Posts Tagged ‘Bible

06
Jan
12

Burn That Book!

My brothers and sisters in Christ…

We all know the insidious power of the media to corrupt the minds of young and old. And so I know that you, like me, despise books that fail to promote the values we hold dear as true followers of God and Jesus.

We won’t stand for the distribution of a book that features incest and adultery. We won’t tolerate a book that condones the conquering of sovereign nations on the basis of religious zealotry. We won’t sit idle while people sell and promote a book that uplifts the weak, poor and sickly over the needs of the strong, wealthy and attractive. We will shout from the rooftops against a book that advocates communist-like sharing of wealth and equal dispersal of money to all in need.

My friends, I know of a book that does all this.

And more.

For hundreds upon hundreds of pages.

The Bible.

For the good of our noble, true and powerful Christian cause, we must destroy all copies of this vile publication immediately.

I realize this will leave a bit of a void in terms of reading material for good Christians. Thankfully, I have a series of 12 books (one for each apostle) to fill that need. Just send me $999.00 for the full set.

What Would Jesus Invest In? — Be Fruitful and Multiply…But Only If You’re White — Jesus: Founder of the Tea Party — The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth, But Don’t Let Them Have It Just Yet — God Loves a Good Capitalist — Sex the Right Way: You Can Rape Your Wife But Don’t Touch Another Man’s Butt — Shoot All the Scientists — The Last Trustworthy Jew Was Paul the Apostle — Thou Shalt Not Kill…Unless It’s a Negro or Queer —  Thou Shalt Not Steal…Except From Your Employees — Jesus Loves a Good Profit Margin — God Wants You To Keep All Your Money So That the Godless Heathens Can’t Use It

29
Nov
11

Lack of Focus

Or, perhaps, the title of this post should be “The Wrong Focus.”

Some of the most fervent people pursue their missions from entirely the wrong standpoint, and so it is with many conservative, fundamentalist Christians, because they aren’t really as focused on the fundamentals as their descriptor would suggest.

See, my problem with the “fundies” isn’t so much that they want to promote biblical ideals and Bible-based behavior as it is that they put at the top of their agenda subjects on which Jesus didn’t really focus and/or that are only hinted at vaguely in the Bible…while also putting at the bottom of their priority list those things on which Jesus spoke most clearly and directly.

So, on the one hand, they’ll pick out a Bible passage about ancient punishments for hitting a pregnant woman in the belly and killing her unborn child, along with God’s words in the Book of Jeremiah “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” and say, “See! God hates abortion! Let’s go have a huge campaign against women controlling their own bodies and hijack freedom of choice and science while ignoring more pertinent issues that affect more people.”

Never mind that causing the death of a woman’s fetus in an act of violence or irresponsibility was a crime because it assumed the woman wanted to give birth and you took that away from her (i.e. took the life that she had charge of). Also never mind that the quote from Jeremiah is about foreknowledge and foreplanning on God’s part, not about when life begins. Never mind that Jesus never once mentioned anything about fetuses, and his words are the ones Christians should focus on most.

And then, on the other hand, with poverty rising, kids and adults going without food, healthcare becoming increasingly inaccessible and the rich hoarding more and more of the money just because they can (even though they don’t need that much), you’ll see fundies cringe at any notion that even hints at socialism or talks about fairness and sharing, even though Jesus spent huge gobs of his time talking about economic fairness and taking care of the less fortunate.

Not to mention the fact the early Christian church essentially practiced communism, or something very close to it.

But they’ll ignore that and point to his parable of the talents and claim Jesus was a free market capitalist even though the parable is talking about spiritual growth and responsibility, not wealth creation.

Shaking my damn head…

07
Nov
11

Book of Addenduma, Chapter 1, Verses 1-15

It frequently comes to pass that a psycho extremist well-meaning and devout Christian will share with people, via street corner, Twitter, Facebook, blog, television program, radio program and/or the seat across from you on the bus or subway train…well, that something or another is terribly sinful in the eyes of God or incredibly pleasing in the sight of God (despite being very mean and hurtful to others).

It may occur to you at these times (or to other people whom you respect) to perhaps challenge said individuals to provide evidence from the Bible to support that such things are actually mentioned by God and/or His various agents through the ages, or that they are in line with Jesus’ teachings, or both.

If you do this, or encourage such actions by others, you are clearly a Christian-hating douche and should burn in the fires of Hell. Or perhaps you are a vile and wicked Muslim, who should first be tortured by government officials for simply existing, and then sent to burn in the eternal fires of Hell in that special corner God set aside for Hitler, abortion providers, followers of Islam and the makers of Teletubbies (especially the “gay” one).

I know it’s confusing to you, but what most Christians fail to note when providing such abusive soul-saving advice and guidance is that the pastors, Christian pundits and general whack-jobs…er, self-styled theologians who can’t even read Greek, Latin or Hebrew…um, fervent evangelists who taught them what was sinful and what was good (that doesn’t appear in the regular Bible and are in line with the new covenant set forth by Jesus) comes from a special book.

I mean, you can’t expect them to teach only from the source material that everyone has access to, can you?

Anyway, this special book was discovered by U.S. theologians around the same time politicians conveniently forgot that the Founding Fathers really weren’t all that religious and church-minded and started adding things like “In God We Trust” to the money and “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance in the 1940s and 1950s.

This book, I am happy to reveal to you hellbound heathens, is the book of the prophet Addenduma, who was provided with revelation from God in the year 56 A.D. and was aided by his trusty apprentice prophet Miscellanephat and their alien canine sidekick Randomog.

I will share excerpts from this holy example of God’s WordTM from time to time. For now, just a little bit from Chapter 1, verses 1 through 15:

1: Lo, for the words herein written by Addenduma are true and correct, for he is pleasing in Mine eyes and certainly not drunk on new wine (nor the old in broken bottles) and he hath neither lain with Miscellanephat nor known Randomog in the manner a man should know a woman after proper courtship and transfer of ownership from her father.

2: Indeed, Addenduma may hath lain once or twice with Miscellanephat and Randomog but that is not unpleasing in my sight for he said he was very, very wroth with himself and abased himself before Me and reminded Me that I had overlookethed the liaisons between David and Jonathan.

3: And forsooth, verily and huzzah! (or perhaps Yahoo!), as we are on the topic of congress, or knowing, or getting busy, or doing the horizontal hora, let it be known that a man should not lie down with another man, unless the man being laid with looks convincingly like a woman and his/her clothes were already off by the time the layor discovered a penis hanging from him…or her…or, whatever.

4: There is no particular reason for this. For I the Lord simply find it aesthetically unpleasing, though I have naught to say about woman-on-woman for it is very pretty in the sight of men.

5: About those women. Thou shalt not lie with a woman during her time of issue with blood nor shalt though even think of having sex with her during that time even though it is a necessary and harmless biological function and I often make her pillows of small soft pleasure ‘twixt her thighs rumble with pleasure during this time and ignite her desires. Thou shalt not do this because it is icky in my sight, though you no longer have to make her stay outside your home when Aunt Flow visits.

6: Speaking of sex, and the holy aftereffects thereof when you abstain from contraception, as I have commanded, you may not abort any pregnancy at any stage after conception for any reason. This is because I give souls to every collection of cells that stands a strong chance of going nowhere developmentally speaking and has nothing resembling human neurological function.

7: Oh, I never mentioned anything about not using contraception? My bad. That was supposed to be in Leviticus. Thou shalt not use contraception. I also waste my time putting souls in every sperm and every ovum because I’m inefficient that way.

8: Thou shalt not make note of the fact that most sperms and ova are never used and your body will shed them or consume them. Also, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

9: And no, thou mayest not pleasure thyself with thy hand or any foreign object, for I hate masturbation, even though it is never really mentioned in the Bible at all. Why? Do you want me to turn you into a pillar of salt or kill the first-born of your family? If you need a reason, see verse 7, you heathen.

10: Porn is evil. Even when it involves fully consenting adults in a safe and non-abusive environment and doesn’t degrade women. Unless the producers tithe 10% of the gross revenues post-production to Me.

11: Sex is evil. Even with your spouse. Unless you are trying to have children. I only made sex feel good to trip you up and send more of you to Hell. It’s getting crowded up here in Heaven and I really do not likest most of thou. Or thee. Or y’all. Or whatever.

12: Ignore any anachronisms in the Book of Addenduma. My beloved prophet’s mind sometimes travels to the future to gather the holy guidance he needs to put My will to these parchments, which may not stand up to the scrutiny of carbon dating, for carbon dating is a tool of Satan and his minions the evolutionists.

13: Free-market laissez-faire capitalism practiced within a non-inclusive, non-representative pseudo-democracy must be your way, for it is My way, and it’s My way or the Gehenna highway.

14: Thou shalt not gather in protest of the 1% who hold the majority of the wealth and withhold it from 99% of the population, for I the LORD never told you when the meek would inherit the Earth. But not now. Certainly not yet. Soon, though. Maybe.

15: Thou shalt only vote for the Republican Party in the United States, and suitably similar parties in other nations, for the Democrats are of less pleasing character to Me than the scum on your shoe after stepping on a diseased slug that was having sex with an earthworm on your rain-soaked driveway right in the middle of a puddle of oil and antifreeze.

21
Oct
10

Co-signing away your soul

I cannot take credit for the following quote, but I can’t help by smile ruefully and nod my head as I read it. It’s sort of the religious/spiritual equivalent of the Tea Party candidates who tout that we need to remain true to the U.S. Constitution, but who don’t know what the Constitution says or what the amendments to it are.

To most Christians, the Bible is like a software license. Nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click “I agree.”

That came from a Twitter account known as almightygod (I didn’t know my Father in Heaven had signed on to Twitter until now ;-)), and I don’t know if the owner of that Twitter account is the originator of the quote or simply passing on something he or she heard, but it’s a gem if I ever saw one, regardless.

04
Mar
10

That Old, Old, Really Old Time Religion

In my previous post (here), one of my faithful readers, The Word of Me, brought up in the comments that fact that many Old Testament tales—such as Adam and Eve, the Great Flood, and so on—don’t bear up under scientific scrutiny.

And certainly, he’s right. There is no evidence of a global flood. Humanity didn’t begin 7,000 years ago. Language differences didn’t begin at the site of the Tower of Babel. I could go on, but I won’t, because it isn’t necessary.

His point was that is such material is false, then the whole Bible is suspect, and must be assumed to be false. And therefore, taken to the logical extreme, if there was no Adam and Eve and original sin or any of that other stuff, there would be no need for Jesus and therefore Jesus wasn’t the son of God. Not that there is a God, of course, in TWOM’s view.

I don’t fault TWOM’s reasoning. That is, if you begin from the standpoint that the Bible is a pack of myths or lies or both, then it all falls apart.

But why do all the stories in the Old Testament have to be literal? Particularly those appearing in Genesis.

It is a fault of both the atheist/agnostic camps and the fundamentalist/Bible literalism camps that the stories in the Bible must be true in order for God to be true. Both sides are dead wrong.

Look at Jesus. He told parables. He didn’t say, “this is an allegorical story” when he told them. He told them as if they were stories of real people and real situations. And it’s clear that many of those stories, perhaps none of them, had to do with real scenarios of which Jesus was aware. That did not, however, diminish the importance or value of those stories for teaching lessons and revealing truths.

The Son follows the example of the Father. Why can’t the Old Testament stories be parables writ larger, speaking to greater truths? Truths about human failings, broken connections with the divine, the need for redemption, the love of God, and so much more.

Whether there was a literal couple named Adam and Eve doesn’t matter. Whether the global flood really covered the Earth, or flooded a mere nation or valley, or never happened at all, also doesn’t matter. What matters is that God has shown Himself to humanity for millennia, most notably through his son, whose message and legacy endures, against all odds, even to this day.

05
Jan
10

Savior Synchronicity by Miz Pink

Yeah, I love Sting and I especially loved The Police, so I’m listening to “Synchronicity” right now. Maybe I’ll follow with a totally different artist and get the other half of the title covered with “Personal Jesus.”

Anyhoo here’s what this is all about: Has anyone (believers that is) like me considered how oddly perfect the arrival of Jesus was in terms of timing? How many ways that things just add up to say “Hmmmmm maybe there’s something to this Jesus guy?” while also leaving room for serious doubters or people who look just at the surface to say “It’s all made up!”

What do I mean?

Well firstly God operates from that whole faith thang. This has been the situation since he really started things going with Abraham even though it really goes back to Adam and Eve and telling them, “Just trust me.” But with Abe it was when he started making it clear that what he wants is our trust in him. Later this would evolve to having faith in God’s existence in the absence of him always having to pop up and do something dramatic. God doesn’t seem to want to do that and when he has to it usually meant all sorts of problems for the Isrealites, ya know? If God had to step in there tended to be ripples that weren’t always pleasant.

So secondly we have Jesus pop up at a time when historians are just really starting to become a force. Its a legit profession and all and people look to them to tell the story of what’s going on. So there are historians who mention Jesus’ existence. Even one who noted some of the strange environmental things that supposedly happened when Jesus gave up the ghost. It tend to be awfully dishonest intellectually speaking to say Jesus didn’t exist even if you deny his divinity.

This is important. As Deke has noted before several times we take at face value the fact that old documents of historical nature are accurate and good sources even though diligent historians were not as much in supply or in vogue as in Roman times. How many raggedy old historical documents do we hang on to know about the lives and accomplishments of ancient people. People who were around longer back than Jesus. Historical records that aren’t as numerous as the various copies and pieces of the gospel.

And what about that? No printing presses folks and yet so many copies in so many languages of the gospel. Why did people care enough to spread that word?

So thirdly the fact that people close to the time the gospels were written believed and yet no one in the power structure said “Jesus was a fake.” Blasphemer yeah. Sorcerer yeah. But no one said “He didn’t do those things he said he did and we the Jewish leaders of the time tell you he was a charlatan.” There were ample opportunities for people in power to debunk Jesus and no incentive for people to carry on his work and his message. I mean really the apostles? If my main man died when he told me he was the son of God I would run like hell and disavow him. There is no incentive to cash in and no reasons to keep following him. Almost all of them would ahve done what I would: curse the fraudulent bastards name and distance themselves for their survival.

Jesus’ message and legacy carried on because people had to have some sign that he was real. Coming back from the dead would be a good way. So either he did it (came back from dead) or he pulled off the biggest Elvis-style hoax around and vanished into the desert alive and well. Consdiering how good the Romans were at crucifixion and how much of a rabble rouser Jesus was the the Jewish religious leaders and local politicians, I don’t think he snuck off the cross folks.

And so we’re left with a guy who have an indelible mark on the world, his message spreading against all odds in an age without high speed communication or printing presses. And yet at the same time, enough loose ends and ambiguous stuff that naysayers can make a good case too that its all a fairy tale.

To me this speaks of God moving definitively and giving us signs but also staying out of sight enough that we still have free will. We still have choice. And we still have to look around for the truth. Not everyone finds the truth of Jesus. But I believe it is there to see even if we look critically and think deeply.

13
Jul
09

Getting Off Track, Part 2

As is so often the case, I went negative on my “own kind” first by pointing out some serious flaws in many Christian mind-sets (see “Getting Off Track, Part 1“) before I decided to go pointing fingers at the non-Christians. But now, it’s time for some people on the other side to get their share.

I saw a bumper sticker a few days ago: Jesus, Protect Me From Your Followers.

I got a chuckle out of that, because it is true than many Christians make Christianity an easy target due to their actions (and not because there’s anything inherently bad in the tenets of Christianity itself). Frankly, a lot of Christians scare me, and I’m a faithful (if inconsistent) follower of Jesus.

But at the same time, when people get in my face (literally or figuratively) about how arrogant I am that I would say Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, I can only ponder this: “Methinks thou dost protest too much.”

Why the rancor toward Jesus and the faith centered on him? I mean, this is one of the most progressive guys of ancient history. I’m still waiting to see agnostics and atheists pile onto the Jews or Buddhists or anyone else and call them arrogant for believing their paths are the right paths and probably the only legitimate paths.

And please, don’t start with the “Well, Christianity has done more damage than…” It’s a bullshit argument that half the time isn’t even accurate and generally has little to do with Christianity itself, and I’m tired of people arguing that most of the world doesn’t really even know about Jesus, much less believe in him, and thus I should shut the hell up…and yet somehow my faith is doing these people such harm. You can’t have it both ways. Is Christianity abusing them, or are they ignorant of Jesus? Kind of hard to believe both things.

Maybe I’ll start a path toward accepting the argument that having a set of strong beliefs makes me arrogant when more people around me start saying, “Gee, representative democracies in capitlalist nations sure do seem to do a lot of damage to the world! We’d better abandon capitalism and democracy right now!”

It is not arrogance for me to say that Jesus is the right path. It’s my belief, and you are welcome to think otherwise and to disagree with me. But it still doesn’t make me arrogant.

You see, God has an easy way, and a hard way. But it all comes down to Jesus the Christ in the end.

I give Little Girl Blue as much freedom and latitude as I can. I allow her, even at just shy of four years old, to disagree with me strenuously if she likes. But in the end, if something needs to be done a certain way (i.e. Daddy says so), then it will get done my way in the end. Not because I’m a tyrant but because that’s the way it needs to be, for her health, safety, and general well-being and proper growth.

Now, Little Girl Blue can say, “Daddy, I don’t want to” and then do it anyway because I’ve asked her nicely and explained why it’s necessary. That’s the easy way. (Note, I don’t expect the easy way to be to just obey me without question; not even God really expects that of us…He knows us too well). Or, she can throw a tantrum or ignore me repeatedly and do other things that will cause me to raise my voice and possibly snap one of her favorite DVDs in half and throw it out (should she push things that far).

She has options. But eventually, it comes down to me or to mommy and what we’ve laid down as law.

You can give Jesus some serious consideration now (and hopefully come to see that he is the way, the truth and the life), or you can just keep shouting that it’s arrogant to believe such things. But I wonder, when your heart beats its last, and you see Jesus, and he gives you an amused little smile, a shrug of his shoulders and says, “You know, Deac and Big Man and a lot of those other folks pretty much had a lot of it right. So, why don’t we talk about the choice you want to make now”…what are you going to do?

Are you going to say, “Oh, well, I guess we should talk then. I guess I was off track there.”

Or will you say, “Fine, I’m here, you arrogant messianic asshole. You think I’m going to bend my knee now?”

Hard way, easy way…and even a semi-hard way right in between the two, I believe…but hell, it’s your choice, and I’m devout in my conviction that you have every right to make any of those choices. Your right. Your free will. It doesn’t affect me in the end. I wish you well, I hope you do well in this life and the next, and I respect your rights.

If that’s the new definition of arrogance, then I’m happily arrogant.

11
Jul
09

Getting Off Track, Part 1

So, a couple days back in “Journeying Toward God,” I said I’d have some follow-up points on Christians and non-Christians and where I notice they can really get off track. Well, first, the Christian folk.

I see in too many Chrisitians the kind of legalism that Jesus railed against when he was arguing with priests and scribes back in the day.

It’s not that Jesus didn’t believe in the law. He did. It’s not that he didn’t follow the law. He did (and was one of the precious few people in existence who ever did). But as he point out on more than one occasion, the spirit of the law was the critical thing, and not the literal letter of the law.

What good is a sabbath day where you don’t work, but you’ll let someone suffer because to help them is to “work?” What good is paying tithes if you go through your day with no kindness or mercy? What good is praying if you do it in public just so people can know you’re really doing it, when you might not even be feeling it?

I see a lot of Christians around me, whether literally or on TV and in books who are all too willing to spout the Word of God and tell us why we must follow it, but who don’t get the larger points of salvation, mercy, love and the rest.

I have, for example, slammed the Duggar family many a time for their beliefs as part of the quiverful movement. They focus on the relatively few Bible passages that talk about the blessings of a large family, and make like that means we should just keep spitting kids out as fast as we can. But that’s not what the Bible tells us. In Bible times, for one thing, people didn’t live very long on average compared to today. They worked the land or sea in many cases, and needed children to carry out the family work. In some cases, God wanted the Hebrews to have many children so that there would be plenty of Hebrews to carry out His plans and his works and set the path and eventual stage for Jesus.

We don’t live in a world where having tons of kids is good idea for most people (at least speaking from someone in an industrialized nation). In fact, it would be a back-breaking financial burden for 90% of families to simply just keep spitting out kids. And yet there are people like the Duggars who will hold it up as doctrine that we should be doing this because that’s what the Bible says.

Children are still a blessing, and we should have them for many reasons. But within reason.

Chrisitian will rail against homosexual marriage in society, when the only thing they should care about is whether their church is actually marrying gays and lesbians. On a societal basis, it isn’t any business of the Christians whether the government and the people as a whole want to let homosexuals marry. I don’t think it should be something that churches are forced or expected to do, given the biblical prohibitions. And yet Christians will lose their damned minds over this issue and start thumping the Bible in front of everyone to say it’s a societal evil that should be prevented or purged. But the Bible wasn’t written to build a society. God wanted it to provide a spiritual path.

I could go on with other examples. Prosperity ministries. Speaking in tongues. Killing abortion providers.

The journey to be in synch with God from a Christian perspective relies on an understanding of the Bible. But that understanding is not gained by compiling a list of do’s and do not’s. It is gained by understanding why we need to seek God and by recognizing the larger scheme of thing. It’s about opening our hearts to heaven and at the same time to those around us.

If we do those things, we will act in line with biblical precepts much of the time.

If we’re just following a rulebook, we’ll get off track every time, just like the priests and scribes Jesus criticized.

15
Jun
09

Drive-by Scripture, 2 Timothy 3:16

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness

Been a while since I’ve posted a drive-by scripture, so here we go, with Second Timothy, chapter 3, verse 16.

Much is made about how the word of God is infallible. In other words, the Bible is the final word and it’s not wrong in any way, shape or form.

I believe that. And I don’t believe that.

Having spoken recently on the translational issue with my post “Lost in Translation,” it should be clear that I have differing levels of regard for various translations. To some degree, even differing levels of trust.

I wholeheartedly believe that the structure of the Bible as it stands is pretty much inspired by God. The Catholics and the Protestants have a slightly different take on books that should or should not be included, but the differences are minor in the end. I believe there is value in some of the books that are not in the Protestant version, as well as some important books that are not in either Catholic nor Protestant translations of the Bible.

But at the same time, humans have had their grubby little hands all over the word of God, and mistakes, personal interpretations and the like are inevitable when human error gets brought into the mix.

But this, I think, can be a good thing as well as a challenge. While I believe that we can never truly understand God while we are in this world, tethered to our bodies and our carnal needs and desires, I believe we are meant to search for Him and seek Him continually, even if we are among the faithful.

Perhaps especially if we are among the faithful. For I believe that true faith and a closer relationship with God forces us to really think about what the Bible is trying to tell us, instead of expecting it to give us simple answers. And I think that truly coming to God forces us to question our faith, ourselves, and even the version of the word of God that we open to read.

09
Jun
09

Lost in Translation

bible02So, Big Man over at Raving Black Lunatic asked my take on the various translations of the Bible in a comment on one of my recent posts, and so I’ll take that as a chance to have a spiritual topic that I don’t have to dig out of my own head right now (cluttered as it is with anything but an abundance of ideas right now).

There are plenty of different Bible translations in English alone, and all of them get things a little “wrong.” I mean, there are originals in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and who knows what else, and languages other than English can have subtle shades of meaning with certain words that get lost in English translations.

So, I don’t expect any translation to give me a complete and 100% perfect experience at giving me the word of God as originally intended. That isn’t all bad, though. Not all of the specifics of the Bible apply directly to the way life has changed over the millennia in terms of society, technology and so much else. It’s the essentials and the basics that are important.

That said, here is how I roll when it comes to Bible translations:

My main go-to source for the word of God is the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. For sheer poetry of the language, for feeling like I’ve gotten something that tried to capture the heart and meaning of the original texts, I feel like the KJV is where it’s at. However, as nice as it is to read, it can be hard to get what the KJV translators were trying to say centuries ago, much less to figure out how closely it jibes with older and more original translations. For that reason, I prefer my KJV to be a study Bible, with copious footnotes and such to help give me context and clear up confusing areas.

Still, as much as a I like the KJV, there are times when I feel like I need to do a compare/contrast of a passage between different versions of the Bible or when I feel like I need something closer to modern language, and for that reason, I try to make sure I have an International Standard Version (ISV), American Standard Version (ASV) and/or New American Standard Bible (NASB) version on the shelf right next to the KJV.

The little pocket Bible I have in my back pocket at all times I prefer to be an ASV, NASB or ISV New Testament/Psalms/Proverbs combo (no room for expansive footnotes in something that small), though currently it’s a Gideons Bible lounging around in my back pocket.

Just for kicks, let’s look at the line from Romans chapter 9, verse 1 for some of the differences:

King James Version
I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,

International Standard Version
I am telling the truth because I belong to the Messiah–I am not lying, and my conscience confirms it by means of the Holy Spirit.

American Standard Version
I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing witness with me in the Holy Spirit,

New American Standard Bible
I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit,

GOD’S WORD® Translation
As a Christian, I’m telling you the truth. I’m not lying. The Holy Spirit, along with my own thoughts, supports me in this.

American King James Version
I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,

Bible in Basic English
I say what is true in Christ, and not what is false, my mind giving witness with me in the Holy Spirit,

Douay-Rheims Bible
I SPEAK the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost:

Darby Bible Translation
I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing witness with me in the Holy Spirit,

English Revised Version
I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing witness with me in the Holy Ghost,

Webster’s Bible Translation
I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me testimony in the Holy Spirit,

Weymouth New Testament
I am telling you the truth as a Christian man–it is no falsehood, for my conscience enlightened, as it is, by the Holy Spirit adds its testimony to mine–

World English Bible
I tell the truth in Christ. I am not lying, my conscience testifying with me in the Holy Spirit,

Young’s Literal Translation
Truth I say in Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing testimony with me in the Holy Spirit,

Looking at those, you’ll notice that a lot of translations are pretty close to the KJV overall, and the NASB, ASV and ISV versions don’t differ much between themselves in terms of essence, though they flow differently in terms of word choices.

I don’t know much about the GOD’S WORD version of the Bible, but the fact they felt they needed to trademark the name makes me instantly suspect of it. And the language seems many times to me to be both too stilted and often too simplistic.

The Bible in Basic English often doesn’t seem to be as basic as it probably needs to be, if it is indeed trying to distinguish itself from the ASV, ISV and NASB versions.

Young’s Literal Translation can be a bit hard to read at times, which I expect for something that seeks to be a literal translation, but I also find myself wondering how literal it really is, and regardless of whether or not it succeeds at that, I also wonder if it’s helping the understanding or hindering it among readers.

I know little about the Weymouth New Testament, but it often strikes me that it is trying to be both more literal of the original Greek versions and other versions than the KJV was, while also trying to keep the language modern enough for decent comprehension.

Anyway, just my random babblings here.

I just plain like the KJV and the more modern versions that don’t try to use language that is too modern. I tend to be annoyed by translations that try to adopt very modern language or very basic language, as I think too much gets lost in doing that, and you end up diluting the word instead of edifying people.




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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Jeff Bouley

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You can reach Deacon Blue/Jeff Bouley at deaconbluemail@gmail.com.

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