195 thoughts on “Scribal Interpolation”

  1. Second, with a thought as a teacher. Defacing books in this way denies children the capability of developing critical thinking skills…but thinking critically is not valued in Fundyland.

        1. We all know, even if we won’t admit it, that halos and angel wings are Catholic. And of course Catholic is bad, even if my Catholic gr. grandmother was the kindest woman that ever lived. That always accompanied “Catholic is bad.” just in case we got mixed up by her kindness

        2. Ha, Miriam! My grandmother is a Catholic and she is decidedly NOT the nicest woman who ever lived, lol. (She’s cool – in a cigarette-smoking, wine guzzling, second-generation Midwestern immigrant sort of way. It was like having Fran Lebowitz as a grandmother, just replace the Jewishness with liberal Catholicism.)

          I will say that, on balance, Catholics ARE some of the nicest people I have met in my life. Indeed, I think it was Garrison Keillor who wrote an extended (and hilarious) parody of a young Catholic girl receiving a vision of the Virgin Mary, who says that her message to mankind is simply to “Be nice.” And . . . this is a true fact: I have had more Catholics try to share the gospel with me than any other denomination.

        3. D.S. while my Catholic gr. grandmother may have been the kindest woman alive, my Catholic mother in law, more than made up for her. The only good thing I can say for her is that she didn’t strangle my husband at birth. Truly. There is nothing more. I laugh heartily when the Catholic members of my family tell me I am lucky that I don’t have the Catholic guilt………I am sure most here can understand why

        4. Just have to note here that Garrison Keillor is Episcopalian. In fact, the current Bishop of Oregon was in Minnesota before he came here, and he said that he gave communion sometimes to a certain tall man in Chuck Taylor sneakers. He likes Garrison, and is glad that he’s found a faith that suits him. 🙂

        5. Keillor is Episcopalian but that doesn’t stop him from poking gentle fun at them Cath-licks!

  2. I don’t remember my mom going this far, but my family was pretty hard-core KJV-only. My mom DID cross things out in my homeschool textbooks, write notes about how something was a communist idea.

    If I should ever find my math book from back then, I’ll send a picture of what I am talking about.

        1. Hear this the other day and it made me laugh:

          In Russia, a pessimist says things are bad. An optimist says they could be worse!

    1. Math is communist? rtg, I think we need to hear a little more about your mother. Maybe she can give Deacon’s Sons’ mom a run for the money.

      1. I think math becomes communist when you divide it all up equally, or not at all (big brother keeps all the candy and doesn’t share with his siblings).

        Or, when you’re paranoid about anything that sounds “strange.”

        1. Linn, your comment is truer than you know. I have actually had conservatives tell me that the typical elementary school word problems along the lines of “Alice has six candy bars and two friends to share them with” are a communist plot to teach redistributive socialism.

          (Of course, liberals would have their own gripe with this word problem: candy bars are NOT a Michelle Obama approved Smart Snack in Schools.)

        2. I’ve taught everywhere and anywhere over the past 33 years, and I’ve heard so much about the politics of education that I often ignore it and go back to teaching. Obviously, there are agendas, but most teachers I know in public schools, Christian schools or other private schools (my current classroom experience) just want to love and teach kids. I live my faith best I can wherever I teach, and trust that God is using me in the lives of others.

          What I do find shameful are the number of Christian parents (not all Fundy), who deny their children a good education by teaching them via limited resources at home. Then they wonder what went “wrong” with their kid. I have seen a few good homeschooling situations, but not many.

        3. Linn, I was homeschooled and I agree with you 100%. But you won’t find many other people who agree with you, I find, at least in the Oklahoma/Texas area where I live.

        4. Out here in California, you’ll find a lot of believers who are not into homeschooling. My very sound evangelical church has a vocational percentage of 35% who are teachers (based on a congregational survey taken a few years ago). We teach in public, Christian, and private schools. The homeschoolers in my church are usually plugged into a home schooling consortium where the kids are in classes taught by specialists throughout the week, or connected with a local Christian school., along with their “home” classes.But, of course, this is the land of freethinkers!

        5. “… word problems along the lines of “Alice has six candy bars and two friends to share them with” are a communist plot to teach redistributive socialism.”

          Capitalist story problem:
          Ayn has two candy bars, and Rush and Mitt each have three. When Ayn figures out a way to grab one bar from rush and two from Mitt, how many candy bars will Ayn have?

        6. That’s a trick question BG. The answer is none. No one has any candy bars. Rush ate them all. And then he washed them down with a little Oxycontin.

        7. Linn,
          California is also the land of Lancaster Baptist Church/West Coast Baptist College, North Valley Baptist Church/Golden State Baptist College, and many smaller Fundy churches. The Fundies are spreading like a virus out here too.

          I know a lot of homeschooling Christians who are scared of public schools, sadly.

          I love my state, but we seem to be tolerant of the crazies too.

        8. Big Gary, loved your story problem names! But isn’t Ayn a bit “Rand”om?

          Thank you! I’ll be here all week. And remember to tip your waiter.

        9. BG,
          Have you read Ayn Rand? With your demonstrated range of knowledge (no sarcasm intended–you’re truly eclectic), I can’t believe you haven’t read at least Atlas. But your story with her and Mitt and Rush casts her as the polar opposite of her ideals. In reality she viewed the Grabbers (as exemplified in your story) who revindicate their right to take without returning some satisfactory form of payment (as well as their enablers) as possibly the fundamental impediment to societal peace and progress toward betterment for all. I’m sure Rush & Mitt would concur that such behavior is counterproductive.

          Unfortunately, I don’t perceive much compassion from Ayn toward people truly stuck in a situation they can’t reasonably get out of, but she would never be a Grabber, of candy bars or anything else.

        10. Michael, I’ve read as much of Ayn Rand as I could stand, which admittedly was not much.
          She was a laughable political philosopher and a terrible stylist as a novelist.
          Her stuff reads like Nietsche as interpreted by a fairly bright, but not brilliant, 10-year-old.

        11. I guess what you’re objecting to is the word “grab.”
          It’s true that in Rand’s ideal fantasy world, Mitt and Rush would happily give her riches just because they recognize her innate superiority, and in appreciation of her great service to humanity of constantly telling us we’re all weaklings and suckers.
          But that would make a long math problem.

        12. Ayn Rand took social security. Any objection he had for “grabbers/grabbing” was purely a theoretical/fictitious one. No one is “invested” in social security, other than the general social contract of you can take when you need form the trough, and must contribute what is required.

      2. Math is communist in the same way reality has a liberal bent….

        I just had a “discussion” with my in-laws over common core (too close to communist core amirite??) and how it was evil. My argument was that math is math. In Spanish, French, English, the answers are the same. In Asia, 2+2 still equals 4. The curriculum my son has now, which is CC-lite, may be teaching a different method to get to the answer, but the answer is STILL the answer. They got shirty over the whole thing, because Obama, grumble grumble brainwashing, but when we sat down and worked the example problems, I *think* they got it.

        1. It’s quite simple really. The anti-Common Core crowd emphatically does NOT want kids to learn how to find an answer and why the right answer is correct on their own. This is because they want a kid to accept that “2+2=4” on AUTHORITY rather than on REASON. Conservatives never feel more threatened than when they perceive even the slightest hint of giving away the “keys to the kingdom” (a/k/a teaching people to think for themselves). They would not agree with your statement that “math is math.” To them, there is “math that is true because your parent/teacher/authority figure told you it is true” and “math that you figured out for yourself is true.” Common Core is designed to take the “because I said so” element out of mathematics. Thus, it is instantly suspect to the conservative fringe, for whom “because I said so” is their entire raison d’etre.

          (The recent pushback against the new AP US History standards is cut from the same cloth – they want kids to be taught history that is true “because I said it is” rather than history that is actually, factually true.)

        2. I’m a conservative who actually likes Common Core math. However, my issue comes with how it was rolled out here. If the kids were started in kindergarten and began with it on day one then I think it can be a good thing. My older two kids however were switched mid stream. My son went from 5th grade math straight into pre-algebra taught with CC. That was too drastic of a jump. And my once straight A gifted student is now struggling to keep up because the pace is way too fast. Even the teachers are admitting the are being forced to teach at a rushed pace because there is so much for them to teach in a very limited time frame.

        3. Excellent points. The Common Core is a well-reasoned curriculum guide, but it needs be be implemented in a sequential manner to be successful. Teachers also need to be taught how to use it and understand the math involved, particularly at elementary levels.

          Math prep for elementary school teachers has always been abominable. So it takes them longer, and they don’t always get it right.

        4. WifeofBill: I agree the implementation has been poor. Not to mention the significant federalism concerns with a national curriculum standard (which is my own personal reason for being a Common Core skeptic). And the fact that there is little proven connection between rigorous standards and enhanced educational outcomes. (There is, on the other hand, a huge connection between corporate welfare and Common Core!! That’s why mainstream Republicans support/supported it initially – Common Core is very good for business.) But the most common criticism from the conservative fringe (Tea Partiers and the like) is the CONTENT of Common Core and it is for the reasons I described.

        5. It’s not just conservatives who dislike the common core and institutionalized education more broadly. There is a growing movement of educated liberal homeschoolers. I’m homeschooling my children (I have a Ph.D. and formerly taught at a large research university before deciding to stay home with my children), and my friends (both Ivy League grads) told me last night over dinner that they have decided to homeschool their children as well. We are all liberals and no longer religious.

          Just wanted to destabilize the homeschooler=conservative assumption a bit. Thanks.

        6. Fundygrrrl, the liberal element in homeschooling is actually nothing new. My own mother was looking into homeschooling back in 1989 from that specific perspective – some sort of romanticized, hippie notion that she and my dad (both highly educated people) just knew so much better about what was good for their kids than those horrid government schools, especially under that evil Ronald Reagan with all his devilish school reform ideas. (Supposedly, my mother’s initial attraction to homeschooling was based on the fact that she taught me to read before Kindergarten and was chastised by a school official for doing so when she enrolled me – “we’re the professionals and you’re not,” she was told – and my mother has never put up with being talked to like that!!) It was this initial flirtation with homeschooling, innocent but misguided, that led my parents to becoming ensnared in fundamentalist Christianity simply because that mindset so heavily dominates the homeschooling world (especially back in the late 80s and early 90s) that they just got swallowed up in it. You will find that there is a significant minority of well-educated former liberals (usually of the free spirited, “hip” variety – like my parents) in fundamentalist Christianity and in homeschooling, if you know where to look. (Of course, these “converts” are often the most militant, so sometimes you have to peel back a few layers to learn their personal histories.) In my family’s case, I think that my mother was looking for a way to assuage her own frustration (and perhaps guilt) about being an unfulfilled 1980s stay-at-home wife and mother in spite of being highly educated (as soon as my mother quit working to have kids, she developed severe depression that lasted until quite recently). So, I am always slightly skeptical of the “we’re liberals . . . but we homeschool too” line because I see a great deal of overlap between the reasons that lead some liberal parents to choose homeschooling and the reasons that lead many more fundamentalist Christian parents to make the same choice: the unproven idea that parents naturally know better, a crusading sense of responsibility to provide “the best” for the kids, a need for validation and a sense of self-importance and worth, a desire to withdraw from the community in the belief that this will somehow avoid the “taint” of the community’s demons. (I’m making generalizations, not saying all of this is necessarily true of you, of course!) If you can make it through a homeschooling career with your sanity and good sense (and that of your child/children) intact, good for you!! Trust me, I’m rooting for you! But I recommend extreme caution – the crazies will not stop trying to draft you into the “movement” until your last child is well into adulthood!! (If you don’t fall for their extremism, you will be branded a traitor and “not a real homeschooler.”) And there are times when their influence will be more tempting than you may realize – Satan always disguises himself as an angel of light after all!

    2. I hope it wasn’t the fifth grade BJU mathbook, 2nd edition. My picture was at the beginning of one of the chapters. I appeared as labor, not management, so maybe it was okay.
      I’ve never seen the 3rd edition, so I don’t know if I’m still famous or not.

  3. I glued a little square of paper over a statue of Herculues in an encyclopedia article once. Granted, his privates were quite massive and impossible to ignore. Kinda awkward since I loved reading Roman/Greek mythology.

    1. I’ve told this story on here before, but there is a famous tale from the ATI/Bill Gothard world about a conference that was held in Sacramento and outside the convention center was an undraped statute. The first night of the conference, some mother went home and the next morning brought a toga she had made and draped it over the statue. The second night of the conference, another mother, not to be outdone, went home and the next morning brought a full suit she had made and clothed the statute therewith.

      (Having been classically educated, I find the level of venom that Bill Gothard reserved for the ancient Greeks and Romans to be simply remarkable. Especially because most of his teachings are repackaged Platonic Gnosticism. Statue-draping momma #1 should have known that a toga was an unacceptable and immodest garment!!!)

        1. or hire several interns at low wage rates who happen to have certain common physical characteristics to never leave the statue’s side and provide for it’s every whim

        2. Oh wow you made me laugh. I can so see some of those fundy women doing that surgery with glee

        1. Sigh. Their horror over the possibility of something resembling something having to do with sex makes me wonder how the human race has survived.

          So, put it to the pastors and the mamma and the papas and the spinsters who can’t admit their humanity this way. You pray to God. If He doesn’t want the statue, then let him removed it, without destruction of other property and without any human agency. He’s God, right? He caused the idol of Dagon to fall before the Ark of the Covenant? So let Him show His decision and mighty Hand here. But if God does not remove it, then quit making such a fuss over your imagination.

          Done properly, with witnessed in an open forum, published in the local paper with people there to goad the pastors into accepting, “you don’t agree? You think God can’t do this?”, and you may be able to shut a few of their mouths.

        2. Ah, yes, Wasilla– the town the rest of southern Alaska depends on to make the other places look less rednecky in comparison.

  4. My Mother searches high and low for greeting cards for her Pastor/family for all occasions b/c they have to be KJV verses or she won’t buy the card.

    1. There is a small cottage industry in the IFB these days for people who make KJV-only cards, artwork, and other such items. For several years, ATI touted (and sold) calligraphy Bible verses that were, of course, KJV-only!

    2. And there are some enterprising manogawds who saw the sales potential of selling KJV Christmas cards (and other KJVO stuff) in their bookstores.

      Create a demand. Fill a demand.

      Cha-ching!

        1. It would be funny for someone to write an IFB sermon as a series of hashtags, which is essentially all an IFB sermon really is, if you think about it.

        2. #blessedbyspecial, #goodtoseeyouwhereyoubelong, #tithingisjustthestart, #nodenomination, #kingjames1611, #noliberals, #endisnear, #raptureready, #notnearlyenough, #frontrowspit, #haymen, #justtheintro, #5pointsbetterthan4, #jesusdidntwearwatch, #storytime, #notlukewarm, #halfpastnoon, #whathaveyoudone, #oldfashioned, #comeforward, #eyesclosed, #headsbowed, #seeyouat6.

  5. I love the fact that “KING JAMES VERSION” was written in all caps. The parents had done their work of indoctrination.

    But it didn’t last, did it? The child is now an adult SFL contributor.

  6. Whew, glad those parents fixed that. Memorizing that per-version could destine that child to a life of worldliness. Alcohol, movies, rock music, maybe even allowing pants in women. It’s ok though, the parents are going to protect their kids so that none of those evil things could possibly happen.

  7. and why cross out the reference to Colossians 3:20? Is that any different in KJV? And not cross out the NIV? Weird!

    1. Maybe in the rage of the moment and hyperventilating at the thought of the wickedness before them, they marked out the wrong thing? I don’t know—-good question…

  8. Obey your parents and you’ll get a lizard dog and a warty brown eggplant?

    I don’t remember that being in Colossians.

    1. Only in a world in which obedience to your parents involves tossing a tomato at said lizard dog while on the pathway to your Large Lemon House next to some Very Tall Bedspring Flowers.

  9. Actually, that verse says, “O give thanks UNto the Lord…”

    Tsk, tsk, tsk. Rev. 22:19– “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life…” 0.0 Why didn’t that parent correct that kid’s “modern perversion”?!!

      1. “Teyl may theys was Susie and not Jawnee!! Of awl the dirty, RAWTTEN things ma kiyids could git into! Jawnee, iffen theys was you, so hepp me, imma WHIYP THE DAYVL OUTTA YOU!!!”

  10. Fortunately, my parents weren’t that strict – we had KJV, RSV, Phillips NT… However, it was quite “interesting” when I showed up one Sunday morning at our IFB packing an NAS… thought a couple of kids in my College/Career Class were going to have a meltdown…

    1. The meltdown…I had forgotten about that. Bring my Scofield NIV into random bible studies, college classes while visiting, other churches…I saw kids almost have that meltdown too.

  11. I just can’t get why it is deemed so important that “walketh” is used in cards instead of “walks” (or similar things like “doeth” instead of “does”).

    1. Same reason for using thees and thous and adding “eth” to the ends of words in a public prayer in Fundystan. It shows holiness.

    2. @Ben – great observation. A little-known fact about the KJV is that the translators deliberately employed “exalted” and slightly archaic “churchy” English as opposed to the vernacular dialect of the day. The translation was designed for reading aloud in church services (the Church of England being a church that, unlike the IFB, actually reads the Bible during the service). As part of the translation process, the drafts were read aloud for the purpose of evaluating whether they had the appropriate “sound.” The belief was that since the Bible is an exalted book, it was entitled to an exalted translation. (Never mind the fact that the Bible itself is frequently not written in anything approaching exalted language – everyone please spare me the middle school jokes about Paul’s castration passages.) This nugget about the KJV is occasionally trumpeted by the KJV-only crowd as yet another proof that the translation is superior: none of them modern per-versions make an effort to exalt the words of God, hay-men??

      1. When I was about 10 a visitor preached on the verse about not seething a kid in it’s mother’s milk. It was a warning against “drowning” a child in Christianity until they hated it. Not surprisingly that man didn’t last long. His doctrine became suspect. Pfft. Can’t have children listening to that, they might get too big for their britches.

        1. Well that is a pretty crazy interpolation/mangling of that verse…but doing that only gets you in trouble when you u it to slaughter a sacred cow, not when you use it to feed one.

        2. Mangled, twisted, torturous thinking is a fundy hallmark. Something I find interesting is that I remembered that so well, all those years ago, I felt like I was being drench fed Christianity.

      2. When my mother would read aloud from Paul’s epistles, she would often skip the verses about how parents should treat their children. She told us that those verses were written to parents and not to children and so we did not need to hear them because they were not appropriate for us. (Note that she never had a problem reading us verses about the marriage bed, pagan orgies, drunkenness, the Levite who raped and chopped up his concubine and such like.) She told us that those verses might lead us to have disrespectful attitudes because we might judge our parents and only God could do that.

        (In the world of Bill Gothard’s ATI, the father is the oil in the lamp and the mother is the wick burning the oil and shining the light of the father’s oil to the family. And neither parent is accountable to ANYONE but God himself. As I type this, it occurs to me that a Freudian psychologist would have a field day with the lamp, oil, wick metaphor, but I digress.)

      3. I remember indignantly reminding my Dad about the “provoke not” verse when I was a kid. It didn’t get me anywhere.

        1. I can still remember the feeling of the ”answer” I got when I drew that verse to my father’s attention.

        2. That was one thing about raising kids in fundy-ism that I baulked at. I just couldn’t bring myself to beat my kids. It wasn’t the pain of the spanking that I hated so much, it was the humiliation. I think that was the point of it any way.

  12. Dear Fundy Parents:

    Actually, it is that his chesed endures forever. I tried using the Hebrew fonts, but they didn’t display well in the window, so I opted for the transliteration.

    Christian Socialist

  13. Deep down there is a part of me that wants to go to a back to a kjv only church for a while to troll. Maybe pretend to be a new prospect, or something. drive in listening to the local K-Love station blaring, wearing jeans, hair touching my ears. I’ll bring my NASB – or worse yet, my NIV – to Sunday school and volunteer to read the verses.
    But alas, I’m not a that much of a jerk irl, just in my thoughts. It shall remain only a fantasy.

    1. You made me laugh….but I get told enough that I am a heretic or I am not really a christian or I am going to hell for my beliefs or my political views. I don’t need to go out of my way to hear all of those things.

    2. Part of me really wants to hit a fundy compound while wearing a miniskirt and stripper heels and overdone makeup, just to see what they say. Another part of me says I can’t afford the post-event therapy.

      1. I am not a good enough actor to even walk through the door of a fundy event. My disgust would mark me out way too obviously.

        1. There is a business here in Belfast that does customised tee-shirts. I want one with a picture of the Earth, taken from space, and the words “Wish You Were Here”

        2. A friend of mine, who was raised at this Fundy church, went back for a one-time visit wearing jeans (Sunday AM church service; to see friends). A WCBC student handed her a tract.

      2. I want to go into s Fundy church carrying my NIV bible, wearing ragged jeans and a singlet so my tattoos are visible. First I’d let my beard grow bushy a d my hair until it can be tied in a pony-tail.

      3. I once went to an evening service at a Brethren church with my nose pierced. I wasn’t trolling; I was visiting the town and heard a missionary would be speaking and wanted to hear it.

        1. You can bet a bunch of those Brethren were wearing out their knee bones praying that you would be given light about the satanic piercings in your body. When my oldest got her ears pierced and showed up at a family dinner, the reaction she got would have been more appropriate had she sacrificed the dog on the table with incantations. The Brethren don’t like piercings. Lol

      4. I went back to BJU and wore a skirt two inches above my knee. I felt so liberated. Nobody said anything or really even flinched, but I enjoyed every second. 🙂

      5. I once visited a mainstream church. When I walked in, the sanctuary was almost exactly like the church I grew up in. I had a hard time concentrating during the sermon. I kept having the feeling, “I need to leave.” It was too hard even being in a building that resembled my memories.

  14. In so many ways, this stands completely opposed to the Incarnation. In the Incarnation, God comes near, breaks down barriers, gets messy, becomes vulnerable, allows us to touch the Divine.
    But this dogmatic need to be KJV-only–pushes God away, puts him in a language we no longer speak, makes him untouchable and even unapproachable.
    Very sad.

  15. the cognitive dissonance is obvious to all but those who worship the KJB.

    They will say the word trinity is not in the KJB but the concept is. They will also tell you that the concept of the rapture is in the KJB. Then they turn around and split hairs on the difference between God’s “mercy” and God’s “loving kindness”… or nit-pick the difference between “everlasting” and “endures forever.” And we all know that “well pleasing unto the Lord ” is sooooo superior to a mere, “pleases the Lord”

    The more uneducated and ignorant the greater the arrogance and militancy in defense of their idol.

    *sigh*

      1. Around here, you’ll often see “KJB” used to refer to the deity of the IFB and to distinguish it from the KJV, which is just another Bible version of some merit that some people like to use.

        (And, we like it because it sounds like KGB.)

        1. Fundy gymnastics.

          Just-for-fun fact: the ancient Greeks did their gymnastics naked.

          What you do with that fact is entirely up to you.

    1. Especially when the differences between those terms are pure invention. There is no difference between “everlasting” and “endures forever” unless you start out with a psychotic attachment to one or the other.

  16. My family never had to scratch out non-KJV verses because we wouldn’t have allowed the world’s books of witchcraft (rebellion is the sin of witchcraft) into our home in the first place.

    When I was in my late teens, my father purchased a book for me called “Shakespeare’s Bible” (as I recall). I think that he thought that it would show that Shakespeare used the good old King James, thereby solidifying its superiority in my mind. In fact, the book instead put forward the theory that Shakespeare used the Geneva Bible (because some Shakespearean Bible references and vocabulary echo the Geneva more strongly than the KJV) and therefore it is possible (according to some mental gymnastics by the author) that Shakespeare was a dissenter from the Church of England. This led me to my first awareness that many early American colonists (which had been thoroughly hagiographied via David Barton & co.) used the Geneva Bible and NOT the King James.

    1. It’s pretty obvious that Shakespeare did not read the King James Version, or at least, not for most of his career, because of simple arithmetic. The KJV was first published, as Fundies love to tell us, in 1611, after almost all of Shakespeare’s works were already written.

      Uh-oh, there’s that subversive math again.

      All but one (possibly two) of Shakespeare’s plays, and probably all of his sonnets, were written between about 1589-90 and 1611. William Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616. See chronology here:
      http://www.bardweb.net/plays/timeline.html

      1. Good point. I think the point of the book I read was that he may have favored the “heterodox” Geneva Bible over the Great-Bishops’-KJV tradition of established English church bibles. To me, that is a question that gets sorted into the “Who Cares?” file.

  17. Fundies always make such a big deal about using the proper Bible and never emphasize whether or not you actually read it or obey its truths.

    1. If you compare the kjb/KJV and Willi Tyndale’s translation, which predates the KJV) a large percentage of both is virtually identical. Thinkest thou that plagerism doth become a possibility?

      1. Not plagiarism exactly. Rather, the KJV people had a royal mandate to use certain other translations as a baseline. That’s why the formal title of the KJV includes the line: “with the former Translations diligently compared and revised.” Contrary to the KJV-only crowd’s claims, the KJV is itself but one particularly influential exemplar of a great line of translations reaching back over a century before the KJV and continuing to the present time. (Some scholars even believe that the KJV translators themselves expected that their work would be regularly revised – sort of the same as what the Founding Fathers thought about the Constitution, if I may say so.) Indeed, the concept of the KJV’s ossified immunity to revision is a much more “recent” innovation (in the sense that it arose a couple of centuries later, although still long ago, especially when viewed through the lens of American history).

  18. How long before this obsession disappears, I wonder? It has to have an expiration date, right? The reasons for it’s persistence I think include ignorance, gullibility, and a need to stoke the martyr complex on one end, and sheer ubiquity on the other end.
    It’s what so many people are familiar with because for so long, there really wasn’t a solid, price competitive, easily procured alternative. For my kids, they may memorize verses from the AV since the curriculum comes from A Beka, but when they reach a level to be able to understand, they will learn verses from ESV at church or NAS from me. And then in my line, the obsession is eliminated. Mathematically alone, I would think the end must be relatively near. The only confounding variable to my plot would be the relative fecundity of the fundy woman.

    1. Joshua, your questions could be asked of any cult. And as long as we have nearly ten million people in the United States willing to believe something as ridiculous as Mormonism, I don’t think we should start writing the obituary of any major cults, including the IFB. Although, as you say, hyper-fecundity is a major element – but these are people who are having lots of babies for the express purpose of perpetuating their beliefs! (The Catholics and Muslims only wish they were as successful – although both of these sects have their own conservative breeders too.)

      1. Indeed, a major “conservative” election strategy consists of encouraging very large families in fundamentalist type churches. Out-reproduce those liberal heathens.

        This is a one-strategy fits all theologies sort of idea.

        1. That’s why people like myself, fruit of the homeschool movement who still somehow turned out liberal, are such a tremendous disappointment to our families.

  19. I am still amazed that this fringe group took over a whole movement in a relatively short amount of time. I hate to break it to them but KJV only is not ye olde pathes. It’s a relatively new path. I can remember when it wasn’t even a path. I suppose someone received a new revelation from God….something I thought ended with the apostles.

  20. I think I just figured something out. If you rely on proof-texts instead of proper exigesis of context, and someone presents you with a Bible that doesn’t support your proof-texts you are left unaware that the specific doctrine exists outside of the one reading of that one verse. How are you going to go soul-winning without proof-texts? How are you going to get to Heaven without fruit? As if convincing people to recite magic words is the only fruit that shows you are of the vine.

  21. Growing up in the Church of Christ (the Baptists were too liberal) I was really unaware there even WERE any other Bibles than the KJV. It’s all we ever used, in church, Sunday school or home. When I finally discovered other versions, at about the time I left the C of C, I remember thinking “this is so much easier to understand.”

    1. I grew up in the Church of Christ, baptismal regeneration, works righteousness, lack of grace, constant terror of dying and hell and all.

      Family moved to the Plymouth Brethren, which I maintained until I was about 34, then went to the IFB. Now Episcopalian.

      1. Ha! I can top that and I am quite a bit younger than rtgmath!

        My father was raised Roman Catholic. Many of his family members are still Catholic, so I ended up going to a few masses as a kid (mostly family events, e.g., funerals and weddings). My mother was raised Methodist. All of her family is still Methodist today. So I went to my fair share of Methodist services growing up as well. When they got married, the Catholic priest didn’t want my father to marry a Protestant girl, so my parents got mad and had a Methodist wedding. But then, my mother had some issues with the Methodists (because, long story short, she was a promiscuous teenager and had slept with a bunch of guys during her Methodist youth group days and, as a married woman, no longer wished to be reminded of this), so she and my father decided to become Lutherans. By some coincidence, they ended up attending an extremely liberal (early “welcoming”) Lutheran church. I was born and baptized into that church.

        From there, the transition was Lutheran (slightly more conservative congregation); then Presbyterian (when they started homeschooling, because it was a homeschool-friendly church and, of course, they couldn’t be Lutherans anymore because infant baptism and my father asked the pastor to stop doing infant baptisms and the response was basically “there’s the door”); then Bible church (another home-school friendly church, but when the pastor refused to convert to ATI, my parents became very skeptical and would have left but we were moving soon anyway); then Southern Baptist (another home-school friendly-church, but too seeker-sensitive and evangelical for my parents’ judgmental tastes); then IFB (where all of my and my wife’s immediate family still attend).

        From there, I attended a variety of Protestant churches when I lived in Moscow (and had a brief flirtation with Russian Orthodoxy, which I still sometimes regret not pursuing); then IFB again; then evangelical megachurch (when I was at Patrick Henry College); then Assemblies of God (because I had a friend who was depressed/suicidal and he didn’t want to go to his church alone); then Episcopalian (National Cathedral one summer); then IFB/Catholic (don’t ask); then IFB-only; then nothing for awhile; then Orthodox Presbyterian (that was weird); then, finally, Methodist, which I still am today at the ripe age of 30!

        1. Kinda where I’m at, and unless I go Episcopalian some day, I think I may be content (and blessed) to be a #none and #done.

        2. In my point of view, “none and done” is a viable option, completely warranted by the things fundamentalism promotes, what they believe, how they behave.

          In no way can I accept any more that they represent Christ on the earth, as the Church is supposed to. Instead there is this backdrop of clamour, competition, and corruption to the entire IFB movement in particular and to “conservative” religion in general.

          If you are in a place where the only real “spiritual” food you get is for your pride while the needs of those outside the church are largely ignored, then “none and done” is probably where you need to be. Abandoning a faith that is self-centered cannot make you a worse person.

          Fortunately, I have not found the Episcopal Church that way. Faith is not the result of an individual relationship with God, but is found in community. We express that community as we worship with the Book of Common Prayer. We address attitudes on social and political issues, knowing that each person’s particular viewpoint will differ, but trying to focus on the needs and how to meet them, and the way Jesus approached so many of these things.

          There are some Episcopalians that do hold fundamentalist attitudes. Those I intend to stay away from!

          But in whatever you decide to do or where you decide to go (or not go) the important thing is to find someone to move forward with.

          Fundamentalism’s poison works while you are inside it, but also outside it as well. It dries up the spirit. It saps your energy to fight and to reason. It is like a bully that is never defeated. Unless you are in community, you don’t have enough strength or resources to continue resisting.

          And for our own sanity and sense of self, we need to continue resisting.

        3. My dad was born and raised in Manitoba, in a very old Mennonite family. When he was a teen, they moved to California, where he met my mom, who was Conservative Baptist. He decided that the Mennonites were too legalistic, and started going to Mom’s church. When I was 3, we moved to Washington state, and were at a Conservative Baptist until Dad got irritated at something (it was mutual, as I understand) and we went off to a tiny church that was just starting up. Wasn’t long until Dad got tired of that, and we started going to a little independent Bible church. I loved that place- it was what ‘church’ meant to me for a very long time. When the pastor stepped down to go to the mission field, Dad found some fault or another in the new guy. He conveniently had some sort of epiphany, and dragged us off to the Assemblies of God. It was there that my parents decided that they knew what God wanted for me, and picked out my husband. I was 14. I married him at 18. We stayed in the A/G even after moving to Oregon, for awhile at least, until an acrimonious split sent us over to the Nazarenes. By that time I was already contemplating getting out of the marriage, and when I left, I left the husband, the church, and God. Done. I was done with it all.

          And in 2010 I can back, to the Episcopal Church. And this is where I belong. I again have that feeling of ‘church’ and family that I felt as a kid in the Bible church, and I am growing, and my experience there is shaping my relationship with God into something new and vibrant. Can’t beat that with a stick!

        4. But in whatever you decide to do or where you decide to go (or not go) the important thing is to find someone to move forward with.

          This is where it’s tough. I’ve found a scant few my whole life who understand the various manipulations and cults and systems I’ve gone through, or who have experienced the unique pain and loneliness of disfellowship or needing to walk away and “accept hell” in order to actually save your faith.

          I’ve found a few. They’ve been encouraging where they can, but most have been out long enough that me dragging them back down by talking to them about it all can be painful to them. The best reminder I’ve gotten lately has been that God does promise a true “help meet”, there’s always a friend or fellowship or someone who will understand and help. Who that will be long term, or what that will look like, I have no idea.

          I want to maintain friendship with most of my church friends, but it’s tough knowing I never ever want to attend their church regularly and get a twitch at every recommendation or suggestion they make to me. I know they mean well, but I also know that way lies madness and death.

          We’ll see what happens. At the moment, I’m not too worried. The more I “take back my life” from God, so to speak, the happier, healthier, and better I am and my life is.

          Amen.

        5. It takes time, sometimes a lot of time, to reclaim the still small voice inside of you that has been replaced by all the things you have been indoctrinated with. StuartB, take that time, find that voice and listen to it. It is worth it.

        6. I am surprised that the Catholic priest wouldn’t perform your parents’ interfaith marriage. As long as you get a dispensation from the bishop (easy as pie), it’s A-OK. Happens all the time. But maybe this was a crotchety old priest with an overly strict (and officially verboten BTW) interpretation of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus.

          Certainly wouldn’t be an issue nowadays.

        7. When I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, a marriage between a Methodist and a Lutheran was considered an “interfaith marriage”. 🙂

  22. One of my “things” about KJV-only is that it is difficult to understand for people who are not raised with it (difficult for everyone, actually). But only offering the one, most-difficult version of God’s Word is very off-putting for people who are new to church or who are trying to read it on their own. So it seems that KJV-only people really just want to keep their churches for themselves and their children……despite all the door-knocking and bus routes.

    1. That and it serves as a really good threshold task to make sure the outsiders who come in are the ones willing to go through anything to stay a part of the group they’re joining.

      AKA the ones who aren’t going to leave when the abusive practices become apparent. They’ve already shown they’ll put up with learning a whole new dialect of their language AND accept as gospel whatever the MOG or Webster’s 1828 claims those fancy words mean, in that order of reliability, just to be permitted to remain in the pew. That even if they were already close enough to the behavioral ideal to not need to make major style, wardrobe, and lifestyle changes to conform.

    2. I figured that the reason for KJV-onliness, apart from the belief that it was whispered into the ears of the translators by God Hisownself, was because its language, while beautiful, was archaic enough that most people had to rely on the MOG to explain what it meant. That gives the MOG enormous power over the congregation–almost as much as medieval Catholic priests who recited the Mass in Latin to people who couldn’t understand Latin and couldn’t read. Must be quite an ego trip.

      1. That Other Jean: And how often did you hear how marvelous the Bible translation into English was for the world and how marvelous the Gutenberg Press was for the world b/c then the people would have the Bible for themselves without need of an interpreter? Only now for the words to be just as confusing as Latin would have been.

      2. And most MOGs are either too ignorant or too dishonest to explain the real meaning of verses like “abstain from all appearance of evil.”

        the Admiral

    3. I think KJV only has a lot to do with control. Fundamentalism is all about control. The people in the pews are suppose to show control over their carnal selves. The MOG must have complete control over his congregation. If you are going to control, you must control all things–including the Bible translation. God forbid they read a newer translation which connects our culture and the cultural meaning of Scripture in a way people can understand….the MoG would lose control over his people. They may actually start thinking for themselves.

      1. The control issue is very similar to the Catholic church in middle ages. Use a bible that is hard to read and understand, that only the clergy can truly understand and explain to the people. Resist any attempts to make it easier for people to understand, because then contol will diminish.

        Same old song, different verse. Nothing new under the sun.

        1. I am always impressed in how the Fundamentalists preach against Catholicism and yet in so many ways are guilty of the very thing they are accusing the Catholics of doing.
          The pope is not as powerful or controlling as many of the MoG in the pulpits of fundy churches.
          The KJV has become the fourth member of the trinity like the accuse the Catholics of Mary being…(which I believe they misrepresent Catholics in many ways–but they are guilty of what they accuse others of…)

        2. I think you’re being a tad unfair, perhaps. As Baptist convert to Catholicism Steve Ray has pointed out, the main thing that prevented most medieval laypeople from reading the Bible was the fact that they couldn’t read. 😀

          (Details, details, right? ;))

          Because of widespread illiteracy, parish churches used pictorial stained glass to teach the Bible stories and the truths of faith to the “common people.” I’m not sure one picture is really worth a thousand words, but, if the viewer can’t read, a picture may be the only option!

          What’s more, before the very Catholic Gutenberg came along and printed his very Catholic Bible, there was no way to mass-produce Bibles. Each Bible was painstakingly copied by hand, usually by monks, who also “illuminated” the pages with exquisite miniature paintings illustrating the Bible stories. IIRC the pages were vellum, not modern paper. Vellum was very expensive.

          Each Bible took years to produce. And, as a result, each Bible cost a fortune — literally. If the local parish church could afford one, it might keep it chained at the front of the church — not to keep it away from the people but to prevent theft!

          Regarding the use of Latin: In late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, Latin and Greek were popular languages, not special languages reserved to the elite. Vernacular languages developed only gradually — and several of them, including English, developed partly out of Latin, which is why we have a lot of Latin roots in English.

          Sure, Latin continued to be the language of the Church — as well as the language of science and scholarship, BTW — but this was because it was the lingua franca, the only language that Western Europeans had in common, as their various vernaculars were developing.

          NO ONE was trying to keep Biblical truths away from the “common people” — either by insisting on a “dead” language (it was far from dead!!) OR by willfully and perversely limiting the production of those exquisite, expensive handmade Bibles.

          It’s also not true that Protestants produced the first vernacular Bibles. There were Catholic vernacular Bibles well before the Reformation. I am fuzzy on the details but will google ’em, if anyone is interested.

          Thanks! 😀

  23. Far more extreme than these “writing in the margins” were the Fundies from a group called “Victory Chapel” in Colorado Springs, CO back in the 1980’s who, after their demands that all translations of the Bible other than the KJV be removed from the city library were rejected, came in and poured acid on them, the Book of Mormon and the Koran.

  24. Off Topic:

    rtgmath, just wanted to thank you for all your comments here on SFL. I read all of them and you capture many things I’ve been thinking and do so in a perfect way. It’s funny watching people come at you when you speak nothing but reason, logic, and truth…from a position of faith. Please keep commenting. Thanks.

    In general…

    Been keeping mostly quiet on SFL and other forums lately, going through a lot of personal growth and development (or death and rediscovery, however you want to spin it). In the past few weeks I discussed that book I Fired God, which doesn’t seem to have gotten much traction around SFL due to the author’s extrabilical (?) activities and the general poor writing and scholarship of the book.

    But from someone who grew up in Green Bay, attended Northland off and on, know personally most of the names mentioned in the books and have met the others…that book is scarily accurate. It’s been causing a lot of thinking and internal confrontation. It’s scary to find a book that describes your childhood, even if the majority of incidents happened slightly before I was born.

    So…another public thank you, to Darrel and Stuff Fundies Like as a whole, for being a safe place willing to confront the dark excesses of the cults known collectively as IFB. I want to get to a place of health, or at least a place of IDGAF, and back away from SFL and other places once I’m able to, but til then, I’m grateful that this place exists and is the truth against all the lies.

    1. I’m definitely no longer fundy but I stick around here for the fun and games. And booze recommendations.

  25. Just wanted to respond to Deacon’s Son’s comment:

    “So, I am always slightly skeptical of the “we’re liberals . . . but we homeschool too” line because I see a great deal of overlap between the reasons that lead some liberal parents to choose homeschooling and the reasons that lead many more fundamentalist Christian parents to make the same choice: the unproven idea that parents naturally know better, a crusading sense of responsibility to provide “the best” for the kids, a need for validation and a sense of self-importance and worth, a desire to withdraw from the community in the belief that this will somehow avoid the “taint” of the community’s demons. (I’m making generalizations, not saying all of this is necessarily true of you, of course!)”

    Deacon’s Son,

    I see what you mean. I have absolutely have run in to some extreme fundamentalist homeschoolers, and they do seem to dominate the homeschooling discourse. Most homeschoolers that I have met have not been fundamentalists though. I live in an area with a superabundance of progressives; I imagine that is why my encounters with fundamentalist homeschoolers has been limited.

    Some liberals and fundamentalists may share a distrust of state institutions, but I don’t see why this commonality is problematic. Widely disparate thought systems can beget strange bedfellows. Perhaps I’m misreading you, but it sounds like you are suggesting people who distrust the state are usually whackos. I’m sure you’re aware of the many highly rational philosphers who criticize the modern state. Many liberal homeschoolers are informed by Rousseau who advocated a more naturalistic approach to education despite being one of the foundational liberal political thinkers. There are sound philosophical reasons to homeschool. Some homeschoolers have more practical concerns, as school children can be very unkind to children who are different.

    It also seems that educators can be just as dogmatic and irrational about their “message” as fundamentalists. I’m wary of anyone who claims their way is the only way and deviation risks dire consequences. Hearing educators pontificate as though traditional schooling is the singular way a child will ever obtain success reminds me ever so much of fundamentalist preachers’ dogmatism. I just believe there are many ways to facilitate a child’s education.

    On a side note since is was brought up earlier in the conversation, public schools are far more in the service of capitalism than communism. Early discussions about public schooling explicitly reference the need to create docile laborers for factories–we do need to interrogate whether our present school system is in line with a modern economy. We continue to extend school hours and push for earlier preschool under the guise of better education, but ask any administrator and she’ll give you the real reason: both parents need to work. That is a very real concern in the present economy but a far cry from the lofty goals touted.

    Public schools meet the needs of some children/parents but not all, and parents homeschool for a wide array of reasons. I suppose that is all I really want to communicate.

    1. I appreciate your thoughts. Having been homeschooled my entire childhood and now working as an attorney for a public education organization, I have seen the best and worst of both worlds, that’s for sure. The one thing I know is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach – for individual kids and for society at large. I do however, tend to advocate (sometimes more aggressively than I should) for parents making sure they are homeschooling for the right reasons. Because to me, the priority is what is best for the kids and not necessarily what is most attractive to the parents.

      I’m curious if there are liberal-leaning homeschool blogs or online forums that you follow? I’m quite interested to follow up on some of the ideas/philosophies you raise. Meanwhile, if you haven’t heard of it already, I’d suggest checking out the Homeschoolers Anonymous website for some important perspectives from another point of view.

      1. Deacon’s Son, you hit the nail on the head there. Schooling of whatever type should be about the child not the parent. I was under extreme pressure to homeschool with my first child and I really wanted to keep her home, have the pleasure of her company and enjoy doing things with her all day but I knew it wouldn’t be good for her. She needed experiences I couldn’t give her, to be a small fish in a big pond for one. Knowing that your mother cares deeply about all your thoughts and wants to hear them is good for a child. Knowing that not everyone cares to hear every single thing you think and is not going to find you as fascinating as your mother is also good. There are reasons to homeschool but not too many that are best for the child, in my opinion.

  26. Anyone who has taken piano lessons, or had a kid take piano lessons, knows that in every beginner book at about six week mark there is a slightly “creepy” piece, to introduce minor key, in the middle of October. Usually accompanied with a cheesy little picture of a ghost, a black cat or a jack o lantern. Pastor’s family were proudly showing off their new piano skills and HORRORS saw the Halloween selection. I said, well, if you don’t want to play that piece, just tell your teacher and she can find another song to teach the same material. Mom said that maybe they should glue a piece of paper over the page. We don’t go to that church any more 🙂

    1. Oh my gosh, so true!! My siblings’ piano book had the line “magicians are good at witchcraft” and my mother blacked it out and wrote in “carpenters are good at woodcraft.” (This was during the height of the Harry Potter scare, so I guess it made some sense, from her perspective.)

        1. Sorry, that should be 1 john 4 v 4 John’s First Letter)
          I wonder how many fundies actually believe this verse

  27. I love these pictures of this person’s childhood Bible! I had a Precious Moments children’s Bible growing up. It had little devotionals every few pages. I was very proud of my first Bible. My mom went through and re-wrote parts of the devotionals to fit her & my dad’s theology. I was about 7.

    This was one of my first lessons in not trusting the outside world…

    1. I’m not sure what you mean. Do you mean here at SFL? What particularly upsets you? Being made to cross out the verses and rewrite them? KJV-onlyism? Our response to KJV-onlyism?

      Clarity is desirable and appreciated.

      1. It makes me want to vomit that KJV onlyites are so narrow that they would ruin a nice little children’s book so that they can brainwash their children.

        1. THanks for the clarification. I completely agree with you.

          This sort of thing is a kind of mental violence against children. My mother was this way. She marked up school books, children’s books, whatever if she thought they had “error” in them that must be eradicated.

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