The Textual Sources Behind the KJV?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by franklinmonroe, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. franklinmonroe

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    PREFACE: There is much debate concerning the most accurate textual sources for translating the Bible into English. Supporters of the KJV claim that Ben Chayyim's (editor) Hebrew publication and the Textus Receptus critical Greek text (essentially Erasmus work lightly-edited in a few subsequent volumes) are the best, or in some cases, even the only 'perfect' sources; and because only the Authorized Version follows both this very specific Masoretic Hebrew and this narrow TR-tradition of Greek it alone (the KJV, that is) can claim superiority and the upmost fidelity among Bible versions.

    QUESTION: What do historians, interested scholars, and others report were those textual sources available and used by the 1611 translators?
    Secondary Questions: Can we know beyond reasonable doubt what the sources were? That is, can we trust the people that do this research?
     
    #1 franklinmonroe, Jul 9, 2012
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  2. franklinmonroe

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    John R. Kohlengerger III

    Dr. Kohlenberger reviews and expands on McGrath's comments in his book In the Beginning concerning the sources that --
    ... there are at least three reliable witnesses to the textual resources available to the translators: (1) the catalog of printed texts from 1456 to 1610, (2) the documents surrounding the KJV, and (3) the KJV itself, especially its marginal notes and excellent introduction, "The Translators to the Reader". ​
    The quote above can be read in complete context here --
    http://books.google.com/books?id=l8ZO1RryaLoC&pg=PA43&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false
     
    #2 franklinmonroe, Jul 9, 2012
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  3. franklinmonroe

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    Rev. Steven Houck

    Pastor Houck is evidently a strong KJV supporter when he states on a website that --
    Even though the King James Version has its weaknesses, it is an excellent translation and by far the best version available today. We must not be taken in by the modern versions and their claims. Our 400 year old Bible is to be preferred above all others because it is better than them all. ...
    Concerning the textual sources used by the KJV he states in addition to previously published English translations --
    The Hebrew text had been remarkably preserved by God. At the time the translators were ready to begin their work, they had no less than ten printed editions of the Hebrew Old Testament available to them. There was the Complutensian Polyglot of Cardinal Ximenes published in 1517 which contained the Hebrew text (the fifth complete O. T.) as well as the Latin Vulgate and the Greek Septuagint translations of it. They had four editions by Daniel Bomberg (1516-17, 1516-17, 1521, 1525-28). The last of these was popular with the Reformers. The standard edition was considered to be that of Jacob ben Chayim-the Second Rabbinic Bible. Besides these, there was the Antwerp Polyglot (1572) with the Hebrew text of Arius Montanus and the Latin interlinear translation of Pagninus.

    The Greek text was readily available in the Complutensian Polyglot (1514), the five editions of Erasmus (1516-1535), the four editions of Robert Stephanus (1546-1551), and the ten editions of Theodore Beza (1560-1598). They also consulted the editions of Aldus (1518), Colinaeus (1534), and Plantin (1572).

    His entire "The King James Version Of The Bible" article here --
    http://www.prca.org/pamphlets/pamphlet_9.html#sources
     
    #3 franklinmonroe, Jul 9, 2012
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  4. franklinmonroe

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    Dr. Laurence M. Vance

    Pro-KJV Dr. Vance alluding to "The Translators to the Reader" states that besides all the English versions --
    And, as the translators themselves also acknowledged, they had a multitude of sources from which to draw from: "Neither did we think much to consult the Translators or Commentators, Chaldee, Hebrew, Syrian, Greek, or Latin, no nor the Spanish, French, Italian, or Dutch." The Greek editions of Erasmus, Stephanus, and Beza were all accessible, as were the Complutensian and Antwerp Polyglots, and the Latin translations of Pagninus, Termellius, and Beza.

    From "A Brief History of the King James Bible" here --
    http://www.av1611.org/kjv/kjvhist.html
     
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  5. franklinmonroe

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    F.H.A. Scrivener via Wikipedia

    For their Old Testament, the translators used a text originating in the editions of the Hebrew Rabbinic Bible by Daniel Bomberg (1524/5),[110] but adjusted this to conform to the Greek LXX or Latin Vulgate in passages to which Christian tradition had attached a Christological interpretation. ...

    For their New Testament, the translators chiefly used the 1598 and 1588/89 Greek editions of Theodore Beza,[114] which also present Beza's Latin version of the Greek and Stephanus's edition of the Latin Vulgate. Both of these versions were extensively referred to, as the translators conducted all discussions amongst themselves in Latin. F.H.A. Scrivener identifies 190 readings where the Authorized Version translators depart from Beza's Greek text, generally in maintaining the wording of the Bishop's Bible and other earlier English translations.[115] In about half of these instances, the Authorized Version translators appear to follow the earlier 1550 Greek Textus Receptus of Stephanus. ...
    All three footnotes above ([110], [114], and [115]) refer to TR-defender Dr. Scrivener's comments in his 1884 "Authorized Edition of the English Bible, 1611, its subsequent reprints and modern representatives". Page numbers available here --
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_james_bible
     
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  6. Yeshua1

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    And all those tell us just how they texts used by KJV scholars superior to ones used by modern ones for say nasb/niv?
     
  7. Rippon

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    This is a little off the subject,but I think that aside from manuscripts,the KJV revisers manily used prior English versions and a bit from the Vulgate.

    According to John Nelson and Royal Skousen in their work : How Much of The king James Bible Is William Tyndale's? :

    "This shows an average of 83.7 per cent of the King James New Testament to be found in Tyndale,2.4 per cent in Coverdale,2.2 per cent in the Great Bible,4.7 per cent in the Geneva Bible,2.2 per cent in the Bishop's Bible,and 2.8 per cent to be original to the King James.Of the Old Testament books that tyndale translated,75.7 per cent of the King James is found in Tyndale,6.1 per cent in Coverdale,9.6 per cent in the Geneva bible,and 8.7 per cent is original to the King James."
     
  8. Yeshua1

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    That would make sense, as don't even KJVO folks see Tynsdale/geneva as being 'OK", from same bible family tree?
     
  9. Rippon

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    Yes,KJVO folks would say that the Wycliffe,Tyndale,Coverdale...etc. are all okay by them. It's strange that they don't give any credit to the NKJV.
     
  10. Yeshua1

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    indeed, as doesn't the NKJV use SAMe greek/hebrew texts as KJV did?
     
  11. franklinmonroe

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    No. (Read the OP again.)
     
  12. franklinmonroe

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    Please elaborate on what you meant with the phrase "aside from manuscripts". Thanks
     
  13. reformed_baptist

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    The KJB is not a translation per se but a revision. The first of Bancrofts 15 rules that were given to team working on the new version reads;

    "The ordinary Bible read in the Church, commonly called the Bishop's Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the truth of the original will permit."

    Hence the KJB was not a translation but a further revision of an existing translation.
     
    #13 reformed_baptist, Jul 11, 2012
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  14. Logos1560

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    KJV-only claims about Hebrew text

    Some KJV-only authors seem to use the term “the Masoretic text” to refer especially to this one printed edition edited by Chayim. D. A. Waite maintained that "the Old Testament basis of our KING JAMES BIBLE" was this Second Rabbinic Bible edited by ben Chayim (Defending the KJB, pp. 27, 38). Waite asserted that the Ben Chayyim Masoretic Text “is the text that underlies the King James Bible” (p. 27). Waite commented: “It is a sad day when a supposedly Bible-believing evangelical will emend the traditional Masoretic text itself” (p. 38). Waite wrote: “We do want to go back to the Hebrew and Greek text that God has preserved for us and from which the King James Bible was taken the Masoretic Ben Chayyim Hebrew and the Traditional received Textus Receptus Greek” (Central Seminary Refuted, p. 20). Waite asserted: “The Masoretic Hebrew Text is the ONLY text to follow in the Old Testament! All others must be rejected!“ (NKJV Compared to KJV, p. xiii). Waite wrote: “The Hebrew Old Testament to use is that which underlies the King James Bible. It is the Daniel Bomberg edition of 1524-25 which was the standard for the next 400 years” (Critical Answer to James Price‘s, p. 83). H. D. Williams indicated that the traditional Hebrew text is “the Masoretic, Ben Chayyim, Second Great Rabbinic (not the first) edition Hebrew text published by Daniel Bomberg” (Word-for-Word, p. xix). Dennis Kwok claimed: “The King James Old Testament is translated from the Traditional Masoretic Hebrew Old Testament text (Ben Chayyim)“ (Verbal Plenary Preservation, p. 77). In the introductory “definitions” in the KJV-only book entitled Thou Shalt Keep Them that is edited by Kent Brandenburg, this is stated: “the Old Testament text behind the King James Version is the Ben Chayyim MT” (p. 11). Thomas Holland wrote: “It was his [referring to Jacob ben Chayyim] text that was used by the translators of the King James Version for their work in the Old Testament” (Crowned, p. 114). David Cloud referred to “the Ben Chayyim Masoretic text” (Faith, p. 170). James Sightler maintained that “the Ben Chayyim Masoretic Text” “was used for the KJV” (Testimony Founded For Ever, p. 272). Michael Bates wrote: “The Ben Chayyim Masoretic Text is the Hebrew Text underlying the KJV” (Inspiration, p. 341). James Kahler wrote: “This work, known as the Ben Chayyim Masoretic Text, the Daniel Bomberg edition, or the Second Great Rabbinic Bible, is the Hebrew text from which the Old Testament of the King James Version was translated” (Charted History, p. 10). In the preface of his commentary on Genesis, Peter Ruckman wrote that “we shall accept Jacob Ben Hayyim’s text (Bomberg, 1524) as reliable” (p. vi). David Daniels wrote: “The best manuscript, used by the King James Bible, was the Ben Chayyim, also called the ‘Bomberg Text’” (Answers, p. 178). James Rasbeary wrote: “The King James Old Testament was translated from the Ben Chayyim Masoretic Text” (What’s Wrong, p. 48).
     
  15. Logos1560

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    In his book published by Samuel Gipp, James Kahler asserted: “It [referring to the Ben Chayyim Masoretic Text] alone can attest to being the faithful text of the Old Testament” (Charted History, p. 10). In his book published by the Dean Burgon Society, Dennis Kwok claimed: “The Ben Chayyim Text is the faithful text that follows the traditional and providentially preserved manuscripts. This Hebrew Text underlying the KJB is totally infallible and inerrant” (Verbal Plenary Preservation, p. 128). D. A. Waite indicated that the view that "the Second Rabbinic Bible is an inerrant reproduction of the original manuscripts" is his "position completely" or that it was a "perfect Masoretic text" is his "belief exactly" (Central Seminary Refuted, p. 41). D. A. Waite contended that “the difference between the King James Bible and all the other versions and perversions is that the King James Bible translates what the Hebrew says” (Fundamentalist Distortions, p. 22). Waite asserted that “something with alleged ‘scribal errors’ cannot be ‘preserved for us’ if you mean, as I do, inerrant preservation of the Words of the Bible” (p. 23). Waite wrote: “it is my considered opinion that the Hebrew and Greek texts underlying the King James Bible are also inerrant and infallible” (p. 10). Waite maintained that “the words of the Old Testament Hebrew were preserved to the letter” (Bob Jones, p. 21).
     
  16. Logos1560

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    missing verses in Second Rabbinic Bible

    Was this claimed perfect Masoretic text in the Second Rabbinic Bible missing two verses at Joshua 21? Would Waite claim that the Second Rabbinic Bible cannot be the preserved text if it followed a scribal error in omitting two verses? According to Waite‘s own claim, were the KJV translators wrong not to follow the Second Rabbinic Bible at Joshua 21? If the edition of the Hebrew text on which the KJV was based cannot be trusted in one or two places, is that saying that it cannot be trusted at all? Gail Riplinger wrote: “The original ben Chayim Hebrew Bible wrongly omitted Joshua 21:36-37” (Hazardous, p. 1016). Riplinger asserted: “This proves that the KJB translators DID NOT follow ben Chayim exclusively” (Ibid.). Riplinger also maintained that “the original ben Chayim edition wrongly omitted Nehemiah 7:68” (p. 1017).

    Concerning Joshua 21:36-37, Eliezer Katz wrote: "The two verses do not appear in Hebrew version" (New Classified Concordance, p. xxxiv). J. Scott Porter maintained that “it [Joshua 21:36-37] is left out of the Rabbinical Bibles of Ben Chajim, Buxtorf, and Ben Simeon” (Principles, p. 194). Arthur Farstad claimed that "Joshua 21:36, 37 is lacking in the Masoretic text. Yet the passage is found in the KJV because the missing verses were supplied from the Septuagint, Vulgate, and Syriac versions, as well as from the parallel passage in 1 Chronicles 6:63, 64” (The NKJV: In the Great Tradition, p. 96). Benjamin Kennicott wrote: “In the 21st chapter of Joshua; the 36th and 37th verses, though clearly necessary to the sense of the chapter, having been accidentally omitted in some ancient copy, are omitted in many latter MSS: and being omitted in that copy or copies, on which the Masora was formed, they have been refused admittance into the printed Hebrew text, upon Masoretic authority” (State, II, p. 330). Kennicott maintained that the Masora would “exclude at least two whole verses, which are beyond all disputation genuine” (pp. 284-285). Ginsburg noted that Jacob ben Chayim "decided to omit them [Joshua 21:36-37) in accordance with a certain school of Massorites" (Introduction, p. 965). Kyle McCarter observed that Joshua 21:36-37 “are entirely missing in the Leningrad Codex and other major manuscripts of MT” and that the “cause of their omission in MT was homoioteleuton: Verses 35 and 37 ended with the same sequence” (Textual Criticism, p. 41). Porter asserted that “the great majority of the MSS. of the Book of Joshua contain these verses,” claiming that 164 manuscripts have the verses while 68 omit them (Principles, p. 195). The evidence is clear that Joshua 21:36-37 are not in the standard Second Rabbinic Bible edited by Chayim. These two verses were said to be in the First Rabbinic Bible edited by Pratensis. These two verses were also said to be in the other earlier printed Hebrew texts: the 1488 Soncino, the 1491-93 Naples, the 1494 Brescia, and the Complutensian Polyglot. These earlier printed Hebrew texts are not considered Masoretic texts since they did not include the Masora.
     
  17. Logos1560

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    There was also a third edition of a Rabbinic Bible printed by Bomberg. David Norton observed that KJV translator Laurence Chaderton [First Cambridge company--1 Chronicles to Song of Solomon] owned “a two-volume third edition of Bomberg’s Hebrew Bible (1547-9)” and its “annotations and marks cluster in the part that the first Cambridge company worked on” (KJB: a Short History, p. 70). This could indicate that this Hebrew Bible was used in the making of the KJV, at least the part done by the group of which Chaderton was a member.
     
  18. Logos1560

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    KJV as a revision

    This study is crediting Tyndale's New Testament when Tyndale's was the first to have certain renderings. Much of the pre-1611 English Bibles did come from Tyndale's. In actual practice, it is likely that most of Tyndale's found in the KJV actually came directly from either the Geneva Bible or the 1602 edition of the Bishops' Bible instead of directly from Tyndale's.

    Where is the percentage for the renderings that the KJV borrowed from the 1582 Rheims New Testament?

    Starting with the 1602 Bishops' Bible as the basic English text for the making of the KJV, Ward Allen maintained that "the Rheims New Testament furnished to the Synoptic Gospels and Epistles in the A. V. as many revised readings as any other version" (Translating the N. T. Epistles, p. xxv). Allen and Jacobs claimed that the KJV translators "in revising the text of the synoptic Gospels in the Bishops' Bible, owe about one-fourth of their revisions, each, to the Genevan and Rheims New Testaments" (Coming of the King James Gospels, p. 29).
     

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