Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger, Psalms 8:2.
Dr. Mark Ward in his book Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible: KJV; has given us a list of words that he feels are commonly misunderstood by modern readers, thereby robbing them of a good bible understanding. I have reviewed his list of words and quite frankly, I charge him with silliness. Apparently, the gulf that is building between the adherents of the modern bibles and those who retain the King James Bible is growing. I would hate to think that my people were such slack bible readers that their exposure to certain words were infrequent enough that they could never really grasp what those words mean.
In his list of words which includes, Apt, Careful, Spoil, Equal and Incontinent, to name just a few he is sure that modern readers will miss the careful meanings of the text by applying modern meanings as used in their current cultural surroundings. Of course, it is impossible to write anything that cannot at some point, in some offshoot of the broad variety of English dialects be misconstrued when first read. Dr. Ward feels that the King James Bible has so many that it renders it an poor tool for conveying the mind of God.
At our Machias Bible Study last Friday October 5th (www.onesoulatatime.net), we were in the Book of Isaiah. Other than me, I don't think that we have a single person with a college degree that attends. We came across the word "spoil". Since Dr. Ward tried convincing us that people will read that as rotten instead of robbery, I thought that I would ask my little crowd if anyone knew what that meant.
We have a lady who has been attending with her 15 year old son. Over the years, I have called child protection services to turn this lady in for her neglect of this boy. She suffers from morbid obesity and at 38 years old has suffered enough betrayal and sexual violence to destroy 100 women. Her husband abandoned her with her two sons. I have seen her kicked off of welfare because of her violence and cursing at social workers. She was banned from our church kitchen because she was hateful and stirred up constant strife.
Her son has suffered from an absolutely hellish life. He has been diagnosed with many understandable problems and at some point his desire to learn anything at school utterly tanked. He was a constant recipient of bullying. Two years ago, his mother left a service in which the Spirit of God cornered her about her hatred. As she got into her car, he showed her the true fruit of her hatred which she had carefully groomed over the years. Five miles away from the church she pulled over to the side of the road overcome with her sin against God and how much it had destroyed her. On her knees by the side of her car she wept so hard that passers by would think she was vomiting.
God finally brought her to repentance. No longer was she blaming her (very real) army of abusers. She and God reckoned with her sin and her responsibility. He saved her. She became a new creature in Christ. She works in the kitchen now. A month after her conversion, her son came to me and told me with some wonder that his mother had become a loving woman. At that point he was 13 and had never known love.
About three months ago, he asked me to pray for him because he had decided to read the bible for himself. For three months now, he has faithfully read a little each morning. It was Joshua who raised his hand at the Machias Bible Study and said that he thought that he knew what "spoil" meant. He said that in each of the places he had seen it, it meant to rob from the people during war.
One of the reasons that I have such a problem with Dr. Ward's flawed thinking is that he uses the poor down and outers as an excuse to use his silly Mickey Mouse Bibles. I don't hate those people that much. I believe that God can teach them and that the King James Bible can do for them what it has done for so many throughout the years. It can teach them to think with structured thought. It can lift them spiritually, emotionally and intellectually as no other bible can.