Stupid Bumper Sticker of the Week

Saw this in Knoxville while visiting my mom:

If it’s not King James, it’s not Bible.

I grunted in disgust, and my mom asked what was wrong. I pointed out the bumper sticker in front of us, and she (daughter of a Baptist preacher and faithful church goer) just muttered “Oh good grief.”

I mean, how do you even answer something like this? It sets new heights for both arrogance AND stupidity. First of all, Mr. KJV, what authority has told you that the KJV is the only true Bible? Did God send you an email? Oh, sorry, I forgot — you have another bumper sticker that says “if it’s not rotary, it’s not a phone.”

Even conservative Biblical scholars agree that the Greek texts on which the KJV is based are not as good as the texts translators work from now. And those texts are not the autographs. We are working with translations of copies of copies of copies. And, a single word in the Greek may need more than one word in English to even come close to the thought (and vice versa). Since, then, any English Bible is going to be an approximation of the original text, why not get the best translation we can get? Why not strive for one that is true to the best texts we have AND that is readable by today’s seekers and learners?

Ultimately, of course, my biggest objection to such a bumper sticker — and to the faith approach it represents — is that it is such a troubling example of majoring on the minors. Every minute we spend trying to convince someone that the KJV is the only “true” Bible is a minute we don’t spend meeting the real needs of the world.

Let’s see if we can move beyond — or around — issues like this, a la McLaren. Let’s major on the majors.

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