new blog on the KJV

In light of my previous post quoting Craig Blomberg in regards to the translation wars – this is interesting, a blog devoted to KJV Onlyism (or so it seems).  WOW.  Well, this person doesn’t seem militant about it but still nonetheless….

Here is a description:

Hysteria, misinformation, rancor and hype fill the King James Version (KJV) only debate. Cynicism sometimes colors the view of those on both sides of the debate. This blog aims to confront the King James craze head on, and evaluate the claims of KJV-onlyism from a Biblical perspective.

The authors are all former proponents of KJV-onlyism. Each has made his own journey out of that movement. We shall do our best to fairly represent the opposite view here, yet we acknowledge that there are multiple varieties of the KJV-only position.

We welcome honest debate in the comments. But we reserve the right to moderate discussions in an effort to keep this a charitable, Christ-honoring blog.

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Here is a key post to consider checking out: Testing the Textus Receptus: Rev. 16:5

Well, if you want to learn more head on over! 

HT: Dave Black, via Tommy Wasserman

Craig L. Blomberg on the translation wars

In reading the introduction to Blomberg’s updated edition of his Jesus and the Gospels, I came across the following:

Jesus and the GospelsWho would have imagined twelve years ago the balkanization of the Bible reading public into clumps of vociferous supporters of their favorite English translations, often accompanied by vitriolic rhetoric against other versions?  That was then a distinction of the almost defunct King James Version only movement!  Today, not only has that movement actually revived but it seems that far too many scholars, professors, pastors, and theological students, not to mention quite a few laypeople, rally in “groupie-like” fashion around one and only one of the NASB, NIV, NRSV, NKJV, NLT, TNIV, NET, HSCB, or ESV!  Meanwhile, most of the people of the world continue at best to have only one resonable translation of the Scriptures in their native tongues, while non-Christians in English-speaking countries too often assume that none of the translations is reliable or else we would not keep making new ones and quarelling over existing ones!  Surely, God grieves over the amount of energy and rancor that has been exercised creating and critiquing all these versions, when everyone of them is highly reliable and far more than adequate in communicating God’s Word to readers of English.  Still, each meets a definable need, either real or perceived, and I have been privileged to be a part of the translation process, at varying levels, of four of them (NLT, HCSB, ESV, TNIV).  The best up-to-date primer on the strengths and weaknesses, distinctives and commonalities, of these and other important versions is now Gordon D. Fee’s and Mark L. Strauss’ How to Choose a Translation for All its Worth

from: Craig Blomberg’s  Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey, 2nd Edition (Broadman & Holman, 2009), 4 

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I, henceforth, REPENT of any involvement I have had in speaking harshly (or inappropriately) against any one translation or another and or against any particular Bible publishing company and its marketing strategies, or against particular people or persons who pomote one translation philosophy over or against another.  

Doing so, I feel has cause me to loose focus on what really matters: To know God (and being known by him), and to make him known.  This can adequately be accomplished with any one English translation of the Bible or another and not necessarily one specific English translation or another necessarily. 

Grace and Peace.

on Miracles

Every now and again the question comes up as to why the Christian church in general either does not see or is not seeing miracles too much anymore if at all (in the supernatural sense – as in what is seen in the Gospels and Acts in the NT era).

For some, this had led to a variety of conclusions among which are that miracles don’t happen anymore, they have ceased.  For others, miracles have a more general feel to them – the life itself is a miracle, or every day is a miracle and so on, “it was a miracle that car missed me when I ran that red light,” etc, that sort of thing.  I think this reveals a deeper issue that many of us may just be confused about miracles or some just don’t know what to think.

I can’t and don’t really want to get into all the dynamics of miracles and their supernatural aspects – I’ll leave that for those who are able to speak about such things – perhaps C.S. Lewis is one resource to consider. (please consider being gracious and clicking the link – Thanks!).

I think one thing that could help is to examine the basic context in which most of the miracles happened in the Gospels and or Acts – many of the miracles performed were in the context of when the gospel was being preached to the lost – as the gospel was being preached miracles began to take place – miracles also followed the preaching.

So here is what I offer: Christians are not seeing miracles too often if at all anymore because, in general, the church is not engaging the lost.  We’ve really withdrawn ourselves into the church and so expect people to come to us and or we’ve tranferred the idea of healing to more spiritual and emotional terms and not so much physical terms.  Miracles are to serve as a sign to unbelievers to lead them to God but since so few of us actually and seriously engage the lost in the world – on their territory be it the street or in their homes and lives, this is why we do not see miracles too much anymore if at all.

Miracles are signs of the light overcoming the darkness – like the sparks of confrontation as people of the light engage a dark and lost world.  Really the are the signs of the work of the second exodus in which Jesus has come into this world to bring true and lasting deliverance from our slavery to sin and the powers of darkness.

Not unlike how the plauges of Egypt where the signs and wonders God performed to bring about the deliverance of his people from slavery in Egypt – the miracles of Jesus and his disciples, and really all disciples of Jesus, are the signs and wonders performed to show the enactment of and the completion and finality of the second exodus – that through the cross and resurrection Jesus broke the back of the powers of darkness and has brought about our deliverance and from slavery to sin and all of its effects.

So, I think one reason among others for why Christians, especially in the West, are not seeing miracles too much if at all, is, because, in part we are not really engaging the lost and preaching the gospel to them, of which signs and wonders should follow.

Follow?

No more review books

not at least until I get some up and going – I guess I thought I’d be able to get some books for review – read them and get up a review and so on, well, and humiliated to have to admit there are some review books that have been on the shelf waiting to be read and reviewed for months (e.g., 6+ months) – this is not right (and not fair to the publishers who so graciously sent them along).  So until I can get significant amount of reading and reviewing done soon, no more review books!  (except of course those won in contests or those sent gratis by authors or those who are generous).  I sort of do have the hope I can plow through and get a lot done before the end of the year.

Mosaic Edition of the NLT Bible released today!

mosaicHoly Bible: Mosaic releases today from Amazon.com!  The folks at the NLT Blog are hosting a giveaway today only.   The amazing prize is a leather edition of the Bible and a pretty hefty Amazon gift card that will depend on the sales ranking of the Bible at the end of the day – anywhere between $100 – $500!  It looks to be a pretty interesting edition of the NLT Bible – one that seeks to ground Christians not only in the Word of God but also in the historic Christian faith as seen through the centuries from the time of Christ!

To learn more, Keven O’Brien of Tyndale shares about how this edition of the NLT came about, and Joel has put up is own review

For information on the Mosaic Bible you can go to their web site at: www.HolyBibleMosaic.com

Go here for a video presentation of the Bible by Keith Willams.

Dan is right

It’s about prayer not tongues necessarily.  Here is his post:

Yet another article looking at the issue of speaking in tongues. In light of this article, I compare it to blogs I’ve read since the General Council.

In my own view, as an Assemblies of God pastor, it just isn’t about tongues… at all. It’s about prayer. We can preach on “tongues.” But if we aren’t people of prayer, we can’t expect the activity of the Spirit. That’s just my two cents, anyway.

If church congregations won’t be a people of prayer, how can we expect the Holy Spirit to move in our lives or in our churches?

Francis Chan on the Holy Spirit, the Forgotten God

Here are a couple of quotes from his book:

“I’m willing to bet there are millions of churchgoers across America who cannot confidently say they have experienced His presence or action in their lives over the past year. And many of them do not believe they can. The benchmark of success in church services has become more about attendance than the movement of the Holy Spirit. The “entertainment” model of church was largely adopted in the 1980’s and ‘90’s and while it alleviated some of our boredom for a couple of hours a week, it filled our churches with self-focused consumers rather than self-sacrificing servants attuned to the Holy Spirit….The light of the American church is flickering and nearly extinguished, having largely sold out to the kingdoms and values of this world….We are not all we were made to be when everything in our lives and churches can be explained apart from the work and presence of the Spirit of God….shouldn’t there be a huge difference between the person who has the Spirit of God living inside of him or her and the person who does not?”
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“The truth is that the Spirit of the living God is guaranteed to ask you to go somewhere or do something you wouldn’t normally want or choose to do. The Spirit will lead you into the way of the cross, as He led Jesus to the cross, and that is definitely not a safe or pretty or comfortable place to be. The Holy Spirit of God will mold you into the person you were made to be…”

You can see a review of the book from which the quotes are taken, here.
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Do let me know what you think!

HT: David Head

Bible Movie Meme

So I got tagged to share three Bible movies I like and then one I might like to see done.

Ten CommandmentsLike others there is the all time great classic The Ten Commandments with the late Charlston Heston.  Not much explanation needed here.   (I suppose the animated movie Egypt could come in a close tight second.  😉 ).

 

 

The Nativity StoryOne I like that I haven’t seen listed is The Nativity Story.  My liking of this movie really came after the first time I preached through some of the themes of Advent – I think this movie highlights them well.  Themes of oppression and hope of deliverance as seen in the birth of Jesus.

 

 

Jesus of NazarethIf I had to pick one full length Jesus movie right now I’d probably go with Jesus of Nazareth.  As one Amazon reviewer noted: “After more than two decades, this movie (more or less) remains the greatest motion picture on the life of Jesus Christ -unsurpassed and second-to-none.” If you check out the Amazon ratings, none are less than 4.  ‘nough said.

 

As to one I might like to see done, I’d like to see a well done version of The Apocalypse but that might be a stretch.  That said, I do think it might be interesting as it is an imaginative book (one that strikes the imagination; see Eugene Peterson on this).

Personally though – I don’t think the Bible is meant to be put to cinematography – it is a piece of literary beauty that just can’t be captured on movie – one can only imagine how things were based on how The Story is recorded in the Scriptures.