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home : blogs_old : ability and accountability September 15, 2014

Ability and Accountability
By Richard Haddad, Prescott Valley, AZ
rhaddad@westernnews.com
"[Children] don't remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are."
"Please watch out for each other and love and forgive everybody. It's a good life, enjoy it."

-- Two of my favorite quotes by Jim Henson

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why are Mormons celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible?

 By Richard Haddad

Still photos from the new, three-part documentary film, Fires of Faith: The Coming Forth of the King James Bible. The film, airing Oct. 19 - Nov. 2, features 130 elaborately produced dramatic recreations and was filmed on-location in eight different countries at many of the actual sites where the original events took place.

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) I am often asked if we believe in the Bible. Yes, Mormons believe, revere and love the Holy Bible. We see it as a powerful, important, and sacred holy record which serves as the bedrock of all Christianity. The Bible is rich in history, doctrine, stories, sermons and testimonies, all of which witness that Jesus Christ is the Son of our Heavenly Father. Members of the Church are encouraged to study it regularly and apply the divine counsel it contains.

I love the stories and teachings of the Bible, but I am also fascinated by the events that took place to bring it to the English language.

The English scholar William Tyndale was the first to translate considerable parts of the Bible directly from the original Greek and Hebrew languages into English. He was also one of the first to take advantage of the new medium of print, which allowed for its wide distribution. Placing the Bible into the hands of the common man was taken to be a direct challenge to the leadership of both the Roman Catholic Church and the English church and state.

In 1535, Tyndale was arrested and jailed for more than a year. He was tried for heresy, strangled and burned at the stake for his crimes in 1536.

In 1611 fifty-four independent scholars created the King James Version of the Bible. These scholars drew significantly on Tyndale's translations. One estimation suggests the New Testament in the King James Version is 83 percent Tyndale's, and the Old Testament 76 percent.

Of course Tyndale wasn't alone in the early efforts to translate the Bible into English during 16th century England. Many others in the Protestant Reformation movement were imprisoned, tortured and sentenced to death. While today these faith-driven individuals who brought God's word to the English-speaking masses are now recognized as the greatest theological scholars and linguists of their time, they were branded heretics and burned at the stake.

Fires of Faith 3-part documentary

Starting Wednesday, Oct. 19, BYUtv will be airing a new, three-part documentary film (three years in the making) called Fires of Faith: The Coming Forth of the King James Bible, which celebrates the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. This is the version used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and widely considered the foundation of all English language versions.

BYUtv -- a Mormon-owned television channel that reaches 60 million homes in the United States -- is the only network in the country to use documentary format to commemorate the book's powerful and bloody history, as well as explore the King James Bible's contemporary significance.

While the film is not specifically about the Mormon religion itself, Fires of Faith can help educate the public about who the Mormons are, and what matters to them.

Fires of Faith offers a new perspective from interviews with a unique assembly of international experts -- ranging from Oxford and Notre Dame professors to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel - whose insights about the making of the King James Bible are powerful and profound. Although their religions differ, they all agree that the book's influence on humanity is unparalleled.

In three one-hour episodes airing Oct. 19 - Nov. 2, these interviews will be interspersed with 130 elaborately produced dramatic recreations, filmed on-location in eight different countries at many of the actual sites where the original events took place. Together the images and commentary create a comprehensive portrayal of the Bible's enduring history, and continued legacy.

Click here to watch a 1-minute film trailer


Updated Broadcast Schedule for December 2011:

Part 1 Fires of Faith: Yearning for the Word
Sunday, Dec. 11 at 7pm EST (5pm MST, 4pm PST) & 11pm EST (9pm MST, 8pm PST)  & 1pm EST (11am MST, 10am PST)

Part 2 Fires of Faith: Martyrs for a Book
Sunday, Dec. 18 at 7pm EST (5pm MST, 4pm PST) & 11pm EST (9pm MST, 8pm PST)  & 1pm EST (11am MST, 10am PST)

Part 3 Fires of Faith: The King James Bible
Sunday, Dec. 25 at 7pm EST (5pm MST, 4pm PST) & 11pm EST (9pm MST, 8pm PST)  & 1pm EST (11am MST, 10am PST)

Related Links:
• View 1-minute film trailer from Fires of Faith documentary
• See related artcile: BYUtv to Air First U.S. Documentary Series on Making of King James Bible


Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, April 28, 2012
Article comment by: Citizen Atheist

@Doc Holliday
Too bad while removing your blinders you decided to exchange them for another equally large and blinding set of blinders. One version of a superstition for another version is no improvement.


Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Article comment by: Richard Haddad

Very well said. There has been a lot of discussion on this thread, and I thank you all for your comments. I especially thank those who remember that how we treat one another is much more important than what we say.

I just learned that this 3-part series on the King James Bible is being rebroadcast for the holidays. I have updated the broadcast schedule above.


Posted: Sunday, November 20, 2011
Article comment by: My Jesus is Your Jesus

Let God judge between us. The LDS church believes in allowing all men the privilege of free worship (Articles of Faith v.11). Doesn't that seem like a principle that believers of all faiths should adopt? It's deeply saddening to see such hostility between faiths when the fundamental teachings of Christ are based on loving one another. If you want others to hear the doctrine of your religion, you cannot make them listen by belittling their faith. You have to show them what you believe and why you believe it, with deep respect for them first as a child of God. I love the Bible, and I love God, who also loves every one of us. Let's think more carefully of the words we speak, and try to be agreeable.

Posted: Friday, November 04, 2011
Article comment by: Really .

Bergman, I don't believe it. I actually agree with most of your post. The world as we know it will now explode.
Ideologically, I hope for honesty in *any* candidate running for a political office, regardless the level of government. I find it ridiculous that I need to require said hope these days when it should be implied. But unfortunately, in my experience, that hope becomes quickly overshadowed by something else entirely (revulsion? exasperation? both? It varies). As far as 'honest politicians' are concerned, I'm convinced such an animal rendered itself extinct long ago. Cynical? Perhaps, but I've correctly predicted the outcome of our last 3 Presidential elections based on this outlook at least 6 months before they happened. It's not that hard to do.
Is honesty too much to ask for? Transparency? Accountability? Nowadays, I think it is. These attributes have seemingly become less important to our voting majority. The Presidential election process in America has gradually perverted itself into becoming just another TV reality show. One party 'competes' with the other over the trivial and superficial. Much gets said, nothing gets accomplished. Politics in America has become much like a lesser sporting event where We The People seem to ultimately lose every time. Attributes that used to be secondary characteristics, like religion or party affiliation, are now hoisted front and center and used to prop up failing platforms based on nothing but platitudes. The same can be said for single-issue candidates. I believe their golden era is coming as our society gets collectively dumber.
Personally, I think a candidate having 'character' doesn't have nearly as much impact to most as 'being a character' does in today's political climate. It's a sad and sickening show. Even the politicians we like don't really 'do' all that much.
Alas, we don't have any Jefferson-aspired candidates any more. Sadly, if we did, they would likely be smeared and branded as loons for their radical convictions and rendered unelectable. That's our current situation as I see it.


Posted: Thursday, November 03, 2011
Article comment by: Chris Bergman

@Really, I prefer an honest man, someone who doesn't equivocate over the meaning of the word "is" would be a good start. I prefer a man who makes promises sparingly and when he does make them, keeps them, regardless of the cost. If he says, "No new taxes," that's what I expect. I prefer a man who cares enough about the poor to give of his own wealth, but respects private property enough to not give mine.


Notice, none of these things have anything to do with religion, specifically. Religion does inform a man's character, but it doesn't control it. If a man practiced Islam, but adhered strictly to the American tenet of freedom of religion, if he were in all other ways, a man of good and honorable character, I would not have a problem with him being president. And yes, it's working quite well for me, thank you. My problem with Mitt Romney is not that he's LDS, it's that he's nothing more than Obama with a Yankee accent. bergman_blogs@yahoo.com


Posted: Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Article comment by: Really .

You got me, Bergman. It was a knee-jerk natural assumption on my behalf that someone as tightly woven as yourself wouldn't stray too far beyond the Christian party line. If it is way too far of a stretch, then you have my humble apologies.
So with you it's all about the 'character' of the politico. Religious foundation defines character, does it not? After all, according to you, it's where we get our morals, ethics, honesty, integrity and all that, right?
So are you saying you don't discriminate based on religion? That you would wantonly vote for a Mormon, Muslim, Jew or Atheist based on 'character'? Be honest, now.
"Please, find someone to help you think things through before you post again and embarrass yourself further. Maybe someone who graduated... anything."
Well, you sure told me. So clever. How's that working out for you?


Posted: Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Article comment by: Chris Bergman

@ Really, If that's what you got from my post, then all you've succeeded in doing is demonstrating that you have a congenital defect when it comes to reading for comprehension. First, taken by itself, my comment does not lend itself to your interpretation. Second, when taken in context with the comment to which I was responding, positively refutes your interpretation.


Please, find someone to help you think things through before you post again and embarrass yourself further. Maybe someone who graduated... anything. bergman_blogs@yahoo.com


Posted: Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Article comment by: Chris Bergman

You're right, Doc, I'm sorry. In my hurry this morning I got my timeline mixed up. Arius denied the Deity of Christ, Pelagius taught that it was possible to merit salvation. Both heresies, just not the same heresy. Thank you for catching that.


You state the creed is only a statement of faith and not scripture. Would you say it “reflects” scripture? If so, I agree. The Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) is no different, if somewhat more detailed. If the creed differed from scripture I would reject it. If or where the WCF differs from scripture, I reject it as well.


The term “Reformed” is unfortunate. “Covenant” is better, but “Reformed” is more commonly used. I am OPC because 1) Presbyterian seems to me (a pure matter of preference) to be the most Biblical form of Church government. 2) Orthodox, which means straight, as in, straight from the Bible. 3) Church. Ah, now there's the heart of the matter. The creed says “one holy catholic and apostolic Church.” But what does that word “catholic” mean? Literally, it means wide spread or universal. In other words, anywhere a believer is found, THERE is the church. I wouldn't go to crazy with Matt. 16:18. In the greek, “this rock” is reflexive. You might want to look at the whole discourse in context, first.


Finally, yes, I too have found that “Reformed” churches can be very legalistic and “proud” of their theology. It saddens me. Of course, in every denomination there are problems. We are all, after all, imperfect creatures. The main problem I have with the EOC (which you have demonstrated quite well) is the arrogance of exclusivity. Other than that, the EOC has much to recommend them. bergman_blogs@yahoo.com


Posted: Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Article comment by: Doc Holliday

@ Chris Bergman

I also know church history quite well and know it without blinders, so thank you for trying to educate me. You seem stuck on the reformation as you stated you celebrate “Reformation Day” and you also stated you are an Orthodox Presbyterian. Researching the opc.org website, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church states it traces its roots to Protestant Reformation and the Westminster Confession of Faith. Sounds to me your stuck on the reformation theology, what about the 1500 years before the reformation?

The Nicene Creed was in response to Arius of Alexandria who denied the deity of Christ. The Creed or Credo in Latin means “I Believe” and is a statement of belief and a profession of faith that was designed to root out heresies once and for all. You can find everything in scripture that makes up the basis of the creed and the creed is not a substitute for scripture, it is a statement of faith.

The Westminster Confession of Faith is nothing more than “Men” in the 1600’s using their “Earthly Wisdom” to write a Confession of Faith - Calvinism, Sola Scriptura, etc. is all wrapped up under one umbrella. I have not seen “The Book of the Westminster Confession in the Bible”? So am I to assume it was written based upon how “Men” interpreted scripture 1600 years later and then wrote the confession of faith?

Chris you stated: “Personally, I can figure out for myself what the church is or isn't”. How did you determine to become an Orthodox Presbyterian? Is it the true church or just another one of the thousands spawned after the Reformation? Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. What church is Jesus referring to Chris?

Lastly Chris I spent many years in the protestant world and converted to Eastern Orthodoxy after taking off my protestant blinders. I have actually found looking back after being in the protestant world, it was more legalistic – go figure.


Posted: Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Article comment by: Really .

Bergman bloviates: "There are plenty of people who've claimed to be Christian that I wouldn't want to be president, either."
Nice. So you admit you discriminate based upon religion. How completely predictable of you.


Posted: Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Article comment by: dutch holland

@ I Care.. you said....Also interesting veiws on where Jesus was born Jerusalem not Bethlehem, also some mormons believe Jesus is alive but is in the 2nd heaven, not with God the Father. And He had a Brother named Satan, these books go differant directions if you ask me.

this is soooo messed up. Jesus was born in Bethlehem. period. Jesus sits at the Father's (God) right hand so how can He be in another place? and for satan... that is the biggest lie.... satan is NOT the Lords brother. satan is a created being, an angel. a fallen angel. read it in Revelation.
I Care, glad you are asking questions and not taking what is said as truth.


Posted: Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Article comment by: Chris Bergman

@ Maverick, like the bumper sticker says, “Mormonism happens.” The problem with any “ism” is that it can't MAKE you conform to it's tenets. All it can do is try to convince you that they're right and hope you play along. Not everyone does. There are plenty of people who've claimed to be Christian that I wouldn't want to be president, either. Can you say Jim Baker? Jerry Falwell? How about Oral Roberts? The question, I believe, we should really be considering is not “what is the man's (or woman's) religion, but what is his (or her) character. Instead of asking what “will” the candidate do for us, ask what they “won't” do, to get elected. Where do they draw the line? Of all those running for President, both Republican and Democrat, all are characters, but none seem to have any. bergman_blogs@yahoo.com

Posted: Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Article comment by: Chris Bergman

Doc, come on down, grab a paper bag and breath deep. I'm not “stuck” on the reformation, but let's get a couple of things straight, alright? 1) During Luther's time Western Europe was ruled by the Roman church. 2) It was the reformation that encouraged people to realize that the clergy didn't have all the answers, which is what led directly to an explosion of scientific inquiry. 3) It was the reformation that, over time, has allowed the Eastern Orthodox Church to be recognized anywhere outside a few backwards hamlets in the Steppes. I KNOW church history, AND I know it without blinders.


Oh, and the Nicene creed? Get this, NOT in the Bible! The Creed was created as a summation of Scripture, specifically to answer the heresies of Pelagius, who denied the deity of Christ. The Nicene creed is good, but it isn't scripture. It isn't on the same level as scripture. Those who believe it to be, make the same error as those who believe the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price to be the equal of scripture.


I posted the link because, well, it's free, it's a good listen, and I figured some might prefer to hear what the man said for himself rather than listening to the churlish shrieks of some harridan, insisting that theirs is the only “true” church. Personally, I can figure out for myself what the church is or isn't. I tend to think most others can to, given an honest chance. bergman_blogs@yahoo.com


Posted: Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Article comment by: Mr Maverick

It is a cult that wants to look like Christians so they can have a Mormon President. Is it a coincidence Huntsman, Romney, Harry Reid, are all Mormons?

Posted: Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Article comment by: Doc Holliday

@ Chris Bergman

I do not understand why you are stuck on the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther, and the other Reformers. Are these guys smarter than the Apostles? Why give so much credit to their "Thought" or "Interpretation" of the Bible? These guys are 1600 years later in History and once again their "Protest" was against the Western Church being the Roman Catholic Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church maintained the course of the Apostolic Faith. The problem since the Great Schism is "Thinking" in the West, that all of these people are so much smarter than the Apostles and the Church - the Pillar of Truth. The Nicene Creed is the Statement of Faith, everything afterwards is Man's Interpretation of how things should be.


Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011
Article comment by: Chris Bergman

Just an FYI, christianaudio.com is offering the book "Martin Luther, In His Own Words", an unabridged collection of his writings, in audiobook form for free download. Though honestly, I wouldn't try listening to the 95 Theses while driving. bergman_blogs@yahoo.com

Posted: Sunday, October 23, 2011
Article comment by: Steven Ayres

Speaking as a professional in the translation business, I can state with authority that any translation is a compromise. The scholarly assessments of the King James in particular agree that its poetry came at the expense of good translation practice, and much of it is quite garbled. This would not matter at all except that so many people want to believe that it is inerrant, and so are basing their belief systems on what are clearly egregious human errors and political spin from ages past.

Posted: Sunday, October 23, 2011
Article comment by: Richey Hope

Mark Twain wrote about Mormonism quite a bit in "Roughing It". Over 100 years ago he wrote this about The Book of Mormon: “All men have heard of the Mormon Bible, but few except the "elect" have seen it, or, at least, taken the trouble to read it. I brought away a copy from Salt Lake. The book is a curiosity to me, it is such a pretentious affair, and yet so "slow," so sleepy such an insipid mess of inspiration. It is chloroform in print. If Joseph Smith composed this book, the act was a miracle — keeping awake while he did it was, at any rate.”
¯ Mark Twain



Posted: Sunday, October 23, 2011
Article comment by: Commen Tater

The King James Bible is a literary masterpiece. The poetry is rich and beautiful, the "thees" and "thous" take many of us back to our youth when this was the Bible we heard. Many of us first heard "God's Word" this way.

I still enjoy people who pray in King James English. I have a very hip friend in His 30's who prays, "Lord give us strength to do thy will..."

Politics and religion aside, what's not to like?

Psalms 90:17
And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.


Posted: Sunday, October 23, 2011
Article comment by: Exceptional Claims require Exceptional Proof

Actually Mormonism is not too much different from all of Earth’s current religions. All religions, tout exceptional claims, these exceptional claims require exceptional proof. No religion can put forth this required evidence, they are all based on totally unproven / unprovable myth, as such, they are all cults.

Posted: Saturday, October 22, 2011
Article comment by: Fear and Loathing and John Corbin

Dear John, As I explained before, people will always attack what they don't understand, they can be as holy as they want to be but put a naysayer in their midst and they will burn them at the stake, and do it in the name of god to justify it. This is one of the reasons I believe organized religion to be such an absurdity, all I have to do is turn on my TV and see all the clowns pretending to the throne of holy on high leaders. How many twelve year old brides do they keep?
What really makes me scratch my head is your explanation that all we have to do is ask to learn what is true. Do you actually hear someone talking to you when whatever answers or is that a metaphor for you getting to make up whatever the answer is you wanted from god, what would you do if the voice told you that a Flying Spaghetti Monster was the one true god, would you change your life? I think not. I believe everyone customizes their beliefs to fit their wants and desires, all they have to do is convince themselves they are just and true to their beliefs.
Your overly simplistic answer of "just ask and then listen" is as absurd as most of what I have read here.


Posted: Saturday, October 22, 2011
Article comment by: John Corbin

It's sad to me that people get so offended about someone elses beliefs. Instead if focussing on downing another persons beliefs, why not focus on being positive?

We can all preach and prove and mock eachothers beliefs until we are blue in the face, but the ONLY way to find what's true is to ask God!

There is a promise from God that says if you want to know the truth then pray and ask! If you really want to know and have faith that God will answer then he will. Just listen.


Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011
Article comment by: Chris Bergman

@ Doc, I'm quite familiar with the Eastern Orthodox Church and would agree that, after the schism, proper rule remained in Constantinople (I'm a bit of a Christian history buff, myself). The EOC has much to recommend them, BUT (there it is again) the insistence that the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church IS the EOC, and that all others are therefore somewhat less, detracts from an otherwise great tradition. For the record, I, myself, am Orthodox Presbyterian.


@ “@”, Just as this is not a forum for a discussion on the relative merits and weaknesses of the LDS and their various “isms”, neither is this a political forum. If Romney is a poor candidate for President, it isn't because he's LDS. It's because he's a leftist.


@ Richard, I believe you and Mister Al-Idrisi are mistaken as regards the teachings of scripture as it relates to grace, works and salvation. First, the Bible does not, anywhere, contradict itself. Nor is the matter, sincerely studied, at all confusing. The Bible teaches consistently that salvation is a gift of grace, on God's part, thus cannot be earned. Further, the scriptures teach that works are an evidence of the efficacy of that grace, once applied, hence, “faith, without works, is dead.”


More to the point of your post, however, is that this miniseries tells the story, centuries in the making, of the struggle to bring the very Word of God into the hands of the common man. What many may not realize is that for centuries before Luther met Gutenberg, the Bible was restricted to the original languages (and Latin) and only a privileged few were permitted to “dispense” it's wisdom. The common man knew nothing of the personal relationship that God's word offered him. John Wycliffe, Jan Hus, Martin Luther, Jean Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli and others, not only died, but lived to put the Word of God into the hands of ordinary men so that God could speak directly to those He loves. Should we not all, celebrate? bergman_blogs@yahoo.com


Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011
Article comment by: Travis T.

To Bill Johnson:

Well said! As Christians, we are instructed to pray for those deceived by Satan and grieve for their souls.

No where in the Bible does it command us to make excuses for or condone false prophets.


Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011
Article comment by: Bible true . . . only as far as translated correctly.

First, I have "talked" with Mr. Haddad via email over things Courier and have found him to be a diligent, conscientious gentleman. I hope my comments here will not automatically be considered "contentious" (i.e., from the devil) or jeopardize my future access to these forums.

As someone who loves the Mormon people and an observer and student of Mormonism for almost 30 years now (but never LDS), I find it ironic that the church is celebrating the 400th Anniversary of the KJ Bible. For the Mormon church does not officially venerate the Bible as, say, your typical Bible-thumping Christian does. (I, myself, have memorized James, 1 John and most of Romans.)

Look, the church's 8th Article of Faith says "We believe the Bible to be the word of God" but adds "as far as it is translated correctly . . . " Which sounds fine on its face. But, officially, what that really means, as articulated by Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt in official (First Presidency Approved) church literature is "Who knows that even one verse of the Bible has escaped pollution, so as to convey the same sense now that it did in the original?" (Aside: Hence, the JST.)

This is why the church argues for a "restored gospel." (Because the first was forever lost.) And why the church argues for the Book of Mormon, of which, by the way, the rest of the 8th Article says "we also believe to be the word of God." Period. (Nothing about the BOM being translated correctly, despite corrections to the original.)

Consistent with this official policy, missionaries primarily promoted Joseph Smith and the BOM thirty years ago. But slowly, over time, Smith has been relegated to the back room (literally - in the various Visitor Centers) and LDS TV commercials and press now focus on the Bible instead of the BOM.

I submit focus groups have shown that the Bible sells better to potential converts than the BOM does. And that's something to celebrate.

Mike Palmer



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