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Earliest Known Draft of 1611 King James Bible Is Found At Cambridge

The King James Bible is the most widely read work in English literature, a masterpiece of translation whose stately cadences and transcendent phrases have long been seen, even by secular readers, as having emerged from a kind of collective divine inspiration.

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The King James Bible is the most widely read work in English literature, a masterpiece of translation whose stately cadences and transcendent phrases have long been seen, even by secular readers, as having emerged from a kind of collective divine inspiration.

“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Psalm 12:6,7 (KJV)

In an unassuming notebook held in an archive at the University of Cambridge, an American scholar has found what he says is an important new clue to the earthly processes behind that masterpiece: the earliest known draft, and the only one definitively written in the hand of one of the roughly four dozen translators who worked on it.

The notebook, which dates from 1604 to 1608, was discovered by Jeffrey Alan Miller, an assistant professor of English at Montclair State University in New Jersey, who announced his research on Wednesday in an article in The Times Literary Supplement.

While the notebook has yet to be examined by other scholars, experts who have reviewed Professor Miller’s research called it perhaps the most significant archival find relating to the King James Bible in decades.

David Norton, an emeritus professor at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and the author of several books about the King James Bible, called it “a major discovery” — if not quite equal to finding a draft of one of Shakespeare’s plays, “getting on up there.”

Gordon Campbell, a fellow in Renaissance studies at the University of Leicester and a consultant for the planned Museum of the Bible in Washington, said the new manuscript shed fresh light on how the King James translators actually did their work, as opposed to how they had been told to do it.

Studying the creation of the King James Bible “is like working with a jigsaw puzzle where 90 percent of the pieces are missing,” Mr. Campbell said. “You can arrange the surviving pieces as you wish, but then you find something new and you realize you put it together the wrong way.”

“Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?” Ecclesiastes 8:4 (KJV)

The King James Bible, published in 1611, was produced by six teams of translators, known as “companies,” in London, Oxford and Cambridge, who were charged with creating an authorized version that would support the Church of England against the Puritan influence seen in some earlier translations. Along with Shakespeare’s First Folio of 1623, it is one of the most influential books in the history of English and the wellspring of common phrases like “salt of the earth,” “drop in the bucket” and “fight the good fight,” to name only a few.

While some records of the committee that supervised the overall translation survive, only three manuscripts of the text itself have been known to exist until now. The Bodleian Library at Oxford owns nearly complete drafts of the Old Testament and the Gospels, in the form of corrected pages of the Bishops’ Bible, a 16th-century translation that the King James teams used as a base text. Lambeth Palace Library in London has a partial draft of the New Testament epistles.

Professor Miller discovered the manuscript last fall, when he was in the archives at Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge, researching an essay about Samuel Ward, one of the King James translators and, later, the college’s master. He was hoping to find an unknown letter, which he did.

“I thought that would be my great discovery,” he recalled.

But he also came across an unassuming notebook about the size of a modern paperback, wrapped in a stained piece of waste vellum and filled with some 70 pages of Ward’s nearly indecipherable handwriting.

The notebook had been cataloged in the 1980s as a “verse-by-verse biblical commentary” with “Greek word studies, and some Hebrew notes.” But as Professor Miller tried to puzzle out which passages of the Bible it concerned, he realized what it was: a draft of parts of the King James Version of the Apocrypha, a disputed section of the Bible that is left out of many editions, particularly in the United States.

“There was a kind of thunderstruck, leap-out-of-bathtub moment,” Professor Miller said. “But then comes the more laborious process of making sure you are 100 percent correct.”

The draft, Professor Miller argues, dates from between 1604, when the King James Bible was commissioned, and 1608, when the six teams were asked to send their work to the general committee for review. Unlike the other surviving drafts, which scholars date to later parts of the process, it shows an individual translator’s initial puzzling over aspects of the Greek text of the Apocrypha, indicating the reasoning behind his translation choices, with reference to Hebrew and Latin as well.

“You can actually see the way Greek, Latin and Hebrew are all feeding into what will become the most widely read work of English literature of all time,” Professor Miller said. “It gets you so close to the thought process, it’s incredible.”

The draft, he argues, also complicates one long-cherished aspect of the “mythos,” as he put it, surrounding the King James: that it was a collaborative project through and through.

The companies were charged with doing their work as a group, rather than subdividing it by assigning individual books to individual translators, as was the case with the Bishops’ Bible. But the Ward notebook, Professor Miller said, suggests “beyond a reasonable doubt” that at least some of the companies ignored the instructions and divided up the work among individuals, at least initially.

Further, he said, the notebook contains a complete draft for the book of the Apocrypha known as 1 Esdras, but then, after a run of blank pages, only a partial manuscript for the book known as the Wisdom of Solomon, suggesting that Ward picked up the slack for another translator.

“Some of them, being typical academics, either fell down on the job or just decided not to do it,” Professor Miller said, with a laugh. “It really testifies to the human element of this kind of great undertaking.”

In recent years, scholars have chipped away at the idea of Shakespeare’s plays as the product of an isolated genius, emphasizing instead the intensely collaborative nature of Elizabethan theater. Professor Miller said that the origins of the other great monument of 17th-century English literature is due for a similar reconsideration.

“There’s a strong desire to see the King James Bible as a uniform object, and a belief that it’s great because of its collaborative nature,” Professor Miller said. “It was incredibly collaborative,” he continued. “But it was done in a much more complicated, nuanced, and at times individualistic way than we’ve ever really had good evidence to believe.” source

Bible Topics

Some Random Thoughts On The Goodness And Mercy Of God After Battling COVID-19 For The Past 7 Days

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Dr. Ruckman used to say that if the Lord tarries, the only thing coming in this life are graves and hospital beds, and that’s a very true statement.

My COVID test took less than 20 seconds to provide my positive result as I watched it light up like a pinball machine last week. Immediately my mind raced back to the height of the pandemic in 2021 where we prayed for so many people on the NTEB prayer list who were deathly ill with COVID, many of whom went to the hospital, and the names of the people who didn’t come back. My street preacher Mark Bennet, he didn’t come home, neither did John Roth the man who sat behind me in church for over three years, or Ken Shiner who attended my daughter Kelsey’s wedding. They all died excruciatingly torturous deaths in medical comas with a tube down their throats.  Now it was my turn, “where to, Lord?”

“But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.” Psalm 52:8 (KJB)

For the first couple of days, I was overwhelmingly exhausted, sleeping 16 hours a day, no appetite, and throwing up every few hours. The stench of COVID permeating all my senses, with this mildly sweet though musky smell seeming to come off of everything. As it turned out, that smell was inside my own nose, and it kept me in a persistent low-level state of nauseousness. I had chills, endless sweating, shakes and terrible sleep. What a fragile thing our health can be, and how it all can turn on a dime. Most of my prayers have consisted of asking God to simply help me make it through the night.

I took a second test earlier, and this one too lit up positive in mere seconds, showing me perhaps another week of housebound helplessness. The idea of sitting in front of a mic and talking for hours about the Bible, something that gives me great joy and pleasure, now seems at the moment like a physical and mental impossibility. Even just writing this short article has been a drawn-out and laborious process taking place over many hours this afternoon. Through all this, random thoughts about the goodness of God in the midst of a time of sickness, misery and death pop in and out of my feverish brain.

God owes us nothing, and every moment we have on this earth is borrowed from His time clock, breathed with His air, and experienced through a beating heart that He set in motion the day we were born. What does God owe us? Nothing. What do we owe Him? Everything. He is worthy of our utmost effort to reach the lost with the gospel of the kingdom of God. Dr. Ruckman used to say that if the Lord tarries, the only thing coming in this life are graves and hospital beds, and that’s a very true statement. The question is, how to live your life in the meantime. The answer, I believe, is to live a life wholly given over to the things of the Lord Jesus Christ, a life lived for the furtherance of the gospel. That Book! Of all the risky things that make up this life, living for Jesus Christ is not risky at all, it’s a sure bet because He is worthy.

I covet your prayers for a full recovery, and not just for myself but we have many sick with COVID now at NTEB, as this end times gain-of-function horror continues. In my body, I am wiped out and depleted, but in my born again spirit I am chomping at the bit to get back in the game. Called to be soldiers, there is no quit, there is no retreat, there is only the battle. TO THE FIGHT!!!   

Now The End Begins is your front line defense against the rising tide of darkness in the last Days before the Rapture of the Church

When you contribute to this fundraising effort, you are helping us to do what the Lord called us to do. The money you send in goes primarily to the overall daily operations of this site. When people ask for Bibles, we send them out at no charge. When people write in and say how much they would like gospel tracts but cannot afford them, we send them a box at no cost to them for either the tracts or the shipping, no matter where they are in the world. We have a Gospel Billboard program. We are now broadcasting Bible studies, Podcasts and a Sunday Service 5 times a week, thanks to your generous donations. All this is possible because YOU pray for us, YOU support us, and YOU give so we can continue growing.

But whatever you do, don’t do nothing. Time is short and we need your help right now. The Lord has given us an open door with a tremendous ‘course’ for us to fulfill that will create an excellent experience at the Judgement Seat of Christ. Please pray for our efforts, and if the Lord leads you to donate, be as generous as possible. The war is REAL, the battle HOT and the time is SHORTTO THE FIGHT!!!

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 (KJB)

“Thank you very much!” – Geoffrey, editor-in-chief, NTEB

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Bible Doctrine

One Of The Things You Might Very Well Expect To See As The Spirit Of Antichrist Rises Is The Discovery Of The ‘Bones Of Jesus’ In Jerusalem

Prepare yourself for the ‘greatest archaeological discovery of all time’, the bones of Jesus! But it’s actually a trick of Satan.

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You can show the bones of Buddha, and they have them, and still be a good Buddhist. You can show the bones of Mohammed, and they have them, and still be a good Muslim, but you cannot show the bones of Jesus Christ and still be a Christian.

Today I want to write about something that is purely speculative, at this point just a feeling I have, but something that nonetheless the Holy Spirit seems to be pressing on me to talk about. Last year, I wrote an article about the rising spirit of Antichrist that palpably came on the scene last year, and that spirit has done nothing but increase over the past 21 months. If we are where it seems like we are on the end times timeline, and if the man of sin is about to step onto the world stage, then there should be something fairly big to take place that will take a shot at discrediting Jesus of Nazareth. So prepare yourself for the ‘greatest archaeological discovery of all time’, the bones of Jesus!

“And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” 1 Corinthians 15:14-17 (KJB)

Think about it, in Isaiah 14 where Lucifer is shaking his dirty fist at God, telling Him that he will take His Throne and everything else that belongs to God, those aspirations come true for a very brief period of time when he puts the spirit of Judas in the body of an earthly human like Emmanuel Macron as Antichrist. Remember, Antichrist does not come as himself, as Satan, but he comes pretending that he is the Messiah. So Antichrist comes as a fake Jesus claiming to be the actual Jesus, and it stands to reason that one of the first ‘shots across the bow’ will be to discredit Jesus of Nazareth. What better way to do that than by producing the ‘bones of Jesus’ to ‘prove’ He was not the real Messiah.

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:” 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 (KJB)

The Bible says that the Devil’s time is short, only has 7 years from start to finish, but when he sits down in the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem at the halfway point he exposes himself to be the Devil, so he really has to do something quite impressive at the outset. Want to prove that Jesus Christ is a fake? Easy, just produce his bones and that will show Jesus didn’t really rise from the dead as the Bible says He did. You can show the bones of Buddha, and they have them, and still be a good Buddhist. You can show the bones of Mohammed, and they have them, and still be a good Muslim, but you cannot show the bones of Jesus Christ and still be a Christian. This is why I feel, quite strongly actually, that a ‘discovery’ is about to be made in Jerusalem and that discovery will produce the ‘bones of Jesus’.

“No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” John 10:18 (KJB)

So what happens if I’m right about this? First of all, I am writing this now to warn you so if it does happen, you are already prepared to view it as nothing but a trick of the Devil. How else could I have know it was going to happen unless the Holy Spirit gave it to me ahead of time? That one fact alone show prove to you that the ‘bones of Jesus’ are nothing but a fraud. Secondly, if we are still here and the ‘bones’ are produced, that should immediately and instantly remove any and all trace of doubt in your mind that we are on the cusp of Flight #777 taking off in the Rapture. Finally, Paul says we are not ‘ignorant of his devices’, we have the Holy Spirit of discernment to show us what the truth is. As I said earlier, this is purely speculative but at the same time it is something that I very much feel will happen. Now you know what to do if it does.

“Behold, I have told you before.” Matthew 24:25 (KJB)

Now The End Begins is your front line defense against the rising tide of darkness in the last Days before the Rapture of the Church

When you contribute to this fundraising effort, you are helping us to do what the Lord called us to do. The money you send in goes primarily to the overall daily operations of this site. When people ask for Bibles, we send them out at no charge. When people write in and say how much they would like gospel tracts but cannot afford them, we send them a box at no cost to them for either the tracts or the shipping, no matter where they are in the world. Even all the way to South Africa. We even restarted our weekly radio Bible study on Sunday nights again, thanks to your generous donations. All this is possible because YOU pray for us, YOU support us, and YOU give so we can continue growing.

But whatever you do, don’t do nothing. Time is short and we need your help right now. If every one of the 15,860+ people on our daily mailing list gave $4.50, we would reach our goal immediately. If every one of our 150,000+ followers on Facebook gave $1.00 each, we would reach 300% of our goal. The same goes for our 15,900 followers on Twitter. But sadly, many will not give, so we need the ones who can and who will give to be generous. As generous as possible.

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 (KJV)

“Thank you very much!” – Geoffrey, editor-in-chief, NTEB

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Bible Topics

Archaeologists Discover Physical Proof For Destruction Of Sodom And Gomorrah By God Then Try To Turn It Into A Powerless ‘Jewish Fable’

Archaeologists investigated the destruction of Tall el-Hammam matching the description of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by God recorded in Genesis 19.

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Archaeologists investigated the destruction of Tall el-Hammam and discovered an event similar to the description of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by God recorded in Genesis 19.

Faith is a funny thing, either you have it or you don’t, and even the discovery of overwhelming physical evidence will not sway the unbeliever to change their position. Today’s article on the discovery of proof-positive, physical evidence of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, modern-day Tall el-Hammam, as contained in the Genesis 19 account has just been found, and is it creating a flood of new believers in the accuracy and fidelity of God’s preserved word? Nope.

Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;…And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD: And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.” Genesis 19:24,27-29 (KJB)

Archaeologists have unearthed physical proof of what points to the destruction of Tell el-Hammam in the Jordan valley, the region of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Old Testament, and what they found was really wild. They found evidence of an incredible explosion that occurred in the skies above ancient Sodom, an explosion so intense that building down below were destroyed and things were literally vaporized. Yet these highly-educated scientists and archaeologists come away from this discovery no more a believer in the Bible than before they made it, because proof will not sway the stone-cold heart of man that is set against God. Only grace through faith in Jesus Christ can accomplish that.

I loved reading about this discovery, and seeing what the scientists found, but it didn’t increase my faith because I already believed in the Genesis 19 account, along with everything else contained in my King James Holy Bible. For those who believe in the Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, no proof is required. For those who don’t believe, no amount of proof will ever be enough. Our article here today on the ‘cosmic destruction’ of Tall el-Hammam is “proof” of that.

The cause of the destruction of Tall el-Hammam, Sodom, was a cosmic airburst caused by a comet or meteorite.

FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: Tell el-Hammam in the Jordan Valley might have inspired the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, according to a new study that has spanned 15 years. In the study, published in the journal Nature on Monday, archaeologists researched the remains of Tell el-Hammam in an attempt to discover what destroyed the ancient city during the Middle Bronze Age. During the period, there were roughly 50,000 people living in the area of the Jordan Valley in three cities: Tell el-Hammam, Jericho, and Tell Nimrin, with Tell el-Hammam the biggest of the three, implying that until its destruction, it would have been the political center of the area. Radiocarbon dating dates the destruction to within 50 years of 1650 BCE.

Examination of the remains revealed evidence of a destructive event that involved high temperatures, such as pottery pieces that were melted and boiled on the exterior, but normal on the inside. The buildings of Tell el-Hammam were made of mud bricks, some five stories tall. In the upper part of the city, the destructive force demolished the buildings to the height of their foundations in the walls, and little mud-brick remained. Of the palace that was in this part of the city, the first floor walls and the upper stories are missing, and most of the mud-brick was pulverized.

In the lower part of the city, the buildings suffered more severe damage, and researchers found evidence of heat-fracturing in the remains.

The towers in the wall that surrounded the city were also destroyed, with mud-brick remains only existing at the height of the towers’ foundation. To try to discover what could have caused this destruction, the researchers compiled a list of possible events and tested their probability relative to the evidence found at the site.

They initially examined the possibility of a fire, warfare, volcanic eruption, earthquake or lightning, but concluded that these events were unlikely to cause the kind of destruction that they found at the site, because none could have produced the intense heat required to cause the melting that they found.

Having dismissed these events, the researchers turned to two other possibilities: cosmic impact or a cosmic airburst.

The consequences of a crater-forming cosmic impact matched all the evidence found by the archaeologists, but it was dismissed as unlikely because no crater was found in the area. The most likely cause of destruction was a cosmic airburst caused by a comet or meteorite. The consequences of such an event also match the evidence found by the researchers, and using an impact calculator, they were able to estimate the details of the event, which also involved the shock wave hitting Jericho that was burned to the ground.

It can be assumed that the event that destroyed Tell el-Hammam would have been witnessed and recounted through the generations until the time of the biblical Sodom, at which point the event would have been an inspiration for the story, which tells of stones and fire falling from the sky to destroy the city. READ MORE

Tall el-Hammam Destroyed by Cosmic Air Burst 3,600 Years Ago

Many of you will already know about the new paper released by Bunch et al, titled “A Tunguska sized airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea”, the significance of which should not be underestimated.

Now The End Begins is your front line defense against the rising tide of darkness in the last Days before the Rapture of the Church

When you contribute to this fundraising effort, you are helping us to do what the Lord called us to do. The money you send in goes primarily to the overall daily operations of this site. When people ask for Bibles, we send them out at no charge. When people write in and say how much they would like gospel tracts but cannot afford them, we send them a box at no cost to them for either the tracts or the shipping, no matter where they are in the world. Even all the way to South Africa. We even restarted our weekly radio Bible study on Sunday nights again, thanks to your generous donations. All this is possible because YOU pray for us, YOU support us, and YOU give so we can continue growing.

But whatever you do, don’t do nothing. Time is short and we need your help right now. If every one of the 15,860+ people on our daily mailing list gave $4.50, we would reach our goal immediately. If every one of our 150,000+ followers on Facebook gave $1.00 each, we would reach 300% of our goal. The same goes for our 15,900 followers on Twitter. But sadly, many will not give, so we need the ones who can and who will give to be generous. As generous as possible.

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 (KJV)

“Thank you very much!” – Geoffrey, editor-in-chief, NTEB

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