QUESTION: The Textus Receptus didn't appear until
1633 so how can the King James Bible, which was translated in 1611, be
translated from it?
EXPLANATION: The Greek text which was used for the
translation of the King James Bible extends back through history to the
pens of Moses, David, Paul, John and the other inspired writers.
Throughout history it has been known by a variety of names. Over the years
the Greek text of the New Testament was collated by a number of different
editors. The most famous of these being Desiderius Erasmus, Theodore Beza,
Robert Stephanus and the Elzevir brothers, Abraham and Bonaventure.
Erasmus published five editions of the New Testament. The first in
1516 was followed by another in 1519 which was used by Martin Luther for
his historic and earth shaking German translation. His third, fourth, and
fifth followed in 1522, 1527 and 1535. Erasmus' work was magnificent and
set the standard for centuries (sic) to come.
Robert Stephanus published four editions, dating from 1546 through
1549, 1550 and lastly 1551.
Theodore Beza published several editions of the Greek New Testament.
Four were published in 1565, 1582, 1588 and 1598. These were printed in
folio, meaning a sheet of paper was folded over once, thus producing four
separate pages of the book. He also published five octavo editions, these
dates being; 1565, 1567, 1580, 1590 and 1604. "Octavo" means that one
printed sheet folded in such a way as to produce eight separate pages of
the text. Books printed in this manner tended to have a smaller page size
than folio works, but sometimes led to the need of a work being printed in
two or more volumes. It is Beza's edition of 1598 and Stephanus edition of
1550 and 1551 which were used as the primary sources by the King James
Some years later, the Elzevir brothers published three editions of the
Greek New Testament. The dates being; 1624, 1633 and 1641. They followed
closely the work of Beza, who in turn had followed the standard set by
Erasmus. In the preface to their edition of 1633 they coined a phrase
which was to become so popular as to be retrofitted to texts which
preceded it by many years. They stated in Latin "textum ergo babes, nunc
ab omnibus receptum..." ei "According to the text now held from the volume
received..." Thus the title "Textus Receptus" or
"Received Text" was born.
So we see that, even though the name "Textus Receptus" was coined
twenty-two years after the Authorized Version was translated, it has
become synonymous with the true Greek Text originating in Antioch.
(For your convenience, Appendix #2 in the back of this book lists the
many names used to describe both the Antiochian and Alexandrian texts.)