Before the King James Bible

By | June 22, 2017

What did we have before the King James that gave us the word of God?

Michael Kline


Hi Michael,

Of course we had the original autographs from Antioch, but there was also a Bible translated into Latin from those original manuscripts called the Old Italia Bible, also known as the Waldenssian Bible. This is the Bible used by the early Baptist churches known as the Waldense or Paulicans. It was a true translation from the original from Antioch into the vulgar or low Latin language from around 157 A.D. It was also used for the following translations:

  • Martin Luther used the German Tepl Bible, which was a translation of the Waldensian Bible into German, to make Luther’s German Bible.
  • Olivetan, a pastor of the Waldensian valley, translated a Waldensian Bible into French.
  • This French Olivetan, likewise, was the basis of the Geneva Bible in English.
  • Diodati’s Italian Bible was also of Waldensian / Paulican translations.

There was also the Gothic Version which was the New Testament in a European language called Gothic. It was translated at or around 350 A.D. by a missionary named Ulfilas, and was solely translated from the Received Text into the Gothic language, and we also had the Ethiopic version, as well as many others.

So to break it down even further, what we had was:

  • The Old Syrian Text or Peshitta (150 A.D.)
  • The Old Latin, Italic or Itala Version (157 A.D.)
  • The Gothic Version (350 A.D.)
  • The Ethiopic Version (300+ A.D.)
  • The Armenian Bible (411 A.D.)
  • Slavonic Version (864–865 A.D.)
  • Georgian Version (13th through 14th centurys A.D.)

All translated literally and the same textual family of the Received Text


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