KJV Also vs. KJO - 08/15/2004
Hi Ben and Jennifer,
Isn't if funny how people get so bent out of shape over some things that in some ways can be so minute, but, I have to disagree with a couple of things that were stated.
The first is, the writings are inspired; not the people who wrote them, so God can preserve His Word regardless of the version, translations are another story. The second thing I would like to point out is that any extant manuscript that do not present the "blood and atonement" or if they take away from the deity of our LORD Jesus Christ, or leave out the doctrine of sin and repentance, then those texts and any versions or translations developed from them should be ignored.
I have a few different Bibles for my use and still find the KJV to be the most helpful, and the Holy Spirit does enlighten and teach me from that particular one the most. Not only that, but you are wrong about needing a grade 12 education to read it, it is actually written in grade six English. It is not difficult to understand it, and I have used it for a long time. It becomes a problem if the Holy Spirit is not calling you to Jesus. As you know, without the Holy Spirit we cannot discern anything spiritual.
I suggest for any who may be interested, to view David Hocking's video presentation on the "History and Authenticity of the Bible", at www.hopefortoday.org He actually deals with all of these matters in great detail, and also leaves the choice up to the student. There are thirteen sessions, and well worth the time.
CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:
Hi Elizabeth. I'm sorry it has taken so long to respond. Yes, some people can certainly be militant about things and cause issues to be needlessly divisive. We as Christians must be diligent in preventing such needless controversies and display our fruits of the Spirit to a world that believes in actions speaking louder than words.
I disagree with you regarding the inspiration of the writINGS over the writERS. In order for them to write the Words God wanted them to record, the Holy Spirit must have influenced them to do so. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that all Scripture is “God-breathed” (NIV) or “given by inspiration of God” (KJV). The Greek word here is theopneustos, which is a compound word made of theos (God) and a derivative of pneo (pertaining to 'breath' or 'wind' -- from where we get our words pneumatic and pneumonia). God breathed the truth into the writers, not into the piece of papyrus. Now once these books were written, the content of the writings can legitimately be called inspired, but that inspiration started with God working through the writers.
I completely agree with you that any texts or translations that leave out the deity of Christ or the other key doctrines you cited should not be accepted. However, many texts that form the basis of the KJV or NIV and NASB have errors and corrections in parts. They translators used highly refined and complicated methods in their textual analysis. Certainly manuscripts with errors must be viewed more cautiously, but throwing the baby out with the bathwater is not necessarily the answer. I have never advocated a carte blanche approval of all modern translations. The NWT of the Jehovah's Witnesses is one example of a modern "translation" that should not be trusted. Each translation must be viewed in it's textual support and faithful translation of that text. It has been our view that the NIV, NASB, and KJV are all fine translations. The KJV has a somewhat inferior textual basis, but does not differ on key doctrines, and we certainly support it for those who choose to use it. It's not as clear in its defense of the deity of Jesus as the NIV or NASB (http://www.contenderministries.org/biblestudy/kjodeityofchrist.php), but it certainly doesn't compromise that doctrine.
I'm curious as to where you find that the KJV was written in a sixth grade reading level. Every literary agency I've seen that grades the readability of various writings assigns it a 12th grade reading level or 12th grade plus. The only place where I have seen anything to the contrary is on KJO websites were such claims are subjective and surrounded by multitudes of factual errors. Such claims are not based on fact or good judgement. It's true that my first Bible was a KJV, but there were certain words and phrases that were incomprehensible to me without explanation. As a sixth grader, I would not have known the meaning of "fetch a compass" in Acts 28:13, since the compass had not been invented at that time. I would have wondered why a soldier would have a "target of brass between his shoulders" (1 Samuel 17:6) because I did not know that was actually a javelin. I wouldn't have known that one who "pisseth against the wall" (1 Samuel 25:22,34; 1 Kings 14:10, 16:11, 21:21; 2 Kings 9:8) was an idiomatic expression for any man, and would likely have found the antiquated expression confusing and offensive. This does not even get into the list of words that no longer exist in the English language.
I completely agree that we should be careful about Bible translations we use. There are many bad ones out there. But while the KJV is an acceptable translation, to claim it is the only correct translation is patently false. If you prefer to use it, then I have no problem with that, as you don't seem militantly insistent that others follow suit. I wish more readers of the King James would follow your lead. As for Mr. Hocking, while he's an educated man, there are scholars that are better qualified to speak on the textual background and criticism of the New Testament. One of them, Bruce Metzger, wrote texts that Mr. Hocking undoubtedly had to study in seminary. Moreover, one of his likely professors at Bob Jones University was on the NIV translation committee.
Ben and Jennifer Rast