Skip to comments.The "Inconvenient Tale" of the Original King James Bible
Posted on 03/17/2012 7:26:45 AM PDT by GonzoII
The "Inconvenient Tale" of the Original King James Bible
By Gary Michuta
In 1604, the Church of England commissioned a new English translation of the Scripture, which later became known as the King JamesVersion. According to it dedication to the king, the hope was that this new version would counteract the barbs of Catholics and a foil to the self-conceited Protestants who run their own ways, and give liking unto nothing but what is framed by themselves, and hammered on their anvil [Preface and dedication to the King, 1611 King James Bible], namely religious dissenters like the Baptists and others. Ironically, the Church of England had moved to other translations and the King James Bible (K.J.V.) had become, at least for a time, the translation for those groups that would have been considered dissenters. Today, the New International Version has become the best selling translation among Protestants, but the King James is still widely used and revered by non-Catholics.
Some may be tempted to dismiss the omission of these books from the King James Bible as superfluous add on to the translation and that its omission really does not change anything important about the King James Bible. On the contrary, the so-called "Apocrypha formed an integral part of the text, so much so that the Protestant scholar E. G. Goodspeed once wrote:
[W]hatever may be our personal opinions of the Apocrypha, it is a historical fact that they formed an integral part of the King James Version, and any Bible claiming to represent that version should either include the Apocrypha, or state that it is omitting them. Otherwise a false impression is created. [Story of the Apocrypha (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1939, p. 7]
If you pick up a modern copy of the King James Version and open to the title page, chances are youll not see any mention of the deliberate omission of these books (e.g. The King James Version without the Apocrypha). After all, who would want to put a negative statement about a product on the title page? However, perhaps to avoid false advertising, publishers do notify you that books are missing by cleverly stating the contents in a positive fashion like The King James Version Containing the Old and New Testaments. If you didnt know that the Apocrypha was omitted, youd probably assume that complete King James Bible since most modern Protestant Bibles contain only the Old and New Testaments anyway. Hence, as Goodspeed warns a false impression is created.
The King James Apocrypha had a much more integral roll in its early editions than simply being an appendix unconnected to the two Testaments. Instead, the 1611 King James Bible included (like the Geneva Bible) cross-references from the Old and New Testaments to the so-called Apocrypha. Like modern cross-references, these were meant to refer the reader back to the text cited in order to provide further light on what had just been read. There were 11 cross-references in the New Testament and 102 Old Testament that referred Protestant readers back to the Apocrypha. The New Testament cross-references were:
Like the early editions of the Geneva Bible, the editors of the Authorized Version believe that the non-Catholic readers should aware of what the Apocrypha had to say in regards to these passage. While some are mere correspondences of thought, others point to an awareness or even a dependence upon the Apocrypha by inspired New Testament writers. I detail these important passages in Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger: The Untold Story of the Lost Books of the Protestant Bible (Grotto Press, 2007).
In addition to the eleven cross-references in the New Testament, the 1611 King James also sported 102 cross-reference in the Old Testament as well bringing to total up to 113 cross-references to and from the Apocrypha overall. No wonder Goodspeed could say that the "Apocrypha" was an integral part of the King James Bible!
The King James Bible was not the only early Protestant Bible to contain the Apocrypha with cross-references. As we have seen in a previous article (Pilgrims Regress: The Geneva Bible and the Apocrypha), the "Apocrypha" also played an integral role in other Protestant Bibles as well.
As I mentioned earlier, translations serve as historical snapshots of the beliefs of the translators and readers. The very presence of these cross-references shows that the translators believed that the "Apocrypha" was at work within the New Testament writings and that Protestant Bible readers would benefit from reading and studying the New and Old Testaments in light of these books. Sadly, today this noble heritage has been lost.
Now You Read Them, Now You Dont
Those who viewed the "Apocrypha" as somehow being the last vestige of "popery" pressed for the Apocrypha appendix and its cross-references to be removed altogether from the Bible. In 1615, George Abbott, the Archbishop of Canterbury, went so far as to employ the power of law to censure any publisher who did not produce the Bible in its entirety (i.e. including the "Apocrypha") as prescribed by the Thirty-nine Articles. However, anti-Catholic hatred and the obvious financial advantages of printing smaller Protestant Bibles began to win out against the traditionalists who wanted the Bible in the form that was given in all previous Protestant translations up until that point (in the form of Luther's Bible - with the Apocrypha between the Old and New Testaments). The "Apocrypha" remained in the King James Bible through the 1626, 1629, 1630, and the 1633 editions. By 1632, public opinion began to decidedly turn against the "bigger" Protestant Bibles. Of the 227 printings of the Bible between 1632 and 1826, about 40% of Protestant Bibles contained the "Apocrypha." The Apocrypha Controversy of the early 1800's enabled English Bible Societies to flood the bible-buying market with Apocrypha-less Protestant Bibles and in 1885 the "Apocrypha" was officially removed with the advent of the Revised Standard Version, which replaced the King James Version.
It is hard to pin point the exact date where the King James Bible no longer contained the "Apocrypha." It is clear that later editions of the KJV removed the "Apocrypha" appendix, but they continued to include cross-references to the "Apocrypha" until they too (like the Geneva Bible) were removed as well. Why were they removed? Was it do to over-crowded margins? The Anglican scholar William H. Daubney points out the obvious:
These objectionable omissions [of the cross-references] were made after the custom arose of publishing Bibles without the Apocrypha. These apparently profess to be what they are not, entire copies of the Authorized Version Plainly, the references to the Apocrypha told an inconvenient tale of the use which the Church intended should be made of it; so, either from dissenting influence without, or from prejudice within the Church, these references disappeared from the margin. [The Use of the Apocrypha In the Christian Church (London: C. J. Clay and Sons, 1900), 17]
What was the inconvenient tale these cross-references told? They showed that the so-called Apocrypha actually plays a much greater role that most modern Protestants are willing to admit. Moreover, the cross-references showed that the church believed that knowledge of the so-called "Apocrypha" and their use in the New Testament benefited Christians who wished to understand the Bible. Sadly today, many Protestants use the King James Bible have been handed on to them in an unaltered and uncompromised form. The reality is that its contents had undergone several substantial changes beginning with Martin Luther's gathering together the Deuterocanon and placing it in an "Apocrypha" appendix and later when that appendix (and its cross-references) were removed altogether from Protestant Bibles.
This is another site that specifically disputes Tobit and says why http://www.jashow.org/Articles/apologetics/AP0704W2.htm:
The New Testament begins with the book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. THE MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT. Chapter 1. Chapter 3 speaks of God sending the MESSENGER TO PREPARE THE WAY BEFORE CHRIST. John the Baptist.
The LAST thing God reveals in the OT is the FIRST thing God reveals in the NT.
So tell me please, what is the point of the Apocrypha? It is NOT a continuation of God's Word. Matthew is a continuation of God's Word from Malachi.
In what sense is the Apocrypha useful to God's Word? It is not about any transition, or any things God is doing while Israel is awaiting their Messiah. He simply states in Malachi that He is coming to fulfill the covenant, that He is sending a messenger to prepare the way, and then silence from Him. Until Christ and His messenger, John, appear. Case closed.
Look, I am making sport of hypocrisy because of the seemingly arbitrary nature of your arguments. I know that the essence of Scripture is more important than the punctuation. Since I recognize Tobit to be Scripture AND accept the argument that Scripture cannot be errant. Therefore, either science and history are as wrong with respect to Tobit as they are to Judith, Chronicles, Kings and other books, or we have to disregard significant portions of Scripture.
I think your problem is trying to maintain a logical train of thought on these threads.
I actually didnt think you would. You see, your previous statement of nearly identical inconsistencies in other books would have been totally debunked by what you would have read and learned. I totally expected you not to go and learn that your contention that there are inconsistencies in other books of scripture is wrong.
BTW Your belief that the Catholic Church preserved the scriptures and then tell us that there are inconsistencies is rather contradictory to your belief in the inerrancy of the CC isnt it? Whats the good of an authority if by your own admission it brings us inconsistencies? Its apparent to me that the CC perpetuates error by your own admission.
I found this interesting information in Dake's Annotated Reference Bible, page 511, column 1, point 9.
There are 12 reasons listed why the Apocryphal books are considered uninspired. Number 9 is where I'll start, because it seems the most interesting part of this discussion.
9. The Apocryphal books were NOT a part of the ancient versions of Scripture. They were FIRST ADDED AFTER 300 AD. The Laodicean Council in 363 AD rejected them as being UNINSPIRED, thus PROVING that by that time some were claiming INSPIRATION for them. (They FIRST APPEARED in the VATICAN VERSION of the 4th century. At the Council of Trent in 1546 AD, Catholics accepted 6 of these books as inspired and added them to their MODERN VERSIONS of Scripture. They are: Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees).
1546 AD. REALLY?
Now who on the RCC "Logic Train" will tell us if this correct?
One wonders what other beliefs the CC adapted that needed the support of the books previously declared uninspired doesnt it?
It certainly does..some of it comes out in dribs and drabs, but it would be so refreshing if the truth were spoken AT THE FIRST, instead of being forced to cough it up..If you believe it, be proud of it, shout it from the rooftops, post it so everyone can know and not have to guess..or go on a search for the real truth of what they believe and teach.
The only thing I am admitting is bewilderment at a line of reasoning that begs others to accept as authoritative an obscure Singapore based source selected only because it corroborates your premise. As I have often said; the genius of the internet is that if one searches long enough one can always find and expert that agrees.
Is there some kind of standard for acceptance as authoritative? I'm seriously curious. I have no idea about this source; I'm wondering if you do or how you determine authority. Is it up to everyone to be their own authority on what is an authoritative source?
Wouldn't it be incumbent on you to check yourself first? Perhaps before posting?
The Holy Spirit gave us the teaching authority of the Church and with it the Magisterium. Absent that you have the Googlesterium which I suppose has a certain appeal. If you look long enough you can always find an expert that agrees with your premise.
It certainly DOES come down to authority, but this "2000 years of continuity directly from the human authors" is as bogus as a football bat. Only the Holy Scriptures, the BIBLE, is the reliable and unchanged authority given to us by God himself. Anything presumed to be handed down verbally, or even in written form, that is not from the Bible is open to question as well as fallible human interference. We can trust in the Holy Scriptures because they ARE the divinely inspired words of God and, as such, are reliable and authoritative because the Word of God will never fail.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Matthew 24:35
And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. Luke 16:17
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. Isaiah 40:8
I think I know the answer to that. Again, from http://www.jashow.org/Articles/apologetics/AP0704W2.htm:
Theologian Dr. Bernard Ramm observes that, "The story as to how the Apocrypha achieved [the] status of inspired Scripture at the Council of Trent is one of the saddest commentaries on improper scholarship in the history of Western culture."5
Biblical scholar R. Laird Harris observes that for 1,500 years no Roman Catholic was called upon to believe the Apocrypha was scripturaluntil the Council of Trent made its fateful decree. He agrees the Council adopted its position "for reasons of expediency rather than evidence."6 Thus, the Council was "unmindful of evidence, of former popes and scholars, of the Fathers of the church and the witness of Christ and the apostles" in making its pronouncement.7
Dr. Rene Pache points out that a key reason for Trents decision was to respond to the arguments of the Protestant Reformers who were attempting to defend the principle of sola scripturathat the Bible alone was the final authority for matters of faith and practice, not church tradition. Thus, Trent found in the Apocrypha a justification for unbiblical Catholic traditions that were rejected by the Reformers.
Why, then, did Rome take so new and daring a position? Because, confronted by the Reformers, she lacked arguments to justify her unscriptural deviations. She declared that the Apocryphal books supported such doctrines as prayers for the dead (II Macc. 12:44); the expiatory sacrifice (eventually to become the Mass, II Macc. 12:39-46); alms giving with expiatory value, also leading to deliverance from death (Tobit 12:9; 4:10); invocation and intercession of the saints (II Macc. 15:14; Bar. 3:4); the worship of angels (Tobit 12:12); purgatory; and the redemption of souls after death (II Macc. 12:42, 46).8
Thus, a strong case can be made that the reason the Council of Trent declared the Apocrypha canonical was simply as a polemical maneuver to support Roman Catholic belief against the Protestant Reformation. To illustrate, two main doctrines in dispute during the Reformation, both supported by the Apocrypha, include salvation by faith/works (Tobit 12:9) and prayers for the dead (2 Macc. 12:45-46). Concerning these doctrines, the Catholic Church claims that they are scriptural because they are canonical (i.e., apocryphal). For example, concerning prayers for the dead in 2 Maccabees 12:39-36, we find the practice of postmortem intercession where the living are able to make "propitiation for the dead,"9 allegedly loosing them from the consequences of their sins and thus undergirding the Catholic doctrine of indulgences and prayers for the dead in purgatory:
the troops of Judas went to pick up the corpses of the slain they discovered under the shirts of every one of the dead men amulets of the idols of Jamniaa practice forbidden the Jews by law. All saw at once that this was why they had perished [by the Lords judgment] and all betook themselves to supplication, beseeching that the sin committed might be wholly blotted out [Judah] collected from them, man by man, the sum of two thousand drachmas of silver, which he forwarded to Jerusalem for a sin-offering. In this he acted quite rightly and properly . Hence he made propitiation for the dead that they might be released from their sin.10
Notice however that these verses 1) do not even mention purgatory and 2) actually reject the Catholic doctrine of purgatory by teaching that deliverance of soldiers who had died in the mortal, and hence unforgivable, sin of idolatry. Regardless,
The acceptance of the Apocrypha at the Council of Trent is suspect because: ...it was used against Luther in support of the Roman Catholic position . [Further] Not all of the Apocrypha was accepted. Only 11 of the 14 books were and one of those admitted books (2 Esdras) is against prayers for the dead .11
We emphasize once again! Material that is either contradictory, legendary or heretical can hardly be accorded canonical status. The canonical books clearly oppose salvation by works (Galatians chs. 2 & 3) and praying for the dead (Hebrews 9:27; 2 Samuel 12:19; Luke 16:25-26). Stories such as those found in "Bel and the Dragon" are clearly legendary and therefore unauthentic as are the "Additions to Esther," "Prayer of Azriah," "Tobit," "Susanna and Judith." At other places the teaching of the Apocrypha is even immoral, e.g., where Judith was allegedly assisted by God in an immoral action (Judith 9:10-13). Both "Wisdom" and "Ecclesiasticus" teach morality based on expedience. Again, there are numerous errors in the Apocrypha. William H. Green concisely observes: "The books of Tobit and Judith abound in geographical, chronological, and historical mistakes, so as not only to vitiate the truth of the narratives they contain, but to make it doubtful whether they even rest upon a basis of fact."12 This probably explains why "Many of the great Fathers of the early church spoke out against the Apocrypha, for example, Origen, Cyril of Jerusalem, and Athanasius."13
Quid est veritas? The Church teaches and Catholics believe that Scripture is a significant part of the Revealed Word but is not 100% of the Revealed Word. No amount of arguing in this forum is going to change Catholic teaching or any educated Catholic's beliefs. I do not hope to change your views either.
Jesus spent three years preparing the 12 Apostles for their ministry. During that time he gave no written assignments or notes. Jesus wrote nothing down. The only reference to him writing anything was in the sand. Jesus then commanded the Apostles to go and preach the Word. He did not give them a book, training materials or written instructions. They took with them the Tradition. It was entirely oral and remained so for the hundreds of years it took to produce the Bible.
Even after the Bible was created there were hundreds of years in which there were very few capable of actually reading it so Christianity remained a Traditional faith.
There are hundreds of versions of the bible and many thousands of interpretations of the so-called simple, plain, clear, self-explanitory and self-interpreting writings. In this context you would have me accept that the millions of interpreters. You can keep the all of that with the added complexity of the many millions of farm hands and milk maids all clammering about what it the Truth. I am content with my Bible, my Church and the Magisterium.
I get the point you are trying to express but there is no "seemingly arbitrary" nature to our arguments. Plain and simple, the books added to the Old Testament that were NEVER considered canonical by either the Jews NOR the early Christians have quite understandable reasons for being excluded from that Holy consideration. I think to be consistent with what has ALWAYS been regarded as divinely-inspired Holy Scripture, certain "IN-significant portions" of wrongly accounted Scripture SHOULD be disregarded as such. No one's saying you cannot READ them and glean whatever edification you can from them, just accept that they are NOT in the same league as the other canonical books and, because of that, they are not reliable for instructions on doctrine. Now, wasn't that easy? ;o)
Rudderless. Each individual on their own. I think you have to ignore the Church in Holy Scripture to get to this.
That is a VERY salient point! If the intent of Biblical scribes, translators and copiers was to have presented as "clean" and "error-free" product as they could, then why DID they leave in these presumed errors? Your link explains that quite well:
It is to the credit of those who have passed down the Bible to us in our own langauges - those that actually DID - that they preserved the word of God as it was written and trusted the author to mean what he said and say what he meant. I trust the Bible because it is trustworthy.
If you noticed, the words from the source spoke of historical AND verifiable facts concerning these books. Rather than throw up the smokescreen of "who is your source" and "how do I know they are authoritative", why not simply verify if what they said actually happened? I realize that this is the "go to" argument when the facts cannot be refuted, but don't you think we are all wise to that by now? Obviously, whatever source "we" quote will be unacceptable to "you" and, though it is a convenient subterfuge tactic, it can only work for so long. Y'all have started a dialog, a conversation, where you have criticized others who do not hold to the same viewpoint as you about the contents of the Bible. Why not refute the facts as they are presented? Reverting to the "Is it up to everyone to be their own authority on what is an authoritative source?" canard is more than a little insulting at this stage. Don't you think?
I was born, but not yesterday! Have you forgotten that Jesus DID tell the disciples that the Holy Spirit would come to them and would "bring back to your remembrance all the things I have taught you"? Do you think that the Apostles just might have realized that Jesus was not coming back in their shortening lifetimes and that they need to write down what he taught? Have you forgotten that Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul, James and Jude wrote down the additional revelation given to them by the Holy Spirit so that these truths could be disseminated throughout the Christian world? Now who do you think gave them the idea to do that?
Your contention that "It was entirely oral and remained so for the hundreds of years it took to produce the Bible" is patently FALSE and I am kinda surprised you said that. An "educated" Catholic would certainly, or SHOULD certainly, know that as the epistles were written they were copied and sent out. Just because there was not a "formal" collection of these books called THE BIBLE, doesn't mean they were not accorded the same exact respect and obedience afforded to "oral" teachings from these same leaders of the early church.
I have no illusions of "changing" your mind, but I will stand up for the truth of the Gospel and the authority of the Holy Scriptures regardless. There are souls you nor I may never know about who are won to the Lord through these exchanges and I hold this possibility in mind with everything I say.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from Gods sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12-13)