Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Total and Complete Insanity

Just before Chritmas is not the time I want to write this, but I ought to. I have recently become aware of claims that there are "Counterfeit King James" Bibles in circulation. What is the problem:

"Here are some of the changes I located: Asswaged has been changed to assuaged. Basons has been changed to basins. Chesnut has been changed to chestnut. Cloke has been changed to cloak. Enquire has been changed to inquire. Further has been changed to farther. Jubile has been changed to jubilee. Intreat has been changed to entreat. Morter has been changed to mortar. Ought has been changed to aught, and rereward has been changed to rearward. "

In other words, some spellings have been updated. Now, what is most utterly crazy about it is that the vast majority of the differences between the 1611 King James and the 1769 Blayney revision of the text are just like these examples, they are spelling changes, updating Elizabethan spellings with 18th century ones. Thus in 1611 Noah built an Arke, while in the 18th century revision he built an ark. Pass was often spelled Passe, and Days was spelled Dayes. Son was spelled Sonne, and Year was Yeere. Believe was spelled Beleeve, and Truth Trueth. In terms of names, Jerusalem in the 1611 AV is Hierusalem, and Pharisee is Pharise. Now, unless I am very much mistaken, the same thought process that produced the hysterical article about "Counterfeit King James Bibles" because 18th century spelling had been updates to 21st century spelling, would also logically apply to the spelling changes in the 18th century. In other words, if spelling is so vital that it cannot be updated. I quote again:

"You see I believe God wrote the Bible through sinful men. I believe God copied the Bible through sinful men. I believe God translated the Bible through sinful men, and I believe God edited (purified) the Bible through sinful men. So therefore I believe God gave us the exact words in the exact order He wanted us to have them in. If that’s the case then He spelled the words exactly the way He wanted to spell them, and gave them to us in a pure language, and that language is the standard text of the King James Bible. "

Again, if spelling is so important that God inspired the spelling, then any changes to the spelling of the King James Bible are wrong, and always have been. Yet the fact of the matter is that the AV that our author holds to be the standard departs in literally thousands of places from the 1611 original (there are multiple spelling changes on literally every page). He is therefore on the horns of a dilemma. Either the 18th century revision was wrong, or the original translators were.

Because he does not allow that this insistence on correct spelling is a relatively modern phenomenon in the English language. My own surname is spelled in at least a dozen different ways in the parish records of my forefathers, and John Wycliffe spelled his own name in many different ways! What is more, the spelling of a word does not affect its meaning. Whether Peter's confession was "Thou art Christ the sonne of the living God" (1611), or "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (20th century Oxford King James), the meaning is the same. Surely this is taking King James Only silliness to new heights of ridiculousness!

Oh, and I note that the modern King James has the definite article before "Christ", making it New Age accoding to Gail Riplinger, as opposed to the 1611, which has just "Christ".

Note: I checked, the 20th century Oxford King James I am using for comparison does not have an updated text. Well, unless it's compared with the 1611, of course!

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