A Crisis Of Translation
The 15th century saw quite the rise in Bible translations. A big part of this had to do with two things: The Protestant Reformation, when smaller churches were breaking away from the Catholic Church , and the invention of the printing press in 1450. Before this, Britannica says, there were only slightly more than 30 different translations of the Bible floating around, but thanks to the hope the Protestant Reformation gave those wanting to break free of Catholicism, from the time Martin Luther published his “95 Theses” in 1517 until the end of the Thirty Years War with the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia , more translations started sprouting up. Martin Luther, the OG reformer, published his own translation. There was another coming in from the Dutch humanist Erasmus. In England, according to TIME, William Tyndale’s translation became the first of its kind in 1535, and it was followed shortly after by the Calvinists Bible, known as the “Geneva Bible.”
The Calvinists were once present in Scotland, according to BBC, until Queen Mary, King James’ mother, had them expelled. Being Catholic, she wasn’t a huge fan of the Reformation and had some 250 or so Protestants killed during her time. That move didn’t turn out great for her, but at least the Calvinists only got exiled to Switzerland, where they continued to print copies of their beloved book.
Religious And Political Impact
Meanwhile, back in England, the bitter religious disputes that had motivated the new Bible translation would spiral by the 1640s into the English Civil Wars, which ended in the capture and execution of King Jamess son and successor, Charles I.
If James had hoped to quash any doubt of his divine right to power, he clearly hadnt succeeded. Meyers points out that the King James Bible gave people access to passages that were not ordinarily read in churchpassages that limit the power of secular rulers like James. As an example, she cites Deuteronomy 17, which reads, One from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee. But it also suggests that the king should not acquire too many horses, wives or silver and gold for himself and that he, like anyone else, should be subject to the laws of God.
King James wanted to solidify his own reputation as a good king by commissioning the translation, Meyers says. Maybe he didn’t know about those passages about the limits of the king’s powers, or think making them available to all might threaten his divine right as king.
A copy of the King James translation of the Bible seen in the Bible Baptist Church in Mount Prospect, Illinois.
New Revised Standard Version
The New Revised Standard Version is a thorough revision of the original RSV by an ecumenical team of scholars. It is growing in popularity, particularly in churches, schools and academia. The translators made full use of contemporary biblical manuscripts, resulting in a clearer understanding of many obscure passages. It uses gender-inclusive language .
New King James Version
The New King James Version was first published in 1982 and is a modernisation of the King James Version of 1611, using the same underlying Greek text for the New Testament. It preserves the KJV’s dignified style and its word and phrase order but replaces some words and expressions that may be no longer easily understood. The translators sought ‘to preserve the original intended purity of the King James Version in its communication of God’s Word to man.’
Shakespeare & The King James Bible
Anyone even vaguely familiar with the Christian Bible knows that there has never been a translation yet that surpassed the King James.
What nobody ever mentions and something I had never before considered is that the KJV Bible was created and produced at the very pinnacle of Shakespeares career. Not him, of course. Though there are legends about his alleged involvement.
But how many people, when they praise the unmatched linguistic beauty of that bible, know it sprang from the very same time and place as Shakespeare?
This is from Wikipedia:
The King James Version , commonly known as the Authorized Version or King James Bible , is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England begun in 1604 and completed in 1611.
Now that I know this, it makes me wonder how much of Shakespeares eloquence was in the air during that momentous decade of literary achievement not to take anything away from him, but rather to better understand the context of early 17th century England.
UPDATE: Thanks to Karla Tipton for alerting me to a documentary called The Story of English. The following is an excerpt from episode 3 titled Muse of Fire dealing specifically with the English language around Shakespeares time:
The documentary in its entirety may be viewed HERE.
In a related note, I do not believe in coincidence!
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Why Did King James Want A Newly Translated Bible
Before James commissioned the KJV in 1604, most people in England were learning from two different Bibles the Church of England’s translation, commonly read during worship services , and the more popular version most Brits read at home, known as the Geneva Bible, first published in 1560. The Geneva Bible was the Bible of choice among Protestants and Protestant sects, and as a Presbyterian, James also read that version. However, he disliked the lengthy and distracting annotations in the margins, some of which even questioned the power of a king, according to Gordon.
What’s more, when James assumed the English throne in March 1603, following the death of Queen Elizabeth I, he inherited a complicated political situation, as the Puritans and the Calvinists religious followers of reformer John Calvin were openly questioning the absolute power of the Church of England’s bishops. James’ own mother Mary, Queen of Scots had been executed 16 years earlier in part because she was perceived to be a Catholic threat to Queen Elizabeth’s Protestant reign. “Mary’s death made James keenly aware of how easily he could be removed if he upset the wrong people,” Gordon said.
James died from a stroke in March 1625, so he never saw his Bible become widely accepted. But even during his lifetime, after James commissioned the translation, he didn’t oversee the process himself. “It’s almost as if he got the ball rolling, then washed his hands of the whole thing,” Gordon said.
Difference Between Catholic Bible And King James Bible
Christianitys Holy Book Bible has many versions circulated these days. The original version was written in Hebrew as well as in Greek. These original manuscripts were translated into different languages over time. Primarily to make it easy for people to read.
The Original Bible had the Old and the New Testament. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament was written in Greek. The Old Testament had 46 books and the New Testament had 27 books. While translating it in different languages, a few versions missed out on the original manuscripts as they were not available too.
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Why Is The King James Bible So Popular
16 May 2021
Shakespeare was still alive when this Bible was published.
Shortly after he ascended the English throne in 1603, King James I commissioned a new Holy Bible translation that, more than 400 years later, is still widely read around the world.
This Bible, known as the King James Version , helped King James leave behind a lasting cultural footprint one of his goals as a leader. “James saw himself as a great Renaissance figure who wanted to impart on the world culture, music, literature and even new ways of learning,” Bruce Gordon, a professor of ecclesiastical history at Yale Divinity School, told Live Science.
But given the KJV’s age, why is it still so popular across different Christian denominations?
In short, the KJV’s influence has waxed over the centuries because, Gordon said, it was the version that was most widely read and distributed in countries where English was the dominant language and that its translation was “never really challenged until the 20th century.” In that time, the KJV became so embedded in the Anglo-American world that “many people in Africa and Asia were taught English from the KJV” when Christian missionaries brought it to them, Gordon said. “Many people weren’t even aware that it was one of many available translations,” he added, “they believed the King James Version was the Bible in English.”
But there’s more to the story that goes back to the translation’s inception.
What Is Catholic Bible
Catholic Bible is the Holy book of the Christians that contains 73 books of the Canon Scripture. The Canon Scriptures are the Christianity recognized Holy scriptures as authoritative. The Catholic Bible was made by referring the Canon Scriptures. The scriptures were in Hebrew and Greek.
At this juncture, it is better to understand a Jargon used in Christianity
Deuterocanonical Books: These are scriptures written in Greek which is translated from the original Hebrew Structure. They belong to the Old Testament. These are recognized and approved only by Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Assyrian Church.
The Catholic Bible not only has the 73 books but also includes the Deuterocanonical books. These were extant of the Old Testament in ancient times.
Catholic Bible can also be considered as the version built based on Catholic Canon Law. These laws were made the authorities of the Catholic Church then. The rules and regulations direct Christians to follow the activities of the Church. The Latin version of the Catholic Bible is considered to be the direct translation of the canon scriptures.
It is called the Vulgate and was observed to be translated in 4th Century AD. Any translation of the Catholic Bible after that happened from Vulgate. However, it is still considered that the Catholic Bible was written by the author himself and the Church believes it strongly.
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The Real Reason The King James Bible Was Created
The King James Bible, sometimes called the King James Version , is one of the most revered religious texts in the world, and it’s certainly one of the most popularly used by different branches of the Christian religion. According to the Christian Post, the KJV is used by Mormons, Episcopalians, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, and Baptists, among others. The Catholic Church, the most old school of all the Christian denominations, most frequently uses the New American Bible’s English translation, as noted by Difference Between, though English other translations are also used. Then of course, there’s the Anglican Church, who among other translations, still uses the KJV, and they have a special relationship with this particular version.
Is The Niv A Good Bible
The NIV Zondervan Study Bible is appealing to the same market of people who want a reliable, traditional text thats easy to read. The theological profiles of the the ESV and NIV study Bibles are very similar. The NIV is the second most-read version of the Bible in the United States, after the King James.
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How Important Was The King James Bible
The commissioning of the King James Bible took place in 1604 at the Hampton Court Conference outside of London. The first edition appeared in 1611. The King James version remains one of the greatest landmarks in the English tongue. It has decidedly affected our language and thought categories, and although produced in England for English churches, it played a unique role in the historical development of America. Even today, many consider the King James Bible the ultimate translation in English and will allow none other for use in church or personal devotions. However, the story behind the creation of this Bible translation is little known and reveals an amazing interplay of faith and politics, church and state. To understand what happened, we need to go back to the world of the early 17th century.
Try to imagine what it was like to live in the England of 1604. Theirs was not a world like ours where speed, change, and innovation are consciously cultivated and thoughtlessly celebrated. Their world moved at a much slower pace and continuity was prized over change. In their world, the crowning of a new monarch was a grand event that deeply affected the life and identity of the nation. The monarch would rule for life. There was no continuous cycle of election campaigns in their world as there is in ours.
Variations In Recent Translations
A number of Bible verses in the King James Version of the New Testament are not found in more recent Bible translations, where these are based on modern critical texts. In the early seventeenth century, the source Greek texts of the New Testament which were used to produce Protestant Bible versions were mainly dependent on manuscripts of the late , and they also contained minor variations which became known as the Textus Receptus. With the subsequent identification of much earlier manuscripts, most modern textual scholars value the evidence of manuscripts which belong to the Alexandrian family as better witnesses to the original text of the biblical authors, without giving it, or any family, automatic preference.
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How Easy Is The Kjv To Read
The KJV Bible text scores at a 12th Grade Reading Level. This means that readers from the ages of 17 and up should be able to confidently read the majority of the KJV text and roughly understand what it means.What determines this level is the total number of unique words and sentences, as well as sentence length and the length of the words themselves. Other grammatical features also carry weight in the score. The reading level doesnt take into account any understanding of history and context. Just the words and grammar of the text.
As an example, this sentence you are currently reading would score at a Grade Nine on the readability test.
This sentence would be at Grade Two.
Standard Text Of 1769
The 1611 and 1769 texts of the first three verses from I Corinthians 13 are given below.
1. Though I speake with the tongues of men & of Angels, and haue not charity, I am become as sounding brasse or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I haue the gift of prophesie, and vnderstand all mysteries and all knowledge: and though I haue all faith, so that I could remooue mountaines, and haue no charitie, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestowe all my goods to feede the poore, and though I giue my body to bee burned, and haue not charitie, it profiteth me nothing.
1. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
There are a number of superficial edits in these three verses: 11 changes of spelling, 16 changes of typesetting , three changes of punctuation, and one variant textwhere “not charity” is substituted for “no charity” in verse two, in the erroneous belief that the original reading was a misprint.
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How The Kjv Was Translated
To oversee the translation, James commissioned six committees made up of 47 scholars from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. They were tasked with translating all of the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Old and New Testaments into English. It was a complicated and sometimes contentious process that took seven years to complete. Though we don’t have a lot of the records of those committees, “through our best reconstructions, we understand it was a very rigorous debate with everyone committed to the most accurate translation of the Bible,” Gordon said.
Much of the resulting translation drew on the work of William Tyndale, a Protestant reformer who had produced the first New Testament translation from Greek to English in 1525. “It’s believed that up to 80% of the King James Version stems from the William Tyndale version,” Gordon said.
How Much Older Is The Bible Than The Quran
yes. The earliest books of the Bible were written more than 1,000 years before the Koran, and the New Testament was completed at least five centuries earlier. Recent tests conducted on the oldest known pages of the Quran in existence have determined they were written nearly 1,400 years ago, between 568 and 645 AD.
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Is More Polishing A Good Idea
And so, to complete the thought, allow me to share the actual wording of the translators for comparison:
Yet for all that, as nothing is begun and perfected at the same time, and the latter thoughts are thought to be the wiser: so, if we building upon their foundation that went before us, and being holpen by their labours, do endeavour to make that better which they left so good no man, we are sure, hath cause to mislike us they, we persuade ourselves, if they were alive, would thank us.
Combs conveys that this is the answer to those who insist that the KJV should not be changed neither should other translations be ventured. All translations are completed by flawed human beings. The translators would have applauded the efforts to make their words more accessible to modern ears in the centuries ahead. For by this means it cometh to pass, that whatsoever is sound already the same will shine as gold more brightly being rubbed and polished also, if anything be halting, or superfluous, or not so agreeable to the original, the same may be corrected, and the truth set in place.
For Combs, It is obvious the KJV translators would be horrified at the thought their work was perfect and would be the first to commend later improvements and corrections of their work.
Combs, Bill. The Embarrassing Preface to the King James Version. DBTS.edu. April 9, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2018, from http://www.dbts.edu/2012/04/09/the-embarrassing-preface-to-the-king-james-version/.