The KJB margins

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The KJB margins

Postby bibleprotector » 27 May 2014, 17:49

The King James Bible translators said, “Now in such a case doth not a margin do well to admonish the Reader to seek further, and not to conclude or dogmatize upon this or that peremptorily?”

Having now sought further (and millions have done so for hundreds of years) are we yet still unqualified to come to any conclusion whether or not the translators got it right? The translators were admonishing us to check their judgment, for the very reason that me might conclude and dogmatize.

If the translators meant that no one will ever know the right readings, or the right rendering, why make such a distinction in the very presentation between text and margins (which clearly gives precedence to one rendering, not the other)? It is also obvious that thousands upon thousands have quoted Scripture with no reference to the margins whatsoever. It is actually very hard to find historical references to citations of the margins.

This is because millions understood the translators’ intent (at least tacitly), and while some have wrongly cherished the margins as alternatives, it has been only relatively recently that there has been a real effort to attempt to distort the translators’ intentions by the modernist claim that things are still uncertain, and that no Bible is perfect.

The word “alternative” is not found in the Translators’ Preface, because their view and intention was not to provide an “either-or” presentation, as though each marginal rendering was an equal choice to the main text. This is simply because they knew that God inspired one Scripture, so they saw it was important to give the Scripture, not merely possibilities as to what might be Scripture.

The margins contain various notes, some of which touch on critical issues, some of which show other interpretations, and some which give explanations. As is known today: nothing in the margin is Scripture; it is not to be treated as Scripture; nor are they any more possibly Scripture.

A person might have said, “There are three reasons supporting this rendering at this verse, yet it has been placed in the margin.” It might be said that that three good reasons would give a great probability for a rendering. But then, if the translators found ten or thirteen reasons for the way they rendered it in the main text, surely this would be a greater probability. In short, it is never a fifty-fifty (50%/50%) situation, so that the text is just as possible as the margin. In the end, one is better than the other, and ultimately, there can be only one right rendering. (Just as God originally gave one word in its right place by inspiration.)

The King James Bible translators worked on the judging between various renderings. They tendered what they thought should stand. They asked the reader to investigate also, because they wanted every single word to be accepted or received from them (as wise learned men), and for people to know that the words were not wrong. (Of course, people could investigate from the perspective that their might be something wrong, but they would have to do so honestly, and begin from the assumption that this was indeed the Word of God.) From the very beginning there was a general acceptance, and more so in time. At no time were the margins supposed to be “equal alternatives” or “still possible”. They were given because they were legitimate choices at the time of translation being made, but they were choices which the 1611 men rejected. Thus, the modernist view to accept both the margin and text as concurrently correct is worse than those who have historically thought that the margins were better than the main text in various places. If the margins were right, then from an early time there would have been a witness of this, but the general acceptance of the main text and rejection of the marginal by millions for centuries, either tacitly or deliberately, is witness enough that the text must stand, and that the margins really are the chaff. We are yet invited to come to that view today, because the margins are yet present for investigation: but now, having specific analysis of the whole general nature of the case, I trust that people can take hold of that without having to look at every last marginal rendering, peradventure just one might be right, and the main text wrong, at some obscure location in the holy book.

Another example might be that the translators were discussing how to translate and render a particular word into English. They had commentaries, former translations, etc. What was required was their general and collective consensus. This type of communal judgment would be the best and safest way for bringing the truth into the main text, and banishing other things to the margins. One translator in minority may have been passionate about a certain rendering, citing a Church Father or some other authorities. But when all things were weighed, various opinions collated, etc., the final judgment, both by majority, and also by episcopy — the arrangement being the melding of two forms of decision making, one being the majority agreement of all translators, the second being the decisive judgment of leaders where consensus could not be reached — whatever would be deemed to be most correct would stand as the text, and the other rendering the margin. Thus, the main text first commended the status of certain words, but at the last showed that these certain words were immortalised. They certainly had a sense of this when they made their work, but it fell to later generations to uphold the product judgment of the translators, that is to say, to uphold the words of truth, so that it was clearer only more recently just how high and important and worthy the English Bible was, and to what exclusive status it actually should be held. This was not by humanly contrived force, but by Providence.

We know full well that the translators had to decide between various readings. We also know they supplied various renderings which they rejected in the margin. And we know that they did this so that we could check their work. Most importantly, they told us this so that we could indeed be certain as to the words of God, for they elsewhere said, “to make a good one better, or out of many good ones one principal good one, not justly to be excepted against”, being “one more exact Translation of the holy Scriptures into the English Tongue”.

The translators said, “variety of translations” were “profitable for the finding out of the sense of the Scriptures”. Now, the translators consulted the variety for us, that we might have the benefit of the sense in one settled form, that is, by a final translation which is the ultimate standard.

We are not still in a mode of wondering whether or not the margins are valid (or equal). We are not still having to look at a handful of commentaries, translations and numerous other endeavours to find out what is right. (We are certainly not holding all things as alternate, as though one word of God at the same place is equally another.) We have advanced to “seek further” where we are now “finding out of the sense of the Scriptures” (surely, true believers have been doing so for years on end). And we all the more by receiving the King James Bible as having passed through all these years of testing, and use by millions of people, and so many pages of information on the public record.

The margins are not important as far as knowledge of the Scripture, they are important only for the honest inspection of what the translators thought was not as probable to be the rendering of Scripture, i.e. not Scripture.

The margins are showing what could have been, not what is.

Unless we can know what things of the variety and diversity they rejected, we would be disadvantaged, and forced to accept their work without any reasoning or inquiry. But they wanted people to know, because they wanted everyone to accept their work as exact, correct and right. They were not labouring for something which was only 99% accurate, but “to make God's holy Truth to be yet more and more known unto the people”.

Those who yet view the margins as either a possibility, or as an equality, have not at all entered into the spirit of the translators, nor have they at all understood the doctrine of the Scripture itself, which is that it singularly is the truth. “O receive not so great things in vain: O despise not so great salvation. Be not like swine to tread under foot so precious things, neither yet like dogs to tear and abuse holy things.”

We are commanded by God to study Scripture, and since the margins are not Scripture (as has been shown by millions of people's use for hundreds of years) then we are all the more enjoined to the main text to believe it as it stands, and to take what it says as being the truth in English.

I do not wish to put a stumblingblock into those who might inquire into the margins whether or not they are right, but unless their nature is understood rightly (e.g. they give other senses of words in English), and the study is undertaken from a believing perspective (i.e. not to tear down and rend the King James Bible), then I shall leave people to it: but that they should consider the providence that I have highlighted, that so much verdict has now been made evident in this matter, that should I not mention another word about it here, the margins have been thoroughly disproven to have any validity or relevance as Scripture, or even as insight on interpretation itself.

Thus, we have the Scripture, with the stubble laid by.
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