Do we really want to go there?
“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” Matthew 28:6
While sitting and listening to a recent sermon, the pastor remarked that the King James translators had chosen a word that wouldn’t conflict with King James’ religious views so as to not cause trouble for themselves. My heart sank. I thought, “Do we really want to go there?”
I was brought up in the camp that 100% of what the bible says is spot on, true, written exactly as it was intended, and that the King James version was the only authority when it came to biblical truth and study. Then, I went to seminary.
I think it is important to point out that there is another camp that believes exactly what this pastor preached. We need to believe the bible as God’s ordained word, but we do have to keep in mind that much of its meaning gets lost in translation. A biblical history teacher shared that there is evidence that as many as 75% of the King James translators were not Christians. They were scholars, philosophers, and linguistic experts. They were given a job to translate scripture into something that was a) readable for all, and b) upheld King James’ personal beliefs.
Taking both stances into consideration, I think we should be clear on why some people “read” and “hear” the bible differently. That is why we have differences of opinions on baptism, homosexuality, tithing, etc. Some translations make it plain that abortion was not only occurring during the Old Testament days, but they were being carried out by the priest, of all people. Others believe the King James translation specifically targeted homosexuality as the sin of all sins because King James saw it as the sin of all sins. Where some read that Jesus “came up out of the water,” when baptized, they see it as him being dunked. Other translators believe Jesus simply left John and literally came up out of the water – meaning he walked out of the river.
Does it matter? You get to decide if it matters and you get to decide which camp you choose to stake your tent. The bottom line (remember, I love bottom lining it) is we need to know what we believe, why we believe it, understand that not all Christians think the same, and focus on One Thing. Jesus Christ is God in human form, walked the earth providing examples on how we should live, was betrayed, tortured, crucified and died despite His innocence. Most importantly, He got up.
That’s the whole Truth and nothing but The Truth.