Author Topic: Original King James...  (Read 1610 times)

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Offline Timon

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Original King James...
« on: November 09, 2011, 03:13:23 AM »
What do you guys think of this translation? I recently found a copy of it. (1611)

I was taught in college that this wasnt really the most accurate translation out there.  Then, I found out that it is one of 2 or 3 translations that can be read in liturgy.  To me, that means that it must be pretty legit. Who knows though...

Thoughts??
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Re: Original King James...
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2011, 03:44:21 AM »
What do you guys think of this translation? I recently found a copy of it. (1611)

I was taught in college that this wasnt really the most accurate translation out there.  Then, I found out that it is one of 2 or 3 translations that can be read in liturgy.  To me, that means that it must be pretty legit. Who knows though...

Thoughts??
It is a foundational text of the english language.
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Offline Shiny

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Re: Original King James...
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2011, 04:11:46 AM »
What do you guys think of this translation? I recently found a copy of it. (1611)

I was taught in college that this wasnt really the most accurate translation out there.  Then, I found out that it is one of 2 or 3 translations that can be read in liturgy.  To me, that means that it must be pretty legit. Who knows though...

Thoughts??
It is a foundational text of the english language.
And the English language owes an incalculable debt to it.

But the problem with the KJV is that we actually have older manuscripts than the ones the translators used in 1611, so basically the newer translations we have are a little more closer to the source.

I remember an argument I had with an atheist who couldn't get over the KJV's usage of "Unicorn".
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Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Original King James...
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2011, 05:40:02 AM »
The New Testament of the Authorised Version is based on the Byzantine text used in Orthodox worship. This, coupled with its unsurpassed literary beauty, makes it one of the most suitable translations for use in the Liturgy. The Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies sells Gospel and Epistle lectionaries which use the text of the KJV, but with certain mistranslations corrected here and there.

The Old Testament is more problematic. The KJV is translated from the Hebrew Masoretic Texts, which differ quite considerably from the text of the Greek Septuagint used by the Orthodox Church, which follows a more ancient retention of the Hebrew.

Offline Shiny

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Re: Original King James...
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2011, 05:42:00 AM »
On a tangent, can anyone give me a percentage of the difference between the Masoretic text and the Septuagint?
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Online genesisone

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Re: Original King James...
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2011, 08:11:37 AM »

But the problem with the KJV is that we actually have older manuscripts than the ones the translators used in 1611, so basically the newer translations we have are a little more closer to the source.

Be careful on this point. Older does not necessarily mean better, or even "closer to the source". Let me explain (dates and scenarios fictitious):

Monastery 6th Century: a monk has two versions of the Gospels, there are a few differences, but nothing really major. One has to be used for readings. He chooses the better one based on what is already being used in the monastery and under the direction of his spiritual father. The other goes onto the shelf as a reference book but won't be used liturgically. 150 years later: the manuscript being used is wearing out. It is copied carefully. Its original is burned in a dignified manner. Same thing occurs in another 150 years. Now in the 21st Century, a scholar discovers the two versions: one from the 6th C and one from the 9th. Which one is better?

I point this out only to show that there are many variables at work that have to be considered in these studies. It gets complicated.

Offline Aindriú

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Re: Original King James...
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2011, 10:17:50 AM »
On a tangent, can anyone give me a percentage of the difference between the Masoretic text and the Septuagint?

Which Septuagint?  ;D

I'm going to need this.

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Original King James...
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2011, 12:12:26 PM »

But the problem with the KJV is that we actually have older manuscripts than the ones the translators used in 1611, so basically the newer translations we have are a little more closer to the source.

Be careful on this point. Older does not necessarily mean better, or even "closer to the source". Let me explain (dates and scenarios fictitious):

Monastery 6th Century: a monk has two versions of the Gospels, there are a few differences, but nothing really major. One has to be used for readings. He chooses the better one based on what is already being used in the monastery and under the direction of his spiritual father. The other goes onto the shelf as a reference book but won't be used liturgically. 150 years later: the manuscript being used is wearing out. It is copied carefully. Its original is burned in a dignified manner. Same thing occurs in another 150 years. Now in the 21st Century, a scholar discovers the two versions: one from the 6th C and one from the 9th. Which one is better?

I point this out only to show that there are many variables at work that have to be considered in these studies. It gets complicated.

Excellent point.  Having taken numerous classes in palaeography, I can say with some authority about the lengths required to make a critical text and an apparatus criticus.  Older manuscripts do not make an automatic better source.  They may be older forms of a corrupted text.  One of the main criteria for determining the "reliability" of a manuscript is not its age, but the family of manuscripts to which it is related and over how far of a geographic era those are spread.
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Re: Original King James...
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2011, 02:24:09 PM »
I think the original edition of the KJV did have the Apocrypha in it.

If only things had stayed that way... it may have saved so much dispute between the different churches later on. Sigh.  :angel:
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Original King James...
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2011, 02:26:15 PM »
I remember an argument I had with an atheist who couldn't get over the KJV's usage of "Unicorn".

Boy do I not have another sorta story that ends quite differently over the use of the unicorn in the KJV.

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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Original King James...
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2011, 02:52:15 PM »
On a tangent, can anyone give me a percentage of the difference between the Masoretic text and the Septuagint?

you mean of the books they share in common?

Offline bogdan

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Re: Original King James...
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2011, 03:34:01 PM »
The KJV is a Protestant translation, and I generally prefer the Douay–Rheims if we're talking early modern English translations.

Offline Timon

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Re: Original King James...
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2011, 12:29:55 AM »
Thanks for the replies everyone.  Ive been away and was just able to check back.  Good points all around.  I do like this translation, but sometimes I feel like an idiot when I read it.  Sometimes I feel like I have no idea what its talking about... ha.

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Online ialmisry

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Re: Original King James...
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2011, 01:03:03 AM »
On a tangent, can anyone give me a percentage of the difference between the Masoretic text and the Septuagint?
No, because it depends on how you define "different." 
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Offline neon_knights

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Re: Original King James...
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2011, 06:25:47 PM »
The KJV is a terrific translation IMO. Its literary beauty is unsurpassed.

Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Original King James...
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2011, 01:26:04 PM »
Timon, I was a theology student at a Protestant college, and I was also taught that the KJV is not the best translation. It wasn't an acceptable translation for our exegesis papers at all.

That said, I find it to be a wonderful translation, quite close to the Greek in many respects. That said, the OT is based on the Masoretic text, which isn't a bad thing, the Hebrew can be useful, though as you well know it's not traditional in our Church...the LXX takes precedence for us. That said, however, I love it when I hear the KJV used liturgically. It's one of the most beautiful English translations ever produced, surpassing in beauty all of the other Protestant translations like the Geneva Bible (yuck) or even the Bishop's Bible, the Tyndale or Wycliff translations.  The D-R is also beautiful, however, as was mentioned above. That would be a tough choice for me, actually, I think.

The problem that I think a lot of folks have with it is exactly what you touched on...people don't readily get it. The English used is several centuries old. It was actually even dated when compared to the vernacular when it was printed in 1611. So, there is an issue of people not really getting the intended meaning, because the meaning of the words have actually changed in English. Problems like this include the use of the word "unicorn", which simply means a horned animal...get over it people! or the phrase of Christ in the Gospels "In my Father's house are many mansions." Of course this doesn't make sense to us...a mansion is a house...a big one! Of course, that's not the meaning of the word mansion as it was used here. The meaning is more along the lines of "dwelling place" without the ritzy connotations the word has acquired for us today. When you understand how the meaning of these words have changed and learn some of the figures of speech being used in the KJV, it becomes a lot easier to read. Sure, it's an added bit of work, but I think the preservation of the older English allows us to closer approximate the Greek in a way that doesn't butcher the Enlgish (ever read the NASB? Ouch!). Modern English just can't do some of the same things it used to!
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Offline Timon

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Re: Original King James...
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2011, 01:38:50 PM »
Good points Ben.

It seems that some of the more modern translations have the same mindset as modern theology.  Just interpret however you want. Or, if it feels/sounds good, do it.

Like I said, the reason I was always turned off to it was because what I learned in college, also at a Protestant university.  However, it wasnt southern baptist or anything.  In fact, they seemed more Anglican than anything (though they werent technically) based on the amount of NT Wright material I had to read.  Most people there werent TOO "reformed."

I was going though a bunch of boxes of my stuff that I hadnt seen in years that were still being stored at my moms house.  I found a 1611 in there and since I found out its acceptable in Orthodox liturgy, I figured id give it a shot since I never had before.  The way the Church views it had a great impact on how I view it.  I trust their opinions!

Right now I use the 1611, my RSV (though it doesnt have the apocrypha...), my OSB, and my ESB.

And as a side note... Does the Church read from the KJV OT during liturgy even though it isnt the septuagint?
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Offline Gamliel

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Re: Original King James...
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2011, 01:44:17 PM »
I remember a long time ago I asked a professor what the best translation was.  His answer, "That depends what you want to use it for."

Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: Original King James...
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2011, 01:48:55 PM »
I remember a long time ago I asked a professor what the best translation was.  His answer, "That depends what you want to use it for."
Honest man!
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Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Original King James...
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2011, 02:06:12 PM »
Good points Ben.

It seems that some of the more modern translations have the same mindset as modern theology.  Just interpret however you want. Or, if it feels/sounds good, do it.

Like I said, the reason I was always turned off to it was because what I learned in college, also at a Protestant university.  However, it wasnt southern baptist or anything.  In fact, they seemed more Anglican than anything (though they werent technically) based on the amount of NT Wright material I had to read.  Most people there werent TOO "reformed."

I was going though a bunch of boxes of my stuff that I hadnt seen in years that were still being stored at my moms house.  I found a 1611 in there and since I found out its acceptable in Orthodox liturgy, I figured id give it a shot since I never had before.  The way the Church views it had a great impact on how I view it.  I trust their opinions!

Right now I use the 1611, my RSV (though it doesnt have the apocrypha...), my OSB, and my ESB.

And as a side note... Does the Church read from the KJV OT during liturgy even though it isnt the septuagint?

Though I was a classically Reformed Presbyterian, the college I attended was "Wesleyan" (unofficially tied to the United Methodists, though many Free Methodists, Nazarenes, Salvationists and other Wesleyans were there as well). They also had an affinity for the Anglicans. They LOVE C.S. Lewis, and N.T. Wright visited while I was there. Quite a pleasure to meet him personally. He is a very intelligent and, I think, holy man.

As far as the OT readings...I'm not sure. I believe my parish uses the NKJV for all of our lection readings, which would include the OT readings at Vespers...meaning that we use a translation based off of the Masoretic. I'm unsure what we use for the books often called "deutrocanonical"...they were originally included in the original KJV, so I assume there are NKJV equivalents somewhere. This is something I will try to remember and ask about!


I remember a long time ago I asked a professor what the best translation was.  His answer, "That depends what you want to use it for."

ABSOLUTELY TRUE. In multiple senses. Some text were designed for "scholarly" use and are quite technical in the way they were written, others are more flowery and others still are written very simply, usually for the "devotional" purposes by Protestant groups that for some reason seem to equate that with "dumb down." (I'm not big on these types of translations, if you didn't notice :P).

Other translations are (whether purposefully or otherwise) written with a significant ideological bent. Of course, it's nigh impossible to not infuse a translation with at least some amount of interpretation (due to syntax and semantic range never quite matching up in any two languages, it's just a reality of translation...no matter what you're translating!) but some are more interpretive than others, and so might be used to support a theological premise whereas a different translation might not be as inclined to lend the aforementioned support.
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