From: B. Ward Powers (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Jul 16 2000 - 05:49:54 EDT
<x-flowed>At 07:45 AM 000715 -0400, Frank W. Hughes wrote:
>The King James Version of the Bible is often known as the Authorized
>Version. Questions can be raised as to the appropriateness of the title
>"Authorized Version," however. On the title-page are the words "Appointed
>to be Read in Churches," but it was in fact never officially authorized by
>either Parliament or the Convocations of Canterbury or York, namely the
>two authorities in the government and the Church of England. The Oxford
>Dictionary of the Christian Church, 2nd edition, s.v. "Authorized Version
>of the Bible," p. 114, notes: "It immediately superseded the Bishops'
>Bible, and won favour by its intrinsic merits rather than by official
I quite accept that it won favour on its merits. I note that in the New
International Dictionary of the Christian Church (Ed. J D Douglas), p.127,
F F Bruce writes, "Both the Geneva and Bishop's Bibles were superseded by
the 'Authorized Version' of 1611, a work which proved so acceptable that it
remained, for three centuries, without a serious rival, the Bible of
English speaking Protestants." But is it certain beyond question that "it
was in fact never officially authorized"?
Bruce goes on to say. "When published it was probably authorized by order
in council. Probably - because the Privy Council registers from 1600 to
1613 were destroyed by a fire in January 1618/19, so that no record of the
So there is perhaps a modicum of doubt.
>It makes no sense to me to call it the "Authorized Version" since it was
>never authorized by any group that had either secular or ecclesiastical
I cannot agree. For these reasons:
1. If our options are "Authorized Version" and "King James Version", the
former has a great deal more in its favour than to attribute the
translation, in some way, to King James.
2. During this period in England and up to the past century it was not
known by any other designation but "the Authorized Version" - it was
certainly not known as the "King James Version", an American designation,
and the extent to which that latter designation is making inroads outside
America is due (not to any merit in the designation, but) to the influence
of American publishers who use that title on all their multifarious
editions of it. The Authorized Version has the merit of being its original
3. If Frank Hughes is correct, then we have the anomalous situation that
from the beginning it was described as authorized, and not called anything
else in the country of its origin, and yet nobody actually authorized it. I
find this inherently very unlikely.
4. As Frank Hughes mentions, it states on its title page that it has been
"Appointed to be Read in Churches", and so far as I am aware nobody at the
time denied that this was the case. The title "Authorized Version" is
therefore appropriate as embodying the fact that the Bible was now
officially freely and widely available - in contrast with the earlier
period when for "ordinary people" to read the Bible was an offence, and to
the period just before the AV when different translations were in
competition and favoured by different groups. And the AV won its way
against this competition on its very considerable merits.
Now, to pick up the thread of discussion concerning the logic of the flow
of argument in James 1:13 (which actually is where this all began): God
"cannot be tempted" by evil is APEIRASTOS, concerning which BAGD comments,
"without temptation, either active = who does not tempt, or passive = who
cannot be tempted. Of God hO QEOS A. ESTIN KAKWN Js 1:13 certainly passive
because DE in the next clause introduces a new thought, God cannot be
tempted to do evil."
Fair enough. The verse starts off by saying, "No one, when tempted, should
say, 'I am being tempted by God'." Then the two-fold expression which
follows is covering both sides: God cannot be tempted, and he does not
tempt anyone either.
Then 1:14 goes on to sheet home the blame for temptation to sin: "But one
is tempted by one's own desire, being lured and enticed by it." So if I
fall into sin, it is not God's fault: rather, I have been lured and enticed
into it by my own desire (EPIQUMIA). So I can't blame God (or the devil
either): I am responsible, and I am guilty.
Interesting then that God the Son, in his human incarnation, was tempted in
every way just as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
Rev Dr B. Ward Powers Phone (International): 61-2-9799-7501
10 Grosvenor Crescent Phone (Australia): (02) 9799-7501
SUMMER HILL NSW 2130 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
AUSTRALIA. Director, Tyndale College
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