Disingenuous or Ignorant: The 1611 KJB Brothers in Christ

The next time you are in a Walmart pick up a 1611 KJV Bible in the book section of the store. Walmart and many other stores are selling replicas of the original Authorized Version in celebration of its 400th Anniversary Year. These Bibles are digital reproductions of the actual pages from the first King James Bible. And one thing you will quickly see is the font is much different and very hard to read. The next thing you will notice is it is hard to read because of how many words have changed in the way they are spelled. Sonne is son and many, many others. At first, you will be tempted to go to a passage you are very familiar with, but let me encourage you not to do that. Go to a book and chapter you are completely unfamiliar with and then try and read the text. You will quickly see how very much has changed from the first printing to the current version you have at home. Numerous changes have been made to the spelling, punctuation and words. In fact the original 1611 had a preface from the translators and marginal notes. It also had 14 additional apocrypha books included between Malachi and Matthew. In the marginal notes you can see alternate renderings of the text from the translators. You will also be able to read the translators note to the reader challenging others to carry on the work they started in giving the people of God scripture in the common tongue.

I bring all this to your attention because some Baptists are not being honest when they say they use the 1611 KJB. They may be using a Bible historically tied to 1611, but they are not preaching from the 1611 KJB. Yet somehow this is the image they wish to portray. Somehow it appears to be more traditional, conservative or authoritative to suggest that the Bible they are using is 400 years old. Often the very ones who are hypercritical of other modern translations do not know their own favorite version has been updated as well. Perhaps the update is not as great but the fact is it has been updated. It is not the same Bible printed in 1611.

This is not a bad thing; this is a good thing. Sometimes I wish a new printer/publisher would take up an endeavor to standardize even more things in the King James. I think it is confusing to have Mark and Marcus in the New Testament when it is the exact same Greek work. I wish references to Elijah, Isaiah and others would be clearly presented by keeping the spelling consistent and synchronized with the OT. I do not think it is helpful to have three different spellings of Judah, Judas and Juda when it all refers to the same proper noun. I do not think it is helpful to refuse to update the English as it changes. Somehow it was previously ok to makes updates for the first 150 years of the King James history and publishing but now it is no longer acceptable to make spelling, punctuation, and marginal note changes. It was fine to do that for the first 150 to 200 years but it is no longer acceptable. Why? It just does not make sense to say corrections could be made but now no longer can be made. Why?

Did someone finally get it perfect? If so who? Cambridge? Oxford? Nelson? Who did it and in what year?

Read this article for an even more detailed discussion of the differences.

http://bible.org/article/changes-kjv-1611an-illustration

Do not be ignorant.

1 comment:

  1. “Somehow it was previously ok to makes updates for the first 150 years of the King James history and publishing but now it is no longer acceptable to make spelling, punctuation, and marginal note changes. It was fine to do that for the first 150 to 200 years but it is no longer acceptable. Why? It just does not make sense to say corrections could be made but now no longer can be made. Why?”

    Excellent point! I am a KJV (1769 by the way) preferred user and I completely agree with this point. Notice that I said “preferred” and not “only”. While I personally choose to only use the KJV, I do not demonize those who choose to use another version.

    In answer to your question as to “why “ is it no longer acceptable to make updates, I believe it is a simple matter of trust. I personally find it difficult to trust anyone to update the English without tampering with the Greek.

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