Some time ago I purchased "The King James Only Controversy" by James R. White (LibraryThing doesn't include the "R" but I had a visitor to my library list ask me to add it because there's another James White out there). I had breezed through it then, but (with school and all) hadn't really absorbed it. One of the things that I want to teach my kids is that there is good doctrine and bad doctrine - and it matters. So when I see these controversies come up, I talk about them with my kids and I take the opportunity to read both side.
My goal is to be able to step up and tell what I believe and why. We live in a time when it is easy to allow somebody (whether it be individuals or organizations) do our thinking for us - I believe it is the responsibility of every Christian to educate themselves as well as they can and to evaluate new or different (or opposing) teachings against Scripture.
So...here we go.
I'll cover the introduction today.
The question is asked: why worry about the controversy?
- The King James Only controversy, by its very nature, disrupts the community. It brings contention right into the pews of the church.
- Due to the nature of the "King James Only" beliefs, the advocates believe that their message of "only one true Bible" needs to be heard loudly and quickly.
- The King James Only controversy alleges grand and complex conspiracies" on the part of the more modern translators and distrust of other Christians who use other translations.
- The strictest adherents to this extra-Biblical doctrine will go so far as to state that users of any Bible translation, other than the 1611 authorized version are of the devil.
Our relationship with Christ is not based on a particular translation, it is based on the blood of Christ. Men and women led Christian lives for 1500 years before the 1611 version, so it is obvious that the salvation is not dependent on the "authorized version".
This controversy, as with many others, feeds upon the ignorance among Christians regarding the origin, transmission and translation of God's Word. Those who have studied and made themselves truly knowledgeable are not likely candidates to be taken in by this doctrine.
It is vital to note that refuting "KJV-only-ism" does NOT make any claims that the KJV translation is not a fine Bible. It is. The point that White is making is that the claim that there is only ONE valid translation that God DEMANDS that we use is neither Biblical nor logical.
White asks that those people who picked up this book out of curiosity give his arguments full thought. He also asks that those who are committed to the AV (authorized version) ONLY examine their believes in light of logic, history and Scripture.
The last two sentences of the introduction:
Those who are blind to their own traditions are the least likely to be fully Biblical in their beliefs. We all must constantly test our faith by Scripture, and we must pray for a willingness to abandon those beliefs that are found to be contrary to God's revealed truth.