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The actual high regard that the Church of England of the 1500's and 1600's had for the Apocrypha can be seen in The Books of Homilies. These books were a collection of "authorized sermons" that were intended to be read aloud in the state churches. The first book of twelve homilies was issued in 1547 with authority of the Council. A second book with twenty-one homilies was issued in 1571 under Queen Elizabeth. Davies observed that "the first book of homilies was issued as a standard of Biblical doctrine and preaching for the nation" (Worship and Theology, I, p. 231). Hughes noted that King James I laid down that "preaching ministers are to take the Articles of 1563 and the two Books of Homilies 'for a pattern and a boundary'" (Reformation in England, p. 399). Does that suggest that the KJV translators were required to accept them as a boundary or standard? Peirce pointed out that in the Church of England's Homilies: "Baruch is cited as the Prophet Baruch; and his writing is called, 'The word of the Lord to the Jews'" (Vindication, pp. 537-538). Peirce also claimed that in the Homilies "the book of Tobit is attributed to the Holy Ghost" (p. 538).

This high regard is also clearly evident in the views of Church of England Archbishop John Whitgift (1530-1604). Thomas Smith cited Archbishop Whitgift as stating at a public conference at Lambeth with Walter Travers and Thomas Sparks in December of 1583 the following: "The books called apocrypha are indeed parts of the scriptures; they have been read in the church in ancient times, and ought to be still read amongst us" (Select Memoirs of the Lives, p. 327). Benjamin Brook also quoted the same above statement made by Whitgift along with the following other statements: “The apocrypha was given by the inspiration of God.“ “You cannot shew that there is any error in the apocrypha. And it has been esteemed a part of the holy scriptures by the ancient fathers” (Lives of the Puritans, II, p. 317). Based on Whitgift’s statements, Samuel Hopkins commented: “I will only observe that the Archbishop of Canterbury insisted that the apocrypha books were part of the Holy Scriptures, were given by inspiration of God, and were without error” (The Puritans, III, p. 45, footnote 3). In the third portion of his Works as edited by John Ayre, John Whitgift is cited as saying or writing the following: “The apocrypha that we read in the Church have been so used of long time; as it may appear in that third council of Carthage, and 47 canon, where they be reckoned among the canonical books of the Scripture. They may as well be read in the church, as counted portions of the old and new testament; and, forasmuch as there is nothing in them contrary to the rest of the Scripture, I see no inconvenience, but much commodity that may come by the reading of them” (Works of John Whitgift, pp. 349-350). William Daubney asserted: “Archbishop Whitgift makes some remarkably strong statements in support of the Apocrypha, in relying to objections: ‘The Scripture here called Apocrypha, abusively and improperly, are Holy Writings, void of error, part of the Bible, and so accounted of in the purest time of the Church and by the best writers; ever read in the Church of Christ, and shall never be forbidden by me, or by my consent” (Use of the Apocrypha, p. 72; Strype, Life and Acts of John Whitgift, Vol. III, p. 137). Several of the KJV translators who worked with, were taught by, or were associated with Whitgift may have held similar views. Is there any evidence that the KJV translators rebuked or criticized Archbishop Whitgift for publicly maintaining that the books called apocrypha are part of the scriptures? The few Puritans among the KJV translators would likely have disagreed with such high regard for the Apocrypha. It was Archbishop Whitgift that presided over the crowning of James as king of England in July of 1603.

The 1611 edition of the KJV had no clear disclaimer concerning the canonicity or inspiration of the Apocrypha. In the 1611 edition of the KJV on the same page with the table that gives the order how the Psalms are to be read, there is also this heading: “The order how the rest of holy Scripture (beside the Psalter) is appointed to be read.“ On the next pages of the 1611 that lists the lessons from the “rest of holy Scripture” are included some readings from the Apocrypha. Thus, these pages of the liturgical calendar in the 1611 KJV assigned portions of the Apocrypha to be read in the churches. In addition, the cross references in the 1611 KJV cross reference the Apocrypha with the rest of the Bible as though it may have the same authority. In their cross references, did the KJV translators indicate any differences between when they have a reference to a book in the O. T. or N. T. and a reference to a book in the Apocrypha?

In contrast to the KJV, some of the earlier pre-1611 English Bibles had a clear disclaimer stating that the Apocrypha books were not inspired.
 

logos1560

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The KJV was actually more of a revision of varying pre-1611 English Bibles than it was an original, new translation. The KJV is both a revision and a translation--more a revision than a new translation. There were some textual differences and many translation differences in those pre-1611 English Bibles.

The KJV was based on multiple, imperfect, textually-varying sources. The KJV translators did not follow any one printed edition of the Hebrew Masoretic text 100% and any one printed edition of the Greek NT 100%. They used multiple, textually-varying editions as they picked and choose from varying sources, practicing a form of textual criticism. The varying printed editions of the Greek NT that they had available were made from varying, imperfectly-copied Greek NT manuscript copies. Erasmus, Stephanus, and Beza acted as textual critics, picking and choosing from varying sources. Erasmus added some readings from the Latin Vulgate to his Greek text. Erasmus and Beza even introduced some conjectures into their edited Greek texts, and those conjectures are found in no known Greek NT manuscripts.

For evidence and proof of those textual conjectures, see the book entitled Erasmus and Beza as Conjectural Critics of the New Testament by Jan Krans.
 
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