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 LUK 1:1||
The Dedication to Theophilus.
|RF LUK 1:2||exactly as those who were eye-witnesses and assistants of the Message from the first have delivered them to us;|
|RF LUK 1:3||I myself also decided, having critically examined all the above, to write it in regular order for you, most noble Theophilus,|
|RF LUK 1:4||so that you might ascertain the certainty contained in the doctrines about which you have been instructed.1|
|RF LUK 1:5||The Forerunner Announced. During the days of Herod, the king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias of the course of Abijah, who was married to Elizabeth, a descendant of Aaron.|
|RF LUK 1:6||And they were both just before God; walking blamelessly in all the commands and observances of the Lord.|
|RF LUK 1:7|| They had no family, however; because Elizabeth was childless, and both of them were advanced in years.
1 See "What Think Ye of The Gospels", by the Rev. I. J. Halcombe (T. & T. Clark, Linburgh), upon this preface.
|RF LUK 1:8||And it so happened, that while he was serving in the ranks of his order before God,|
|RF LUK 1:9||he was, in accordance with the custom of the priesthood, elected to the duty of entering the sanctuary of the Lord and offering incense;|
|RF LUK 1:10||while all the crowd of people outside were praying at the hour of incense.|
|RF LUK 1:11||Then a messenger of the Lord appeared, standing at the right of the altar of incense.|
|RF LUK 1:12||And on seeing him, Zacharias was struck with awe, and gave way to fear.|
|RF LUK 1:13||"Fear not, Zacharias! " said the messenger, addressing him; "because your supplication has been heard; and your wife Elizabeth will give birth to a son for you, and you shall give him the name of John.|
|RF LUK 1:14||And he will be a joy and delight to you, and many will exult at his birth;|
|RF LUK 1:15|| for he shall be distinguished in the presence of the Lord, and SHALL DRINK NO WINE. NOR STRONG DRINK.1 And he shall be full of a spirit of holiness, even from his birth;
1. Num 6:2-4
|RF LUK 1:16||and he shall turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God.|
|RF LUK 1:17||And he will advance in His presence in spirit and power like Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers toward children, and the apathetic toward a thought of righteousness; to prepare a people in readiness for the Lord."|
|RF LUK 1:18||Zacharias then asked the messenger, "By what means can I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years."|
|RF LUK 1:19||"l am Gabriel," said the messenger in reply to Him, "the attendant in the presence of God; and He has sent me to talk with you, and to tell you this good news.|
|RF LUK 1:20||You shall be silent, however, and unable to speak, until the time when these events take place; because you have disbelieved my message, which will be accomplished in due time."|
|RF LUK 1:21||The people, however, were expecting Zacharias, and wondered at his delaying in the sanctuary.|
|RF LUK 1:22||But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them; and they recognized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary; and he was himself making signs to them, but he remained dumb.|
|RF LUK 1:23||Accordingly, when the term of his course in residence was completed, he returned to his own house.|
|RF LUK 1:24||And after that time, Elizabeth, his wife, conceived; and she kept herself for five months in retirement, remarking,|
|RF LUK 1:25||"The Lord has done this to me at the time He looked upon me, to take away my reproach among mankind."|
|RF LUK 1:26|| The Messiah Announced.
Now, six months later, the messenger Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee, named Nazareth,
|RF LUK 1:27||to a maiden, betrothed to a husband named Joseph, a descendant of David; and Mary was the name of the maiden.|
|RF LUK 1:28||And the messenger, on entering, saluted her with," Good health to you! much honour attends you; the Lord is with you!"|
|RF LUK 1:29||But she was thrown into confusion about his message, and reflected what that address might mean.|
|RF LUK 1:30||The messenger, however, said to her, "Fear not, Mary! for you have received a gift from God.|
|RF LUK 1:31||And listen: you shall conceive, and give birth to a Son; and you shall give Him the name of JESUS.|
|RF LUK 1:32||He shall Himself be greatly distinguished, and shall be called 'Son of the Highest.' And the Lord God shall give to Him the throne of His father David;|
|RF LUK 1:33||and He shall reign over the house of Jacob throughout the ages: and His reign shall never end."|
|RF LUK 1:34||"How can this be?" Mary asked the messenger; " seeing that I know not a husband."|
|RF LUK 1:35||In reply to her, the angel said, "Holy Spirit shall shine upon you, and power from above shall overshadow you; and therefore the holy result shall be called 'Son of God.'|
|RF LUK 1:36||Your kinswoman Elizabeth has herself also conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her, who was considered childless:|
|RF LUK 1:37||"because no event is impossible with God.|
|RF LUK 1:38||"I am the servant of the Lord!" exclaimed Mary: "according to your statement, so let it be with me." And the angel left her.|
|RF LUK 1:39|| The Song of Elizabeth.
Then Mary, about that time, arose, and hastened into the highlands, to a town of Judea;
|RF LUK 1:40||and entering the house of Zacharias, she congratulated Elizabeth.|
|RF LUK 1:41||And it happened that when Elizabeth heard the address of Mary, the child felt alive within her; and Elizabeth was filled with Holy Spirit,|
|RF LUK 1:42||and she chanted with a loud voice, saying: "You are the happiest among women, And happy is that which you nourish within you!|
|RF LUK 1:43||And why is this honour to me, That the mother of my Lord should visit me?|
|RF LUK 1:44||For as the sound of your salutation reached my ears, The child, in exultation, leapt within me.|
|RF LUK 1:45||And happy is she in her trustfulness; Because the declarations of the Lord to her shall be accomplished!"|
|RF LUK 1:46|| The Magnificat.
And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord,
|RF LUK 1:47||And my spirit exults in God my Saviour.|
|RF LUK 1:48||For He has looked upon the humility of His servant; And from now all nations shall bless me.|
|RF LUK 1:49||For to me the Almighty has done wonders; And His name is holy.|
|RF LUK 1:50||And His mercies cover generations of generations.|
|RF LUK 1:51||Of those who reverence Him. He has shown strength in His arm; He has scattered the haughty by their own designs;|
|RF LUK 1:52||He has thrown down potentates from thrones, While exalting the lowly.|
|RF LUK 1:53||He has loaded the starving with benefits; And has dismissed the wealthy with nothing;|
|RF LUK 1:54||He has grasped Israel, His son, by the hand; To call His mercy to remembrance,|
|RF LUK 1:55||Which He promised to our fore-fathers—To Abraham, and his heir forever."|
|RF LUK 1:56||Mary now remained with her for about three months, and then returned to her own home.|
|RF LUK 1:57|| The Birth of John.
When Elizabeth's full time had expired, she gave birth to a son.
|RF LUK 1:58||And her neighbour's and relatives, learning that the Lord had increased His mercy towards her, congratulated her.|
|RF LUK 1:59||Now, as customary, on the eighth day, when they came to circumcise the child, they desired to name him Zacharias, after his father;|
|RF LUK 1:60||but his mother refused, saying, "It shall not be so; his name shall be John!"|
|RF LUK 1:61||"Why," said they, "not one of your relatives is known by that name!"|
|RF LUK 1:62||They accordingly made signs to his father what he desired the name to be.|
|RF LUK 1:63||And having asked for a writing-tablet, he wrote upon it the reply, "His name is John." And they were all surprised.|
|RF LUK 1:64||His mouth was then immediately opened; and regaining the use of his tongue, he began to speak, thanking God.|
|RF LUK 1:65||And fear came over all their neighbour's; and these events were discussed in all the highlands of Judea.|
|RF LUK 1:66||And all the hearers treasured them in their heart, pondering, "Whatever can this boy be?" for indeed the hand of the Lord was with him.|
|RF LUK 1:67|| Zacharias' Hymn of Praise.
Zacharias his father was then filled with the Holy Spirit, and spoke, saying:
|RF LUK 1:68||"Let the Lord, the God of Israel, be blest! Because He has regarded and freed His people;|
|RF LUK 1:69||And has raised up for us the horn Of deliverance In the house of David His son—|
|RF LUK 1:70||As He declared through the mouth of His holy prophets for ages,|
|RF LUK 1:71||Deliverance from our foes, and from the hand of all who hate us;|
|RF LUK 1:72||To show mercy, as toward our forefathers; And to remember His holy covenant,|
|RF LUK 1:73||Which He sealed by oath to our forefather, Abraham:|
|RF LUK 1:74||To grant us, fearless, freed from our enemies hand,|
|RF LUK 1:75||To serve Him in beneficence and goodness, Before His presence all our days.|
|RF LUK 1:76||Yes, you, child, shall be chosen a prophet of the Highest: You shall go before the presence of the Lord, To make His pathway ready;|
|RF LUK 1:77||By instructing His people in the way of salvation, With the pardon of their sins,|
|RF LUK 1:78||Through the tender mercies of our God; In which He will show us a daybreak from heaven,|
|RF LUK 1:79||To light those crouching in darkness and the shadow of death, To direct our feet in the path of peace!"|
|RF LUK 1:80||The boy then grew, and was strengthened in spirit; and he remained in the deserts until the day of his appointment before Israel.|