The Bible’s Impact 2

The following is the second part from an article by Mark A. Noll’s editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, Friday July 7, 2006. I give you only a portion:

“Because the KJV was so widely read for religious purposes, it had also become a source of public ideals. Because it was so central in the churches, and because the churches were so central to the culture, the KJV functioned also as a common reservoir for the language. Hundreds of phrases (clear as crystal, powers that be, root of the matter, a perfect Babel, two-edged sword) and thousands of words (arguments, city, conflict, humanity, legacy network, voiceless, zeal) were in the common speech because they had first been in this translation. Or to be more precise, because they had been in the KJV or in the earlier translations, like those of John Wycliffe’s followers (1390s) and William Tyndale (1520s), that King James’ translators mined for their own version.

But during the past half-century, we have come into a new situation. For believers who read the Bible because they think it is true, a welter of modern translations compete for the space once dominated by the KJV. For the public at large, the linguistic and narrative place that for more than two centuries had been occupied by the KJV is now substantially filled by the omnipresent electronic media. The domains that have been most successfully popularized by television, the movies and the internet are sport, crime, pornography, politics, warfare, medicine and the media itself. Within these domains there is minimal place for biblical themes of any sort, much less the ancient language of the KJV.

For some purposes, it is well that the KJV has lost its hold. Roman Catholics and Jews were once victims of coercive discrimination when they were forced to recite the Protestant translation of the Bible in the nation’s public schools. And at many moment, like the Civil War, free use of this one version made it all too easy to transgress the boundary between the proper business of the churches and the proper business of the public sphere.”

I personally know of no time when Catholics and Jews were “forced to recite” a protestant translation of Scriptures in public schools. They at any point should have had the freedom to leave the classroom or the room where the recitation was taking place.

The Bible in the KJV has been a prominent part in making this nation a nation with morals, the further we get from the Bible the further we will get from God Himself.