The Desirability of Keeping the Authorized Version

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Gesetveemet

Puritan Board Sophomore
The Desirability of Keeping the Authorized Version

(Written in 1857 when the Revised Version was contemplated)

We take this opportunity to express our opinion upon a question much agitated of late--whether it would be desirable to have a new (or at least a revised) translation of the Scriptures. We fully admit that there are here and there passages of which the translation might be improved, as, for instance, "love" for "charity" all through 1 Corinthians 13; but we deprecate any alteration as a measure that, for the smallest sprinkling of good, would deluge us with a flood of evil. The following are our reasons:

1.) Who are to undertake it? Into whose hands would the revision fall? What an opportunity for the enemies of truth to give us a mutilated false Bible! Of course, they must be learned men, great critics, scholars, and divines, but these are notoriously either Puseyites or Neologians (We should say: Anglo-Catholics and Modernists.)--in other words, deeply tainted with either popery or infidelity. Where are there learned men sound in the truth, not to say alive unto God, who possess the necessary qualifications for so important a work? And can erroneous men, men dead in trespasses and sins, carnal, worldly, ungodly persons, spiritually translate a book written by the blessed Spirit? We have not the slightest ground for hope that they would be godly men, such as we have reason to believe translated the Scriptures into our present version.

2.) Again, it would unsettle the minds of thousands as to which was the Word of God, the old translation or the new. What a door it would open for the workings of infidelity, or the temptations of Satan! What a gloom, too, it would cast over the minds of many of God's saints to have those passages which had been applied to their souls translated in a different way, and how it would seem to shake all their experience of the power and preciousness of God's Word!

3.) But besides this, there would be two Bibles spread through the land, the old and the new, and what confusion would this create in almost every place! At present, all sects and denominations agree in acknowledging our present version as the standard of appeal. Nothing settles disputes so soon as when the contending parties have confidence in the same umpire and are willing to abide by his decision. But this judge of all disputes, this umpire of all controversy, would cease to be the looser of strife if the present acknowledged authority were put an end to by a rival.

4.) Again, if the revision and re-translation were once to begin, where would it end? It is good to let well alone, as it is easier to mar than mend. The Socinianising (Denying the Godhead of Christ) Neologian would blot out "God" in 1 Timothy 3:16, and strike out 1 John 5:7,8, as an interpolation. The Puseyite would mend it to suit Tractarian views (Led by Newman and Keble, the Tractarians were moving towards Romanism). He would read "priest" where we now read "elder," and put "penance" in the place of "repentance." Once set up a notice, "THE OLD BIBLE TO BE MENDED," and there would be plenty of workmen, who, trying to mend the cover, would pull the pages to pieces. The Arminian would soften down the words "election" and "predestination" into some term less displeasing to Pharisaic ears. "Righteousness" would be turned into "justice," and "reprobate" into "undiscerning." All our good Bible terms would be so mutilated that they would cease to convey the Spirit's meaning, and instead of the noble simplicity, faithfulness and truth of our present version, we should have a Bible that nobody would accept as the Word of God, to which none could safely appeal, and on which none could implicitly rely.

5.) Instead of our good old Saxon Bible, simple and solid, with few words really obsolete, and alike majestic and beautiful, we should have a modern English translation in the pert and flippant language of the day. Besides its authority as the Word of God, our present version is the great English classic generally accepted as the standard of the English language. The great classics of a language cannot be modernised. What an outcry there would be against modernising Shakespeare, or making Hooker, Bacon or Milton talk the English of the newspapers or of the House of Commons!

6.) The present English Bible has been blessed to thousands of the saints of God; and not only so, it has become part of our national inheritance which we have received unimpaired from our fathers, and are bound to hand down unimpaired to our children.

(Taken from pages 103-105, Sin & Salvation, Selections from J. C. Philpot)
 

Galatians220

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I figured there had to have been something as succinct and trenchant as this, contemporaneous with the mid-19th century notion that the AV must be "modernized." Just didn't know where to find it, but you did! Thank you so much for this extremely valuable thread.

Margaret
 

reformedminister

Puritan Board Sophomore
It's hard to believe how many versions are out now. The ESV has already been updated once. I wonder what translation will be popular in about twenty years?
 

SolaGratia

Puritan Board Junior
the desirability of keeping the authorized version

(written in 1857 when the revised version was contemplated)

we take this opportunity to express our opinion upon a question much agitated of late--whether it would be desirable to have a new (or at least a revised) translation of the scriptures. We fully admit that there are here and there passages of which the translation might be improved, as, for instance, "love" for "charity" all through 1 corinthians 13; but we deprecate any alteration as a measure that, for the smallest sprinkling of good, would deluge us with a flood of evil. The following are our reasons:

1.) who are to undertake it? Into whose hands would the revision fall? What an opportunity for the enemies of truth to give us a mutilated false bible! Of course, they must be learned men, great critics, scholars, and divines, but these are notoriously either puseyites or neologians (we should say: Anglo-catholics and modernists.)--in other words, deeply tainted with either popery or infidelity. Where are there learned men sound in the truth, not to say alive unto god, who possess the necessary qualifications for so important a work? And can erroneous men, men dead in trespasses and sins, carnal, worldly, ungodly persons, spiritually translate a book written by the blessed spirit? We have not the slightest ground for hope that they would be godly men, such as we have reason to believe translated the scriptures into our present version.

2.) again, it would unsettle the minds of thousands as to which was the word of god, the old translation or the new. What a door it would open for the workings of infidelity, or the temptations of satan! What a gloom, too, it would cast over the minds of many of god's saints to have those passages which had been applied to their souls translated in a different way, and how it would seem to shake all their experience of the power and preciousness of god's word!

3.) but besides this, there would be two bibles spread through the land, the old and the new, and what confusion would this create in almost every place! At present, all sects and denominations agree in acknowledging our present version as the standard of appeal. Nothing settles disputes so soon as when the contending parties have confidence in the same umpire and are willing to abide by his decision. But this judge of all disputes, this umpire of all controversy, would cease to be the looser of strife if the present acknowledged authority were put an end to by a rival.

4.) again, if the revision and re-translation were once to begin, where would it end? It is good to let well alone, as it is easier to mar than mend. The socinianising (denying the godhead of Christ) neologian would blot out "god" in 1 timothy 3:16, and strike out 1 john 5:7,8, as an interpolation. The puseyite would mend it to suit tractarian views (led by newman and keble, the tractarians were moving towards romanism). He would read "priest" where we now read "elder," and put "penance" in the place of "repentance." once set up a notice, "the old bible to be mended," and there would be plenty of workmen, who, trying to mend the cover, would pull the pages to pieces. The arminian would soften down the words "election" and "predestination" into some term less displeasing to pharisaic ears. "righteousness" would be turned into "justice," and "reprobate" into "undiscerning." all our good bible terms would be so mutilated that they would cease to convey the spirit's meaning, and instead of the noble simplicity, faithfulness and truth of our present version, we should have a bible that nobody would accept as the word of god, to which none could safely appeal, and on which none could implicitly rely.

5.) instead of our good old saxon bible, simple and solid, with few words really obsolete, and alike majestic and beautiful, we should have a modern english translation in the pert and flippant language of the day. Besides its authority as the word of god, our present version is the great english classic generally accepted as the standard of the english language. The great classics of a language cannot be modernised. What an outcry there would be against modernising shakespeare, or making hooker, bacon or milton talk the english of the newspapers or of the house of commons!

6.) the present english bible has been blessed to thousands of the saints of god; and not only so, it has become part of our national inheritance which we have received unimpaired from our fathers, and are bound to hand down unimpaired to our children.

(taken from pages 103-105, sin & salvation, selections from j. C. Philpot)

wow!
 

Galatians220

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Who can guess what people will be reading in 20 years, or even 5? As long as a publishing house substantially changes words and phrases in any particular "new Bible" endeavor, it can copyright it and make a great deal of money in the "Christian interests" market, and so I would estimate that new versions will just keep on coming until that particular goldmine has been pretty much gutted.

Anyone who wants to quote any of the newer versions in works that they themselves intend to sell had better be aware of the proper way to attribute the verses they're quoting so as not to run afoul of copyright protections that Crossway, the Lockman Foundation, et al. are entitled to. Here's a simple list of how to do it: Google Answers: Getting copyright. To get copyright permission for quoting the ESV: http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/share/services/

(It remains tremendously interesting that in 2 Corinthians 2:17, the mask is dropped in most of the new versions just for an instant, when compared to the AV...)

Margaret
 

Galatians220

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
(It remains tremendously interesting that in 2 Corinthians 2:17, the mask is dropped in most of the new versions just for an instant, when compared to the AV...)

Margaret

I'm not sure what you mean here.

KJV: ""For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ."

The vast majority of newer versions render that verse a little differently: they deny that they peddle the word of God, when that is exactly what they do and is, in fact, their raison d'etre.

The KJV is copyrighted only in England according to "royal prerogative," which we don't recognize here and neither is it recognized anywhere else. One is free to quote the KJV; one does not have to scrupulously attribute verses to the particular publisher. (Those publishers earned those attributions by their hard work in producing a "copyrightable" work.) However, one may use the KJV freely, in every sense of the term...

Margaret
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Margaret, the ASV and the KJV both use corrupt. The ESV and the Geneva use peddle and merchandise.

So, it's a toss up between the newer and older versions on this word, which means to retail, or peddle, or by implication to corrupt (Strongs word G2586).
 

Whitefield

Puritan Board Junior
Margaret, the ASV and the KJV both use corrupt. The ESV and the Geneva use peddle and merchandise.

So, it's a toss up between the newer and older versions on this word, which means to retail, or peddle, or by implication to corrupt (Strongs word G2586).

Either way one translates καπηλευοντες Margaret makes her point. :)
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
Seems to me that the air is a bit thick in here. I'm not a moderator, but please be careful in the barbs getting thrown around.
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
Gesetveemet, thanks for the post. Per the PB rules, you also need to include a signature in your posts. Please click on the link in my signature below to see the requirements.
 

jaybird0827

PuritanBoard Honor Roll
Margaret, the ASV and the KJV both use corrupt. The ESV and the Geneva use peddle and merchandise.

So, it's a toss up between the newer and older versions on this word, which means to retail, or peddle, or by implication to corrupt (Strongs word G2586).

Sorry, I'm not buying! :lol:

Margaret

:ditto:

Given the proliferation of versions, translations and whatnot, there are some of us who thank God every day that the AV has not been taken from us nor lost to posterity.
 

Igor

Puritan Board Freshman
It's hard to believe how many versions are out now. The ESV has already been updated once. I wonder what translation will be popular in about twenty years?
I can tell you for sure - the old good KJV will still be popular. Plus new generation of modern (for that moment) versions.
 

SolaGratia

Puritan Board Junior
There are only two translations: the TR (Received Text) or the Critical Text.

The former is from the Church and the latter is from outside the Church.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
There are only two translations: the TR (Received Text) or the Critical Text.

The former is from the Church and the latter is from outside the Church.

In my opinion, this is skating on thin ice. What does this comment say about users of the CT? And by the way, neither the TR nor the CT are translations. They are manuscript traditions that overlap in 99.99% of the entire NT. So it is a bit rich that the CT comes from outside the church, when doctrinally, it agrees %100 with the TR.
 

SolaGratia

Puritan Board Junior
Was or has the Church ever been involved in the manuscript traditions of the CT?


-----Added 5/7/2009 at 02:58:08 EST-----

There are only two translations: the TR (Received Text) or the Critical Text.

The former is from the Church and the latter is from outside the Church.

In my opinion, this is skating on thin ice. What does this comment say about users of the CT? And by the way, neither the TR nor the CT are translations. They are manuscript traditions that overlap in 99.99% of the entire NT. So it is a bit rich that the CT comes from outside the church, when doctrinally, it agrees %100 with the TR.

It says that those who read a CT bible, read a bible that has not been approve by the Church. That is historically(in this case the english speaking church, where most CT translations exist) the Church has not mention anything concerning the CT.

It does not say one cannot read a CT bible, It does not say that one who reads a CT bible is outside the Church.

Lets be honest, the day for example, that NAPARC comments on the approval of the CT or the legitimacy of the CT or the usage of CT Bible translations will be another day, but up till know it has not happen.

Therefore TR bibles are and continue to be the only Bible from within the Church historically and CT bibles have come from outside the walls of the Church.

Is this not true? Maybe the Chinese Church have approved the CT? You tell me!
 
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Jon Peters

Puritan Board Sophomore
Couldn't this article, in substantially similar form, been written in the early 17th century say before that new translation came out in 1611?

Only his point #3 rings true in any sense.
 

Robert Truelove

Puritan Board Sophomore
There are only two translations: the TR (Received Text) or the Critical Text.

The former is from the Church and the latter is from outside the Church.

With all due respect...this is (and I wish I could find a friendlier word) naive.

The TR comes to us from Erasmus...AKA the Roman Catholic Church in the same century as its final apostasy (Council of Trent).

The KJV is 80% the Tyndal translation which was not a 'work of the church'. It was a work of that brilliant reformer William Tyndale working outside the auspices of the church (indeed he was hunted down as a criminal by the agents of the church for daring to translate the Bible into English).

It was the same institutional 'church' that was behind the KJV as was behind the RV.

The argument of the TR and its translations being works of the church versus modern versions and their non-church or secular origin rests on a tenuous foundation at best.

Regarding copyrights on translations, I despise them though they are a reality. The KJV was copywritten by the crown (and still is in Great Britian if my memory serves me). In the 17th Century, one of the tricks printers used to get around paying royalties to the crown was to publish the KJV as a 'commentary' by printing the Bible with study notes at the bottom of the page (commentaries were excepted from the copyright even if they contained the entirety of the Scripture). Those who purchased these would often have the bottom portion containing the notes cut off when they went to have their bibles bound (back then you bought the pages and took them to a binder to complete it).
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
Gil, Robert's arguments are weighty. In addition, almost every single manuscript that makes up either the TR or the CT had its origin in the church. Monks copied most of these manuscripts. Besides, you don't think that the scores of churches that have ordered and have an official translation in their church have spoken on this issue? Tenth Presbyterian Church, for instance, officially switched to the ESV, and even issued statements about it, officially endorsed by their session. Now, unless all church endorsements have to be from the entire denomination, then Tenth's position is clear and authoritative, as a church is authoritative. Besides, most if not all denominations in NAPARC have not made the KJV their official translation, either. So they haven't officially endorsed the KJV. I know that yours hasn't. Neither has the PCA or OPC.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
MacArthur's elders have a doctrinal statement

The following is a study our elders at Grace Community Church put together regarding the King James Version.
Pulpit Magazine Blog Archive A Short KJV Detour (Part 1)
Pulpit Magazine Blog Archive A Short KJV Detour (Part 2)
Pulpit Magazine Blog Archive A Short KJV Detour (Part 3)
Pulpit Magazine Blog Archive A Short KJV Detour (Part 4)

In it, they list five options for understanding:

1. ”King James only”

2. “Majority Text only”

3. “Thorough going eclectic”

4. “Westcott Hort”

5. “Balanced eclectic”

They reject the "thorough going eclectic" as the provenance of liberal scholars. Option 4 they associate with many modern conservatives. After examining the arguments for #1 and #2, they come down on the side of the "Balanced eclectic" and reject the claims of KJV-only advocates as untrue.

The fifth approach to the problem of textual variation is the position actually espoused by many conservative theologians. This “balanced eclectic” approach holds that each text type is to be evaluated independently without premeditated bias as to which manuscript family is most authoritative. It also posits that internal and external evidences are to be considered equally. This school basically suggests that each textual variant be investigated thoroughly and considered on its own merits.

In the four articles, the elders of Grace Community Church examine nine of the arguments used by KJV only and Majority Text only advocates and offering their own responses.

Advocates of the “King James only” and the “Majority Text only” positions on the issue of textual variation have argued forcibly for their stance and have also sought to refute the Westcott Hort theory. The following summaries accurately portray frequently used arguments championing the King James Authorized Version of the Bible. Responses to each argument are presented from the “balanced eclectic” approach, held by the elders of Grace Community Church.

I don't know, Gill, but I would think that Grace Community is a real church and has taken a genuine pro-CT position, even supplying supporting arguments.

As I have suggested in other threads, the arguments for the majority text have dislodged my assumptions regarding the intrinsic superiority of the Alexandrian mss. However, it is a long way from admitting that the Alexandrian mss. have problems to suggesting that only the TR is the Word of God.

In the English language the Lord has seen fit to use the KJV, ASV, NIV, LB, NLT, CEV, NAS, RSV, ESV, HCSB, NKJV, etc. to bring people to himself.
 

nicnap

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
There are only two translations: the TR (Received Text) or the Critical Text.

The former is from the Church and the latter is from outside the Church.

Brother, with all due respect, I am a TR preferred guy, but you are missing a third option. The Majority Text - which some lump in with the TR, but this isn't quite accurate. They agree in the overwhelming majority of places, but still are not identical.

I say all of that to say this; for those who prefer a third option, there is the Majority Text translation that was put out a few years ago, but I don't remember who by. (Art Farstad and someone, maybe?)
 

Hippo

Puritan Board Junior
There are only two translations: the TR (Received Text) or the Critical Text.

The former is from the Church and the latter is from outside the Church.

Brother, with all due respect, I am a TR preferred guy, but you are missing a third option. The Majority Text - which some lump in with the TR, but this isn't quite accurate. They agree in the overwhelming majority of places, but still are not identical.

I say all of that to say this; for those who prefer a third option, there is the Majority Text translation that was put out a few years ago, but I don't remember who by. (Art Farstad and someone, maybe?)

I do like:

Amazon.com: Analytical-Literal Translation of the New Testament of the Holy Bible: Second Edition: Gary, F. Zeolla: Books

It is a thought provoking translation based on the majority text and is underpinned by a respectable methodology. I believe that a further version may now be available. The authors book:

Amazon.com: Differences Between Bible Versions: Gary F. Zeolla: Books

Is quite balanced as well, even though I disagree with its MT conclusions.
 

nicnap

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Thanks...I have Zeolla's book, but wasn't there someone out of Southeastern Seminary who was apart of a MT translation? I wish I could remember his name...
 
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