The KJV Is An Independent TR Variety

Dr. Edward Hills, Believing Bible Study:

The King James Version a Variety of the Textus Receptus

The translators that produced the King James Version relied mainly, it seems, on the later editions of Beza’s Greek New Testament, especially his 4th edition (1588-9). But they also frequently consulted the editions of Erasmus and Stephanus and the Complutensian Polyglot. According to Scrivener (1884, Authorized Ed. of the Eng. Bible, p 60), out of the 252 passages in which these sources differ sufficiently to affect the English rendering, the King James agrees with Beza against Stephanus 113 times,, with Stephanus against Beza 59 times, and 80 times with Erasmus, or the Complutensian, or the Latin Vulgate against Beza and Stephanus. Hence the King James Version ought to be regarded not merely as a translation of the Textus Receptus but also as an independent variety of the Textus Receptus. . . (p 206)

. . . The texts of the several editions of the Textus Receptus were God-guided. They were set up under the leading of God’s special providence. Hence the differences between them were kept down to a minimum. But these disagreements were not eliminated altogether, for this would require not merely providential guidance but a miracle. In short, God chose to preserve the New Testament text providentially rather than miraculously, and this is why even the several editions of the Textus Receptus vary from each other slightly.

But what do we do in these few places in which the several editions of the Textus Receptus disagree with one another? Which text do we follow? The answer to this question is easy. We are guided by the common faith. Hence we favor that form of the Textus Receptus upon which more than any other God, working providentially, has placed the stamp of his approval, namely, the King James Version, or, more precisely, the Greek text underlying the King James Version. This text was published in 1881 by the Cambridge University Press under the editorship of Dr. Scrivener, and there have been eight reprints, the latest being in 1949. In 1976 also another edition of this text was published in London by the Trinitarian Bible Society. We ought to be grateful that in the providence of God the best form of the Textus Receptus is still available to believing Bible students. For the sake of completeness, however, it would be well to place in the margin the variant readings of Erasmus, Stephanus, Beza, and the Elzevirs (p 209). [emphasis added]

Source:, Comment #50 (Jerusalem Blade)


2 comments on “The KJV Is An Independent TR Variety

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