Friday, April 8, 2011

Lost In Translation

Day 280 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series

Seems that I have finally figured out what the unpardonable sin is. It's not homosexuality as many would have it these days, murder or being a thief - it is not using the King James Version of the Bible or better said, using a translation of the Bible other than the KJV.

Today I was not only "unfriended" on Facebook for making a remark on a KJV onlyist's wall posting but he blocked me as well. He had stated something about the differences in the KJV and the ASV, I simply stated that I had a love for the KJV, but also believe that other translations also hold the fullness of God's Word. I wasn't snarky and I wasn't rude and BAM! less than a minute later I was blocked. I can't say that I am not bothered by it. Well, actually being blocked doesn't bother me, but folks that say others will go to Hell for using the ESV translation will really does bother me.

As I said, I love the KJV translation, I was brought up with it and only found out there were other versions later in life. That's all that anyone used or even mentioned at my church during my youth. When God actually saved me I really wanted to understand His Word so I started discovering other translations and actually did research to find one that is accurate as possible. I still have an affinity for the KJV, but do not ascribe to it as the "only" translation acceptable by God. I happen to have more KJV in my home than any others combined, so I am far from a KJV exclusionist (if there is such a thing). I do not hold disdain for anyone that chooses to use the KJV exclusively either. What I do find offense to is when someone says that it is the ONLY translation that can be used and all others are trash.

The mindset of the actual KJV onlyists is very law focused. You "must' use this version or you are damned. That is a added doctrine by these folks. This in effect changes the Gospel into another gospel that we are warned about in Galatians 1:8-9. Adding any conditions to salvation makes it us who are the reason for salvation. "I said the prayer", I walked the aisle", "I read and study the King James translation and will go to hell if I don't" are all adding to the Grace of God bestowed through the work of Christ and His Gospel. We cannot do anything to gain salvation, especially ascribing to "musts" in translations.

I will agree that there are some "translations" that are heretical, to say the least. The first that comes to mind is "The Message" and all of its incarnations. This "version" is nothing more than someone's rendition in "modern" words that really twists the meanings of the True Word of God. Others that are not good are the RSV, NRSV, New Jerusalem Bible, NWT and the latest version of the NIV and the TNIV.

On the other side are the actually good translations, which include the KJV, NKJV, NASB, ESv and the "Way of the Master's" Evidence Bible, which is actually the KJV with newer words replacing all of the thee, thou, thine and so on. Any of these I recommend. Some of them use earlier texts than the KJV did for translating.

Let's look at a single verse in different translations. The verse is 2 Corinthians 5:21, which I like to call the Gospel in a single verse. God could use this one short verse to bring about repentance in a person, it is His Word that has the power to save. So let's look and see what different translations have this verse to say and see if any of them are heresy:

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (KJV)

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.(NKJV)

2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (ESV)

2 Corinthians 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be (B)sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (NASB)

2 Corinthians 5:21 He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (HCSB)

So, within those versions was the Gospel compromised? Were they all true to the Word? Did they all convey the Gospel, simply and truthfully? A yes to all of those questions.

So, if you are a KJV onlyist, please reconsider your unbiblical stance on saying people will go to Hell because they use a different translation. Keep using the KJV by all means, it is great, but do not condemn others because they want a Bible translation that they can actually understand. Also, one more question - where is the Spanish speaking KJV bible? Are all of those that use a different translation in Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, German or Swahili going to hell because they don't read the only "Authorized" version of the KJV? Please take this false doctrine out of your vocabulary.

I am very open to comments and will approve any except those with cursing or those that are blasphemous. I welcome the views of those that have a different take on things than I do. I am not too proud to say I am wrong on any topic and feel that dialog is beneficial to all of God's children. I believe that the children of God bare witness to one another through the Spirit and therefore will come to a agreement at some point, especially on the essential doctrines of scripture. The non-essentials is usually where the arguments get started and folks get mad, because they defend their customs and practices instead of weighing everything against scripture. May God help us all to seek the Truth of His Word together and in love for each other and especially for our Lord.

No comments: