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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 SA1 17:1 (B.C. 1062.) War again with Goliath as Commander.
But the Philishtim assembled in their camps for war. They advanced to Sukah, which is in Judah, and were encamped between Sukah and Azkah in Ephesdammim.
   
RF SA1 17:2 Saul and the Israelites also collected and encamped on the plain of Halah, and they prepared for battle at the challenge of the Philishtim.
   
RF SA1 17:3 But the Philishtim occupied the hill beyond, with the vale between them;
   
RF SA1 17:4 and there came out from the camp of the Philishtim a man, one of the twins, whose name was Goliath of Gath. His height was six cubits and a half.
   
RF SA1 17:5 A brass helmet was on his head, and he was clothed in a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass,
   
RF SA1 17:6 with brass greaves on his legs, and brazen javelins at his shoulders.
   
RF SA1 17:7 The shaft of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and the spike of his spear weighed six hundred shekels of iron.
   
RF SA1 17:8 (B.C. 1062.) Goliath Challenges to a single combat.
A shield-bearer marched in front of him. Thus he stood, and called from a distance to the regiments of Israel, and said to them, "Why do you come out arrayed for battle?
   
RF SA1 17:9 Am not I a Philishtim, and you slaves of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come to me! If he is able to fight me, and beat me, then we will be your slaves! But if I overpower him, and beat him, then you shall be slaves for us!"
   
RF SA1 17:10 The Philistine also said, "I defy all the regiments of Israel today! Give me a man that we may fight together!"
   
RF SA1 17:11 And Saul and all Israel listened to these words of the Philistine, and were depressed and terribly afraid.
   
RF SA1 17:12 (B.C. 1062.) David is introduced. His parentage.
A man of Ephthra, of Bethlehem-Judah, whose name was Jesse, had eight sons, one of them David; and the man in the days of Saul was looked on as a Great Man by the people'
   
RF SA1 17:13 The three elder sons of Jesse had gone and marched with Saul to the war,—Aliab, the eldest, and the second Abinadab, and the third Shamah.
   
RF SA1 17:14 David was the youngest,—so the three elder marched after Saul, —
—————
1 NOTE.—A friend, an accomplished Orientalist, wrote me as follows upon Ch. 17, v. 12, in reply to my enquiry as to an exactly accurate rendering of the status of Jesse's family:—"I do not think the word noble' or Old Man' is right. I cannot find that the Hebrews ever had that which is sooner or later a curse to the Commonwealth, an elected aristocracy. The views implanted in them by Moses were those of Constitutional Government. Everyone was a farmer and a soldier. Anyone could by patient labour, as Jesse, or by sudden bravery as David, rise to greatness. Non veterce Patrice, sed clara vistas,' as Seneca makes Hercules Furiosus say. There was never, as in Poland, a sharp and defined line between the nobles and the commons. Never. The less the and family honour,' was carefully guarded. Therefore I propose elder ' as somewhat better than noble; ' though elder' does not, either, represent the meaning, which is, an Elder, who is Noble in himself, and by his own exertions, and by those of his family; and who is so considered by the undefined voice of his people.' (In German one might say Elder-Noble.)-H. B."
Perhaps the English word and position represented by the phrase " country gentleman," or " country squire," would be the nearest translation to that suggested by my friend H. B.F.F.
   
RF SA1 17:15 for David had returned and left attending Saul to shepherd the flock of his father at Bethlehem.
   
RF SA1 17:16 David sent to the camp by his father.
The Philistine had thus approached and stationed himself morning and afternoon for forty days,
   
RF SA1 17:17 when Jesse said to David his son, " Take now for your brothers an ephah of this oat-meal and these ten cakes, and run to the camp to your brothers.
   
RF SA1 17:18 Present also these ten rolls of butter to the colonel of the regiment, and wish your brothers health, and take their returns."
   
RF SA1 17:19 Saul and all the army of Israel were then on the plain of Halah, at war with the Philishtim.
   
RF SA1 17:20 David consequently arose at dawn and entrusted the flock to the keeper, and started, and went as Jesse had ordered, and came to the waggon station, when the forces were going out in battle array, and were cheering for the fight.
   
RF SA1 17:21 Both Israel and the Philishtim were arrayed for fight ready for the challenge,
   
RF SA1 17:22 so David entrusted the baggage he had brought with him to the care of the baggage guard, and ran to the ranks, and went and wished his brothers health,
   
RF SA1 17:23 and while he was in talk with them he saw the Champion of the Philishtim, named Goliath of Gath, approach from the side of the Philishtim, and saw what he did,—and David listened.
   
RF SA1 17:24 But all the Israelites were afraid of the man, and fled before him, in great terror.
   
RF SA1 17:25 And a soldier of Israel was saying to the lookers-on, "Do you see this man who is coming up there! who comes up to defy Israel? But should a man be able to defeat him, the king will enrich him with great wealth, and give him his daughter, and make his father's family tax-free in Israel."
   
RF SA1 17:26 (B.C. 1062.) David Hears and asks about Goliath's Challenge.
So David asked of the men who stood around him, " Say, what will be done to the man who defeats that Philistine, and removes his insults from Israel? For who is this Philistine blackguard who defies the armies of the LIVING GOD?"
   
RF SA1 17:27 When the people replied to him to this effect, saying, "Thus it will be done to the man who defeats him."
   
RF SA1 17:28 But Aliab his elder brother listened to his talking with the men, and Aliab was furious with David and exclaimed, " For what have you come down here? And to whom have you entrusted those few sheep in the desert? I know your pride, and the bravado of your heart,—you have come for the sake of seeing the battle."
   
RF SA1 17:29 David, however, answered, —"What have I done now? Is there not a cause?"
   
RF SA1 17:30 And he turned from beside him, and went a little backward, and asked to the same effect, and the people returned him word for word as at first.
   
RF SA1 17:31 Saul hears of David's enquiry, and sends for him. David offers to Fight.
But the enquiries that David made were heard, and were reported to Saul, and he had him fetched.
   
RF SA1 17:32 David said to Saul, "Let no man's heart drop because of him! Your servant will go and fight this Philistine!"
   
RF SA1 17:33 But Saul replied to David, "You are not fit to go against this Philistine, to fight with him, for you are a lad, and he has been a man of war from his youth."
   
RF SA1 17:34 David, however, answered Saul, "Your servant was a shepherd of the flock to his father, and a lion came, and a bear and carried off some of the flock,
   
RF SA1 17:35 but I went out after them, and beat them, and delivered them from their mouth. Then they leaped upon me, but I seized them by the mane, and beat, and killed them!
   
RF SA1 17:36 Your servant beat both the lion and the bear,—and it will be with this filthy Philistine the same as with them! for he defies the regiments of the LIVING GOD!
   
RF SA1 17:37 And," David added, " the EVER-LIVING Who delivered me from the paw of the lion, and the paw of the bear, can deliver me from the hand of this Philistine! Then Saul said to David, "Go! and the EVER-LIVING be with you."
   
RF SA1 17:38 God Arms David but he cannot walk in the Armor.
And Saul clothed David in his own armour and put a helmet of brass on his head;—clad him in a coat of mail,
   
RF SA1 17:39 and girt David with a sword from his own arms.—Then he tried to walk, but he was not able. David therefore said to Saul, "I am not able to walk in these, for I have never been used to them."
David strips off his Armour, and takes his sling.
Consequently David stripped them off him,—
   
RF SA1 17:40 took his sling in his hand, and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them into a shepherd's bag that he had. So with a sling and staff in his hand he approached the Philistine.
   
RF SA1 17:41 The Philistine also himself marched and advanced against David, with the man carrying a big shield in front of him.
   
RF SA1 17:42 But when the Philistine bent forward and saw David, he despised him, for he was a lad and ruddy, with a beautiful face.
   
RF SA1 17:43 So the Philistine said to David, "Am I a dog? that you come to me with sticks?" Then the Philistine cursed David by his god.
   
RF SA1 17:44 The Philistine also exclaimed to David, "Come to me! and I will give your carcase to the fowls of the sky. and to the beasts of the field!"
   
RF SA1 17:45 But David replied to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spears, and in armour,—but I come against you with the Name of the LORD of HOSTS,—the GOD of the regiments of Israel. Whom you have defied!
   
RF SA1 17:46 The LORD will shut you up today for my hand, and I will beat you, and cut off your head, and give the carcase of the Champion of the Philishtim today to the birds of the sky, and the wild beasts of the earth, and all the world shall know that there is a GOD for Israel.
   
RF SA1 17:47 And all the crowd shall recognize that the EVER-LIVING saves neither by sword or spears! For the LORD controls the war, and will give you into our hands!"
   
RF SA1 17:48 Goliath slain by David.
Then the Philistine braced himself up, and advanced to challenge David, but David was quick, and ran from the ranks to attack the Philistine.
   
RF SA1 17:49 And thrusting his hand into his bag David took out a stone and slung it, and hit the Philistine on the forehead, and the stone entered his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.
   
RF SA1 17:50 Thus David was victorious over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him! But there was no sword in David's hand,
   
RF SA1 17:51 so David ran and stood by the Philistine, and seized his sword and drew it from its sheath, and killed him, and cut his head off with it. When the Philishtim saw that their hero was dead, they fled.
   
RF SA1 17:52 Saul's Army thus encouraged advance to Battle.
Then the generals of Israel and Judah arose, and cheered, and pursued the Philishtim to the end of the valley, and to the gates of Akron, and the wounded of the Philishtim fell on the road of the double gates, both of Gath and Akron.
   
RF SA1 17:53 Then the Israelites returned from the pursuit after the Philishtim, and plundered their camp.
   
RF SA1 17:54 (David ultimately took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to the House of Peace, and placed his armour in the Hall.)
   
RF SA1 17:55 Saul watching David's challenge of Goliath, asks Abner who he was.
But Saul watching David going to challenge the Philistine, said to Abner, the commander of his army, "Whose son is that lad, Abner?" And Abner answered, "By your soul's life, Leader if I know."
   
RF SA1 17:56 Then the Leader said, "Enquire yourself whose son the youth is?"1
   
RF SA1 17:57 So when David returned from defeating the Philistine, Abner took him before Saul, the head of the Philistine being in his hand,
   
RF SA1 17:58 and Saul asked him, "Whose son are you, my lad?" David replied, "The son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem."
——————
1 Ch. 17, v. 56. It is worthy of notice, that the last words of Saul's command to Abner could be translated, " This-one, he-that-is-to everlasting " (thereby containing an omen). If, therefore, our reading of 2 Chronicles, Ch. 32, v. 32, is right, that Isaiah, the prophet, wrote Samuel and Kings, this is interesting, and quite in the enigmatic style of prediction. —H. B. and F.F.
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