We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, May 28. 2015
Why the King James Version of the Bible Remains the Best - The 400-year-old translation is denigrated because of its archaic language. That’s one of its greatest strengths.
As it happens, I am reading this excellent book now: God's Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
I wouldn't crow about the 16th century birth of the KJV. orthodox Christians, through church councils, have agreed on the same set of texts since the 5th century. the KJV, for all its fantastic literature, razors out 9 or so texts and is an orthodox lite version.
with all due respect, sometimes its hard to tell with you Christians what's important, form or substance.
Some people prefer the Revised Standard Version (NOT the New Revised Standard Version), which had Catholics on the revision committee, and which is endorsed by the Catholic Church (via Cd. Cushing). You can get it in either the abridged Protestant version or the nearly complete Catholic version, which deletes a few items in the Orthodox version (the complete Septuagint).
The complete Christian Bible is "The Orthodox Study Bible," which uses the New King James Version for the New Testament and a new translation of the Septuagint by the St. Athansius Academy of Orthodox Theology, Elk Grove, CA.
Non-Orthodox Christians will be extremely offended by the Introduction.
However, that aside, the text is heavily footnoted with all sorts of interesting interpretations of Old Testament verses and how they relate to Orthodox Christian theology.
I assume you're not including the near-deification of KJ in accolades for the work bearing his name.
I myself find the phenomenon kinda disturbing ... and I'm no fan of Calvin either, for what it's worth.
There is no one answer, as the scriptures are used for different purposes at different times. For ceremony, the archaisms do indeed signify age, solidity, and power. That's a good thing. For teaching, expecially teaching the young or the new Christian, anything which might confuse or mislead should be swept aside without remorse. Literalsist dislike paraphrases, because they think that a word-by-word equivalence is more accurate. But translating any language into another requires paraphrase for accuracy, and biblical languages are not any different. A paraphrase often conveys the intended sense better.
It's not one size fits all.
Donny, the form vs. substance complaint is a fair cop, but apllies at least equally to Jews, doesn't it? Those categories did not exist in early man - not in Torah - and the gradual development of them is one of the themes of the prophets, and later in Talmud.
Speaking of missing texts, entire manuscripts have been mistakenly burned in monasteries, to say nothing of the various turns of those that did survive time and tragedy.
How knowledge-based salvation then earns credibility escapes me. Not a soul in Earth can define it, and even fewer can identify how to get there.
Probably because it can't be the point. These are matters for faith and philosophy, not theology and ascertainment.
Jesus wasn't either Christian in this sense or exactly profuse enough to ward subsequent Christianity off. How could he be? But he touched the supernatural, which tends to be a rather stark indicator. Of what we're still challenged to say.
I haven't the faintest idea what you said there.
I think you're right, and I have overstated my objections, apart from the curious deletion or demotion of certain texts, which seems more to reflect reformation era politics than de-inspiring books that had been considered inspired for some 1,600 years.
I understand that the KJV is the centerpiece of the protestant world, but why is it, on a literary level, any better than the near contemporaneous and roman catholic Challoner Revision of the Douay–Rheims Bible? or better as an accurate translation of ancient text than the 21st century translations such as the New American Bible 2d?
In the name of unity KJV helped spawn nearly 40,000 protestant denominations. Quite an accomplishment considering Jesus started just one church.
Ten, argument from ignorance is no way to go through life, kid.
Then as a scholar, I'll relish your thorough exposition on Christ and the kernel message of Christianity.
Graciously set aside whatever tilt toward fallacy others may have alleged about you; this is an important opinion I'm sure readers will appreciate. The part on grace I know I'll personally cherish.
(Excellent moniker, by the way. It too resounds of a forceful intellect. Was that the intent?)
Terry, judging from some of the comments above, if you'll permit, I think I can say that we should leave such matters to better minds than yours and mine. Especially since one of our betters is about to speak.
To think: All these years and apparently clarity on the mind of G-d re: the Church was within grasp the entire time. Let's see how many ways we can be corrected. I'm excited.
sir, hyperbole has no role in this discussion. the number can't possibly be over 35,000.
This 40000 denominations stuff always seemed a bit of a straw man argument. To get to that kind of number one would have to count all sorts of regional and national bodies of essentially the same faith traditions or independent bodies...it certainly doesn't indicate 40000 sets of beliefs. Even if its 40 or 40000 it can't be used to "prove" any one faith is the "right" one.
Assistant Village Idiot: There is no one answer, as the scriptures are used for different purposes at different times. For ceremony, the archaisms do indeed signify age, solidity, and power. That's a good thing. For teaching, especially teaching the young or the new Christian, anything which might confuse or mislead should be swept aside without remorse. Literalists dislike paraphrases, because they think that a word-by-word equivalence is more accurate. But translating any language into another requires paraphrase for accuracy, and biblical languages are not any different. A paraphrase often conveys the intended sense better.
Well said (though we generally still prefer the King James for its poetic sensibility).
The KJV is excellent, and readable by anyone with a 9th grade education. If the old words bother you, a Webster's 1828 dictionary (online, for free) is an excellent source to help you understand them. The Defined KJV, a KJV with the old words defined in the margins (or bottom of the page, I can't remember which) is another excellent bible.
And the book "God's Secretaries" is a great book, and well researched. I don't remember whether I read it before, or after, converting over to the KJV, but it sheds much light on the KJV. I recommend it heartily.
which of the numerous versions of the KJV are you referring to?
all in all, not bad, for a bible written under government supervision, excluding texts that had been accepted for 16 centuries, for the purpose of promoting a national church.
style over substance. this is coming close to bible worship, which can't possibly be a Christian notion.
Since they stopped reading any Bible in morning school, satirists have not learned the rules about old timey language.
In particular the person (-est, -eth) goes on the verb form carrying tense, not just any verb form you spot in a sentene.
An accusation without elaboration, then, leaving the defendant to guess.
Fine. Too complex it is: Since you don't understand, who could, and all must know that you represent the mean argument.