CONTENDING FOR FAITH
~ The Received Text ~
ONCE DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS
“THE TRANSLATORS TO THE READER”
Were Christians who have been influenced by King James Onlyism to carefully read the Translator’s Preface to the 1611 KJV, they would be disabused of the illusions and falsehoods that have been planted in their minds by KJV-Onlyism. A refreshing eye-opener, the Preface documents the Translators’ intentions and the translation process they employed, their high view of the Hebrew and Greek texts, their opinions of previous translations and Bible revision in general, and much, much more.
The Translators’ Preface has not been included in King James Bibles since the British and Foreign Bible Society and the American Bible Society assumed responsibility for the translation and worldwide distribution of the Bible. Founded in 1804, the British and Foreign Bible Society was under the direction of the Grand Lodge of England where it held its meetings. Funded by the British and Foreign Bible Society, the American Bible Society was likewise a Masonically-directed organization. Though ostensibly founded for the purpose of circulating the Word of God, the Baptist founders of the British and Foreign Bible Society and the American Bible Society also took it upon themselves to eliminate the Translators’ Preface and marginal notes from King James Bibles. This policy was incorporated into the Constitution of both Bible societies as the defining article:
“In 1804, the British and Foreign Bible Society was formed ; Joseph Hughes, a Baptist minister, bore a prominent part in that work. He was appointed one of its secretaries, and became, as it has been expressed, ‘the hands and feet, as he had been the head of the institution.’ Its constitution provided that its ‘sole object shall be to encourage a wider circulation of the Holy Scriptures without note or comment.’ Baptists were large contributors to its treasury...
“By the Constitution of the American Bible Society, its Managers are, in the circulation of the Holy Scriptures, restricted to such copies as are without note or comment, and in the English language to the version in common use. The design of these restrictions clearly seems to have been to simplify and mark out the duties of the Society ; so that all the religious denominations of which it is comprised might harmoniously unite in performing those duties.” (Thomas Armitage, A History of the Baptists, pp. 885, 894)
The British and Foreign Bible Society was directed by prominent members of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge which was under the direction of the United Grand Lodge of England. The American Bible Society was directed by Dewitt Clinton who was Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge of New York. The stated purpose of these Masonically-controlled, Baptist-led Bible Societies for removing the Translators’ marginal notes and comments, which would have included the Preface, was to unite all religious denominations in the task of circulating the Bible. Our report “The Unauthorized History of Bible Revision” documents that this joint venture eventuated in the complete revision of the King James Bible which – contrary to KJV-Only propaganda – began with Baptists in the United States who collaborated with the English Revision Committee led by Westcott and Hort.
There may have been another reason for the omission of the Translators’ Preface: to deliberately conceal from readers of the King James Bible important facts concerning its translation, thereby creating an information gap that would foster the conditions of mass ignorance which Gail Riplinger and other fundamental Baptists are now exploiting to launch an attack against the Textus Receptus. What other book is published without its own preface, the preliminary essay in which the author – or, in this case, the translators – explain their intentions and methods of research, define the scope of their work and present invaluable background information to the reader, in order to avoid misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the work? Of this travesty – the omission of the Translators’ Preface from the King James Bible – the late manuscript scholar, E.J. Goodspeed, wrote:
“But it is the omission of the great Preface, ‘The Translators to the Reader,’ that is most to be regretted. The makers of the version in their day felt that the work called for some explanation and defense, and entrusted the writing of a suitable preface to Myles Smith, of Brasenose College, Oxford, afterward Bishop of Gloucester. His Preface for many years stood at the beginning of the version. But for various reasons – its length, its obscurity, its controversial and academic character – it has gradually come to be omitted by modern publishers of the King James, which is thus made to present itself to the reader abruptly and without explanation or introduction of any kind.
“The result of this upon the hosts of ignorant and untrained people who use the version is disastrous in the extreme. My own correspondence abounds in letters from well-meaning people who have been led into the strangest misconceptions by its absence. It is indeed long, controversial, and pedantic, but this very fact is significant. And with all its faults, it says some things about the version and its makers and their aims that still greatly need to be said, indeed, that must be said, if the readers of the version are to be given the protection and guidance that they deserve and that its makers provided for them.
“For they will accept this guidance and protection from no one else. It is idle for any modern to attempt to correct these misapprehensions; his efforts will only be resented or ignored. But if the King James Bible itself can be shown to say to its adherents the very things they most need to know about their version, it will be possible for them to benefit by them without embarrassment or inconsistency. All the more necessary, it would seem, for restoring the great Preface, or at least the essential parts of it, to its rightful place in the ‘Authorized Bible.’...
“That that edition should continue to sink into greater and greater misconception and misrepresentation, when much of it might be prevented by the simple and obvious device of restoring the Preface, is intolerable. That version is too deeply freighted with religious values to be left at the mercy of every charlatan to exploit. Its Preface is a great monument of sound biblical learning and method. Its readers need it as they have never needed it before. It lies ready to our hands, enfolding in itself the very correctives modern vagaries about the King James Bible so sadly need.” (“Thesis on the Translators’ Preface”)
We are left to wonder why it has been left to a modern scholar to publish this compelling and righteous protest of the removal of the Translators’ Preface from the King James Version. Why is it that a modern scholar endeavored for years to restore the Translators’ Preface to the King James Version, but among the multitude of KJV-Only advocates who only claim to defend the KJV, not one has (to our knowledge) ever registered a complaint about the removal of the Preface and demanded its restoration by the publishing houses and Bible societies. Nor have any of them independently published King James Bibles which include the Preface. Nor do the so-called defenders of the 1611 King James Version educate their readers as to the contents of the Translators’ Preface; nor do they post it on their websites. Nor do they cite the Translators’ own words in their defense of the KJV, but instead invent dishonest explanations concerning the various translation issues, such as the Translators’ choice of “Easter” instead of “Passover” in Acts 12:4, which is forthrightly explained in the Translators’ Preface.
We submit that inclusion of the Translators’ Preface in King James Bibles would provide KJV readers with the facts concerning the translation of the 1611 Authorised Version – facts that, as stated by E.J. Goodspeed, would enlighten and protect them against the great quantity of false and misleading information that has issued forth from the leadership of the KJV-Only movement. It is for this reason that we recommend Professor Edgar J. Goodspeed’s “Thesis on the Translators’ Preface” – not as an endorsement of modern scholarship – but to inform our readers and create awareness of what we believe has been the deliberate suppression of the Preface to the 1611 King James Version.
The Translators made numerous statements that would expose the heresy of Ruckmanisim, if only their Preface were made more available to Christians. As for complete quotations from the Translators’ Preface, it’s slim pickins in KJV-Only publications. Gail Riplinger ought to have included the Preface in her book and posted it on her website, but no, the reader must request it from her organization. This offer is found in small print in Chapter 15 of In Awe of Thy Word:
“Four primary records, some recently discovered, document the thoughts of the KJV translators:
1. The Annotated Bishop's Bible ... held in the Bodleian Library in England, catalogued as ‘Bib. Eng. b.I.’...
2. Manuscript 98: A trial translation of the Epistles (1607-1608) by the Westminster committee.
3. The handwritten English, Latin and Greek notes of KJV translator John Bois, showing the final work on the Epistles and Revelation...
4. The Translators to the Reader: Preface to the King James Bible, by Miles Smith (available at A.V. Publications)” (In Awe of Thy Word, p. 524)
Instead of including the Translators’ Preface in her book, a chapter is devoted to “Manuscript 98, the Annotated Bishop’s Bible, and the handwritten notes from the decisive and final translation committee meeting.” (Awe, p. 31) Instead of the Translators’ Preface presented for all to read, the reader is given minutiae about various KJV readings and selected information about the life of John Bois from Ward Allen’s translation of the “Hidden Handwritten Notes of John Bois” which “had been lost but a copy of them was recently discovered for our generation. They are catalogued as MS C.C.C. 312 in the Fulman Collection of Corpus Christi College Library, Oxford University.” (Awe, p. 532) These virtually inaccessible source documents, along with the Translators’ Preface, which the reader can obtain by special request from AV Publications, “document the thoughts of the KJV translators.” (Awe, p. 524)
How many readers of In Awe of Thy Word have actually contacted AV Publications for a copy of the Translators’ Preface? Gail could easily have directed her readers to one of many websites which post the Translators’ Preface, or simply suggested they type “The Translators to the Reader” into any search engine, which brings up scores of websites. No need to travel to Oxford University for this source document, which should be available on Gail’s website, AV Publications, as well as in her books. Making the Translators’ Preface difficult to obtain reminded us of the Translators’ complaint that the Roman Catholic Church suppressed the Scriptures by obstructing the path to them:
THE UNWILLINGNESS OF OUR CHIEF ADVERSARIES, THAT THE SCRIPTURES SHOULD BE DIVULGED IN THE MOTHER TONGUE, ETC.
“Now the Church of Rome would seem at the length to bear a motherly affection towards her children, and to allow them the Scriptures in their mother tongue: but indeed it is a gift, not deserving to be called a gift, an unprofitable gift:... they must first get a licence in writing before they may use them, and to get that, they must approve themselves to their Confessor, that is, to be such as are, if not frozen in the dregs, yet soured with the leaven of their superstition... So much are they afraid of the light of the Scripture,...that they will not trust the people with it, no not as it is set forth by their own sworn men, no not with the Licence of their own Bishops and Inquisitors. Yea, so unwilling they are to communicate the Scriptures to the people’s understanding in any sort, that they are not ashamed to confess, that we forced them to translate it into English against their wills. This seemeth to argue a bad cause, or a bad conscience, or both.” (“The Translators to the Reader”)
ABOUT ROMAN CATHOLICISM
The Translators had many things to say about the Roman Catholic Church, most of them uncomplimentary. However, many will be surprised to learn that the Translators considered the Roman Catholic Church to have been a “true Church” in the early centuries of its existence. The Translators thought well of St. Gregory of Nazianzus (325-389 A.D.), the Catholic theologian who contended against the Arians and Apollinarians at the First Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D. The Translators also likened those who criticized King James’ funding of the Church of England to those who criticized the Roman Emperor Constantine’s liberal endowment of the Catholic clergy.
THE BEST THINGS HAVE BEEN CALUMNIATED
“And fourthly, that he was no babe, but a great clerk [Gregory the Divine], that gave forth (and in writing to remain to posterity) in passion peradventure, but yet he gave forth, that he had not seen any profit to come by any Synod, or meeting of the Clergy, but rather the contrary; And lastly, against Church-maintenance and allowance, in such sort, as the Ambassadors and messengers of the great King of Kings should be furnished, it is not unknown what a fiction or fable (so it is esteemed, and for no better by the reporter himself [Nauclerus], though superstitious) was devised; Namely, that at such a time as the professors and teachers of Christianity in the Church of Rome, then a true Church, were liberally endowed, a voice forsooth was heard from heaven, saying: Now is poison poured down into the Church, etc. Thus not only as oft as we speak, as one saith, but also as oft as we do anything of note or consequence, we subject ourselves to everyone’s censure, and happy is he that is least tossed upon tongues; for utterly to escape the snatch of them it is impossible.” (“The Translators to the Reader”)
The Translators were referring to a statement made in 1500 A.D. by John Nanclerus who was the president of the University of Tubingen, that bastion of theological liberalism in Germany, where Luther launched the Reformation soon afterward. This identification was made by Thomas Fuller in his Church History of Britain, wherein he also praised Constantine the Great for ending the persecution of Christians and bestowing material benefits on the Church.
20. Peace and Prosperity restored to the Church by Constantine. A.D.3I2.
“Constantine being now peaceably settled in the imperial throne, there followed a sudden and general alteration in the world; persecutors turning patrons of religion. O the efficacy of a godly emperor's example, which did draw many to a conscientious love of Christianity, and did drive more to a civil conformity thereunto ! The Gospel, formerly a forester, now became a citizen ; and leaving the woods wherein it wandered, hills and holes where it hid itself before, dwelt quietly in populous places. The stumps of ruined churches, lately destroyed by Diocletian, grew up into beautiful buildings; oratories were furnished with pious ministers, and they provided of plentiful maintenance, through the liberality of Constantine. And if it be true, what one relates, that about this tune, when the church began to be enriched with means, there came a voice from heaven, (I dare boldly say, he that first wrote it never heard it, being a modern author,)* saying, ‘Now is poison poured down into the church; yet is there no danger of death thereby, seeing lately so strong an antidote hath been given against it.’ Nor do we meet with any particular bounty conferred by Constantine, or Helen his mother, on Britain, their native country, otherwise than as it shared now in the general happiness of all Christendom…
fn. John Nanclerus, president of Tubing University, anno 1500.” (Thomas Fuller, D.D., The Church History of Britain from the Birth of Jesus Christ to the Year MDCXLVIII, Vol. I, London, 1837)
Apparently the first Holy Roman Emperor, whose largesse toward the Church deserved praise, was met with calumny instead, according to the Translators:
THE BEST THINGS HAVE BEEN CALUMNIATED
“So the first Christened Emperor [Constantine] (at the least-wise that openly professed the faith himself, and allowed others to do the like) for strengthening the Empire at his great charges, and providing for the Church, as he did, got for his labour the name Pupillus, as who would say, a wasteful Prince, that had need of a Guardian or overseer [Aurel. Victor].” (“The Translators to the Reader”)
The Translators likened Constantine the Great to King James I and cited Eusebius’ Life of Constantine as evidence of his Christian character:
HIS MAJESTY'S CONSTANCY, NOTWITHSTANDING CALUMNIATION, FOR THE SURVEY OF THE ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS
“It doth certainly belong unto Kings, yea, it doth specially belong unto them, to have care of Religion, yea, to know it aright, yea, to profess it zealously, yea to promote it to the uttermost of their power. This is their glory before all nations which mean well, and this will bring unto them a far most excellent weight of glory in the day of the Lord Jesus. For the Scripture saith not in vain, ‘Them that honor me, I will honor,’ [1 Sam 2:30] neither was it a vain word that Eusebius delivered long ago, that piety towards God was the weapon and the only weapon, that both preserved Constantine’s person, and avenged him of his enemies [Eusebius lib 10 cap 8].” (“The Translators to the Reader”)
Gail Riplinger and other KJV-Only advocates (who tell us what the 1611 AV Translators believed while suppressing their Preface in which they wrote what they believed), present a view of Constantine and Eusebius that fully contradicts that of the Translators. The KJV-Only version portrays Constantine and Eusebius as wolves in sheep’s clothing who conspired to synthesize Christianity and paganism.
“The Western roots of the New World Religion of the false prophet can be found in the philosophies of Egypt, Greece and Rome....the Rome of Constantine and Eusebius, with their merger of Christianity and paganism, cradled the infantile crossbreed which today is Satan’s seasoned scarlet woman. (Revelation 18)...
“Historians, such as the author of The Spear of Destiny, record that the ruler who possesses the spear that pierced Christ’s side, including forty-five men from Constantine to Adolf Hitler, will have occultic sovereignty...” (New Age Bible Versions, pp. 516, 535)
Gail dignifies Trevor Ravenscroft’s Spear of Destiny as history even though the material for the book was based on the visions and astral travels of an occultist, a Dr. Walter Johannes Stein, who practiced “the ancient Rosicrucian meditation on the Black Cross and Seven Roses which embraced the inner significance of the Blood, the central theme of the search for the Grail.” (The Spear of Destiny, p. 192) Are we to believe the statement of a fellow occultist of Trevor Ravenscroft or the KJV Translators, whose favorable opinion of Constantine, Eusebius and the early Roman Church Gail Riplinger omitted in her section on the “Public Views of the King James Translators: Rome”? (Awe, pp. 535-6)
The Translators’ source, Eusebius of Caesarea’s The Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine,, was a chronology of Constantine’s labors to establish the Christian Church and to eradicate paganism throughout the Roman Empire. Socrates Scholasticus’ Ecclesiastical History is a respected historical account of the Council of Nicea and the role of Constantine and Eusebius of Caesarea in bringing the bishops to agreement concerning the Arian controversy. Convened and led by Constantine, the Council established as Christian doctrine the deity of Jesus Christ as it was set forth in the Nicene Creed. The King James Translators’ knowledge of Roman history derived from accepted historical records such as these.
In New Age Bible Versions, Gail did the usual hatchet job on her source, Eusebius’ “Oration in Praise of Constantine”, which was not identified lest readers discover her misquote:
“Eusebius, like the false prophet of the book of Revelations and Daniel, ‘magnifies’ Constantine, proclaiming that his power came from a supernatural source. Constantine was, he says, ‘...interpreter to the Word of God...invested as he is with heavenly sovereignty...whose character is formed after the Divine original... Hence is our emperor perfect. 74...”…fn. 74. What Ever Happened to Heaven?, p. 115” 6. (New Age Bible Versions, pp. 535, 685)
As stated, the original source for this quotation was Eusebius’ “Oration in Praise of Constantine.” Notice the many words which Gail omitted (Westcott-Hort style, %) in order to misrepresent Eusebius:
“He who is the pre-existent Word, the Preserver of all things, imparts to his disciples the seeds of true wisdom and salvation, and at once enlightens and gives them understanding in the knowledge of his Father’s kingdom. Our emperor, his friend, acting as interpreter to the Word of God, aims at recalling the whole human race to the knowledge of God; proclaiming clearly in the ears of all, and declaring with powerful voice the laws of truth and godliness to all who dwell on the earth...
“Lastly, invested as he is with a semblance of heavenly sovereignty, he directs his gaze above, and frames his earthly government according to the pattern of that Divine original, feeling strength in its conformity to the monarchy of God.
“He is indeed an emperor, and bears a title corresponding to his deeds; a Victor in truth, who has gained the victory over those passions which overmaster the rest of men: whose character is formed after the Divine original of the Supreme Sovereign, and whose mind reflects, as in a mirror, the radiance of his virtues. Hence is our emperor perfect in discretion, in goodness, in justice, in courage, in piety, in devotion to God...”
In New Age Bible Versions, Gail misrepresented Constantine as condoning the Arian heresy while in her other book, In Awe of Thy Word, she portrayed Ulphilas, the Arian missionary responsible for spreading Arianism throughout the Roman Empire, as a Bible-believing Christian!
“Together Constantine and Eusebius called for religious toleration, which is invariably followed by amalgamation. To placate both Christian and heathen, they took the middle road position regarding the deity of Christ. Consequently Arianism and semi-Arianism, the doctrine that Jesus was ‘the eldest and highest of creatures,’ rather than ‘God manifest in the flesh’, was adopted by Constantine in 330 A.D.” (New Age Bible Versions, p. 535)
“Ulphilas drew the water of life from the pure fountain, and delivered it to his people uncontaminated. (The Gospels: Gothic, Anglo-Saxon, Wycliffe, and Tyndale Versions, ed. Joseph Bosworth, 4th Ed., London, 1907) ‘Of the influence of the [corrupt] Vulgate there is no trace whatsoever’ in the Gothic Bible. ‘We are certain of this, that so far as the translation of Ulphilas has been recovered, there is not a trace of Arianism to be found [the heresy that Jesus was a created being]. On the contrary, in passages clearly unfavorable to the doctrine of Arius, Ulphilas has honestly and plainly given the literal meaning of the Greek.’ (Freiderichsen, Gospels, p. 162; Bosworth, p. iv).” (In Awe of Thy Word, p. 624)
Factual information regarding the Arian evangelist, Ulphilas, and his Gothic translation is presented in Chapter 16. Our report “Mystery Babylon: Catholic or Jewish?” offers some insights as to why Constantine gets such bad press in the global disinformation network which appears to include King James Onlyism.
We have previously documented the Translators’ generous praise of St. Jerome, the Roman Catholic monk and scholar who was commissioned by Pope Damascus to translate the Latin Vulgate. St. Jerome is cited as an authority no less than twenty times in the Translators’ Preface, and St. Augustine of Hippo is favorably quoted as a “Father of the Church” some fourteen times. It seems that the Translators’ high regard for the early Roman Catholic Church may be one reason for the omission of their Preface in King James-Only literature, which presents a version of Church history very different from the Translators’ perspective.
Agreeing with the Translators’ favorable references to Jerome and Augustine is Erasmus’ high opinion of these early Church fathers, especially Jerome and Origen. According to historian James Bass Mullinger, author of The University of Cambridge, referring to Frederic Seebohm’s The Oxford Reformers, Jerome had no equal in Erasmus’ judgment, in part because he was a pupil of Origen.
“Erasmus himself, who entertained a decided preference for the Greek theology, declared that Jerome was worth the whole of the Latin fathers, and even ventured to point out how far, by virtue of his long and arduous study of the Scriptures and his real knowledge of Greek, he was entitled to rank as an authority above Augustine, who knew but little of the language, and whose labours had been carried on amid the onerous duties of his episcopate...’ fn. Seebohm, The University of Cambridge, p. 362” (Mullinger, p. 483)
Although Erasmus repeatedly referenced the works of Augustine, he wrote to his Oxford colleague and close friend, Sir Thomas More, “One page of Origen teaches me more of Christian Philosophy than ten of Augustine.”
“Let his critics examine [Erasmus’] works, they would find that there was scarcely a work of St. Augustine which was not there quoted many hundred times. Let him compare Augustine and Jerome on their merits. Jerome was a pupil of Origen, and one page of Origen teaches more Christian philosophy than ten of Augustine. Augustine scarcely knew Greek; at all events was not at home in Greek writers. Besides this, by his own confession, he was busied with his bishopric, and could hardly snatch time to learn what he taught to others. Jerome devoted thirty-five years to the study of the Scriptures.” (Seebohm, The Oxford Reformers, p. 437)
What understanding of Church history did the KJV Translators have that they would call the “Church of Rome, then a true Church,” that is, a true Church in its early centuries? The Translators were textual scholars who knew Church history well and their chronological proximity to the early Church period gave them a clearer perspective than modern Christians have, whose understanding of the early Roman Church has been the seriously distorted by Masonic propaganda. When did the “Church of Rome, then a true Church,” go so terribly wrong? The “Avignon Papacy” is the missing link in the evolutionary history of the Roman Catholic Church. (Chapter 19)
ABOUT BIBLE TRANSLATIONS
The Translators of the King James Version expressed many other views which would probably be the undoing of ‘King James Onlyism’ if their Preface was widely published and read. As noted previously, they unequivocally regarded only the original Hebrew and Greek to be divinely inspired and inerrant, and all translations, by their very nature, to be less than perfect. Yet, even with imperfections, they believed these translations were the “Word of God.”
AN ANSWER TO THE IMPUTATIONS OF OUR ADVERSARIES
“Now to the latter we answer; that we do not deny, nay we affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our profession, (for we have seen none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God. As the King’s speech, which he uttereth in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and Latin, is still the King’s speech, though it be not interpreted by every Translator with the like grace, nor peradventure so fitly for phrase, nor so expressly for sense, everywhere. For it is confessed, that things are to take their denomination of the greater part; and a natural man could say, Verum ubi multa nitent in carmine, non ego paucis offendor maculis, etc. [Horace.] A man may be counted a virtuous man, though he have made many slips in his life, (else, there were none virtuous, for in many things we offend all) [James 3:2] also a comely man and lovely, though he have some warts upon his hand, yea, not only freckles upon his face, but also scars. No cause therefore why the word translated should be denied to be the word, or forbidden to be current, notwithstanding that some imperfections and blemishes may be noted in the setting forth of it. For whatever was perfect under the Sun, where Apostles or Apostolic men, that is, men endued with an extraordinary measure of God’s spirit, and privileged with the privilege of infallibility, had not their hand?... Judge by an example or two... So, by the story of Ezra, and the prophecy of Haggai it may be gathered, that the Temple built by Zerubbabel after the return from Babylon, was by no means to be compared to the former built by Solomon (for they that remembered the former, wept when they considered the latter) [Ezra 3:12] notwithstanding, might this latter either have been abhorred and forsaken by the Jews, or profaned by the Greeks? The like we are to think of Translations.” (“The Translators to the Reader”)
Contradicting the Translators’ testimony, Gail Riplinger maintains that they believed their own translation and the Bishops’ Bible were “perfect” Bibles.
“Unlike today’s editors, the KJV translators’ final authorities were Bibles, not lexicons. They saw the KJV as the final ‘perfected’ and ‘finished’ English Bible.” (Awe, p. 31)
“The previous Bishops’ Bible (c. 1568-1611) was no less perfect, pure, and true than the KJV.” (Awe, p. 17)
Contrary to KJV-Onlyism, the King James Translators neither declared any translation to be “perfect” nor did they condemn any translation of Scripture:
A SATISFACTION TO OUR BRETHREN
“And to the same effect say we, that we are so far off from condemning any of their labors that travailed before us in this kind, either in this land or beyond sea, either in King Henry's time, or King Edward’s (if there were any translation, or correction of a translation in his time) or Queen Elizabeth’s of ever renowned memory, that we acknowledge them to have been raised up of God, for the building and furnishing of his Church, and that they deserve to be had of us and of posterity in everlasting remembrance.”
The 1611 Translators were certainly more accepting of corrupt translations than KJV-Only advocates. They considered the Septuagint to be the Word of God even though it departed from the original Hebrew. The Apostles used it, they stated, and God used it to prepare the Greek-speaking Gentiles for the coming of Jesus Christ.
THE TRANSLATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT OUT OF THE HEBREW INTO GREEK
“This is the translation of the Seventy Interpreters, commonly so called, which prepared the way for our Saviour among the Gentiles by written preaching, as Saint John Baptist did among the Jews by vocal. ...Again, the Greek tongue was well known and made familiar to most inhabitants in Asia, by reason of the conquest that there the Grecians had made, as also by the Colonies, which thither they had sent. For the same causes also it was well understood in many places of Europe, yea, and of Africa too. Therefore the word of God being set forth in Greek, becometh hereby like a candle set upon a candlestick, which giveth light to all that are in the house, or like a proclamation sounded forth in the market place, which most men presently take knowledge of; and therefore that language was fittest to contain the Scriptures, both for the first Preachers of the Gospel to appeal unto for witness, and for the learners also of those times to make search and trial by. It is certain, that that Translation was not so sound and so perfect, but it needed in many places correction; and who had been so sufficient for this work as the Apostles or Apostolic men? Yet it seemed good to the holy Ghost and to them, to take that which they found, (the same being for the greatest part true and sufficient) rather than making a new, in that new world and green age of the Church, to expose themselves to many exceptions and cavillations, as though they made a Translations to serve their own turn, and therefore bearing a witness to themselves, their witness not to be regarded. This may be supposed to be some cause, why the Translation of the Seventy was allowed to pass for current. Notwithstanding, though it was commended generally, yet it did not fully content the learned, no not of the Jews. For not long after Christ, Aquila fell in hand with a new Translation, and after him Theodotion, and after him Symmachus; yea, there was a fifth and a sixth edition, the Authors whereof were not known. [Epiphan. de mensur. et ponderibus.] These with the Seventy made up the Hexapla and were worthily and to great purpose compiled together by Origen.” (The Translators to the Reader)
AN ANSWER TO THE IMPUTATIONS OF OUR ADVERSARIES
“The translation of the Seventy dissenteth from the Original in many places, neither doth it come near it, for perspicuity, gravity, majesty; yet which of the Apostles did condemn it? Condemn it? Nay, they used it, (as it is apparent, and as Saint Jerome and most learned men do confess) which they would not have done, nor by their example of using it, so grace and commend it to the Church, if it had been unworthy of the appellation and name of the word of God.” (“The Translators to the Reader”)
In the first passage, the Translators also commended Origen (185-232 A.D.) for his Hexapla, a compilation of six translations of the Old Testament with the Septuagint in the fifth column. The KJV Translators dated the translation of the Septuagint “before Christ” rather than Anno Domini, as Gail Riplinger claims: “Origen was the author of this A.D. document.” (NABV, p. 537)
“So in A.D. 331 Constantine asked Eusebius to create bibles which presented this somewhat de-deified Christ and ecumenical theology. Origen had much in his writings to suggest the subordination of the Son; his amalgamation of heathen and Christian doctrine—smoothing out differences thereby allowing for unity—was perfect for Constantine’s purposes. So Constantine,...‘charged Eusebius with preparing fifty copies...written on prepared skins with the help of skillful artists.’ (B.F. Westcott, A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament, p. 426)
“Scholars agree on the role of Origen and Pamphilus, a scribe, as the authors of these fifty corrupt copies. Jerome (A.D. 325-420) records that Pamphilus, a friend of Eusebius and an apologist of Origenism, ‘copied with his own hand the chief part of the work of Origen.’ Even Westcott tells us that the bible texts used by Eusebius to create these bibles were ‘compared with accurate copes of Pamphilus of Caesarea contained in the library of Eusebius.’ (Westcott, p. 398) In the textbook, Ancestry of the English Bible, Ira Price summarizes:
“Eusebius of Caesarea...assisted by Pamphilus...issued with all his critical remarks the fifth column of Origen’s Hexapla... The Emperor Constantine gave orders that fifty copies of this edition should be prepared for use in the churches. (Ira Price, Ancestry of the English Bible, as quoted in Which Bible, p. 3)...
“The Septuagint (LXX), a Greek translation of the Old Testament, is used today by textual critics, in many instances, to determine the wording of new versions. It appears that Origen was the author of this A.D. document. The NIV translators admit they use the O.T. text which was ‘standardized early in the third century by Origen.’ (Kenneth Barker, The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation, pp. 50, 89)...” (New Age Bible Versions, pp. 535-538)
Notice Kenneth Barker stated that Origen only “standardized” the Greek Old Testament in the third century. Big difference between “authored” and “standardized” (about 400 years), but how many readers of New Age Bible Versions noted the discrepancy?
David Otis Fuller was the author of Which Bible?, Gail Riplinger’s source for her claim that Eusebius used Origen’s Hexapla for the bibles ordered by Constantine. Fuller wrote:
“Eusebius was a great admirer of Origen and a student of his philosophy. J.J. Ray quotes from Dr. Ira Price’s Ancestry of the English Bible, ‘Eusebius of Caesarea, the first church historian, assisted by Pamphilus, or vice versa, issued with all its critical remarks [sic] the fifth column of Origen’s Hexapla with alternative readings from the other columns, for use in Palestine. The Emperor Constantine gave orders that fifty copies of this edition should be prepared for use in the churches.’”
David Otis Fuller got his information from J.J. Ray’s God Only Wrote One Bible. Notice that J.J. Ray substituted “critical remarks” for “critical marks” — a system of diacritical markings invented by Origen which he inserted in his revised/corrected Septuagint, as stated in the original source which J.J. Ray selectively (mis)quoted. Perhaps this blunder was intentional to obscure the truth. Ray’s error was not corrected or noted by Fuller or Riplinger.
J.J. Ray quoted Dr. Ira Price’s Ancestry of Our English Bible but omitted certain key statements by Dr. Price concerning (1) the B.C. translation of the Septuagint, (2) Origen’s A.D. revision and correction of the Septuagint, and (3) Eusebius’ addition of critical marks to Origen’s version of the Septuagint in the Hexapla before issuing the 50 copies ordered by Constantine. From Ira Price’s Ancestry of the English Bible—
“The Septuagint was translated out of the original Hebrew probably between 280 and 130 B.C. It was made at Alexandria under Hebrew-Greek influences, hence it carries a distinctive Hebrew flavor...
“Origen found in existence and in use in his day, besides the Old Testament in Hebrew, the Septuagint and the three Greek versions noted above (Aquila, Theodocian, Symanchus). He complained that every manuscript contained a different text from its next. He conceived the idea of carefully studying by comparison all these different versions and manuscripts, and of producing therefrom the best possible manuscript or version...
The real purpose of Origen’s Hexapla was not a restoration of the original text of the Septuagint. but to make it correctly and adequately represent the Hebrew original. The fifth column of the Hexapla is the most important, touching Origen's work, for it was his revision of the Septuagint. He revised the regular Septuagint text on this wise: If the manuscripts of the Septuagint differed he chose that one that was the best translation of the Hebrew original. In case there were words in the Hebrew that had no adequate representation in the Septuagint, he inserted in the Septuagint text such translation of these words as was found in one of the other three Greek versions, preferably from Theodotion. Such insertion was marked by an asterisk (* or *) at the beginning, and a metobelus (Y) at the close of the passage. A passage which was found in the Septuagint, but had no equivalent in the Hebrew was marked in Origen's Septuagint by an obelus (—), or a horizontal line, but it was not expunged.
“These are a few of the critical marks introduced by Origen to specify the sources and variations of his version of the Septuagint...
“Origen’s work did not unify existing Greek texts of the Old Testament, but rather opened the door for revisions. Three great scholars arose in the third century who gave themselves to this work: (l) Eusebius of Caesarea (260-340), the first church historian, assisted by Pamphilus or vice versa, issued with all its critical marks the fifth column of the Hexapla, with alternative readings from the other columns, for use in Palestine. The Emperor Constantine gave orders that fifty copies of this edition should be prepared for use in the churches... [Discussion of other revisers of Origen’s Hexapla Septuagint, Lucian and Hesychius]
“These three revisers furnished Greek revisions for all the eastern coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. Eusebius for Palestine, Lucian for Asia Minor, and Hesychius for Egypt.” (p. 66-68, 70, 71)
The Ancestry of Our English Bible cited by J.J. Ray and David Otis Fuller and, and indirectly by Gail Riplinger, states that the Septuagint had been translated between 280 and 130 B.C. by the Hebrews in Alexandria, and that Origen revised the Septuagint “to make it correctly and adequately represent the Hebrew original.” Here we see that Gail selectively quoted yet another source to advance her agenda. Changing the author and date of the original Septuagint – from the Jews in B.C. to Origen in A.D. – allows Gail Riplinger to dissociate this translation (which was “not so sound and so perfect, but it needed in many places correction”) from the Alexandrian Jews and, instead, to associate the corrupt Septuagint with Eusebius and Constantine.
It is beyond the scope of this book to delve further into early Church history, however, we are inclined to believe that the learned Translators of the 1611 King James Version knew Church history well and that the KJV-Only advocates who present themselves as Bible scholars today have suppressed the Translators’ Preface in order to popularize, not only their false teachings, but also a falsified version of Church history. One thing is certain: the King James Translators believed that Origen, Eusebius, Constantine, Jerome, Augustine and the early Roman Catholic Church preserved the Scriptures and the Christian faith. If the KJV-Only advocates disagree with the Translators’ favorable statements about these men and the early Roman Catholic Church, then they need to issue statements expressing their disagreement with the views of the Translators in the 1611 KJV Preface.
ABOUT DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE
Gail Riplinger claims that the 1611 King James Version was a formal equivalence translation as opposed to dynamic equivalence:
“There are two methods of translating the Bible. God’s formal equivalency method is good; the devil’s dynamic equivalency scheme is bad. 1. Formal equivalence: One English word is usually used to translate one Greek or Hebrew word. Parts of speech are carried over into English in the same form... The KJV is the only true formal equivalency translation of the true Bible texts into the English language.” (Gail Riplinger, Awe, p. 270)
Did the KJV scholars translate word for word, even using identical parts of speech? The Translators stated “we have not tied ourselves to an uniformity of phrasing, or to an identity of words, as some peradventure would wish that we had done.” The fact is that the Translators did resort to dynamic equivalence instead of formal equivalence translation which might “darken the sense.” They were not adverse to modifying words and phrases to render the meaning of the Bible understandable to the common people.
REASONS INDUCING US NOT TO STAND CURIOUSLY UPON AN IDENTITY OF PHRASING
“Another things we think good to admonish thee of (gentle Reader) that we have not tied ourselves to an uniformity of phrasing, or to an identity of words, as some peradventure would wish that we had done, because they observe, that some learned men somewhere, have been as exact as they could that way...
“Lastly, we have on the one side avoided the scrupulosity of the Puritans, who leave the old Ecclesiastical words, and betake them to other, as when they put WASHING for BAPTISM, and CONGREGATION instead of CHURCH: as also on the other side we have shunned the obscurity of the Papists, in their AZIMES, TUNIKE, RATIONAL, HOLOCAUSTS, PRAEPUCE, PASCHE, and a number of such like, whereof their late Translation is full, and that of purpose to darken the sense, that since they must needs translate the Bible, yet by the language thereof, it may be kept from being understood. But we desire that the Scripture may speak like itself, as in the language of Canaan, that it may be understood even of the very vulgar.” (“The Translators to the Reader”)
The KJV Translators used dynamic equivalence in many verses. In Acts 12:4, the “old Ecclesiastical word” Easter was preferred to Passover which is pascha in the Greek (Strong’s #3957). In the above passage, their stated reason for using Easter was that “it may be understood even of the very vulgar.” They were simply following King James’ Instructions which stated: “The old ecclesiastical words to be kept; as the word church, not to be translated congregation, &c.” They were also following the King James’ instruction to closely follow former English translations such as the Bishops’, Coverdale and Tyndale Bibles which also translated pascha as Easter.
The Translators also used dynamic equivalence in Acts 14:12, which reads, “And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.” The Greek Textus Receptus reads, “And they called Barnabas Zeus and Paul Hermes, because he was the leader in speaking.” The choice of Jupiter and Mercury was based on previous English Bibles which carried the reading of the Latin Vulgate. Jupiter and Mercury were the Roman gods which corresponded to the Greek gods, Zeus and Hermes.
In his volume, The Authorized Edition of the English Bible (1611): Its Subsequent Reprints and Modern Representatives,” F.H.A. Scrivener observed that the King James Translators’ aversion to ‘uniformity of phrasing’ and ‘identity of words’ led them, on occasion, to sacrifice accuracy of translation for literary beauty:
“Nor can the attentive student of the Authorized version fail to marvel at the perfect and easy command over the English language exhibited by its authors on every page. The fullness and variety of their diction, the raciness of their idiomatic resources, seem almost to defy imitation, while they claim our just and cheerful admiration. We need not extenuate that great error of judgment which is acknowledged to be the capital defect of the Translation, especially in the New Testament, in that the same foreign word is perpetually translated by several English ones, while on the other hand a single English word is made to represent two or three in the original, and that too in the same context, where the cogency of the argument or the perspicuity of the narrative absolutely depends on identity in the rendering. But in avoiding this conspicuous fault of the men of 1622, some modern revisers [Westcott/Hort] whose efforts are already before the public have fallen into the opposite mistake of forcing the same English word to stand for the same Hebrew or Greek one where there is no real need for preserving such slavish uniformity, thus at once impoverishing our native tongue which is so much more copious than either of the others, and casting over the version an air of baldness very painful to the cultivated taste.” (Scrivener, pp. 141-2)
One example of the Translators’ injudicious use of different English words for the same Greek word is the variable translation of the Greek preposition “epi” in verses pertaining to the Mark of the Beast. The Greek word “epi” is mistranslated as “on” in Revelation 13:16 and 14:9, but in Rev. 20:4, “epi” is correctly translated “on.” The error in the first two verses is defended by King James Only advocates who also promote a counterfeit Mark of the Beast, which is the subject of Chapter 9.
A major example of the Translators’ rejection of “uniformity of phrasing, or to an identity of words” found in the Greek and Hebrew texts is their insertion of many English words that have no underlying words in the original texts. In the 1611 Authorised Version these were distinguished by the use of a smaller font than the rest of the text. In our current KJVs, these added words are distinguished by italics. How many KJV readers know that the italicized words in the KJV were additions to the Greek Text at the discretion of the Translators? For example, in 1 John 2:23 the Translators added an entire phrase of ten words that is not found in the Greek:
“Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”
The concluding phrase is not original to the 1611 KJV but is also found in the Bishops’ Bible, the Wycliffe Bible, the Latin Vulgate and the Syriac Peshitta. Note below that the phrase was not in the Tyndale, Coverdale, or Geneva Bibles, and that the Bishops’ Bible picked it up from the Roman Catholic Vulgate. In this verse the KJV Translators erroneously followed the Bishops’ Bible, per the instructions of King James. However they violated the King's Instruction which stated: “The...Bishop’s Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the original will permit.”
Peshitta - Lamsa Translation
“Whoever denies the Son, the same does not believe in the Father; but whoever acknowledges the Son, acknowledges the Father also.”
The Latin Vulgate (425)
“omnis qui negat Filium nec Patrem habet qui confitetur Filium et Patrem habet”
The Wycliffe Bible (1395)
“So ech that denyeth the sone, hath not the fadir; but he that knowlechith the sone, hath also the fadir.”
Tyndale New Testament (1526)
“Whosoever denyeth the sonne the same hath not the father.”
“Miles Coverdale Bible (1535)
Whosoeuer denyeth the sonne, the same hath not the father.”
The Geneva Bible (1587)
“Whosoeuer denyeth the Sonne, the same hath not the Father.”
The Bishop's Bible (1568)
“Whosoeuer denyeth the sonne, the same hath not the father [But he that knowledgeth the sonne, hath the father also.]”
King James Version (1611)
“Whosoeuer denieth the Sonne, the same hath not the Father: but he that acknowledgeth the Sonne, hath the Father also.”
Scrivener stated that the Great Bible was the fist English translation to distinguish words that had been derived from the Latin Vulgate and the Old Latin versions with a different font:
“The practice of indicating by a variation of type such words in a translation of the Bible as have no exact representatives in the original is believed to have been first employed by Samuel Munster in his Latin version of the Old Testament published in 1534. Five years later this diversity of character (‘a small letter in the text’ as the editors describe it) was resorted to in the Great Bible, in order to direct attention to clauses rendered from the Latin Vulgate which are not extant in the Hebrew or Greek originals. A good example of its use occurs in Matt. xxv.1 where ‘(and the bride)’ is added to the end of the verse from the Old Latin, not from any Greek copy known in that age. As the readings of the Vulgate came to be less regarded or less familiar in England, subsequent translators applied the smaller type to the purpose for which Muster had first designed it, the rather as Theodore Beza had so used it in his Latin New Testament of 1556. Thus the English New Testament published in Geneva at 1557, and the Genevan Bible of 1560, ‘put to that word, which lacking made the sentence obscure, but set it in such letters, as may easily be discerned from the common text.’ The same expedient was adopted by the translators of the Bishops’ Bible (1568, 1572), somewhat too freely indeed in parts. It is one of the most considerable faults of this not very successful version, that its authors assumed a liberty of running into paraphrase, the ill effects of which this very difference in type tended to conceal from themselves. From these two preceding versions, then held in the best repute, the Geneva and the Bishops’ Bibles, the small Roman as distinguished from the black letter (now and as early as the Bible of 1612 respectively represented by the Italic and Roman type) was brought naturally enough into the Bible of 1611, and forms a prominent feature of it, whether for good or ill.” (Scrivener, pp. 61-62)
How many King James readers know that the italicized words in the KJV are (1) words added by the Translators and not translated from the original Greek or Hebrew text and (2) that many of these words were translations of words and phrases in the Latin Vulgate and/or Old Latin Versions??? How many KJV readers are aware that, out of the 7,957 verses in their New Testament, 2,257 contain italicized words, and many of these verses contain more than one italicized word. In other words, 28% of the verses in the KJV New Testament contain words which are not translated from the Greek Textus Receptus. And many of these words are translated from the Latin Vulgate or Old Latin.
The next phase of defrauding KJV Christians will be to eliminate the italics,
since few people know the reason for the italicized words in the first place,
and many would not care. Some Large Print KJVs have already done away with the
italics, leaving readers with the mistaken idea that all of the words in
their KJV are translated from the Masoretic Text and Textus Receptus and are therefore God’s
words. Also, some online Bibles, such as
StudyLight.org do not italize words that are italicized in the KJV, i.e.,
words not in
the Greek TR. For online Bibles, we recommend
Olive Tree which
brackets words in all translations that are not found in their underlying Greek
ON MARGINAL NOTES
The KJV Translators were of the opinion that marginal notes showing a variety of translations is profitable for Bible study:
REASONS MOVING US TO SET DIVERSITY OF SENSES IN THE MARGIN, WHERE THERE IS GREAT PROBABILITY FOR EACH
“Some peradventure would have no variety of senses to be set in the margin, lest the authority of the Scriptures for deciding of controversies by that show of uncertainty, should somewhat be shaken. But we hold their judgment not to be sound in this point. ...doth not a margin do well to admonish the Reader to seek further, and not to conclude or dogmatize upon this or that peremptorily? For as it is a fault of incredulity, to doubt of those things that are evident: so to determine of such things as the Spirit of God hath left (even in the judgment of the judicious) questionable, can be no less than presumption. Therefore as S. Augustine saith, that variety of Translations is profitable for the finding out of the sense of the Scriptures: [S. Aug. 2. de doctr. Christian. cap. 14.] so diversity of signification and sense in the margin, where the text is no so clear, must needs do good, yea, is necessary, as we are persuaded....They that are wise, had rather have their judgments at liberty in differences of readings, than to be captivated to one, when it may be the other.” (“The Translators to the Reader”)
We might presume the Translators meant translations based on the Textus Receptus, however, there are readings in their marginal notes from the Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate. Such references are documented in Scrivener’s book, Section II, “On the Marginal Notes and Original Texts of the Authorized Version of the English Bible”:
“In the Old Testament the marginal notes in our standard Bibles of 1611 amount to 6637, whereof 4111 express the more literal meaning of the original Hebrew or Chaldee (there are 77 referring to the latter language): 2156 give alternative renderings (indicated by the word "ﺍﺍOr" prefixed to them) which in the opinion of the Translators are not very less probable than those in the text: in 63 the meaning of proper Names is stated for the benefit of the unlearned (e.g. Gen. xi. 9; xvi. n): in 240 (whereof 108 occur in the first Book of Chronicles) necessary information is given by way of harmonizing the text with other passages of Scripture, especially in regard to the orthography of Hebrew names (e.g. Gen. xi. 16, 20, 24): while the remaining 67 refer to various readings of the original, in 31 of which the marginal variation (technically called Keri) of the Masoretic revisers of the Hebrew is set in competition with the reading in the text (Chetiv). Of this last kind of marginal notes a list is subjoined, as many of them are not readily distinguishable from the alternative renderings, being mostly, like them, preceded by “ﺍﺍOr”. They are
“Deut. 28:22; Josh. 8:12, 15:53; I Sam. 6:18 (…with the Targum and Septuagint); 27:8; 2 Sam.13:37, 14:22; I Kings 22:48, 2 Kings 5:12, 20:4, 23:33; 1 Chr. 1:6,7; 2 Chr. 1:5; Ezra 2:33, 46, 8:14, 10:40; Neh. 3:20; Job 6:21, 33:28; Ps. 9:12, 10:12, 24:6 (marg. with the Septuagint, Syriac, and Latin Vulgate), 64:6, 68:30, 102:3, 147:19; Prov. 17:27, 20:30, 21:29, 24:19, 26:17; Cant. 5:4, Isai. 10:13, 13:22, 18:2, 30:32; 41:24, 49:5, 63:11 (marg. with Aquila and the Vulgate), 65:4; Jer. 2:20, 3:9 (text with the Septuagint), 7:18 and 44:17, 16:7, 18:4, 23:31, 33:3, 49:1 & 3 (marg. with the Septuagint), 50:9, 26, 51:59 (marg… Septuagint): Ezek. 7:11, 23:42, 25:7, 30:18, 36:14…ver. 23 (marg. with the Masora, Septuagint, and some Hebrew manuscripts, against the commonly printed text), 40:40, 42:9; Dan. 9:24; Amos 3:12; Zech. 11:2; Mal. 2:5…” 15.
Notwithstanding occasional references in the margin to readings from the Septuagint and the Vulgate, the Translators did seem to distinguish between the quality of the Greek text of Erasmus and that of the Greek text underlying the Latin Vulgate:
A SATISFACTION TO OUR BRETHREN
“For by this means it cometh to pass, that whatsoever is sound already (and all is sound for substance, in one or other of our editions, and the worst of ours far better than their authentic vulgar) the same will shine as gold more brightly, being rubbed and polished; also, if anything be halting, or superfluous, or not so agreeable to the original, the same may be corrected, and the truth set in place.” (“The Translators to the Reader”)
AN ANSWER TO THE IMPUTATIONS OF OUR ADVERSARIES
“If we should tell them that Valla, Stapulensis, Erasmus, and Vives found fault with their vulgar Translation, and consequently wished the same to be mended, or a new one to be made, they would answer peradventure, that we produced their enemies for witnesses against them; albeit, they were in no other sort enemies, than as S. Paul was to the Galatians, for telling them the truth [Gal 4:16]: and it were to be wished, that they had dared to tell it them plainlier and oftener. But what will they say to this, that Pope Leo the Tenth allowed Erasmus’ Translation of the New Testament, so much different from the vulgar, by his Apostolic Letter and Bull;… so we may say, that if the old vulgar had been at all points allowable, to small purpose had labour and charges been undergone, about framing of a new.” (“The Translators to the Reader”)
ON FOREIGN LANGUAGE TRANSLATIONS
Ruckmanites like Gail Riplinger argue that all foreign Bibles should be translated from the English King James Version rather than the Greek Textus Receptus.
“Imagine the irony of well-meaning scholars who state that a foreign translation should be made from the ‘original’ Greek (and not from the KJV), when the Greek [TBS Scrivener’s] they are using was translated from the KJV. It becomes a double irony when some mockingly chatter, ‘Are you saying that the KJV translators were inspired like Moses?’ — when the printed Greek edition that they naively think is ‘the originals’ was edited by men, such as Scrivener, who were no more ‘inspired’ than the KJV translators. God’s word is inspired.” (Awe, p. 951)
What text did the KJV Translators say should be the universal standard for Bible translation?
THE PURPOSE OF THE TRANSLATORS, WITH THEIR NUMBER, FURNITURE, CARE, ETC.
“That ‘as the credit of the old Books’ ([Jerome] meaneth of the Old Testament) ‘is to be tried by the Hebrew Volumes, so of the New by the Greek tongue,’ he meaneth by the original Greek. If truth be tried by these tongues, then whence should a Translation be made, but out of them? These tongues therefore, the Scriptures we say in those tongues, we set before us to translate, being the tongues wherein God was pleased to speak to his Church by the Prophets and Apostles.” (“The Translators to the Reader”)
The Translators used Hebrew and Greek texts compiled by manuscript scholars like F.H.A. Scrivener who, Gail Riplinger falsely charges “back-translated” the KJV New Testament to produce his Greek edition. Scrivener did not “back-translate” but looked at all of the printed Greek TR-type editions available to the KJV translators (from Erasmus’ 1516 edition through Beza’s 1598 edition) and from these existing editions he chose the Greek readings that supported the KJV translators’ rendering.
“Wherever, therefore, the Authorised renderings agree with other Greek readings which might naturally be known through printed editions to the revisers of 1611 or their predecessors, Beza’s reading has been displaced from the text in favour of the more truly representative reading, the variation from Beza being indicated by *.”
Gail faults Scrivener because he was a member of the English Revision Committee, along with Westcott and Hort, which produced the English Revised Version in 1881/1884. However, it is well documented that Scrivener disputed with Westcott and Hort throughout the committee’s proceedings because he rejected their New Greek Text and theory of textual criticism, which he described as “ingenious conjecture...destitute not only of historical foundation, but of all probability...” In his great “Refutation of Westcott and Hort’s False Greek Text & Theory,” The Revision Revised, Dean John Burgon documented Dr. Scrivener’s protest of the revision project as published in his Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament:
The following is Prebendary Scrivener’s recently published estimate of the System on which Drs. Westcott and Hort have constructed their ‘Revised Greek Text of the New Testament’ (1881). – That System, the Chairman of the Revising Body (Bishop Ellicott) has entirely adopted...and made the basis of his Defense of the Revisers and their ‘New Greek Text.’
(1.) ‘There is little hope for the stability of their imposing structure, if its foundations have been laid on the sandy ground of ingenious conjecture. And, since barely the smallest vestige of historical evidence has ever been alleged in support of the views of these accomplished editors, their teaching must either be received as intuitively true, or dismissed from our consideration as precarious and even visionary.’
(2.) ‘Dr. Hort’s System is entirely destitute of historical foundation.’
(3.) ‘We are compelled to repeat as emphatically as ever our strong conviction that the Hypothesis to whose proof he has devoted so many laborious years, is destitute not only of historical foundation, but of all probability resulting from the internal goodness of the text which its adoption would force upon us.’
(4.) ‘‘We cannot doubt’ (says Dr. Hort) ‘that S. Luke xxiii. 34 comes from an extraneous source.’ [Notes, p. 68.]—Nor can we, on our part, doubt,’ (rejoins Dr. Scrivener,) ‘that the System which entails such consequences is hopelessly self-condemned.’
Scrivener’s ‘Plain Introduction,’ &c. [ed. 1883] : pp. 531, 537, 542, 604.” (Dean John William Burgon, The Revision Revised, p. v)
ON BIBLE REVISION
The Translators praised God for King James “for working this religious care in him, to have the translations of the Bible maturely considered of and examined... For by this means...if anything be...not so agreeable to the original, the same may be corrected, and the truth set in place.” The full quotation from the Preface reads as follows:
A SATISFACTION TO OUR BRETHREN
“Therefore let no man’s eye be evil, because his Majesty’s is good; neither let any be grieved, that we have a Prince that seeketh the increase of the spiritual wealth of Israel (let Sanballats and Tobiahs do so, which therefore do bear their just reproof) but let us rather bless God from the ground of our heart, for working this religious care in him, to have the translations of the Bible maturely considered of and examined. For by this means it cometh to pass, that whatsoever is sound already (and all is sound for substance, in one or other of our editions, and the worst of ours far better than their authentic vulgar) the same will shine as gold more brightly, being rubbed and polished; also, if anything be halting, or superfluous, or not so agreeable to the original, the same may be corrected, and the truth set in place.” (“The Translators to the Reader”)
The Translators also stated that all of the English Bibles based on the Textus Receptus were fundamentally “sound,” yet they were not “perfect” and could always be improved upon.
A SATISFACTION TO OUR BRETHREN
“Yet for all that, as nothing is begun and perfected at the same time, and the later thoughts are thought to be the wiser: so, if we building upon their foundation that went before us, and being holpen by their labours, do endeavor to make that better which they left so good; no man, we are sure, hath cause to mislike us; they, we persuade ourselves, if they were alive, would thank us.” (“The Translators to the Reader”)
THE PURPOSE OF THE TRANSLATORS, WITH THEIR NUMBER, FURNITURE, CARE, ETC.
“Truly (good Christian Reader) we never thought from the beginning, that we should need 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 principal good one, not justly to be excepted against; that hath been our endeavor, that our mark.” (“The Translators to the Reader”)
The Roman Catholic Church criticized the Protestants for continually revising their Bibles. To this criticism the Translators responded that it was right to correct and revise the English translations to conform to the Hebrew and Greek texts. Conversely, to refuse to correct their errors would be a sin rooted in arrogance or negligence. Christians, they rightly maintained, may not protect their own work or reputations at the expense of God’s Truth:
AN ANSWER TO THE IMPUTATIONS OF OUR ADVERSARIES
“Yet before we end, we must answer a third cavil and objection of theirs [the Papists] against us, for altering and amending our Translations so oft; wherein truly they deal hardly, and strangely with us. For to whomever was it imputed for a fault (by such as were wise) to go over that which he had done, and to amend it where he saw cause? Saint Augustine was not afraid to exhort S. Jerome to a Palinodia or recantation; [S. Aug. .] and doth even glory that he seeth his infirmities. [S. Aug. .] If we be sons of the Truth, we must consider what it speaketh, and trample upon our own credit, yea, and upon other men’s too, if either be any way an hindrance to it.” (“The Translators to the Reader”)
Nowhere in their Preface did the Translators state or even imply that their translation was perfect and inerrant, or that God was finished with the Greek Textus Receptus, or that the King James Version is God’s “final statement to the world and He slammed the door shut on revelation in 1611.” The Translators did not close the door on future revision and correction of their translation nor did they restrict English-speaking Christians to the King James Version Only, nor did they warn them against verifying words by consulting the Hebrew and the Greek texts. Neither did they declare their translation to be the standard for all foreign Bible translations; nor did they warn against the use of Hebrew and Greek resources because they were “polluted reference works,” “pagan books” “private interpretations authored by unsaved liberals.” On the contrary, as scholars, the Translators availed themselves of “as great helps as were needful,” and they also exhorted their Christian readers “to seek further...the sense of the Scriptures...where the text is not so clear.”
“...doth not a margin do well to admonish the Reader to seek further, and not to conclude or dogmatize upon this or that peremptorily? For as it is a fault of incredulity, to doubt of those things that are evident: so to determine of such things as the Spirit of God hath left (even in the judgment of the judicious) questionable, can be no less than presumption. Therefore as S. Augustine saith, that variety of Translations is profitable for the finding out of the sense of the Scriptures: [S. Aug. 2. de doctr. Christian. cap. 14.] so diversity of signification and sense in the margin, where the text is no so clear, must needs do good, yea, is necessary, as we are persuaded... They that are wise, had rather have their judgments at liberty in differences of readings, than to be captivated to one, when it may be the other.” (“The Translators to the Reader”)
REVISION OF THE KING JAMES VERSION
CONTEND FOR THE FAITH:
THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS
1. Watch Unto Prayer: http://watch-unto-prayer.org
2. Thomas Fuller, D.D., The Church History of Britain from the Birth of Jesus Christ to the Year MDCXLVIII,” Vol. I, London, 1837”
3. Eusebius of Caesarea The Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine, Bagster translation, revised by Ernest Cushing Richardson, Ph.D., Medieval Sourcebook, http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/vita-constantine.html
4. G.A. Riplinger, New Age Bible Versions, AV Publications, 1995, pp. 516, 535.
5. Trevor Ravenscroft, The Spear of Destiny, York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser, Inc, 1973, p. 192.
6. New Age Bible Versions, pp. 535, 685.
7. “Eusebius Pamphilius: Church History,” Life of Constantine, Oration in Praise of Constantine, Christian Classics Ethereal Library, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf201.iv.viii.vi.html
8. New Age Bible Versions, p. 535.
9. “Mystery Babylon the Great: Catholic or Jewish?, Barbara Aho, Watch Unto Prayer, http://watch-unto-prayer.org
10. New Age Bible Versions, p. 537.
11. New Age Bible Versions, pp. 535-8.
12. David Otis Fuller, Which Bible?, Grand Rapids, MI: Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, 1990 (1970), p. 3.
13. Ira Price, Ancestry of the English Bible, Sunday School Times Co., 1920, pp. 70-71
14. Scrivener, op. cit. pp. 141-2.
15. Scrivener, op. cit., pp. 41-2. To facilitate checking Scripture verses, Scrivener’s Roman numerals are converted to Arabic numbers.
16. Scrivener’s Annotated Greek New Testament, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1908, pp. viii-ix.
17. Dean John William Burgon, The Revision Revised, Bible For Today Press, p. v.