1. We strive to be a place where there can be honest discussion, debate and fellowship. The rules are few so you can speak your mind. We know we are living in tough times and we hope to share answers and help with each other. Please join us.
    Dismiss Notice

The King James Version

Discussion in 'King James Version' started by CoreIssue, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. CoreIssue

    CoreIssue Administrator Staff Member

    The King James Bible
    By LuckStrike

    Despite the multiple translations of Biblical Scripture in circulation today, no other translation has generated more controversy than the King James Version. On one side, many claim that the King James Version is the only true literal translation of ancient biblical Hebrew and Greek manuscripts written by respectable 17th Century English scholars. However, on the other side, many assert that the King James Version is an outdated translation written in an outdated dialect of English and unreliable due to the sources it was composed from. And from this basic disagreement, many emotional and heated exchanges have taken place. ​
    The purpose of this paper is to objectively and factually demonstrate that the King James Version of the Bible is based on questionable textual sources. First, this paper will demonstrate that the King James Version does not have an origin purely based on Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, but instead an origin based on a Catholic translation of Hebrew and Greek manusripts that underwent Protestant revisions. Second, this paper will demonstrate that the King James Version people have today is not a one time work, but instead it is essentially based on a line of scriptural translations based upon other scriptural translations (thereby historically retaining and even compounding errors made in scriptural translation). Third, this paper will show that the King James Version people have today is not the original King James Version or a universally uniform King James Version. In summary, the intention of this paper is not to completely discredit the King James Version as totally unreliable, but to show that the King James Version people have today is not to be held above all other scriptural translations.
    The textual lineage of the King James Version begins in the Roman Empire. During the 2nd Century CE, the Septuagint was used for the Old Testament while churches in Italy, Spain, Gual, and North Africa used an “Old Latin” translation of the New Testament made by unknown authors.1 But in the 4th Century, so many variant texts had gotten into circulation that Pope Damasus asked Eusebius Hieronymus, later called St. Jerome, to revise the “Old Latin” translation. His translation of the Gospels was completed in 383/384 CE and his translation of the whole Bible was completed in 405 CE.2, 3 However, the translation made by Jerome was essentially a new translation with parts based on revisions of the “Old Latin” version. For instance, the Book of Psalms was not freshly translated from the Hebrew, but instead was Jerome’s revision of “Psalterium Vetus.”4 As pointed out by Erasmus of Rotterdam (who had studied Greek New Testaments) in the early 16th Century CE, this translation clearly contained a Catholic bias. For example, the Vulgate translated Matthew 3:1-2 as saying:

    In those days, John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, and saying: “Do penance, for the kingdom of the heavens is close to hand.”

    In this verse, Erasmus said the words “do penance” do not appear in the original Greek text. Instead, he said the best translation for that part would be “repent” and this was a subjective change in words used to create scriptural support for the Catholic Church’s system of penance used during medieval times. Another example would be how the Vulgate translated Luke 1:28 as saying:

    And the angel went in, and said to her: “Hail, O one that is full of grace! The Lord is with you! Blessed are you among women!”

    Again, Erasmus rejected the rendering of this verse. He asserted that the angel’s words were translated incorrectly to support the Catholic doctrine she was a reservoir of grace and could give grace to others. Erasmus said the true meaning of this verse was to express that Mary had favor from God. However, Erasmus never provided his translation of this verse.5 And in addition to these questionable translations, the Vulgate also contained the Apocrypha.6 The Vulgate, which became to be known as the “common version,”7 was universally used in “Christendom” for approximately 1,000 years8 until the Reformation9.
    During the Reformation, translations of the Bible in the vernacular began to appear. The first English Bible was produced by the efforts of John Wycliffe. While it is unkown how much work Wycliffe personally did,10 it is known that he oversaw the project. 11 Because Wycliffe had very little knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, no access to original texts,12, 13 and proficiency in using Latin,14 he chose to translate the Latin Vulgate into English. The first version of this translation was supervised by Nicholas Hereford and was done between 1380 and 1382 CE. As Bobrick states:

    To its general credit, it showed a complete respect for the authority of the Vulgate, but its word-for-word rendering often followed the Latin syntax so closely that the awkward result was impractical for popular use.15

    Butterworth observes:

    This first attempt was consequently crude and often over-literal. In some places it is difficult to follow because it copies so exactly the Latin order of the words. It was quickly succeeded by a second attempt.16

    Thus, a revision was done sometime between 1388 and 1395 CE, which was literary in nature17, under the direction of Wycliffe’s personal secretary, John Purvey. For each book he inserted prologue and epilogue, inserted marginal notes from a 14th Century Franciscan named Nicholas of Lyra and other prominent church figures such as St. Augustine, and smoothed out awkward sentences in general.18 However, the fact remained that the Wycliffite versions of the Bible reproduced translation inaccuracies found in the Vulgate.19
    The first printed, but incomplete, English Bible came from William Tyndale. Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament was mostly based on the Greek, but he also consulted Luther’s German New Testament, the Vulgate, and the two editions (1516 and 1522 CE) of Erasmus’s translation of the New Testament.20 Between May 1524 and July 1525 CE, Tyndale, with his assistant named William Roye, completed his translation of the New Testament in the city named Cologne in Germany.21 The only books of the Old Testament to be translated by Tyndale were those from the Pentateuch, in which the first version was published in 1530 CE, and Jonah, in which the first version was published in 1531 CE22. 23 For his Old Testament translations, he primarily used the Hebrew, but consulted the Vulgate, Luther’s work (who had also done a translation of Jonah)24,25 the Septuagint, and a Latin translation of Hebrew texts made by Sanctus Pagninus.26
    Tyndale’s work was significantly influenced by Luther. Tyndale borrowed many phrases from Luther’s work and organized chapter divisions and book order according Luther’s work.27 In addition, based upon the Cologne quarto sheets of 1525, one finds that Tyndale organized the New Testament by a convention that existed in Lutheran circles which held that the books of Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation were of unreliable authenticity. Thus, he put these books at the end of his translation and did not number them. The Cologne quarto sheets also contained a “prologue,” which contains direct borrowings from Luther’s prologue from his 1522 German New Testament. And the 1525 printed edition of Tyndale’s work also contained a significant amount of marginal notes which were Lutheran in nature, with some being direct borrowings from Luther’s own comments. However, it is notable that the printing of the 1525 edition, which was being done at the printing house of Peter Quentell, was never completed. The 1526 edition of Tyndale’s work, printed by the presses of Peter Schoeffer, eliminated the Lutheran convention with regards to the books of “unreliable authenticity” within the New Testament, eliminated marginal notes, and separated the “prologue” into another work called A Pathway into the Scripture.28
    Later, George Joye began to generate unauthorized, pirate editions of Tyndale’s work.29 In 1534 CE, right before Tyndale completed his own revision of his New Testament,30 Joye had a revision of Tyndale’s 1526 version printed from the press of the widow of Christoffel van Endhoven because of his claim that Flemish printers were introducing errors into the text. Because this was done without Tyndale’s authorization or even his knowledge, thus this created a controversy between Joye and Tyndale.31, 32 Tyndale then included this message to Joye in the prologue of his New Testament of 1534:

    I beseech George Joye, yea and all other too, for to translate the Scripture for themselves, whether out of Greek, Latin, or Hebrew . . . Let them put their own names [to it], and not play bo-peep . . . But I neither can nor will suffer of any man, that he shall go take my translation and correct it without name, and make such changing as I myself durst not do. 33

    Also, in Tyndale’s New Testament of 1534, he included “Epistles taken out of the olde Testament which are red in the church after the vse of Salsburye vpon certen dayes of the yere.” (In other words, it was various selections taken from the Old Testament that were read in church on certain days.) But in refusing to be outdone, Joye had issued a reprint of his New Testament that contained a copy of Tyndale’s “Episltes,” called “Pistles,” with very few revisions of his own.34 But aside from the Tyndale-Joye rivalry, it is notable that in Tyndale’s New Testament of 1534, he included more commentary with previously used marginal notes that were “toned down.”35
    The first complete and printed English Bible, published in 1535 CE, was composed by Miles Coverdale. Coverdale’s Bible is not a true “translation” because he did not use the original Hebrew and Greek, but instead it was a combination of pre-existing translations organized by personal preferences. Coverdale primarily used Tyndale’s Bible (the New Testament and the Pentateuch), but also consulted the Vulgate, a Latin translation of the Vulgate done by an Italian Dominican monk named Sancte Pagini (Pagninus) in 1528 CE, Luther’s German translation, and a translation of Luther’s Bible into the a Swiss-German dialect called the Zurich Bible (which was translated by Leo Juda and Ulrich Zwingli) 36, 37, 38, 39 In Coverdale’s Bible, the order of the Old Testament books followed the order in the Vulgate over the Hebrew and the order of the New Testament books followed the order in Luther’s Bible instead of Erasmus’s translation of the Greek. In addition, the Coverdale Bible followed the Vulgate by including the Apocrypha and restoring the usage of some words such as “penance,” which had been removed by Tyndale in his translation.40 Two revisions of Coverdale’s Bible were published in 1537 CE, with a diglot edition of the New Testament for the clergy was published in 1538 CE.41
    The next Bible version that impacted the King James Bible is the “Matthew’s Bible,” which was also not a “new translation” but a combination of materials from pre-existing works. It was published in 1537 CE and was actually composed by an editor named John Rogers. Because he relied heavily on Tyndale’s work, he used a pseudonym of his name, “Thomas Matthew,” on the title page to protect himself and Tyndale. In this Bible version, Tyndale’s Old Testament translation work ranging from the Book of Joshua to the Book of 2 Chronicles, which he had done in prison, was combined with material in Coverdale’s Bible. Specifically, Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament, Pentateuch, and books mentioned above were used along with Coverdale’s translation of the Book of Ezra through the Book of Malachi, the Book of Jonah, and the Apocrypha. Also, the numbering of the Book of Psalms was changed to match the Hebrew, material from the Hebrew concordance and marginal notes of the French Bible composed by Pierre-Robert Olivetan was included, and the Prayer of Manasses was put in the Apocrypha. It is notable that Rogers himself inserted a small amount of alterations directly into the text based on the French Bibles done by Lefevre and Olivetan.41, 42, 43, 44, 45
    But because of offensive Protestant marginal notes, Thomas Cromwell, the vicar-general of England under King Henry VIII, ordered than another Bible be published. For the process of composing this newer Bible version, Cromwell directed Coverdale to base its text on the text of Matthew’s Bible, but to also use the Vulgate, Erasmus’s translation of the New Testament, and Sebastian Munster’s Latin Translation of the Old Testament as well. As Cromwell ordered, no “private or contentious opinions” were to be in the text, so Coverdale did not put marginal notes in the text. It was published in London in 1539 CE.46 This Bible is famous for the picture on its title page (drawn by Hans Holbein) of King Henry on his throne while handing down the Bible to Cranmer and Cromwell, who in turn had handed it down to the people shouting “Vivat Rex!” or “God save the King!” Above that scene, God is pictured with two scrolls coming out of his mouth, one with Isaiah 55:11 on it and the other with Acts 13:22 on it.47, 48, 49, 50 Within three weeks of the publication of the Great Bible, a second edition of the Great Bible was published. In the following July, the third edition on the Great Bible was published, and then four more editions followed by the end of 1541 CE,51 with two being published at the same time in April 1540 CE.52
    The next Bible version that impacted the King James Bible is the Geneva Bible, which is named after where it was composed. Geneva was where Protestants would commonly flee to from the Marian persecution. It was published in 1560 CE and mostly the work of William Whittingham, but with the help of Thomas Sampson and Anthony Gillby (a Hebrew scholar). Miles Coverdale, Laurence Tomson, and John Knox also participated in the making of this Bible, but to an unknown extent.53, 54 The text of the Great Bible was used as a basis for the Old Testament, with Latin translations of the Old Testament done by Leo Juda, Munster, and Pagninus being consulted for guidance. The Geneva New Testament of 1557 CE, which was written by Whittingham, was used as the basis of the New Testament text, with a Latin translation of the New Testament done by Theodore Beza and Stephanus being consulted for guidance.55 And it is necessary to note that the Geneva New Testament of 1557 CE itself is based on a revision of the quarto edition of Tyndale’s New Testament done by Richard Jugge, which was guided by Theodore Beza’s Latin New Testament translation.56 While the Geneva Bible represents “the best scholarship of the time”57 58 and is the most accurate Bible before the Authorized Version,59 the Geneva Bible has a Calvinistic and Puritanical bias, especially in its marginal notes where it explained “hard places” in the Bible.60, 61 The Geneva Bible is the first Bible to break the Old and New Testament into verses,62 probably because of the Puritans’ practice of quoting biblical text.63
    With the goal of making an English Bible with a more “Anglican character,” the Bishops’ Bible was composed by bishops of the Anglican Church of England and published in 1568 CE. These bishops were: Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury; Edwin Sandys, Bishop of Worcester; Andrew Pierson, prebendary of Canterbury Cathedral; John Parkhurst, Bishop of Norwich; Richard Davies, Bishop of St. Wales, Wales; Robert Horne, Bishop of Winchester; William Barlow, Bishop of Chichester; Thomas Bentham, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield; Edmund Scambler, Bishop of Peterborough; Edmund Grindal, Bishop of London; Nicholas Bullingham, Bishop of London; Richard Cox, Bishop of Ely; William Alley, Bishop of Exeter; Gabriel Goodman, dean of Westminster; Andrew Perne, dean of Ely; and an unknown sixteen person. The Bible was divided up into different parts and different parts were assigned to different bishops to revise.64 The text of the Great Bible was used as the basis for the revised text, and the Latin translations of Pagninus, Munster, Leo Juda, and Castalio were consulted with inconsistency. Obscenities, such as the phrase “a pissing she-mule,” were eliminated and comments on controversial text were avoided.65 However, while the bishops regularly reported their progress to Archbishop Parker, the head editor, they had “no common discipline,” they never compared their work, and better readings from the Geneva Bible were often ignored.66 Overall, the way the Bishops’ Bible was composed was “erratic,” “sloppy” and resulting in an “arbitrary and often ignorant” reading of “uneven character.” This was because each bishop ultimately used their own judgement in the work they did.67 The text of the Bishops’ Bible of 1568 was lower in quality when compared to the Geneva Bible. However, the Bishops’ Bible was revised 22 times, such as in the Old Testament being revised by consulting the Geneva Bible and Munster’s work, until the 1602 edition was published.68
    Having fully traced the pre-existing lineage of the King James Version of the Bible, it is now time to examine the textual basis and composition of the King James Version of the Bible itself, which is based on the King James Bible of 1611 (Authorized Version) and its subsequent revision. The King James Bible of 1611 was composed by 54 translators appointed by King James I (47 of which are known), who were divided into six groups of seven or eight men and each group worked on a different section of the Bible, which was also divided into six parts. The project itself was entrusted the Bishop of London, Richard Bancroft.69
    According to a draft of “the rules of procedure,” or rules that were enacted to guide the translators in their work, the text of the Bishops Bible was to be used as the basis for the text of the King James Version of 1611:

    1. The ordinary Bible read in the Church, commonly called the Bishops Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the Truth of the original will permit.70, 71, 72

    For instance, the Apocrypha, as translated by John Boys, was included in this Bible.73 Butterworth adds:

    The King James Bible was based on a conscientious study of the original Scriptures as they were known in 1611 . . . Though the King James Bible may have been superior in its scholarship to the English versions that preceded it, a great deal more is known today about the original texts of the Holy Scriptures than was known in 1611.74

    The translators of the King James Bible of 1611 were not afraid to use pre-existing translations in their work. In the preface to the reader, it said:

    Neither did thinke much to consult the Translators or Commentators, Chaldee, Hebrewe, Syrian, Greeke, or Latine, no nor the Spanish, French, Italian, or Dutch; neither did we disdaine to reuise that which had been done.75, 76

    And indeed, they consulted such works as the interlinear Latin translation of the Hebrew text done by Ximenes and edited by Arias Montanus in 1572 CE, the Latin translation of the Old Testament done by Tremellius in 1579 CE, the French Bible, an Italian translation done by J. Diodati in 1607 CE, and two Spanish translations, one done by Cassidoro de Reyna in 1569 CE and the other done by Cipriano de Valera in 1602 CE (which was a revision of Reyna’s work).77 They also consulted the Complutensian Polygot of 1517, the Old Testament Latin translation by Sebastian Munster, the Zurich Bible, Luther’s Bible, Lefevre’s and Olivetan’s French Bibles, and the Latin translations of Castalio, Leo Juda, and Sanctus Pagninus.78, 79 However, according to a draft of “the rules of procedure,” certain translations, such as “Tindoll’s, Matthew’s, Coverdale’s, Whitchurch’s [i.e. the Great Bible], [and] Geneva” were “to be used when they agree better with the Text than the Bishops Bible.”80, 81 Butterworth clarifies the apparent contradiction:

    In the first place, the King James committees did not restrict themselves to the versions mentioned in the rule; and, in the second place, their Bible turned out to be much more than a mere revision of the Bishop’s Bible. The description given of it on the title-page is nearer to the actual fact: “Newly Translated out of the Originall tongues: & with the former Translations diligently compared and reuised.”82

    Daiches adds:

    Their aim, as the Preface again tells us, was not to prepare a new translation—though the title does say “Newly Translated out of the Originall tongues”—“but to make a good one better, or out of many good ones, one principall good one, not iustly to be excepted against.”83

    The key here is that many pre-existing translations are used, thereby making it clear to the reader that the King James Bible is a culmination of previous versions plus the best original texts of the time. Butterworth offers more:

    It remains to be said that the King James translators seem to have been particularly partial to the Latin editions of the Old and New Testaments. They made special use of the composite Bible translated by Tremellius, Junius, and Beza, as Dr. Wescott has shown in a number of illustrations.84

    And whereas the push for a conservative approach in restricting the textual sources used failed, it did succeed in stopping the modernization of the English used for this translation. Bobrick explains:

    Their conservative mandate—not to make a new translation but to revise the old—restrained them to some degree from modernizing the English of it, even up to the usage of their own time. Some of the expressions they adopted were already a bit archaic in 1611—such as verily and it came to pass—but these were kept because they had become familiar and because they also seemed to endow the text with a certain “antique rightness” for which it has always been prized.85

    The following is an example of the English used:

    For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep [1 Thessalonians 4:15].86

    In continuing to examine the preface, one next takes note of the translators emphasizing possessing a freedom of word choice used in this translation:

    An other thing we thinke good to admonish thee of (gentle Reader) that wee haue not tyed our selues to an vniformitie of phrasing, or to an identitie of words, as some peraduenture would wish that we had done, . . . as for example, if we translate the Hebrew or Greeke word once by Purpose, neuer to call it Intent; if one where Iourneying, neuer Traueiling; if one where Thinke, neuer Suppose; if one where Paine, neuer Ache; if one where Ioy, neuer Gladnesse, &c. Thus to minse the matter, wee thought to sauour more of curiositie then wisedome, and that rather it would breed scorne in the Atheist, then bring profite to the godly R.eader. For is the kingdome of God become words or syllables? why should wee be in bondage to them if we may be free, vse one precisely when wee may vse another no lesse fit, as commodiously?87, 88

    The reason they may have chosen to stress freedom of word choice is to avoid “the peculiarities” of the Geneva Bible and the Rheims New Testament, being tied to any “identity of words,” 89 and the political controversy that comes with them. According to the preface:

    Lastly, wee haue on the one side auoided the scrupulositie of the Puritanes, who leaue the olde Ecclesiasticall words, and betake them to other, as when they put washing for Baptisme, and Congregation instead of Church: as also on the other side we haue shunned the obscuritie of the Papists, in their Azimes, Tunike, Rational, Holocausts, Praepuce, Pasche, and a number of such like, whereof their late Translation is full.90

    It is at this point that one begins to question the extent at which this principle allowed any free licensing to take place. Butterworth comments, “The translators may have been influenced by doctrinal motives in their choice of words.”91 Other editions of the King James Version were printed, such as in 1613, 1629, 1631, 1638, 1675, and 1682 CE with various details changed due to previous printer’s errors.92 For example, the 1631 edition of the King James Version became known as the “Wicked Bible” because the seventh commandment read, “Thou shalt commit adultery.”93
    In conclusion, while the King James Bible Version has some strength to it, it also has many weaknesses it has inherited from its development. But only a critical, in-depth examination of history, not a simple statement of faith or personal belief, can reveal the true facts about this particular Bible version. So one should be cautious in holding up the King James Bible Version as superior to all other Bible versions.


    1. Bobrick, Benson. Wide as the Waters: The Story of the English Bible and the Revolution It Inspired. (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2001), 14.

    2. Gaebelein, Frank E., A.M. Down Through the Ages; The Story of the King James Bible. (New York, NY: The Macmillan Company, 1924), 24.

    3. Bobrick, 14.

    4. Daiches, David. The King James Version of the English Bible; An Account of the Development and Sources of the English Bible of 1611 with Special Reference to the Hebrew Tradition. (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1968), 88.

    5. McGrath, Alister E. In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible and How It Changed a Nation, a Language, and a Culture. (New York, NY: Doubleday, 2001), 56-58, 241.

    6. Ibid., 223.

    7. Benson, 15,16.

    8. Butterworth, Charles C. The Literary Lineage of the King James Bible, 1340-1611. (New York, NY: Octagon Books, 1971), 4.

    9. Daiches, 88.

    10. McGrath, 21.

    11. Bobrick, 51.

    12. Gaebelein, Frank E., LITT. D. The Story of the King James Bible. (Wheaton, ILL: Van Kampen Press, 1950), 29.

    13. Daiches, 37.

    14. Butterworth, 41.

    15. Bobrick, 52-53.

    16. Butterworth, 42.

    17. Ibid., 42.

    18. Bobrick, 53.

    19. McGrath, 59.

    20. Bobrick, 103-104.

    21. McGrath, 72.

    22. Bobrick, 120.

    23. Butterworth, 61-62.

    24. Bobrick, 120.

    25. Daiches, 173-174.

    26. Bobrick, 117.

    27. Ibid., 103-104.

    28. McGrath, 72-73.

    29. Bobrick, 121.

    30. Daiches, 10.

    31. Butterworth, 80

    32. Daiches, 10.

    33. Bobrick, 121.

    34. Butterworth, 81, 84.

    35. Ibid., 120.

    36. McGrath, 89-90.

    37. Bobrick, 144-145.

    38. Daiches, 20-21.

    39. Olsen, M. Ellsworth, Ph. D. The Prose of Our King James Version; It’s Origin and Course of Development. (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1947), 61.

    40. Daiches, 144.

    41. Bobrick, 147.

    41. Ibid., 148.

    42. Daiches, 176-177.

    43. McGrath, 91.

    44. Butterworth, 113-116.

    45. Olsen, 61-62.

    46. Ibid., 62.

    47. Daiches, 35, 37.

    48. Bobrick, 149-151.

    49. Butterworth, 132.

    50. McGrath, 94-97.

    51. Daiches, 35.

    52. Butterworth, 137.

    53. McGrath, 114-115.

    54. Daiches, 178.

    55. Olsen, 67, 69.

    56. McGrath, 115-116.

    57. Ibid., 67-68.

    58. Bobrick, 174-175.

    59. Daiches, 51, 179-180.

    60. Butterworth, 159, 161, 165, 169.

    61. McGrath, 121.

    62. Bobrick, 175.

    63. Daiches, 53, 180.

    64. Butterworth, 174.

    65. Olsen, 72.

    66. Bobrick, 176, 181-183.

    67. Butterworth, 177-178.

    68. Daiches, 57-58, 181-182.

    69. Butterworth, 207-209.

    70. Ibid., 212.

    71. McGrath, 196.

    72. Olsen, 78-79.

    73. Butterworth, 213.

    74. Ibid., 214, 217.

    75. Ibid., 216.

    76. Daiches, 171.

    77. Butterworth, 216-217.

    78. Bobrick, 238.

    79. Daiches 171-172.

    80. Butterworth., 212, 228.

    81. Olsen, 80.

    82. Butterworth, 228.

    83. Daiches, 171.

    84. Bobrick, 255.

    85. Butterworth, 217.

    86. McGrath, 309.

    87. Butterworth, 218.

    88. McGrath, 194.

    89. Butterworth., 218-219.

    90. Ibid., 219.

    91. Ibid., 219.

    92. McGrath, 215-216.

    93. Bobrick, 253.
  2. CoreIssue

    CoreIssue Administrator Staff Member

    Regarding the claims of the KJV being so pure and the others adding, deleting and so on.

    Here is one the claims you see, in example:
    But is it an add or did the KJV delete it due to a doctrinal position? They deleted it.

    This is in the Marjority Manuscript:

    Oude means but not, neither, nor, not even.
    O means this, that, these, etc.
    Uiov means a son, son of man, son of God.

    So obiviously all these critics are doing is laying one translation down next to the other and comparing. They are not in fact determining if the KJV is correct first.

    Before the NIV was written solid conservative linquist stated there were errors in the KJV. Many errors.

    And to say manuscripts from the 1st and such centuries found in places beyond to tampering of the Catholic Church are less accurate than manuscripts dating centuries later from the Catholic Church times is amazing to me.

    There is a translation out there still in use that predates the KJV. And it was the dominate non Catholic translation for longer than the KJV was dominate.

    So the claim the KJV is THE Bible is not based on anything other than personal desire and declaration. And even it has been edited several times since 1611.

    Just food for thought.
  3. Neachley

    Neachley Guest

    Myth. It hasn`t been edited several times. Nor has it seen any revisions. All that has changed is that in 1769 the spelling was standardized, as it was throughout much of the English speaking world at that time. The KJV that people use today is in fact the 1769 one.

    As for the alleged errors, I disagree, and many people, far cleverer than I can prove it.

    I love the KJV, and as many millions have been saved through it in almost 400 years, it can`t be that error prone, can it?
  4. CTZonEdit

    CTZonEdit Site Administrator Staff Member

    When was the last time you actually had a conversation with someone in the language or the KJV? Old English style.

    For historical and literary history, yes its a nice work. But its time has come and gone. The bible is hard enough to understand without the hurdle of trying to decipher the Olde English language and its contexts of the Hebrew, Greek translation. Which is either plain wrong left out completely or inserted without cause.

    For literal study its a complete mess.
  5. CoreIssue

    CoreIssue Administrator Staff Member

    Adding to what CTZ said, this link most assuredly are revisions, not simple spelling changes.

    And this link deals with the Catholic influence, via the Vulgate, upon the KJV that resulted in additions to the manuscripts that were not in the Greek manuscripts.

    Just a couple of examples of why the KJV Onliests are so very wrong in their position the KJV is THE Bible.

    Never can understand how one can defend additions to the manuscripts that popped up centuries after the Apostles. Never once found in anything earlier than the Roman manuscripts coming from the hands of Rome or those backing Rome.

    That is why the Apocrapha was in the original KJV.

    The KJV is a Bible. It is not THE Bible. Nor is it them most accurate Bible, either.

    Errors such as candlestand, instead of lampstand, were not corrected until the NKJV. And the word is most assuredly lamp, not candle stand. Oil lamps. Not candles.

    Don't make it into something it is not.
  6. Neachley

    Neachley Guest

    Correction: It was NOT written in old English. It was written in early modern English. And I would suggest you check your sources again. There have been no revisions.

    On the issue of the wording, many millions of Christians around the world still use the KJB. Many people from poor backgrounds with little or no education also use it and have no problem understanding it.

    Many KJB`s have a dictionary in the back, while there is also the Defind King James Bible, which uses the same KJB text as any other KJB, but has the definition of alleged `old fashioned` words in the footnotes. Hence there is no excuse not to use the KJB.

    I`m not going to enter into a debate on this because there are more important things to think about (like evangelising which we are commanded to do), and there are many excellent KJB supporting websites available. However, I love the KJB, I use the KJB and if you want to use modern versions, then go ahead. I`m not going to stop you.
  7. CTZonEdit

    CTZonEdit Site Administrator Staff Member

    The point is why would you use the KJV of the bible as a resource for literal study?

    What logical reason does one have to study something as complex as the bible in a non spoken language where the meanings are no longer common place in the culture, and we need footnotes and dictionaries just to decipher it?

    We have to exert more effort just to strain meaning, so this makes it a superior text?

    Would encyclopedias written in early/old English be better as well? Superior to their modern English versions because we have to "study" it more.
  8. CoreIssue

    CoreIssue Administrator Staff Member

    I agree with CTZ.

    In my many years of debating and answering Bible questions I have grown tired of correcting people because they used the KJV and got it wrong.

    We don't have the 'faith of Christ.' We have 'faith in Christ.' Just one example that has led to tons of bad doctrine.

    While not the 1611 English it most assuredly is not modern English.

    Coming from the antique trade background I can most assuredly tell you that even writings from the 1920's and 30's contain forms that confuse people today in places.

    Late 1800's, even more so.

    Why use what will confuse?
  9. conan

    conan Guest

    It is Early Modern English. 1500-2006 is considered the Modern English period. 1150-1500 Middle English, and pre-1150 Old English.

  10. conan

    conan Guest

    One reason is that there have been more study tools made for the KJV than any other.

    Strong's Concordance
    The Englishman's Greek Concordance (with Strong's numbers)
    The Englishman's Hebrew Concordance, also with Strongs #'s.

    There are many other's as well.
  11. CoreIssue

    CoreIssue Administrator Staff Member

    That is inaccurate.

    The actual division is Early-Modern English being 1500 to 1800 and the Late Modern 1800 to date.

    Those are general classifications. And no English scholar will deny grammar, punctuation and word meaning evolution.

    The 1611 KJV is not in 2006 English. Nor is the currently used KJV.

    If you want to get real technical, words such as thou, thee, ye and thine are classified Middle English. Thus predating the modern English period altogether. And the KJV is archaic English. I have never seen that disputed scholastically.
    We do not speak King James English. And while some may classify it s Early Modern, it is then most assuredly at a transitional point where tons of Middle English was still in common use.

    Simple fact.
    Not impossible at all.

    Words exist today that did not exist then. Some are new words and some are old word that have evolved in meaning.

    Today, you say gay, and people think homosexual. 1930s, you say gay and people thought merry and jovial person.

    I grew up reading and collecting these stuff.

    Language continually evolves.
  12. CoreIssue

    CoreIssue Administrator Staff Member

    There is Strong's for the NASB as well. Plus study quides do not require using the KJV with them.

    Still does not overcome the archaic English and other issues.

    No. I am not trying to demand you don't use the KJV. Just trying to say there is absolutely no good reason to limit oneself to the KJV. Expecially when others are easier and more accurate reads, in todays English.
  13. conan

    conan Guest

    Thank you, I accept your factual correction.

    Ofcourse. Yet even the 1769 KJV updated most words to todays spellings, back in 1769.

    And yet despite some Archaic English, there are tons of Modern English words to be found. I would say the 1769, and even the 1611 1st edition is closer to Modern English than Middle English.

    The reason I disputed it was that I have been looking at earlier works to do archaic English words studies (originally for the KJV) and I have to go way back to find something usefull.
  14. conan

    conan Guest

    True, but I think they should make a "Englishmans/Greek/Hebrew concordance's for the NASB as well. There is a Hebrew/English Dictionary/Concordance while using the KJV which show's the variation's when the NIV or NASB use's a Textual varient, which goes a long way in fulfilling that come to think of it.

    True, there is no reason to limit oneself to the KJV, but it is not to be denied that there are problems with some Modern Bibles as well.
  15. CoreIssue

    CoreIssue Administrator Staff Member

    The obvious varients get fewer in numbers as you approach today. But the subtle ones are the ones that get you.

    It is very debatable the 1611 is closer to Modern English than Middle. Remember, the archaic part includes the punctuation, which sets meaning every bit as much as the words used.

    But, for us, I think it should suffice to say one must be very careful in reading the KJV and assuming they can read even familiar words and phrases in the meaning of today.

    'Faith of Christ' and 'Faith in Christ' is subtle to many, but major in impact of meaning. The archaic and today's mean the same thing, time period to time period. But they sure do not mean the same thing read in today's English for meaning.

    The subtle ones are the ones that get false doctrines going and confuse understanding.

    So, logically speaking, why take on the complications when they can be avoided?

    And yes, I have found places where the moderns could have done better in transating. Yet, overall, the NIV and NASB are far better for clarity and meaning, today.
  16. conan

    conan Guest

    Changes in the English Language

    A Comparison of Old, Middle, and Modern English

    Luke 2:1-19
  17. CoreIssue

    CoreIssue Administrator Staff Member

    It isn't that simple. It is an error to call 1600s English the English of today.

    The comparison shows neither the changes in punctuation usage, word meaning change, period word usage and so on.

    Carriage in the KJV Preface now means baggage.

    Villain meant a course or vile peasant.

    And here are some other changes:
    Reading without understanding these issues get people in big trouble understandings things.

    And these issues do impact the KJV.
  18. conan

    conan Guest

    Yes it is. But is what I meant was that the KJV was closer to today's English than Middle English, and it is certianly wrong to call the English of the KJV "Old English", which you did not do personally.

    Good point! And we do see these changes in different editions of the KJV.

    Facsinating site, thank you!

    Yes they do! Thanks again.
  19. conan

    conan Guest


    KJV Dictionary

    This online dictionary of King James Version words contains over 6,000 definitions. This dictionary is derived from Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, a dictionary published in 1828 which frequently uses Bible verses in the definitions.
    This is an abridgment of the Webster's 1828. It was created by comparing each word from the Webster's 1828 to a list of words from the King James Bible. If a word from the Webster's 1828 appeared in the KJV, it was included in this online text. Additionally, words referenced in definitions were also included to be as complete as possible, but without including all 60,000+ definitions from the unabridged dictionary.
  20. conan

    conan Guest



    The following list of over 500 archaic and obsolete words and phrases has been prepared in order to help the average reader understand more readily the meaning of the King James Version. Of course, not all of these words and phrases are inappropriate in all contexts and hence each expression is followed by a list of those passages in which misunderstanding is likely to occur.

    In each instance the bold-face word or phrase represents the King James text. This is followed by a dash to separate it from the more meaningful alternative. Where there is more than one alternative, each is given and the corresponding passages are listed.

    Though this list of archaic and obsolete words is not exhaustive, it does, however, provide the reader with a handy reference to most expressions which are likely to produce difficulty in comprehending the meaning of the King James Version.

Share This Page