What manuscripts did the KJV scholars use? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Okay. It looks like we’re finally getting into some substance, but I suspect that even what should be substantial will not be. As always, the original material can be found here.
“… it was … the principle of the numerical majority of the readings which gave us the … Textus Receptus” [S13P17].
“Dean Burgon a learned textural critic and collator of Manuscripts, Presbendary Miller, Dr. Scrivener and others, uphold the Textus Receptus because of the immense number of manuscripts which are in agreement with it” [S4P28].
Good for them. Okay. Why did they? Unfortunately, Johnson doesn’t tell us this. Instead it’s more of the “Godly man in authority” argument.
The KJV agrees with the massive amount of witnesses (more than 5,000 Greek manuscripts) and also: “Virtually no [KJV] MSS are known to be copies of any others …” [S6P57].
This doesn’t really make sense. This would mean that none of the KJV manuscripts are alike and thus all of them would have variants. This also doesn’t say anything about the Old Testament manuscripts.
Thus, when we say that the majority of the 5,000 witnesses agree with the King James Bible, we are saying that these 5,000 witnesses are ‘INDEPENDENT’ witnesses.
I am still wondering how this makes sense. The manuscripts disagree and yet all are witnesses? I do understand how that works in general, but saying it applies to only one school doesn’t make sense.
“We can safely conclude from scholars on both sides of the issue that the vast majority of manuscripts agrees with the readings in the King James Version … [And] Not only does the KJV have a firmer foundation numerically, but also geographically. It comes from numerous localities …” [S3P479].
It would be nice to hear those scholars on the other side. Color me suspicious that one side will say “Yes, the manuscripts agree, but I prefer the other version.”
Thus, the testimony to the validity of the King James Bible is deep: 5,000 independent witnesses. And, the testimony is wide: these witnesses come from a variety of locations.
Quite likely true, but what of it? Versions today use all manuscripts as well.
But what about the corrupted minority of Greek texts? Did the King James translators know about these manuscripts? Did they use them?
History documents that:
“… the translators of 1611 had available ALL of the variant readings of these manuscripts and rejected them” [S2P254].
All? Doubtful. New manuscripts are being uncovered regularly. Furthermore, why was any particular variant rejected? According to the above, it looks like the manuscripts the KJV translators used themselves had variants.
Thus, the King James translators knew about the corrupted minority of manuscripts and they rejected this corruption.
Corrupted implies intention. That needs to be shown.
The KJV translators went on to make a Bible which has been shown to be in agreement with the majority of the Greek texts.
To make the King James Bible, the translators selected and used a representative sample of the majority texts. This was easy to do because the majority texts agree with one another.
They agree, but they aren’t copies, and a sample was used. If you’re confused by now, you’re not the only one.
“The [KJV] translators drew on the earlier 16th century translations, such as the Bishop’s Bible and the Geneva Bible, but especially on Tyndale’s translation. His was a very great influence on the Authorised Version – it has been said that some 80% or more of the AV derives from Tyndale. In a sense the AV was the culmination of nearly a century of Bible translation … it came out of the Reformation which was the greatest revival since the first Christian Pentecost” [S13P8].
As for the Geneva Bible, it: “… was the first English Bible to have verse numbers; the first to use italics for words that were not in the original languages, but necessary for understanding the English; the first to use the Roman type, rather than the Gothic (Old English); and they were small and inexpensive” [S9P2].
The King James Bible followed the example of the Geneva Bible. In other words, in the KJV: “All words which were not found in the Hebrew and Greek Manuscripts, were placed in italics. In this way these men [the KJV translators] made a vast difference between the words given by inspiration of God, and the words originating in the thoughts of men. This is the way it should be” [S4P103].
( Reader note: ‘Modern’ versions DO NOT separate God’s Words from man’s words. Instead the two are mixed together ).
Gotta love this final comment here. The translators of modern translations have to be corrupt after all.
“In conclusion, recent scholarship demonstrates that the majority of manuscripts, as seen in the traditional Greek Textus Receptus, and its translation, the King James Version, represent the earliest, broadest (numerically and geographically) and most consistent edition of the New Testament” [S3P503].
Without citing any of the scholars on the other side, we can tell what scholarship thinks! Incredible!
So we had something that should have been substantial, and now we see there was no substance.
We’ll continue next time.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)