The Greek Text of the Authorized Version

by James D. Price


According to Bruce M. Metzger, a well-known authority on the text of the Greek New Testament, “Stephanus’ third edition [1550] became for many persons, especially in England, the received or standard text of the Greek New Testament.” This was the “standard” text used by the translators of the Authorized Version. In addition, the translators had at their disposal the editions of Erasmus (1516, 1519, etc.), Beza (1589), and the Complutensian Polyglott (1514-1522). The translators did not always follow the standard text of Stephanus (Stephens), but sometimes followed readings found in the other available texts. Until the nineteenth century, the exact form of the resultant text was not published in printed form. In 1825 Oxford Press published a Greek text containing the words that underlie the English of the Authorized Version. This was followed by editions published by F. H. A. Scrivener (1894, 1902). Scrivener’s edition is currently reprinted by the Trinitarian Bible Society.

This is a list of the places where the AV translators followed a Greek text other than Stephens’ 1550 edition, the edition that was regarded as the traditional Received Text in 1611. 

Against Stephens and Beza

Scrivener catalogued 23 passages in which the text of the AV differs from that of Stephens (1550) and Beza (1589) jointly. These readings were usually derived from the Complutensian Polyglott that seems often to have been influenced by the Latin Vulgate. A few were derived from Erasmus. One reading seems to have been derived from some unknown source.

Ref.          KJV                                   Source
Matt. 2:11*   ei=don                                Compl. 
Matt. 9:18*   a;rcwn ei-j                           Compl., Vulg.
Matt. 10:10   r`a,bdouj                             Compl.
Mark  4:18    ou`toi, eivsi.n (omits 2nd occurance)  Compl. 
Mark  5:38*   kai. klai,ontaj                       Erasm., Vulg.
Mark  9:42*   tw/n mikrw/n tou,twn                  Compl, Vulg.
Mark  15:3    auvto.j de. ouvde.n avpekri,nato      Comp., Steph. (1546)
Luke  3:31    Mena,m                                Erasm.
Luke  3:35   ~Ebe,r                                 Erasm.
Luke  12:56   tou/ ouvranou/ kai. th/j gh/j         Compl., Vulg.
Luke  20:31   kai. (added)                          Erasm. 
John  8:6     mh. prospoiou,menoj                   Compl., Steph. (1546, 1549)
John  18:1    tw/n (!) Ke,drwn                       ???
Acts  7:16    VEmo.r                                Erasm.
Acts  8:13    duna,meij kai. shmei/a gino,menaj     Erasm.
Acts  27:29*  evkpe,swmen                           Compl.
Phile.  7*    cara.n                                Compl., Vulg.
Heb.  12:24   to. :Abel                             Erasm. 
2 Pet. 1:1    Si,mwn                                Compl., Vulg.
1 John 3:16   tou/ Qeou/ (added)                    Compl., Vulg.
Jude  12      u`mi/n (added)                        Compl.
Rev.  11:4    ai` du,o lucni,ai                     Compl.
Rev.  17:4*   h=n peribeblhme,nh                    Compl., Vulg.
Rev.  18:1    a;llon (added)                        Erasm., Compl.
Rev.  18:5*   evkollh,qhsan                         Compl.
Rev.  19:18*  evleuqe,rwn te                        Compl.
Rev.  21:13*  kai. avpo. dusmw/n                    Compl., Vulg.

Total = 23.


Beza Against Stephens
Scrivener catalogued 87 passages in which the text of the AV agrees with the text of Beza (1589) against that of Stephens (1550).

Ref.           KJV                        Additional Sources
Matt. 9:33*    omits o[ti                 Compl., Erasm.
Matt. 21:7     evpeka,qisan 
Matt. 23:13,   14 verse order reversed    Compl.
Mark  6:29*    evn mnhmei,w| 
Mark  8:24     o[ti (omitted)             Compl.
Mark  8:24     o`rw/ (omitted)            Compl.
Mark  9:40     h`mw/n                     Erasm.
Mark  9:40     h`mw/n                     Erasm.
Mark  12:20    ou=n (added)
Luke  1:35     evk sou/ (added)           Compl., Erasm., Vulg.
Luke  2:22     auvth/j                    Compl.
Luke  7:12     i`kano.j h=n 
Luke  15:26    auvtou/ (omitted)          Compl., Vulg.
Luke  17:35    h` mi,a                    Erasm.
Luke  17:36    verse added                Compl.
Luke  17:45    auvtou/ (added)            Erasm.
John  8:25*    o[ ti (instead of o[ti)
John  13:31*   ou=n (added)               Erasm., Vulg. 
John  16:33    e[xete 
John  18:24*   ou=n (added) 
Acts  1:4      metv auvtw/n (added)
Acts  17:25    kai. ta. pa,nta            Vulg.
Acts  21:8*    h;lqomen                   Compl., Vulg.
Acts  22:25*   proe,teinan                Compl., Vulg.
Acts  24:13*   me (omitted)               Compl.
Acts  24:18    de, (omitted)              Compl.
Acts  24:19    e;dei (instead of dei/)    Vulg.
Acts  27:13    a=sson (instead of Asson)  Erasm.

Ref.           KJV                                  Additional sources
Rom.   7:6     avpoqano,ntoj
Rom.   8:11*   dia. tou/ evnoikou/ntoj auvtou/ 
               Pneu,matoj evn u`mi/n                   Compl.
Rom.   12:11*  Kuri,w| (instead of kairw/|)            Compl., Vulg.
Rom.   16:20   avmh,n (added)
1 Cor. 5:11*   h=| po,rnoj (instead of h; po,rnoj)     Erasm., Vulg.
1 Cor. 14:10*  auvtw/n (omit)    Vulg.
1 Cor. 15:31*  u`mete,ran (instead of h`mete,ran)      Compl., Vulg.
2 Cor. 3:1*    h' mh. (instead of ei; mh.)             Vulg.
2 Cor. 5:4*    evfV w-| (instead of evpeidh,)          Compl., Vulg.
2 Cor. 6:15    Belia,l (instead of Belia,r)            Compl., Vulg.
2 Cor. 7:12    th.n spoudh.n h`mw/n th.n u`pe.r u`mw/n Vulg.
2 Cor. 7:16*   ou=n (added)
2 Cor  11:10*  fragh,setai (instead of sfragi,setai)
Eph    1:3*    evn Cristw/ (instead of Cristw/|)       Compl., Vulg.
Eph.   6:7*    w`j (added)    Compl. Vulg.
Col.   1:2*    Kolossai/j (instead of Kolassai/j) 
Col.   1:24    {Oj (added)                             Vulg.
Col.   2:13    u`mi/n (instead of h`mi/n)              Vulg.
1 Thes. 2:15*  h`ma/j (instead of u`ma/j)              Compl., Vulg.
1 Tim. 1:4     oivkodomi,an (instead of oivkonomi,an)  Erasm., Vulg.
Titus 2:10*    h`mw/n (instead of u`mw/n)              Erasm., Compl., Vulg.
Heb. 9:1*      skhnh, (omitted)                        Erasm., Vulg.
Heb. 10:10     dia. (instead of oi` dia.) 
Heb. 12:22     panhgu,rei (1st word of vs. 23)
James 4:13*    poreuso,meqa                            Vulg.
James 4:13*    poih,somen                              Vulg.
James 4:13*    evmporeuso,meqa                         Vulg.
James 4:13*    kerdh,somen                             Vulg.
James 4:15*    poih,somen                              Vulg.
James 5:12*    u`po. kri,sin (instead of ei;j u`po.kri,sin)
1 Pet. 3:21 w-| (instead of o])                        Compl.

Ref.           KJV                                  Additional Sources
2 Pet. 2:18    evn avselgei,aij
2 Pet. 3:7*    auvtw/| (instead of auvtou/)            Vulg.
1 John 1:4     u`mw/n (instead of h`mw/n)              Erasm.
1 John 2:23*   o` o`mologw/n to.n ui`o.n kai. to.n pate,ra e;cei (added)
1 John 5:14    h`mw/n (instead of u`mw/n)
2 John 3       u`mw/n (instead of h`mw/n)              Compl.
2 John 5*      gra,fwn 
3 John 7       auvtou/ (added)                         Compl., Vulg.
Jude 19        e`autou,j (added)                       Vulg.
Jude 24*       u`ma/j (instead of auvtou,j)            Vulg.
Rev. 1:11*     e`pta. (added)                          Compl. Vulg.
Rev. 3:1*      e`pta. (added before pneu,mata)         Compl. Vulg.
Rev. 5:11*     kai. h=n o` avriqmo.j auvtw/n muria,dej 
               muria,dwn( kai. cilia,dej cilia,dwn 
               (added)                                 Compl.
Rev. 7:2*      avnabai,nonta                           Compl., Vulg.
Rev 7:3*       sfragi,swmen                            Compl.
Rev 7:10*      tw/| Qew/| h`mw/n (added)               Compl., Vulg.
Rev. 7:14*     auvta.j (instead of stola.j auvtw/n)    Compl., Vulg.
Rev 8:6*       oi` e;contej (instead of e;contej)      Compl., Vulg.
Rev. 8:11*     tw/n u`da,twn (added)                   Compl., Vulg.
Rev. 9:19*     h` (instead of ai`)                     Compl. (?)
Rev. 9:19*     kai. evn tai/j ouvrai. auvtw/n (added)  Compl.
Rev. 11:1      kai. o` a;ggeloj eivsth,kei (added)     Compl.
Rev. 11:2*     e;xwqen (instead of e;swqen)            Compl., Vulg.
Rev. 13:3*     e[n (omitted)                           Compl., Vulg.
Rev. 14:18*    th/j avmpe,lou (added)                  Compl., Vulg.
Rev. 16:5      evso,menoj (instead of o[sioj)
Rev. 16:14*    a] evkporeu,etai 
               (instead of evkporeu,esqai)             Compl., Vulg.
Rev. 19:14*    ta. evn tw/| ouvranw/|                  Compl., Vulg.

Total = 87

Textual Changes Since 1611
 Scrivener produced the Greek text that underlies the English of the 1611 edition of the AV. There have been a few alterations in later revisions of the AV that no longer follow the text followed by the 1611 translators. The following are places where the AV has words not in italics that are not in Scrivener’s TR:

2 Tim. 1:18 added  “unto me” after “ministered” following the Vulg.
Eph. 6:24 added “amen” at the end.
1 Cor. 14:10 added “of them” after “none.” The 1611 edition had the words in italics, 
but the 1769 edition erroneously replaced the italics with regular 
typeface indicating that the words are in the Greek text.

The following is a place where the AV has words in italics that are actually in Scrivener’s TR:

2 Peter 2:18 The word “through” was erroneously italicized in 1769 as though the word is not in the Greek text; and the word “much” was added.

The following are places where the AV does not follow the Scrivener’s text:

Acts 19:20 Scrivener’s TR reads tou/ Kuri,ou (of the Lord) but the KJV reads “of God.”

Heb. 10:23 Scrivener’s TR reads th/j evlpi,doj (of the hope) but the KJV reads “of our faith.”