Bonhoeffer uses a similar phrase 'worldly Christianity'. It's J Gresham Machen that I want to line up most closely with. See his Christianity and culture here. Having done commentaries on Proverbs (Heavenly Wisdom) and Song of Songs (Heavenly Love), a matching title for Ecclesiastes would be Heavenly Worldliness. For my stance on worldliness, see 3 posts here.

10 Myths about the AV

I gave a paper on the King James Version last Monday at the Evangelical Library. I finished with 10 myths about the AV. I've seen other list that are just trying to make a point. This is a genuine list I believe. (I hope to put the whole paper on the EL site soon).

1. It is the authorised version
Documentation may have been lost, but it would seem that though the original title page usually included the phrase “appointed to be read in churches”, unlike the Great Bible, there was never any edict of convocation, act of parliament or royal decree authorising this Bible. Modern writers usually make this point. It was “never, in fact, authorised” (David Daniell). “It was not an authorized version in any meaningful sense of those words” (Derek Wilson). The first reference to Authorised Version in the OED is as late as 1824.
2. It was a brand new translation
Despite the title page's “newly translated out of the original languages” we know that the translators diligently consulted the previous versions and, as instructed, tried not to depart from the Bishops Bible any more than strictly necessary.
3. It was the Bible of the Puritans
Although there was Puritan support for the KJV, it is the earlier Geneva Bible that has the best claim to be regarded as the Puritan Bible, that is, the one they most often used until it was outlawed. Leonard J Trinterund, making the point that the Geneva Bible was not solely a Puritan Bible, nevertheless says that "Few things have seemed more obvious to historians over four centuries than the assertion that the Geneva Bible was the Puritan Bible. In fact, some have even supposed the Geneva Bible to be the cause and Puritanism the effect."
4. It was the Bible of Shakespeare, Milton and Bunyan
More than one scholar has noted that Shakespeare's writings are saturated with scriptural thoughts and words. He died in 1616 and so it should be no surprise that the evidence points to his having learned what he knew of the Bible from the Geneva version. Milton and Bunyan were later and do use the AV but follow the Geneva at least as often.
5. It has only begun to sound old fashioned in the last hundred years
There is evidence rather that even when it first appeared the KJV would have sounded old fashioned. They appear to have sought an elevated and slightly archaic style. Gordon Campbell says "In several respects ... the language was archaic when the KJV was published ... the language of the translators reflects their conservatism and slightly out-of-touch language. They were content to leave in place the language of earlier generations that was embodied in previous translations."
6. All the translators were godly Calvinists
The 50 or so translators were all Protestants, chosen for their scholarly ability rather than anything else. There is evidence to say that there were Arminians among them and, in at least one case, a man who had a problem with alcohol (Richard “Dutch” Thomson). This is similar, perhaps, to the way that among those involved with the NIV translation there was one who proved later to be guilty of homosexuality.
7. It has been popular ever since it was first published
Uptake of the KJV when it was first published was pretty slow and it was some years before it even began to be as popular as it has become. It was only after 1660 tat "attacks on the KJV abated and it was quietly adopted by Protestants of all persuasions" (Campbell).
8. People who use the AV are using the 1611 version
There are currently two slightly different versions of the AV commonly in print today (the Cambridge and Oxford versions). These both date back to the final revision of 1769. Between 1611 and 1769 there were as many as 24, 000 changes. Some of these were of some significance.
9. The KJV always uses word for word translation
Although the KJV translators usually aimed at a word for word rendering, they were not afraid to use a dynamic equivalent where they thought it appropriate. So for example they regularly translate Paul's “May it not be” (as in Romans 6:2) as God forbid.
10. There are no arguments for using the KJV today
Many people today have long abandoned the AV and can see no reason for retaining it. Joel Beeke and others, however, give several reasons for doing so. The fact it was good enough for St Paul is not one of them! We may disagree with what such people say but to say that there is no reason to carry on using the AV today is to overstate the case.

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