Who was Archbishop Newcombe? (translation question)


#1

I was doing some research, and found a Watchtower booklet that quotes a version of the new testament that translates John 1:1 as saying “the word was a god.” This is not the JW’s very poor New World Translation. But they are trying to support their NWT by quoting others, and they quote a publication from the early 1800’s that had a title that went something like “The New Testament, an improved version based on the work of Archbishop Newcombe” or similar. I think it was published in London, about 1808, as I recall.

Does anyone know if this Newcombe was Catholic? I can’t believe the RCC would sanction such a poor translation. Can anyone shed any light on who this guy was, or what the publication was?

Thanks


#2

It appears that the person in question is Archbishop William Newcome (1729-1800), an archbishop in the Church of Ireland, part of the Anglican Communion, I think. Anyway, he is not listed at www.catholic-hierarchy.org.

The following description of his Bible translation is from
www.bible-researcher.com/versbib8.html#newcome1796:

  1. William Newcome, An Attempt toward revising our English Translation of the Greek Scriptures, or the New Covenant of Jesus Christ; and toward illustrating the sense by philological and explanatory notes. 2 Vols. London: for J. Johnson; Dublin: John Exshaw, 1796. A revision of the KJV by Archbishop Newcome, based on the text of Griesbach 1774. This was the first English version to represent Griesbach’s new critical text.

#3

Hey, thanks. That web listing of bible versions was helpful. The specific translation was on the 1800’s page, and was a revision of Necombe’s work by a guy named Thomas Belsham, a unitarian who revised Newcombe to fit his own purposes. So until I find more info, Mr. Newcombe’s reputation is still OK. It’s this guy Belsham who should be ashamed of himself. And they were based on a greek text by Griesbach, who apparently wasn’t as careful as he should have been, either. The source of the translation being unitarian explains why they’d want to mis-translate John 1:1. Thanks again.


#4

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