Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"King James Only" craziness

If you want to be entertained, listen to the most recent series of podcasts from the John Ankerberg Show. I subscribe to these podcasts through iTunes. Ankerberg's shows are really interesting, and he is usually right on target (except when it comes to Bible prophecy, but that's OK).

Anyway, the most recent series is called "Which English Translation of the Bible Is Best for Christians To Use Today?" Ankerberg moderates a debate between the general editors of several modern translations of the Bible (NIV, NASB, and NKJV) and a couple of "King James Only" advocates. The "KJV-Only" guys make the most outrageous statements! I can't believe anyone really thinks that the 1611 Kings James Bible is the one and ONLY translation that God has preserved for the church today...but that's what these fellows claim. They even say that no Bible in ANY language is reliable except this one, and that no new developments in linguistics or archeology should EVER be used to change a word in the old KJV. I haven't heard such dogmatism in a long time. You should listen to this!

Now I love the King James Version in many ways. But thanks to discoveries of older manuscripts than were available in the 17th century, and also thanks to the science of textual criticism, we have much more reliable Bible translations available to us today. If you want to learn more about different translations, read this post by Mark Bates.


PaulF said...

I had never heard of this until last year at Thanksgiving at my in-laws. A (nameless) distant relative on Vivian's side, and I got into a discussion encompassing everything from baking to politics to religion.
When I mentioned the NIV, that was it. "KJV Only" became the theme for the rest of the night. I couldn't believe how intense she was about it. I actually looked it up online after I got home and couldn't believe how many websites there were related to this.

I ran into the same thing with Jehova's Witnesses I've talked to. They say that Jehova has been replaced by God or Lord some number thousand times and so the Bible isn't accurate.

I don't know how to deal with these people, because you can't deal with them logically. It's like they have an alternate logic system. To them something seems so obvious, that anything I say sounds crazy to them.

Personally I like the NIV, but the NASB is really good also. It's not as modern as the NIV, but it's close and I think it convey's the original meaning a little better. Plus, if it's good enough for John Piper, it's good enough for me.

That's my two cents worth.

Matthaeus Flexibilis said...

Actually, Paul, you should say "if the NASB was good enough for Piper" because he now advocates the ESV.

BTW, my favorite verse in the KJV might just be James 1:21: "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls." First of all, huh? No wonder we made new translations. Second, "superfluity of naughtiness"? Ha! What Shakespeare came up with that one?