Sunday, November 10, 2013

unauthorized immersionist Americanized English Revised Version

That mouthful of a title means this: In 1881 Samuel Wells Williams published a New Testament that contained the English Revised version with the changes preferred by the American committee incorporated into the text (thus Americanized). Since the agreement was that the American Committee would not publish their work for 14 years, it was unauthorized. He also translated the Greek baptizo as "immerse" (thus immersionist). I recently, thanks to the Newberry (a library in Chicago), finally verified the existence of this text. The full bibliographic entry is:
The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Translated out of the Greek: Being the Version Set Forth A.D. 1611, Compared with the Most Ancient Authorities, and Revised A.D. 1881, by English and American Scholars; Embodying in the Text the Readings and Renderings Preferred by the American Members of the International Committee of Revision ; Together with Important Emendations, Having Regard to Philology, Usage, Context, and Doctrinal Import. New York: Published for Samuel Williams, Formerly Pastor First Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, Pa., by Fords, Howard, & Hulbert, 1881.
I do not know if Williams made any other changes to the text. But I deeply appreciate the help of the research librarians at the Newberry in verifying this interesting little New Testament.

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