1611 King James


#1

What is the Catholic Churches official position regarding the 1611 King James translation? How accurate is it? What errors are there? (the original publications included the apocrypha, but modern versions don’t)


#2

[quote=Chris LaRock]What is the Catholic Churches official position regarding the 1611 King James translation? How accurate is it? What errors are there? (the original publications included the apocrypha, but modern versions don’t)
[/quote]

I don’t think the Church has an “official position” on the KJV, per se (As you must know, the Church does not an “official” position on everything).

I think from various Church documents it can be intuited that Catholics should primarily read Catholic translations. For example, from the Constitution On Divine Revelation from Vatican Council II:

Easy access to Sacred Scripture should be provided for all the Christian faithful. That is why the Church from the very beginning accepted as her own that very ancient Greek translation; of the Old Testament which is called the septuagint; and she has always given a place of honor to other Eastern translations and Latin ones especially the Latin translation known as the vulgate. But since the word of God should be accessible at all times, the Church by her authority and with maternal concern sees to it that suitable and correct translations are made into different languages, especially from the original texts of the sacred books. And should the opportunity arise and the Church authorities approve, if these translations are produced in cooperation with the separated brethren as well, all Christians will be able to use them.
Dei Verbum, 22

Of course Catholics can and do reference the KJV and other versions to supplement their study of God’s Word. But common sense dictates that if what they read in either the text or accompanying notes found in non-Catholic versions contradicts established Church teaching, they should be regarded as erroneous and dismissed.


#3

I actually have two Catholic bibles. They’re neat, but harder to come by than protestant bibles.

What inaccuracies to the text of the KJV are there?


#4

Hey, Chris! There are textual probems with the KJV that even Protestant scholars take issue with. That said, how can you not LOVE it? I know you are a convert (or converting), as am I. We cut our teeth on that language; it saturates our culture. Today on the overhead PA system in the supermarket, an announcement stated that “here at XXXX, we go the extra mile”. If you have any proficiency at all with scripture, based on your familiarity with the KJV, there is no need to dump it. How could any of us get on without our Strong’s Exhaustive?

I was reading a book by a Cistercian on lectio divina, and the author recommends resorting to Strong’s when one is following a thematic thread in meditation . . . .

You need to KNOW what the differences are between a Catholic and a non-Catholic translation, but even a smattering of Greek or Hebrew can put you on the right page with that.

I say, go for it! You never need to toss anything from your formation that served you well; you may need to adjust your view of it but you don’t need to trash it out of hand.


#5

I know that the KJV uses the word ‘slave’, when ‘servant’ or ‘employee’ would be more accurate.


#6

[quote=Chris LaRock]I actually have two Catholic bibles. They’re neat, but harder to come by than protestant bibles.

What inaccuracies to the text of the KJV are there?
[/quote]

There’s a whole web page dedicated to this, in fact. I don’t agree the author on everything he says (he tends to be a pacifist liberal and I’m neither), but he brings up some interesting points about translations. Take it for what it’s worth:
bibletexts.com/topics/kjv.htm


#7

[quote=mercygate]If you have any proficiency at all with scripture, based on your familiarity with the KJV, there is no need to dump it. How could any of us get on without our Strong’s Exhaustive?

I was reading a book by a Cistercian on lectio divina, and the author recommends resorting to Strong’s when one is following a thematic thread in meditation . . . .
[/quote]

This is a pretty cool idea. Believe it or not, I’ve found my Strong’sworks well with the RSV-CE. I say, go for it! You never need to toss anything from your formation that served you well; you may need to adjust your view of it but you don’t need to trash it out of hand. Agreed! I’d *never * throw a Bible out!


#8

If you want a good Catholic translation that has a KJV-ish feel, you should look at the Douey-Rhimes.


#9

[quote=fantrl]If you want a good Catholic translation that has a KJV-ish feel, you should look at the Douey-Rhimes.
[/quote]

Agreed, the Challoner version of the Douay-Rheims is a wonderful translation that is translated from a Catholic point of view and contains the entire bible. Bishop Challoner when revising the Douay-Rheims made use of the Authorized 1600 (KJV) so they both often have a very similar feel.


#10

The Douay-Rheims Challoner can be found at that link. I have 3 favorites.

The DRVC (above), The RSV-CE (Ignatius Press), and of course, the New American Bible.

Of the two, I prefer the DRVC to the 1611.
Pax tecum,


#11

[quote=AugustineFL]Agreed, the Challoner version of the Douay-Rheims is a wonderful translation that is translated from a Catholic point of view and contains the entire bible. Bishop Challoner when revising the Douay-Rheims made use of the Authorized 1600 (KJV) so they both often have a very similar feel.
[/quote]

Actually the douai Rheims New testament was one of the versions used in the formation of the KJV, Although the KJV depends mainly on Tyndale.

The KJV has several poor translations and glossed verses since it used poor quality originals. It is also the first version to wrongly use “Highly favoured” instead of “Full of Grace” for Gabriel’s greeting to Mary.


#12

[quote=Axion]Actually the douai Rheims New testament was one of the versions used in the formation of the KJV, Although the KJV depends mainly on Tyndale.
[/quote]

Yes, the Douay-Rheims was used by the translators of the KJV…however the Challoner version of the Douay-Rheims then borrowed from the KJV.

So our original Douay-Rheims helped out the protestants in their translating and then their KJV helped us out when Bishop Challoner revised the Douay-Rheims.

[quote=Axion]The KJV has several poor translations and glossed verses since it used poor quality originals. It is also the first version to wrongly use “Highly favoured” instead of “Full of Grace” for Gabriel’s greeting to Mary.
[/quote]

That is exactly why I would never recommend the KJV to anyone as a bible of choice. I actually have KJV that contains the deuterocanonicals and some apocryphal books; but even with all the books of the bible I wouldn’t recommend it for a Catholic bible study or devotional purposes.

I was raised on the KJV so I retain some attachment to it; but I rejoice that I’ve found the Church and now have the full bible.


#13

[quote=Chris LaRock]What inaccuracies to the text of the KJV are there?
[/quote]

University of North Carolina New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman (a Protestant) observed in a recent book:

“The King James Version is filled with places in which the translators rendered a Greek text derived ultimately from Erasmus’s [Greek New Testament] edition, which was based on a single twelfth-century manuscript that is one of the worst of the manuscripts that we now have available to us! It’s no wonder that modern translations often differ from the King James…” (Misquoting Jesus, p. 209).

The flaws of the KJV flow from the particular Greek manuscript tradition upon which it is based. Of course, every translation has its own idiosyncrasies and weaknesses, but the KJV is far more deeply flawed than most.

Truly,
Don


#14

[quote=Chris LaRock]What is the Catholic Churches official position regarding the 1611 King James translation? How accurate is it? What errors are there? (the original publications included the apocrypha, but modern versions don’t)
[/quote]

I think that’s an excellent question, especially given the incorporation of the Anglican Use in the Latin Rite.

Because the KJV grew out of earlier translations (e.g., Tyndale, Geneva, etc.) and several of those translations were made from the Latin Vulgate, the KJV frequently retains the Latin Vulgate’s translation or style. There are verses where the translators went out of their way to find a non-Catholic substitute to the traditional translation (e.g., “Hail, thou that art highly favored”).

If you buy an Anglican edition of the KJV you should be able to get the rest of the deutero-canonical books recognized by Catholics. Keep in mind that the KJV apocrypha also includes 3&4 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasses, which aren’t considered canonical by Catholics (but were included in the Douay Rheims bible when it was first published).

Between the RSV, the JB, and the NAB, I have known many good and holy priests who have counseled to go with the Douay Rheims or King James Version.

A translation that brought Cardinal Newman into the Catholic Faith is not likely to lead you out of it.


#15

Since you’re being kind enough to point me to good Catholic translations, I’ll mention one non-Catholic bible I enjoy. It’s called the evidence bible. It has great foot notes and shows you how to answer popular objections to the gospel and how to witness to people of other faiths. You might be able to get a cheap copy from online. Like a fool, I got mine from a Christian book store for WAY more than I should’ve spent. It was worth it though.

I heard from Catholics that the KJV has alterations to the texts to support protestantism. Is that true?


#16

[quote=Chris LaRock]…I heard from Catholics that the KJV has alterations to the texts to support protestantism. Is that true?
[/quote]

Verily Verily I say unto thee, this is true indeed, Amen. But mainly the Kings reason for his own Bible was to protect his throne. The Geneva Bible (1560 & 1599 versions) was the popular Bible of the day. As a matter of fact, the Pilgrams used that version here in the US and would have burned the KJV as evil if you tried to give them one.:wink: Anyway, the Geneva Bible and others had footnotes in them that said you did not have to obey the rulers, Kings and Pharos. This meant that the king, who was having trouble keeping his throne, had to fight the Bible to keep his power. So the answer was? Hand pick 40 translators loyal to you (and the hangmans noose if not) and have them ‘write’ a Bible to meet your needs. After all, the king is the head of the church, right? Those needs were to support the kings opinions in theology and to eliminate ALL foot notes and have nothing that would give a person the right to disobey the king.

I have a modern copy of the AKJV of 1611. I use it when I witness to Protestants. It is OK for a Protestant version of Go’s word but does have numerous errors:

St. Mt 6:13 “…thine is the kingdom the power and glory forever…” not in origional text.

The greek word ergo is also translated as deeds or doing when it supports Catholic theology and is translated as works when it appears to support the Kings theology. There same word ergo is translated to slew opions depending on where and how it is used, not to reflect the true meaning of the writer.:tsktsk:

Click here and here too.

JMJ


#17

[quote=SFH] A translation that brought Cardinal Newman into the Catholic Faith is not likely to lead you out of it.
[/quote]

Ain’t that the truth!

When doing textual analysis in English ('cause I’m too lazy to go chase down the Greek, and my Hebrew stinks), I often compare three or four translations. The “best” is the RSV, and I don’t even own the CE yet. I’ll use the New English Bible, Jerusalem, KJV, Douay-Rheims side-by-side.

I love it when the KJV translates a verse in a way that better exemplifies Catholic theology than even the Catholic versions.


#18

since the original KJV has been revised several times to remove inaccuracies in the translation and errors in the typesetting, even those under whose auspices it was prepared and disseminated evidently found problems with it. as I understand it, since the 30s the RSV is the standard for Anglicans.


#19

Do Catholics veiw the KJV with hostility? (as I veiw the NWT, in other words - as inacurrate, altered, and biased.)


#20

[quote=Chris LaRock]Do Catholics veiw the KJV with hostility? (as I veiw the NWT, in other words - as inacurrate, altered, and biased.)
[/quote]

Some do. A few Catholics fall into the trap of looking negatively upon anything that came out of Protestantism. However, in general, no. The KJV is a very pretty translation, and many Catholics do like it. Some like it for its literal translation, and others for its poetic sound. In fact, the Protestant reliance on the KJV is beneficial because many of the passages were translated with language that is most definitely Catholic.

Of course we all recognize that the KJV is of course incomplete without the deuterocanon (though the original 1611 version contained this).


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