Editing the Inspired Word, Part 1

Returning to Westcott & Hort, through their work ultimately found favor amongst a great many scholars, we mustn’t forget that their translation was dependent on apparently faulty and corrupted manuscripts.

In fact, the Codex Vaticanus was known to Erasmus in 1515 AD when he was translating his Greek New Testament, yet he chose not to use it because of the differences between it and the majority of manuscripts he had seen, ¹ and the document was equally available no doubt to the translators of the King James Bible, who likely rejected it knowing it was untrustworthy. Of course, we mustn’t forget that the Codex Sinaiticus was found in a trashcan…

To be fair, there are perhaps as many as 50 manuscripts that support the texts of the Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, yet compare that to the 5000 or so manuscripts (99+% of all manuscript evidence) that support the foundation of the Textus Receptus, the very backbone of the King James Bible. For these reasons, among others, my preference is the King James Version.

To set the record straight, I am not one of those who subscribes to the King-James-Only position. I do not ascribe to it the supernatural inspiration I trust was present in the original Scriptures, but I do believe it to be among the best English reflections of those ancient works. Though some today are opposed to its archaic wording and sentence structure, I rather enjoy its lyrical and poetic reading. To be sure, it’s not perfect in its presentation, nor is it – as an English translation of ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek writings – inerrant, but its issues are well know and capable of being addressed effectively. It’s classic, authentic, and relevant even now…

“Editing the Inspired Word” continues next time…

References:

  1. Jones, Floyd, “Which Version is The Bible?,” Global Evangelism, Goodyear Arizona,2004, p. 68

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