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that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” ( I Pet. 3:15)
West Side Church of Christ A Editorials Articles
By Many or By Few
Where I Stand
The New Testament (2)
Be Not Yoked The New Testament (3) Holy Spirit Baptism A Criticism of Hume
    It is a sad comment on our times that the KJV comes in 5th behind the NIV, NASV, NKJV, and the ESV in a survey of members of the churches of Christ.  This according to a random survey by the Christian Chronicle (CC).  Admittedly the CC is a liberal publication and its devoted readers tend to be far more liberal, as well.  Being a non-scientific, random poll it is difficult to tell just how accurate it is, but a quick scan of many web sites of churches of  Christ will not do much to allay any fears one might have about the direction of the church in our age.
     The article quotes many of the respondents' reasons for using a version other than the KJV.  Invariably, when a reason is given for using some version other than the KJV it has nothing to do with accuracy, but rather because the respondent cannot understand the KJV.
    "'I had a very difficult time understanding the KJV with its old style of English, so I switched to one where I could understand better God’s message to man,' said John Lucas, a member of the Ankeny Church of Christ in Iowa."  Dawn Love of the East High Street congregation in Springfield, Ohio says the NIV "is much easier to understand" than the KJV.  Steve Mahoney of the Newark church of Christ in Deleware encourages the public reading of the NIV because the KJV is "just too hard for the younger generation to follow."  Roger Woods, minister of the Walled Lake church of Christ in Michigan, said that he loved that he could read the NIV without the use of a dictionary. When he was a teenager, he purposely hid his KJV when his family moved so he would not have to use it.  Many of those quoted also said the reason they use it is because that is what everyone else is doing.  How sad.
     Not one of these people give as their reason for using a modern translation that they are more accurate, simply because they cannot (and they certainly aren't going to be so informed by the CC).  A comic strip might be more readable than a medical textbook, and it might be more interesting, but it cannot convey the same vital information.  Words mean things.  God's word is verbally inspired (II Tim. 3:16,17; I Cor. 2:13).  If those original words are not accurately translated, then the so-called translation is not God's word.  
     The only substantive reference to verbal accuracy in the article is a biased quote from Jack P. Lewis in the Stone-Campbell Encyclopedia to the effect that since the 1800's we have had better texts available with which to translate the Bible.  These assertions are based on mere assumptions that certain texts are more accurate because they predate certain other texts.  However, this assumption has been proven erroneous.  It is now known that mere antiquity does not guarantee textual purity.
    The article only gives only passing reference to the opposition this tsunami of modern translations has received from faithful brethren.  However, it specifically quotes  Lewis who was on the translation committee of the NIV. Certainly, he would have no bias, would he? (As an aside, the reference to the "Stone-Campbell Movement" betrays the liberal leanings of Lewis and the authors of the article.  I am thankful to the leaders of the men during the nineteenth century to restore simple, New Testament Christianity, but I am no part of any man-made movement.  I am a member of the Lord's church.)
    It would have been refreshing to read in the article a quote or two from Robert R. Taylor, Jr. or Foy E. Wallace, Jr.  Brother Taylor has recently retired from preaching full time from the Ripley Tennessee congregation and is the author of the book "Challenging Dangers of Modern Versions."  This is a classic work listing many of the errors and biases contained in the modern translations.  Before him, brother Foy E. Wallace, Jr. produced a scholarly tome of some 768 plus pages exposing the errors of the modern translations and the liberal theological bent of the modern translators.
     Unlike these two great defenders of the King James Version, churches of Christ today freely make use of modern translations.  Instead of preaching about the dangers of modern versions, preachers are using them from the pulpit.  Instead of pointing out their errors, they are propagating them.  Where are the educators in the schools of preaching and in the colleges who are teaching their students about the doctrinal errors found in these “versions”?  Where are the elders protecting the flock from the same?
    Since the CC did not see fit to include the traditional view of God’s word, I end the article with a quote from the pens of Robert R. Taylor, Jr. and Foy E. Wallace, Jr.  Oh God, send us more men like them!  - ELP
Copyright Eric L. Padgett  03-30-2012
Christian Apologist