Article: The Word of God for All Nations by Phil Stringer
From Textus Receptus
The Word of God for All Nations
Every major language group in the world faces the same challenge—modernist Bible societies trying to corrupt the Word of God in that language. (For more information write and ask for my article “Should Fundamentalists Trust Modernist Bible Societies?”). As a result, national pastors and missionaries often have to choose between conflicting translations of the Bible. This is an extremely important issue for national pastors, missionaries, Bible printing ministries, Bible colleges, and mission boards and organizations.
The preserved Word of God will be found in translations based upon the Received Text (also known as the Traditional Text). These could be based upon the Masoretic Hebrew Text and the Greek Textus Receptus. They could also be translated from major, long established Received Text translations like Luther’s German Bible, the Italian Diodati Bible or the King James Bible.
We believe that the original Bible has been maintained to this day by the verbal, plenary, preserved, inerrant, infallible, inspired Traditional Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words that underlie the King James Bible. When a translation uses exclusively these preserved Words as its basis, and pays close attention to the verbal and formal translation technique, it can be said that it represents the Words of God in that language, just as we can say that the King James Bible represents the Words of God in English.
Corrupt translations will be made from Alexandrian texts like Westcott and Hort or Nestles-Aland. Sometimes long-established Received Text translations will be “revised” based upon Alexandrian texts.
Sound translations will be based upon the verbal and formal translation technique. The proper text alone is insufficient because of the influx of translations based upon dynamic equivalency based translations which use interpretation rather than translation. These are often called “meaning based” translations.
The following is a current status report on Received Text Bibles around the world. We understand that this is a “starter report” and that much work remains to be done.
We would be happy to receive any additional information about these translations or about translations that we have missed or languages we have not addressed. E-mail Phil Stringer at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have sent communications to many translators, printing ministries and missionaries concerning the text of Scripture. Fewer than one half have been answered.
(South Africa—a form of Dutch)
Ta Biblia Ta Logia was released in 1933. It is the first Bible in Afrikaans. It was very clearly Received Text and was often compared to the King James Bible. It was revised in 1953 but was still clearly based upon the Received Text. The 1983 revision is based upon the Critical Text.
The 1933-1953 Afrikaans Bible is still in print and is actively used by fundamentalists in South Africa. It is published by the Bible Society of South Africa, which owns the copyright. It is often called the Old Afrikaans Version.
German missionary Johannes Christaller led the effort to translate the Bible into the Akuapem Twi language. The translation was printed in 1871. According to modern missionaries it is very similar to the Received Text but needs work in a few areas.
Christaller and other German missionaries first had to turn Twi into a written language in order to produce the Bible. Christaller produced a grammar and a dictionary in Twi.
In 1933, a revision was produced which introduced many Critical Text readings into that Twi Bible. There are two more recent “meaning” based Bibles.
Rex Cobb writes:
- “Michele Bass is working with two national pastors, native speakers of Akei and a lady, Rose, in the village who has is very helpful. Rose is somewhat educated. Michele also works with one of the pastor’s wife to check the translation. I’m not sure if you could say that Michele is heading up the translation, but the pastors listen to her. Michele follows the King James, for the most part, and the pastors use both the KJB and the French Ostervalt. They may learn a little more on the French because their primary education was in French, I believe. One pastor speaks English better than the other one. They are working on the Gospel of John and probably have a rough translation of most of it by now. There is another young woman about 30 or so named Honorine who is very interested in helping with the translation. Akei is her first language but she is fluent in Bishlama (the trade language, a type of Pidgin English/French), French, and English. Hono is a very spiritual person and she is very interested in helping her people have a good Bible. She will graduate from a Baptist Bible College in Fiji in November. The school is run by some native men who were trained at Heartland BBC in OKC. She loves the KJB. We are in the process of trying to get her to BBTI for at least the Bible Translation course in the spring. We are trying for a R-I visas, but they are much harder to get than in the past. I think the course will help her, but it will also give her more clout with the pastors on the translation team. They would be more likely to listen to her opinion if she has some training in translation. I am very optimistic about the Akei project.”
The Albanian 1994 Diodati Bible is the Received Text Bible in Albanian
It is translated from Giovanni Diodati’s Italian Bible, referenced to the original Greek text and compared with the King James Version. Part of the preface reads, “This version of the Bible is not a paraphrased translation that gives only an understanding of the mind of God, but is a translation word for word of the text from the breath of God.”
This Bible is printed by some of the Bearing Precious Seed branches.
Russian Orthodox missionary Ioann Veniaminov (Saint Innocent of Alaska) turned the Aleut language (also known as Fox) into a written language (finished 1079). He translated part of the Russian Synodal Bible into the Aleut language.
The Biblia Amharica was translated by Ethiopian pastors and British missionaries and published in 1886. The source text was the ancient GE’EZ Bible which was translated from ancient Greek and Hebrew texts. These texts largely conformed to the Received Text type. This Bible is available from some branches of Bearing Precious Seed today.
(Papua, New Guinea)
Baptist missionary Ray Gibello is doing a translation from the King James Bible into the Angave language.
He can be contacted at email@example.com
Missionary John Gibson Paton (1824-1907) was instrumental in mission work in several South Pacific islands. He translated the New Testament from the King James Bible into the Aniwa language. It was released in 1899.
The Van Dyke Arabic Bible (sometimes known as the Smith-Van Dyke Bible) is based upon the Received Text.
The translation of the Arabic Bible began in 1848 in Beirut, Lebanon, by Dr. Eli Smith using the Hebrew and Greek texts. After Dr. Smith’s death in 1857, the translation work was taken up by Dr. Cornelius Van Dyke. He completed the work in 1864 and it was first printed in 1865. Smith normally used the Received Text, but occasionally departed. In 1910, Henry Jessup, (Fifty Years in Syria),.writes about Van Dyke’s work: “As the American Bible Society required a strict adherence to the Textus Receptus of Hahn’s Greek Testament, Dr. Van Dyke revised every verse in the New Testament taking up the work as if new.”
He was aided by Sheikh Nacif al-Yaziji.
Basque is an isolated language used in the northern mountains of Spain. Linguists say that it is unrelated to any other language. In 1571, Joannes Leizarrga translated the Received Text into Bosque. He was a converted, former Roman Catholic priest.
His translation was republished by the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1824. It was revised in 1830 by Henry Pyt who used the French Ostervald as a source for revision. This revision is available to be downloaded on the internet. A Roman Catholic translation was released in 1976. The United Bible Society has recently released an ecumenical translation.
Missionary Ludwig Ingwer Nommensen is called the “Apostle to the Bataks.”
Dutch missionary Dr. Herman Neubronner van Der Turk turned Batak into a written language and translated part of the Dutch Bible into Batak in 1858. Nommensen translated the German Lutheran New Testament into Batak in 1878. The Old Testament from the German was released in 1894.
This Bible is still in use and is credited with turning the Batak away from being a cannibal tribe.
Francysk Skaryna (1485-1552) translated the Bible into Belorusian. This is often listed with the great translations of the Reformation but Skaryna was a Roman Catholic. The base text was the Latin Vulgate.
A facsimile translation was released in 1990.
Vasil Syomuba began a translation into Belorusian in 1988. It was sponsored by the Orthodox Chruch. He used the Lutehran Bible and the Russian Synodal Bible as source texts.
The Bible Society of Belorusian is doing a new translation based upon the New Latin Vulgate translation. It is an ecumenical translation.
(the written language for the blind)
J. Robert Atkinson (18870-1964) was a Montana cowboy. As a young man he was blinded in a gunshot accident. He devoted his life to translating books into Braille. He founded the Braille Institute of America.
He translated the King James Bible into Braille. It was released in 1924.
Keith Reedy of Bibles for the Blind makes King James Bibles available in Braille. He can be contacted at Bibles for the Blind, 3228 E. Rosehill Avenue, Terre Haute, IN 47605, (812) 466-4899.
King James Braille Bibles can also be obtained from Braille Bibles International, 1908 Plumbers Way, Suite 100, Liberty, MO 64068, (1-800) 522-4253
This Bulgarian Constantinople Bible was produced by Protestant translators and released in 1821.
A more authoritative Bulgarian Bible was produced by American missionaries Elias Riggs and Albert Long and Bulgarian pastors Christodul Kostovich and Petko Slaveikov. Riggs spent sixty years in Bulgaria. This Bible was released in 1864. It is often called the Old Bulgarian Bible. It was revised in 1871.
The Bible was produced under the auspices of the American Bible Society. At that time the American Bible Society required strict adherence to the Received Text. This is available from the Russian Bible Society.
In 1989 a translation from the King James Bible into Bulgarian was released.
The Slavic Gospel Association is working on a new translation of the Bible in Bulgarian. It is scheduled for release in 2009. There are reports that the New Testament is based upon the Nestle-Aland.
Missionary Jeff Krontz is working on a revision of the old Bulgarian Bible, Jeff Krontz—firstname.lastname@example.org.
His doctrinal statement and statement about the Textus Receptus are encouraging. Missionary Krontz writes:
- “Dear Dr. Stringer, Here is the info that I have on the Bulgarian Bible and what we are doing on the translation that we are working on.
- I went to Bulgaria in 2001. Before going I was informed that Bulgaria had a good Bible translation. After several months of being in the country I was confronted by a preacher in the church I was attending. He had asked for a good verse on the Trinity to give someone that he was dealing with. I told him to turn to I John 5:7. When he looked for the verse it was not there. I was then confronted by the missionary that said if I wanted to start trouble to get on a plane and return home. I was not needed in Bulgaria.
I began to search and look for information on a Textus Receptus translation. After several months of praying, looking and asking, I was introduced to a man that was working on several different translation projects. There was a translation done in 1871. I have a copy of this translation. It is from the Textus Receptus. The White Brotherhood, a cult in Bulgaria for many years, produced it. If you search in bookstores or on the streets where books are sold you can find an original 1871. I have searched through it and have found many verses that are there including 1 John 5:7. I am not sure if this one is the same as the 1864 that you have spoken of. It may very well be the same, just printed by two different printing houses and therefore dated differently.
- I know of no other Bulgarian Bible that is from the Textus Receptus. There are several groups that have said that they produced a Textus Receptus Bulgarian Bible, but they are not doing it to a high standard. The reason that I say this is for example: “Born Again” is changed to “Born from on High” or “Born from Above.” They take out verses such as I John 5:7.
- They may be using the right text, but they are so critically changing things that the end result is junk. There are many different Bulgarian Bibles but none that I know that are from the Textus Receptus. Only this one that is dated 1871 (1864?).
- I worked on this project with “Gospel Publishers” in Sofia, Bulgaria. I was put in touch with them through a lawyer friend. I discussed what I wanted to do in REVISING the old 1871 to be used and published today. They were very interested in the project (maybe because of the money). We took this translation and made all the alphabet changes. I fought them through this whole project to get it done. We finally finished this project in 2005. It was published, but there was still more that needed to be done. The reason for the alphabet changes was because in the 1940s the Bulgarian alphabet was changed to two different letters. So the change in the alphabet has been done. This was printed and I have copies of it.
- Then another issue came up. The grammar was not correct with modern Bulgarian. So this had to be done. Also words that were used in the translation are no longer found in dictionaries. We began to work on the grammar and the words. I said that only words that have a 100% match could be changed. The rest would be left alone and a dictionary put in the back of the Bible. The grammar changes would be made without changing the integrity of the Scriptures. Well this was when the trouble began. Gospel Publishers wanted to argue on what each verse meant that was being worked on. For two years we would meet once a month and get nowhere at all. After much ado we finally got John and Romans finished. I asked two other missionaries to meet with me to go through each verse and pick out problems comparing to the King James. We found 18 problems that we wanted changed. I took them back and told them I wanted to change these 18 things. I thought that was very well with only 18 problems. They thought I was being ridiculous. So they made the changes (I thought). A few months later I needed the text to send to Bearing Precious Seed to print 295,000 copies for us so we could have a campaign. I got the files from them and sent them to Bearing Precious Seed. We campaigned in September, 2007. I and another missionary were looking through the John and Romans and none of the 18 changes were done. I was sick. I called Gospel Publishers back and told them that I was tired of all the arguing and would not be using their services any longer. I told them that I would pray until I found someone that had a burden for a good translation of the Bulgarian Bible. Until I found someone I would do no more work on the project.
- Since then I was given another Bulgarian Bible that was supposed to be from the Textus Receptus, but searching through it, much was changed and verses left out. If they used the “Old Bulgarian Bible” or the 1871 those verses are there and correct.
- As of now, I am still waiting to continue with the project. The changes that have to be made are not difficult changes, but I also don’t want to work on it alone or with people that do not understand the importance of the issue. I will be returning to Bulgaria in Mach, 2009. I am praying I will be able to continue with this project when I return.
- I know that a Bulgarian man from the United States was working on a project, but when I met with him in Sofia a few years ago he said that he was leaving the 1871 because he had been told it was not from the Textus Receptus. I told him the verses are there to verify that it is, but he was talking about using something completely off. If you goggle Bulgarian Bible you usually can come to his website. I can’t remember his name. Sorry.
- So this is my story. I do want to continue with the project or find someone that has correctly drawn from the 1871.”
- “In Cambodia we have two translations that are currently being used. The first one was started in 1923 by a Christian Missionary Alliance missionary by the name of Arthur L. Hammond. After 21 years of translation work, the first Cambodian Bible was printed in 1954. This is the current translation that missionaries who adhere to the King James Version would use.
- It does have translation problems in some portions, but from what I can find out it was translated from the Textus Receptus, but Mr. Hammond also used the American Standard Version for clarification. Some portions, therefore, will read like the American Standard Version. But the Hammond Bible does not leave out any verses at all, and it includes no side notes next to any of the verses that the new versions leave out. The biggest problem for us here with this Bible is that it is out of print.
- The second Bible that we have in Cambodia is called the Modern Language Bible. It basically reads and was done in a manner like the Good News for Modern Man Bible. We do not use it at all, and it is very shallow in its language. This Bible was started in France in January of 1985 with the help of the French Bible Society. This Bible was headed up by a Father Francois Ponchaud and three other Cambodians, one of which was a pastor. The New Testament was finished in October of 1993. Four years later the same Father Francois and three women along with a Cambodian pastor finished the Old Testament. It has also been revised recently.
- As far as other translation work that is now in progress, there are none that are using the Textus Receptus as their base.”
(We have received this information from Ray Shull, missionary to Cambodia.) This information has been confirmed by other missionaries.
Cebuano is one of 169 living languages spoken in the Philippine Islands and is spoken as a first language by more than 1.5 million people. The Philippines consist of more than 7,100 islands clustered in the South Pacific Ocean and is home to more than 76 million people.
The Cebuano Received Text New Testament was translated by a small group of pastors in the southern part of the Philippines. The translation was based on the King James Version of the English Bible. Their translation was the completion of work begun by missionary Colin Christensen.
Further work is headed up by Filipino Pastor Ruben Sulapas.
A 1988 ecumenical translation is based upon dynamic equivalence.
A New Testament in the Cheyenne language was released in 1934. It was translated by Rodolphe Petter. He used the Westcott and Hort text as his base (The Bible in America byP. Marion Simms).
Robert Morrison was the first Protestant missionary to China. In 1821, he and Robert Milne published the Holy Bible in Chinese. This was a Received Text Bible. Morrison was considered a Hebrew and Greek scholar. On the monument at his grave it reads, “. . .for several years labored alone on a Chinese version of the Holy Scriptures, whom he was spared to see complete and widely circulated among those for whom it was intended.”
This Bible was reproduced by the Bible Society of Singapore in 2007.
The American Presbyterian Press produced the New Testament in English and Mandarin in 1865. The Wenli Reference Bible, originally produced earlier, was reproduced by the Taiwan Bible Society in 2006. According to Dr. Jeffrey Khoo, both are based upon the Traditional Text. Pastor James Sun, of the Bethany Christian Church in New York is working to revise the Chinese Union Version. Along with Pastor Joshua Lee and David Tsai, under the guidance of D. A. Waite (William Carey Bible Society board member), they are seeking to bring the Chinese Union Version into conformance with the Received Text. A first draft has been completed.
Pastor James Sun can be reached at email@example.com
The New Testament in Choctow was translated by American Bible Society missionaries Wright and Byington. It was released in 1848. Portions of the Old Testament were also released.
At that time the American Bible Society required translations from Traditional Texts. They also required that a translation conform to the King James Bible.
Global Baptist Mission is producing a bi-lingual English-Choctow Bible. Working with Raymond Johnson of Talihina, Oklahoma, they are producing a complete Choctow Old Testament using a team of computer experts. The New Testament has already been printed.
Global Baptist Mission can be contacted at: P.O. Box 6088, Asheville, North Carolina, 28816—(828) 681-0370.
-The Global Baptist Trumpet (Sept. 2009) includes this report about their English-Choctaw Bible printing:
- “Choctaw Translation-Rev. John Wright states in his book, Early Bibles in America, printed in 1894: “From 1825 onwards until in 1848 when the American Bible Society published the entire New Testament, various books and portions of the Scriptures were translated and printed either in individual books or booklets, extending to the year of 1886 when the translation of The book of Psalms was completed. There was such an interest in the Old Testament portions that as they were completed they were immediately printerd” (page 290). Four missionaries associated with the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (the same mission organization which sent Adoniram Judson to India/Burma) carried the gospel first to Choctaw Indians in Mississippi and Alabama, and then with their removal to Oklahoma, continued their ministry in evangelism, church planting, and translation of the Holy Scriptures. First, Cyrus Kingsbury, who had previously established the Brainerd Mission to Cherokee Indians near Chattanooga, Tennessee, established the Eliot Mission among the Choctaws in Mississippi in 1818 and then supervised the founding of Spencer and Armstrong Academies and other churches and schools in Indian Territory. Kingsbury is fondly remembered as “the Father of the Missions” in Indian Territory. Then Cyrus Byington joined the ministry around 1820 and invested 48 years of his life laboring for the Choctaw Indians, being the first missionary to learn the Choctaw language sufficiently to preach in it. Rev. Byington was a lawyer converted to Christ during the revival of 1813 and called to preach. He studied theology at Andover Theological Seminary, and a wise professor there introduced him to missions. The Lord used another missionary from Georgia who introduced him to Indian missions. Rev. Byington said, “My heart caught fire and I said, “Here am I, send me.” After the Trail of Tears from Mississippi and Alabama in the early 1830’s Byington and his family arrived in Oklahoma in 1835, settling where Eagletown is now located. A Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma history reports: “From the new site he supervised the seminary, continued his work on the language, founded several churches and served themon his one hundred mile circuit. He also was frequently called upon to treat his Choctaw parishioners medically, there being no physician in the area. During the early part of his mission tenure, he also farmed to help support his family and raise feed for his stock. Byington and his family were frequently ill with fevers and respiratory ailments, which afflicted the Choctaws. Both Byington and his wife were critically ill on several occasions. Their eleven year old son died after a short illness in 1840. Their youngest son, only two and a half years old, died of a throat ailment in 1846. Byington’s sister joined his mission in 1839 and only lived a few weeks after arrival. Byington’s family in the North tried to persuade him to give up the mission and join them there. He was a trained lawyer and could have expected a fairly affluent and comfortable life had he been willig to join them. Instead, he stayed, responding to their entreaties by saying, “I came for life.”
Rev.John Wright said Rev.Byington possessed “a great aptitude for languages” and that he was “pre-eminently a man of scholarly attainments.” Byington was key in translating the
Scriptures from the early 1820’s with the publication of the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and John 3 in 1825, until his completion of the Pentateuch, published in 1867 a year before his death.
Rev. Alfred Wright graduated from Andover Seminary and then was ordained in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1819. Shortly, thereafter he received his assignment to establish a Presbyterian mission with the Choctaws in Mississippi. There he met and married Harriett Bunce, who shared his desired for mission work and education of the Choctaws. Wright labored in Mississippi until the removal of the Choctaw west to Oklahoma, moving to the new Choctaw country in 1832. He established the Wheelock Mission school for the education of Choctaw children, and in 1844-46 built the Wheelock Church, which remains the oldest church building still in use in Oklahoma today. A letter from Mrs. Byington summarizing the ministry indicates that “Mr. Wright had feeble health and was not able to ride among the people as much as Mr. Byington, so he devoted more time translating the Bible with the help of a very able interpreter.” Wright was responsible for much of the New Testament and the Old Testament books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. Upon his graduation from Princeton Seminary in 1851, Rev. John Edwards received an appointment as evangelist in the Indian Territory under the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions and became superintendent of Wheelock Academy in 1853. He fled to California in 1861 to avoid taking up arms with the Southern confederacy. He was recalled to the Indian Territory in 1883 and remained there until 1896. Edwards had a good understanding of Hebrew and Greek, translating II Kings and completing the book of Psalms. Three outstanding Choctaw men labored as interpreters and translators along side the various missionaries. In the early 1800’s Colonel David Folsom, the first elected Choctaw Chief, and his family, particularly his brother Israel and his nephew McKee, assisted Cyrus Byington and Alfred Wright. Joseph Dukes also served as an interpreter and translator for the early missionaries, associated with Cyrus Byington at the Mayhew Mission in Mississippi. He moved with his family to Indian Territory when the Choctaw were removed and became a Presbyterian minister. He continued to labor with both Cyrus Byington and Alfred Wright for twenty-five years in translating most of the nine Epistles, the book of Revelation, the first books of the Old Testament, and Psalms.
Early editions of the Croatian Bible appear to have been translated from the Latin. The first complete Bible was not published until 1838. The primary translator was Matija Petar Katancic.
Ivan Vrtaric has published a Traditional Text based New Testament in Croatia. It was printed by the Bearing Precious Seed ministry in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and endorsed by Couriers for Christ.
William Carey Bible Society board member, Rex Cobb says that,” Ivan is a well-educated man in several languages, including Greek. . .”
He is working on a translation of the Old Testament based upon the King James Bible.
Missionary Johnny Leslie (Trinity Baptist Church, Arlington, Texas) and national pastor Rajko Telebar are also working on a Croatian Bible Project. Johnny Leslie writes:
- “Our philosophy is simple. We believe that we are not Greek nor Hebrew Scholars. We believe that the translators of the King James Version were and that they got it right. We believe that the King James Version is God’s Word and that it not only contains the Word of God, but that it is the Word of God. That every Word is preserved of God. The King James Version is the basis of our translation. It is, and will, be the final authority! The men are using Greek helps and Hebrew helps. We are using other Croatian Bibles as helps, but not authorities. Our goal is that when this Bible is finished people will criticize us and say that it is only the King James Version in the Croatian language. The men are trying their best to use the King James Version terminology.”
John Leslie can be reached at: johnnyleslie@croatia4Christ.com
The Czech Bible, Kralicka Bibe 1613, is the standard Received Text Bible in the Czech Republic. It is one of the great Protestant translations of the Reformation era. It was translated by the Bohemian Brethren.
It is available from many sources, including free downloads from the internet. A new translation is based upon the New American Standard Bible.
(Sioux Indian) Dr. Thomas S. Williamson began translating the Bible in the Dakota language in 1837. At that time the policy of the American Bible Society (which sponsored him) was to translate from the Received Text. The translation was his primary ministry for over forty years. He was aided by Dr. Stephen Riggs. Dr. Riggs also began to minister to the Sioux in 1837. A final revision was completed by John Williamson (Dr. Williamson’s son).
The New Testament was published in 1865 by the American Bible Society. The whole Bible was published in 1879. According to P. Marian Simms (The Bible in America) this is the most important American Indian translation ever completed.
Rev. Cook, a Sioux preacher, wrote: “May God abundantly reward in the day of reckoning his two faithful servants, Dr. Williamson and Dr. Riggs, who gave us the Holy Scriptures in our own tongue, thus helping to make us what we are and what in the future we shall be through his grace.”
Unfortunately, this Sioux Bible is now out of print.
In 1607, a Danish Bible was printed. It was translated by Hans Paul Resen from the Received Text. A revision of this Bible was released in 1819. It remained the standard Bible of the Danes until the 1930s.
Fundamental missionaries, Touny and Susan Mollerskov write that the 1819 is close to the Received Text but that more work needs to be done. They are beginning work on a Danish New Testament.
The “Authorized Version” of the Danish Lutheran Church is a translation released in 1931. It is clearly Critical Text.
The first Dutch translation from the Received Text talking was in 1637. It became known as the States-Bible (Statenvertalling). It was influenced by the King James Bible.
This is often known as the Dutch Authorized Version. It is credited with standardizing the Dutch language.
It was revised in 1657 and this revision remained the standard Dutch Bible until 1951. The 1657 version is still in print and used by some Dutch believers. There are also aborigine tribes in Taiwan that use this Bible—the influence of Dutch missionaries in the 1800s. It can be downloaded from the internet.
There are a number of Critical Text Dutch Bibles available.
A new Dutch Bible promises to be more “attractive and market oriented.”
The King James Bible was released in 1611. It is the most successful Bible translation of all time. The King James Bible translators are the greatest translation committee ever gathered for any translation work of any kind. The King James Bible has withstood every attack from its critics for almost 400 years.
The King James Bible is widely available. It has been the base text for translations in many languages. According to Winston Churchill it has been translated into 760 languages (Churchill’s History of the English-Speaking Peoples, one volume edition, p. 160).
The first New Testament published in the Estonian language was in 1715. A replica of the 1715 Estonian Bible is now available for the Estonian people. The first translation was finished by Hohann Hornung (1660-1715) and Adrian Virginius (1663-1706). Over sixty years translation work had been done. This translation was from Traditional Text Greek and Hebrew. The translators were German pastors and Luther’s German Translation was also a source text. The complete Bible was published in 1739. The Old Testament was completed by Anton Thor Helle (1683-1748). He united two Estonian dialects in his translation. There are several modern Critical Text based Bibles available in the Estonian language.
The first missionaries to the Volta River region of Ghana were from the Bremen (German) Mission. They produced a translation of the Lutheran Bible (New Testament in 1877, Old Testament in 1913). They were aided by a national pastor, Andreas Aku (1863 to 1931).
After the Germans were expelled from the area during World War I, Aku became the leader of the Presbyterian Church in the region.
In 2003, a Ewe translation based upon the New International Version was released. According to the translators, “This translation uses an informal language style and applies a meaning-based translation philosophy.”
The Faroe Islands (north of Norway) are an independent country. There are two Bibles in their language. One was released by Jacob Dahl in 1961. Both are Critical Text based.
Non-denominational preacher, Sjurder Hojgaard is working on a translation of the King James Bible into Faroese. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Henry Martyn (1781-1812) translated the Received Text New Testament into Farsi. He coined the term “Theology in Philogy.” This term refers to the challenge of translating theological terms into national languages.
When Martyn died, he was remembered as “. . .defending the Christian faith in the heart of Persia against the united talents of the most learned Mahomedans.”
Robert Bruce published a revision of Martyn in 1895. This departed seriously from the Received Text. It was further revised in 1904. This is normally the Farsi Bible used by evangelicals today, but is seriously flawed. A common language version was produced in 1976.
Some faithful underground believers have produced their own translation of the Bible in Farsi, the Ketabet Almoqadasat. It is privately printed. For more information contact email@example.com.
Pooyan Mehrshahi, an Iranian-born Irish Presbyterian is working with the Trinitarian Bible Society to produce a Received Text Farsi Bible. Currently they have published the Gospel of John.
The Finnish Biblia was released in 1776. This Bible is the fourth edition of the 1642 translation by the Lutherans. It is a Received Text Bible. It is often called the “old Biblia”. This was the official Bible of the Lutheran Church until it was replaced in 1933 by a Critical Text Bible. An 1852 revision remains in use in Finland by small conservative groups within the Lutheran Church. Wikpedia compares it to the King James Bible.
The Bible Literature Foundation of Shelbyville, Tennessee is printing a bi-lingual parallel Bible using the 1776 Finnish Bible and the King James Bible.
In 1992, the Lutheran church released a “meaning-based translation.”
(used in parts of France and Belgium)
There is no Bible translation in Flemish.
The French have a great history of Received Text Bibles, including the Olivetan Bible and the Ostervald Bible. There appear to be two Received Text French Bibles available today. The David Martin French Bible was released in 1699. It was based upon the Received Text and the English Geneva Bible 1588. An 1855 revision is available today. It can be obtained from the Association of the Biblique International, Box 225646, Dallas, Texas, 75222.
A 1996 revision of the Froussard edition of the Ostervald edition of 1881 is in print today. It can be obtained from Bearing Precious Seed-Milford and Bethel Baptist Church of Lambeth, Ontario.
The 1996 revision was done by Missionary C. H. Boughman.
Both versions still need a final purification process.
Many Baptist missionaries use the French Louis Segond translation. This is far from being a reliable Received Text translation. The Trinitarian Bible Society publishes a “revised” Louis Segond—a few verses have been changed to reflect the Received Text. According to a 2006 email from Paul Rowland, the Trinitarian Bible Society is working on a revision of the David Martin Bible comparing it with the King James Bible.
The web-site www.kingjamesfrancaise.com contains a translation of the King James Bible into French. This translation is not in print yet. Nadine Stafford sends this note about this translation:
- “In 1994, I was told by a French pastor that the word “enfer” (hell) was not to be found in the French Bibles. I was shocked to hear that! I immediately consulted the 1910 Segond and a few other French Bibles. What he said was true. Using New Age Bible Versions, by Gail A Riplinger, I started checking the many problem passages mentioned in her book and found that over 90% of those passages were also mistranslated in the French Bibles. It was then that I began work on translating the King James Bible into French for my own personal use. To my great dismay, even the 1885 Martin and the 1996 Ostervald Bibles, which are being promoted as the French equivalents of the King James version, were far from it and not even entirely faithful to the Textus Receptus and the Masoretic Text as is proclaimed.
- In 1999, I met Sister Gail Riplinger at the King James Conference at Mt Airy. After I showed her how far the 1996 Ostervald had strayed from the King James Bible, she encouraged me to continue my translation. In 2001 I was led providentially to a French Christian website, where the web master had just acquired a 1669 Bible de Geneve (Geneva Bible in French). I introduced him to the 1885 Martin Bible, the 1996 Ostervald Bible, the King James Bible, and the book, New Age Bible Versions. When I mentioned to him that I was translating the King James Bible into French, he asked for permission to post it on his site. I also translated parts of Gail Riplinger’s book for him.
- I have been researching and collating, verse by verse, the 1669 Bible de Geneve, the 1744 Martin and 1855 Martin, as well as the 1894 Ostervald, 1852 Ostervald New Teestament, 1938
- Ostervald New Testament and Psalms and of course, the 1996 Ostervald, and compared them to the King James Bible. The many differences lead to confusion, especially in the Old Testament passages with references to the Millennial Kingdom, where the present tense of the verbs are used instead of the future tense. It is hard to teach correct eschatology using these Bibles which present Reformation theology. Don’t forget that Olivetan was John Calvin’s cousin!”
French Canadian missionary, Dr. Yvon Geoffrion is basing most of his ministry working upon a new translation of the Bible into French. He is a doctrinally sound fundamental Baptist preacher.
He is using a French translation done in the early 1800s as a base. It was translated by 30 men over 40 years. It was the product of an evangelical revival. It was printed in Lousanne, Switzerland and is sometimes called the Lousanne Version.
French Creole, also known as Haitian Creole, is primarily spoken throughout Haiti. It is considered to have a lower social status than standard French and is spoken by 7.4 million in Haiti and another 400 thousand in other countries.
A French Creole translation was done by Baptist missionary Daylon Hicks in the early 1980s. It was translated from the King James Version by Hicks and several Haitian pastors and laymen.
This version is available from some Bearing Precious Seed chapters.
Missionary Sam Sanderlin writes:
“Here is a paragraph regarding West/Central Africa Fulfulde spoken by several million unreached Fulani Muslims. If you want, you can add it to your list.
Fulfulde is the language of the Fulani tribe that lives in Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria, and the Central African Republic. There are several dialects spoken by these several million Fulani, who concerning the gospel are virtually an unreached people group. The Lutherans are largely responsible for the current translation of the Bible called the “Deftere Allah.” This translation is based on the critical Greek text, using dynamic equivalency, and was translated and published by ecumenical groups. Wycliffe Bible Translators are currently revising this translation and plan to publish it in Arabic script. Wycliffe Bible Translators also uses the critical text and the dynamic equivalent method of translation. While there are some groups out there reaching the Fulfulde speaking Fulani, there are very few missionaries who are fundamentalist in nature.
There is a veteran missionary in Cameroon who along with his family speaks fluent Fulfulde. He is prayerfully assembling a team to translate the Bible into Fulfulde from the Masoretic and Received Text using formal equivalency.”
A Georgian Bible was translated from the Russian Synodal Bible in 1743. It is available form the Russian Bible Society.
Luther’s German translation, Biblia Germanica, was released in 1534. It was done directly from the Masoretic Hebrew text and the second edition of Erasmus Greek text. He also consulted the Latin text of Paganinus. The original Lutheran Bible is still available.
It has been said that no other translation of the Bible, apart from the King James Bible, has had a greater impact upon its people and culture than the German Bible of Luther.
A Swiss-German version of the Lutheran Bible, the Zurich Bible, was produced in the late 1530s. It was compared to the Greek and Hebrew by Leo Judd and a revision was released in 1542.
Judd disagreed with Luther and his close associate Zwingli and advocated the separation of church and state. The Zurich Bible is still in print.
Luther’s Bible has been revised dozens of times. The revisions differ dramatically in their faithfulness to Luther’s original translation and to the Received Text. Versions of Luther’s Bible are available from many sources including Independent Baptist Publishers. It is often very hard to identify which version is being printed. According to Lutheran sources, the 1868 revision is the last “conservative” edition.
There was another German Received Text Bible, the Elberfelder, which was released in 1871. It is not in print today, though it can be viewed on the internet.
In 1998, La Buona Novella, Swiss publishers published an edition of the Lutheran New Testament designed to remove Critical Text influence. It is not recognized by the Lutheran denomination. It should not be confused with the 1992 Lutheran Bible (which is completely Critical Text) published by the Lutheran Church.
Another German translation, the Schlachter 2000 is known as a Received Text Bible. The Dunelin Road Archive, July 2007, confirms this as a Bible for German speakers who honor the Received Text.
Franz Schlachter released his translation in 1905. A major revision was released in 1951. The 2000 edition is available from BEAMS, P.O. Box 10200, Gulfport, Mississippi, 39505, (228-832-1055).
According to missionary Jim Garrison, the Schlactor 2000 is translated from the Received Text (New Testament) and the Masoretic Text (Old Testament). It was compared to the Old Lutheran Bible, the Zurich Bible and the King James Bible. It is printed by the Geneva Bible Society.
The Gioare a tribal people in Liberia. The Trinitarian Bible Society has produced a New Testament in their language.
The Bible is being translated into Indian language by the Gsungrab Team. They are using the United Bible Societies 4 (Critical Text) and comparing it to the NRSV, NASB, TEV, and NET.
The first modern complete Greek translation was completed in 1630 by Maximus Callipolites under the sponsorship of the reforming patriarch of Constantinople, Cyril Lucar. The New Testament was translated from the Received Text. Lucar was greatly opposed to the idea of making the Bible available to the common man in his language. He was strangled to death by his opponents.
In the early 1700s there was another attempt to print the Maximus Bible. The sponsor was exiled to Siberia, where he died in prison. During the 1800s the Maximus Bible was printed and distributed several times. In 1823 and 1836, the patriarch of Constantinople ordered all copies seized and burnt.
In 1850, Neofitos Vamvas issued a compete translation of the Bible into modern Greek. He was labeled a Protestant and expelled from the Greek Orthodox Church. His critics claimed that he very closely followed the King James Bible in his translation. The Greek Orthodox Church burned many copies of this Bible.
In 1901, there were riots over the publication of another translation into modern Greek.
Since 1850, the Varmas (also known as Bombas) translation has been published by the Trinitarian Bible Society. The History of the American Bible Society (p. 272) refers to Professor Varmas as an “eminent Greek scholar.” His work has been widely praised for consistency with the Traditional Text and the King James Bible.
However, some fundamental Greek preachers have stated that the Bombas Bible is “high literary” and is of increasingly less use with the average Greek citizen.
A more recent New Testament, the Vella, is said to be translated from the Traditional Text.
Comments on the Greek Received Text of F.H.A Scrivener: by Dr. Larry Bednar, field representative Graceway Bible Society, Professor at Indiana Fundamental Bible College:
Scrivener’s stated goal was to reproduce the Greek text underlying the KJV. It’s said by some that he back-translated from the KJV text to determine the Greek source. But his process more likely involved use of the KJV to optimize his Greek text that he based on the 1598 Beza Received-Test edition, the one scholars say accords best with the KJV. He suggested KJV readings can derive from various Greek Received-Text editions or the Latin Vulgate or earlier English versions like that of Tyndale or various other-language versions.. Thus textual critics think no single text underlies the KJV New Testament, but that notion is faulty. Some factors masking knowledge of the Greek underlying the English:
- 1. Individual Greek (or Hebrew) words have variant possible meanings or meaning nuances, and different words can have equivalent, similar of related meanings. Thus, in examining the English, it isn’t always certain which Greek words applies, any of certain different ones being possible. Context controls the renderings, but context isn’t always conclusive, and word choice can related to context differently in different languages.
- 2. A complex Greek word expressed by a group of English words can be mistaken for 2 or 3 other Greek words of similar or related meaning, making identification of the Greek underlying the English uncertain.
- 3. English language style that communicates in the most effective and accurate fashion can mask the Greek source, even though the English retains an exact equivalent of the meaning and context of the Greek.
- 4. Idioms or meaning-connotations in either language can complicate identifying the Greek underlying the English.
- 5. Literal Greek can distort English sense, requiring use of alternate or extra English words that can mask the identity of the underlying Greek.
- 6. Cultural differences can necessitate use of equivalent English that complicates identification of the underlying Greek.
- 7. Early Greek manuscripts lacked punctuation, and that used in editions of approximately 400 years ago could render boundaries of a Greek phrase uncertain at times when examining the Greek through the English, confusing the meaning of the Greek. Scrivener couldn’t always be certain of how KJV translators handled this matter in rendering the English.
Thus, regardless of Scrivener’s views, one can’t always be certain of the Greek that the KJV relates to, various factors at times masking Greek that is viewed through the English. Such cases require resorting entirely to Greek authority, as Scrivener did. The expected result is a Greek text that Greek-language readers rightly understand in relation to factors like context, style and culture, the text determined by Scrivener, one rightly representing the Received Text and the KJV. English-language factors masking the Greek are addressed, and the intricate accuracy by which outstanding KJV scholarship presents the Greek text becomes visible. Latin and early English texts contribute to understanding the KJV role in Scrivener’s work.
Regarding supposed KJV reliance on the Vulgate, this Latin text was a revision of the Old-Latin Italic Bible of Europe’s true early biblical church. In the Vulgate, original Italic readings will greatly outnumber those corrupted by Jerome’s Alexandrian-text bias, so any Vulgate reading is extremely likely to derive from the text of an early biblical church. A KJV reading closely resembling the Latin can reflect KJV and Italic renderings both having the best contextual nuances of Greek word-meaning and the best communicative style, which can mask the underlying Greek, so one can’t say the KJV didn’t always follow the Greek. Or a textual critic may overestimate the degree and significance of KJV resemblance to the Latin, being subtly influenced even by a style factor like Latinized Greek transliterations of Hebrew names in the New Testament (Jeremias, Elias, Marcus, Judas etc.), which became English representatives of the Greek. And resemblance of KJV language to that of English versions like Tyndale’s indicates they too were consulted to determine best contextual nuances and communicative styles, and the result is that the KJV has the best possible passage sense and style representing the Greek. KJV scholars did indeed consult the Vulgate and several other versions, the analysis of which is a great way to ensure that all pertinent scholarship is considered in determining the best wording in relation to factors like context, culture and communication style.
But the Italic origin traces as far back in history as the mid-second century and likely ties to the apostolic era. The Italic Greek text would be the earliest full text assuredly connected to autograph originals (a few text fragments are earlier), imparting highest authority to Italic readings. Thus KJV agreement with the Italic is potentially an agreement of both versions with the autographs through their underlying Greek texts. A KJV Received-Text connection to the autographs would indicate God’s hand at work in text preservation rather recently in history.
Critics who comment on Scrivener’s text often say his work shows that the Received Text is not a single text, but a family of slightly variant editions. The proper position of Bible-believers on this issue is to view determination of the text as a process of perfection in which no one person alone has God’s providential guidance in rendering His Word. Received-Text editions had very minor variables, and the perfection process began with Erasmus, continued in 1550/1551 Stephanus editions, among others, and neared completion in the 1598 Beza edition that was the main basis for the KJV. In God’s providence, the final form was that determined by the large exceptionally well-qualified KJV committee as they examined the various editions. Scrivener’s role was verification of this KJV final-form Greek text, and his text providentially, and very appropriately, declared this Received Text to the world, contrasting it with the Alexandrian-type text of Wesctott and Hort that was about to begin mesmerizing modernist scholars and greatly misleading English-language Bible readers (We note that Scrivener published objectionable Alexandrian variants from the Received Text).
A further point on KJV resemblance to various Received-Text editions, including language from editions of Erasmus as utilized by Tyndale, relates to Received-Text determination as a process. All contributors to the process would offer important readings that must be retained, but some would be omitted by successive contributors, and, by God’s grace, the final form would restore them through KJV-committee wisdom and scholarship. Those scholars were sufficient in number, 47 at conclusion of the work, to ensure against glorification of individuals among them for their finalization of the text, glory to God being the final result.
In closing, it’s appropriate to comment briefly on Scrivener’s views of the KJV and its Greek text. He held a traditional view of the Greek text, and he opposed deviations from the Received Text by Westcott and Hort. He devoted much labor to his own KJV edition, but did display error in disagreeing with certain important genuine KJV renderings, and that’s unacceptable to Bible-believers, and his views on his Greek-text studies, and his textual-criticism views in general, as reported in the literature, are also unacceptable. The scholars that God uses in textual work are not always completely traditional, but they do always revere God’s role in text history, as was the case with Scrivener. God uses men despite their failings, which is good news, for without that grace none of us could ever be the least bit useful in doing God’s glorious work.
(southwestern United States) Gullah is a language originally spoken on Africa’s west coast. It was brought to the southeastern United States by slaves. It is still spoken in the coastal islands off the shores of the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. Claude and Pat Sharpe, with many Gullah volunteers translated the King James Bible into Gullah. The project was sponsored by Wycliffe Bible Translators. The complete Bible was released in 2005. The Gullah Bible is available on line. In January 2007, Congressman James Clyburn took his oath of office with his hand on the Gullah Bible.
(Nigeria, Niger, Sudan and Cameroon Walter Richard Samuel Miller (1872-1952) spent fifty years as a missionary from England to Nigeria. He has often been called “the apostle to the Hausea.”
There was an early missionary translation of the New Testament in 1880. Miller revised this and produced a translation of the Old Testament into Hausa in 1932. This is referred to as the Miller Hausa Bible.
This translation is referred to as “Protestant” and “conservative.” We have not been able to find information on the textual base for this translation . The Miller Hausa Bible has been widely used by evangelicals in the tribal areas of Nigeria.
Missionary Hiram Bingham released a Bible in the native Hawaiian language. He spent fifteen years on this effort. It was sponsored by the American Bible Society. Their policy at that time was to translate from the Received Text.
The translation fell out of use, and out of print as the Hawaiian language fell out of use. HEBREW The Society for Distributing Hebrew Scripture makes complete Hebrew Bibles available. They used the Masoretic Old Testament and a Hebrew New Testament that was edited to correspond to the Greek Textus Receptus. The New Testament is known as the Salkinson-Ginsburg Hebrew New Testament.
They can be contacted at: Joseph House, 1 Bury Mead Road, Hitchin Herts 5GR 1RT, England, UK or email @5DHS1940@aol.com or they have Bible depots in several countries. In the United States they can be contacted through Light for Israel, P.O. Box 80652, Charleston, SC 29416 or email @info2@light for Israel.org
Gottlieb Viehe (1839-1901) was a German missionary to the Hereo people. He translated the Bible into their language from the German Lutheran Bible. His work was released in 1872.
This Bible was replaced in 1987 by a Critical Text Bible.
There is a Hiligaynon text that was done by Bro. Roger Vournas on the island of Guimaras. His text is a complete Old and New Testament. Hiligaynon is the dialect of the Visayan Missionary Vournas writes.
An ecumenical translation was released in 2007.
For some additional information about our Hiligaynon (llonggo) Bible translation. Pastor Winston White, a native Filipino (llonggo) Baptist pastor, and I translated the entire Hiligaynon Bible from the Authorized King James Version, 1611. The Hiligaynon language is one of the major languages of the Philippines and is spoken by millions on Panay Island, half of Negros Island, Guimaras Island, and parts of Mindanao island. We translated as close as we could according to formalTranslation using the grammar of this language; however, there are times, for example regarding an English idiom, where we needed to make it understandable in the language here and we did so. We printed the New Testament in 1998 and kept on translating in the Old Testament. It took the span of about seven years to translate the entire Bible. Allowing time to request and receive donations to print the Bible, we were able to print the entire Bible in 2006 in Korea. My wife, Bing Bing, also a native llongga, did general checking of the translation which included checking for grammar, which she is good at. Our translation has given fruit in the souls saved and of course for use in Bible studies, which has been a real blessing because we can trust what we are reading. There are other translations in Hiligaynon, but they are corrupt, being translated from corrupt Bible versions such the New International Version, the American Standard Version, and the New American Standard Bible. There is one other New Testament Hiligaynon translation which says it was translated from the King James Version, and they corrected many verses, but there were still many verses which were not checked or corrected at all. I d o not know if there is a further revision of their translation but when I checked their second and third printing editions, it still had bad corruptions in it.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Vietnam, China, Laos and Thailand)
The only Hmong Bible available was translated from the Today’s English Version.
Pastor Randy King—(First Light Baptist Mission) writes with this update on the Hmong language:
- “In the Hmong language. A Hmong man who got saved, served in our ministry, went to Hyles Anderson and then to Empire Baptist Temple (South Dakota) for seminary is currently working with the Hmong up in Minneapolis—St Paul. He is real strong Baptist and KJV, and he is working on translating the Bible into HMONG. He has been doing it for more than 10 years, as time allows. He has tracts he gives out and I think he has completed the NT. We support him as a missionary. He is married with about 10 kids now. You may contact him at:
Dr. (Pastor) Ko Yang (We call him “Ko”, but really his name is “Naoko” and his Hmong wife’s name is “May”).”
First Hmong Independent Baptist Church
1365 Westminister St. St. Paul, MN 55101 651-704-0903 651-271-5130
The Karoli Version, also known as the Vizsoly Bible, was published in 1590. The translation effort was headed up by Pastor Gaspar Karoli. It is one of the great Protestant era Bibles. A 1908 revision is the standard Hungarian Bible today for evangelicals.
According to the Hungarian Bookstore (which also sells Catholic Bibles): “Many Hungarians who read English have compared the language to that found in the King James Version.
The Karoli Version is available from many sources.
The Gudbrands Biblia was published in 1594. It was named after its editor Gubrandur Thorlaksson. It is one of the Protestant Era Received Text translations. This translation was financed by the King of Denmark.
This Bible is still published by the Icelandic Bible Society.
(Sierra Leone, Nigeria)
Thomas J. Dennis served as a missionary to the Igbo people. He translated the Bible into Igbo. This translation was released in 1913. Dennis translated from the Greek and Hebrew and used the King James Bible as a standard of comparison.
Dennis died in a shipwreck in 1917. This translation was in use until 2007, when it was replaced by a Critical Text translation from the Bible League.
(Iloco) (northern four provinces of the Philippines)
The current translations of Ilocano are Critical Text based.
The UBS translation was headed up by Patrocinia Toyaban. According to a personal letter from him, the textual base for this translation was English versions including the Revised Standard Version, Today’s English Version and the Moffat Bible. The team of translators, including Protestant preachers and Catholic priests, were trained in Dynamic Equivolence.
Independent Baptist missionary Clemente Quitevis is offering a bi-lingual Ilocano-English Bible. He is out of Bible Baptist Church of Vallejo, CA.
Bro. Quitevis writes this account of his work:
- “Here’s a very brief history about myself and the P.I.E. (Parallel Ilocano English) King James Version Bible Project. I was born in the Philippines in 1944 and am a true and pure Ilocano. I came to the United States in 1962, got saved in the United States in 1973. I was burdened at first about the salvation of my relatives in the Philippines, therefore we (my wife and three children) went to the northern Philippines in 1977 where I was born, sent out as local church missionaries of Calvary Baptist Church of San Francisco, California. In 1988 we moved to Vallejo, California, and since then became members of Bible Baptist Church of Vallejo, California where I am serving as their layman missionary to the Philippines. I have been teaching and preaching in the Ilocano dialect since 1977, and I speak the dialect fluently.
While in the Philippines (1977-2000) I used extensively the original Ilocano Bible published by the Philippine Bible Society in preaching, teaching, and studying. I have been told that this Ilocano Bible was translated from the King James Bible. I believe some pastors here in the Ilocandia region have the same thoughts also. In 200-2001 while I was in the United States I read that the United Bible Societies were publishing those corrupted versions, even in the foreign languages, and I saw also that the parent company of the Philippine Bible Society is the United Bible Society. Further research, found out the Ilocano Bible we were all using seems to be translated using the Revised Standard Version. I was very much bothered about these things, especially when I checked that some verses were missing and many words omitted and added. This became a heavy burden on my heart to make and present to my Ilocano countrymen a true Ilocano Bible translated after the pure and preserved Word of God in English (the King James Version).
- In 2002-2003 I started to type in my computer the New Testament Ilocano using my King James Version Bible. The Parallel Ilocano-English concept type of work, still at this time did not get into the picture. On July 19, 2005, this New Testament Ilocano (King James Version) was completed and printed and bond locally in Ilocos Sur, Philippines. It was done also like the red-letter edition of the King James Bible.
In 2005-2006 another heavy burden put on my heart to produce this time a Parallel Ilocano-English King James Version New Testament Holy Bible. In December of 2007, I completed the New Testament portion and some copies of the New Testament Parallel Ilocano-English King James Version with red letters that were produced by a local print shop in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. Then afterwards, another burden was moving in my heart to produce the complete Old Testament and New Testament Parallel Ilocano English Bible.
- Now in 2009, I completed the electronic copy of the King James Version of the Old Testament and New Testament Parallel Ilocano-English Holy Bible with the words of the Lord Jesus in red letters.”
Bro. Quitevis can be contacted at (707)644-5844 or email@example.com.
Brother Quitevis has produced a second draft of the N.T (correcting several errors) and the first draft of the O.T. He has stated his willingness to correct anything that is not consistent with the King James Bible. He further makes this statement.
- 1. “I believe that the so called Authorized Version in the English language is the King James Version (KJV) Bible.
- 2. I believe that God has given us the infallible Scripture by divine inspiration in the original Greek and Hebrew writings, and that God by divine preservation has preserved that in the Hebrew Masoretic Old Testament and the Greek Received Text New Testament underlying the KJV Bible and other Reformation Bibles, and that the KJV Bible is an accurate translation of the pure Words of God in the English language.
- 3. I believe that the Hebrew Masoretic Old Testament and Greek Received Text New Testament when translated properly into any language is the preserved Word of God in that language, whether it is Chinese, Korean, or a Phillippine dialect.
- 4. I believe that the KJV Parallel Ilocano English (P.I.E.) Bible is intended for the use of those “whosoever will” draw near and love God particularly to those Philippine Ilocano dialect speaking people, and that permission is hereby granted to those “whosoever will” to make copies of it, and that permission is also granted to those “whosoever will” to publish it as long as it is published with my consent and without any modification.
- 5. I believe that anyone is welcome to make comments, suggestions, improvements, modifications, and that you can contact me with the information below.”
There is also an Ilocano parallel Translation of the Good News Bible and a translation of the New Good News Bible.
Missionary Louis A. Turk has spearheaded an effort to translate the Received Text into Indonesian. Their goal is to print the New Testament in 2009.
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have received information from Louis A. Turk that he is in complete agreement in the purpose, standards, doctrine and translation principles of the William Carey Bible Society.
Norwegian Lutheran missionary Hans Poulsen Egede is remembered as the “Apostle to Greenland.” He went to Greenland in 1721. He turned the language of the Inuit people into a written language.
With his son Paul, he translated the Bible into Inukitut. In 1933 Moravian missionaries revised this translation. The work was heavily influenced by Luther’s German translation.
William Daniel (Ulliam O’Domhnaill) released a New Testament in Irish in 1602. This was clearly Traditional Text based and designed to convert Roman Catholics. According to Daniel it had been delayed by Satan and “Romish seducers.”
William Bedell produced a Traditional Text Old Testament which was not immediately released. It was revised under the sponsorship of Robert Boyle and released in 1685.
The British and Foreign Bible Study began printing the Daniel-Bedell Irish Bible in 1817.
In 1858, a Roman Catholic translation was released. In 1981, a new Catholic version was released.
In 1970, the Revised Standard Version was translated into Irish.
There is a current project devoted to a Traditional Text based revision of Daniel-Bedell. Information can be obtained at email@example.com
The Bible has never been translated into the Isan language before—a variant of Central Thai—spoken by one-third of Thailand’s total population (21 million as of 2008). The “official” Thai Bible is controlled by the Bible Society. Besides being Alexandrian based (American Standard Version, Revised Standard Version, New International Version), it is directly mistranslated in numerous important passages. Various new Thai translations have been done, some better than others, but all are Alexandrian based (except for one).
Veteran church-planting missionary, Ron Myers, is translating the King James Bible into Isan and referencing the Received Text as a textual authority.
Ron Myers has an excellent website explaining the process and principles involved in this translation. It would be worthy of study by anyone involved in Bible translation—look up www.IsanBible.com. Ron can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Diodati Italian Bible was released in 1603. It is one of the great Reformation era Bibles translated from the traditional texts. Giovanni Diodati was a professor associated with Calvin and Beza in Geneva.
There are more recent revisions of the Diodati that are not faithful to the Received Text.
Karl Gutzlaff, a German missionary, made an early attempt to translate the New Testament from the Received Text into Japanese in the 1830s. American missionaries made several attempts to translate parts of the Received Text into Japanese. The New Testament was translated into the AINU (northern Japan) language in 1897. Several translations influenced by the Critical Text were done in the 20th century.
A translation from the King James Bible (referenced to the Received Text) was published in the late 19th century. A revision of this translation was done in 1917 and the New Testament was referenced to the Critical Text.
In 1928, a Japanese scholar translated the New Testament from the Received Text. It was reprinted in the 1990s.
There are several Critical Text based Japanese Bibles available.
Missionary John Hime (Baptist World Mission) is heading an effort to produce a Received Text based New Testament. They have just finished a first draft.
John Hime has written a tremendously thorough history of the Bible in Japanese, “By Every Word of God.” In it he writes, “Translating the Word of God from a pure heart of faith is a massive job, and not one for the quitter. Only those who have been gifted by God with ability in languages and called of God to the task should attempt it, and it should only be done for the glory of God and to uplift Jesus Christ.”
Unfortunately, missionary Hime rejects the Verbal Plenary Translation method and speaks harshly of it. His standard for translations is unknown.
John Himes may be contacted at email@example.com
There has never been an Old Testament in Kurmanji. The International Bible Society New Testament is Critical Text.
Faithful underground believers have translated Scripture portions and have them printed privately. For more information contact Phil Stringer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hiram Bingham, Jr and several Hawaiian preachers arrived in Kiribati in the 1860s. Bingham was the son of pioneer missionary to Hawaii, Hiram Bingham.
They turned the Kiribati (also called Gilbertese) language into a written language. They released the entire Bible in 1893. It was originally a Traditional Text Bible. Critical Text Revisions were introduced in 1954 and 1977.
This language is still the first language in their area. The Received Text Bible is no longer in print. There are people praying that one of the Bible printing ministries would take this up as a project.
The first Korean Bible translation was not published until 1882. It does not appear that there was ever a serious attempt at a Received Text Bible in Korean until the last twenty years.
There appear to be several Received Text Bible projects in Korea.
Dr. Seo Dal Seok has produced the King James Version Korean edition. It is a bi-lingual Bible with the King James Bible and his translation of the King James Bible into Korean, printed side by side. For more information please contact Dr. Ron Tottingham, Great Plains Divinity School, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The Received Text Bible Society is offering a new translation in Korean that it says is based upon the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Received Text. However, this translation seems to have a strong sectarian base (Presbyterian). It refers to John the Baptist an John the Sprinkler.
Dr. Dongsoo Jung produced a Received Text Bible in Korean. He was encouraged in this process by Dr. D. A. Waite (William Carey Bible Society board member). A copy can be obtained from the Dean Burgon Society (see their web site DBS@DeanBurgon Society.org).
Missionary Jim Taylor and other pastors are discussing the possibility of further translation work concerning the Korean Bible.
(spoken in Turkey and Israel)
Ladine is known as Judeo-Spanish. The Bible was first translated from the Ferrara Spanish Bible in 1553. It was edited by Moshe Loyar. The New Testament ws revised in 1743. The Old Testament in 1829.
To the best of my knowledge, there has not been a conservative (Textus Receptus based) Lao translation in the current era (quite possibly one in bygone decades that is now long out of print). However, there are presently two Textus Receptus based translation projects underway.
One is the Isan translation being done by Baptist missionary Ron Myers in the Isan language of Northeast Thailand. Isan is closely related to Lao, and Ron has transposed Luke, John, and Ephesians into Lao script on a trial basis and sent it into Communist Laos. Word came back that it was enjoyed by the Lao believers who received it, saying it was very understandable, having been done in their everyday, spoken language. Another, more recent attempt at a Textus Receptus based Lao translation, is presently being done by a Baptist missionary stationed in Vientiane, Laos. Ron Myers was recently given John and Romans, and said that what he read seemed quite good.
The United Bible Society’s most recent “meaning based” Lao translation update was done in 2004. In the Society’s own words, “. . .some conservatives are still reluctant to accept this new translation.” In actuality, it is being rejected by Lao believers in general, who say it is weak and difficult to comprehend.
Part of the Bible was first published in Latvian in 1637. Johann Ernst Gluck (1654-1705) a Lutheran Pastor led the Reformation era effort to translate the Bible with Latvian. The N.T. was released in 1685 and the O.T in 1689. He clearly used Received Text original languages and checked his work against the Lutheran Bible. He was financially supported in this effort by the King of Sweden.
The place where Gluck worked is now the Aluksne Bible Museum in Alukne, Latvia. This museum records the history of Bible translation in Europe. It is the only museum of its kind in Europe. His step-daughter became the wife of the Czar of Russia—Katherine the First. He moved to Russia dying in Moscow.
A “revised Text” translation was released in 1965 and is still available—The Izdevuma Revidetois Teksts. An ecumenical translation was released in 1997.
The Russian Bible Society (Ashville, N.C.) has a Latvian Bible available. They are not sure of its origin or derivation but it contains the verses normally omitted in a Critical Text Translation.
The first complete Lithuanian Bible was published in 1735 in Karaliaucius, Lithuania. It was a Protestant translation based on traditional texts.
A charismatic group, The Word of Faith Bible Center, published a Bible in 1996. Their statement is that it was a revision of the 1735 Bible.. This Bible is made available by the Russian Bible Society. Missionary Ron Peldin has said: “This is the Bible that has been agreed upon by the independent Baptist national pastors, missionaries, missionary pastors, lay workers and the general public as the best translation currently available in the Lithuanian language.”
(southwestern China, northern Burma and Thailand)
- In 1915 a Lsiu alphabet was developed by China Inland Missionary missionary James O. Fraser. This alphabet was officially adopted by the Chinese government in 1992.
- Fraser (1886-1938) was from Britain. He spent fifty years in Yunnan (southern China). In 1936 he and Allyn Cooke released a translation of the New Testament. The base text was the King James Bible. They compared their work with the first edition of Westcott and Hort (thus missing their textual sources).
- In 1968, Allyn Cooke and Alan Crane released an Old Testament. The base text was the Revised Standard Version.
- In 1976 Orville Carlson released a Lsiu translation from the King James Bible. It was published by the Trinitarian Bible Society.
- In 1979 another Lsiu Bible was released by the Bible Society of Thailand. The New Testament was based on the United Bible Society’s third edition Greek New Testament. The Old Testament was based upon the New American Standard Bible and the New International Version.
- A revision of the 1968 translation is underway.
Dutch Protestant missionaries translated the Received Text into Malay in 1734.
It was replaced in 1929 by a Critical Text based translation. In 1971, an ecumenical translation was released. This was based upon Good New for Modern Man and translated upon principles of Dynamic Equivalence.
German missionary Dr. Herman Gundert (1814-1893) produced the first Malayalam grammar (1868) and dictionary (1872). He translated the Lutheran Bible into Malayalam.
He was highly regarded as a linguist. A statue of him was erected in Tellicherry.
Novelist Herman Hesse is his grandson.
The Maori language had never been placed in writing before the arrival of missionaries. A New Testament translated by William Yates was released in 1837. Under the leadership of Rev. Maunsell, William Henry Williams and Elizabeth Colenso the entire Bible was printed in 1858. It was Traditional Text based.
In 1889 a Critical Text translation was released. It faced strong opposition from the national people.
(American and Canadian Indian)
The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel published a translation of the Bible into Mohawk in 1787. At that time their stated policy was to use the King James Bible as their source text.
The Bible was translated by missionary John Stuart and Mohawk Indian, Joseph Brant. Brant was a famous warrior (for the British) during the American War for Independence.
Captain John Norton, a Cherokee Indian, produced a Mohawk translation in 1804. It was the first non-English Bible ever printed by the British and Foreign Bible Society.
William Carey first translated the Bible into Marathi in the early 19th century. The Bible Society of India made a number of revisions. Ratnakar Hasi Kelkar (1901-1985) translated the New Testament into Marathi. His work has been for strong linguistic ability.
M. S. Mantode made arrangements to translate the Thompson Chain Reference Bible into Marathi. This necessitated translating the King James Bible into Marathi. The Bharatrya Suwarta Mission exists to promote this reference Bible. The mission can be contacted at email@example.com.
The Mongolia Bible Society has withdrawn from the United Bible Societies in protest over modernism in the United Bible Society. They are at work on a Bible translation to replace the current Critical Text United Bible Society Bible.
I have not been able to obtain any specific information on the specific base text or translation principles for this project. A second Bible translation project in Mongolia is the Mongolia Mission team. This project involves two Baptist missionaries and four nationals working full time. They have a sound doctrinal statement.
The Mongolia Mission team makes this statement about their translation source:
- “The source of translation will be the King James Bible, known as the authorized version (AV). We consider this Bible to be the preserved Word of God in the English language. There are no experts in the Mongolian language and the Greek and Hebrew languages; however, they are skilled translators from English to Mongolian. Therefore, the decision was made to translate from the King James Bible as much as possible and within the limits of ability constant references will be made to Greek and Hebrew using available references and resources.”
Dr. Charles Keen of First Bible International has announced that First Bible along with the Trinitarian Bible Society is sponsored a translation in the Mongolian language. This project is supervised by missionary Bill Patterson. Missionary Roland Gay is in Mongolia heading up the translation effort there.
The Montagnard tribes exist in Laos and Vietnam. They were strong allies of the United States in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Christian and missionary alliance missionaries translated the Bible into their language in the 1930’s. In 1975 the Communists ordered all copies of this Bible to be burnt! There are several Montagnard churches in the United States. The 1930’s Bible is still printed on occasion for missionary distribution. We are not aware of any current availability.
The Judson Version
This very helpful letter was sent by missionary Tom Gaudet:
- “Background: Like many others we assumed the Judson text of the Burmese New Testament, first printed in 1832, translated by A. Judson, was translated from the Greek Textus Receptus. Because of the assumption that the text was reliable, only an abbreviated text check was made inside Burma with national pastors. This was an omissions check, designed to identify texts which have been translated with other than the Textus Receptus. Within the first couple of hours of working on this, we identified a small number of verses which had been translated from something other than the Textus Receptus.
- Since the Bible being checked was the last printed by the Myanmar Bible Society, we assumed that there had been revisions on it, incorporating the readings of the Critical Greek Texts. Our research showed that there had been a revision in 1933 so that was where we started. We thought to go backwards until we found where the spurious readings were inserted. We located a Bible printed in 1907 and had it checked. Essentially the same changes were in that text.
- Next we located an 1832 New Testament which would have been the first printed edition. That edition was checked and the same changes were in it. By this time we had ruled out someone else changing the text since Judson was very much alive when that New Testament was printed. He would have been the one who edited the New Testament he had finished in 1826.
- After the first check, we had another more thorough check done on several hundred verses. Most of the verses checked were quite accurate, with only a handful of problem verses. This held true in the early as well as the more recent editions of the Bible. The same problem verses are in the earlier editions that are in the latter. We had verified that most other changes made in later editions did not indeed take into account Critical Text readings, rather than made spelling changes. A total of four editions of the Judson Bible were compared.
- It was about this time that a researcher in America pointed out a book, Memoir of Adoniram Judson Being a Sketch of His Life and Missionary Labors, by J. Clement, published in New York by C. M. Saxton, Baker & Co., 1860. A quote from that book on pages 237-239 cleared up a lot of the confusion..
- ‘In the first edition of the Old Testament, I paid too much regard to the critical emendations of Lowth, Horsley, and others. In the present edition, I have adhered more strictly to the Hebrew text. In my first attempts at translating portions of the New Testament, above 20 years ago, I followed Griesbach, as all the world then did; and though, from year to year I have found reason to distrust his authority, still, not wishing to be ever-changing, I deviated but little from his text, in subsequent editions, until the last; in preparing that which I have followed the text of Knapp, (though not implicitly), as upon the whole the safest and best extant; in consequence of which the present Burmese version of the New Testament accords more nearly with the received English.
- As to the merits of the translation, I must leave others to judge. I can only say that though I have seldom done anything to my own satisfaction, I am better satisfied with the translation of the New Testament then I have then ever expected to be. The language is, I believe, simple, plain, and intelligible; and I have endeavored, I hope successfully, to make every sentence a faithful representation of the original. As to the Old Testament, I am not so well satisfied. The historical books are, perhaps, done pretty well; but the poetical and prophetical books are, doubtless, susceptible of much improvement, not merely in point of style, but in rendering of difficult passages, about which of the most eminent scholars are not yet agreed.
- I commend the work, such as it is, to God, to the church in Burma, and to my successors in this department of labor, beginning them to spare my errors, and yet not prematurely to correct a supposedly era, without consulting the various authors which I have consulted, and ascertaining the reasons of my position; and especially not to adopt a plausible correction, in one instance, without inquiring whether it is admissible and advisable in all parallel and similar passages.
- In prosecuting the work, I have derived a valuable aid from several of my missionary brethren, especially from brother Wade formally, and Brother Jones, now of Bangkok—laterally from the brother and Mason, Comstock, and Stevens. Of the several hundred suggestions that have been sent me from different quarters, I have sooner or later adopted by far the greater part, though in many cases with some modification. Nor ought I to forget my native brother, Mong En, my faithful fellow-laborer for many years, even before the present revision was begun—one of our most judicious and devoted assistance.’
- I am no Greek text expert but am told that even the Critical Text of Griesbach wasactually based in the Textus Receptus. This explains the deviations where we found them, but overall the reading very accurate.
It will be necessary for a complete and thorough examination of the text to be done before anything to correct the problems. From what we have seen so far, it is estimated that over 90% of the text as it was last printed by the Bible Society is fine.
What to do for now? The Bible Society only publishes the Judson Bible sporadically. The indication that there were even any needs was that the brethren in Burma asked if there was any way that we could get Judson Bibles for them. We checked with the Bible Society and indeed during those days there was no stock and no plan to reprint.
- Only 5,000 have been printed by the Bible Society since that time. Of course, they push a common language Bible they are printing.
The plan that makes sense is to simply reprint the existing text to meet immediate needs. Indeed, BEAMS ministry has printed 10,000 copies of the Bible. We have obtained around 4,000 of these and most of them are in the hands of brethren in Burma. Literally many tens of thousands more are needed at this time.
- As these are being printed and distributed, plans are underway to have brethren in Burma do a thorough examination of the text and identify the problem areas. We have not met any pastor inside Burma who realized the problems existed until they were pointed out. However, there is a multitude of men who are highly educated and only lack the encouragement to take this matter as their own. It will be Burmese brethren who correct these problems. We need to encourage and equip them.”
In 1872, American Baptist missionary Edwin Winter Clark began to translate the Bible into the Ao language of the Naga people (they have other languages—this is often referred to as the “jungle language”).
He was aided by several nationals and by this wife, Mary. In 1929 they printed the New Testament. They translated from the King James Bible and used a literal translation method.
Later editions introduced Critical Text readings and dynamic equivalence.
This translation effort created a written language for the people of Nagaland.
(Nambia, Namabualand, Union of South Africa)
The first translation of the New Testament into the Nama language was done by German missionary, Johann Schmelen and his wife, Sara (a national). It was released in 1825.
Missionary G. Kronlein (also German) undertook a new translation in the 1860s. By his specific statement his New Testament was based upon the Textus Receptus. He also consulted the German Lutheran Bible, the King James Bible, the French Olivetan Bible and the Italian Diodati Bible. He also translated the Old Testament. His work was published by the British and Foreign Bible Society.
The currently published Nama Bible is a Critical Text based revision of Kronlein’s work.
A bilingual, Navaho-English Bible has been released by missionary Ron Corley.
Over 60 Navaho believers worked at translating the King James New Testament into Navaho. It was published by Bearing Precious Seed, Milford, Ohio.
Ron Corely can be reached at P.O. Box 747, Bloomfield, NM 87413.
David Cloud began a translation of the King James Bible into the Nepali in the 1980s. The New Testament is in its third revision. The Old Testament is nearing completion. Prior to the publication of this New Testament, there was no Received Text based translation in Nepali.
The Trinitarian Bible Society produced a Nepalese New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs based upon a revision of David Clouds work. The main translator is Thomas Kaufman who lives in India. He and the TBS share the copyright. They print in India and have one distribution in Nepal.
The Jagerna Translation Project is producing a Received Text Translation of the Bible in Nepali. It states:
- “It is crucial that an accurate translation of the Holy Bible in the common Nepal tongue be produced—a translation that unerringly mirrors the Scriptures as originally inspired by God, faultlessly preserved with historical continuity in the context of Bible-believing Christianity, and clearly manifested in the English authorized King James Bible. The Nepali people deserve the option of a pure Bible in their common tongue.”
They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Norwegian AV Bible was published in 2000. Morten Gjemlestad and Tom Vandenberg led the translation effort with help from Norwegian and Danish men and American missionaries.
Dr. Howard Nelson of Scandanavians for Christ was instrumental in supporting this project.
The base source text was the King James Bible. It was compared diligently with old Danish Bibles.
It is published by some of the Bearing Precious Seed branches.
The American Bible Society released a translation of the Bible in the language of the Ojibawa in 1845. It was translated by Rev. H. H. Spaulding. At that time the policy of the American Bible Society was that all translations must be made from the Received Text and must conform to the King James Bible.
Mr. Spaulding issued a revision in 1883.
(also called Northern Galla)
Ethiopia, the Sudan
Onesimus Nesib (1850-1931) translated the Bible from the Amharic language into Oroma. He was a former slave who had been purchased and set free by the Swedish Evangelical Mission. He was aided by Aster Ganno, a young, female ex-slave.
The translation was released in 1893. It is credited with destroying polygamy and slavery among the Oromi people and creating a written language for the Oromi people.
This translation was used for over 100 years. It was replaced in 1997 by a Critical Text translation from the Bible Society of Ethiopia. This was replaced in 2006 by another Critical Text translation.
Also known as Patwa Jamaican Creole or Jamaican.
The Bible Society of the West Indies is sponsoring a translation of the Bible into the Patois language—the language developed by the Jamaican slave culture of the 17th and 18th centuries. The project is expected to take 12 years and cost $60 million dollars. Many in Jamaica oppose the translation because virtually everyone in Jamaica speaks English and Patois is considered “slang”. Some are concerned that Patois is such a limited language that much Bible truth cannot be accurately translated into this language. Bruce Goldberg, the Prime Minister opposes the project on the grounds that it detracts from the proper grasp of English. Several English translations serve as the source text for the translations.
In 1848 a Bible was translated into Ossetian. The source text was the Russian Synodal Bible. It is available form the Russian Bible Society.
The first Bible printed in the United States was the 1663 translation by John Eliot into the language of the Pequot tribe. He first had to put the Pequot language into writing. He translated from the Received Text.
Thousands of Pequot Indians made professions. Since 1887 the language has been dead—no living person still speaks it.
Papua, New Guinea is one of the most unique and diverse countries that can be found in the world. Papua, New Guinea is a conglomeration of peoples and cultures located just north of Australia. Papua, New Guinea has a population of more than 4 million and has between 700 to 800 tribal languages—almost 1/5 of all the languages in the world. Pidgin is one of the main languages known throughout the islands.
A New Testament translation of the English King James Version into the Pidgin language was done by a group of missionaries and nationals in Papua, New Guinea. Missionary Scott Carrier was instrumental in the translation process.
A Bilingual Pidgin and King James Bible is available.
This may be obtained from some Bearing Precious Seed branches.
In 1632, the Gdansk (Danzig) Bible was produced by Polish Protestants. The primary translator was Daniel Mikolajewski. It was clearly a Received Text Bible. It is still being published in Poland and is often called the Old Gdansk Bible.
Missionary Brent Riggs has produced a New Testament based upon the Old Gdansk Bible. It is still in the purification process. This New Testament does not take the Verbal Pleanry Translation approach that the William Carey Bible Society endorses. He can be reached at Brent Riggs email@example.com The N.T has been printed and is now available.
The Trinitarian Bible Society of England also has a Polish New Testament in print. This was first published in 1830.
A Biblia Sagrada—Almeida Corrigida—Fiel (ACF). Translator: Joao Ferreira de Almeida : New Testament (1679): Old Testament, Genesis through Ezekiel 41:8, before death (1691). Completed by Jacobus Op den Akker (1753). Translated in Indonesia where Almeida fled to escape the Inquisition, working with the Portuguese colony there, supported by the Dutch Reformed Church; based on the Hebrew Massoretic and Greek Textus Receptus, using formal equivalency method of translation.
Trinitarian Bible Society of London printed the Almeida New Testament in 1837 and the entire Bible in 1847 but ceased printing in the 1940s when orthographic revision became necessary and two Brazilian organizations began publishing. Doctrinally conservative Brazilians became alarmed that undue modifications had been made in the text, further radical changes were underway, and the two publishers declared they held the copyright and would not permit any other organization to print the Bible. Thus, the Sociedade Biblica Trinitariana do Brasil was formed in 1968, in cooperation with Bearing Precious Seed, to resume the work of TBS of London and guarantee publication of the Almeida translation in the most exact text possible. Since its first printing (New Testament, 1976; entire Bible, 1994; further corrections, 2007), the ACF has been considered by friend and foe the most accurate in the Portuguese language.
The Bible may be obtained wherever Portuguese Bibles are sold, or through:
Trinitarian Bible Society, Tyndale House, Dorset Road, London SW19 3NN , England, telephone: 011-4420-8543-7857, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.trinitarianbiblesociety.org
Various Bearing Precious Seed groups print and send ACF Bibles to missionaries and pastors of their groups. Some serious Bible scholars believe that there are still some Critical Text readings in this Portuguese Bible and that a final purification process is needed.
All allegations of errors are being carefully checked. We are using lists for checking Critical Text prepared by Mooreman and others. Sociedade Bíblica Trinitariana do Brasil (SBTB) and Trinitarian Bible Society (TBS) are grateful for prayers and all input concerning possible errors. Any indications of possible errors may sent by e-mail to <email@example.com> or by regular mail to SBTB at Rua Júlio de Castilhos, 108/120; Belenzinho; CEP 03059-000; São Paulo - SP; Brazil. Telephone: 011-5511-2693-5663 or Fax 011-5511-2695-3635. "Another orthographic revision in compliance with the latest government decree (including all Portuguese-speaking governments) is almost completed. Hopefully the verifications will be completed and changes made in time for the 2011 printing."
One of the major Indian languages (covering the border region of India and Pakistan) Punjabi is now the fourth most common language in Canada. In 1815, William Carey was the editor for a team that translated the New Testament into Punjabi. Various portions of the Old Testament were translated by later missionaries associated with Carey’s mission. The entire Bible was published in 1852. In 1868 the Bible was published in Gurmulshi Punjabi. This was the same language as Punjabi but with a different script. This was the script of the Sikkhpeople. This Bible was revised in 1949. It is often called the old Punjabi Bible and is still available today. This work was supervised by a national leader in the Anglican Church, Chandy Ray. It is not clear what source text was used in the work. In 2007, a “Easy to Read Version” was released. It is clearly Critical Text.
Fidela, a Romanian translation from the Received Text has been done by a group of Romanian men from a church in Romania. Missionary Brian Nibbe is leading the translation effort. Their statement for the Received Text is crystal clear.
New Testaments can be obtained from Bearing Precious Seed chapters. Brian Nibbe can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at Misiunea Baptista Internationala Romania, Filiala Cluj-Napoca, Str. Livezeni, Nr.—12, 400229, Cluj-Napoca, Romania Also involved in the Romanian project is Pete Heisey email@example.com
The entire Fidela Bible is now available in Romanian. These testimonies are given to this Bible. A Romanian Baptist pastor said: “I really like the FIDELA Bible, it reads perfectly. I used to preach on the street using the Cornilescu translation and nobody ever bothered me. Since I switched to the FIDELA people spit on me, hit me, yell at me and oppose me. I wonder if it is because the FIDELA is the Bible and the Cornilescu is something else?
A Romanian pastor of a Baptist Union Church said:
- “The FIDELA Translation as a whole is excellent…I can hardly wait for it to be printed!!!"
A Romanian teacher said:
- “The grammar is excellent. It is the best Romanian I have read any Bible. Anyone who says that it is not excellent Grammar has a hole in their head.”
Veteran independent Baptist missionary Jim Morgan writes:
- “Since I arrived in Romania in 1995 we have had to use a Bible that was based on the critical text (Cornilescu). The Fidela Cluj translation is a TR and Masoretic based translation. I have been using the Fidela Cluj New testament for about 4 years and I am looking forward to having the whole Bible for our Church soon (possibly next week). I am behind this translation 100%. There is some opposition to it. Even from Independent Baptist Missionaries that don’t want to rock the boat. The biggest Opposers are the major evangelical denominations (Baptist Union, Pentecostal, Brethren, etc.)”.
Also we received this encouraging note about the Fidela Bible from missionary Patrick Boyle:
“We are using the FIDELA translation of the Bible. We know Bro. Nibbie well and support his work. There are a few areas we have disagreed on in cases where he corrected the KJV with the Greek. The difference between the Cornilescu (a paraphrased CT translation) and the FIDELA is incomparable!
The Fidela Bible is translated from the Textus Receptus and reads like the KJV I 99% of the time. Our people began using the NT when it came out 1 year ago. We have been looking forward to the completion of the OT!
The opposition to Traditional Text Bible Translations is the same everywhere. So is the challenge that the Lords has given us to reach the whole world with the pure Word of God.
A Romansch New Testament, translated from the Received Text, was released in 1648. An Old Testament was released in 1718.
Missionary Dan Olachea is working on a Received Text Bible in the Runyankore language.
He describes the translation effort this way:
- “Believing that God is the One who must work through us to do this work, we have a prayer chain going on in Africa and in America with multiple churches. We use a report form to keep these churches informed of our progress and what specific areas of prayer are needed.
The translators are all Banyankore men. They are nationals who live here and work within the local church. Two of the men are pastors of the churches in the villages here, one is starting a church in a village, and the other three are active in their local church.
- The translation is done verse-by-verse from the Greek using the translation worksheet to parse the GrSeek words and to bring a literal translation. The parsing is done mainly by means of Perschbacher’s analytical concordance of the Greek New Testament. The men use other reference works as well to understand the Greek, including the King James Bible to arrive at the nearest formal equivalent word in Runyankore.
- They will then work with the literal translation to bring a natural translation while retaining the Greek word and format as much as possible in the native language. The work is recorded on the translation record as to the translator and the dates of translation.
- On the worksheet a second translator will go through and check the work of parsing to make sure there are no clerical errors that would have come into the text. On the second check another translator will make sure that the form of the Greek word as indicated has been brought into the receptor language correctly and that the final text includes each detail of the Greek. The worksheet then goes to a committee who will review the entire process again to make sure the Greek has been followed as well as possible.
- The text is then typed and sent out with three of the men who will review it for comprehension with four people in their respective villages. These reviews are brought back and examined to find any areas of misunderstanding or problems. The review techniques include having the person restate the verse in their own words, having the person read the passage aloud and marking any areas where they stumble or hesitate, asking questions about the passage, and letting the person proofread the passage themselves.
- The text is then back-translated for checking against the King James and for translation consultants.”
The Russian Synodal Bible is often called the standard Received Text Bible in Russian.
It was translated between 1813 and 1855 by four Russian Orthodox theological academies. Several historical references say that they specifically rejected the Septuagint and Slavonic translations to use the Masoretic Text and the Textus Receptus. It was revised in 1876. This Bible can be obtained from the Russian Bible Society, P.O. Box 6068, Asheville, North Carolina 28816, (828)681-0371.
According to its newsletter: “The Russian Bible Society has been at the frontline of providing Bibles for Russia and its people since 1944. We believe that the greatest gift we can give to any people is the pure Word of God in their native tongue. Therefore, we are committed to continually providing word-for-word translations based on reliable manuscripts, such as the Received Greek Text.”
The Synodal Bible is also available from the Trinitarian Bible Society. However, there are several reasons to question the Traditional Text nature of the Synodal Bible, especially the 1876 Revision. It is clear that the 1876 Revision was greatly influenced by the Septuagint. Also, several independent Baptist preachers believe that unsound translation principles were used in the Synodal translation. They believe that Orthodox theology of salvation by works has been inserted into passages that teach salvation by faith Missionary John O’Brien states, “Our church plants include a statement regarding the Textus Receptus .and the fact that while the 1876 Synodal does not constitute the inerrant Preserved Word of God in Russian, it “is” however the very closest “at this time” in both its text base as well as in its translation method.”
Missionary Perry Demopolis and several national Ukrainian preachers (many Ukrainians use the Russian Bible) have completed a new Russian New Testament. They have met weekly for over ten years. They are proofreading their work now.
They have used the King James Bible as their base. According to the newsletter of missionary Demopolis, they do so because of the advanced revelation that they believe is contained in the King James Bible.
Samoan is the language of Western Samoa. Samoa is a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand and has a population of more than 200,000. Over 93% of this population speaks Samoan and world-wide there are more than 425,000 Samoan-speaking people.
The Samoan New Testament was translated in the mid-1800s by missionaries from the London Missionary Society. The translation was done from the Textus Receptus and was first published by the British and Foreign Bible Society.
(also called Tswana and Botswana)
Zimbabwe, South Africa
Missionary Robert Moffatt (1820-1870) spent fifty years in the town of Kuruman. His daughter Mary married fellow missionary, David Livingstone. The church that he pastored is still in existence.
In 1826, Moffatt producedthe first spelling book in Setswana. In 1838, he printed a New Testament in Setswana (the first purely African language to have printed Scriptures). In 1854, he released the Old Testament. The printing press used in these printings is still in use at the church.
Moffatt turned Setswana into a written language.
In 1857, the Wooley revision of Moffatt’s work was released. It is still in print.
In 1970, a Critical Text Bible, the Central Version, was released.
(New Guinea—Simbu Province—highlands)
Missionary Charles Turner spent thirty years with the Sinasina people in New Guinea. He translated the New Testament into their language. He used the Textus Receptus and the King James Bible as base texts.
He completed a revision in 2009. He can be contacted at 518-642-0578.
(Ceylon, Sri Lanka)
The first dictionary for the Sinhali language was produced by Protestant missionaries in 1892.
Missionary Charles Henry Carter (1828-1914) was a Baptist missionary to Ceylon. He was fluent in several languages including Greek and Hebrew. He devoted himself to learning Sinhalese and was later called by the Anglican Primate of India as “the foremost Sinhalese scholar of this age.”
Carter translated the Bible from the Traditional Greek and Hebrew texts. The New Testament was released in 1861 and the Old Testament in 1881. He revised both and released the revision in 1914. A 1938 revision is still in print and is often called the Old Version. In 1982, a Critical Text based New Version was released. In 1990, it was replaced by the Revised New Version. In 2007, this was replaced by the New Revised Version.
The Old Version is still used by many evangelical churches.
Lutheran theologian Juriz Dalmatin translated the Bible into Slovenian. His work was released in 1584. It was printed in Germany and smuggled into Slovenia. This Bible standardized the Slovenian language.
This was a Received Text translation from Greek and Hebrew. It was influenced by Luther’s German Bible. A copy of the Slovenian Traditional Text Bible has been located by Norman Johnston. Plans are being made to put it into print.
The Slovenian Standard Version (1996) is a “meaning based” translation based upon the Critical Text.
(Kurdish, Syria, Iraq, Iran)
There has never been a Soriani Old Testament of any kind. Faithful, underground believers have produced a New Testament which they print privately. This should not be confused with the International Bible Society New Testament, which is Critical Text and based upon dynamic equivalency.
Cassiodore Reyna produced a predominately Received Text Spanish Bible in 1569. Cypriano de Valera revised it in 1602. They did not have the opportunity to gather teams of scholars as was done in Protestant countries. Roman Catholic persecution hindered their efforts.
Beginning in 1865, the American Bible Society began to produce revisions of the Reina-Valera. The first edition of 1865 was an improvement upon the 1602 revision of Valera, however, it still contained several departures from the Received Texts as well as some translational issues. Since the 1865 edition, each new revision departed further away from the Received Text. By 1960, the Reina-Valera was mixed with many Critical Text errors.
In the late 1990s, Humberto Gomez, a Mexican missionary and church planter, began to work on restoring a Received Text version of the Reina-Valera. He used the Received Text and checked every translation with the time-honored King James Bible.
Rather than having a translation committee, he invited input from everyone. He received input from hundreds of sources and he served as the editor.
In 2004, the Reina-Valera Gomez was released. The purification process continues as Dr. Gomez welcomes input from everyone. Several William Carey Bible Society board members were involved in encouraging this process.
Dr. Gomez may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Grace Bible Baptist Church of Santa Catarina, Nuevo Leon, Mexico has also produced a Received Text based Bible. Under the leadership of Pastor Raul Reyes and missionary Bill Park they have worked for several years on this project. It is known as the Antigua Valera 1602—Purified. Missionary Park and Pastor Reyes are no longer working together. Each appear to be distributing this Bible. For more information contact Pastor Raul Reyes at email@example.com
Promoters of this version have hurt its credibility with wild attacks on the RVG. There is no resemblance between their fantastic rumors and the truth.1
Missionary Bob Patton began a project to translate the Received Text into Sranantongo in 1991. He was aided by seven national (Suriname) helpers. It was completed in 1998. It is the best selling Bible in Suriname.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Missionary Patton states:
- “Dear Dr Stringer, I thought I would drop you a note concerning my story of translation, hoping that it might prove helpful in the future. As a small child, I accompanied my missionary parents to China just before World War II. We were interned in a prisoner-of-war camp in the Philippine Islands for over three years. At age 11, after being in the United States a few years, I believed that the Lord would have me to be a medical missionary to Africa. I proved an excellent student in Science and Math, but not outstanding in languages. While in college, I had to take the elementary course in French followed by two additional years; as I had taken only Latin in high school. Language was OK, but certainly not my best area.
- Through scholarships I went to college, and then with more scholarships graduated from medical school with honors. This was followed by eight additional years of graduate training in internal medicine and cardiology, culminating in becoming a board certified internist.
We then went to Liberia, West Africa, where I was professor of medicine under USAID. I set up a successful program over five years, and was decorated for my work by the Liberian government. During our time in Liberia, I was saved. I returned to the United States in private practice in a Christian group, giving up my academic career in teaching medicine. I joined an Independent Baptist Church, was involved as a bus captain, counselor, taught the adult Sunday School class, was deacon chairman, and then was called to Suriname in 1986. In Suriname, we were confronted with two languages, Dutch, the language of education and Sranantongo, the common language of the people we were working with. I taught in the medical school part time to keep a presence in the medical area to be able to work in church planting and medicine in the interior. I worked on both languages and started a church during our first five years. I was frustrated while training nationals because the only Bible we had was the New Testament and Psalms done about 1820, with a lot of language changes since. I had decided to retire from medicine when I reached age 60 (I was age 53) and start translating. The Lord had different ideas.
- Through a sickness, the Lord made it clear that I should retire at age 53, giving up medicine totally, which was a very difficult decision for me. Instead of teaching medicine, I started translating the Bible mornings, and continued the church planting work the rest of the time. That year we also started a radio ministry (now 22 broadcasts weekly on 4 stations), a Bible Institute, initially using Dutch while awaiting Sranantongo, now 18 years old with about 65 graduates, started a second church with a national pastor (now 4 with 10 pastors), and started translating the Bible.
- The first problem was what text to use. I was not trained in Greek or Hebrew. After studying the text issue, I decided that I must use the King James Version although my former pastor in the United States was a strong advocate of the Critical Text. However, the Lord arranged that a number of our supporting churches were strong King James Version churches.
- The use of the King James Version was difficult in Suriname after I assembled a team of seven nationals to help me (I also received some helpful assistance from fellow missionaries as they were able). The nationals would tend to initially use Dutch as their text base, which was the NGB translation from the Critical Text, rather than the King James Version in English. It was only years later that I discovered the Stantenvertalling, which is the Dutch equivalent for the King James Version. However, after I showed them the difference in the text, they did follow the King James Version successfully, although English was their third language.
- About three months after I started work, I discovered that SIL had just decided officially to translate the entire Bible, and not just the New Testament. When I went to them, I found out that they were using the New International Version in English as their base text (not the Greek Critical text). They gave me a 500-page plus text from Eugene Nida who promulgated dynamic equivalence. And I had on my team a key lady who had previously worked for SIL, but she had started attending our church, and was saved. She was an invaluable help.
- My national team was otherwise mostly pastors or pastors in training. I would make a rough translation, and two would correct it. I would incorporate their corrections, and pass it to a second team of two, who would them correct the corrected copy. This was repeated a third time. Before translating, I would read a commentary or two to make certain that I was not giving some “off the wall” idea and look up Greek or Hebrew words as necessary to get a better grasp of the meaning of the words. Following this process, in three years, we had completed the entire Bible. We then spent another four years cross-checking it, working on consistent spelling (there is not an established spelling which is accepted by everyone in Sranantongo), working on accuracy, smoothness and clarity.
- Because Bearing Precious Seed ministry came out of one of our supporting churches, their ministry covered the cost of the first printing. My sister-in-law asked me what I would be doing about layout (computers were just developing), and offered to do the entire Bible free of charge as a service to the Lord. She did layouts for books as a side job, and did a superb job for us. In 1997, we were done, and in 1998, the Bibles were printed and in Suriname.
- Initially our translation was not accepted by the Suriname Bible Society. However, we received help from the local Baptist book store owner, who was wiling to take the brunt of distribution despite opposition, and has become a close friend.
- Results: We are now in our third printing after having sold out the first two printings of 5,000 copies (Suriname is a small country). The Sranantongo Bible is now the best-selling Bible in Suriname in any language, including Dutch. The SIL New Testament was completed about 3 to 4 years later, and was written more in the style of “the man on the street.” They had a big initial promotion, and nearly sold out their stock of 10,000 New Testaments the first night. However, virtually no one uses the translation any more. SIL is still working on the Old Testament in 2009, but it is not complete.”
The Swahili language was first put into writing by missionaries who wanted to translate the Bible into Swahili.
Portions of the New Testament, translated by William Taylor, were published in 1889. This was clearly based upon the Traditional Text. In 1909 the Church Missionary Society published the whole New Testament. In 1914, they published the whole Bible. It is hard to find out the textual basis for these translations.
The Union Swahili Bible was published in 1952. It is clearly a Critical Text Bible.
For the past ten years a man by the name of Allen Lear has been working on a translation based upon the TR. He was born in England and married a missionaries’ daughter. They have spent time in Africa and both are fluent in Swahili. About Mr. Lear’s qualifications, I will let Mr. Lear speak for himself.
- “I am truly thankful to God for his help and guidance in my life. While living in Africa, God gave my wife and me a strong and growing love for the African people and country. God also gave me a strong desire for them to have a Bible translated into their own language that was as accurate as possible, translated from the original words of God. The desire for accuracy was enhanced by scientific and other training, which the Lord enabled me to do. I am thankful to God that He has enabled me to obtain a Master of Health Science Degree (MHS), and Master of Arts in Translation Studies (MA) (TS).”
May of 2009 Mr. Lear passed on to heaven but not without having the John and Romans finished and printed by some of the Bible printing ministries in the U.S. Other missionaries have checked his work and they have given positive response to its accuracy and faithfulness to the TR. He has finished other books of the NT but they are in hand written form. There is another missionary that has stepped forward desiring to finish the New Testament translation.
In 1540-41, the Gustavus Vasa Bible was published in Sweden. It was named after the reigning king. It was printed in Upsala and is sometimes known as the Upsala Bible.
This Bible was translated by Laurentius Petri, Laurentius Andrae and Claus Petri. All three were Lutheran preachers. It was clearly translated from the Received Text and referenced to the Lutheran Bible. It was revised in 1618, but with the same textual basis. P. Marion Simms (The Bible in America, 1936, p. 107) wrote about the 1618 Upsala Bible: “This remained the standard church Bible of Sweden for almost 400 years, or until 1917.” He has said that this Bible, “occupying the place in Sweden, that the King James Version occupied among English-speaking Protestants.”
This Bible is still in print, along with many later unreliable revisions.
Bro. Hagstedt writes this about the Swedish Reformation Bible Society Project.
- “We are happy that also Christian brothers in the United States would like to get information about our project.
- Since 1994 we are working with a new translation to Swedish. Our Bible Society is using the Greek text “Textus Receptus” for the New Testament and we revise the old Swedish Bible Carl XIIs Bible from 1703, which is a translation of Luther’s Bible. But when there are differences we are following Textus Receptus. But the King James Version is also a very important translation which we use to compare in the New Testament. We finished the New Testament in 2003 and if you are interested you can download this translation free, without cost from our homepage. www.bibel.se
- In the Old Testament it is different. We cannot follow the old Swedish Bible because they have sometimes followed the Septuagint and many times Latin Vulgate Bible. So we are making a translation of the King James Bible. Now we have finished the five books of Moses. These books can also be found on our homepage and it’s possible to download them without cost.
- We have between 15-20 people who have worked with this project. Mostly we work free of charge. That is the reason that the whole Bible will not be finished soon.
- If you would like to inform others about this project, we will be happy. We need much prayers.”
They can be reached at email@example.com
Tagalog is the most common of several Filipino languages.
Missionary Roger Riley led a team of national pastors in producing a New Testament in Tagalog, (Ang Bagong Tipan). According to their statement, “It is taken from the Textus Receptus manuscripts using the King James Bible 1611 as a proof of text from one language to another.”
Missionary Riley has the copyright to this New Testament. It is printed by some of the Bearing Precious Seed chapters. However, even the translators do not recommend the use of this New Testament. They state that this text was simply a rough draft and was published long before it was ready.
Henry Nott arrived in Tahiti from England in 1797. He and other missionaries spent years trying to master the language and put it into writing. Some missionaries were killed and others fled. Nott published the book of John in 1818. The New Testament was published in 1829, the complete Bible in 1838.
Nott used the King James Bible as a textual base.
(Min Nan Chinese)
Early Dutch missionaries brought the Dutch Bible to Taiwan in the 1600s. Nationals were taught Dutch by the missionaries.
Scottish missionary, James Laidwell Maxwell produced a Traditional Text Min Nan New Testament in 1873 and an Old Testament in 1884. He was a medical missionary and the first missionary to Taiwan from the English speaking world.
This translation was revised by Thomas Barclay (New Testament, 1916—Old Testament, 1933). The Barclay revision is still in print and used by Taiwanese evangelicals.
An ecumenical translation was released in 1973. A 2008 translation of the New Testament was based upon Today’s English Version and dynamic equivalency.
Telegu is one of the sixteen different official languages of India. In 1993 Indian national Joel Scripalli led a team of several nationals in a translation of the New Testament. Their textual base was the King James Bible. Their work was completed in 2003.
According to Dr. Solomon Saripalli, translators are currently working on Old Testament. Their New Testament is published by some Bearing Precious Seed chapters.
A Telegu translation of the Bible was released by associates of William Carey in 1854.
The Telegu Bible in common use among evangelicals is based upon the Critical Text and was heavily influenced by the New International Version.
(Mexican Tribe) Missionary Fernando Angles is working on a translation of the New Testament in this tribal language. He is aided by several national Tenek speakers. The work is based upon the Greek Received Text and is checked by Ross Hodsdon of Bibles International.
Philip Pope (BIMI missionary to Thailand) began translating the Bible into Thai in 1983. The project was printed in 2003. He used the King James Bible and the Received Text as his base.
His translation is officially known as the Thai Bible, King James Version. It is available from several Bearing Precious Seed sources, and it can be downloaded from several sites on the internet.
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tonga is a Polynesian language. Missionary John Thomas arrived there in 1826. He printed a translation of the Bible into Tongan in 1837. According to the Journal of John Thomas, his translation work was based upon the Traditional Text.
Thomas was a Wesleyan missionary. Soon there were a number of Wesleyan churches on the island.
Missionary James Egan Moulton (1845 – 1909) released a new translation of the New Testament. It was based upon the work of Westcott and Hort. At first Wesleyan headquarters (in New Zealand) rejected the translation and Moulton had it printed privately. Eventually denominational headquarters was persuaded to adopt this translation as the official one for the churches in Tonga.
Several pastors protested out of loyalty to the Traditional Text.
Eventually the king, George Tupon, declared that the churches in Tonga were free from control outside the country. Two denominations developed—one using the Thomas Bible, the other the Moulton Bible. The two denominations eventually merged—with the understanding that congregations could use either Bible.
Both Bibles are in print today but the Moulton Bible is in more common use. In 1966 it was revised. According to the introduction, the revision was based upon the principles of translation taught by Eugene Nida.
The first Bible in the Turkish language was translated by Wojciech Babowski (1610-1675). He was a Polish slave being held in the Ottomon empire. He was also known as Ali Ufki. He was also a prominent musician.
His handwritten manuscript was stored in a library until it was published in 1821. Al Ufki knew 16 languages. He clearly used the Received Text. A new Turkish Bible was published in 2002.
William Goodall worked on a Turkish Bible in a different dialect, Turko-Armenian. He translated from 1823 until 1833. It was also Received Text. It was revised in 1868 and 1878. Another Turkish Bible was translated and released by 1901. This was in “Greco-Turkish”—a compilation of modern Greek and Turkish. This was Received Text based. In 1941, the American Bible Society revised this Bible with many Critical Text readings.
History of Bible Translation in Turkey:
Imagine a population of, say, English, Greek and Egyptian communities who all speak English (though with a range of vocabulary and dialect) but who write it using their own separate scripts. Imagine, further, that some of the English people want to embellish their literary and official writing with French and German vocabulary and stylistic devices. How would you set about preparing a new translation of the Bible for them all?
Ottoman Turks for the most part wrote a Turkish that was interspersed with Arabic words for religious purposes and Persian for literary finesse. Armenians and Greeks, on the other hand, who had been absorbed so fully into the Turkish empire that they had lost the use of their mother tongues, spoke versions of Turkish but wrote it in their own national scripts without any particular literary interest. How could Bible translation work accommodate this range of Turkish used in speech and writing? Would one translation be intelligible to everyone? What script(s) would you use? At what ‘level’ would you try to pitch the version?
- 1600’s- A Dutch ambassador at the Sultan’s court persuaded a Polish slave there knows as Ali Bey to translate the Scriptures into Turkish. That translation la unused in Leyden University until an Englishman Dr. Pinkerton, asked a Turkish-speaking Russian called Baron von Dietz to work on it in Berlin. The Baron was elderly and died before he could finish.
- 1821- First Bible Published. Scholars were raised up from outside Turkey and in the 19th century, Jean Daniel Kieffer, a Frenchman took up the baton; and a translation of the Bible was published in 1827 by the Bible Society.
- 1843- Armeno – Turkish Bible. In 1823 an American called William Goodell arrived in Beirut and started work another translation (Turkish in language, Armenian in script), Producing a New Testament in Malta in 1831. He then went to Constantinople, where he finished the Bible, in spite of losing all his dictionaries; grammars, commentaries and manuscripts in the great fire of 1833.
- 1862- 2nd Turkish translation of Gospels and Acts. Moslem Turks became interested in the Scriptures of the ‘infidels’ because of Anglo-French support in the Crimean war, an interest which provoked a search for a more accurate version of the Bible than Kieffer’s. A German scholar-missionary called William Schaffler, who had been in Turkey for 25 years, worked on a fresh idiomatic, producing the four Gospels and Acts in 1862.
- 1878 – 2nd Turkish Bible. In 1878 a Dr. Pratt did start work in Constantinople on producing a version in Turkish characters of Goodell’s Armeno-Turkish Bible. There were ideas of combining the work of these two scholars but it came to nothing so the Bible Societies established a committee of translators with gifted Turkish advisors to try to produce a Turkish rendering intelligible to all Turkish speakers. They started in 1873. The work of the committee was greatly eased by major political changes. The bloodless revolution of 1876 that put the liberal Sultan Murad on the throne provided an opportunity for language reform and a brief lifting of censorship. Written Turkish became clearer and bolder, the work of the committee was intense and rapid, and in five years a fresh Turkish version of the Bible had been produced (1878).
- 1901 – Major revision. 3rd version. There was still a third version to absorb, however, the Greaco-Turkish version which Henry Leeves had been instrumental in first producing a others was revised. By 1901 this version and the 1878 version had been combined into yet another translation, which had about 25 years to run before major changes were forced on the Bible Societies.
- 1941 – Current version. In 1923 Ataturk started on his reform programme, seeking to restore the Turkish language to something of its pristine nature, give it its own phonetic script, and rid it of eastern influences. Clearly the Bible had to be produced in this renewed Turkish language, and so it was, through the work of Dr. Frederick MacCallum, and his son Lyman, in 1941. Turkish believers read it still. This is called the old Turkish Bible.
- 2002- New version. A Critical Text based Bible is now being promoted by the ABS and UBS Bible Societies.
Henry Martin translated the New Testament into Urdu. It was published in 1814 by the British and Foreign Bible Society. An Old Testament was released in 1870. These translations are still used by evangelicals today.
A Critical Text Urdu Bible was released in 2004.
Raheel Shakeel (Pakistan email@example.com) is heading up a project to provide a time Received Text Urdu Bible.
The people of the Ukraine have often used Russian Bibles. The first Ukrainian Bible was published in 1581. It is known as the Ostrog Bible. It was sponsored by Prince Konstantin Ostrogski (hence the name).
According to Wikpedia, the Ostrog was unique among Slavonic church translations because it was not based upon the Received Text. It was translated from the Greek Septuagint..
In the 1860s, a Ukrainian Bible was produced from the Received Text. The project was led by Panteleymon Kulish.
By 1962 the standard Ukrainian Bible was a Bible Society Bible translation based on the Critical Text.
In 1992, the Baptist Union produced a new translation. This translation corrected many of the mistakes of the 1962 translation, but not all of them.
Yura Popchenko is a national Ukrainian married to an American, Wendy. He is heading up a new translation project in the Ukraine. He makes this statement about the text.
“We believe that the Bible is the verbally inspired and infallible, authoritative Word of God and that God gave the words of Scripture by inspiration without error in the original autographs. We believe that God had promised to preserve His Word and that He has kept that promise by preserving His infallible Word in the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus and that the King James Version is an accurate English translation of the preserved Word of God.”
To get ready for this project, Yura studied Biblical languages in Russian universities (such training was not available in the Ukraine). The Popchenko family is sponsored by the Bible Baptist Church of Marysville, California. They have an excellent website entitled, “Translating the Bible into Ukrainian.”
The earliest Bibles in Vietnamese were Catholic Bibles.
The first complete Protestant translation of the Bible came in 1926. It was translated from the Chinese language by missionaries William and Grace Cadman.
In 1954, the British and Foreign Bible Society released a translation of the Bible into Vietnamese from the King James Bible. It is often called the Old Vietnamese Bible or the Vietnamese Bible of 1952. It was the standard Bible of the Protestants and Evangelicals.
Several Catholic and ecumenical translations have been released, including a revision of the 1926 version done by the United Bible Society. A translation of the New International Version is being prepared.
Waray is one of many languages found throughout the islands of the Philippines which are located between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam. There are more than 76 million people in the Philippines, most of whom claim to be Roman Catholic. Of this population there are more than 2.4 million Filipinos who speak Waray-Waray.
A group of Filipino pastors in northern Samar have translated John and Romans into this language. They are continuing to work on the New Testament. They are led in this work by missionary Layne Jones.
(South Africa) The Xhosa language was first placed in writing by missionaries.
Under the leadership of Albert Kropf and John Appleyard a written language, grammar and dictionary was produced. A Received Text Bible was released in 1859.
A Critical Text Bible was released in 1889.
(eastern Europe, Russia, Israel, the United States)
Yiddish is the language of the Ashkenazi Jews of eastern Europe. It is a combination of German, Hebrew and Slavic.
The first two Yiddish Bibles were released in 1678 and 1679. One was released by Uri Foyvesh Halevi. It was heavily based upon the Traditional Text Dutch Bible and the Traditional Text German Bible. The second was based upon the Traditional Text Dutch Bible. The chief translator was Isaac Blitz.
Since many Bible terms did not have a Yiddish equivalent, Dutch words were inserted.
Joseph ben Alexander Witzenhausen released a translation at about the same time. It was also heavily influenced by the Dutch Bible.
Samuel Ajayi Crowther (1807-1891) was the first native African to translate the Bible into an African language.
In 1821, he was sold into slavery but was eventually rescued by the British and sent to Sierra Leone. Three years after his freedom he trusted Christ. He later wrote: “about the third year of liberation from the slavery of man, I was convinced of another worse state of slavery; namely that of sin and Satanism.” He returned to Nigeria and produced a dictionary that turned Yoruba into a written language.
He spent many years translating the New Testament from the Received Text into Yoruba. His translation was compared to the King James Bible as a check for accuracy. He later translated the Old Testament from the King James Bible into Yoruba. The entire Bible was released in the 1880s.
“The quality of Crowther’s translation was acknowledged even by his critics and the Yoruba Bible has won universal approval by the Yoruba themselves for communicating the message of the Gospel and starting a literary tradition and in effect initiating a renaissance of the language.” (Jacob F. Ajayi, Henry Martyn Lecture).
His Bible translation was known as Bibeli Mimo. A revision was released in 1886.
In 2008, the Bible League released a revision that they state is based on Crowther’s original work.
Missionaries turned Zulu into a written language for the purpose of Bible translation. The first translator, Bishop Colenso, stated that the experience led him to deny the inspiration of Scripture and to embrace modernism.
In 1883, a Zulu Bible was released. The translation effort was led by William C. Wilcox. He began the project in 1845. At the time of the release, very few Zulus could read. The original edition of 1883 was at least primarily Traditional Text. Subsequent revisions have introduced many Critical Text readings.
End of article.