Monday, May 30, 2011

Looking Forward to June 5, 2011 -- 7th Sunday of Easter

This year the King James Version of the Bible (also called the Authorized Version) turns 400.   In honour of that we will read our Scriptures from the KJV this week and spend time talking about how we approach Scripture.

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • 2 Timothy 3:14-17
  • Revelation 22:16-21
  • Psalm 119:105-112 (VU p.841 Part 5)

For Children's Time we will have a variety of Bibles up front to look at--one of which is very special.

The Sermon Title is The B-I-B-L-E

Early Thoughts: OK, be honest, did any of you start singing this song when you read the sermon title? Well here is a video version of it for you to sing along with (done "boy band" style):

But really, what is the Bible? How do we, as people of faith, make use of it?  Is it "the Word of God" or is it words about God that contain a Word from God?  Where did it come from?  How do we interpret it?  Is the Bible "true"?  And what do you mean by true

These are important questions for us to talk about.  They are also questions for which faithful people have a wide variety of answers.

The KJV is an important artifact in English literature.  By some studies (see this article) it is still the most common version of the Bible on household bookshelves (although I suspect that this may be due to inherited Bibles rather than because everyone is buying KJV for personal use).  It was not the first translation of Scripture into English, but it was the first one with the official stamp and permission of the monarch (which is why it is called the Authorized Version).  And the committee that worked on it tried, as best they could with the scholarship of the early 17th century, to be as accurate as possible.   Some people still remember the shock and horror that many felt a half century ago when the RSV came out and changed the translation of some much beloved verses --there were some who called the RSV an atheist text and an abomination.  To this day there are a few people who maintain that the KJV is the only proper English version of the text to read, study, and use.

But we need to look beyond one version.  The KJV is an artifact from another time.  There are more accurate translations.  And more importantly there are translations that are written in the language we actually speak (which was the whole point of the KJV in the first place).  We have Scripture in our language so that we can read and study and discuss it.  Which brings us back to the questions I asked earlier.

TO find out how I answer those questions, you'll simply have to come on Sunday!

In the meantime, here is a song that grows out of the Psalm passage for this week:


PS>  here is a thread from WonderCafe about 18 months ago discussing the Bible.  I referenced the same song in its title...

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