If it ain’t King James…

The King James Version recently made the news, even if was “fake news.”

This week, the Babylonian Bee (a satirical site that focuses most of its humor toward the church with titles like, “Worship Drummer Throws Drumstick Out To Lucky Screaming Fan” or “‘Church Foyer Coffee’ Keurig K-Cup Flavor Now Available”) poked fun at KJV-ers.

The article is titled, “Apostle Paul’s King James Bible Up For Auction.” That made me grin as I remembered the old story of the ignorant preacher talking about the King James Version of the Bible who said, “If it was good enough for Paul, it’s good enough for me!” Old time religion? No, thanks.

There are many of us who continue to find nurture in the 1611 version of the Bible. Some passages will never be written better in any modern translations. Psalm 23. I Corinthians 13. Genesis 1. John 3:16. The Lord’s Prayer. These are passages that many of us memorized, and we memorized them in King James English. They are not only beautiful, they are nostalgic.

But that is part of the problem. Nostalgia is “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.” We have childhood memories, family memories, church camp memories – all tied up in a scripture translation that “they” had better not mess with. It is very easy to discover the history of the Bible. Just do a Google search or read a Wikipedia article. But nostalgia is not interested in history or facts. It longs for the good-old-days when the Bible was completely trusted. “The Bible says it. I believe it, That settles it.”

Often, the message of the text takes a backseat to the attacks that must be made in defense of this translation. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Well-written 1611 English, ignored.

For a buck fifty, you can get your own bumper sticker that reads, “If it ain’t King James, it ain’t Bible.” It seems that this would be an excellent Babylonian Bee article. If only it were not real.

And, there is even a song that is titled “The King James Bible Song.”

Cute song. But, sad.


Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

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