English translations and who used them

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English translations and who used them

Postby Blake » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:19 pm

I recently did a short research paper for a seminary class on English translations of the 16th and 17th centuries and the political context surrounding them. That wasn't actually what I had intended my paper to become. I had wanted to do it on the communities that used the different translations, but none of the books I used mentioned anything about what groups and leaders used what Bible translations except in the most vague and general sense. Anyone know any books that deal more specifically with this topic? What translation(s) did people like John Smyth, Thomas Helwys, Hans de Ries, Thomas Grantham, John Bunyan, Waterlander Mennonites, early general and particular Baptists, Quakers, Levellers, Fifth Monarchists, and the other miscellaneous groups of Separatists, Puritans and Anglicans use?
"But for our parts, to take a carnal weapon in our hands, or use the least violence, either to support or pull down the worst, or to set up or maintain the best of men, we look not upon it to be our duty in the least..."
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Re: English translations and who used them

Postby Ed Pettibone » Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:35 pm

Blake wrote:I recently did a short research paper for a seminary class on English translations of the 16th and 17th centuries and the political context surrounding them. That wasn't actually what I had intended my paper to become. I had wanted to do it on the communities that used the different translations, but none of the books I used mentioned anything about what groups and leaders used what Bible translations except in the most vague and general sense. Anyone know any books that deal more specifically with this topic? What translation(s) did people like John Smyth, Thomas Helwys, Hans de Ries, Thomas Grantham, John Bunyan, Waterlander Mennonites, early general and particular Baptists, Quakers, Levellers, Fifth Monarchists, and the other miscellaneous groups of Separatists, Puritans and Anglicans use?


Ed: This could be an interesting study. I have to admit however, that if I have ever read any thing that would be helpful here, I missed the import at the time. It is something I wll look for in the future. And Blake please keep us posted as you pursue this topic.
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Re: English translations and who used them

Postby Haruo » Wed Dec 22, 2010 3:14 am

I'm pretty sure that the Puritans (both Anglican and Separatist) and other Calvinists continued to use the Geneva Bible long after most of the non-Puritan Anglicans had adopted the 1611 AV. By the time the Baptists arrived on the scene most of the earlier English versions were passé. What early English-speaking Mennonites etc. used for Bibles I have no idea. And I'm afraid I have no documentation to back up even the generalizing thumbnails I just came up with.
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Re: English translations and who used them

Postby RyanHale » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:21 pm

This is a very good question and one that I've never really read anything that deals with this. I've seen many an argument in the modern context but none of the past.
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Re: English translations and who used them

Postby Bruce Gourley » Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:14 pm

Blake wrote:I recently did a short research paper for a seminary class on English translations of the 16th and 17th centuries and the political context surrounding them. That wasn't actually what I had intended my paper to become. I had wanted to do it on the communities that used the different translations, but none of the books I used mentioned anything about what groups and leaders used what Bible translations except in the most vague and general sense. Anyone know any books that deal more specifically with this topic? What translation(s) did people like John Smyth, Thomas Helwys, Hans de Ries, Thomas Grantham, John Bunyan, Waterlander Mennonites, early general and particular Baptists, Quakers, Levellers, Fifth Monarchists, and the other miscellaneous groups of Separatists, Puritans and Anglicans use?


A good question, and the answer is a bit different than you might imagine.

While early Baptists borrowed from their Puritan ancestors an affinity for the Geneva Bible, and thus typically used that Bible until the KJV became fashionable, they often took liberties in quoting (early on) from the Geneva Bible. That is, they would start with the Geneva Bible, but might replace a word here or there with another of their choice.

To see this in action, check out the biblical quotes Thomas Helwys employs in A Short Declaration of the Mystery of Iniquity, and compare them to the Geneva Bible text.
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Re: English translations and who used them

Postby Ed Pettibone » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:13 am

Ed: Blake, if you are not already aware of this time table you may find in it the entrance to some good avenues that need exploration. http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-engli ... e-history/

It is unfortunate that this work morphs into an add for a reproduction of the Geneva Bible.
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Re: English translations and who used them

Postby Blake » Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:07 pm

Bruce Gourley wrote:While early Baptists borrowed from their Puritan ancestors an affinity for the Geneva Bible, and thus typically used that Bible until the KJV became fashionable, they often took liberties in quoting (early on) from the Geneva Bible. That is, they would start with the Geneva Bible, but might replace a word here or there with another of their choice.

Bruce, Is there any indication of what influenced their word choices? Another English translation, non-English translation (e.g. Luther's German Bible, Olivetan's French translation, a Dutch translation, etc.), latin vulgate, greek or hebrew text? Smyth had some ability with Latin. Didn't Helwys also? Did any of their 17th century successors know other langauges?
"But for our parts, to take a carnal weapon in our hands, or use the least violence, either to support or pull down the worst, or to set up or maintain the best of men, we look not upon it to be our duty in the least..."
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Re: English translations and who used them

Postby Bruce Gourley » Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:57 pm

Blake wrote:
Bruce Gourley wrote:While early Baptists borrowed from their Puritan ancestors an affinity for the Geneva Bible, and thus typically used that Bible until the KJV became fashionable, they often took liberties in quoting (early on) from the Geneva Bible. That is, they would start with the Geneva Bible, but might replace a word here or there with another of their choice.

Bruce, Is there any indication of what influenced their word choices? Another English translation, non-English translation (e.g. Luther's German Bible, Olivetan's French translation, a Dutch translation, etc.), latin vulgate, greek or hebrew text? Smyth had some ability with Latin. Didn't Helwys also? Did any of their 17th century successors know other langauges?


Yes, both Smyth and Hewlys were versed in Latin. Helwys wrote in both Latin and English. Declaration is in English. I'm unaware that either were versed in German, but certainly would have picked up at least some Dutch after 1608.
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Re: English translations and who used them

Postby Samuel » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:10 am

Naturally Baptist history goes to the Apostles ;-D. English text came on the scene ~1000 AD; however, John Wycliff worte the entire English Bible. Some dilemma experienced with early families was being poor for a large. Regardless, time for family devotions and Bible reading. But it was not running down to the book store to get the latest one off the press. A Wycliffe may last through many that came later and its familarity kept it warm in the hearts and minds along with its freshness due to its use keeping its language alive at the table.

Naturally: 1611 is a long time and its use is exclusive (in form of 1769) in our household.
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Re: English translations and who used them

Postby Bruce Gourley » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:58 am

Samuel wrote:Naturally Baptist history goes to the Apostles ;-D. English text came on the scene ~1000 AD; however, John Wycliff worte the entire English Bible. Some dilemma experienced with early families was being poor for a large. Regardless, time for family devotions and Bible reading. But it was not running down to the book store to get the latest one off the press. A Wycliffe may last through many that came later and its familarity kept it warm in the hearts and minds along with its freshness due to its use keeping its language alive at the table.

Naturally: 1611 is a long time and its use is exclusive (in form of 1769) in our household.


Do you family Bibles include the apocrypha, as did the original KJV? :-)
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Re: English translations and who used them

Postby Haruo » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:32 pm

Our big Bible (which usually resides on the communion table) at Fremont Baptist is a KJV with the Apocrypha. If they ever decide to to get rid of it I hope I get it. ;-)
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Re: English translations and who used them

Postby Samuel » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:09 pm

I read Jasher and a number of books from books of manuscript eveidence to science to creation to poetry.

But God's Word is true: God's word is infallible, without error (John 17:17; Acts l:3). In His infallible word, God promises to keep His words. Not one word was to be in error.

"The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, 0 Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." Psalm 12:6-7
For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Matt. 5:18
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Matt. 24:35
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." I Peter 1:23
Man was not to add to or take from God's word (Deuteronomy 4:2; Prov. 30:6; Revelation 22:18).

Therefore, the keeping of God's word is God's job, not fallible man's.

"...Thou shalt keep them, 0 Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." Psalm 12:7

The believers in Antioch were the first to be called "Christians" (Acts 11:26).

Since Antioch is in Syria, they translated the Bible into Old Syrian. This Bible agrees with the King James Bible Authorized Version and not the Catholic line of mss.

The believers at Antioch copied the Scriptures in both Syrian and Greek on papyrus (a paper-like material).

Believers in Greece (1st.-3rd. century)
They used the Greek text of Antioch and rejected the Greek text of Alexandria Egypt as corrupt. (Fuller, p. 194-215).

This is the church which departed from Rome and the Catholic church in the 4th century. History shows that the text of the King James Bible Authorized Version always goes away from the Roman Catholic Church. This being a historical fact, then why go back to Rome to make a new translation?

These believers copied Scripture on papyrus in both Greek and Old Latin (not Jerome's Latin Vulgate, but Old Latin). This Bible was translated in 150 A.D. and agrees in its text with the King James Bible Authorized Version, not the modern translations.
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Re: English translations and who used them

Postby Samuel » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:19 pm

Matthew 12:33 "Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known of his fruit."

The tree of the modern translation is corrupt, how can the translation be good?

The tree of the King James Bible Authorized Version is pure, how can the translation be bad?

The fruit of the King James Bible Authorized Version is Reformation and Revival, not Rome.

The modern translation says it is with error, the King James Bible Authorized Version says it is without error. Which one would you want to read???

The Bible always calls for choices (Josh. 24:15); this is also true in reading a Bible translation. You must choose which one you will read. Do so, not by what men say, but by the Word of God.
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Re: English translations and who used them

Postby Bruce Gourley » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:21 pm

Samuel wrote:Matthew 12:33 "Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known of his fruit."

The tree of the modern translation is corrupt, how can the translation be good?

The tree of the King James Bible Authorized Version is pure, how can the translation be bad?

The fruit of the King James Bible Authorized Version is Reformation and Revival, not Rome.

The modern translation says it is with error, the King James Bible Authorized Version says it is without error. Which one would you want to read???

The Bible always calls for choices (Josh. 24:15); this is also true in reading a Bible translation. You must choose which one you will read. Do so, not by what men say, but by the Word of God.


Methinks you are not as familiar with the King James Bible as you think you are. :-)
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Re: English translations and who used them

Postby Samuel » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:28 pm

Do you think any translation is the Word of God.....................? Why? Since you do not know me nor where my 39 born again years have taken me. I usually try to spend between 4-12 hrs/day reading. And; yes, my knowledge is limited.
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Re: English translations and who used them

Postby Samuel » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:38 pm

Why imply or attack me when you don't even know me.

One may want to look at people and where they come from: Here's a couple of real winners............

Westcott & Hort (1881 AD)
They used Vaticanus and Sinaiticus to produce a new Greek N.T.. This Greek N.T. is not the same as the one used for the King James Bible Authorized Version nor during the Reformation.

Their Greek N.T. was the basis for the Revised Version (RV) of 1881 and the basic Greek text for all modern translations such as the RSV, TEV, NASV, N.TV, etc.

The Greek text of Westcott and Hort (W & H) differs from the Greek text of the King James Bible (the Received Text) 5,788 times, or 10% of the text. (For examples, see the section "A Brief Comparison of Bible translations".)

Since all modern translations are based on the work of W & H, it would do us well to know the theology of these two men.

WESTCOTT: "I wish I could see to what forgotten truth Mariolatry (Mary-worship) bears witness."

"No one now, I suppose, holds that the first three chapters of Genesis, for example, give a literal history I could never understand how anyone reading them with open eyes could think they did."

HORT: "Mary-worship and Jesus-worship have very much in common."

"Protestantism is only parenthetical and temporary."

"The pure Romish view (Catholic) seems to be nearer, and more likely to lead to the truth than the Evangelical."

"Evangelicals seem to me perverted rather than untrue."

These men did not hold to sound doctrine; instead they have turned, "...away their ears from the truth, and she be turned unto fables." 2 Tim. 4:4
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Re: English translations and who used them

Postby Samuel » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:45 pm

Then; the men behind the KJV.............. translators of the Y-M: There's tons of stuff

Dr. Lansalot Andrews He was the chairman. He spoke 20 languages. He spent 5 hours a day in prayer. (see E. M. Bound, "Power Through Prayer" p. 33).

Dr. John Reynolds, Puritan leader. He spoke Hebrew and Greek as well as he could English by the time he was 18 years old.

Dr. John Boise He spoke Hebrew by the time he was 5 Years old. By the time he was 14 years old he spoke Greek. He spent from 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. studying each day.

Dr. Miles Smiths He spoke Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic as well as he could English. He also served with Dr. Thomas Bilson as one of the two final editors of the whole King James Bible.

Dr. William Bedwell: He was called the father of Arabic studies in England. He wrote Lexicons in Arabic, Hebrew, Syriac and Chaldean. (Note: a Lexicon is like a Dictionary telling the meaning of words and their root meaning).

Dr. Thomas Holland: Not only was he a great Hebrew and Greek scholar, but a man of great dedication to God. His dying words were, "Come, 0 come, Lord Jesus, Thou Morning Star! Come, Lord Jesus; I desire to be dissolved and to be with Thee."

Dr. Laurence Chaderton: He was noted for his knowledge of Latin, Hebrew and Greek. He also spoke French, Spanish, and Italian ' Because of his Christian faith his father cut him off from his family. People enjoyed his preaching so much that they would beg him to preach even after he had just preached a two hour sermon! He was committed to personal witnessing. He said of his household servants, "I desire as much to have my servants know the Lord as myself."

All the translators of the King James Bible Authorized Version suffered under the reign of Queen Mary (also called "Bloody Mary") before James became King of England. This is the only Bible committee to suffer persecution of their faith.

For more information on the above translators and the others, see "Which Bible?" pp. 13-24, or the book by Dr. Gustavus S. Paine, "The Men Behind The KJB"

I may not know much; but, I know Jesus ;-D
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Re: English translations and who used them

Postby Big Daddy Weaver » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:45 pm

Samuel, tell us what you think. Feel free to post links to articles. But don't Copy and Paste someone's website, leaving readers with the impression that these are your thoughts. More than a few of your comments are just Copy and Paste jobs from KJV websites....
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Re: English translations and who used them

Postby Samuel » Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:30 pm

For more information on the above translators and the others, see "Which Bible?" pp. 13-24, or the book by Dr. Gustavus S. Paine, "The Men Behind The KJB"

You may want to take a look at the post more closely (see above). Try - "Which Bible?" by Dr. Gustavus S. Paine, "The Men Behind The KJB"

I promise you I did not know any of those men personally ;-D
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