Friday, July 24, 2009

There are some passages of scripture...

My wife, Sheila, and I are reading through the New Testament, one chapter a day. As I opened the E.S.V. to this evening's reading, 1 Corinthians 13, the thought struck me that there are some passages of scripture that are just meant to be read from the King James Version. Other translations just don't have the style, or flavor that these passages seem to call for.

Maybe it is just because of my own familiarity with them, but the Twenty-third Psalm, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want...", and the third chapter of John's gospel, "...For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life..." seem to be endowed with a certain dignity and majesty by the KJV that other translations cannot match.

And what about the nativity passage in Luke's gospel that begins, "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night..."

There are other passages too, but here is what is sometimes called "the love chapter" in all of it's KJV beauty:

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,
and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries,
and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own,
is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come,
then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child,
I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:
now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three;
but the greatest of these is charity. (KJV)

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