|A Look at Theology and Textual Criticism
Having Faith in God and Believing Bible Study
|Below the wallpapers: I let a modern Christian scholar update you about more radical changes that
Reason-wielding theologians are trying to incorporate into Christianity in the
name of “progress” and textual criticism.
Theology is a major reason Christians have lost interest in learning the Bible;
they've been convinced the word of God no longer means what it actually says,
and they've been convinced that old-fashioned Bible study and the Holy Spirit have
- in practice - been replaced by theology.
Hello, friends, Dr. P.H. Dee here. As a result of advancements in learning, my theological associates and I have been adding new and exciting changes to our many previous accomplishments. We are so very proud, and this update is to show you that we continue to work behind the scenes to improve Christianity.
THE QUEEN JAMES VERSION
We theologians agree that the perfect word of God was given to man in various original-language manuscripts, which no longer exist. The challenge we face is the fact that God’s Bible is full of errors because it has been copied and translated countless times by well-intentioned but fallible men. Nobody really knows which different readings are correct, and many that we know to be incorrect have wrongly caused societal prejudices. Therefore we must continue learning from history, archeology, and science, and apply our learning to the old original Hebrew and Greek languages in an ongoing effort to reduce the amount of “interpretive ambiguity” among theologians. By better understanding the historical, moral, and religious context within which the original manuscripts were written, we can improve our Bible translations and keep pace with the ongoing evolution of human languages and values. We modern theologians also know early translators made numerous mistakes because of their misapplication of linguistic etymology and cognation, internal structure, old mistranslations, and misunderstood metaphors. Well, if you lack a formal theological degree, I’m probably already way over your heads, so I’ll get right to it:
Look at the words in bold in these verses in the KJV that have contributed to the historical prejudice against Christians of the LBGT (lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender) community:
Lev 18:21 And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. (KJV)
22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. (KJV)
23 Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. (KJV)
We theologians know a text without a context is a pretext. And we’ve learned that in the old days the Hebrews had problems avoiding pagan religious rituals, such as those to worship the pagan deity, Molech. Verse 21 helps us realize the true context of Lev 18:22,23 and 20:13 is sex performed as part of worship ceremonies in pagan temples! That means consensual LBGT relationships among God’s people weren’t the abomination; the abomination was when those normal and acceptable relationships were part of pagan worship. Therefore we theologians have corrected certain verses, even though we know many lay men and women will need a few years to accept the changes. Remember, these changes aren’t as dramatic as some that you’ve already accepted. For example, we theologians have already, over the past several hundred years, made a number of radical changes to Christian doctrines as the Enlightenment has made us better understand Equality, Morality, Reason, and Love: We freed mankind from the evil tyranny of monarchy, we liberated women from the biased belief that wives were to be submissive to their husbands, we eliminated slavery, and we established freedom of religion.
And now with this Queen James Version we’ve taken another step towards legitimizing LBGT Christians:
Lev 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind in the temple of Molech: it is an abomination. (QJV)
But we cannot rest on our laurels; with the guidance of the Holy Spirit we’ve still got plenty of Bible errors to correct that resulted from the sad reality that early copyists and translators lacked formal theological training: For example, “Spare the rod and spoil the child” violates everything we know about love, tolerance, forgiveness, and behavioral scientists’ latest teachings on proper child rearing; and the Bible verses that condone polygamy, incest, and the death penalty also need to be brought more into line with modern Christian beliefs.
THE KING KONG VERSION
As good as the Queen James Version is, we are in the final stages of producing an even better Bible version. You noticed above that Lev 18:23 condemns human sexual relationships with animals. That archaic taboo is, like the old bias against LBGT Christians, the unfortunate result of unqualified Bible translators bungling texts because they didn’t put them into proper context. The fact is, having sex with animals is perfectly fine as long as it’s not done as part of pagan worship ceremonies! As a result, theology’s latest and most reliable Bible translation, the King Kong Version, properly renders Lev 18:23 as:
Lev 18:23 Neither shalt thou lie with any beast in the temple of Molech to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto in the temple of Molech: it is confusion. (KKV)
LOVING RELATIONSHIPS IN THE KKV. Another long-overdue correction in the King Kong Version is in the Song of Solomon. Verses like these in the KJV are unfortunate renderings:
Song 5:1 I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh... (KJV)
Song 5:2 I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled...(KJV)
You see, kinship terms like “father”, “brother”, “sister”, etc. were used in ancient Hebrew society specifically to indicate societal power structure. That’s why true romance, which should be based on equality, in the Song of Solomon is destroyed by the unfortunate use of “my sister, my spouse”. On its face, that poor English translation is not only embarrassingly unromantic, but it actually promotes incestuous relationships that are so illegal they are felonies! Proper theological studies reveal, however, that the beloved woman (or man) in this relationship should be the man’s equal. Thus the King Kong Version more accurately says:
Song 5:1 I am come into my garden, my equal partner-spouse... (KKV)
Song 5:2 Open to me, my partner, my love... (KKV)
THE NINE COMMANDMENTS IN THE KKV. Theologians have long known there never were ten Commandments, there were only nine. The so-called “Tenth Commandment”, is commonly-but-wrongly translated as “thou shalt not covet”, and is a good example of how internal language structure or etymology can be misleading. Like the English “host” and “hostile” that share a common root but don’t mean the same thing, the words for “desirable” (covetable) and “take” in Hebrew come from the same root but mean different things. The word “take” should appear in the Ten Commandments, but translators who were obviously not qualified theologians misunderstood the Hebrew and wrongly translated the text as “thou shalt not covet” when it should say “thou shalt not take”. The King Kong Version correctly translates the so-called “Tenth Commandment”:
8th Commandment: Thou shalt not steal. (KKV)
9th Commandment: Thou shalt not bear false witness... (KKV)
[10th Commandment: Thou shalt not take...] (KKV)
Because the context reveals “take” to be synonymous with “steal”, which is already prohibited in the 8th Commandment, the King Kong Version brackets the “Tenth Commandment” to show it doesn’t belong in the Bible!
All of us in the theological community will continue to improve Christianity with each new Bible version we produce. God had allowed respect for His Scripture to decline because of the archaic and confusing words in the King James Bible like thee and thou. But thanks to theology’s higher textual criticism our modern Bible versions have restored both the Bible and Christianity to positions of respect in society. And thanks to the improvements to Christianity made by theology, more and more Christians who want to get closer to God are paying for theological degrees...and we just keep getting better!
Expect to hear more from my life partner and me as time goes on...because we remain committed to each other and to our program of Lifelong Theological Learning, as I describe below!
WHAT IS A THEOLOGIAN?
A qualified theologian is one who has graduated from an approved educational institution that has a well-rounded curriculum that gives a man or woman a deeper understanding of Christianity. This deeper understanding must be based on a thorough familiarity with the original Hebrew and Greek languages and manuscripts, and supplemented by knowledge gained from science, archeology, and history. In order to hold down tuition debt it is not absolutely necessary that the curriculum include courses in church finances, preaching techniques, sermon building and sources, church music, entertainment and social functions, comparative religions of the world, psychology, marriage counselling and church weddings, member behavioral problems (alcohol and drug abuse, battered wives and children, adultery, sexual deviancy), establishing and managing a church school, establishing and financing a local and international missions outreach, successful Vacation Bible School programs, etc.
BIBLE STUDY SHOULD NOT BE OVERTLY DISCOURAGED
I am a qualified theologian (as defined above) with a PhD, and I am a licensed pastor. I am aware that many other theologians actively discourage Bible study by church members with no formal theological training...but I don’t go quite that far. I believe in some cases Bible study can be helpful in getting lay Christians excited about acquiring a proper theological education. Yes, Bible study can be good – as long as it is viewed as a first step toward a legitimate degree in theology.
BIBLE INSTITUTES AND LIFELONG LEARNING
For those who are serious about religion I recommend getting a theological degree at a Bible institution as soon as possible. There is no need to study the Bible first; let the pros teach you about Christianity right from the start. I happen to disagree with many theologians with advanced degrees who look down on Christians whose theological studies ended when they graduated from Bible school. There’s nothing wrong with having a low-level theological degree. However, I recommend not only obtaining advanced degrees in theology, but I strongly urge you to maintain a continuing program of “Lifelong Learning”. I have continued, on my own, my theological research – and I expect to continue learning about archeology, history, Greek syntax, etc., for as long as I live. Whenever I can afford them I buy books on various topics, subscribe to Christian magazines and theological journals, purchase home courses, and attend seminars and field trips (including a wonderful cruise) I see advertized in those magazines and journals.
QUALIFIED CHRISTIAN LEADERS
In order to be a pastor, evangelist, or religious teacher you must not be a so-called “lay minister” whose religious education consists solely of Bible study. A lay Christian is unqualified to preach and teach, and he or she is both substandard and illegitimate as a Christian leader. Lay preachers can also be dangerous without knowing it because their lack of formal training in the original languages and manuscripts tends to make them too dogmatic about the wording in their favorite Bible version and too close-minded toward Christians who hold broader views. Qualified leaders with theological degrees also have the ability to inspire young zealous Christian men and women to work towards the goal of acquiring a theological degree and then continually updating their scholastic knowledge.
POSTSCRIPT BY A BIBLE-BELIEVING PREACHER
Greetings, Bible believers, in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Although the above “findings” of modern theology are laughable, they are true and they accurately illustrate how much leeway theologians can find when they tinker with the old Bible manuscripts. The QJV actually exists, but the “King Kong Version”, of course, is fictitious and is merely used to give you some new “findings” that most theologians think should be “temporarily withheld” until they deem modern Christianity “more capable of handling advanced theological truths”.
BIBLE BELIEVER DEFINED
One who reads and believes God’s word because he accepts the KJV’s unique inerrancy as God’s proof that His inspired Holy Bible really does exist today. A Bible believer is one who believes the Book in his hand actually is the inspired word of God as defined by God.
A theologian is anyone who uses the old manuscripts or any other theological reference books to “correct” his Bible. No formal training is necessary to be a theologian. All you have to do is...
· “believe” that no existing manuscript or Bible version is God’s inerrant word, which “belief” is proven when you
· consult any theological reference book to “correct” any Bible version.
THEOLOGY, DOCTRINE, and the 10 th COMMANDMENT (Covetousness)
When I run across and read news about the latest “findings” of theology I am often surprised at how doctrinally immature theologians are (whether they are preachers and pewsters with formal training or no training)...until I remember that their faithless unbelief in both God’s power and in the existence of His inerrant word renders them blind. A perfect example is their gross failure to understand the doctrinal significance of the difference between the 8th Commandment (don’t steal) and the 10th Commandment (don’t covet). I say “gross” failure because understanding covetousness is an important, basic, and fundamental necessity if we are to ever understand sin, servanthood, rebellion, and the inner struggle between our new man and our old man. Let’s break sin down into it’s three parts:
· TEMPTATION: Temptation is not a sin; it is a prelude to sin. It is when “Lust A” makes us want to have or do something that we shouldn’t. Examples include wanting to rob God of His prerogative as Head to decide, or wanting to commit adultery, or wanting to steal someone’s wallet when he isn’t looking. Being tempted by sinful things like that is a normal part of our Christian walk, and as long as we resist those temptations we have avoided sin.
· COVETING: When we give in to temptations by deciding to commit adultery or take that wallet our sinless “Lust A” has become “Lust B”, which is the sin of covetousness. Even though we have not touched either the wife or the wallet we have already sinned because we internalized normal temptations and made the sinful act part of who we are. When the husband walks in before we can take his wife and his wallet and we therefore abort our sinful plan it’s too late – we have already sinned. The problem with coveting is it’s hard to visualize, conceptualize, and understand. That’s why God gave us the law...such as the 8th Commandment.
· STEALING: Stealing is merely the actual commission of our already-existing plan/decision to sin/take/steal what isn’t ours. Stealing is an undeniable act that exists so we’ll know what sinners we are and realize we need to repent. The first 9 Commandments are rules we are supposed to follow, and the 8th Commandment is the key to understanding more than just the 10th Commandment.
At first we don’t really understand the 10th Commandment. Like theologians and other Bible rejecting Pharisees we tend to think coveting and stealing are fairly redundant. Then we realize the first 9 Commandments are all fairly specific actions. And later we realize the 10th Commandment is not a specific action, it’s a foundational concept or an inner evil characteristic. Foundational because it is a soul-level decision that makes harmless Lust A temptation turn into the evil of Lust B covetousness...and without that decision to surrender to Lust B we would never actually take the wallet or the wife. And covetousness is a concept because, when we apply it to the first nine Commandments we realize covetousness applies not just to those nine, it applies to all sins because covetousness is the head/new man yielding control to the body/old man; it is Self before God. It is carnal independence as opposed to submission and obedience. Covetousness is us when we do what Self wants rather than what God wants. An example:
Lk 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: [Christ was sorely tempted to yield to His own will.]
nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. [But He avoided the sin of covetousness by not yielding to what He wanted.]
Why do I not find it surprising that the Commandment that is the root of all evil (as in: Lucifer’s coveting / love of money, which is what got this war started back in the garden of God) and is so important to our understanding of our deceitful and wicked hearts is the very Commandment theology thinks should not be in the Bible!?
QUEEN JAMES AND KING KONG VERSIONS IN PERSPECTIVE
As interesting and/or horrifying as the latest “findings” of theology are as revealed in the two above modern versions, the harmfulness of the Queen James and the King Kong versions falls far short of the harm to Christianity done by the “more respectable” modern Bible versions such as the New American Standard, the New International, the New King James, the English Standard, etc. Why is that true? Because no sincere Christian is going to be affected by the QJV or KKV – but the errors in the NAS, NIV, etc., have already subverted the faith of multitudes of sincere Christians by convincing them that the word of God as He defines it no longer exists on this planet. Therefore, informed Bible believers should not waste precious time ranting about the QJV and the KKV (the above info notwithstanding) because those fringe versions are not a fraction as harmful as are the “respectable” modern versions! Think about that the next time you hear a brother whip out a theological reference book to “correct” Thus saith the Lord.
Go with God, comrade...and walk circumspectly.