Thursday, September 17, 2009

The NIV, the Gospel of Mark, and the AntiChrist: The Lunacy on Display

And I thought I was bad. For those who have been coming on Wednesday nights, we've been discussing textual criticism in our attempt to best interpret a text. The following pastor argues that if you take away the last twelve verses of Mark, that means that there are 666 verses in the Gospel of Mark. There are a number of major problems with this interpretation.

First, there were no such thing as verses (or chapters for that matter) when Mark penned his Gospel. There is no grand conspiracy here. Throughout the centuries, chapters and verses were added in order to help the reader. They are not inspired and Mark was unaware of them.

Secondly, the pastor here has said ridiculous things before. One example comes when he declares that he will be a man who "pisseths" standing up (I kid you not). So the fact that he would only add to such lunacy should not surprise us.

Thirdly, this pastor is a King James Version-only proponent. I have nothing against the KJV. It has its advantages and disadvantages as a translation. But that's the point, its a translation. The Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek, not in King James. I agree that the NIV (which is what he is referring to here) has its problems, but this is not one of them.

In the end, it is this sort of lunacy that gives Christianity a bad name. As we deal with some of the difficult issues of hermeneutics (the science of interpretation), we must avoid lunacy like this.

For More:
NT BLog - 666 verses in Mark's Gospel in the NIV, or are there?
PaleoBabble -Another Great Moment in Pulpit PaleoBabble
Mark 16:9-20 Available Online
Which Translations Are Best?: A Helpful Chart
Weekly Recommendation: New Testament Textual Criticism

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