Handwritten Draft Of King James Bible Discovered: Reveals No ‘Divine Powers’

    By Antiphon Freeman | 28 October 2015
    Addicting Info

    Two pages from Samuel Ward’s translation form part of the King James Bible. An American professor who came upon the manuscript last fall at Cambridge says it is the earliest known draft for the King James translation, which appeared in 1611. Credit Master and Fellows of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge; Maria Anna Rogers (Photo)

    The earliest known version of The King James Bible, perhaps one of the most influential and widely read books in history, has been discovered mislabeled inside an archive at the University of Cambridge. The find is being called one of the most significant revelations in decades. It shows that writing is a process of revising, cutting, and then more rewriting. The Bible is no different in this regard, even though some conservative Christians claim it is the divine word of God himself. Perhaps God, then, is a revisionist. This find certainly seems to suggest that.

    The notebook containing the draft was found by American scholar, Jeffrey Alan Miller, an assistant professor of English at Montclair State University in New Jersey, who announced his research in an article in The Times Literary Supplement. The New York Times didn’t take long to pick up the story. They ran an article about it, HERE. Mr. Miller was researching an essay about Samuel Ward, one of the King James translators, and was hoping to find an unknown letter at the archives. While you can say he certainly accomplished that end, he definitely wasn’t expecting to find the earliest draft of the King James Bible — which is now giving new insights into how the Bible was constructed.

    He first came across the plain notebook not knowing what it was — it was incorrectly labeled. That’s why no one has found it until now. It had been cataloged in the 1980s as a “verse-by-verse” Biblical commentary with “Greek word studies, and some Hebrew notes.” When he tried in vain to figure out which passages of the Bible the commentary was referring to, he realized that it was no commentary at all — it was an early draft of part of the King James Version of the Bible.

    Professor Miller described what it felt like when he first knew what he had in his hands:

    “There was a kind of thunderstruck, leap-out-of-bathtub moment. But then comes the more laborious process of making sure you are 100 percent correct.”

    The material in the manuscript discovered by Miller covers the apocryphal books called Esdras and Wisdom and seems to show that the translation process at Cambridge worked completely different than what researchers had previously known. Until now, it had been assumed that six different teams, or companies of translators that is, had worked more collaboratively rather than individually. Yet — this draft throws that idea out the window.

    Ward’s draft seems to indicate the people were assigned individual sections of the Bible and then worked on them almost entirely by themselves — a massive undertaking with little guesswork. You would think this would cause people to become more error prone. In fact, quite hilariously, Professor Miller noticed that the draft suggests that Ward was picking up the slack for another translator. This really shows how human the entire job was, according to him.

    “Some of them, being typical academics, either fell down on the job or just decided not to do it. It really testifies to the human element of this kind of great undertaking.”

    This is sure to piss off a lot of religious conservatives who claim that the Bible is the “actual word of God.” While this finding certainly doesn’t disprove God, it does show that the translators of the Bible didn’t get a finalized product the first go around — it wasn’t a walk in the park with an angel over their shoulder telling them what to write. It took many different individuals, working separately — and they often suffered from man-made struggles, like meeting deadlines. You know, now that we think of it, doesn’t sound that much different from the writers of today’s workforce.

    Professor Discovers First Draft of King James Bible

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    226 COMMENTS

    1. First, a history lesson. James was offered to become King on the stipulation that he not turn the country back to Catholicism. After Henry VIII broke from the Vatican and formed the Church of England, the return of Catholicism was unthinkable. The true heir, Mary Queen of Scots was a staunch Catholic so she suffered a beheading rather than allowing her to install the original Church of Rome. As such, James was offered the throne with the stipulation, knowing full well his mother’s fate. The King James Version was an attempt to solidify his power as king. The newly created Guttenberg press allowed for copies of the same translation to be sent across England and the same text to be taught to everyone. The Bibles written for Catholic services were all hand written in Latin. All because Henry VIII wanted an heir and decided to break from Rome because divorce was not allowed by the Church. English persecution of the Irish took on new meaning with Ireland’s strong ties to Rome. As Patrick told the Irish, “you must be the most blessed people on Earth with the sign of the Holy Trinity everywhere at your feet!” (The Shamrock) To understand history, you cannot separate events. Things happen because other things happened. Open your minds and see the whole story. By the way, I have been an atheist for over fifty years. Sad that an atheist knows more about the history of religion than it’s converts.

      • Exactly! You’ve got it right on the head. Real events don’t just dissappear because some childish self ritouse imaginyst says it’s gods word. Reason dosent matter when someone has “faith”, but non are blindly faithful because they truly know better because “god” told them so directly at a meeting. But yet the scripture clearly points our an agenda of a jealous, wrathful, hateful, and most scornful father to his unconditionally loved children who are all so very very special. But, you good sir are truly awesome. Thank you for reading and being a good Shepherd! God dosent exist because a book says so or not. And God is simply a word to describe something we can’t explain. I think truly weak people need these imaginary friends to be appreciative for what they are so ungrateful for to begin with. They can’t find it in their being to think beyond what’s not in front of their eyes..

      • Thank you! I’m not religious, and never realized where the King James Bible came from or rather, what inspired it to be written. Now I want to go learn even more!

    2. Susan E Bigelow I’ll bet your heart broke when you found out that faith you had in the Easter Bunny and dear old saint Nick didn’t hold water. That’s faith tho.

    3. Jesus never existed either. Watch 'EXCAVATING THE EMPTY TOMB' on YouTube. It's a video series based on books written by Dennis MacDonald, who is the John Wesley Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at the Claremont School of Theology in California. He deconstructs a lot of the New Testament and shows what sources (but not limited to the contents of the video series) the NT writers were borrowing from. They could get away with sneaking all this past the uneducated public back then, but we are now literate and capable of fully connecting the dots. Grab some popcorn and be enlightened! CHEERS!

    4. It’s funny just how ignorant religious people are. All the BS god books were written by men and aren’t the word of god. How do I know cause they were all written 100’s of years after Jesus was killed for being an ignorant fool. 99% of the evil committed in the history of the world. Has been committed by people claiming to do it in the name of god. So there for you religious fools have been tricked and turned against humanity. The only atheists agenda is to get ride of religion and war since they go hand in hand.

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