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Bible Dictionaries

Morrish Bible Dictionary

Version, the Revised English

This originated with a resolution passed in the Convocation of Canterbury in the year 1870. A Committee of Revisers was appointed for the Old Testament and another for the New, and the work was proceeded with. The New Testament was published in May, 1881.

Besides the few remarks with regard to this Revision under VARIOUS READINGS, as to the violation of the principles laid down for the guidance of the Revisers, both as to the Greek text they should adopt, and as to the translation — a few further notesare added.

The Revisers in their Preface speak enthusiastically of the Authorised Version, stating how they admired "its simplicity, its dignity, its power, its happy turns of expression, its general accuracy," and did not fail to add, "the music of its cadences, and the felicities of its rhythm."

In contrast to this, Bishop Chr. Wordsworth says, of the R.V., "To pass from the one to the other is as it were, to alight from a well-built and well-hung carriage which glides easily over a macadamised road — and to get into one which has bad springs, or none at all, and in which you are jolted in ruts with aching bones over the stones of a newly-mended and rarely- traversed road."

The mere style of the English is of little consequence in comparison to giving the sense of the original without any room for uncertainty. The same writer says, "We meet in every page with small changes, which are vexatious, teasing, and irritating, even the more so because they are small; which seem almost to be made for the sake of change."

To this may be added the marginal notes of readings by 'some' or 'many' authorities, which leave the reader in doubt as to the text in many places.

On the other hand, Bishop Ellicott and others have strongly defended the Revision both as to its Greek basis and its translation. But Bishop Ellicott was chairman of the revising committee.

In conclusion, a writer, well versed in scripture, and a Greek scholar, who fully acknowledges that the Version has many improvements on the A.V., after pointing out many errors, says, "On the whole, I accuse the Revisers of having mischievously erred as to the use of prepositions, particularly ἐν, to have been entirely ignorant of the force of the definite article, and to have made a complete mess of the Greek aorist, blundering as to Greek and English . . . . I do not find the mind of God apprehended, so as to help a simple Christian; nor do I find, though the grace of Almighty God is referred to, any reference to the Spirit of God as Author, or as help in the work . . . . I believe that a person who takes it up for his daily use will injure his own soul."

The Revisers had an avowed Unitarian amongst them, and how could God bless such dishonour on His beloved Son?

All the above remarks refer to the New Testament. A different company translated the Old Testament. In that, the Hebrew text did not need much revision, and it does not appear that its translation has met with such censure.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Version, the Revised English'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/mbd/v/version-the-revised-english.html. 1897.

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