Contextualisation can be a funny business. I have never been a fan of the King James Bible. I find the King James translation arcane and, to be honest, hardly worthy of the word “translation”. You can imagine my surprise then (some time ago now) to learn from some Pagans friends that they actually prefer it. In retrospect I should have guessed. Ken Wilber didn’t call Pagans retro-romanticists for nothing. But all the same I was surprised. And it raises so wider issues. What does culturally sensitive actually mean in a pluralistic society like ours? Are even 60s style churches “culturally sensitive” in the right context?
2 thoughts on “King James Bible – Is it Contextual?”
Long long ago, when the New English Bible was fairly new (it’s actually called something else now), someone asked kids in urban youth gangs which they preferred — that or the King James. And they said the King James version. The person who told me that said that it was because they sought it sounded more numinous, though I’m sure that’s not the word they used.
It just goes to show, what counts as contextualization does depend on the context. The flip side is, what I consider contextual is bound to be utterly non-contextual in other places. We need to be wary therefore of speaking of something as contextual in an absolutist way.