Sunday, July 20, 2008

"God Prefers King James Era English"

Last Friday evening, my wife and I took our '46 Studebaker downtown for a local car show. As we were relaxing on a bench, enjoying the evening, two well dressed young men wearing name tags approached us. As you have probably guessed, they were LDS, better known as Mormons.

Since we had left the house on short notice, I found myself unarmed. (That being a lame allusion to Ephesians 6:17 "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:") That, however was not a good enough reason for me to avoid talking to them, but that along with the setting did lead to an abbreviated conversation.

After establishing that I was a veteran of conversations with LDS representatives on several previous occasions, and that they had all ended in a "standoff", the inevitable question came up. Did I have any questions.

Well, actually I did. Some time ago I started to read the Book of Mormon so that I would be at least somewhat familiar with it for just such occasions. The first thing that struck me was that the language was so strikingly similar to that used in the King James translation of the Bible. That was my question. Why was the Book of Mormon, "translated" in the 1800's, translated into the language of 1600's England?

This is where the "Elder" of the pair jumped in to take over the conversation. I think that is usually a good sign that you have them off their talking points. His answer was that it was the language God chose to supernaturally guide the translation into. I pointed out that the translation of the KJV bible was not supernaturally guided by God, but he disagreed, saying that both the KJV and the Book of Mormon were supernaturally translated.

With that, I asked the Mormon Elder if God preferred King James era English . Yes, he believed that God does. So there you have it. A Mormon Elder says that God prefers King James era English to earlier and later versions. That should put an end to all the debate on Bible versions! (note the tongue in cheek here)

I suppose that would have been a good time to ask why they do not speak in that vernacular in their everyday language, but instead I moved on to a much more important point. I brought up the law and how it was there to show us how sinful we are. I pointed out that Paul said ".....that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful." (Romans 7:13) Without a proper appreciation of how desperately sinful we are, we can never understand how hopeless our case is without Jesus sacrifice.

That pretty much capped off our conversation. Of course they both agreed with my statements about the law and Jesus sacrifice for sin. But it was the agreement of one speaking a slightly different language than I, and not that of one feeling the conviction of their sins. In retrospect I feel that I should have gone to specific commandments rather than a broad appeal to the law. Given the age of the young men, Jesus statements about adultery may have been just the thing.

Oh well, I will likely get another shot at it yet this summer when they appear on our doorstep!

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