Revised Version

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English Bible Versions

The Revised Version (or English Revised Version) of the Bible is a late 19th-century British revision of the King James Version of 1611. The New Testament was published in 1881, the Old Testament in 1885, and the Apocrypha in 1894. The best known of the translation committee members were Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort; their fiercest critic of that period was John William Burgon.

The stated aim of the RV's translators was "to adapt King James' version to the present state of the English language without changing the idiom and vocabulary," and "to adapt it to the present standard of Biblical scholarship." Further, it was to be "the best version possible in the nineteenth century, as King James' version was the best which could be made in the seventeenth century." To those ends, the corrupted Greek text used to translate the New Testament was falsely believed by some to be of higher reliability than the Textus Receptus used for the KJV. The readings used were compiled from a different text of the Greek Testament by Edwin Palmer.

Most modern version supporters claim that no doctrines are affected by the changes of modern versions, George Vance Smith was a Unitarian scholar who worked on the RV translation committee and wrote a book explaining that the new RV readings favor Unitarian doctrines. He called it: Texts and margins of the revised New Testament: affecting theological doctrine briefly reviewed. Hort insisted that a Unitarian serve on the Revision Committee of the RV New Testament.

While the text of the translation itself is widely regarded as excessively literal and flat, the Revised Version is significant in the history of English Bible translation for many reasons. At the time of the RV's publication, the nearly 300-year old King James Version was still the only viable English Bible in Victorian England. The RV, therefore, is regarded as the forerunner of the entire corrupt modern translation tradition. Other important enhancements introduced in the RV include arrangement of the text into paragraphs, printing Old Testament poetry in indented poetic lines (rather than as prose), and the inclusion of marginal notes to alert the reader to variations in wording in ancient manuscripts.

In the United States, the RV was adapted as the Revised Version, Standard American Edition (better known as the American Standard Version) in 1901. It is largely identical to it, the most readily noticeable difference being the use of the word Jehovah rather than the traditional "the LORD" to represent the Divine Name, the Tetragrammaton.



Old Testament Company

  • The Right Rev. Edward Harold Brown, D. D., Bishop of Winchester (Chairman), Farnham Castle, Surrey.
  • The Right Rev. Lord Athur Charles Hervey, D. D., Bishop of Bath and Wells, Palace, Wells, Somerset.
  • The Right Rev. Alfred Ollivant, D. D., Bishop of Llandaff, Bishop's Court, Llandaff.
  • The Very Rev. Robert Payne Smith, D. D., Dean of Canterbury, Deanery, Canterbury.
  • The Ven. Benjamin Harrison, M. A., Archdeacon of Maidstone, Canon of Canterbury, Canterbury.
  • The Rev. William Lindsay Alexander, D. D., Professor of Theology, Congregational Church Hall, Edinburgh.
  • Robert L. Bensly, Esq., Fellow and Hebrew Lecturer, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.
  • The Rev. John Birrell, Professor of Oriental Languages, St. Andrew's, Scotland.
  • Frank Chance, Esq., M. D., Burleigh House, Sydenham Hill, London.
  • Thomas Chenery, Esq., Reform Club, London, S. W.
  • The Rev. T. K. Cheyne, Fellow and Hebrew Lecturer, Balliol College, Oxford.
  • The Rev. A. B. Davidson, D. D., Professor of Hebrew, Free Church College, Edinburgh.
  • The Rev. George Douglas, D. D., Professor of Hebrew and Principal of Free Church College, Glasgow.
  • S. R. Driver, esq., Tutor of New College, Oxford.
  • The Rev. C. J. Elliott, Winkfield Vicarage, Windsor.
  • The Rev. Frederick Field, D. D., Carlton Terrace, Heigham, Norwich.
  • The Rev. John Dury Geden, Professor of Hebrew, Wesleyan College, Didsbury, Manchester.
  • The Rev. Christian D. Ginsburg, LL.D., Workingham, Berks.
  • The Rev. Frederick William Gotch, D. D., Principal of the Baptist College, Bristol.
  • The Rev. William Kay, D. D., Great Leghs' Rectory, Chelmsford.
  • The Rev. Stanley Leathes, D. D., Professor of Hebrew, King's College, London.
  • The Rev. Professor J. R. Lumby, D. D., Fellow of St. Catharine's College, Cambridge.
  • The Very Rev. John James Stewart Perowne, D. D., Dean of Peterborough, Deanery, Peterborough.
  • The Rev. A. H. Sayce, Fellow and Tutor of Queen's College, Oxford.
  • The Rev. William Robertson Smith, Professor of Hebrew, Free Church College, Aberdeen.
  • William Wright, LL. D., Professor of Arabic, Cambridge.
  • William Aldis Wright Esq. (Secretary), Bursar of Trinity College, Cambridge.

The English Old Testament Company has lost, by death, the Right Rev. Dr. Connop Thirlwall, Bishop of St. Davids; the Ven. Henry John Rose, Archdeacon of Bedford; the Rev. William Selwyn, D. D., Canon of Ely; the Rev. Dr. Patrick Fairbairn, Principal of the Free Church College, Glasgow; Professors McGill, Weir and Davies. They have lost, by resignation, the Right Rev. Dr. Christopher Wordsworth, Bishop of Lincoln; the Rev. John Jebb, Canon of Hereford, and the Rev. Edward Hayes Plumptre, D. D., Professor of N. T. Exegesis, King's College, London.

New Testament Company

  • The Right Rev. Charles John Ellicott, D. D., Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol (Chairman), Palace, Gloucester.
  • The Right Rev. George Moberly, D. C. L., Bishop of Salisbury, Palace, Salisbury.
  • The Very Rev. Edward Henry Bickersteth, D. D., Prolocutor, Dean of Lichfield, Deanery, Lichfield.
  • The Very Rev. Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, D. D., Dean of Westminster, Deanery, Westminster.
  • The Very Rev. Robert Scott, D. D., Dean of Rochester, Deanery, Rochester.
  • The Very Rev. Joseph Williams Blakesley, B. D., Dean of Lincoln, Deanery, Lincoln.
  • The Most Rev. Richard Chenevix Trench, D. D., Archbishop of Dublin, Palace, Dublin.
  • The Right Rev. Joseph Lightfoot, D. D., LL.D., Bishop of Durham.
  • The Right Rev. Charles Wordsworth, D. C. L., Bishop of St. Andrew's, Bishopshall, St. Andrew's.
  • The Rev. Joseph Angus, D. D., President of the Baptist College, Regent's Park, London.
  • The Rev. David Brown, D. D., Principal of the Free Church College, Aberdeen.
  • The Rev. Fenton John Anthony Hort, D. D., Fellow of Emmanual College, Cambridge.
  • The Rev. William Gilson Humphry, Vicarage, St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, London, W. C.
  • The Rev. Benjamin Hall Kennedy, D. D., Canon of Ely and Regius Professor of Greek, The Elms, Cambridge.
  • The Ven. William Lee, D. D., Archdeacon of Dublin, Dublin.
  • The Rev. William Milligan, D. D., Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism, Aberdeen.
  • The Rev. William F. Moulton, D. D., Master of the Leys School, Cambridge.
  • The Rev. Samuel Newth, D. D., Principal of New College, Hampstead, London.
  • The Ven. Edwin Palmer, D. D., Archdeacon of Oxford, Christ Church, Oxford.
  • The Rev. Alexander Roberts, D. D., Professor of Humanity, St. Andrew's.
  • The Rev. Frederick Henry Ambrose Scrivener, LL.D., Prebendary, Hendon Vicarage, London, N. W.
  • The Rev. George Vance. Smith, D. D., Parade, Carmarthen.
  • The Rev. Charles John Vaughan, D. D., Master of the Temple, The Temple, London, E. C.
  • The Rev. Brooke Foss Westcott, D. D., Canon of Peterborough and Regius Professor of Divinity, Trinity College, Cambridge.
  • The Rev. J. Troutbeck (Secretary), Dean's Yard, Westminster.

The English New Testament Company has lost, by death, the Right Rev. Dr. Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Winchester; the Very Rev. Dr. Henry Alford, Dean of Canterbury; the Rev. Dr. John Eadie, Professor of Biblical Literature in the United Presbyterian Church, Glasgow; and Mr. Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, LL. D.; and they lost, by resignation, the Rev. Dr. Charles Merivale, Dean of Ely.

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