of the human mind. How delightful, for example, was the

Yet that was not a mistaken move nearly forty years ago, when the revision of the King James version was proposed and undertaken. Thirty years ago (1881) it was completed in what we ordinarily call the Revised Version, and ten years ago (1901) the American form of that Revised Version appeared. Few things could more definitely prove the accepted place of the King James version than the fact that we seem to hear less to-day of the Revised Version than we used to hear, and that, while the American Revised Version is incomparably the best in existence in its reproduction of the original, even it makes way slowly. In less than forty years the King James version crowded all its competitors off the field. The presence of the Revised Version of 1881 has not appreciably affected the sales or the demand for the King James version. In the minds of most people the English and the American revisions stand as admirable commentaries on the King James version. If one wishes to know wherein the King James version failed of representing the original, he will learn it better from those versions than from any number of commentaries; but the number of those to whom one or other of the versions has supplanted the King James version is not so large as might have been expected.

of the human mind. How delightful, for example, was the

There were several reasons for a new English version of the Bible. It was, of course, no indignity to the King James version. Those translators frankly said that they had no hope to make a final version of the Scriptures. It would be very strange if in three hundred years language should not have grown by reason of the necessities of the race that used it, so that at some points a book might be outgrown. In another lecture it has been intimated that the English Bible, by reason of its constant use, has tended to fix and confirm the English language. But no one book, nor any set of books, could confine a living tongue. Some of the reasons for a new version which give value to these two revisions may be mentioned.

of the human mind. How delightful, for example, was the

1. Though the King James version was made just after the literary renaissance, the classical learning of to-day is far in advance of that day. The King James version is occasionally defective in its use of tenses and verbs in the Greek and also in the Hebrew. We have Greek and Hebrew scholars who are able more exactly to reproduce in English the meaning of the original. It would be strange if that were not so.

of the human mind. How delightful, for example, was the

2. Then there have been new and important discoveries of Biblical literature which date earlier in Christian history than any our fathers knew three hundred years ago. In some instances those earlier discoveries have shown that a phrase here or there has been wrongly introduced into the text. There has been no marked instance where a phrase was added by the revisers; that is, a phrase dropped out of the original and now replaced. One illustration of the omission of a phrase will be enough. In the fifth chapter of I John the seventh verse reads: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one." In the revised versions it is omitted, because it seems quite certain that it was not in the original writing. It does not at all alter the meaning of Scripture. While it appears in most of the best manuscripts which were available for the King James translators, earlier manuscripts found since that time have shown that it was formerly written at the side as a gloss, and was by some transcriber set over in the text itself. The process of making the early manuscripts shows how easily that could have occurred. Let us suppose that two or three manuscripts were being made at once by different copyists. One was set to read the original; as he read, the others wrote. It would be easy to suppose that he might read this marginal reference as a suitable commentary on the text, and that one or more of the writers could have written it in the text. It could easily happen also that a copyist, even seeing where it stood, might suppose it had been omitted by the earlier copyist, and that he had completed his work by putting it on the margin. So the next copyist would put it into his own text. Once in a manuscript, it would readily become part of the accepted form. Discoveries that bring that sort of thing to light are of value in giving us an accurate version of the original Bible.

3. Then there are in our King James version a few archaic and obsolete phrases. We have already spoken of them. Most of them have been avoided in the revised versions. The neuter possessive pronoun, for example, has been put in. Animal names have been clarified, obsolete expressions have been replaced by more familiar ones, and so on.

4. Then there were certain inaccuracies in the King James version. The fact is familiar that they transliterated certain words which they could not well translate. In the revised versions that has been carried farther still. The words which they translated "hell" have been put back into their Hebrew and Greek equivalents, and appear as Sheol and Hades. Another instance is that of an Old Testament word, Asherah, which was translated always "grove," and was used to describe the object of worship of the early enemies of Israel. The translation does not quite represent the fact, and the revisers have therefore replaced the old Hebrew word Asherah. The transliterations of the King James version have not been changed into translations. Instead, the number of transliterations has been increased in the interest of accuracy. At one point one might incline to be adversely critical of the American revisers. They have transliterated the Hebrew word Jehovah; so they have taken sides in a controversy where scholars have room to differ. The version would have gained in strength if it had retained the dignified and noble word "Lord," which comes as near representing the idea of the Hebrew word for God as any word we could find. It must be added that the English of neither of our new versions has the rhythm and movement of the old version. That is partly because we are so accustomed to the old expressions and new ones strike the ear unpleasantly. In any case, the versions differ plainly in their English. It seems most unlikely that either of these versions shall ever have the literary influence of the King James, though any man who will prophesy about, that affects a wisdom which he has not.

These, then, are the two differences between this lecture and the preceding ones, that in this lecture we shall deal with judgments as well as facts, and that we shall deal with the Bible of to-day rather than the King James version.

Passing to the heart of the subject, the question appears at once whether the Bible has or can have to-day the influence or the place which it seems to have had in the past. Two things, force that question: Has not the critical study of the Bible itself robbed it of its place of authority, and have not the changes of our times destroyed its possibilities of influence? That is, on the one hand, has not the Bible been changed? On the other hand, has it not come into such new conditions that it cannot do its old work?

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