Search This Blog

TXAB’s index.

Showing posts with label #Texts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #Texts. Show all posts

19 January 2016

The King James Version: Its history and worshipers.

Some of ’em have crossed the line from fandom to idolatry.

Most of the verses I’ve memorized were in the King James Version.

Hey, it’s my upbringing. The hundred English translations of the bible that exist nowadays? Weren’t around back when I was a kid. There were maybe a dozen in the Christian bookstores. But my church used the KJV, so that’s largely what’s in my brain. Even though I later got a Good News Bible, then a New International Version, when it came to memory verses my Sunday school teachers drilled us in KJV.

In adulthood, for a lot of years I memorized verses in NIV. (Which they’ve updated three times since, so sometimes my memory verses don’t match the current NIV.) After I learned biblical languages, I memorized verses in my own translation. Makes it tricky to look up memory verses in my bible software, which is particular about which translation I’m searching. Google isn’t so picky.

Still, I quote KJV a lot, which surprises a lot of people. They assume I’m more “modern” or “postmodern” than that, whatever the mean by those terms. Supposedly a with-it guy like me (who’s not that with-it, admittedly) should think the KJV is old-timey, or out of date, or not reliable, or once I left my Fundamentalism behind I left the KJV as well.

Nope. I still like the King James Version. It’s a good translation.

Not infallible, of course. No such thing as an infallible translation. There are those who believe otherwise—that the KJV is the only reliable bible. No, not the only reliable English bible; the only reliable bible, period. I’ll deal with them in a bit.

But you’ll notice when I write about my translation of the gospels or of the apostles, I tend to compare it to the KJV. For two main reasons: Loads of Christians, especially Evangelicals, still consider it the authoritative translation of the bible, even when they like other translations better. And loads of translations have, when in doubt or whenever possible, deferred to the way the KJV originally put it. (It is, after all, the way most of us remember those verses.)

For better or worse, the KJV is still the English-language standard for bibles. It wasn’t the first English translation, but it’s definitely the most influential.