Revised Version (or English Revised Version) of the Bible
is a late 19th-century British revision of the King James Version of
1611. It was the first and remains the only officially authorized and
recognized revision of the King James Bible. The work was entrusted to
over 50 scholars from various denominations in
. American scholars were invited to cooperate, by correspondence. The
New Testament was published in 1881, the Old Testament in 1885, and the
Apocrypha in 1895. The best known of the translation committee members
were Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort; their fiercest
critic of that period was John William Burgon.
stated aim of the RV’s translators was “to adapt King James’
version to the present state of the English language without changing
the idiom and vocabulary,” and “to adapt it to the present standard
of Biblical scholarship.” Further, it was to be “the best version
possible in the nineteenth century, as King James’ version was the
best which could be made in the seventeenth century.” To those ends,
the Greek text used to translate the New Testament was believed by some
to be of higher reliability than the Textus Receptus used for the
KJV. The readings used were compiled from a different text of the Greek
Testament by Edwin Palmer.
the text of the translation itself is widely regarded as excessively
literal and flat, the Revised Version is significant in the history of
English Bible translation for many reasons. At the time of the RV’s
publication, the nearly 300-year old King James Version was still the
only viable English Bible in Victorian England. The RV, therefore, is
regarded as the forerunner of the entire modern translation tradition.
And it was considered a bit more accurate than the King James Version in
a number of verses.