Contend Earnestly: 10 Steps to Become a Legalist: Step 3

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

10 Steps to Become a Legalist: Step 3

We are really moving now. We have seen in Step 1 how to build up our pride so that we understand that, basically, everyone sucks besides you. Step 2 was a reminder that everyone must dress the way that you dress. Step 3 is going to take us to some even more practical ways to make sure that you become all you can be when declaring and raising the flag of legalism. Which, if I had thought of it, I would have made a flag and had a link to buy it from here. Not sure what it would look like, but whatever it looked like, you would hate it and find ways that it was wrong, so what is the point?

Step 3 is going to show that we need to have a Bible version picked out and ready to defend against all other heretics out there who teach from a different Bible that is in your fake leather Bible protector. It probably matches your shoes and your pocket protector, so we'll just move on before I get too many responses.

Choose any Bible. There are good reasons to own any Bible and bad reasons to own all the others. What I will tell you is that once you choose one, make sure you erase from your memory any negatives about that translation and only focus on the positives. For the translations that you didn't choose do the opposite. Forget any possibility of them being good translations and make sure you focus so much on the negatives that only the naive, immature, closed minded "Christian" would decide to choose such a poorly translated "bible."

I honestly don't even know all the arguments for each one, but I know one thing for sure: my bible is way better than your crappy bible and my daddy is stronger than your daddy too.

I have seen this argued from both sides. One side being very dogmatic about the King James Only...these guys are way cool. They are so dogmatic about the 1611 King James Bible that they believe that it was literally inspired by God as a translation. Now, these are guys that any legalist should look up to. To go this far is awesome when you are trying to become a legalist. Of course you have to make sure that you look past any errors (click here for errors) in the translation by quoting "God's word shall endure forever" until you are red in the face. Believe me, the more you quote it the more you will believe it. Wait...I should restate that from the inspired, infallible translation: the word of our God shall stand for ever. These guys are really cool too because they have decided to still use words like "thou" and "thee" when the only people that still use these words are the mechanical presidents at the Hall of Presidents at Disney World.

They will use big words, so make sure that you can get this stuff down. They will talk to you about the Textus Receptus, Byzantine and Massoretic texts. Just be ready because you will want to learn these things if you decide that this is the way you want to be the next great up and coming KJO legalist. The cool thing is that you can use words like "pisseth" and "ass" because those words are in the King James Bible. I am tempted to join their team just for those two reasons, but I already wear a suit and tie 5 days a week and really would rather not wear one everywhere I go.

I mean how cool would it to be to be able to read aloud Judges 5:10

Speak, ye that ride on white asses, ye that sit in judgment, and walk by the way.

Or what about 2 Kings 9:8

For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel:

Sure it reads like Yoda, but you can cuss with, if that isn't emergent, I don't know what is. Can you picture an emergent KJO dude in a suit with holes in his suit pants, just so he can yell at everyone during his conversation within his community? Rad.

The other side that you can go, if the King James isn't your style because you don't ride in a horse and buggy or grow your own wheat, is those that love their Bible and hate the King James just cause it is old. The motto becomes, "because it's old, it's out." These people are pretty cool, because they have no arguments besides, "who wants to say thee and thou?" They get pretty crazy with this and become legalists in very weird ways. They only use the Message or Good News Bible and cry out that these paraphrased bibles "opened their eyes and changed their life." Now that is something I can get behind. Once something changes your life, everything else that didn't becomes the wolf in sheeps clothing. So, what happens is that the translation becomes as big of a deal to these guys as does the KJO crazies.

Here is the secret here. To become this kind of legalist is pretty cool, because you don't have to have any training at all in any original language, in any history of Bible translation or any care for what has been handed down. Seriously, who cares what it says in the Greek and Hebrew? Just keep saying, "it changed my life" and that is all you need to hang your hat on. When someone asks you about why certain phrases are completely left out of the translation (just look at what one KJO guy has to say about it) or why it is very loose in it's translation and argues for the sake that it might just be a commentary, just ignore them and make fun of them for their "wooden" versions. Stick with the, "it changed my view of the bible and all other translations are too hard to read" mentality and you will be well on your way to seeing that your "translation" is the only one...even though you might never say that.

Plus..."the message" sounds better than having to use the word Bible...what does the word Bible mean anyways?

Here is the basic premise of this post. Get over the translation thing. Some are better than others in certain areas, but the idea that there is one translation over others is a complete joke. Choose the Bible that you feel is the closest to the original tongue and let others do the same and you will be on your way to loving God and not hating people. I believe that there are some that are better than others, and would suggest some over others, but this idea that the King James is the only way is seriously a funny thing, if so many people weren't so angry about it. Use paraphrases for what they are supposed to be for: reading, not studying. Seriously, any paraphrased version should be honest to let you know that they interpreted a passage to make it easier to read, not to get the full, original wording out of the original text. Understand this and use them wisely. I would tell people to choose from the KJV, NKJV, ESV, NASB or NIV and you will be on your way to understanding what God meant to be said. Just don't make others feel as though they are idiots for choosing the one that you decided not to.

HT: Fundy Reformed; Bob Hayton


Stefan said...


Some of this made me laugh, some of this made me cry, and some of this made me whince, thinking, "did he really just say that?" You are bold, my friend.

Someone sent me a youtube clip of a fundy preaching on 2 Kings 9:8, and boy did he miss the mark. He spun himself out about how every other translation softens the language and argued that this was a sign of our culture becoming effeminate. He argued that real men piss standing up, not sitting down. But the funny thing is that the text has everything to do with judgment! I'll try to find the clip and email it to you.

Anyways, onto something more serious. We have some folks in our church who are KJV only, but they have learned to live with us. I will tell you that they aren't legalistic in their approach -- though I have met some KJO folks who are. So, while there are some who are guilty of the legalism of which you speak, others sincerely belive the KJO arguments, and attempt to interact thoughtfully with others who do not. Though, again, I will admit that these folks are few and far between. Most KJO folks are really, really argumentative.

Carry on...

Bob Hayton said...

Using the KJV only and being KJV only are 2 different things.

Good post. And you're right, those who are totally anti-KJV end up being as legalistic (in a sense) about their version, as the KJV dudes. And I agree that NKJV, NASB , or ESV purists can be almost as bad, in their dislike of other versions, and especially the NIV.

There are KJV Only nut-jobs, legalistic maniacs, and then some who are not so bad (like I was :-) )

There are good people who have various reasons for believing in it, but its a system built on shaky ground.

For anyone really interested in the KJV issue, you can check out my blog (which Seth linked to: Fundamentally Reformed) or my KJV Only Research Center.


I'm enjoying the series, and I'll be linking to it soon.


Bob Hayton

Seth McBee said...

Bob and Stefan.
I totally agree...just as there are some who love their NIV and NASB yet don't hold it against others if they want to use a different translation, so there are some very loving KJO people. Few...but there are some...those are not the people I was speaking to. Thanks for stopping by.

And in case anybody wants to see a KJO dude go crazy on pissing on is that video that Stefan brought up:

KJO Guy Goes Crazy

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Seth, you write tongue in cheek very well (:

I must confess that I fall into the NIV-dissers group. But I also dis the NKJV because of some of the strange translation decisions it makes. I used to be pretty pro ESV, and still am, but having become more familiar with the original languages I have become aware of the ESV's own shortcomings. I now tend to refer to the NASB and HCSB a lot as well, and also resources like

Still, being the prickly person I am, I can't help needling people about the NIV or NKJV when we're at Bible studies and they say something like, "Hrmm, my translation says..."


Hannah Schaefer said...

"These guys are really cool too because they have decided to still use words like "thou" and "thee" when the only people that still use these words are the mechanical presidents at the Hall of Presidents at Disney World."

It's funny, because these guys pray like that, too, as if God speaks like that. "We pray, oh Lord, that thou wouldest bless us, Lord, that we might serve thee, oh God . . ."

I honestly think some pastors do it without even thinking about it (along with saying the Lord's name every other word), but it makes me laugh (which is bad because you're supposed to be serious during prayer, right?). Would that pastor talk to his Momma like that? Then why is he talking to God that way??

Great series--I'll be following it as you continue to lay out the steps to Legalism.

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