Wednesday, November 30, 2011

National Geographic Magazine and the King James Bible

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Today’s Blog Post

National Geographic Magazine and the King James Bible

Dare a Pastor criticize something like a Bible? When I began the journey into “the Ministry” – the kind that I did for 35 years – you would never dare say anything critical about a Bible. But that was a long time ago.

Over the years I did move from certain Bibles and their use, to newer translations and ones that make more sense in my world and life.

One kind of Bible just made no sense in the world that I lived in. That kind of Bible was the King James Version that I first met up with when I was a boy and then later on when I became old enough to understand all that I was reading. King James, whoever he was, had no clue about my world and my time.

As I did my Theological Studies I completed all of it using the KJV (King James Version). That was the early 1970s – a very long time ago in the last Century!

As I entered “the Ministry” where I was required to preach each week, I prepared all my sermons from the KJV. But it was during that time that the newer translations or editions of the Bible started to appear on the market. Many of these were a delight to use and personally read. They were so much more common sense than the KJV. They applied to my world and my time.

In one setting as I preached each week I did introduce a newer version of the Bible entitled “The Living Bible” (LB) and then the New International Version (NIV). I actually read passages from these Bibles into my sermons. Oooiee! That was the wrong thing to do! Absolutely wrong at that time!

One old lady protested to me and others loudly and was about to have my head for doing such an unholy thing in my sermon. In her protesting to my unholy actions and belief pattern where I would read or even pick up something other than the KJV – she loudly stated that she would never change, “If this KJV was good enough for Jesus and his Disciples, it is good enough for me!” and she “humphed” out of there!

This dear lady actually believed that Jesus and the Disciples spoke in the way that King James did.

The above is my introduction to an amazing article that appears in this month’s edition of the National Geographic Magazine that has an article by Adam Nicholson entitled “King James Bible”.

NGM usually deals with anything but the Christian religion… but if it does it is to show what men and women have done with it. NGM is not political nor is it a moral compass. It is NGM and it deals with things in our world and things out of our world – and the way that these things affect people and animals, our environment, and societies. It is a non-partisan publication that is not put out by any political mind set.

The article about the King James Version of the Bible is amazing. It shows how extensive the affect the KJV has had on the world around us. It shows how old King James and his group of translators chose the language that they used and how that kind of language is embedded so deep into the entire world today – and has been for century after century.

True to NGM’s fashion they dig out examples of how the KJV is used and the many different places it is used. The Use and Abuse of it is discovered in this article. It shows the extremes and the mentions the deep blessings that the Bible has produced over the years. The extremes have come from extreme people that have destroyed the credibility of what is written or stated in the Bible.

If you are a Christian you need to read this article. It will open your eyes a little. If you are not a Christian it may blow your mind to know how much the KJV has influenced your life already. A huge amount of the wording has deeply influenced our societies.

Although what I am writing about is not about the Islamic faith and the Koran, the Islamic faith has also included sections of their teachings because of the affects that the KJV has had on the populations around them. In portions of the Koran there are strings of references to the ideas that are similar to the ones of Christians.

No I am not an expert on the Islamic faith but I have friends that are and that know their Holy Book and have also studied our Bible. They point out the similarities.

Now back to the NGM article. You really need to read it! Take a close look at it and then at what your faith is all about.

I personally do not believe in the King James Version of the Bible. I believe in God. I do not believe in a translation of the words. I use different translations in conveying what I know about and believe in God. They are tools only. But then I also use life examples that relate to the Bible and the translations that I read.

At the present time I am re-reading “The Message” which was assembled and written by Eugene Peterson. It is so cool for my life now and my time.

Where can you read the NGM article? Well it can be bought today in the Big bookstores like Chapters etc. – or read there as you sit drinking your coffee. But you can also read it at this link

If you are getting interested in reading or comparing different Bibles and translations you might like to check out where there are about 100 different translation of the Bible to read from.

If you are going to prepare anything to speak about and need a good resource the “Bible Gateway” is amazing to help in searches and texts. The copy paste feature on our computers makes “Bible Gateway” one of the most helpful tools that I have ever used.

The old lady in that first church protest that I encountered is likely rolling over with the idea that there is something like “Bible Gateway”! After all, “Jesus didn’t have a computer so I won’t have one either!”

But that old lady would have quite a shock when and if she got to heaven. They don’t speak KJV in heaven – I am quite sure of that!

As a Christian Minister I am ashamed at the way the KJV is used and abused. I am deeply troubled by the way that some other ministers abuse people by the way that they misuse the Bible – KJV or any other kind.

The NGM article embarrasses me as well. How could we as Christians do what we did in the name of God? You really need to read it!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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