Accuracy of the KJV

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Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
Right. I am asking if the original KJV in 1611, as it came off the printing press, had italics. It's completely a curiosity question. I don't care about later revisions, just the original version.
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
They were set in smaller type.

Very interesting. Not just a smaller type, but a different font as well! I was curious if italics was even a commonly used type of print at the time, but judging by the sophistication of the elaborate font used in the original printing, I'd say it would almost have to be.

Wow, that was truly informative. Thanks!
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Tim,

If I'm not mistaken, the Geneva Bible may have been the first English translation to use italics. I've seen that reported in a number of articles in the past. I'm not that familiar with the Geneva and I can't find any verses with italics in E-sword or online Bible sites. Maybe the use wasn't as widespread as in the KJV or could those resources be wrong? There are some occasional bracketed words in the Bishop's Bible in the various online sites and E-Sword, so apparently it had brackets. If it used italics I don't know why those programs wouldn't reflect it since it is reflected in the other versions.

The Geneva also has "God forbid" in Rom. 6. Interestingly, according to various Bible programs and websites, both the Geneva and the Bishop's Bible have "God forbid" at the end of v. 1 instead of v. 2a. Tyndale has it at v. 2a. It appears that "God forbid" is in most if not all of the Reformation era English translations. You would think that divines and translators of that era would likely be more concerned with things like Third Commandment violations as taught in the Westminster Standards, for example, as compared to our day in which usage tends to be more casual and flippant. I'm not too well versed on these kinds of questions but I'm guessing you may be on to something with the suggestion that it may have been in the common idiom at that time. "God forbid" is also in the extremely literal RV and ASV, but I don't know if that may have simply been a carryover from the KJV.

Jay P. Green's LITV and MKJV both have "Let it not be!" at Rom. 6:2.
 
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Osage Bluestem

Puritan Board Junior
They were set in smaller type.

Very interesting. Not just a smaller type, but a different font as well! I was curious if italics was even a commonly used type of print at the time, but judging by the sophistication of the elaborate font used in the original printing, I'd say it would almost have to be.

Wow, that was truly informative. Thanks!

You're welcome brother. They were very talented people. I think the prining back then was highly artistic and well thought out, however, I do find it difficult to read.

As a side note, that type of printing was popular in Germany until recently. I have some German books in my library that use a very similar type to that used in the original KJV and they are from the early 20th century.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
I have some German books in my library that use a very similar type to that used in the original KJV and they are from the early 20th century.

That particular script is called blackletter and was the type used by Gutenberg. The English-speaking world switched to a "Roman" script sometime in the 16th Century, apart from certain legal documents and important books, like the AV. Even today, legal documents often have headings in blackletter.
 

Osage Bluestem

Puritan Board Junior
I have some German books in my library that use a very similar type to that used in the original KJV and they are from the early 20th century.

That particular script is called blackletter and was the type used by Gutenberg. The English-speaking world switched to a "Roman" script sometime in the 16th Century, apart from certain legal documents and important books, like the AV. Even today, legal documents often have headings in blackletter.

Thanks. It's very beautiful. Not practical, but beautiful.
 

KaphLamedh

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm sorry, but the notion that the KJV is not used anywhere but fundamentalist churches simply isn't true. I've heard it used in lots of audio sermons at Presbyterian churches. Several Presbyterian denominations around the world have the KJV as their official denominational translation. And whether we have better manuscripts now is a debated issue, not a settled one.

Dr. Alan Cairns, pastor of Faith Free Presbyterian Church, Greenville, SC uses KJV. Cairns is one of my favorite preachers.
John Piper, another favorite of mine uses ESV.

Personally I like to read KJV and ESV. KJV was the first English Bible I started to read, and same time I started to read NIV, but I found NIV too difficult to read. I my opinion NIV has too weird choices of words. So, I continued with KJV. Later ESV was published and it was great, it is great. I even bought Reformation Study Bible with ESV.
I have also read NASB, and still sometimes I read it, but to memorise texts, I have decided to read two English bibles and two Finnish Bibles (1776 and 1933/38 translations).

I don't care what people says, but Luther, Calvin, Tyndale, Spurgeon and so on used KJV or Bibles which have very same manuscripts, so it is good enough for me.
 

torstar

Puritan Board Sophomore
I'm sorry, but the notion that the KJV is not used anywhere but fundamentalist churches simply isn't true. I've heard it used in lots of audio sermons at Presbyterian churches. Several Presbyterian denominations around the world have the KJV as their official denominational translation. And whether we have better manuscripts now is a debated issue, not a settled one.

Dr. Alan Cairns, pastor of Faith Free Presbyterian Church, Greenville, SC uses KJV. Cairns is one of my favorite preachers.


Do Free Presbyterian churches tend to use KJV? Those I have come across in person or through sermons preach from it.

(Dr. Paisley certainly preached from the KJV..)

Just asking...
 

au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I'm sorry, but the notion that the KJV is not used anywhere but fundamentalist churches simply isn't true. I've heard it used in lots of audio sermons at Presbyterian churches. Several Presbyterian denominations around the world have the KJV as their official denominational translation. And whether we have better manuscripts now is a debated issue, not a settled one.

Dr. Alan Cairns, pastor of Faith Free Presbyterian Church, Greenville, SC uses KJV. Cairns is one of my favorite preachers.


Do Free Presbyterian churches tend to use KJV? Those I have come across in person or through sermons preach from it.

(Dr. Paisley certainly preached from the KJV..)

Just asking...

From the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland's website:

In view of these requirements, the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland believes that it is important to assert, maintain and defend the best translation available in the English language. In 1961 the Synod passed a resolution which continues to express the Church's position. The Synod 'states its firm conviction that the Authorised Version is the best and most faithful translation of the Word of God to be found in the English language'. This then is the only English translation that is used in the public worship of the Church and recommended by the Church for family and private use.

From here:
The Importance of An Approved Translation Of The Bible

The Australian Free Church seems to be the same:
Australian Free Church - Home

I couldn't find information on whether the Free Church of Scotland (continuing) has the same rule.
 

torstar

Puritan Board Sophomore
Thanks Austin.

I think that Cairns and Paisley are the same denom, or at least were at some epic moments, not quite the same style though.
 
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PointyHaired Calvinist

Puritan Board Sophomore
This then is the only English translation that is used in the public worship of the Church and recommended by the Church for family and private use.

Sounds an awful lot like a KJVO position to me. Someone who is Free Presbyterian or familiar with them clear it up for me...
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Sounds an awful lot like a KJVO position to me.

The small number of Reformed people that hold to this view differ hugely from the Baptist KJV crowd in that the Reformed, due to better educational standards, admit that the TR and KJV have possible corruptions, where the Fundy Baptist KJVO crowd think that the liberal Dutch Catholic who put together the TR was able for some garbled reason to re-create the original writings word for word without fault.

Which naturally means that the Reformed KJVO agrees with the rest of us Reformed folk (99% or so) in principle but not in degree. We all think that the KJV and TR possibly have corruptions. It's just that the Free Presbyterians etc.. think that the corruptions are less numerous than most others.
 

jayce475

Puritan Board Freshman
This then is the only English translation that is used in the public worship of the Church and recommended by the Church for family and private use.

Sounds an awful lot like a KJVO position to me. Someone who is Free Presbyterian or familiar with them clear it up for me...

The Free Presbyterians share the same position as us with regards to textual preservation and have preached at our pulpits at times.
 

au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
This then is the only English translation that is used in the public worship of the Church and recommended by the Church for family and private use.

Sounds an awful lot like a KJVO position to me. Someone who is Free Presbyterian or familiar with them clear it up for me...

You should have bolded "recommended" too, I think. I'd highly suggest reading the article. Even apart from considering the KJV, the argument the article makes for uniformity of translation use is a good one. A denomination could just as well make the "official church translation" some other translation, if it were regarded as the best available, but in my opinion the concept of uniformity of translation is a good one. It is difficult for memorization and discussion that we have so many common translations, even within one denomination or one church.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Part of the difficulty attaches to the connotations attached to KJVO. A person may "only" use the KJV and not fit into the constellation of significations attached to the label KJVO.

KJVO sometimes carries a nearly cultic belief that the Holy Spirit so superintended the preservation of the text that the translational decisions of the KJV translators are more authoritative than the original Hebrew and Greek!

We have had writers on the PB defend the KJV because . . .

* The Byzantine manuscripts are more numerous (90%+) and some on the PB deem them superior to the Alexandrian texts behind the modern translations.

* The differentiation of the singular and plurals in the KJV offers greater clarity than modern English translations.

* 1/3 of the Bible is poetic and they believe that the KJV better conveys the affective aspects of the Bible than some of the more mundane prosaic renderings in English.

* The loss of a common Bible has been lamented and the preservation of the KJV is sometimes seen as an upholding of that which is good and valuable and time-tested.

One could accept an ESV or NASB as "the Bible," use them on occasion, and still preach/teach out of the KJV without holding to the odd views of some of the KJVO crowd.

In all fairness, however, most confessionally Reformed seminary grads were taught to use the Nestle/UBS Critical Text rather than the TR or Majority/Byzantine text.
 

KaphLamedh

Puritan Board Freshman
Part of the difficulty attaches to the connotations attached to KJVO. A person may "only" use the KJV and not fit into the constellation of significations attached to the label KJVO.

I could be wrong, but many uses the bible that he/she first start to use. Sometimes they change to read other translation, like ESV has became quite popular and it is new translation. Some has said that it is literal translation like NASB, but easy to read like NIV. So, maybe ESV has the best parts of NASB and NIV.

One can uses only KJV, but not any part of KJVO movement.

KJVO sometimes carries a nearly cultic belief that the Holy Spirit so superintended the preservation of the text that the translational decisions of the KJV translators are more authoritative than the original Hebrew and Greek!

To demonize all other bible versions as Roman Bibles or as Pope's Bibles isn't very wise. If one is born again and read NIV, I wonder how he is in danger to fall into heresies? There is in You TUbe videos that tell that. Like James White said, there are bad translations, but also good ones in these newer translations. White also has said that he is no anti-KJV, although someone has said so.
 

au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Part of the difficulty attaches to the connotations attached to KJVO. A person may "only" use the KJV and not fit into the constellation of significations attached to the label KJVO.

KJVO sometimes carries a nearly cultic belief that the Holy Spirit so superintended the preservation of the text that the translational decisions of the KJV translators are more authoritative than the original Hebrew and Greek!

We have had writers on the PB defend the KJV because . . .

* The Byzantine manuscripts are more numerous (90%+) and some on the PB deem them superior to the Alexandrian texts behind the modern translations.

* The differentiation of the singular and plurals in the KJV offers greater clarity than modern English translations.

* 1/3 of the Bible is poetic and they believe that the KJV better conveys the affective aspects of the Bible than some of the more mundane prosaic renderings in English.

* The loss of a common Bible has been lamented and the preservation of the KJV is sometimes seen as an upholding of that which is good and valuable and time-tested.

One could accept an ESV or NASB as "the Bible," use them on occasion, and still preach/teach out of the KJV without holding to the odd views of some of the KJVO crowd.

In all fairness, however, most confessionally Reformed seminary grads were taught to use the Nestle/UBS Critical Text rather than the TR or Majority/Byzantine text.

That's a great summary. This is the way I tend to think, and I would add that In my humble opinion the KJV is more consistently literal than most others, but the NASB is a strong contender for that as well, in general.
 

reformedminister

Puritan Board Sophomore
David, I find your comments rather insulting, judgmental, rash, opinionated, and erroneous. The fact is that the KJV has always been and remains today an excellent and revered translation! :scholar:
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
Since (as I understand), in the KJV, the New Testament consists of about 85% of Tyndale's translation brought over bodily into the KJV, how can the KJV be said to be a translation (at least in the New Testament)?
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
Since (as I understand), in the KJV, the New Testament consists of about 85% of Tyndale's translation brought over bodily into the KJV, how can the KJV be said to be a translation (at least in the New Testament)?

The ESV is over 90% identical to the RSV. Would you also say that the ESV is not a "translation" ?
 

PointyHaired Calvinist

Puritan Board Sophomore
I have no problem with the KJV being picked as even a "standard" translation, and the excellencies of the version have already been proclaimed. However what I took away from the FPCS article is that they ONLY want their parishoners using and studying from the KJV. I NEVER said they were Ruckmanites, "God and" Riplingerites, or along the lines of the Indy-Fundy Baptist KJVOs. But, the position sounds to me more than just "KJV Preferred" like most of the smaller Reformed bodies hold to.

The question is: is someone who studies, memorizes, uses and loves the Geneva, ESV, NKJV, or other good editions of the Bible a deficient Christian for doing so? Would the FPCS, Brisbane BP, or others discipline or rebuke someone who prefers - let's take the textual argument out of here - the NKJV, Third Millennium, or Geneva?
 

au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I have no problem with the KJV being picked as even a "standard" translation, and the excellencies of the version have already been proclaimed. However what I took away from the FPCS article is that they ONLY want their parishoners using and studying from the KJV. I NEVER said they were Ruckmanites, "God and" Riplingerites, or along the lines of the Indy-Fundy Baptist KJVOs. But, the position sounds to me more than just "KJV Preferred" like most of the smaller Reformed bodies hold to.

The question is: is someone who studies, memorizes, uses and loves the Geneva, ESV, NKJV, or other good editions of the Bible a deficient Christian for doing so? Would the FPCS, Brisbane BP, or others discipline or rebuke someone who prefers - let's take the textual argument out of here - the NKJV, Third Millennium, or Geneva?

I didn't see anything in the article to that effect, no.
 

TexanRose

Puritan Board Sophomore
...However what I took away from the FPCS article is that they ONLY want their parishoners using and studying from the KJV.... Would the FPCS, Brisbane BP, or others discipline or rebuke someone who prefers - let's take the textual argument out of here - the NKJV, Third Millennium, or Geneva?

The word, as Austin pointed out, is "recommended" not "required."

"This then is the only English translation that is used in the public worship of the Church and recommended by the Church for family and private use."

Just to clarify, the Free Presbyterian church in Greenville SC is not a part of the FP Church of Scotland. It might belong to the FP Church of North America.
 

jayce475

Puritan Board Freshman
I have no problem with the KJV being picked as even a "standard" translation, and the excellencies of the version have already been proclaimed. However what I took away from the FPCS article is that they ONLY want their parishoners using and studying from the KJV. I NEVER said they were Ruckmanites, "God and" Riplingerites, or along the lines of the Indy-Fundy Baptist KJVOs. But, the position sounds to me more than just "KJV Preferred" like most of the smaller Reformed bodies hold to.

The question is: is someone who studies, memorizes, uses and loves the Geneva, ESV, NKJV, or other good editions of the Bible a deficient Christian for doing so? Would the FPCS, Brisbane BP, or others discipline or rebuke someone who prefers - let's take the textual argument out of here - the NKJV, Third Millennium, or Geneva?

For the record, my church is a small church plant by the Singapore Bible-Presbyterians, so I am referring to our body of churches and not just my church. It would not be acceptable for pro-critical text proponents to teach against what we believe to be biblical textual preservation in any setting within the church, just as how we would not allow credo-baptism to be taught. However, if individual believers are using other versions (inclusive of NKJV, since it does differ in several places from the KJV), we gently teach them regarding the superiority of the KJV as opposed to the other bibles. Don't believe we've encountered anyone yet who has brought a Tyndale or Geneva to church before, but we regard those very highly as well. I have no clue what a Third Millennium bible is, so can't really comment. We have been greatly blessed by the good old KJV and we want all our members and visitors to receive this blessing as well.

However, on a personal level, I also regard critical text supporters to be totally different from those who claim that some words are now permanently lost and claim that there are now mistakes in the bible. The former hold on to preservation, albeit an incorrect version by our reckoning, whereas the latter have undermined the fundamentals of the faith.
 

KaphLamedh

Puritan Board Freshman
Since (as I understand), in the KJV, the New Testament consists of about 85% of Tyndale's translation brought over bodily into the KJV, how can the KJV be said to be a translation (at least in the New Testament)?

The ESV is over 90% identical to the RSV. Would you also say that the ESV is not a "translation" ?

Didn't know that ESV is so close to RSV...well, in fact I have never read RSV.

Wasn't all English Bibles like Coverdale, Matthew, Great Bible, Bishops Bible up to KJV based on Tyndale's work? These older ones, which based on Textus Receptus so to speak.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Would the FPCS, Brisbane BP, or others discipline or rebuke someone who prefers - let's take the textual argument out of here - the NKJV, Third Millennium, or Geneva?

As the AFC has been mentioned on this thread I take it "others" includes the AFC. The AV is exclusively used in the pulpit. It is recommended for private use because of the conviction that it is the most faithful translation. Of course, when it comes to Bible study, "translations" are on the same footing as any tool which might be consulted, excepting that the word "Holy Bible" gives it an air of exclusive sanctity. In devotions, where the reader is in a posture of "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth," one is disposed to implicitly receive what is read, and so there is a necessity for accuracy. When individuals choose to use another version he or she is not rebuked. It is a matter which requires further understanding; the person should be discipled rather than disciplined. One is thankful for every person who has a thirst to read and understand the holy Scriptures, and it is better to be reading something rather nothing. Afterall, on the assumption that the AV is something of a standard, if a modern version agrees 90% of the time with the AV, we may deduce that a person reading a modern version is in fact reading the word of God at least 90% of the time. The problem is that the Devil is in the details, and that 10% is what the evil one seeks to use to the greatest advantage to sow seeds of doubt into the minds of men. It certainly doesn't help matters when publishers print misleading text critical notes at the foot of a page, which are fitted to give the wrong impression to the minds of untrained readers. It is better to simply give people the word of God, and leave text critical matters to those trained in the science.
 

Hebrew Student

Puritan Board Freshman
First of all, I think the value of the KJV is that it is a literary masterpiece written in the golden age of English. In this regard it is of great value.

However, I also agree with those who have said that the KJV is outdated. I can be specific here, however, and point to Proverbs 26:23:

כֶּסֶף סִיג מְצֻפֶּה עַל־חָרֶס
שְׂפָתַיׅם דֺלְקׅים וְלֶב־רָע


Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross. [KJV]

The problem with this is obvious. As my professor, Dr. Lawson Younger said, no one would ever cover a pot sherd with silver dross. The KJV translators simply did not have enough information at this point.

The key to this text came with the discovery of Ugaritic. In the Ugaritic corpus, we discovered a word spsg which means "glaze" or "gloss." Apparently, what happened was that the Masoretic Text fallaciously divided up the first and second words of the first line, as the Northwest Semitic term סַפְסִיג is very rare, while the Hebrew term כֶּסֶף is very common in the Hebrew Bible. The text should read:

כְּסַפְסִיגִים מְצֻפֶה עַל־חָרֶשׂ
שְׂפָתַיׅם דֺלְקׅים וְלֶב־רָע


Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel
are fervent lips with an evil heart. [ESV]

Not only that, but now the text makes perfect sense. Glaze will make a piece of earthenware look pleasing; however, it remains nothing more than dirt and clay. In the same way, fervent lips make an evil heart seem far better than what it is. However, it remains nothing more than a cheap decoration on something that is undesirable.

I think someone else also pointed out that the KJV, in some places like Job 39:9, translated "unicorn," when we know from other Semitic languages such as Akkadian and Ugaritic that the better translation is something like "wild bull."

Akkadian and Ugaritic were unknown at the time of the KJV. Akkadian wasn't deciphered until the end of the ninteenth century, and Ugaritic wasn't even discovered until the early twentieth century. They have been a great help to the lexicography of Biblical Hebrew.

Also, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has revolutionized our understanding of the text of the Hebrew Bible. I would say that, therefore, the KJV is useful, but outdated.

God Bless,
Adam
 
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