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SpeakNow

Why are so many fundies insistent that the KJV is best?

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SpeakNow

Anyone know why they all think the KJV is the best translation?

Edited by OnceUponATime
adding tags

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2xx1xy1JD

Do any of these "King James Only" people know any languages other than English?

Have they ever had any experience with translation, or seen how some phrases just don't translate easily, or seen how elements of language, such as puns, get lost in translation?

Translations are helpful, sure, but even from an academic POV, you really can't claim that a translation is ever equivalent to the original.

Or...is that the whole point? That valuing works in their original language IS an academic POV, and therefore suspect? Is this really just a way to make people feel good about not learning Hebrew and Greek? It sounds like theology for the lazy.

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Third

The only woman I know who insists KJV is the BEST and should be the only version seems to have only a very basic grasp of the Bible, Biblical events, Biblical history etc. Also from how she writes I question her level of reading comprehension. When I try to explain how Hebrew is a VERY complicated language like how there are several words for 'light' but different kinds of light. Many of the translations don't take that into account because they didn't understand that and meanings were changed. She doesn't care - she will only read KJV and go to a church that ONLY preaches from it. She questions the VERY salvation of friends of ours who are learning Hebrew because of this issue.

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Hane

On a recent thread, someone cited a KJO whackjob mini-church in search of a pastor. The job posting insisted that the 1611 King James version is sufficient unto itself, and that the studies of such things as Hebrew, Greek, and "Sand Script" are harmful and unnecessary.

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doggie

myself I think because it is so hard to understand that it must be the real deal.

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Conuly

If the KJV version was good enough for Jesus, why do you think YOU get the right to mess with it? Heathen!

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chiccy

I was always semi-puzzled about this. As philistine as many fundies are, I would have thought they'd prefer one of the "accessible" versions of the Bible. You know, one of the ones (like the NIV maybe?) that translates it all into common, everyday speech. Perfect for anti-education, anti-intellectual anti-elitists, right? The KJV is actually quite beautiful and literary. I'm surprised that fundies can handle it.

Does anyone remember when the Duggars visited some place in England where part of the King James Bible was supposedly written, and Jim Bob told the kids, "This is where King James translated the Bible"? It was such an :doh:moment. Memo to Jim Bob: King James didn't actually translate the Bible; he got other people to do it. Now why don't the Duggars know that? For people who own their own church, they're pretty ignorant about Christianity.

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Conuly
I was always semi-puzzled about this. As philistine as many fundies are, I would have thought they'd prefer one of the "accessible" versions of the Bible. You know, one of the ones (like the NIV maybe?) that translates it all into common, everyday speech. Perfect for anti-education, anti-intellectual anti-elitists, right? The KJV is actually quite beautiful and literary. I'm surprised that fundies can handle it.

If it's in accessible language, people might read it. Then they might think about it and try to understand it. Asking people to have a bible in a language they can read is elitist.

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xDreamerx
I was always semi-puzzled about this. As philistine as many fundies are, I would have thought they'd prefer one of the "accessible" versions of the Bible. You know, one of the ones (like the NIV maybe?) that translates it all into common, everyday speech. Perfect for anti-education, anti-intellectual anti-elitists, right? The KJV is actually quite beautiful and literary. I'm surprised that fundies can handle it.

Does anyone remember when the Duggars visited some place in England where part of the King James Bible was supposedly written, and Jim Bob told the kids, "This is where King James translated the Bible"? It was such an :doh:moment. Memo to Jim Bob: King James didn't actually translate the Bible; he got other people to do it. Now why don't the Duggars know that? For people who own their own church, they're pretty ignorant about Christianity.

I cringed when he said that. I like the KJV. I prefer it because I think it's very beautiful English. Also I think culturally it's important translation as it has contributed many turns of phrase and lines of poetry that we now use in a common place fashion (much like the work of Shakespeare has). But, I would never claim that it's the best translation to aide understanding or possible interpretations of meaning. That's just insane. Also, I don't think fundies understand that English bibles were very much a thing of politics.

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skrmom

Verily, verily, I say unto thee...if thou shalt only readeth the King James Bible, thou shalt only speaketh the language of King James...woe unto thee who speaketh in a modern tongue.

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julie paradox

Sand Script? Fantastic! Is that what Jesus wrote when they brought the woman caught in adultery?

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fundiefan

Because they have to believe there is some secret to being a very special, perfect Christian and they have to believe that they know what it is while others are being deceived.

If it weren't the KJV, it would be something else. They aren't capable of believing that being imperfect is compatible with their god. They have to know, be special and do all the right things while they watch others flounder.

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formergothardite

Most of the KJV only people I know claim that all other translations are translated directly from the 1611 KJV, they just leave stuff out.

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daisyjane1234

I can never understand this. Particularly since we now know the KJV is dated and new archaeological evidence has emerged which provides better insight into some Bible passages.

You'd think true fundamentalists would want to read the Bible in as close a form as possible to the real deal. Oh, but wait, that would mean they would also need to read Gospels not included in the Canon by the Early Church. Oh, like the Gospel of Mary Magdalene for one. And we all know that the people in England hundreds of years after Jesus walked the Earth know more about Jesus than the people who may have lived in the years following his Ministry and whose writings might be better captured in newer versions of the Bible.

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contrary

sand script! i LOVE this so much that i want to marry it.

"reads sand script" needs to be a posting level. we need a thread for suggested new posting level monikers.

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nolongerIFBx

My church is KJVO although I am not. KJVonlyism goes along with being old-fashioned, that if it is older it is more true to the original, it was Bible of the Great Awakening, and there hasn't been such a revival with any of the newer translations, that newer versions are corrupted by the opinions of the translators, that newer translations are translations of translations rather than translations from the Textus Receptus, that the KJV is the 7th version of the Bible in English so is is "purified seven times"-"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times". (Ps 12:6) Read Bill Grady's Final Authority: A Christian's Guide to the King James Bible- http://www.amazon.com/Final-Authority-C ... 192&sr=1-8 - for an exhaustive ( in both meanings of the word!) list.

Personally, the point of having the Bible translated into English was so that men could read the Bible in their own language rather than have to have a priest read it in Latin and then interpret it. Well, I don't speak Old English so the KJV isn't in my language. It is often paired with the Webster's 1828 Dictionary to provide definitions of words we no longer use (like countenance!) but there were still 200+ years between 1611 and 1828 just as there has been between 1828 and today, so words changed just as much then as they do now. KJVonlyists believe that God preserved His Word in the KJV 1611 (although they don't use that version!) but I believe that God did not lose His power in 1611 and can still preserve His Word today.

I love the King James. It may be- and probably is- the best translation. But I also enjoy reading the ESV or NKJV where I am unfamiliar with the flow of the words so I pay more attention to what is really going on.

edited multiple times because I actually can spell and write legibly

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chiccy
On a recent thread, someone cited a KJO whackjob mini-church in search of a pastor. The job posting insisted that the 1611 King James version is sufficient unto itself, and that the studies of such things as Hebrew, Greek, and "Sand Script" are harmful and unnecessary.

I assume the person who wrote that meant Sanskrit? But I'm pretty sure none of the Bible was written in Sanskrit, so why is that language on the list with Hebrew and Greek?

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TXDuck
I assume the person who wrote that meant Sanskrit? But I'm pretty sure none of the Bible was written in Sanskrit, so why is that language on the list with Hebrew and Greek?
It was the only other "ancient" language they'd heard of? That would be my guess.

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nokidsmom
It was the only other "ancient" language they'd heard of? That would be my guess.

Same here. I recall from my college linguistics as Sanskrit as an ancient language having some common features with some European languages (due to ancient migration) but it certainly wasn't a language used in writing of the Bible, like Hebrew and Greek.

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2xx1xy1JD

If you need a dictionary and footnotes to understand 1611 English, why not just learn from the original Hebrew and Greek?

My Hebrew isn't perfect, but I use a translation that has the Hebrew text beside it, so I can check the original against the translation, and then check the translation notes.

I still have no idea how plays on Hebrew words get translated in KJV.

Does it tell you the connection between Adam and the earth? Or what Isaac has to do with Sarah's laugh? Or why the prophet Samuel got his name? Or differentiate between the creation of man, as a male, vs. Man-meaning-humankind? There are a zillion details that simply don't translate.

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SpeakNow
If you need a dictionary and footnotes to understand 1611 English, why not just learn from the original Hebrew and Greek?

My Hebrew isn't perfect, but I use a translation that has the Hebrew text beside it, so I can check the original against the translation, and then check the translation notes.

I still have no idea how plays on Hebrew words get translated in KJV.

Does it tell you the connection between Adam and the earth? Or what Isaac has to do with Sarah's laugh? Or why the prophet Samuel got his name? Or differentiate between the creation of man, as a male, vs. Man-meaning-humankind? There are a zillion details that simply don't translate.

Exactly! Even expressions like "hakol ha-metim" (raising the dead) can mean seeing someone after a prolonged absence in Hebrew. Plus "Ruach", can mean spirit OR wind. Relying on English alone makes you miss a lot of the subtleties.

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synchroswimr

The way I have heard KJVOnlyists get around the translation issues is to say that God inspired the translators, so every word is as He wanted it. Apparently He didn't influence any of the others.

NoLongerIFBx also mentioned this as part of her excellent response

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chiccy
If you need a dictionary and footnotes to understand 1611 English, why not just learn from the original Hebrew and Greek?

My Hebrew isn't perfect, but I use a translation that has the Hebrew text beside it, so I can check the original against the translation, and then check the translation notes.

I still have no idea how plays on Hebrew words get translated in KJV.

Does it tell you the connection between Adam and the earth? Or what Isaac has to do with Sarah's laugh? Or why the prophet Samuel got his name? Or differentiate between the creation of man, as a male, vs. Man-meaning-humankind? There are a zillion details that simply don't translate.

2xx1xy1JD, as far as I know--and it really is mostly from hearsay--there are a lot of translation problems presented by the Bible, but the people who wrote KJV were very attentive to them. The KJV uses a translation principle of formal equivalence rather than dynamic equivalence, making it much more faithful than most versions. Of course you can't expect any translation (of anything) to retain every nuance of the original, but, from what I've heard, the KJV comes admirably close.

Other versions of the Bible are a mixed bag, and some are pretty abhorrently unfaithful.

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