About Me

When not at work with students, I spend my time in my room either reading, calculating something using pen and paper, or using a computer. I read almost anything: from the pornographic to the profound, although my main interests are mathematics and physics. "When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes." -Erasmus

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Original King James Bible

I recently became aware that there is a group of fundamentalist Christians who believe that the King James Version is the only divinely inspired translation. I read about such a view in wikipedia, but did not take it seriously because I thought, no, that can't happen here in my university.

The occasion arose because I was presenting evidence of two incompatible creation accounts in Genesis, and showed him a Catholic translation. My friend, of course, being a Protestant, would not even read the catholic translation, and so I suggested examining a protestant translation. Of course, it had to be the New International Version. What was funny about it was that the NIV had the 2nd creation account worded differently. Probably because the translation committee was familiar with the two accounts reading, and so made what I think is a dishonest translation (if not dishonest, then let us charitably call it self-deceptive).

After reading the NIV version, I commented on how strange the wording was, and said that the King James Version had it worded differently. Apparently, my friend viewed the KJV as the more authoritative translation, and so I got into talking about how the KJV is no better than other translations, since I doubted that any translation can be divinely inspired.

I learned later that the King James Version I had was a later version-- it was modernized by Benjamin Blayney in 1769, and it was his modernization that is sold in today's bookstores as the King James Version. A scan of the 1611 King James version, with its archaic spelling, marginal notes, and its inclusion of the Apocrypha (or what Catholics call the deutero-canonical books can be found here.) Wikipedia has an excellent entry and its version of the King James Bible can be found here. It is useful to read the translator's preface-- it provides an excellent antidote to those tempted to believe in "the King James Version Only".

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