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Sermon No: 874-Which Bible version should we use - Part 1



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SERMON TOPIC: Which Bible version should we use - Part 1

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 12 August 2012

Topic Groups: KING JAMES ONLY, THE BIBLE, SOUND DOCTRINE

Sermon synopsis: A brief look at the King James Only controversy.
Also what criteria do you use when choosing a Bible?
1) UNDERSTANDABILITY
- Translation method
- Use of modern or simple English
2) ACCURACY
- Translation method
- Textual source
In this study we will focus on the first criteria – understandability.

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SERMON OVERVIEW:

WHICH BIBLE VERSION

SHOULD WE USE?

ESV

KJV

WEB

NKJV

AMPLIFIED

NLT

GOOD NEWS

NIV

NASB

ASV

THE MESSAGE

YOUNGS

WEBSTERS

>>> PART 1 <<<

Which version of the Bible should I use?

English speakers are in a fortunate position that we can even ask this question. Over the centuries around 450 different versions of the Bible in English have been produced. Presently, there are more than 25 English translations available.

In sharp contrast by 2008 there were 200 million people worldwide without the Bible in their mother tongue (3% of the world population then). It is a pity that more effort isn’t applied into closing this gap, than is given to translating more English versions. We already have a wide array to choose from.

WHICH VERSION?

Brief history of Modern English Bibles

What criteria do you use when choosing a Bible?

UNDERSTANDABILITY

Translation method

Use of modern or simple English

ACCURACY

Translation method

Textual source

In this study we will focus on the first criteria – understandability.

OVERVIEW

BRIEF HISTORY OF

MODERN ENGLISH

BIBLES

EARLY SCRIPTURE LANGUAGES

SCRIPTURE

FROM

LANGUAGE

DATE

Original

OT

HEBREW 1

500 BC

Septuagint

OT

HEBREW

GREEK

3rd Cent BC

Original

NT

GREEK

1st Cent AD

Vulgate

OT

HEBREW

LATIN

4th Cent AD

NT

GREEK

1 The book of Daniel is in Hebrew although a portion (2:4b- 7:28) is in Aramaic.

There are partial translations of the Bible into Old English and Middle English dating from as far back as the 7th century. As the focus of this study is understandability we are only going to look at versions in Early Modern English and Modern English.

ENGLISH

LANGUAGE

DATE

INFLUENCES

Old English

pre-1066

Anglo-Saxon (Germanic)

Middle English

1066–1500

Anglo-Norman French & Latin

Early Modern English (Elizabethan English)

1500–1800

Printing press, English Renaissance, Tyndale’s Bible, Shakespeare

Modern English

1800–

Johnson’s (UK) and Webster’s (US) dictionaries. Mass media.

Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum, si þin nama gehalgod. To becume þin rice, gewurþe ðin willa, on eorðan swa swa on heofonum. Urne gedæghwamlican hlaf syle us todæg, and forgyf us ure gyltas, swa swa we forgyfað urum gyltendum. And ne gelæd þu us on costnunge, ac alys us of yfele. Soþlice.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

YEAR

Matthew 6:9-13

Old English (Wessex Gospels in 990)

Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum, si þin nama gehalgod. To becume þin rice, gewurþe ðin willa, on eorðan swa swa on heofonum. Urne gedæghwamlican hlaf syle us todæg, and forgyf us ure gyltas, swa swa we forgyfað urum gyltendum. And ne gelæd þu us on costnunge, ac alys us of yfele. Soþlice.

Middle English (Wycliffe Bible in 1382)

And thus ye schulen preye, Oure fadir that art in heuenes, halewid be thi name; thi kyngdoom come to; be thi wille don `in erthe as in heuene; yyue to vs this dai oure `breed ouer othir substaunce; and foryyue to vs oure dettis, as we foryyuen to oure dettouris; and lede vs not in to temptacioun, but delyuere vs fro yuel.

Tyndale was a gifted scholar and linguist who was the first to translate the NT into English directly from the original Greek (rather than from the Latin Vulgate which was itself a translation), and most of the OT from Hebrew. Tyndale’s was the first Bible to be printed in English. He had these illegal Bibles smuggled into England from Germany. Tyndale was arrested and imprisoned, and later strangled and burnt at the stake in 1536.

TYNDALE

Tyndale wrote that Church authorities banned translation into the mother tongue “to keep the world still in darkness, to the intent they might sit in the consciences of the people, through vain superstition and false doctrine, to satisfy their filthy lusts, their proud ambition, and insatiable covetousness, and to exalt their own honour… above God himself.”

His last words were, “Lord, open the king of England’s eyes.” This prayer was answered 3 years later when Henry VIII ordered that English Bibles be placed in every church (20,000) in England. The English ‘Great Bible’, as it was known, was basically a revision of Tyndale’s translation done by his friend Myles Coverdale.

TYNDALE

Much of Tyndale’s work eventually found its way into the KJV. The NT of the KJV is drawn 84% word for word from Tyndale and more than 75% of the OT books. The quality of his translations has stood the test of time, coming relatively intact even into modern Bible versions.

TYNDALE

DATE

BIBLE

COMMENT

1382

Wycliffe Bible

This was in Middle English, handwritten not printed, and translated from the Latin Vulgate.

1526

Tyndale Bible

First NT printed in English & translated from the Hebrew & Greek by William Tyndale.

1535

Coverdale Bible

First full Bible printed in English. Translation: Tyndale’s NT. OT – Tyndale’s completed by Myles Coverdale.

1537

Matthew-Tyndale Bible

Translation: Tyndale & Coverdale with portions by John Rogers under the pseudonym “Thomas Matthew”.

EARLY MODERN ENGLISH

DATE

BIBLE

COMMENT

1539

Great Bible

First “authorised version” by Henry VIII. Translation: Coverdale using Tyndale.

1560

Geneva Bible

First English translation done by a committee & where the entire OT is translated from the original Hebrew. First English Bible with verses & italicization of added words. Contains Calvinist footnotes.

1568

Bishops Bible

Second “authorised version” in the reign of Elizabeth I.

1609

Douay Rheims

First English Catholic Bible translated from Latin Vulgate.

1611

KJV

Third “authorised version” in the reign of King James I.

EARLY MODERN ENGLISH

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth the people generally used the Geneva Bible, while church officials generally used the Bishops’ Bible.

The thorough Calvinism of the Geneva Bible (displayed in the marginal notes more so than in the translation itself) offended the high-church party of the Church of England, to which almost all of its bishops subscribed. They associated Calvinism with Presbyterianism, which sought to replace government of the church by bishops (Episcopalian) with government by lay elders… In an attempt to replace the objectionable Geneva translation, they circulated one of their own, which became known as the Bishops’ Bible. 1 It has a bad reputation in terms of the poor scholarship of the translation.

1 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Bishops%27_Bible">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Bishops%27_Bible

GENEVA & BISHOPS BIBLE

When the Catholic Church realised that they could not stem the tide of reform, they decided to allow an official Catholic translation of the Bible into English. However the resulting Douay–Rheims Bible was a translation not from the Hebrew or Greek, but from the Latin Vulgate, which was itself a translation of the original Hebrew and Greek.

The Rheims preface claimed that their translation was needed because of the “false translations” by Protestants who had corrupted God’s Word by “adding, detracting, altering, transposing, pointing, and other guileful means.” 1

Much of the text of the 1582/ 1610 Bible, however, employed a densely latinate vocabulary, to the extent of being in places unreadable… 2

1 "http:// www.kjv-only.com/ rick/ vulgateonly.html">http:// www.kjv-only.com/ rick/ vulgateonly.html 2 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Douay%E2%80%93Rheims_Bible">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Douay%E2%80%93Rheims_Bible

DOUAY-RHEIMS

So when King James I (James VI of Scotland) ascended the English throne, each faction in England had it’s own preferred version of the English Bible:

Puritans: Geneva Bible – Calvinist marginal notes.

Anglican: Bishop’s Bible – poor scholarship.

Catholics: Douay-Rheims – a translation of a translation and unreadable in parts due to it’s extensive borrowing from Latin.

THE KJV

Portrait of James I by Daniel Mytens

James wanted to breach the divide between the Puritans and Anglicans. Some Puritans presented him with the Millenary Petition calling for a number of church reforms. James who had studied theology and enjoyed debating theological issues, agreed to hold a conference at Hampton Court Palace, where the proposed reforms could be debated. The conference was held in 1604 and the king chose 4 Puritans to represent their cause while Archbishop Whitgift led an opposing delegation of 17 clergymen. The Puritan John Reynolds almost damaged the entire Puritan cause by using the word “presbytery” when proposing changes to the Church governance. This provoked an outburst from the king who opposed the Presbyterian form of governance which would effectively prevent the king from being the ultimate head of the church. Hence he cried “No bishop, no king!”

THE KJV

Then Reynolds redeemed himself to an extent. Although Bible revision was not on the agenda, he “moved his Majesty, that there might be a new translation of the Bible, because those which were allowed in the reigns of Henry the eighth, and Edward the sixth, were corrupt and not answerable to the truth of the Original.”

The king was very supportive of this suggestion stating that he “could never yet see a Bible well translated in English; but I think that, of all, that of Geneva is the worst. I wish some special pains were taken for an uniform translation, which should be done by the best learned men in both Universities, then reviewed by the Bishops, presented to the Privy Council, lastly ratified by the Royal authority, to be read in the whole Church, and none other.” (See Appendices 2-4 for more details)

THE KJV

The desire was to have a single English Bible acceptable to both the Puritans and the Church of England. The translation was done by 47 scholars, although 54 were originally approved. All of the translators were members of the Church of England, although about a quarter belonged to the Puritan faction.

James wanted no biased notes as in the Geneva Bible and so his rule 6 to the translators stated: “No Marginal Notes at all to be affixed, but only for the explanation of the Hebrew or Greek Words…”

THE KJV

The opening of the Epistle to the Hebrews of the 1611 edition of the KJV

The resultant King James Bible translation began in 1604 and was completed in 1611. The NT was translated from Greek, the OT was translated from Hebrew, while the Apocrypha was translated from Greek and Latin. The KJV ultimately replaced the Bishop’s Bible in churches and became the version of choice for public reading. By the 1650’s, it also surpassed the Geneva Bible as the most common translation for personal use as well.

By the first half of the 18th century, the Authorized Version was effectively unchallenged as the English translation used in Anglican and Protestant churches. Over the course of the 18th century, the Authorized Version supplanted the Latin Vulgate as the standard version of scripture for English speaking scholars. 1

1 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Authorized_King_James_Version

THE KJV

VERSION

Anglo-Saxon Proto-English Manuscripts (995 AD)

God lufode middan-eard swa, dat he seade his an-cennedan sunu, dat nan ne forweorde de on hine gely ac habbe dat ece lif

Wycliff (1380)

for god loued so the world; that he gaf his oon bigetun sone, that eche man that bileueth in him perisch not: but haue euerlastynge liif

Tyndale (1534)

For God so loveth the worlde, that he hath geven his only sonne, that none that beleve in him, shuld perisshe: but shuld have everlastinge lyfe.

JOHN 3:16

VERSION

Great Bible (1539)

For God so loued the worlde, that he gaue his only begotten sonne, that whosoeuer beleueth in him, shulde not perisshe, but haue euerlasting lyfe.

Geneva Bible (1560)

For God so loueth the world, that he hath geuen his only begotten Sonne: that none that beleue in him, should peryshe, but haue euerlasting lyfe.

1st Ed. KJV (1611)

For God so loued the world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne: that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life.

KJV (1769)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

JOHN 3:16

It took over 250 years before a revision of the KJV was attempted with the English Revised Version. Some have referred to the KJV as, “the single greatest monument to the English language.” The Elizabethan English is very elegant, poetic and reminiscent of Shakespeare’s work which came from the same era.

But as the English language changed, the KJV has become difficult to understand due to the archaic language. Subsequently there have been several translations of the Bible into modern English, which is defined as the form of English in use after 1800.

Estimates of KJV sales run into hundreds of millions. It was the most popular English Bible translation for over 3 centuries until being surpassed in the late 20th century by the NIV.

THE KJV

DATE

BIBLE

COMMENT

1833

Webster's Revision

Noah Webster's limited revision of the KJV replacing archaic words & making simple grammatical changes.

1862

Young’s Literal translation

Possibly the most literal English rendering.

1881/ 5

English Revised Version

British revision of KJV.

1890

Darby Bible

Published by John Nelson Darby, an Anglo-Irish Bible teacher associated with the Plymouth Brethren.

1901

American Standard Version

Uses Old English language and translates God’s Hebrew name YWHW as "Jehovah"

MODERN ENGLISH

DATE

BIBLE

COMMENT

1941/ 9

Bible In Basic English

Only 1000 English words used.

1952

Revised Standard Version

Revision of the ASV.

1965

Amplified Bible

Explains & expands the meaning of words by placing amplification in brackets after key words or phrases

1970

New English Bible

Translation of the Bible & apocrypha into modern English

1971

New American Standard Bible

Considered to be the most literal 20th Century English Bible.

1971

Living Bible

Paraphrased from the ASV by Kenneth Taylor.

MODERN ENGLISH

DATE

BIBLE

COMMENT

1976

Today’s English Version / Good News Translation

Translated from the original languages, but considered a paraphrase by many.

1973/ 8

New International Version (NIV) Bible

Best selling modern English Bible.

1978/ 86

International Children’s Bible

Aimed at young readers and those with low reading skills/ limited vocabulary in English

1982

New King James Version

Revision of the KJV replacing archaic English.

1990

New Revised Standard Version

Thorough revision of the RSV.

1994/ 5

New International Readers Version

Simple English version of NIV.

MODERN ENGLISH

DATE

BIBLE

COMMENT

1995

God’s Word Translation

Uses everyday English.

1996

New Living Translation

Revision of the Living Bible consulting original languages.

2000

World English Bible

Only public domain, modern-English Bible translation.

2001

English Standard Version

Revision of the 1971 edition of the Revised Standard Version

2002

The Message

A paraphrase in very contemporary language by Eugene H. Peterson.

1999/ 2004

Holman Christian Standard Bible

Modern English translation by the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.

2010/ 1

Common English Bible

Bible & Apocrypha in Common English.

MODERN ENGLISH

VERSION

Amplified

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

NIV

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

The Message

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.

JOHN 3:16

TRANSLATION METHOD

When translating the Bible, a translator determines how literal the translation should be. English Bibles are translated using to one of 3 methods: 1

TYPES OF TRANSLATION

1

FORMAL or COMPLETE EQUIVALENCE

Literal word-for-word translation

2

FUNCTIONAL or DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE

Thought-for-thought translation based on context

3

MEDIATING

A combination of the above methods

1 NOTE: There is disagreement over these definitions and in some cases about which Bible falls into each category.

Formal or complete equivalence is generally a word-for-word translation, within the grammatical constraints of the receptor language.

ADVANTAGES:

It is the most objective type of translation as it endeavours to follow the syntax of original language, without adding the translators’ ideas and thoughts into the translation.

The idea is that the more literal the translation is, the less danger there is of corrupting the original message.

1) LITERAL

DISADVANTAGE: Sometimes this may not be the most readable in the receptor language, especially when idioms (which are not relevant in the language) are translated directly, rather than the idea or concept.

One of the most literal English translations is the aptly named Young’s Literal Translation (published 1862). It renders John 3:16 as follows:

For God did so love the world, that His Son - the only begotten - He gave, that every one who is believing in him may not perish, but may have life age-during.

Although it maintains more of the original tense and word order of the original Greek than other versions, it is very awkward and ungrammatical in English. (It is useful however for reference purposes.)

1) LITERAL

Examples (to varying degrees)

Young’s Literal Translation - YLT

American Standard Version - ASV

New American Standard Bible - NASB

King James Version – KJV

Revised Standard Version - RSV

English Revised Version - ERV

New Revised Standard Version – NRSV

New King James Version – NKJV

English Standard Version - ESV

World English Bible - WEB

1) LITERAL

In the late twentieth century, Bibles increasingly appeared that were much less literal in their approach to translation. In 1946, the New English Bible was initiated in the United Kingdom, intended to enable readers to better understand the King James Bible. In 1958, J. B. Phillips (1906–1982) produced an edition of the New Testament letters in paraphrase, the Letters to Young Churches, so that members of his youth group could understand what the New Testament authors had written. In 1966, The Good News for Modern Man, a paraphrase of the New Testament was released to wide acceptance. Others followed suit. The Living Bible, released in 1971, was published by its author Kenneth N. Taylor, based on the literal American Standard Version of 1901. 1

1 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Modern_English_Bible_translations

2) DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE

A dynamic equivalence translation attempts to translate “thought for thought” rather than “word for word”. What is believed to be the meaning of the original passage is translated into what translator feels is an equivalent thought in the receptor language.

… the Good News Bible was born out of the translation theories of linguist Eugene Nida, the Executive Secretary of the American Bible Society's Translations Department. In the 1960s, Nida envisioned a new style of translation called Dynamic equivalence. That is, the meaning of the Hebrew and Greek would be expressed in a translation “thought for thought” rather than “word for word”. 1

1 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Good_News_Bible

2) DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE

James R. White writes in his book “The King James Only Controversy”:

Translating from one language to another is not as simple as it might seem. One cannot simply look at a word in Greek or Hebrew and assign one English term as the translation of that word in every instance. It would be nice if it worked that way, but it doesn’t. 1

1 “The King James Only Controversy” by James White

2) DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE

James R.White director of Alpha & Omega ministries http:// www.aomin.org

Translation is, in fact, a complex undertaking involving study of the vocabulary, the grammar, and the syntax of both the language from which one is translating into which the translation is taking place. Those who have had the privilege of studying foreign language even for a short time know that there is not just one correct translation of a word, phrase, or sentence of a foreign language into English. For instance, frequently there are two or more “right” ways of translating a sentence in Spanish, German, French, or Italian into the English language. The same is true of Greek and Hebrew. Often the difference between two “right” translations will focus upon how literal a person wishes to be in translation. 1

1 Ibid

2) DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE

The French have a saying, “j’ ai le cafard,” of which the most literal English translation would be, “I have the cockroach.” Why the French would have such a saying might seem beyond human reason until one discovers that a literal translation does not always convey the real meaning of the original saying. “J’ ai le cafard” is an idiomatic expression, one that has special meaning not evident by the words themselves. Specifically, it means, “I am depressed”, or “I have the blues.” If someone wanted to provide a French-to-English translation that accurately reflects the meaning of the French, one would not render it “I have the cockroach” but “I am depressed.” The assertion that “I have the cockroach” is the only proper English translation of the French “j’ ai le cafard” is simply untrue. One must make room for the meaning in one’s translation as well.” 1

1 Ibid

2) DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE

EXAMPLES

Good News Translation

New Living Translation

God’s Word Translation

New English Bible

VERY FREE PARAPHRASES

The Message Bible

Living Bible

The Message Bible makes extremely extensive use of Dynamic Equivalence, much more than it’s counterparts.

2) DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE

A paraphrase is “a restatement of the meaning of a text or passage using other words” i.e. much the same meaning as Dynamic Equivalence. But in some Christian circles this term came to be associated with Bibles like the Living Bible which didn’t use the original language as a base, but rephrased the wording of an existing English translation, in this case the ASV.

To escape the stigma of the term “paraphrase”, the Living Bible was revised as the New Living Translation after a process where the original languages were consulted.

In 2001 the Good News was renamed the Good News Translation because of misconceptions that it was merely a paraphrase and not a genuine translation.

2) DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE

ADVANTAGES:

A literal translation, it is argued, may obscure the intention of the original author. A free translator attempts to convey the subtleties of context and subtext in the work, so that the reader is presented with both a translation of the language and the context. 1

Dynamic Equivalents put the basic message of the Bible into language which could be readily understood by readers without a theological or linguistic background. The ease of understanding makes it useful for younger readers, or readers who do not have English as their first language.

1 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Bible_version_debate

2) DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE

DISADVANTAGES:

Critics say that this leaves room for translators to transfer their own biases into the translation.

Paraphrases are aimed more at readability rather than strict literal accuracy. As such they are not suited for in-depth study.

Sometimes the paraphrasers use too much license and the essence of the original text is changed rather than expanded.

2) DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE

The Living Bible was a best-seller in the early 1970s, largely due to the accessibility of its modern language, which made passages understandable to those with weak reading skills, or no previous background in Bible study. In 1972 and 1973, The Living Bible was the best-selling book in America. By 1997, 40 million copies of The Living Bible had been sold. 1

By 1969, Good News for Modern Man had sold 17.5 million copies. By 1971, that number had swelled to 30 million copies… In 1991, a Gallup poll of British parishioners showed that the GNB was the most popular Bible version in that nation. 2

1 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ The_Living_Bible 2 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Good_News_Bible

2) DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE

The New International Version (NIV) is a Mediating Translation attempting to strike a balance between dynamic and formal equivalence. In parts it is extremely literal but at times it makes use of Dynamic Equivalence.

Despite it’s many critics, the NIV has displaced the KJV as the most popular modern English translation of the Bible, selling more than 215 million copies worldwide.

OTHER EXAMPLES OF MEDIATING TRANSLATIONS:

Holman Christian Standard Bible

The Common English Bible (which includes the deuterocanonical books or apocrypha included in Catholic Church and Orthodox Church canons)

3) MEDIATING

PSALM 23:3-4

For the sake of comparison let’s compare Psalm 23:3-4 in different versions to the literal Hebrew in the Biblos Interlinear Bible (Note: Hebrew reads right to left)

Literal Translations compensate for grammar:

PSALM 23:3-4

LITERAL

NASB

my soul restores

He restores my soul;

guides the paths of righteousness

He guides me in the paths of righteousness

sake his name’s

For His name’s sake.

even though walk the valley of the death-shadow

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

no fear evil

I fear no evil,

(for) you (with) me

for You are with me;

your rod and your staff

Your rod and Your staff,

they comfort

they comfort me.

The KJV is very literal albeit that the language is archaic:

PSALM 23:3-4

NASB

KJV (1769)

He restores my soul;

He restoreth my soul:

He guides me in the paths of righteousness

he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I fear no evil,

I will fear no evil:

for You are with me;

for thou art with me;

Your rod and Your staff,

thy rod and thy staff

they comfort me.

they comfort me.

Note how literally the NIV renders this passage:

PSALM 23:3-4

NASB

NIV

He restores my soul;

He restores my soul.

He guides me in the paths of righteousness

He guides me in paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I fear no evil,

I will fear no evil,

for You are with me;

for you are with me;

Your rod and Your staff,

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

they comfort me.

The NLT clearly paraphrases the passage.

PSALM 23:3-4

NASB

New Living Translation

He restores my soul;

He renews my strength.

He guides me in the paths of righteousness

He guides me along right paths,

For His name’s sake.

bringing honor to his name.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

Even when I walk through the darkest 1 valley,

I fear no evil,

I will not be afraid,

for You are with me;

for you are close beside me.

Your rod and Your staff,

Your rod and your staff

they comfort me.

protect and comfort me.

1 can be translated death-shadow, shadow of death, deep shadow, darkness

The GNT is also paraphrasing the passage.

PSALM 23:3-4

NASB

Good News Translation

He restores my soul;

He gives me new strength.

He guides me in the paths of righteousness

He guides me in the right paths,

For His name’s sake.

as he has promised.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

Even if I go through the deepest darkness, 1

I fear no evil,

I will not be afraid,

for You are with me;

Lord, for you are with me.

Your rod and Your staff,

Your shepherd's rod and staff

they comfort me.

protect me.

1 can be translated death-shadow, shadow of death, deep shadow, darkness

And The Message is an extremely free paraphrase:

PSALM 23:3-4

NASB

The Message

He restores my soul;

True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.

He guides me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

Even when the way goes through Death Valley,

I fear no evil,

I'm not afraid

for You are with me;

when you walk at my side.

Your rod and Your staff,

Your trusty shepherd's crook

they comfort me.

makes me feel secure.

1

New International Version

NIV

2

King James Version

KJV

3

New King James Version

NKJV

4

New Living Translation

NLT

5

English Standard Version

ESV

6

New International Readers Version

NIrV

7

Holman Christian Standard Bible

HCSB

8

Common English Bible *

CEB

9

The Message

10

International Children’s Bible

TOP UNIT SALES (U.S. 2012)

SOURCE: Christian Booksellers Association * contains Apocrypha

KEY

LITERAL

MEDIATING

DYNAMIC EQUIVALENT

EXTENSIVE PARAPHRASE

UNDERSTANDABILITY

KJV-onlyism is the belief that the King James Version (KJV) is the only ‘true’ Bible.

Some common beliefs by KJV-only adherents are:

Any changes to words in the KJV constitutes changing God’s word and thus no other English translations are the Word of God.

The KJV translators were divinely guided in the translation, and the words they used were given to them by the Holy Spirit to be implemented without any alternate renderings.

The KJV has no errors or translation problems.

The KJV is actually easy to understand or the archaic language can be justified due to it’s poetic nature.

KJV ONLYISM

The following more extreme beliefs are held by some KJV-only supporters:

All other translations are inspired by Satan.

All translators of new versions have ulterior motives or are involved in a Catholic, Jesuit, Luciferian or New Age conspiracy.

Someone who reads a new version of the Bible is automatically a heretic or an apostate, and is probably destined for hell.

When the KJV differs from the Greek and Hebrew from which it was translated, the English is an improvement over the Greek and Hebrew.

KJV ONLYISM

Bear in mind that most of the writers of the New testament spoke Hebrew and Aramaic as their first and second languages. Yet they chose to write in Koine Greek because it was the language most commonly spoken and understood at that time by ordinary people in the Roman Empire.

They had a message they wanted to communicate and it was pointless using a language that was foreign to most people to achieve that task.

Here’s an example using Romans 3:25. Imagine explaining the way of salvation to people with varying degrees of proficiency in English using three different versions.

UNDERSTANDING

VERSION

Romans 3:25

KJV (1769) – LITERAL

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

NIV – MEDIATING

God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-

NLT - DYNAMIC EQUIVALENT

For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past

Paul makes it clear that it is pointless speaking to an audience that doesn’t understand your language:

1 Cor 14:9-20 So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me… But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue. Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.

UNDERSTANDING

In fact, although much is made of the 1611 KJV version by KJV Only adherents, most of them do not realise that the KJV they use is the 1769 Baskerville Birmingham spelling and wording revision of the 1611 KJV. The 1611 version has even more archaic spelling.

THE 1611 OR 1769 KJV?

VERSION

Matthew 6:9

1st Ed. King James (1611)

For God so loued the world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne: that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life.

KJV (1769)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Most assume that because the current KJV Bibles contain the 1611 preface, that they are the 1611 translation.

Besides being a Dynamic Equivalence version, the GNT is also what some translation theorists call a “Common Language” version. “Common Language” is defined as the language which is “common to the usage of both educated and uneducated” in any given language i.e. it is the level of language used by children, the uneducated or people who speak English as a second language.

The beginnings of the Good News Bible can be traced to requests made by people in Africa and the Far East for a version of the Bible that was friendly to non-native English speakers. In 1961, a home missions board also made a request for the same type of translation. 1

1 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Good_News_Bible

COMMON LANGUAGE

Common Language is “the kind of language common to both the professor and the janitor, the business executive and the gardener, the socialite and the waiter. It may be described as ‘the overlap language’ because it is that level of language which constitutes the overlapping of the literary level and the ordinary, day-to-day usage. The overlap area is itself a very important level, for it probably constitutes the form of language used by fully 75% of the people more than 75% of the time. It is essentially the same level of language in which the New Testament was first written, the so-called Koine Greek. The term Koine itself means ‘common,’ and it was precisely this type of ‘common language’ which the Gospel writers employed to communicate their unique and priceless message.” 1

1 Eugene Nida in “Good News for Everyone: How to Use the Good News Bible”

COMMON LANGUAGE

At family devotions one of Ken Taylor’s children asked him the meaning of a verse in the KJV they were using. After he explained it the children retorted: “Well, Daddy, if that’s what the verse means, why doesn’t it say so?”

Ken Taylor explained his inspiration for preparing The Living Bible as follows, “The children were one of the chief inspirations for producing the Living Bible.

COMMON LANGUAGE

Kenneth N. Taylor (1917-2005)

“Our family devotions were tough going because of the difficulty we had understanding the King James Version, which we were then using, or the Revised Standard Version, which we used later. All too often I would ask questions to be sure the children understood, and they would shrug their shoulders—they didn’t know what the passage was talking about. So I would explain it. I would paraphrase it for them and give them the thought. It suddenly occurred to me one afternoon that I should write out the reading for that evening thought by thought, rather than doing it on the spot during our devotional time. So I did, and read the chapter to the family that evening with exciting results—they knew the answers to all the questions I asked!” 1

1 “Ken Taylor, God’s Voice In The Vernacular” by Harold Myra in a 1979 issue of Christianity Today

COMMON LANGUAGE

The Bible In Basic English (also known as BBE) is a translation of the Bible into Basic English. The BBE was translated by Professor S. H. Hooke using the standard 850 Basic English words. 100 words that were helpful to understand poetry were added along with 50 “Bible” words for a total of 1,000 words total. This version is effective in communicating the Bible to those with limited education or where English is a second language. 1

Gen 1:1-3 At the first God made the heaven and the earth. And the earth was waste and without form; and it was dark on the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God was moving on the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

1 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Bible_In_Basic_English

COMMON LANGUAGE

Eugene H. Peterson states his reason for producing “The Message” Bible: “While I was teaching a class on Galatians, I began to realize that the adults in my class weren’t feeling the vitality and directness that I sensed as I read and studied the New Testament in its original Greek. Writing straight from the original text, I began to attempt to bring into English the rhythms and idioms of the original language. I knew that the early readers of the New Testament were captured and engaged by these writings and I wanted my congregation to be impacted in the same way. I hoped to bring the New Testament to life for two different types of people: those who hadn’t read the Bible because it seemed too distant and irrelevant and those who had read the Bible so much that it had become ‘old hat.’ 1

1 http:// www.biblegateway.com/ versions/ Message-MSG-Bible/

COMMON LANGUAGE

YEAR

Matthew 6:9-13

Modern English (NKJV in 1982)

In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

The Message

With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what's best— as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You're in charge! You can do anything you want! You're ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.

The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) is an English language translation of the Christian Bible. Translated by the International Bible Society on the same philosophy as the New International Version, but written in a simpler form of English, the NIRV seeks to make the Bible more accessible for people who have difficulty reading English, for example because they are non-native English speakers. 1

Here is a comparison of a passage (1 Timothy 3:16 in the King James Version, the New International Version, and the New International Reader’s Version:

1 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ New_International_Reader%27s_Version

COMMON LANGUAGE

VERSION

1 Timothy 3:16

KJV (1769)

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

NIV

Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.

NIrV

There is no doubt that godliness is a great mystery. Jesus appeared in a body. The Holy Spirit proved that he was the Son of God. He was seen by angels. He was preached among the nations. People in the world believed in him. He was taken up to heaven in glory.

Remember that at the time the KJV was written, it used the contemporary English of the period. It was understood by all, because it used the common language of the time. In fact the KJV translators wrote that the best way of saving souls was to deliver God’s Word in language that people understood:

Therefore blessed be they, and most honoured be their name, that break the ice, and giveth onset upon that which helpeth forward to the saving of souls. Now what can be more available thereto, than to deliver God’s book unto God’s people in a tongue which they understand?

COMMON LANGUAGE

The Douay-Rheims was a Catholic translation of the Bible into English released in 1609, two years before the KJV. The KJV translators criticized it because of it’s use of obsure words:

We have shunned the obscurity of the Papists, in their {use of words like} AZIMES, TUNIKE, RATIONAL, HOLOCAUSTS, PRAEPUCE, PASCHE, and a number of such like {words}, whereof their late Translation is full …

COMMON LANGUAGE

But in the 21st century, the modern English reader will find several types of archaic language in the KJV:

“Thee”, “thou”, “ye”, “thy” and “thine” pronouns.

Verbs endings with “-st”, “-est” and “-eth” e.g. “hadst”, “doest”, “giveth”.

Archaic words that have lost meaning.

Archaic words that have changed meaning.

Archaic idioms and phrases.

ARCHAIC WORDS

All the archaic words in this paragraph are found in the KJV:

“Sith the noise of the bruit of this school hath reached to thee-ward, we trust that our concourse liketh you well-particularly those who blaze abroad that there is error here. Whoso setteth thee against us-whoso saith we offend all-speaketh leasing. We be not affrighted, but withal, we are straightened in our bowels. We knoweth well that what thou wilst hear straightway wilt fast close up thy thoughts. With som we be abjects, some have defied us; but there has been no daysman betwixt us. They subvert the simple!” 1

1 http:// truediscipleship.org/ Gtopics/ general16.htm (References where these words are found: Ez 35:6, Jer 10:22, 1Sam 19:4, Prov 1:21, Esther 8:8, Mk 1:45, Prov 25:14, Jas 3:2, Ps 4:2, Lk 24:37, Acts 25:27, 1Tim 5:13, 2Cor 6:12, Mt 4:20, Ge 20:18, Ps 35:15, Num 23:8, Job 9:33, Ge 31:37, Lam 3:36, Prov 14:15 [Questions You’ve Asked About Bible Translations, by Dr. Jack Lewis])

ARCHAIC WORDS

The NKJV translators have sought to follow the principles of translation used in the original King James Version, which the NKJV revisers call “complete equivalence” in contrast to “dynamic equivalence” used by many other modern translations. The task of updating the English of the KJV involved significant changes in word order, grammar, vocabulary, and spelling. One of the most significant features of the NKJV was its abandonment of the historic second person pronouns “thou”, “thee”, “ye”, “thy”, and “thine”. Verb forms were also modernized in the NKJV (for example, “speaks” rather than “speaketh”). 1

1 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ New_King_James_Version

NKJV

VERSION

Matthew 6:9

KJV (1769)

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.

NKJV

In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

NASB

Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.’”

NIV

This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name’”

Notice how at times the NKJV, although it replaces the archaic words, still sounds awkward compared to the way we speak today, because it follows the word order of the KJV. In contrast, the NASB and in particular the NIV sound more contemporary.

NKJV

The Preface to the NIV states:

As for the traditional pronouns “thou,” “thee” and “thine” in reference to the Deity, the translators judged that to use these archaisms (along with the old verb forms such as “doest,” “wouldest” and “hadst”) would violate accuracy in translation. Neither Hebrew, Aramaic nor Greek uses special pronouns for the persons of the Godhead. A present-day translation is not enhanced by forms that in the time of the King James Version were used in everyday speech, whether referring to God or man.

Also to make the pronouns that refer to Deity any more “majestic” than any other pronouns, such as the NASB does is to make a distinction that is not present in the original languages.

ARCHAIC WORDS

As a child I could never understand why Psalm 23 said:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (KJV-1769)

I wondered why you would not want the Lord as your shepherd. It would have been clear if I had read:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. (NIV)

Despite some of it’s critics dubbing it the Nearly Inspired Version, it was when my father gave me a NIV Bible as a child that for the first I fully understood God’s plan of salvation as I read the book of Romans. Many have been converted through the use of Modern English translations despite the accusations of New Age, Satanic and Catholic conspiracies proposed by the KJV Only camp.

ARCHAIC PHRASES

http:// www.christiananswers.net/ dictionary/ kjvwords.html - This link explains 330 archaic or obscure word meanings in the KJV including:

Abase, Abated, Abjects, Acceptation, Adjure, Ado, Affright, Ague, Alamoth, Ambassage, Ambushment, Amerce, Ariel, Artificer, Asp, Basilisk, Beeves, Bestead, Blains, Brigandine, Buckler, Calkers, Canker, Carbuncle, Casement, Caul, Chambering, Chamois, Chapiter, Churl, Cockatrice, Cockle, Coffer, Cogitations, Concision, Cornet, Cotes, Coulter, Cruse, Cummin, Daysman, Dearth, Distaff, Dram, Ensign, Eschew, Euroclydon, Feller, Firkin, Firmament, Fitches, Flagon, Fowler, Frontlets, Froward, Girt, Glede, Graving, Greaves, Habergeon, Haft, Harrow, Hart, Inkhorn, Kine, Knop, Lascivious, Laver, Leasing, Lees, Lucre, Mitre, Mote, Murrain, Nitre, Obeisance, Ouches, Parbar, Pommels, Pottage, Psaltery, Quaternion, Railer, Sackbut, Scrip, Servitor, Sop, Stomacher, Taches, Verily, Wimple and Winefat

ARCHAIC PHRASES

Following are just a few examples of some archaic terms used in the current 1769 KJV (the 1611 KJV has many additional archaic spellings).

Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. (KJV-1769)

Gal 4:24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— (NKJV)

Gal 4:24 These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. (NIV)

ARCHAIC PHRASES

1 Sam 30:31 …and to all the places where David himself and his men were wont to haunt. (KJV-1769)

1 Sam 30:31 … in all the other places where David and his men had roamed. (NIV)

James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all… superfluity of naughtiness… (KJV-1769)

James 1:21 Therefore, get rid of … the evil that is so prevalent… (NIV)

2 Sam 5:23 …but fetch a compass behind them… (KJV-1769)

2 Sam 5:23 … circle around behind them… (NKJV)

ARCHAIC PHRASES

Matt 27:44 The thieves also… cast the same in his teeth (KJV-1769)

Matt 27:44 The robbers … were also insulting Him with the same words. (NASB)

Note that the KJV is actually using some dynamic equivalence here that was a 17th century idiom for “insult”. The literal Greek is actually “insulted him”.

ARCHAIC PHRASES

Exodus 30:25 And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil.

Apothecary is a archaic name for someone who prepares and sells medicinal drugs. However, the Hebrew word here actually means “perfumer.” Both the NIV and the NASB use “perfumer.”

Isa 14:23 I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts. (KJV-1769)

Besom is an outdated word for broom.

Ex 30:25 “I will turn her into a place for owls and into swampland; I will sweep her with the broom of destruction,” declares the LORD Almighty. (NIV)

ARCHAIC PHRASES

Exodus 9:31 …the flax was bolled. (KJV-1769)

Ex 9:31 …the flax was in bloom. (NIV)

Matt 26:73 … for thy speech bewrayeth thee. (KJV-1769)

Matt 26:73 …for your accent gives you away. (NIV)

Dan 8:7 … he was moved with choler against him … (KJV-1769)

Dan 8:7 … he was enraged at him … (NASB)

Deut 28:27 … The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerod… (KJV-1769)

Deut 28:27 … The LORD will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors… (NIV)

ARCHAIC PHRASES

Rom 7:8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence… (KJV-1769)

“Concupiscence” meant “evil desires” but I doubt that many today would know that:

Rom 7:8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. (NKJV)

Rom 7:8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire… (NIV)

ARCHAIC PHRASES

There are cases where the actual meaning of English words have changed over time.

1 Cor 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity. (KJV-1769)

Today “charity” means helping the under-privileged and doesn’t have the broad meaning that “love” has.

1 Cor 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (NKJV)

1 Cor 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (NIV)

CHANGE IN MEANING

Certain words in the KJV mean something quite different today. Are we “peculiar” in the sense of the word used today? Hopefully not! Today it means “odd” or “strange”.

Titus 2:14 … that he might … purify unto himself a peculiar people… (KJV–1769)

Titus 2:14 … that He might … purify for Himself His own special people… (NKJV)

“Gay” clearly had quite a different meaning in the KJV compared to it’s current usage today.

James 2:3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing… (KJV-1769)

James 2:3 and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes… (NKJV)

CHANGE IN MEANING

Read 2 Cor 6:11-13 in the KJV. What does this mean?

‘‘our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. Now for a recompense in the same (I speak as unto my children) be ye also enlarged ’’

Today it sounds like Paul is discussing medical problems; “enlarged hearts” and “straitened bowels”. But “bowels” used to refer to “affection”. Read the same passage in the NIV:

We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also. (NIV)

CHANGE IN MEANING

They are other cases where the KJV uses the word “bowels” for feelings and emotions:

Lam 1:20… I am in distress: my bowels are troubled

Song of Songs 5:4 … my bowels were moved for him.

Gen 43:30 And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother…

The word “bowels” was acceptable in the 17th century, but today people might recommend medication if you said, “My bowels are troubled”. Contrast the passages in the NKJV:

Lam 1:20… I am in distress; My soul is troubled

Song of Sol 5:4 … my heart yearned for him.

Gen 43:30 Now his heart yearned for his brother…

CHANGE IN MEANING

A cockatrice is a legendary creature, essentially a two-legged dragon with a rooster’s head. 1

MYTHOLOGICAL ANIMALS

Isa 11:8 … the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. (KJV–1769)

Isa 11:8 … the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest. (NIV)

1 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Cockatrice

The unicorn is a legendary animal from European folklore that resembles a white horse with a large, pointed, spiralling horn projecting from its forehead… 1 An animal called the re’em (Hebrew: רְאֵם‎) is mentioned in several places in the OT. The translators of the KJV followed the Latin Vulgate which translated the word as “unicornis”.

Isa 34:7 And the unicorns shall come down with them… (KJV–1769)

Isa 34:7And the wild oxen will fall with them… (NIV)

1 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Unicorn

MYTHOLOGICAL ANIMALS

In Greek mythology, satyrs are half-man, half-goat male companions of Pan and Dionysus… 1 The Hebrew word in these verses is “sa`iyr” (Strong’s #8163), and possibly due to the similarity in pronunciation, where the Greek derived “saturos”, this led to the English “satyr”. The Hebrew word occurs 59 times in the OT, and the KJV translates it: “kid” (i.e. young goat) 28 times, “goat” 24 times, “devil” twice, “satyr” twice, “hairy” twice, “rough” (goat) once.

Isa 34:14 … and the satyr shall cry to his fellow… (KJV–1769)

Isa 34:14 … and wild goats will bleat to each other… (NIV)

1 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Satyr

MYTHOLOGICAL ANIMALS

Bible

Translation

Grd *

English

New International Readers Version

DYNAMIC EQUIV. / LITERAL

3

Simple

International Children’s Bible

PARAPHRASE

3

Simple

Bible in Basic English

LITERAL

?

Basic

The Message

PARAPHRASE

6

Modern

New Living Translation

DYNAMIC EQUIV. / LITERAL

6

Modern

Good News Translation

DYNAMIC EQUIV.

6

Modern

World English Bible

DYNAMIC EQUIV.

7

Modern

New International Version

DYNAMIC EQUIV. / LITERAL

7

Modern

UNDERSTANDABILITY

Bible

Translation

Grd *

English

Holman Christian Standard Bible

DYNAMIC EQUIV. / LITERAL

8

Modern

New King James Version

LITERAL

8

Modern

English Standard Version

LITERAL

9

Modern

Amplified Bible

LITERAL ***

11*

Modern

New American Standard Bible

LITERAL

11

Modern

King James Version

LITERAL

12

17th C

Young’s Literal translation

LITERAL

12+

19th C

* Grd - Estimated minimum reading grade ability of readers ** Brackets sometimes make for fragmented reading *** Plus additional amplification of word meanings.

UNDERSTANDABILITY

UNDERSTANDABILITY

SOURCE: http:// www.gospelcom.net/ ibs/ bibles/ translations/ index.php

SOURCE: http:// www.zondervanbibles.com/ translations.htm

A statement from the Assemblies of God (US) on English Bible translations reads as follows:

One last consideration we must acknowledge in Bible translations is the issue of language. Modern languages such as English are “living languages” that often shift and change with new meanings given to old words…That simply means we do not speak the same language/ dialect as our parents spoke. Our children don’t speak the same language/ dialect we do. Though we understand the words others speak, we bring to their meaning our own cultural backgrounds. The important fact is not that we speak the same words; it is that we believe and practice the same truth, living our lives according to the eternal Word of God. 1

1 http:// ag.org/ top/ beliefs/ sptlissues_bible_translations.cfm

UNDERSTANDABILITY

As messengers of the Good News, Christians should seek always to keep the Word of God understandable by making it easily accessible (readable) to every generation. Paul said: “In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ” (Ephesians 3:4, NIV). 1

1 Ibid

UNDERSTANDABILITY

HISTORY REPEATS

Septuagint (sometimes abbreviated LXX) is the name given to the Greek translation of the Jewish Scriptures. The Septuagint has its origin in Alexandria, Egypt and was translated between 300-200 BC. Widely used among Hellenistic Jews, this Greek translation was produced because many Jews spread throughout the empire were beginning to lose their Hebrew language. 1

As mentioned earlier the writers of the NT chose to use Koine Greek rather than Hebrew or Aramaic to write in. They wanted as many as possible to understand the Gospel Message and used the common language of the people at the time (which was Greek due to the Hellenization of many countries following Alexander the Great’s vast empire).

1 http:// www.septuagint.net/

GREEK NT & OT

The Septuagint was the only translation of the OT that most early Christians knew. It was written in Koine (Koine means ‘common’) Greek, the language of the masses. Because of the Roman conquest of the former Greek empire, ultimately many people could no longer understand Greek, speaking only Latin. To make the Scripture available to these people, in the late 4th century Jerome translated the Bible into Latin, called the Vulgate (again in Latin ‘vulgate’ means “the speech of the common people”). His OT translation was not based upon the Greek Septuagint but upon the original Hebrew OT (Masoretic text).

LATIN BIBLE

Jerome in His Study by Domenico Ghirlandaio.

But some people in the churches overseen by North African bishop Augustine, objected to the Latin Vulgate translation. In a letter to Jerome, Augustine wrote, “My only reason for objection to the public reading of your translation from the Hebrew in our churches was, lest, bringing forward anything which was as it were, new and opposed to the authority of the Septuagint version, we should trouble by serious cause of offense the flocks of Christ, whose ears and hearts have become accustomed to listen to that version to which the seal of approbation was given by the apostles themselves.”

The objection to Jerome’s Vulgate was not due to claims of inaccuracy, but due to the fact that it was “unfamiliar”. So the argument was based on tradition.

LATIN BIBLE

The Carthaginian Christians should have asked, “Is the translation faithful to what the prophets and apostles wrote?” and “Will more people have access to the gospel in a familiar language?”

Ironically over 1000 years later a similar debate started, but by this time Jerome’s Latin Vulgate had become the official Bible and was the new standard or “traditional” scripture. Desiderius Erasmus published the first printed edition of the Greek NT. This became the text (Textus Receptus) that was used to translate most Protestant English Bibles from Tyndale until the KJV.

Erasmus was opposed in writing by Martin Dorp, a scholar from the University of Louvain.

BACK TO GREEK

He met even fiercer resistance from men like Johann Eck (Luther’s foe), Edward Lee (who later become archbishop of York), and the Spanish theologian Diego López de Zúñiga. All of these critics believed he was altering the word of God by changing parts of the Vulgate.

After his death, Erasmus’ Greek NT was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books by the Council of Trent (1545-63), and he was labelled an “impious heretic.” So again the new version of the Scripture was criticized because of tradition.

BACK TO GREEK

Erasmus by Hans Holbein

John Wycliffe’s English translation was done using the Latin Vulgate, itself a 5th century translation from the Greek. But William Tyndale not only dared to produce an unauthorized version of the New Testament, by using Erasmus’ Greek NT as his source he set the authority of the Greek text above that of the Latin Vulgate.

Although the Vulgate was originally a translation from Greek text: over the centuries it had acquired an aura of sanctity which seemingly placed it beyond criticism.

BACK TO GREEK

William Tyndale (c. 1494-1536)

By using the Greek rather than the traditional Latin Vulgate, Tyndale encountered the wrath of those in power, infuriating both King Henry VIII and the bishops. Copies of his NT were seized and burned. Sir Thomas More ferociously showered him with abuse.

The Catholic Church opposed translations of Bible into the common languages of the people, like English. They insisted that the Latin Vulgate should remain the standard even though most of the people never understood Latin. Ironically the very term “vulgate” meant “the speech of the common people and especially of uneducated people”, because at the time Jerome translated it, Latin was the common language. Yet at that time the Catholic Church wished to restrict people from having the scriptures in a language they understood.

VULGATE-ONLY

Centuries later the KJV was considered the new standard and tradition. Although it’s language is now archaic and unfamiliar to most English speakers, anyone who produces a Bible using modern English is branded a heretic and as someone who is tampering with the Word of God.

Like the Carthaginians who were hostile to the Latin Vulgate when it was newly released, and the Catholics who opposed the new English translation in favour of the outdated Latin, so KJV-only adherents wish to keep the Bible in a form that is outdated and unable to be clearly understood by modern English readers.

KJV-ONLY

It would be funny, if it were not so serious. Jerome takes the heat for translating the Vulgate, which eventually becomes the standard. Erasmus then takes the heat for challenging Jerome and for publishing the Greek New Testament. Then, four hundred years later, it is Erasmus’ work itself, in the form of the Textus Receptus, which has become enshrined as “tradition” by advocates of the AV! He who once resisted tradition has become the tradition itself. The cycle continues. Will there someday be an “NIV Only” movement? We can only hope not. There is nothing wrong with tradition, as long as we do not confuse tradition with truth. As soon as we become more attached to our traditions than we are to the truth, we are in very deep trouble. 1

1 “The King James Only Controversy” by James White

KJV-ONLY

We must remember that the main purpose of the Protestant Reformation was to get the Bible out of the chains of being trapped in an ancient language that few could understand, and into the modern, spoken, conversational language of the present day. William Tyndale fought and died for the right to print the Bible in the common, spoken, modern English tongue of his day… as he boldly told one official who criticized his efforts, “If God spare my life, I will see to it that the boy who drives the ploughshare knows more of the scripture than you, Sir!” Will we now go backwards, and seek to imprison God’s Word once again exclusively in ancient translations? 1

1 http:// www.greatsite.com/ timeline-english-bible-history/

HISTORY REPEATS

Clearly it is not God’s will that we over-react to SOME of the bad modern translations, by rejecting ALL new translations and “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”. The Word of God is unchanging from generation to generation, but language is a dynamic and ever-changing form of communication. We therefore have a responsibility before God as Christians to make sure that each generation has a modern translation that they can easily understand, yet that does not sacrifice accuracy in any way. 1

1 Ibid

HISTORY REPEATS

In summary, the KJV is a good translation of the inspired Hebrew and Greek Scriptures into English.

However the KJV is not inerrant and neither is it the exclusive word of God. It is also difficult to understand especially for children and people who don’t use English as a first language.

If you like the literary style of the KJV, consider using a NKJV especially if it’s for public use.

It is preferable to use more than one translation and to even consult paraphrases at times for readability.

For study purposes it’s always good to rather use a literal translation and even to refer to Hebrew and Greek lexicons especially when a passage seems obscure.

WHICH BIBLE IS BEST?

HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH BIBLE 1

440. Roman legions withdraw from Britain.

450. Anglo-Saxon invasions and settlement of Britain displace the native Celts in the south.

633. Christian churches in Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem are seized by Mohammedans and turned into mosques.

669. Theodore of Tarsus becomes archbishop of Canterbury, promotes Episcopal hierarchy and Roman culture in the south of Britain.

670. The herdsman Caedmon in northern Britain composes poems based on Biblical narratives in Old English.

825. Vespasian Psalter gives interlinear Old English translation.

856. Danes begin large scale invasion of eastern Britain. Destruction of monasteries there.

878. King Alfred halts Danish invasion, divides Britain by treaty. Danes inhabit northeast half of Britain.

1 SOURCE: http:// www.bible-researcher.com/ history2.html

APPENDIX 1

900. Paris Psalter gives Old English version of the first fifty Psalms.

950. Aldred (Bishop of Durham) writes Old English between the lines of the Lindisfarne Gospels.

970. Faerman (Priest in Yorkshire) makes the first Old English version of the Gospel of Matthew in the Rushworth Gospels, based upon Aldred’s gloss.

1000. England overwhelmed by new invasion of Danes. King Ethelred flees to allies in Normandy. Aelfric (Abbot in Oxfordshire) translates abridged Pentateuch and several other portions of Scripture into Old English. Wessex Gospels give first Old English version of all four gospels.

1042. King Edward, brought up in Normandy, attempts to Normanize the English Court, appoints a Norman archbishop. Godwin (Earl of Wessex) opposes him and causes the deposition of the archbishop.

1066. Norman conquest of Britain, sponsored by Pope Alexander II, destroys Old English literature, makes Norman French the language of the nobility.

1150. Old English yields to Middle English as the common language of Britain.

1200. Orm composes poetical paraphrase of Gospels and Acts in Middle English.

APPENDIX 1

1300. Midland Psalter gives metrical version of the Psalms in Middle English.

1320. Richard Rolle’s Middle English Psalter.

1348. English replaces Latin as the medium of instruction in schools (except at Oxford and Cambridge).

1360. Various gospel narratives translated into Middle English.

1362. English replaces French as the language of law in England. English used for the first time in Parliament.

1380. Oxford professor John Wyclif publicly rejects Roman doctrine of transubstantiation, begins translating Latin Vulgate into English.

1382. Wyclif expelled from his teaching post at Oxford for heresy. Completes translation of Bible with help of his students.

1388. Wyclif Bible revised by his student John Purvey.

1401. English parliament decrees the burning of heretics. Statute is aimed against the followers of Wyclif, called Lollards

1408. Arundelian Constitutions enacted by Convocation of bishops at Oxford forbids unauthorized translation, distribution, or public reading of the Scripture.

APPENDIX 1

1411. Bonfire of Wyclif’s writings at Oxford.

1450. Middle English yields to Early Modern English as the common language of Britain about now.

1453. Moslems take Constantinople. Great exodus of Greek scholars from there to Western Europe, bringing with them Greek manuscripts of the Bible.

1456. First printed book: Gutenberg Bible, containing the Latin text.

1488 Hebrew Old Testament first printed by Jews at Soncino, Italy.

1491. Greek first taught at Oxford University.

1509. Henry VIII becomes king of England. Erasmus professor of Greek at Cambridge University.

1516. Erasmus’ first Greek New Testament (First printed Greek New Testament).

1518. Septuagint printed by Aldus in Italy.

1519. Erasmus’ 2nd Greek New Testament

1520. Tyndale goes home to Gloucester, begins translating.

APPENDIX 1

1522. First edition of Luther’s German New Testament • Parker at Cambridge. • Complutensian Polyglot (including Septuagint, Vulgate, Hebrew Old Testament) published. • Erasmus’ 3rd Greek New Testament • Tyndale goes to London in search of financial help.

1524. Tyndale leaves England for Germany.

1525. Tyndale’s English New Testament (first printed English text) published in Germany.

1526. Copies of Tyndale’s New Testament enter England, many burned.

1527. Erasmus’ 4th Greek New Testament

1529. Tyndale and Coverdale work together at Hamburg. •

1531. Tyndale’s Pentateuch is published.

1534. Tyndale’s New Testament and Pentateuch revised. • Henry VIII excommunicated by the Pope, severs English churches from Rome, becomes head of the Church of England without any intention of reforming it. Cranmer petitions Henry for creation of an authorized English version. • Luther’s first complete German Bible.

APPENDIX 1

1535. Tyndale’s last revised New Testament • Tyndale betrayed to Roman Catholic authorities, charged with heresy and imprisoned. He continues to translate the historical books of the Old Testament • Coverdale’s Bible published in England. (first printed English Bible). • Erasmus’ 5th edition of the Greek.

1536. Tyndale’s New Testament reprinted in England. • Tyndale condemned. He commits his manuscript to his friend John Rogers, and is burned at the stake.

1537. “Matthew’s Bible” published by John Rogers in Germany, giving Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament, Pentateuch, and historical books of the Old Testament • Matthew’s and Coverdale’s Bibles licensed for unhindered sale in England.

1538. Coverdale in Paris editing Great Bible. • English bishops instructed to display largest English Bible in parish churches.

1539. Coverdale returns to England. • Great Bible (dedicated to Henry VIII) published and authorized in England. • Taverner’s Bible (a revision of Matthew’s Bible) published.

1540. 2nd edition of Great Bible with preface of Cranmer, called Cranmer’s Bible. • Coverdale, under pressure as a “Lutheran,” leaves England again.

APPENDIX 1

1543. English Parliament bans Tyndale’s version and all public reading of Bible by laymen.

1546. Council of Trent decrees that the Latin Vulgate (with Apocryphal books) is authoritative version of Scripture. • Henry VIII bans Coverdale version. • Stephens publishes his first Greek New Testament

1547. Death of Henry VIII. • Edward VI becomes king of England. • Parliament repeals the anti-Protestant Act of Six Articles, and removes restrictions on printing and reading of English versions. Cranmer begins Protestant reformation of the Church of England. • Coverdale, Rogers return to England.

1549. Stephens’ 2nd Greek New Testament

1550. Stephens’ 3rd Greek New Testament

1551. Last edition of Matthew’s Bible. • Stephens’ 4th Greek New Testament

1553. “Bloody” Mary Tudor becomes queen of England. • Last edition of Coverdale Bible.

1555. John Rogers burned at the stake. • Cranmer burned at the stake. • Coverdale and other leading Protestants flee England for Geneva.

APPENDIX 1

1556. Beza’s Latin New Testament

1557. William Whittingham’s English New Testament published in Geneva. English exiles there begin work on English Old Testament

1560. Geneva Bible with revised New Testament published by Whittingham in Geneva.

1563. Archbishop Parker and eight of his bishops begin work on the “Bishops’ Bible.”

1565. Beza’s Greek-Latin New Testament

1566. Last edition of Tyndale’s New Testament

1568. Bishops’ Bible (dedicated to Elizabeth) published by Archbishop Parker, and authorized for church use.

1569. Last edition of Cranmer’s Great Bible.

1571. Every bishop and cathedral in England ordered to have Bishops’ Bible.

1572. Bishops’ Bible revised and published with the old Great Bible Psalter.

APPENDIX 1

1575. Parker succeeded as Archbishop of Canterbury by the strongly Calvinistic Edmund Grindal, who actively promotes the Geneva Bible during the next eight years.

1578. Martin begins Rheims version of the New Testament (authorized Roman Catholic version, translated from the Vulgate).

1579. Geneva Bible reprinted and authorized in Scotland. Every Scotch household of sufficient means is required by law to buy a copy.

1582. Rheims New Testament (translated from the Latin) published by English Roman Catholics living in France. • Beza’s 2nd Greek New Testament

1589. Beza’s 3rd Greek New Testament

1592. Sixtine-Clementine Latin Bible.

1598. Beza’s 4th Greek New Testament

1602. Last edition of Bishops’ Bible.

1604. English bishops and Puritan leaders meet with King James in the Hampton Court Conference. Revision of Bishops’ Bible proposed. King James nominates revision committee of 54 scholars.

1607. Work on King James Bible begun.

APPENDIX 1

1609. Douay Old Testament (translated from the Latin) published by English Roman Catholics living in France.

1611. King James Bible (dedicated to James) published and authorized in England.

1615. Archbishop Abbot forbids printing of the Bible without Apocrypha.

1624. Elzevir’s first Greek New Testament • Louis Cappel publishes his opinion that the vowel points of the Hebrew text were added by rabbis in the fifth century.

1633. Elzevir’s 2nd Greek New Testament • William Laud (Romanist) is made Archbishop of Canterbury, begins to persecute Puritans. Forbids importation of the Geneva Bible.

1650. Louis Cappel’s book advocating critical reconstruction of the Hebrew text is published in Paris by his son Jean, after turning Roman Catholic. Publication of the work had been prevented by Cappel’s opponents in Protestant lands.

1657. Brian Walton publishes the London Polyglot with revision of Hebrew vowel points, several ancient versions, and appendix of various readings of the Greek manuscripts.

APPENDIX 1

1675. John Fell’s Greek New Testament with critical annotations. • Helvetic Consensus Formula maintains verbal inerrancy of Scripture, extending to vowel points in the traditional Hebrew text (against Cappel and Walton).

1689. Richard Simon (French Roman Catholic) publishes first treatise on textual criticism in Paris.

1705. Humphrey Hody’s De Bibliorum textis originalibus (“On the Original Text of the Bible”) thoroughly examines the text of the ancient versions and the ancient canon of Scripture.

1707. John Mill’s annotated Greek New Testament displays 30,000 various readings of the Greek manuscripts.

1720. Richard Bentley publishes his Proposals for critical revision of the Greek New Testament

1725. Johann Albrecht Bengel publishes his prospectus for a critical revision of the Greek New Testament

1726. Jeremiah Jones publishes first English translation of several “apocryphal New Testament” books in his New and Full Method of Settling the Canonical Authority of the New Testament.

APPENDIX 1

1734. Bengel’s revised Greek New Testament with notes.

1742. Bengel’s Greek textual commentary.

1743. First Bible printed in America at Germantown, Penn. (Luther Bible).

1745. William Whiston’s Primitive New Testament

1755. John Wesley’s New Testament revises the KJV with use of Bengel’s Greek New Testament • Samuel Johnson publishes his comprehensive Dictionary of the English Language.

1769. “Oxford Standard Edition” of King James version published.

1774. Griesbach’s critically revised Greek Testament.

1788. Birch’s collation of Codex Vaticanus in the Gospels published.

1796. Griesbach’s 2nd Greek New Testament

1798. Birch publishes collation of Codex Vaticanus for entire New Testament

1802. Marsh publishes English translation of Michaelis’ Introduction (basic source of text-critical information for English scholars).

1805. Griesbach’s last Greek New Testament

APPENDIX 1

1814. Richard Laurence (English Archbishop) publishes defence of the traditional Greek text against Griesbach.

1815. Nolan publishes defence of traditional Greek text against Griesbach.

1820. William Hone publishes in popular and inexpensive form a collection of early Christian writings under the title Apocryphal New Testament. 1826. Alexander Campbell publishes his edition of the New Testament. • British and Foreign Bible Society stops printing Apocrypha.

1828. Noah Webster publishes his American Dictionary of the English Language.

1830. Scholz’s Greek New Testament published.

1831. Karl Lachmann publishes first thoroughly revised critical Greek New Testament

1841. Tischendorf’s first Greek New Testament • Bagster’s English Hexapla.

1842. Lachmann’s 2nd Greek New Testament

1843. Greek text of Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus published by Tischendorf.

APPENDIX 1

1849. Tischendorf’s 2nd Greek New Testament • Alford’s annotated Greek New Testament

1852. Greek text of Codex Claromontanus published by Tischendorf. • Publication of Roget’s Thesaurus.

1854. Tregelles’ Account of the Printed Text.

1856. Tregelles’ Introduction to Textual Criticism. • Tischendorf’s 3rd Greek New Testament • Wordsworth’s Greek New Testament

1857. Tregelles’ Greek text of Gospels.

1859. Vercellone’s edition of Codex Vaticanus. • John Nelson Darby’s New Translation of New Testament with critical notes.

1861. Scrivener’s Plain Introduction to Textual Criticism.

1862. Greek text of Codex Sinaiticus published by Tischendorf. • Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible.

1867. Tischendorf’s edition of Codex Vaticanus.

1868. Vercellone’s facsimile edition of Codex Vaticanus.

1869. Tischendorf’s 4th Greek New Testament

APPENDIX 1

1870. English parliament asks bishops of the Church of England to form a committee for the revision of the King James version. Revision committee is formed, and work begins on the English Revised Version.

1871. J.N. Darby’s 2nd edition of the New Testament

1872. Last portion of Tregelles’ Greek New Testament published. • Alford’s New Testament for English Readers.

1878. Rotherham’s English translation of Tregelles’ text. •

1881. English Revised Version of the New Testament is published, immediately followed by the innovative Greek New Testament of Westcott and Hort.

1883. Dean Burgon leads strong conservative attack on the English Revised Version and against all critical Greek texts. The new version is eventually refused by the British churches.

1885. English Revised Version of the Old Testament

1890. J.N. Darby’s English Old Testament

1898. Eberhard Nestle’s Greek New Testament

1901. American Standard Version.

APPENDIX 1

1903. First edition of Weymouth’s New Testament (modern English version).

1904. Twentieth Century New Testament (modern English version).

1909. First edition of Scofield Reference Bible.

1913. Von Soden’s Greek New Testament • Moffat New Testament (popular paraphrase).

1917. Improved edition of Scofield Reference Bible.

1928. Moffat Bible published with Old Testament

1935. Moffat Bible revised.

1940. Lamsa translation of Peshitta New Testament

1943. Pope Pius XII issues encyclical letter Divino Afflante Spiritu, giving Roman Catholic Bible translators permission to base their translations on the Greek and Hebrew texts instead of the Latin Vulgate.

1946. Revised Standard version of the New Testament published with great fanfare.

1947. Dead Sea Scrolls (dated c. 150 B.C. to A.D. 75) discovered in Qumran.

APPENDIX 1

1952. Revised Standard version of the Old Testament published by National Council of Churches. The version is severely denounced by conservatives.

1955. United Bible Societies constituted by union of Bible societies of England, Scotland, America, Germany and the Netherlands. Committee appointed to produce a Greek New Testament

1958. Phillips New Testament (paraphrase)

1959. Revised Standard version New Testament slightly revised.

1960. Revised Standard Version adopted by most “mainline” congregations.

1961. New English Bible New Testament (British)

1962. New American Standard Bible New Testament

1966. United Bible Societies’ first Greek New Testament • Jerusalem Bible (Roman Catholic). • “Good News for Modern Man” New Testament published by the American Bible Society.

1967. New American Standard Bible Old Testament • Living Bible New Testament (paraphrase).

1968. United Bible Societies’ 2nd Greek New Testament

APPENDIX 1

1970. New American Bible (Roman Catholic). • New English Bible Old Testament (British)

1971. 2nd ed. of Revised Standard Version.

1973. Neo-evangelical scholars publish the New International Version New Testament

1975. United Bible Societies’ 3rd Greek New Testament •

1976. Good News Bible (Today’s English Version) published by the American Bible Society.

1978. Neo-evangelical scholars publish the New International Version Old Testament. • Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.

1979. New King James Version New Testament

1982. Hodges and Farstad “Majority Text” Greek New Testament • New King James Version Old Testament

1985. New Jerusalem Bible (Roman Catholic).

1989. Revised English Bible (British).

1990. New Revised Standard Version.

APPENDIX 1

1995. Contemporary English Version.

1996. NIV Inclusive Language Edition published in Great Britain. • New Living Translation.

2001. Holman Christian Standard Bible New Testament. • English Standard Version

2002. Today’s New International Version New Testament.

APPENDIX 1

The 1604 Conference at Hampton Court Palace 1

King James Sets the Tone Like Constantine at the opening of the Council of Nicea, James delivered the opening address. He immediately set the tone and gave clear cues of what to expect. The doctrine and polity of the state church was not up for evaluation and reconsideration.

James immediately proceeded to hint that he found a great deal of security in the structure and hierarchy of the English church, in contrast to the Presbyterian model he witnessed in Scotland. He made no effort to hide his previous frustration in Scotland.

The Puritans were not allowed to attend the first day of the conference. On the second day, the four Puritans were allowed to join the meeting. John Reynolds took the lead on their behalf and raised the question of church government. However, any chance of his being heard was lost by one inopportune and, no doubt, unintended reference.

1 http:// www.christianity.com/ ChurchHistory/ 11630052/ page2/

APPENDIX 2

He asked if a more collegial approach to church administration might be in order. In other words, "Let's broaden the decision-making base." Reynolds posed his question this way: "Why shouldn't the bishops govern jointly with a presbytery of their brethren, the pastors and ministers of the Church."

The word presbytery was like waving a red flag before a bull. The king exploded in reply: "If you aim at a Scots Presbytery it agreeth as well with monarchy as God and the devil! Then Jack, and Tom, and Will, and Dick shall meet and censure me and my council." He then uttered what can be considered his defining motto and summary: "No bishop, no King!"

At this point, he warned Reynolds: "If this be all your party hath to say, I will make them conform themselves, or else I will harrie them out of the land, or else do worse!"

APPENDIX 2

While Reynolds’ unfortunate use of the term presbytery damaged the Puritan case, he does get credit for proposing the most significant achievement of the conference. Reynolds “moved his majesty that there might be a new translation of the Bible, because those which were allowed in the reign of King Henry VIII and King Edward VI were corrupt and not answerable to the truth of the original.”

James warmed to a new translation because he despised the then popular Geneva Bible. He was bothered more by its sometimes borderline revolutionary marginal notes than by the actual quality of the translation.

So James ordered a new translation. It was to be accurate and true to the originals. He appointed fifty of the nation’s finest language scholars and approved rules for carefully checking the results.

James also wanted a popular translation. He insisted that the translation use old familiar terms and names and be readable in the idiom of the day.

APPENDIX 2

James’ opposition to the Geneva Bible appears not to be due to the translation, but to the marginal notes which he considered to be encouraging disobedience to kings. 1

In particular he disliked the marginal note for Exodus 1:9 which stated that the Hebrew midwives were correct in disobeying the Egyptian king’s orders (to kill Hebrew baby boys).

Another objection was to the note for 2 Chronicles 15:16 which said that King Asa should have had his mother executed and not merely deposed for the crime of worshipping an idol.

1 The Geneva Bible notes were very anti-Roman Catholic as well. This is most evident in the Book of Revelation: “The beast that cometh out of the bottomless pit (Rev. 11:7) is the Pope, which hath his power out of hell and cometh thence.”

APPENDIX 3

KING JAMES’ INSTRUCTIONS TO THE TRANSLATORS 1

Sources: Lewis’ “History of the English Bible” and “The Men Behind the KJV” by Gustavus S. Paine

The following set of “rules” had been prepared on behalf of church and state by Richard Bancroft, Bishop of London and high-church Anglican. “For the better ordering of the proceedings of the translators, his Majesty recommended the following rules to them, to be very carefully observed:--

“1. The ordinary Bible, read in the church, commonly called the Bishop’s 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, according as they are vulgarly used.

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

1 http:// www.kjvonly.org/ other/ kj_instructs.htm

APPENDIX 4

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

“8. Every particular man of each company to take the same chapter of chapters; and having translated or amended them severally by himself, where he thinks good, all to meet together, to 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.

APPENDIX 4

“10. If any company, upon the review of the book so sent, shall doubt or differ upon any places, and therewithal to send their reasons; to which if they consent not, the difference to be compounded at the general meeting, which is to be 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 directly 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 the 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 their particular observations to the company, either at Westminster, Cambridge, or Oxford, according as it was directed before the king’s letter to the archbishop.

“13. The directors in each company to be deans of Westminster and Chester, and the king’s professors in Hebrew and Greek in the two universities.

“14. These translations to be used when they agree better with the text than the Bishop’s Bible, viz. Tyndale’s, Coverdale’s, Matthew’s, Wilchurch’s, 1 Geneva.”

1 By “Wilchurch” is meant the Great Bible, which was printed by Edward Wilchurch, one of King Henry VIII’s printers.

APPENDIX 4

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)

Scripture taken from The Message (www.biblegateway.com/ versions/ Message-MSG-Bible)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.


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