CORRESPONDENCE: THE MOST RELIABLE ENGLISH BIBLE
Dear Bro Chris,
This month’s Christadelphian Waymark ‘special issue’ on The Most Reliable English Bible is not only most interesting but also very relevant in the circumstances of a trend in the brotherhood to use some modern translations. However, those who love the Word of God clearly wish to have a translation which is as close as possible to that which the Holy Spirit has spoken (cf Hebrews 3:7). This is surely an imperative.
The King James translation is the medium through which a deep Bible knowledge spread throughout the English speaking world in previous centuries and enabled the Protestant churches to more than withstand Catholicism. It is not surprising that Roman Catholicism has sought to replace that translation with it’s own version and with its influences upon the translation committees of many modern translations.
I believe there is another benefit of the KJV—namely, its archaic language has a notable cadence which enables it to be more readily committed to memory. This is not an issue of making the Bible a literary work to be admired like the works of Shakespeare, but a facility which better enables us to keep the Word in our minds and hearts (Psa. 119:11).
My opinion is that the KJV is a providentially provided work which has served the brotherhood so well in the past. With brethren and sisters overall benefiting from more education in the past generation or two, it seems strange that we find its archaic language more of a problem than to previous generations.
May I take the opportunity of recommending to your readers the 124 page book Which Translation published by The Testimony magazine (£3.50 post free, available from Sis. Thelma Marshall, The Pines, Ling Common, Castle Rising, King’s Lynn, PE31 6AE.) Whilst this book does contain some overlap with your special issue (which is no bad thing as those matters are important), there is a valuable amount of additional information. Indeed, on the subject of the NIV, may I conclude with a quotation from page 76:
“If the Lord remains away and our children rely on the NIV, the Truth will be eroded to the point where the next generation will have Bibles which no longer support the first principles of the Truth regarding the nature of Jesus. This could, in time, lead to our understanding of the efficacy of Jesus’s sacrifice being obscured from view. All versions of the Bible have a place as aids to Bible Study, but we should not forget that the NIV is one of the products of declared papal ecumenical policy, and should therefore be used with caution. If we ignore this, we do so at our peril”.
Sincerely your Brother,