Thou Shalt Write CT

I appreciated Mark Noll's erudite consideration of the King James Version Bible ["A World Without the KJV," May]. The work of translation is as much a work of interpretation, and the fact that today's popular translations are just a few decades old should give us pause. Reading a modern translation alone, it's easy to err in the way C. S. Lewis once described: "Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books."

Like Noll, I was raised on the King James Version, but when The Living Bible appeared, I put my KJV on the shelf and never looked back. I don't deny its great cultural influence, but it uses a language I don't use, only recognize. Cultures and languages change, and the Bible must speak readers' language.

I found it interesting that the King James Version didn't find universal acceptance at first, especially among dissenters and Catholics. How ironic that today's staunchest defenders of the KJV tend to be independent fundamentalist Baptists, spiritual descendants of the very dissenters who opposed the KJV—and who tend to be deeply suspicious of the very hierarchies that the KJV was intended to preserve.

Orthodoxy's Outreach

Conversation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the church worldwide can only be a healthy thing ["From Russia, with Love," May]. At the same time, it's clear that gospel proclamation is not always welcome in Russia. Evangelical groups have endured what we would see as persecution and denial of basic human rights, even imprisonment, for teaching the gospel. Hopefully as ...

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July 2011

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