Monday, October 08, 2012

The Oxford and Cambridge Editions of the KJV

When I recently picked up my used R. L. Allan KJV (Oxford Edition) Bible, it got me interested in the differences between the Oxford and Cambridge editions of the AV.  Slight differences, mainly in spelling and punctuation, arose in each stream (and apparently even in various editions within the same stream).  I am not sure if the differences reflect distinctions between the revision prepared by F. S. Paris and H. Therold of Trinity College Cambridge in 1762 and the revision prepared by Benjamin Blayney of Herford College, Oxford in 1769, or if they merely reflect publishing differences between Oxford and Cambridge printings of the Blayney edition which Alan J. Macgregor calls "the final revision" which "gave us the essentially the AV we have today" (Three Modern Versions, p. 95).  Maybe someone with more knowledge than I on this topic will let me know.

I found this note on a dicussion board that points to some of the more significant differences between the two editions:
Oxford [O] Cambridge [C]:

Josh. 19:2 and Sheba [O] or Sheba [C]
2 Kings 19:23 the Lord [O] the LORD [C]
2 Chron. 33:19 sins [O] sin [C]
Neh. 1:11 O Lord [O] O LORD [C]
Ps. 148:8 vapours [O] vapour [C]
Jer. 34:16 whom he [O] whom ye [C]
Nah. 3:16 fleeth [O] flieth [C]

Another difference is in the use of the apostrophe. Oxford has an apostrophe in some words "their's" (Matt. 5:3), "your's" (Luke 6:20) while the Cambridge does not.


This, of course, gives KJV-Onlyists fits, and it makes clear the problem with defending the inerrency of an English translation versus the infallibility of the immediately inspired original text from which faithful translations are made. From browsing the internet, it seems that there are at least some KJV-Onlyists who defend the Cambridge stream as the purest.
The same person who posted the points above provides a chart in another post with some of the differences between the Oxford and Cambridge editions of the AV:

A Chart for comparing Oxford and Cambridge KJV Editions

Scripture Reference

Oxford KJV

Cambridge KJV

Genesis 15:13
Genesis 26:20
Genesis 46:12
Deuteronomy 11:24
Joshua 13:18
Joshua 19:2
and Sheba
or Sheba
Joshua 19:19
1 Samuel 31:2

2 Samuel 21:21
1 Kings 8:56
2 Chronicles 33:19
Ezra 2:2
Ezra 4:10
Psalm 107:27
wit's end
wits' end

Psalm 148:8
Proverbs 20:25
Proverbs 20:29
Ecclesiastes 8:17
Jeremiah 34:16
whom he
whom ye
Amos 2:2

Naham 3:16
Matthew 2:7
Matthew 4:1
Mark 1:19
Luke 6:20

1 Corinthians 4:15
Revelation 2:6
Revelation 21:10



AJ said...

Dr. Riddle,

Sometimes I wonder if I fit into the "KJV-onlyists". I certainly do prefer the AV, but do not consider the English translation to be without error. When I read Chapter 1 of the 1689, "and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentic". I lean to the idea that the "pure" and "authentic" text is the TR (though I am wary to be dogmatic). Where I find differences, I tend to favor the TR as trump over other. Does this make me a "TR onlyist"? If not how does it differ?

Jeffrey T. Riddle said...

Hi Armand,

I think you have touched on a key distinction. The KJV-Onlyist believes that the KJV as an English translation was immediately inspired and is thus inerrant. I agree with the 2LB Confession, however, which says the Scriptures were inspired in the original languages of Hebrew and Greek. One may highly value the KJV as a faithful translation and as a cultural and literary treasure and perhaps even determine to use it exclusively in public worship and private devotion, but this is different than classic KJV-Onlyism as I understand it.

If the original texts are the key, then what are those texts? Like you, I prefer the traditional text of Scripture long affirmed by the church's use and the basis of all Reformation era translations. This would namely be the Masoretic Hebrew text of the OT and the Greek Textus Receptus of the NT. These were the texts that the framers of the Confession refer to as having been kept "pure and entire" in all ages. This does not mean, however, there is no place for textual criticism and study, just not of the kind pursued by modern text criticism.

I have, in fact, been accused of being a "TR-onlyist" (as well as erroneously as a KJV-Onlyist). Maybe "TR-preferentialist" would be better. I'll think about it.


Victor Leonardo Barbosa said...

Even the good choice of the Receveid Text as Standard Greek Text don't excuse us the use of a moderate(and Biblical) textual criticism, in passages like John 1:28, James 2: 18 and Revelations 16:5.

God Bless pastor Jeff. Keep on Keeping on.

Greg Wright said...

I am a KJV onlyist for the very reason that it has been shown to be blessed of God.For 400 years, millions of people have been saved because of it. God did not use the Luther Bible or any other to sail the 7 seas. Over a thousand translations into other langauges were done by missionaries straight from the KJV and not the Hebrew & Greek because they had faith that the KJV was the very Word of God. There is more I could say on the genuine revivals in history from KJV preaching. In summary it has produced the fruit.
What is the fruit of of the modern versions? A brief summary is:
1. Carnal worship music
2. Antinomiasm
3. Rise of Arminiasm
4. False Charismatic beliefs
5. Ecumenism which destroys the importance of studing bible doctrine
6. The acceptance of the false Roman Catholic Religion
7. New Age beliefs and practices are in many churches
8. Rise of Gnosticism
9. Rise of Mysticism
10. Many unsaved people think they are saved by having just said a "sinners prayer".

There is more I could say, but this summary should suffice on the point I am making.

Greg Wright
New Zealand

Jeffrey T. Riddle said...

Hi Greg,

Though I greatly admire the KJV and used it in ministry and personal devotion, the problem with the KJV-only position is that inspiration applies to the original texts not to translations--even excellent ones like the KJV.


Unknown said...


As a fellow KJV-only believer interested in the issue, I must ask: as an opponent to antinomiasm, how do you interpret Romans 4:5 - "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

I believe that we are saved by believing in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross.

Jared Songster

Melvyn Hills said...

I believe that the majority of Puritans took the Geneva Bible across the Atlantic... obviously a less political (ie divine right) version. Which of course was a significant issue in UK history during the 17th century and the establishment of what we generally call democracy

BibleBeliever said...

Inspiration has to be for more than the original text. When Paul said that they had 0 original manuscripts of the Old Testament scriptures. They only had copies. Also, if you look up the word "translation" in the bible (yes it's in there) you will see that a translation can also be inspired. If it is an accurate translation into a language from the originals, then it's just as inspired as the original because it's still Gods words.

BibleBeliever said...

If only the originals are inspired, why did Paul even tell Timothy that? They had no originals of the Old Testament in Paul's day. How could Jesus promise that one jot or tittle would pass away if only the originals were inspired. Jesus didnt have the originals in His day. If you do a study of the word "translation" in the Bible you will see that a translation can be inspired. For example, when the New Testanent translates the Hebrew or Arabic words into Greek, its inspired and yet it's a translation. If the translation is accurate to what God actually said then it's just as inspired as the originals.

Jeffrey T. Riddle said...

Bible believer, I would point you to the Second London Baptist Confession (1689) chapter 1, paragraph 8 for my view on this. The Bible was immediately inspired in the original Hebrew and Greek. This does NOT mean we must have the autographs. Paul did not have the autographs but he did have faithful copies (apographs). Read also in the confession 1:8 about the use of translations. Yes, translations (like the Greek Septuagint-LXX) of the OT were used in the NT (as were citations even from secular writers; cf. Titus 1:12), but this does not mean that the entire LXX was inspired. Translations are useful to the degree that they accurately convey the meaning of the immediately inspired originals.