A Follow-up and Clarification on the “Update” Issue
They say hindsight is 20/20. There are times, however, when hindsight drags its heels in getting to the fullÂ 20/20 status. Like Johnny staring out the back bus window, I find myself watching the scenery come into clearer focus.
When I wrote the post on updating the King James, I wrote it in the context of defending (at times vehemently) the King James Only position. It certainly was not intended as an attack, nor was it intended to undermine confidence in the KJV. I am King James Only. I am not ashamed to be numbered among those who have defended her purity. I could not find a better group of men with which to associate myself than those who take the position of King James Only. Our detractors have called us â€œlemmings,â€ along with other less than flattering titles. Iâ€™ll say for all to hear that I gladly stand with the lemmings.
That being said, I realize now that my â€œupdateâ€ post alienated many. Upon re-reading the post recently, I found myself muttering something about â€œyouthful brashness and plain stupidity.â€ â€œOverstatedâ€ would be an understatement. In that post, my own edginess caught me by surprise. He is a great fool who attacks his own allies. This was not my intention. But intended or not, this was the result. Please accept my apology. The â€œupdateâ€ post was mine and only mine. I wrote it. No one else contributed to it. In fact, the others felt that it was unwise to post it. I take full responsibility both for the article itself and for the ensuing fallout. I can see why many would have serious concerns.
For one thing, I miserably failed to consider the many sound objections from my allies on the KJVO side of the debate. Rather, I handily dismissed all objections to an update as a reliance on â€œtradition.â€ Of course some very serious objections have been raised and must be considered. Both Tom Ross and Bobby Mitchell have named the most serious of those objections, and I want to say publicly that I think they have legitimate concerns. One of the biggest fears is that whenever this has been attempted in the past, men have strayed from their purpose in favor of their own agenda. The apostasy of the age in which we live is a grave concern, which must not be overlooked.
In addition, Tom is correct in asserting that languages do not change at a fixed rate.Â English reached its zenith in the 1600â€™s and 1700â€™s. Since then, the changes have been slight and the pace has slowed so that, although we might struggle with â€œOlder English,â€ yet it remains accessible to us. I might add that, in review, the Beowulf example is kind of embarrassingâ€¦ talk about bad analogy. Saxon is not English. Languages do not change at a fixed rate, and though the language of the KJV can be a challenge, the beauty and majesty of it more than compensates for the difficulties. It is highly doubtful that any subsequent editions could maintain the magnificence of the language.
And of course, I also failed to recognize the one objection that we can all relate toâ€¦ if it ainâ€™t broke, donâ€™t fix it. With that in mind, and for several reasons we should not update the King James at this time. Iâ€™m sorry that I gave the impression that I was planning to do this. I was not and am not. But again, my rhetoric was misleading, and left many with the impression that I was putting together a plan to do this, and that I myself intended to lead the charge. I have no such plans.
My purpose in writing the article was much different than all that. Unfortunately, I failed to convey that, and as a resultâ€¦ well, hereâ€™s my shot at setting the record straight. I am continually amazed at the variety of creative ways I can find to fail.