Grace Gems

Material is revised for
contemporary readers

"Truth never changes. Language does. Many treasures remain unread, often because older language puts off modern readers." (John Armstrong)

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John Wycliffe was the first to translate the complete Bible into the English language in the 1380's. Wycliffe wrote, "Christ and His Apostles taught the people in the language best known to them. Therefore, the doctrine should not only be in Latin but in the common tongue. The laity ought to understand the faith and, as the doctrines of our faith are in the Scriptures, believers should have the Scriptures in a language which they fully understand."

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"I may be exposed to the criticism of a few who would blame me for altering an author's work, adding to or diminishing from it; but I find all the shelter that I need from such censure, in the remark of J. A. James, 'The chief value of a book consists in its usefulness.' Bearing this fact in view, I have omitted many expressions, left out whole lines and paragraphs, and in some instances altered words — when satisfied that 'usefulness' required such a course." (J. O. Choules)

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Spurgeon had the Thomas Watson's Body of Divinity "Revised and adapted to modern readers" for use in his pastor's college. George Rogers, principal of college, who carefully superintended the updating, writes: "The style has been modernized, so far as could be done without detracting from its own peculiar characteristics. Long sentences have been divided into two or three, where it could be done without injury to the clearness or force of the signification. Modern words have been substituted for such as had become obsolete; and divisions of subjects more clearly arranged. The whole, in fact, has been rendered more readable, and consequently more attractive and intelligible — which in our estimation far outweighs all the supposed advantages that could arise from perpetuating the crudities and vulgarities, as they now appear to us, of former times. By popularizing ancient works, their readers are multiplied — and their meaning may often be more readily apprehended."

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Editor's note: In keeping with the above sentiments — we have updated, revised, re-written and adapted all materials on GraceGems to modern English. We only publish those sections of books, sermons etc. which we deem to be orthodox and of truly gem quality. We have adopted a 'flowing poetic form' for most of the quotes, as an aid to reflection and comprehension.

For the most part, we do not use the archaic and difficult to understand KJV — but the more contemporary translations of the Bible — such as NASB, ESV, NIV, NKJV, HCSB, etc.

Please note that materials may have a "scanning error." If you find any of these errors, would you please notify the editor so that they can be corrected.


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