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 ISA 29:1||
Woe to Jerusalem!
|RF ISA 29:2|| But to Ariel, I will cause grief, and bring sorrow,—
For on Ariel sorrow shall come.
|RF ISA 29:3|| I will assail you like David,
Be cruel against you,—
And pile up a mound to invade.
|RF ISA 29:4|| From the earth you shall speak,
From the dust whisper words,
Like an Earth-ghost your voice,
From the dust mutter speeches,
But a distant weak hum,—
|RF ISA 29:5|| As flit Terrors by moaning,
Or suddenly come!
|RF ISA 29:6|| But the LORD of Might comes with a roar and a crash,
And the sound of a great rushing whirlwind and storm,
And a flame of devouring fire.
|RF ISA 29:7|| And like a night dream, be the hum of the heathen,
Who war upon Ariel, her soldiers and towers,
And cause her distress
|RF ISA 29:8|| As when one dreams of hunger, and seems to have eaten,
But on waking his mind finds it vain;—
Or when dreaming of thirst, he appears to have drunk,
But on waking is faint, and his mind has desire,—
So shall it be to the crowd of all nations
Who war on Mount Zion.
|RF ISA 29:9|| They shall wait, and be puzzled, and baffled and blinded;
Not with wine, shall be drunk, and shall reel without liquor;
|RF ISA 29:10|| For the LORD will pour on them a Spirit of stupor,
Close their Prophets' eyes, and will blindfold their Gazers.1
|RF ISA 29:11|| Their visions shall be like words sealed in a book,
Passed to one who reads not, asking, "Read this book, pray,'
And he answers, "I cannot, because it is closed."
|RF ISA 29:12|| Or gives to another who knows not a letter, And says, "Read this, I pray,"—
But he also answers, "I know not a letter!"
|RF ISA 29:13|| Ode 44.
Denunciation of Hypocrisy.
Now the Almighty demands,
Why do this people approach
With their mouth and their lips,
To pay honour to Me,
While their heart is far off?
Their reverence is worthless to Me;—
It teaches the doctrines of men!"
|RF ISA 29:14|| So on this Race I lay wonders,
Add wonders to wonders,
Destroying its scientists' science,
And baffling its scholars' researches."
1. I translate Isa 29.10-11 in the third person plural, not in the second, as the sense clearly demands, I think.
|RF ISA 29:15|| Are they more skilled than the LORD to hide object,
And act when unseen?
When they say " Who can see us? and whoever can know it?"
|RF ISA 29:16|| Fools! Is the Formed thought its Framer?
Can the Work tell the Workman, "You never made me?
"Or the Made tell its Maker, "You do not know how?"
|RF ISA 29:17|| How long before Lebanon's wasted like Carmel?
And Carmel become like a City besieged?
|RF ISA 29:18|| Then the deaf in that day shall hear words that are read,
And the lost and blind eyes shall awake to their sight,
|RF ISA 29:19|| And the wretched again in the LORD shall delight;
And in Israel's HOLY the poor will be glad;
|RF ISA 29:20||For fear ends,—insult fails,—and all rascals are broken,|
|RF ISA 29:21|| That deceive men by words and by tricks in the Courts,
And that plot and conspire to pervert from the right.
|RF ISA 29:22|| Therefore thus says the LIVING, the HOUSE-GOD of Jacob,
Who was Abraham's Redeemer,
"You shall not fail, Jacob,
They shall not o'erwhelm you.
|RF ISA 29:23|| When his sons see My hand work for him,
They will honour MY NAME,
And worship the HOLY of Jacob,
And fear Israel's GOD;
|RF ISA 29:24|| Then the mad will learn reason,—
The insane will have sense."