Report to New Matthew Bible Project subscribers concerning the

completion of 2 Peter.
February 6, 2015.

To all my subscribers,
This update follows swiftly upon my last one. My work on 2 Peter is now complete, and I
wanted to share two interesting differences in bible translation that I discovered.
2 Peter 1:4. Here Tyndale had, as carried into the Matthew Bible, with prior context:
According as his godly power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and
godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us by virtue and glory, by the
means whereof, are given unto us excellent and most great promises, that by the help
of them ye should be partakers of the godly nature, in that ye fly the corruption of
worldly lust.

The message is that with God’s power and help we may “fly,” or flee, the corruption of
worldly lust. This is generally understood as an exhortation to avoid worldly desires and
lusts. But in the KJV, the verse becomes an observation that we have already escaped
worldly lusts. The KJV seems quite alone in this:
Wycliffe 1380: ye should be made fellows of God’s kind, and flee the corruption of that covetousness that is
in the world
Coverdale 1535: that ye by the same should be partakers of the godly nature, if ye fly the corrupt lust of the
world
Cranmer 1539: that…ye might be partakers of the godly nature, if ye fly the corruption of worldly lust
Geneva 1557: that…ye should be partakers of the godly nature, in that ye fly the corruption which is in the
world through lust
KJV 1611: that…you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the
world through lust
RSV 1946: that…you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become
partakers of the divine nature
NIV 1973: so that… through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the
world caused by evil desires.
New Matthew Bible 2015: so that. .. you may be partakers of the divine nature, in that you flee the corruption
of worldly desires.
As always, “lust” is problematic, in that it previously had a much broader meaning, and is
variously rendered in later versions. It might be helpful to borrow in part from Wycliffe and
say “desires and covetousness.”
I appreciate the KJV rendering “divine nature,” and like other moderns have used it. The
online Oxford English Dictionary confirms divine to be an obsolete meaning of “godly.”
Therefore it is not a question of changing Tyndale, but of appropriately updating the early
modern English.

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2 Peter 2:19 Here Tyndale had (again, with prior context, and in all older versions I
change the obsolete ‘of’ to ‘by’ after a passive verb):
For when they have spoken the swelling words of vanity, they beguile with
wantonness through the lusts of the flesh, them that were clean escaped: but now are
wrapped in errors. They promise them liberty, and are themselves the bond-servants
of corruption. For by whomsoever a man is overcome, unto the same is he in
bondage.

However, is it a question of by what or by whom a person is overcome and put into
bondage? Until the RSV, all versions agreed that it was a question of being brought in
bondage to men. But modern versions, except the New King James, understand that it is
a question of being in bondage to worldly lusts or corruption, which does seem likely from
the immediate context:
Wycliffe 1380: by whom any man is overcome, of him also he is servant
Coverdale 1535: same as Tyndale.
Cranmer 1539: by whom a man is overcome, unto the same is he brought in bondage.
Geneva 1557: same as Tyndale.
KJV 1611: by whom a man is overcome, by the same is he brought in bondage.
RSV 1946: whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved.
Jerusalem Bible 1968: if anyone lets himself be dominated by anything, then he is a slave to it.
Living Bible 1971: a man is a slave to whatever controls him.
NIV 1973: a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.
New King James 1988: by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.
New Matthew Bible 2015: By whomever a person is overcome, to him he is in bondage.
We have stayed with the rendering of Tyndale and the other older bibles, who appear to
understand this verse as a reference back to verse 18, men who beguile others.
Blessings to all,
R Magnusson Davis
New Matthew Bible Project:
www.newmatthewbible.org
True to His Ways:
www.truetohisways.com

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