Friday, April 17, 2009

Regarding the Chosen People of God

I recently read an article about how the King James Bible was the only true version of the Bible. I sent the author the following: (I'll do the cut thing later, tired now)

Hi there - if you could, please pass this along to Pastor Anderson:

Firstly, my condolences on your recent struggle with law enforcement.
I am both outraged at what was done to you, and support you in your
struggle in every way.

I am a young Christian attending university in Michigan, and recently
read your essay titled "Correcting the King James Bible," found here:
. I found
myself conflicted, both with the concept and the argumentation that
you presented. I was hoping that you could shed some light on this
for me.

I had a question regarding your argument regarding the King James
Bible being the direct word of God. You allude briefly to the concept
that the Gentiles were the chosen people of God, and this is thesis is
supported heavily and convincingly by almost any reading of the Old
Testament. However, you do not examine not only why they were the
chosen people, but also why they remained the chosen people. This is
not necessarily problematic to the argument you present, but I feel
that it may be relevant to consider.

It would appear that, throughout the early history of Israel, they
were an oppressed, weak, and bullied people. This is not to say that
they did not have periods of great power, both economically and
militarily, as under certain periods they did. Forgive the lack of
citation, although I imagine you require little in the way. However,
it would seem that they were, predominantly over their history as
presented Biblically, an oppressed people, almost forever at the whim
of another nation. I would make the argument that this is a
fundamental component of their character as a people, and also why God
had chosen them: always was Yahweh on the team of the oppressed, as
this has been demonstrated even after the Biblical periods have ended.
It would strike me that God would be consistent in His decision of
what people would be a chosen people, and the adoptive status as
"Chosen People" by the very early Christians support this.

Note now that I will use the term "Chosen People" to denote "Chosen by
God to bear his words," or, "the people chosen by God to carry the
most true version of the Word of God."

The question that I have is this: why would God select, of all
Christian nations, to preserve His sacred word as the English?
Although they had not yet reached the height of their power at the
time of the translation of the King James version, they shortly would
be - surely, God would have seen the rise of England during the
eighteenth and nineteen centuries, and used this as part of his
decision for which people he would decide were his Chosen. Even
during the time of the translation, the English were certainly neither
a weak nor oppressed people; indeed, they had begun their campaign of
imperialism that would last into the twenty-first century that would
propel them to the absolute pinnacle of global power.

The language and translation used in the King James Bible would go on
to be adopted by the United States of America, which, as you are
surely aware, has become the most powerful nation on earth, and, like
seventeenth century England, was and is anything but an oppressed
state. This begs the question: why were the English, and subsequently
the Americans, chosen by God? Although we cannot know the infinitely
mysterious ways of God, it is nonetheless important to at least
attempt to rationalize either them, or man's interpretation of them -
as you have argued so persuasively, no living version of the Bible is
in existence that consists of the original Hebrew or Greek text. As
God has remained silent on definitively stating which people (aside
from the Gentiles) were the Chosen People, it thus falls to man to
determine this.

Given that thousands of other translations of the Words of God exist,
it would seem, at least initially to my readings, that other people
would perhaps be more suitable to the mantle of being the Chosen
People of God. Surely, an oppressed nation with the greatest purity
would have been chosen instead, rather than our all-powerful nation
that contains within its borders an extraordinarily diverse selection
of people, both pure and unpure. It can also be assumed that this
conceptual "real" collection of the Word(s) of God would not be in
English, which, again, is the language of the people of the earth at
the absolute pinnacle of power.

I have read your essay concerning this, and believe that your argument
is, at least in part, reliant on the concept that English is the most
widely-spoken language in the world, and also that the King James
Bible is the largest-selling version of the Bible. These cannot be
seen as indicators that man has chosen correctly - man is an
infinitely fallible creature and, as the Catholics you mentioned in
your article speak to, can do great evil while meaning good. That is
not to say that I am stating the the King James version is evil, or
any variant on that theme - hardly.

So, we have come to this; easily-read indicators of God's choice
cannot be trusted, as they are determined by man, whom is inherently
fallible and cannot be trusted; English is symbolic both of the
English people and of the American people, whom have been, at one time
or another, at the height of global power, and due to this are
incompatible with the inherently 'oppressed' nature of the Gentiles,
which was, among other reasons, why they were chosen by God; and we
cannot trace the historicity and the scriptural validity of any
translation of the bible because no reliable original text exists.

As I quite prefer the King James Bible above any other, including the
"New" version, I was hoping that you had a deeper argument to present
that might reaffirm my hope that I am reading the correct version of
the Bible. I would hate to be wrong!

A sincere thank you,

Daniel A. Russ

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