I’m sincerely glad when anyone *really* reads or studies the Bible. Serious study of Bible texts is also part and parcel of every week of my life.
Now, it’s not that I know it all — far from it — it’s that I’m trying to be as intent as I can be, with the tools I have available, about getting the message . . . about hearing God.
In recent weeks, I have had the opportunity to teach on Mark’s gospel, on Paul’s 1st letter to the Thessalonians, and on 1Corinthians 4:1-5. Part of this study has involved some comparison of versions, along with vocabulary and structural highlights from the original Greek. There have been KJV Bibles in my presence, 🙂 but I’ve spent precisely zero minutes criticizing the version!
But neither have I spent much time dealing with 400-year-old language when that language frequently obscures the text more than it aids understanding. There is too much to get into in the text without feuding.
Sometimes the chosen version matters more than others; yet where there is a choice to be made, there simply is no defensible, remaining reason to use the KJV alone for study purposes.
100 or 200 years ago, yes. 50 years ago, maybe.
But not today.
It is with respect — to old friends and new friends, to octogenarians and neophytes, and to folks from selected Baptist, CofC, Pentecostal, and other KJV-only churches — that I re-assert with gusto that the KJV is decidedly inferior to most other translations. I think we all know that, deep down. Anyone who thinks otherwise these days is, frankly, either
- uneducated (and this is intended as a statement of mere fact, not a slam or a guess as to IQ level)
- unable to separate denominational dogma from reality (read: listens uncritically to preachers or pastors)
- undyingly clinging to something not worth clinging to
The right to use various Bible versions ought to be a guaranteed right. ACLU agenda addition¹ or not, it is my purpose to educate, to move folks toward being able, and to encourage them to release those grips . . . not because I think I know it all, but because not one of us knows and lives scripture enough. I want to play a role in removing barriers and enabling our comprehension.
[To be continued]
¹ Would the ACLU consider biblical-version freedom to be a civil liberty, a right of every believer? 🙂