What does "great probability" mean?

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What does "great probability" mean?

Postby bibleprotector » 27 May 2014, 17:54

What does the KJB translators' preface mean when it states "great probability"?

1. Translator Richard Kilbye heard a young parson question the rendering of the King James Bible at a certain place, giving three reasons why it ought to be read differently. Kilbye took him aside afterward, and telling him that his preaching should be better spent than criticising the KJB, for that the translators in their deliberations were aware of those three reasons, but had found thirteen compelling reasons why to render it the way they had presented it.

This shows that while there was a great probability for one rendering, there was a greater probability for another, and that the translator defended the rendering as it stood.

2. Translator John Bois took notes of some of the deliberations of the translators. He recorded that when they came to 1 Corinthians 10:11, they were discussing the word in Greek "typoi", and how to render it. It has been rendered "ensamples" meaning, according to Adam Nicolson, "illustrative instances". Augustine had read it to mean, "types", that is, that the Jews were actually essentially wicked. Bois notes that Andrew Downes agreed with the "types" interpretation which had great probability, whereas the other translators said it was "ensamples", which had greater probability. Thus, their collective judgment showed "ensamples", but in order to show the other less probable rendering of "types", they placed it in the margin.

This shows that while individual translators, or some witness was held for one minority rendering of great probability, the greater probability always prevailed, and stood as the main text, which could be testable afterward to see whether it was infallible or not.

Thus "great probability" does not mean "alternate" or 50/50. It means that of all possible renderings, some have greater probability of being correct than others, and that one has the greatest probability. Even though absolute certainty does not cover the greatest probable rendering with a naturalistic view, the greatest certainty comes in when the greatest probability is viewed in line with God's providence. In other words, the KJB translators did not claim infallibility, but were used of God providentially to get the text and translation of Scripture infallibly in English.

Judging among the most probable renderings was the order of the day. It works out that what was judged to stand as main text, believers recognise today as being correct. It is this very thing which the translators allowed for: a pope might claim infallibility, but they allowed for open proving by the saints that what they presented as the main text is correct.
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