For a video that includes nothing but me talking and some amateur (by me) captions, my Why I Hate the KJV video has done well on YouTube. With 3563 viewings as of the time I’m posting this, and 231 comments.
I must confess that I have not paid much attention to the comments thread, because YouTube doesn’t permit links and comments are short, and because most of the comments are quite inane, as is usual in KJV-Only discussions. After all, what profound and informed argument actually favors KJV-Only?
Comment 231 caught my attention, not because it was profound or informed, but because it was bad in a new way.
The comment reads:
The HIV (NIV) false “bible” is published by the same company that publishes the Satanic Bible by Anton LaVay. Jesus Christ said a corrupt tree cannot produce good fruit. If you think the HIV is good fruit, you’re calling Jesus a liar and you need to get right with God.
I mean one of the translators of the HIV was an OPEN PRACTICING HOMOSEXUAL. How much more obvious does it need to get? Burn your HIV!
Of course we have all the usual charm and logical structure of the normal KJV-Only comment. I have written previously on the issue of having a homosexual translator on the team, which I regard as not only ad hominem, but largely irrelevant even as ad hominem arguments go. The key point here is that when a Bible translation is released we have the source texts, we have the translation, we can look and see whether it is accurate or not. (Usually there will be disagreements, but that’s translation.)
Debating the quality of the translators, even if one is discussing their actual qualifications for translation work, is generally missing the point. If I find a translation that is poor, and I look and see that the committee involved was underqualified, I might take that as an explanation. I wouldn’t read the list of translators, decide they’re underqualified, and determine that their translation was lousy without reading it.
But I find the whole tree and fruit thing very interesting. Here are some questions:
- Is the “tree” that produces a Bible translation the company that publishes it?
- If so, would a Bible become corrupt if it was first published by a “righteous” company, but later licensed to a “corrupt” publisher, however defined?
- What kind of sin must a publisher be guilty of to pollute otherwise pure scriptures that it might print?
- What kind of sin must a translator be guilty of in order to corrupt his translation? For example, would the translation be corrupt if the translator was a gossip? An adulterer?
- Is the translation corrupt if the translator is guilty of such sin, but we don’t know about it?
While this KJV-Only argument may strike many of my readers as beneath comment–though when has that ever stopped me?–perhaps what we should think about is whether when we make what seem to be high moral pronouncements, we also say things that we really don’t want to say.