Monday, March 05, 2012

Tyndale, Bishop's Bible and the Geneva Bible on John's Logos: "And the word became flesh and dwelt among us and we saw the glory of it..."

William Tyndale's rendition of John 1 in his 1526 New Testament is noteworthy in regard to the KJV 1611 Authorized Version which consistently renders Logos and the consequent pronoun AUTOS as 3p.s "he"-- "All things were made by him..."

Look how Tyndale renders Logos. If the pronoun AUTOS replaces and derives meaning from the antecedent noun, the appearance of "AUTOU" in v.3 refers to Logos and since Logos is personified and inanimate, the translation of AUTOU is "it." This is what Tyndale does. Now this rendition continues in the Bishop's Bible of 1568 thus:


 In the begynnyng was the worde, and the worde was with God: and that worde was God. The same was in the begynnyng with God. 
 All thynges were made by it: and without it, was made nothyng that was made. 
In it was lyfe, and the lyfe was the lyght of men, 
And the lyght shyneth in darkenesse: and the darknesse comprehended it not. 
 There was a man sent from God, whose name was Iohn: 
 The same came for a witnesse, to beare witnesse of the lyght, that all men through hym myght beleue. He was not that lyght: but was sent to beare witnesse of the lyght.That [lyght] was the true lyght, which lyghteth euery man that commeth into the worlde. 
 He was in the worlde, and the worlde was made by hym, and the worlde knewe hym not. 
 He came among his owne, and his owne receaued hym not.  But as many as receaued hym, to them gaue he power to be the sonnes of God, euen them that beleued on his name. Which were borne, not of blood, nor of the wyll of the fleshe, nor yet of the wyll of man, but of God. And the same word became fleshe, and dwelt among vs ( and we sawe the glory of it, as the glory of the only begotten sonne of the father) full of grace and trueth. 

The Geneva Bible of 1560 also continues this rendition thus:

 In the beginning was that Word, and that Word was with God, and that Word was God. 

 This same was in the beginning with God. 
 All things were made by it, and without it was made nothing that was made. 
 In it was life, and that life was the light of men. 
And that light shineth in the darkenesse, and the darkenesse comprehended it not. 
 There was a man sent from God, whose name was Iohn. 
 This same came for a witnesse, to beare witnesse of that light, that all men through him might beleeue. 
 He was not that light, but was sent to beare witnesse of that light. 
 This was that true light, which lighteth euery man that commeth into the world. 
 He was in the world, and the worlde was made by him: and the worlde knewe him not. 
He came vnto his owne, and his owne receiued him not. 
 But as many as receiued him, to them he gaue prerogatiue to be the sonnes of God, euen to them that beleeue in his Name. Which are borne not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of ye wil of man, but of God. 
 And that Word was made flesh, and dwelt among vs, (and we sawe the glorie thereof, as the glorie of the onely begotten Sonne of the Father) full of grace and trueth. 

So the translators of the KJV are proposing that Logos (the antecedent for AUTOS) is equivalent to IHSOUS. But is this a fair rendition of John 1? I think not. If John had seen Logos as Jesus, John would have used Jesus instead of Logos. But John didn't do this. So Tyndale, the Bishops Bible and the Geneva Bible bear witness to a rendition of John 1 in English that better represents the Greek. 

Now as you can see from the above, the rendition of Tyndale continues into v.14: "And that word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw the glory of it, as the glory of the only begotten son of the father, which word was full of grace and verite..." and is similarly rendered by the Bishops Bible and the Geneva Bible. But not the KJV or the NRSV. 

No comments: