Could the 1611 KJV have been better?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Logos1560, Nov 2, 2006.

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  1. Logos1560

    Logos1560
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    Could the 1611 edition of the KJV have been better? Were the KJV translators themselves responsible for any renderings in the 1611 edition that later editiors changed? Did the rules given the KJV translators hinder the translators in any way? Were there any clearer, better, or more accurate renderings available in the earlier English Bibles of which the KJV was a revision that the KJV translators did not follow?

    Rule 1: "The ordinary Bible read in the Church, commonly called the Bishops' Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the Truth of the original will permit."

    Rule 3 "The old ecclesiastical words to be kept, viz. the word Church not to be translated Congregation &c."

    Rule 14 "These translations to be used when they agree better with the Text than the Bishops' Bible: Tyndale's, Matthew's, Coverdale's, Whitchurch's [Great], Geneva."
     
  2. franklinmonroe

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    This discussion could prove to be very interesting. I'll say this now, the AV translators knowingly broke many of the rules. Was that sin? or were they justified in their means by the end result?
     
  3. El_Guero

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    Yes, it could have been better.

    But, Paul was dead, and I was not born yet.

    :saint:

     
  4. Logos1560

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    The earlier pre-1611 English Bibles of which the KJV was a revision provide important evidence that can be used to answer the questions in my first post.

    Some of the words or language now considered archaic in present editions of the KJV may be the result of the influence of the Bishops' Bible on the KJV. While the KJV does update the language of some of the earlier English Bibles in a good number of places, the KJV kept some renderings from the Bishops’ Bible at other places where another pre-1611 English Bible already had simpler, clearer, more up-to-date, or perhaps more accurate language. Thus, the first rule given the KJV translators may be responsible for some of the words used with a now archaic or obscure meaning, some of the less clear or more difficult words, a couple possibly anachronistic words, or some of the archaic words that are found in the KJV. To help start the discussion a few possible examples from the book of Genesis are listed below:



    Gen. 1:28 fill (Tyndale’s, Coverdale’s, Geneva) replenish (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 9:1 fill (Tyndale’s, Coverdale’s) replenish (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 9:13 sign (Geneva) token (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 11:28 where he was born (Coverdale’s) of his nativity (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 14:3 valley (Coverdale’s) vale (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 21:26 know (Geneva) wot (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 22:1 prove (Geneva) tempt (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 24:5 What if (Geneva) peradventure (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 24:21 till he knew (Coverdale’s) to know (1599 Geneva) to wit (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 24:55 maid (Geneva) damsel (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 24:63 toward the evening (Geneva) at the eventide (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 24:64 lighted down from the camel (Geneva) lighted off the camel (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 25:7 seventy and five (Geneva) threescore and fifteen (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 29:14 a month long (Coverdale’s) space of a month (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 31:29 yesterday (Coverdale’s) yesternight (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 37:14 valley (Coverdale’s) vale (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 37:22 deliver (Geneva) rid (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 39:8 knoweth (Geneva) wotteth (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 41:36 provision (Geneva) store (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 41:54 famine (Geneva) dearth (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 44:15 Know (Geneva) Wot (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 45:6 plowing (Coverdale’s) earing (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 46:27 seventy (Geneva) threescore and ten (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 50:3 seventy (Geneva) threescore and ten (Bishops’, KJV)
    Gen. 50:15 It may be (Geneva) peradventure (Bishops’, KJV)
     
  5. tinytim

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    OH BROTHER!!! (I loved it!!)
     
  6. Logos1560

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    There is another way that the 1611 edition of the KJV could have been better. The 1611 edition of the KJV includes a number of other renderings from the 1602 edition of the Bishops’ Bible that editors of later KJV editions would change or correct. At times, the corrected rendering in later KJV editions was already available in the 1560 Geneva Bible or another pre-1611 English Bible. These renderings of the 1611 edition that even some KJV-only advocates acknowledge to be “errors” (supposedly made by the printers) would have been the responsibility of the KJV translators since the translators kept them from the Bishops’ Bible. David Norton maintained that “there are some 250 variants where the first [1611] edition preserves a 1602 [Bishops’] reading” (Textual History of the KJB, p. 36). Norton noted that the 1568 edition of the Bishops’ Bible has the consistent spelling “Aialon” for a Hebrew name, “but the 1611 KJB follows the variations of the 1602 text exactly, giving ‘Aialon,‘ ‘Aiialon,‘ and ‘Aijalon’” (p. 35). Norton asserted that a clear error in the 1602 Bishops’ Bible at 1 Kings 8:61 [“the Lord your God”] was kept in the 1611 edition while the 1568 Bishops’ Bible had the correct rendering [“the Lord our God”] (p. 36). This error was corrected in the 1629 Cambridge KJV edition. Norton also observed that “the present tense at Acts 23:3, ‘then saith Paul,‘ where the Greek and the context require the past, also comes from the 1602 text” while the 1568 Bishops’ text had “then said Paul” (p. 36). Norton suggested that the keeping of errors from the 1602 text is “important for establishing that the [KJV] translators were fallible in their attention to the text: sometimes they nodded” (p. 36).
     
  7. El_Guero

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    Threads like this need a little humor and a lot of truth . . .

    So I added some truth.

    :wavey:

     
  8. Deacon

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    After all these years wondering who wrote Hebrews I finally found the answer in the 1611 KJV.

    It was right there in the title,

    THE EPISTLE OF PAVL THE APOFTLE TO THE HEBREWES
    :tongue3:

    So they overstepped in places.

    In other places they were unsure.
    The translation work done in the book of Job is poor and almost unintelligible in some parts.

    So sure it could have been better!

    The KJV wasn't immediately accepted, there was a lot of contempt for it early on; the Puritans weren't exactly pleased with it.

    Rob
     
  9. mcdirector

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    Well! I stand by past comments, you still are a stinker! :tongue3:
     
  10. mcdirector

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    There is actually a thread somewhere about the Separatists acceptance of the KJV. I can only imagine how I would have felt having it thrust on me when I had a perfectly fine Geneva. Well, and theres that little ol' relationship with the Church of England thingy.
     
  11. Keith M

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    Another place where the KJV translators kept a rendering from the Bishops' Bible is in Acts 12:4. The Bishops' Bible and the KJV use the word "Easter." The more accurate "Passeouer" was used in the Geneva Bible (1587). The Wycliffe Bible (1395) used "pask" in this verse, which was more of a direct translation (transliteration?) of the Greek pa/sxa (pascha), defined in Strong's as "the paschal sacrifice," "the paschal lamb," "the paschal supper" and "the paschal feast."
     
  12. franklinmonroe

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    I think its easy for us now to 'Monday morning quarterback' and second-guess the AV translators. But overall they did a very good job! Not perfect, but under the circumstance of the times, a well done and faithful effort.

    Better? In what way? What is the criteria? Early 17th, or 21st century standards?

    It has been written that the AV men's primary focus was upon elegance of the English and not upon accuracy of bringing over the original languages. If that is the case, then they 'hit a home run'! Nothing reads as eloquently as the KJV. Thus, it somewhat unfair to intensely judge them upon exact precision of Hebrew/Greek into English.

    In terms of an example of exquisite, graceful Elizabethan English: No, it could not have been better.

    Let's be fair in our judgement, other translations are not 'all-things to all-people' either. The NIV does pretend to be word-for-word, and therefore we should not criticize it for not achieving that goal. I know that the KJV is categorized as a formal equivalent translation but perhaps that was not the highest objective they sought. They stated perfection was unachievable in their preface "...to the Reader". As this discussion is bringing to light, the boundaries and restraints upon them were great.

    Personally, many of my accomplishments could have been 'better' also. (Speaking as an artist) it is rare that a created piece feels finished/complete/perfect to its author; the creator could alter/correct/perfect their work indefinitely; yet at some point it becomes as good as it should be and they let it go.

    If the AV translators had focused upon bringing the original word meanings into English, perhaps the end result would not have been the memoriable, beautiful text the world received. And more importantly, it may not have had the impact that it had upon western civilization.

    Perhaps the question should be, how could the 1611 KJV have been different?
     
    #12 franklinmonroe, Nov 3, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2006
  13. deacon jd

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    Could the 1611 KJV have been better?

    Can you improve upon perfection?

    No and again I say No.
     
  14. Deacon

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    I'm curious why, when you quote from a version, you use a text that is different from that of 1611?

    Rob
     
  15. deacon jd

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    The words are the same in the text. The spelling may be different but the words are not.
     
  16. Ed Edwards

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    Luke 21:36 (KJV1611 Edition):
    Watch ye therefore, and pray alwayes,
    that ye may be accompted worthy to escape
    all these things that shall come to passe,
    and to stand before the sonne of man.

    Luke 21:36 (KJV1769 Edition):
    Watch ye therefore, and pray always,
    that ye may be accounted worthy to escape
    all these things that shall come to pass,
    and to stand before the Son of man.

    Sorry, not just a spelling or punctuation correction.
    Will the word difference make a difference in
    one's attempt to escape all the things mentioned?
     
  17. Ed Edwards

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    Recall the adjectives declination:

    Perfect, Perfecter, Perfectist:

    KJV1611 Edition - Perfect
    KJV1769 Edition - Perfecter
    KJV1873 Edition (Might just be the American
    Bible Socitey version: KJV1850?) - Perfectist

     
  18. Ed Edwards

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    Open letter to those who damn the New International Version:

    Psalm 25:4 (KJV1611 Edition):
    Shewe mee thy wayes, O Lord:
    teach me thy pathes.


    Psalms 25:4 (NIV = New International Version)
    Show me your ways, O Lord,
    teach me your paths;


    No differences here save: spelling & punctuation,
    yet the KJV1611 Edition is accompted as perfect; the NIV
    is accompted as damned.
    Double Standard Detect :( :(
     
  19. Logos1560

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    Some possible examples from the book of Exodus where the 1611 edition could have been better if it took the rendering of another early English Bible "when they agree better with the Text than the Bishops' Bible":

    Exod. 3:22 ask (Geneva) borrow (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 5:4 your labour (Tyndale’s, Coverdale’s) your burdens (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 5:8 they are idle (Coverdale’s) they be idle (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 5:18 number of brick (Coverdale’s) tale of brick (Bishops’) tale of bricks (KJV)
    Exod. 5:19 diminish (Geneva) minish (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 6:6 deliver (Geneva) rid (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 9:9 blisters (Geneva) blains (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 9:10 blisters (Geneva) blains (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 10:19 quarters of Egypt (Coverdale’s) coasts of Egypt (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 13:12 womb (Geneva) matrix (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 13:15 womb (Geneva) matrix (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 13:17 Lest (Geneva) Lest peradventure (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 13:18 armed (Geneva) harnessed (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 15:27 seventy (Geneva) threescore and ten (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 16:18 measure (Geneva) mete (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 29:2 fine wheat flour (Geneva) wheaten flour (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 29:40 tenth part (Geneva) tenth deal (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 32:1 know (Geneva) wot (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 32:23 know (Geneva) wot (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 34:19 womb (Geneva) matrix (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 34:21 plowing (Coverdale’s) earing (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 37:9 toward the mercyseat (Geneva) to the mercy seatward (Bishops’, KJV)
    Exod. 38:25 seventy and five (Geneva) threescore and fifteen (Bishops’, KJV)
     
  20. Logos1560

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    Your statement is incorrect. There are some places between the 1611 edition of the KJV and today's KJV editions where words are different. After comparing the 1611 edition with today's Oxford KJV edition in the old Scofield Reference Bible, I found over 2,000 differences that affect the sound of words. There are over 60 verses where later editors add one word that is not found in the 1611 edition. At one verse (Eccl. 8:17), later editors add six words ["yet he shall not find it"] that are not in the 1611 edition. There are eight or more verses where later editions add three words and twelve or more verse where later editions add two words not found in the 1611 edition. There are over 15 verses where later editors omit one word found in the 1611 edition. There are over 30 verses where the number of words [whether singular or plural] is changed.
     
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