Top Reasons Against Christian Rock - ANSWERED!

How Misinterpretations, Misconceptions, and Even Heresies Get Started ---

Translationism

This is closely related to "prooftexting", and I encourage you to look carefully at my comments about prooftexting carefully, as this section builds on them.

Translationism is an illogical extension of fundamentalism, and grows out of a little paranoia about obeying the Word of God. Therefore, the motivation is good - just the practice that has grown bad.

Let me preface these comments by saying that I am a fundamentalist. I believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and everything in it is literally true or correct. With that said, the "translationists" would then ask me "what translation is correct?". My answer is "NONE"! The only inerrant Bibles are the ones written in the language of the authors. PERIOD. We who speak English are at a distinct disadvantage, because we do not speak the ancient languages. Small shades of meaning in the ancient, foreign words - that contribute to God's revelation to us - are LOST to us! A translation loses them. So how do we know what the inerrant Word of God is?

The way I reconcile the inerrant Word of God with imperfect translations is to take the Word of God as a whole, and interpret it along the guidelines I talk about in my answer to prooftexting. I look for the overall theme of the whole Bible - Jesus as the redemptive Messiah for the sins of the world, along with all the sub themes related to His character and ministry, and interpret passages in the light of God's plan that all should come to know Jesus Christ as savior and Lord.

The translation notes of the New Living translation say it very well. There are two philosphies of translation: "formal equivalence" and "dynamic equivalence".

If you do a formal equivalence translation, you attempt to come up with an English equivalent to each word in a sentence, keeping in mind grammatical rules in both languages. The end result is the closest you can get to a "literal" translation. Unfortunately, a formal equivalence translation will invariably sound a little mechanical and strange. It could almost be done by a computer - programmed with the foreign language dictionary and grammatical rules. The translationists, of course, keep extensive lists of mistakes in each new translation that comes out, and how they render the new translation "wrong".

A dynamic equivalence translation is one that takes the sentence or passage as a whole, and looks for what it is saying. The whole sentence or passage is then re-worded into modern language, attempting to preserve the original thought as closesly as possible. It is a "thought for thought", rather than a "word for word" translation. The main weakness of this translation technique is that the translator might miss the meaning of the passage altogether, or miss sub-topics or subtle meanings. The end result is very readable, but less "literal". Naturally, the translationists have a field day with these translations, because they are even less "accurate".

Here is the New Living translation example of 1 Kings 2:10:

So David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. - KJV

Then David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. - NAS

Then David rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. - NIV

Then David died and was buried in the city of David. - NLT

Only the NLT, a dynamic equivalent translation, gets rid of an ancient Hebrew idiom "slept with his fathers", and comes right out and says that he died. These days, a son "sleeping with his father" has a very bad secular implication. And "sleeping with the dead" is just another sick fetish. We absolutely want to get rid of this ancient Hebrew idiom!!! Another change I would have made would be to change "city of David" into "Jerusalem". Oh well - it just goes to prove there is no such thing as a "perfect" translation.

I tend to use the NAS and NIV primarily, but it is only personal preference. I also use KJV at times, in many cases it says things more poetically and better than the mechanical sounding equivalents. Maybe the critics will think there is hope for me yet - but I still don't use the 1611 KJV with its archaic letter styles (S's that look like "f's") and spelling. I use dynamic equivalence translations for place names, currency and measurement equivalence, etc.

An example of translationism:

The translationists invariably will tell you that the 1611 King James Bible is the only translation that can be relied upon to be THE INERRANT Word of God. I have an extensive section about why I do not use the 1611 King James translation in these essays and, indeed, in my personal quiet time. You are welcome to read my reasons at your leisure. The history of our Bible is a fascinating subject.

Our critics have stated publically that they only want KJV arguments in favor of Christian rock. I have presented some VERY compelling scriptural evidence here and in other essays that could probably sway them. I am not going to waste time doing a "search and replace" of the scripture references just for their benefit. I prefer that YOU - the Christian rock fan who has doubts - be able to read the scriptures in a way that you can understand. I am also not going to waste my time contacting the critics, even with arguments that could persuade them to change their mind, because their spirits are so arrogant and do not display the love that Christ said we should have for each other. I invite you to see for yourself at http://www.av1611.org/question/cqcontact.html. In case the pull it off after I challenge their attitude, here is what they actually said:

We do NOT debate. We do NOT argue. But we welcome any King James Bible answers to CCM. Your opinions, feelings, what you saw at a concert, what you experienced, etc. is NOT welcomed. Please do not send such. They will not be responded to and probably not even read.

In other words, your personal testimony of salvation by grace in Christ is not important to them, if you were saved a Christian rock concert, or Christian rock draws you closer to Him. If that statement above does not come off as arrogant to you, I don't know what would. It sure comes off as arrogant and unloving to me. Such is NOT the way we are commmanded to interact with each other. Our Lord Jesus welcomed debate and argued with the Pharisees publically. He welcomes our questions when we have doubts. Come to HIM with your questions and doubts, He will not reject you the way these people will. I have heard stories of rejection and lack of love by other Christian rock advocates who HAVE reached out to these people in Christ's love. In many cases, they have been downright RUDE. I only pray that we, whose walks are enriched by Christian rock music, are NEVER rude in return. If we adopt their behavior, are we any better than them?

By the way, the writer of this passage sounds like he might have been having a bad day, or perhaps just had an encounter with an immature fan of Christian rock - who was less than civil. I prefer to think that - than to think that the whole organization he works for represents the type of lovelessness those words portray. I agree with them on most of their other topics, and think they are doing a courageous and good job at what they do. I happen to disagree with them about Christian rock and translations.

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