Sunday, February 27, 2005I stand by that...
I mentioned a few days ago that the main reason I changed the title of the blog was the King James Version and my support of it. I also mentioned that I wasn't a KJV-only type like Jack Hyles and Peter Ruckman. This post will clarify why I support the KJV, and why I don't think much of other English translations of the Bible.
The KJV is the better English translation because:
-It is the only literal translation based totally on the Majority Texts.
The Majority Texts, or Received Texts, are just that, the largest collection of biblical manuscripts. Most other translations base themselves on the Alexandrian Texts which are few in number, and are filled with deletions, additions and amendments when compared to the Majority Texts, and even, when compared with each other. So why do some regard these Minority Texts favorably? Because they are older. The rationale is this: if it is older, then it is closer to the writing of the original manuscript, therefore, it is most likely more accurate.
I say: nonsense!
The Bible tells us:
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the WORD OF GOD, WHICH LIVETH AND ABIDETH FOR EVER. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the WORD OF THE LORD ENDURETH FOR EVER. And this is the WORD which by the GOSPEL is preached unto you." (1 Peter 1:23-25)
God did NOT preserve His Word by keeping it in one location for hundreds of years while the church carried on with a sub-par Scripture. God preserved His Word by keeping the majority of the copies of the original manuscripts, held by various churches, free from error. And where an error did occur, the comparison between the individual manuscripts which composed the Majority Texts would easily correct the error.
-the KJV is far more translation, and far less interpretation when compared to other translations.
Concepts like "dynamic equivalency" makes me squirm when applied to Bible translation. You see, I believe that the "words" of the Bible are just as important as the concepts/ideas they form. Whenever possible, Greek and Hebrew words in the biblical manuscripts should be translated word for word. When this isn't done, the INTERPRETER (no longer translator) is taking liberty. A clear example of INTERPRETATION versus TRANSLATION:
"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." (Galatians 2:16, KJV translation)
"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified." (Galatians 2:16, NKJV interpretation)
Did you find it? "Faith of Jesus Christ" and "faith in Jesus Christ". The literal translation is "of", not "in". Galatians 2:16 isn't only saying that we are justified by faith IN Christ, but that the faith is OF Christ. Now the NKJV is supposed to use the Majority Texts only, just like the KJV, but you see, the men who "translated" the NKJV slipped in some "interpretation" as well. And to be quite frank my friends, when you look at some of the characters that were involved in putting Bibles like the NKJV, the NIV and the RSV together, I'm not too inclined to take their INTERPRETATIONS of Bible passages too seriously. Which leads me to my next point...
-the translation wasn't based on the "logic" or "system" of man (or modern textual criticism):
The KJV bible translators weren't all Christians, but when considering the method by which they translated, it really didn't matter. Men like Erasmus didn't set up their own set of criteria to judge which parts of Scripture were inspired and which part wasn't. They just went along with the rule of "majority wins" (or preservation wins!).
The modern versions, on the other hand, are usually translated by a group of unbelievers, who place themselves in the position of determining which parts of Scripture is inspired, maybe-inspired, or not inspired. For those of you who use the NIV or RSV (or worst yet, the NRSV), this is where you see italics or parenthesis in some portions of your Bibles, followed by words like: "not found in 'best' manuscripts". This is an attack on the Preservation of Scripture and I want no part of it.
-the slope is SERIOUSLY slippery:
We have evangelical churches today with "The Message" in their pew racks. "The Message", for those of you who are not aware of this version, is one little step higher in credibility than "the Bible: Comic book style"; this "Bible" is a complete interpretation into contemporary English. An extremely poor one at that.
So how did it get into the pews of an evangelical church?
Easy. You see Joe Bob had a son, Billy Bob, who is just starting to read. Joe Bob decides to make life easier on Billy Bob and gets him a New King James version of the Bible for church. Joe Bob figures when Billy Bob gets the hang of reading, he'll switch to the good, dependable King James version.
But, you see, Billy Bob never leaves the NKJV. And when Billy Bob has children of his own, he figures he'll make life easier on his daughter Dixie by getting her an NIV to bring to church. He, like his father Joe Bob, figures that with time, Dixie will come to use her father's version, the NKJV.
But again, you see, Dixie never leaves the NIV. And when Dixie has children of her own, she figures she'll make life easier on her children by getting them "The Message" to bring to church. And before you know it my friends, churches have "The Message" in their church pews. The part that creeps me out: what will come after "The Message"? (Rand shudders here).
-the most godly and faithful men I know use the KJV.
I can hear some of you through cyberspace right now. "Fallacy!" is what you are yelling. Well tough! I have trouble believing that the fact Romanists hate the KJV and the solid Bible fundamentalists love it is all purely coincidental. My parents taught me at a young age that:
"Ce qui se ressemble, s'assemble."
That's French for those who are alike, stick with each other. I have found that statement to be quite factual in my experience. And what I have observed is the more fundamental the Christian, the closer to the KJV he/she usually is.
-if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
I work in the field of science. We use alot of sophisticated, yet temperamental, lab instrumentation, and if there is anything I learned, it's "if it works, don't touch!" The reason? Simple. When you touch, you can brake. So don't bother.
We have a good, faithfully translated English Bible version, the King James version. Why go down the path of splitting the church with NIV-users, RSV-users, NKJV-users...etc...etc? The KJV with it's "Thees" and "Thous" may be a mouth full sometimes, but it is not difficult to get passed the language. I should know, I'm a francophone. French is my first language, English my second. I had never seen old English until I was saved at the age of 12. One year in the church and I had the KJV language down pat.
On this point, let me add this: if they actually translated a Bible that was totally based on the Majority Texts, translated literally, minus the "Thees" and "Thous", I would have no problem switching. That being said, in these dark, wicked times, I just can't see such a faithful work being done.
This post is long enough, and I think there is enough here to get an honest soul thinking. If you want more information on all this, check out this short article on the Baptist Bible Translators website. It isn't a thorough work, but it will give you a bit more than what I posted here.
Now please, I know this is a divisive subject, so before commenting, take time to think. And after pondering on the matter, please be gracious and kind in your comments. Remember the TOU.
Take care, and God bless,
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