I would recommend that if anyone wishes to read the King James Version in it's FULL ORIGINAL FORM, to purchase "The Apocrypha" as edited and translated by Edgar J. Goodspeed. Vintage Publications, ISBN 0-679-72452-4.
This will re-introduce the so called "missing" books of the King James Version that were included in 1611 before 'the church' edited them out for their own reasons. Please read the preface in The Apocrypha for a full explaination of why and more importantly WHO removed the Books. I will not go into that further here.
The Apocrypha will supply you with the First and Second Books of Esdras, The Book of Tobit, The Book of Judith, The additions to the Book of Esther, The Wisdom of Solomon, The Wisdom of Sirach, The Book of Baruch, The Story of Susanna, The Song of the Three Children, The Story of Bel and the Dragon, The Prayer of Manasseh, And the First and Second Books of the Maccabees.
These Books were part of The Original Manuscripts as well as part of the original Authorized King James Version Bible of 1611 and by adding these to your King James Version readings, you will have the full studies that God provided to His prophets and scribes BEFORE the agenda and biases of 'the church' removed them.
Why would anyone necessarily have to be so concerned about having to read the KJV in "it's original form"? Its not as if Jesus and the disciples and the writers of the Bible in general spoke Elizabethan English
After all, even the original translation team for the 1611 KJVâ€¦ (and there are, btw, numerous â€œtranslationsâ€ of the KJV, very few actually read the 1611 version)â€¦. stated the case for the Bible needing to be in a language that people could understand http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/pref1611.htm
.... so even they would not have insisted upon any religious dedication to their translation(s), for it was and is, simply one more translation in a long list of translations.
Also, we mustnâ€™t forget, those who wanted to include the Apocrypha, and those who worked on the translation of the KJV ALL had their â€œagenda and biasesâ€ as well. In fact, King James put restrictions on the translation committee to â€œguarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology of the Church of England.â€ (wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_James_Bible
So the question is not merely one of biases, for all of us have biases, indeed its impossible not to have biasesâ€¦ its rather: â€œwhoâ€™s bias is the best bias to be biased with?â€
It seems to me, anyway, that the best bias is to simply ask which books the Jews considered to be canonical, inspired, infallible, and to base our Scriptures, concerning the OT anyway, on theirs. After all, the NT itself tells us that the Jews were specifically entrusted by God concerning the OT: (Romans 3:1-2) Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.â€
At any rate, we simply cannot rightly dismiss any translation of the Bible simply because of the absence of the Apocrypha. That is circular reasoning; itâ€™s assuming that the KJV with the Apocrypha is the standard by which to judge other translations and the biases behind them. But then, that is the very thing that must be proven, and that, IMHO, cannot be done.
There was no insidious conspiracy to exclude the Apocrypha. People simply wanted to know what the Jews used as their canonical/inspired scriptures, and based on their exclusions, Protestants eventually came to exclude it as well. And there are very good reasons why this is the case. One may honestly disagree with those reasoningâ€™s, and thatâ€™s fineâ€¦ but there is not some terrible conspiracy at work denying the â€œWord of Godâ€ to people who want it simply by the removal of the Apocrypha. We might just as well as ask: â€œwhat is the bias behind the INCLUSION of the Apocrypha?â€ Is it sufficient to do so simply because the 1611 translators included it in the 1611 KJV? Is it sufficient to say that we should do so because the Roman Catholic Church had always done so with itâ€™s translation of the Bible into Latin? Is it sufficient to do so just because some Jews translated some of their religious writings into Greek?â€ I donâ€™t think soâ€¦..
The question is, then, what did the Jews consider to be the canonical Old Testament? And this turns out to not include the Apocryphal writings. Yes, the Apocrypha is in the LXX/Septuagint, and he NT writers often (but not always) quote from the LXX, but the only reason why the Apocrypha became included in the LXX at all was simply this; the Pharaoh (Ptolomy Philadelph) wanted a copy of the Hebrew â€œreligious writingsâ€ to include in the famous Alexandrian library. He could have cared less what the Jews considered to be canonical, he just wanted to include their â€œreligiousâ€ writings (whether they were considered canonical or not) along side the other religions of the world in his library which was gathering together the writings of many different people groups, and the Apocryphal writings did not themselves even become a part of what we today call the â€œLXXâ€ until many years after the original Torah had been translated in Greek, that is, the Jews slowly added to the books they were translating from Hebrew to Greek over the course of many years, and their inclusion does not necessarily entail anything about their canonicity, inspiration or infallibility.
Also, if the LXX is to be the standard as to why the Apocrypha ought to be included in the English bibles of today, and if it is the case that the 1611 KJV ought to be read because it contains to Apocrypha, I have to ask, â€œwhy accept it on this basis when the 1611 KJV does not included ALL of the Apocryphal books included in the Greek LXX?â€ These books are included in the Apocrypha of the LXX but omitted in the 1611 KJV Apocrypha: Psalms 151, 3 Maccabees. So which â€œversionâ€ of the Apocrypha is the correct one?
Here are a few more comments from the translators of the KJV, which would apply to the LXX, and to the Apocrypha:
â€œYet for all that, as the Egyptians are said of the Prophet [Isa.31:3] to be men and not God, and their horses flesh and not spirit: so it is evident, (and Saint Hierome [S.Hieron. de optimo genere interpret.] affirmeth as much) that the Seventy were interpreters, they were not prophets; they did many things well, as learned men; but yet as men they stumbled and fell, one while through oversight, another while through ignorance, yea, sometimes they may be noted to add to the original, and sometimes to take from it; which made the Apostles to leave them many times, when they left the Hebrew, and to deliver the sense thereof according to the truth of the word, as the Spirit gave them utterance.â€
2 But now the Latin translations were too many to be all good, for they were infinite Latini Interpretes nullo modo numerari possunt, saith S.Augustine.) [S.Augustin. de doctr. Christ, lib. 2.cap.11.]
3 Again, they were not out of the Hebrew fountain (we speak of the Latin translations of the Old Testament) but out of the Greek stream, therefore the Greek being not altogether clear, the Latin derived from it must needs be muddy.
4 This moved S.Hierome, a most learned father, and the best linguist without controversy, of his age, or of any that went before him, to undertake the translating of the Old Testament, out of the very fountains themselves (i.e. the Hebrew canon- Ken); which he performed with that evidence of great learning, judgement,(sic) industry, and faithfulness, that he hath for ever bound the Church unto him, in a debt of special remembrance and thankfulness.â€
Lastly I would just add that its not enough to add an apocryphal book to the canon simply because one of the NT writers quoted from an apocryphal book. Based on this reasoning we would have to say that we could therefore EXCLUDE any apocryphal books NOT quoted from and, secondly, that we would have to add any other books to the canon that the writers of the Scriptures quoted from. But I know we would not want to do this, Paul alluded to and quoted from the secular Greek poet Epimenides and Plautus in Acts 17:28. So just because he agreed with their poetical works and referred to them, should we include their works in the canon of Scripture? Of course not, so too, then, we ought not include any book simply because it was alluded to or quoted by the writers of Scriptures.