Thursday, August 26, 2010

KJV only

I must say, that I have never come across anyone who advocated a "King James Version ONLY" position, but in doing some youtube "research" looking for a video on the number of different bible versions that are available today, all that I could get the search results to bring up were videos on the kjv only controversy. 

I became engrossed in the videos.  I found them fascinating.  Not from a scholarly viewpoint, but from a willful ignorance viewpoint. 

Here is what a KJV only person would have you believe.

In 1611 God once and for all preserved his perfect word in English in the King James Bible.  Moreover, as a bolster to this faith claim, kjv only proponents will quote Rev. 22:18-19 which, in the kjv reads:

"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." 
 So, if anyone takes away from kjv or adds to it, they are in danger of plagues and removal from the holy city.

Where the willful ignorance comes in is here.  The kjv was a monumental achievement in human scholarship.  It was based upon a number of Greek and Hebrew manuscripts that represented the best in biblical scholarship at the end of the 16th century.  Often this scholarship came under fire from the proponents of the dominant bible of the time, the Latin Vulgate used by the Roman Catholic Church.  Yet, the protestants, seeking for the sources of their faith relentlessly attempted to compile the best Greek manuscripts and the best translators to translate them into English so that the common man and woman could read the Bible.  All wonderful things.

Yet, the problem comes in then saying that the scholarship in finding and compiling Greek texts had come to completeness and perfection after only about 100 years of real scholarly effort.  As a field of study biblical textual criticism was still relatively young in 1611.  Since that time there have been further monumental achievements in the field, notably, the discovery of codex Sinaiticus in mid 1800s and the discovery of many even older papyrus manuscripts.  Kjv only proponents ignore all new scholarship while at the same time basing their bible on 400 year old scholarship.  Interesting don't you think?

If you want some entertainment, do a youtube search for "kjv only" and you will find hours of fun.

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