5.1.11

KJV or KFC?

Okay, so I am wondering whether that blog-title works.
It polarises the debate: we either glory in the thees and thous or quite trash the Bible with our 'fast-food, instant gratification, serve it all up on a plate so that people do not think it through for themselves' methods. Told you I was polarising. Of course, there's a middle ground, engaging with meaning, genre etc you know all that good stuff they teach you about exegetics and hermeneutics (oops, don't we so easily talk in language people do not understand!)

This anniversary of the KJV we will celebrate this year is wonderful, and all that.

However, as a teacher, as I was back in the nineties, it was no mean feat translating Chaucer and Shakespeare into modern day parlance for the benefit of confused teenagers, whilst still preserving their appreciation of the beauty of the language.

After listening to some man wax lyrical on the KJV and its superiority, the other evening on Radio 4, I wonder really whether aesthetic delight is enough. Well, it isn't of course, in answer to my own question and I want to uunderline the fact that this chap did seem to come to faith through the KJV and that's a good thing. I think, however, that at the same time we must remember that the Great Commission teaches that we are to 'make disciples' so that the church has to communicate to God's people in words they understand. What I can not relate to is the way that we tend to think language structures of the 16th, 17th century are more Godly. In the history of time eternal, this was just one epoch. Whilst we can remember fondly and pay tribute to this Bible, which was carried overseas with missionary zeal, we must not forget either that the Church is now 4 centuries on - now there's a sobering thought.

See here for Tim Goodbody's response to the KJV.

3 comments:

Tim Goodbody said...

Thanks for the link Rachel. You is totally wicked innit (and other lovely modern English sentiments)

Lythan said...

I suppose that for many people of the time the KJV was translating the Bible into modern parlance. But I am with you on this one - give me the Word in ways that cut to the heart of the matter - the beauty is in the response not the delivery for me. Although i am quite fond of the New King James version which keeps some of the poetic cadences but loses the thees and thous

Lucy said...

I think what is sad is when people associate the bible merely with outdated language. It doesn't even occur to some that it is a translation even - and if it is, it's an accurate reflection. I struggle with the authority and love ascribed to the original KJV because as you say it becomes more about aesthetics than meaning. I like beautiful language, but not when it cloaks meaning.

And of course some ancient authorities had not been discovered at the time of the original translation...

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