When you report on the KJV, get it right

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As I was politely reading the newspaper this morning, politely, I ran across a ‘story’ by Ron Grossman of the Chicago Tribune about the King James Version of the Bible. It is littered with bad facts, to be honest. First, King James Only is not a denomination, as Ron grossly misstates,

The suburban Chicago church belongs to a loosely defined denomination known as the “King James Only” movement. Members believe that the King James version is not just another translation, but the indispensable underpinning of a Christian’s faith.

No such thing as a loosely defined denomination. I mean, you have oneness, trinitarians, baptists, and pentecostals who subscribe to it. It is a corrupt doctrine, based only in misinformation. It is not something to be lauded, but something to be corrected. The reporter then gets the history of it wrong,

From the perspective of the throne, a Bible was needed that would command respect — an English version that, as the translators wrote in their preface, “containeth the word of God, nay is the word of God; as the King’s speech which he uttered in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian and Latin, is still the King’s speech.”

Th Geneva Bible anyone? James wanted a bible which was more in line with his politics, such as the divine rights of kings, and that entire two men in a bed thing.

Pastors of “King James Only” congregations feel much the same way. Some believe the King James version to be every bit as divinely inspired as earlier Hebrew and Greek texts.

Well, some may, but many KJVO’ers feel that the KJV is more inspired than the original texts and will go so far as to say that the KJV corrects the original texts.

In another article, a pastor gets it really, really bad when he says,

Randy Brock, senior adult pastor for Lakeland’s Victory Church, said while the King James Version certainly provided groundbreaking insight for churches, it is just one of many valuable versions available.

Brock said that his personal insight as a pastor — not particularly that of his church — is that the release of the King James Version had great impact. “It was the first version in modern day English for the times, and that was huge,” he said. “But it is a translation. They call it the ‘authorized version,’ but it is not the only version — King James authorized it.

No, good pastor, it was not. It was not even a real translation, but more of a revision. It revised other English bible, notably from William Tyndale’s version, some 80 years before. Plus, by time the KJV came out, it was outdated with the thees and thous.

KJV-Onlyism is an outdated and disastrous doctrine. It flies in the face of Scripture and Church Tradition and is completely unfounded. I wish that people wouldn’t try to tie this horrible doctrine to the love and respect for the beauty of the KJV which we should all share.

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If the King James was good enough for Jesus, burn the rest

I find this move by this ‘pastor’ as disgusting as you can get.

Continue reading “If the King James was good enough for Jesus, burn the rest”

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The Things I Missed as King James Version Onlyist: God's Sovereignty

For years, while I attended KJVO congregations, I heard ‘God will work, but who will let Him?’ Obviously, they paraphrased it from,

Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it? (Isa 43:13 KJV)

Indeed, preach that God needs us to participate in His work, and that He cannot do it unless we choose to let Him!

But…is that really what it says?

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Reprobation in the New Living Translation

We will be discussing several passages today, to see if the NLT measures up in understanding (mine or Paul’s?) reprobation – in which someone is cast away from God. The word itself, absent doctrine and dogma, is an important word, and carries with it a deep meaning, often lost through lost in translation.

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Vetting the New Living Translation (NLT)

As many of my readers know, I come from a King James Only background (KJVO). It took me several years to build up the courage to actually read another version, much less actually buy one. Now, I have many different translations – print and electronic – and enjoy nearly everyone of them and from time to time will read one just to read it.

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What Warps Us?

Growing up is hard to do. We have interaction with everyone else before we can become aware of ourself.  We get doused with culture, religion, politics, and a whole host of life changing influences. Do those things mold us or warp us? (Difference?)

A friend of this blog has written a book review on Atheist Universe. (Warning, some profanity). The author of the book, besides being wrong on just about every issue, seems to have a certain affinity for the KJV. As a matter of fact, he takes up the KJVO mantra, and uses it to disprove Christianity, or attempts to at least.

pg. 149/150 – Here’s where he sticks to the KJV as his “proof” that the Bible claims the existence of unicorns, dragons, and witches. For someone who is so much better educated than us dumb believers, you’d think that he’d know that at the time of the KJV, the understanding of the Hebrew language was, well, crap, and that those who wrote the KJV just guessed at what those words meant?

pg. 150-151

“The Great Pretenders (non KJV literalists) simply dismiss all Bible absurdities as metaphors and pretend that nothing in scripture really conflicts with science.”

“In newer, modern language translations, these ridiculous passages of Scripture have been dishonestly excised, rewritten or edited beyond recognition from their original translation in the King James.“

“…the Bible, under their (the Great Pretenders) supervision appears to be experiencing a quiet, behind the scenes, Hollywood makeover.”

“The purpose of this pompous intellectual charade is to allow the Great Pretenders to ‘have it both ways’ – imagining themselves to be both religious and scientific at the same time.”

“Perhaps it is time for citizens of the scientific age to grow up, to swallow hard, and to forgo the religious superstitions of their childhood.”

I think these passages speak for themselves. If you’re not a literalist, you’re not a real Christian. If you’re a person of faith, you can’t be a scientist. KJVO is the way to go, all other translations are crap. Everything we needed to know about Hebrew and Greek, we knew in the 17th Century.

Christian further, in the comment section, says that the author essentially believes that either you are a fundamentalist, or a fraud.

The author is clearly a former KJVO fundamentalist. One of the problems with fundamentalism is that it lacks the ability to give answers to tough questions. Indeed, it discourages giving answers because the mentality is always, ‘God said it.’ The problem with that is that it removes the need for Scriptures, for ministers, for rightly dividing the word, for studying – all biblical precepts. The idea of absolute biblical literalacy, which is what this author (seemingly) considers the only right way for believers, is generally not found in Church History.

While this debate of context, literalacy, and meaning takes place, people are often shoved to the side if they question given interpretation. Those people develop a hatred of religion, often times – not all times, because when they inquire, they find themselves marginalized. Inquisitiveness is almost a sin for more than a few fundamentalists.

I guess the question is, ‘Do you think that people can receive a warped view of religion from their background?’ If so, what do you think can be done to change that? Do you think that religious errors in the early life of people contribute to the developement of either hatred of religion or love of it?

I guess another question – ‘If the author was raised a KJVO fundamentalist, do you think that it contributed to his now atheism?’

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The KJVO Belief that God is an English only speaker

While reading this post, a commentator post a link to what we will examine below. One of the issues with KJV-Onlyism is that it is Anglo-centric, meaning that many of those who promote it would declare England/American as the lost tribe(s) of Israel. I want to just answer a few things from Sam Gipp’s take on why there is not perfect bible in any other language.

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Review – James White and the KJVO Controversy (3)

I am reviewing the newest edition of James White’s book for Bethany House. (Part 1, here – Part 2, here.) I am deliberately taking my time and spacing it out for several reasons –

  • I come from the KJVO background, and James White was our archnemesis
  • I have many from the KJVO group on various social networking sites that see the links, and the more that they see, the more likely they are to read at least one
  • It is a great resource in dealing with KJVO’ers

With that said, let’s continue with chapters 4, 5 and 6. I will not rehash every argument that he has – that is not my place as a reviewer. Let me go ahead and thank Bethany House for the courtesy copy of The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust Modern Translations? (2nd ed.) by James R. White. This is an excellent resource for anyone – especially those still in the myth of the KJVO. It is challenging to say the least to read White and not be offended at his position, if one is a KJVO, but he raises the exact points which helped to open my own eyes to that position.

In Chapter 4 (Putting it Together) the author begins to discuss the ‘specifics’ of the KJVO argument, and does so quite well. He takes us through there early attacks on Erasmus, who first assembled the Greek Text which underlies (for the most part) the King James Version. He focus on the most famous of all verses, 1st John 5.7. In modern versions it is not found – nor is it found among the debates of the Church Fathers regarding the Godhead. While I use to dismiss this argument out of hand – no good Catholics that the Church Fathers were and all – the point is well made while I explored the 4th Century Controversy.

From there, he takes us through the history of the Textus Recptus, including the revisions made to it over the years. He aligns the textual criticism of the Textual Fathers with the Textual Critics of today. Remarkably, the goal and intent, and methods are nearly the same.

His next stop are the words of the translators themselves – in which they acknowledge their own humanity, and encourage the use of many translations. He counters several of the myths that surround the translations, calling to mind the use of the same traditions applied to the translators of the KJV.

He then moves the KJV-1611 itself, and highlights the changes in style, form, and grammer. Further, he points out the direct revisions to the text itself. (Again, if you want to know the finer points, buy the book.) It is worthy pointing out, however, that no one used the KJV-1611 anymore. The majority of KJV users use the Oxford 1769. More of that, in the book.

In Chapter 4 (The KJVO Camp) the author examines the arguments of three people

  • Dr. Edward F. hills, who White remarks that he is the least offensive KJVO’er.
  • Gail Riplinger, who White seems to devote a large amount of time debating
  • Dr. Peter Ruckman, who is one of the worse ‘misinformationists’ today.

Both Riplinger and Ruckman fill a large number of footnotes, and indeed the main text, which is perhaps one of the few down sides to White’s work. To me, he spends too much time giving them the floor – and although he answers them, it makes it seem more like a personal conflict between White and Riplinger/Ruckman than an informative book.

There is no doubt that these two people have personally attacked White (and indeed they have). Their positions are filled with purposed misinformation, geared to those who read only their writings, as if they write with an inspired pen as well. While everything that White answers them with is dead on, it would have been better to answer them without either mentioning them directly or perhaps detailing their arguments.

In Chapter 6 (Translational Differences) White deals with the conspiracy theories which spew from the camp of the KJVO, that the modern versions defile, change, pervert, and murder the word of God. Of course, for them, the Word of God is still the KJV. They hold this as a standard – never really thinking why this alone is the standard.

Be briefly discusses several passages used by the KJVO camp in showing that the modern versions dilute the word of God – including the use of the word ‘peculiar’ which White points out is believed by the KJVO camp to mean ‘odd’ because that’s how Peter and Paul meant it, and ‘and Moses 4,000 years earlier.’

I want to stress that those in the KJV movement take the time to read this book. It helps to highlight many inconsistencies in the KJVO crown, and will help you to come to a better appreciation, I believe, of the bible.

For another review, go here.

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