Wednesday, November 16, 2005

With Gentleness and Reverence (Part 2)

Once the H-Bomb (heresy) was dropped, my defenses rose quickly. Now, I had heard of and read about King James Onlyism in the past year or so, and so I knew of some of the arguments and the way that the issues are approached - so, I was not totally unprepared, but I was less prepared than I would have liked to be.

One of the biggest issues is the "removal" of important words or phrases from the content of the new versions as opposed to the AV 1611.*

  1. His (KJV only) position: The new translations remove the blood of Christ and other key theologically important doctrines by the changing or removing words. I'll give you one of the most popular examples that is thrown out.*
    • Col 1:14 AV 1611 KJV - "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:"**
    • NASB Col 1:14 - "in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
  2. KJV Only Explanation: "Satan hates the Atoning Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, so we shouldn't be surprised to find the blood missing in modern translations."*** Basically, Satan is behind the new translations and translators, and this is proof.
  3. My response: Not going into an argument surrounding the textual evidence supporting this particular translation of the passage, I would say that if (and that's a BIG "if") Satan is trying to expunge the atoning work of Christ's shed blood on the cross, why does this phrase still appear in the rest of the bible? Look at Ephesians 1:7, this parallel passage shows exactly what the KJV only folks claim is being removed from the bible. Also, the last time that checked any translation of Hebrews 9, 10, and 11 (see the references in the KJV or NASB), this portion of scripture goes into great detail about this very thing - the atonement.
The gentleman at my door kept on coming back at me with one main question when I would challenge his claims and defend the gospel as inspired only in it's original writings.

The question was this:
Q: Do you think that this (holding up his bible) is scripture?
A: As much as that book that you are holding up accurately reflects the original writings, then yes - in that degree it is scripture.

He didn't like that response from me, and he told me as much later. Now, to be fair - if anyone came up to me on the street, in church, or at work and held up a bible and asked me this same question, my answer would have been shorter; namely, I would have answered, "Yes!" That being said, I would still hold to what I said to the man at my door, but if I would have said "Yes" to him, then he would have said to me that his bible is different than mine, and only one can be right (or something to that effect). If I would have said no, he would have said that I am a liberal or someone who doesn't value the word (or something to that effect).

All of our differences put to the side - the biggest problem that I had with this whole encounter was not related to the KJV or NASB, but it was with how our conversation ended. After about a little while (maybe 20 minutes or more, I really don't know) we had gone around and around and gotten no where. At this time, the older gentleman told me that he could only take so much time with me, and he had to move on. Just having read what he said, it may sounds like a nice way to end a conversation, but it was anything but nice. It was almost a rude way to end the conversation. Well, I didn't want to end on a bad note, so I leaned out of my door to call to them to try and continue the conversation or end it better, and what I got was another curt response to the effect of "We're Done!" Then, as I looked over the heads of those two men, I saw my unsaved neighbor smoking a cigarette on his front step. And to make matters worse, this was exactly where the two men where going.

Now, I can only guess what went through my neighbor's mind as he saw the tail end of my conversation and endured the whole length of whatever conversation he had with the two gentlemen, but he knows that I am a Christian. So he saw a less than happy ending (I don't know how I looked, but the older gentleman looked and sounded angry) to a conversation between myself and two men. And now he's introduced to these two men who try to WITNESS to him about Christ.

I was very distressed that the witness of Christ to my neighbor was probably hurt (it wasn't built up, that's for sure), and so I resolved to try to catch up to them down the street to express my concerns. Before I could go outside, I had to go back in to put on socks, shoes, and a jacket - so in this time I was able to formulate what I wanted to say to these guys if or when I was able to catch up to them. I had three things that I wanted to say:
  1. Thanks for bringing the gospel to the homes of people who may not know.
  2. I wanted to apologize if I was not showing a proper demeanor of a servant of Christ in and after our conversation.
  3. Regardless of our differences, I think that the damage done to the gospel in the eyes of my neighbor was very bad.
Well, when I got outside and hustled down the street, I found these men talking to someone about 2 or 3 blocks down. I didn't want to hamper any work that the Lord was doing with their witness nor appear agressive, so I waited across the street from the house until they were done. When they came back to the street to their van (their group must have been meeting up to go to a different neighborhood or something), and before I had a chance to say anything, the same gentleman said to me (in a not-so-friendly tone), "I thought that our conversation was over."

That wasn't the only thing - before I could get out anything out, he then asked me if I knew what I had done during our previous conversation. He said that I had told my entire neighborhood that I doubted the word of God (relating to my opposition to KJV onlyism). I told him that I said no such thing, but that I was trying to defend the Word. At this time, he again abruptly tried to end our conversation, and not in a peaceful manner, and began moving toward and getting ready to enter the van (filled with 5 or 6 other people from his group).

Trying to salvage a this conversation and end it with...well, something other than hostility, I told him that 1 Peter 3:15 says that we need to answer questions about our faith with gentleness and respect. And here comes the worst part of the whole day.... He looked me in the eye and said, "I don't have to do that!"

I was flabbergasted, so I pleaded again for him to look at that passage. He answered in the same way as he did the first time. The third time I referenced this verse in 1 Peter 3, he said, "Read the King James (1 Peter 3:15) - I don't have to do that!" With that, the door closed, and the driver pulled away.

Stay tuned for "With Gentleness and Reverence (Part 3)".

*Please note that whenever the word "remove" or "change" is used in this type of a debate by someone who believes only in the KJV, it is a removal or changing of words from the King James Translation, not from the original Greek or Hebrew. But, remember, to the person who holds a position like these men do, the Hebrew and Greek don't matter anymore - only the AV 1611 KJV matters.

**The bold lettering seen in this passage was added by me for emphasis so that the reader can easily see the difference between the AV 1611 and the other translations.

***This was quoted from the tract "Let's Compare Bibles - If You Think All Bible Trnaslations Are Good, Perhaps You Should Think Again." by James L Melton. This is one of the tracts handed to me during this encounter.

3 comments:

Gone said...

Very interesting. We want to be accurate, but things like this really give some people a bad impression.

EJ said...

True, and that is what broke my heart about the ending of the first part of our conversation. The second conversation (detailed in part 2) turned my reaction from a broken heart to anger that a believer wouldn't let a clear teaching in the Word order his actions.

Nate said...

Eric,
I'm looking forward to your third part in the "series." I think it's sad that people have to waste so much energy on an issue that destracts from the main point. I r
do somewhat understand the zeal behind these KJV only radicals. They believe that they are defending God's Holy Word, especially since He said he will preserve every jot and tittle of it. The real question is "What did God mean when He said he would preserve His Word?" Since there are slight differences in each and every N.T. manuscript that we have, I think their line of argument runs into some trouble.

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