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."
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 PSA 78:1||
A Meditation by Asaph.
|RF PSA 78:2|| On Maxims I open My lips,
I utter some thoughts of the past,
|RF PSA 78:3|| Which we formerly heard of and learnt,
And our fathers recorded for us,—
|RF PSA 78:4|| Nor hid from their sons and successors,
Recording the praise of the LORD,
His power and the wonders He did,
|RF PSA 78:5|| When in Jacob He set up the Witness,
And in Israel settled the law,
Which He had commanded our fathers,
To teach to the people, their sons;
|RF PSA 78:6|| So they taught the next generation,
Of the children whom they had begot,
To relate to the sons of themselves,
|RF PSA 78:7|| Who should settle their trust upon GOD,
And not to abandon GOD'S paths,
And thus they have kept His commands.
|RF PSA 78:8|| For they were not, as their fathers were,
A stubborn and mutinous race,
A race that would not fix its heart,
Whose spirit was not true to GOD,—
|RF PSA 78:9|| Like Ephraim's sons, armed and with bows,
Who turned back in the day of the fight,
|RF PSA 78:10|| Nor regarded their bond with their GOD,
And in His laws who would not walk.
|RF PSA 78:11|| And remembered not His mighty acts,
And wonders they had themselves seen
|RF PSA 78:12|| The wonders for their fathers done,
In Mitzer's land,—on Tzoan's plains!
|RF PSA 78:13|| STANZA 2.
How He cleft the Sea,—and passed o'er,—
Yes! the quivering Sea like a plain!
|RF PSA 78:14|| And led them by day with a Cloud,
And at, night by the glittering fire!
|RF PSA 78:15|| He split in the Desert the rocks,
And quenched their thirst with rushing streams
|RF PSA 78:16|| From crags in the cliffs brought out springs,
That as watery rivers flowed on!
|RF PSA 78:17|| But still they continued offence,
To grieve the MOST HIGH in the Waste;
|RF PSA 78:18|| Revolting in heart from their GOD,
By asking a food to their wish.
|RF PSA 78:19|| They sneered at their GOD, and they said—
"Can GOD in the Desert spread feasts?
|RF PSA 78:20|| He struck Rock, and Water sprang out,
And torrents in rivers rushed on;—
But how can He give to us bread?
Or make here for His People a feast?"
|RF PSA 78:21|| STANZA 3.
This the LORD heard, and was wroth,
And kindled in Jacob a fire,
And anger on Israel came.
|RF PSA 78:22|| So they had no faith in their GOD,
Nor placed in His Salvation trust!
|RF PSA 78:23|| So He made black clouds from above,
And Heaven's doors wide open sprung!—
|RF PSA 78:24|| And rained on them Mana for food,
Providing their corn from the skies!
|RF PSA 78:25|| Men ate of the supernal bread,—
For He sent to them victuals enough,
|RF PSA 78:26|| STANZA 4.
He raised the East Winds in the Sky,
With power He drove on the South,
|RF PSA 78:27|| And rained flesh upon them like dust,
And flights of wings like the sea sand,
|RF PSA 78:28|| Which fell in the midst of the Camp,
And were piled all in circles around!
|RF PSA 78:29|| Then they ate, and they gorged to excess,
For what they had wished for had come;
|RF PSA 78:30|| And they did not hold back from their greed.—
But while the food was in their mouths,
|RF PSA 78:31|| GOD'S anger rose against them!
And their mightiest captains He slew,
And crippled in Israel youths.
|RF PSA 78:32|| STANZA 5.
For all this they sinned more!
Believed not in His powers;
|RF PSA 78:33|| So their days failed, exhausted,
And their years in distress.
|RF PSA 78:34|| If He slew; then they sought Him;
Turned at morn to their GOD,
|RF PSA 78:35|| Thought that GOD was their rock,
The HIGH GOD, who redeemed,—
|RF PSA 78:36|| And served with their mouth,—
Lied to Him with their tongues,
|RF PSA 78:37|| While their heart held Him not,
Nor was true to His Bond.
|RF PSA 78:38|| STANZA 6.
Yet He kindly pardoned their sin Destroyed not,—
but oft turned His wrath; Nor roused up all His rage.—
|RF PSA 78:39|| Thought that they were but flesh,—
Breath that went, nor came back!
|RF PSA 78:40|| Thus they vexed in the Desert,—
Grieved Him in the Waste;
|RF PSA 78:41|| Turned from GOD and deserted,
And grieved Israel's HOLY.
|RF PSA 78:42|| They thought not of His hand,
When He freed them from grief;
|RF PSA 78:43|| Or His wonders in Mitzer
And proofs on Tzoan's field!—
|RF PSA 78:44|| STANZA 7.
How He turned all their brooks into blood,
And their streams so that they could not drink.
|RF PSA 78:45|| And sent locusts on them, to devour,
And defiled them by means of the frogs.
|RF PSA 78:46|| And gave up to vermin their produce,
And their gardens to grasshoppers gave,
|RF PSA 78:47|| Their vines He destroyed by the hail,
And their fig-trees, by sharp-cutting frost.
|RF PSA 78:48|| And He shut up their towns by the hail,
And their ware-rooms, by lightning's bright flash,
|RF PSA 78:49|| And sent them His furious wrath,
Indignation, and rage, and distress,
The troops of the agents of woe!
|RF PSA 78:50|| He leveled a path for His wrath,
Nor protected their souls from the death,
But delivered their lives to the plague.
|RF PSA 78:51|| And in Mitzer struck all the first-born,—
The first of their love in Ham's Halls!
|RF PSA 78:52|| But marched out His People like sheep,
And led like a flock in the Waste.
|RF PSA 78:53|| He led them without fear and secure-
Tho' covered their foes with the Sea,—
|RF PSA 78:54|| And brought to the district, He chose,
This Hill His right hand had acquired.
|RF PSA 78:55|| And He drove out the Heathen before,
And allotted their holdings by rule,
And put Israel's Tribes in their homes.
|RF PSA 78:56|| STANZA 8.
Yet they tried, and rebelled from HIGH GOD,
And regarded not what He decreed,
|RF PSA 78:57|| But they tricked and betrayed, like their fathers—
Like a broken bow jumping aside,
|RF PSA 78:58|| And insulted by raising up mounds,
And provoked by the Idols they made.
|RF PSA 78:59|| But GOD heard, and indignant He was,
And at Israel felt great disgust.
|RF PSA 78:60|| And abandoned His dwelling in Shilo;—
The First, where He dwelt among men.
|RF PSA 78:61|| And He gave up to slavery their strong,
And their fair girls, to Tyranny's hand;
|RF PSA 78:62|| And His people resigned to the Sword,
His Inheritance to the Destroyer;
|RF PSA 78:63|| Their Youths were by fire consumed,
And their Maidens not sung to as Brides.
|RF PSA 78:64|| And their Priests were struck down by the sword,
And their Widows forbid to lament!
|RF PSA 78:65|| STANZA 9.
Then the LORD woke, as if from a sleep,
Like a hero refreshed with his wine.
|RF PSA 78:66|| And their tyrants He struck on the back,
And gave them perpetual shame;
|RF PSA 78:67|| But abandoned His dwelling with Joseph,
And chose not the Tribe of Ephraim,
|RF PSA 78:68|| But it was Judah's Tribe He selected,
Zion's Hill as the spot which He loved,
|RF PSA 78:69|| And built there His Great Holy Fane,
As He had built the Earth for all Time!
|RF PSA 78:70|| And He, for His Servant, chose David,
Took him from the care of a flock,
|RF PSA 78:71|| And He afterwards raised and appointed,
To shepherd His people of Jacob,
And Israel, whom He possessed,—
|RF PSA 78:72|| Who pastured them by His right heart,
And led by the skill of His hands.