Why the Missing Marginal Notes?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Dr. Bob, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    On another thread it was pointed out that the AV translators often put other word choices as well as instructional material in the margins. Not the conservative, anti-monarchial study notes of the Geneva, but notes about the translation, word choices, grammar, Hebrew, Greek, etc. I have the Thomas Nelson 1611 and they are there.

    But by my 1762 Cambridge revision, they are gone.

    Anyone know FACTS about the who/what/why/when of these notes that were so critical that the Translators inserted them and then >>poof<< were gone?

    And while we're at it, when did the apocryphal books, tables, lessons for reading and the full "Translator to the reader" 11-page explanation disappear?

    Were these still in the standard KJV revision, a lot of the "fuss" of those claiming a specific word is "perfect" or "unique" might be eliminated, as other equally-good words could be employed.

    Inquiring minds . . .
     
  2. jbh28

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    I'm not sure, but I wish they were still there, along with the preface. I'll see if I can find something.
     
  3. tinytim

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    In my 1873 KJV (part of my parallel Bible) I have the marginal notes as footnotes... they are indeed helpful.
     
  4. HankD

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    Don't forget The Epistle Dedicatory, Calendar, An Almanac for 39 Years, Directions to Find Easter, and The Order of Psalms and Lessons to be Said at Morning and Evening Prayers.

    Maybe the Alexandrians came stole them away in the night.

    HankD
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    LOL. I got in a lot of trouble posting some of the SCRIPTURES FOR READING and LESSONS - and they, of course, use apocryphal non-inspired books. It was no accident that the AV included right in order the OT, Apocrypha, NT and called them ALL "Scripture" and "Bible" Readings.

    They disappeared too. Probably to save paper in a green-conscious movement in the Earth Day KJV. :thumbs:
     
  6. Greektim

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    :D All I can do is smile :)
     
  7. Mexdeaf

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    I don't know the answer, but the fact that there were around 8,000 marginal notes is proof that the KJV translators were NOT inspired in their work of translation and that they realized that.
     
  8. RAdam

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    Not all strict adherants to the KJ say that the translators were inspired. In fact, I've never held to that position.

    Now, my bible has the original margin notes. They are, indeed, helpful.
     
  9. Eagle

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    Pray tell, who/which/what published version do you have that has these? Does it also include the other items mentioned in this thread?
     
  10. RAdam

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    I have a cambridge concord edition. It has the marginal notes, the epistle dedicatory, the translators to the readers, in addition to a concordance and a bible dictionary. My wide margin edition doesn't have the bible dictionary but does have 56 lined pages for notes, which is extremely nice. It doesn't have the apocrypha, but that doesn't bother me. The apocrypha was just included for information sake anyway, it is not scripture, and if I desire a copy I'll just buy one separate.
     
  11. sag38

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    I was interested in purchasing one of these Bibles but I'm not prepared to shell out the bucks for one. The cheapest I found was over $50.00 and that was before shipping.
     
  12. Eagle

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    Thanks for the info.
     
  13. TC

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    I read a few of years ago (although I cannot remember the source) that publisher's desire to maximize profits by cutting costs led them to cut out anything they felt was not needed. Most KJV's I have today only have a title page, OT, NT, a small dictionary/concordance and a few maps.
     
  14. RAdam

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    Yep, exactly right. That's also why the bibles you buy from most stores are cheaply made. They have cheap bonded leather, glued binding, cheap paper, etc. Really there is a niche market today for good quality bibles, but it is gonna cost you. That is why I use Cambridge, although there are several other good bible distributors too. I like having the epistle dedicatory, the translators to the reader, the original marginal/center-column notes, and a quality binding.

    One good thing about Cambridge's Concord setting is that you can get it in several different sizes. There is a really small size called the Crystal, a personal size, a normal size, and a wide margin all with exactly the same setting. I like this because I know where many verses are located on the page and don't have to spend time searching for them.
     
  15. rsr

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    The last two posters have pretty much hit the nail on the head for exclusion of a good deal of the original KJV material: cost.

    Paper was expensive in a pre-industrial age, and reducing the number of pages (unlike today) greatly reduced the cost of printing. Marginal notes, obvously, take up a lot of space and require more time to set the type.

    I'm sure the publishers pocketed some of the difference, but leaving out the extra material also meant they could produce cheaper editions, making Bibles more affordable and widespread.

    An example is the Aitken Bible, the first English Bible printed in America. The 1782 edition is strictly bare-bones: Chapter numbers (but no headings) and verses, printed on wood pulp paper. And, of course, the Apocrypha was omitted.

    Eliminating the extra material also made the Bible smaller and easier to carry.

    In addition, some of the material was redundant; with the publication of the 1662 Prayer Book, it was no longer necessary to keep the appointed Scripture readings (or how to find the date of Easter) in the Bible itself.

    The Epistle Dedicatory lost favor during the Commonwealth and Restoration and, on this side of the Pond, after the American Revolution. (This change was not instantaneous; Isaiah Thomas' 1791 edition, printed in Massachusetts, proudly proclaimed that the translation was By special Command of King James I, of England; whereas Isaac Collins' 1791 Bible published in New Jersey not only eliminated the Epistle Dedicatory and reference to James on the title page but also noted that the dedication was "wholly unnecessary" and "perhaps to be continued in an American edition" and that he had been advised by some "judicious friends" to omit it.)

    As to the Apocrypha ... I have been unable to determine the first KJV to omit the disputed books, although it would appear to be circa 1630 (perhaps a bit later). It had been illegal to publish an English Bible without an Apocrypha since 1615, and it seems the government had more or less enough power to enforce that decree during James' reign, but his successors had neither the power nor the inclination to do so.

    The Puritans and Presbyterians, for the most part, had no great love for the Apocrypha, and as their numbers and political strength grew in the 1640s, there was a greater market for editions without the Apocrypha and, probably, less stricture about their publication.

    After the Restoration, a primary market for the Bibles was among the Dissenters, who preferred their Bibles without the extra books. Thus the KJV was published in both editions, with the ratio gradually favoring volumes that excluded the Apocrypha.

    The American experience with the Apocrypha was mixed; the Thomas Bible contained the Apocrypha; the Collins Bible (Oxford edition, with notes) did not. The Philadelphia Baptist Association, in endorsing the Collins Bible ask that the committee formed to oversee the work "be ordered to use their influence to prevent the Apocrypha, or any Notes of any kind being printed and included in said edition, as having a dangerous tendency to corrupt the simplicity and truth of sacred Scritpures, by being thus intimately associated with them; and, particularly, as being incompatible with the union of people of different religious sentiments in promoting the work."

    The death knell for mass-market volumes with the Apocrypha came in 1826 when the British and Foreign Bible Society decided it would no longer distribute Bibles that contained the Apocrypha; the American Bible Society quickly followed suit, ensuring that the Apocrypha would be excluded from the vast majority of printings.
     
    #15 rsr, Jul 9, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2010
  16. rsr

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    BTW, Dr. Bob, I am at a loss to explain why your marginal notes are missing from the 1762 Cambridge. Thomas Paris etensively revised the notes and references for the 1762 edition, which Blayney referred to in preparing his 1769 edition. (Scrivener said that "On the whole, Dr Paris, who has been kept so utterly out of sight, performed his task with more diligence, exactness, and moderation than his Oxford successor.")
     
  17. Dr. Bob

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    99.9% of the KJV revisions printed today are either 1762 Cambridge or 1769 Oxford. None seem to have these notes.

    (Look in the front of you KJV and see which you have. Scofield used the 1769 Oxford revision; but my Large Pint - $13.99 at Sam's Club - used the 1762 Cambridge. Both without original notes and missing the dedication, apocrypha, etc)
     
  18. RAdam

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    I think mine is the 1762 and it has the epistle dedicatory, the marginal notes, and the translators to the reader.
     
  19. Armchair Scholar

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    My Cambridge wide margin KJV (printed in the UK) contains the translators' notes in a column in the middle of the pages. It also contains the Epistle Dedicatory and the Translators to the Reader, in updated English.

    As for when the Apocryphal books were removed, I think it was in 1881. When the ERV was being put together, the Archbishop of Canterbury made the rule that the Apocrypha could not be included. I am guessing that is when it was also removed from future printings of the KJV in England. As for the Apocryphal books being removed from KJVs printed in the U.S., I am guessing the American Bible Society had something to do with that.
     

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