Friday, March 27, 2009

Almost Famous: Tiny Dancer

A perfect mood for this late Friday evening.

A KJVO Protests the NKJV

As I considered the usefulness of the NKJV to someone who was raised on the KJV, it occurred to me that it might be worthwhile to review some common KJVO objections. I have pulled the following 16 objections written by James L. Melton, and will respond to each.

1. The text of the NKJV is copyrighted by Thomas Nelson Publishers, while there is no copyright today on the text of the KJV. If your KJV has maps or notes, then it may have a copyright, but the text itself does not.

ANSWER: The assumption is that a copyright is a bad thing, when it is not. In any case, the KJV was originally copyrighted by the Crown of England, that copyright is simply not enforceable outside of the UK.

2. There's nothing "new" about the NKJV logo. It is a "666" symbol of the pagan trinity which was used in the ancient Egyptian mysteries. It was also used by satanist Aleister Crowley around the turn of this century. The symbol can be seen on the New King James Bible, on certain rock albums (like Led Zepplin's), or you can see it on the cover of such New Age books as The Aquarian Conspiracy. (See Riplinger's tract on the NKJV.)

ANSWER: Be careful of guilt-by-association. The symbol is known as the triquetra, and has been used for different purposes throughout history. It original use is uncertain, and it came to be used by Christians to represent the Trinity, where it was sometimes referred to as the "Trinity Knot." It was in this context that it was used on the NKJV. However, it is also used in pagan and Satanic contexts. This is a classic meat-offered-to-idols issue. For more in-depth info, see http://docs.abwe.org/CEIM/good-soil/resource-articles/TriquetraJamesDPrice.pdf .

3a. It is estimated that the NKJV makes over 100,000 translation changes, which comes to over eighty changes per page and about three changes per verse! A great number of these changes bring the NKJV in line with the readings of such Alexandrian perversions as the NIV and the RSV.

ANSWER: The assumption is that the changes are bad, and since many of them match newer versions, that proves it. This assumption is without merit. The NKJV uses the same underlying Greek text as the KJV, and changes are merely better translations of that text. In most cases, newer versions merely beat the NKJV to the punch in this area, thus the similarities.

3b. Where changes are not made in the text, subtle footnotes often give credence to the Westcott and Hort Greek Text.

ANSWER: The assumption is made that the footnotes were included to give credence to another text. This is not so; the footnotes were included to alert the reader of differences between texts. In addition, this accusation implies that these footnotes are used everywhere the NKJV does not match the KJV. This is false as well.

4. While passing off as being true to the Textus Receptus, the NKJV IGNORES the Receptus over 1,200 times.

Untrue; otherwise, why would the NKJV footnote where other texts disagree?

5. In the NKJV, there are 22 omissions of "hell", 23 omissions of "blood", 44 omissions of "repent", 50 omissions of "heaven", 51 omissions of "God", and 66 omissions of "Lord". The terms "devils", "damnation", "JEHOVAH", and "new testament" are completely omitted.

The assumption is that something has been left out, when really, it's all translational differences. Let's review these "omissions":

HELL -
In the OT, the NKJV uses Sheol instead of Hell 12 times. Sheol is more precise and refers to the grave. The KJV actually supports this distinction in a number of places: Job 17:16, Prov 1:12, Isa 38:10, Isa 38:18, Eze 31:15.
In the NT, the NKJV uses Hades instead of Hell 10 times. Again, Hades is more precise and refers to the grave. Again, the KJV supports this distinction in I Cor 15:55.

BLOOD -
The NKJV does not leave out "blood" at all where the KJV has it, although it does use words like "bloodline" or "bloodshed" at times. There is one exception to this, Acts 28:8: the KJV has "bloody flux," and the NKJV has "dysentery," which is hardly an issue.

REPENT -
In the places where it is alleged that the NKJV takes out "repent," other words are used, such as "change their minds," "relent," or in the cases of God stopping judgment, "have compassion." The NKJV uses better words in Rom 11:29 (the calling of God is "irrevocable") and in II Cor 7:8 ("For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it.")
Nowhere is the idea of repentance "taken out" as so boldly alleged.

HEAVEN-
The NKJV does not use the word "heaven" many times when what is being referred to is the atmosphere, or sky.

GOD and LORD-
What is happening is that personal pronouns are being used to prevent repetition in places where the God as the object is clear. In some places the KJV uses the proper name when only the pronoun is found in the text.

JEHOVAH-
In the OT the KJV represents the Jehovah as "LORD" with the exception of 4 verses. The NKJV uses "LORD" in all places.

Let's wrap this up. Shall we argue over "devils" (KJV) vs. "demons" (NKJV)? "Damnation" (KJV) vs. "condemnation" (NKJV)? "Testament" (KJV) vs. "covenant" (NKJV)? This is getting nitpicky to the extreme.

6. The NKJV demotes the Lord Jesus Christ. In John 1:3, the KJV says that all things were made "by" Jesus Christ, but in the NKJV, all things were just made "through" Him. The word "Servant" replaces "Son" in Acts 3:13 and 3:26. "Servant" replaces "child" in Acts 4:27 and 4:30. The word "Jesus" is omitted from Mark 2:15, Hebrews 4:8, and Acts 7:45.

ANSWER: John 1:3 KJV: "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." "Without him" indicates the agency of Godhead together through Christ (let us make man in our image). Saying "through" him is actually more accurate.
Christ is a servant, and put Himself in a servant's role as a model to His disciples. I fail to see how this demotes Christ.
The Greek has the pronoun at Mark 2:15. Heb 4:8 and Acts 7:45 read "Joshua" in the NKJV, which is another form of the name "Jesus."

7. The NKJV confuses people about salvation. In Hebrews 10:14 it replaces "are sanctified" with "are being sanctified", and it replaces "are saved" with "are being saved" in I Corinthians 1:18 and II Corinthians 2:15. The words "may believe" have been replaced with "may continue to believe" in I John 5:13. The old straight and "narrow" way of Matthew 7:14 has become the "difficult" way in the NKJV.

ANSWER: Heb 10:14 KJV: "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." The first part of the verse makes it clear in both versions that we are perfect in Him. Either reading for the end of the verse makes sense here. Actually, saying that those who "are being sanctified" are already perfected by Christ's offering, as the NKJV does, is a much stronger support for eternal security.
Salvation is more than positional sanctification, so there is no problem with the readings in I Cor 1:18 or II Cor 2:15.
As far as I John 5:13, John was probably writing to people whose faith was being challenged. To write "continue to believe" is possible given the tense of the greek word behind "ye may believe". In any case, the NKJV indicates the words are added.
The KJV doesn't read "straight," it reads "strait." "Strait" means narrow, and by extension, difficult. Mat 7:14 in the NKJV makes more sense.

8. In II Corinthians 10:5 the KJV reads "casting down imaginations", but the NKJV reads "casting down arguments". The word "thought", which occurs later in the verse, matches "imaginations", not "arguments". This change weakens the verse.

ANSWER: "Imaginations" is simply an archaic form of "reasonings." "Arguments" makes much more sense to the modern reader.

9. The KJV tells us to reject a "heretick" after the second admonition in Titus 3:10. The NKJV tells us to reject a "divisive man". How nice! Now the Alexandrians and Ecumenicals have justification for rejecting anyone they wish to label as "divisive men".

ANSWER: Is it easier to label someone "divisive" or "heretical?" The context provided by v.9 indicates the subject is a man that engages in unprofitable contention and strife. The focus IS on divisiveness and sectarianism, traits that will always be found in true "heretics."

10. According to the NKJV, no one would stoop so low as to "corrupt" God's word. No, they just "peddle" it (II Cor. 2:17). The reading matches the Alexandrian versions.

ANSWER: The NKJV reading is more than vindicated:

John Gill comments thus:
"which corrupt the word of God; by "the word of God," may be meant the Scriptures in general, which are from God, contain his will, and which he uses for the good of men, and his own glory, and may be corrupted by false glosses, and human mixtures, and by adding to them, or taking from them; or the Gospel in particular, which is the word of truth, of faith, righteousness, reconciliation, and salvation, and which was corrupted by these false teachers, by making merchandise of it; they huckstered the word of God, made gain of it, sought merely their own worldly interest and advantage in it, and so mixed it with their own vain philosophy, to please the carnal ears and hearts of men; they blended law and Gospel, grace and works, in the business of salvation; they did, as peddling merchants do, mix good and bad commodities together, and then vend them for sound ware; or as vintners, who mix their wine with water, and sell it for neat wine."

the Geneva commentary reads:
"We do not handle it craftily and covetously, or less sincerely than we ought. And he uses a metaphor, which is taken from hucksters, who used to play the false harlot with whatever came into their hands."

The greek text of the TR and CT are the same as regards this portion of the verse. Do you see how hard and persistently this person is trying to tie the NKJV to the "Alexandrian" text?

11. Since the NKJV has "changed the truth of God into a lie", it has also changed Romans 1:25 to read "exchanged the truth of God for the lie". This reading matches the readings of the new perversions, so how say ye it's a King James Bible?

ANSWER: There is absolutely no difference between the TR and CT in this verse. Today, we are wont to think of the word "change" in terms of transforming one thing to another- that would be the greek word allasso (G236), which is not used in this verse.
The point of the verse is that, given the natural manifestations of God's power, you might expect man to accept the truth about God. Instead, reprobates attribute these manifestations in nature to other gods or causes, thus trading (or exchanging) the truth for a lie.

12. The NKJV gives us no command to "study" God's word in II Timothy 2:15.

ANSWER: "Study" is an archaic form of "be diligent," which is what the NKJV has.

13. The word "science" is replaced with "knowledge" in I Timothy 6:20, although "science" has occurred in every edition of the KJV since 1611! How say ye it's a King James Bible?

ANSWER: This greek word is translated as "knowledge" in the KJV all 28 other times it appears in Scripture.

14. The Jews "require" a sign, according to I Corinthians 1:22 (and according to Jesus Christ - John 4:48), but the NKJV says they only "request" a sign. They didn't "request" one when signs first appeared in Exodus 4, and there are numerous places throughout the Bible where God gives Israel signs when they haven't requested anything (Exo. 4, Exo. 31:13, Num. 26:10, I Sam. 2:34, Isa. 7:10-14, Luke 2:12, etc). They "require" a sign, because signs are a part of their national heritage.

ANSWER: Jesus said that no sign would be given to that generation except the sign of the prophet Jonah. If the Jews truly required a sign in the sense of needing it, Jesus would have done it. Instead He pointed them to His resurrection. Truly the Jews WANT a sign, but did not NEED it, and thus it is something they ASK for, but not require, not in the modern sense of the word. "Require" is often an archaic form of "ask."

15. The King James reading in II Corinthians 5:17 says that if any man is in Christ he is a new "creature", which matches the words of Christ in Mark 16:15. The cross reference is destroyed in the NKJV, which uses the word "creation."

ANSWER: A “creature” is something that is “created” and thus is a part of the “creation.” “Creation” would appear to be the better word because it emphasizes the transformation. The cross reference is hardly “destroyed.”

16. As a final note, we'd like to point out how the NKJV is very inconsistent in it's attempt to update the language of the KJV. The preface to the NKJV states that previous "revisions" of the KJV have "sought to keep abreast of changes in English speech", and also that they too are taking a "further step toward this objective". However, when taking a closer look at the language of the NKJV, we find that oftentimes they are stepping BACKWARDS! Please note a few examples of how well the NKJV has "kept abreast of the changes in the English language":

Ezra 31:4 little rivers rivulets
Psalms 43:1 Judge Vindicate
Psalms 139:23 thoughts anxieties
Isaiah 28:1 fat verdant
Amos 5:21 smell savor
Matthew 26:7 box flask
Luke 8:31 the deep the abyss
John 10:41 did performed
Luke 19:11-27 pounds minas
John 19:9 judgement hall Praetorium
Acts 1:18 bowels entrails
Acts 18:12 deputy proconsul
Acts 21:38 uproar insurrection
Acts 27:30 boat skiff
Hebrews 12:8 bastard illegitimate

ANSWER: In all of these places, the NJKV is using a more specific and accurate word.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS:
1. Few people truly inspect the claims of KJVOs, if they did, this type of thing wouldn’t persuade anyone.
2. Accuracy to the TR takes a backseat to fidelity to the KJV for KJVOs.
3. Archaic words and expressions in the KJV from the 17th century have been contrasted with modern versions without regard for changing meaning of language.
4. Guilt-by-association is a major tactic used against new versions.
5. This author was simply not fair to the NKJV.

A few more words on the NKJV:

Despite what Ruckman or Riplinger say, the NKJV NT was translated from Scrivener’s TR, which has the text behind the KJV. Riplinger actually produced a list of places where she felt the NKJV did not follow the TR; as it turned out, the words used in the NKJV could be accurate translations of both the TR and the CT in those places.
Secondly, while it is true that the NKJV used the Stuttgart Edition of the OT Hebrew and not the Ben Chayyim Edition, according to Dr. James D. Price, the OT editor for the NKJV, there are only 8 places of difference, and in all places, the NKJV follows the KJV.

Good Morning Fri 3/27

Still in wakey-wakey mode... but I wanted to mention I have a post about the NKJV coming soon, hopefully today. I will be answering a number of NKJV objections from KJVOist James Melton. Worked on it a lot yesterday. One thing that occurred to me as I was researching and responding is that if someone where to actually sit down with most KJVO material and fact-check it, the weakness would be very much evident. Unfortunately, most people approach it like a tennis match, watching the ball (or arguments) fly back and forth, judging on style, appearance, and bias. It takes some work to dig into the issues, but it's rewarding.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Giving Opportunity - Susan Madrak

I have spoken a lot about Americans pulling together to build a better country. Now it's time to do something and take a little step in that direction. Every week or two I want to post an online opportunity to give to someone in need.
Most will be strangers, all will be on hard times of one sort or the other. May we be moved to do unto the "least of these." I will personally endeavor to contribute to these causes in proportion to the Lord's blessing on me. As much as I struggle with prayer, every act of giving is also an opportunity to pray for the one we helped, that God would make Himself known and show His mercy to them.
It is a great opportunity to stop and think about how connected we all are. Don't be afraid to "cast your bread upon the waters." May we be vessels of mercy, and leave judgment to God.

This initial opportunity is for Susan Madrak, a journalist who lost her job last July. When she was laid off, she found out she needed several surgeries, one of which she has had, a few more needing to be done. The rub is her insurance payments- they are extremely expensive and she needs help to have enough money to pay for them. The full story and link to donate are at her blog here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Four Crises of a Challenged KJVO

I often marvel, as do others, at the extreme difficulty in getting KJVO Christians to even listen to the other side of the argument. We have gone round and round on the issue for 30+ years and I don't think a lack of information is to blame. Occasionally a new angle will present itself but again, there are definite psychological and sociological barriers for these folks. At this stage in the controversy, I think it's high time to focus on these "barriers to leaving." I have identified four distinct crises confronting a KJVO when they are asked to look toward the multiple versions used in mainstream Christianity. I will discuss them, and then I will talk about how I moved past those barriers in my own life, as an ex-KJVO.

THE FOUR CRISES

1. A crisis of identity
The KJVO crowd sees their cause as a natural extension of the original fundamentalist fight for the authority and inerrancy of Scripture. To not be KJVO is to not be fundamentalist, but to be neo-evangelical. Neo-evangelical is a slur of the worst sort among KJVOs. Of course, neo-evangelicals are demonized among this crowd; they are represented as worldly and compromising their stand for truth, traitors to the fundamentals of the faith, contemporaries of the Laodicean church of Rev 3, and worthy of God's wrath. Suffice it to say that there is a tremendous amount of over-generalization in these declarations. Again, to not be KJVO is considered a sure sign of neo-evangelicalism, with all that entails.

2. A crisis of conscience
The KJVO crowd sees new versions as tools of Satan, taking away the deity and the blood and the name of the Lord, and removing verses. In addition, men behind the text of the modern versions are slandered as Satanists, new-agers, etc. This guilt-by-association, however false, is a classic meat-offered-to-idols issue. To use a new version then would be to partake in Satan's plan, and water down doctrine.

3. A crisis of certainty
The KJVO crowd can't understand how you can have the word of God unless the printed text you hold is 100% error free. In other words, if you can't be certain about the text, you can't trust it.

4. A crisis of fellowship
All of the above result in this last crisis, a crisis of fellowship. In summary, to not be KJVO means you are a duped neo-evangelical, guilty of compromise and watered-down doctrine, trusting your own intellect rather than adhering to the 100% pure KJV. As such, you are a threat to the church, an enemy of true fundamental Christianity, and blinded by Satan.
It is no wonder KJVOs refuse to fellowship with those that disagree on this issue. It is no wonder that KJVOs tend to get rather mean with their opponents at times. Given this environment, for a KJVO to switch sides is to essentially lose the fellowship of his church and often his family.

MY JOURNEY

So you can see the strongholds keeping KJVOs in the fold. How did I manage my own switch?

After years of watching fellow church members get shafted at the hands of dictator pastors I decided I didn't want to identify with that brand of fundamentalism anymore. Although my conscience was bound to KJVOism, this caused me to search out the issue with an open mind. My honest searching freed my conscience to embrace new versions, and provided me with a new perspective so I could trust the Bible even though some places in the text are debatable. In addition, I also realized that the KJVO slice of Christianity was only a small, fringe group, and that the majority of Christians where to my left.

Unfortunately, I was naive concerning the fourth crisis, "a crisis of fellowship." I had this idea that I could get along with them- agree to disagree. Thus began 6 years of tension culminating a very horrible experience which only served to reinforce the original desire to identify elsewhere- a sort of labor and birth, if you will. My journey taught me that you can get along with KJVOs if you keep it in the closet and stay clandestine. But then once they find out, you become a neo-evangelical deceiver of the worst sort.

THE RESPONSE

- An Issue of Trust

So does all this provide a magic answer to help us help KJVOs see the light? No. It merely underscores the massive difficulty faced in helping them see through it all. The biggest crisis of all three is the crisis of conscience. It truly is a meat-offered-to-idols situation. You see this most clearly in "nominal KJVOs," the people who are KJVO solely by virtue of their surroundings and influences. Their consciences have been burdened with numerous ad hominem attacks on everybody and everything surrounding new versions, by extensive guilt-by-association techniques, and by allegations of omitted verses. It isn't a matter of facts; it's a matter of trust. They won't remember the specifics of all the allegations, but the cumulative effect will leave them unable to trust new versions. They truly love the Lord, they are nice to those who disagree, but they inwardly fear His displeasure and judgment if they crack open an NIV.

-The Role of the Spirit

I think the answer lies in properly understanding the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit. Scripture is not, on its own, a vehicle for truth. Only as the Holy Spirit opens the things in Scripture do we understand truth. This is Biblical; we are told that the things of the Lord are spiritually discerned (I Cor 2:14). A born-again believer with an NIV is better than an atheist with a KJV. Do you not trust God to open the Scriptures to you?

Some might quibble with my understanding of "truth." Jesus, the living Word, said that He is the truth. Christ in us, the hope of glory, (Col 1:27) is made real through the down payment of the Spirit (Eph 1:13-14), who teaches all things (Jhn 14:26) and bears witness (I Jhn 5:6). The Scriptures are unprofitable, if they are not mixed with faith (Heb 4:2). Yet we are told that the Scriptures ARE profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (II Tim 3:16). They can only be profitable through faith which comes by the Spirit (Gal 5:5,22; II Cor 4:13).

An understanding of the role of the Spirit in relation to Scripture goes a long way towards answering the crises of conscience and certainty. Too often the first response made to KJVOs is to point out errors, or establish some fact of history to show to fallacy of the position. This is unwise. The main response to KJVOs must be Biblical in nature- then, use facts to backup the position.

So firstly, a response would include a discussion of the role of the Spirit as Teacher.
(A fundamental misunderstanding of the role of the Spirit under girds much of IFBx error, but that's another topic.)

-The Example of Christ

Christ quoted the OT Scriptures time and time again. He recognized the authority of Scripture. He used Scripture to set out the facts. He was Biblical in the highest sense of the word.

Christ said "it is written" and proceeded to quote the Old Testament- most times in a way that is different from the KJV. Was Christ wrong? Absolutely not! Christ was quoting a different Old Testament text than that which underlies the KJV. Using a different version wasn't a problem for Christ. His focus was not on the text-type but on the truth contained within it.

(For some examples of these differences, see http://www.kalvesmaki.com/LXX/NTChart.htm . Christ was more than likely using the Septuagint, although if He was not it doesn't challenge the point being made.)

Additionally, forasmuch as Christ rebuked the Pharisees, he never said one thing about Bible versions. He either 1) approved of the version of the text available in His day (which was obviously different than the KJV) or 2) didn't think it was a big deal.

Christ was focused on showing the power of God through His personal ministry. That was what was important. Problems with the dominant OT text of the day were not. Neither should we make a big deal about it.

The Pharisees problem was not that they didn't have the Scripture, but that they twisted it to suit their own ends- a problem that still sorely plagues the church today. No version can prevent this.

IT ISN'T WORTH IT

Between the trust and fellowship issues, many KJVO folks may decide it isn't worth it. In light of the facts, they may soften their stand a bit, but their lot is with the KJVO crowd. They have too much invested, personally, in these ministries. Or, they figure it isn't a big deal for them anyway; nobody has a problem with the KJV so why change? Perhaps they fear losing friends and family over the issue.

The problem is, with the KJVO crowd, if you walk out the door to check out the competition but never leave the yard, you end up back in the house. Fellowship is close, and the "us vs. them" dynamic employed to maximum effect. The risk of becoming hardened against non-KJVO Christians and becoming belligerent over the issue is unacceptably high, back in the "house." And that is truly tragic.

Secondly, you throw away a chance to grow in knowledge. We are to worship the Lord with all our mind, and that includes diligently seeking the truth and grasping it no matter what.

Thirdly, you essentially cut yourself off from true fellowship with the majority of Christians who are not KJVO. We are warned there is to be no schism in the body. They may say this isn't an issue and they can choose their own friends, but as a KJVO in a KJVO church, expect your ties to "neo-evangelical liberals" to be thoroughly questioned, especially if you have a position of leadership. You are under a constant diet of preaching to separate from liberals like those who aren't KJVO. The concern is real.

A SOLUTION

The church at large needs to be sensitive to those who are KJVO, without tolerating those who would fight over it. A KJVO who has yet to seriously approach the issue on a personal level will never set foot in a church that uses another translation or multiple translations consistently. Yet the crisis of fellowship must be averted before it becomes a real crisis.
The need then is for conservative churches, both moderate fundamentalist and conservative evangelical, who will standardize on the KJV although they are not KJVO and would be willing to deal with anyone who pushes a KJVO agenda. This provides a platform for fellowship while not offending the sensibilities of nominal KJVOs. Over time they may still use their KJV but come to trust and respect other versions and the people that use them.

PART OF A BIGGER PROBLEM- LEGALISM

Even in a scenario like this, few KJVOs would enter the door of such a church because of the numerous other shibboleths KJVOs look for in what they consider a "good" church- 100% topical preaching, theatrics in the pulpit ("hot preaching"), lots of programs, "Baptist" in the name, strict rules about hair and music and pants on women (separation), etc. KJVO is merely one part of a bigger construct of Christian legalism- sanctification by works. As one thoughtful KJVO acquaintance of mine courageously put it- KJVOism, standards, etc. are all substitutes for revival. Holiness is never built on the back of man's work but on the power of the Spirit. True Spirit filled holiness is never a standard you have to enforce, but an irrepressible witness to the power of Christ.

I have seen KJVOs become willing to deprecate the issue in their own lives only to go back and listen to a preacher or old friend revive one of the four crises in their mind, causing them to revert back to that way. Usually this happens when the KJVO has not fully shed the bondage of legalism. If they had, the crises wouldn’t mean anything to them in light of the Spirit’s sustaining power.

CONCLUSION

Endeavor to assimilate KJVOs into non-KJVO Christian communities where the KJV is standard “issue,” without tolerating pro-KJVO activism. Moving them out of KJVO communities is key to success.
Recognize the bigger battle is Christian legalism. If they don’t overcome this, their chances of overcoming KJVO are small.
Give it time. Focus on fellowship. Discuss the issue when they give you the chance but don’t “join the fight.”
Approach the issue not with facts but with biblical example and theology. Let facts seal the deal once they show a willingness to change their minds.
Pray for them… the situation is difficult and the outcome unsure.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Is Anybody Listening?



5:22 "I can't focus on school when I know she is struggling."
5:57 "I have learned from this, to not be self-absorbed."
7:00 "I think the students have come to realize they have to bond together as a community- we have to come together and work to solve these problems."
7:12 "We're all in this. And with that mindset perhaps we can build a better world."

Our country is starting to get it!

Healthcare- It's the Providers

My new son went in for jaundice treatment the weekend after he was born. We have insurance, thankfully, but I was shocked to see the bill nonetheless. He was admitted at about 7P Fri night, and released at 2PM Sat afternoon. His treatment consisted only of the following:
1. Use of a room
2. Use of a Bili-Light that looked to be 10-years old.
3. 2 or 3 meals
4. The nurse taking the diapers and weighing the contents
5. The doctor writing the admission and discharge orders and looking over the baby each of these times.
6. A blood draw Sat morning to test bilirubin levels.

Total cost before insurance? $3,000 dollars! Why? My son didn't need surgery, wasn't hooked up to anything, didn't have any life-threatening condition that needed constant nurse or doctor care other than laying under the light all that time. Why? And $3,000 dollars is the negotiated rate the insurance company gets! For one night! For less than 24 hours!

I am much inclined to think the insurance companies are not the villain in all of this. On the contrary, at those rates, it is amazing I don't pay more than I do in premiums. You say the insurance companies drag their feet at paying claims or approving treatments? It's no wonder when they get charged this much- I would be careful too with these kind of bills. The hospitals and doctors get to hide behind the positive view of being caretakers while on the back-end they gouge us.

A more reasonable rate? $800 to cover the room and nurse for one night. $150 for the blood draw, $45 for the 3 meals, $150 for use of the bili-light, $750 for the doctor's services. $1895 total. I can see that, even as over-inflated as THOSE prices are. $3K is highway robbery.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Jesus and the Pharisees: Bible Versions

Over at the Return to Biblicism blog, Damien establishes that, contrary to KJVO assertions otherwise, Christ and the Apostles used the Septuagint, the standard OT text of the day. The following reflection of his is a real gem:

During His earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees for a lot of very specific things. From their bad interpretation of the scriptures, to their missing the whole point of the scriptures, Jesus Christ criticized the religious in His day about their tithing habits, their praying habits, their hypocrisy, and more. Why did He not warn them about their Bible version? If everything the KJVO crowd says is so vitally important about having the “right” Bible is true, wouldn’t we find this taught by Jesus Himself? If other versions really water down theology, weaken the deity of Christ, and are produced by unholy apostates, and all of this has to be pointed out with vitriol by proponents of KJVO doctrine as if Christianity itself were at stake, why didn’t Jesus do the same? He certainly did not make an issue out of it, nor did His followers. Why should we? The King James translators themselves thought along these lines:

“The like we are to think of Translations. The translation of the Seventy dissenteth from the Original in many places, neither doth it come near it, for perspicuity, gravity, majesty; yet which of the Apostles did condemn it? Condemn it? Nay, they used it ….” (The Translators to the Reader, 1611 Authorized Version)

Also, where is the basis for the dogmatism in separation concerning Bible versions in the teachings of Jesus? If we accept that He used a different version Himself, how can we justify separating from those who use versions other than the KJV? How can we say, “you have to choose which Bible is the Word of God.”? Did Jesus teach that? How can we cut off fellowship with people, or cut of support from people trying to fulfill the Great Commission through church planting and missions simply because they employ another version of the Bible? Did Jesus teach that? The answer is clearly no.

Treasurys Are 'Disaster Waiting to Happen'

From http://www.cnbc.com/id/29720589:

The Federal Reserve has no option but to start buying Treasurys as the government's needs for financing are huge, but the government bond market is a disaster in the making, Marc Faber, editor and publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, told CNBC. Federal Reserve policymakers start a two-day meeting on Tuesday, weighing options on how to spur lending to help cash-strapped consumers kickstart the economy. Economists expect them to leave rates at zero and look to other ways of boosting liquidity, such as buying government bonds – a measure which has already been taken by the Bank of England. "Well I think other central banks have done it already around the world but basically what it amounts to is money printing and in fact I don't think that it will help the bond market at all in the long run," Faber told CNBC's Martin Soong.

The yield on the 30-year Treasurys touched a low of 2.51 percent last year in December but now it is back up at 3.77 percent, he said. "Yields have already backed up pretty substantially and I tell you, I think the US government bond market is a disaster waiting to happen for the simple reason that the requirements of the government to cover its fiscal deficit will be very, very high," Faber said. "The Federal Reserve will have to buy Treasurys, otherwise yields will go up substantially," he said, adding that as their reserves were dwindling, foreign investors were likely to scale down their purchases.

But there will be a time when the Federal Reserve will have to increase interest rates to fight inflation, and it will be reluctant to do so because the cost of servicing government debt will rise substantially. "So we'll go into high inflation rates one day," Faber said. The stock market is likely to continue its bounce at least for a while, but the outlook is bleak, he added. "I think we may still have a rally (in the S&P) until about the end of April and probably then a total collapse in the second half of the year sometimes, when it becomes clear that the economy is a total disaster," Faber said.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Disabling Vista's UAC as a Troubleshooting Method

Don't do it!

UAC, unfortunately, is misunderstood by many techies, who go on to say all kinds of horrible things about it and talk casually about turning it off like it's nothing big.

UAC and Virtualization are tied together in Vista, meaning that if you install some programs with UAC on, their files actually get written elsewhere to ensure the stability of Windows. So if you turn UAC off, you break those programs! Besides losing the extra security.

Bottom line: if you suspect that UAC or permissions issues are negatively affecting your program, right click the program and choose "Run As Administrator." If this resolves the issue, you can force the program to always run as administrator by right clicking and going to Properties>Compatibility and checking the Run as Administrator box. Otherwise, look elsewhere.

If you are being told by a software developer that UAC has to be off in order for the program to function, that program is not Vista compatible. It only means they can get it to work by turning UAC off. You are dealing with a group of programmers that are either too overworked or lazy to make it truly Vista compatible.

There is no good reason to disable UAC in Vista. As I have said before, UAC is as annoying as malware is persistant. Vista has to ask you every step of the way because malware could hijack your OS every step of the way. You want Windows to be secure? Well there you go.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Why the Big Red Slashes?

Some of you may not know why I put red circle slashes through Billy Sunday and Jack Schaap on the sidebar.

I have crossed out the picture of Billy Sunday because it represents style over substance. Some preachers feel they have to yell and pound to get people to listen and respond, when that is the Spirit's job. The preacher simply needs to teach.

I have crossed out the picture of Jack Schaap because it represents man worship. It represents the whole "I am of Apollos" mindset. Preachers should be humble servants, and not gather to themselves people who make them heroes and exalt them.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

FBCH and Schaap Respond

See the PDF here.

I find it amazing that they are willing to admit that Hyles was not always KJVO. It is a refreshing burst of honesty.
Most of the arguments they make for KJVO are well responded to in the "New Bible Versions" link in the sidebar. I will simply make a couple observations.
FIRST, the claim that no one has the originals. Well, the KJV translators didn't either, but they put out the KJV anyway. Also, we no longer have the original translator's manuscript of the KJV. Does that make it untrustworthy? Absolutely not!
SECOND, the claim that the KJV is the exclusive representation of God's preservation in the English language. On what Scriptural basis? I am not asking for a Scriptural basis for preservation, I am asking for a Scriptural basis for the idea that the KJV is the only representation of the preserved Word of God in the English language. We had a perfectly acceptable version before 1611, the Geneva (which by the way was no more difficult to read than the first 1611 edition.) What was wrong with that?
THIRD, the fact that Greek manuscripts don't agree. Again, this didn't stop the KJV translators from producing the KJV. Why should it stop us from producing an even better version now?
FOURTH, most people can't read Greek and Hebrew (and Aramaic, etc., etc.) But the differences in those manuscripts are well represented by the Critical Text and the TR, both of which have English translations. It's as simple as comparing the KJV or NKJV (TR) with an NIV or NASB (CT) to get an essential understanding of the differences. If you want to compare against the lesser known Pierpont/Robinson Majority Text, grab a WEB.

Again, let me repeat this quote:
"If we say that we can have no certainty regarding the biblical text unless we embrace the KJV (or the TR), we are simply moving the question one step back and hoping no one notices. How can we be certain of the textual choices of Desiderus Erasmus, or Stephanus, or Theodore Beza? How can we be certain that the Anglican churchmen who chose amongst the variant readings of those three men were themselves inspired? Are we not, in reality, saying, 'Well I _must_ have certainty, therefore, without any factual or logical or even _scriptural_ reason to do so, I will invest the KJV translators with ultimate authority.' This is, truly, what KJV Only advocates are doing when they close their eyes to the historical realities regarding the biblical text."
-James White, The King James Only Controversy, p.95

I find a lot to like in some of what Schaap says:

p. 15 Observation 2:
I am concerned that we are quickly becoming an ignorant clergy. We have discouraged the use of a good dictionary or lexicon, and I’m concerned that we are becoming proud of our ignorance. The Board of Deacons recently voted to teach Hebrew, Greek, and Latin starting in kindergarten at Hammond Baptist Schools beginning in the fall of 2009.
God chose to preserve the divine truths of eternity in words (I Corinthians 2). God loves words, He is brilliant with words, He knows what those words mean, and He knows how to use those words.
The men who translated the King James Version were learned men. God used their learning and their disciplined training. He did not use ignorant men to write the Scriptures or to translate them.
While the Scriptures teach that knowledge “puffeth up,” they also teach that God’s people are destroyed for “lack of knowledge.”
When men don’t learn to read, they forfeit the knowledge that comes from reading God’s Word. When men don’t learn how to define words, they start making up their own definitions or fall victim to deceitful scholars.
Truth and learning are not the enemies of Scripture, but ignorance is!

p. 15 Observation 3:
In my opinion, we independent Baptists have not learned how to discuss our differences with each other without becoming almost explosive in our rhetoric. Many of us have been guilty of this through the years. How many letters or responses have been enflamed by words of injury or anger!
Oh, let us review Psalm 133; let us practice Matthew 18:15-17! Can we not grow in our gentlemanliness and discuss our doctrines with wisdom and grace? I pray so.
I fear that we are unwilling or afraid to work calmly through our perceived differences. Proverbs 18:13 says, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” That word heareth means “to call together” or “give diligent attention.”

P.S. Schaap said the Chinese version(s) were based on the same text as the ESV(English Standard Version). This is not the case. The ESV was based on the Nestle-Aland 27th, whereas no Chinese version is based on that. I think what he meant was the ERV, more commonly known as the RV or Revised Version, the NT of which was produced in 1881, which was based on Westcott & Hort's original 1881 Greek text. These would be the source for the most widely used Chinese version, the Chinese Union Version.

UN Attempting to Suppress Criticism of Islam

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Announcing Baby Derek!

Our new baby, Derek Blake Thatcher, was born Monday 3/2 at 9:53PM! He
was 7lb 15oz and 20.5 in long. Mom and baby are doing fine, and so is
dad lol! They were discharged from the hospital yesterday afternoon.