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Earliest known draft of King James Bible

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  • blugiant
    Originally posted by kia027 View Post
    Yes and that is why Shakespeare wrote parts of the bible for him
    ing James Bible - The History
    The King James Bible, published in 1611, was England's authorized version of the Bible translated from the original Hebrew and Greek languages into English at the request of King James I of England. At the time, other English Bibles existed, but King James did not like the most popular translation, the Geneva Bible, because he felt that some of the marginal notes encouraged disobedience to kings. So when a Puritan scholar, Dr. John Reynolds, suggested a new English translation of the Bible at a 1604 conference of bishops and theologians at Hampton Court Palace, King James readily agreed. By June of 1604, fifty-four of England's foremost scholars and linguists were formed into six panels to translate particular groups of Old Testament and New Testament books and the Aprocrypha (the Aprocrypha was dropped from later editions) into English. Even though King James agreed to the new Bible translation, and the translators dedicated their work "to the most high and mighty prince James," the King James Version was never officially recognized by the king, nor was it ever authorized as the only text permitted to be read in church. Despite this, it soon replaced both the Bishops' Bible and the Geneva Bible in popularity and became the leading text for private use.

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  • blugiant
    7 things you may not know about the King James Bible

    The King James Version of the Bible is a great translation and has helped countless thousands of people to find and know God, to receive his gift of salvation, and to effectively serve him and his people. The Bible was beautifully written by some of the best scholars of the day, and its reputation as fine literature is deserved.

    Some Christians today maintain that the KJV is the superior English translation. Some Christians and churches are so enamoured with the KJV that they refuse to use, or give credit to, any other translation. The stance of these Christians has been referred to as King-James-Onlyism .

    The KJV is an excellent English Bible and if you can easily understand it there is no real reason to change to another English translation. However, one of the biggest shortcomings for most people is its dated language.

    The KJV uses many archaic words: words such as “jangling”, “subtil”, “privily”, and “holpen”, etc. And it uses archaic expressions that are unfamiliar to modern readers and audiences. For instance, how many people readily understand “Charity vaunteth not itself” (1 Cor. 13:4c)? The earlier editions of the KJV also used spelling that is outdated, such as sunne for “sun”.

    Furthermore, the edition of the KJV that is still commonly used contains several words which have changed in meaning over time. Words such as “flowers”, “suffer”, “vile”, “conversation” and “quit” convey a very different meaning to modern readers than was intended by the translators. (See Lev. 15:24KJV; Matt. 19:14KJV; Phil. 3:20-21KJV; 1 Cor. 16:13KJV, etc.)

    The fact that the KJV uses the word “unicorn” nine times (see here and here), and “satyr” twice (Isa. 13:21KJV; Isa. 34:14KJV), is also problematic, as unicorns and satyrs are regarded as a mythological creatures rather than the real animals which are mentioned in the original Hebrew Scriptures and in more contemporary translations.

    Apart from its dated language, there are a few other shortcomings of the KJV. KJV-only people seem unaware of these shortcomings. Moreover, many accept incorrect statements that are frequently made about the KJV. The following paragraphs contain seven pieces of information that some KJV-only Christians may not be aware of.
    (1) The KJV was not the first English translation.

    A few King-James-Only Christians believe that the King James Bible was the first English translation of the Scriptures. This belief is incorrect. John Wycliffe’s Bible was translated from Latin into English and hand copied in the 1400s. In 1526, almost 100 years before the KJV was first published, William Tyndale’s English translation of the Greek New Testament was published. “After Tyndale’s, a number of other versions were produced. Among them were the Coverdale Bible, the Matthews Bible, the Great Bible [authorised by Henry VIII], the Geneva Bible, and the Bishops’ Bible.”[1] In fact much of the KJV borrows heavily from earlier English translations, especially the Bishop’s Bible.
    (2) The KJV has been through several editions.

    Some King-James-Only Christians believe that the King James Bible perfectly preserved the Scriptures for all time. If this is the case there would have been no need for further edits. The current edition of the KJV is different from the original 1611 translation and several other early editions. “The KJV Bible we use today is actually based primarily on the major revision completed in 1769 – 158 years after the first edition.”[2]
    (3) All early editions of the KJV contained the apocryphal books.

    The 1611 version, and all other editions of the KJV that were published for the next fifty years, contained the Apocrypha. Protestant Christians do not regard the apocryphal books as uniquely inspired and authoritative. The 1666 edition was the first edition of the KJV that did not include these extra books.
    (4) King James authorised the new Bible translation for political reasons.

    King James believed that a single ‘authorized version’ was a political and social necessity. He hoped this book would hold together the warring factions of the Church of England and the Puritans which threatened to tear apart both church and country. Most of the translators,however, were clergymen belonging to the Church of England, but at least some had Puritan sympathies.[3]

    King James issued over a dozen rules that the translators had to follow. King James disliked the Geneva Bible, the Bible used by the Puritans, because he believed that some of the commentary in the margin notes did not show enough respect for kings.[4] James’ new translation was to have no commentary in the margins.

    King James favoured the hierarchical structure of the Church of England and wanted the new translation to keep words that supported a bishop led hierarchy. In keeping with James’ preferred views on church government, he specified, “The old ecclesiastical words [are] to be kept; as the word church [is] not to be translated congregation.” (I personally believe that congregation is a better translation in some instances.) King James also ruled that only his new Bible could be read in England’s churches. The translation rules of King James can be found here. The political motives of King James had a direct influence on the translation of the KJV.
    (5) The translators of the KJV 1611 were untrained in Koine Greek.

    Koine (“common”) Greek is the original language of the New Testament. Koine Greek had been a dead language for over a thousand years when the KJV was published for the first time in 1611. The translators of the KJV didn’t even know what Koine Greek was. Some people believed that the Greek language of the NT was a unique, Spirit-inspired dialect.[5] It was not until the late 1800s and during the 1900s, when tens of thousands of papyri documents were discovered – many written in Koine, that we could begin to understand the language more fully.[6] Unlike the translators of the KJV, modern translators of the New Testament are scholars of Koine Greek.
    (6) The KJV translation of the NT is based on relatively recent Greek manuscripts.

    As well as relying on previous English translations, the 1611 edition of the KJV relied on a critically edited Greek text that was “for the most part based on about half a dozen very late manuscripts (none earlier than the 12th century AD).”[7] These late manuscripts include editions of the Greek New Testament by Erasmus[8], as well as Robert Estienne’s (a.k.a. ‘Stephanus’) edition (1550) and Theodore Beza’s edition (1598). Unfortunately, one of the manuscripts Estienne and Beza used for their Greek editions contained a few “corrections” that downplayed the importance of women in the church.[9]
    (7) The early editions of the KJV are not based on the Received Text.

    Most KJV advocates claim that the KJV was translated from a Greek text known as the Textus Receptus (TR) and that the TR is especially accurate and inspired. However the TR did not exist in 1611 when the first King James Bible was published. The first TR was written in the 1633. “The TR used today is normally the one created by Scrivener in 1894, which took as its basis the English translation of the KJV, giving the reader the Greek textual choices made by the KJV translators.”[10] Conversely, most modern translations of the New Testament are based on critical texts which take into account much more ancient, and much less handled, Greek manuscripts. A few of these Greek manuscripts date from as early as the third century.
    Other Criticisms and Considerations

    One of the criticisms leveled at some newer English translations is that the New Testament was translated from the Westcott and Hort Greek New Testament. However, the 2011 edition of the New International Version (NIV) is based on the 27th edition of the Nestle-Aland/United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament which is a critical text that takes into consideration all known Greek manuscripts (and ancient lectionary quotes) of the New Testament.[11] Any criticism of the Westcott and Hort text, or the men themselves – and much of the criticism has been misleading and outright slander – has no relevance whatsoever to the latest edition of the NIV and other modern translations.

    Another criticism of newer translations is that some words and phrases, and even a few passages, that are included in the KJV, are absent in newer translations. These are not omissions. Rather, these words and phrases are additions in the KJV. These additions are absent in the more ancient Greek manuscripts. Most modern translations still acknowledge the traditional additions in some way (e.g. in margin notes, in footnotes, or printed in a different font, etc).

    The King James Version is an excellent translation, but I believe that many of the recent English translations to be better. I mostly read the New Testament in Greek, but the English Bibles I use, roughly in order of preference, are: the NIV (2011), the New American Standard Bible (NASB), the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), and the King James Version (KJV). Most of the other, better known English translations are fine too.

    It is most important that we read a Bible that we can understand. The New Testament was originally written in common, everyday Greek – a language that almost everyone in the Roman Empire (the world of the New Testament) could easily understand. We need modern English translations of the Bible that modern audiences can easily understand.

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  • blugiant
    Earliest Known Draft of King James Bible Is Found, Scholar Says

    The King James Bible is the most widely read work in English literature, a masterpiece of translation whose stately cadences and transcendent phrases have long been seen, even by secular readers, as having emerged from a kind of collective divine inspiration.

    But now, in an unassuming notebook held in an archive at the University of Cambridge, an American scholar has found what he says is an important new clue to the earthly processes behind that masterpiece: the earliest known draft, and the only one definitively written in the hand of one of the roughly four dozen translators who worked on it.

    The notebook, which dates from 1604 to 1608, was discovered by Jeffrey Alan Miller, an assistant professor of English at Montclair State University in New Jersey, who announced his research on Wednesday in an article in The Times Literary Supplement.

    While the notebook has yet to be examined by other scholars, experts who have reviewed Professor Miller’s research called it perhaps the most significant archival find relating to the King James Bible in decades.

    David Norton, an emeritus professor at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and the author of several books about the King James Bible, called it “a major discovery” — if not quite equal to finding a draft of one of Shakespeare’s plays, “getting on up there.”

    Gordon Campbell, a fellow in Renaissance studies at the University of Leicester and a consultant for the planned Museum of the Bible in Washington, said the new manuscript shed fresh light on how the King James translators actually did their work, as opposed to how they had been told to do it.

    Studying the creation of the King James Bible “is like working with a jigsaw puzzle where 90 percent of the pieces are missing,” Mr. Campbell said. “You can arrange the surviving pieces as you wish, but then you find something new and you realize you put it together the wrong way.”

    The King James Bible, published in 1611, was produced by six teams of translators, known as “companies,” in London, Oxford and Cambridge, who were charged with creating an authorized version that would support the Church of England against the Puritan influence seen in some earlier translations. Along with Shakespeare’s First Folio of 1623, it is one of the most influential books in the history of English and the wellspring of common phrases like “salt of the earth,” “drop in the bucket” and “fight the good fight,” to name only a few.

    While some records of the committee that supervised the overall translation survive, only three manuscripts of the text itself have been known to exist until now. The Bodleian Library at Oxford owns nearly complete drafts of the Old Testament and the Gospels, in the form of corrected pages of the Bishops’ Bible, a 16th-century translation that the King James teams used as a base text. Lambeth Palace Library in London has a partial draft of the New Testament epistles.

    Professor Miller discovered the manuscript last fall, when he was in the archives at Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge, researching an essay about Samuel Ward, one of the King James translators and, later, the college’s master. He was hoping to find an unknown letter, which he did.

    “I thought that would be my great discovery,” he recalled.

    But he also came across an unassuming notebook about the size of a modern paperback, wrapped in a stained piece of waste vellum and filled with some 70 pages of Ward’s nearly indecipherable handwriting.

    The notebook had been cataloged in the 1980s as a “verse-by-verse biblical commentary” with “Greek word studies, and some Hebrew notes.” But as Professor Miller tried to puzzle out which passages of the Bible it concerned, he realized what it was: a draft of parts of the King James Version of the Apocrypha, a disputed section of the Bible that is left out of many editions, particularly in the United States.

    “There was a kind of thunderstruck, leap-out-of-bathtub moment,” Professor Miller said. “But then comes the more laborious process of making sure you are 100 percent correct.”

    The draft, Professor Miller argues, dates from between 1604, when the King James Bible was commissioned, and 1608, when the six teams were asked to send their work to the general committee for review. Unlike the other surviving drafts, which scholars date to later parts of the process, it shows an individual translator’s initial puzzling over aspects of the Greek text of the Apocrypha, indicating the reasoning behind his translation choices, with reference to Hebrew and Latin as well.

    “You can actually see the way Greek, Latin and Hebrew are all feeding into what will become the most widely read work of English literature of all time,” Professor Miller said. “It gets you so close to the thought process, it’s incredible.”

    The draft, he argues, also complicates one long-cherished aspect of the “mythos,” as he put it, surrounding the King James: that it was a collaborative project through and through.

    The companies were charged with doing their work as a group, rather than subdividing it by assigning individual books to individual translators, as was the case with the Bishops’ Bible. But the Ward notebook, Professor Miller said, suggests “beyond a reasonable doubt” that at least some of the companies ignored the instructions and divided up the work among individuals, at least initially.

    Further, he said, the notebook contains a complete draft for the book of the Apocrypha known as 1 Esdras, but then, after a run of blank pages, only a partial manuscript for the book known as the Wisdom of Solomon, suggesting that Ward picked up the slack for another translator.

    “Some of them, being typical academics, either fell down on the job or just decided not to do it,” Professor Miller said, with a laugh. “It really testifies to the human element of this kind of great undertaking.”

    In recent years, scholars have chipped away at the idea of Shakespeare’s plays as the product of an isolated genius, emphasizing instead the intensely collaborative nature of Elizabethan theater. Professor Miller said that the origins of the other great monument of 17th-century English literature is due for a similar reconsideration.

    “There’s a strong desire to see the King James Bible as a uniform object, and a belief that it’s great because of its collaborative nature,” Professor Miller said.

    “It was incredibly collaborative,” he continued. “But it was done in a much more complicated, nuanced, and at times individualistic way than we’ve ever really had good evidence to believe.”

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  • kia027
    Originally posted by blugiant View Post
    The King James Bible was the work of 47 translators working in teams, or “companies”, in London, Oxford and Cambridge. They had been charged by King James I to produce an authorised version of the bible that would support the Church of England over Puritan influence in earlier texts.

    wat a ting. so king james wanted imm own bible fe support church aff iingland

    Yes and that is why Shakespeare wrote parts of the bible for him

    Leave a comment:

  • blugiant
    The King James Bible was the work of 47 translators working in teams, or “companies”, in London, Oxford and Cambridge. They had been charged by King James I to produce an authorised version of the bible that would support the Church of England over Puritan influence in earlier texts.

    wat a ting. so king james wanted imm own bible fe support church aff iingland

    Leave a comment:

  • blugiant
    started a topic Earliest known draft of King James Bible

    Earliest known draft of King James Bible

    Earliest known draft of King James Bible found in Cambridge

    American scholar Jeffrey Miller discovers notebook containing about 70 handwritten pages dating from 1604 to 1608 in archives at Sidney Sussex College

    The earliest known draft of the King James Bible, regarded as the most widely read work in English, has been unearthed among ancient papers lodged in a Cambridge college.

    The American scholar Jeffrey Miller announced his year-old discovery in the Times Literary Supplement this week, saying it would help fill in gaps in understanding how the Bible, published in 1611, came to be.

    Miller found a notebook, dating from 1604 to 1608, in archives at Sidney Sussex College, containing about 70 pages of almost illegible handwriting. They included biblical commentary, with Greek and Hebrew notes.

    “There was a kind of thunderstruck, leap-out-of-the-bathtub moment,” Miller, of Montclair State University in New Jersey, told the New York Times. “But then comes the laborious process of making sure you are correct.”

    The King James Bible was the work of 47 translators working in teams, or “companies”, in London, Oxford and Cambridge. They had been charged by King James I to produce an authorised version of the bible that would support the Church of England over Puritan influence in earlier texts.

    Rare copy of first Bible printed in English to be auctioned

    Its poetic language has won plaudits from secular literary critics, and it has been described as one of the greatest influences on English literature alongside the works of Shakespeare. Common phrases in English, such as “salt of the earth” and “drop in the bucket”, originate from the King James Bible.

    But there has been an incomplete understanding by scholars of the composition process. Following Miller’s discovery, a number of gaps “can at last begin to be filled”, he writes in the TLS.

    The notebook belonged to Samuel Ward, one of a team of seven men in Cambridge working on translation. “For centuries, Ward’s paper in the college lay almost entirely neglected and uncatalogued,” writes Miller. As he examined the notebook, “the manuscript’s true significance suddenly came into focus”.

    The true value of Ward’s draft lies in what it “helps to reveal about one of the 17th century’s most extraordinary cultural achievements,” Miller writes. “It points the way to a fuller, more complex understanding than ever before of the process by which the KJB, the most widely read work in English of all time, came to be.”

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