Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 26, 1969

A "King James" Preacher — What Is It?

Dick Blackford

One thing is certain, whatever it is it didn't exist before 1611 A. D. We saw recently where a church advertised for a preacher and specified that he must be one of this brand. I like the KJV. I believe it is a good translation and at one time was the best. I would not discourage brethren from using it, in fact I use it — and many others. I do discourage brethren from becoming "wed" to a translation (like many have become wed to church buildings). Our language is in a constant state of change (evolution, if you please). If it continues to change the next 350 years at the rate it has changed for the past 350 years and if I am still around and able I will probably use still other translations. I consider the manuscripts which have been discovered since 1611 to be of such value that I do not want to miss out on any of their benefits. I want to get the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in as plain and up-to-date language as possible. Since I am not a specialist in linguistics I may not always be able to decipher things written so near the middle English period (1100 — 1500 A. D.). But brethren, if we are bent on trying to be ancient we need to go back farther than 1611 and get us some manuscripts. Some of the Mennonite groups of our day cling to the attire and customs of the seventeenth century and would, no doubt, ostracize all of us for not keeping their traditions. But are we any less guilty if we try to bind a translation of the seventeenth century on brethren? Truly, it seems that none of us are free from the idea of "doing things because we always have." I have observed when people say they can't understand portions of God's word that it is many times a difficulty of language and not always a problem of the message. We just don't speak entirely like people did 350 years ago.

In the prologue of the Paris edition of the 1538 Coverdale diglot (in Latin and English), Miles Coverdale wrote of the value of differing translations:

"Now for thy part, most gently reader, take in good worth that I here offer thee with a good will, and let this present translation be no prejudice to the other that out of the Greek have been translated afore, or shall hereafter. For if thou open thine eyes and consider well..., thou shalt see that one translation declareth, openeth, and illustrateth another, and that in many cases one is a plain commentary unto another." (from Introduction to The New Testament From 26 Translations).

We certainly grant that many modern-day versions are not worth the paper they are printed on. In fact they are PERversions — which indicates a great need for Christians to make a thorough study of "How We Got Our Bible?"

In closing, we believe this interesting item from the newspaper ought to give us a new perspective on things. It speaks for itself.

Pilgrims Spurned

NEW YORK (UPI) The Pilgrims refused to bring a copy of the King James Version of the Bible on board the Mayflower because they considered it a newfangled translation, according to the American Bible Society.

However, by 1770, Benjamin Franklin reported that the Bible was not being read in the colonies because the King James version was out of date.

Let us not require man-made qualifications for preachers. The Lord knows they have enough qualifications to meet without someone requiring "that which God hath not commanded," Lev. 10:1. It is just as wrong to "bind where God hasn't bound" as it is to "loose where God hasn't loosed."

— P.O. Box 147, Truman, Ark. 72472