The KJV was Never Authorized

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Ruiz, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Ruiz

    Ruiz
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    I noted Mark Noll's address a few years ago on the King James Bible and America in another thread. In the Q&A section, Dr. Noll noted that the KJV was never authorized by anyone. King James commissioned the translation, but he nor Parliament never authorized this version. Thus, the understanding it is "authorized" is a misnomer.

    I found this extremely fascinating.
     
  2. InTheLight

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    Why? Please elaborate.
     
  3. convicted1

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    It IS called the AV, isn't it? If it wasn't authorized, then how could it be called such? Listen, I love the KJV, I read it 99.999999% of the time, and think its the best on the market. But if neither King James nor Parliament authorized it, how could it be an AV??
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    My understanding of "Authorized" meant that it was the legal, English Bible as opposed to the Wycliffe, Bishops, etc Bibles around 1611.

    It didn't need an act of Parliament, simply the blessing of the King. Outside of that I don't know, since I haven't done a lot of research in this area. I would certainly defer to Dr Noll for his insights.
     
  5. Ruiz

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    It was not authorized even in the way you described. Again, it never was authorized, only commissioned, but never authorized.
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    Okay, like I said I, not well read on the topic and I'm sure Dr Noll is so I'll defer to his scholarly acumen. :)
     
  7. Logos1560

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    The title page of the 1611 included the following clause: "Appointed to be read in churches," and it referred to “his Majesty’s special commandment.” John Eadie observed that this clause on the 1611 title page “has, so far as is known, no authority, no edict of Convocation, no Act of Parliament, no decision of the Privy Council, no royal proclamation” (English Bible, II, p. 204). The Cambridge History of the Bible noted that “there is no evidence that James, Parliament or Convocation ever expressly commanded the Version either to be printed or to be used” (p. 457). MacGregor noted that “so far as is known there was never any legal instrument conferring authority upon the version” (Bible in the Making, p. 180). MacGregor added: “Its appearance was the subject of no Act of Parliament, no royal Proclamation, no Edict of Convocation, no Privy Council decision” (Ibid.). In his introduction of a facsimile reprint of the 1526 edition of Tyndale’s New Testament, David Daniell maintained that the KJV was “never, in fact, authorized” (p. i). Norman Geisler and William E. Nix wrote: “Strictly speaking, the so-called Authorized Version (KJV) was never authorized. That tradition seems to rest merely upon a printer’s claim on the title page” (General Introduction, p. 565). Christopher Anderson asserted that the acceptance of the proposal for a new translation by James at the Conference at Hampton Court “actually amounted to no authority at all in point of law; James was not then King of England” (Annals of the English Bible, II, p. 388). Anderson maintained that at that Hampton Court conference that “strictly speaking, or according to the law, he [James] was not yet King of England, nor could he be, till the assembling of Parliament” (II, p. 368).
     
  8. Logos1560

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    A 1602 edition of the Bishops' Bible had the caption--"Authorized and appointed to be read in churches," but the 1611 KJV did not have the word "authorized" on its title page. Peter Ruckman claimed: “For the term ‘authorized’ does not appear on the original edition of the 1611 Bible, and the term was never connected with King James” (Christian’s Handbook of Manuscript Evidence, p. 26).


    Randall Davidson asserted: “The words ‘Appointed to be read in churches’ are absent from at least eight of the editions of the King James Version of the first few years, showing that the printer sometimes, but by no means invariably, added the words to the title-page of this version” (Protestant Episcopal Review, Vol. 6, p. 179). There are more than eight editions that omit the words. Some title pages of KJV editions printed by the king’s printers in London that do not have the words “Appointed to be read in churches” include ones in 1612, 1613, 1614, 1615, 1616, 1617, 1618, 1619, 1620, 1621, 1624, 1625, 1626, and 1627. If the king’s printer had been authorized and instructed by the Privy Council or the King to include these words on the title page in 1611, it would be very unlikely that he would have dared to omit them in all those editions. The fact that those words were omitted in several early editions indicates that the printer himself may have added those words without specific authorization, taking them from the title page of the 1602 Bishops’ Bible, since he knew that the KJV was intended to replace the Bishops‘. If the printer received any special authorization or order from the Privy Council or the King, why did he deliberately omit the word “authorized” found on that 1602 title page? Alfred Pollard asserted: “There is indeed negative evidence that there was no such order, for the word ‘Appointed,‘ is considerably weaker than the “Authorized and Appointed’ which it replaced” (Records, p. 60). In addition, since these words had been put on the title page of the Bishops’ Bible without any known royal authority, it should be obvious that the same could be true concerning the 1611 title page.
     
  9. Jerome

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    Straight from OP scholar Mark Noll's latest book:

     
  10. Logos1560

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    Noll's use of the present common name for the KJV in Great Britain [the Authorized Version] does not mean that he has changed his mind about whether the KJV was never officially authorized by King James I.
     
  11. Robert Snow

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    Perhaps God authorized it. I know He has used it for hundred's of years.
     
  12. Martin Marprelate

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    My version says, "Appointed [authorized?] to be read in churches."

    Perhaps they didn't want to call it the 'Appointed Version' because it sounds too much like the 'Anointed Version.' :laugh:

    Steve
     
  13. InTheLight

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    Since no one addressed my question, I'll rephrase.

    Authorized or not authorized. Why should we care?
     
  14. Ruiz

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    Personally, I don't. However, some believe that the authorized version gives it a greater respect because it was authorized.

    However, this is also interesting because it is an urban legend that is just accepted without much research. I admit, I never questioned this was authorized before now. So, it is interesting.
     
  15. glfredrick

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    Especially, seeing as how the king who would have done the authorizing was also persecuting baptists to death... Still sort of boggles my mind that so many Baptists would argue in favor of a translation ordered by a King who offed his enemies -- largely separatists and Baptists.

    I hear all sort of flap about Calvin and how "evil" he was as the religious leader of Geneva. What of good old King James? Much more proof that he was indeed an evil man than that of Calvin.

    Perhaps we've run into some tradition stuff here -- far separated from the actual gospel -- and at that, choosing a text that makes it far easier to manipulate the people into wrong or false belief.

    Note that I am not saying bad things about the KJV. It was the primary translation for centuries (though there have always been others and itself was updated and revised a number of times). Just that translations come and translations go. Such is the nature of any version in a language other than the original.
     
  16. Alcott

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    Well, good thing. If it takes him 2 or 3 thousand years to have a note made of what he said... better late than never.
     
  17. Jerome

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    But remember:

     
  18. glfredrick

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    As I said in another post just a bit ago, being a Calvinist does not make one right all the time. Sorry, doesn't work that way.

    I'd suspect that the dufus at Westboro is also a Calvinist, but everyone on earth except his family disavows him.

    We're dealing with truth claims here, not following blindly just because someone is on one side of the fence or the other. :thumbs:
     
  19. Jerome

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    Oops. Sorry. Take that back. We don't know for sure:

     
  20. Phillip

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    ====================================

    There is a little error in your statement that needs to be corrected. When the King James Bible was put to press there were two companies in England licensed to print it. In order that they let the buying public know that they had permission from the King to actually print it they simply added "The Authorized Version".

    There were bootlegged copies of the KJ being printed in other countries, in England itself and copies from the United States (later on) that the King of England was trying to make clear did not have rights to print it. So, "The Authorized Version" became a sort of stamp just like Microsoft puts a laser generated stamp on its software boxes to indicate that it is indeed from Microsoft.

    The printer was simply letting people know they were buying a Bible that had been authorized by the King to print, no more, no less. :thumbs:
     
    #20 Phillip, Nov 9, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2011

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