Who put together the KJV? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
We’re continuing our look at this book. Today, we’re going to look some at the men who put this together. Next time we discuss this, it will be the documents. For now, the source material is here.
“On July 22, 1604, King James of England announced that he had appointed 54 Hebrew and Greek scholars to produce a Bible, which we know today as the King James, or Authorized Version” [S16P7].
And, it was understood that if 54 scholars were not enough:
“… ALL the learned men of the land could be called upon by letter for their judgment” [S2P257].
“The Kings order was carried out with utmost zeal and knowledge in an orderly manner” [S9P1] and “… because of the careful planning the whole project was completed in less than seven years” [S8P64].
Interesting, but not really relevant. However, I do want to point out that when it came to Constantine, we heard loads about his character. Why is it that when we come to what is supposed to be the perfect Bible, we hear NOTHING about the character of the man who ordered that one, good or bad? If it was relevant for Constantine, wouldn’t it be relevant here?
T H E M E N O F T H E K I N G J A M E S B I B L E
“Without any question there never has been a greater group of scholars gathered together at one time than the … translators of the King James Version” [S10P5].
I guess Nicea just didn’t really cut it then or any of the early church councils at all.
“The most qualified of the entire English speaking world were summoned …” [S9P1]. “They were all eminent scholars, and they all had great reverence for the Word of God, being wholly committed to its inspiration and infallibility …” [S13P7].
Okay. And? What follows from this?
“No one can study the lives of those men who gave us the King James Bible without being impressed with their profound and varied learning” [S2P258].
“Scholar for scholar, the men on the King James translating committee were far greater men of God than Westcott, Hort, or any other new translator. They were not only educated in a powerful, anti-Roman atmosphere, but they looked at the manuscripts which they handled as the Holy Word of God” [S1P182].
We will see when we get to Westcott and Hort if they use any primary sources to back these claims.
“Let me show you a few of the translators of the Authorized Version. JOHN BOIS was able to read the Bible in Hebrew when five years of age! When 14 he was a proficient Greek scholar and for years he spent from 4 o’clock in the morning til eight at night in the Cambridge library studying manuscripts and languages… LANCELOT ANDREWS was the overall chairman, who was fluent in twenty languages, the greatest linguist of his day. He spent five hours a day in prayer and was so respected by the kings that orders were given, whenever Andrews was in court, there was to be no levity, no joking … JOHN CHEDDERTON, he knew Greek, Hebrew and Latin as well as you and I know English, and better” [S10P5].
Again, so what? That does not mean that their work was perfect.
T H E O R G A N I Z E D A P P R O A C H
“Originally 54 scholars were on the list but deaths and withdrawals reduced it finally to 47” [S8P64].
“These men were organized into six groups which were to meet separately. Two groups met at Cambridge, two at Oxford and two at Westminster. Each group was designated a certain portion of Scripture to translate into the English language” [S16P7].
“Each scholar first made his own translation, then passed it on to be reviewed by each other member of his group. When each section had completed a book of the Bible, it was sent to the other five groups for their independent criticism. In this way each book went thru the hands of the entire body of translators. To guard further against possible errors another committee was formed by selecting two from each of the three companies. Then the entire version came before this select group where all differences of opinion were ironed out. It put the finishing touches upon the work, and in 1611 prepared it for the printers” [S4P102-103].
All of the work was done in the open.
This is fascinating if true, and I’m not to say if it is or isn’t.
But none of this means the KJV is a perfect translation for all time. We know this because the translators themselves said so. See their preface here.
Now to the latter we answer, that we do not deny, nay, we afﬁrm and avow, that the very meanest [worst] translation of the Bible in English set forth by men of our profession…containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God: as the King’s speech which he uttered in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and Latin, is still the King’s speech, though it be not interpreted by every translator with the like grace, nor peradventure so ﬁtly for phrase, nor so expressly for sense, every where.…A man may be counted a virtuous man, though he have made many slips in his life, (else there were none virtuous, for in many things we offend all) also a comely man and lovely, though he have some warts upon his hand, yea, not only freckles upon his face, but also scars. No cause therefore why the word translated should be denied to be the word, or forbidden to be current, notwithstanding that some imperfections and blemishes may be noted in the setting forth of it. For whatever was perfect under the sun, where Apostles or apostolick men, that is, men endued with an extraordinary measure of God’s Spirit, and privileged with the privilege of infallibility, had not their hand?
I can’t imagine why KJV-onlyists don’t listen to this….
(And I affirm the virgin birth)