Friday, March 27, 2009

Bible silliness

Beautiful Self perpetuates a modern mythology:

I believe the King James Bible is the preserved and infallible words of God. It doesn't merely "contain" the word of God: it IS the word of God. I'm absolutely sure of it, and I'd like to give a few reasons why. Here are twelve reasons how I know that the KJV is the word of God:
What follows is a list of a dozen arguments for why the KJV, and most importantly the KJV alone, is the word of God. A few of them apply to all bibles, a few of them are silly, and a few of them are just plain incorrect. I shan't deal with all of them*, but would like to put the first few of them on trial just to see if what the proponents of using only the KJV** propose for reasons stand up to scrutiny.

Reason #1: God Promised to Preserve His Words

These words [Psalm 12:6-7 et al] state very clearly that God's preserved word MUST be available to us today, because God PROMISED to preserve it for us. There MUST be an infallible Book somewhere.

You say, "But ALL translations are God's word, not just one." That's impossible, because the various translations contain different readings ...According to the scriptures, there must be a single Book that is the word of God...
The first might be the silliest; it's certainly the most self-refuting. Ignoring just for the moment the probability that "them" in 12:7 applies to the "poor" and "needy" in v5 rather than the "words" in v6, and accepting the idea that God preserving his words means that there must be "a single book that is the word of God" at all times, what was the Word of God in 1610, the year before the KJV was finished? Was no word of God available? There is certainly no bible before the KJV that is exactly a KJV***. Maybe something else was the word of God and then got booted when the KJV was done.

Rather, the KJV translators (who would find the whole KJV-only debate a little silly) had the right idea, which they wrote right into the KJV's preface: "we affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our profession... containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God." This sounds very much like the original paragraph above. I suppose, though, that maybe the guys who translated the KJV just didn't know what they were talking about.

Reason #2: The Authorized Version Was Translated Under A God-Ordained English King

I was wrong, #2 is sillier:

Unlike the modern versions, the KJV was translated under a king... The new versions have been translated in America, which is not a monarchy. God's form of government is a theocratic monarchy, not a democracy. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that His word would be translated for the English speaking people under a monarchy**** with an English king.
If God's form of government for us is a monarchy, theocratic or otherwise, someone might have forgotten to tell God, for when the people of Israel asked Samuel to give them a king, God told him:

"Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them." -- 1Sam 8:7
The existence of an earthly king, if it has any bearing at all*****, constitutes a rejection of God's reign over the people. It's right there in the KJV.

Reason #3: Because It Has No Copyright

The original crown copyright of 1611 does not forbid anyone today from reprinting the Authorized Version...
The KJV is one of a small number of works for which the Crown copyright is perpetual and UK publishers still need a patent letter from the crown to print KJVs. Reason #3 is flat-out incorrect.

But modern bibles produced in the US that are more than 70 years old have no copyright - or rather, it has expired. Do they become the word of God on their 70th birthday?

Reason #4: Because God Always Translates Perfectly

The words "translate" and "translated" occur three times in the Bible, and GOD is the Translator each time. The scholars insist that the KJV cannot be infallible, because it is "only a translation." Do you suppose that such scholars have checked II Samuel 3:10, Colossians 1:13, and Hebrews 11:5 to see what GOD has to say about translating?
The changing of the meaning of translate from "to bear, carry, or move from one place, position, etc., to another; transfer." as in those verses to "to turn from one language into another" is a textbook example of the Fallacy of Equivocation.

You get the idea. Rather than an exercise in critical thought and biblical exposition, I rather suspect the above is better described as an illustration of how people can convince themselves of anything, given sufficient emotional motivation. It is unfortunate that any number of churches have been torn apart over such sloppy thinking, as it appears this young lady's is presently.

* You'll get the idea quickly enough.

** I'll admit up front that I don't use the KJV and haven't for years. I mostly use the RVA (en espaƱol) and when I have to work in English I use the NASB. Nor do I have any opinion about what bible others should read. Some are better, some worse, just the kind of thing KJV-only folks hate to hear. I'll use the KJV for this, though, just for fun.

*** Or why have a KJV?

**** Notice how "theocratic" got slipped out there. Though I suppose one could argue that James' monarchy was a theocratic one, just like that of his just-as-God-ordained Catholic cousin, Bloody Mary.

***** which I doubt

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