An other Christian site – Een andere Christelijke site

Not having enough background of the Jewish Koine Greek, or Jewish Hellenistic Greek, the variety of Koine Greek (hē koinē dialektos ‘the common language’) or “common Attic”  found in a number of Alexandrian dialect texts of Hellenistic Judaism, most notably the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible which at the time of the King James Bible‘s first edition was not yet available, as well as Greek Jewish texts from Palestine. This made that lots of words for previous Bible translations and the Authorised Version, where not yet understood properly and of some words they thought it were persons (names) instead of things (nouns) and situations.

Hellenistic Judaism: historical sites

Important historical sites of Hellenistic and medieval Judaism. – Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Words and word elements were adopted and adapted into Latin over c.1,500 years, and passed through Latin into many European and other languages, being used in the main for scholarly and technical purposes. The flow into English was at first very limited and largely religious, such as Old English cirice and its descendant church (from kūriakón dôma the Lord’s house).


Katharina von Bora (1499–1552) one of the most important participants of the Reformation because of her role in helping to define Protestant family life and setting the tone for clergy marriages.

At the beginning this knowledge of languages was a man’s job, but from the 19th century women began to have their say as well. Lots of Christians have the wrong idea that women in the ancient times had nothing to say. Many also think that in Christianity women played no role at all. they should know that the Set Apart or Holy Scriptures  acknowledges and celebrates the priceless value of a virtuous woman (Proverbs 12:4; 31:10; 1 Corinthians 11:7).

Whilst by the Jews there where not so many women teachers or rabbi’s, from the beginning the master teacher Jeshua had a big heart for them and had many women around him, following him everywhere they could and talking about his actions. The Bible teaches women are not only equals with men (Galatians 3:28), but are also set apart for special honour (1 Peter 3:7). Jeshua also knew how in the past the the priceless value of a virtuous woman was celebrated and insisted those around him to respect the woman also. (Proverbs 12:4; 31:10; 1 Corinthians 11:7).  Not only did the master teacher encourage their discipleship by portraying it as something more needful than domestic service and always treated women with the utmost dignity — even women who might otherwise be regarded as outcasts (Matthew 9:20-22; Luke 7:37-50; John 4:7-27).

“1  After this, Jesus travelled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.” (Luke 8:1-3 NIV)

“38  As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”” (Luke 10:38-42 NIV)

Clearly the listening to Jesus’ teaching was for the rabbi important, because he would not be long with them. for him it was also important that they would know what they had to talk about when he would be gone, because they had to go out into the world and witness about what he had done, and for telling others about the coming Kingdom of God. All those who wanted to be called a disciple or follower of Christ had to witness for him.

“You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.” (Acts 22:15 NIV)

Already from the start women where there with Jesus.  Christ’s first recorded, explicit disclosure of His own identity as the true Messiah was made to a Samaritan woman (John 4:25-26). When he was gone there were also women present in the room when the Spirit came over the apostles.  From then onwards they too were not afraid any more to come out with their beliefs. Soon they too took also their role in the preaching and some of them even became renowned.

“In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor.” (Acts 9:36 NIV)

Often it were women who opened up their house for followers of Christ coming together and to lead the meetings.

“When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.” (Acts 12:12 NIV)

Also when things where not so clear for some they dared to call them with them and explain it so they could better understand the truth. Also women who talked about Jesus but did not know everything well, were helped by the apostles so that they could do a better job.

“13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshipper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptised, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.” (Acts 16:13-15 NIV)

Throughout history there have always been faithful women spreading the Word of God.

It might well be that the energetic monk and young theologian Martin Luther, who felt himself to be “a sinner with an unquiet conscience,” was stimulated by the former Benedictine and Cistercian nun Katharina von Bora, who had fled her convent with several other nuns or ‘vestal virgins’, to Wittenberg, and who became, at the age of 26,  his  wife in 1525 (him being 41) and became known as “die Lutherin”.  She became the “boss of Zulsdorf,” after the name of the farm they owned, and the “morning star of Wittenberg” for her habit of rising at 4 a.m. to take care of her various responsibilities, administering and managing the vast holdings of the monastery, breeding and selling cattle, and running a brewery in order to provide for their family and the steady stream of students who boarded with them and visitors seeking audiences with her husband. It can well be that her being at the site of the prosecuted Luther, made him to continue his translation work of the Bible and not giving up his ideas.

In the two following centuries it were women who often took care that the children got to hear the Word of God at home, whilst they were able to hide this sacred book for the persecutors. Those who fled from the European continent to look for a New World also carried with them the Holy Bible in their language or in Latin.

In the 17th century religious groups found their way to the New World and at certain places founded their own colonies so that they could perfectly practice their own faith. Religious liberty for others — a concept Americans would later take for granted — was not part of the Puritans‘ plan. Instead, founding Governor John Winthrop envisioned a model “Citty [sic] upon a hill,” an example of Christian unity and order. Not incidentally, women were expected to play a submissive and supporting role in this society.

Anne Hutchinson, née Anne Marbury

At the Massachusetts Bay Colony a skilled midwife and herbal healer with her own interpretation of Puritan doctrine, challenged the leaders of this “wilderness theocracy,” as Barbara Ritter Dailey describes it.
Anne Hutchinson  [Anne Marbury Hutchinson (1591-1643)] eldest daughter of a strong-willed Anglican priest who had been imprisoned and removed from office because of his demand for a better-educated clergy, had probably inherited the strong will of her father, taking with her a legacy of biblical scholarship and religious independence.

When the Anglican Church silenced one of her favourite teachers, John Cotton, one of England’s outstanding Puritan ministers, one of New England’s first generation, leader in civil and religious affairs, and a persuasive writer on the theory and practice of Congregationalism, left for the colony of Massachusetts in America, Hutchinson became extremely distraught. She finally persuaded her husband to leave for America, so that she could follow her religious mentor.

William Hutchinson was granted a desirable house lot in Boston, and both husband and wife quickly became church members.
When she was criticized for failing to attend weekly prayer meetings in the homes of parishioners, she responded by holding meetings in her own home. She began by reiterating and explaining the sermons of John Cotton but later added some of her own interpretations, a practice that was to be her undoing. As her meetings became more popular, Hutchinson drew some of Boston’s most influential citizens to her home. Many of these were town merchants and artisans who had been severely criticized for profiteering in prices and wages; they saw in Hutchinson’s stress on grace a greater freedom regarding morality and therefore more certainty of their own salvation. But others came in search of a more meaningful and personal relationship with their God. As she attracted followers and defenders, the orthodox Puritans organized to oppose her doctrines and her advocates.

Cotton was chiefly responsible for the exile of Anne Hutchinson, because of her antinomian doctrines, and for the expulsion of Roger Williams.They continued to preach and used their own words. Quoting from the Bible in a non literal way became common practice and would be later taken up in presenting fragments or stories from the Bible. This free telling of Bible stories was also taken up in other languages and was breeding ground for children’s Bibles and freely quoted or paraphrased Bible translations.

The Ritual Dance of the Shakers, Shaker Historical Society

The priests and male clerics mostly kept the bible in their hand and sometimes read some phrases out of it. They still were in the majority, though some ladies walked to the forefront and got followers. It had not all to be literate women who took charge.
An unlettered daughter of a blacksmith who was probably named Lees joined at the age of 22 joined the faith group Shaking Quakers, or Shakers, because of the shaking and dancing that characterized their worship (It originally derived from a small branch of English Quakers founded by Jane and James Wardley in 1747). Ann Lee married in 1762, a union that tradition holds was unhappy and may have influenced her later doctrinal insistence on celibacy. She became the group their accepted leader and was known as Ann the Word or Mother Ann. Although illiterate, she claimed the gift of tongues and the ability to discern spirits and work miracles. She was also convinced of the holiness of celibacy, an idea stemming from her own experience of losing four children at or soon after their birth. In 1774 she led a band of eight to America, where, two years later, at Watervliet, N.Y., the first Shaker settlement in America was founded. The Shaker communities flourished in the mid-19th century and contributed a distinctive style of architecture, furniture, and handicraft to American culture. The communities declined in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The two American converts who followed Mother Ann as Lead Elder — Joseph Meacham (1787–1796) and Lucy Wright (1796–1821) — developed an institutional structure for less antagonistic relations with society.

At that time, a woman’s leadership of a religious group was considered to be a ‘sect leader’ and as a radical departure from Protestant Christianity. Living apart from her husband Elizur Goodrich, she like him committed herself fully to Shakerism and within a decade rose to leadership within the Shakers movement, with the power and authority which women were not allowed in other religions.

Wright was fully aware of our task of witnessing and sent missionaries to preach across New England and upstate New York as well as into the western wilderness, where those preachers recruited proselytes and established new Shaker villages in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana.
Under Wright’s administration, Shakers standardized and increased book and tract publishing for the widely-scattered religious society. Their first statement of beliefs was Testimony of Christ’s Second Appearing in 1810, followed by a hymnal which served much the same purpose in 1813. This way the bible-fragments were brought to the general public in ordinary simple words.

In the early nineteenth century the movement expanded into Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. By the mid-1820s about 4,000 believers lived in sixteen communal villages, usually with residential “Great Houses” surrounded by meetinghouses, barns, mills, workshops, and smaller residences for children and probationary members. A hierarchy of elders and eldresses who had completely abandoned the sinful world were in charge.

Charles g finney.jpg

Charles Grandison Finney (1792–1875) American Presbyterian minister and leader in the Second Great Awakening in the United States.

In the New World several Female Missionary Societies saw the light and invited men as well as women to proclaim the Word of God.  The Female Missionary Society of the Western District hired in this way Charles Grandison Finney who came to promote social reforms, such as abolition of slavery and equal education for women and African Americans. From 1835 he taught at Oberlin College of Ohio, which accepted all genders and races, opening the way for more women able to read the Bible.

The Christians who believed only in One God and wanted others also to know the biblical truth, saw with dismay how Finney used scare tactics to gain converts.

Across the board, many thought that his habitual use of the words you and hell “let down the dignity of the pulpit.” {Charles Finney Father of American revivalism}

During the 16th and 17th century Anabaptists were heavily prosecuted in Europe because of their view of Jesus his position and man’s position in this world. By the many searchers for the truth lots of them found they could not take on the human doctrines like the Trinity and found that people had to be fully aware of what believing meant and when to commit themselves to the Only One God. From the Low countries many went to America. On the boat-trip they had a very good opportunity to speak about the biblical truth to others form different denominations. also the English doctor John Thomas who as ship’s surgeon on the Marquis of Wellesley, took the occasion to share his ideas with many people on board. When this boat docked in New York, Thomas travelled on to Cincinnati, Ohio where he became convinced by the Restoration Movement (also known as the or the Stone-Campbell Movement) of the need for baptism and joined them in October 1832. Looking for the “church within” we can imagine that people tried also to express themselves freely to show others how they understood the Word of God.

The Restoration Movement developed from several independent strands of religious revival that idealized apostolic Christianity. They were united in the belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. After his bad experience fearing for his life when the boat had nearly sunk, Thomas took his vow to God seriously and went going from one place to another, preaching the Word of God. Many of his followers came to “the Brotherhood”, and started to have meetings in their houses or barns to study the Word of God. For them it was clear that human doctrines and church creeds divide and that real Christians should be under Christ. for them God’s Word was clearly given to all people and the Bible was not to be the matter only for clergy. For them all Christians should take the Bible as their guide and leader and should suppress all divisive doctrines and practices.

One of Thomas his disciples would find enough people interested to print pamphlets and tracts. He also started as a Christian restorationist minister and became better known as Pastor Russell, being the instigator of Russellism or founder of the Russellites, opposite the Thomasites or followers of Dr. Thomas who founded the Christadelphians, Brothers in Christ who took studying the bible as one of their priorities (hence the other name Bible Students).

Dr Thomas also wrote for and was editor of the Apostolic Advocate which first appeared in May 1834, whilst Charles Taze Russell started only in July 1879 with publishing his monthly religious journal, Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. In 1881 he co-founded Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society with William Henry Conley as president, providing the establishment of an international Bible Student movement. In 1884 the corporation was officially registered, with Russell as president. From then onwards those Bible Students tried to bring Bible fragments in the common language of the day. For them women had also their say and were worthy co-operators to produce articles and to bring bible texts in contemporary American English.

It was his successor as society president, Joseph Rutherford who brought a wide division in the Bible student movement and created the Jehovah’s Witnesses who would work at translating the Word of God, doing a marvellous job, presenting bibles in many languages all over the world, so that nobody would have an excuse he or she could not find a Bible in a language he or she understands.


Mary Jane Patterson (1840–1894)

In 1862 Mary Jane Patterson became the first African-American woman to receive a B.A degree in the New World. She received a recommendation for an “appointment from the American missionary Association as a … teacher among freedmen.” In 1865 Patterson became an assistant to Fanny Jackson Coppin at the Philadelphia’s Institute for Colored Youth (now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania). In 1869 to 1871 Patterson taught in Washington, D. C., at the Preparatory High School for Colored Youth known today as Dunbar High School (Washington, D.C.). She served as the school’s first Black principal, from 1871 to 1872. She was reappointed from 1873 to 1884. During her administration, the school grew from less than 50 to 172 students, the name “Preparatory High School” was dropped, high school commencements were initiated, and a teacher-training department was added to the school. Patterson’s commitment to thoroughness as well as her “forceful” and “vivacious” personality helped her establish the school’s strong intellectual standards.
We can imagine by those standards being a Christian life style and good moral where essence.

Already around the turn of the 18th to 19th century women had started wanting to have a stronger voice in the education of children. Also parents started looking more at how to bring up children together in a community. They had seen the public school system starting to develop going away from certain ways of life preferred by them. The spiritual aspect was important and could not be forgotten. Discontented with the new public school system more alternative education developed in part as a reaction to perceived limitations and failings of traditional education. In many of such schools at that time the Bible and Christian life formed an important element of educational basic training. A broad range of educational approaches emerged, including alternative schools, self learning, homeschooling and unschooling.

Benjamin Wilson (1817–1900)

In 1840 the English family Wilson though originally Baptists, joined the growing Campbellite movement and moved to the New World four years later. In Geneva, Illinois the family began to distance themselves from the Campbellites. In 1846 Benjamin Wilson wrote his first letter to the other ex-Campbellite John Thomas, as recorded in the latter’s magazine The Herald of the Future Age, agreeing with the Thomas’ views on the immortal soul – the initial cause of his break with Campbell. There is considerable correspondence in Thomas’ magazines from various members of the Wilson family over the next several years.

Just as John Thomas had been re-baptised in 1847, Benjamin Wilson was rebaptised in 1851, marking off a new start from the Campbellites.

The first page of the Complutensian Polyglot

From 1855 to 1869 Benjamin Wilson published a monthly religious magazine, the Gospel Banner, which merged with John Thomas’s magazine, Herald of the Coming Kingdom.

In 1857 the autodidact Biblical scholar Benjamin Wilson presented a first section of a side-by-side two-language New Testament version like the New Testament in Greek and Latin, had been completed in 1514 with the Complutensian printed by Axnaldus Guilielmus de Brocario at the expense of Cardinal Ximenes at the university at Alcalá de Henares (Complutum) and the Antwerp Polyglot, printed by Christopher Plantin (1569-1572, in eight volumes folio). Polyglot means, literally poly or multi tongue or multi lingual, “through tongue” or “many / several languages” and is understood to signify “interlinear.”

In England there had also been a polyglot translation by Brian Walton who was aided by able scholars and used much new manuscript material (London, 1657). It included the Ethiopic Psalter, Canticle of Canticles, and New Testament, the Arabic New Testament, and the Gospels in Persian. His prolegomena and collections of various readings mark an important advance in biblical criticism.

It was in connection with this polyglot that Edmund Castell produced his famous Heptaglott Lexicon (two volumes folio, London, 1669), a monument of industry and erudition even when allowance is made for the fact that for the Arabic he had the great manuscript lexicon compiled and left to the University of Cambridge by William Bedwell. {Free Encyclopedia Wikipedia}

The Emphatic Diaglott.jpgThe Bible was also published in several languages by Elias Hutter (Nuremberg, 1599-1602), and by Christianus Reineccius (Leipsic, 1713-51). Ten years before the “Polyglot Bible in eight languages” (2 vols., London, 2nd ed. 1874) the Christadelphians produced the complete two-language Emphatic Diaglott translation, of the New Testament by Benjamin Wilson. For the Greek text he based it on the various Readings of the Vatican Manuscript, No. 1209; the text used by the German rationalist Protestant theologian Johann Jakob Griesbach, who was the earliest biblical critic to subject the Gospels to systematic literary analysis. In this translation the name of God is also restored, so that readers could clearly see about whom was spoke and who said something, the lord Jeshua (Jesus Christ) or the Lord of lords”Jehovah“.

In this Interlineary literal Word for Word English translation ‘Signs of Emphasis’ were given; whilst under each Greek word the English equivalent is printed. In the slim right-hand column of each page is presented a modern English translation as made by Benjamin Wilson. Also a copious selection of ‘References’; many appropriate, illustrative, and exegetical ‘Foot-notes’; and a valuable ‘Alphabetical Appendix’ are given. This combination of important items could not be found in any other book at that time.

Such literal translations made many bible Students to see much things more clearly. Also Charles T. Russell, learned that the inspired Greek Scriptures speak of the second “presence” of Christ, for the Diaglott translated the Greek word “parousía” correctly as “presence,” and not as “coming” like the King James Version Bible. Accordingly when C. T. Russell began publishing his new Bible magazine in July of 1879, he called it Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence.

The Christadelphians allowed also the Millenial Dawn Bible Students (later the Watchtower Society) to distribute Wilson’s work widely around the world from 1902. Also the Church of God of the Abrahamic Faith and the Church of the Blessed Hope which he founded are still part of the Christadelphian movement which still print this Bible translation.

Bible students form the Zion’s Watchtower suggested that,

Every student of God’s plan, as presented in the Tower, ought to have the aid which the Diaglott affords.

As such this translation became a useful attribute for the later standard Bible of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, The New World Translation.

In 2004, the Abrahamic Faith Beacon Publishing Society brought home The Emphatic Diaglott and re-published a new version of it, working in partnership with The Christadelphian Advancement Trust.

In the homeschooling opposite to traditional Christian schools it were mostly women who took up the job as teacher. Having only bibles in Old English they wanted books in a more contemporary language and put pressure on the existing clergy. From the congregations also came a louder cry to provide them with modern language bibles.

King James Version of the Bible

King James Version of the Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Answering that cry from the housewives and teachers in 1870 an invitation was extended to American religious leaders for scholars to work on the revision of the Authorized Version/King James Bible of 1611. In 1871, thirty scholars were chosen by Philip Schaff. The denominations represented on the American committee were the Baptist, Congregationalist, Dutch Reformed, Friends, Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Protestant Episcopal, and Unitarian.

In England also there was a request to have a revision and by the Convocation of Canterbury in 1870 two companies were formed, one each for the Old and New Testaments to revise the King James Version. Parallel companies in the United States received the work of the English scholars to return their comments. For those at work it was made clear only a revision and not a new translation was contemplated.

The New Testament was published in England on May 17, 1881, and three days later in the United States, after 11 years of labour. Over 30,000 changes were made, of which more than 5,000 represent differences in the Greek text from that used as the basis of the King James Version. Most of the others were made in the interests of consistency or modernization.

In the traditional churches there was not much interest in the Old Testament, this not fitting in with the accent of their teaching on Jesus, instead of God.

On certain points the English and Americans did not agree. At that time the Americans still gave in to the British revisers and published preferred readings and renderings in an appendix to the Revised Version. In 1900 the American edition of the New Testament, which incorporated the American scholars’ preferences into the body of the text, was produced. A year later the Old Testament was added, but not the Apocrypha. The alterations covered a large number of obsolete words and expressions and replaced Anglicisms by the diction then in vogue in the United States.

As shown above women and the general American public made use to talk about the Bible and to use it at home. The publishers could not ignore their wishes and provided them with some official version which could offer an alternative for the partly published Bible books and for the unofficial translations into modern speech made from 1885 which had gained popularity. Their appeal reinforced by the discovery that the Greek of the New Testament used the common non-literary variety of the language spoken throughout the Roman Empire when Christianity was in its formative stage.

The notion that a nonliterary modern rendering of the New Testament best expressed the form and spirit of the original was hard to refute. This, plus a new maturity of classical, Hebraic, and theological scholarship in the United States, led to a desire to produce a native American version of the English Bible. {Encyclopaedia Britannica}


Preceding articles:

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #1 Pre King James Bible

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #2 King James Bible versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #3 Women and versions

Next: Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #5 Further steps to women’s bibles


Additional reading

  1. Codex Sinaiticus available for perusal on the Web
  2. Bible Translating and Concordance Making
  3. Looking at notes of Samuel Ward and previous Bible translation efforts in English
  4. Written and translated by different men over thousands of years
  5. Rare original King James Bible discovered
  6. King James Bible Coming into being
  7. Celebrating the Bible in English
  8. TheBible4Life KJV Jubileum
  9. What English Bible do you use?
  10. The Most Reliable English Bible
  11. 2001 Translation an American English Bible
  12. NWT and what other scholars have to say to its critics
  13. New American Bible Revised Edition
  14. The NIV and the Name of God
  15. Archeological Findings the name of God YHWHUse of /Gebruik van Jehovah or/of Yahweh in Bible Translations/Bijbel vertalingen
  16. Dedication and Preaching Effort 400 years after the first King James Version
  17. Hebrew, Aramaic and Bibletranslation
  18. Some Restored Name Versions
  19. Anchor Yale Bible
  20. iPod & Android Bibles
  21. Missed opportunity for North Korea
  22. What are Brothers in Christ
  23. Wanting to know more about basic teachings of Christadelphianism
  24. Around C.T.Russell


Further reading

  1. Jennifer Strauss, ‘The Anabaptist Cages, Münster’
  2. The Bible: Kept Pure in All Ages
  3. Where was the Bible before 1611? How can we know God endorsed the KJV?
  4. AV1611: England’s Greatest Achievement
  5. Earliest Known Draft of 1611 King James Bible Is Found
  6. Ye King Iames Bible
  7. King James Version
  8. Thees, Thous, and Wot Nots
  9. The King James Bible
  10. The King James Bible and the Restoration
  11. King James Only? (Ethernal Christ)
  12. KJV Only? (Lynn Thaler)
  13. KJV Onlyism: What It Does And Doesn’t Mean
  14. King James XV
  15. Christian Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Bible
  16. What’s wrong with the New King James?
  17. Is it true no doctrines are changed in modern versions?
  18. The King James AV 1611 Bible vs. The New International Version
  19. I got saved reading the NIV. How can you say it’s no good?
  20. Why should God’s Word be restricted to English?
  21. The Attack on the Bible
  22. John 3:16 isn’t the gospel that saves men’s souls today
  23. New Age Deism
  24. New Age Deism: Part Two
  25. Inside Orthodox Judaism: A Critical Perspective On Its Theology
  26. Mailbox Monday August 29: on Katharina von Bora
  27. 11th April 1612. Dangerous Heresy.
  28. Book Review: The Reformers and Their Stepchildren by Leonard Verduin
  29. women.born.before | 05 feb 1760
  30. Settler Colonialism and the Freedom of Religion
  31. Searching for Religious Freedom
  32. Freedom From and For Religion
  33. This Week in History – Kicked to the Curb by a Pilgrim
  34. King Survey: Women and Other Puritans
  35. The Puritans: Church and State
  36. Midweek Blog: Anne Hutchinson, the “Unnatural Woman”
  37. Paddling the Hutch: Ned P. Rauch takes the plunge
  38. Great Information Wrapped Inside This Human Struggle
  39. The Puritan identification with the Bible
  40. Despite Roger Williams’ Efforts, Providence Burns in 1676
  41. Williams
  42. Roger Williams in Art
  43. Mass Moments: Roger Williams Banished
  44. Research Reading IV
  45. Research Reading V
  46. History Weekend: The Shakers, pt. 1
  47. Quakers
  48. Commonwealth – Part Two
  49. A Catalogue of Severall Sects & Opinions
  50. History of the Anabaptist Head Covering
  51. Faith in the Head Covering
  52. Persecuted in Revolutionary Baltimore: The Sufferings of Quakers
  53. Half an hour in James Watt’s Workshop
  54. The Advices & Queries project
  55. The Violent Seduction of Thomas Paine by Rocket Kirchner
  56. The Last Runaway Review
  57. Stantons in America
  58. Eber Sherman, ,7th Great-Grandfather
  59. Birmingham Quakers and the Spanish Civil War
  60. Hidden Nearby: Charles Grandison Finney’s Birthplace
  61. Free Charles Finney Book!
  62. The reward of fervent prayer, Charle G. Finney
  63. Midweek Blog: Charles Finney, Staring at You Until You Join His Revival
  64. “Could God Forgive A Man Like That?”
  65. Joseph Logan land, 127 acres, Ninety Six District, South Carolina, 1785
  66. Alexander Campbell & the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
  67. Restoration
  68. The Restoration Movement, Acapella & the Trinity
  69. The Future of the Restoration Movement, Part 2
  70. Charles Taze Russell – “Don’t read your Bible”
  71. Apocalyptic Forecasts
  72. Women’s History: Mary Jane Patterson
  73. Some Notes on Bible Translations
  74. What is Wrong with Evangelicals in America?
  75. For Us or Against Us: The Politics of the Christian Right & the Shutdown
  76. Icon: Tacy Cooper
  77. The Secret of Powerful Revivals Are the Intercessors Praying Behind the Scenes
  78. Les origines de nos traditions dans l’Eglise : Partie 1
  79. Edifying Christian Biographies That Will Bless Every True Christian!
  80. A Visit to Pembroke College
  81. Hospitality
  82. ‘Tis a Gift
  83. A weekend away
  84. Simple gifts
  85. Becoming Visible: Quaker Outreach at Colleges
  86. Turbulent Londoners: Ada Salter, 1866-1942
  87. A Spicy Letter to Preachers
  88. On Church Leadership (an email exchange with Sándor Abonyi of Hungary) – Pt.1: “The First Button”
  89. My way is the best
  90. ELCA Repudiates the Doctrine of Discovery, Next Up: Mennonite Church USA
  91. A glimpse of Missouri’s Amish
  92. Freedom of religion
  93. Book Review – Recovering the Margins of American Religious History: The Legacy of David Edwin Harrell, Jr. (Waldrop and Billingsley, eds.)
  94. Book Review: The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith (David Edwin Harrell, Jr.)
  95. Churches of Christ – The Road Ahead
  96. Some Notes on Bible Translations




Portrait of Catherine Aragon

Portrait of Catherine Aragon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the 16th century a Roman Catholic woman was making life very difficult for bible readers. The daughter of King Henry VIII and the Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon, born February 18, 1516, Greenwich, near London, got to be a pawn in England’s bitter rivalry with more powerful nations, being fruitlessly proposed in marriage to this or that potentate desired as an ally.

A studious and bright girl, named princess of Wales in 1525, Mary Tudor was educated by her mother and a governess of ducal rank. When her father did not get approval from Rome to divorce Catherine of Aragon, he left her in July 1531 to never see her again. In 1533 his marriage to Anne Boleyn took place and Cranmer declared Catherine’s marriage invalid. Catherine took refuge increasingly in her religion and her Spanish ladies-in-waiting.

Mary Tudor daughter of Kind Henry VIII. of Eng...

Mary Tudor daughter of Kind Henry VIII. of England and Katherine of Aragon, 16th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mary was allowed to see her mother only rarely, but all her sympathies were with her mother. When the Act of Uniformity of 1549 forbade the use of the mass, Mary continued to hear it and was warned. She replied that, in her conscience, ‘it is not worthy to have the name of law’.  She staged a brilliantly effective coup d’état based in East Anglia. She moved swiftly to restore not only traditional worship but also obedience to the pope (a much less popular cause), although legal problems delayed England’s reconciliation with Rome until November 1554. She also insisted on keeping the title of “kingdom” for the island of Ireland, which her father had unilaterally adopted in place of the former papal grant to English monarchs of “lordship” of Ireland.

Sample of Taverner’s Bible, Mark 1:1-5

In 1537 John Rodgers, working under the pseudonym “Thomas Matthew” for safety, produced a Bible translation on Tyndale’s previously published editions with the addition of his unpublished Old Testament material. The remainder used Coverdale’s translation. This Matthew’s Bible received the approval of Henry VIII. It got some minor revisions in 1539 published under the name Taverner’s Bible or The Most Sacred Bible, edited by Richard Taverner as a private venture of the two printers Grafton and Whitchurch, which was threatened by a rival edition published in 1539 in folio (Herbert #45) by “John Byddell for Thomas Barthlet” .

Geneva Bible 1560 edition

Old heresy laws were restored (1555) and now the Catholics persecuted the protestants fiercely. In those times education among women became fashionable, partly because of Catherine’s influence, and her donations of large sums of money to several colleges. This also made women to read the bible, which the then Mary I had forbidden. Therefore those who wanted to have the Word of God printed had to go to the continent to reproduce the Bible. Coverdale and John Knox (the Scottish Reformer) led a colony of Protestant exiles. Under the influence of John Calvin, they published the New Testament in 1557.

The 1st woman tempting Adam made that the 16th century men brought them to put on garments, printing that they “made themselves breeches”, which caused this bible translation also to be called the “Breeches Bible“. William Whittingham supervised the translation, now known as the Geneva Bible, which was written in collaboration with Miles/Myles Coverdale. Men did the smuggling over sea and the women took care that the holy book was well hidden in the house.

The study aids, and explanatory ‘tables’, i.e. indexes of names and topics, in addition to the extensive marginal notes made that lay people who could read were able to do bible studies at home. Good point of this translation was also that the translator showed the words they added to make the text readable. In Roman typeface verse divisions were used to facilitate quotation, whilst words not present in the original, yet required to complete the sense in English were printed in italics.

After the Geneva Bible could be imported without hindrance it still took until 1576 for an english printed edition.

That Geneva bible also founds its way to the New World were the women at home also could find an authoritative translation genuinely based on the Hebrew and Greek originals.

After that the authorized edition of the Bible in English, authorized by King Henry VIII of England the Great Bible was reinstated in the churches. It was called the Great Bible because of its large size, but is known also by several other names: the Cromwell Bible, since Thomas Cromwell directed its publication; Whitchurch’s Bible after its first English printer; the Chained Bible, since it was chained to prevent removal from the church. It has also been termed less accurately Cranmer’s Bible, since Thomas Cranmer was not responsible for the translation, but his preface first appeared in the second edition. This first Protestant archbishop of Canterbury (1533–56), adviser to the English kings Henry VIII and Edward VI, was denounced by the Catholic queen Mary I for promoting Protestantism and convicted of heresy to be burned at the stake.

Title page of the Great Bible (1539).

His action to put the English Bible in parish churches, drew up the Book of Common Prayer, which borrowed greatly from Martin Luther‘s Litany and Myles Coverdale‘s New Testament and composed a litany that remains and was taken up again. To avoid people stealing the bible it was chained to the church reading stand, hence it’s nickname Chained Bible.

In 1547 Cranmer was responsible for the publication of a Book of Homilies designed to meet the notorious grievance that the unreformed clergy did not preach enough and in which the reformed doctrines of the Church of England in greater depth and detail were presented than in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion. In it the exhortations direct people to read scripture daily and to lead a life of prayer and faith in Jesus Christ. Next to those exhortations can be found lengthy scholarly treatises intended to inform church leaders in theology, church history, the fall of the Byzantine Empire and the heresies of the Roman Catholic Church. Previously in sermons not so many references to holy scripture were given and in the Eucharist or Eucharistic Christian Liturgy of the Catholic church was not much place for bible readings. In the two books of homilies eye is also given to the texts of the Church Fathers and other primary sources. Women were not yet in the picture.

In a certain way women often arranged the household, the cooking but also the upbringing of the children, including bringing them some thoughts about God and God’s Law. In those families the Geneva Bible gained instantaneous and lasting popularity over against its rival, the Great Bible. Its technical innovations contributed not a little to its becoming for a long time the family Bible of England, which, next to Tyndale, exercised the greatest influence upon the King James Version.

Matthew Parker, undated engraving. (

Males having dominance, several bishops found that  the objectionable partisan flavour of the Geneva’s marginal annotations demanded a new revision. By about 1563–64 Archbishop Matthew Parker of Canterbury [ex chaplain to Anne Boleyn, master of Corpus Christi (1544), vice-chancellor (1545 and 1549), dean of Lincoln (1552)] had determined upon its execution and the work was apportioned among many scholars, most of them bishops, from which the popular name ‘Bishops’ Bible‘ (1568) was derived. Parker sustained a distinctly Anglican position between extreme Protestantism and Roman Catholicism and sought to find the proper doctrinal and historical basis for the Church of England, and to this end he accumulated a library with many Anglo-Saxon and medieval manuscripts (which can be seen in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge).

Though not formally dedicated to Queen Elizabeth, the Bishops’ Bible includes a portrait of the queen on its title page. The 1569 quarto edition shows Elizabeth accompanied by female personifications of Justice, Mercy, Fortitude, and Prudence.

The high-church party of the Church of England associated Calvinism with Presbyterianism, which sought to replace government of the church by bishops (Episcopalian) with government by lay elders. Wanting to go back more to the original Hebrew texts several bishops translated a book but no overseer took time to do some editing, making that the translation practice varies greatly from book to book and that in certain books the tetragrammaton יהוה YHWH is represented by “the LORD”, and the Hebrew “Elohim” is represented by “God”. But in the Psalms the practice is the opposite way around. The books that Parker himself worked on are fairly sparingly edited from the text of the Great Bible, while those undertaken by Edmund Grindal of London, whose Puritan sympathies brought him into serious conflict with Queen Elizabeth I, emerged much closer to the Geneva text. From him it was hoped that he might drive a wedge between the moderate Puritans and the new party of radical reform. Probably through the influence of Nicholas Ridley, who had been master of Pembroke Hall, Grindal was selected as one of the Protestant disputants during the visitation of 1549. He had a talent for this work and was often given similar tasks. {Wikipedia} He fell foul of Elizabeth in regard to “prophesyings,” or meetings of clergy for mutual edification and study, since he wished to regulate and continue them, whereas she wished to prevent their meeting.

Priest hole on second floor of Boscobel House, Shropshire

At the time of Queen Elizabeth I families wanting to bring up their children in the Catholic faith made it possible for priests to visit them in secret by hiring them in as so called childwatchers or au-pairs or as housekeeper, and by building a priest hole, little crevices or interstices, by false panelling, false fireplace or incorporated into water closets, in their house, so that the presence of a priest could be concealed when searches were made of the building. Jesuit lay brother Nicholas Owen spent much of his life building priest holes to protect the lives of persecuted priests. Women played a very important role in avoiding the “pursuivants” (priest-hunters) finding the hidden priests as well in hiding any book that could give an impression Catholic teaching was given in the house. Outdoors Catholic symbols where placed so that other Catholics could find meeting places. Women took on the role of hostess. They also could check the families of which their children came befriended with, to make sure the family could not become in danger of being exposed. for such things market and public places where good to hear all sorts of women-talk and gossip.

In 1572 the Bishops’ Bible was extensively revised and a more “ecclesiastical” language was chosen. The text was brought more into line with that found in the Geneva Bible; and in the Old Testament, the Psalms from the Great Bible were printed alongside those in the new translation, which had proved impossible to sing. From 1577 the new psalm translation was dropped altogether; while further incremental changes were made to the text of the New Testament in subsequent editions. The last edition of the complete Bible was issued in 1602, but the New Testament was reissued until at least 1617.
William Fulke published several parallel editions up to 1633 with the New Testament of the Bishops’ Bible alongside the Rheims New Testament, specifically to controvert the latter’s polemical annotations.

Also this Bible translation failed to displace the Geneva Bible as a domestic Bible to be read at home, but that was not its intended purpose. The intention was for it to be used in church as what would today be termed a “pulpit Bible”.

Douai bible – Old Testament (1609)

English Roman Catholic scholars connected with the University of Douai in what was then in the Spanish Netherlands but now part of France, worked from the Latin Vulgate to present the New Testament, printed in Rheims in 1582. A group of former Oxford men, among them the initiator William Cardinal Allen, and principal translator Gregory Martin, and Thomas Worthington, who provided the Old Testament in two volumes, in 1609 and 1610, just before the King James version. Gregory Martin his version, in Bishop Richard Challoner’s third revised edition (1752), was the standard Bible for English Roman Catholics until the 20th century, and his phraseology influenced the Anglican translators of the Authorized, or King James, Version (1611). Although retaining the title Douay–Rheims Bible, the revision undertaken by bishop Richard Challoner; the New Testament in three editions 1749, 1750, and 1752; the Old Testament (minus the Vulgate deuterocanonical), in 1750 Challoner revision was a new version, which was also looked at by the makers of the King James version, which saw the light in 1611.

Mary I got her nickname Bloody Mary for all the killings of protestants and Bible readers. The burnings discredited the church she loved, sowed a harvest of hatred, and dogged the catholic cause for centuries to come. Mary, against her wish and intentions, did more than anyone else to make England a protestant nation.

Having put an end to the printing of Bibles in England for several years 53 years after her death it was a bible translation which would be used by several denominations from the Protestant as well as the Catholic group.

That 1611 bible translation has had a profound impact not only on most English translations that have followed it, but also on English literature as a whole. The 47 translators used the widest range of source texts to create what was to become the “Authorized Version” in England and being the most widely used of the Early Modern English Bible translations. Its use has continued in some traditions up to the present.

Too many people who say the King James Bible is the only right bible translation all people should follow, do forget that there have been many reprints with lots of differences, not only of printing faults or mistakes but also with several changes of words and phrases.

Already in the first year there was a print mistake, creating a he and she bible. This came from the final clause of chapter 3, verse 15 of Ruth:

“and he went into the city.”

Both printings contained errors. Some errors in subsequent editions have become famous: The so-called Wicked Bible (1631) derives from the omission of “not” in chapter 20 verse 14 of Exodus,

“Thou shalt commit adultery,”

for which the printers were fined £300; the “Vinegar Bible” (1717) stems from a misprinting of “vineyard” in the heading of Luke, chapter 20.

Because of the translators lack of Hebrew language knowledge,  certain words where wrongly translated or wrongly presented as figures or persons instead of characteristics, which still up to today, has several people having the wrong idea or concepts of certain discussed points in the Bible (e.g. sheolhell, Satanadversary). Also for the New Testament or Greek Writings the great early Greek codices were not yet known or available, and Hellenistic papyri, which were to shed light on the common Greek dialect, had not yet been discovered.

Portions of Old Testament books of undisputed authority found among the Oxyrhynchus Papyri: Amos 2 – Oxy 846 – University of Pennsylvania; E 3074

The Greek Magical Papyri (Latin Papyri Graecae Magicae, abbreviated PGM), dated from the 2nd century BCE to the 5th century CE were only discovered in the 18th century and later. (The collected texts were published for the first time in two volumes in 1928 and 1931.) It also was only in the late 19th and early 20th century that archaeologists like Bernard Pyne Grenfell and Arthur Surridge Hunt found the Oxyrhynchus manuscripts in Egypt, so that thousands of Greek and Latin documents, letters and literary works could seriously be researched.

Late Second Temple Period and after Late Antiquity texts including Aramaic, as in Bodleian Heb.d83, Greek, as a subset of the Greek Magical Papyri catalogued by Karl Preisendanz and others were discovered primarily during the heyday of Near Eastern archaeology in the late 19th Century, and subsequent interpretation and cataloguing, primarily took place during the early 20th Century.

In 1769 the authorised King James Version was again revised, but still not with enough knowledge of the original Scriptures, and adapted to the standards of the mid-18th Century by Hebraist and fellow and vice-principal of Hertford College Benjamin Blayney for the Oxford University Press. Most of those prints were destroyed by fire in the Bible warehouse, Paternoster Row, London. This version became the base for the newer versions. In 1885 a Revised Version was made which became the predecessor of a rival for the old King James Version, the Revised Standard Version of 1952 (New Testament in 1948)

In the 18th and 19th century more scholars and bible students started looking at what archaeologists had found and listened also to language scholars who knew much more about Hebrew and Old Greek than those of the 16th and 17th century England.

With the discovery of more ancient sources, Modern English Bible translations have proliferated in the Modern English age to a degree never seen before.


Preceding articles:

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #1 Pre King James Bible

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #2 King James Bible versions

Next: Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #4 Steps to the Women’s Bibles


Additional reading

  1. Codex Sinaiticus available for perusal on the Web
  2. Rare original King James Bible discovered
  3. King James Bible Coming into being
  4. Looking at notes of Samuel Ward and previous Bible translation efforts in English
  5. Celebrating the Bible in English
  6. TheBible4Life KJV Jubileum
  7. What English Bible do you use?
  8. The Most Reliable English Bible
  9. 2001 Translation an American English Bible
  10. NWT and what other scholars have to say to its critics
  11. New American Bible Revised Edition
  12. The NIV and the Name of God
  13. Archeological Findings the name of God YHWHUse of /Gebruik van Jehovah or/of Yahweh in Bible Translations/Bijbel vertalingen
  14. Dedication and Preaching Effort 400 years after the first King James Version
  15. Hebrew, Aramaic and Bibletranslation
  16. Some Restored Name Versions
  17. Anchor Yale Bible
  18. iPod & Android Bibles


Further reading

  1. The Tudor State
  2. A Princess is Born
  3. Anne Boleyn – Part I
  4. Anne Boleyn – Part II
  5. A Palace Fit For A Prince
  6. “Elizabeth I” by Margaret George
  7. September 1, 1532 – Anne Boleyn Created Marquess of Pembroke
  8. Henry & Anne – Devoted Lovers
  9. Anne Boleyn & The King’s Proposal
  10. Anne Boleyn, Hunter or Hunted?
  11. Anne Boleyn Speaks
  12. Wife, Spinster or Nun…?
  13. The Most Happy 👑 Anne & I – Part 2
  14. Lady Anne Will Be My Queen
  15. The Execution Of Anne Boleyn 1536
  16. Back to the Boleyns 
  17. A Thought For The Wives
  18. The Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula
  19. Short Documentary: The Top 15 Most Evil Women in History
  20. Tudors: The History of England from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I by Peter Ackroyd
  21. A new perspective: ‘She-Wolves’ Lady Jane Grey, Mary I and Elizabeth I
  22. Edward VI and Mary I
  23. The ‘Silent’ Tudor
  24. The Tragic Life of ‘Bloody’ Mary Tudor
  25. ‘Bloody Mary’ or just Mary I? | W.U Hstry
  26. The Myth of Bloody Mary
  27. Happy 500th Birthday Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary, Bloodied Mary, Muddy Mary.
  28. The Queen’s Fool by Phillipa Gregory 
  29. I sentence you to death by acquittal?
  30. 14th November 1501: Prince Arthur Tudor marries Katherine of Aragon.
  31. On this day in 1518 – Princess Mary and the Dauphin of France were betrothed
  32. November 26, 1533 – Henry FitzRoy Marries Mary Howard
  33. On this day in 1553 – Queen Mary I was coronated
  34. May 25, 1553 – A Triple Wedding
  35. February 1, 1554 – Mary I Speech at Guildhall Opposing Wyatt’s Rebellion
  36. On this day in 1555 – Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer stood trial
  37. February 28, 1556 – Burial of Stephen Gardiner at Winchester Cathedral
  38. November 17, 1558 – Death of Mary I
  39. They died on the same day …
  40. 29th April 1559. Elizabethan Settlement.
  41. On this day in 1571 – Bishop John Jewel died
  42. Three Lives of Hampton Court
  43. On Pictures in Books
  44. Of well-connected Archbishops
  45. The Nine Days of the Nine Day Queen
  46. Discussion Questions – ‘The Queen’s Fool’ by Philippa Gregory
  47. July 6, 1553: Edward VI Dies, Northumberland Tries to Implement His ‘Device for the Succession’
  48. The Ability to Love God is a Gift of God – The Collect of Thomas Cranmer for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
  49. A Colchester mystery
  50. How did people hide and share their religion in the Tudor times?
  51. Introduction to “Show me your glory” and a one year Bible reading plan
  52. There was a Word
  53. What is YHWH? What is the tetragrammaton?
  54. The Seal of Solomon’s Tetragrammaton
  55. The Seal of Solomon and the Four-Lettered Name of God
  56. Tetragrammaton Meditation
  57. The Name of Yehovah
  58. Trinity or Tetragrammaton?
  59. The Lord, the Lord …translating the tetragrammaton
  60. God’s name and Hovah-logic 2 (by Nehemia Gordon)
  61. 13th November 1539. Power Yoked with Religion.
  62. The Breeches Bible
  63. The Psalms by Loutherbourg
  64. Tyndale Executed for Heresy on This Date
  65. Scholar finds earliest known draft of King James Bible wrapped in a stained piece of waste vellum
  66. Oldest King James Bible Draft Discovered
  67. Earliest Known Draft of 1611 King James Bible Is Found
  68. First edition of King James Bible from 1611 found in church cupboard
  69. Sneak Preview: Blessed Are the Phrasemakers…
  70. Ye King Iames Bible
  71. AV1611: England’s Greatest Achievement
  72. 1617 King James Bible
  73. The King James Bible 1
  74. The King James Bible 2
  75. The King James Bible and the Restoration
  76. The Wicked Bible
  77. Why King James Bible?
  78. The King James Bible is the Truth!
  79. King James Only?
  80. Drafting the King James Bible
  81. The King James Removed Verses?
  82. Handwritten King James Bible Proves the Bible Not Inspired
  83. Handwritten Draft Of King James Bible Discovered: Reveals No ‘Divine Powers’
  84. Did Shakespeare Write Psalm 46 in the King James Bible?
  85. The King James Bible vs. Shakespeare
  86. The Indestructible Book: King James Bible 1611
  87. #Scripture #Only #KJV #Protestant #Meme
  88. Thees, Thous, and Wot Nots
  89. Everyday Phrases We Use That Came From The King James Bible
  90. Which is the best English Bible?
  91. I am King James Bible Only
  92. Does The King James Bible Reveal The Identity Of The Antichrist?
  93. Christopher Hill’s Bible (Part 4): The Radical English Bible
  94. About Bible Translations
  95. Many Modern Translations of the Bible are challenging the Deity of Christ!
  96. The King James Bible with Alexander Scourby
  97. The King James AV 1611 Bible vs the New International Version
  98. Wherefore pleaseth archaic English?
  99. Greek Bibles Are Not The Standard
  100. Who Still gets the Print Newspaper… and Reads it?
  101. Putting Words in My Mouth: Review of The Cultural Legacy of the King James Bible at Durham Book Festival
  102. Our Whole Heart: Language and the Book of Common Prayer
  103. Evening Prayer 27.7.16, William Reed Huntington, Liturgist & Ecumenist, 1909
  104. The Ability to Love God is a Gift of God – The Collect of Thomas Cranmer for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
  105. The Invitation to Table Fellowship
  106. A collect for our times
  107. The School for Prayer
  108. From the Pulpit (or centre aisle!) 03-01-16
  109. New Age Deism: Part Two
  110. The Bible: Kept Pure in All Ages
  111. How Hollywood Copies the Bible
  112. 10 Misinterpreted Phrases We Use Incorrectly On A Daily Basis
  113. Five Eternal Truths
  114. #Ecumenism is #Hypocresy and a #Demonic teaching.
  115. #Ecumenism:>  #Spiritual #Whoredom (Documentary) – YouTube
  116. An Insurance Policy with God
  117. Do Not Fear
  118. Isaiah 41:10
  119. Homosexuality: A Biblical Refutation (Queen James Bible Debunked)
  120. #Vatican #Catholic #Hypocrisy #Arrogance and #False #Teaching : #Threatened with #Hell if I don’t become a Catholic. · The #Catholic so called church · Disqus
  121. Bible Bashing
  122. A General Introduction
  123. The New Testament in the Book of Mormon: A Primer
  124. The Passion for Learning In the Church of Christ
  125. Textual Criticism Pt. 1
  126. Textual Criticism 3
  127. What is the difference between Hell and the Lake of Fire?
  128. A Biblical Examination of Hell
  129. Don’t go to hell!!
  130. The Attack on the Bible
  131. Christian Traveling Men
  132. Do Not trust in man!!
  133. My Love/Hate Relationship
  134. On my Bookshelf
  135. The Effectual Bible Student #12
  136. Issues in Christianity Today #9
  137. Imagine Being this Astonished Professor
  138. A Burning Heart
  139. God bless you and keep you
  140. Be Doers of the Word


Sample of Taverner's Bible, Mark 1:1-5

Sample of Taverner’s Bible, Mark 1:1-5 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




Nederlands: bijbeluitgave 1611

Bijbeluitgave 1611 Bible edition of 1611 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In English speaking parts of the world we can find certain people who swear by the King James Bible also called Authorized Version or King James Version, which was published in 1611 under the auspices of King James I of England.  They say it is the only Bible we should use and they often asperse other Bible translations. Strangely enough when we look at what Bible version they use, we notice that they do not use the original King James Bible or Authorized King James Version, but have taken themselves one of the many King James bible (KJB) versions (KJV) and as such, often also could have used an other up to date English Bible translation.

Also telling people that they only should be allowed to use the King James Bible is giving the same indication as some Islamic teachers do, telling their folks they only may use the Quran in Arabic, as if God would only have given His word to the world in Arabic or in English, so that people who speak an other language would not be able to come to God or to understand God.

Verses from the Vetus Latina Gospel of John (16:23–30) as they appear on a page of the Codex Vercellensis.

After the Book of books in Hebrew we got an international translation of Gods Word with the Septuagint,(receiving the symbol LXX) the oldest extant Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible made by Hellenistic Jews, possibly from Alexandria, c.250 BCE Legend, according to the fictional letter of Aristeas, records that it was done in 72 days by 72 translators for Ptolemy Philadelphus, which accounts for the name. Later we got Latin versions (Vetus Latina; Vulgate) whilst the Greek form was improved and altered to include the books of the Apocrypha and some of the pseudepigrapha, spurious or pseudonymous Jewish writings ascribed to various biblical patriarchs and prophets composed between c.200 BCE and c.a. 200 CE. In a way there was not really one single Latin Bible, because different versions appeared from 350 CE to 1400 CE, with a collection of biblical manuscript texts that bear witness to Latin translations of biblical passages that preceded Jerome’s.

The language of the Old Latin translations is uneven in quality, as Augustine of Hippo lamented in De Doctrina Christiana (2, 16). Grammatical solecisms abound; some reproduce literally Greek or Hebrew idioms as they appear in the Septuagint. Likewise, the various Old Latin translations reflect the various versions of the Septuagint circulating, with the African manuscripts (such as the Codex Bobiensis) preserving readings of the Western text-type, while readings in the European manuscripts are closer to the Byzantine text-type. Many grammatical idiosyncrasies come from the use of Vulgar Latin grammatical forms in the text. {The Free Encyclopedia Wikipedia on Vetus Latina, edition 2016}

In the Septuagint we can find older versions of parts of the Hebrew Scriptures, some going back long before the canon of the Hebrew Bible was settled. We also can find Egyptian writings which predate the Catholic bible translations in Latin. It were diaspora Jews who continually worked on putting the old set apart writings (holy scriptures) together. Some communities had other writings included in their yearly readings, whilst others took other standard texts often in different order or arrangement than our common contemporary bibles, though even today Catholic, Protestant, Ethiopian Orthodox, Russian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Bibles use a different order of books and may consider some as canonical, whilst other treat them as apocryphal.

In Great Britain’s 16° century the most popular English translation was the Geneva Bible (1557; first published in England in 1576), which had been made in Geneva by English Protestants living in exile during Mary I (1553–58) her persecutions. She had attempted to restore Roman Catholicism in the country. That translation was never authorized by the crown, but was particularly popular among the religious reform movement of the Puritans which surged across Europe, though not among many more-conservative clergymen.

In the seventeenth century the translators, gathered in name of the English sovereign, were very well aware that the Word of God was delivered to the world in the language of the chosen people of God, Hebrew and in the language of Jeshua, the Messiah (Jesus Christ), Aramaic as well as in the business or commercial language of the time of the master teacher, Greek. They thought it well to translate those languages so that the English people could have the Bible in their own language and did not have to go for the Latin translations.

English: Titlepage and dedication from a 1612-...

Titlepage and dedication from a 1612-1613 King James Bible, printed by Robert Barker. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By June 30, 1604, King James I had approved a list of 54 revisers, although extant records show that 47 scholars actually participated. They were organized into six companies, two each working separately at Westminster, Oxford, and Cambridge on sections of the Bible assigned to them.
In addition to the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, the 6 committees that worked on the King James Bible Version (2 in Cambridge, 2 in Oxford, and 2 at Westminster) used other translations, both those in English that had gone before them, as well as translations in other languages. Richard Bancroft (1544–1610), archbishop of Canterbury, served as overseer and established doctrinal conventions for the translators. They used translations of the Bible to consider how best to interpret and render the original languages in the English of the early 17th Century. They were fully aware of the rich value of other translations which saw the light in the earlier times and believed it was God’s Power which took care that the Word of God could reach them so far away from the Holy Land. For having the availability of this Word of God in other languages as well as in other English translations the committee expressed thanks to God for those other translations which were for them a valuable resource in their work.

They themselves regarded what they were doing and how they did it as part of a world effort to get God’s Word into the language of the ordinary folks. They were humble enough to know that there were other versions in Europe which also had to offer the Truth to the world. They also knew they could make faults and that those had to be corrected in later times, which also happened. The King James Version (KJV) came later to be  corrected and improved.

ASV Star Bible.jpgIn Europe there are not many people having a bible, but in the United States of America is seems that there are still 88% of Americans who own a Bible translation in their own language. When those Northern Americans reach for their Bibles, more than half of them are still reaching for the King James Version (KJV).

New American Standard Bible cover.jpg Since a few years next to the American Bible Translation the New International Version (NIV) saw the light and came to gain in popularity over the American Standard Version (ASV) and New American Standard Bible (NASB) and the Catholic New American Bible (NAB) and the lesser used protestant and Catholic Revised Standard Version (RSV). Although the NIV tops Bible sales each year (KJV and NKJV are number 2 & 3), only 19% of Americans own that modern translation, and other modern translations take much smaller slices of the Bible sales pie.

Different English Bible translations

English Bible translations

In the United States like in Great Britain you can find churches who believe that the King James Version is the only translation that faithfully embodies the Word of God. For them all other translations are to be rejected out of hand. Such churches hold this faulty position based on a misunderstanding of the ancient manuscripts behind the Bible.

The KJV translators, speaking of other translators, write in their Preface,

“Therefore blessed be they, and most honoured be their name, that breake the ice, and glueth onset upon that which helpeth forward to the saving of soules. Now what can bee more availeable thereto, then to deliver Gods booke unto Gods people in a tongue which they understand?”

They continue later in the Preface,

“Truly (good Christian Reader) wee never thought from the beginning, that we should neede to make a new Translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one, . . . but to make a good one better, or out of many good ones, one principall good one, . . . .”

This indicates that they themselves had also already found some other good translations, but wanted to make such good translations even better, or more useful for the goal they had in mind, bringing unity in the diverse world of different sorts of preachers who walked around in those days.

(KJV) 1631 Holy Bible, Robert Barker/John Bill...

(KJV) 1631 Holy Bible, Robert Barker/John Bill, London. King James Version (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They also considered themselves as instruments of God doing something in the time of theirs, which was in the given time of God, but knew that there would also come other times and that the world would develop and as such language also could develop. this is also what happened the language developed and we do not speak any more as in the 17° century.

As such the wording from the original King James Version would not be the ideal tool to reach people today.

According to the original King James Version

2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV-1611

(16)  All Scripture is giuen by inspiration of God, & is profitable for doctrine, for reproofe, for correction, for instrution in righteousnesse,  (17)  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished vnto all good workes.

which became in the 1769 version and 1769 Red Letter Version

2 Timothy 3:16-17 AV + AVRLE

“16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

which became in the 1885 version

2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV 1885; English Revised Version

“16 Every scripture inspired of God [is] also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness: 17 that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.”

Which today sounds already nicer or easier to read in later versions like

2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV which can also be found in the Public Cambridge Edition and Oxford edition as well as the KJVCNT; the KJV 2000 version

(16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  (17)  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

But see the small difference between

2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV-BRG

(16)  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  (17)  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

with in some KJV the “is” being omitted

Also look at a more modern version of the KJV, were even other words are used

2 Timothy 3:16-17 MKJV

(16)  All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,  (17)  that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work.

which was presented in the 21st Century version

2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV

“16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for all good works.”

and in the Proper Name or the restored versions looks like

2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJBPNV

“16 All scripture \@is\@ given by inspiration of God, and \@is\@ profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.”

In the Twenty-eleven King James Version got printed as

2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV_2011

“16 All scripture is inspired by God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Which is translated in the New American Standard Bible

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NAS of 1977

“16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NAS of 1995

“16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

And in the contemporary translation from 1984 so many reject the New International Version presents

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV

“16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

In these two verses you might not see so much difference, though many make such a fuss about them, but when we look in the Old Testament, more variation is offered by the different KJV editions throughout the years. In later versions the name of God יהוה, YHWH (Iowah, Iovhah, Iova, Yehowah/Jehowah/Jehovah) was changed to “Yahweh” or “Jahweh” and worst of all got also changed to “Lordy”, “Lord of Lords”, “Lord of lords”, “Host of hosts”, “GOD”, “God” or “LORD” or to a more confusing “Lord”, so that lots of people could not see any more if was spoken about the DivineHost of hosts“, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, or about God His son, Jeshua, the sent one from God, Christ Jesus, which much better the trinitarian teaching of several churches in Christendom.


Preceding: Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #1 Pre King James Bible

Continues: Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #3 Women and versions


Additional reading:

  1. The Bible a book of books
  2. Book of books and great masterpiece
  3. Authority of the Bible
  4. Ketuvim, Writings, Hagiographa, Five Megillot and Messianic Scriptures
  5. Are there certain books essential to come to faith
  6. King James Bible Coming into being
  7. Dedication and Preaching Effort 400 years after the first King James Version
  8. Rare original King James Bible discovered
  9. Celebrating the Bible in English
  10. TheBible4Life KJV Jubileum
  11. Appointed to be read
  12. The NIV and the Name of God
  13. Lord in place of the divine name
  14. Archeological Findings the name of God YHWHUse of /Gebruik van Jehovah or/of Yahweh in Bible Translations/Bijbel vertalingen
  15. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  16. Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers
  17. Hebrew, Aramaic and Bibletranslation
  18. Bible Translating and Concordance Making
  19. Comparisson Bible Books in English, Dutch and French
  20. Some Restored Name Versions
  21. Codex Sinaiticus available for perusal on the Web
  22. What English Bible do you use?
  23. The Most Reliable English Bible
  24. 2001 Translation an American English Bible
  25. NWT and what other scholars have to say to its critics
  26. New American Bible Revised Edition
  27. The NIV and the Name of God
  28. Anchor Yale Bible
  29. iPod & Android Bibles
  30. Perspectives on the Formation of the Book of the Twelve
  31. Scripture alone Sola Scriptora
  32. Who Gets to Say What the Bible Says?
  33. Forbidden fruit
  34. Obstacles to effective evangelism


Further reading

  1. Of Gods and Languages: On “When God Spoke Greek”
  2. Why Is God’s Name Missing From Many Bibles ?
  3. Names of God in Judaism: EMET excerpt selected by אלוה אל
  4. ΠΙΠΙ and the Use of Hebrew in Greek Manuscripts
  5. The Divine Name and Greek Translation
  6. I AM…………………….The name of God and endless potential.
  7. How Factual is the Bible?
  8. Books every Jew(-to-be) should have
  9. Amazing Tanakh, Or Five Reasons I Learned to Love the Old Testament
  10. Newly Discovered Egyptian Scrolls Reveal Pyramids were Built with Retarded Slaves
  11. New Technology Could Reveal Secrets in 2,000 Year Old Scrolls
  12. A short Popular Survey of the Old Testament
  13. Wisdom or Heresy?
  14. Catholic Myths about the Deuterocanon
  15. Views on canonicity
  16. Marginalia #6: “Apocrypha”
  17. Old Testament Pseudepigrapha
  18. AHOTKJBP Episode 14: The Apocrypha: A discussion with Dr. Mike Spaulding
  19. Apocryphal musings: Sirach 34:1-7
  20. His Accustomed Place: Inspiration from Tobit and the Walls of Nineveh
  21. Common Awards Student Conference 2016. Part 3: More Jesus or Another Jesus? A New New Testament
  22. First issue of Gnosis: Journal for Gnostic Studies Published
  23. The Vossen Collection of Coptic Manuscripts
  24. Special issue of BSOR on the Discovery of the Nag Hammadi Codices
  25. Ancient and modern Christian apocrypha: The Gospels of Judas, Mary, Thomas, Peter and Phillip etc. and The Kolbrin Bible, The Gospel of The Essenes and The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ etc.:
  26. The Gnostic Genesis: Norea and Samael
  27. The Gnostic Genesis: Eleleth’s Revelation
  28. The Gnostic Genesis: Eleleth’s Prophecy
  29. The Apocryphon of Ezekiel, Fragments 2-5
  30. The Treatise of Shem
  31. Roman Emperors – Sibylline Oracles, Book 12
  32. Christian or Gnostic? – Sibylline Oracles, Book 7
  33. The Breeches Bible
  34. Christian Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Bible
  35. Muslim Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Qu’ran
  36. The Expert Idiocracy is as Dangerous as Islam ⋆ The Constitution
  37. Some Notes on Bible Translations
  38. August 25, 2016 Resources: Suicide of the Republic; How We Got Our Bible; Sound Preaching
  39. KJV Only
  40. KJV Only?
  41. Wisdom from The Holy Scriptures
  42. The King James Bible and the Restoration
  43. The Septuagint: The KJV of the Ancient World
  44. How the King James Bible absolutely disproves the perpetual virginity of Mary
  45. 7 Bible Translations You Should Look At Regularly
  46. Try It, Then Critique
  47. Faith Exercises
  48. Deuteronomy 22:5 In 20 Popular translation
  49. Security Of The Believer
  50. No Other Gods: Walter Kirn’s “My Mother’s Bible”
  51. Julius Africanus: One Interesting Fellow!
  52. KJV Lecture Published
  53. New Cambridge History of the Bible
  54. KJV App
  55. NIV 50th Anniversary and Translation Strategy
  56. The Early Church Bookshelf
  57. Qumran Pt 1: What are the Dead Sea Scrolls?
  58. A Biblical Theology of OT Holy War, Pt 3: Seed Conflict
  59. A Clash of Monotheisms: Tawhid vs. Trinity, Pt 1
  60. A Clash of Monotheisms, Pt 2: Dhat and Pluralness in Person
  61. Researching outside of the bible
  62. Will God’s people be stumbled by the name of Jehoshua?
  63. Christ never heard himself called “Jesus”


The Greek translation of the Old Testament made it accessible in the Hellenistic period (c. 300 bcec. 300 ce) and provided a language for the New Testament and for the Christian liturgy and theology of the first three centuries. The Bible in Latin shaped the thought and life of Western people for a thousand years. People had no bible in their own vernacular.

Throughout history vocally people recounted the Hebrew myths of creation which have superseded the racial mythologies of Latin, Germanic, Slavonic, and all other Western peoples.

Here and there scribes wrote notes in their own language or provided a word for word translation between the lines of the Latin text.

Liber Generationis, the opening page of the Gospel of St. Matthew in the Lindisfarne Gospels, (Photo credit: British Library)

Already in the 10th century an Old English translation of the Gospels was made in the Lindisfarne Gospels, a manuscript illuminated in the late 7th or 8th century in the Hiberno-Saxon style with a word-for-word gloss inserted between the lines of the Latin text by the scrybe Aldred, Provost of Chester-le-Street. The book was probably made for Eadfrith, the bishop of Lindisfarne from 698 to 721. Attributed to the Northumbrian school, the Lindisfarne Gospels show the fusion of Irish, classical, and Byzantine elements of manuscript illumination and may be considered to be the oldest extant translation of the Gospels into the English language.

The Tower of Babel, from an illustrated manuscript (11th century) containing some Latin excerpts from the Hexateuch. Ælfric was responsible for the preface to Genesis as well as some of its translations. Another copy of the text, without lavish illustrations but including a translation of the Book of Judges, is found in Oxford, Bodleian Library, Laud Misc. 509.

Produced in approximately 990 the Wessex Gospels (also known as the West-Saxon Gospels) are a full translation of the four gospels into a West Saxon dialect of Old English. In 1842 still copies were printed by Richard & John Taylor as the Da Halgan Godspel on Englisc – the Anglo Saxon Version of the Holy gospels. The Cambridge University press brought a version with the Latin text and Lindisfarne Gospels included in 1871-1879.

The Anglo-Saxon prose writer, considered the greatest of his time, Benedictine Abbot Ælfric translated much of the Old Testament into Old English. He was the author of a Latin grammar, hence his nickname Grammaticus, he also wrote Lives of the Saints, Heptateuch (a vernacular language version of the first seven books of the Bible), as well as letters and various treatises.

The book of Genesis up to the story of Abraham and Isaac, along with selections from other books of the first six books of the Hebrew Bible, the Hexateuch, under the directon of Æthelweard were translated in the 11th century, by Ælfric into the vernacular, that is, into Old English.

A page from the Ormulum demonstrating the editing performed over time by Orm (Parkes 1983, pp. 115–16), as well as the insertions of new readings by “Hand B”.

Like its Old English precursor from Ælfric, and Abbot of Eynsham a version in Middle English was reproduced in the 12th century by an Augustinian monk named Orm (or Ormin) at the behest of his brother Brother Walter. It consisted of just under 19,000 lines of early Middle English verse. ‘The Ormulum or Orrmulum)
The motivation was to provide an accessible English text for the benefit of the less educated, which might include some clergy who found it difficult to understand the Latin of the Vulgate, and the parishioners who in most cases would not understand spoken Latin at all (Treharne 2000, p. 273).

We do know that mostly the pastors also gave themselves a paraphrased Gospel reading before going over to their exhortation, because the laity did not understand Latin and there had to be some relation of the sermon to the ‘bible reading’.

At the end of the 13th century a Psalter saw the light in English, which would be a base for Wycliffe version of the English Bible. The theological scholar and advocate of the English reform movement within the Roman Church, Nicholas Of Hereford, who later recanted his unorthodox views and participated in the repression of other reformers, became influenced by Wycliffe, founder of an evangelical Christian group called Lollards. He was entrusted to make a translation of the Old Testament, of which the the major part was completed before a synod in London and his subsequent departure for Rome in 1382.

Long thought to be the work of Wycliffe himself, the Wycliffite translations are now generally believed to be the work of several hands. Nicholas of Hereford is known to have translated a part of the text; John Purvey and perhaps John Trevisa are names that have been mentioned as possible authors.

When the first complete translation of the Bible into English emerged, it became the object of violent controversy because it was inspired by the heretical teachings of John Wycliffe. Intended for the common man, it became the instrument of opposition to ecclesiastical authority.

Archbishop Arundel (1353–1414) initiated against the Lollards (followers of John Wycliffe) a campaign that resulted in the burning of several of them. He summoned a synod of clergy to Oxford in 1408 a synod of clergy summoned to Oxford for discussion of the forbidding of the translation and use of Scripture in the vernacular. The proscription was rigorously enforced, but remained ineffectual.


John Oldcastle being burnt for insurrection and Lollard heresy.

The distinguished soldier and martyred leader of the LollardsJohn Oldcastle who gained the friendship of King Henry IV’s son Henry, prince of Wales, was in 1413 indicted by a convocation, presided over by Archbishop Thomas Arundel of Canterbury, for maintaining both Lollard preachers and their opinions. Though he had served as a justice of the peace, and was High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1406–07 and even had an amicable relationship with the prince of Wales, now Henry V, who regarded Sir John as “one of his most trustworthy soldiers”, which earned him special consideration, he failed to honour the king’s appeals to submit and was brought to trial the same year. Oldcastle declared his readiness to submit to the king “all his fortune in this world” but was firm in his religious beliefs and was hanged over a fire that consumed the gallows, on December 14.

In the course of the 15th century the Wycliffite Bible or Wycliffe’s Bible, which had appeared over a period from approximately 1382 to 1395, achieved wide popularity as is evidenced by the nearly 200 manuscripts extant, most of them copied between 1420 and 1450. The first versions where still following the word order in the Latin text which made them difficult to read. Later versions made more concessions to the native grammar of English so that it was easier for laypersons to comprehend.

In 1526 Peter Schoeffer, who had entered the printing business as the partner of Gutenberg’s creditor, Johann Fust, whose daughter he later married, in the German city of Worms came to print the work of an educated english man from Oxford and Cambridge, who was an impressive scholar, fluent in eight languages, and was ordained as a Christian priest in around 1521. That English scholar, William Tyndale, had previously translated a tract by the humanist who was the greatest scholar of the northern Renaissance Desiderius Erasmus, from Rotterdam, whose writings argued for personal faith: a direct relationship between the individual and God, not one mediated and controlled by the Church hierarchy. Erasmus helped lay the groundwork for the historical-critical study of the past, especially in his studies of the Greek New Testament and the Church Fathers. He was the the first editor of the New Testament, and also an important figure in patristics and classical literature.

For William Tyndale it had become clear that people had more to listen to God His Word than to the words of a church-organisation which was telling people things which were not according to the Words of God. Naturally it was very easy for a church to tell people anything that supposedly would be written in the bible, though they knew it was no Biblical teaching, but by presenting it as such, they could keep the people in control and in their hand.

Four centuries later still many preachers just take verses out of contexts and keep repeating them at the service without ever reading the whole chapter or at least the paragraph, where more clarity could be found. In this way still many churches proclaim un-biblical teachings though people are often not aware of it and continue to stay in that denomination often giving it enough money, being asked to do so by their pastors, not to come into hell (for them a place for eternal torture) .

At the time of Tyndale Christians continued to be governed from Rome by the Pope offering church services in Latin throughout the Christian world, and translation of the Latin Bible into the vernacular, in other words the local language anyone could understand, was actively discouraged and even worse in many countries forbidden.

In England under the 1408 Constitutions of Oxford, it was strictly forbidden to translate the Bible into the native tongue, so that those governing could be sure no uneducated people could come to see what was really written in the bible.

Cardinal Wolsey, Lord Chancellor and Sir Thomas More vigorously enforced this ban in an attempt to prevent the rise of English ‘Lutheranism’.

The only authorised version of the Bible was St Jerome’s Latin translation, known as the ‘Vulgate’, made in the fourth century and understood only by highly-educated people.

Aided by money from Sir Humphrey and others, Tyndale in May 1524, set sail for Germany where he hoped his secret work could be continued in greater safety. There he could work without fear basing his translation on a New Testament in Greek that had recently been complied by Erasmus from several manuscripts older and more authoritative than the Latin Vulgate. By re-translating into English a closer version to the original texts could be created for the English speaking community.

Printing began in Cologne in the summer of 1525, but word of the project soon reached the Dean of Frankfurt. He not only arranged a ban on printing in Cologne but also alerted Cardinal Wolsey to Tyndale’s activities. Tyndale fled with his assistant, William Roy, to Worms, where a pocket-sized edition was the first of two to be completed. By April 1526, Tyndale’s New Testament, pronounced heretical in England, so his Bibles were smuggled into the country in bales of cloth, to being read behind closed doors in England.

Though it did not include all of the books we enjoy today his version was used later on as a base for the versions the Church of England used.

The Bible, translated by William Tyndale and Myles Coverdale, 1535 edition.

In 1529 the Yorkshireman and Augustinian friar who was ordained a priest (1514) at Norwich and later became bishop of Exeter, Myles Coverdale, helped William Tyndale translate the Pentateuch in Hamburg and then apparently settled in Antwerp, where he translated the Bible. It was there that he in 1535 compiled and published the first complete (Old Testament and New Testament) Modern English translation of the Bible (cf. Wycliffe’s Bible in manuscript) printed by Merten de Keyser (Martin Lempereur) who also had who printed the first complete French Bible translation, in Antwerp. This Coverdale Bible, although allowed to circulate in England, lacked official approval because of its so called heretical tendentiousness and its inadequacy as a translation. A new edition, “overseen and corrected,” was published in England by James Nycholson in Southwark in 1537. Another edition of the same year bore the announcement, “set forth with the king’s most gracious license.” In 1538 a revised edition of Coverdale’s New Testament printed with the Latin Vulgate in parallel columns issued in England was so full of errors that Coverdale promptly arranged for a rival corrected version to appear in Paris. Accordingly, Thomas Cromwell the King’s vice-gerent, or deputy, in spiritual affairs, engaged Coverdale to work in England on a new version, using a revised edition of Tyndale’s work known as Matthew’s Bible. Coverdale’s renewed efforts resulted in the publication in 1539 of the widely accepted Great Bible. The later editions (folio and quarto) published in 1539 were the first complete Bibles printed in England. The 1539 folio edition carried the royal licence and was therefore the first officially approved Bible translation in English. In edited 1540 Coverdale also edited Cranmer’s Bible.

72 years later an other Royal licensed bible would deliver such an important Bible translation it would become reprinted for centuries, becoming a still preferred version by many.


Preceding in Dutch: Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #11 Vredelievende waarheidzoekers

Next: Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #2 the King James Bible versions


Additional reading

  1. Biblical literature
  2. The Anglo-Saxon Version of the Holy Gospels at
  3. The Holy Gospels in Anglo-Saxon, Northumbrian, and Old Mercian Versions at
  4. Celebrating the Bible in English
  5. The Bible4Life ­- a Multimedia Presentation
  6. Wycliffe Associates supporting underground Bible translators
  7. Seminar on Bible Translation in Prague
  8. HalleluYah Scriptures
  9. Americans really thinking the Messiah Christ had an English name
  10. Christian clergyman defiling book which did not belong to him
  11. Codex Sinaiticus
  12. Codex Sinaiticus available for perusal on the Web
  13. The Anjou Bible Project
  14. The NIV and the Name of God
  15. Why believing the Bible
  16. Human & Biblical teachings
  17. Bible & us



Further reading

  1. Where Words Come From
  2. Saint Jerome
  3. Jerome and the Vulgate
  4. Could Bezae be a response to the Vulgate?
  5. God’s Word- The Vulgate?
  6. S. Hieronymus
  7. #WhyBible
  8. Many endured Hell to bring us the Bible in English….
  9. The Middle Ages part 2
  10. Medieval bling
  11. The Protestant Deformation
  12. Rumblings of Reformation: John Wycliffe and the Supremecy of the Word of God
  13. 1385 Wycliffe: Gen. Cap 1:1-2
  14. 1385 Wycliffe: Gen. Cap 1:28-30
  15. 1385 Wycliffe: Gen. Cap 2:6-15
  16. William Tyndale – 6 October 2015
  17. William Tyndale: Rebel of the Vernacular Scriptures
  18. William Tyndale 1
  19. William Tyndale 2
  20. Online gallery Sacred texts Tyndale New Testament
  21. Tindall alias Hitchins Family of North Nibley
  22. Williams Tyndale: The Experiential Outworking of Sola Scriptura
  23. William Tyndale On the Law
  24. Or a Cab Driver
  25. Translating Tyndale’s Dedication
  26. William Tyndale & Charles Spurgeon On Sacred Words And Deeds
  27. Sermon: A Man Who Gave His Life that You Might Have an English Bible
  28. Desiderius Erasmus
  29. The Remarkable Erasmus
  30. Thoughts on Anglicanism
  31. The Reformation
  32. A little tale of mediaeval sleeping….
  33. Skimming, Scanning, and Illiteracy
  34. helpmate
  35. Puritan History
  36. When It Was Unthinkable that the State Would Affirm God
  37. R.C. Sproul on Understanding Bible Translations
  38. How to Deepen the Spiritual Life of A Congregation
  39. Thinking time
  40. English Historical Fiction Authors: The Christians Are Coming! (The islands of Iona and Lindisfarne)
  41. Archaeologists Locate Lindisfarne monastery
  42. A Monk’s Chronicle: 22 August 2016 — A Bridge to Somewhere
  43. #WordlessWednesday #Lindisfarne Priory & Castle #Photography
  44. Reign of Terror
  45. Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne – A Vision For Today
  46. Lindisfarne – A Holy Island
  47. Northumberland Coastal Way
  48.  Lindisfarne Island
  49. Why I Love Lindisfarne, and Why You Should Go Right Now
  50. Lindisfarne and Leeds
  51. That’s Not Old English! (how to act like a total tool…and enjoy doing it!)
  52. Converging Worlds: Cultural Exchanges in Literature and the Written Word (Conference, 20th June)
  53. English: The Living Language
  54. A Brief History of the English Language, pt. 12
  55. The Finale – A Brief History of the English Language
  56. On the Origins of the word ‘Read’
  57. dwindle
  58. wel-þungen
  59. hālig-mōnaþ
  60. hærfest-mōnaþ
  61. Va-etchanan 5776
  62. Stomp the Yard
  63. Scripture Celebration
  64. Languages and Translation
  65. Meaning of TH House Names
  66. Incredible! 182 Years Later, SE Asian Group Receives the Gospel in their Language from Wycliffe
  67. Bible Translation in the Jungle
  68. Hack On IT
  69. May 21st
  70. Double Edged Sword
  71. What price a Bible?
  72. How Much Does A Bible Really Cost?
  73. Handing knowledge down the years
  74. Today in Christian History: June 10
  75. 139 You who believe in the Name of the Son of God. 1 John 5:13
  76. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 1
  77. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 6
  78. Is the King James Version of the Bible the Only Bible Christians Should Trust and Read/Part 2



Divine, Ever-Living, Unchanging

But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.
And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
~ 1 Peter 1:25 ~



All human teaching and, indeed, all human beings shall pass away as the grass of the meadow; but we are here assured that the Word of the Lord is of a very different character, for it shall endure forever.

We have here a divine gospel; for what word can endure forever but that which is spoken by the eternal God?

We have here an ever-living gospel, as full of vitality as when it first came from the lips of God; as strong to convince and convert, to regenerate and console, to sustain and sanctify as ever it was in its first days of wonder-working.

We have an unchanging gospel which is not today green grass and tomorrow dry hay but always the abiding truth of the immutable Jehovah. Opinions alter, but truth certified by God can no more change than the God who uttered it.

Here, then, we have a gospel to rejoice in, a word of the Lord upon which we may lean all our weight. “For ever” includes life, death, judgment, and eternity. Glory be to God in Christ Jesus for everlasting consolation. Feed on the word today and all the days of thy life.

~ C. H. Spurgeon

This set of images was gathered by User:Dcoetz...

Charles Spurgeon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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