Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Survey reveals many Americans don't know why the KJV is important.

I inherited a number of tools from my father. Some were given to me as a child when he would clean out his toolboxes. I would get the tools he didn't need or want, the ones that still worked, but could not be used in the professional setting in which he worked. I ended up with quite an assortment of mismatched wrenches, worn screwdrivers, and dull chisels. I still have some of them to this day and still use them. In fact, I still have the Milwaukee Sawzall that he bought to go into business in 1969. It is almost as old as me, but still works for the few times I need such a tool.

There was one tool that I had for a while and I had no idea what it was for. It was short with a hook on the end. While ignorant of its purpose, I found a good use for it. I discovered that it was excellent for removing the springs on drum brakes. I also remember the day my father discovered the way I was using it. I told him I had discovered a "special tool" for removing and replacing the springs. I called it "special tool 36294" or something like that. He asked to see it and when I showed it to him he chuckled and slowly shook his head. He then informed me that "special tool 36294" was in fact an ice skate lace tightener (see image above).

It seems that, for some, the King James Bible in their house is also a bit like "special tool 36294." They have one, but they are not sure why it is important. The American Bible society recently conducted a survey in which they discovered that while 57% of respondents own a King James Bible, 70% had no idea why it was important and 39% thought that it was the first English translation of the Bible. Below are some of the other results. I will admit that I don't know whether to laugh or cry over the first one.

  • Seventeen percent of those surveyed believe the King James Bible was first released shortly after the time of Christ.
  • Younger Americans (age 18 to 26), often categorized as considerably less religious than older Americans (age 65 and older), are equally likely to be unsure of why the King James Bible was significant (34 percent vs. 33 percent respectively).
  • Non-Christians or those with no faith are approximately twice as likely to know when the King James Bible was published (32 percent), than are non-practicing Christians (17 percent).
  • Approximately half (45 percent) of all Bible readers use the King James Bible; far fewer say they read the New International Version (10 percent).
  • Approximately six out of 10 adults who own a Bible own a King James Bible (57 percent) whereas only one out of eight Bible owners have a New International Version (12 percent).

I suppose it is good to know that people own and/or use some version of the Bible, including the King James version. But I hope that, like my discovery of the true significance of "special tool 36294,"that they too will come to learn and appreciate why the KJB is important. Especially during this year of 400th anniversary celebrations.

1 comment:

  1. Greetings friends,
    Click on 400th anniversary celebrations and watch The Book That Changed the World. It's quite engaging and inspiring. Thanks John, for continuing to increase our appreciation of the Biblical world.

    As a new Christian in my early 20's, I was a witness to the "Bible wars" in my conservative, Evangelical church. The "old guard" wanted to use the KJV in all the church Sunday School classes and Bible studies. The younger generation began publishing studies using the NIV (the editors of our denominational publications attended our church.) Here I am, quite new and immature in my faith, and church members are in conflict over a Bible version.

    This may be trivial in light of what has captured our attention on the international scene today, but it prompts me to keep asking, "How do we, as Christians, focus on what is central to the gospel message?"

    From a Bible version of another culture, to our peers with a different perspective, to those who hurt us; our opportunities to love and heal abound.