What Is the Bible Published Prior to the King James Revision?

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What is the Bible published prior to the King James revision, so we can read it without the Kingly interpretation? What is the oldest version of Bible at all published, 1900+ years ago? Can I buy it on Amazon?

The answer is neither one is more “trustworthy.” There are three differences between these two fine translations - one is the textual base - the NASB is translated from the “modern critical text,” which supposed considers all the available Greek manuscripts, however the “modern critical text” has a definite bias against the majority text. The King James was “translated” (it was actually a revision of the “Bishop’s Bible” although most of it is original translation) from what has come to be known as the “textus receptus” (recieved text). This Greek text was actually compiled from a very few manuscripts - but those “few” manuscripts actually are in agreement with the vast majority of all our extant manuscripts. The real differences between these manuscripts are minimal and if gathered together would cover about a double-page spread in your average Bible. The differences in text base accounts for some of the differences in the translations. The real difference comes in the philosophy of translation - the NASB is an example of word equivalence - replacing each Greek word with an English word, while the King James shares this overall philosophy, it does tend to be slightly more interpretive. An example of this is the phrase “God forbid” which occurs 15 times in the King James Version and is a translation of the Greek phrase, me genoito. The Greek word for “God” theos does not occur in any of those passages, but the KJV translators have used a phrase that English readers would understand. The NASB translates that phrase as may it never be - from a strict translational point of view that is more accurate, but it doesn’t carry the import the the KJV does. The third difference between the translations is that when the KJV was translated scholars reaaly didn’t have any other exampes of the Greek of the New Testament - it was thought to be Holy Spirit Greek. In the ensuing time, many other documents were discovered and we now know that the Greek of the New Testament was the Koine (common) Greek of the first century. This has clarified the meaning of some obscure Greek words as we can see examples of how the language was used. Is one “better” than the other? Both are fine translations which reaffirm ALL the cardinal doctrines of orthodox Christianity and the choice of which translation to use is a matter of personal preference. You can also add into that category the NKVJ and the ESV.

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The problem as these things go is that a translation can have a profound impact on the reader's experience of a piece of text (the so-called “content”). If you have never read the Bible, then I'm sure you will say “Wow! This book is so beautiful! It reminds me as if it were a painting by the artist who painted it! No translation can equal it!” This is true. But you may have read several translations and noticed a pattern in the way different translations have interpreted (or not interpreted) the same passages. So for example, the Gospel of Matthew contains no less than ten passages that are described as “beautiful verses” in the Gospel of Matthew (i.e. the text itself), but in all other translations the passages are interpreted as being “dark”, or “skewed” by modern interpreters. One of the most famous of these is.