Post updated December, 2018
I’m working on a textual critical project aimed at laypeople, and I need help from volunteers. I am showing English speakers, using English, the differences between the Textus Receptus and the Nestle-Aland text.
Differences between the TR editions (Stephanus, Scrivener, Beza, Erasmus, etc.) and the various critical texts (UBS, NA28, SBLGNT, etc.) are locked not only in Greek but in complicated textual apparatuses which don’t give anyone but the most attentive readers a good overall picture of the actual differences between the texts. I want to put those differences on display in an accessible way.
And in a neutral way. I disagree with my brothers in Christ within KJV-Onlyism over their preference for the TR and, especially, their insistence on the exclusive use of the KJV, but I believe in God’s love for and sanctifying work within them. He can use authorities and arguments, and he does. But he can also use a simple presentation of the facts, without any arguments and interpretations.
That’s what I provide on KJVParallelBible.org (though the About page will carry some brief interpretations from me and from a TR advocate): a neutral display of the facts. In one column is the KJV as it stands in the 1769 Blayney edition most people use; in a parallel column will be the KJV as if someone had gone back in time and given the KJV translators an NA28. All differences between the two resulting texts are bolded.
I am aiming the project at the KJV-Only controversy, but the tool could be useful for teaching textual criticism to any layperson (or even as a cheatsheet for those of us who ought to be using our textual apparatuses). I have nothing to hide from anyone: a TR-Only school should most definitely be using the site to try to teach TR-Onlyism to their students. Let those students see how big and how significant the differences actually are. A critical text advocate should be able to use the site to show students how big and how significant they actually (as I think) aren’t. I hope people will conclude that my side is right, but I won’t force them. The site is just the facts, ma’am.
If people who cannot read Greek look at the New Testament in an ESV and in a KJV, they have no way of knowing which differences between the two are due to textual variants and which are due to any number of other factors: changes in English, advances in Greek understanding, differences of translation philosophy or interpretation, variations in style. Into that huge gray area of totally understandable ignorance (why should nonspecialists know these things?) comes a totally understandable fear: are modern translations changing the Bible?
As long as the facts of textual criticism remain locked in Greek, everybody with an opinion on the matter is forced to trust someone else who can read Greek and has formed an opinion. However, most people in pews don’t have easy access to such a person. They have pastors, but my impression is that most pastors are stuck trusting authorities, too: namely their peers, their crowd, their Bible college professors, their favorite writers, etc. The problem is that everybody has to have some kind of opinion, even implicit, if they’re going to pick up a translation at all, because every translation has a base text. And basically, you’re going to use the TR (KJV, NKJV, MEV, KJ2000, etc.) or the critical text (ESV, NASB, CSB, NIV, NET, etc.).
I am looking for people to help me complete the New Testament. As of December of 2018, my team of volunteers—from KJV-Only and non-KJV-Only institutions—has done about all but a few books of the NT. I still need someone to help me with James and 2 Corinthians, especially. I have made a training video for you, and I will share with you a Dropbox folder with text files for whatever portion of the Bible you want; you just need Logos or BibleWorks and copies of NA27/28* and Scrivener’s 1881 or 1894 TR (which are textually identical). Your job is basically to indicate which differences show up in translation by bolding them.
Use the contact form on this site to let me know if you’d like to help!
* I know the NA27 and NA28 texts are slightly different, but I know where they’re different and will run a check. I am using the NA27 as the base for a few practical reasons.