Authorized (English) Version of the Holy Scriptures (2)

Authorized (English) Version of the Holy Scriptures

The Anglo American Revision. -This, as an organized effort, originated, after long previous discussions, in the Convocation of Canterbury, which, at its session May 6, 1870, too the following action, proposed by a committee which consisted of eight bishops, the late deans Alford and Stanley, and several other dignitaries:

I. That it is desirable that a revision of the Authorized, Version of the Holy Scriptures be undertaken.

Definition of authorized

II. That the revision be so conducted as to comprise both marginal renderings and such; emendations as it may be found 'necessary to insert in the text of the Authorized Version.

III. That in the above resolutions we do not contemplate any new translation of the Bible, or any alteration of the language, except where, in the judgment of the most competent scholars, such change is necessary.

IV. That in. such necessary changes the style of the language employed in the existing version be closely followed.

V. That it is desirable that Convocation should nominate a body of its own members to undertake the work of revision, who shall be at liberty to invite the co-operation of any eminent for scholarship, to whatever nation or religious body they may belong. The report was accepted unanimously by the Upper House and by a great majority of the Lower House. A committee was also appointed, consisting of eight bishops and eight presbyters, to take the necessary steps for carrying out the resolutions. The Convocation of York, owing mainly to the influence of arcjbishop Thomson, did not fall in with the movement, and is therefore not represented in the committee on revision. But' a favorable change is gradually taking place, and some of the most influential members' of the Convocation, as dean Howson of Chester, are 'hearty supporters of revision.

VI. The committee of bishops-and presbyters appointed by the. Convocation of Canterbury at its first meeting, the bishop of Winchester, Dr. Samuel Wilberforce, presiding, adopted a series of resolutions and rules as the fundamental principles on which the revision was to be conducted, and the individuals to be engaged in the work. Of these, the following regulations for the revisers are the most important:

VII. That the committee, appointed by the Convocation of Canterbury at its last session, separate itself into two companies, the one for the revision of the Authorized Version of the Old 'Test., the other for the revision of the Authorized Version of the New Test.

VIII. That the general principles to be followed by both companies be as follows:

1. To introduce as few alterations as possible in the text of the Authorized Version consistently with faithfulness.

2. To limit as far as possible the expression of such alterations to the language of the Authorized and earlier English versions.

3. Each company to go twice over the portion to be revised, once provisionally, the second time finally, and on principles of voting as hereinafter is provided.

4. That the text to be adopted be. that for which the evidence is decidedly preponderating; and that when the text so adopted differs from that from which the Authorized Version was made, the alteration be indicated in the margin.

5. To make or retain no change in the text on the second final revision by each company except two thirds of those present approve of the same, but on the first revision to decide by simple majorities.

6. In every case of proposed alteration that may have given rise to discussion, to defer the voting thereupon till the next meeting whensoever the same shall be required by one third of those present at the meeting, such intended vote to be announced in the notice for tie next meeting.

7. To revise the headings of chapters, pages, paragraphs, italics, and punctuation.

8. To refer, on the part of each company, when considered desirable, to divines, scholars, and literary men, whether at home or abroad, for their opinions.

IX. That the work of each company be communicated to the other as it is completed, in order that there may be as little deviation from uniformity in language as possible.

X. That the special or by-rules for each company be as follows:

1. To make all corrections in writing previous to the meeting-

2. To place all the corrections due to textual considerations on the left- hand margin, and all other corrections on the right-hand margin.

3. To transmit to the chairman, in case of being unable to attend, the corrections proposed in the portion agreed upon for consideration.

The following is a list of the persons appointed for the work in Great Britain in pursuance of the above action of the Convocation and the invitations growing out of it as the two bodies of revisers were finally constituted, omitting the names of such as failed to serve, whether by reason of death, resignation, or otherwise.


Prof. W. L. Alexander, D.D., Edinburgh. R. L. Bensly, Esq., Cambridge. Prof. J. Bilrell, St. Andrews. Bp. E. H. Browne, D.D., of Winchester (chairman) F. Chance, Esq., M.D., London. T. Chenery, Esq., London. Rev. T. K. Cheyse, Oxford. Prof. A. B. Davidson, D.D., Edinburgh. G. Douglas, D.D., Glasgow. S. R. Driver, Esq., Oxford. Rev. C. J. Eliott, Windsor. F. Field, LL.D., Norwich. Prof. J. D. Geden, Manchester. Rev. C. D. Ginsburg, LL.D., Wokington. Principal F. W. Gotch, D.D., Bristol. Canon B. Harrison, A.M., of Canterbury. Lord A. C. Hervey, D.D., of Bath and Wells. Rev. W. Kay, D.D., Chelmlsford. Prof. S. Leathes, B.D., London. Rev. J. R; Llimby, B.D., Cambridge. A. Oliivant, D.D., of Llndaff. Dean J. J. S. Perowne, of Peterborongh. Rev. A. H. Sayce, Oxford. Dean It. P. Smith, D.D., of Canterbury.

Prof. W. R. Smith, Aberdeen. " W. Wright, Cambridge. W. A. Wright, Cambridge (secretary).


Pres. J. Angus, D.D., London. Dean E. H. Bickersteth, D.D., of Lichfield. J. W. Blakesley, D.D., of Lincoln;. Principal D. Brown, D.D., Aberdeen. Bp. C. J. Ellicott, D.D., of Gloucester and Bristol (chairman). Rev. F. J. A. Hort, D.D., Cambridge. W. G. Humphrey, London. Canon B. H. Kennedy, D.D., of Cambridge. Archdeacon W. Lee, D.D., of Dublin. Bp. J. B. Lightfoot, D.D., of Durham. Prof. W. Milligan, D.D., Aberdeen. Bp. G. Moberiy, D.C.L., of Salisbury. Rev. W.F. Moulton, DD.D. Cambridge. Principal S. Newth, D.D., London. Archdeacon E. Palmer, D.D., of Oxford. Prof. A. Roberts, D.D., St. Andrews. R.. Scott, D.D., of Rochester. Preb. F. H. A. Scrivener, LL.D., London. Rev. G.V. Smith, D.D., Carnmarthen. Dean A. P. Stanley, D.D., of Westminster. Archbp. R. C. Trench, D.D.', of Dublin. Rev. J. Trontbeck, Westminster (secretary). C. J.'Vauglhial, D.D., London. Canon B. F. Westcott, D.D., of Cambridge. Bp. C. Wordsworth, D.C.L., of St. Andrews.

In August, 1870, a correspondence was begun by official members of the British committee through Dr. Philip Schaff of New York, which eventuated in the appointment of an American committee of co-operation, finally constituted as follows, omitting the names of those who failed to serve for any reason.


Prof. C. A. Aiken, D.D., Princeton, N. J. Rev. T. W. Chambers, D.D., New York city. T. Couinant, D.D., Brooklyn, N. Y. Prof. G. E. Day, D.D., New Haveti, Conn. (secretary of the company and of the committee). Prof. J. De Witt, D.D., New Brunswick, N. J W. H. Green, D.D., LL.D., Princeton, N. J. (chpn) G. E. Hare, D.D., LL.D., Philadelphia, Pa. C. P. Krauth, D.D., LL. D., Philadelphia, Pa. C. M. Mead, Ph.D., Andover, Mass. H. Osgood, D.D., Rochester, N. Y. J. Packard, D.D., Alexandria, Va. James Strong, S.T.D., LL-D. Madison, N. J.


Prof. E. Abbot, D.D., LL.D., Cambridge, Mass. Rev. J. K. Burr, D.D., Trenton, N. J. Pres. T. Chase, LL.D., Haverford, Pa. Chancellor H. Crosby, D.D., LL.D., New York city, Prof. T. Dwight, D.D., New Haven, Conn. A.C. Kendrick, D.D., LL.D., Rochester, N. Y. Bp. A. Lee, D.D., of Delaware. Prof. M. B. Riddle, D.-D., Hartford, Conn. P. Schaff, D.D., LL.D., New York city (president of, the American committee) Prof. C. Short, LL.D., New York city. J. H. Thayer, D.D., Andover, Mass. (secretary). Rev. E. A. Washbhurn, D.D., New York city. Ex-Pres. T. D. Woolsey, D.D., LL.D., New Haven, Conn. (chairman).

On Dec. 7,1871, the following constitution was adopted by the American revisers, having been already ratified by the British committee:

I. The American committee, invited by the British committee engaged in the revision of the Authorized English Version of the Holy Scriptures to co-operate with them, shall be composed of Biblical scholars and divines in the United States.

II. This committee shall have the power to elect its officers, to add to its number, and-to fill its own vacancies.

III. The officers shall consist of a president, a corresponding secretary, and a treasurer. The president shall' conduct the official 'correspondence with the British revisers. The secretary shall conduct the home correspondence.

IV. New members of the committee, and corresponding members, must be nominated at a previous meeting and elected unanimously by ballot.

V. The American committee shall co-operate with the British companies on the basis of the principles and rules of revision adopted by the British committee.

VI. The American committee shall consist of two companies the one for the revision of the Authorized Version of the Old Test., the other for the revision of the Authorized Version of the New Test.

VII. Each company shall elect its own Chairman and recording secretary.

VIII. The British companies will submit to the American companies from time to time such portions of their work as have passed the first revision, and the American companies will transmit their criticisms and suggestions to the British companies before the second revision.

IX. A joint meeting of the American and British companies shall be held, if possible, in London before final action.

X. The American committee to pay their own expenses. The American companies held their first session for active work Oct. 4, 1872, and have been from time to time furnished with advanced copies (for strictly private use) of the revised texts prepared by the British. companies. These, they return with their own suggestions, and the views of the respective committees on both sides of the Atlantic are then interchanged until a general agreement is attained. A few points of difference will doubtless still remain, concerning which a statement will be made in an appendix to the final work. Each committee holds a monthly session of several days, in which every change is carefully and deliberately discussed, and a conclusion reached by vote according to the rules given above. The New Test. has thus been all gone over, and was published separately in England on May 17, 1881, and in this country three days, subsequently.: Immense editions were immediately sold, and more than a dozen reprints were issued with the greatest despatch.. The general verdict of the English press was unfavorable on the ground of unnecessary, changes, but American criticisms have been more lenient. The popular opinion, however, seems to be, on both sides of the Atlantic, that while, on the whole, great improvements have been made, yet the revisers have exceeded their commission by introducing many trivial changes, which in some cases are, moreover, inelegant and offensive; The prospect of the revision in MS present form taking the place of king James's version for public use is not clear. The issue of the Old Test. will follow probably in 1884. When published, the entire Bible as revised will go forth on its own merits, but with the prestige of the highest scholarship and the most laborious criticism attainable for such a purpose from all the leading denominations of British and American Christianity. Its ultimate success time must-determine. See Dr. Schaff's Revision of the English Version of the Holy Scriptures (N. Y. 1873).

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