Thursday, October 22, 2009

Do not make the KJV Bible an idol...

In the news...
A Baptist Church near Asheville, N.C., is hosting a "Halloween book burning" to purge the area of "Satan's" works, which include all non-King James versions of the Bible, popular books by many religious authors and even country music.

"I believe the King James version is God's preserved, inspired, inerrant and infallible word of God," Pastor Marc Grizzard
Read the news article here.

Problem - The KJV is one translation among many. The KJV was authorized by King James I in England. I don't think Baptists were included in the authorization in 1611. But seriously, the one translation should not be made an idol.

A much better way to look at it:
Take a look at the Bibles on your bookshelf. Which are the ones you read again and again? Many of us read the New Revised Standard Version, and the King James of course, but alongside these, we value translations by individual authors. On my own shelves, for example, I read Tyndale daily, and I often read Everett Fox's Five Books of Moses and Robert Alter's translation, The Book of Psalms.

Individual authors have been translating the Bible for centuries, but their work has little authority. From the Septuagint in the 2nd Century BCE to the King James translation of 1611, it is not translations by individuals but by committee that are authoritative. Individual translations of the Bible, however, have a vitality that just doesn't appear in the work of translation committees. So renditions of the Bible by individuals are crucial to the dynamism of the text. In this article, I'm going to explore the rationales some individual authors give for their Bible translations and the authority of their work both immediate and derived.
Read the whole article: The contribution of the lone translator By Deirdre Good

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