King James Version
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The King James Version is an English translation of the Christian Holy Bible begun in 1604 and completed in 1611 by the Church of England. Printed by the King's Printer, Robert Barker, the first edition included schedules unique to the Church of England; for example, a lectionary for morning and evening prayer. This was the third such official translation into English; the first having been the Great Bible commissioned by the Church of England in the reign of King Henry VIII, and the second having been the Bishop's Bible of 1568. In January 1604, King James I of England convened the Hampton Court Conference where a new English version was conceived in response to the perceived problems of the earlier translations as detected by the Puritans, a faction within the Church of England.
James gave the translators instructions intended to guarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology and reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and its beliefs about an ordained clergy. The translation was by 47 scholars, all of whom were members of the Church of England. In common with most other translations of the period, the New Testament was translated from the Textus Receptus (Received Text) series of the Greek texts. The Old Testament was translated from the Masoretic Hebrew text, while the Apocrypha were translated from the Greek Septuagint (LXX), except for 2 Esdras, which was translated from the Latin Vulgate.
While the Authorized Version was meant to replace the Bishops' Bible as the official version for readings in the Church of England, it was apparently (unlike the Great Bible) never specifically "authorized", although it is commonly known as the Authorized Version in the United Kingdom. However, the King's Printer issued no further editions of the Bishops' Bible; so necessarily the Authorized Version supplanted it as the standard lectern Bible in parish church use in England. In the Book of Common Prayer (1662), the text of the Authorized Version replaced the text of the Great Bible — for Epistle and Gospel readings — and as such was "authorized" by Act of Parliament. In the United States, the Authorized Version is known as the King James Version. The earliest appearance in print of the phrase "authorized version", to mean this particular version of the Bible, was published in 1824. The phrase "King James version" first appeared in print in 1884.
By the first half of the 18th century, the Authorized Version was effectively unchallenged as the English translation used in Anglican and Protestant churches. Over the course of the 18th century, the Authorized Version supplanted the Latin Vulgate as the standard version of scripture for English speaking scholars.
The NKJV translation project, which was conceived by Arthur Farstad, was inaugurated in 1975 with two meetings (Nashville and Chicago) of 130 biblical scholars, pastors, and theologians. The men who were invited to these meetings prepared the guidelines for the NKJV. The New Testament was published in 1979, the Psalms in 1980, and the full NKJV Bible in 1982 taken a total of 7 years to complete.
The aim of its translators was to update the vocabulary and grammar of the King James Version, while preserving the classic style and literary beauty of the original 1611 KJV version. The 130 translators believed in unyielding faithfulness to the original Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew texts including the Dead Sea Scrolls. Also agreed upon for most New King James Bibles was, easier event descriptions, history of each book, and added dictionary and updated concordance.
According to the preface of the New King James Version (p. v-vi), the NKJV uses the 1967/1977 Stuttgart edition of the Biblia Hebraica for the Old Testament, with frequent comparisons made to the Ben Hayyim edition of the Mikraot Gedolot published by Bomberg in 1524–25, which was used for the King James Version. Both the Old Testament text of the NKJV and that of the KJV come from the ben Asher text (known as the Masoretic Text). However, the 1967/1977 Stuttgart edition of the Biblia Hebraica used by the NKJV uses an earlier manuscript (the Leningrad Manuscript B19a) than that of the KJV.
The New King James Version also uses the Textus Receptus ("Received Text") for the New Testament, just as the King James Version had used. The translators have also sought to follow the principles of translation used in the original King James Version, which the NKJV revisers call "complete equivalence" in contrast to "dynamic equivalence" used by many other modern translations.
The task of updating the English of the KJV involved significant changes in word order, grammar, vocabulary, and spelling. One of the most significant features of the NKJV was its abandonment of the historic second person pronouns “thou”, "thee", “ye”, “thy”, and “thine”. Verb forms were also modernized in the NKJV (for example, "speaks" rather than "speaketh").