Responses to questions raised regarding the King James Version of the Bible.

A_Son_of_God

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So, I was "quizzed" the other day by one of my chat friends, stating that I'd claimed that the King James Bible is translated from earlier English bibles".

My response was "Correct".

Sadly, I was accused of lying. So I went instead to an encyclopedia article, to show that it isn't me making it up, but is commonly accepted knowledge. Here is the article. I call this one Article B.
The article shows the same information, that it was indeed translated from other English versions, and named a handful of them.

The friend then stated that when it was written, it was done so by going back to the original languages. Then I was given a link. This is the link. This I call Article A.

So, I also discussed that Benjamin Wilson's Emphatic Diaglott, published in 1864, goes into some depth of an explanation in its preface. You can find the link here. And this one, I call Article C.

Based on that, here is my debate.

Was the King James Version written from other languages than English?
My answer is no.

Evidence from Article A
So, firstly, I don't like to be accused of lying. So breaking down the article I was given, I was expecting to find some form of defence, showing evidence of the opposite, that indeed the KJV had been translated from other languages. But I didn't find any. In fact, there was not one reference in the article to show that there was a reference to other languages.

Evidence from Article B
On the other hand, the work of Benjamin Wilson in his Emphatic Diaglott gives us this history of the King James Bible. It says this:

King James' Bible, or the Authorized Version, was published in 1611. In the year 1604, forty-seven persons learned in the languages, were appointed to revise the translation then in use. They were ordered to use the Bishops' Bible as the basis of the new version, and to alter it as little as the original would allow; but if the prior translations of Tyndale, Coverdale, Matthew, Cranmer or Whitchurch and the Geneva editors agreed better with the text, to adopt the same. This translation was perhaps the best that could be made at the time, and if it had not been published by kingly authority, it would not now be venerated by English and American protestants, as though it had come direct from God.

So, although Benjamin Wilson is using his vatican manuscript 1209 document in his work, he acknowledges the fact that "at the time", the King James Version of the Bible was perhaps the best that could be made.

He then goes on though, and states this a little later on:

It has now been convicted of containing over 20,000 errors. Nearly 700 Greek MSS. are now known, and some of them very ancient; whereas the translators of the common version had only the advantage of some 8 MSS., none of which were earlier than the tenth century.

So, you will note that in the timeframe of Benjamin Wilson writing his preface, he acknowledges that there were "nearly 700 Greek MSS" (manuscripts) that were known, but that only 8 were available for the translators of the "common version" - the KJV, to work from. And you'll notice the time difference, in comparison to when Jesus walked the earth. There were no manuscripts used from anywhere near that time period, but only from about 900 years or more later.

Evidence from Article C
The Encyclopedia Britannica article though showed a little more information, even hinting at references to Hebrew. So, was this a reference to going back to the original languages?
No...but that's only a no technically. Because it states this:

The translators used not only extant English-language translations, including the partial translation by William Tyndale (c. 1490–1536), but also Jewish commentaries to guide their work.

So, they didn't go back to the original language documents, but to COMMENTARIES on the original language words. Namely Jewish commentaries. And just as Article B demonstrated, Article C does the same, in showing that it was not written from going back to original works, but it was based firstly on the Bishop's Bible, and then compared with these other works. Here's what it says:

In 1604, soon after James’s coronation as king of England, a conference of churchmen requested that the English Bible be revised because existing translations “were corrupt and not answerable to the truth of the original.”

...An elaborate set of rules was contrived to curb individual proclivities and to ensure the translation’s scholarly and nonpartisan character. In contrast to earlier practice, the new version was to use vulgar forms of proper names (e.g., “Jonas” or “Jonah” for the Hebrew “Yonah”), in keeping with its aim to make the Scriptures popular and familiar.

...For this reason, the new version was more faithful to the original languages of the Bible and more scholarly than any of its predecessors. The impact of the original Hebrew upon the revisers was so pronounced that they seem to have made a conscious effort to imitate its rhythm and style in their translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. The literary style of the English New Testament actually turned out to be superior to that of its Greek original.

So, at the time, the King James Version of the Bible, released in 1611, was very good.

Nonetheless, it was not written by comparing it to the earlier manuscripts, but only commentaries on it.

What about you though? Do you have other information to show that the King James Version was written from the original languages?
 

Chip_TheViking

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Do you have other information to show that the King James Version was written from the original languages?
king james 1611 I have a family version of this.
it derived from textus receptus, which in turn derives from the Codex Sinaiticus - that being Greek I'm assuming the translations would have been from Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages, as translators were instructed to follow the original Hebrew and Greek texts as closely as possible, while also consulting previous English translations
 

A_Son_of_God

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king james 1611 I have a family version of this.
it derived from textus receptus, which in turn derives from the Codex Sinaiticus - that being Greek I'm assuming the translations would have been from Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages, as translators were instructed to follow the original Hebrew and Greek texts as closely as possible, while also consulting previous English translations
I too had one. In fact, it was the first Bible I ever read cover to cover. At one time, I could quote the forward. LOL

"Great and manifold are thy blessings, most dread sovereign..." etc etc

To say it derived from Textus Receptus is kind of fair, for the works it used to derive from were based on such. But this is the whole point. It was not derived from the original languages. And it wasn't still directly derived from Textus Receptus, other than the Bibles which had been derived from it were used. Namely, the Bishop's Bible (main reference work), Matthew's, Tyndale's, Cranmer, Whitchurch, Coverdale and Geneva Bibles. Where do we draw the line at "based on a true story" for instance?

I did a work on the Qur'an, and I used 8 sources at least for my studies. 8 translations into English. Although I used a concordance, and word-for-word translations at times, I cannot claim that my works were from the original languages. I used works that were from the original language, but my work was yet another derivative of it. Also, I studied certain words. But I don't speak nor read Arabic. The same goes for those who prepared the King James Bible, released in 1611.

As for the Codex Sinaiticus, in the 3rd century, there had already been 2 centuries where God's holy name had been removed from the scriptures. This alone shows the problem here. In fact, due to modern finds - or even relatively modern finds, we can see now when and where scriptures were changed. Things added in or removed. The very fact that someone - not the Jews - chose to edit God's word by removing his very name, yet leaving in place Dagon, Bel, Nebo, Astarte, Moloch, the baals...shows a great disregard for truth. Those who were involved in writing the Codex Sinaiticus existed in the timeframe where Jesus described the wheat and the weeds. It was not the harvest time, which is these end days, and things are finally getting sorted.

Have a think about this. The translators deliberately removed God's holy name from the Bible, which God himself instructed to be in there.
 

Moriarty

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I too had one. In fact, it was the first Bible I ever read cover to cover. At one time, I could quote the forward. LOL

"Great and manifold are thy blessings, most dread sovereign..." etc etc

To say it derived from Textus Receptus is kind of fair, for the works it used to derive from were based on such. But this is the whole point. It was not derived from the original languages. And it wasn't still directly derived from Textus Receptus, other than the Bibles which had been derived from it were used. Namely, the Bishop's Bible (main reference work), Matthew's, Tyndale's, Cranmer, Whitchurch, Coverdale and Geneva Bibles. Where do we draw the line at "based on a true story" for instance?

I did a work on the Qur'an, and I used 8 sources at least for my studies. 8 translations into English. Although I used a concordance, and word-for-word translations at times, I cannot claim that my works were from the original languages. I used works that were from the original language, but my work was yet another derivative of it. Also, I studied certain words. But I don't speak nor read Arabic. The same goes for those who prepared the King James Bible, released in 1611.

As for the Codex Sinaiticus, in the 3rd century, there had already been 2 centuries where God's holy name had been removed from the scriptures. This alone shows the problem here. In fact, due to modern finds - or even relatively modern finds, we can see now when and where scriptures were changed. Things added in or removed. The very fact that someone - not the Jews - chose to edit God's word by removing his very name, yet leaving in place Dagon, Bel, Nebo, Astarte, Moloch, the baals...shows a great disregard for truth. Those who were involved in writing the Codex Sinaiticus existed in the timeframe where Jesus described the wheat and the weeds. It was not the harvest time, which is these end days, and things are finally getting sorted.

Have a think about this. The translators deliberately removed God's holy name from the Bible, which God himself instructed to be in there.

The Codex Sinaiticus did also contain the Letters of Barnabus, a rather anti semitic treatise on who can actually understood the prefigurations of Jesus?
As for the Greek Textus Receptus or "Recieved Writing".
It is hardly something one can rely on.
There are over 6000 differences between it and the original Alexandrian Critical Text, because of the many autors that re-intrepreted the text.
Even Erasmus's texts contain flaws which make the eventual inclusion of the whole or the part in the King James Bible subject to scrutiny.
 
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