Response to KCTeenCenter on Translation vs. Paraphrase
Your desire to make things "clear" for readers who come to this blog, that the KJV is out-dated in language begs the question is the modern language better in communicating the doctrine and teaching of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
The short answer is no, one cannot assume because of an old language that the KJV does not and cannot offer the principles and teaching of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and His Gospel.
Which leads to the second point: "KJV was written with the Church of England's beliefs in mind"
Since it is not clarified in your point I have to assume within the context of your statement that you are insinuating the principles/doctrine of Christ has been compromised some how by the personalized beliefs of the Church of England.
With all due respect to the history of the King James Version, where are these “beliefs” evident in the KJV that undermine the sound doctrine/principles of His Word?
Putting this thought on hold, let me share with you... the 2 reasons you list as basis of support against the KJV are reasons I have heard repeatedly to support another translation over the KJV. In dialoguing with a Jehovah's Witness, the same reasons, in so many words or less, were spelled out to me. This person attempted to make their translation (Watchtower) appear as though the only difference between the two was the language, when I pointed out the two translations taught different doctrines, I was told it (KJV) was full of errors. She never could show me how and where the “errors” were. My point… anyone can say the KJV is full errors, but proof, as they say, lies in the pudding...not in an archaic language.
Does easy readability equals understanding?
There is no question the NLT is easy to read; after all it was my reason for choosing it in the beginning. But as I explained in the original post, I repeatedly ran into inconsistent passages. Thus is the problem and reason why the NLT is the subject of debate and dissatisfaction of many.
In all honesty, I would not have recognized the inconsistency, IF I wasn’t desirous of reading whole books/chapters at a time as opposed to reading stand alone scripture.
The truth… this is how Christians study and it is also how pastors preach... with stand – alone, out-of-context scripture. Truly I got MORE out of the KJV in my short 5 years, compared to the 10 PLUS years I studied and read out of the NLT.
But back to the question, does readability equate to understanding...the answer is no.
Found in both versions the "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" (minus "the" NLT states the first part of Proverbs 1:7 VERBATIM, how's that for an archaic language?)
Reading further in Proverbs 2:1-6
"My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God."
"For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding."
(For your benefit: Proverbs 2:6 NLT For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.)
When asked why He spoke in parables, Christ answered this:
“Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” Matt. 13:13
Keeping in mind that the disciples had the very presence of Christ teaching them, yet they still did not understand the fullness of what He taught…until the Holy Spirit was given to them. Acts 2
In essence, NO, easy reading does not promote understanding.
The truth of the matter is today’s Christian culture desires the “easy” readability of translations today, they have, what I call a “diet pill” mentality. Everything (Christians and non) must come quick, easy with immediate results.
With this diet pill mentality, Christians want the result without the work. They want the knowledge without the “fear”. They want the wisdom without searching and seeking (Him).
It is my very personal years of experience that the KJV has PROVEN to be consistent and wholesome compared to the NLT.
And YES, I absolutely need to study it with my Greek/Hebrew Lexicon! YES, I study it with a bible dictionary handy! And if I’m stumped for understanding, YES, I present my confusion to the LORD for He alone is my source of wisdom and understanding! I seek wisdom and knowledge of the LORD as for “hid treasures”. It is my absolute pleasure to do so!
In closing, I must say I find it disturbing when one promotes a translation as “end all, be all” for it seems to be a belief focused more on the “works of Man” rather than the truth of God.
Am I declaring in my post that the NLT is not to be read or studied out of? No, I am not. The NLT was apart of my journey in my walk with God. But I do declare and warn that the NLT can be inconsistent and at times confusing.
Why do I declare this? I am apart of NO denomination or church. I have made allegiance to no pastor of self-proclaimed prophet.
I promote SOUND doctrine and like the Word, I warn of “false prophets” and doctrine as it our duty to watch for and keep ourselves from. If I am wrong for exhorting and encouraging other like-minded Believers to search out a matter and cry out for knowledge, then by the standards of NLT lovers everywhere, I am wrong.
I leave with this question, if the NLT trumps the KJV in errors, language and understanding, why, then, are churches with different doctrines and denominations, reading from the same translation (NLT)? Why do they not agree with another?
Eph. 4:5,6 "There is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and there is only one God and Father, who is over us all and in us all and living through us all." - NLT
(I received the NLT from my pastor, when I was a member of the World Wide Church of God, considered a borderline cult, by many mainstream churches at that time)