Watch Out For Rapture Watch!

A Critique Of Their Erroneous Assertions






By KönigsWort Incorporated

March 2000



Stephen Alexander Coston, Sr.

Copyright ã 2000, Stephen A. Coston Sr.




























Where does one begin when attempting to untie a knot? Oh, what a tangled web we weave - indeed! The article in question promoted by Rapture Watch is much like the tangled confusion of a mass of twine, twisted, matted, and forever entangled in a twisted and chaotic mess. It is always easier to make a mess than clean one up, consequently, the task of the fact finder is more time consuming than that of the gossip, or the purveyor of fiction. It is our contention that the author(s) of this piece, whoever they are, are simply confused. More often than not their portrayal of facts is either mistaken, or their interpretation of same is skewed from a flawed understanding of the facts, the pertinent history, and a myriad of other details, about which they are otherwise likewise grossly misguided.

This article is offered in the hopes that the facts of history will serve to untangle the web of confusion that has blinded their objectivity and understanding not only with regard to His Majesty King James VI & I, but also the Authorized 1611 King James Bible. Perhaps best place to begin is at the beginning. Let us dissect the major portions of this article and see how easy it is for error to blind one to the truth.

The author(s) begin by appealing to the translators of the King James Bible in support of their preference for "looking up original words of Scripture…" However, none of the quotations of the translators provided establishes the premise that the Greek text underlying the modern versions is either as good as, or superior to the Greek text underlying the King James Bible. When the translators encouraged the readers to compare things it is important to realize that they were not referring to either a version or a Greek text that had any resemblance to those of our present modern translations. With respect to the Greek text underlying the King James Bible then, not one proven error has yet been established notwithstanding the many claims made in this regard.


Acts 12:4

This brings us to where our author(s) cite as an example of an error Acts 12:4 "Easter." This alleged mistranslation has been well refuted in many reference works. Since this argument has been answered so well by prior authors, their evidences will not be repeated here, except to say that Herod was a pagan Roman who worshipped the queen of heaven, and was by no means an orthodox, conservative or even a liberal Jew. "Easter" correctly refers to the pagan holiday he was looking forward to, from the perspective and counting the time according to the Herodian view. But the question remains, at least from the perspective of our zealous author(s), was King James responsible for inserting "Easter" into the text? The only sane answer can be NO! Why?

A good question will receive a good answer. If one consults William Tyndale’s translation of 1534 (well before the birth of King James in 1566) one will find the following translation of Acts 4:12:

"…intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people."

Hence, the ignorance of our author(s) assumption in this regard is clearly exemplified.

Our author(s) next parenthetically mention coinage in James time to further substantiate their claims. This point will be briefly addressed below.


The "Jacobus"

It is contended that "In 1604 he (King James) had a gold coin minted called the Unite or Jacobus which demonstrated his beliefs. The belief of this religion is that the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic people are the lost tribes of Israel and the throne of King David is located in the British Isles;…"

This is simply fallacious. Even a cursory examination of the most basic Latin works will reveal that "Jacobus" is simply Latin for "James." Latin was extensively used on coinage and legal works during James time hence its employment.

The author next postulates that one of the possibilities for such purported mistranslations (such as Easter mentioned previously) was King James guidelines for the translation project, which will be discussed below.


Rules For Translation


It is argued that "…the King James translators were not free agents, but were under constant direction by King James to hastily provide him with their progress and results for his ‘allowance and acceptance’ as the recognized ‘principal moouer and Author of the Worke’ and to satisfy their humble craving for his approbation (sanction)."

The fact that guidelines were provided is in no way indicative of the bias of our author in his assertions. The fact that there were rules is actually a benefit in that as we have seen in later attempts at revision (that of 1880 for example) there is a temptation to alter the underlying Greet/Hebrew texts rather than simply revise or translate, and this was the complaint of many after the revision of 1880 by Westcott and Hort. To ensure this didn’t happen to the AV1611 King James wisely set down rules which are provided below:

1. The ordinary Bible read in the church, commonly called the Bishops’ Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the original will permit.




2. The names of the prophets and the holy writers, with the other names in the text, to be retained as near as may be, accordingly as they are vulgarly used.






3. the old ecclesiastical words to be kept, via., as the word church not be translated congregation, &c.






4. When any word hath divers significations, that to be kept which hath been most commonly used by the most eminent fathers, being agreeable to the propriety of the place and the analogy of faith.






5. The division of the chapters to be altered either not at all, or as little as may be, if necessity so require.






6. No marginal notes at all to be affixed, but only for the explanation of the Hebrew or Greek words, which cannot without some circumlocution so briefly and fitly be expressed in the text.

7. Such quotations of places to be marginally set down, as shall serve for the fit reference of one scripture to another.


8. Every particular man of each company to take the same chapter or chapters; and, having translated or amended them severally by himself where he thinks good, all to meet together, confer what they have done, and agree for their part what shall stand.

9. As any one company hath dispatched any one book in this manner, they shall send it to the rest, to be considered of seriously and judiciously; for his majesty is very careful in this point.





10. If any company, upon the review of the book so sent, shall doubt or differ upon any places, to send them word thereof, note the places, and therewithal send their reasons; to which if they consent not, the difference to be compounded at the general meeting, which is to be of the chief persons of each company, at the end of the work.

11. When any place of special obscurity is doubted of, letters to be directed by authority, to send to any learned in the land, for his judgment in such a place.








12. Letters to be sent from every bishop to the rest of his clergy, admonishing them of this translation in hand; and to move and charge as many as being skillful in the tongues, have taken pains in that kind, to send his particular observations to the company, either at Westminster, Cambridge, or Oxford.

13. The directors in each company to be, the deans of Westminster and Chester for that place, and the king’s professors in the Hebrew and Greek in each university.


14. These translations to be used, when they agree better with the text than the Bishops Bible, viz., Tyndale’s, Matthew’s, Coverdale’s, Whitechurch, Geneva. {As found in The Church History Of Britain… by Thomas Fuller, Oxford, M.DCCC.XLV}

Our author(s) in their treatise cite from The Epistle Dedicatory in a vain attempt to create the impression that since James was the "principal Mover and Author of the work:…" [i.e., the result of the Hampton Court Conference in 1604, when the idea was brought before the King by Dr. John Reynlds, President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford], that he personally inserted words and phrases.

Our author(s) cites the Epistle Dedicatory where it is written:

"Your Majesty did never desist to urge and to excite those to whom it was commended, that the work might be hastened, and that the business might be expedited in so decent a manner, as a matter of such importance might justly require. …it may receive approbation and patronage from so learned and judicious a Prince as Your Highness is, whose allowance and acceptance of our labors shall more honor and encourage us, …"

The mistaken notion that King James was not simply the patron of the work, but that he actually was the translator if not indeed the original author seems to be implied. However, such a conclusion is preposterous for the translators clearly identify the translation as a product of "our labors" as stated above.



The simple truth is that Royal Authority for the project was granted, and the logistics of the work was undertaken by James in order to facilitate the translation by the translators. Such Royal or other patronage was not uncommon in Bibles printed up to and even after this time. Our author(s) misinformed conclusion that "The reason for why the ancient pagan British festival of the Celts known as Easter was inserted in the Bible can be laid directly at the feet of the former king of Great Britain." is utterly fallacious.

There is simply no indication from the rules we’ve published above that James personally or specifically forced or coerced the translators to employ any element of "British Israelism" in the text of the AV 1611, nor are any of the rules unreasonable or erroneous. As for the criticism that the translators praised James, one would do well to consider I Peter 2:17; I Peter 2:13,14; and other similar verses.

The next contention is that James was a "devoted proponent of what is known as British Israelism,…"


British Israelism


According to Walter Marin’s The Kingdom Of The Cults:

"Anglo-Israelism (sometimes called British-Israelism) is, properly speaking, neither a sect nor a cult since it transcends denominational and sectarian lines and because it does not set up an ecclesiastical organization. It has existed for more than a century in the United States, having come to this hemisphere from England. Apparently it originated there shortly after the close of the Elizabethan era, its ‘first apostle’ being Richard Brothers (1757-1824) …

The basic premise of the Anglo-Israelite theory is that ten tribes were lost (Israelites) when the Jews were captured by the Assyrians under King Sargon and that these so-called ‘lost’ tribes are, in reality, the Saxae, or Scythians, who surged westward through Northern Europe and eventually became the ancestors of the Saxons, who later invaded England. The theory maintains that the Anglo-Saxons are the ‘lost’ ten tribes of Israel and are substituted, in Anglo-Israel interpretation and exegesis, for the Israel of the Bible."

It is highly doubtful that James advanced any of these views beyond general principles commonly found in Covenant Theology, which tends to view the Church as "Spiritual Israel." Beyond the author’s own opinion, along with a smattering of ill-conceived and erroneous presumptions, there is little substantive information to substantiate his allegation that King James was anything but orthodox in his views.

Our author(s) next make the allegation that James personally altered words in Holy Writ to conform to his alleged convictions of "British Israelism." It is argued that the example of "…the word Zion which is spelled in places with an ‘s’ instead of a ‘Z’. King James oversaw the change in spelling of Zion to sion in what we find are significant places when we are reminded of The Epiftle Dedicatorie the translators refer to Great Britain as ‘our Sion,’ and when recalling King James’ devotion to British Israelism. The changes to the spelling of Zion to sion are found in …Matt. 21:5, John 12:15, Rom. 9:33, 11:26, Heb. 12:22, I Peter 2:6 and Rev. 14.1."

This is simply ridiculous as can be seen by a comparison between the King James Bible, Tyndale’s Bible, and The Geneva Bible as seen below:

King James Bible

Tyndale’s Bible

The Geneva Bible


Matthew 21:5

Matthew 21:5

Matthew 21:5





John 12:15

John 12:15

John 12:15





Romans 9:33

Romans 9:33

Romans 9:33





Romans 11:26

Romans 11:26

Romans 11:26





Hebrews 12:22

Hebrews 12:22

Hebrews 12:22





I Peter 2:6

I Peter 2:6

I Peter 2:6





Revelation 14:1

Revelation 14:1

Revelation 14:1





We next come to the allegation about the translation of "Unicorn." Our author(s) would have us believe the etiology of this word is similar to that of "Sion" above. Is this true?






The Unicorn

The assertion is advanced that the word "unicorn" as found in Job 39:9 is a "mistranslation." It  is  further  argued  that  "unicorn" should have been translated "wild-ox" because "The Jews have never taught on unicorns." The article goes on to state that the "unicorn" was "…a mythical creature… a creature unknown to be indigenous to the earth…" It is claimed that "…this misrepresentation …is accountable to King James. The unjustified identification…"

The writer further postulates that the beast in question was so obviously a "wild-ox" that the fact that "…Jesus [didn’t] enlighten the Hebrew’s understanding of this passage at His first coming …" is further proof of his thesis, especially "…since the idea of a unicorn is so far removed from what the Jews understood the creature to be?" The author concludes by writing that "We believe the answer for King James’ introduction of the mythological unicorn into the Scriptures is once again found in the king’s commitment to British Israelism."

In parting our misinformed littérateur states quite emphatically "King James Charles Stuart VI & I (Scotland’s Royal House of Stuart were long known as the ‘House of Unicorns’ and to this very day the ‘Unicorn’ along with the ‘Davidc Lion of Judah’ are incorporated in the Royal Arms Great Seal of Scotland and the British Coat of Arms…"

Two things, first, if indeed the "unicorn" is so far removed from Jewish understanding, then why would King James wish to employ a "mythological" creature to symbolize something that it had no true identification with? This simply makes no sense.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the author if this article seems to be confused as well as grossly mistaken. Let us briefly consult some standard reference works on Heraldry to illuminate the topic properly.

"The Unicorn, however, it is not easy to resolve into an original basis, because until the seventeenth century every one fondly believed in the existence of the animal."

"There was a time - not so long ago- when the existence of the unicorn was as implicitly believed in as the camel or any other animal not seen in these latitudes; and the translators of the Bible set their seal upon the legend by translating the Hebrew word reem (which probably meant a rhinoceros) as ‘unicorn.’ Thus the worthy Thomas Fuller came to consider the existence of the unicorn clearly proved by the mention of Scripture. It is interesting to note Fuller cites Pliny’s description in addition to his own.

Various theories have been advanced as to what precisely the unicorn actually was. Candidates range from "wild antelopes (or goats) of Syria and Palestine" to "rhinoceros" However, the legend of the unicorn traces itself far back into history as the story "…is at least as old as Pliny." There are ancient depictions of the beast recorded in drawings and illuminations.

And during the first year of Elizabeth I, as well as in that of "…Shakespeare’s time at Windsor Castle the ‘horn of a unicorn of above eight spans and a half in length, valued at above £10,000/’ This may be been the one now at Buckingham Palace." There are contemporary accounts describing this horn in the archives.

"’Nor is belief in the unicorn confined to Europe. By Chinese writers it is characterised as a ‘spiritual beast’ The existence of the unicorn is firmly credited by the most intelligent natives and by not a few Europeans. A very trustworthy observer, the Abbé Huc, speaks very positively on the subject: ‘The unicorn really exists in Tibet…We had for a long time a small Mongol treatise on Natural History, for the use of children, in which a unicorn formed one of the pictorial illustrations.’"



As we have seen King James did not personally introduce this beast into Holy Scripture, and as we shall see shortly nor was the unicorn confined to the House of Stuart, as it is properly known and which is its precise nomenclature, contrary to the assertion of it being known as the "House of Unicorn."

To this end we must note clearly that "The Unicorn, famous as the Scottish royal supporter, …" was a symbol of Scotland, the Kings of Scotland, and never as any symbol of "British Israelism" as supposed. Furthermore, if one consults the famous standard reference work Burke’s Peerage one will find the remarks above to be true.

On page lxxx under "The Royal Lineage" for the "Kings Of Scotland" one can clearly see as reproduced below that unicorns stand as bilateral supporters of the Royal Arms.






Picture Scan Here























James was not the first, nor the last, to employ the unicorn in his arms. James was not the first King of Scotland, and the employment of the unicorn predates him significantly. If one were to peruse this work one can find, for example, that the unicorn is employed in various and sundry arms of many noble families as both a supporter and in various other heraldic employments/attitudes as well (passant, trippant, courant, salient, and couchant). Interestingly, not all "Stewart’s" have the unicorn in their arms!

It should be noted that we can find Royal Proclimations where James altered the design of the Union Flag, but no where is there any extant evidence that he ordered that the term "unicorn" specifically be included in Holy Scripture. Along these lines, it is a well known historical fact that upon James’ ascension to the throne of England the arms were altered, not because of "British Israelism" as is supposed by our present author, but simply because Scotland now was united with England in the person of James.

Below is a quotation from a standard reference work on the topic, the bolding is my own emphasis:

"On March 24th, 1603, the thrones of Scotland and England were united in the person of James VI of Scotland and I of England, hence the Scottish arms were marshalled in the English achievement, which became I and IV grand-quarters quarterly of I and 4 France modern, 2 and 3 England; II, Scotland; or, a lion rampant within a double tressure fleury counterfleury gules; IV, Ireland; azure, a harp Or stringed argent. His supporters, dexter, the English lion; sinister, the Scottish unicorn, and for his crests, each upon a crown, upon the royal helmet, first, for Scotland, a lion sejant affronté with forepaws extended gules, crowned Or, holdding in his dexter forepaw a scepture of the last and in his sinister forepaw a sword argent hilted and pommelled gold; the second for England, the thrd, the golden fleur-de-lys of France."

These facts about the unicorn (from the Latin for "one horn") can be further attested to by just about any standard reference work on the topic.

It seems quite possible then, given the ancient and diverse evidence that the unicorn is simply a now extinct species, much like the Coelacanth, a fish thought to have been extinct since the Cretaceous period [the Mesozoic era, the age of Medieval life], but found in 1938 off the coast of southern Africa. There simply is no evidence to substantiate the misplaced notion that the unicorn was in any way indicative of "British Israelism."

Last, but certainly by no means least, is the simple fact that "unicorn" had a long history and tradition in Holy Scripture prior to the advent of the King James Bible. This could hardly be indicative of King James alleged "…introduction of the mythological unicorn into the Scriptures." Notice the following facts:

1. "Unicorn" is included in the text of The Bishop’s Bible of 1576.

2. "Unicorn" is included in the text of The Geneva Bible of 1602.

Job 39:9-10 [The Bishop’s Bible]

"Will the Unicorn do thee service, or abide still by thy crib. Canst thou binde the yoke about the Unicorn in the furrow, to make him plow after thee in the valleys?"


The marginal reference to this verse reads: ["If thou can not rule the Unicorn, can thou know God’s servant or appoint him to do thy will?’]

Job 39:12-13 [The Geneva Bible]

"Will the Unicorn serve thee or will he tarry by they crib? Canst thou bind the Unicorn with his band to labor in the furrow’s or will he plow the valleys after thee?

The marginal reference to this verse reads in part: ["Is it possible to make the unicorn tame? Signifying that if man cannot tame a creature, then it is much more impossible that he should appoint the …of God…"]


At this juncture our author(s) seek the cultivate the impression that either King James and/or the translators included the apocrypha because they believed it to be canonical Scripture. Also it is suggested that present day believers of the King James Bible [termed "purists" by our author(s)] are guilty of inconsistency by not advocating the inclusion of the apocrypha in present day King James Bibles. Let us discuss the relevant facts.







The Apocrypha

King James Position: "As for the Scriptures, no man doubteth, I will believe them; but even for the Apocrypha, I hold them in the same account that the ancients did: they are still printed and bound with our Bibles, and publicly read in our Churches; I reverence them as the writings of holy and good men: but since they are not found in the cannon, we account them to be secundae lectionis, or ordinis, which is Bellarmine’s own destinction; and therefore not sufficient whereupon alone to ground any article of Faith, except it be confirmed by some other place of Canonical Scripture."

The Church Of England’s Position:

[39 Articles of Religion of the Church Of England, A.D. 1571].

"Article VI. Of The Sufficiency Of The Holy Scriptures For Salvation: Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite as necessary to salvation. In the name of holy Scripture, we do understand those Canonical books of the old and new testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church … " And regarding the Apocrypha, the Anglican Church "… does not apply them to establish any doctrine."

Furthermore, it should be remembered that the tradition of the Apocrypha being bound in Holy Writ was a long established practice, well before King James’ ascension to either the Scottish or English thrones. Moreover, the Geneva Bible of 1602, so commonly associated with the Puritans bound the Apocrypha within its text, in much the same fashion as the King James Bible. The remarks on the Apocrypha in this edition are virtually identical to the sentiments of both King James and the Church of England as can be clearly seen below:





The Argument

These books that follow in order after the prophets unto the New Testament are called Apocrypha, that is, books, which were not received by a common consent to be read or expounded publicly in the Church, neither yet served to prove any point of Christian religion, save in as much as they had the consent of the other Scriptures called Canonical to confirm the same, or rather whereon they were grounded: but as books proceeding from godly men, were received to be read for the advancement and furtherance of the knowledge of the history and for the instruction of godly manners which books declare that at all times God has a special care of his Church and left them not utterly destitute of teachers and means to confirm them in the hope of the promised Messiah, and also witness that those calamities that God sent to His Church were according to His providence who had both so threatened by His Prophets, and so brought it to pass for the destruction of their enemies, and for the trial of His children."



One can well understand why one would not wish to affix his/her own name to such an article as this. There are so many errors that greet the eye that it is difficult to know precisely where to begin. When our author(s) writes "…we will not entertain circular arguments by any professed Bible believer who when desiring to take a position on a particular word translation fails to research for themselves first." We cannot help but think of the deficiencies of his/her own research.

I have not sought to address each and every errant remark in this work, nor have I chosen to necessarily provide in-depth rebuttals to the points I have commented on. However, it is believed that our remarks herein are sufficient to both refute the claims of our author(s) and to expose the faulty facts presented in this misleading article.