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Discussion Forum : General Topics : What bibles do you give new converts who are not very good at reading

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If you attend a Calvary Chapel Church, then you should check out a couple sermons by Chuck Smith concerning his stance in favor of the KJV. I know CC is not dogmatic on it, but Chuck Smith explains why he believes the modern versions (and he particularly rails against the NIV) are corrupt. Quite interesting.

Here's the link:

The sermons you'll want to download are:

[b]The Basis For Our Bible

Foundation of the Word, Parts I & II[/b]


 2006/5/5 15:04

Joined: 2006/3/20
Posts: 235
fredericksburg, Virginia


Thanks Krispy, I will check them out

God Bless

Matt Kroelinger

 2006/5/5 15:19Profile

Joined: 2005/11/17
Posts: 370
Bloomington, IN


I don't there is any problem giving a new convert a KJV. You hand it to them, tell them to read it, believe it, and live it, and they won't have any problem with it. It is billed as "hard to read" b/c Americans can't read. TV has made us stupid. It has nothing to do with the antiquity of the language. The NASB and NRSV are in "common" English but are still billed as 11th-12th grade reading level. Nonsense. Ravenhill told a story of elementary students reciting entire OT books.

Besides, if it's challenging but you believe it to be the Word of God, you will study it harder.

I really wouldn't recommend NIV b/c if later in life they pick up a NASB or KJV, they will notice drastic changes and entire passages will take on different meanings than what they learned as a babe in Christ (for proof, pick up a NASB/NIV/Greek Interlinear and read through some of Paul's epistles).

I also wouldn't touch the Message or NLT with a 40 ft. pole.

So anywho, I'd give out the good ol' KJV (NASB or NKJV are good as well).

Denver McDaniel

 2006/5/5 18:19Profile

Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4476


Hi Krispy...

However, as I grew in the Lord I came to a place where I rejected both the NIV (and other modern versions) AND the Word of Faith doctrines. But for several years I was taught rank heresy in that church. I was taught the "name it and claim it" doctrine, I was taught that God doesnt want any believers to be sick and all we needed to be healed was enough faith, I was taught that being slain in the Spirit was scriptural (even tho it's never mentioned in scripture), I was taught that tongues was a required sign of being Baptised in the Spirit, I was encouraged to read Benny Hinn's garbage, etc etc.

I have actually had a similar experience. I was saved after reading a passage in an NIV (Matthew 11:28-30). But the Church that I attended was primarily a KJV Church. From time to time, someone would preach a sermon about the supremacy of the KJV, and how other versions were severely flawed. Of course, the "sources" they used were questionable in nature. However, as a young believer, I simply "listened to what I was told." However, I did notice some inconsistencies in the sources. As I grew and matured as a believer, I began to question many of the things that I had been taught. One of those things concerned the supremacy of the KJV.

I studied this extensively while still in High School, but I was limited to the sources available at the local University library and archives. But I have continued studying this matter ever since. Over the last year, I have actually spent quite a bit of time studying both sides of this issue. My conclusion is that there has not been enough credible source material to prove the superiority of the KJV (and the Textus Receptus) over other serious academic versions like the NIV or NASB (and the sources that they used). There is alot of biased material that seems to be speculation based upon more speculation. Yet I found very little (if any) credible source material that seemed to indicate flaws within the sources used in the NIV. In my opinion, it is simply a different set of source texts. My conclusion has been that the KJV is a wonderful translation taken from the Textus Receptus (although it is slightly archaic in its linguistic usage -- whereas many individuals find it difficult to understand). I also feel that the NIV is a good academic translation taken from the other sources.

It is impossible to ignore the fact that many people have difficulty with the early 17th century language of the KJV. Many of those old English words have changed their commonly accepted meaning. In fact, if you were to look up the word KNOW (or KNEW, etc., as found in passages like Matthew 1:25) in an American dictionary, you will hardly find a dictionary that proclaims it as referring to [i]sexual intercourse[/i]. This is true with many words and phrases in the KJV. The language has simply changed, as did the language in 1611 had changed from the language of 1211.

My girlfriend (Mireya) was born in Mexico. Her family immigrated legally to the United States when she was still a child, and her parents do not speak English very well. Mireya's entire family worked as migrant workers nearly all of their lives, but every one of her nine siblings graduated from college (with the exception of the two youngest that are still attending high school). Mireya earned a Bachelors degree in Bilingual Education (with a minor in Math) and a Masters Degree in Peninsular Literature. She currently works as a teacher, but she taught for two years at the University. Yet Mireya often has difficulty with the English found in the King James Version. She does not tend to find that it is verbally "poetic" or "majestic." Rather, she feels that it is simply English that is [u]difficult[/u] to understand.

During our Bible Studies, she felt that using the KJV often turned into a time-consuming 17th Century English lesson. So, she borrowed an NIV Bible from her little sister. She told me that it revolutionized her understanding of Scripture in English. She still studies the Word using a Spanish-language Bible that was originally published years before the KJV. But as the Spanish language has changed drastically (even more so than English), she tends to use modern "revised editions" of the same version. I have explained to her the differences in versions, as well as the arguments from both sides of the Bible translation debate. And of course, we still often read the Scriptures from the KJV during some of our Bible studies. The Church that we attend usually reads the Word from a Spanish translation.

The original question posed by deltadom concerned which Bible translations we would recommend to new converts that are not good at reading. The intent of the translators of the KJV stated explicitly that they wanted a version of the Bible that would be understandable by the most common of men (Section 5 of the Preface). They stated:
"Translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light; that breaketh the shell, that we may eat the kernel; that putteth aside the curtain, that we may look into the most holy place; that removeth the cover of the well, that we may come by the water, even as Jacob rolled away the stone from the mouth of the well, by which means the flocks of Laban were watered [Gen.29:10]. Indeed, without translation into the vulgar (common) tongue, the unlearned are but like children at Jacob's well (which was deep) [John 4:11] without a bucket or something to draw with: or as that person mentioned by Isaiah, to whom when a sealed book was delivered, with this motion, Read this, I pray thee, he was fain {compelled by circumstances} to make this answer, I cannot, for it is sealed. [Isa.29:11]"


"We affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our profession... contains the Word of God, nay, is the Word of God. Though it be not interpreted by every Translator with like grace, the King's speech is still the King's speech; no cause therefore why the word translated should be denied to be the word, or forbidden to be currant, notwithstanding that some imperfections and blemishes may be noted in the setting forth of it."

To the translators, they considered the fact that the Church of Rome had terribly forced people to rely on [i]other sources[/i] for understanding Scripture, rather than on the Scriptures themselves (Section 10 of the Preface). In fact, they admitted that they were not endeavoring to create a completely new translation, but that they relied on other existing English versions in order to make them better and more rightly understood (Section 15 of the Preface). The translators also admitted that there were a variety of forms in which the translation may be written:
"Another thing we think good to admonish thee of, gentle reader, that we have not tied ourselves to an uniformity of phrasing, or to an identity of words, as some peradventure would wish that we had done, because they observe that some learned men somewhere have been as exact as they could that way. Truly, that we might not vary from the sense of that which we had translated before, if the word signified the same thing in both places [polushma.] (for there be some words that be not of the same sense everywhere) we were especially careful, and made a conscience, according to our duty. But that we should express the same notion in the same particular word; as, for example, if we translate the Hebrew or Greek word once by purpose, never to call it intent; if one where journeying, never travelling; if one where think, never suppose; if one where pain, never ache; if one where joy, never gladness, etc.; thus to mince the matter, we thought to savour more of curiosity than wisdom, and that rather it would breed scorn in the atheist than bring profit to the godly reader. For is the kingdom of God become words or syllables? Why should we be in bondage to them, if we may be free? use one precisely when we may use another no less fit as commodiously?
But we desire that the Scripture may speak like itself, as in the language of Canaan, that it may be understood even of the very vulgar."
[i]Section 17 of the Preface[/i]

Interestingly, the translators of the KJV sometimes actually quoted verses from [i]The Geneva Bible[/i] in the Preface.

Does the KJV still live up to the intent of the translators? Are the words and grammar contained in it understood by vulgar (commen) men? Some individuals would honestly say no. They are by no means saying that the KJV is no longer needed or a viable source. But if a poor reader cannot understand the language of the version, why is it not plausible to find (or if necessary, to create) a translation that is better understood today? If you do not accept the NIV or NASB due to a belief that its translations or sources are flawed, that is your own viable conclusion, and you should act accordingly. I actually feel safe in giving different versions of the Scriptures to individuals based upon their reading level (whether this is English, Spanish, etc...). Since I feel safe with the NIV, I feel secure enough to give it to individuals that I feel could learn from it.



 2006/5/6 1:31Profile

Joined: 2005/1/6
Posts: 1676
Hemel Hempstead


With the bible I would love it to be cheap enough to get everyone in each door not only in book form but audio form aswell.
As I do not have much money, I have been thinking about resources that help people, how to get it cheaper the bible and how to get the price down, as paper is the main resource.
What I have also wanted is something to get people from a new believer to a firm strong christian.
It would be nice to download the whole of sermonindex and other books and have them all in one resource.

Dominic Shiells

 2006/5/8 11:02Profile

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