I’m going to move away from the original ‘phase’ idea into a more streamlined workflow. Here is the general idea;
- Phase 1: The KJV (see below) is copied into the project and reformatted to match our standard. Appparently this alone lets us claim Copyright (See: AKJV vs KJV).
- Phase 2: A quick modernization phase where I rewrite archaic sounding words and grammar into more modern English based on my own personal opinion. Some archaic language may be retained as royal speech to suit my own personal tastes.
- Phase 3: Comparison phase; Directly compare the version post-phase 2 to the other PD versions online; such as DRA. A list of PD bibles is available online.
- Phase 4: Theological comparison phase. JPS1917 and Stone Edition, among others. Commentary will be added during this time.
- Phase 5: Full Cross Reference and Feature Freeze. At some point a feature freeze will go into effect while we do cross reference and very little if any new commentary will be added; in stead we will begin to re-read and pair-down the existing work into something manageable and readable, and test the result out in real-world situations.
The intent of phase 1 is to get a modern, readable and accurate version of the bible — the so-called “dream bible” which is modern, readable, and yet fully compatible with the KJV. We will therefore aim to retain the spirit and theology of the KJV until the last possible minute (Phase 4) where it can be removed/changed and then some note can be written to explain and discuss the change. So if we are going to make any change we need to retain the notes for that change (even in phase 1 and 2) so that if necessary the changes can be touched upon in the commentary.
When a chapter is nearing the end of Phase 5 it is given a year; i.e. ‘2020’ and possibly a month i.e. ‘2020.01’ which indicates the version of that chapter.
Ditching the ASV for the KJV
I was originally attracted to the ASV because it seemed to be a modern KJV. However as it turns out, from a Christian standpoint there are incredible problems with the ASV. For example?
- (to be fair there are some answers; ex. http://www.thywordistruth.com/questions/Question-366.html)
Of course the KJV is no dreamboat either:
But let’s break this down for a moment. The KJV is, like it or lump it, the gold standard upon which back was built mainstream Christianity. The KJV occupies the unique position that in matters of theological disagreement between the KJV and other versions, most Christians would give the KJV the benefit of the doubt and just ‘live’ with their other favourite translation for general reading purposes. Now given that, and given that the ASV contains not just extensive archaic language but also almost 7,000 uses of the LORD’s name that I plan to recant, it begins to make little sense to go with the ASV.
Then we have the NKJV. Unfortunately the NKJV new testament was copyrighted in 1979 and the whole bible was copyrighted in 1982 and 1990. The NKJV aims were “…to update the vocabulary and grammar of the King James Version , while preserving the classic style and literary beauty of the original 1611 KJV.”
“The 130 translators believed in faithfulness to the original Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew texts including the Dead Sea Scrolls. Also agreed upon for most New King James Bibles were easier event descriptions, a history of each book, and added dictionary and updated concordance.” (Wikipedia:NKJV)
Therefore as it seems the NKJV would have been the perfect starting point since in essence the NKJV has done 90% of the work I planned to do in order to get a modernized copy of the KJV. The basis for this copyright however appears to be how the NKJV authors have moved towards the “Majority Text” versus the “Textus Receptus”. In a similar vein I plan to move towards a more Stone Chumash inspired reading, i.e. one which is theologically neutral at best in terms of Christian loyalty. Therefore, perhaps the NKJV is not a good starting point.
Even the “21st Century King James Version” is Copyright 1994 by Deuel Enterprises.
It seems we are left with only the King James Bible by default.
There will be an immediate verse commentary available, and a longer more article style commentary available on a book-book or section-section basis. In addition there will be a cross reference.
A final thought struck me just after finishing this post. Starting with the KJV will allow a very quick phase 2 and 3 KJV appears on BibleGateway and also appears to be used for the interlinear bible on BibleHub. A nice touch. KJV it is!
I will now begin the arduous task of recomparing every single line in Genesis 1 (ASV) to the KJV and backtranslating what has been deemed protocol so far (including retaining certain types of archaic language as royal langauge). I am also considering just doing the whole thing over; but we will see. Maybe I will do a more forceful direct comparison by cutting and pasting the KJV beside the noachide-revised (NRASV?) that I have so far. Updates forthcoming!