[b-hebrew] Jacob ben Hayyim and the King James Bible

Schmuel schmuel at nyc.rr.com
Sun Jul 31 10:39:10 EDT 2005

Hi b-hebrew

>Steve Miller wrote:
>>Is this true? Was the ben Hayyim text the standard for printed Jewish 
>>Bibles. And was the ben Hayyim text not widely accepted in the Christian 
>>world until ~1800? 

The double negative confused this issue, and I answered it once, but Jim's answer
below can be confusing.

The ben Hayim text was widely accepted in the Christian world (other than the Orthodox
who used a Greek OT and the Catholics who used a Vulgate OT) through the 16th to 20th 
centuries.  In the late 20th century you have the split where modern textcrit scholarship
moved to the BHS text, starting with Kittel's 3rd edition in 1937.

Jim West,
>the translators of the kjv compared the ben hayyim text and the vulgate 

There is no indication of much usage of the Vulgate Tanach text.  I would challenge
anyone to find variants where the KJB takes the Vulgate over the Masoretic Text.

Of course the Vulgate Tanach (unlike the Greek OT) is reasonably close to the 
Masoretic Text  since  Jerome translated most of it directly from the Hebrew text.  
However, when there are differences, you will find the KJB using the Masoretic, 
not the Vulgate, and you can take the Psalms as an example, where the Vulgate
 had wider variance.

>with earlier english versions.  the kjv, is, of course, not based on any  hebrew or greek text.  rather, those editions were merely used "to compare" (see the preface of the kjv) with the other versions 
>consulted.  the kjv is a revision of earlier english editions.

This is creating an improper dichotomy.

The King James Bible is both

a) a major revision of earlier English editions 


b) based on specific underlying texts -
   Hebrew Ben Hayim text
   Greek Textus Receptus (especially Stephanus and Beza)

As were the earlier English editions that the King James Bible was revising.
Definitely for the NT and apparently for the Tanach. 

About 47 scholars, Oxford and Cambridge based, and about a dozen of them 
semitic scholars, worked in committee for a  number of years on the project. 
They were diligently reviewing the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, the 
original languages, of each  verse, as they state in the Preface. 

To say 
  "the kjv, is, of course, not based on any  hebrew or greek text."

is simply false.

Steven Avery

Schmuel at nyc.rr.com

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