The Second Cambridge Company

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The Second Cambridge Company’s assignment was the Apocrypha—which means that all of the company’s work is omitted from many nineteenth- and twentieth-century editions of the King James Bible.

The books of the Apocrypha are part of the Old Testament in the Catholic Bible. Early English Protestant Bibles, including the King James Bible, generally included them as a separate, non-canonical section, a sort of companion or supplement. Over time, this arrangement was increasingly rejected. In 1826, the British and Foreign Bible Society decided not to fund Bibles that included the Apocrypha, a ban that was not lifted by American and British Bible societies until the 1960s.

Although the books of the Apocrypha were, for the most part, written in Hebrew or Aramaic, they are known primarily from Greek and some Latin translations. The translators who worked on the Apocrypha included the regius professor of Greek at Cambridge, Andrew Downes, and the masters of several Cambridge colleges: John Duport of Jesus College, William Branthwaite, who became master of Gonville and Caius College in 1607, and Samuel Ward, named the master of Sidney Sussex College in 1610.

Another company member, John Bois, is best known as a notetaker for the Bible’s final revising committee. His notes are crucial clues to how the editing occurred.

Meet a translators from the Second Cambridge Company.

Samuel Ward.

Samuel Ward. Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University.

Jesus College Chapel. Reproduced by permission of the Master and Fellows of Jesus College, Cambridge.

Jesus College Chapel. Reproduced by permission of the Master and Fellows of Jesus College, Cambridge.

Select a link below to learn more.

This company translated:
1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, The Rest of Esther, The Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, with the Epistle of Jeremiah, The Song of the Three Holy Children, The History of Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, The Prayer of Manasses, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees

Video-select here to watchWatch Reconstructing the Process to learn more about Bois’s notes and other crucial documents.

Go to: The First Cambridge Company