Note: The word "Bible" comes from the Koine Greek word "biblios" and it simply means the same as the word "book" in English. Nowhere in the Bible do we find the word "Bible." However, it is interesting to note the word "kitab" (Bible in Arabic) appears many times in the Quran, referring to the Bible and the People of the Book (Jews and Christians).
Let me begin by saying that the King James "version" of the Bible is in
English. There was no English language until the year 1066 AD when the
Normans invaded the Saxxons. Therefore the English Bible cannot be
anything like what any of the prophets spoke or understood, as it did
not exist in their times.
Next, my grandfather, who was a devout and wonderful Christian man gave
a gift of the Holy Bible to my sisters and I almost fifty years ago. It
was an authorized version of the Bible, being The Revised Standard
Version of the Bible which was a revised version of the American
Standard Version, published in 1901, which was a version of the King
James Version, published in 1611, which was revised and corrected for
the first time in 1612, etc. I was very much impressed with the easier
to read text and clarification of some of the wording which was
presented in this version and began to read the Bible on a daily basis
for hours at a time. The removal of the Elizabethton English terms,
phrases and expressions made the Bible a more accessible and
understandable and intimate Book for me. But that is not all the RSV did
for me and many others, as well.
My love and respect for the Word of God increased the more that I spent
time reading and understanding the message. The Bible became my most
prized and respected book in my life. I often turned to it throughout
the rest of my life in times of joy, happiness, sadness, troubles and
pain. It was my compass, my road map, my weather vane and my friend.
However, there were still some problems with this IMPROVED VERSION of
the Holy Bible. It began to disturb and concern me to the extent that I
made consultation with my father, who was also an ordained minister and
student of the Bible since childhood. Based on his research and
background in the origin and sources for modern day Christianity, I
began to go deeper into the problems which had plagued my thinking and
faith since childhood.
I prayed to Almighty God and then found the answers to some of the
problems were spelled out very clearly in the very beginning of the
exact same book. I have that book lying in front of me on my desk as I
write this article and would like to quote to you from some of the
PREFACE page iii and iv:
"The King James Version has with
good reason been termed 'the noblest monument of English prose.' Its
revisers in 1881 expressed admiration of 'its simplicity, its dignity,
its power, its happy turns of express... the music of its cadences, and
the felicities of its rhythm.' It entered, as no other book has, into
the making of the personal character and the public institutions of the
English-speaking peoples. We owe to it an incalculable debt."
"Yet the King James Version has grave defects. By the middle of the
nineteenth century, the development of Biblical studies and the
discovery of many manuscripts more ancient than those upon which the
King James Version was based, made it manifest that these defects are so
many and so serious as to call for a revision of the English
translation. The task was undertaken, by authority of the Church of
England, in 1870. The English Revised Version of the Bible was published
in 1881-1885; and the American Standard Version, its variant embodying
the preferences of the American scholars associated in the work, was
published in 1901."
"Because of the unhappy experience
with unauthorized publications in the two decades between 1881 and 1901,
which tampered with the text of the English Revised Version in the
supposed interest of the American public, the American Standard Version
was copyrighted, to protect the text from unauthorized changes. In 1928
this copyright was acquired by the International Council of Religious
Education, and thus passed into the ownership of the churches of the
United States and Canada which were associated in this Council through
their boards of education and publication."
".... decision was reached that there
is need for a thorough revision of the version of 1901..""In 1937 the
revision was authorized by vote of the Council."
"Thirty-two scholars have served as members of the Committee charged
with making the revision, and they have secured the review and counsel
of an Advisory Board of fifty representatives of the co-operating
"Each section has submitted its
work to the scrutiny of the members of the charter of the Committee
requires that all changes be agreed upon by a two-thirds vote of the
total membership of the Committee."
"The problem of establishing the
correct Hebrew and Aramaic text of the Old Testament is very different
from the corresponding problem in the New Testament."
"For the New Testament we have a
large number of Greek manuscripts, preserving many variant forms of the
text. Some of them were made only two or three centuries later than the
original composition of the books."
"For the Old Testament only late
manuscripts survive, all (with the exception of the Dead Sea Texts of
Isaiah and Habakkuk and some fragments of other books) based on a
standardized form of the text established many centuries after the books
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