(1) There were instructions given to the translators that were intended to limit the Puritan influence on this new translation. The Bishop of London added a qualification that the translators would add no marginal notes (which had been an issue in the Geneva Bible). King James cited two passages in the Geneva translation where he found the marginal notes offensive: Exodus 1:17, where the Geneva Bible had commended the example of civil disobedience showed by the Hebrew midwives; and also II Chronicles 15:16, where the Geneva Bible had criticised King Asa for not having executed his idolatrous mother, Queen Maachah. Further, the King gave the translators instructions designed to guarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology of the Church of England. Certain Greek and Hebrew words were to be translated in a manner that reflected the traditional usage of the church. For example, old ecclesiastical words such as the word 'church' were to be retained and not to be translated as 'congregation'. The new translation would reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and traditional beliefs about an ordained clergy.
The King's instructions included several requirements that kept the new translation familiar to its listeners and reader. The Text of the Bishops' Bible would serve as the primary guide for the translators, and the familiar proper names of the biblical characters would all be retained. If the Bishops' Bible was deemed problematic in any situation, the translators were permitted to consult other translations from a pre-approved list: the Tyndale Bible, the Coverdale Bible, Matthew's Bible, the Great Bible, and the Geneva Bible. In addition, later scholars have detected an influence on the Authorized Version from the translations of Taverner's Bible and the New Testament of the Douai-Rheims Bible. It is for this reason that the flyleaves of most printings of the Authorized Version observe that the text had been "translated out of the original tongues, and with the former translations diligently compared and revised (by His Majesty's special command.)"
The task of translation was undertaken by 47 scholars, although 54 were originally approved. All were members of the Church of England and except Sir Henry Savile were ordained priests. The scholars worked in six committees, two based in each of the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, and Westminster. The committees included scholars with Puritan sympathies, as well as High Churchmen. Forty unbound copies of the 1602 edition of the Bishops' Bible were specially printed so that the agreed changes of each committee could be recorded in the margins. The committees worked on certain parts separately, and then the drafts produced by each committee were compared and revised for harmony with each other. The scholars were not paid directly for their translation work, instead a circular letter was sent to bishops encouraging them to consider the translators for appointment to well paid livings as these fell vacant. Several were supported by the various colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, while others were promoted to bishoprics, deaneries and prebends through royal patronage.
started work towards the end of 1604. King James I of England, on
"Right trusty and well beloved, we greet you well. Whereas we have appointed certain learned men, to the number of 4 and 50, for the translating of the Bible, and in this number, divers of them have either no ecclesiastical preferment at all, or else so very small, as the same is far unmeet for men of their deserts and yet we in ourself in any convenient time cannot well remedy it, therefor we do hereby require you, that presently you write in our name as well to the Archbishop of York, as to the rest of the bishops of the province of Cant.(erbury) signifying unto them, that we do well, and straitly charge everyone of them... that (all excuses set apart) when we prebend or parsonage... shall next upon any occasion happen to be void... we may commend for the same some such of the learned men, as we shall think fit to be preferred unto it... Given unto our signet at out palace of West.(minister) on the 2 and 20th of July, in the 2nd year of our reign of England, France, and of Ireland, and of Scotland xxxvii." 
They all had completed their sections by 1608: the Apocrypha committee finishing first. From January 1609, a General Committee of Review met at Stationers' Hall, London to review the completed marked texts from each of the six companies. The committee included John Bois, Andrew Downes, John Harmar, and others known only by their initials, including "AL" (who may be Arthur Lake) and were paid for their attendance by the Stationers' Company. John Bois prepared a note of their deliberations (in Latin) - which has partly survived in a later transcript. Also surviving are a bound-together set of marked-up corrections to one of the forty Bishops' Bibles - covering the Old Testament and Gospels, and also a manuscript translation of the text of the Epistles, excepting those verses where no change was being recommended to the readings in the Bishops' Bible. Archbishop Bancroft insisted on having a final say, making fourteen changes; of which one was the term "bishoprick" at Acts 1:20.
King James Under New Version in
(2) It is important to understand that the production of the KJ
version was ordered and controlled by James I of
So, the "authority" of that translation is in no way of God. In other words: It has no "authorisation". But, one can view the matter even this way: The King James bible is not without reason called "authorised version". The translators who produced it, wrote in a lot of "authority" for a "priesthood", as well as "power" and "rights" for the king (James), into that translation.
James actually claimed that it would be right to call him "god". He saw himself as a "heavenly king" with a "divine right" to rule. He claimed he was "not answerable to any man". He ordered and controlled a bible-translation; support for his claims were then dutifully written into it. (There is more on the "divine right" dogma, below, and also in the essay ew02c.htm which is about worldly rulers.)
Regarding that phrase "Authorised Version" - the word "authority" comes from Latin auctor which meant "the originator", "the author". James the king had no "biblical authority". He could not "authorise" a bible. The only true "biblical authorities" are the real originators of books of the Bible: Jesus and God the Father.
The essay bible06c.htm has more on "biblical authority".
Regarding the KJ version and religious titles.
That is a truly interesting area of study. First, as an example, the word "deacon". Sometimes, the men who produced the KJ version, did not translate the Greek word diakonos (which meant "aider", "attendant", "servant") but used instead the corruption "deacon". But mostly, they "translated" it with the Latin word "minister".
Why did those translators use the Latin word minister, instead of translating diakonos properly as "attendant", "aider", "servant" or "helper"? Most probably, the answer is that they did not want it to be known that in the New Testament, elders were commonly referred to by the noun diakonos, a word which meant "attendant", "aider", "servant", "helper".
It is said that James personally gave special orders that certain words were to be used, while others were not to be used. It is said that he wanted the wording to be "church", instead of the more proper "assembly" or "congregation", and "bishop" (a corruption of a Greek word, not a translation) or "minister" instead of the more clear "elder". And so on.
A note: The
seven men elected by the saints in
Support for church hierarchies was written into the KJ bible,
through the unbiblical concepts 'ranks' and 'ordination'.
"Ranks" and "ordination" were "written in", without any basis for that in the Greek text. Why was that done? Most probably because James wanted his church (the Church of England) to be controlled by a hierarchical system. It is said that he felt, "No bishop, no king." That is, if James could control a level of "higher churchmen", who in their turn controlled the local churches and their priests, that would more or less guarantee that the church he had made himself the "head" of, would support him and secure his own power-position.
So, he had such things written into the new translation which he had ordered to be produced. He saw to it that men of his liking had "high" positions in the Church of England; then he made an unholy alliance with those men. They helped him to stay in power, and he recompensed them for that help.
Also, the KJ version makes it seem that elders "ruled", in the saints' fellowships. There, the translators used shrewdly chosen wordings and gave a totally upside-down turned picture of the apostle Paul's teachings. The essay ee04c.htm has more on that subject.
Another area where the KJ version is very misleading, is that of "religious titles". The essay ea08b.htm has more on this.
The so-called 'divine right of kings'.
The Geneva Bible (an English translation published in 1560) had marginal notes which were not favourable to dictators. That disturbed James. So, he ordered a new translation to be made, one where the marginal notes were acceptable to James.
Among the dogmas which James arranged to be "written in" the translation he had ordered, was the concept of a supposed divine right of kings. He had some truly incredible claims about himself. In a speech to the parliament (which James regarded as nothing), he claimed that
"kings are iustly called Gods", and that "they haue power of raising, and casting downe: of life, and of death: Iudges ouer all their subiects, and in all causes, and yet accomptable [accountable] to none but God onely", and even, "I conclude then this point touching the power of Kings, with this Axiome of Diuinitie, That as to dispute what God may doe, is Blasphemie; but quid vult Deus [what God wants], that Diuines may lawfully, and doe ordinarily dispute and discusse; for to dispute A Posse ad Esse [from 'may be' to 'is'] is both against Logicke and Diuinitie: So is it sedition in Subiects, to dispute what a King may do in the height of his power".
The translators whom James put to work, and perhaps more the final editor who revised their work, saw to it that James' claims about a "divine right" were written into that new translation. Later translations have then copied those things. Thus, even though there is no biblical basis for the "divine right" dogma, it is in some ways found in many translations of the Bible.
Now, understanding these things in full is not possible without knowing some things about the Knight-Templars and about Freemasonry. (It is said that James was a Knight-Templar.) But that is a subject too large to be included here. May it be enough to say that some Knight-Templars and Freemasons have claimed that that "kingly lineage" is inherited from ancient times, even from times before the Flood. (Yes, that refers to beings, or a special kindred, who lived before the Flood.)
A part of that story was also the Knight-Templar relic stone on which James sat when he was coronated. That stone is connected to occult things too sinister to be mentioned here, but in short, the story is that a stone of some kind "came down from heaven" (from the stars) and that it somehow is connected to a "heavenly bloodline". That seems to be the origin of the concept of "blue blood"; blue was not the colour of the blood but that of heaven. That story has it that that "divine bloodline" came from "the gods who came down from heaven, mating with human women". These things might sound strange, but that is the actual story around that Knight-Templar (Freemason) mystery stone upon which James I also was coronated. The essay ey14b.htm more on that "stone" matter.
Many claim, echoing the KJ version's claims, that the rulers of this world supposedly are "appointed by God" and "continually in his service". Is that so? Was Genghis Khan "appointed by God" and "in his service"? Or Mao Tse Tung? What about Joseph Stalin, Lenin, Mussolini, Pol Pot, or any of the other great tyrants and butchers? Or - other rulers of this world? No, of course not. The "problem" is caused by bible-translations which have been made at the order and under the control of the worldly rulers.
The essay ew02c.htm has more on the rulers of this age (worldly rulers).
A note: The
dogma about a supposed divine right of kings seems to originate with old
"sun-god" religions such as Mithraism. Stones are important symbols
in many of those religions.
Another note: The KJ version makes it seem that people should "follow preachers". That is based on a twisted way of translating the apostle Paul's words. What Paul really said (in the Greek text) was not "follow me", but instead, "imitate my example". The essay em03b.htm shows what Paul's example really was. A lot more could be said about the KJ version.
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