John Bois

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John Bois (sometimes spelled Boys) (January 3, 1560 -January 14, 1643) is remembered mainly as one of the members of the translating committee for the Authorized Version of the Bible.

Bois was born in Nettlestead, Suffolk, England, His father was William Bois, his mother was Mirable Poolye. His father took great care about his education, and already at the age of five years John he had read the Bible in Hebrew. He was sent to school at Hadley, then went to St John's College, Cambridge, in 1575 when he was 15 years old. He soon was proficient in Greek.

In 1580 John Bois (not to be confused with John Boys, Dean of Canterbury from 1619-1625) was elected Fellow of his College. He lectured on Greek and began to study medicine, but soon quit the study, instead he turned to divinity. On June 21, 1583 he was ordained a deacon of the Church of England. For ten years, he was Greek lecturer in his college.

When he was about thirty-six years old, on October 13, 1596, he married the daughter of the rector at Boxworth and after the death of her father he took over this post. He assisted Henry Savile with the translation of the works of John Chrysostom.

In 1604 he was recruited for one of the Cambridge committees set up to translate the Bible into English. He first served in the "Cambridge Company" charged by James I of England with translating the Apocrypha for the King James Version of the Bible and later assisted the Cambridge company that translated 1 Chronicles to Song of Solomon. Six years later, when the work was done, the work was reviewed by six or twelve scholars before the final publication. Bois was one of their number. After the final editing by Miles Smith and Thomas Bilson, the Bible was then published in 1611.

In 1609 he succeeded fellow translator John Duport as prebendary of Ely while also serving as rector of Boxworth. He spent the last years of his life there. He was eighty-three when he died in Ely. He had four sons and three daughters, none of whom survived their father. His wife died two years before him.

The reference work The Dictionary of National Biography noted that John Bois wrote a manuscript that "consists of brief critical notes, in which the renderings of the Vulgate are in the main defended, but Bois frequently proposes more exact translations of his own, both Latin and English" (p. 775). John M'Clintock and James Strong noted that Bois' only published work was "a vindication of the Vulgate version of the New Testament" (Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical, Literature, Vol. I, p. 869).

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