BIBLE PRIMER

Our Bible - How the KJV of 1611 Came to Be

1. The King James Version (KJV) or Authorized Version (AV) of the Bible was completed in 1611 by direction of King James I of England. Fifty-four outstanding English scholars were appointed to work on the project. Some of the men died during the course of the project, but forty-seven of them saw it through to the end. The translators were divided into three companies which were again split in two. The three companies (divided in two companies each) worked independently at Oxford, Cambridge, and Westminister Universities. Thus, there were six companies working on six allotted portions of the Hebrew and Greek Bibles. Each member of each company worked individually on his task, then brought to each member of his committee the work he had accomplished. The committee all together went over that portion of the work translated. Thus, when one company had come together, and had agreed on what should stand, after having compared their work, as soon as they had completed any one of the sacred books, they sent it to each of the other companies to be critically reviewed. If a later company, upon reviewing the book, found anything doubtful or unsatisfactory, they noted such places, with their reasons, and sent it back to the company whence it came. If there should be a disagreement, the matter was finally arranged at a general meeting of the chief persons of all the companies at the end of the work. It can be seen by this method that each part of the work was carefully gone over at least fourteen times.

A. The King James Version of the Bible was produced under authority of what monarch? ___________________________________________________.

B. How many scholars were appointed to the project? __________________ How many finished the task? __________________________________.

C. The scholars were divided into __________ companies of which each company later divided into two.

D. The teams worked at __________________, ________________, and _________________________ Universities.

E. Using the methods they had prescribed for the translation, how many times was the work reviewed before it became final? ________________________.

2. The men of 1611 had all the materials necessary for an accurate translation of the Bible. They used the Textus Receptus (Received Text) as the basis for their translation.  Also available to them were copies of previous translations including the Geneva Bible and Tyndaleís New Testament.

A. The King James Version of the Bible was taken from the _______________ _____________, sometimes referred to as the Received Text.

B. The manuscipts rejected by the producers of the King James Version of the Bible became the basis for the majority of the translations produced in the _______________ century.

3. The Lordís churches have always believed the Bible to be the infallible, inerrant, inspired word of Almighty God. For them, it is the only rule for faith and practice and stands in authority above any human creed, opinion, or tradition. So, the question for the common man is, "Do we have the whole word of God?"  Since, there is no original manuscript in existence (all are copies), how can we be sure Godís word has been preserved? There are some 5,309 Greek manuscripts which contain all or part of the New Testament. These manuscripts agree together 95% of the time. The other 5% accounts for the differences between the King James and the modern versions. The King James does not include the Vaticanus and Siniaticus from which the modern versions are translated. The Textus Receptus or its equivalent is the text used by the Waldenses and other Anabaptists. The Anabaptists were the Lordís churches during the dark ages and through the reformation when their name was shortened to "Baptist."

A. The ____________________ and other anabaptists used the Textus Receptus or its equivalent.

B. The King James Version does not include the __________________ and ________________, from which the modern versions are translated.

C. All existing Greek manuscripts agree ____% of the time. The other _____% accounts for the difference between the King James and the modern versions.

4. The King James Bible of 1611 included the Apocrypha. The Apocrypha is fourteen books which have never been recognized by the Lordís people as part of the Bible. There are no quotes from the Apocrypha in the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. There are about 263 direct quotations from and some 370 allusions to the Old Testament, yet not one from the Apocrypha. Our Lord never quoted from it nor did he refer to it. Subsequent printings of the King James left the Apocrypha out entirely since it was already pronounced "Apocryphal" which means: disputed, doubtful, or fictitious. There were some printerís errors in the 1611 King James Bible according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. Notice the following underlined quote from the Britannica: "Two editions were actually printed in 1611, later distinguished as the "He" and "She" Bibles because of the variant reading "he" and "she" in the final clause of chapter 3, verse 15 of Ruth: "and he went into the city." Both printings contained errors. Some errors in subsequent editions have become famous: The so-called Wicked Bible (1631) derives from the omission of "not" in chapter 20 verse 14 of Exodus, "Thou shalt commit adultery," for which the printers were fined 300 pounds; the "Vinegar Bible" (1717) stems from a misprinting of "vineyard" in the heading of Luke, chapter 20." (Encyclopedia Britannica, CD Version, 1995).

 

The printerís errors were soon corrected and the ancient English spellings were updated. Here is an example of the previous spellings: "And God said, Let the Earth bring foorth grasse, the herbe yeelding seed, and the fruit tree, yeelding fruit after his kinde, whose seed is in it selfe, vpon the earth: and it was so." (KJV 1611, Gen. 1:11). "And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so." (KJV, Gen 1:11). The text remains the same. Your pastor has read many of his sermon texts and scripture readings from the actual King James Version of 1611. A copy is available for you to look at in the Pastorís study. If you wish to have a copy of the original King James Version of 1611, the Pastor will be happy to order one for you.  He will even coach you in reading the Middle English in which it is written.  There are many claims that the King James has changed dramatically over the years since its publication in 1611, but it simply is not true, as you could see for yourself. It is the same Bible. God has preserved His word for the English-speaking people in their own tongue.

A. The King James Version of 1611 included the ____________________ when it was first printed, which is fourteen books never considered part of the Scriptures by Godís people.

B. Printerís __________________ were corrected and ancient English _________________ were updated in subsequent printings of the King James Bible.

C. The King James Bible of 1611 and our current, spelling-updated edition are the same Bible. (True/False) _____________________.

D. True and accurate copies of the King James Bible of 1611 are available. One is available for your use in the _______________ study.

5.  Two suppose criticisms of the wording of the King James Bible relate to the use of the words, "baptize (baptism, baptized)" and "church."  Your pastor was taught that the word "baptize" and its other forms were "transliterated" into the English Language from Greek by the King James Translators.  That means they kinda borrowed the word from Greek and made it sound like an English word without actually translating it.  The reason was, supposedly, that they did not "want to offend the Anglicans (Church of England)" because they practiced sprinkling for baptism.  This is not true as I will show. 

(1)  Let us take up the word "baptize."  If we look in the Oxford English Dictionary, we find the etymology (origin) of the word baptize points to the Greek word, "baptidzo."  The dictionary points out that the word meant "to plunge, dip, or immerse."  Modern meanings were assigned to this word which mean something like "an introductory rite to the Christian church."  These meanings are clearly incomplete.  The translators did not transliterate the word "baptize," but translated it.  For the English Speaking people of that day, "baptize" meant to plunge, dip, or immerse.  It was a word that had been in use in the English language for more than three hundred years and all knew what it meant.  Both the Wycliffe Translation of 1380 and the Tyndale Translation of 1534 used the word "baptize."   At the time of translation of the King James Bible, the Church of England practiced immersion as their form of baptism. 

"It was not until 1644 A.D., 33 years after the KJV was published, that the British Parliament (under the temporary control of the Presbyterians) made immersion illegal in English churches. King James and other Anglican officials fought against attempts to introduce sprinkling and pouring into the Church of England. In 1611 A.D., the Church of England still practiced immersion as the proper mode of baptism." (Copied from the web site of the Morris Fork Baptist Church in West Virginia, Elder John Kohler, Pastor).

So, we can readily see that the word "baptize" and its other forms were in use at the time the KJV translators did their work.  It was a proper word then and is now.

(2)  Concerning the word "church,"   I again quote from Brother Kohler's web site:

bullet"The denotational or conceptual meaning of the Greek word ekklesia is ďto call out.Ē The connotational or contextual meaning of this word, or its meaning based upon its usage in the New Testament, is ďa called out assembly or congregation.Ē bulletThe English word assembly is not derived from the Greek word ekklesia, but from the Old French word assemblee, meaning ďa gathering of people.Ē Thus, the English word assembly is not necessarily the best translation of the Greek word ekklesia. bulletThe English word congregation is not derived from the Greek word ekklesia, but from the Latin word congregatio, meaning ďan assemblage of persons or things.Ē Thus, the English word congregation is not necessarily the best translation of the Greek word ekklesia. bulletThe word church is derived from the Old English word circe, which is derived from the Greek word kuriakos, meaning ďbelonging to the Lord.Ē See Matthew 16:18 in connection with this thought. bulletBy translating the Greek word ekklesia as church, the KJV translators called attention to the fact that the church is a sacred assembly belonging to the Lord and distinguished it from a mere secular assembly (Mat. 16:18; Acts 19:32,39,41). In other words, they put it in a class by itself. They translated the Greek word ekklesia as assembly in those cases where it referred to a secular body.bulletLong before 1611 A.D., an assembly or congregation of professed Christians was referred to by English-speaking people as a church. The word church was an old ecclesiastical word by that time, even among Baptists. Thus, it was perfectly legitimate for the KJV scholars to translate the Greek word ekklesia as church in the English language. bulletThe Apostlesí Creed in English translated the word ekklesia as cherche in 1340 A.D. bulletJohn Wickliffe translated the Latinized form of ekklesia as cherche in 1380 A.D. bulletTo be consistent, those who object to the use of the word church in the KJV should eliminate this word from their preaching, teaching, church signs, business cards, letterhead, hymnals, and everything else. They are not likely to soon do so. bulletTo be consistent, the translators of modern versions of the Bible such as the NIV should have translated the word ekklesia as assembly or congregation. They have not dared to do so. bulletA Baptist version of the Bible was translated and published by the American Bible Union during the 1800s. It was rejected as being too sectarian even by Baptist people. Baptists continued to preach and teach from the King James Version of the Bible, believing that it was Godís Word for the English-speaking world. They saw no need to translate the Bible in such a way as to make it fit their theology.

A.  The English word "assembly" is the best translation of the Greek word "ekklesia," (True or false).  _______________.

B.  The English word "church" was in use long before the KJV translators were called on to translate the scriptures. (True or false).  ___________________.

C.  Which word is more correct for the Hidden Hills Sovereign Grace Baptist Church?  the word "church" or "assembly?"  _________________________________.

D.  Do you believe the King James Bible which we all use today is he preserved word of God in the English language?  If not, which is?  ______________________________________________________________________________.

6. The design of the devil is to stir more confusion with all the modern translations of the Bible. No doubt there is something to be said about money and greed with all the revenue these books produce. Indeed, selling Bibles is a business of "big bucks." I use none of them to any extent other than comparison when challenged about the authenticity of my King James Bible. Thereís no doubt about, they come from two different fountains. All these translations and paraphrases have been produced in the lifetime of your Pastor.

A. Revised Standard Version (RSV), copyright 1952, by the National Council of Churches.

B. New American Standard Version (NASV), copyright 1977, by the Lockman Foundation.

C. Living Bible (LB), a paraphrase, copyright 1971, by Tyndale House Publishers

D. Good News Bible (GNB), copyright 1976 by the American Bible Society

E. Phillips New Testament, copyright 1972, by J. B. Phillips

F. Good News for Modern Man, copyright 1966. By American Bible Society

G. The Revised English Bible with Apocrypha, copyright 1989, Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press

H. A New Translation by James Moffatt, copyright 1950, by James A. R. Moffatt

I. The New Schofield Reference Bible, notes only copyright 1967, Oxford Press

J. The New International Version (NIV), copyright 1982 by the Zondervan Corporation

K. The Amplified Bible, copyright 1965, by the Zondervan Publishing House]

L. The New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee.

This is but a partial list, but anybody can see the implications. Most of these versions, though I have not read every one of them (but have read some in all of them), are different from the King James. Most are based on the "different" family of manuscripts. For the most of us who are the common, working people of the Lord's churches, we can rest assured that though we are not Greek and Hebrew scholars, we do indeed have the preserved word of the Living God in its completeness! I read it exclusively and recommend it heartily - the King James Bible of 1611!