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 EXO 4:1||
Then Moses answered and said; "But they may not trust me, and not listen to my voice; for they may say, 'We have never seen your GOD, the EVER-LIVING!"
|RF EXO 4:2||GOD, however, asked him, What is in your hand?" and he replied, "A stick."|
|RF EXO 4:3||And He then said, "Throw it on the ground!" So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses fled from before it.|
|RF EXO 4:4||But the EVER-LIVING said to Moses "Stretch out your hand and seize it by the tail." So he stretched out his hand and seized it, and it became a stick in his hand."|
|RF EXO 4:5||Be certain they will believe because of that, that the EVER-LIVING GOD of their fathers appeared to you,—the GOD of Abraham, the GOD of Isaac, and the GOD of Jacob."|
|RF EXO 4:6||And continuing the EVER-LIVING said to him; "Put your hand now into your bosom;" so he put his hand into his bosom; and when he drew it out his hand was leperous like snow!"|
|RF EXO 4:7||Then He said, "Replace your hand in your bosom;" so he replaced his hand in his bosom, and took it out again from his bosom, and it returned like his other flesh.|
|RF EXO 4:8||"And it shall be if they will not trust you, and not listen to your voice at the first evidence, yet they will trust to your voice after the second sign.|
|RF EXO 4:9||But if they do not trust you even for this second evidence, and do not listen to your voice, then take some of the water from the river and pour it out on the dry land, and there the water which you have taken from the river shall become blood on the dry ground."|
|RF EXO 4:10||Moses, however, replied to the EVER-LIVING; "But yet, LORD, I am not an eloquent man, I have not been so in the past, nor in this speaking between You and Your servant, for I am slow of mouth and heavy of tongue."|
|RF EXO 4:11||But the EVER-LIVING replied to him, "Who gave a mouth to man? or who makes dumb, or deaf? or blind, or seeing? Is it not I, the LIVING ONE?|
|RF EXO 4:12||So now go, and I will be with your mouth and show you what you shall say."|
|RF EXO 4:13||But he answered; "Indeed, my LORD, send I pray You by some other hand!"|
|RF EXO 4:14||Then the EVER-LIVING was angry with Moses, and He said; "Have you not a brother, Aaron the Levite? I know that he can talk—and he is even now coming to seek you.|
|RF EXO 4:15||See that you can go cheerfully with him, and speak to him, and put words into his mouth, for I will be with your mouth, and in his mouth, and will show you what you are to do,|
|RF EXO 4:16||and he shall speak for you to the people. He shall be like a mouth for you, and you shall be to him in place of GOD.|
|RF EXO 4:17||And that staff; —take it in your hand, for you shall perform wonders with it."|
|RF EXO 4:18||Moses therefore went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him; "I wish to go now and rejoin my relatives who are in Mitzeraim and see if they are alive." When Jethro replied to Moses, "Go in peace."|
|RF EXO 4:19||The EVER-LIVING afterwards said to Moses, in Midian; "Go! Return to the Mitzeraim, for all the men are dead who sought your life."|
|RF EXO 4:20||Then Moses took his wife, and his sons, and mounted them upon asses and turned towards the land of the Mitzeraim. Moses also took the Rod of GOD in his hand.|
|RF EXO 4:21||The LIVING ONE also said further to Moses; "During your journey to the Mitzeraim, regard all the signs which I put unto your hand, and do them before Pharaoh. But I shall harden his heart, and he will not let the People go.|
|RF EXO 4:22||Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus said the EVER-LIVING,—Israel is My eldest son,|
|RF EXO 4:23||and I say to you, Allow My son to go to serve Him; and if you will not allow him, then I will slay your eldest son."|
|RF EXO 4:24||But while he was upon the road at a resting place, a Chieftain 1 met him and attempted to kill him;|
|RF EXO 4:25||but Ziforah took a razor and cut off the foreskin of her son and threw it at his feet, and said, "You make a blood-marriage for me."|
|RF EXO 4:26||So he retired from them, when she said, "It is a marriage circumcision."|
|RF EXO 4:27||Now the EVER-LIVING had said to Aaron, "Go and seek Moses in the desert," so he went and met him at the Mount of GOD, and kissed him.|
|RF EXO 4:28||Then Moses related to Aaron all the instructions of the EVER-LIVING which He had sent to him, and the whole of the miracles which He had commanded.|
|RF EXO 4:29||Then Moses and Aaron proceeded and collected all the Magistracy of the children of Israel.|
|RF EXO 4:30||And Aaron repeated all the matters which the EVER-LIVING had addressed to Moses, and produced evidences before the eyes of the People;|
|RF EXO 4:31|| and the people were convinced, and acknowledged that the EVER-LIVING had visited Israel, and that He had looked upon their sufferings;—so they honored and worshipped Him.
1. The Hebrew word used is Jehovah, and is translated "The LORD" in former versions. I, however, use Chieftain, as the word was a title of honour, as much as our vocable of "Lord" for a Parliamentary Peer, and was used in the sense of Chief, as in Genesis 18.13, by the Divine Messengers sent to Sodom, when they conversed with Abraham. After the Giving of the Law it seems to have been almost entirely reserved as a title or synonym for the Supreme Being, GOD. It means "The EVER-LIVING" by its innate sense, therefore GOD commanded (ch. 3 v14) that from that time His Name should be "The EVER-LIVING GOD," to distinguish Him from heathen imaginary deities whom their deluded votaries believed could die, be murdered, or dethroned, and hence they were no basis for eternal Law or moral life. The reader thus can see the object of the name was to show the unchanging nature of the Laws of Morality as they originate from a Being of Eternal life.—F.F.