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The King James Bible, it's Translation, it's Preservation and its Inspiration

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posted on Feb, 5 2020 @ 08:34 PM

originally posted by: whereislogic
Like many people who once objected to any change in the Geneva Bible, many persons today object to any change in the King James Bible. They oppose modern translations perhaps as vigorously as the King James Version itself was once opposed.

They say they do not want the beautiful King James Bible changed. Is this viewpoint based on a sound foundation?

To the surprise of many people the King James Bible has already been changed; today no one reads the King James Version in its original form. Explaining why this is so the book The Bible in Its Ancient and English Versions says: “Almost every edition, from the very beginning, introduced corrections and unauthorized changes and additions, often adding new errors in the process. The edition of 1613 shows over three hundred differences from 1611. . . . It was in the eighteenth century, however, that the main changes were made. . . . The marginal references were checked and verified, over 30,000 new marginal references were added, the chapter summaries and running headnotes were thoroughly revised, the punctuation was altered and made uniform in accordance with modern practice, textual errors were removed, the use of capitals was considerably modified and reduced, and a thorough revision made in the form of certain kinds of words.”

So many changes have been made, many of them in the readings of passages, that the Committee on Versions (1851-56) of the American Bible Society found 24,000 variations in six different editions of the King James Version!

What, then, of the objections raised by persons who say they do not want the King James Bible changed? Since the King James Version has already been changed, they lie on a crumbled foundation. If these persons do not want it changed, then why do they use, instead of a copy of an edition of 1611, an edition that has been changed? They use a present-day edition of the King James Bible because it is far easier to read. They appreciate, perhaps unknowingly, the improvements the later editions have made. They do not like the odd spelling and punctuation of the 1611 edition; they do not want to read “fet” for “fetched,” “sith” for “since” or “moe” for “more,” as the edition of 1611 had it. Thus improvement, when needed, is appreciated, even by those who say they object to any changing of the King James translation.

It is this very improvement that modern translations are providing by keeping pace with changing language, this for the purpose of making God’s Word clear, understandable, alive.

One of the major reasons the Authorized Version is so widely accepted is its kingly authority. There seems little doubt that, had not a king authorized this version, it would not today be venerated as though it had come direct from God. Does this kingly authority give a translation special benefits? Is it even necessary?

No, God himself authorizes his dedicated servants to translate his Word into understandable language. The fact that King James authorized a Bible translation does not make it the exclusive version that the Author of the original Bible approves his servants to use in any one language. In fact, kingly authorization, instead of great benefits, has brought serious disadvantages.

King James set forth certain rules of procedure. These the translators followed. One of those rules was that “the old Ecclesiastical words [were] to be kept.” Thus the translators were bound to follow the Bishop’s Bible in using certain ecclesiastical words, whether or not these words represented an accurate translation of the original Bible. For example, the ecclesiastical word “bishop” appears in the King James Version, although the original word, correctly translated, merely means “overseer.”

In many respects the beliefs of King James adversely affected the Bible translation called after his name. The translators, feeling somewhat bound to favor the king, were obliged to color the translation with the king’s notions of predestination and kingly rights, as well as with others of the king’s ideas.

This is apparent from the fact that some of the translators complained that they could not follow their own judgment, being restrained by “reasons of state.” The result: the King James Version is not a true reflection of the minds of the translators of the version. Above all, it comes far short of being a faithful reflection of the mind of Jehovah God, as it appears in the original Bible.

Getting the thoughts of God is the vital thing. To think otherwise is a deadly deception. Said Jesus: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.”—John 17:3, NW.

posted on Feb, 5 2020 @ 09:17 PM

originally posted by: whereislogic
King James set forth certain rules of procedure. These the translators followed. One of those rules was that “the old Ecclesiastical words [were] to be kept.” Thus the translators were bound to follow the Bishop’s Bible in using certain ecclesiastical words, whether or not these words represented an accurate translation of the original Bible. For example, the ecclesiastical word “bishop” appears in the King James Version, although the original word, correctly translated, merely means “overseer.”

A bit more detail about that subject:

The Great Apostasy Develops

Clergy and Laity

“All you are brothers,” Jesus had said to his disciples. “Your Leader is one, the Christ.” (Matt. 23:8, 10) So there was no clergy class within Christian congregations of the first century. As spirit-anointed brothers of Christ, all the early Christians had the prospect of being heavenly priests with Christ. (1 Pet. 1:3, 4; 2:5, 9) As to organization, each congregation was supervised by a body of overseers, or spiritual elders.* All the elders had equal authority, and not one of them was authorized to ‘lord it over’ the flock in their care. (Acts 20:17; Phil. 1:1; 1 Pet. 5:2, 3) However, as the apostasy unfolded, things began to change—quickly.

Among the earliest deviations was a separation between the terms “overseer” (Gr., e·piʹsko·pos) and “older man,” or “elder” (Gr., pre·sbyʹte·ros), so that they were no longer used to refer to the same position of responsibility. Just a decade or so after the death of the apostle John, Ignatius, “bishop” of Antioch, in his letter to the Smyrnaeans, wrote: “See that you all follow the bishop [overseer], as Jesus Christ follows the Father, and the presbytery [body of older men] as if it were the Apostles.” Ignatius thus advocated that each congregation be supervised by one bishop,* or overseer, who was to be recognized as distinct from, and having greater authority than, the presbyters, or older men.

How, though, did this separation come about? Augustus Neander, in his book The History of the Christian Religion and Church, During the Three First Centuries, explains what happened: “In the second century . . . , the standing office of president of the presbyters must have been formed, to whom, inasmuch as he had especially the oversight of every thing, was the name of [e·piʹsko·pos] given, and he was thereby distinguished from the rest of the presbyters.”

The groundwork was thus laid for a clergy class gradually to emerge. About a century later, Cyprian, “bishop” of Carthage, North Africa, was a strong advocate of authority of the bishops—as a group separate from the presbyters (later known as priests*), the deacons, and the laity. But he did not favor the primacy of one bishop over the others.*

As bishops and presbyters ascended the hierarchical ladder, they left below it the rest of the believers in the congregation. This resulted in a separation between clergy (those taking the lead) and laity (the passive body of believers). Explains McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia: “From the time of Cyprian [who died about 258 C.E.], the father of the hierarchical system, the distinction of clergy and laity became prominent, and very soon was universally admitted. Indeed, from the third century onward, the term clerus . . . was almost exclusively applied to the ministry to distinguish it from the laity. As the Roman hierarchy was developed, the clergy came to be not merely a distinct order . . . but also to be recognised as the only priesthood.”

Thus, within 150 years or so of the death of the last of the apostles, two significant organizational changes found their way into the congregation: first, the separation between the bishop and the presbyters, with the bishop occupying the top rung of the hierarchical ladder; second, the separation between the clergy and the laity. Instead of all spirit-begotten believers forming “a royal priesthood,” the clergy were now “recognised as the only priesthood.”*—1 Pet. 2:9.

Such changes marked a defection from the Scriptural method of governing the congregations in apostolic days. Organizational changes, though, were not the only consequences of the apostasy.

Pagan Teachings Infiltrate

In the Scriptures the terms “overseer” and “older man,” or “elder,” refer to the same position. (Acts 20:17, 28; Titus 1:5, 7) “Older man” indicates the mature qualities of the one so appointed, and “overseer” the responsibility inherent in the appointment—watching over the interests of those persons entrusted to one’s care.

The English word “bishop” derives from the Greek term e·piʹsko·pos (“overseer”) as follows: from Middle English bisshop, from Old English bisceop, from Vulgar Latin biscopus, variant of Late Latin episcopus, from Greek e·piʹsko·pos.

The English word “priest” derives from pre·sbyʹte·ros (“older man,” or “elder”) as follows: from Middle English pre(e)st, from Old English prēost, from Vulgar Latin prester, contracted from Late Latin presbyter, from Greek pre·sbyʹte·ros.

In time the bishop of Rome, claiming to be a successor of Peter, was thought of as the supreme bishop and pope.—See Mankind’s Search for God, 1990, pages 270-2.

Interestingly, Dr. Neander observes: “The false conclusion was drawn, that as there had been in the Old Testament a visible priesthood joined to a particular class of men, there must also be the same in the New [Testament] . . . The false comparison of the Christian priesthood with the Jewish furthered again the rise of episcopacy above the office of presbyters.”—The History of the Christian Religion and Church, translated by Henry John Rose, Second Edition, New York, 1848, p. 111.

posted on Feb, 5 2020 @ 09:53 PM
a reply to: whereislogic
Ah well, since I went into detail anyway, might as well share some of the further details under that link titled “Mankind’s Search for God”:

(a) How were Christian overseers eventually superseded by Christendom’s bishops? (b) Who strove for primacy among the bishops?

It was only as time passed that the word e·piʹsko·pos* (overseer, superintendent) became converted to “bishop,” meaning a priest with jurisdiction over other members of the clergy in his diocese. As the Spanish Jesuit Bernardino Llorca explains: “First, there was not sufficient distinction made between the bishops and the presbyters, and attention was only paid to the meaning of the words: bishop is the equivalent of superintendent; presbyter is the equivalent of older man. . . . But little by little the distinction became clearer, designating with the name bishop the more important superintendents, who possessed the supreme priestly authority and the faculty to lay on hands and confer the priesthood.” (Historia de la Iglesia Católica [History of the Catholic Church]) In fact, bishops began to function in a kind of monarchical system, especially from the beginning of the fourth century. A hierarchy, or ruling body of clergy, was established, and in time the bishop of Rome, claiming to be a successor to Peter, was acknowledged by many as the supreme bishop and pope.

*: The Greek word e·piʹsko·pos literally means ‘one who watches over.’

What gulf exists between the early Christian leadership and that of Christendom?

Today the position of bishop in the different churches of Christendom is a position of prestige and power, usually well remunerated, and often identified with the elite ruling class of each nation. But between their proud and elevated situation and the simplicity of organization under Christ and the elders, or overseers, of the early Christian congregations, there is an enormous difference. And what shall we say of the gulf between Peter and his so-called successors, who have ruled in the sumptuous setting of the Vatican?​—Luke 9:58; 1 Peter 5:1-3.

Papal Power and Prestige

(a) How do we know that the early Roman congregation was not under the control of a bishop or pope? (b) How did the use of the title “pope” develop?

Among the early congregations that accepted direction from the apostles and elders in Jerusalem was the one in Rome, where Christian truth probably arrived sometime after Pentecost 33 C.E. (Acts 2:10) Like any other Christian congregation of the time, it had elders, who served as a body of overseers without any one of them having the primacy. Certainly none of the earliest overseers in the Rome congregation were viewed by their contemporaries as bishops or as a pope, since the monarchical episcopate at Rome had not yet developed. The starting point of the monarchical, or one-man, episcopate is hard to pin down. Evidence indicates that it began to develop in the second century.​—Romans 16:3-16; Philippians 1:1.

The title “pope” (from the Greek paʹpas, father) was not used during the first two centuries. Former Jesuit Michael Walsh explains: “The first time a Bishop of Rome was called ‘Pope’ seems to have been in the third century, and the title was given to Pope Callistus . . . By the end of the fifth century ‘Pope’ usually meant the Bishop of Rome and no one else. It was not until the eleventh century, however, that a Pope could insist that the title applied to him alone.”​—An Illustrated History of the Popes.

(a) Who was one of the first bishops of Rome to impose his authority? (b) On what is the papal claim of primacy based? (c) What is the proper understanding of Matthew 16:18, 19?

One of the first bishops of Rome to impose his authority was Pope Leo I (pope, 440-461 C.E.). Michael Walsh further explains: “Leo appropriated the once pagan title of Pontifex Maximus, still used by the popes today, and borne, until towards the end of the fourth century, by Roman Emperors.” Leo I based his actions on the Catholic interpretation of Jesus’ words found at Matthew 16:18, 19. (See box, page 268.) He “declared that because St. Peter was the first among the Apostles, St. Peter’s church should be accorded primacy among the churches.” (Man’s Religions) By this move, Leo I made it clear that while the emperor held temporal power in Constantinople in the East, he exercised spiritual power from Rome in the West. This power was further illustrated when Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 800 C.E.

(a) How has the pope been viewed in modern times? (b) What are some of the pope’s official titles? (c) What contrast can be seen between the conduct of popes and that of Peter?

Since 1929 the pope of Rome has been viewed by secular governments as the ruler of a separate sovereign state, Vatican City. Thus, the Roman Catholic Church, like no other religious organization, can send diplomatic representatives, nuncios, to the governments of the world. (John 18:36) The pope is honored with many titles, some of which are Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor to the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch of the West, Primate of Italy, Sovereign of the Vatican City. He is carried with pomp and ceremony. He is given the honors assigned to a head of State. In contrast, note how Peter, supposedly the first pope and bishop of Rome, reacted when the Roman centurion Cornelius fell down at his feet to do obeisance to him: “Peter lifted him up, saying: ‘Rise; I myself am also a man.’”​—Acts 10:25, 26; Matthew 23:8-12.

The question now is, How did so much power and prestige ever accrue to the apostate church of those early centuries? How was the simplicity and humility of Christ and the early Christians converted into the pride and pomp of Christendom?

Christendom’s Foundation

What great change supposedly took place in the life of Constantine, and how did he exploit it?

The turning point for this new religion in the Roman Empire was 313 C.E., the date of Emperor Constantine’s so-called conversion to “Christianity.” How did this conversion come about? ...

[Box on page 268]

Peter and the Papacy

At Matthew 16:18, Jesus said to the apostle Peter: “And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Peʹtros], and on this rock [Greek, peʹtra] I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.” (RS) Based on this, the Catholic Church claims that Jesus built his church on Peter, who, they say, was the first of an unbroken line of bishops of Rome, and Peter’s successors.

Who was the rock that Jesus indicated at Matthew 16:18, Peter or Jesus? The context shows that the point of the discussion was the identification of Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God,” as Peter himself confessed. (Matthew 16:16, RS) Logically, therefore, Jesus himself would be that solid rock foundation of the church, not Peter, who would later deny Christ three times.​—Matthew 26:33-35, 69-75.

How do we know that Christ is the foundation stone? By Peter’s own testimony, when he wrote: “Coming to him as to a living stone, rejected, it is true, by men, but chosen, precious, with God . . . For it is contained in Scripture: ‘Look! I am laying in Zion a stone, chosen, a foundation cornerstone, precious; and no one exercising faith in it will by any means come to disappointment.’” Paul also stated: “And you have been built up upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, while Christ Jesus himself is the foundation cornerstone.”​—1 Peter 2:4-8; Ephesians 2:20.

There is no evidence in Scripture or history that Peter was regarded as having primacy among his peers. He makes no mention of it in his own letters, and the other three Gospels​—including Mark’s (apparently related by Peter to Mark)—​do not even mention Jesus’ statement to Peter.​—Luke 22:24-26; Acts 15:6-22; Galatians 2:11-14.

There is not even any absolute proof that Peter was ever in Rome. (1 Peter 5:13) When Paul visited Jerusalem, “James and Cephas [Peter] and John, the ones who seemed to be pillars,” gave him support. So at that time Peter was one of at least three pillars in the congregation. He was not a “pope,” nor was he known as such or as a primate “bishop” in Jerusalem.​—Galatians 2:7-9; Acts 28:16, 30, 31.

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