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Friday, 18 September 2009

Let's pick on somebody else today!

This blog has been described as my own personal rant. I must say, that does hurt my feelings, but as much as I may have desired for it to become an online discussion, it hasn't turned out that way. I do join in other discussions, yes--but at least this is a place where I can share my uncensored views on a number of topics. My regular readers may be interested to know that over the past year, the top five searches that drive people to this blog have been along the lines of:

Corey has money scam / Travis made cash
Obama chronology / Habiba Akumu
Michael Pearl / Gap fact
Arthur Blessitt divorce Sherry
Several others take turns in fifth place, but overall it has most often been Ussher's Chronology.

The second and third have consistently been the top two from week to week, but I got hundreds of hits on the first the week I put it up and it continues to draw readers in--somewhat sporadically, I've noticed.

Well, although this blog has attracted the attention of Biblica and Zondervan, I actually get relatively few hits on the New International Version--mostly from links to my comments on other blogs. Yet this topic has drawn the ire of commenters more than any other. Not content to direct my batteries all to one side of the debate, I now turn them upon the other. This post is going to be a critique of the supporters of the King James Version.

I came across a website today that I can best describe as pitiful. As someone who has read through the entire King James Version in the original language (1611 London edition), I can hardly understand how someone could claim this version as the only true Bible. It is obvious that those who make this claim typically have never so much as seen it, much less read it. For example, the following gems from the aforementioned website:

Just give us the text that has established itself as the standard text of the Holy Bible, an old fashioned, Christ exalting, devil kicking, Authorized King James Bible. To the best of my understanding this is the 1769 edition of the 1611 King James Bible with a few minor printing errors and spellings corrected along the way in the 1800's.

The eyes of his understanding indeed need to be enlightened. For one thing, minor printing errors are a feature of any given printing, not any particular edition. And one can hardly say that spellings were corrected during the 17th century, when spelling in the English language had not yet been standardised. In fact, it has not been standardized yet, as evidenced by the two different, yet correct, ways I have spelled the word itself.

For another thing, there was nothing particularly special about the 1769 edition, except that it pretty much became the standard for subsequent printings by the Oxford University Press, and subsequently for early printings in the United States. The previous edition continued to be printed by Cambridge University Press from 1762 up until the waning years of the last century. Mr. Kizziah was quite put out to find that Cambridge had gone back to doing what it had done for the first century and a half of printing the KJV, which was to "correct the spelling."

Now, it may come as a great shock to Mr. Kizziah, but these spelling changes are nothing new in the history of the KJV. I have before me a KJV Bible published in the 19th century by the International Bible Agency in New York, and it contains many of the same "spelling corrections" that caused him so much consternation in a 1993 Cambridge edition. Indeed, some of these changes go back to the middle of the century before last, and have been standard features in American KJV Bibles for much longer than Mr. Kezziah or his grandmother have been alive.

Mr. Kezziah writes,
The seven-letter Saviour is the only begotten Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. The six-letter Savior is the son of perdition, the anti christ. He wants to be like the most High (Isaiah 14:14,) but not in a good way, but in an evil way. He is not a follower. He's a counterfeiter. Therefore his final destination is the lake of fire. The new versions, along with the new age movement, and some of the King James Bible counterfeits are preparing the way for this six-letter so called Savior. That's the way he will spell his name, S-a-v-i-o-r not S-a-v-i-o-u-r. No thank you Satan. I'm sticking with the seven-letter Saviour as portrayed in the old black Book that I inherited from my forefathers.

Oh boy. This is the sort of pseudoscience that one would expect from a pagan--not a christian. Didn't he read on the cover that this was a Holy Bible? That feature at least impresses the people who use it as a talisman.

He goes on,
The rules of English grammar may change but the King James Bible is fixed in a moment of time (the 1800's, the 1900's and for ever more) and is unchangeable. This is the standard text and there is no other. This is the Book that spread the gospel of Jesus Christ all over the world. This is the Book my grandmother had and her grandmother had and her grandmother had without any alterations (editing) whatsoever. It is basically the same Book that rolled off the printing press in 1611. The only differences being it was changed from Gothic type to Roman type, printer's errors were corrected and spelling was stabilized. The King James Bible is a very old Book.

The KJV has never been fixed. The first two printings in 1611 differed from each other in hundreds, if not thousands, of places. Before the end of movable type, every printing was unique. And if something that came out in the 1600's and was standardised in the 1700's could be "fixed" in the 1800's, what's wrong with even more changes in the 1900's? He seems to be shooting himself in the foot with his contradictory speech.

And finally,
Now consider this: the scriptures have been translated into over 1,200 languages. Of all these over 800 languages had it translated straight from the Elizabethan English of the King James Bible. Not from the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Not from the Latin, not from the German, but straight from the Authorized King James.

This is all hogwash. He must have pulled these numbers out of thin air. I know of only a couple of Bibles at most that were translated straight from the KJV entire, without reference to the original languages. That is only about 1% of the number of languages with full Bibles in print.

Well, if it's any consolation to those who welcomed the TNIV as the best and most accurate translation ever, I have to admit that I have far more in common with them than I do with those who believe the same, and more--far more--about the KJV. If that were all they believed about the KJV, I could enjoy sweet fellowship with them around the Word. But given their absolute frowardness over what can only with twisted logic even be considered to be God's Word in the English language, I can't even carry on an intelligent conversation with them about it. And believe me, I've tried.

I really do hope for better than that with the supporters of the now-defunct TNIV.

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