Crowned With Glory: The Bible from Ancient Text to Authorized Version

by Dr. Thomas Holland.

Paperback, $19.95, December 2000.
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Crowned With Glory is not your average "King James Only" book.

When I started reading Crowned With Glory, I realized there was something special about it. Dr. Holland has written a unique book which is charitable but powerful, simple yet scholarly, and concise though wonderfully informative. I knew early on in my reading that I had found a new "recommended introductory book" to offer people on this important subject.

Crowned With Glory is aptly subtitled "The Bible from Ancient Text to Authorized Version." Dr. Holland examines the transmission of the Bible from the first century on down to our contemporary age of modern English. The reader will quickly learn of the differences between various Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. The chapter Tampering With Texts powerfully demonstrates the influences early heresies such as Gnosticism (the teaching that Jesus Christ was a created god) have had on the Alexandrian Greek manuscripts which are the foundation of modern Bible versions. These are not simply accusations made, but are carefully considered and demonstrated with historical evidence. In contrast, the chapter Testimony Through Time makes a strong case for the faithfulness of the Received Text which underlies the King James Bible's new testament. Both texts are considered in a scholarly manner but in light of Biblical Preservation.

The chapter Forging the Metal is a chronology of English and other language Bible translations leading up to the King James (Authorized) Version of 1611. The chapter The English Jewel discusses Authorized Version in depth, giving solid historical information while debunking false conceptions about subjects such as the Cum Privilegio, Apocrypha, so-called revisions, etc.

The Oracle of the Jews explains the importance of understanding that the Bible is a Jewish Book and why it is relevant to the issue at hand. The chapter Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls discusses the Dead Sea Scrolls and their impact on our knowledge of the history of the Bible.

Together, the chapters Textual Considerations, Translational Considerations, and Deliberating the Arguments make a very strong case for the King James Bible against the modern versions. Controversial texts such as John 1:18, Acts 5:30, Acts 12:4, Hebrews 10:23, 1John 5:7, and more are dealt with succinctly. An appendix is also devoted to the internal evidence of the last twelve verses of Mark as it exists in the Received Text and the King James Bible. Arguments presented by modern textual critics in support of the Alexandrian texts are easily defeated and their inconsistency exposed.

The appendixes of Crowned With Glory are a nice bonus. In addition to the aforementioned appendix on Mark 16:9-20, Dr. Holland has provided a list of translators of the Authorized Version and their governing rules, a brief section on textual evidence (a listing of many manuscripts and their dating used for textual support), a glossary, Scripture and subject indexes, and comprehensive bibliography.

The footnotes in this book frequently offer valuable information relevant to the topics discussed. For example, a footnote in the section on Origen gives a nice nugget of information: "...One of the subscriptions in Codex Sinaiticus states, 'Taken and corrected according to the Hexapla of Origen. Antonious Collated: I, Pamphilus, corrected.' Pamphilus, along with Eusebius, was a disciple of Origen. Therefore, we see the influence Origen had on Codex Sinaiticus as stated in a footnote of that Codex." Since Sinaiticus is usually referred to as one of the "older and better" manuscripts in defense of the Alexandrian text, it is interesting to see how the influence of a heretic like Origen directly affected such a manuscript.

As a whole, this book is an excellent discussion of the core issues of this controversial subject. If you are seeking an easy yet informative introduction to the Bible's history of preservation and translation, this book should be your first choice. If you are moderately familiar with the subject and seek further understanding of the Biblical Preservationist perspective, this book is for you. If you are a Critical Text supporter, this book is sure to challenge your preconceptions of the Bible and its history, and just might make you think twice.

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Crowned With Glory is also included in SwordSearcher Bible Software.