The Revised Version

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The Revised Version (or English Revised Version) of the Bible is a late 19th-century British corruption of the King James Version of 1611. The New Testament was published in 1881, the Old Testament in 1885, and the Apocrypha in 1894.

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

While the text of the translation itself is widely regarded as excessively literal and flat, the Revised Version is significant in the history of English Bible translation for many reasons. At the time of the RV's publication, the nearly 300-year old King James Version was still the only viable English Bible in Victorian England.

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


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