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Did non-translators or bishops revise the KJV?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions & Translations' started by Logos1560, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. Logos1560

    Logos1560 Active Member
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    Oct 22, 2004
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    Did some men who were not listed as translators review and revise the KJV before it was printed?

    It is possible that some Church of England bishops that were not translators may have been permitted at some point to review the translation and make changes. At the Hampton Court Conference, there had been mention that the translation “be reviewed by the Bishops“ (Barlow, Sum and Substance, p. 46; also Cloud, Glorious History, p. 130; Vance, King James, His Bible, p. 52). Conant affirmed that “the original plan” had been for the translation to be subject to “the examination of the bishops” (English Bible, p. 439). Conant indicated that the revision by the committee of twelve involved six translators and six others [probably bishops] who had not been involved in the translation (Ibid.). The introduction entitled “An Historical Account of the English Versions” in Bagster’s 1841 English Hexapla maintained that “in the committee of revision, there were six persons besides the six delegates; who those were cannot be positively stated; but it appears probable that they were six bishops to whom the task was assigned by the King” (p. 158) so that this may be the source for Conant‘s comment. In 1848, Alexander McClure wrote: “It is likely that the other six members of this committee were bishops, as it was certainly the king’s intention to have several of that order concerned in the revision of the work” (Christian Observatory, II, p. 505). In 1857, Francis Trench asserted: “From a statement made at the Synod of Dort, in 1618, it is known that six other persons met these six representatives [of the translators], and thus formed a committee of twelve for the general review of the work” (Theological Works, Vol. III, Miscellaneous Essays, pp. 142-143). Trench added: “It is supposed that they were six bishops, appointed to the office by King James” (p. 143). Benson Bobrick also suggested the possibility that “six were chosen by the translators from their own number” and “six by the king from learned ecclesiastics as overseers” (Wide as the Waters, p. 239). Some other sources suggest or maintain that all twelve members of this committee of revision were translators. Henry John Todd indicated that both Miles Smith and Thomas Bilson were part of “the twelve” revisers (Authentic Account, p. 37). H. B. Wilson referred to Bilson and Smith “with the rest of the twelve” concluding the work (History of Merchant-Taylors School, p. 191). If Bishop Thomas Bilson who was not listed as a KJV translator was one of the 12 revisers, it would seem to provide support for the claim of those who maintain that six of them were not translators.