Bible Versions Questions and discussion about the Bible version issue.

 
 
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  #1  
Old 03-12-2008, 10:38 AM
Connie
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Default What about a new authorized translation?

I'm wondering if anyone here has given thought to the benefit and possibility of having a completely new Authorized Version done. A main problem with the existing versions is that none of them was authorized by the Church, but it seems that various changes were made by various publishers as time went on, which accounts for the chaotic situation everyone is now trying to sort out in the pursuit of the best edition. I've personally decided to get a secondhand copy of the Large Print KJB at Amazon that Brandon/Diligent has recommended, as most likely the best edition out there at the moment, but still it seems that Christians need an edition that is both authorized, as the original King James was, and standardized so that versions won't proliferate.

This has only been proposed, as far as I know, by Douglas Wilson who pastors a Presbyterian church in Moscow, Idaho. He presents the idea here:

http://www.credenda.org/issues/9-4presbyterion.php
Third, we should pray and labor for an ecclesiastical translation of the Bible. This translation and work should begin with the last true ecclesiastical version we had, which was the Authorized Version (popularly known as the King James). At one stroke this would set right the three principle issues involved: the ecclesiastical (the Church distributing Scripture, as opposed to, say, the devil), the textual (the Textus Receptus as opposed to the tossed salad "who's-to-say?" variant readings we get now), and the translational (formal equivalence vs. dynamic equivalence).
He goes on to say
Fourth, the portion of the Church involved with the recovery of the Bible should repudiate, in the strongest possible terms, the Glassy-Eyed Defenders of the King James Version, who are very popular in fundamentalist circles. Such know-nothingism has been one of the principle reasons why the Bible-mongers have been able to get away with rejecting the ecclesiastical text without any serious argument.
I can't claim to have studied the situation in any depth but both these thoughts seem very reasonable to me. There does seem to be an almost superstitious clinging to the original text of the King James in some quarters, that doesn't recognize that a translation of necessity must be done in the language of the culture of the day, as the original was. Is there really such a thing as Bible English? Shouldn't the English simply be the clearest and most exact in order to convey the true meaning of the Greek and Hebrew texts? It is the aim when the Bible is translated into the language of any nation or tribe in the world, to find the best use of the language to render the clearest meaning of the text.

It may be that some of the archaic English of the King James should be retained in any case, perhaps because it just IS more precise, and simply require people to learn it. However, it does seem that mere spelling differences and modern versions of words shouldn't be shunned when they render the meaning as clearly to us today as the originals did in their time. But in any case, all this should be the decision of the Church, not individual publishers.

The way the original King James was done makes a good model for how it could and should be done again. The very best men chosen for their scholarship but also for their godly lives, and many of them, need to be found and appointed again now just as they were by King James. The more the better. Since there is no king to make this decision, perhaps churches of a basic likemindedness should appoint one another to constitute the authority for choosing the translators.

The idea should be to use all the same texts available to the King James translators, and all the subsequent revisions of the KJV, for careful comparison, with the aim to be to come up with the best version for today that preserves all the best qualities of the original KJV. This statement by the original translators seems like a fine model to go by:

http://www.av1611.org/kjv/kjvhist.html
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."
To come up with the best from the good.

It may be that the "high English" of the original should be retained for the most part, as argued on this page:

http://av1611.com/kjbp/articles/flanders-whykjv.html

but again shouldn't that be the decision of many godly heads appointed to the task, rather than publishers or even well motivated individuals?

Last edited by Connie; 03-12-2008 at 10:43 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2008, 11:17 AM
jerry
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What is their definition of "the church", and what do they mean by an ecclesiastical translation?

Presbyterians are typically universal church (as are most Protestants and Catholics) - and their definition of Church consists of all who CALL themselves Christian, but we know the vast majority of these would not be Biblical "Christians" or truly saved. Most of the MV's do claim to be done by the Church - but by that they are referring to Catholics, and liberals, and modernists, etc. - and the ecumenical movement, which is pushing for a one-world Church, is fully behind them.

If any new sound translation was done, it would have to be done by true born again believers - who believe the WHOLE Book. In this apostate age, I truly do not think this will happen. Rather than retranslate the Bible, what we need is to teach people how to use a Strong's Concordance and good sound Bible dictionaries (ie. dictionaries of Bible words), and believers will get familiar with the wording of our KJV fairly quickly. Studying the Bible does involve studying - but many people want a Bible where they don't have to do that. Just make sure they have access to the right tools (ie. sound ones), and most of the problems will be overcome. Most people that have problems with the KJV have them because they do not put the time and effort into studying it. I know many Christians who do not have a grade 12 education or who do not read very well who have an easy time with the KJV - because they spend time in it, and seek the Holy Spirit to open it up.
  #3  
Old 03-12-2008, 11:37 AM
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Connie,

Many have asked similar questions as you have. There are several serious flaws, however, to setting aside the KJB as the standard and replacing it with a new standard.

First and greatest, there is no single entity today called "the Church" as far as earthly administration or structure goes. Getting any kind of majority of believers together to determine that starting foundation would be absolutely impossible. Herding cats would be child's play compared to this.

Second, there does not exist a single text that could be agreed as the foundation from which to build. Here I am speaking about the entire collection of versions and manuscripts. Corruption and error has so engulfed the modern versions from their source to their variation in translation, that the influence from them would surely taint any revision.

Many good people have attempted to do what you have suggested. Though most bookstores do not carry them, there are a number of "modern" language updates of the KJB. The singular flaw with all of them is that God has not placed His stamp of approval on them. This is not an arrogant statement, simply a fact. The KJB has been the foundational Bible for centuries. It is worldwide in its influence, and it is unmatched in its appeal to faithful believers. No other version can come close.

Far better than trying to update or replace that which God has clearly ordained is to train believers today to read, seek, pray, and understand the Word that God has given.

p.s. Jerry got in a lot of what I said while I was slowly picking my way along. I didn't mean to duplicate, but it shows that great minds think alike.

Last edited by Brother Tim; 03-12-2008 at 11:39 AM.
  #4  
Old 03-12-2008, 12:45 PM
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George George is offline
 
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Default Another "NEW" Translation?

Brother Tim has got it right! Among the educated (schooled) "saved" scholars you couldn't find 50 "Christians" today that agree on anything - unless they are all from the same Denomination or Ecclesiastical Organization. American Christianity is so heavily influenced by our culture and our unofficial religion i.e. Humanism that even most "saved" people have become Sophists.

The problem here is one of Authority and God's Approval. Do we have an absolute Authority for all matters of faith and practice? If we do - then WHY would anyone want to "change" that? Do we have His Holy Scriptures - just exactly as He has preserved them? If we do - then how can we "improve" them?

I do not believe the King James Bible is just an accurate and lovely translation of the preserved Greek and Hebrew text of Scripture (I do not believe that it can be updated or that things could be translated differently.) I do not believe that: the King James Bible is just based upon a superior underlying text; or that it was just produced by superior translators; or that it just incorporates superior translation techniques; or that it just demonstrates a superior theology; or that it just embodies a superior English; or that it was just created in a superior era; or that it just has a superior history. (All of which is true.)

The King James Bible is more than a mere "translation" - It's either Holy Scripture or it's not. If it's not, then we are in a pickle - since in the last 125+ years the "scholars" have produced over 125 "bibles" (in English) and they are still not satisfied! But if it is God's Holy word i.e. scriptures, then we Christians should be paying a whole lot more attention to it, and less attention to men. {2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works
.
}
  #5  
Old 03-12-2008, 01:04 PM
Connie
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Quote:
What is their definition of "the church", and what do they mean by an ecclesiastical translation?
I'm not clear what their definition of the church would be. Maybe he spells it out in another article. I guessed that it would take assembling many different denominations together agreeing to the task.

Quote:
Presbyterians are typically universal church (as are most Protestants and Catholics) - and their definition of Church consists of all who CALL themselves Christian, but we know the vast majority of these would not be Biblical "Christians" or truly saved.
That's why it would have to be likeminded groups who recognize each other as truly saved and led of the Spirit.

Quote:
Most of the MV's do claim to be done by the Church - but by that they are referring to Catholics, and liberals, and modernists, etc. - and the ecumenical movement, which is pushing for a one-world Church, is fully behind them.
Obviously a likeminded group that would aim to the same standards as the original translators of the King James and would work FROM that translation, basically to do what some individuals have tried to do but to do it with authority and God's leading, would not include Catholics, liberals and modernists. The idea is to have an authorized updated King James, with emphasis on the "authorized."

Quote:
If any new sound translation was done, it would have to be done by true born again believers - who believe the WHOLE Book.
Absolutely. That was true of the original translators and it would have to be true of any new group of translators.

Quote:
In this apostate age, I truly do not think this will happen.
You may be right that it can't happen but I think it may be within the realm of possibility.

Quote:
Rather than retranslate the Bible, what we need is to teach people how to use a Strong's Concordance and good sound Bible dictionaries (ie. dictionaries of Bible words), and believers will get familiar with the wording of our KJV fairly quickly. Studying the Bible does involve studying - but many people want a Bible where they don't have to do that. Just make sure they have access to the right tools (ie. sound ones), and most of the problems will be overcome. Most people that have problems with the KJV have them because they do not put the time and effort into studying it. I know many Christians who do not have a grade 12 education or who do not read very well who have an easy time with the KJV - because they spend time in it, and seek the Holy Spirit to open it up.
The problem is that there are so many versions of the KJV, and that they have not been done with Church authority or with God's leading as far as anyone knows. The point of this proposal is to see if it's possible to assemble together QUALIFIED people, born again godly men, through only those churches who hold to hold to Biblical inerrancy and the authority of the King James translation.
  #6  
Old 03-12-2008, 01:27 PM
Connie
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
Connie,

Many have asked similar questions as you have. There are several serious flaws, however, to setting aside the KJB as the standard and replacing it with a new standard.
But it's not the idea to "set aside" the KJB, it's to do what so many have already done with it to correct errors and bring it up to date, which has been done with a variety of different motivations and perspectives, now to do it with a well defined aim, and with many godly minds so that they can correct each other, as the original was done.

Quote:
First and greatest, there is no single entity today called "the Church" as far as earthly administration or structure goes. Getting any kind of majority of believers together to determine that starting foundation would be absolutely impossible. Herding cats would be child's play compared to this.
I can see that this may well be THE reason it is not possible. Nevertheless I keep hoping it might be. The current variety of editions is not a good thing.

Quote:
Second, there does not exist a single text that could be agreed as the foundation from which to build. Here I am speaking about the entire collection of versions and manuscripts. Corruption and error has so engulfed the modern versions from their source to their variation in translation, that the influence from them would surely taint any revision.
This pertains ONLY to the King James manuscripts, the very same ones the original translators worked from, the Majority Text or Textus Receptus, certainly not the ones the modern versions are based on. A major purpose of this whole proposition is to ELIMINATE any tainting from that corrupted tradition that has seeped into some of the King James editions. The aim is purification FROM all that. I don't see that happening even with the best of intentions of individuals who have put their minds to the problem. Individuals always need the correction of others working on the same objective. "In the multitude of counsellors there is safety" Prov 11:14.

Quote:
Many good people have attempted to do what you have suggested.
Yes, but as individuals, as I say above. Individuals cannot produce an AUTHORIZED edition, one recognized by the Church (assuming we can assemble such a thing these days) and led by God. God did not entrust the canon of scripture to individuals at any time in history. The Jewish priests had charge of the Hebrew scriptures, and a consensus of the churches, with much discussion and debate, eventually arrived at the New Testament canon.

Quote:
Though most bookstores do not carry them, there are a number of "modern" language updates of the KJB. The singular flaw with all of them is that God has not placed His stamp of approval on them.
Exactly. That's the point. Some may be excellent, but they need the authorization of "the Church" if such can be assembled, and it must all be done by the godliest of men in the fear of God and with much prayer.


Quote:
This is not an arrogant statement, simply a fact. The KJB has been the foundational Bible for centuries. It is worldwide in its influence, and it is unmatched in its appeal to faithful believers. No other version can come close.
Absolutely. The problem is that there is not one clearly authorized edition of it for today. There have been many updatings and many small changes done by too many different agencies, none with anything that could be called authorization either by believers or by God.

Quote:
Far better than trying to update or replace that which God has clearly ordained is to train believers today to read, seek, pray, and understand the Word that God has given.
The point is that all our KJB's today have ALREADY been updated and changed. Or are you advocating the exact original 1611 version? One thing I've learned at this site is that there are many more versions of the KJB than I had any idea.

I agree there have to be problems, but there are ALREADY problems. This site has advocated in particular something called the "pure Cambridge edition" of the KJB, but it's nowhere to be found.

Perhaps all that would be needed is for a couple dozen godly born-again scholars appointed by various church bodies that all share basic adherence to Biblical inerrancy, to conclude that that particular edition should be authorized and PAID FOR by these particular church bodies. Anything to get away from the commercialization of individual efforts outside any authoritative entity. I agree, coming up with such an authoritative entity from the various church denominations would not be easy, but it may not be quite as hard as you are all saying. I regularly hear solid Biblical preaching on local radio from a variety of good ministries, from Baptist to Presbyterian to Reformed to Lutheran. I'm sure many could be found that agree on the basics of the faith. The hardest thing would probably be to find enough of them committed to KJV-only.
  #7  
Old 03-12-2008, 01:33 PM
jerry
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I know what you are saying, and I agree. But the KJV IS a translation - God didn't give the Scriptures in English, but in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. However, that does not make it any less Scripture than the underlying manuscripts - God is not limited by language.

All Scripture IS (not was) given by God... Paul was speaking about translations and copies (ie. what Timothy would have been using) when he spoke those words.
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:47 PM
Connie
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Hi George,

Quote:
Brother Tim has got it right! Among the educated (schooled) "saved" scholars you couldn't find 50 "Christians" today that agree on anything - unless they are all from the same Denomination or Ecclesiastical Organization. American Christianity is so heavily influenced by our culture and our unofficial religion i.e. Humanism that even most "saved" people have become Sophists.
You may well be right, I merely hope it isn't quite that bad.

Quote:
The problem here is one of Authority and God's Approval.
That is indeed the problem.

Quote:
Do we have an absolute Authority for all matters of faith and practice? If we do - then WHY would anyone want to "change" that? Do we have His Holy Scriptures - just exactly as He has preserved them? If we do - then how can we "improve" them?
Do you read the 1611 edition of the King James or an updated version of it? See, this is the problem. There is no pure 1611 edition. The original is available but it is said to have many typesetting errors in it so all the editions now used have SOME changes. The point is to have an AUTHORIZED edition with AUTHORIZED changes instead of so many editions with different changes done by unauthorized people, however well motivated.

Quote:
I do not believe the King James Bible is just an accurate and lovely translation of the preserved Greek and Hebrew text of Scripture (I do not believe that it can be updated or that things could be translated differently.)

I do not believe that: the King James Bible is just based upon a superior underlying text; or that it was just produced by superior translators; or that it just incorporates superior translation techniques; or that it just demonstrates a superior theology; or that it just embodies a superior English; or that it was just created in a superior era; or that it just has a superior history. (All of which is true.)

The King James Bible is more than a mere "translation" - It's either Holy Scripture or it's not. If it's not, then we are in a pickle - since in the last 125+ years the "scholars" have produced over 125 "bibles" (in English) and they are still not satisfied! But if it is God's Holy word i.e. scriptures, then we Christians should be paying a whole lot more attention to it, and less attention to men. {2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.}
Then are you reading the 1611 with all its typesetting errors? Can you read and understand Shakespeare in the original language? If so, I won't try to talk you out of it, but you must be in a very small minority, and in any case I'd guess you probably read an updated version and not the original. And if you accept those changes from the original, done for the sake of better readability and comprehension, then surely you can see that change is not a violation of God's word if it is done right, and especially if done by His Holy Spirit and many godly counsellors, which it appears none of the previous changes can boast.

I agree that the KJB IS the authorized version, but it does have to change with the times, and if it doesn't change with authoritative oversight and God's leading then it's going to change by individuals and commercial interests changing it, in fact has already done so, and that is not right.
  #9  
Old 03-12-2008, 01:51 PM
Connie
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I agree, Jerry, God is not limited by language, and He is also not limited when language changes enough to need occasional revision. The history of the KJB ought to make that clear enough. Very few are reading the original 1611 translation because it needed changes. For a translation to be God-breathed it must be done by men led by the Holy Spirit, and that includes revisions. The point is all the revisions of the KJB now being accepted as God-breathed scripture were NOT done in this way.
  #10  
Old 03-12-2008, 02:01 PM
Jeff Jeff is offline
 
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From what I remember reading the Hebrew scriptures were very painstakingly reproduced exactly by the scribes.

I've been wondering, say in the 1000 years or so between when Moses wrote the books of the law until the Babylonian captivity, was there ever a time they decided they needed to update the scriptures to modern language? I think not, maybe someone can show me wrong. After a thousand years wouldn't Moses' writings be "archaic", "difficult", etc?

Then especially during and after the Babylonian captivity there would have been Persian, Aramaic, I don't know what all, influences in the language, not to mention Greek in the next 400 years. How did those entrusted with the care of the scriptures handle this, by retranslating or by learning the language of the Scripture? Or did just the readers in the Synagoges learn the "ancient" tongues and paraphrase it for the people?

I hope this is a pertinent question to ask here. My thinking is that they didn't come up with a new "version" every year.
 

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