Saturday, January 5, 2008

Something More to Share

During my blog silence a few months ago, which translates in September of last year, A young college student happened upon my blog and emailed me with two questions they had for me.

"So, if you believe in a young earth I was wondering if you could explain why?
As well, if you believe in an old earth creation instead I was wondering if you could explain why?

My second question, I was wondering why you and other Christians alike continue to use the inaccurate old English King James Bible? This is not to say one version is necessarily the “correct” version but for someone who believes in the infallible word of God, as do I, the KJV can be very inaccurate because of the KJV and New King James Version alike who both use a language or non-modern language not used anymore AKA Old English and old text not as useful. I really don’t care too much but this was something that came to mind when you had written that you use the KJV."


(Please note that the above quote is a quote and not the email in it's entirety.)

I thought that it may be good to share my response to him with the rest of you. It gives a little bit of insight on how I study and receive the Word of God. For the sake of privacy, the personal information of the person who contacted me will be edited out.

RE: Open Discussion on two different Subjects‏
From: Hannah (xxxxx@hotmail.com)
Sent: Sat 9/08/07 12:13 AM


Hello!

Thank you for your questions. I apologize for the length of time it took to respond to your questions. I'm sure as you know that I am a mother of five and I check this account every other day. In any event, in order to answer your first question. I'll need to answer your second question first.

I cannot speak for other Christians, I can only speak for myself as to why I consider the KJV superior to other versions.

Your determination that the KJV (as well as the NKJV) is incorrect is based "a language or non-modern language not used anymore"? Do I have the correct understanding of why you consider the KJV erroneous? If that is so, I would have to point out that it is not the language we need to be concerned of, but the translation.

I've found the translation of the KJV conveys the principles and concepts consistently. I wrote a post a few weeks ago called "
Translation vs. Paraphrase" http://confessionsofanunchurchedbeliever.blogspot.com/2007/08/translation-vs-paraphrase.html

For the longest time, I've been studying out of the NLT which I found out later in years that it was a paraphrased Bible, NOT a translated one.

An example of differentiating passages can be found here:

Romans 8:1 in both of these versions comes out different.

Romans 8:1 KJV says "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit"

Romans 8:1 NLT says "So now there is no condemnation for those who belong in Christ Jesus."

The NLT does not have the rest of that passage. The eighth chapter of Romans speaks specifically about "walking after the spirit", but this portion is missing, simply because the NLT is a Bible that is paraphrased (principles and concepts restated). I don't know about you, but that is a serious problem for me.

For me, a more "modern" language does not mean "better". As a matter of fact, in these for profit, politically-influenced, economically-minded times, I am MORE suspect of Bible translated today than I am, of the KJV.

Having said that, as you know I believe in the infallibility of the Word of God. I believe the Bible should be taken literally, when it speaks literally. I believe it should be taken symbolically when it speaks symbolically. MORE importantly, I believe the Word of God should NEVER, NEVER be taken out of context of it's content. It should be read with grammatical and historical understanding and significance.

Am I old earth creationist, or young? Let me first ask you this, do you believe that Christ will one day return to earth to reign? If you do, then you know that the earth as we know it will be replaced with a new earth. What, then, is the point of engaging in debates such as these? What is the point of taking one position of a debate or another? How in the world is anyone supposed to know how old the earth is, or how young?

"But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes." 2 Timothy 2:23

"But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain." Titus 3:9

Let's say that the Lord God reveals to us the earth's exact age. What then? What changes? How have we grown? All that time we spend debating amongst ourselves, we have not ministered the gospel to lost souls, as He has commanded us. Other than, feeling a bit self-righteous upon finding that we were right or feeling embarrassed that we were wrong. It's a waste of time and bores me silly.

Typically, debates like these, get heated and intense, they are sorely lacking in spirit and in love. So I have no interest in them. My ministry is strictly unto the edification of those who love the Lord and desire His will.

Thank you once again for your questions. May God bless and keep you.

Hannah

Author's Note:
For personal or lengthy comments, or questions you are more than welcome to contact me. I ask for your patience and understanding as I may not respond immediately to your email, should you choose to contact me. Your privacy is always ensured. God Bless!

Update: Please go the "contact me" page for questions and private comments. Thank you!

4 comments:

  1. Some say the KJV is better because of its language. It is true that the modern English language seems to be going somewhat downhill with a lot of people - not that that's a bad thing completely - it's just that there won't be so much beauty to words and appreciation for words if the English language eventually turns into text message and IM language where words aren't fully spelled out.

    I believe that proper English speech and grammar are very important and should have more importance in schools (even though I'm not the best at practicing them - I wish I were). This said, some people might prefer the KJV because they think of it as proper English and don't like the way newer versions are cutting down the text, like the NLT.

    I appreciate the KJV even more for its language because it's part of history and I think the language is beautiful. Besides, I think that reading and interpreting (or gaining understanding from what you read) should always be easy. If you have a harder time reading the KJV, maybe it will motivate you that much more to look for its meaning and search for God's purpose in it.

    A version is not more or less accurate based on its language and whether or not it's more relative to the current day. Much of the Bible seems to be irrelevant to modern day, but it isn't (that's another topic in itself). What we should base the accuracy of a version on is its content. How much of it has been changed? How accurate are the changes? Is it translated or paraphrased? etc.

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  2. The accuracy of a Bible depends on three things: What you translate, the skill with which you translate it, and the faithfulness with which you translate it.

    The versions of the Old Testament differ little, so the differences appear mostly in the Greek New Testament. The KJV and NKJV translate the Received Text (Textus Receptus or TR) of the New Testament. The TR represents about 85% of ancient NT manuscripts and also the oldest fragments and quotations. All other modern versions translate the "Critical Text." The Critical Text represents a family of texts less accepted by early Christians because of it's association with churches that went off on a theological barrel roll. It's based mostly on two copies of the whole NT that survived because they received so little handling. (When found, one of them was about to be burned for heat.) The notes in modern Bibles allude to these texts as the "oldest manuscripts," but that ignores all the older partial manuscripts.

    Skill is harder to compare, but the portfolios of modern translators often pale in comparison to the qualifications of the KJV translation committee. For example, a single individual wrote The Living Bible and didn't even translate it from the original languages.

    Take, for example, the footnote for Mark 16:9. Does it make sense for Mark to leave Jesus in the grave and the disciples in retreat?

    The faithfulness of translation depends on one's belief in the infallible, plenary, Holy Spirit authorship of the Bible. Because paraphrasing, by definition, replaces the words of the author with the words of the writer, many modern "Bibles" are not Bibles at all. Some paraphrasing (e.g., of idioms) cannot be avoided. From the NIV (which has a high percentage of paraphrasing) to the Living Bible (100% paraphra$e), however, many modern Bibles are not the Word of God, but the word$ of man.

    The worst of this occurs when the translator$ step in between the Holy Spirit and the reader. By using modern Bibles (except the NKJV), readers limit the Holy Spirit. First, readers miss what the Spirit says directly to them because they don't get the pure milk of the Word. Second, by substituting the translator'$ interpretation, readers limit the Spirit's ability to speak indirectly through His Words.

    The KJV came from the best originals, was translated by the best-qualified scholars, and was translated by people with the greatest allegiance to maintaining the purity of God's Word. Many semi-illiterate and ESL-speakers have demonstrated that if you love God and treasure His Word, even with the most obsolete language in the KJV, you still have the sharpest sword.

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  3. PhD,

    Thank you for your comment. I do have to say I respectfully disagree with two of the three things you defined for accurate biblical translation.

    My husband has a name that he likes to call me, a "legal eagle" :)

    The way I receive it, the Word of God is my guide, and gives me set parameters of what is and what isn't. The Word makes it very clear in 1 Corinthians 2 that the "things of God" can only be discerned, taught by the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) regardless of skill.

    But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

    11For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

    12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

    13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

    14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    Verse 13 I can say, sums it up:

    13Which things also we speak, NOT IN THE WORDS WHICH MAN's WISDOM TEACHETH, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

    This can be read in conjunction with 1 John 2:27:

    27But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

    I don't know exactly what you mean by "skill". Skill can be defined in so many different ways. Being skilled can mean being "educated" or "certified", or it can refer to natural talent.

    If we know, as 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and 1 Corinthians 2: 12 tells us that "...the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."

    Then we MUST conclude that the ONLY resource for accurate interpretation and translation can only come from God and nothing else that we, as mere humankind, can offer.

    So how, then, do we know who God has given the Holy Spirit to? It all boils down to accountability. We need to be accountable (as God, holds us individually) for pursuing our own personal relationship with HIM. As opposed to relying solely, on someone who says they are of God. Which, the Word clearly warns us of “false prophets”, and tells us to “try the spirits”. 1 John 4:1-2 If we are genuine in our confession of faith then He is GOOD to bless us with HIS knowledge, discernment and interpretation of His principles.

    The problem I see, is that we have become a society that "leans" too much on our "own understanding". Accepting that God reveals things in His own time, and discretion is a foreign concept to the majority of us who live in this "now" lifestyle.

    PhD, you said it best:
    "Many semi-illiterate and ESL-speakers have demonstrated that if you love God and treasure His Word, even with the most obsolete language in the KJV, you still have the sharpest sword."

    May God bless you :)

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  4. I totally agree with your view on the new age Earth. Good job, keep it up!

    http://thewarfarejournal.blogspot.com/2008/02/does-scientific-dating-disprove-bible.html

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