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Friday, October 5, 2007

Who authorized the authorized KJV?

The Anglicans!


Bible Translations Guide: "Some Protestants will tell you that the only acceptable version of the Bible is the King James. This position is known as King James-onlyism. Its advocates often make jokes such as, 'If the King James Version was good enough for the apostle Paul, it is good enough for me,' or, 'My King James Version corrects your Greek text.'


They commonly claim that the King James is based on the only perfect set of manuscripts we have (a false claim; there is no perfect set of manuscripts; and the ones used for the KJV were compiled by a Catholic, Erasmus), that it is the only translation that avoids modern, liberal renderings, and that its translators were extremely saintly and scholarly men. Since the King James is also known as 'the Authorized Version' (AV), its advocates sometimes argue that it is the only version to ever have been 'authorized.' To this one may point out that it was only authorized in the Anglican church, which now uses other translations. For a still-in print critique of King James-onlyism, see D. A. Carson, The King James Version Debate, A Plea for Realism (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979)."

17 comments:

Blondie said...

That's funny, I was going to point that out last night in one of my comments but I was sleepy and couldn't word it right!

I doubt Candy would approve of Anglican doctrine - interesting, huh?

Sophia's Virtue said...

I wonder why they hold King James as being of any type of authority at all. (Why use his name?) His history is interesting. I was amused to learn that his wife, Anne of Denmark, became Catholic at some point. King James himself was also a homosexual, having had an affair with his own cousin, the Duke of Lennox, among others. Does Candy know the history of the KJV at all, or only what her carefully chosen sources say it's history is?

motherofmany said...

For a more accurate history of the compilation of the King James Bible, try God's Secretaries (though the author has a clear Catholic sympathy).

The King James bible was put together under great protest of the Catholic church, which King James wished to keep in charge because then the people would be more likely to follow a king. But the Puritans would not back down in their cries for a 'clean' Bible instead of the one the Catholic church had altered, and the king feared a revolt anyway, so he commsissioned it to be translated by both Catholics and Puritans, and they had to check their work against one another to make sure there were not major arguments over the definitions of certain words. So it was also a Catholic-translated Bible!

A large group of Catholic Jesuits planned to blow up the king and his court because of his allowance of a newly translated Bible, and the plot was uncovered in time to save the king. Nevertheless, many of the translators who were Catholic were treated poorly by others in the church because they translated from the scrolls (as ordered by the king, who wanted no other information added than the words alone translated) and did not add the supplemental information that the church wanted included. The apocrapha was included in it's own section as it was considered non-authoritative but interesting history.

A&E also has a video documentary of the compilation of the Bible that is very interesting, though it will disprove much of your faulty information.

Kelly said...

I really don't know enough of the history of the King James Bible to comment, which is why I tend to stay out of these sorts of discussions. I have no problem with one preferring to use the KJV.

I do think that it does a disservice to many people to say that the KJV is the ONLY pure Bible, sometimes even for those who do not speak English.

One of my professors was actually one of the translators of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and he did not feel that the KJV came out the better for the scrolls. He also said repeatedly that the NIV was one of the worst translations out there, so he criticized on both sides of the spectrum.

If the Jesuit plot you are referring to is the Guy Fawkes Day plot, then you aren't really accurate if you say it was to prevent the new Bible translation. Histories generally point to the penal laws against Catholics as being the cause of the plot.

motherofmany said...

Guy Fawkes Day plot..I'll have to look that up as I have no idea what it is! So, no, that's not what I was talking about.

Kelly said...

It's the only plot I'm aware of to blow up Parliament and the king at that time period. :)

Sophia's Virtue said...

The little bit of information I provided is certainly not faulty, it's historically based. The plot you are referring to is the Gunpowder Plot, and is still celebrated by protestants in England as Guy Fawkes day, Nov. 5th. As Kelly stated the plot didn't have anything to do with the KJV or those working on it.
"Guy Fawkes (13 April 1570 – 31 January 1606), also known as 'Guido', was a member of a group of English Roman Catholics who attempted to carry out the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I of England, to destroy Protestant rule by killing the Protestant aristocracy, on 5 November 1605."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fawkes

As far as the information on King James or Anne of Denmark there are many books with information of the two, including a book based on the personal letters that King James personally wrote. I do suppose I was wrong in refering to him as a homosexual. He was actually a bi-sexual.

This site is one of several that give a brief overview of his success as King and the controversial nature of his personal life.
http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/king-james.html

As Catholics there are only certain approved Bibles and the KJV isn't one of them, although it is probably the most beautifully worded book in our recent history (IMO). The Douay Rheims version is very similar indeed, very poetic. Referring to the KJV as a catholic-translated Bible is misinformation and very misleading to others.

motherofmany said...

The KJV was indeed translated by Catholics. The groups commissioned were varied so as to prevent any future claim that it was tainted by preconceived notions.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02141a.htm

Yes, the gunpowder plot is the same as the Guy Fawkes Day you mentioned (I had never heard that name used for it before). If you read scholarly works on it, especially of the confessions of the men who were caught and the address by the king to Parliament afterward, it was indeed religiously motivated. The Catholics felt the king was allowing the puritans to influence matters of state, and the KJV of the Bible was their 'last straw'. I’m not sure where it is still celebrated, because I had never heard of it aside from the historical name attributed to it.

Interestingly, King James hated Protestantism. He had been raised by non-Catholic 'monks' who were exceedingly strict and made his childhood miserable. But he was also staunchly anti-papist. So to say he leaned toward one church or the other is not exactly true. There is no denomination that would cover his actual beliefs succinctly (except maybe non-conformist!).

Because he was a foreigner, people really expected him to follow very closely the determinations of Elizabeth. Because he was raised in another place, he did not have the automatic allegiance that she did, and it made everything he did chancy. So the Bible was seen (hopefully) as a compromise.

Kelly said...

Amy, good job with the Catholic Encyclopedia link, but it didn't actually say that Catholic participated in the translating of the KJV. At least, I didn't see it.

If there were Catholics among the translators, then I didn't see how you could argue that the Catholic Church was so opposed to that translation being made, although I guess rogue theologians might have always been a problem. ;)

I’m not sure where it is still celebrated, because I had never heard of it aside from the historical name attributed to it.

It's a VERY big holiday in Great Britain. They burn Guy Fawkes in effigy, and set off fireworks. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you aren't a Harry Potter fan, but the British author, J.K. Rowling, named a phoenix Fawkes as a nod to it.

If you read scholarly works on it, especially of the confessions of the men who were caught and the address by the king to Parliament afterward, it was indeed religiously motivated.

I didn't say it wasn't religiously motivated. I said that saying "Jesuits tried to blow up the King and Parliament because King James allowed a new Bible translation" was an oversimplification.

It wasn't JUST about the Bible translation, and it wasn't JUST Jesuits. It seems to have been mostly laymen, but I'm fine with saying there may have been Jesuits involved. Who knows, with those crazy Jesuits!

As far as the opposing view goes, I don't see that King James' personal piety or s*x life has anything to do with the Bible translation. The KJV only arguments I have read centered around the translators being divinely inspired, not King James.

I don't see King James being any different from the Catholic claim that God works through our church, despite it being full of sinners.

Sophia's Virtue said...

" I don't see that King James' personal piety or s*x life has anything to do with the Bible translation."

I wasn't trying to make a correlation between the quality of the translation and his character. My origninal question was based on why his name would be used in the first place since, as Amy points out, he didn't like Protestantism. The Bible itself could have been named many things. I suppose I bring it up because I know many fundamentalists who assume King James must be some kind of saint because the bible they use is named after him and if they look into the history of the KJV they usually are quite dissapointed to know more about King James (his scandalous character) and the story behind the translation (ie. many of the errors).

motherofmany said...

Fundamentalists don't believe in saints.

King David was also a deviant person when it comes to s*xual purity, but he had the heart of God. I do agree that the church is a bunch of saved sinners at best, which is part of the sweetness of the story. Anyone can be saved from anything if they open their eyes. I just don't agree with one sinnful man being the head of the church. I believe the only sinless man in the head, and the rest of us are equal in position beneath him.

It was called the King James simply because he commissioned its translation, just as the Wycliff or the Doey-Rheims are named after their translators. There were so many translatoers for the KJV, putting thier names on the cover would take more than the cover.

What I have studied with the original laguages shows the KJV to be the best translation, though remember we hold to different opinions of what the best original text to translate is. I agree with following the Antiochan texts because the Egyptian were approached from a too-scholarly mindset rather than with an understanding of who God is.

That article might not have said about the translators- I wasn't reading it for that. It was just a good place for background info. But we also have to remember that in any University paper, websites would not count as reliable sources. They are cnvenient for giving people a genral overview, but they don't always contain all the info (and thank goodness- I remember one journal I downloaded from the school's electronic library for a paper that was 92 pages!!!!!!!).

PS- I am a closet Potter fan. I have not read the books and I do not folow any of the hype, but I have seen the movies. I don't really see a difference between the magic in Potter and the magic in Narnia (though I guess the underlying message is different). But I am also not a big C.S. Lewis fan.

motherofmany said...

Man, I can't spell today!

Kelly said...

Sophia's virtue wrote:

"The Bible itself could have been named many things. I suppose I bring it up because I know many fundamentalists who assume King James must be some kind of saint because the bible they use is named after him and if they look into the history of the KJV they usually are quite dissapointed to know more about King James"

Oh, okay. Most of the online arguments that I have read have centered around the translators. I have often suspected that it is precisely because of King James' history.

Amy wrote: "That article might not have said about the translators- I wasn't reading it for that."

You had it right after you said that Catholics were included as translators, so I thought it was supposed to be support for that statement.

Any idea how we could find out if there really were Catholics among the translators? You've got me curious now.

"PS- I am a closet Potter fan. I have not read the books and I do not folow any of the hype, but I have seen the movies. I don't really see a difference between the magic in Potter and the magic in Narnia (though I guess the underlying message is different). But I am also not a big C.S. Lewis fan."

I would never have guessed! I think the books are much better than the movies, but I have seen all of the movies, too. For the past several years, my semi-annual movie date with dh has been either Lord of the Rings (or Narnia now) or Harry Potter.

motherofmany said...

The most recent one I read was the one I listed before- God's secretaries. I don't remember the author's name right off the top of my head, but I think I listed it in a review on my blog.

I'll also check through my history texts and see if it is in those.

motherofmany said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elena said...

Kelly, check out the name Erasmus.

This should get you started.

Elena said...

This thread was regarding who authorized the KJV. It's been asked and answered.

This is a gentle warning that we are not going into the deuterocanonical books or other biblical differences other than the origins of the KJV. Off topic posts will be removed.

Thanks.