“Many men's mouths have been open a good while (and yet are not stopped) with speeches about the translation so long in hand, or rather perusals of translations made before, and ask what may be the reason, what the necessity of the employment. Hath the church been deceived, say they, all this while?”
The very accusations we deal with today. Why, if we dare bring to the fore a word or two that has been hidden, what are we saying about the people who did not have the advantage of those words for centuries? The obvious answer is that nothing that concerns our salvation or sanctification has been lacking from the very first century until now!
This argument continues…Have we been short-changed in the past?
“ ‘We hoped that we had been in the right way, that we had had the oracles of God delivered unto us, and that though all the world had cause to be offended and to complain, yet that we had none. Hath the nurse holden out the breast, and nothing but wind in it? Hath the bread been delivered by the Fathers of the Church, and the same proved to be lapidosus, as Seneca speaketh? What is it to handle the word of God deceitfully, if this be not?’
“Thus certain brethren.
" ‘Was their translation good before? Why do they now mend it? Was it not good? Why then was it obtruded to the people? Yea, why did the Catholics (meaning popish Romanists) always go in jeopardy, for refusing to go to hear it?’
“We will answer them both briefly; and the former, being brethren, thus, with St. Jerome, ‘Do we condemn the ancient? In no case, but after the endeavors of them that were before us, we take the best pains we can in the house of God.’ As if he said, ‘Being provoked by the example of the learned men that lived before my time, I have thought it my duty, to assay whether my talent in the knowledge of the tongues may be profitable in any measure to God's church’
And we say today, “No, the KJV is not a bad translation. But we ‘take the best pains’ to make it better. This humility is a hallmark of the KJV translators, totally missing in the KJVO community.
Next, praise to the former translators! And yes, modern translators consistently praise the KJV for the work it represents. A fine translation, they will own. And now, let’s move on, they will add.
“And to the same effect say we, that we are so far off from condemning any of their labors that travailed before us in this kind, either in this land or beyond sea, either in King Henry's time or King Edward's (if there were any translation or correction of a translation in his time), or Queen Elizabeth's of ever renowned memory, that we acknowledge them to have been raised up of God, for the building and furnishing of his church, and that they deserve to be had of us and of posterity in everlasting remembrance. The judgment of Aristotle is worthy and well known:
“Therefore blessed be they, and most honoured be their name, that break the ice, and give the onset upon that which helpeth forward to the saving of souls. Now what can be more available thereto, than to deliver God's book unto God's people in a tongue which they understand?”
In a tongue which they understand! That is the point!
“so, if we building upon their foundation that went before us, and being holpen by their labours, do endeavor to make that better which they left so good, no man, we are sure, hath cause to mislike us”
Would that it were true today!
“they, we persuade ourselves, if they were alive, would thank us.”
And the NASB, ESV, NKJV people do thank the KJV people for what they did, indeed!
“For by this means it cometh to pass, that whatsoever is sound already the same will shine as gold more brightly, being rubbed and polished; also, if anything be halting, or superfluous, or not so agreeable to the original, the same may be corrected, and the truth set in place.”
Truth is what we are after, not tradition.
“An answer to the imputations of our adversaries…
“Now to the latter we answer that we do not deny--nay, we affirm and avow--that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our profession, (for we have seen none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God.”
Yet some KJVO folk will toss into the garbage or burn publicly, those translations that dare to veer from their Bible.
“As the king's speech, which he uttered in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and Latin, is still the king's speech, though it be not interpreted by every translator with the like grace, nor peradventure so fitly for phrase, nor so expressly for sense, everywhere.
“The Romanists therefore, in refusing to hear, and daring to burn the word translated, [take note KJVO!] did no less than despite the Spirit of grace, from whom originally it proceeded, and whose sense and meaning, as well as man's weakness would enable, it did express.”
“The translation of the Seventy [the Septuagint] dissenteth from the original in many places; neither doth it come near it, for perspicuity, gravity, majesty; yet which of the apostles did condemn it? Condemn it? Nay, they used it (as it is apparent, and as St. Jerome and most learned men do confess), which they would not have done, nor by their example of using it so grace and commend it to the church, if it had been unworthy the appellation and name of the word of God.”
Even an imperfect translation like the Septuagint should be considered the Word of God, and was so considered by the apostles!
Is it a fault to correct, Mr. KJVO? Has perfection ever come by a translation? Is it not the centuries long tradition of the church that only the original writings of the apostles in their original languages are considered perfect?
Can you dare to throw stones at godly men who want even more accuracy and modernity to the Holy Writings?