Sunday, October 11, 2015
Should we be one Bible version Christians? Part 2
Back when I was working at the Christian bookstore, we had a new line of greeting cards come out. As a promotion, there was a coupon in the flyer to get one card free. The wife of a local pastor (not mine!) came in and spent a long time looking at the cards. Finally, she came up and laid one on the counter with a sigh and said "I was trying to find one that had a Bible verse in it from the King James, but they are all NIV. I guess I'll have to glue a King James Version Bible verse over it." I stared at her in amazement, and wanted to say "You do know you don't have to get the card, don't you?" But I just rang her out and said nothing. The same lady went to another Christian bookstore and bought a bumper sticker to cover up the words "devil" on her church's Dirt Devil Vacuum Cleaner. Odd woman.
I truly have no problem with people preferring the KJV, though I really do think those people are shortchanging themselves for not reading a couple of other translations. And I don't have any problems with the KJV, except the language is outdated. However, the dogmatic ones who act like the Apostle Paul used the KJV and you're a heretic if you don't.......those ones bother me. So here are a few questions I have:
1) If no version since the KJV is good and is considered heretical and bad, then what about the ones BEFORE the KJV? Were they, and are they, bad and heretical?
2) You do realize the same way KJV people act about other versions, is the same way people in that day acted when the KJV came out? Up til then, the Geneva Bible was the Bible of choice.... aren't the odds greater that the Apostle Paul used it instead of the KJV? (slight sarcasm)
3) What is so special about the KJV that makes it better than any version before or since it?
4) If one is to be so dogmatic about it, then shouldn't a KJV only person use the orginal 1611 version..... complete with the Apocrypha? Are they not being heretics by daring to use an updated version of the 1611 version....... while criticizing people who use an updated version of the KJV Bible they carry........ the NKJV...... is not the NKJV to the KJV the same thing the KJV we have now is to the original 1611 KJV?
5) King James was a wicked king. It would be like Obama getting together a group of people to make a new translation today..... and yet the translation he had done is the only perfect one and is THE Word of God....... does that make sense?
I was discussing this with my best friend, and he said most KJV only people will come back with something like "well the church just made him look bad and said stuff about him that wasn't true... he wasn't that bad of a guy". And true story, my friend did come back with that "the Catholic church was against him doing the translation, so they made up stuff about him" (No offense D. if you're reading this!)
I did some research on this king. He doesn't sound like he was a very good person, and many historians believe he had male lovers. The evidence is pretty good to make the case that he did. And this king had the only perfect translation done.......
6) Did it ever occur to KJV only people that there were Bibles before the KJV....... good Bibles? And that people in that time most likely acted the same way about the KJV as they do about more modern translations. There was a day when people who dared to read the KJV were thought heretical..... interesting thought....... And what about the pre-KJV Bibles..... did they suddenly become hertetical with the creation of the KJV?
7) What if you're wrong? Have you actually, with an open mind, considered it, or are you so "By God I am KJV only come hell or high water"?
8) I ran across something interesting while reading up on the KJV: "James gave the translators instructions intended to guarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology and reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and its belief in an ordained clergy So, the translators had some instructions.....did anything get changed or left out to abide by those instructions?
9) Since the translation of the KJV, many more manuscripts have been found. Those who have translated more modern translations have many, many more manuscripts to work from than the ones who translated the KJV.......it would seem that newer translations might be more inerrant and closer to the original manuscripts than the KJV.
9) Even though it is one I don't own... yet...... there are many Biblical scholars who feel the New American Standard Bible (NASB) is closer to the original manuscripts than the KJV is..... what if they are right? What if the Bible KJV only people should be clinging to is the NASB?
10) I do believe there are differences in the KJV and other versions, but none in the main ones that are accepted by most Christians have major doctrine or theological issues, The differences are small. Like replacing charity with love - which is what the Geneva Bible, a predecessor of the KJV has,
11) If one studied with an open mind, could it be possible that the KJV isn't the best version out there?
12) Some of the same Bibles that were consulted in translating the KJV - The Geneva Bible and William Tyndale's version - were also consulted for the other major translations we have today.
I don't know how to say this nicely or politely, but it doesn't make sense to single out one Bible translation as the Holy Grail of Bible translations, and put all others down as bad or heretical. They are all God's Word.... I am not condemning the KJV, or those who prefer it, but common sense would dictate that the thinking isn't intelligent or sane to declare a translation done in 1611 by a wicked king is THE Bible we must all use, and is the perfect Bible.
Are all translations good? No. Some go too far and dumb it down, and there are some that have changed things too much - i.e. the masculine pronouns for God - but there are several great translations out there, and I am glad there are.
I honestly feel using a variety of Bible translations has changed my devotional life. I try to vary what version I am reading from at least every few days, and it is refreshing to read it in different wording.
And my Bible version journey is not over. There is a version I don't have that I am planning on buying at some point.
***A disclaimer: I am not knocking people for preferring the KJV, or for only reading it. However, I am knocking people for blindly claiming it is the version we must use and for insisting it is better than any other.... and also for criticizing people who use other versions.