Monday, December 27, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Well a lot has happened in my life since last Christmas. This time last year, I was ending my ministry in Huntingburg, Indiana at Central Christian Church and packing up to move back to West Virginia at the end of 2009. Well I got moved back and here I am a year later.
I left full-time ministry, but never leaving ministry and always open to returning to full-time ministry. I have been able to do some fill-in preaching and youth speaking periodically to keep from being totally rusty. I have been able to speak to a variety of churches in West Virginia.
Ofcourse, I was dating Cheryl last year and we got engaged in April and got married on June 18th. I just passed my 6 month anniversary and she hasn't left me yet, so, so far so good, haha. It has had its challenges for both of us, and we are still in transitation with all the things going on, but there is no doubt God brought us together and has blessed us.
We are still looking for a church home and trying to decide where we want to eventually reside. Please be in prayer for us in that. Currently we are living in Glenwood, in Cheryl's parents old house. The kids are liking their new schools. Lindsey turned 10 this fall and is in 4th grade at Ashton Elementary and is cheering for Ashton in little league basketball.
Josh is 14 and is in 9th grade at Hannan.
Josh was diganosed this summer with Asperger's syndrome ( a high functioning form of Autism) and we are currently looking into resources to best help Josh, because He is also ADHD along with some other issues, so please be in prayer for Josh as we try to best Help him.Josh killed his first "buck" deer this year, a 3 pointer on the first day of deer season, I wasn't as lucky, I harvested a doe, but we are enjoying eating our kill.
Cheryl quit her job at the accounting firm last month in hopes of finding a new job, so currently she is collecting unemployment and job hunting and being full-time mother and housewife until she finds employment. Please pray for her to find a job and if you know of anyone hiring accounting/office manager type people, please let me know. Cheryl also has been going to school online/part-time to try and work toward a CPA. I've been volunteering with the Hannan athletic boosters and doing some announcing for jr high basketball games at Hannan this winter.
This past May Cheryl's dad Johnny lost his 2 year battle with cancer. Also, her grandfather John, Sr. passed away in November, so the Barnett family has experienced alot of loss in 2010. Please continue to pray for their family, as some have had a difficult time dealing with the loss.
I know it seems there has been a lot of bad news this year, but there has been lots of good news. My dad retired the end of July, I got married, and I have been working at Jenkins Fenstermaker Law firm in Huntington, WV as a Courier.
My brother-in-law Tom got back in church. The Reds won their division and made the play-offs, so it's not all been bad, haha.
We are blessed and we are thankful this Christmas! Thank you for being our family and friends. I pray you all have a most blessed Christmas and a Great New Year in 2011.
Love to All,
Jason, Cheryl, Josh, and Lindsey
Monday, December 13, 2010
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Monday, December 06, 2010
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
We like God to listen to us don't we? We go to God with your complaints, gripes, wants, desires, etc...and of course God's word tells us to ask, seek, and knock(Matt. 7:7-8) and we do. Nothing wrong with asking God for things, but my question is are we doing all the talking?
Do we take time to listen to God speak? Or are we doing all the talking? Do we take time to listen to what God has to say through prayer? His word? Worship? Others? God is constantly speaking to us. We may not hear an audible voice, but God is not always silent. There are times where God is silent, but that doesn't mean He never speaks to us, most cases it's because we fail to listen, or hear Him.
I am guilty of this, obviously, that's why I am writing about this subject today. Learning to listen is a skill we have to learn. Not only do we have to learn it, we have to discipline ourselves to listen, especially when there is distractions, noises etc...like stress, trauma, sin, tragedy, trials, problems, etc...
It's easy to not hear God when we instead listen to things that keep us from hearing God. It's easy to not hear God when we are busy doing all the talking. Take time to reflect, take time to ponder, take time to be quiet, and listen to God. Read His word and listen. Pray for a time and then stop and just listen.
God is speaking all around you and me. God has something to tell us. Maybe He wants to encourage you? Maybe He wants to comfort you? Maybe He wants to discipline you? Maybe He wants to give you some direction? Stop. Listen. Hear.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Monday, November 01, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
" 1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?"
Monday, October 18, 2010
2 I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me." Psalm 69:1-2
Monday, October 11, 2010
Monday, October 04, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
I grew up in Glenwood, West Virginia in Mason County. I attended and graduated from Hannan High School in Ashton, WV. Hannan is located out in the hills and valley's of southern mason county and is a small rural school made up of jr/sr high students with an enrollment of around 250 7th-12th grades.
Hannan is sometimes forgotten maybe due to it's location or size. Many people living in nearby counties have never even heard of Hannan or where it's located. Even in our own county, sometimes Hannan is treated like the red-headed step-child often in the shadows of other county schools. However, I am not complaining and we are not victims, it's just reality, it happens in life.
Hannan has often struggled in sports because they simply do not have the numbers and resources to compete. In 90 years of existence, there probably have been few winning seasons and the football team has never went to the playoffs and the basketball team has made the state tournament only once in 2001 for the first time, with 7 players mind you.
Yet, despite the lack of success on the court or field, many students have excelled in the classroom. I remember not always having the chance to take all the classes i wanted, when your school is small they can't offer too many special elective classes, or the same class multiple times. I remember not being able to take driver's ed because I went to vocational school and it was only offered in the morning while I was at Vo-tech.
However, I do remember my 9th grade year we had a winning record in jr. high football, we were 5-1-1 i believe. I can remember getting in the game for 3 plays and making 3 tackles and I got to start the next week because of that. I also remember my Sr. year we were 1-9 and we got blown out by teams much better than us, I bet 6 of our 10 games were against teams rated in the top 10 in WV and Ohio. We did play the #2 team and #4 team in the state. No one likes to lose, or lose handily, but I will also say I love the memories i have of that experience.
My senior year in basketball though I did not play, our team broke the school record for wins and won the sectional tournament for the first time in school history. That was fun to cheer them on. The girls team also won the sectional that year. We have had some good athletes at Hannan. We have also had some Hannan alums go on to do great things beyond college and become successful people. In my class alone it seems we have many successful business owners, salesman, and a lawyer to name a few. Success is not just defined in degrees, titles, and money. It's also defined in character, attitude, and heart. How successful you are as a human being, a parent, and a spouse.
I may have not gotten to take all the classes I wanted, but at Hannan I got an education(to be honest I didn't apply myself like I should have), and any troubles I had in college was my own fault for lack of discipline and effort(I got that in the military). I may not be a great athlete and there were times I sat the bench at Hannan if that tells you what a great athelete I was, but I made friendships, and have fond memories, and was able to be a part of something special.
Hannan is like any other school it is not perfect, it has a few negative parents, students, and problems. Sometimes Hannan gets a bad stereotype and I'll be honest I've sat and listened to people at ball games and things over the years and been frustrated with some of the ignorance, but you have that everywhere, Hannan doesn't have the market on ignorant or uneducated people. However, there are also some of the most loyal, giving, and caring people in that community.
I am proud of Hannan High School. I am proud to be an alumni of Hannan High school. I am proud that my stepson goes to Hannan and that I'm volunteering to help with the athletic boosters. I want to be a positive part of the community and school. The more positive influences we have, the more positive people we have involved, the less of a voice the negative people have. The more we educate people and support our school and students, the better the environment and culture becomes.
I would not trade my education and experience at Hannan High school for anything. I also will not stand by and allow people to trash my school or stereotype it unfairly. We need pride. We need to support our teachers, our school, our community, and most of all our kids. They deserve to have the best in education, athletics, and support. I expect other schools to get more because they are bigger and have more students, but Hannan also deserves to have quality and the best as well for the amount of students they have.
They also deserve our support and commitment as parents, fans, alumni, and members of the community. Our kids need to feel a sense of pride and they also need to be taught by example from us adults how to be committed and not to blame everyone and everything for losing, or mistakes, or failures. To accept responsiblity for our actions and to stay committed even when the road gets rough.
I think the most important thing we want is a place where I kids can learn, grow, mature, and build healthy relationships. A place where they can get an education and play athletics and I think the more Hannan gets and the more people support and help the more competive we can become, but it takes time, commitment, loyalty, and honesty.
I am proud of Hannan and I hope you will share in that pride with me and if you're not from Hannan, whatever school you are from or your kids go to, I pray you will be supportive and take pride in your school, community, and students.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Check out the words to this worship song:
This is the air I breathe
This is the air I breathe
Your Holy presence living in me
This is my daily bread
This is my daily bread
Your very Word spoken to me
And I'm desperate for You
And I'm lost without You This is the air I breathe (Words & Lyrics by Marie Barnett)
Most of the time when you think of word "Desperate" it means someone who is really reaching. We've used that word to describe
someone who dates or marries someone cause they are lonely. We use that term to describe someone who is in over their head and
has no where else to go. Desperate is usually not used in a positive light.
However, as this song describes, we should be Deperate for God. Whether we realize it or not, we need God. God=life. Just as we need water, food, and shelter to survive, we also need God in order to survive.
God should be looked at as our life line our life support and our air to breathe. We cannot survive eternally without God. This life we currently live, was also not meant to be lived without God. Many people live and die everyday without giving God one minute, but regardless of whether people choose God or not, that doesn't mean they don't or didn't need Him.
We need God. We need to have a desire, a thirst, and a hunger for a relationship with God. We need more churches that are desperate for God, many are just desperate because they refuse to change or do what it takes to reach lost people and be obedient to God. Many Churches are desperate because they are dwindling and dying and/or dysfunctional or fighting and not desperate for God.
We need more Christ followers who are desperate for God,, and not just desperate because they refuse to be obedient to God, admit sin, repent of wrongs, or because they want to follow their own will and not the perfect will of God.
There is a difference between a Holy desperation for God that we desperately need Him in our lives and just being desperate because we are ignorant, selfish, disobedient, or prideful. Desperate is good if/when we realize we need God and want Him to be a part of every aspect of our lives. Our relationships, our jobs, our friends, our tongue, our thoughts, and our hobbies.
God will meet all our needs. He will provide, supply, and care for all our needs. Sometimes our wants if they fit into His will, but always our needs. God is faithful. God is Just. God is Consistent. I think when me and you become more desperate for Him like we would be breath if we couldn't breath, then we are starting to get it.
"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19(NIV)
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Introduction: What the Debate is About
Have you ever been in a Bible study where everyone in the group reads a verse . . . and there are two or three Bible versions being used? Following the train of thought can be difficult when a verse in one version clashes with the next verse in another version.
Since the 1940s, many new Bible versions have appeared on the market: the Revised Standard Version, the New English Bible, the New American Standard Bible, the New International Version, the Living Bible, the Contemporary English Version, The Message, and many more. When I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, the King James was still the dominant version. Today the New International Version leads sales followed by the KJV.(1)
For some people, the multiplicity of versions is a nuisance, but they accept it, believing that it is all a matter of personal preference. For others, however, this is a serious issue; not because of the inconvenience of multiple versions, but because they believe the King James Version is the only correct version for the church.
These new versions came about because of the publication of a new Greek New Testament about a century ago. Defenders of the primacy of the KJV were very vocal in their opposition to the new Greek text and the new English versions which followed its publication. This issue is not as big today, but it remains problematic for some Christians. Thus, a discussion of the King James/modern version debate is useful with a focus on the New Testament, for that is where the main concerns lie.
This debate is argued on two levels. On one level, the focus is on the King James itself (remember that our English versions are translated from Greek texts). Some simply believe that this particular translation is the best one. They see a certain majesty in its language, and they appreciate its important role in the history of the church. It has served the church well, so there is no need to begin confusing things by bringing in all those other versions, they believe.
There are some Christians, however, who go further than that. They believe that the KJV is not only the best version; they insist that it is the only valid English version. Newer translations of Scripture do not reliably convey God's truth. Some arguments for this side are little more than angry diatribes which are often circular. For example, some say that since the new versions differ from the King James, they are bad versions. The supremacy of the KJV is simply assumed.(2)
Although arguments from tradition and style can be powerful, there might be other considerations which outweigh them. A significant problem with the KJV, of course, is the language. People who did not grow up using the KJV have a hard time understanding it. Some of its words are no longer in use, and the antiquated forms of many words impede the understanding of the text. Over time they can learn to understand it, but without any more compelling reasons than tradition and style, it is hard to see why they should bother.
On another level, this debate focuses on the Greek manuscripts from which the English versions are translated. Some "King James only" proponents believe that the Greek text underlying most of the newer versions is corrupt. As we will see, they present some good arguments for their position.
Because the Greek text is the critical issue in this debate, it will be the focus of our examination of the debate (we will not get too technical!). To set the stage, we will begin with a brief history of the King James Version.
A Brief History of the King James VersionMany of us have heard the joke about the King James Version: "If it was good enough for the apostle Paul, it is good enough for me!" Paul, of course, was fifteen and a half centuries too early for the KJV. The New Testament writers wrote in Koine Greek, the language of the common man in the first century A.D. The first complete English Bible was not produced until John Wycliffe produced his in the fourteenth century. He translated from the Latin Vulgate which was the most widely used version at that time.
The next major step in the development of the English Bible was Tyndale's translation of the New Testament published in 1526 and portions of the Old Testament published later. Tyndale's version was significant because it was translated from a newly published Greek New Testament rather than from the Vulgate.
After Tyndale's, a number of other versions were produced. Among them were the Coverdale Bible, the Matthews Bible, the Great Bible, the Geneva Bible, and the Bishops' Bible. In 1611 the King James Version was published to provide a Bible which could be used by both Anglicans and Puritans. Marginal notes reflecting any particular theological bias were removed, and the language used was that of the people.
I noted earlier that Tyndale used a Greek text for his translation. The first published Greek New Testament appeared in the year 1516. It was edited by Erasmus, a Dutch scholar. Erasmus had at his disposal no more than six Greek manuscripts (we have thousands at our disposal today). These manuscripts were part of what is called the Byzantine text family.
Although Erasmus' edition provided a great boost to the study of the New Testament, it had a number of problems. For one thing, none of his sources had the last six verses of the book of Revelation, so Erasmus translated from the Latin Vulgate back into Greek! Thus, in his text "several words and phrases may be found that are attested in no Greek manuscript whatsoever."(3) In the first two editions of his New Testament, Erasmus left out I John 5:7 because it did not appear in any of his Greek manuscripts. That verse reads: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." This omission created a furor, so he promised to include the verse in a later edition if it could be found in any Greek manuscript. One was brought forward, and, although Erasmus did not think the text was genuine, he kept his promise and included the verse. It is now believed to have been a very late and unreliable manuscript, and some think it was forged to include the verse.(4)
Erasmus' Greek text was reworked and reprinted by others including Robert Estienne who divided the text into verses. Theodore Beza then built upon Estienne's work, and his Greek text provided one of the major foundations for the King James Bible. The term Textus Receptus, or Received Text, came from a blurb in another Greek text produced in the early seventeenth century by the Elzevir brothers. This title is still used in connection with the King James, and it is one you will see again in this article.
Westcott and HortI noted earlier that the more substantial arguments for the "King James only" position focus on the Greek texts underlying the different versions. There are four significant issues in the debate involving these texts which I will develop: the science of textual criticism, the number of Greek manuscripts available, the history of the Greek texts, and the dates of the manuscripts.
Before getting into the debate itself, it will be helpful to mention the historical event which brought the debate to a head, and to introduce a central element in New Testament textual studies.
Between the thousands of Greek manuscripts available there are differences of one kind or another (although there are not any which effect doctrinal matters). Certain Greek manuscripts share enough similarities that they are believed to have come from the same source. Each of these groups is called a text family or a text-type. There are four text families which are generally agreed upon by scholars. The manuscripts which were used to produce the Textus Receptus (and later the King James Version) were of the Byzantine family. The other three text families generally agreed upon by scholars are the Alexandrian, the Caesarean, and the Western.(5)
The fundamental debate between scholars in the King James/modern version controversy is over the question of the most accurate Greek text family or families. Which of the four families, if any, most accurately represents what the New Testament authors wrote? The Byzantine text was the dominant Greek text from about the eighth century until the end of the nineteenth century.(6) In 1881, however, two scholars named Westcott and Hort published a new Greek New Testament which relied more on other text families than on the Byzantine family. Their Greek text became the basis of the New Testament portion of modern Bible translations.
Westcott and Hort evaluated the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament according to the principles of textual criticism. This is the science of the study of ancient texts, the originals of which are lost. Based upon their studies, they argued that the Byzantine text was not the closest to the original writings as the King James advocates claimed. It seemed to have combined readings from other text families, and some readings appeared to have been modified for greater clarity and understanding. Thus, they believed it was at least two steps removed from the original writings. Also, they found no clear evidence of its existence in the writings of the early church fathers, and there are no copies older than the fourth century. Those who agree with Westcott and Hort believe that the Byzantine text was produced in the fourth century probably in an attempt to give the church one New Testament (there were a number of different Greek texts being used at the time). Other text families, on the other hand, appear to have more original readings and are quoted by the early church fathers, and are thus closer to the originals. So, the conclusions drawn from the application of textual criticism along with the ages of the manuscripts led them to believe that the most accurate Greek text is to be found by drawing from all the Greek text families, especially the Alexandrian family.(7)
Supporters of the Byzantine or Received Text responded that it was inappropriate to use naturalistic methods of study such as textual criticism on Scripture. They said that this amounts to elevating man over God in determining what the Bible says.(8) They also argued that the vast numbers of Byzantine manuscripts along with the centuries of history behind this text family should not be set aside on the basis of a few manuscripts discovered relatively recently. They insisted that the Spirit of God would not allow His true word to lie dormant so long while the church was being guided by inferior texts.
Textual CriticismAs I noted above, those who argue for the Byzantine or Received Text say that it is improper to subject the Bible to the scrutiny of textual criticism. The Bible, being the inspired Word of God, is unique. One begins with it as inspired and then accepts what it says.
But those in the Westcott-Hort tradition note that we cannot simply shut our eyes to the fact that there are differences between the various Greek manuscripts, even those in the Byzantine family. Even those who believe in the inerrancy of Scripture recognize that the original writings of the New Testament were inerrant, not the copies. It is our responsibility to apply the most sound principles we know of to determine what the original manuscripts said. This is the aim of textual criticism.
So, how does textual criticism work? Differences between Greek manuscripts are called variants. There are several causes of variants. Some are accidental, such as misspelled words or repeated or reversed words. Some resulted from a scribe not hearing a dictation correctly. Also, deliberate changes seem to have been made to bring passages in different Gospels into harmony or to make a doctrinal point clearer.
What are some examples of differences between the Greek texts which show up in our English Bibles? One example is the Lord's Prayer as it is recorded in Matthew and in Luke. In the KJV the two versions are almost identical, while in the NIV the prayer in Luke 11 is significantly shorter than that in Matthew 6. Most scholars believe that, at some point in history, a scribe added to the text in Luke to make it agree more with Matthew.
The last half of Mark 16 is a lengthy section which is disputed. The KJV retains verses 9 through 20 while the NIV includes the passage with a note saying it is not found in the most reliable early manuscripts. Scholars who believe it should be excluded also note that the style and vocabulary are very different from the rest of Mark.(9)
To add one more, in the KJV, three verses in Mark 9 (44 ,46, and 48) are identical: "Where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched." The NIV puts verses 44 and 46 in footnotes and notes that some manuscripts include the phrase. Since each verse follows a reference to hell, it is very possible that a scribe simply repeated the warning to strengthen the message.
If all this makes you nervous about the accuracy of your Bible, it is important to note that textual criticism is used on all documents for which the originals no longer exist. New Testament scholar J. Harold Greenlee noted that, with respect to the Bible, "No Christian doctrine . . . hangs upon a debatable text."(10) This conflict provides no fodder for critics of Christianity who might ask how we can know what the Bible really says. We can be confident that we have a highly accurate text, especially given the number of New Testament manuscripts available and the antiquity of some of them.(11) As one writer has said, "It is well to remember that the main body of the text and its general sense are left untouched . . . textual criticism engages in turning a magnifying glass upon some of the details."(12)
Other Issues in the DebateIn addition to the question of textual criticism, questions regarding the number of manuscripts, the historical dominance of the Byzantine text, and the dates of the manuscripts still need to be considered.
First is the matter of the number of manuscripts. Between eighty and ninety percent of existing manuscripts are of the Byzantine family and are in remarkable agreement. This fact is not in dispute. King James supporters say that the few manuscripts to which Westcott and Hort gave preference cannot override the witness of the vast majority of manuscripts in existence which are of the Byzantine tradition. It is normal to expect that the oldest manuscript will have the most copies.(13) In response, those who follow Westcott and Hort point out that hundreds of copies could have been made from one defective text while a better text was not copied as often. The copying of New Testament texts was not as carefully monitored as the copying of the Old Testament text by Jewish scholars. As we have seen, errors were made and changes were deliberately introduced. Simply finding a lot of manuscripts which are in agreement is not enough. To illustrate their point, they ask whether one would rather have one real $100 bill or five counterfeits.
A second issue is the preservation of the text through history. Supporters of the Received Text ask why God's Spirit would allow the church to be under the authority of a defective text for almost 1500 years. Textual critics respond that this argument exaggerates the issue. They do not consider the Byzantine text to be a "'bad' or heretical text; it presents the same Christian message as the critical [or Westcott-Hort] text."(14) Again, there are no doctrinal differences between the Greek texts. Members of the Byzantine family are used along with members of other text families to determine what the true reading of a passage should be. The major text families are neither absolutely corrupt nor absolutely perfect. Text critics must use all the available resources to determine what the original documents said.
Finally, the dates of the manuscripts are important in this debate. Textual critics point out that church fathers before the fourth century "unambiguously cited every text-type except the Byzantine."(15) If the Byzantine text-type comes directly from the original writings, one would expect unambiguous quotations of it from the beginning. They also point out that there are no Byzantine manuscripts older than the fourth century, whereas there are copies of other text families older than that.
In response to this, King James supporters note that the New Testament manuscripts began to be altered very soon after they were written. Eusebius, the ancient church historian, reported that heresies sprang up early after the turn of the second century, and proponents of these heresies sometimes altered Scripture to accord with their beliefs.(16) Thus, antiquity is not the crucial test. That there are no copies older than the fourth century can be explained by the fact that the material manuscripts were written on was fragile; it's reasonable to conclude that the early copies probably wore out through frequent handling.
Summary and Concluding ThoughtsTo summarize, those who support the King James/Received Text tradition emphasize the number of manuscripts, the church's history with the Byzantine text, and God's interest in preserving His Word, whereas those following Westcott and Hort say that the variants in the manuscripts - even between those in the Byzantine family - prove the need for the textual criticism of the New Testament. The results of their analysis along with the ages of the manuscripts leads them to believe that the Byzantine family is just one text family that can lead us back to the originals - or close to it - but it is not the one best text family.
So, which way should you go on this debate? If you are concerned about the issue, I suggest that you study it more. The texts cited in the notes will give you a place to start. If not, I would recommend using a version that is as close to the Greek text as possible while being understandable to you. But whichever version you choose, be very sure of your arguments before insisting that others use it, too. It seems to me that, with all the difficulties we face in our often hostile culture, we should not erect walls between Christians on the basis of Bible versions. We are not taking God's Word lightly here. We are simply calling for a more well-reasoned discussion and for the rule of love to govern the debate.
1. Marketplace, Christian Booksellers Association, May, 1998.
2. An example is the pamphlet by J. J. Ray, The Eye Opener (Junction City, Oregon, 1953).
3. D.A. Carson, The King James Version Debate: A Plea for Realism (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979), 34.
4. Ibid., 35.
5. F.F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments 3d ed., (Westwood, NJ: Revell, 1963), 185.
6. J. Harold Greenlee, Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964), 61-62.
7. To be more precise, while Westcott and Hort gave the greater weight to the Alexandrian text over the Byzan- tine, they gave even greater weight to the manuscripts Vaticanus and Sinaiticus which they considered to be "neutral texts." Later, sympathetic scholars grouped these two with the Alexandrian family. See Carson, 41.
8. Edward F. Hills, "The Magnificent Burgon," in Which Bible?, 5th ed., David Otis Fuller, ed. (Grand Rapids: Grand Rapids International Publications, 1975), 101-105.
9. Greenlee, 133.
10. Ibid., 68.
11. In addition to the Greek manuscripts, also available for study are ancient lectionaries, various translations into other languages, and the writings of the early church fathers. See Greenlee, pp. 44-58.
12. Ibid., 17.
13. Zane C. Hodges, "The Greek Text of the King James Version," in Which Bible?, 37.
14. Greenlee, 81.
15. Carson, 47.
16. Eusebius Pamphilus, Ecclesiastical History (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1971), 215-216. See also Benjamin G. Wilkinson, "Our Authorized Bible Vindicated," in Which Bible?, 190-193.
© 1998 Probe Ministries International
About the Author
Rick Wade graduated from Moody Bible Institute with a B.A. in Communications (radio broadcasting) in 1986. He graduated cum laude in 1990 from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School with an M.A. in Christian Thought (theology/philosophy of religion) where his studies culminated in a thesis on the apologetics of Carl F. H. Henry. Rick and his family make their home in Garland, Texas.
What is Probe?
Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at Probe.org
Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by writing to:
Probe Ministries2001 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 2000Plano, TX 75075(972) firstname.lastname@example.org://www.probe.org/
Just like most of you, i have opinions, preferences, and personal feelings and thoughts. This issue seems to be a hot button, but it is also one I have become passionate about.
Let me clarify some things:
1. I am not against the KJV, I don't use it anymore, I do use a NKJV and most of my use is in the NIV.
2. What I am against is someone telling me that the KJV is the only bible, the only "authorized" bible, or that any other version or translation is wrong, a sin, or not inspired. These statements are unfounded, ignorant, not biblical, and not accurate. This is not just my opinion. It's truth. My opinion is I prefer the NIV. It would be just as wrong for me to say NIV is only Bible and KJV irrelevant.
In order for the KJV to the the "ONLY" authorized, inspired, correct, or holy version. God is the ONLY one who has the authority to command us to ONLY use the KJV and it's the ONLY version we humans or churches can use, study, teach, or share.
I'm tired of christians, preachers, and chruches preaching and teaching this "Hate" gospel. We need to teach Love, truth, accuracy, grace, and gospel. People are dying and going to hell unsaved, and we are not discipling or helping our members mature. Too many churches and Christians are KNOWN for what they ARE AGAINST and NOT what THEY ARE FOR.
I agree, not all translations of the bible are accurate and one must be weary of certain paraphrased versions of the bible, because these are simpley wrote from english translations and not from the original manuscripts.
I am not going to pretend to be a Theologin or an expert on ancient texts or a Bible College Professor. But, at the same time, I am not going to breed ignorance, arrogance, legalism, or judgment in my life simply based on "that was the way I was taught", "that was the way I was raised", or "that is what I'm comfortable with so everything else is wrong".
I got some news for us all. God doesn't care what our opinions are. God has never asked not one single persons input on putting together His word. Most of the things we do in our churches today are simply based on traditions or teachings past down and not on His truth.
God is the only one with AUTHORITY to say which Version of the Bible we should use and He is the only one AUTHORIZED to make such statements about faith and it's practices and He is silent.
Let me explain it this way. There are several things in our history and life that have evolved because of time, education, and the world progressing and changing. Take the Television for example. Are you still watching a TV from the early 1900's? Black and White? A gigantic floor model that looks like something from outer space? If you are like me I have a flat panel HD TV and thank God for technology and advancements in it. Let me give you some quick history of the TV.
TV can't be contributed to any one person, but a progression of ideas, contributions, etc. As early at 1876, people had ideas and experiments with television. As years passed into the early 1900's the idea of Television evolved. 1901 was first mechanical TV. 1907 tv with the cathode ray tube. In 1923 there were 2 televisions. By 1936 200 tv's existed. 1941 all tv's black and white. By 1948 100 million us homes had b&w tv's. By 1950 we started having color tv and by 1967 most shows were broadcast in color. By 1972 half of TV's in use were color tv's. I could go on, most homes have multiple tv's now. We have 4 in our home. Most people have cable, dish, direct tv, or something. Most homes have DVD players, VCRs, and BluRay's.
My point is. What if back in the early 1900's people said, the first type of TV is the only TV. Any other TV is wrong. No doing research, or advancing the TV. The creator's of the TV set only want theres and theres only. What about other things like Electricty, telephones, computers, or automobiles? Are you still calling an operator to make a call for you in 2010? Or do you like me have a cell phone that I can call, text, email, and surf the internet? What about your car? You still driving a model T? Actually the first car design was steam propelled in 1769 and then a guy made an electric automobile in the 1830's and then Karl Frederich Benz had first gas powered automobile in 1885-86 and that's was before Ford's Model-T. Are we to go back in time and say we can only have steam powered cars? Any thing new, better, or improved is wrong? I doubt it. Then why do we try to limit God, put Him in a box, or spread legalism in our churches?
In our life we have allowed advancements and progression as technology and wisdom of experts has grown. Are we so narrow-minded and ignorant to think that scholars in the 20th Century couldn't look at more manuscripts of the original texts of biblical scriptures(The Bible) and not learn from scholar's and translations of the past, the 1611 King James version to be exact, and not better translate the Bible into a better language or translation the would better help people KNOW GOD and HIS WORD better?
People who are on this kick of ONLY the KJV act like people are trying to take the Bible and turn people away from God or take Jesus off the Cross or God out of Heaven. What makes God's word HOLY is God. Not King James.
I've tried to explain that people even mis-use the word "Authorized" on many King James Bibles. King James back in 1611 did not want anyone using any other Bible besides His translation, so that is the only one the King authorized. Not God, a man!
I drove past a church recently who had on their church sign "we only used the authorized King James Bible" do you really think a lost, un-churched person knows what that means or even cares? I heard a preacher recently in a church I was visiting refer to using "the bible" the KJV, and last night I visited a church and in the pew was a paper a preacher had passed out to people as to why the KJV was only AUTHORIZED Version and only REAL bible. I read it and it was garbage. It was inaccurate, unfounded, and even went as far to say it was wrong for preacher's to quote other versions or that even quoting the originial greek was wrong?
Truth and un-truth are the same way. Both can be passed and spread and believed. I could preach at a church long enough and start pushing my feelings onto people based on my opinions and not truth and eventually many people would or could start following my opinions and take them for truth. Preachers and Pastor's do it all the time, they may not intentionally do it, but it doesn't change the fact, that many of our churches are breeding ignorance or misinformation to truth.
If God's WORD speaks clearly and truly about a subject, we have authority from God to share it and preach it. If God's word isn't precise on a subject, then we DO NOT have authority from God to preach it or teach it. God's word leaves lots of room for our spiritual freedom. The thing is God's word is truth and if you think it has one lie in it, then the whole book has to be wrong, But if you believe it's the truth, you also have to learn that there are reasons God doesn't get specific about certain details. I believe God has the exact details in black and white He intended for us, and the rest He left up to our spiritual freedom.
Do people misquote and misuse God's word alot? Yes! That is why we have cults and people doing things in God's name. That is why we have so many denominations and it may even be why we have more tranlastions of the Bible than we need.
But, for us to not think God gifted men and women to take His word and improve on its translation over the years so that His people could use it, share it, learn from it, preach it, teach it, and mature in it is wrong and sinful. God wants us to be students of His Word, rely on His Word, and live by His Word. He wants the church to progress and evolve and change it's methods and ways with the times so that we can continue to reach lost people and make disciples and mature followers.
I encourage you, I beg you, and I ask you to go to your churches and start studying God's word more and better. Do some research for yourself. I have spent much time looking at this issue of bible translations on both sides of the issue. I have tried to read as much as I can both in God's word and i encourage you to do the same.
Not just about this issue but any issue. Before you become "Set in Your Ways" or draw a line in the sand, or spread negativity study, learn, grow, ask questions, get in discussions, and challenge those who might be teaching in ignorance or error. I know that over the years, I've been wrong about issues or change my mind on issues as I matured in my faith and studied.
My goal is not to divide churches or christians, but to bring them together. To have unity. Sometimes it means to agree to disagree, sometimes it means taking a stand for what you believe. My passion and goal is to help the church grow and to reach lost people and I want God to use me. I'm not trying to prove people wrong, stir up trouble, or upset anyone. I'm just tired of people dying and going to hell everyday while our churches keep doing things the same ways and expecting different results. I do not want our churches dying or missing chances to help people change their lives because we are arguing or fighting over stuff that doesn't matter or is not biblical.
Ask yourself these questions about anything, whether it's the KJV issue or something else. Is this a command or a preference? Is this my personal opinion or based on what God says? Am I being faithful to God or doing my own thing? Am I binding my beliefs on other people or am I open to God teaching, maturing, and changing my heart so i can grow in my faith?
Just alot of things for us all to think about . Use your KJV if you like, if it's easier for your church to use one translation because of teaching, that is great. But do not bind or command anything on anyone based on anything other that God's authority directly from His Word. When we do this we will change, our churches will change, and more people will be saved.
Found this article on http://www.christianbiblereference.org/
I think this is a challenging read and I hope to write another article about it. I would love other website or resources on this issue. Seems to be a hot issue where I live. Most churches are KJV only and I want to educate and be educated. We can't base our beliefs on opinions, or way we are raised, we need to base it on educated truth from God. I'd love to hear thoughts, opions, and want this to be positive discussion. pass it along to others. Best way to learn is to learn from others, pray for wisdom, and seek to grow and mature in our faith, which means moving out of our comfort zones and trying to be open minded with what God might be trying teach us.
Which Bible Version is Best?
The Old Testament (OT) of the Bible was originally written in the Hebrew language with a few sections written in the Aramaic language. The OT contains the sacred writings of the Hebrews and contains books of the Law, history of Israel, wisdom, and prophecy. The events of the OT (excluding Genesis 1-11) occurred roughly between 1800 B.C. and 400 B.C. A Greek translation of the OT, called the Septuagint, was produced between 200 and 100 B.C. for the benefit of Greek-speaking Jews in Alexandria, Egypt.
The Apocrypha, a group of fifteen late OT books, was written during the period 170 B.C. to 70 A.D. These Jewish books were included in many versions of the Septuagint in circulation as the New Testament (NT) was being formed, but they were excluded from the official canon of Judaism, established about 100 A.D. Today, the books of the Apocrypha are included in Catholic versions of the OT, but not in most Protestant versions. These books are also known as thedeuterocanonical books.
The people of first century Palestine, including Jesus, spoke the Aramaic language. However, early Christian writings were written entirely in Greek, the universal language of the Roman Empire at that time. The early church leaders gradually assembled these writings into what is now known as the New Testament. They included books they believed were written by eyewitnesses to the events narrated, while rejecting many other early Christian writings. Eventually, the 27 books which form the present New Testament, along with the OT books, became the Christian Bible as we know it today. The New Testament canon was formally adopted by the Synod of Carthage in 397 A.D.
During the early centuries A.D., Latin replaced Greek as the language of the Roman Empire. In 405, a Latin translation of the Old and New Testaments was completed. This version, known as the Vulgate, became the standard Bible of Christianity for many centuries. None of the original manuscripts of the OT or NT still exist. Until the 15th century, when printing was invented, Bible copies were made entirely by hand. As a result, many small variations are found among the many ancient Bible manuscripts still in existence.
The King James Version
The first English language version of the full Bible was John Wycliffe's translation of the Vulgate in 1384. Several other English versions followed, and the beloved King James version was published in 1611. The King James Version, itself, has been updated several times: in 1629, 1638, 1762, and 1769.
The team of 47 scholars who translated the KJV version did an excellent job. However, the English language has changed a lot in the nearly 400 years since it was published. Many KJV words and phrases, such as: Lord of hosts, sabaoth, emerods and, concupiscence, would not be meaningful to to most people today. Worse, many other KJV words, such as charity, trespass, profit,cousin, and remission, have different primary meanings today than they did in 1611 and could mislead the reader. As a result, many English-speaking people find the KJV is quite difficult to read and understand.
Some people believe the KJV is the most accurate or only authentic version of the Bible. Some believe the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts the KJV translators worked from were faithfully preserved by God or are the most accurate for some other reason. Others say the translators of all later versions were biased or incompetent in one way or another. Still others say the KJV is a literal and accurate translation while later versions were rewritten to suit the biases of the publishers. However, the vast majority of Bible scholars and Christians reject all these objections as being based on faulty facts and reasoning, and they do not consider the KJV to be more accurate or more sacred than other translations.
Modern Bible Version
Recent developments in archaeology and Biblical scholarship have made possible a number of modern, more accurate English translations of the scriptures. These newer versions are translated from the best available ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, rather than from the King James version or the Latin Vulgate.
Although the newer translations are believed to be more accurate than the KJV, the differences are minor. No significant changes of belief or interpretation would result from the many minor corrections. The main advantage of the modern translations is that they are written in modern English so the reader will not be mystified or misled by the archaic English of the KJV. The mainstream modern Bible versions have been translated by teams of devout Bible scholars who have prayerfully done their very best to convey the true meaning of the ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts to the modern reader. These modern translations have been adopted by many churches, both Protestant and Catholic, for use in worship.
It is often pointed out that modern translations omit a few of the verses found in the KJV, and this is sometimes believed to be an attempt to distort the Bible's teachings. However, the reason is that certain verses are not found in the oldest and best Bible manuscripts. Thus, they are omitted to accurately preserve the original Bible text. (The chapter and verse numbers were added to the Bible in the Middle Ages; they were not part of the original Bible manuscripts. Thus, an omitted verse does not mean that something was omitted from the original texts.)
Some of these extra verses were added to certain manuscript copies as margin notes or as prayers for use in public worship. Those manuscripts were then copied and recopied without making it clear that the extra verses were later additions. The most famous example is the doxology, "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen." that the KJV adds to the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:13. That phrase is not found is any of the oldest manuscripts of Matthew.
Another objection to some modern versions, such as the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) and Today's New International Version(TNIV), is the use of gender-inclusive language. The issue arises because English lacks a common gender third person singular pronoun. Language that applies equally to men and women in the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts has traditionally been translated as "he" or "him" in English Bibles. However, that can leave the mistaken impression that a verse applies only to men. Such verses have been phrased in some modern translations to accurately convey the gender-inclusive sense of the original manuscripts. The KJV translates John 13:20 as, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me." The NRSV changes the "he" to "whoever" to show that the original text applied equally to men and women, but the "him" that applies to God is left as masculine: "Very truly, I tell you, whoever receives one whom I send receives me; and whoever receives me receives him who sent me."
It is also traditional in English to use masculine gender as a generic form to include both sexes. So, Romans 3:28 has traditionally been translated into English as "a man is justified by faith." However, the original Greek word, anthropos means "human being" and applies equally to both sexes. So, the NRSV and TNIV have translated this verse as "a person is justified by faith" to accurately reflect the inclusive nature of the original Greek word.
Publishers of gender-inclusive Bibles are quick to point out that these are not "politically correct" or "feminist" Bibles. They have used gender-inclusive language only where it would have been understood that way in the original Hebrew and Greek languages.
Bible Translations. Here is a list of some excellent modern translations, in alphabetical order:
The New American Bible (NAB) is the official Catholic version of the Bible in the United States, and it is written in very modern English. The books of the Apocrypha are incorporated into the Old Testament of Catholic Bibles. Otherwise, this translation does not differ significantly from modern Protestant Bibles.
The New American Standard Bible , published in 1971, is a scholarly update of the 1901 American Standard Version. Sponsored by the Lockman Foundation, the translators used the best available Greek and Hebrew texts as a guide.
The New International Version of the Bible, a completely new translation of ancient Greek and Hebrew texts sponsored by the New York International Bible Society, was published in 1978. Its clear, direct modern English makes it easy to read and understand
The New Revised Standard Version Bible(NRSV), published by The National Council of Churches in 1989, is an update of the highly regarded Revised Standard Version of 1952. The language is very modern, but the style is more traditional than the NIV. The NRSV uses gender-inclusive language in places where it would have been understood that way in the original language.The NRSV is also available in Catholic editions and Anglicized Editions.
The Revised English Bible(REB) is a British edition published by Oxford University Press in 1989. The translators have written in a style suitable for use in worship, while maintaining intelligibility for people of a wide range of ages and backgrounds.
Today's New International Version of the Bible(TNIV), is an update of the NIV. Unlike the NIV, it uses gender-inclusive language in places where it would have been understood that way in the original language.
In addition to the translations above, there are a number of paraphrased Bible versions which were translated "thought-by-thought" instead of word-by-word. The translators have written in a style that is thoroughly modern and these Bibles are suitable for all ages and very easy to understand. By nature, though, these paraphrased versions involve some interpretation that is subject to debate:
The Living Bible(TLB), published in 1971, is a popular paraphrased version written by Kenneth N. Taylor, who began this version to help his own children understand the New Testament Letters of Paul.
New Living Translation (NLT), published in 1996, is a thought-by-thought translation by 90 Bible scholars from various theological backgrounds and denominations. It is similar toThe Living Bible, but the language is more traditional.