Translation, Public Reading, and the Westminster Assembly

“Translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light; that breaketh the shell, that we may eat the kernel; that putteth aside the curtain, that we may look into the most holy place; that removeth the cover of the well, that we may come by the water, even as Jacob rolled away the stone from the mouth of the well, by which means the flocks of Laban were watered. Indeed without translation into the vulgar tongue [language of the common people], the unlearned are but like children at Jacob’s well (which was deep) without a bucket or something to draw with….” The Translators To The Reader (KJV).

Note: The King James Translators believed that the written word should be available for the common people, the Westminster Assembly also took this position, “Beside publick reading of the holy scriptures, every person that can read, is to be exhorted to read the scriptures privately, (and all others that cannot read, if not disabled by age, or otherwise, are likewise to be exhorted to learn to read,) and to have a Bible.”

Westminster Confession of Faith (Invernes: Free Presbyterian Publications, [1638] 1983), p. 376. [The Directory For The Publick Worship of God, Of Publick Reading of the Holy Scriptures]. 

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