Sunday, September 14, 2014

Angels Stirring the Waters

King James Version of the Bible
King James Version of the Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

Psalm 91:11-12
New King James Version (NKJV)

        Angels make numerous appearances throughout the Bible.  They serve as messengers, defenders, challengers, and comforters to name a few of their duties.   They are agents who serve God and offer hope to the Godly.   

         Some of these stories may raise more questions than are answered in the text of scripture.  In fact, some Biblical scholars dispute the King James translation as not being absolutely accurate while there are King James only advocates who believe that their preferred version is the only God-inspired version.   The King James version was translated from a Greek text that appeared after older texts that were used in some of the more modern translations.  

          This is not to say that one version is more definitive or superior than another, but we should be aware of subtle differences in the various translations.  For this reason we should not confine ourselves strictly to any one translation of the Bible.  Sometimes comparing the differences in phrasing and words used can help shed more light on confusing passages.   The use of solid Bible commentaries can also be very useful in studying scripture.

          A good example to look at in comparative studies comes from John 5 where  Jesus heals the lame man at the pool of Bethesda.   Many modern translations omit the fourth verse that is found in the King James translation.   It does seem to be a somewhat odd verse when you think about it especially in context of the healing that Jesus performs for the lame man.

          I believe that the King James version is beautifully rendered and God-inspired, but I won't say that it is the definitive translation especially from the perspective of modern readers.   There is good reason to use more than one translation of the Bible.  As long as the truth is within the covers of the book you are using, then there is value to using it.

1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

John 5:1-4
King James Version (KJV)

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