Playing rope-a-dope with the KJV-onlyists

February 26, 2007

Being somewhat fed up with the usual baseless accusations of “corruption” and “Bible correcting” from the KJV-only peanut gallery, I decided yesterday to ask a straightforward question on a forum I frequent: Where does the New International Version of the Bible teach falsehood?

24 hours later, the results are, shall we say, underwhelming.

I did get a lot of the usual chestnuts, though:

  • The NIV calls Joseph Jesus’ “father.” Well, he was Jesus’ stepfather, wasn’t he? Besides, so does the KJV several times, so by definition, it must be true.
  • The NIV omits the phrase “by his blood” in Colossians 1:14. I didn’t ask what the NIV doesn’t say, I asked what it does say that is false. Besides, those words are found elsewhere in the New Testament, so again, what the NIV says is true.
  • The NIV was translated by a lesbian. I didn’t ask who translated it, I asked what it said that wasn’t true.
  • The NIV is a dynamic translation. OK, but is the translation actually false?
  • The NIV denies the existence of hell in Psalm 9:17. No it doesn’t, but on the other hand it makes the true statement that the wicked end up in the grave.

So far only two accusations of any real seriousness have been put forward. The first is that John 1:18 is anti-Trinitarian, but the accuser himself shows a substandard understanding of the Trinity when he denies that God the Father and God the Son can both be the one and only God (at one point he tries to compare the Godhead with a committee of Baptists).

The second is James’ command to “confess your sins to one another” (Jas. 5:16 NIV), which supposedly leads to the Catholic confessional system, as opposed to the KJV’s “faults.” His theological argument is wanting, the distinction between “faults” and “sins” is pretty much non-existent, and in any case saying the Bible might be misunderstood is not the same as saying the Bible teaches something false.

The reason I decided to post this challenge is that I am getting sick and tired of being told that non-KJV-onlyists spread skepticism about the Bible because they cannot have absolute confidence in an inerrant translation. Since a large part of my teaching in church, when I do it, is to assure students that they can have confidence in the Bibles they carry (the vast majority of which are NIVs), naturally I want to be able to tell them where they can’t trust their Bibles.

So far, no accusation against the NIV has withstood serious analysis. In fact, in asking for instances of falsehood, the KJV-onlyists have had to concede more truth! As a result, while the NIV isn’t my translation of choice, I’m beginning to like it more and more. Thanks guys!


And now . . . this – Feb. 26, 2008

February 26, 2007

Here we go again, again

Cue the candles and kitsch:

When an image of the Virgin Mary appeared on one of their pizza pans on Ash Wednesday the dinner ladies at Pugh Elementary School in Houston knew that it had to be more than just the cheese and pepperoni talking. This had to be a message from God.

Guadalupe Rodriguez, 59, who had scrubbed at the greasy stain to no avail, hastened to the head teacher for a second opinion. Indeed, the principal confirmed, the school kitchens seemed to have been singled out for divine intervention.

[Full Story]

When I make pizza, I like a little extra virgin on the crust, but this is ridiculous.


And now . . . this – Feb. 23, 2008

February 23, 2007

Ha ha ha! “Art.”

Performance artist Mark McGowan kicked off his bid to crawl for 72 hours across Manhattan dressed as the president, offering the opportunity to kick his backside.

The controversial artist from London began his odyssey from New York’s Lincoln Centre wearing a rubber George Bush mask, a business suit, knee pads, work gloves and a sign stuck to his cushioned posterior reading simply: “Kick My Ass.”

[Full Story]

Now come on. Is there any more useless human being on the face of the earth than a “performance artist”?

Meanwhile, posted today on his Web site:

i have been kicked in the ass continuously on the streets of new york.

i have also been confronted by very angry bush supporters who have literally scared me so much so [sic] that i have had to abandon doing it on the streets and i am now just crawling around the scope art fair as i fear for my life.

Yeah, well, so much for artistic integrity.

F5 #3: The grape

February 23, 2007

(Didn’t get last week’s installment in, thanks to a surprise visit from an old friend who was in town for the weekend. So if all goes well, today will be a twofer. Incidentally, this topic would have been last year’s fourth F5 entry, so it’s really late . . .)

It seems ironic to me that what is arguably my favourite libation today, was one of the last ones I learned to like. But it’s true: when I first started to drink alcohol, I acquired a taste for beer right away, and spirits not long afterward. However, for years, wine was practically a closed book to me. It all tasted the same to me, and while I could (obviously) tell the difference between red and white, I wouldn’t have known a Chardonnay from a Shiraz. On the other hand, thanks to a summer of restaurant experience, I knew the difference between a Burgundy and a Bordeaux, but only by the shape of the bottle, and the idea that there could even be a “white Burgundy” seemed like a contradiction in terms. In other words, apart from the occasional glass of Piat D’or with my folks at Christmas or Thanksgiving, I was a rank newbie to the world of wine.

Around 1999, for some reason I no longer remember, I made up my mind to learn something about wine. So I bought a couple of books and read them; then, a few days later, made a stop at the LCBO for a few bottles: as I recall, an Ontario Chardonnay, an Australian Cabernet Sauvignon, and a California white Zinfandel. And the rest is history.

Read the rest of this entry »

Haven’t done one of these in awhile

February 16, 2007

so I thought I’d break the streak:

You scored as Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica). You are leery of your surroundings, and with good reason. Anyone could be a cylon. But you have close friends and you know they would never hurt you. Now if only the damn XO would stop drinking.

Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)


Moya (Farscape)


Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)


SG-1 (Stargate)


Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)


Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)


Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)


Serenity (Firefly)


Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)


Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)


Enterprise D (Star Trek)


FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)


Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with

*sigh* I guess I’ll fix the HTML later . . .

The “la Carré” curse

February 16, 2007

If you saw my reading habits, you wouldn’t actually know that I enjoyed the spy novels of John le Carré.

I loved A Small Town in Germany.

I positively wolfed down The Spy Who Came In from the Cold and The Looking Glass War.

I gave away copies of The Tailor of Panama as gifts.

But then there was Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy . . .

It’s not as if I didn’t enjoy the novel; there’s a good reason it’s a classic of the spy genre. I’ve just never been able to get more than 100 or so pages in, before circumstances conspire to compel me to return the book.

As of today, having returned it, I’ve had to give up my fifth – count ’em, five – attempt. But I guess I’ll try again in a couple months.


Godzilla redux

February 16, 2007

Fred Butler writes:

Scott McClare may appreciate this article if he hasn’t already seen it: The Science of Godzilla. A dinosaur expert explores the possibility of what it would be like if Godzilla was real. Read the comments following the article, as well.

[Read The Science of Godzilla]

He’s right: I hadn’t seen it, and I did appreciate it. (Similarly, Terry Pratchett has a humorous discussion of the anatomy of dragons in one of the earlier Discworld novels.)

Fred mentions his fond memories of watching old Godzilla movies as a kid on Saturday afternoons. For me it was a lot more recently, and after midnight on Space, but same difference. He also made mention of the infamous “flight scene” from Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster, quite possibly the craziest (and silliest) “power” that the Big G ever invented on the spur of the moment:

And why not close off with the rest of Godzilla’s most embarrassing moments, married to a corny Internet meme?