The Good News Bible

The translator of The Good News Bible (also known as Today’s English Version, and Good News For Modern Man) is guilty of changing the Word of God in order to teach doctrinal error. The false doctrine of salvation by faith only has been taken from the creeds of men and inserted in this version. The Good News Bible is actually a perversion of the Scriptures. The Bible reader should beware of this faulty translation.

The Good News Bible was first printed in the New Testament only. It was called Good News for Modern Man. Romans 1:17 was mistranslated as,

“For the gospel reveals how God puts men right with Himself; it is through faith alone, from beginning to end. As the Scripture says, ‘He who is put right with God through faith shall live.’” [Emphasis added.]

The word “alone” was added to the verse to teach the false doctrine of “salvation by faith only” (James 2:24; Revelation 22:18-19). In later printings of the Good News Bible, the word “alone,” which was added to the original version, was left out. However, other verses were left in which teach the “faith only” error. Romans 3:28 of the Good News Bible reads:

“For we conclude that a man is put right with God only through faith and not by doing what the Law commands.” [Emphasis added.]

Galatians 2:16 is also mistranslated to teach faith only:

“Yet we know that a man is put right with God only through faith in Jesus Christ, never by doing what the Law requires.” [Emphasis added.]

These are not correct translations of the Scriptures. They are perversions of God’s Word!

The Word of God does not contradict itself. However, in The Good News Bible, we find a contradiction of these perverted passages in James 2:24. This verse reads:

“You see, then, that it is by our actions that we are put right with God, and not by our faith alone.” [Emphasis added.]

Which of these verses did the translator get right and which ones are wrong? Both cannot be right. Inserting contradictions into the Word of God can only bring doubt to the mind of the reader. However, the Word of God is designed to bring forth faith (Romans 10:17).

The Good News Bible has also removed the Lord’s Supper from Acts 20:7. This erroneous translation reads:

“On Saturday night we gathered together for the fellowship meal. Paul spoke to the people and kept on speaking until midnight, since he was going to leave the next day.”

The “first day of the week,” which is what the original Greek says, has been taken out of the Holy Scripture and “Saturday evening” put in its place. The Lord’s supper (“breaking of bread”) has been removed. A common fellowship meal has been substituted for what the Holy Spirit said! [Read again Revelation 22:18-19.]

In Acts 8:20 in the Good News Bible, common and ungodly language is used for Peter’s comments to Simon. The Good News Bible says:

“May you and your money go to Hell for thinking you can buy God’s gift with money.”

The original term for “Hell” is “Gehenna.” It is not found in the book of Acts! Therefore, it should not be inserted here.

The Good News Bible implies the false doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church that Peter is the “rock” on which the church of Christ is built. In Matthew 16:18, it reads:

“And so I tell you, Peter, you are a rock, and on this rock foundation, I will build my church, and not even death will be able to overcome it.”

The context makes it clear that the church is built upon the great truth that Peter had just confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. It is upon this fact, not upon weak, sinful Peter that the Lord built His church (1 Corinthians 3:11).

The Good News Bible has removed “truth” from John 4:24. A proper translation of this passage is: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (ASV). This correct translation teaches that God is spirit. His person is spiritual. Therefore, He wants worship which is spiritual. This verse also teaches that worship to God must be “in truth.” This means it must be according to the teaching of His Word (John 17:17). The Good News Bible, however, mistranslates John 4:24 as “God is Spirit, and only by the power of His Spirit can people worship Him as He really is.” What happened to the “truth” in this translation? The Good News Bible implies that men cannot worship God without God’s help. It also destroys the basis for our worship to God. God demands that worship to Him be conducted according to His revealed truth. It must be done with the proper spirit or attitude. Apparently the translator of The Good News Bible was not concerned about truth. Our Lord stated, “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32, ASV).

In 2 Timothy 4:1, The Good News Bible teaches the false doctrine called premillennialism. This doctrine says that Christ is not now king of His kingdom, but is coming in the future to be king. The Good News Bible says:

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and because he is coming to rule as King I solemnly urge you to preach the message.” [Emphasis added.]

The Bible teaches that Jesus is now ruling as king. He has been ruling since His resurrection from the dead and His ascension back to Heaven (Acts 2:25-36). The Bible also teaches that when He returns it will not be to rule as king, but at that time He will put down all rule, authority and power (1 Corinthians 15:24).

There are other mistranslated verses in the Good News Bible (Today’s English Version). The ones we have looked at should be enough to convince any Bible believer that the Good News Bible is not the Word of God. Friends, do not risk your souls by following a perversion of God’s Word. The Good News Bible is bad news for modern man!

Unless otherwise marked, scripture is taken from the Good News Translation in Today’s English Version-
Second Edition Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.