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KJV Church Words Controversy

Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:51 pm
by MPaul
In advocating modern versions, it seems a popular argument is, that as the KJV was "authorized" by the King and head of the Anglican Church, undue influence was exerted on the translators to have their work reflect the ecclesiology of the Church of England. Therefore, for instance, the translators were instructed -- to translate "ecclesia" as "church," rather than the more accurate "congregation" or "gathering;" -- and in general, to support traditional Anglican authority and lessen Puritan influence on the church.

Indeed, King James' instructions to the translators included --
“3. The old ecclesiastical words to be kept; as the word church, not to be translated congregation, &c." However, the modern version advocates are being less than honest in how the context for this instruction is established. There is a lot more to the situation, than the argument as above represented.

I refer now to Early Theories of Translation, by Flora Ross Amos, pp. 67,68, wherein she notes, that More accused Tyndale of deliberately mistranslating three words of great weight, "priests, church, charity," and substituting "seniors, congregation, love." Years later, other authorities submitted longer lists of words of concern as mistranslated. The debate over this issue continued for decades. And Flora Amos notes that a Grindall proposed a middle course of style of language, and in the Preface to the King James Bible, "The Translators to the Reader," it is specifically stipulated, that this middle course was followed.

What should we really believe about the position the KJV translators took on this issue? How much were they influenced by church and government instruction, or by Tyndale and the Puritans? Bible Analyzer software certainly would prove most helpful in doing a comparision of translations -- but that would still be a lot of work. However, does anyone know of a study already set out with such comparisons, and especially considering the Rhemish Testament?

Here is a quote by More on the subject --

'Wherefore we, understanding by the report of divers credible persons, and also by the evident appearance of the matter, that many children of iniquity ... blinded through extreme wickedness, wandering from the way of truth and the Catholic faith, craftily have translated the New Testament into our English tongue ... Of the which translation there are many books imprinted, some with glosses and some without, containing in the English tongue that pestiferous and most pernicious poison dispersed throughout all our diocese of London in great number, which ... without doubt will contaminate and infect the flock committed unto us, with most deadly poison and heresy ... we ... command that within thirty days ... under pain of excommunication and incurring the suspicion of heresy, they do bring in and really deliver to our Vicar-General all and singular such books as contain the translation of the New Testament in the English tongue.'

Re: KJV Church Words Controversy

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:12 pm
by MPaul
One of the books I am currently reading is In the Beginning by Alister McGrath, which is a detailed history of the KJV, and it is quite excellent. This book notes at page 117, that William Wittingham, the main force behind the creation of the Geneva Bible translation, published in 1560, made the decision to translate ekklesia as church, instead of congregation, on the basis of greater accuracy. Thus, it was recognized more than 50 before the KJV that based on literary considerations church was the best term of translation, which surely had nothing to do with supporting the Anglican Church, but the Geneva community actually was calling for reform of the church in England.

Hmm.... in considering bible translations why is there always so much distortion and outright lying? Because people have different reasons for supporting translations, which has everything to do with their status in the Christian community, rather than integrity.