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John Nelson Darby Version: Based on Corrupt Texts

John Darby was a Forerunner of the Modern Bible Versions Movement

John Nelson Darby (November 18, 1800 Ė April 29, 1882) was the most influential leader of the original Plymouth Brethren movement. It might surprise you to learn that this manóregarded by biographers as the Father of Dispensationalismówas at the forefront of the modern bible versions movement. In 1867 John Darby completed a new translation of the New Testament that is filled with texts and footnotes that contradict the Received Text:

"Darby did not feel such a need for a new translation in English, because he considered the King James Version to be adequate for most purposes, and he encouraged his followers to continue to use it. But, he decided to produce a highly literal English version of the New Testament for study purposes. This New Testament was first issued in parts, beginning with the Gospel according to Matthew in 1865. The New Testament was completed in 1867. The version is exceedingly literal, based upon modern critical editions of the Greek text, and abundantly supplied with text-critical and philological annotations. The annotations are by far the most comprehensive and detailed to be found in an English version." [emphasis added.] (1)

The Darby Translation is based on modern critical editions of the Greek text:

The Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and Book of Revelation: Commonly called the New Testament. A New Translation from a Revised Text of the Greek Original. London: G. Morrish, 1867. Second edition 1872. Third edition 1884. [bold emphasis added] (2)

John Darby's Bible was so liberal the modernists who translated the 1881 English Revised Version consulted it:

"It was consulted by the translators of the English Revised Version of 1881 (see F.F. Bruce, History of the Bible in English, 3rd ed., 1978, p. 132)." (3)

John Darby highly regarded modernists of his day:

In my first edition my translation was formed on the concurrent voice of Griesbach, Lachmann, Scholz, and Tischendorf: the first of soberer judgment and critical acumen and discernment; the next with a narrower system of taking only the very earliest MSS, so that sometimes he might have only one or two; the third excessively carelessly printed, but taking the mass of Constantinopolitan MSS as a rule; [emphasis added] Revised Preface to second edition of the New Testament (1871) (4)

"Meanwhile, since my first edition, founded on the concurrent judgment of the four great modern editors, [he referenced Griesbach, Lachmann, Scholz, and Tischendorf] following the received text unchanged where the true reading was a disputed point among them, the Sinaitic MS has been discovered; the Vatican published; Porphyry's of Acts and Paul's Epistles and most of the Catholic Epistles and the Apocalypse, and others, in the Monumenta Sacra Inedita of Tischendorf, as well as his seventh edition." Revised Preface to second edition of the New Testament 1871 [bold emphasis added] (5)

Darby gave honorable mention to modernists who "enlarged the field of criticism":

"Mill, Bengel, Wetstein (who greatly enlarged the field of criticism), then Griesbach, Matthei (the last giving the Russian Codices, which are Constantinopolitan so called), Lachmann, Scholz, Tischendorf, and quite recently Tregelles. I name only those of critical celebrity." [emphasis added] (6)

John Darby's assertion that the Textus Receptus "had no real authority" corresponds with the fact that his alleged "recovered truths" are not found in the Authorized Version (KJV). He stated:

"My plan was, where the chief editors agreed, to adopt their reading, not to attempt to make a text of my own. My object was a more correct translation: only there was no use in translating what all intelligent critics held to be a mistake in the copy. For, as is known, the Textus Receptus had no real authority, nor was indeed the English Version taken from it, -- it was an earlier work by some years." [emphasis added] (7)

In view of the fact that the bulk of John Darby's "recovered truths" are prophetic in nature, it is revealing that he rejected the manuscripts the King James translators used for Revelation:

"I have always stated the Textus Receptus in the margin where it is departed from, except in the Revelation, Erasmus having translated that from one poor and imperfect MS., which being accompanied by a commentary had to be separated by a transcriber; and even so Erasmus corrected what he had from the Vulgate, or guessed what he had not." [bold emphasis added] (8)

 

 Plymouth Brethren Translations Agree on Modern Version Doctrines

QUESTION: Why does the John Darby Translation (which is based upon critical editions of the Greek Text) often precisely match Thomas Newberry's George Ricker Berry English Interlinear in modern version doctrinal teachings?

ANSWER: The John Darby Translation often matched Thomas Newberry's Interlinear because both Plymouth Brethren leaders were AGAINST THE RECEIVED TEXT and for the Critical Greek Text!

Notes:

(1) Unknown and Well Known ~ a biography of John Nelson Darby compiled from reliable sources by W. G. Turner, edited and revised by E. N. Cross; pages 143, 144
(2) Unknown and Well Known ~ a biography of John Nelson Darby compiled from reliable sources by W. G. Turner, edited and revised by E. N. Cross; page 143
(3) Unknown and Well Known ~ a biography of John Nelson Darby compiled from reliable sources by W. G. Turner, edited and revised by E. N. Cross; page 144
(4) Unknown and Well Known ~ a biography of John Nelson Darby compiled from reliable sources by W. G. Turner, edited and revised by E. N. Cross; page 145-6 (Revised Preface to second edition of the New Testament 1871)
(5) Unknown and Well Known ~ a biography of John Nelson Darby compiled from reliable sources by W. G. Turner, edited and revised by E. N. Cross; page 146 (Revised Preface to second edition of the New Testament 1871)
(6) Unknown and Well Known ~ a biography of John Nelson Darby compiled from reliable sources by W. G. Turner, edited and revised by E. N. Cross; page 145 (Revised Preface to second edition of the New Testament 1871)
(7) Unknown and Well Known ~ a biography of John Nelson Darby compiled from reliable sources by W. G. Turner, edited and revised by E. N. Cross; page 145 (Revised Preface to second edition of the New Testament 1871)
(8) Unknown and Well Known ~ a biography of John Nelson Darby compiled from reliable sources by W. G. Turner, edited and revised by E. N. Cross; page 148 (Revised Preface to second edition of the New Testament 1871)

new! John Nelson Darby: Closet Theosophist?

Return to: John Darby MAIN INDEX:  Dispensationalism: Occult Roots  (many articles)

 

Thomas Newberry MAIN INDEX: George Ricker Berry Interlinear: Corrupt

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