Sunday, October 5, 2008

They belittle the KJV and yet claim to respect it?

One complaint by the modern Bible versions defenders that is particularly hard to take is that the KJV is an inferior translation, and that its translators were inferior scholars. Even without knowing much about the actual historical facts, don't you have to ask how, if it were such an inferior production, it could have been regarded as the pinnacle of the English Bible translations and admired as a great work of literature as well for over two hundred and fifty years? Don't you also have to ask how on earth those who defend the modern versions nevertheless say that they respect the KJV and have nothing against anyone's depending on it? It's all the worse of course that this denigration of the translators is added to the assertion that they had inferior Greek manuscripts to work from. Is there anything at all left to respect of the KJV? Yet they say they do respect it.

There is something peculiarly painful -- I want to say wounding -- about this position. Even without being KJV-only I would think a person with the most rudimentary knowledge of the history of the English Bible would feel the hurtfulness, the injustice of such a position. It denigrates not only the KJV translators and the tradition of Greek texts they depended on, it dismisses the whole sequence of English translators that led up to the KJV (since their work was the foundation the KJV built on), it implies that Christians for centuries prior to the KJV had no trustworthy Bible to depend on, and in fact that Christians of all nations for over a millennium were deprived of the most trustworthy Greek texts, and worst of all it implies that God didn't get around to preserving His word as He had promised to do, until Westcott and Hort.

Here's a page from David Cloud's site where the contention that the KJV translators were inferior is addressed.

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