WHICH VERSION? AUTHORIZED OR REVISED? (1924) By Philip Mauro

 

 

WHICH VERSION?
AUTHORIZED OR REVISED?
(1924)

By Philip Mauro

The present inquiry is in regard to the many differences, some of them quite serious, between the “Authorized,” or King James Version, first published in 1611, and the “Revised” Version of 1881. The total number of the departures of the latter from the former is over thirty-six thousand.

This raises some serious questions.

Why was such an enormous number of changes made? On what authority? Briefly, do they give us a better Version, that is, one that brings us nearer to the original autographs of the inspired Writings? And is the  Authorized Version so very defective as implied by such an enormous number of corrections?

Not only is this a matter of the highest consequence, but it is one as touching which the ordinary Bible reader would wish to have a well grounded opinion of his own.

Introduction to the Book
1. The Several Versions
2. The Various Greek Texts
3. The Ancient Codices. The Vatican Codex And The Siniatic.
4. Characteristics of the Two Oldest Manuscripts
5. The Principle of “Ancient Evidence Only” Examined.
6. The Procedure of the Revision Committee
7. Specific Examples of Textual Corruption
8. Changes in Translation
9. The Use Made of the Margin in the R.V.
10. Theory of Westcott and Hort Upon Which “The New Greek Text” Was Constructed
11. Conclusion

Introduction

Our purpose is to set forth information concerning the Authorized and Revised Versions of the New Testament, information which should be shared by all Bible readers, but is in the possession of only a few in our day.

The present inquiry is in regard to the many differences, some of them quite serious, between the “Authorized,” or King James Version, first published in 1611, and the “Revised” Version of 1881. The total number of the departures of the latter from the former is over thirty-six thousand.

This raises some serious questions.

Why was such an enormous number of changes made? On what authority? Briefly, do they give us a better Version, that is, one that brings us nearer to the original autographs of the inspired Writings? And is the Authorized Version so very defective as implied by such an enormous number of corrections?

Not only is this a matter of the highest consequence, but it is one as touching which the ordinary Bible reader would wish to have a well grounded opinion of his own. As a basis for such an opinion he must have knowledge of the pertinent facts; for the experts, the textual critics, editors, and Greek scholars, differ and dispute among themselves; and their discussions and dissertations abound in matters so technical and abstruse that ordinary persons cannot follow them. Therefore the conflicting opinions of the experts serve only to becloud the subject for the common people.

The pertinent facts themselves are not difficult to understand; but they are inaccessable to most Bible readers. Therefore we are writing these pages with the object mainly of setting forth such facts concerning the two rival Versions, the sources whence they were respectively derived, and the circumstances attending the coming into existence of the Revised Version, as have served as a basis for the writer’s own judgment. Those facts are not only supremely important, but are also absorbingly interesting. So it is not to a dry or tedious discussion that we invite the reader of this book, but to one of lively interest.

As to which is the better of the two Versions of the English Bible there is of course a difference of opinion. Those who favor the modern Version will point to the fact that, during the three hundred years that have elapsed since the A.V. was translated, much material has been discovered whereby additional light is thrown upon the Text. They also refer to the advancement in all departments of learning; and to the fact that the R.V. was the result of the labors of eminent scholars, who spent ten years upon its production.

All this is true; and other general facts of like import could be mentioned, all of which served to prepare the minds of English-speaking people everywhere to give a most favorable reception to the new Version. How comes it then that the King James Version has not only maintained its place of supremacy, but of late years has forged further and further ahead of its rival? This surely is a matter worthy of our thoughtful consideration.

Even so great an enemy of Christianity as H.G. Wells acknowledges that civilization owes both its origin and its preservation to the Bible. He has recently declared in print that “civilization we possess could not have come into existence, and could not have been sustained, without it.” Again he admits that “it is the Book that has held together the fabric of Western civilization;” that it has “unified and kept together great masses of people;” it is “the handbook of life to countless millions of men and women, it has explained the world to the mass of our people, and has given them moral standards and a form into which their consciences could work.”

Here is testimony which is all the more valuable because it comes from one of the most prominent of the enemies of the faith which rests for its support upon the Bible; and we wonder how any man, who is capable of grasping the facts thus admitted by Mr. Wells, can fail to see that a Book which has, through centuries of time, accomplished results so great in magnitude and so excellent in character, must needs be of super-human origin.

The facts, which Mr. Wells and other infidels are constrained to admit, concerning the influence of the Bible, and concerning the extent, duration, and above all the character of that influence among the peoples of the world, cannot be predicated, even in a small measure, of any other book. So here we have, in the outstanding facts which even the enemies of Christ are constrained to acknowledge, proof enough of the Divine authorship of the Holy Scriptures.

 See Chapter 2

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