KJVParallelBible.org Needs Your Help

by May 15, 2017KJV, NTScholarship11 comments

Training Video

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.

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Leave a comment.

  1. Eric

    I would have some questions about what you’re doing here were I to dedicate my time to the project, but I does seem to be a worthy cause–and an excellent TC experiment.

  2. Kevin Grady

    This sounds awesome and I would LOVE To be a part of it but I am swamped as it is. I just started a Christian radio station online, I am a worship pastor, and I am a Chaplin at the local hospital. But I love this idea and would love to learn more about it.

    • Mark Ward

      No, I’m afraid that project is very different, and the most important respect in which it is different is this: I want people to see not only the variations between texts but the similarities. I want them to be hit with the sheer number of words that are precisely the same. I am trying to create a tool that any English speaker can use to get an accurate picture of how different the TR is from the critical text. That site has real value, but it is not providing the value I’m offering to the audience I’m offering it to.

  3. Cory Howell

    Is there any way to help with this project that doesn’t require having Logos with Scrivener TR and NA27? I have Logos Cloud, and I believe my subscription level does include the Scrivener NT, but not NA27. But I believe your project has great merit, and would love to help out in some way.

    • Mark Ward

      Hmm… I suppose you *could* use the SBLGNT instead of NA27/28… But that would add a layer of complexity to my checking that would probably be self-defeating. If you knew of an easy way to make sure to check the NA28 against the SBLGNT after you were done, that might work… Man. It is online: http://www.nestle-aland.com/en/read-na28-online/

      I appreciate your interest in this project and would love to include you. It isn’t till the $100 level of Logos Cloud that you get NA28. NA27 is $40 by itself, I believe.

  4. Cory Howell

    I do have the NA 27 in a Bible program called Pradis (a defunct software package that Zondervan used to publish). So I could probably help out, even though I don’t know if I can move quite as quickly as you did in your excellent training video! I can try working on the first chapter of Colossians, just to see what kind of progress I make. Meanwhile, if you are needing people to check on others’ work, I’m a pretty meticulous proofreader (I actually did a lot of copy-editing for a book published by a music professor of mine in grad school.) So I’d be happy to help out in that area as well.

  5. Cory Howell

    P.S. I thought of using the SBL GNT, but like you, I thought that would cause more problems than it would solve. Michael Holmes seems like a top notch textual critic, but he has definitely made a few decisions in the SBL GNT that are different from the NA 27/28. (I’m thinking specifically of Mark 1:41…)

  6. Mark Arnold

    Is the work done? I’m late to the game but interested in the project.

    • Mark Ward

      Mark, I’ve got more work to be done. The site is up, but I could really, really use some checkers who’d be willing to pick a book or two (or 27) and check them for accuracy. I did this myself, but I’ve since caught errors I let slip. Would you be interested in doing Matthew?



  1. How to Search Connections between Greek and English Bibles | LogosTalk - […] of my volunteers (and I happen to need more—any Bible nerds out there?), an MDiv student at New Orleans…

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