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Bible Versions - Conclusion
FRIDAY, JULY 14, 2006
Posted by: Scott McMahan | more..
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This will be the last of the series on Bible Versions and sort of summarize my conclusions. Unfortunately, time is not on my side, and I can't do any more right now. Even these breezy blog entries which are superficial and skim over all the interesting points are beyond my ability to continue.

To summarize what I have learned in my studies, I think there is no conclusion to be found. All sides of this issue have a vested interest in this issue perpetuating. There will always be King James Only supporters. I believe these will be fewer in number in the future, as the generations which predated the "Bible version explosion" in the 1970s and afterwards pass on. Those of us who grew up with modern Bible translations, and for whom the NIV was a quaint older translation used by parents, will never understand their zeal or urgency in the same way. I'm sure some will pick up the torch and continue, but I think the world is moving on.

And that's not necessarily a good thing. The King James Only position has held modern translations accountable, and that's vitally important. They've served as a check on the excesses of many so-called translations that are not accurate. Who else would stand in the gap? The King James Only position has been instrumental in defeating dynamic equivalence. Right now, the emphasis is going back to the use of literal translations after a time when dynamic equivalence was ascendant and no one else questioned it.

After studying, I have a much deeper love of, and appreciation for, the King James Bible than I used to have. Its text is the text of my forefathers (both sides of my family can be traced back to Scotland and Ulster), and every page is dipped in the blood of the martyrs who gave their lives so I could have the Word of God in my own language. When I hear a preacher preach the Reformed truths out of the King James Bible, I'm hearing what my forefathers heard going back to the sixteenth century. The truth never changes. I am connected to something eternal.

Still, I don't think any of the translators would have imagined their text would be fixed for four centuries. I do not think I've ever seen a King James translator's opinion of future changes, unless "to make a good one better" in the Preface counts. If they knew their language was out of date, and difficult for people to understand, would they not update it? I can't imagine anyone who sacrificed the way the Reformers did to bring the Bible to the people in what was then everyday, plain language would want their translation to be a stumbling block for anyone. So, if I have to use a modern translation to make the sense of a passage, I will, and not feel ashamed.

All English-speaking Christians have an obligation to learn about the King James Bible and the history of the Reformation. Anyone who denigrates the King James Bible is spitting on the graves of the martyrs. It is the treasure of Occidental civilization.

Category:  King James Plus

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