Editions of the Authorized English Bible
The 1629 and 1638 Cambridge editions were for the main purpose of correcting earlier printing style changes and textual printing errors. These two so-called revisions were actually two stages of one process; the process of purification.
Printing Changes-- The translators of the 1611 Authorized Version used the Gothic Type Style of print versus the Roman Type Style. In today's computer jargon the word is font. The change in type style in no way alters the text of the Bible. However, the modern reader who has not become familiar with the Gothic Style can find it very difficult to read with understanding.
As a whole, specific letter changes are nothing more than type differences. For instance, the Gothic s looks like the Roman s when used as a capital letter or at the end of a word. But when it is used as a lower case s at the beginning or in the middle of a word, the letter looks like our f. An example is also becomes alfo and set becomes fet. Another type difference is the Gothic v which looks like a Roman u while the Gothic u looks like the Roman v. In another instance, the Gothic j looks like our i. In the 1611 Edition, love is loue, us is vs, and ever is euer. Remember, these are not even the spelling changes like labour to labor or Saviour to Savior, but these are simply type style changes.
Scholars and those they deceive are using this issue of type style change to justify their tampering with the Authorized Text when this is nothing more than a smoke screen set up by the attackers of the 1611 Version. These so-called changes are superficial in nature and account for many of the surmised changes of the Authorized Version, yet there is no harm to the Text.
Within twenty-seven years 72% of the approximately 400 textual corrections in the Authorized Version were completed by the time of the 1638 Cambridge edition.
Textual Changes--Admittedly there are some differences between the 1611 Authorized Version and our present editions. Not the "thousands" of so-called revisions but approximately 400 variations. There variations are not changes due to a revision of the Text, including the Greek, but instead they are corrections of early printing errors. This can be seen in three things: 1) the character or nature of the changes, 2) the frequency of the changes throughout the Bible, and 3) the time the changes were made.
In the first two printings at Oxford, England of the Authorized Version in 1611 there were 100 variations between the two; this was not a textual revision/change but printing errors made because of the tediousness involved in the early printing process of the day. The 1611 methods of printing varied little from the press methods invented by Johann Gutenburg in Germany during 1450. Printing was slow and difficult with all type being set one piece at a time.
By 1638 seventy-two percent of the approximate 400 supposed textual changes were corrected. That's a 27-year period wherein approximately 288 textual printing errors were corrected. An outstanding fact is that during this process the entire book of Ecclesiastes reads exactly like our present edition without even a printing error by 1638.
Thus, as the scholars propose modern alterations to the Text by adding to, subtracting from, and omitting words, phrases, and whole passages of Scripture, there really is no comparison between the printing correction made in the Authorized Text and those alterations caused by the wisdom of modern translators in their modern versions. In comparison, these so-called revisions in the 1611 Authorized Version brought forth approximately 400 changes in 383 years, but the New King James Version has about 60,000 changes when examined by the same standard of evaluation that identified the 400 original changes of the Authorized Version.
The 1762 and 1769 editions were for the main purpose of standardizing the spelling. These two so-called revisions were two stages of one process; the process of standardization.
Spelling Changes--Most historians date the beginning of Modern English around the year 1500, though the spelling did not stabilize until the last half of the 18th century. During this interim of 250 years, spelling was determined by the whim of the author. The spelling of the 1611 Edition was standardized in the last half of the 1700's. Examples of spelling variations between our present edition of the Authorized Version and the 1611 printing are that e's were often found at the end of words such as feare, darke, and beare. Also double vowels were much more common before the standardization such as mee, bee, and mooued. Double consonants were also common with ranne being ran, euill being evil, and ftarres being stars.
Learned men draw attention to these so-called changes and declare that there are "thousands" of revisions in the 1611 Authorized Version when compared to today's King James Version of the Bible, thereby justifying their tampering with or revising the Text. In honest actuality none of these alter the Text in any way and these so-called revisions cannot be honestly compared with the thousands of true textual changes which are blatantly made in all the modern versions.
Conclusion concerning the three areas: Printing, Textual, and Spelling.
The myth of the modern translators and their versions is that since the 1611 Authorized Version has been revised four times (of which it has not, but only corrected for printing errors and standardization of spelling) the new versions, including the NKJV, are thereby justified since the scholars say these versions are nothing more than a continuation of the revision process which has periodically been made to the English Bible, the original Authorized Version of 1611.
In fact, the editors of the New King James Version have stated in the preface,
"For nearly four hundred years, and throughout several revisions of its English form, the King James Bible has been deeply revered among the English speaking people of the world."
Thus, the NKJV translators strongly imply that their version is only a continuation of the revision process that has been going on for the past 383 years. A process that when given enough time will eventually recover the very words of God. [Sounds like the fable of man's evolution]
The truth of the matter is that the 1611 Authorized Version has been purified, thus the NKJV is not a continuation of what has gone on before or of what needs to be done, but is part of the continued attack upon the Word(s) of God for the English speaking people.
The Authority for the 1611 Version's veracity lies not in the first printing of it, or in the character of King James I, or in the scholarship of the 1611 translators, or in the literary accomplishments of the Elizabethan English, or even in the Greek Received Text.
The Authority lies in God Himself who has the power and has promised to preserve His Word! In the 1611 Authorized Version of the Word of God we have the infallible, perfect words of God for the English speaking people. With God all things are possible, especially when He has given us His word that He would keep His Word. The doctrines of inspiration and preservation of the Word of Truth are alive and well in the Authorized Version! Revised March 15, 1995
[NOTE: Not many have caught this, but when King James I of England gave his seal to the order to have the Holy Writ translated into the English language, he only gave permission or authority to go ahead with the work of translation. The 1611 Version was not his Bible and for some 200 years his name was not connected with it; he did not want his name connected with it. After King James had long passed from the scene, in some sly, clever way "King James" was attached to the work of the translators to make it appear to be a man's bible, but it is God's Authorized Version for the English speaking people.]