Tag Archives: KJV

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Gospel Martial Arts Union: I love that this is even a thing

The other day my fingers failed me – and as I tried to touch type my way to google, I ended up typing gmau into my Chrome search/address bar.

This is where I ended up.

The Gospel Martial Arts Union (not to be confused with the gospel Marital Arts Union).

I am so glad this is a thing, and that this otherwise obscure verse in Psalms can be used as such an important proof text.

They like the KJV…

“We honor and respect the King James Version. It is our primary version for use in teaching and Bible memory work. We regard it as a trustworthy translation that bears all the marks of orthodoxy. We appreciate the beauty of its language. We are not, however, “King James only” in our position. We are convinced that, because of the diligent study of the original languages and the discoveries of archaeologists in the last 350 years, contemporary scholars are able to translate the Scriptures with a high degree of precision. Some of the modern versions make a valuable contribution to our understanding of God’s revelation.”

But luckily they’re open handed about the issue (boom tish). Or they’d be punching on…

“To sum up, the GMAU holds a high view of the origin and importance of the Scriptures. We believe that the textual debate is a difference of opinion about God’s means of the preservation of His Word. We encourage the use of the KJV for teaching and Bible memory work. However, we also acknowledge the individual liberty of every believer to use whatever translation or version he or she chooses for personal study and devotional life. We believe that a “literal” translation should be used for study (for example, the KJV, NASB, NKJV, ESV), however “dynamic” translations (NIV) and paraphrases (NLT, The Message) can be used very effectively for devotional purposes.”

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Atheists who love the Bible

Both Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins have written recently about their love of the KJV. The new-atheist glitterati are doing their bit to pry the Bible out of the hands of “the religious” and into the hands of English teachers.

There’s a great article on The Punch by the Bible Society’s Roy Williams responding to this trend of atheists damning the Bible with faint praise. It’s well worth a read. The comments aren’t. They’ve become a playground for the type of person who thinks writing lengthy rant comments to reinforce one’s own views is a good use of one’s time. While I love comments here. And discussions (online and in person) there’s something about the complete lack of respect that anti-theists show to any “woo believers” on the internet that just makes me angry and pushes me from my position of centre hugging moderate towards religious extremist. If I read many more of these threads I’ll be voting Family First and donating to the Australian Christian Lobby in the hope of making atheism illegal.

From the article:

“Dawkins is quite candid on this score. He admits that he cannot abide translations of the Bible other than the KJV, whether they are closer to the meaning of the original ancient texts or not. He wants the KJV taught in schools “not as history, not as science and not (oh please not) as morality. But as literature.”

There are serious problems with this argument.

For a start, the 47 men who “wrote” the KJV would have scoffed at any suggestion that their primary task was to produce fine literature. Appointed and supervised by the Bishop of London (later Archbishop of Canterbury), Richard Bancroft, they were chosen on the basis of two criteria.

First, their pre-eminence as biblical scholars – in particular, their detailed knowledge of at least one of the three ancient languages in which the books of the Bible were originally written (Hebrew and Aramaic in the case of the Old Testament; Greek in the case of the New Testament).”

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Tyndale v More: Men, seasons and the KJV

Sir Thomas More was an interesting chap – lauded for his philosophical writing (like Utopia) and his ability to speak truth to power (see A Man For All Seasons).

But, on the whole, he wasn’t a nice chap. Especially so far as bible translator William Tyndale was concerned.

This piece by atheist polemicist Christopher Hitchens on the literary merit of the King James Version is fascinating (on a number of levels). Here’s a snippet:

“Until the early middle years of the 16th century, when King Henry VIII began to quarrel with Rome about the dialectics of divorce and decapitation, a short and swift route to torture and death was the attempt to print the Bible in English. It’s a long and stirring story, and its crux is the head-to-head battle between Sir Thomas More and William Tyndale (whose name in early life, I am proud to say, was William Hychyns).

Their combat fully merits the term “fundamental.” Infuriating More, Tyndale whenever possible was loyal to the Protestant spirit by correctly translating the word ecclesia to mean “the congregation” as an autonomous body, rather than “the church” as a sacrosanct institution above human law. In English churches, state-selected priests would merely incant the liturgy. Upon hearing the words “Hoc” and “corpus” (in the “For this is my body” passage), newly literate and impatient artisans in the pews would mockingly whisper, “Hocus-pocus,” finding a tough slang term for the religious obfuscation at which they were beginning to chafe.

The cold and righteous More, backed by his “Big Brother” the Pope and leading an inner party of spies and inquisitors, watched the Channel ports for smugglers risking everything to import sheets produced by Tyndale, who was forced to do his translating and printing from exile. The rack and the rope were not stinted with dissenters, and eventually Tyndale himself was tracked down, strangled, and publicly burned.”

Tyndale’s work was a precursor to the KJV. Hitchens waxes lyrical about the literary benefits of the KJV in this article, which you should read, and be ready to quote, the next time somebody tells you that religion poisons everything.

“Though I am sometimes reluctant to admit it, there really is something “timeless” in the Tyndale/King James synthesis. For generations, it provided a common stock of references and allusions, rivaled only by Shakespeare in this respect. It resounded in the minds and memories of literate people, as well as of those who acquired it only by listening. From the stricken beach of Dunkirk in 1940, faced with a devil’s choice between annihilation and surrender, a British officer sent a cable back home. It contained the three words “but if not … ” All of those who received it were at once aware of what it signified. In the Book of Daniel, the Babylonian tyrant Nebuchadnezzar tells the three Jewish heretics Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that if they refuse to bow to his sacred idol they will be flung into a “burning fiery furnace.” They made him an answer: “If it be so, our god whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thy hand, o King. / But if not, be it known unto thee, o king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”

A culture that does not possess this common store of image and allegory will be a perilously thin one. To seek restlessly to update it or make it “relevant” is to miss the point, like yearning for a hip-hop Shakespeare. “Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward,” says the Book of Job. Want to try to improve that for Twitter? And so bleak and spare and fatalistic—almost non-religious—are the closing verses of Ecclesiastes that they were read at the Church of England funeral service the unbeliever George Orwell had requested in his will: “Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home. … Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. / Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was.”

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A comparitive analysis of Kindle’s KJV and ESV users

I love our kindle. I’m playing with some of its features as I use it to study today. I’ve set up a new Twitter account for the passages I highlight in the books I’m reading. You can keep tabs on it in the sidebar (on my actual blog for you feed readers). One of Amazon’s nifty features (which I’ve mentioned before somewhere) is displaying paragraphs other people have highlighted on their devices. I thought it might be fun to look at the different interests of people who have self selected as ESV readers and KJV readers of the Bible. The ESV is the fifth most highlighted book on the Kindle, the most popular KJV version comes in at 109.

Here are the popular ESV passages.

“…and we [3] rejoice [4] in hope of the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly – Highlighted by 100 Kindle users

“…because [6] the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, [7] for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son… – Highlighted by 97 Kindle users

“37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. God’s Sovereign Choice ROMANS 9 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying… – Highlighted by 113 Kindle users

“12Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. – Highlighted by 73 Kindle users

“19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness [2] were through the law… – Highlighted by 92 Kindle users

“…as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. – Highlighted by 112 Kindle users

“in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. One in Christ 11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh…” – Highlighted by 126 Kindle users

“…again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8†Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable… – Highlighted by 178 Kindle users

In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 14 Yet it was kind of you to share [3] my trouble. – Highlighted by 122 Kindle users

…which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God [2] may be competent, equipped for every good work. Preach the Word 2 TIMOTHY 4 ‡†I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus… – Highlighted by 69 Kindle users

Here are the KJV mob’s favourites:

“…and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this. 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil…
Highlighted by 46 Kindle users

…3:4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. 3…
Highlighted by 37 Kindle users

…for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 6:10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread. 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 6… Highlighted by 37 Kindle users

…lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 7:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 7:9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? – Highlighted by 29 Kindle users

…24:53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen… – Highlighted by 36 Kindle users

…3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world… – Highlighted by 77 Kindle users

…because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son… – Highlighted by 33 Kindle users

…wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 4:14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. 4:15 Now ye Philippians know also… – Highlighted by 11 Kindle users

And here they are as wordles.

The ESV one.

And the KJV one.

Farbeit from me to make judgments about people’s theology based on which translation they choose. There are a few similarities there, that cancel each other out for the purposes of comparison – what’s really interesting is the outliers. The KJV texts have a bias to quotes from Jesus, and seem to be predominantly about prayer. Intecessory prayer in fact. The ESV texts are predominantly Pauline, and if you had to pick a few themes they’d be the Spirit, suffering, and God’s grace.

Let the reader understand.

How to host a book burning

I have a new ambition in life… I want to write a book and have it burnt by the Amazing Grace Baptist church. You do too. You may not know it yet, but you’d be in great company. And if you go along you get BBQ or fried chicken – because they’re not works of Satan.

This video has been doing the rounds. It’s a news report on the Amazing Grace Baptist book burning – their list includes books by Billy Graham (a heretic), Mark Driskol (sic) (probably a heretic), and any version of the Bible that is not a King James. Because it, and only it, is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant word of God. I’ve always wondered what research the KJV only mob do to come to the conclusion that it was produced by better translators than our modern translators. I think I’ll try to contact this pastor guy and ask him. He has a church of 15, so he’ll have time. After the book burning of course…