The story that I am about to tell is likely to upset a few people, including family and friends. Over the last few years, I’ve become very firm in my King James Version only stand. My stand is different than most in that my issue is not an argument over accuracy. My stand is based on 1 Corinthians 14:33. The more time that passes, the more I am convinced that the existence of all of these new translations is from the devil himself. I am not saying that one is less accurate than the other but rather, their existence creates confusion.
Over the last two decades, I’ve noticed that people often say that they use these new translations because they feel they are easier to understand. It seems like a legitimate concern because after all, most people don’t speak with thou and thee on a daily basis. It is interesting that their claim is to prevent confusion or to give a better understanding.
I want you to think back to your days in elementary school during reading. The teacher would point to one child and tell them to begin reading the text aloud. Before long, the teacher would interrupt and point to another child and have them continue reading along where the last child left off. This continues until everyone in the classroom has read part of the text. While one child is reading, the others follow along in their books until they are called upon to read. Visualize this scene in your mind. The other children must follow along or they will not know where to begin reading when the teacher calls on them.
The class room is a place of learning and has a unique environment where each student not only learns from the teacher but also from their fellow classmates. The classroom environment is a great place for students of differing backgrounds to ask questions and learn from the other perspectives.
Now imagine this same reading scenario where each student has a text book translated differently. There is no standard text where every student can follow along. Now lets imagine the teacher asking all the children to read a story out loud together. It would be utter confusion as the words are not the same. You have people losing their train of thought because they are trying to keep up when their text is worded differently. You can imagine the confusion.
The picture that I’ve just illustrated is exactly what is going on in the church today. The Pastor is reading from the ESV, some are reading the ASV, NIV, NAS and KJV. It is difficult for me to follow and I know I can’t be the only one. It is the individual’s responsibility study and “rightly divide the word of truth” as spoken of in 2 Timothy 2:15. When you go to church and the Pastor is going from one version to the next, it is difficult to follow. For generations, Christians did Bible memorization where scriptures are memorized and quoted through time. Everyone knew the famous John 3:16 was…
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 KJV.
We are living in a world now where people in the same church building cannot quote that scripture because they learned it as the NLT puts it…
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NLT
I am convinced that when people are reading the same text written completely different, confusion is bound to reside. I don’t know how it could be avoided. Imagine if the classroom was to recite the Pledge of Allegiance written by people that had completely different dialects. Imagine if each student was told to memorize it but they were given different translations of the same pledge. Imagine synchronized swimmers swimming to the same song, with each listening to headphones. One swimmer is dancing to the song in country while another is dancing to the same song in rap and so on. I pretty sure the tempo would not match. My point in all this is that I see a clever attempt at being easier to understand creating more confusion. For this reason, before I read a scripture in a post online, I always look to see what version it is before I read.
One may think that I am being petty and just looking for reasons to be controversial. If that is the case then I think they missed the whole point. I see the Bible as the inspired word of God. The most important piece of information that we can have. I rely on the Holy Spirit to clarify the meaning of a word. I just have a hard time accepting that having nine different translations of the Bible has any good outcome. It causes confusion and disagreement when the stated goal was to make it more understanding. Just as Joshua said…
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15 KJV
In the same spirit, I say, “as for me and my house, we will use the King James Version”. I mean no one offense or controversy. That is just my opinion.