Thursday, October 21, 2004

KJV Only

Rebecca has done it again. Check out her entry on KJV Only. She has solid logic and is not strident in her tone.

Some of my own thoughts on KJV Only is that it seems centered on having all the loose ends tied up. Textual criticism, this is not about being mean and critical, is the study of the text of the Bible and what the original text was. Some people who have studied this field have lost their faith in God's scripture and the God of the scriptures. I think the concern of the KJV Only folks is that we do not have to worry about the authority of scripture. They try to cut the confusion and help God out a little by selecting an authoritative text. Do I trust the United Bible Society to do that selection for me? Do I trust the translators of the NASB to do that. In essence, the KJV Only crowd have sided with a particular version of the Bible that was not particularly developed for this purpose of having an authoritative text. It was printed to have a printed Greek text. Not bad or evil, just a text, the best the printer of the day had. Most Christians do not need to worry about textual criticism. Pastors should understand it but it is a technical field that is difficult to develop competencies in. Most pastors are fortunate if they can master and maintain their skills in the original languages. KJV Only attempts to solve a problem that most people are not really concerned about. In a sense the variants of the oldest New Testament documents are not really all that different. The real solution to the problem is to read and compare the original records. If one does this he or she will see that the variation really is not all that significant. We have a good text. It does not rest with one official copy, but within the life of the church which as preserved the text. The texts by the way that Jesus and the apostles quoted was not always the Masoretic Text. It sure would be nice to have the originals locked up in a vault, but then again, which ever group owned the originals might claim a superior hold on scripture.
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