Majestie: The Man Behind the King James Bible by David Teems

One of my goals for 2011 is to read 52 books, which, of course, is one book per week. This shouldn’t be too difficult, but considering the fact that I also am attempting to continue my regimen of reading 10 chapters of the Bible per day, it becomes a little more challenging. The first book I read this year was Majestie: The Man Behind the King James Bible by David Teems. I was sent a free copy of this book from Michael Hyatt, President of Thomas Nelson Publishers. 2011 is the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible, so it is probably appropriate that I started the year off with this particular work. I actually finished this book the first week of January, but am just now getting around to posting a short review here on my blog.

The strength of this book is the ability of Teems to tell the story. I found it to be a very entertaining read. Teems does a great job of selecting aspects of the story that keeps the reader engaged, as well as employing the literary tool of foreshadowing to create a hunger for more and to build momentum. He also has a keen ability to make the story light and humorous.

Teems does not have the typical background for a history author. Most Christian history books I read are written either by history professors or pastors with strong history backgrounds, but Teems is a musician by trade with a degree in Psychology and Philosophy. Perhaps this is the reason I found myself disagreeing at times. For example, throughout the book Teems presents the Puritans in a most negative light. This is by no means out of step with most modern historians, but I think a closer look at the evidence reveals that most modern historians are wrong when it comes to assessing the Puritans. If you want a different perspective on the Puritans, a positive one, check out the writings of Leland Ryken, J. I. Packer, and Stephen Nichols on the subject.

In spite of my disagreements with Teems, which are few, I recommend this book as a good one to read this year to get a good portrait of the man who was most influential in seeing the King James Bible come to reality…James Stewart. I’ll give it 4 stars.


What Makes a Bible Translation Accurate?

What makes a Bible translation accurate? I agree completely with Dr. Ray Van Neste’s answer. I especially appreciate how he emphasizes the role of the church in helping people interpret the Scriptures:

What makes a translation accurate is faithful representation of the original text into the receptor language (English for us). This is basically agreed upon by all. Where there is debate is concerning the amount of interpretation that should be included in a translation. For example, quite often a Greek phrase is open to a variety of nuanced understandings. Some argue the translator should determine which nuance is best and make that clear in the translation. I would argue that the translation is best that maintains the ambiguity of the original text, so long as it is understandable English. For example, in Colossians 1:11 Paul prays that Christians might be strengthened with all power “according to the might of his glory” (my translation). The Greek phrase here can hypothetically mean “might which is his glory,” “might which comes from his glory,” “might which belongs to his glory” and several other options. Some would argue the translator must decide on one of these more interpretive options and use it. However, I would argue that in this case (and others like it) the simple English translation captures the meaning of the text while leaving open a variety of shades of interpretation.

Continue reading What Makes a Bible Translation Accurate?

Great Counsel for College Students

When I was in junior college, my faith was attacked vehemently by a science professor. But ironically it is oftentimes the religion professors or Bible professors who attack the Christian faith most intensely. Bob Thune explains why Christians need not be intimidated:

The basic storyline goes like this: good Bible-believing Christian student goes to college. College Religion department employs professor who takes arrogant pleasure in deconstructing the Christian faith. Professor appeals to “higher criticism” while stroking beard convincingly in order to discount, discredit, and discourage Christian theism. Student feels stupid in front of classmates, has crisis of faith, and begins to doubt prior convictions.

I resolved this crisis for myself by…”

Read the rest HERE.

Should a Christian Hunt for Sport?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP)–Sarah Palin killed a caribou and Aaron Sorkin is not too happy about it. In a piece for the Huffington Post, the Hollywood producer takes Palin to task for her hunting trip that aired on The Learning Channel.

After confessing that he is indeed a carnivore who owns leather clothing, Sorkin shifts into a self-righteous smack down of Palin, comparing the nature of her hunting trip to the crimes of Michael Vick, calling her “a phony pioneer girl” and “deranged,” and accusing her of murdering a moose for political gain.

Read the rest at BP Sports HERE.