Posts Tagged King James Version

I Won…

Zondervan’s King James Version Old Testament Commentary from Zondervan and Koinonia.

In honor of the King James Version’s 400th anniversary, Koinonia was giving away an Old Testament Commentary or New Testament Commentary. All you had to do to was:

To enter just comment below by Thursday evening with a common English phrase which traces its origins back to the King James Bible!

My entry: “Out of the mouth of babes.”

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iPhone App-KJV Bible Audiobook

This past weekend I downloaded an iPhone app that I love. It is the KJV Bible Audiobook.

I am unfamiliar with the developer (iTourSoftware) or the church affiliation, but the app is first rate. It is much more than an audiobook. It is really a KJV Bible application with the option to listen. The user interface, search function, bookmarks and notes features are simple to use and more than adequate for their purpose.

This app won’t replace a Bible study app like Logos, but the audio function definitely makes this app worth having. I have downloaded, tried and erased several iPhone Bible apps, but this one is a keeper.

And best of all it’s free. You can donate, of course, and the proceeds support a good cause as best I can tell. I haven’t found where the app is available for other smartphones, so sorry non-iPhone users.

Note: since the app contains the entire audio KJV Bible, it will take a while to download on wifi (it took me almost an hour), or you can transfer from iTunes. But, the app loads and runs fast and I have not noticed any side effects from the file size. Enjoy!

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Great Bible Giveaway

logos bible giveawayDon’t forget, the Logos Great Bible Giveaway is still going on. There are plenty of chances to win and lots of ways to enter (facebook, twitter, posting, commenting, etc.).

Logos Bible Software is celebrating the launch of their new online Bible by giving away 72 ultra-premium print Bibles at a rate of 12 per month for six months. The Bible giveaway is being held at Bible.Logos.com and you can get up to five different entries each month! After you enter, be sure to check out Logos and see how it can revolutionize your Bible study.

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Download Christian Audio Books and Bibles for $7.49

I want to thank my good friend Wes Latham (of Wes’ Blog) for alerting me to the Twice-Yearly sale over at ChristianAudio.com where you can download most Christian audiobooks (including Bibles!) for $7.49 through July 3, 2009.

Admittedly, I was unfamiliar with this site until yesterday, and I have only ever purchased one book in audio format, but I am intrigued at the prospect of downloading an entire audio Bible for $7.49 (as I have been scanning bookstores for CD versions to keep in my car).

I have, however, only found the KJV, ESV and The Message so far in complete form.

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Best Bible Translation

…or so the search string goes.

Not as frequently as searches for Satan, but pretty frequently some eager searcher for the truth lands on my blog while searching for the:

  • best bible translation

I hope said eager young searchers aren’t too sad to learn that I rather like all (or many) of the English Bible translations.

So, searchers for the best Bible translation, please feel free to check out the Bibles page for info, though I, regrettably, do not have the answer to your question.

I have also written on the subject here:

Related Reviews:

You can also shop for great Bibles and all the books reviewed here at BOB’s Bookstore.

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Book Review-The King James Only Controversy

I want to thank Bethany House for the courtesy copy of The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust Modern Translations? (2nd ed.) by James R. White.

The King James Only Controversy

Book Details:

The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust Modern Translations?

James R. White

Bethany House, March 2009

ISBN 978-0-7642-0605-4

Buy The King James Only Controversy @ Amazon

I want to begin by sharing two initial thoughts. Well, actually, one thought and secondly a disclaimer. First, The King James Only Controversy is much more than a simple journalistic account of the “King James only” debate. It is a primer for the non-scholar who is, even if only casually, interested in Bible translation and the accompanying philosophies and methodologies.

Second, my only exposure to the controversy has been on the internet (other than a snide remark here or there by television preachers about “watered-down versions” ). I live in an NIV-primarily region of the country. I most frequently read the NASB, but my pastor preaches out of the NKJV, so I carry that with me on Sundays. Thus, I incline toward the author’s conclusions even before reading the book. It is a bias that I don’t think influences my review of the book, but it is a bias I want to disclose.

James R. White’s treatment of the “King James only” debate is thorough, well supported by evidence, and written so as to be easily understood by the casual observer or participant. He begins by dividing the King James only advocates into five distinct and increasingly radical camps: 1) “I like the KJV Best” (which he takes no issue with), 2) “The Textual Argument” (that the Hebrew and Greek texts used by the KJV translators are superior), 3) “Received Text Only” (that the Textus Receptus and Hebrew text utilized by the KJV translators are inerrant), 4) “The Inspired KJV Group” (who believe the KJV is itself an inspired and inerrant translation, the group White identifies as the majority of the KJV only advocates), and 5) “The KJV as New Revelation” (that the KJV is “re-inspired” and the English text is an inerrant revelation superior even to the Hebrew and Greek texts).

White then gives the reader a brief overview of translation history and the translation process, explaining textual vs. translation disputes, translation methods, textual criticism, and the ancient texts used by translators. Then, very systematically, White explains the irony of the KJV onlyists making the exact arguments that were made against the original KJV translators and against Erasmus (whose Textus Receptus was used by the KJV translators) before that. To put it in polite terms, the argument of the KJV only camp, as well as those who opposed the original King James Version (the Authorized Version everywhere except the U.S.), is an argument for traditionalism.

The heart of the book is White’s analysis of many of the verses in controversy and his defense of the various translations’ renderings. Where there are variations in the ancient manuscripts that lead to different translations, White also provides convincing explanations for the textual variants which include simple scribal error, parallel influence (a scribe’s attempt to harmonize scripture), and what White dubs “expansion of piety” (a scribes attempt to make a passage sound a little better, e.g. expanding “the Christ” to “Jesus the Christ”).

White concludes Part One of The King James Only Controversy with a chapter devoted exclusively to questions and answers. Part Two is a 30-page technical treatment of many of the issues raised in Part One for the reader who is proficient in koine Greek and familiar with ancient Biblical texts, although it is not essential for the casual reader to read and understand Part One.

In conclusion, in his effort to counter the KJV only advocates, James R. White is necessarily critical of the King James Version. However, I suspect White would be the first to say to the reader whose preference is the KJV to continue in that preference. White does not advocate for any particular translation, only for an understanding that many modern translation are equally legitimate, and, in some instances, superior to the King James Version with respect to certain translation issues. Whether your particular interest is the “King James only” debate or not, if you are at all interested in Bible translation or the history thereof, The King James Only Controversy is well worth your time.

Other Reviews of The King James Only Controversy

Related Posts:

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Baby Got Book

As you may know, I personally prefer thinlines and compact Bibles for day-to-day use. But, my wife regularly reads her NIV Life Application Study Bible, which is 5lbs. if it’s an ounce. So, my baby definitely “got book.”

This is pretty darn funny, especially if you remember Sir Mix a Lot and his classic (which I never listened to, but I did hear about it from friends ;)  )

“So your girl likes paperback?

Well, I ain’t down with that.”

Thanks to my sister-in-law for the tip. Enjoy!

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Falling in Love with the King James Version All Over Again Because of Words Like “Concupiscence”

For the last several months I have been reading my King James Version every day deliberately.  I want to reacquaint myself with it.  I have intentionally set aside my primary reading and study Bible, the New American Standard Bible (NASB), specifically to reread the King James Version.

And, I’ve got to confess, I’m loving it.  Admittedly, I once a hard time with the King James, but not any more (I might even try to go back and reread Shakespeare – kidding).

I especially love words like “concupiscence:”

But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. Romans 7:8.

You won’t find that in any of the modern translations, and I understand why, but doesn’t concupiscence just sound cool?

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Scofield Study Bible – An Oldie But Goodie

Scofield Study Bible

Scofield Study Bible

I just recently acquired an Oxford University Press Scofield Study Bible (KJV). It is black bonded leather with the 1917 notes. It’s really quite lovely.

I don’t want to get into a whole debate about dispensationalist theology – I’ll leave that to others – suffice it to say, I am not a dispensationalist, although there are elements of dispensationalist theology worthy of more exploration (on my part). And, if the fact that the Scofield Study Bible is unashamedly dispensationalist causes you grief, I understand. I also understand that a lot has changed since 1917, and our understanding of history, archeology, and science are completely different than it was nearly a century ago. But I do want to share a part of what is written in the introduction.

I know most people don’t bother to read the xx or so pages of introductory material at the front of their Bibles. Translation philosophies, explanatory essays, and dreadful lists of acknowledgments are for the truly hard core.

I, however, happen to fall into this category, ask my wife. She will testify that the first thing I do when we check into a hotel room is read the over-sized hotel binder cover-to-cover. I want to know about the facilities, amenities, services, attractions, etc. (you never know when you might need an aspirin at 3 a.m., and I want to know if I will have to leave the hotel, trek down to a “gift shop,” or call for room service). The same goes for my Bibles.

On page v of my new Scofield Study Bible, there is a section of the introduction entitled “A Panoramic View of the Bible.” Without going into the whole thing, one of the sections struck me:

First. The Bible is one book. Seven great marks attest this unity. (1) From Genesis the Bible bears witness to one God. Wherever he speaks or acts he is consistent with himself, and with the total revelation concerning him. (2) The Bible forms one continuous story – the story of humanity in relation to God. (3) The Bible hazards the most unlikely predictions concerning the future, and, when the centuries have brought round the appointed time, records their fulfillment. (4) The Bible is a progressive unfolding of truth. Nothing is told all at once, and once and for all. The law is, “first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn.” Without the possibility of collusion, often with centuries between, one writer of Scripture takes up an earlier revelation, adds to it, lays down the pen, and in due time another man moved by the Holy Spirit, and another, and another, add new details till the whole is complete. (5) From beginning to end the Bible testifies to one redemption. (6) From beginning to end the Bible has one great theme – the person and work of the Christ. (7) And, finally, these writers, some forty-four in number, writing through twenty centuries, have produced a perfect harmony of doctrine in progressive unfolding. This is, to every candid mind, the unanswerable proof of the Divine inspiration of the Bible (italics in original).

If there is a better, more succinct apologetic for the divine nature of scripture in print, I am unaware of it. Perhaps some of you will enlighten me. Thoughts?

Buy the Scofield Study Bible @ Amazon

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What Makes a Bible Translation Authoritative? My Top Five

ElShaddai Edwards at He Is Sufficient posed this question: What makes a Bible translation authoritative?

It’s a compelling question, and one that has stuck with me for about a month now. I meant to tackle this question three weeks ago, but I have been swamped lately, so I have a lot of catching up to do. Here was my initial reaction to his post (copied directly from the comment I left):

Great question! Since I was set free of my own legalistic approach to finding THE best/most accurate translation, I have adopted a “when in Rome” mentality. I know which Bible most of the pastors at the churches we attend preach from (not that we are members at several, but between visiting parents, grandparents, etc. we can hit 4-5 fairly regularly) and I try to carry that Bible with me.

I would measure authority by how well God speaks to the individual through a given translation. I “get” the NASB, so I get from the NASB. This is not to say that a child who is touched by a children’s version should always regard that version as authoritative, but why not? Jacob called the place where he met God “Beit El,” so I would suggest sort of a “Biblia El” standard, the translation where you meet God.

I still believe this, but I think it is incomplete because it only answers the question on an individual or micro level. I recognize that anyone could receive from a given translation whether it is considered authoritative (by the reading public at large, or on a macro level) or not. However, I would still recommend this approach to help determine what one’s personal reading Bible should be.

ElShaddai discusses two of the most common measurements of authority, which are, in short:

  1. Popularity: Popularity = Influence = Authority; and
  2. Objective Excellence: Accuracy, literary style, readability, etc.

I suppose that by employing a popularity standard, the King James Version (KJV) and the New International Version (NIV) are the most authoritative. I think the influence of the King James Version is unquestionable, and the New International Version seems to be the Bible of choice for many in America.

Ironically, it is the “objective” standard that is muddied so much by subjectivity. Which translation is the most accurate? The King James or the New American Standard (NASB)? Which is the most readable? The New Living Translation (NLT), the NIV or the TNIV? Does anyone other than a small number of bibliobloggers even care? I would certainly hope so, but I fall into the small-number-of-bibliobloggers category (or should it be bibliabloggers?).

Based on the Christian Booksellers Association’s (CBA’s) list of best-selling Bible translations for October 2008 (by units sold and sales dollars), the top four selling Bible translations are the NIV, NLT, KJV and NKJV. If you (bloggers specifically) still doubt the “authority” of the NIV, check out Rick Mansfield’s post about which Bible translations are blogged the most (admittedly it is somewhat dated (8/06), but I doubt the numbers have changed that dramatically). So, if popularity is the measure, the NIV reigns supreme, followed by the NLT, KJV and NKJV.

I doubt that satisfies any of my biblioblogging brethren (and brethren includes biblioblogging brothers and sisters, and that includes you too tc) because it doesn’t really satisfy me (my own personal favorite, the NASB, is not on the list). I see only one objective (mostly) way to measure authority, apply both and see what happens.

According to the CBA’s October sales numbers the top five selling Bible translations are: 1) NIV, 2) NLT, 3) NKJV, 4) KJV, and 5) tie, English Standard Version (ESV) and Holman Christian Standard (HCSB) (ESV in units sold; HCSB in $). Now, regarding objective excellence, my own person subjectivity necessarily comes into play, but I think the most influential translations because of their historic objective excellence are 1) KJV, 2) NASB, and 3) New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) (and its predecessors the RSV, RV and ASV).

Applying both standards, the only Bible translation that is in the top five in terms of sales and also in the top three in terms of historical objective excellence is the KJV. I suppose this should come as no surprise, but it should confirm what most already suspect. Here is a little table of my findings:

Most Authoritative Bible Translation

Most Authoritative Bible Translation

A few qualifiers:

  • I only took into account English translations.
  • I only took into account those translations appearing on the CBA Best Sellers Top 10. Sorry ElShaddai, no REB on this list.
  • The CBA only takes into account Christian booksellers (I don’t think, for example, Barnes & Noble and the like are accounted for).

Here they are, my top five most authoritative Bible translations:

1. King James Version – This is as objective as I can make it, and the KJV reigns supreme.

2. New American Standard Bible – #6 in $ and #8 in units sold, so it was pretty close, but, alas, only #2.

3. New International Version – Can you really argue with the numbers?

4. New Living Translation – Again, can you really argue with the numbers?

5. New King James Version – Although bloggers aren’t in love with it, it’s top 5 in units and $.

Honorable Mentions:

The greatest proof of this post’s objectivity is that these aren’t in the top five:

A. Holman Christian Standard Bible – #5 in $ and #6 in units sold, not bad at all, and one of my favorites.

B. English Standard Version – #7 in $ and #5 in units sold, a relative newcomer that will be near the top of this list soon.

C. New Revised Standard Version – #8 in $ and #9 in units sold, still a classic if not a little stale.

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