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Postscript on Vaticanus-and-KJV-Translators

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  • James Snapp, Jr.
    In June 2007, David Robert Palmer asked about the veracity of the statement, The KJV translators had access to Codex Vaticanus and rejected it. The gist of
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 12, 2007
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      In June 2007, David Robert Palmer asked about the veracity of the
      statement, "The KJV translators had access to Codex Vaticanus and
      rejected it."

      The gist of the replies to DRP's question was that Erasmus probably
      had access to some readings from B (readings which a friend at the
      Vatican Library shared with him) but that the KJV translators
      themselves did not, except whatever could be gotten secondhand from
      Erasmus. Dr. Criddle noted, "I don't believe that there is any
      evidence that the KJV translators themselves had access to the
      readings of Vaticanus."

      A qualification should be added: we all were thinking of readings
      from the New Testament.

      Jaroslav Pelikan, on pp. 108-109 of "The Reformation of the Bible -
      The Bible of the Reformation," (1996, Yale Univ. Press)
      describes "Vetus Testamentum iuxta Septuaginta," printed in Rome by
      Francisco Zanetti in 1587. Pelikan writes:

      "Spurred on by humanist (and often "Protestant") efforts at producing
      authentic editions, the Council of Trent ordered the preparation of
      not only a new Vulgate text but also editions of Hebrew and Greek
      Bible texts. Under the patronage of Pius V, Gregory XIII and Sixtus
      V, Cardinal Antonio Carafa (1538-91), who served as chief editor,
      relied mainly on the codex /Vatican B/ (Vaticanus graecus 1209) to
      produce the Sixtine, or Vatican, edition of the Septuagint, which
      became the basis for most subsequent editions until the nineteenth
      century and is still admired for its accuracy and scholarship. The
      text of this edition was reprinted in the London Polyglot."

      A Plate accompanies this description; the frontispiece-page has the
      title H PALAIA DIAQHKH and a picture of Moses (with horns) and Ezra.

      If Pelikan's description is accurate, then "Vetus Testamentum iuxta
      Septuaginta" was in circulation for more than 20 years before the KJV
      was completed. Thus it would seem likely that at least some of the
      KJV-translators had access to readings of Codex Vaticanus' Old
      Testament portion, derived from Carafa's text published in 1587.

      Yours in Christ,

      James Snapp, Jr.
      Minister, Curtisville Christian Church
      Tipton, Indiana (USA)
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