The Rise of Dynamic Equivalency
Has this method of translating the Bible which has been on the rise for a
long time in fundamentalists circles now reached mainstream Fundamentalism? Is
the KJV being put aside in favor of modern bible versions which were in the past
were shunned by the vast majority of Fundamentalists?
Bob Jones University Leading the Way
About eight years ago, I did a report on a protester at The World Congress of
Fundamentalism which was held on July 5-8 1999, at the most well known building
for Fundamentalism, Bob Jones University. Often times it's been deemed as the
one institution leading the way for various Fundamental churches all over the
country and worldwide. I used to call it the "The Fundamentalist capital of the
world"...It had been a well known fact that some of the faculty members at Bob
Jones University were using different Bible translations for witnessing,
teaching, and reading. Emotions became high during the course of the
Fundamentalist conference as a result of a man protesting against corrupted
Bible versions. He was even almost assaulted once by one person who was
attending the conference because he would not give the man his protest sign.
Young college girls from Bob Jones University were the most rude, and hostile
towards the protestor.
Take note, not all of the responses were that horrible, some were polite but
felt confident in their Bible versions did not diminish the Word of God, while
some others agreed with the protestor. You can read the full story by clicking
on the link below and scrolling down to the desired article. Thank you.
The World Congress of Fundamentalism: July 5-8,
Is is God's actual Word or just God's Idea?
Since the protest at the World Congress of Fundamentalism in 1999, Bob Jones
University not only has enhanced it's view on accepting corrupted translations
but has enticed other Fundamentalist schools who have have adapted to the idea
as well. One of these "enhanced" views on Bible preservation comes from a book
published by BJU. The book is called; "God's Word in Our Hands". At first
glance, when reading the the cover, doesn't that sound and look like a good
title? Christians all over the world rejoice in the fact they have God's Word in
their hands. But is that in fact what the title implies? More on that later, let
me give you a brief background on the book...There were a total of ten other
schools besides BJU who have contributed to this book such as Maranatha Baptist
Bible College, International Baptist Bible College, Detroit Baptist Seminary,
and so on. All of these schools had one representative contribute while BJU had
ten people contribute to the book.
I want to by the Lord's will in a brief
manner to explain what the meaning of 'Dynamic Equivalency' is. Some already
might know the meaning, while others are not familiar with the label in
particular but are familiar with the basic meaning of it and others who have no
clue what the term means. It's very easy to understand. It's a method of
translating the Bible as an idea, or as a thought, or as a concept, rather than
a literal translation as we see in the KJV known as "formal equivalence".
Dynamic Equivalency has enabled translators to go beyond the evidence for what
is the Word of God and what is not. The vast majority of manuscripts that the KJV is based on do in fact agree with each other while a very small minority of
manuscripts differ with the majority of manuscripts as well as differ with each
other. Now a translator who has embraced the "idea" form of translation can and
have change Scripture by picking corrupt manuscripts to add, or subtract any
word or phase. In some cases, the whole Scripture is removed. But "idea"
translators will also cave in to the majority of manuscripts and put Scripture
in even though the minority manuscripts disagree.
This method of translation promotes the idea that we do not have a reliable copy
of the originals, but we do they say have the idea from the originals. So thus
the title, "God's Word in Our Hands". Which brings us back to the implication of
the title. I believe the title is misleading and actually I believe the book
should be called is; "The Idea of God's Word in Our Hands." I assume the very
motivation in which they came up with such a title for their book was because it
would be more accepting to the mainstream. Otherwise the book might have been
under considerable attack and may not of been so accepted by the public. The
contents of the book are not direct either in their intentions, but you can see
the meaning behind them.
the actual meaning of Preservation in Schools Who Still use the KJV
Yes, the rise of dynamic equivalency hasn't done so much damage that schools are
now using all kinds of Bible versions. However, there are some who do not and
they continue to use the KJV. For example, I had a friend who attended and
then graduated from Maranatha Baptist Bible College as one of the top students
in her class. She was bright, witty, love to work with kids, and someday dreams
of having kids of her own after she is married, struggles with sin,
but slowly growing in the Lord. I was there at her graduation as she was
about to receive her teaching degree and on my right was her family sitting next to me.
While I was there I noticed in the school's program that the KJV was being used
to quote all Scripture. But the alarming thing that came to my mind was one of
the staff members from this particular school contributed to BJU's book. It
doesn't appear dynamic equivalency is widely accepted at the school as far as I
could tell but it's only a matter of time. Once Dynamic Equivalency becomes more
accepted as the norm so does other bible versions. So I wouldn't be surprised if
the University does in fact start using other Bible versions sometime down the
road which in the past would not use. So if your school which happens to be on
the list as contributors of BJU's book, and they still use the KJV it doesn't
mean it will remain as the main version or the meaning of preservation will
remain the same either. The bad seed for change has been
planted and it's slow and it's also growing. Christians need to be aware
of this and they need to speak up for what is right.
What Do the Scriptures Say
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this
book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues
that are written in this book:
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy,
God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city,
and from the things which are written in this book.
These passages of Scripture are hard for those who have accepted the "idea"
method of translation known as 'Dynamic Equivalency'. Even the likes of
James White could not debate his way out of what the Scriptures actually say
about preservation which is not a mere idea, but "every word" that proceeded out
of the mouth of God (Mathew 4:4). The subtle changes are for those who are
not buying into that God's idea rather than is actual word is preserved in their
native tongue. Christians have
to be more alert and careful when reading books as they attend colleges even
though the KJV might be still used exclusively. If you noticed any of the books
used at a college which might be watering down the definition or changing it
outright, pray about it, and make it known to the school and others perhaps in
your local assembly that this is not what the Scriptures say.
information on the preservation of the Scriptures in more detail, please
The Incomparable King James Version