried to look through the verses in question and Bullinger’s comments on each specific verse. My question was, are these changes they made found in any current versions anymore, or have they been since addressed and corrected? If you have anything further to add about them also beyond what Bullinger said, I would be interested to hear that. Always got to be on the lookout for things like that! Thanks for your time.

Well, the changes from Yahweh to Adonai are not fixed. In English, that amounts to “Lord” being written as Lord rather than LORD. The other emendations, the so-called “18 emendations of the Sopherim” (but there are actually more like 27) are still edited in the current Massoretic text, which is the one usually used when making translations. At least one is translated correctly even though the current Hebrew is not correct. Lot’s wife says “Curse God and die,” and it is usually translated that way even though the current Hebrew says “Bless God and die.” I guess the translators figured that one is so obviously wrong they changed it back even though the Hebrew doesn’t say “curse” anymore. But the other ones generally aren’t fixed, but still read according to the Sopherim’s changes.

These emendations show the typical stripe of those who elevate themselves above God’s Word…they think they respect God more than God does! This is generally their reason for the changes…an attempt to respect God more than the text does. They didn’t like things they considered anthropomorphizing God (speaking as if He is a man.) They also didn’t like things that they thought were too disrespectful to the heroes of their past (like David “you have greatly blasphemed Jehovah” was changed to “you have given Jehovah’s enemies cause to blaspheme.”)

Overall, they are not huge changes, but can be relevant to the passages in question. The Companion Bible will take you through all of them. They do not involve any major changes in doctrine. One big one is that the One Whom Abraham talked to when he pleaded for Sodom and Gomorrah is clearly called “Jehovah,” whereas the current Hebrew text has it as “Adonai.” So a clear case of Yahweh appearing as a Man, and even eating food like a Man, is eliminated. Also, they changed it from the idea that the two men went on while Yahweh remained standing in front of Abraham, to the two men went on while Abraham remained standing in front of Yahweh. I guess they didn’t like the picture of Yahweh standing before someone rather than the other way around. Another example of respecting the LORD more than He does…supposedly.