This page is a special section for those of the Restoration Movement.
I, Raymond Harris, come from a group affiliated with the Restoration Movement. There are many things that I appreciate about my heritage and I have come to appreciate, even when I disagree, the writings (particularly the writings I have stumbled upon) from Barton Stone and Alexander Campbell.
Until just a few of years ago, I was not aware that during the early 1800s, Campbell put together, a then new, English Translation of the NT. I had always assumed the arguments had been presented from the King James Version, later the 1901 American Standard Version and the great schism over the use of New International Version. So imagine my surprise when I learned that Campbell helped put together a, then new, English Translation in the early 1800s. Needless to say, that translation caused quite the stir.
That NT translation has come to be called The Living Oracles, but Campbell gave it the rather lengthy title: The Sacred Writings of the Apostles and Evangelists of Jesus Christ, Commonly Styled the New Testament, found on the Title Page. I personally do not like the other title, I prefer to abbreviate Campbell’s title to “The Sacred Writings”, but I do appreciate the effort that Campbell went through to entitle the document; and I do like his “Commonly Styled” reference to the NT.
I want to emphasize that Campbell, did not translate the Greek. Instead, he relied on the efforts of George Campbell, James Macknight and Philip Doddridge. These men, according to Campbell in the The Sacred Writings First Edition Title Page, were associated with the Church of Scotland. However, Campbell did lend his hand to this NT effort by composing many prefaces, various writings and appendix work contained in the translation. These writings are themselves enlightening information, especially when conjoined to a translation. In many ways, including the editors’ thoughts with the publishing of any translation reveals the translators and editors in ways that their writings independent of Bible publishing do not. Publishing their thoughts with the translated text requires the editor to give their best work and best efforts to encapsulate everything they ever learned.
To provide one of my reflections on the translators, that seemingly insignificant minor detail provided by Campbell, “associated with Church of Scotland” was just one of many things that confronted the narrow view of fellowship and interdenominational association that I had been given. This may seem odd to some, but for many who grew up in the 20th Century church of Christ (where everything was argued, even how to capitalize the name Church of Christ), it can mean everything because of the narrow definition of Christian that was given.
What follows is two links. The first link is to Campbell’s First Edition, the next link is to Campbell’s Fourth Edition. Last I knew, a bound version of the Fourth Edition was available through Gospel Advocate.
The Sacred Writings, First Edition 1826
The Sacred Writings, Fourth Edition 1835
Interpretation and Alexander Campbell
The Living Oracles as offered by Alexander Campbell
Campbell’s Living Oracles and Context
“The Living Oracles” Appendix Contents
“The Living Oracles” Table XII SPURIOUS READINGS
More on “The Living Oracles”
PDF File – selected information from the book entitled “Works of Elder B.W. Stone” containing Stone’s thoughts regarding the following seven sections: Address to the Churches, Of Trinity, Of the Son of God, Operation of the Spirit, Partyism and party names, Schism, and Heresy.