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CAN ii ii ii n i ii ii ii ii it ii it ii iv t 11 it tJT y IRfilWn ! Iqjl U Tl3R FAMOUS L SUPREME BRCW Most People, Including Not able Scholars, Are Content. With King James V ersion, Henrv Ford to the Con- - - ..., trary, Notwithstanding A REMARK made on the witness stand by Henry Ford to bo effect that ho had considered backing a plan to have the Bible re written In simple language started to life again the rumor that a committee of scholars, unknown or undesignated, s at work somewhere upon a re TUion of the Holy Book. To discover a band of linguistic divines working In secret on a task of so great and universal Interest would bo a sensation indeed, but ,lf they exist and are so employed they hive left no trail. The great publish- In; houses whoso main - output Is Bibles and religious volumes deny with one accord that there Is any such work being done. The King James version of the Bible issued to the people In 1611, fiVo years before the death of Shakespeare, Li the one still In general use. Published 300 years ago, 1b It osibIe that the Scriptures do not contain words and phrases that have sunk out of current use and become almost Impossible to understand? It I of course highly possible, but It Is not strange that despite these neolo tlsms people brought up on the King James version give a scant welcome to my other. The Bible as it reads there as their religious wet nurse Just as their poetic wet nurse was Shakespeare. Commentator after commentator has -wrought hla will with the text of Shakespeare's plays, but the poet's Holators pay little attention to these labors. They go on reading the bard whether they get his meaning or not la the obscure passages. Bible ITonao Denies Tale. Secretary Chamberlain of the Amer ican Bible House had this to say re cording the rumor that a new revision ot the Bible was under way and some thing more about the Bible In general ne; "This rumor Is constantly cropping up. but wo believe that we would be mong the first to hea"r of any new committee appointed by a religious dy to go back to the sources and "Vise the Scriptures. I think that It , aay be definitely denied. "In our distribution of Bibles, free ' w at a nominal cost, amounting In number to millions a year, wo are Prepared to say what version li wanted, and that la the St. Jamea vrsion. it bllll serves as the' basis 'or revisions and in now translations "ado for non-Englsh speaking peo- Wtt It Is an authority. "For an Instance, tho Arablo Bible, tl latest translation Into a tongue for amcng the Moslem races, Is taken 'rom the King James Bible. Between r and four aUUa H Urn REWRITING IMPROVE THE BIBLE? In Arabic have been distributed. The first missionary Bible was translated from that version by John Eliot for the American. Indians. It Is the King James version In Indian. "What people forget la that there has been thorough revision, so far as it was expedient or necessary. In the text of this authorized version, nor do they remember the labors of tho great English and American committees, carried on during'the years 1881-85. If they did remember these things and would consult tho standard edition of the Bible which resulted from these labors they would not talk so freely of the necessity of making a new version by going over translations and revert ing to the source manuscripts. The Revised Text Copyrighted. "This American Standard Blblo is copyrighted to insure purity of texts, and the date of copyright being 1901 it will soon expire. Then it Is possible that the Cost of this Bible, coming down, it may rival in popularity tho King James version. I cannot prophesy as to that and can but repeat that the King Jamos Bible is what the public wants. "On the question of simplifying the text of that version I may add that this was done by the great and com prehensive committee to which I have referred. Changes were not so great as many Hebrew scholars anticipated, but' where simplicity was tho object It was sought without weakening the dignity of the older and revered ver sion. In the frontlspleco of tho American Standard Bible may be read the fol lowing: "Being tho version set forth A. D. 1611, compared with the most ancient authorities and revised A. D. 1881-85, and newly edited by the American Re vision Committee A. D. 1901." The latter phrase demands explana tion. It Is given In thewords of Samuel F. Areson, secretary of Thomas Nelson & Sons : "At the completion of tho work of revision latest to date tho Ameri can revision committee was not satis fied that enough time had been given to 'the work, but accepted tho plea that the university presses of Oxford and Cambridge were calling for It, and claimed to bo satisfied if the Ameri cans' preferences in readings were pub lished as an appendix to the volumes. This bolng acceded tho American com mittee agreed not to publish or to countenance tho publication of any other revised edition of the Bible for a period of fourteen years. That em bargo of time expired in 1899, Tnthe Interim the American com- laltte onlln.u4 it labors. JEhey. did NEW YOFiC, SUNDAY, AUGUST 10, 1919. covvnau. win. tv ie sun print. COUR.T IKTffM , BIBLE Wfl Lfc (0XFOR.P RjiJ I 'REVISION) oris wnin WrZLTZX ,rwrT PRESIDENTS SSL HAVE, BEEN mLS r-. ' suborn WM Kjrr fn since sWh Lr 1 LJ so without compensation and with an unselfish desire to benefit their fel low men. They were divided into two companies, one taking the Old Testa ment and the other tho Now Testa ment. Expense Met T Subscription. "The expenses of the enterprise were met solely by tho voluntary subscrip tions of friends of tho work in this country. In the prosecution of its task the American committeo had the writ ten notes, records and opinions of every one who' had served on either the English or American boards. Tho members had in addition the advan tage of tho criticisms which the Eng lish revision had evoked and of the new light thrown on the subject by tho aroused .Interest of Hebrew and Greek scholars, "This continuous jwork to 1901 is, I believe," said Mr. Areson, "what has given rise to the rumor you are trying to- trace that a religious body Is at work on a new revision. In that year the standard revision Issued from the printing press. It has been so well ro. celved that another version should seem to be unnecessary, at least until the language changes. "And as for simplicity of language this' latest edition Is really a .simplified Bible.. It appears in language of every day UBe, but without weakening the dignity of tho old King James version. The copyright on tho volumo is not placed for commercial protection, but to Insure tho text purity. It has had no effect on the prlco of the Standard Bible, which is sold In its cheapest form for CO cents. 'Therefore neither to pro- euro a better nor a cheaper Bible need the labors of any new committee be utilized." George B. Day secretary of the American Revision Committee and of the Old Testament Company, and J. Henry Thayer, secretary of the New Testament Company, certify to the aforesaid Bible being the only one aur . thorized by the American Committee of Revision. The Pioneers Trying; Task. By comparison with the toll of these modern revisers some notion may bo gained of the all but Impossible task that the assembly of divines called to gether at Hampton Court undertook. They had no such aids as their mod ern brethren in discoveries in the- sci- entlflo and archaeological worlds, they wrought over, .impure text that wero Thecreation THE FIRST BOOKE OF MOSES, colled GENE SIS. CHAP. 1. ) ThtcrfioonofHfJUenindEjrth, Tine tjltf, 6 odhcfiraumeot, j cltbceinhfc fjuttd from the witett, 11 and nude fruit lull, 14 ofihSunnc,MoonfladSu(Tci, to dfifhindfowlf, 14 oUftiandut tc9, tt of Mm inthe huge of CoJ. 13 Al io lit ippota tmtnt of foou. sab rrtxtirj flit caam,anurnf X 4M WJ out fime. ami sovB.anoDarBcs 1 nrffV twit Tntvtn Miii 1 mini - - F " ,.. .r , vmp Ann the smutt ii sink ui y- of co& niooiuo upon UK fact or tot . -vHxtN, rtthmr Unfit: J - "X- rrnnoEStlKMtteNwa, iMAftftnncnn rxtttfirfi'the BflK ITOin - - - - - s iiB wuu t4iw w . - mo let a W86c ttKttawsfrontl) T aBW oeo nuMi w"""' FIRST PAGE of TEXT, KING JAMES VERSION MART IH LUTHER-VO HAD HIS OWN IDEAS ABOUT SCRIPTURAL REVISIONS full of obscurities. The errors of the Latin Bibles, Mazarln, and later bopks and the wretched editions existing In English had to bo the beginning of their investigations, and that they did not ' And these insurmountable redounds Immensely to their patience and hard work. The picture one gets of theso famous men called together uj i.ing James prayerfully trying to delve tho right meaning out of crabbed Greek and Latin and ancient Hebrew Is only presented when ono tries to learn the history of the Bible preceding thtlr era. Tho original manuscripts of the sixty-six books of the Blblo were writ ten during a period comprising 1,600 years. The Old Testament Scriptures wero In Hebrew written by Job, Daniel, Isaiah, Solomon and a score of other prophets and poets on skins and papy rus. Not a single one of theso manu scripts is now in existence, and has not been for hundreds of years, but before these were lost or destroyed copies and translations were made of them and from these copies and. translations from the Hebrew, Syrlac, Greek. Latin and Anglo-Saxon tests, tho Bible as it exists to-day has come. Revision has been constant from the very beginning. In the days before Christ, when tho scholars had com pleted their revisions they cared no longer tor the .manuscripts, and au Chap.), of the world. Ofwh SAfi rfltlf It fft firni.lmprlf AUW vwwiwnwv .1.1. feaiim itntt the ruminaannrlieniBti nmaoxtt tfc ftcona oav. onoacbtijeaumbe 0to togrtQct van one uu i vy uuw ptaie:anottQisC9. 10 iUt9 0U who ic vps imiUi earttj , cn& tDe atOjtms tosttttrr oil . . -- r . ... Am. Mh Atl I mc iBsszn sousu uiiWhw mut www 11 4HIUWWWlwy"v""'i 6oH) 'gtaia.njt tint ftnoinBrtto, niMnivAniiin w rrnir esxtti nnnu ISJM tonrx,ri)Dot ttt ta B Rift, tipon tb (jrrrg:nou;jiaw. . . . . BTaOc.ind tree yttiwnfl fo aftnjus ftto u tn tt ttlfi.a&nrju tonoc : ano OQBUuamuiuwjiimuu. it nnnrhcrntnmaenDrotHlOtinS let tftcm tt bt 0n m W wans, noni DOTUsnof niii. . - - - - r TO'TS.ifrtitstatlK 1". Rnnamtnt of tbt hewn . tp buk Hflt)t yp0H . ihrtn rrrr&t unfits ! rhftmauciiBtt to tuUrte Wp, ami rtcuflttUfjtit otuunitmfltjt: le.rud n'rir iEi Tr thnn m rht firm WdK htautn.to nuu ug&mw thorities say that they destroyed these as imperfect. Also when a manuscript became worn out by uso in tho syna goguo it was copied, and tho old one burled In order that it might not fall Into tho hands of tho profane. The oldest Old Testament manuscripts In existenco aro by centuries younger than the oldest New Testament manu scripts, because the former were copies. Ono of these is a manuscript of Exodus, written in square Hebrew characters. It has been successively translated Into Syrinc, Greek, Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Old English and finally Into the English of to-day. Toward the closo of the fourth cen tury the old Greek and Latin versions of both testaments wpr found to be so full of errors that a scholar and priest. one Euseblus Htcronyinus, also known as St. Jeromq, was chosen to prepare a new version in' Latin. Ho went to tho oldest manuscripts then accessible and produced the Vulgate. For nearly 1,000 years this was the parent of every later version of the Scriptures in western Europe. England at that time, 1384, was to recelvo hers from John WyclIfTe. A century and a half later William Tyndale, friend of Erasmus and con temporary of Luther, caused to be printed in the city of Worms the first English New Testament. In 1635 Miles Coverdale printed' tha first complete od putiuMt, a$ooumo. H I IfaxZ HENR.V 1! WCnK PORP MAY II HP MAtl HAVE P 'Itt-tUl rtAliJ t (hull English Bible, and he was followed by John Rogers, who Issued his "Mat thew's Bible," which was almost wholly copied from Tyndalo's. In 1539 appeared Tavorner's, another Tyndalo imitation. The famous "Great Blblo" was Issued under royal authorization and was compiled from Tyndalc's, Rogers's and Coverdale's. The Geneva Bible and tho Bishops' Blblo followed in 1560 and 1568 respectively. When J am ob VI. of Scotland be came James I. of England by choice of Parllament.'and began to reign over Scotland, which was Presbyterian, and over England, which was Anglican or Episcopalian, ho foresaw a re ligious schism' which might prove dis astrous to both realms. In 1604 ho summoned a conference at Hampton Court to settle the religious policy of tho Government. He was petitioned to authorize a new translation of the Bible and did so, entrusting tho work to Archbishop Bancroft of Canterbury. who appointed a commission of forty- seven eminent scholars to prepare what Is known as the Authorized or IClng James version. There Were Poets Anionic Them; The Bishops' Bible was mado the groundwork of the new translation; but among tho forty-seven scholars were poets who saved for us the vast reaches and sweeps of the old Hebrew poets and the cadence and rhythm of tho Bible which gives out a sound of muslo reminding of orchestras. Our debt to them because of their care of words Is Immeasurable. By means of this nice choice they added something of moral purity as well as beauty to the version. If the rhythm and cadence these ancient divines put into their trans lation were to be taken out of It the English1 language would loso some ot its most wonderful prose. The English tongue would be poorer- by harmonies and felicities unsurpassed and unsur passable, An alteration said to be of prime importance In tho text of the IClng James version is the substitution of the name Jehovah for the words Lord and God wherover they appear In the old text. This was in deference to an ancient superstition which regarded the Divine Name as too sacred to be uttered. 1 This superstition had not hitherto been allowed to dominate in tho translations, although it prevailed in the Hebrew manuscripts. jl amt changes may t shown to Wrfl BEEN JfifW POHPERING f3rfj "HiE PRESENT . 3WJJ BIBLES KSl SHORTCOMIHGS LfflJI erTHIS ffi MOMENT rffl MOTH v a ImJt uwvfooo 1 MSTa ugoenvooD- Revision of Scriptures Con stant From Beginning What Linguistic Divines Have Accomplished in Simplifying Text exhibit the stylo, of peech that the moderns call Improvements: In Gene sis the Clng James version says "Let tho waters bring forth abundantly the moving CTeaturo that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth." The latest version is: "Let the waters swarm with swarms of living crea tures, and let birds fly above the earth." A passage of Exodus has in the King James version: "Every woman shall borrow of her neighbor." The American and English Revising Com mittee went back to the original and restored these words: "Every woman shall ask of her neighbor." In the XlXth Psalm tho King James version reads: "There Is no speech nor language, where their voice Is not heard," while tho new version says this: "There is no speech nor lan guage; their voice is not heard. " A Grammatical Chance, And in tile CXXIst Psalm tho change is grammatical only: "Behold he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep'' is altered lo "Be hold he that keepeth Israel wlll.nelther slumber nor sleep." , In tho following two passages real obscurities are' removed: In Isaiah xxxv. 8 wo find "Tho unclean shall not pass over It, but tt shall bo for them." This has been changed to read "it shall be for the redeemed." In Hosea 11., 2, "As they called them, so they went from them," now reads, "Tho more tho Prophet called them the more they went from him." Thero Is no assertion mode any where that the Bible itself is changed, but that a general 'rectification has been made of translations and a re turn to originals tho meaning and spirit of which tfiad not boon caught. Words havo been changed only when they were obsolete and served as stumbling blocks. Frequently thero appear In tho King James version words and phrases thought to be of somewhat questionable tasto to tho present generation. In the original the words from which these are taken are often unobjectionable and the fault, If it is one, is to be found in the broader or grosser standards of Shakespeare's day. The newest trans lators havo found modern equivalents for the words In the Hebrew which do not offend the nineteenth century, and so theso obstacles fade away. Such Instances of changes as have beon shown occur In the collaborated version put out by the British and American committees. The continued study of the latter committee is said to have been fruitful and to throw new light upon th manuscripts of the TWELVE PAGES. -J. Bible, while tho contemporary labor of Asayriologlsts have brought discov eries of times anterior to Moses. The famous "Sayings of Jesus," although fragmentary, proved highly valuable In establishing the verity of "The Acts," and by similar discoveries, Dan lei, whoso very existenco had beon doubted, is shown to have been a verl tablo person. Sargon, too, an Assyrian 'king, over whose namo the earlier translators hesitated, several of them doubting that such a monarch ever reigned, was revealed as a historical monarch. In brief, the mass of new Biblical evidence, new manuscripts, new meanings of words, while highly interesting to the scholar, did not strike tho ordinary readers as involv ing a new version of what so long had been their Bible. Ordinary Headers Unlnteresta. That this view was taken of the matter generally' Is shown by the way tho ordinary Blblo reader acted. He displayed a. languid curiosity over all these llnds and ho went on buying' and reading the King James version. Ha didn't know how to account for his preference, perhaps, but realized that tho simple old Blblo of his forefathers had held Its own, In fact had been strengthened In Its own by modern re search and discovery. In so far ho is not dissatisfied thai tho early manuscripts have been again so carefully scrutinized with the result that tho truth of the historical Bl has been completely attested and holds tho highest credence of minds not nat urally sceptical, minds that resent and discourage doubt and call it disaster. Tho simple are rarely sceptical ol moral truths. Doubt unsettles, scares and shocks them. They would be opl to resent, too, any attempt to "simpli fy" the "Book," which in a limited way but a sufficient way they compre hend. A really new and different Holy Book would smack to them of sacrl lego. It would shake to Its founda tions their respect for tho printed Word. Wo have to go back to the Bible ii we wish to know (and It is not nlwayi easy to know) what Is responsible foi mankind's faith in, the printed Word, In truth tt dates from the first book, that Ik, from tho Bible. Litcraturo be v. gan as religion. Every nation's earli est books are sacred books. Thui springs the nlmost pathetic belief men hold In books. "I read it in a book1" In equivalent to saying a thing la true. By its qualities of inspiration and sin cerlty the Bible in the King Junei version and its children, the modem versions, reaches the ear of the peoplo i.