Are the 1560 Geneva Bible and the 1611 KJV basically the same English Bible?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Logos1560, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. Logos1560

    Logos1560
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    KJV-only author David Cloud suggested that the earlier English versions such as the Geneva Bible “differed only slightly from the King James Bible” (Bible Version Question/Answer, p. 92). Cloud asserted that the predecessors of the KJV were "the same basic Bibles." He wrote: "They were based upon the same Greek text and employed the same type of translation methodology" (For Love of the Bible, p. 48). David Cloud referred to the Geneva Bible as "an edition of the Tyndale" and the KJV as "another edition of Tyndale" (Rome and the Bible, p. 106; Faith, p. 510; Glorious History of the KJB, p. 102). Cloud also referred to the KJV as “a revision of the Tyndale Bible” (Faith, p. 577). Cloud also noted: "Our Authorized English Bible is a direct descendant of Tyndale's faithful Version" (O Timothy, Vol. 14, Issue 5, 1997, p. 10). Cloud asserted: “In fact, the King James Bible is a revision of that line of Received Text English Bibles stretching back to Tyndale in 1524” (For Love of the Bible, p. 8). Robert Sargent referred to the Geneva Bible as the "third revision of Tyndale's Bible" and to the Bishops' Bible as the "fourth revision of Tyndale's Bible" (English Bible, pp. 197, 198).

    Likewise, James Rasbeary maintained that the pre-1611 English Bibles and the KJV were “basically the same” and that “all came from the same text--the Received Text,“ and that “they translated word for word” (What’s Wrong with the Old Black Book, p. 91). Chester Murray, another KJV-only advocate, claimed: "There is not one difference suggested in the Geneva and the KJ Bible" (Authorized KJB Defended, p. 160). Ray McBerry asserted that the KJV “exhibited very few differences from the Geneva Bible, even down to the word-for-word rendering” (Clash of Swords, p. 113). Troy Clark described the Geneva Bible as the “first complete Majority Text English Bible formally translated from the original Hebrew and Greek languages” (Perfect Bible, p. 158). Troy Clark suggested that each of the pre-1611 English Bibles “ALWAYS contained the same Majority Text Scripture” (p. 133). Troy Clark asserted: “Different names never means different Bibles in the succession of Majority Text Holy Scriptures” (pp. 133-134).

    Gail Riplinger maintained that the earlier English Bibles such as Tyndale's and the Geneva are "practically identical to the KJV" (Language of the KJB, p. 5). Riplinger also wrote: “The Geneva text is almost identical to the KJV” (In Awe of thy Word, p. 566). Riplinger asserted that “generally speaking, the early English Bibles are the same” (p. 130; Hidden History, p. 37). Riplinger asserted that “the words that differ in the early English Bibles are pure synonyms” (In Awe of Thy Word, p. 859). Riplinger even indicated that those previous early English Bibles “were no less perfect, pure, and true than the KJB” (Hidden History of the English Scriptures, p. 59). Riplinger stated that the Geneva “follows the traditional text underlying the King James Version” (Which Bible Is God‘s Word, p. 51). Riplinger described the English translation in the 1599 Nuremberg Polyglot [which was an edition of the Geneva Bible] as “pure” and as “the Bible before the KJV of 1611” (In Awe of Thy Word, pp. 41, 1048, 1052-1108). Riplinger claimed: “According to the rules of translation, the [KJV] translators’ final authority was early English Bibles, particularly the Bishops’” (Hidden History, p. 41).

    Do those who read and use only the KJV think that the Geneva Bible or one of the other pre-1611 English Bibles and the KJV are "basically the same" or are "practically identical" in agreement with one or more of the above statements?
     
  2. RLBosley

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    A good topic. I haven't thought much about this, so I turned to google. I found a relevant article from the Founder's Blog. Some interesting quotes from the article follows:

    According to this, the Geneva followed what would be seen as a more dynamic or mediating translation philosophy while the KJV was more formal. The KJV copied directly about 20% of the GB but had 39% "new material."

    If that is indeed the case I have a hard time believing that they are "practically identical", at least not in any greater measure than the KJV and the NKJV are "practically identical."
     
  3. Logos1560

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    In my comparisons of the Geneva Bible and the KJV so far, I have not seen overall a more dynamic translation approach or a different translation approach in it than that in the KJV.

    The way that the 1560 Geneva Bible is said to help some English readers understand the text is through its marginal notes.

    Gerald Hammond wrote: "What the Geneva translators had done, in effect, was to give every reader the tools to be his own Bible scholar" (Making of the English Bible, p. 95). KJV-only author William Bradley pointed out that the Geneva Bible "was designed to be a 'self-help' study Bible, in case the Christians remained in exile indefinitely" (Purified Seven Times, p. 85). Hammond wrote: "The Geneva Bible gave the English people not only a verse-divided, thoughtfully annotated, easily acquired, and portable version of the Scriptures, but one whose translation itself was equal in scholarship of anything that had appeared on the continent, and one whose style was, in more than its basics, the style of the Authorized Version" (Making, pp. 135-136). David Daniell maintained: “The notes work most of the time to increase the reader’s understanding of the text” (Bible in English, p. 307). He added: “The point of the Geneva Bibles is to help understanding and faith” (p. 375). Hannibal Hamlin wrote: “The Geneva Bible was the first ‘Study Bible’ geared to the average, inexpert reader” (KJB after, p. 214). As a personal teaching Bible, Norton observed that the Geneva Bible places “the emphasis very strongly on private ownership, close study and doctrinal correctness” (History, p. 81). Concerning the Geneva, Lori Ferrell wrote: “This multitude of ‘helps,‘ along with its compact size, made it the first Bible designed to assist the common English readers, which in turn made it popular on an unprecedented scale” (The Bible and the People, p. 83). The Cambridge History of the Bible observed that “the notes of the original 1560 Geneva Bible are as a whole generally Protestant in intention rather than specifically Calvinist” (Vol. 3, p. 158).

    In his article in a modern-spelling edition of the 1599 Geneva Bible, Marshall Foster wrote: “When the Geneva Bible disappeared, there were widespread complaints that people ’could not see into the sense of Scripture for lack of the spectacles of those Genevan annotations’” (p. xxiv).
     
  4. RLBosley

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    I see. I saw the emphasis on the margin notes in the article but also thought they were implying a difference in translation styles as well. My mistake.
     
  5. Jordan Kurecki

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    I have the Geneva Translation on E-Sword, and I have seen very few differences between it and the KJV.

    They are basically identical.
     
  6. Logos1560

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    If the exact same measures were consistently and fairly used for comparing the KJV and the NKJV as for comparing the KJV and the Geneva Bible, perhaps the KJV and the NKJV could be said to be as much "basically the same Bibles" or "practically identical" as the KJV and the Geneva Bible.


    In my opinion and based on my comparisons of them so far, there would be the same type translational differences between the Geneva Bible and the KJV as there are between the KJV and the NKJV.

    I have not compared every word of every verse of all three of these translations [Geneva Bible, KJV, and NKJV], but I have attempted to compare whole chapters in various books of the Bible in all three.

    Likely, the 1560 Geneva Bible may actually have greater textual differences with the KJV than any differences that KJV-only advocates may see or claim to have found between the KJV and the NKJV.
     
  7. ktn4eg

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    There was a lot more involved in the Geneva Bible's marginal notes than information that contained helps for the English language reader.

    While I don't question the fact that it was a very good English language translation, one needs to remember that there was also a not-so-hidden political agenda behind the GB's original publication.

    Most (if not all) of the GB's translators were refugees that were forced into exile from England due to the anti-Protestant policies of Queen Mary ("Bloody Mary") who reigned from 1553-1558.

    When referring to the actions of many of the OT kings of Israel or of the Herods in the NT, quite often the GB's translators would insert some very negative comments in their marginal notes.

    This is one reason why King James I "authorized" the publication of the KJV: He wanted an English language Bible that didn't have marginal notes that contained any negative remarks about kings.
     
  8. RLBosley

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    Yes but that would require honesty and consistency. That is a bridge too far for the KJVOnly advocates.
     
  9. Logos1560

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    Can you give any examples where the comments in the Geneva Bible notes are not in agreement with what the text actually states or indicates?

    Does not the original language text itself indicate or state some negative things about some kings when it is indicated that they were ungodly or wicked in certain actions?


    Was there not a political agenda and Episcopal agenda behind the making of the KJV?

    McGrath observed: "The ultimate grounds for James's hostility toward the Geneva Bible was the challenge its marginal notes posed to his passionate belief in the doctrine of the 'divine right of kings'" (In the Beginning, p. 141). Bernard Levinson and Joshua Berman pointed out that the marginal notes in the Geneva Bible “contained some interpretations that were sympathetic to the right of the oppressed to resist a tyrant, and that raised questions about ‘the divine right of kings’” (KJB at 400, p. 4). In his introduction to the facsimile edition of the 1599 Geneva Bible, Michael Brown pointed out: "King James did not encourage a translation of the Bible in order to enlighten the common people: his sole intent was to deny them the marginal notes of the Geneva Bible" (p. i). Gustavus Paine also noted: "James's real reason for objecting to the Geneva Bible was rooted in his need to feel secure on his throne. Some of the marginal notes in the Geneva version had wording which disturbed him: they seemed to scoff at kings. If the Bible threatened him, it must be changed. Away with all marginal notes!" (Men Behind the KJV, p. 10). Vance maintained that “it was not the text of the Geneva Bible that bothered the king--it was the notes” (King James, His Bible, p. 21). In the introduction to a 1853 edition of the Bible by Benjamin Boothroyd, this is noted: “What chiefly offended James and the high church party in this version [the Geneva Bible] were the notes, which indicated a strong but just sense of freedom” (p. xxi).

    Pastor John Mincy affirmed: "King James saw in this new translation an opportunity to get rid of the influence of the Puritan Bible, the Geneva" (Williams, From the Mind of God, p. 131). Ward Allen maintained that King James "hoped to supplant the popularity of the Geneva Bible, the Puritan translation whose accuracy and readability made it a vast favorite with the people" (Coming of King James Gospels, p. 3). KJV-only advocate Robert Sargent acknowledged that King James "despised the Geneva Bible" (English Bible, p. 206). In his Dictionary of the Bible, John Brown (1722-1787) maintained that “King James heartily hated the Geneva translation” (p. 97). Charles Buck also asserted that “King James bore it [the Geneva] an inveterate hatred, on account of the notes” (Theological Dictionary, p. 58). Kenneth Bradstreet confirmed that James “hated the Geneva Bible” (KJV in History, p. 87). Stephen Miller and Robert Huber affirmed that King James “hated the Geneva Bible” (The Bible, p. 178). KJV defender Steven Houck also observed that James "greatly disliked the marginal notes of the Geneva Bible because he thought they encouraged disobedience to kings and therefore wanted a new translation to replace it" (KJV of the Bible, p. 3). Ronald Cammenga asserted that “the king objected to certain notes that he interpreted to deny the divine right of kings, notes that justified disobedience to the king under certain circumstances” (Protestant Reformed Theological Journal, Nov., 2011, p. 56). The Local Preachers’ Magazine maintained that “King James disliked the notes of the Geneva Bible, because they were unfriendly to the despotic policy on which he acted after ascending the throne of England” (March, 1853, p. 112). Alister McGrath wrote: "The king, according to the Geneva Bible, was accountable for his actions. It was not a view that James I cared for" (In the Beginning, p. 147).

    What did those marginal notes say that upset King James I? At Daniel 6:22, the 1599 edition of the Geneva Bible has this marginal note: "For he did disobey the king's wicked commandment to obey God, and so did no injury to the king, who ought to command nothing whereby God should be dishonoured." At Exodus 1:19, it has this note: "Their disobedience herein was lawful, but their dissembling evil." The note at Exodus 1:22 is as follows: "When tyrants can not prevail by craft, they burst forth into open rage." In his article in a modern-spelling edition of the 1599 Geneva Bible, Marshall Foster observed: “The marginal note in the Geneva Bible at Exodus 1:19 indicated that the Hebrew midwives were correct to disobey the Egyptian rulers. King James called such interpretations ‘seditious.‘ The tyrant knew that if the people could hold him accountable to God’s Word, his days as a king ruling by ‘Divine Right’ were numbered” (p. xxv). At Matthew 2:19, the marginal note has the word tyrant [“Christ is brought up in Nazareth, after the death of the tyrant, by God’s providence”]. Its note at Matthew 10:28 stated: “Though tyrants be never so raging and cruel, yet we may not fear them.“ At Acts 12:2, its note again referred to tyrants [“It is an old fashion of tyrants to procure the favour of the wicked with the blood of the godly”]. McGrath maintained that "the Geneva notes regularly use the word 'tyrant' to refer to kings; the King James Bible never uses this word" (In the Beginning, p. 143). Long after King James’ death, these notes were printed in a few editions of the KJV, such as one in 1672.
     
  10. Logos1560

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    A failure to use consistent, “altogether just” measures, standards, or principles (Deut. 16:20, Prov. 16:11, Ezek. 45:10, Deut. 25:15) in comparing translations would condemn the unfair, uneven, unreliable, and unjust judgments and accusations that will result.

    Any fair, objective, consistent, sound analysis and evaluation of some typical KJV-only assertions and accusations concerning the NKJV compared to their assertions concerning the pre-1611 English Bibles such as the Geneva Bible would evidently lead to the conclusion that they must be based on different measures, standards, or weights.
     
  11. ktn4eg

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    Logos1560:

    I did not say that every marginal reference in the GB pertaining to kings always had a negative connotation.

    Also, I did not say that there wasn't what you call an "Episcopal" agenda [The term "Anglican" would probably be more historically correct in this particular context.] behind the development of the KJV.

    There was, in fact, an Anglican agenda behind the KJV in that what most folks would designate as the "Puritan faction with the Church of England" for urging that a new version of the Bible be made in what's called the Millennial Petition that was presented to King James I in 1603.

    King James I tended to favor not only such policies that were in opposition to limiting the authorities of the king in general, but also those policies that tended to limit the king's authority in appointing church officials within the Church of England.

    Hopefully this clears up what I wrote in my previous post.
     
  12. Yeshua1

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    Would it be fair to state that even if one held to the KJVO position, that due to both of them using the same textual basis and having same translation approach, both the geneva and the Kkjv versions would be the "Word of god" to us in English?
     
  13. ktn4eg

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    Here's an excellent summary of the political and ecclesiastical situation that existed in England during the period of time that the KJV was translated:

    "Of course, the King James Bible did not spring from the soil of Jacobean England as quietly and miraculously as a lily. There were arguments and struggles, exclusions and competitiveness. It is the product of its time and bears the marks of its making. It is a deeply political book. The period was held in the grip of an immense struggle: between the demands for freedom of the individual conscience and the need for order and an imposed inheritance; between monarchy and democracy; between extremism and toleration. Early Jacobean England is suffused with this drama of authority and legitimacy. 'The reformers', it has often been said, 'dethroned the Pope and enthroned the Bible.' That might have been the case in parts of Protestant Europe, but in England the process was longer, slower, less one-directional and more complex. The authority of the English, Protestant monarch, as head of the Church of England, had taken on wholesale many of the powers which had previously belonged to the pope. The condition of England was defined by those ambiguities. In the years that the translation was being prepared, Othello, Volpone, King Lear and The Tempest---all centered on the ambivalences of power, the rights of the individual will, the claims of authority and the question of liberty of conscience --- were written and staged for the first time. The questions that would erupt in the Civil War three decades later were already circling around each other.

    "But it is easy to let that historical perspective distort the picture. To see the early seventeenth century through the gauze of the Civil War is to regard it only as a set of origins for the conflict. That is not the quality of the time, nor is the King James Bible any kind of propaganda for an absolutist king. Its subject is majesty, not tyranny, and its political purpose was unifying and enfolding, to elide the kingliness of God with the godliness of kings, to make royal power and divine glory into one indivisible garment which could be wrapped around the nation as a whole. Its grandeur of phrasing and the deep slow music of its rhythms --- far more evident here than in any Bible the sixteenth century had produced --- were conscious embodiments of regal glory. It is a book written for what James, the self-styled Rex Pacificus, and his councilors hoped --- a vain hope, soon shipwrecked on vanity, self-indulgence and incompetence --- might be an ideal world."

    (Quotation from pages xiii-xiv of the Preface to Adam Nicolson's God's Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible. [2003: HarperCollins])
     
  14. Logos1560

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    Where in the Millennial Petition did the Puritans urge the making of a new version of the Bible?

    When I read the Millennial Petition, I did not see nor notice such a request in it.

    Some unreliable KJV-only books have claimed that such a request is in it, but it has not been demonstrated to be correct or factual.
     
  15. Yeshua1

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    Wasn't there a bias against the "calvinistic" notes of the geneva Bible, and on how they treated some references to Kings?
     
  16. Rippon

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    Read post #9 by Logos1560.
     
  17. rsr

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    You can read a request for a new version in the Millenary Petition only obliquely: The Puritans asked for a thorough revision of the Prayer Book and sought "that the canonical Scriptures only be read in the Church." All the authorized versions, of course, retained the Apocrypha. It would not have been necessary to sanction a new translation; the deutercanonicals could have been excised from the Bishops' Bible and the Prayer Book. In any case, the Apocrypha certainly was not a major point of the petition.
     
  18. Rippon

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    The Bishop's Bible left a bad taste in the mouths of many back then. It wasn't as direct and lively as the Geneva Bible, even though it came out later( in 1668,1572 and 1602). It was more verbose and fancy than the plain words of the Geneva Bible. I guess the Geneva Bible can be compared with the NIV and the Bishop's Bible to the ESV. Except that the latter is more popualr with the public than the B'sB ever was.

    Wait a minute Rip. If the Geneva Bible can be compared with the NIV, and the Bishop's Bible can be compared with the ESV --what version today can be compared with the KJV? I don't know-- perhaps the KJV of today --based for the most part on the 1769 edition.
     
  19. Yeshua1

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    Wouldn't the Nkjv really be the modern day geneva Bible though?
     
  20. Logos1560

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    textual differences between 1560 Geneva and KJV

    Here are the facts that are the basis for my statement.

    I challenge any KJV-only advocate to present a list of claimed greater textual differences between the KJV and the NKJV than those that I will list between the 1560 Geneva Bible and the KJV that KJV-only advocates have asserted are "basically the same Bibles" or are "practically identical."

    Matthew 1:11 "Jacim. And Jacim begat" [these words in 1560 Geneva Bible are not in the 1611 KJV] [see also 1611 edition's marginal note]

    Matthew 26:26 "and when he had given thanks" [1560 Geneva]
    "and blessed it" [1611 KJV] [see 1611 marginal note]

    Mark 15:3 "but he answered not" [these words in KJV are not in 1560 Geneva Bible]

    Luke 10:22 "Then he turned to his disciples" [these words in 1560 Geneva Bible are not in 1611 KJV's text] [see 1611 marginal note]

    Luke 17:36 [this verse in the KJV is not in the 1560 Geneva Bible]
    The 1560 Geneva Bible has a verse 36 but it is what is verse 37 in the KJV. [see 1611 marginal note]

    John 8:6 "as though he heard them not" [these words in KJV are not in 1560 Geneva Bible]

    John 8:59 "going through the midst of them, and so passed by" [these words in KJV are not in 1560 Geneva Bible]

    John 14:1 "And he said to his disciples" [1560 Geneva] [these words not in KJV]

    Romans 8:11 "because that his Spirit" [1560 Geneva]
    "by his Spirit" [1611 KJV]
    see 1611 marginal note, and see Hills, KJV Defended, p. 222 where he
    presented this as a textual difference between the TR editions by Beza and those by Erasmus and Stephanus

    1 Corinthians 15:31 "our rejoicing" [1560 Geneva]
    "your rejoicing" [1611 KJV] [see 1611 marginal note]

    1 John 2:23b [but] he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also
    [this second half of this verse in KJV is not in 1560 Geneva Bible]

    Revelation 16:5
    and Holy [1560 Geneva Bible]
    and shall be [1611 KJV] [KJV followed conjecture introduced by Beza]
     
    #20 Logos1560, Aug 6, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2014

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