Werewolves Are Real!
Recent Story, Werewolf sighting
Modern Transformation Case
Let me see if I am following what a certain preacher is saying. When I first heard him preach, in the park, he was using the NIV, but he told me I could go by the KJV if I wanted. Then after hearing some of the his sermons, I wrote and asked why the he didn't use the KJV more, as to me it seemed more appropriate. he replied that he had the liberty to use another version. I responded that while Christians do have much liberty, the Bible is what we have in common, that it is hard enough to reconcile all our differences got from the same Bible, without having different Bibles to boot. And the preacher eventually responded that many in the congregation use the NIV and he thinks it best to use it in the his sermons. Then for our church-in-the-parking-lot celebration a following Sunday, he used the RSV, and told us that sometimes the older versions are better. Finally, in his latest sermon the preacher used as an illustration that we should pick the regular coffee over the decaf, as full strength is better.
Now I am trying to sort this out. I read a recent news release about some villagers in India claiming to have seen a wolf come out of the forest then turn into a man and walk away. The authorities came up with an official version that the villagers had just seen a wolf, to which the villagers replied, yeah, but the wolf turned into a man and walked away.
I think of the villagers as giving me the full strength thriller version while the official one is decaffeinated. I mean, I am not going to lose any sleep over a story of someone seeing a wolf come out of the forest in India. Wouldn't trouble my slumber at all. But if the story says the wolf turned into a man and walked off, I might start wondering if maybe the man didn't get on a plane, or maybe he has some relatives in America.
Likewise, if someone starts telling a scary werewolf story, but has modernized the language to call it a man-wolf---oops!--person-wolf, I think I can handle it. My sleep would not be all that troubled by a story of a person-wolf traipsing around. In the politically correct fairy tales the children don't get eaten any more.
But if the story uses the old language, which I am nevertheless familiar with, I start thinking in terms of an ancient apocalypse in nature that maybe I should fear. Aren't we supposed to fear God? Isn't that what it means by staying awake, alert? And if it is better to avoid the decaf in favor of the regular, why is the preacher still using the NIV?
The scholar working on his manuscript has the genuine article in front of him to work with, not just the decaffeinated lore: photographs, microfilm. "Now, in the early part of the sixteenth century, when the development of our religious dialect was completed, the English mind, and the English language, were generally in a state of culture much more analogous to that of the people and the tongues of Palestine than they have been at any other subsequent period. Two centuries later the native speech had been greatly subtilized, if not refined." I couldn't think of a better analogy than to say the KJV is regular and the newer versions decaffeinated.
So if the preachers are saying the KJV is better, which it is, why are the preachers still preaching from the NIV? Doesn't the preacher want the his congregation to fear and reverence God?
Joan brought in another cup of coffee on a silver tray and offered it to Bartholomew, who had, apparently, placed his order with her on arrival.
It seems to me that the preacher's sermon on decaf is eminently
applicable to Bible selection.
We do not want that "source and fountain of the truth" to be "scairt" like decaffeinated coffee, nonalcoholic booze, dead works, heartless worship.
If I can substitute potent drink for strong coffee and the salt mine for the pits there's a country song fitting the sermon: Alan Jackson - It's 5 o'clock somewhere
If we take the word of God as that strong medicine to keep us from going insane, then I say it's five o'clock somewhere. By that I am referring to the fact that the Bible dialect à la KJV is not the English dialect spoken in the early 17th century or at any other time in history, but it was made through the centuries, from Wycliffe to Tyndale to the KJV team, to best correspond to the state of Biblical languages as they were spoken by the men of God who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, in the tongue and to the people of God's timing and choosing. A lunchtime cocktail just doesn't quite capture it. But it's five o 'clock somewhere, and I seriously doubt if the Lord has any disagreement with me going to the King James Version.
I follow the thought of, (Zech. 13:2-5) "And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land. And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive: But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth." I don't think modernity--modern speech--is an idol to be worshipped. Since the NIV lies to us, in the name of the Lord, I take a few pokes at it from time to time. And I do not let the cover of my own copy deceive but have pasted over the word HOLY so my copy says, PROFANE BIBLE.
Our teacher made a point in his last Sunday school class, that our leaders watch out for our souls, (Heb. 13:17) "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." A sister in class pointed out that in her interlinear Bible: The King James, the Revised Standard, and the Living all say pretty much the same thing, but the New International Version leaves out the word soul: "They keep watch over you." The NIV is that scairt coffee the preacher tells us not to choose.
I see it as my mission to use what persuasion I can to get God's people weaned from the NIV, and then to try to put Zondervan out of business so they can't hurt anyone. But I'm sort of like that ex-cop who only has so much influence. As long as the preachers are not setting a good official example, there is only so much I can do within my fellowship.
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Copyright © 2003, Earl S. Gosnell III
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence.
Permission is hereby granted to use the portions original to this paper--with credit given, of course--in intellectually honest non-profit educational material. The material I myself have quoted has its own copyright in most cases, which I cannot speak for but have used here under the fair use doctrine.
I have used material from a number of sources for teaching, comment and illustration in this nonprofit teaching endeavor. The sources are included in a notes file. Such uses must be judged on individual merit, of course, so I cannot say how other uses of the same material might fare.
Any particular questions or requests for permissions may be addressed to me, the author.
Scripture quotations marked NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION or NIV are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
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