November 26, 2008 1:31am
|Bubba, What would say if I told you that the KJV of the bible was not the first english translation. The first translation into english was done by John Wycliff in 1380,(this was not a printed work, but was hand written only). The first printed work in english was William Tyndale's translation of the New Testament in 1525/6. After Tyndale was burned at the stake for this, his co-worker Myles Coverdale completed the translation of the Old Testament in 1535. Then Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Cantebury, hired Coverdale at the bequest of King Henry VIII to publish "The Great Bible" in 1539. In 1560 the Geneva Bible was printed and was the first bible to add verse numberings. It also was the first English Bible to be taken to America. When the KJV first came out, the Geneva Bible remained more popluar for decades.
With the death of Queen Elizabeth I, Prince James VI of Scotland became King James I of England. The Protestant clergy approached the new King in 1604 and announced their desire for a new translation to replace the Bishop's Bible first printed in 1568. They knew that the Geneva Version had won the hearts of the people because of its excellent scholarship, accuracy, and exhaustive commentary. However, they did not want the controversial marginal notes (proclaiming the Pope an Anti-Christ, etc.) Essentially, the leaders of the church desired a Bible for the people, with scriptural references only for word clarification when multiple meanings were possible.
This "translation to end all translations" (for a while at least) was the result of the combined effort of about fifty scholars. They relied heavily on Tyndale's New Testament, The Coverdale Bible, The Matthews Bible, The Great Bible, The Geneva Bible, and even used the Rheims New Testament. The great revision of the Bishop's Bible had begun. From 1605 to 1606 the scholars engaged in private research. From 1607 to 1609 the work was assembled. In 1610 the work went to press, and in 1611 the first of the huge (16 inch tall) pulpit folios known as "The King James Bible" came off the printing press.
A typographical error in Ruth 3:15 rendered the pronoun "He" instead of the correct "She" in that verse. This caused some of the 1611 First Editions to be known by collectors as "He" Bibles, and others as "She" Bibles.
It took many years for it to overtake the Geneva Bible in popularity with the people, but eventually the King James Version became the Bible of the English people. It became the most printed book in the history of the world. In fact, for around 250 years, until the appearance of the Revised Version of 1881, the King James Version reigned without a rival.
Bubba, the KJV that we have today is not the orignal KJV. I have printed an example of the orignal english used in the 1611 KJV bible.
1st Ed. King James (1611): "For God so loued the world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne: that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life."
As you can see it would not be and easy translation to read in todays english speaking world. There are many good english translations today, because we have more ancient manuscripts available. More than when the KJV was first translated. I also would like to know what you think about all of the different translations that have been done in other languages(over 1200). Are they not the inspired word of GOD too. We cannot put GOD in a box and say this is the only way HE can speak to us. Yes, there are bad translations in use today, such as,the New World Translation by the Jehovah Witness, but with a little hard word anyone can find the errors in these translations.