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The Living Oracles. Alexander Campbell

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The Living Oracles is a translation of the New Testament compiled and edited by the early Restoration Movement leader Alexander Campbell. Published in 1826, it was based on an 1818 combined edition of translations by George Campbell, James MacKnight and Philip Doddridge, and included edits and extensive notes by Campbell.

Campbell was motivated by a belief that changes in the English language and the availability of improved critical editions of the Greek New Testament had made the Authorized King James Version obsolete. In developing the translation, Campbell relied on the critical Greek text published by Johann Jakob Griesbach. One notable feature of the translation is the replacement of traditional ecclesiastical terms such as “church” and “baptise” with alternative translations such as “congregation” and “immerse”.   The Living Oracles has been described as a forerunner of modern language translations in its updating of the traditional King James language and use of the work of textual critics such as Griesbach.

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