Textual Differences Between Bomberg and bhs

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Textual Differences Between Bomberg and BHS

The Bomberg edition of 1524-25 is the Ben Chayyim Masoretic Text. The differences between the Bomberg Ben Chayyim edition and Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (1967/77) are microscopic. In the eight places where the difference had an effect on translation, the NKJV followed Ben Chayyim, not Stuttgart. Here are the eight differences:
Stuttgart Bomberg (KJV, NKJV)

Prov 8:16 righteousness earth

Isa 10:16 the Lord, the LORD the Lord, the Lord of hosts

of hosts

Isa 27:2 a pleasant vineyard a vineyard of red wine

Isa 38:14 the Lord the LORD

Jer 34:1 Nebuchadrezzar Nebuchadnezzar

Ezek 30:18 be held back be darkened

Zeph 3:15 fear disaster see disaster

Mal 1:12 Lord LORD

James D. Price


AV Grammatical Irregularities
In spite of the care invested in the several meticulous revisions of the KJV since 1611, numerous grammatical irregularities continue in current editions. Contemporary English editors would regard these as grammatical errors.
Scrivener listed a number of examples of grammatical irregularities:

(1) The following illustrate irregular verb forms:

Ex. 9:31--"the flax and barley was smitten"

2 Chr. 1:12--"wisdom and knowledge is granted"

Mark 9:3--"no fuller...can white them."

Luke 1:19--"Gabriel, that stand"

John 11:57--"if any man knew where he were"

Acts 1:15--"the number of names together were..."

Acts 6:7--"a great company...were obedient"

Acts 23:15--"or ever he come near"

1 John 5:15--"if we know that he hear us"

Rev. 18:17--"so great riches is come"

(2) The following illustrate antiquated singular forms that were usually corrected to plurals by the revisers, but evidently overlooked in these places:
Judg. 14:12,13--"thirty change of garments"

1 Kings 10:17--"three pound of gold"

Ezra 2:69--"five thousand pound of silver"

Neh. 7:71--"two hundred pound of silver"

Neh. 7:72--"two thousand pound of silver"

Luke 9:28--"an eight days"

(3) The following illustrate the irregular use of an adjective for an adverb:

2 Chr. 2:9--"wonderful great"

2 Pet. 2:6--"live ungodly"
(4) The following illustrate the irregular use of double superlatives:

Mark 10:44--"chiefest"

Acts 26:5--"most straitest"
(5) The following illustrates the irregular suppression of the sign of the

genitive--that is, a necessary "of" is omitted:

Rev. 18:12--"all manner vessels" (twice)
These irregularities are inconsistent with the KJV-only advocates' interpretation of Psalm 12:6.
James D. Price


Textual Emendations in the Authorized Version
It is generally believed that the King James Version of the Bible faithfully follows the Textus Receptus of the Old and New Testaments without variation. However, there are at least 232 places in the AV where the translators followed some other text tradition, such as the Greek Septuagint (LXX), the Latin Vulgate (Vg), the Syriac Version (Syr), or merely Rabbinic tradition, rather than the Textus Receptus.
The following are a few examples of where the KJV departs from the Hebrew Textus Receptus of the Old Testament and follows the LXX against all other authorities:
2 Chron 17:4--Hebrew God

LXX, KJV 1611 LORD God

KJV 1769 LORD God
2 Chron 33:19--Hebrew Hozai

LXX the seers

Job 1:19--Hebrew from across

LXX, KJV from [omits across]

Job 15:11--Hebrew gently

LXX, KJV secret thing

Song 4:1; 6:5--Hebrew going down

LXX, KJV appear

Isa 57:8--lit. hand (figure of nudity)

LXX, KJV [omits the word]

Hos 13:16--Hebrew is held guilty

LXX, KJV become desolate

The following are a few examples of where the KJV follows the LXX and the Vg against the Hebrew Textus Receptus:
Gen 7:22--Hebrew Spirit

LXX, Vg, KJV (omits the word)

Num 10:29--Hebrew Reuel

LXX, Vg, KJV Raguel

Num 13:8, 16--Hebrew Hoshea

LXX, Vg, KJV Oshea

Num 13:24--Hebrew cluster

LXX, Vg, KJV cluster of grapes (adds words)

Deut 2:27--Hebrew in the road

LXX, Vg, KJV (omits the word)

1 Sam 5:9, 12: 6:4, 5--Hebrew tumors broke out

LXX, Vg, KJV they had emerods in their secret parts

Psa 39:13--Hebrew remove your [gaze]

LXX, Vg, KJV O spare me.

Psa 68:23--Hebrew his portion

LXX, Vg, KJV from it

Prov 24:28--Hebrew Would you deceive?

LXX, Vg, KJV do not deceive

Jer 50:11--Hebrew heifer threshing grain

LXX, Vg, KJV heifer at grass

Jer 52:12--Hebrew King Nebuchadnezzar

LXX, Vg, KJV Nebuchadnezzar (omits the word King)

Lam 1:8--Hebrew become vile

LXX, Vg, KJV is removed

Ezek 21:16--Hebrew set [your blade]

LXX, Vg, KJV (omits the word)

Apocrypha--Hebrew (lacking)

LXX, Vg, KJV (adds 14 whole books)

The Apocrypha is still available in numerous editions of the AV such

as the Oxford and Cambridge editions. Most AV's printed in England

can be obtained with the Apocrypha. I own an Oxford edition with it.
James D. Price

Variants in the King James Version

The impression of the general public is that the text of the Authorized Version of the Bible is flawlessly uniform throughout the various editions currently printed by the various publishing houses. The truth is that the current editions of the KJV differ from each other in various ways in hundreds of places. The Oxford edition differs from the Cambridge edition; each of these differs from the American Bible Society's edition; and the various editions produced in the United States differ from these and among themselves. There is no flawless standard edition.
Part of the reason for these discrepancies is due to extensive revisions made by

the American Bible Society to their standard text. They changed the spelling convention of their text from British to American. Thus words like "colour" and "valour" became "color" and "valor," and so forth. Also they modernized the spelling of many words. The following is a list of some changes:

Old Spelling Modern Spelling

Asswaged assuaged

morter mortar

throughly thoroughly

carcases carcasses

ringstraked ringstreaked

strakes streaks

grisled grizzled

ought aught

ravin raven

lothe loathe

bason basin

brasen brazen

cloths clothes

strawed strewed

clift cleft

plaister plaster

jubile jubilee

rereward rearward

travel travail

cuckow cuckoo

aul awl

ax axe

pransings prancings

stedfastly steadfastly

cieling ceiling

caterpiller caterpillar

flotes floats

musick music

sackclothes sackcloth

sodering soldering

cloke cloak

sope soap

utter court outer court

prised prized

spunge sponge

broided braided
They corrected most of the old discrepancies in the spelling of the imper­fects and participles of verbs. The following are examples:
Old Spelling Modern Spelling

pluckt plucked

fetcht fetched

have born have borne (Gen. 21:7)

forbad forbade

lien lain

astonied astonished

neesings sneezings

They corrected most of the old discrepancies in the use of capitalization, thus purifying their text, but greatly increasing the differences with the British edi­tions. For example, they corrected ""My spirit" to "My Spirit" (Gen. 6:3); and they corrected "the spirit of God" to "the Spirit of God". In addition, they applied capitalization to a few additional words. The following are a few examples:
Old Form New Form

scripture Scripture

most High Most High

holy Spirit Holy Spirit

mighty One Mighty One
There are some notable exceptions to their use of capitals: "the spirit" (1 John 5:8), "king" (Luke 23:2), "my spirit" (Matt. 12:18, 1867 ed.), "scripture" (Dan. 10:21, 1867 ed.); "Angel" 12 times when referring to God, but "angel" 47 times in reference to God.
They corrected the spelling of words with double plurals, such as words transliterated from the Hebrew with the plural ending -im. The following are examples:
Old Spelling Modern Spelling

cherubims cherubim

seraphims seraphim

Nethanims Nethanim

Anakims Anakim
They made consistent the use of the words "O" and "Oh," reserving "O" for the vocative, and "Oh" for the optative. They made consistent the use of the indefinite articles "a" or "an." Also they made numerous corrections in the use of italicized words.
The changes made by the American Bible Society for the most part, puri­fied and modernized their text. On the other hand, they greatly increased the num­ber of discrepancies between their edition and the British editions. Most of the changes were made in their 1860 and 1867 editions. Yet their current editions dif­fer some from the 1867 edition.
But the differences are not always due to the American Bible Society revision. Many differences exist in the spelling of names, in the capitalization of words referring to deity, and in other minor details. However, there are some differences that involve different words and different punctuation:
Different words

Exod 31:10 cloths vs. clothes (+ 3 other instances)

Num 20:14 travel vs. travail (also Lam 3:5)

Josh 19:2 and Sheba vs. or Sheba

2 Chr 33:19 all his sin vs. all his sins

Job 30:6 clifts vs. cliffs

Jer 34:16 whom he vs. whom ye

Nah 3:16 flieth vs. fleeth

Different punctuation

John 11:33 troubled, vs. troubled.
Different capitalization

Ordinarily nouns that refer to deity are capitalized, but occasionally the various editions differ in the application of this practice. This may be an occasion for confusion, suggesting that deity is not involved when in fact it is.

Gen 6:3 spirit vs. Spirit

Gen 22:11 angel vs. Angel

Exod 23:20 angel vs. Angel

Job 19:25 redeemer vs. Redeemer

Job 26:13 spirit vs. Spirit

Psa 2:6 king vs. King

Psa 45:3 mighty vs. Mighty

Psa 45:11 king vs. King

Psa 51:11 holy spirit vs. Holy Spirit

Psa 95:6 maker vs. Maker

Prov 23:11 redeemer vs. Redeemer

Isa 32:15 spirit vs. Spirit

Isa 33:22 king vs. King

Isa 43:15 creator vs. Creator

Isa 63:16 redeemer vs. Redeemer

Isa 63:16 father vs. Father

Jer 14:8 saviour vs. Saviour

Dan 10:21 scripture vs. Scripture

Matt 4:1 spirit vs. Spirit

Matt 12:18 spirit vs. Spirit

Like 23:2 king vs. King

Acts 11:12 spirit vs. Spirit

Acts 11:28 spirit vs. Spirit

Heb 9:14 spirit vs. Spirit

1 John 5:8 spirit vs. Spirit

Rev 11:11 spirit vs. Spirit

Difference in capitalization

in reference to names of God

Usually the AV uses "LORD" (all capitals) to translate the sacred tetragram YHWH (sometimes translated JEHOVAH), and it uses "Lord" (initial capital only) to translate the divine name ADONAI. Occasionally it uses "GOD" (all capitals) to translate YHWH, and "God" (initial capital only) to translate ELOHIM. In a few instances the various editions differ in the use of this convention, thus suggesting a different Hebrew text behind the words, which, of course, was not the case.
Gen 6:5 God vs. GOD

Exod 34:23 Lord GOD vs. LORD GOD vs. LORD God

Ruth 1:6 Lord vs. LORD

2 Sam 12:22 God vs. GOD

2 Chron 3:1 Lord vs. LORD

Hab 3:19 LORD God vs. Lord GOD

I have cataloged several hundred variations of these types that exist between the following editions of the AV:

KJV 1611

Oxford (1886, 1975)

Cambridge (1980)

British & Foreign Bible Society (1957)

American Bible Society (1867, 1980)


Thomas Nelson (1976)

Thomas Nelson Open Bible
These variations are of exactly the same kind as some of the variations found in the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. Although most of these variations are relatively insignificant, some of them do involve difference in meaning, and some involve theological issues and textual issues. Therefore it can be concluded that the various current editions of the AV have textual variants much like the variant readings in the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. This surely has some significance for those who insist on the absolute authority of the words in the AV. The question must be asked: Which, if any, edition of the AV is the final authority?
James D. Price


James D. Price, Ph.D.

Prof. of Hebrew and OT

Temple Baptist Seminary

Chattanooga, TN 37404


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