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Revised Fenton

The Holy Bible in Modern English. Revised Edition.
God's word is swift and powerful.



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   Work on the 'The Holy Bible in Modern English' began in 1853 by a London businessman named Ferrar Fenton (1832–1920). The complete Bible was first published in 1903, though some individual bible 'books' were published as separate volumes during the preceding 11 years.
   Fenton is well known for a rearranging of the books of the Bible into what the author believed was the correct chronological order. In the Old Testament, this order follows that of the Hebrew Bible. The name of God was translated throughout the Old Testament as "The Ever-Living".
   Fenton is an exciting translation that shows respect and gives clarity in many areas where other translations fall short. This Bible is described as being "translated into English direct from the original Hebrew, Chaldee, and Greek languages."

    Henrik Borgström assisted Fenton with his translation of the Book of Job, which first appeared in 1898. The book of Job was "rendered into the same metre as the original Hebrew, word by word and line by line". His translation of the New Testament is based on the Greek text of Westcott and Hort. The ordering novelty in the New Testament is that it places the Gospel of John and the First Epistle of John at the beginning before the Gospel of Matthew, thus placing the Acts of the Apostles immediately after the Gospel of Luke.

   Notable as well, is Ferrar Fenton's restoration of the Psalms into the musical verse form as close to the original as he could get. The Psalms were, quite literally, songs, complete with instructions for the "choirmaster" as well as descriptions of the proper musical instruments to be used. Today Psalm 48, Psalm 137, and Psalm 23 are still sung in churches, albeit to tunes not the original.

   This bible is named the "Revised Fenton" because it puts things back into chronological order. In many cases, whether in error or not, Ferrar moved some parts of the scriptures down to the footnote section. These re-ordered verses have been returned to their chronological order as they are currently found in the King James Version. There was no alteration of the wording or intended meaning of what was originally intended by Mr. Fenton."

Blog entry: September 17, 2016


   Welcome to the new blog section. Join us in this exciting effort to display the works of Ferrar Fenton! The Holy Bible in Modern English is now fully digitized and can be seen for it's creative and artistic beauty as well as for the spiritual edification that we all need through the daily study of the scriptures.


   This project actually began in 2012 when the conversion of scanned images, using OCR software, revived a very beautiful but tangled digital version of Ferrar Fenton's work. The major part of the editing, including verse alignment, OCR errors and chapter breaks took over one year. Still, as we go there are minor fixes to punctuation and a few odd necessary edits.

   In its very raw form, 'The Holy Bible in Modern English' went online with a free but very undependable web hosting service in 2014, where it has been ever since.
   With thanks to the generosity of others, just recently, the site has been moved to its current home. This hosting service is by far superior to the previous but costs are high so we are maintaining an ad service to help offset the costs.

   
RF GEN 11:1 All the country was agreed for settled objects.
   
RF GEN 11:2 But some of them marching from the East arrived at a plain in the Bush-land, and halted there.
   
RF GEN 11:3 Then each said to his neighbour, "Come, let us set to work making bricks, and see that they are properly burnt; and bricks shall serve us for stone, and petroleum for mortar."
   
RF GEN 11:4 So they agreed, "We will build here for ourselves a City and a Tower whose top shall reach the sky; thus we will make a Beacon for ourselves, so that we may not be scattered over all the surface of the country."
   
RF GEN 11:5 But a Chief came down to inspect the city and the tower which the sons of men had built;
   
RF GEN 11:6 and the Chief said, "You see all these people are united in the same purpose, and having begun to do this they will not be restrained from anything they determine upon.
   
RF GEN 11:7 I will go down and frustrate their designs, so that one will not listen to another's proposals."
   
RF GEN 11:8 So the Chief scattered them over the surface of the whole country; and they abandoned dotted the building of the city.
   
RF GEN 11:9 They therefore called its name Babel 1 because it was there that the Chief confused the designs of all the country. Thus from there the LORD scattered them over all the surface of the land.2
   
RF GEN 11:10 The History of Shem's Descendants.
These are the genealogies of Shem: Shem was one hundred years old when Arphaxad was born to him two years after the deluge,
   
RF GEN 11:11 Shem then lived after the birth of Arphaxad, five hundred years, and had sons and daughters born to him.
   
RF GEN 11:12 And Arphaxad lived thirty-five years, then had Shelah born to him;
   
RF GEN 11:13 and Arphaxad lived after the birth of Shelah four hundred and forty-three years, and sons and daughters were born to him.
   
RF GEN 11:14 And Shelah lived thirty years when Eber was born to him;
   
RF GEN 11:15 and after the birth of Eber, Shelah lived four hundred and three years, and sons and daughters were born to him.
   
RF GEN 11:16 And Eber lived thirty four years, when Peleg was born to him.
   
RF GEN 11:17 Eber lived after the birth of Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and sons and daughters were born to him.
   
RF GEN 11:18 And Peleg lived thirty years and Reu was born to him.
   
RF GEN 11:19 Peleg lived after the birth of Reu two hundred and nine years, and sons and daughters were born to him.
   
RF GEN 11:20 And Reu lived thirty-two years, when Serug was born to him;
   
RF GEN 11:21 and after the birth of Serug, Reu lived two hundred and seven years, and sons and daughters were born to him.
   
RF GEN 11:22 And Serug lived thirty years and Nakhor was born to him.
   
RF GEN 11:23 Serug lived after the birth of Nakhor, two hundred years, and sons and daughters were born to him.
   
RF GEN 11:24 And Nakhor lived twenty-nine years, when Terah was born to him;
   
RF GEN 11:25 and Nakhor lived after the birth of Terah, one hundred and nineteen years, and sons and daughters were born to him.
   
RF GEN 11:26 And Terah lived seventy years, when Abram, Nahor and Haran were born to him.
   
RF GEN 11:27 Now, these are the descendants of Terah; Terah had Abram, Nahor, and Haran born to him, and Haran had Lot born to him.
   
RF GEN 11:28 Haran died before Terah his father in his native country in Ur of the Kaldees.
   
RF GEN 11:29 Abram and Nahor then took wives for themselves. The name of the wife of Abram was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's wife was Milkah the daughter of Haran, the father of Milkah and father of Iskah.
   
RF GEN 11:30 Sarai was sterile and had no child for herself.
   
RF GEN 11:31 Terah however took Abram his son and Lot his grandson, the son of Haran, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, the wife of Abram his own son, and departed from Ur of the Kaldees to travel to the land of Canaan; and arriving at Haran they settled there.
   
RF GEN 11:32 The lifetime of Terah was two hundred and five years; and 'Terah died in Haran.
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1. Confusion.
2. The word Jehovah, commonly translated Lord, was originally used as a title of honour for nobles or governors as shown in Genesis, Ch. 18. v13, and elsewhere, as in Exodus 4:24, where the title is given to the chief of a tribe, who attempted to murder Moses; and was not reserved as a synonym for GOD until after the promulgation of the Law from Sinai. In this passage it is evident it did not mean the Supreme Being, and to translate it as if it did misleads the reader.—F.F.
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NOTE: —As Ch. 11 of Genesis forms a decisive period in human history, I think it well to add a note to endeavor to remove a difficulty that has for generations puzzled students of the Holy Scriptures, in regard to the age to which the men before Abraham are stated to have lived. Skeptics have delightedly used this point as a weapon of assault upon Biblical history, and thus upon the Christian Faith. But the difficulty, it appears to me, has arisen from a want of knowledge amongst both the believers and skeptics of Europe and America of the methods of expression used in the primeval literature of Asia, as Governor Holwell pointed out a century and a half ago in his "India Tracts," and the modes of thought prevalent among the earliest races of that continent, and which, at least in their religious affairs, continue to this day, and have even been continued in the legal vocabulary of the British Constitution to our own times. Thus our constitutional lawyers and books tell us that, according to our law, "The King never dies,—he only vacates the throne," or demises the crown, yet no one imagines, or asserts by that expression, that the present reigning monarch is twelve hundred years of age, as he would be, dating from King Arthur, who is said to be his remote ancestor, or "father," as he would be called in the Hebrew, Arabic, or Chinese languages. The phrase of our constitutional law is merely what we now call a "survival" of a very ancient theory. That theory, and the linguistic idiom of the first eleven chapters of Genesis, as still used in the religious ideas, and expression of them, amongst the Thibetans, Chinese, and kindred nations, is, that their Royal High Priest, the Great Lhama, and his subordinate high priests, equivalent to our archbishops of provinces, never die, but that their souls, their real selves, when their visible bodies grow old and inconvenient to them, go and select a son, or some beautiful child or youth, into whom they enter, and through whom they continue to exercise their beneficent duties as kings and priests, and thus are thousands of years old. We know, from universal history, that the chief of every tribe was formerly always both priest and ruler, and as a fact in all organized states the chief magistrate, king, or president is actually so in our day, and decides with his advisers what doctrines or forms of religion shall be allowed amongst the citizens of the states over whom he, and they as his administrators, rule. I refrain from quoting illustrations for want of space. The fact is clear to every man who reflects. Using the above lamp of history by which to read the early chapters of Genesis, we may safely conclude that the patriarchs of such apparently incredible length of life were actually priest-chiefs of tribes, whose souls were believed to have passed from the first organizer of the tribe, or the man who as head of a family originated, as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did, a powerful house which developed into a nation, and who ruled it by their descendants until by internal revolution or by being unseated and expelled from their hereditary offices by some conqueror, were said to have "died," in the linguistic idiom of their times. This interpretation of that idiom was suggested to me when studying St. Paul's argument founded upon the history of Abraham. The Apostle, in the fourth chapter of Romans, quotes the fact that Abraham believed the promise of the Divine messenger that he should beget a son, when between 80 and 100 years of age, as a stupendous exhibition of "faith in God," when he believed that God could accomplish that promise by restoring to him, Abraham, procreative power, which the patriarch knew had ceased in himself by the natural decay of age, as it did in all men. But if Abraham's ancestor, Arphaxad, and his father, Terah, and all his contemporaries, had been accustomed to his own knowledge to produce "sons and daughters" from 35 years of age until 478 to 500 years, as recorded in Genesis, Ch. 11., and his grandfather, Nakhor, who died young, to 148, and Terah, his father, when 205 years old, it would have needed no faith at all of an extraordinary kind for Abraham to believe he could do the same when only 80, or need any special restoration of his youth by Divine power to enable him, as the messenger and the Apostle both said it did. It has long appeared extraordinary to me that neither the assailants of the Bible, nor its defenders, have seen this question in the light I now put it, and which is undoubtedly the right one. St. Paul was a man of the most powerful and clear intellect, and from his splendid line of inductive reasoning relating to the subject he had in hand, proves that he was accustomed to read the First Book (or, as we call it now, Chapters) of Genesis in a very different sense to modern students, and evidently, from his studies of ancient Asiatic writers, now lost to us through the barbarian ravages and stupid illiteracy of the Romans, with a knowledge that the sense was different to the idiom of his day, and what my own researches in Oriental literature and history have shown to be the correct one, as above. My defence for making this long note is, that this matter has been brought to me so frequently by sincere Christians as a tormenting source of doubt and mental unrest, and by anti-Christians triumphantly as a weapon to assail all religion, that I have felt it absolutely necessary to present the religious and scientific publics with the only true and rational solution of the problem; a solution supported by history.—F.F.
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