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William

Why did the KJV change the Word of God found in the Geneva Bible?

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William
Staff

Came across this in another forum and was curious about our member's responses. Does anyone disagree that political motivation had a part in the KJV?

 

Examples of places where the makers of the KJV changed the Geneva Bible perhaps in order to make it more favorable to Church of England doctrines such as episcopal church government and apostolic succession

 

Acts 14:23

  • And when they had ordained them elders by election [1560 Geneva Bible] [Greek Textus Receptus with possible influence from Latin NT of Erasmus or Latin NT of Beza]
  • And when they had ordained them elders [1611 KJV] [TR with possible textual influence from Latin Vulgate perhaps by means of 1582 Rheims]

Leaving out the words "by election" found in the pre-1611 English Bibles made the 1611 KJV more favorable to a Church of England episcopal church government view

 

Acts 1:20

  • Let another take his charge [1560 Geneva Bible]
  • His bishoprick let another take [1611 KJV]

The Church of England appealed to the rendering "bishoprick" to support their doctrine of apostolic succession which tied in with their episcopal church government doctrine.

 

Acts 1:22

  • must one of them be made a witness [1560 Geneva Bible]
  • must one of them be ordained a witness [1611 KJV]

Does the 1611 KJV add an ecclesiastical term "ordained" to try to help support their Church of England doctrine of apostolic succession claim concerning Acts 1:20?

 

Acts 1:26

  • and he was by a common consent counted [1560 Geneva Bible]
  • and he was numbered [1611 KJV]

Acts 7:38

  • the congregation in the wilderness [1560 Geneva Bible]
  • the church in the wilderness [1611 KJV]

Did the Church of England attempt to provide support for their efforts to advocate episcopal church government by appeals to the Old Testament by putting the church in it?

 

1 Corinthians 12:28

  • helpers, governours [1560 Geneva Bible]
  • helps in government [1611 edition of the KJV]

Presbyterians had appealed to this verse to support their church government view as KJV co-editor Thomas Bilson acknowledged. Did the 1611 edition of the KJV attempt to change the meaning of this verse in order to take away a verse used to advocate Presbyterian church government?

 

God bless,

William

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Just Mike

There many who still use the Geneva Bible today. My wife and I plan on getting one this year to add to our Bible collection.

 

As a side note the Geneva Bible was what the Pilgrims brought with them, and was used for perhaps a century after.

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William
Staff
As a side note the Geneva Bible was what the Pilgrims brought with them, and was used for perhaps a century after.

 

I have a page framed on my wall from an original Geneva that made its way over with the Pilgrims:

 

304172894_fetchid2372ampd1432153022amptypefull.thumb.jpg.085590a201e58f2e2dce4e2bf97d4a6d.jpg

 

The Geneva is back in print, and I purchased one recently for my daughter. She was taking a religion class at Pacific Lutheran University. I thought the Reformer's foot notes might be useful to her. In the picture above you can see all the Reformer's foot notes wrapped around the verses.

 

God bless,

William

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Just Mike
As a side note the Geneva Bible was what the Pilgrims brought with them, and was used for perhaps a century after.

 

I have a page framed on my wall from an original Geneva that made its way over with the Pilgrims:

 

[ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","title":"fetch?id=2372&d=1432153022&type=full.jpg","data-attachmentid":64984}[/ATTACH]

 

The Geneva is back in print, and I purchased one recently for my daughter. She was taking a religion class at Pacific Lutheran University. I thought the Reformer's foot notes might be useful to her. In the picture above you can see all the Reformer's foot notes wrapped around the verses.

 

God bless,

William

What a treasure! One of my Mission Professors has Foxes Book Martyrs that was one of the first ones printed, when he died he was offered thousands of $. His wife gave it to their son. I have a reprinted 1611 KJV Bible and it is one that takes effort to read, spelling and the like are not like English today.

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reformed baptist

There is no doubt that the KJV came about in part (at least) due to political considerations. King James I, it would appear, viewed it as a major concession he could make to the puritans (led by Reynolds) and as it would take some time it had no immediate implications for him. By the summer of 1604 Bancroft was arch bishop of Canterbury (he was staunchly opposed to the puritans) and he was able to use his position to influence the new translation.

 

In regards to being sympathetic towards the Anglicanism of the day, yes it was, Bancroft specifically demanded that the word 'congregation' be returned to the old word 'church' (see Bancroft's translation rules, rule 3)

 

However the KJV did not alter the Geneva Bible, it was based on the Bishop's Bible (the 'official' Bible of the CofE), the Geneva Bible could only be used as a point of reference, and it's wording only used when it agreed with the Hebrew or Greek text (see rule 14)

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reformed baptist
Examples of places where the makers of the KJV changed the Geneva Bible perhaps in order to make it more favorable to Church of England doctrines such as episcopal church government and apostolic succession

 

Acts 14:23

  • And when they had ordained them elders by election [1560 Geneva Bible] [Greek Textus Receptus with possible influence from Latin NT of Erasmus or Latin NT of Beza]
  • And when they had ordained them elders [1611 KJV] [TR with possible textual influence from Latin Vulgate perhaps by means of 1582 Rheims]

Leaving out the words "by election" found in the pre-1611 English Bibles made the 1611 KJV more favorable to a Church of England episcopal church government view

 

I'm coming back to this to look at it from a different position.

 

The first thing that needs to be challenged is the pejorative assumption of why words were 'left out' - it assumes that the Geneva Bible is the standard and that anything that departs from it, is in error. The question is not why was something left out, by why was it translated as it was.

 

There is no actual evidence presented of a reading in the manuscript traditions that supports 'by election' provided - instead there is a reference to Greek Textus Receptus. However the TR did not exist when the Geneva Bible was produced. The first reference to the TR is found in the preface to the 1633 edition of Elzevir's Greek New Testament, however the Geneva Bible predates that edition having being first published in 1560 this anachronistic failure to understand the basic timeline of textual transmission seems to negate the point being made. Furthermore the modern TR is actually a fairly recent creation (produced by Scrivener through reverse engineering of the KJV text) as such it does not actually correspond to any other published Greek New Testament before or after it.

 

Furthermore Erasmus' latin NT was nothing more then a parallel to his Greek NT that formed the basis of what later became known as the TR si I'm not sure of the significance of this.

 

To actually validate what is being said I need to know what text the author is referring to when he speaks of the Greek Textus Receptus so that i can validate the reading 'by election' as being present rather then simply implied (by the way I haven't actually checked what the GB says in the text) but none of the Greek texts I have easy access support 'by election' however i would suggest that 'appointed' is a better translation then 'ordained' :D

 

 

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Origen
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The meaning "to elect" (as in vote) is well within the semantic range the verb χειροτονέω.

 

χειροτον-έω, stretch out the hand, for the purpose of giving one’s vote in the assembly, περὶ τῶν ἀνδρῶν Plu. Phoc. 34 ; μὴ χ. vote against the motion Greek-English Lexicon With a Revised Supplement. 9th Ed. (H. G. Liddell & R. Scott, Eds: Oxford University Press, 1982) p. 1986

 

χειροτονέωa: to choose or select, presumably by a group and possibly by the actual raising of the hand — ‘to choose, to elect, to select.’ χειροτονηθεὶς ὑπὸ τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν συνέκδημος ἡμῶν ‘he has been chosen by the churches to travel with us’ 2Cor 8:19. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Based on Semantic Domains. 2nd Ed. (Johannes P. Louw & Eugene A. Nida: American Bible Society, 1989, 2 Vols.) p. 363

 

χειροτονέω cheirotoneō decide, elect, choose; appoint by raising hands*

 

2 Cor 8:19, of the choice by the Macedonian churches of a traveling companion for Paul during his gathering of the collection ([ἀδελφὸς] . . . χειροτονηθεὶς ὑπὸ τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν → συνέκδομος ἡμῶν; cf. further Ign. Phld. 10:1; Pol. 7:2; Did. 15:1). In contrast, in Acts 14:23 χειροτονέω refers to the appointment or installation of elders by Paul and Barnabas during the “first missionary journey” (χειροτονήσαντες δὲ αὐτοῖς κατ᾿ ἐκκλησίαν πρεσβυτέρους; cf. → πρεσβύτερος 3.b). On χειροτονέω in the sense of appoint cf. Josephus Ant. vi.312 (the king is appointed by God); Titus 1:9 v.l. (460: μὴ χειροτονεῖν διγάμους), and the postscripts to 2 Timothy and Titus. BAGD s.v.; E. Lohse, TDNT IX, 437. Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament. (Horst Balz & Gerhard Schneider, Eds: Eerdmans, 2002, 3 Vols.) pp. 464-465

 

χειροτονέω(τείνω) 1 aor. ἐχειροτόνησα, pass. ἐχειροτονήθην (Aristoph., X., Pla. et al.; ins, pap; Philo, Somn. 2, 243, Spec. Leg. 1, 78; Jos., Vi. 341 al.; Just., D. 108, 2) lit. ‘stretch out the hand’ in voting

 

1. to elect or choose someone for definite offices or tasks, choose (IG IV2/1, 89, 18 [iI/III AD] χ. ἱερέας; Jos, Ant. 13:45). Congregations choose a representative to accompany Paul on his journey to take the collection to Jerusalem 2 Cor 8:19 (IG II2/1, 1260 χειροτονηθεὶς ὑπὸ τοῦ δήμου στρατηγός.—S. Windisch ad loc.; Betz, 2 Cor p. 74f). Congregations choose envoys to bring congratulations to the ἐκκλησία at Antioch IPhld 10:1; ISm 11:2; IPol 7:2. Congregations are to elect their own supervisors (ἐπίσκοποι) and ministers (διάκονοι) D 15:1.

 

2. On the other hand, elders (πρεσβύτεροι) in Lycaonia and Pisidia were not chosen by the congregations, but it is said of Paul and Barnabas χειροτονήσαντες αὐτοῖς κατ᾿ ἐκκλησίαν πρεσβυτέρους Ac 14:23. Cp. Tit 1:9 v.l. and subscr.; 2 Ti subscr. This does not involve a choice by the group; here the word means appoint, install, w. the apostles as subj. (Philo, Praem. 54 βασιλεὺς ὑπὸ θεοῦ χειροτονηθείς, De Jos. 248 Joseph βασιλέως ὕπαρχος ἐχειροτονεῖτο, Mos. 1, 198, In Flacc. 109; Jos., Ant. 6, 312 τὸν ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ κεχειροτονημένον βασιλέα; 13, 45). JRoss, ET 63, ’51f, 288f; ELohse, D. Ordination im Spätjudentum u. im NT, ’51; MWarkentin, Ordination ’82.—Kl. Pauly I 1142. New Docs 1, 123. DELG s.v. χείρ. M-M. TW. Sv. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. 3rd Ed. (William Bauer, revised and edited by F. W. Danker: University Of Chicago Press, 2000) p. 1083

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reformed baptist
The meaning "to elect" (as in vote) is well within the semantic range the verb χειροτονέω.

 

Agreed, however in context it appears that the 'they' is Paul and Barnabas (every other 'they' in the passage seems to referring to their actions) and not the church - so I do believe 'appoint' which is also well with in the semantic range is the proper translation of χειροτονήσαντες however that is not the point of my post.

 

The article claims the Geneva Bible follows a text that did not exist when it was translated and provides no corroborating evidence to support that the GB reading is indeed better (more accurate to the original intention) then the KJB rendering is. The truth is that we will never know why the translates choose to not follow the Bishop's Bible in it's reading at this point as the translation notes have been lost however considering they needed to justify every departure it is most likely they had a good reason to do so - namely, 'that by election' forces the reader to a conclusion that is not necessarily intended by the text itself. Indeed looking at Paul's teaching to Titus it seems he places the weight of responsibility upon Titus to appoint elders (not the church) Titus 1:5

 

 

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Origen
Moderator
Agreed, however in context it appears that the 'they' is Paul and Barnabas (every other 'they' in the passage seems to referring to their actions) and not the church - so I do believe 'appoint' which is also well with in the semantic range is the proper translation of χειροτονήσαντες however that is not the point of my post.
Please do not misunderstand me. I was not suggesting that at all. The "they" no doubt refers Paul and Barnabas. I also believe "appoint" is much better. The phrase "for them" (I would argue) excludes the possibility that the elders where elected by congregational vote.

 

The article claims the Geneva Bible follows a text that did not exist when it was translated and provides no corroborating evidence to support that the GB reading is indeed better (more accurate to the original intention) then the KJB rendering is.
My understanding is the Geneva Bible used Stephanus' editions.

 

Yet there is no difference between Stephanus 1550 and the TR.

 

χειροτονήσαντες δὲ αὐτοῖς πρεσβυτέρους κατ᾿ ἐκκλησίαν (Stephanus 1550 edition and the TR)

 

The truth is that we will never know why the translates choose to not follow the Bishop's Bible in it's reading at this point as the translation notes have been lost however considering they needed to justify every departure it is most likely they had a good reason to do so - namely, 'that by election' forces the reader to a conclusion that is not necessarily intended by the text itself. Indeed looking at Paul's teaching to Titus it seems he places the weight of responsibility upon Titus to appoint elders (not the church) Titus 1:5
I think the answer might be Tyndale. Other translations were just following his lead.

 

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reformed baptist
Please do not misunderstand me. I was not suggesting that at all. The "they" no doubt refers Paul and Barnabas. I also believe "appoint" is much better. The phrase "for them" (I would argue) excludes the possibility that the elders where elected by congregational vote.

 

:RpS_thumbsup:

 

My understanding is the Geneva Bible used Stephanus' editions.

 

Quite correct - the GB New testement is based on Stephenus' Greek text which falls with the TR tradition - but it is not the Textus Receptus (a phrase coined long after it's publication)

 

Yet there is no difference between Stephanus 1550 and the TR.

 

χειροτονήσαντες δὲ αὐτοῖς πρεσβυτέρους κατ᾿ ἐκκλησίαν (Stephanus 1550 edition and the TR)

 

I think the answer might be Tyndale. Other translations were just following his lead.

 

I am aware of that :RpS_smile:

 

I think we're agreed on the all of this brother.

 

The point of my post was to point out that article in OP seems to be written in way that leads me to question the reliability of it - it appears it is 'axe grinding' then actually factual.

 

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