Monday, March 29, 2010

KJV Only arguments defeated.

Dan Wallace said, "We should have a very positive assessment of the KJV without elevating it to inspired status."

Would you agree or disagree with this statement? Why?
Below are some KJVonly arguments and Dan's answer to them.. enjoy :)

Sometimes this KJ Only attitude goes beyond all logic and dabbles in the realm of the absurd. In 1995 I was on the John Ankerberg show called, “What’s the Best Bible Translation?” There were three KJV advocates. Early on in the eight-part program (that was filmed all in one day) John Ankerberg asked them, “If a person in Russia becomes a Christian, are you saying that he would need to learn English in order to read the only true Holy Bible?” After a brief pause, the lead KJV advocate said, “Yes!” I wondered why I had been asked to be on the show after hearing that response…

Not all KJV advocates employ such illogic however. Here are some of the basic arguments that KJV advocates use for this Bible’s status as the only Holy Bible, with a brief response:

1. It is perfect. The translators were the best ever, the most godly men. But even the translators explicitly denied that the KJV was perfect in the original preface (which, unfortunately, is now no longer printed with the KJV Bible). They said, “perfection is never attainable by man.” They themselves said that only the original was inspired, that no translation was perfect or ever could be.

2. All modern translations cause chaos because they are so different. If we all used the KJ, there would be no uncertainty about the wording of the text. There is no uncertainty anywhere.
But this ignores the fact that original 1611 KJV had 8500 marginal readings, many of which expressed doubt about the meaning or wording of the text. On numerous occasions, they simply had to ‘flip a coin’ and put something in the text! The translators were humble men, who wanted to alert the reader when they just weren’t sure what the Hebrew or Greek text meant. It is only the omission of these marginal readings that has given some folks the illusion of certainty.

3. No modern translation deserves the name, “Holy Bible.” But this is not the attitude of the KJ translators themselves. They said, “the word of God may be recognized in the very meanest translation of the Bible.” This would include the translations that came before them and the ones that came after.

4. God has used the KJV for 270 years. No other translation has stood the test of time. No other translation has sold as many copies. This proves that it is the one and only inspired Word of God.
But this is not true. The Latin Vulgate was the official Bible of western Europe for over 1000 years—four times as long as the KJV was on the throne! And the NIV has actually outsold the KJV—and it did it in one-tenth the time. Frankly, this attitude is remarkably similar to the attitude that virtually every generation of Christians has had when confronted by a new translation that challenges their ‘old favorite.’ It represents emotional baggage rather than clear thinking. This attitude of resistance to new translations was seen when Jerome produced the Latin Vulgate, when Erasmus ‘corrected’ the Latin Vulgate, and even when the King James Bible was produced! Those who know history know that it is the attitude of the ignorant. And as much as we must truly love these folks, it is also important that we help them love and learn truth. The incarnation of Christ demands no less of us.

5. The language is exalted, elegant, beautiful. This Bible was written in the golden age of the English language—when English was correctly and properly spoken. This is the language that the Bible deserves to be in—Elizabethan English.
But the real language of the Bible was of a different sort. It was the conversational Greek of the day—the Greek that men on the streets of Athens and Antioch, Jerusalem and Corinth, spoke. In fact, it was known as the ‘common Greek,’ and it was a big step down from the golden age of Greek literature, the classical Greek era that ended 400 years earlier. And although there were artificial and pompous attempts in the first century AD to revive this classical Greek, none of the NT writers got sucked into this mode of writing. Their writing was clear, and simple, and connected to real people—not artificial and pompous.

And the KJ translators explicitly tried to capture that. Their goal, in fact, was to make the text as plain and simple to understand as possible. They said (in the original preface):

[The Catholics have] the purpose to darken the sense, that [although] they must needs translate the Bible, yet by the language thereof it may be kept from being understood. But we desire that the Scripture may speak like itself … that it may be understood even [by] the very vulgar.”
It is a great irony that today part of the reason the KJB is so revered is because it sounds so archaic, so other-worldly. It is the Bible that speaks in a stained-glass voice. But this is precisely what the KJ translators condemned in a translation! Their intention—which they accomplished for their day 400 years ago—was to make the Bible clear, simple, easy to understand.

All of these arguments have nothing to do with our Protestant heritage. Instead, KJ Only advocates unwittingly look more like Roman Catholics than Protestants.

Would LOVE to hear your comments?

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