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

In the Wild West women took care their children got a knowledge of the Word of God. In the growing states of the New World the oral tradition of the Word of God ensured the Gospel-readings spreading.

For millennia prior to the invention of writing, which is a very recent phenomenon in the history of humankind, oral tradition served as the sole means of communication available for forming and maintaining societies and their institutions. Moreover, numerous studies — conducted on six continents — have illustrated that oral tradition remains the dominant mode of communication in the 21st century, despite increasing rates of literacy. {Encyclopaedia Britannica}

The States got some very strong ladies, creating schools and congregations where women told in their own words what was written in the Holy Scriptures. In the early nineteenth century, at the European continent and in the colonies where the largest, most influential churches like Catholics and Church of England reigned, they like Presbyterians, and the Episcopalians (or Anglicanism and Episcopal Church in the United States of America) forbade women to preach. In the New World women proved their necessity for leading everything in good directions. Searching the bible and having met people from different denominations many came to conclusions which made them to form newer groups. In a small number of those denominations, particularly the Congregationalists, the restrictions on women’s religious speech became challenged. Professor of Religions in America and the History of Christianity in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, Catherine Brekus whose works have included a history of female preaching in America, entitled Strangers and Pilgrims: Female Preaching in America, 1740 – 1845 (1998) and a history of early evangelicalism based on a woman’s diaries, entitled Sarah Osborn‘s World: The Rise of Evangelicalism in Early America (2013), writes.

“Anti-authoritarian, anti-intellectual, and often visionary, they deliberately set themselves apart from the ‘worldliness’ of established churches by insisting that God could choose anyone — even the poor, uneducated, enslaved, or female — to spread the gospel.”

She briefly traces the story of evangelicals — especially Free Will Baptists, Christian Connection, northern Methodists, African Methodists, and Millerites — who allowed women to preach.

Benjamin Randall (1749-1808) main organizer of the Freewill Baptists (Randall Line) in the Northeastern United States.

Inspired by the preaching of the lay exhorter Benjamin Randall in New Hampshire that Free Will Baptist Association was formed in 1782. By 1780 the various Baptist groups had formed around 450 churches, a number exceeded only by Congregationalists with about 750 and Presbyterians with some 490. With the disappearance of a Puritan orthodoxy at the beginning of the eighteenth century the Congregational churches, whose ideas were based on the priesthood of all believers, developed by Robert Browne and Henry Barrow, and were Calvinist in tone, had opened the way for women preaching and for people telling with their own words what was written in the Bible.

The gradual collapse of state religious establishments after ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1789 served Baptist purposes, and by 1800 they had become for a while the largest denomination in the nation, with almost twice as many adherents as the second-ranked Congregationalists. Those Baptists supported the creation of colleges, seminaries, tract societies, and missionary agencies. Educated leaders provided the impetus for the creation in 1814 of a General Missionary Convention, soon called the Triennial Convention, to sponsor home and foreign missions. Before long, it had allied itself with other agencies to promote publication and education. Several groups considered themselves to be a continuation of the first church where followers of Christ, men and women tried to bring people to God and have them baptised by immersion, the only true form of Christian baptism. At the end of the 20th century it would be the pressure of the major trinitarian Baptist groups, like the 13.9 million Southern Baptist Convention which would make the non-trinitarian Baptists looking for other congregations, but still leaving 26,7 million U.S.A. Baptists.

Brekus notes how fearing the colonies’ established churches had “quenched the spirit” by requiring college education for ministers, evangelicals said

“God could communicate directly with people through dreams, visions, and voices,”

and appealed to Joel’s promise (quoted by Peter at Pentecost) to invest

“female preaching with transcendent significance. Whenever a woman stood in the pulpit, she was a visible reminder that Christ might soon return to earth.”

Yet influenced by the wider culture, they did not think the Bible sanctioned their equality with men in Church, home, or political life. Rather than seeking ordination and settled pastorates, they remained itinerate evangelists. So, these biblical feminists were caught between two worlds — too radical to be accepted by evangelicals, but too conservative to be accepted by women’s rights activists. {Christian Reflection; A Series in Faith and Ethics}

Waves of Irish Presbyterians flooded into the middle and southern colonies, which tolerated their religious beliefs, and flowed into the unoccupied western regions. Some were established congregations who brought their ministers with them; most immigrated as individuals or in small family groups and were followed by clergymen. But the Presbyterian Church in England, re-established in 1844, was reported to have only 76 places of worship in 1851 — one-fifth the number of quaker meeting-houses. {J. A. Cannon; The Oxford Companion to British History; 2002}
A Plan of Union with the Congregational associations of New England that existed from 1792 until 1837 was disrupted when the Old School Presbyterians, favoring separate denominational agencies for missionary and evangelistic work, prevailed. The Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions was then established.

The P.C.U.S.A split in 1837 to become New School Presbyterians and Old School Presbyterians.

The P.C.U.S.A split in 1837 to become New School Presbyterians and Old School Presbyterians.

Placing great importance upon education and lifelong learning the Presbyterians and their missionary schools also prepared others to think about the Word of God and to spread it around.

Several men and women brought their notes to the bible words and also did not mind when preaching to quote freely from the bible. In this way the Americans got used to an easy fluent language to tell about God His sayings and wonders.

Gradually, the evangelicals’ educational systems, church organizations, and worship styles became more like those of churches that had been established and wealthy in the colonial era but many Bible students, followers of Dr. John Thomas and of Charles Taze Russell continued to spread the Word of God in their own words and in Bible fragments translated to American English in tracts and magazines.

The Christadelphians offered people the Wilson’s polyglot translation for free. When Benjamin Wilson died in 1900, his heirs inherited the plates and copyright. When they were approached by Charles Taze Russell, then president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, he via a third party obtained the copyright, and at some later point, the plates. The Society published the Diaglott in 1902, and later had the type reset for publication on its own presses in 1927, with an additional printing in 1942.

Much discussion went on between the other Bible-student parties involved in the first edition and still using the version in their churches or ecclesia. Unto the exclusiveness to reprint the polyglot for public release the Christadelphians and Wilson his church had to keep reproduction only for their own members.
In 2003 the MiamiChurch of the Blessed Hope with support from Christadelphians in the United Kingdom and the United States published their own edition, with a new preface, and where pleased the Emphatic Diaglott at last came home again.

Christadelphians, Watchtower Biblestudents and others looked at the return of Christ, a terrible war where nations would get against many other nations, but also were aware that Jerusalem would be restored after some time.

Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843–1921) American theologian, minister, and writer whose best-selling annotated Bible popularized futurism and dispensationalism among fundamentalist Christians.

From English and Puritan descent the American orphan Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843–1921) converted to evangelical Christianity through the testimony of a lawyer acquaintance. He came under the mentorship of James H. Brookes, pastor of Walnut Street Presbyterian Church, St. Louis, a prominent dispensationalist premillennialist. He also attempted with limited success to take charge of Dwight L. Moody‘s Northfield Bible Training School, and served as superintendent of the American Home Missionary Society of Texas and Louisiana; and in 1890, he helped found Lake Charles College (1890–1903) in Lake Charles, Louisiana and in 1914 founded the Philadelphia School of the Bible in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (now Cairn University)

Scofield’s premillennialism seemed prophetic.

“At the popular level, especially, many people came to regard the dispensationalist scheme as completely vindicated.”

Scofield Reference Bible, page 1115. This page includes Scofield’s note on John 1:17, which some have interpreted to mean that Scofield believed in two means of salvation.

The first bible translation, since the Geneva Bible (1560), to bring a commentary on the biblical text alongside the Bible instead of in a separate volume, also attempted to date events of the Bible in its second edition (1917) eight years after its first edition. This Scofield Reference Bible, published by Oxford University Press in 1909 contained the entire text of the traditional, Protestant King James Version, and became a widely circulated study Bible edited and annotated by this American Bible student Cyrus I. Scofield, whose notes teach futurism and dispensationalism, a theology that was systematized in the early nineteenth century by the Anglo-Irish clergyman John Nelson Darby, one of the influential figures among the original Plymouth Brethren (Christian brethren, or Darbyites) and the founder of the Exclusive Brethren, (who like Scofield had also been trained as a lawyer).

John Nelson Darby (1800–1882) Anglo-Irish Bible teacher, one of the influential figures among the original Plymouth Brethren and the founder of the Exclusive Brethren.

In 1867 ex curate in the Church of Ireland parish of Delgany, County Wicklow, Darby had presented a translation of the New Testament which he revised for the editions in 1872 and 1884.  He declined however to contribute to the compilation of the Revised Version of the King James Bible. After his death, some of his students produced an Old Testament translation based on Darby’s French and German translations in which we may see Darby’s dependence on W. H. Westcott’s Congo vernacular Bible, Victor Danielson’s Faroese work and the Romanian Bible published by G.B.V. and Dillenburg, Germany (GBV)

It was after 25 years serious research that in 1881 the British bishop, biblical scholar and theologian, and Bishop of Durham, Brooke Foss Westcott (1825–1901) with Irish-born theologian and editor Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828–1892) had presented their “New Testament in the Original Greek” on the believe that the combination of Codex Bezae with the Old Latin and the Old Syriac represents the original form of the New Testament text. Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort their Greek translation was used as the base fro many later translations.

The Revised Version of the New Testament translators, 1881.

They also were asked to become translation committee members for the Revised Version which in the United States was adapted and revised as the “Revised Version, Standard American Edition” (better known as the American Standard Version) in 1901.

Those translations using the advanced knowledge of the newly found ancient manuscripts and better insight in the old language, received until today opposition from fervent “King James Only” people. Up to today those King James only people say that is the only worthy and true Bible, also forgetting that other people who speak an other language than would be deprived of God’s Word in the Bible. Those KJV-only people complaining that the or a new translation did not base their text on the 1611 KJV forget that it should not be based on that text but on the most original bible manuscripts we can find. The last straw is that many who swear by only the KJV itself do not use themselves the original version and worse even do not know what print edition they use and that this has many differences against the 1611 edition.

Problem with those KJV-only believers is that they want to have their church doctrines still confirmed in the new translations though those versions using the Name of God where it was placed, makes it clear about whom is spoken and about who speaks, so that no confusing is being made between God and Jesus and shows clearly that it are two different characters. Therefore, it mostly are ardent trinitarians who do not want to accept versions which come closer to the original ancient writings, because this way people believing in the Trinity may come to see that it is a human doctrine and not a Biblical doctrine, and as such they may come to see that the non-trinitarian churches are much more following God’s Word than their church want them to believe.

Lots of KJV-only people also do not want to have the real translation or a synonym for a word they use wrongly, like sheol or the hell which just means the grave or sepulchre, but when a bible translation like the NIV translates it with the “grave” they consider an attack on the KJV word of “hell” they understanding it to be a place of eternal doom and torture.

The KJV-only people believe that this English translation of the Authorised King James Version should never be changed, but do not see or forget that they themselves use also a changed version and not the original 1611 first version.

A staunch Seventh-day Adventist missionary, theology professor and college president was even more stepped on his toes when the Bible Students of the Zion’s Watchtower dared to bring out a modern English translation based on that Westcott-Hort translation and on the Greek texts of Nestle, Bover, Merk and others.

Not only women and children had asked for a less archaic Bible translation.

On December 2, 1947 a “New World Bible Translation Committee” was formed, composed of Jehovah’s Witnesses who professed to be anointed.

The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures was released at a convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses at Yankee Stadium, New York, on August 2, 1950. The translation of the Old Testament, which Jehovah’s Witnesses refer to as the Hebrew Scriptures, was released in five volumes in 1953, 1955, 1957, 1958, and 1960. The complete New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures was released as a single volume in 1961, and has since undergone minor revisions and standing strong between the 55 new English translations of the Christian Greek Scriptures which were published between 1952 and 1990.

They also reproduced The Greek transliterations for the Christian Greek Scripture portion of the Bible from the Westcott and Hort text in The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures (1969).

While critical of some of its translation choices, , associate professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A., Jason BeDuhn called the New World Translation a “remarkably good” translation, “better by far” and “consistently better” than some of the others considered. Overall, concluded BeDuhn, the New World Translation

“is one of the most accurate English translations of the New Testament currently available”

and

“the most accurate of the translations compared.”

in his 2003 book, Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament, which has generated considerable controversy for highlighting cases of theological bias in the translation process, by which, he argues, contemporary Christian views are anachronistically introduced into the Bible versions upon which most modern English-speaking Christians rely.

BeDuhn noted, too, that many translators were subject to pressure

“to paraphrase or expand on what the Bible does say in the direction of what modern readers want and need it to say.”

On the other hand, the New World Translation is different, observed BeDuhn, because of

“the greater accuracy of the NW as a literal, conservative translation of the original expressions of the New Testament writers.”

The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures by 2004 had been made available in 32 languages plus 2 Braille editions and two years later already in 57 languages.

The 1984 revised edition of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures richly enhanced accurate Bible knowledge by means of several distinctive features such as the marginal (cross) references, an extensive footnote apparatus, a concordance (Bible Words Indexed) and an appendix. Modern computerization has assisted greatly in preparing these features.

In the New World Translation an effort was made to capture the authority, power, dynamism and directness of the original Hebrew and Greek Scriptures and to convey these characteristics in modern English. They also made an end to the used of  now-sanctimonious formal pronouns thou, thy, thine, thee and ye, with their corresponding verb inflections.

Many trinitarians were not pleased with that translation which tried to give as literal a translation as possible where the modern-English idiom allows and where a literal rendition does not, by any awkwardness, hide the thought, but which also placed in the Hebrew text everywhere the tetragrammaton יהוה (YHWH) was notated, printed God’s Holy Name Jehovah. As such God His Name was again visible, like in the ancient manuscripts,  6,973 times in the Hebrew Scriptures and 237 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures. Though it may be called a pity that they also did not take the effort to put Jesus name right, not going for the Issou or “Hail Zeus“, but printing his real original name Jeshua.

With this word-for-word statement of the original in the hand the real followers of Christ could show those who call themselves Christian, but do follow the human doctrine of the Trinity, where they went wrong in their thinking and could show them that Jesus is the way to God and not God himself.

But in this clear up-to-date contemporary version many churches saw a danger for their followers who could be brought to other thinking than their denomination’s doctrines.

In the previous decades several paraphrased bible book translations had seen the light and many bible students also had used free translations in their pamphlets. This time taking liberties with the texts for the mere sake of brevity, and substituting some modern parallel when a literal rendering of the original makes good sense, had been avoided. Uniformity of rendering has been maintained by assigning one meaning to each major word and by holding to that meaning as far as the context permits. At times this has imposed a restriction upon word choice, but it aids in cross-reference work and in comparing related texts.

In rendering the sense and feel of the action and state of Hebrew verbs into English, it is not always possible to preserve the brevity due to a lack of corresponding colour in English verb forms. Hence, auxiliary words that lengthen the expression are at times required to bring out the vividness, mental imagery and dramatic action of the verbs, as well as the point of view and the concept of time expressed by the Bible writers. In general the same is true of the Greek verbs. Thus, imperfect verbs have been kept in the imperfect state denoting progressive action. Participles have been rendered as participles involving continuous action.

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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

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #4 Steps to the women’s bibles

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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
  25. A visible organisation on earth
  26. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  27. Jesus three days in hell
  28. Dead and after
  29. Sheol or the grave
  30. This month’s survey question: Heaven and Hell
  31. Interpreting the Scriptures (Part 5)
  32. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures (1)
  33. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures (2)
  34. Approachers of ideas around gods, philosophers and theologians
  35. To remove the whitewash of the Jehovah Witnesses as being the only true Bible Students and Bible Researchers
  36. Archaeology and the Bible researcher 2/4

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Further reading

  1. The Bible
  2. Where was the Bible before 1611? How can we know God endorsed the KJV?
  3. Earliest Known Draft of 1611 King James Bible Is Found
  4. KJV Onlyism: What It Does And Doesn’t Mean
  5. What’s wrong with the New King James?
  6. Is it true no doctrines are changed in modern versions?
  7. The King James AV 1611 Bible vs. The New International Version
  8. King James version (1)
  9. King James Version 2
  10. I got saved reading the NIV. How can you say it’s no good?
  11. Christian Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Bible
  12. Why should God’s Word be restricted to English?
  13. Some Notes on Bible Translations
  14. Which Bible Translation?
  15. Is Christianity a paradox?
  16. Migration in a context of colonisation
  17. The sorrow and burden of it all
  18. A Belgian refugee in Maidenhead finds work
  19. When the boys come home…
  20. Do not be dissuaded by so paltry a matter as a change of time
  21. “I often wonder why I joined up”
  22. Dedicating the Powner Hall
  23. A dinner treat for the Congregational men
  24. Church Hill
  25. That We May All Be One: World Communion Sunday, 2015
  26. History, Empathy, and Race in America
  27. Empathy, racial reconciliation, and the study of history
  28. “The End of White Christian America”
  29. The calling we have in culture
  30. A. W. Tozer and the Historic Trinity
  31. Tozer’s Critique of Evangelical Christians
  32. Corporate Evangelicalism – Where did it come from?
  33. Defining Evangelicalism
  34. Decline and Fall
  35. Fundamentalism Will Kill You
  36. Progressive Evangelicals: Who We Are And What We Believe
  37. How Evangelicals are Losing an Entire Generation – by Amy Gannett
  38. On celebrating diversity within the church
  39. Evangelicalism is no longer growing–why?
  40. The Scofield Bible—The Book That Made Zionists of America’s Evangelical Christians
  41. Becoming a Liberal Christian Part I: High Church and Militant Evangelicalism
  42. Reformed Baptists and the Purity of the Church
  43. The Westminster Factor
  44. Of Polls, Presbyterians, and Seventh-Day Adventists
  45. Understanding the Presbyterian Model (Reformed the web)
  46. Understanding the Presbyterian Model (Chanty notes)
  47. “Episcopals Now Second Class Christians”: Anglicans Demote Episcopalians As Global Christianity Gets More Polarized
  48. Am I a Presbyterian?
  49. Daniel’s 70-Week Vision Series #18 – Part 94 of Riddles, Enigmas & Esoteric Imagery of Revelation
  50. At the resurrection who is left behind?
  51. A Thousand Years
  52. News brings great joy
  53. Confirmation
  54. Bible Wars
  55. How Trustworthy Are Bible Translations?
  56. How I Know The King James Bible is the Word of God
  57. King James Only–Refuted part 2
  58. King James Only–Refuted (part 3)
  59. Ways in which Fundamentalists are discriminated against
  60. Between Christians
  61. Repentance From Dead Works: 3 – Don’t Forget Good Works Are Dead Works
  62. Communion – the most terrifying sacrament in the IFB church
  63. Spirit of our times.
  64. King James XX
  65. I believe the King James Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.  
  66. Is Modern Really Better?
  67. How some preachers trick you when defining Greek words!
  68. What’s wrong with the New King James?
  69. Is it true no doctrines are changed in modern versions?
  70. I got saved reading the NIV. How can you say it’s no good?
  71. Why should God’s Word be restricted to English?
  72. Transilvania în 1865, prin ochii lui Edward Millard – blogul unui duh întarâtat

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

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. (Photos.com/Jupiterimages)

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.

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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

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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

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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

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

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

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