Bible Translation Comparison Table:  Ordination and Office

This Bible translation table compares four (4) versions of several key verses bearing on the subjects of human ordination and office — Green's literal English translation of the Greek Textus Receptus, the King James (authorized) translation, the New King James translation, and the Darby translation — and includes brief notes on each verse.  The table provides disturbing evidence of bias in the generally reliable King James translation toward persons being "ordained" and having "office", whether it be that of a bishop, a deacon, or even the priesthood.  Words to this effect were added or uniquely translated this way in certain key verses and postscripts, rather than simply translating them literally, according to their common usages.
Considering the wide acceptance of the King James translation among English-speaking, "Protestant" Christians during the last few centuries, it is not surprising that the notion and practice of an ordained clergy continued to prevail among many of these Christians.

Verse Green's Literal Translation John Darby Translation (JD) New King James Translation (NKJ) King James Translation (KJ) Observations
Acts 1:22 ... a witness of the resurrection of Him to become with us one of these. ... one of these should be a witness with us of his resurrection. ... one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection. ... must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. KJ adds "must ... be ordained", which is not in the Greek Textus Receptus (TR).  This is a serious translation error.
Acts 1:21-22
Acts 1:21-22, Left to Right: Green's Literal Translation, Textus Receptus, King James Translation
Romans 11:13 ... Since indeed am I of nations an apostle, the ministry of me I glorify; ... inasmuch as I am apostle of nations, I glorify my ministry; ... inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, ... inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify my office: The Greek word diakonia means "ministry" or "service"; KJ renders it thus 25 times, and only here renders it "office".
1 Timothy 3:1 ... if anyone to overseership aspires, a good work he desires. ... if any one aspires to exercise oversight, he desires a good work. ... If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. ... If a man desireth the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. The Greek word episkope means "oversight"; KJ renders it "visitation" twice, "office" in Acts 1:20 instead of the literal "overseership", and "the office of a bishop" here.
1 Timothy 3:10 And let be tested first, then let them minister without reproach being. And let these be first proved, then let them minister, being without charge against them. But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. The Greek word diakoneo means "minister" or "serve"; KJ renders it thus 32 times, and only here and in verse 13 renders it "the office of a deacon".
1 Timothy 3:13 For well having ministered a grade for themselves good acquire, ... . for those who shall have ministered well obtain for themselves a good degree, ... . For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing ... For they that have used the office of a deacon well, purchase to themselves a good standing, ... . The Greek word diakoneo means "minister" or "serve"; KJ renders it thus 32 times, and only here and in verse 10 renders it "the office of a deacon".
2 Timothy 4:22 ... Grace be with you.  Amen. ... Grace be with you. ... Grace be with you.  Amen. ... Grace be with you.  Amen.  [The second epistle to Timothy, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Ephesians, was written from Rome, when Paul was brought before Nero the second time.] The postscript found in some KJ editions, stating that Timothy was "ordained the first bishop of the church of the Ephesians", was not in the Greek TR.  It was added later by copyists.
Titus 1:5 ... I left you in Crete, that the things lacking you should set in order, and appoint in each city elders, as I you ordered; ... I left thee in Crete, that thou mightest go on to set right what remained unordered, and establish elders in each city, as I had ordered thee: ... I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— ... I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: KJ states that Titus was to "ordain elders in every city", but the Greek TR shows that Titus was to "establish" or "appoint" elders (plural) in each city.  Titus was an apostolic delegate who later went on to Dalmatia.  (2 Timothy 4:10).
Titus 3:15 ... Grace with all of you.  Amen. ... Grace be with you all. ... Grace be with you all.  Amen. ... Grace be with you all.  Amen.  [It was written to Titus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Cretians, from Nicopolis of Macedonia.] The postscript found in some KJ editions, stating that Titus was "ordained the first bishop of the church of the Cretians", was not in the Greek TR.  It was added later by copyists.
Hebrews 7:5 And those indeed of the sons of Levi the priesthood receiving ... And they indeed from among the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, ... And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, ... And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, ... The Greek word hierateia means simply "the priesthood"; KJ renders it "the office of the priesthood".

By S. E. Hesterman.  Published February 9, 2005; updated May 4, 2021.

English Bible Translations:  Ordination and Office