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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Preface to the King James Version 1611

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crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Preface to the King James Version 1611

Two items worth reading through:

[url=http://pilgrimspath.org/prefacegood.html]Goodspeed's Preface To The Original King James Version Of The Bible[/url]

An excerpt;

[i]" ... the greatest illusion about the King James Bible is that it is the sole, unique, divine Bible, untouched by human hands. This doctrine, grotesque as it is, is actually held as a matter of course by the vast majority of people. The publication of any preface from the Translators to the Reader would, by its very presence, whatever its contents, do much to remedy this. The superstitious veneration with which some very pious people regard it would be corrected by the reprinting of the Preface."[/i]

And the preface itself:

[url=http://pilgrimspath.org/prefacekjv.html]Preface to the King James Version 1611 [/url]

A couple of excerpts;

[i]But what mention we three or four uses of the Scripture, whereas whatsoever is to be believed or practiced, or hoped for, is contained in them? or three or four sen- tences of the Fathers, since whosoever is worthy the name of a Father, from Christ's time downward, hath likewise written not only of the riches, but also of the perfection of the Scripture? "I adore the fulness of the Scripture," saith Tertullian against Hermogenes. [Tertul. advers. Hermo.] And again, to Apelles an heretic of the like stamp, he saith; "I do not admit that which thou bringest in (or concludest) of thine own (head or store, de tuo) without Scripture." [Tertul. de carne Christi.] So Saint Justin Martyr before him; "We must know by all means," saith he, "that it is not lawful (or possible) to learn (anything) of God or of right piety, save only out of the Prophets, who teach us by divine inspiration." So Saint Basil after Tertullian, "It is a manifest falling way from the Faith, and a fault of presumption, either to reject any of those things that are written, or to bring in (upon the head of them) any of those things that are not written. We omit to cite to the same effect, S. Cyril B. of Jerusalem in his 4::Cataches., Saint Jerome against Helvidius, Saint Augustine in his 3::book against the letters of Petilian, and in very many other places of his works. Also we forebear to descend to later Fathers, because we will not weary the reader. The Scriptures then being acknowledged to be so full and so perfect, how can we excuse ourselves of negligence, if we do not study them, of curiosity, if we be not content with them? Men talk much of [an olive bow wrapped about with wood, whereupon did hang figs, and bread, honey in a pot, and oil], how many sweet and goodly things it had hanging on it; of the Philosopher's stone, that it turned copper into gold; of Cornu-copia, that it had all things necessary for food in it, of Panaces the herb, that it was good for diseases, of Catholicon the drug, that it is instead of all purges; of Vulcan's armor, that it was an armor of proof against all thrusts, and all blows, etc. Well, that which they falsely or vainly attributed to these things for bodily god, we may justly and with full measure ascribe unto the Scripture, for spiritual. It is not only an armor, but also a whole armory of weapons, both offensive and defensive; whereby we may save ourselves and put the enemy to flight. It is not an herb, but a tree, or rather a whole paradise of trees of life, which bring forth fruit every month, and the fruit thereof is for meat, and the leaves for medicine. It is not a pot of Manna, or a cruse of oil, which were for memory only, or for a meal's meat or two, but as it were a shower of heavenly bread sufficient for a whole host, be it never so great; and as it were a whole cellar full of oil vessels; whereby all our necessities may be provided for, and our debts discharged. In a word, it is a Panary of wholesome food, against fenowed traditions; a Physician's shop (Saint Basil called it) [S. Basil in Psal. primum.] of preservatives against poisoned heresies; a Pandect of profitable laws, against rebellious spirits; a treasury of most costly jewels, against beggarly rudiments; finally a fountain of most pure water springing up unto everlasting life. And what marvel? The original thereof being from heaven, not from earth; the author being God, not man; the inditer, the holy spirit, not the wit of the Apostles or Prophets; the Penmen such as were sanctified from the womb, and endued with a principal portion of God's spirit; the matter, verity, piety, purity, uprightness; the form, God's word, God's testimony, God's oracles, the word of truth, the word of salvation, etc.; the effects, light of understanding, stableness of persuasion, repentance from dead works, newness of life, holiness, peace, joy in the holy Ghost; lastly, the end and reward of the study thereof, fellowship with the Saints, participation of the heavenly nature, fruition of an inheritance im- mortal, undefiled, and that never shall fade away: Happy is the man that delighted in the Scripture, and thrice happy that meditateth in it day and night.[/i]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[i]Neither did we run over the work with that posting haste that the Septuagint did, if that be true which is reported of them, that they finished it in 72 days; [Joseph. Antiq. lib. 12.] neither were we barred or hindered from going over it again, having once done it, like S. Jerome, if that be true which himself reporteth, that he could no sooner write anything, but presently it was caught from him, and published, and he could not have leave to mend it: [S. Jerome. ad Pammac. pro libr. advers. Iovinian.] neither, to be short, were we the first that fell in hand with trans- lating the Scripture into English, and consequently destitute of former helps, as it is written of Origen, that he was the first in a manner, that put his hand to write Commentaries upon the Scriptures, [Sophoc. in Elect.] and therefore no marvel, if he overshot himself many times. None of these things: the work hath not been huddled up in 72 days, but hath cost the workmen, as light as it seemeth, the pains of twice seven times seventy two days and more: matters of such weight and consequence are to be speeded with maturity: for in a business of movement a man feareth not the blame of convenient slackness. [S. Chrysost. in II. Thess. cap. 2.] Neither did we think much to consult the Translators or Commentators, Chaldee, Hebrew, Syrian, Greek or Latin, no nor the Spanish, French, Italian, or Dutch; neither did we disdain to revise that which we had done, and to bring back to the anvil that which we had hammered: but having and using as great helps as were needful, and fearing no reproach for slowness, nor coveting praise for expedition, we have at length, through the good hand of the Lord upon us, brought the work to that pass that you see.[/i]


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Mike Balog

 2006/5/28 9:56Profile
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 Re: Preface to the King James Version 1611

This is long! I can't really understand what is trying to be said in this post.
Perhaps you could let us know the reason for the post. Thanks.

 2006/5/28 10:54Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Preface to the KJV

Quote:
Perhaps you could let us know the reason for the post.



:-) It is long and often so are many things that take some time to read through and absorb...

The reason? I think it goes a long way in helping to clear up some misconceptions about what the translators were set about doing when they produced the KJV of 1611. That the preface is missing largely now is interesting but not necessarily a case for more conspiracy to be added.
It may well ruin much of a construct held to by some of the 'KJV only' camp and because it is in their own words the argument will have to come to them.

What many of us here have a great deal of problem with is not that the KJV is to be preferred for a variety of reasons, just that often the very reasons used to buttress it's domination are spurious, dubious, and often flatly dishonest. Better to hear it from the authors and translators themselves.


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Mike Balog

 2006/5/28 12:01Profile
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Joined: 2006/5/3
Posts: 7


 Re: Preface to the KJV

I have found that many modern translations leave little room for translation. The King Jimmy has always left room for the Holy Spirit to lead me into more truth. I know that can apply to all translations but some of the modern ones just go to far teaching my brain with their "put" verbage. Sometimes it can be like reading a story instaed of the story reading me. Does that make any sense?


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John Grove

 2006/5/28 21:11Profile









 Re: Preface to the KJV

Quote:
Sometimes it can be like reading a story instaed of the story reading me. Does that make any sense?

Yes... I've never heard it put so well!

In fact, the KJV [i]was[/i] rushed through, despite the contrary protestations from the translators, who took only a year to decide which 15% of Tyndale's translations to rewrite - keeping the rest.

No-one, since then, has produced a 'translation' of the entire Bible in only a year.

 2006/5/28 22:21
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Preface to the KJV

[i]Neither did we run over the work with that posting haste that the Septuagint did, if that be true which is reported of them, that they finished it in 72 days; [Joseph. Antiq. lib. 12.] neither were we barred or hindered from going over it again, having once done it, like S. Jerome, if that be true which himself reporteth, that he could no sooner write anything, but presently it was caught from him, and published, and he could not have leave to mend it: [S. Jerome. ad Pammac. pro libr. advers. Iovinian.] neither, to be short, were we the first that fell in hand with trans- lating the Scripture into English, and consequently destitute of former helps, as it is written of Origen, that he was the first in a manner, that put his hand to write Commentaries upon the Scriptures, [Sophoc. in Elect.] and therefore no marvel, if he overshot himself many times. None of these things: the work hath not been huddled up in 72 days, but hath cost the workmen, as light as it seemeth, the pains of twice seven times seventy two days and more: matters of such weight and consequence are to be speeded with maturity: for in a business of movement a man feareth not the blame of convenient slackness. [S. Chrysost. in II. Thess. cap. 2.] Neither did we think much to consult the Translators or Commentators, Chaldee, Hebrew, Syrian, Greek or Latin, no nor the Spanish, French, Italian, or Dutch; neither did we disdain to revise that which we had done, and to bring back to the anvil that which we had hammered: but having and using as great helps as were needful, and fearing no reproach for slowness, nor coveting praise for expedition, we have at length, through the good hand of the Lord upon us, brought the work to that pass that you see.[/i]


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Mike Balog

 2006/5/29 9:22Profile









 Re:

Hello Mike: This is an excellent post. For many years I have heard about the original Preface to the 1611 King James Bible, but I have never been able to find it.

What I heard about it is that it attacks the error of the Catholic Bible, and those who created it (Origen and others), and documents how all of the Catholic Bibles change from one publication to the next, with the blessing of the Pope upon every change. Even one time, the new Pope had the Bible that was commissioned by the prior Pope burned, and taken out of circulation. The reason? He wanted God's Word changed, to go along with his own doctrine!

Catholocism (Rome) is constantly referred to as Protestant Christains CHIEF ADVERSARY!

This excerpt is from the first part of the Preface, found on page 17 of the site I found:
http://www.ccel.org/bible/kjv/preface/pref1.htm

THE UNWILLINGNESS OF OUR CHIEF ADVERSARIES, THAT THE SCRIPTURES SHOULD BE DIVULGED IN THE MOTHER TONGUE, ETC.

Now the Church of Rome would seem at the length to bear a motherly affection towards her children, and to allow them the Scriptures in their mother tongue: but indeed it is a gift, not deserving to be called a gift, an unprofitable gift: [Sophecles] they must first get a licence in writing before they may use them, and to get that, they must approve themselves to their Confessor, that is, to be such as are, if not frozen in the dregs, yet soured with the leaven of their superstition. Howbeit, it seemed too much to Clement the Eighth that there should be any Licence granted to have them in the vulgar tongue, and therefore he overruleth and frustrateth the grant of Pius the Fourth. [See the observation (set forth by Clemen. his authority) upon the 4. rule of Pius the 4. his making in the index, lib. prohib. pag. 15. ver. 5.] So much are they afraid of the light of the Scripture, (Lucifugae Scripturarum, as Tertulian speaketh) that they will not trust the people with it, no not as it is set forth by their own sworn men, no not with the Licence of their own Bishops and Inquisitors. Yea, so unwilling they are to communicate the Scriptures to the people's understanding in any sort, that they are not ashamed to confess, that we forced them to translate it into English against their wills. This seemeth to argue a bad cause, or a bad conscience, or both. Sure we are, that it is not he that hath good gold, that is afraid to bring it to the touchstone, but he that hath the counterfeit; [Tertul. de resur. carnis.] neither is it the true man that shunneth the light, but the malefactor, lest his deeds should be reproved [John 3:20]: neither is it the plaindealing Mer- chant that is unwilling to have the weights, or the meteyard brought in place, but he that useth deceit. But we will let them alone for this fault, and return to translation.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

God bless,

Stever :-)

 2006/5/29 13:08
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Authors motives

Yes Stever but ...

I fear that there is much here that can be overlooked and even a picking and choosing to support notions that may have become embedded by others, whatever their motivations might be.

What I am driving at is, can this be looked at without any preliminary assumptions, just as it is written in whole. A new look, a fresh look an honest look. What their intent was, their purpose, their own honesty into that which they set forth to do and that which they explained in this preface. It seems to me that a great deal of that which has been extrapolated by a KJV 'only' mindset is just nowhere to be found by these men who had the temerity and honesty to state it right up front, just what their set purpose and understanding was.


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Mike Balog

 2006/5/30 10:03Profile
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 Re:

Hi crsschk...!

Quote:
What I am driving at is, can this be looked at without any preliminary assumptions, just as it is written in whole. A new look, a fresh look an honest look. What their intent was, their purpose, their own honesty into that which they set forth to do and that which they explained in this preface. It seems to me that a great deal of that which has been extrapolated by a KJV 'only' mindset is just nowhere to be found by these men who had the temerity and honesty to state it right up front, just what their set purpose and understanding was.

I agree. As is evident from their preface (which was actually a [i]conclusion[/i] -- written [u]after[/u] the translation was initially complete), it is interesting that the translators themselves were not [i]KJV-only[/i]. The translators wrote their intent for this "new" translation in 1611. The translators stated explicitly that they wanted a version of the Bible that would be understandable by the most common of men (Section 5 of the Preface). They stated:
Quote:
"Translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light; that breaketh the shell, that we may eat the kernel; that putteth aside the curtain, that we may look into the most holy place; that removeth the cover of the well, that we may come by the water, even as Jacob rolled away the stone from the mouth of the well, by which means the flocks of Laban were watered [Gen.29:10]. Indeed, without translation into the vulgar (common) tongue, the unlearned are but like children at Jacob's well (which was deep) [John 4:11] without a bucket or something to draw with: or as that person mentioned by Isaiah, to whom when a sealed book was delivered, with this motion, Read this, I pray thee, he was fain {compelled by circumstances} to make this answer, I cannot, for it is sealed. [Isa.29:11]"

...

"We affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our profession... contains the Word of God, nay, is the Word of God. Though it be not interpreted by every Translator with like grace, the King's speech is still the King's speech; no cause therefore why the word translated should be denied to be the word, or forbidden to be currant, notwithstanding that some imperfections and blemishes may be noted in the setting forth of it."

To the translators, they considered the fact that the Church of Rome had terribly forced people to rely on other sources for understanding Scripture, rather than on the Scriptures themselves (Section 10 of the Preface). In fact, they admitted that they were not endeavoring to create a completely new translation, but that they relied on other existing English versions in order to make them better and more rightly understood (Section 15 of the Preface). The translators also admitted that there were a variety of forms in which the translation may be written -- while also warning us about bondage to "words or syllables":
Quote:
"Another thing we think good to admonish thee of, gentle reader, that we have not tied ourselves to an uniformity of phrasing, or to an identity of words, as some peradventure would wish that we had done, because they observe that some learned men somewhere have been as exact as they could that way. Truly, that we might not vary from the sense of that which we had translated before, if the word signified the same thing in both places [polushma.] (for there be some words that be not of the same sense everywhere) we were especially careful, and made a conscience, according to our duty. But that we should express the same notion in the same particular word; as, for example, if we translate the Hebrew or Greek word once by purpose, never to call it intent; if one where journeying, never travelling; if one where think, never suppose; if one where pain, never ache; if one where joy, never gladness, etc.; thus to mince the matter, we thought to savour more of curiosity than wisdom, and that rather it would breed scorn in the atheist than bring profit to the godly reader. For is the kingdom of God become words or syllables? Why should we be in bondage to them, if we may be free? use one precisely when we may use another no less fit as commodiously?
...
But we desire that the Scripture may speak like itself, as in the language of Canaan, that it may be understood even of the very vulgar."

Section 17 of the Preface

I've always found it interesting that the translators felt secure enough to quote [i]The Geneva Bible[/i] in the Preface. I greatly respect the KJV version. It is my primary source for Bible study. But it is merely a translation of something [i]much greater[/i]. It seems that the translators of the KJV knew this better than anyone.

:-)


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Christopher

 2006/5/30 11:16Profile
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 Re: Just as well

Want to just add that there is an appreciation for many an item that Stever has brought forth as well. I do understand much of the 'argument' as it is and thought the recently posted thoughts on the TR was helpful for instance. The real problem is when things begin going awry by just sheer dishonesty, mean-spiritedness and a whole host of items that must force the matter into a politcal mindset of dividing off into camps ...

Am just pleading for some honesty, that's all.


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Mike Balog

 2006/5/30 16:15Profile





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