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consiglieri

The LDS Position on the King James Version

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Any thoughts as to why this might be so?

Here is my thought.

If the CoJCoLDS were to divorce itself from the efficacy of the KJV, then such action would certainly call into question the rather "out of sync" translation of the BoM by Joseph Smith into similar language.

Such a move would inevitably lead to a retranslation of the BoM into more common day English, despite presently held claims the BoM is the "most perfect" book on Earth.

The new translation and it's translators would be spitted on a brand new fire of criticism.

Internally, terrible calamities could occur. LDS might even stop praying and talking religiously in "Thee's" and "Thou's" in preference to "You's" and "I's" or "We's".

Though that seems terribly horrific, it could even get worse.

Suffice it to say that those within the CoJCoLDS that have deliberated over moving from the KJV to something else, likely know these things and much more... and based upon such knowledge have determined what is in the best interest for you and other LDS.

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I think they hold to the KJV because it most closely matches the language used by the Lord in giving Joseph Smith the Book of Mormon translation, not much more to it.

My question though is - why do they not use the fullest text of the Inspired Version (JST) available? The Community of Christ would let them and it needs the notes and cross-references that an LDS edition would provide.

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What would be an alternative to the KJV? Does the OP believe content from the Dead Sea Scrolls should be added to a new Bible version? I would like to see Scriptures be presented to the members of the Church whether it is canon, or Apocrypha, or even Pseudepigrapha, along with commentary and any historical information. Anyone know where I can find something like this?

I have learned so much about my religion, and religion in general, just by reading posts on the Pundit Board and on this Dialogue & Discussion Board. I am very grateful for all the knowledge that is given on this forum.

Thank you!

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Here is my thought.

If the CoJCoLDS were to divorce itself from the efficacy of the KJV, then such action would certainly call into question the rather "out of sync" translation of the BoM by Joseph Smith into similar language.

Such a move would inevitably lead to a retranslation of the BoM into more common day English, despite presently held claims the BoM is the "most perfect" book on Earth.

There is only one reason. As you state, the BoM uses that language, so it shall ever be...

One question though. How does one go about retranslating the BoM when it isn't based on any ancient document that is accessible today?

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There is only one reason. As you state, the BoM uses that language, so it shall ever be...

One question though. How does one go about retranslating the BoM when it isn't based on any ancient document that is accessible today?

They mean rephrasing it so it sounds more modern. There have been several well documented changes to the BoM to promote understanding (for example, the word 'with' was added in one place), but we do try to keep it as original as possible.

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They mean rephrasing it so it sounds more modern. There have been several well documented changes to the BoM to promote understanding (for example, the word 'with' was added in one place), but we do try to keep it as original as possible.

Thanks. That makes sense. Not a retranslation.

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I would assume it is because to switch away from the KJV would break biblical allusions within the restoration scriptures reliant on the language of the KJV, and the KJV is almost unversally available.

It's an interesting thought. What would happen generations from now if the Church used a more recent translation of the Bible? If we weren't steeped in the language of the KJV, how would that affect our impressions of the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants? And if future Prophets ever received direct D&C-style revelations again, would they still be in KJV English?

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Because until we come out with out "own" edition by further revelation, it by revelation is the BEST version there is which expounds the Restored spirit and gospel of Christ.

We don't need to get into the doctrines of men and being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine by using different some supposedly "better" versions. Frankly, there is no such thing even. While other versions do better in some areas, they fail in others. The KJV does the best of ALL, portraying the spirit and intent closest to the pure Gospel. Translation mistakes and otherwise doesn't change the fact that we can know the "gospel" and "spirit" as intended through the book, and frankly none other.

It's the version for "English" speakers.... Until the Lord says otherwise, that's what we use.

Really? Not even the JST is "better"? :P

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It is my understanding that the new (and improved) CHI about a month ago officially reaffirms the LDS Church's position that the King James Version of the Bible, and no other, should be used in all Church meetings.

Although I find this short-sighted on a number of levels, I wanted to post here to mention the irony of it.

The LDS Church is founded on the proposition that the King James Version of the Bible is neither complete nor inerrant, a proposition that has caused (and continues to cause) a great deal of wrath from non-LDS Christians.

LDS, as much as any other Christian denomination, have evinced great interest in the Dead Sea Scrolls, which pushed back one-thousand years the earliest Old Testament manuscripts available--manuscripts obviously not available to the KJV translators.

There are many Christians, whom some term fundamentalist, in that they believe the Bible is the perfect and complete Word of God.

Within this fundamentalist group is an even more conservative subgroup--those Christians who believe that only the King James Version is the perfect and complete Word of God, and that no others need apply.

The strange thing to me is that whereas Mormons come down on the other side of the spectrum from the KJV-only crowd, we have nevertheless come round full circle to where we seem to be promoting the same thing.

Any thoughts as to why this might be so?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Don't you think you are confusing the "Bible only"ism of fundamentalist Protestants with "KJV only"ism of LDS?

There is no "irony" involved if you are not comparing like with like.

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It is my understanding that the new (and improved) CHI about a month ago officially reaffirms the LDS Church's position that the King James Version of the Bible, and no other, should be used in all Church meetings.

So we standardized on the KJV. Big deal. The Church had to pick a bible to standardize on, and the Church picked the King James Version. I don't see any great conspiracy here. They picked a bible... so what?

I like the English of the KJV. I do not like the plain English of the NIV.

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You falsely assume "translation/relevation" is "linear" that the "words" are what matter rather than the "meanings/principles" behind the words.

To the extent that words are a vehicle to get to meanings, they are what matter.

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So we standardized on the KJV. Big deal. The Church had to pick a bible to standardize on, and the Church picked the King James Version. I don't see any great conspiracy here. They picked a bible... so what?

I like the English of the KJV. I do not like the plain English of the NIV.

I think this makes an unwarrant assumption, though. Why would the Church "have" to pick a Bible to be the standard?

My understanding is there was no such "standard" until the LDS Church chose as its own Bible the KJV in 1979, and then published it by means of its own publishing house (Deseret) together with cross-references to the other standard works.

Many other churches exist without "having" to pick a Bible to be the standard, and they seem to get along well enough.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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To the extent that words are a vehicle to get to meanings, they are what matter.

This, I think, is one of the main points against continued mandatory use of the KJV.

The LDS Church promotes scripture study and understanding, including the Bible.

Why then should we enforce use of the most inaccessible and difficult to understand version?

If understanding the message of the scriptures is paramount, mandating use of the KJV is a strange way to go about it.

How many people understand Shakespeare today without a good deal of prep work in order to become familiar with Elizabethan English?

I see the insistence on KJV-only as an impediment to understanding the Bible.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Internally, terrible calamities could occur. LDS might even stop praying and talking religiously in "Thee's" and "Thou's" in preference to "You's" and "I's" or "We's".

Thanks for your post, Mudcat!

You have hit on another irony, I think.

While promoting use of the KJV, the LDS Church also strongly encourages use of "thee" and "thou" in prayer as a sign of respect for God.

The irony is that "thee" and "thou" in Elizabethan English are the familiar forms of address.

"You" and "your" are terms of respect.

Over the past 400-years, we have managed to reverse the usage.

But while we insist on using the KJV language in prayer, we are actually insisting on using familiar forms of address when we think we are being formal.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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One of the things that caught my attention in "Teaching: No Greater Call" was the insistence (several times) that ONLY the current scriptures issued by the church were to be used in preparation for the classes and in class instruction.

As far as "modern translations", I personally think the ESV is an excellent version.

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One of the things that caught my attention in "Teaching: No Greater Call" was the insistence (several times) that ONLY the current scriptures issued by the church were to be used in preparation for the classes and in class instruction.

As far as "modern translations", I personally think the ESV is an excellent version.

And I am a big fan of the New Revised Standard Version.

There are actually a number of unique LDS teachings that are obscured in the KJV, but that are much more apparent in modern translations--one that comes to mind is the council of gods in heaven over which the supreme God (or God of Gods) presides.

Also the teaching that a true prophet must stand in that council and there receive his commission to preach.

Which sounds a lot like something Joseph Smith once said . . .

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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I mostly use the NRSV for my personal reading/study of the Bible. Only time I use the LDS edition of the Bible any more is from the Gospel Library app on my Droid while in class. While I recognize the aids therein are very useful for many, most of them have outlived their usefulness for me when it comes to a study of the Bible. Although it is nice having the JST references at hand. (Except when I'm studying the JST, I use more complete editions, such as the fantastic and up-to-date Deseret editions of the Old and New Testament, complete with manuscript variations! - And I generally use that in the context of Restoration Scripture study, not Bible Study proper)

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Also the teaching that a true prophet must stand in that council and there receive his commission to preach.

Which is exactly what is mirrored in our Temple Experience wink.gif Which interesting enough, is a pre-requisite for serving as a Missionary...

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And I am a big fan of the New Revised Standard Version.

There are actually a number of unique LDS teachings that are obscured in the KJV, but that are much more apparent in modern translations--one that comes to mind is the council of gods in heaven over which the supreme God (or God of Gods) presides.

Also the teaching that a true prophet must stand in that council and there receive his commission to preach.

Which sounds a lot like something Joseph Smith once said . . .

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

I would be interested in seeing the passages you refer to and how modern versions support your statement.

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I mostly use the NRSV for my personal reading/study of the Bible. Only time I use the LDS edition of the Bible any more is from the Gospel Library app on my Droid while in class. While I recognize the aids therein are very useful for many, most of them have outlived their usefulness for me when it comes to a study of the Bible. Although it is nice having the JST references at hand. (Except when I'm studying the JST, I use more complete editions, such as the fantastic and up-to-date Deseret editions of the Old and New Testament, complete with manuscript variations! - And I generally use that in the context of Restoration Scripture study, not Bible Study proper)

Okay, then, I have to ask you a personal question, since you mention the LDS Bible footnotes have little use for you anymore.

Do you ever have the experience of actually looking up one of the footnotes and thinking, "What on earth does that have to do with anything?"

Or conversely, do you ever think of a great cross-reference for a particular verse only to find no accompanying footnote?

While footnotes are of value, I think they can be used in the LDS Bible to promote an exclusively LDS understanding of the Bible.

Footnotes to the Bible Dictionary are a waste of time in that the reader will look up a subject there if they want to. They don't need a footnote on a passage mentioning "charity" to refer them to the subject of "charity" in the Bible Dictionary.

On the other hand, is it possible that this is another form of promoting a "correct" (i.e., Orthodox Mormon Doctrine) understanding of the Bible by those who read the LDS version?

I'm just asking!

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Okay, then, I have to ask you a personal question, since you mention the LDS Bible footnotes have little use for you anymore.

Do you ever have the experience of actually looking up one of the footnotes and thinking, "What on earth does that have to do with anything?"

Yep. I understood why this was when the documentary on the making of the LDS edition told us that they employed recently Returned Missionaries to submit a great amount of the cross references.

Or conversely, do you ever think of a great cross-reference for a particular verse only to find no accompanying footnote?

Yep.

While footnotes are of value, I think they can be used in the LDS Bible to promote an exclusively LDS understanding of the Bible.

I'd say one specific view of the LDS understanding of the Bible. A great many of the references - especially in the TG - are to embarrassing prooftexts.

Footnotes to the Bible Dictionary are a waste of time in that the reader will look up a subject there if they want to. They don't need a footnote on a passage mentioning "charity" to refer them to the subject of "charity" in the Bible Dictionary.

I agree, although I understand why they thought this would be a good idea.

On the other hand, is it possible that this is another form of promoting a "correct" (i.e., Orthodox Mormon Doctrine) understanding of the Bible by those who read the LDS version?

Exactly. However, I think, in its 30 year existence, it in fact did much good. However, there have been many developments in Biblical Scholarship (even LDS Biblical Scholarship!) since that edition, and also doctrinal and textual understandings that are not properly manifest in the LDS edition. I think its useful to note that the online edition of the Book of Mormon has made changes in the introduction, and several of the Chapter Headers. I would love to see such happen with the Bible as well.

I have a suspicion, however, that the BYU Rendition and Commentary may have a huge effect on further editions of the LDS Bible, whether in translation, or just footnotes/headers, etc. The BYU-R has potential to be a watershed in LDS Biblical studies, or a stumbling block sending us forever in a self-affirming loop. I hope, and tentatively expect the former.

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I tend think English is on the lower end of languages that should be considered for relaying religious messages.

Since you admit you only know English I rather doubt that you have any basis to make such a judgement.

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How many people understand Shakespeare today without a good deal of prep work in order to become familiar with Elizabethan English?

Just about any native speaker can understand Shakespeare today with no prep work. Sure, you might not understand every word, but you will understand the plot and the most important passages of the plays. Elizabethan English simply isn't that different from our own - mostly due to Shakespeare and the KJV.

I highly recommend attending live performances of Shakespeare as well - seeing it spoken and acted by live actors makes it even easier to understand.

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While promoting use of the KJV, the LDS Church also strongly encourages use of "thee" and "thou" in prayer as a sign of respect for God.

The irony is that "thee" and "thou" in Elizabethan English are the familiar forms of address.

"You" and "your" are terms of respect.

Over the past 400-years, we have managed to reverse the usage.

But while we insist on using the KJV language in prayer, we are actually insisting on using familiar forms of address when we think we are being formal.

It is odd that people now see these older familiar words as more respectful, but it's also interesting that this use of the familiar is consistent with languages that still use levels of familiarity. European languages tend to use the familiar in prayers. The Japanese, on the other hand, use formal language in their prayers.

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I have recently had occasion to read parts of the NIV Bible for the first time. I was really surprised at how much more clear it is.

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