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 ECC 2:1||
Lecture 2: On the Pursuit of Happiness
|RF ECC 2:2||I said of laughter, it is mad;—and of mirth,—what does it accomplish?|
|RF ECC 2:3||I intentionally tried to embolden my body by wine,—with my intellect scientifically guiding me,—and to seize upon folly until I could discover what was best for the children of Adam to do under the sun, for the number of the days they lived?|
|RF ECC 2:4||I extended my operations,—I built myself houses; I planted myself vineyards;|
|RF ECC 2:5||I made gardens and parks; and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees.|
|RF ECC 2:6||I made myself pools and brooks, to water from them a forest of shadowy trees.|
|RF ECC 2:7||I purchased men and women servants, and they had children in my house. I also had herds of cattle and great flocks,—more than all who were before me in Jerusalem,—|
|RF ECC 2:8||I accumulated for myself silver and gold, and royal treasures from my provinces. I had men and women singers trained for myself, with men and women waiters,—the luxuries of the sons of Adam.|
|RF ECC 2:9||Thus I enlarged and increased myself more than all that were before me in Jerusalem.—My scientific idea, however, remained with me.—|
|RF ECC 2:10||But anything that my eyes demanded I withheld not from them; nor did I restrain my heart from any pleasure; for my heart rejoiced in all my endeavors;—and that was my reward for all my efforts.|
|RF ECC 2:11||But when I reflected on all the work that my hands had done, and all the things I had striven to accomplish,—then I saw they were vanity of vanity, and vexation of spirit! and they had no result under the sun!|
|RF ECC 2:12||Then I reflected, and examined my Science, and Madness, and Folly! —And what kind of man would succeed the King? With what he might be able to do?—|
|RF ECC 2:13||Then I saw that there is a result to Science, more than to Ignorance, as there is a result to Light, more than to Darkness,—|
|RF ECC 2:14||For the eyes of the Instructed are in his head;—the Ignorant goes in Darkness;—but yet I perceived myself also, that one event happens to all of them.|
|RF ECC 2:15||So I said to my heart, "As it happens to the Ignorant, so it will also happen to me!—Then why am I more instructed than the rest?—So I said in my mind that also is useless!|
|RF ECC 2:16||for there is no more remembrance of the Instructed than of the Ignorant in the grave for ever! In the times to come, all will be forgotten! For does not the Instructed die like the Ignorant?"|
|RF ECC 2:17||Therefore I hated life! since all the work I had done under the sun was a grief to me! For it was utterly useless, and a vexation of spirit.|
|RF ECC 2:18||I also hated all my works,—that I had striven for under the sun, for I must leave them to the man after me;|
|RF ECC 2:19||and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all the things for which I have laboured, and the result of my science under the sun!—That also is vanity!|
|RF ECC 2:20||So I abandoned my mind to despair over all the objects I had attempted under the sun.|
|RF ECC 2:21||For a man may work with science, and knowledge, and skill,—but must leave the result to a man who has not earned it! That, also, is vanity, and a great grief!—|
|RF ECC 2:22||For what continues to a man from all his endeavors, and from all the efforts of his mind, that he has striven for, under the sun?—|
|RF ECC 2:23||Where all his days are griefs, and his efforts sorrows, and his mind does not rest at night!—This also is vanity!|
|RF ECC 2:24||There is no benefit to a man to eat and drink and let his mind expect pleasure from his labour.—Yet I myself saw that this comes from the hand of God Himself.—|
|RF ECC 2:25||For who could eat, and who excite himself more than I?—|
|RF ECC 2:26||For to the man who pleases Him, He gives science, and knowledge and pleasure; but to the offender He gives the trouble to gather and accumulate, to give the product to the pleasing before God.—This, however, is vanity, and vexation of spirit!|