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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 #2 King James Bible versions

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.

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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

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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

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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”

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