Atheist Hitchens Praises King James Bible

Not that the King James Bible needs extra praise, I just thought this was interesting and kind of nice…
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Atheist Christopher Hitchens paid tribute to the King James Bible, offering rare praises to a book containing the Word of God.

Hitchens is the second atheist, after Richard Dawkins, to laud the KJB in honor of the 400th anniversary of the translation.

The prominent atheists recognized and expressed appreciation for its contribution to English literature.

“Though I am sometimes reluctant to admit it, there really is something ‘timeless’ in the Tyndale/King James synthesis,” said Hitchens in his commentary featured in Vanity Fair. “For generations, it provided a common stock of references and allusions, rivaled only by Shakespeare in this respect.

“It resounded in the minds and memories of literate people, as well as of those who acquired it only by listening.”

The 61-year-old English-American author is a staunch atheist who often debates Christians on the existence of God. He made the argument that “religion poisons everything” in his book God Is Not Great and has repeatedly stated that he would not convert, even on his deathbed. Hitchens is currently battling stage 4 esophageal cancer.

Read the rest of the article here:

Atheist Hitchens Praises King James Bible

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Ancient Stories Retold Drawing Advanced Praise From Literary, Liturgical, Music and Film Worlds

Press Release:

Nashville, TN – April 6, 2010 – YHWH: The Flood, The Fish and The Giant, the first volume of the highly anticipated Ancient Stories Retold series by American playwright, Paula K. Parker and New York Times Best-Selling British author, G.P. Taylor, is receiving rave reviews and critical acclaim from leading figures in the literary, film and religious communities on both sides of the Atlantic. Masterfully combining elements of love, deceit, betrayal, and ultimately redemption YHWH: The Flood, The Fish and The Giant, which releases this May in the United Kingdom followed by its U.S. release later in 2010, contains 20 adventurous stories set in ancient times that are resonating with critics and fans alike.

Christopher Coppernoll, popular novelist of Screen Play, A Beautiful Fall and Providence declares, “Facinating and powerfully written, YHWH: The Flood, The Fish, & The Giant captures the imagination and tells the human saga in the midst of God’s story. A triumph.”

The Right Reverend David Wilbourne, Assistant Bishop of Llandaff Cathedral, The Church in Wales says, “Employing all his great skills as a story-teller, G. P. Taylor and Paula K. Parker imaginatively recast the major stories of Scripture for a modern-day audience. YHWH: The Flood, The Fish and The Giant will be enjoyed alike by youngsters and adults. It closely follows the original Biblical material, whilst bringing alive its ancient Near Eastern setting and customs, drawing out a clear and immensely faithful message. The pace is bracing, the read dramatic and exciting, which will both delight and engage readers young and old, enticing them to re-read and be enlarged by the stories in their original Scriptural setting. 2011 is the 400th anniversary of the Authorised King James version of Holy Scripture – reading YHWH: The Flood, The Fish and The Giant would be an excellent way of marking the English Bible’s 400th birthday!”

Melanie Wells, Dallas-based psychologist and author of My Soul to Keep, When the Day of Evil Comes and The Soul Hunter says, “A walk through the garden was never so pungent, so earthy as the stroll you will take with GP Taylor and Paula K. Parker in the pages of their masterwork, YHWH: The Flood, The Fish and The Giant. Smell the loamy earth, see the light glint from the scales of the serpent, taste the sweet-tart fruit of doom as the juice drips down your chin. Then wipe your mouth and turn the page and listen as the raindrops fall and the hammer pounds the nail into the cypress wood and the smell of pitch rises from the page to greet you. GP Taylor and Paula K. Parker have taken our Sunday School stories off the felt-board and created a world so vivid, so tactile and real, that you and your children will gasp, wide-eyed at the stench of meat on the lion’s breath and feel the sway of the ark itself. This book is a masterpiece. Step into its pages and you will forget you are learning and simply experience the wonder and the miracle of God’s word, reminded again and again that you, too, are part of the story.”

YHWH: The Flood, The Fish and The Giant is also generating buzz in the film and music communities. “What an absolute delight,” says Mitchell Galin, producer of such films as Stephen King’s The Langoliers, Pet Sematary and Journey to Everest. “Rarely have I seen stories so vividly portrayed; portrayed in a way that makes them come alive the way a good campfire story comes alive. And the source, the greatest stories ever told, but in a way that makes them accessible as they have not been before. You can walk through the gardens, feel Noah’s confusion, experience Abraham’s anguish, but in all we see unquestioned faith. We’ve heard or read the stories before, but what G.P.Taylor and Paula K. Parker have done is make you “feel” the stories in a new profound way.”

Author, actress and recording artist, Bonnie Keen adds, “Mega kudos to Paula K. Parker and G. P. Taylor for bringing this fresh collection of timeless adventures to a new generation. As one often hears, ‘You can’t make this stuff up! YHWH: The Flood, The Fish and The Giant fits the bill for any reader longing to embrace a heart-pounding story where the underdog wins the day and good triumphs against all odds over evil. In this marvelous new work we remember afresh why Biblical stories have infiltrated centuries of literature, culture and most importantly continue to capture the human heart.”

Paula K. Parker is a well respected U.S. based journalist, author and entertainment writer with more than 1000 published article to her credit. She is best known for her original stage play, Bloodlines, and her hugely successful stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.

New York Times best-selling writer, G.P.Taylor first topped the charts in the United Kingdom with his stunning supernatural thriller, Shadowmancer. The novel remained atop the UK charts for a record 15 weeks and has been translated into 43 languages. Universal Pictures acquired the film rights to Shadowmancer for a reported seven figure sum. Taylor’s popular works include Wormwood, Tersias, The Curse of Salamander Street, Mariah Mundi and The Dopple Ganger Chronicles.

For a preview of YHWH: The Flood, The Fish and The Giant visit YHWHBook.com

For more information about Paula K. Parker visit WordCrafts.net
For more information about G.P. Taylor visit GpTaylor.info
For more information about Authentic Media visit AuthenticMedia.co.uk

©2010 WordCrafts

Happy Reformation Day!

With all the focus on costumes and candy, one would think that Halloween is the only significant event of any importance occurring on this date. But today is a day which had more impact on our history than almost any other besides the death and birth of Jesus. And not just for Christians, but for all Western Civilization as we know it.

On October 31st, in the year 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenburg, Germany. Because of his bold actions on that day and on others, the people were eventually set free from subservience to the papal doctrines of salvation by works.

After a particularly frightening experience during a thunderstorm in which he was almost struck by a lightning bolt, Luther became a monk. He faithfully practiced a life of fasting, prayer, confession and “holy” pilgrimages, as this was the practice of the day for Christians. But all this only served to make him more aware of his own inability to overcome his sinful nature.

“I lost hold of Christ the Savior and Comforter,” he once lamented, “and made of him a stock-master and hangman over my poor soul.” His Christian life had turned into a life of despair and uncertainty.

Having earned several high religious degrees and a teaching position by his early thirties, he came to the realization that, according to Scripture, Christians were justified by faith alone and not by works as the church of that day was teaching. He wrote a letter to Albert, the Archbishop of Mainz and Magdeburg protesting the sale of indulgences. With the letter, he included his 95 Theses, titled Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences, which challenged the church to examine it’s doctrines of salvation and it’s practices for raising funds for building it’s churches.

Luther had come to believe that salvation was attainable through sincere faith in Jesus Christ as savior and not by works. By the end of 1571, the 95 Theses had been widely circulated throughout Europe. By 1520 Luther had published three of his best works. Three years after his letter and Theses were delivered, Rome responded to Luther’s writings with a papal bull calling for his excommunication unless he recanted particular written statements within 60 days. Luther burned the papal bull publicly in Wittenberg on the 10th of December, 1520, and was subsequently excommunicated on January 3rd, 1521.

While Luther remains a controversial figure because of some of his writings, his actions nonetheless were the pivotal point for all Christendom. It is a wonderfully liberating day to celebrate for anyone who calls Jesus their Lord and Savior.

Let’s share the gospel with those who come to our doors this evening seeking edible sweets – let them know of the sweetness of Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

The first and chief article is this: Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins and was raised again for our justification (Romans 3:24-25). He alone is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29), and God has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). All have sinned and are justified freely, without their own works and merits, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in His blood (Romans 3:23-25). This is necessary to believe. This cannot be otherwise acquired or grasped by any work, law, or merit. Therefore, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us … Nothing of this article can be yielded or surrendered, even though heaven and earth and everything else falls (Mark 13:31).

Martin Luther, in the Schmalkald Articles

Luther After His Death - Photograph by Paul T. McCain

Massacre of Innocence (Exerpt)

By Eric Holmberg

Part 1
ABORTION IN BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE

There is much medical evidence that human life begins early in the development of a fetus. At only six to eight weeks of development it is obvious that the developing fetus is not “a blob of tissue,” as pro-abortionists would like us to believe, but a remarkably developed baby boy or girl.

But medical and scientific evidence is not our primary source of Truth. The Word of God, the Bible, must be our source for determining the sanctity of life from the moment of conception. In fact, the very name of God points us in the direction of the sanctity of life from the time it is conceived in the womb.

Let’s first briefly review what the Bible says about human life in the womb.

The Bible tells us in Exodus 34 verses 5 through 7, the name of the Lord followed by the revelation of His character and nature, Jehovah Rachum, or “God is merciful.”
The root of the Hebrew word for “merciful,” rachum, and “mercy,” rachamim, was the first aspect of God’s character to be revealed to the prophet Moses on Mount Sinai.

Racham is also the root of the word in Hebrew for “womb” rachum. The womb then, in its original Hebrew context, is the center or seat of mercy, the place from which the child, being formed in the image of God, is conceived, formed, nurtured and born.

Jesus declared in Matthew 5:7, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” But the converse is also true. When men, for their own convenience, would send their swords into that place of life and mercy, defiling the sanctity of life within the recham the womb turning it from its purpose, it may be necessary to consider Christ’s declaration of the wages earned by those who take up the sword: “Those who live by the sword, shall die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52).

It is no coincidence that Jesus, the Messiah, would be conceived in a womb and born of a woman after a full term pregnancy.

We need look no further than the story of Jesus’ conception to see that life is indeed sacred from the womb. Christ himself was both fully man and fully God from the moment of His conception.

“And the angel answered and said to her: ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God'” (Luke 1:35).

We see the sanctity of life in the womb outlined clearly in the Gospel according to Luke 1:26-41. Shortly after Christ’s conception was revealed to Mary through the angel Gabriel, Luke tells us: “Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leapt in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”

In Luke 1:26, we are told that Jesus was conceived exactly six months after Elizabeth’s son, John the Baptist. It was John who leapt in the womb at the greeting of Mary and the coming of the preborn Savior into the house of his father, Zechariah.

Jesus had to be somewhere within the first trimester of pregnancy the time when 88 percent of the abortions in our nation are performed when John “leapt in the womb” at the arrival of the Savior.

It is also interesting to consider that the first “Gospel message” was preached at the coming of Christ while He was still in the first trimester of development. The “Good News” was initiated by the preborn infant John proclaiming the divinity of the baby Jesus that the Savior had come into the world.

It is clear throughout the Scriptures that life begins at conception in the womb.

“For Thou didst form my inward parts. Thou didst weave me in My mother’s womb. I will give thanks to Thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalms 139:13).

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. And before you were born I consecrated you” (Jeremiah 1:5).

“… the Lord who made you and formed you in the womb …” (Isaiah 44:2).

According to Scripture, abortion is a sin against God a violation of the sixth commandment,
“You shall not murder.” It is the wanton killing of innocent human life in the womb a place designed by God to be a refuge of life and mercy.

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This was an exerpt from “Massacre of Innocence”, a video production by Eric Holmberg of The Apologetics Group/Reel to Real Ministries. Although produced in 1985, this video has been digitally remastered (2006) and would be a great resource for any pro-life ministry or educational program.

You can purchase this DVD from Eric’s website:

http://www.theapologeticsgroup.com/cms/

Bible Battles: King James vs. the Puritans

I thought this was an interesting article on the history of the KJV and how it became the “Authorized” version…
Done by the Religious Studies dept of the University of Wyoming.
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http://www.uwyo.edu/news/printrelease.asp?id=17721

Religion Today Column for Week of Oct. 7-13

(Religion Today is contributed by the University of Wyoming’s Religious Studies Program to examine and to promote discussion of religious issues.)

Bible Battles: King James vs. the Puritans

By Paul V.M. Flesher

King James VI of Scotland was raised as a Presbyterian. Even though his mother, Mary Queen of Scots, had been a Catholic, he was baptized by a Calvinist figure no less prominent than John Knox, sent by John Calvin to Scotland.

You would think that when James ascended to the English throne in 1603 that he would have been sympathetic to the English Puritans, for their beliefs also derived from Calvin and his teachings. Instead, within a year of becoming King James I of England, he initiated a project that would attack the Puritans. This project was a new Bible translation; he called it the Authorized Version, but in America it became known as the King James Version.

Why would a Bible translation have this effect? The answer lies in the character of the national English Church, the Anglicans, which derived from two important events in the 1530s.

First, John Calvin began preaching in Geneva. His increasingly popular ideas argued that all aspects of the Catholic Church had misled Christianity. From its theology and Bible to its hierarchy, ritual and pageantry, the Church needed to be reformed. He left the Catholic Church to form a new one following his teachings.

Second, King Henry VIII of England also broke with the Catholic Church in the 1530s. He was not interested in reform or even in theology; he just wanted a divorce. Since the Pope would not give him one, Henry declared that the English church would become independent, with himself as the Church’s head.

It was not until Queen Elizabeth I, Henry’s daughter who ruled from 1558 to 1603, that the Anglican Church underwent reform. Elizabeth set a tone of compromise early in her reign. The English would adopt some of Calvin’s theological positions, but they would keep the hierarchy and much of the ritual. The end result was a church with both Protestant and Catholic characteristics.

While many liked this compromise, there was a growing number who did not. These people became known as the Puritans. They did not like the compromise but wished instead to follow Calvin’s lead in banishing all Catholic elements from the church. They wished to “purify” Anglicanism.

The Puritans had their own Bible translation, the Geneva Bible. Not only was it small, and therefore inexpensive, but it also had extensive notes that explained biblical passages using Puritan theology. Since this Bible was the only book many people owned or read, it was effective in winning people over to Puritan theological beliefs and keeping them there.

Although most of the notes were innocuous or “merely” radical Calvinist theology, other notes argued against current political and religious structures. In particular, Calvinism believed in neither the divine right of kings to rule, a belief strongly promoted by James, nor that the church should be governed by bishops, but rather by presbyters elected by congregations. The former angered the king, while the latter incensed the Anglican hierarchy.

To combat this subversive Bible, James and the bishops decided to create a new Bible translation. James authorized the new translation with a decree that included several guidelines for the translators. The most significant of these was the command to have no notes in the text (apart from short remarks about translation from Hebrew or Greek). This stricture prevented remarks linking the biblical text to unwanted theological perspectives and political positions.

After the King James Version was published in 1611, the Geneva Bible was banned in England. Indeed, James made ownership of it a felony. The King James Bible became the pulpit Bible for Anglicans and inexpensive copies were published for sale to the masses. At first, it was not very popular; several of its early publishers went broke from poor sales.

The King James Version began to gain popularity only when different publishers began to add explanatory notes to the text, in direct opposition to James’ expressed wishes. The KJV became the most popular Bible version in 20th-century America when a set of notes written by Cyrus I. Scofield was added in 1909 and then revised in 1917 into the Scofield Reference Bible. These notes promote the theology of dispensationalism, based in part on Calvinist theology that James rejected, and have helped promote that theology’s popularity, just as the Geneva Bible promoted Puritan theology.

Flesher is director of UW’s Religious Studies Program. Past columns and more information about the program can be found on the Web at http://www.uwyo.edu/relstds.

To comment on this column, visit http://religion-today.blogspot.com. Posted on Wednesday, October 03, 2007