There are a number of translations of the Holy Bible that are older than the 1611 King James Version. Many of these translations are now available for free online.
Oldest Bible English Translations Comparison
The oldest of these translations is the John Wycliffe Bible written by hand in 1380’s. According to Wikipedia, “Wycliffe’s Bible is the name now given to a group of Bible translations into Middle English that were made under the direction of John Wycliffe. They appeared over a period from approximately 1382 to 1395.” When you google search “oldest English Bible” the first search result is the Tyndale Bible. According to Wikipedia, the Tyndale Bible “generally refers to the body of biblical translations by William Tyndale ( c. 1494–1536). “
Notice, that the Tyndale Bible was written about 100 years after the John Wycliffe Bible. Furthermore, the 1611 King James version was written over 100 years after the Tyndale Bible.
Why so many english translations of the Bible? What are the differences between these different translations?
In this blog post, we will make a comparison of these versions of the Bible. What information was altered? What information was taken out? What version of the bible most accurately describes prophecy?
We will look at specific verses and see if there are any differences. The vast majority of the verses that we will look at a prophetic in nature.
History of Bible Translations – Why is the King James Version Used Today?
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad explains in the prophetic book Fall of America that the King James Version of the Bible was produced in order to keep knowledge hidden from the slave.
What was the motive of the translators in writing the first editions of the King James Version of the bible?
According to Chapter 31 of the book Fall of America By Elijah Muhammad,
America (and her future) was not known in those days when the Bible was being translated into the English language. Not until 1611 did the translators bring into existence what is known as the King James Authorized Version. According to history, there were several attempts made before to get the Bible to the people in the English language, but they were met with opposition.
America was discovered in 1492. These first translations of the Bible were far more near the truth than these later translations. The so-called Negro slaves were not given the King James Version to read until it was over three hundred years old. The white slave masters were not interested in “educated religious Negroes” (and are not today). The so-called Negroes now must understand that which was hidden from them by their slavemasters.Elijah Muhammad, Fall of America
As we look at the different versions of the Bible leading up to the 1611 King James Version we will notice drastic differences between that version and the John Wycliffe Version. The primary reason for this is because the John Wycliffe Version of the Bible was written prior to the formation of America in 1492. The Tyndale version was written directly after the formation of America. The early American writers understood that certain aspects of the Bible had to be hidden as America itself was being prophesied about.
Let’s look at the Prophesy regarding the so-called Negro in Genesis. This prophecy takes place in Genesis 15:13-15. There are more details left out as we get closer to the 1611 version of the King James Bible.
In the John Wycliffe Bible, Genesis 15:13-15 reads as follows:
13 And it was said to him, Know thou (a) before-knowing, that thy seed shall be [a] pilgrim four hundred years in a land not his own, and they shall make them subject to servage, and they shall torment them; (And the Lord said to him, Know thou a fore-knowing, that thy descendants shall be foreigners in a land not their own, and they shall make them subject to servitude, or to slavery, and they shall torment them for four hundred years;) 14 nevertheless I shall deem the folk to whom they shall serve; and after these things they shall go out with great chattel. (nevertheless I shall judge the nation for whom they shall be slaves; and after these things they shall go out with many possessions.) 15Forsooth thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace, and shalt be buried in (a) good [eld] age.John Wycliffe Bible, Genesis 15:13-15
In the Tyndale Bible, Genesis 15:13-15 reads as follows:
And he sayde vnto Abram: knowe this of a suertie that thi seed shalbe a straunger in a lande that perteyneth not vnto the. And they shall make bondmen of them and entreate them evell iiij. hundred yeares. 14 But the nation whom they shall serue wyll I iudge. And after warde shall they come out wyth greate substace. 15Neuerthelesse thou shalt goo vnto thi fathers in peace ad shalt be buried when thou art of a good age:Tyndale Bible, Genesis 15:13-15
In the King James Version Bible, Genesis 15:13-15 reads as follows:
And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.King James Version Bible, Genesis 15:13-15
Aside from the clearly more convoluted language used in the Tyndale Version there is information that is being omitted. Let’s take a look at what was omitted from the John Wycliffe Version to the Tyndale Version.
Notice that the words “thy seed shall be [a] pilgrim four hundred years in a land not his own, and they shall make them subject to servage, and they shall torment them; (And the Lord said to him, Know thou a fore-knowing, that thy descendants shall be foreigners in a land not their own, and they shall make them subject to servitude, or to slavery, and they shall torment them for four hundred years;)” becomes “And they shall make bondmen of them and entreate them evell iiij. hundred yeares” or “shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years “
The words “Know thou a fore-knowing” are omitted because they show that this verse is a prophecy or speaking about a future time. Furthermore, “subject to servitude, or to slavery, and they shall torment them” becomes “make bondmen of them and entreate them evell” and “they shall afflict them.”
It is clear that when we look at the condition of slavery in America that the John Wycliffe Bible is more clear on what really will happen.