Monday, October 13, 2008

Jacob, James, and King James

I was utterly surprised when I heard a sermon in which a minister was actually talking about that which is perfect is come meaning the KJV Bible.

Yes, there are still people who absolutely worship the King James Version of the Bible as if the translation is the work of God. What does one do with people like this? Okay, one's mouth falls open with surprise that there are still people out there who think that God personally oversaw the translation of the KJV. But then again, there are people out there whose mouth drop open in amazement when we Christians actually talk about hearing from God. So, I'm not gonna get too pushy.

But honestly! I won't go into the various errors that are in the KJV but I'll just start with one: The changing of the name of Jesus' brother from Jacob to James. Through one translation weirdness to another. From Aramaic to Greek to Latin to English. What is listed as the letter of Jacob becomes the letter of James. Every reference to Jacob, the Lord's brother becomes James. Every application of the name Jacob in the new testament becomes James. So James the Least "Little James" one of Jesus disciple was actually Little Jacob. And James and John we actually Jacob and Yohanan. Now, we can accept John because it's all a matter of dialect translation. Yohanan becomes John, or Ewan, or Ian or Yan or Jan depending on what language one speaks. Same for Miriam. Mary. Maria, Marie, Maryam. The same for Yeshua: Jesus, Joshua, Iesu. But the leap from Jacob to James!!!! Nah, that is too much, and it's an error in many of the latin-based translations. So why do the KJV folks worship it so much.

Yeah, yeah, I know. the KJV is my favorite translation also.


Anonymous said...

I'm not well versed on translations like Aramaic, and Latin, I do know that I absolutely love learning from the NIV and CSB(Christian Standard Bible)-which is not so different from NIV.

I started off reading KJV of course, I just adore the writing, yet I have digested more from the NIV. So, to each their own. If the KJV is just fine for someone, then fine. But I have learned loads more from NIV, I mean, I do understand the KJV, but it gets too "lippy" sometimes and I need actual language that talks to me.

Besides, are we to worship the bible? Someone wrote an article on about worshiping God or a book. Me personally, I believe the bible is inspirational-God inspired, but I do not worship books. I worship God and the bible has some instructions on how to go about worshiping and treating people right as well as historical writings and poetry.

I guess I like NIV then, didn't mean to be long winded :)

Carole McDonnell said...

Whenever someone talks about worshiping a Book, he is generally picking on the Bible, whatever the translation. In my experience, a gay minister friend of mine often said if we believe the Bible we worship a book. In that way he implied that he was closer to God. And in the episcopallian church many ministers will say that the Bible is only a book like other books. But a holy book is to be worshiped i think. After all, Moslems think the koran is a holy book worthy of worship. They think God wrote it. And hey, if God writes a book, it ought to be worshiped. So beware of people talking about worshiping a book because they might be talking about the Bible and accusing Bible-believers as legalistic. They say this because they want to say they are taught by God's spirit and not chained to mere words. But Jesus always points us to the Word. And Jesus says that heaven and hell will pass away but his word will not pass away. Also, God says, "Thou hast exalted they word above thy name." Plain and simple, the Bible tells us that it was made from God's words. So I have no problem with worshiping the Bible.

I DO have a problem however with worshiping any particular translation above any other though. And there is a certain Christian philosophy that says that specifically the KJV is THAT WHICH IS PERFECT. They say that that which is perfect is come therefore the days of miracles are past. This philosophy is used by Baptists who believe that healing passed away with the apostles because that which is perfect is the putting of all the Scriptures in a book. So then they say that God got rid of miracles. The KJV is the extreme fringe of this group. But throughout Christian history there are people who have had miracles after the days of the apostles.
The books of the Bible as we know it came to us by way of the Greek translation which came from the original Hebrew and Aramaic. Then the Greek was translated into Latin. In the western world anyway. The Eastern Text is the Bible the Eastern Christian churches (mostly orthodox) use. There are often some differences. For instance, western Bibles will translate the verse as "My God, my God why has thou forsaken me?" But the eastern text used by Eastern, Greek, Russian orthdox, Indian churches translate it as My God, My God, for this I was spared!" OR "for this I was born!"

Upshot though, when you hear someone talking about not worshiping the Bible, you don't know how to agree or disagree with them until you know if they are talking about worshiping a specific translation or subtly dissing the Word of God, whatever translation.

Carole McDonnell said...

Plus the Bible says the Spirit and The Word agree. So the word leads us to the spirit and the spirit leads us to the word. So when someone says he has the spirit and he loves God, he should connect to the word and see the need for the word. The word is like a road map with major sign posts. More than that. The word is a force that causes us to live. It is alive and it is the seed that groweth up of itself no one knoweth now. The spirit works with the word. It's like a radio announcer that tells us what part of the map to use. And it works with the word to enlighten us and to give life to the promises of God that God made in his word.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, its kind of confusing because I don't worship books, but I see the bible as God inspired and believing in it means I am believing God.

I guess the postmodernist would say words are mere words anyway, so , yes, they would be going against the bible anyways.

Good post by the way.

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