Tuesday, December 6, 2011

King James and I

The English language can be a big problem for a lot of Christians.  Yep, that’s right.  But of course I am talking about King James English.  All the Bibles that I grew up with were translated into King James English.  I dare say that many a problem has arisen because of someone’s interpretation of a verse in the King James Bible. 

I was reading in Hebrews today.  Chapter 2, verses 5-8.  I am just going to quote verse 5 here: “For unto the angels hath he not put into subjection the world to come, whereof we speak”.  You got me, I didn’t have any idea what that meant and I graduated from college.  The NIV Bible says: “It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking”.  That’s a little better. 

I just don’t know which of the other translations are accurate.  There is always some controversy over the translation from Hebrew to English or Greek to English.  King James is always the one that I go back to. 

And you know, I think a lot of Christians have this problem.  It’s probably part of the reason why we have so many different protestant denominations.  Two old guys got in an argument over the meaning of some verse and pretty soon they started a new church. 

I like to read the Bible taking into consideration the time and place of the verse.  What was going on at that time?  Why did the New Testament writers need to bring up a subject.  Taking verses out of context and then using King James English can lead to problems in my book. 

I think I could read 3 chapters a day in the King James Bible and not understand over half of what I read.  This is true confession time.  So how do Christians overcome the challenges of King James English? 
I am going to start sounding like a broken record here, but I only know of one way to learn the Bible, regardless of the translation.  Go to church, Sunday school and pray.  By talking and praying with other Christians is the only way that I know of that will really help me grow in my Christian life.  I can’t sit at home and grow because I need someone to explain to me verses like Hebrews, Chapter 2, and verse 5. 

1 comment:

  1. Mike, I love reading your blog. The mystery of God is life changing and I too have had trouble translating KJ. I teach at a christian school and I start my classes with the reading of God's word. I choose the ERV... easy to read version on Gateway. com. It is a fairly new translation... I think? Anyway, my students can comprehend the scriptures somewhat better than the other bible translations. Our christian school is an international school and is an outreach to inner city kids. Our mission to is, “To educate for lifelong success and to enrich with Christian purpose.” God bless...