If I had any hair, this photograph may well have caused me to tear it out!
Isn’t it strange that when people tell us what Jesus would like it invariably lines up with their own views?
Not including the rather unpleasant tone of the advert, I reckon that there are two serious problems with it. It doesn’t understand the Bible and Bible translation, but (more importantly) it misrepresents Jesus.
Let’s take these one at a time.
The Bible and Bible Translation: The King James Version (or Authorised Version as we tend to call it on this side of the pond). Is a venerable and much loved translation of the Bible. It’s the first translation I ever used and I have a lot of respect for it. However, no matter how much people like and revere it, it is not the best translation available in English. I’ve gone over the arguments for this numerous times on Kouyanet and I don’t want to repeat the exercise yet again. If you’d like more of my thoughts take a look at my two posts on what I called Authorised Myths (1, 2).
Why would Jesus be offended if you handed him a any Bible other than the KJV?
I’m not sure if they mean any English Bible other than the KJV. You can’t quite tell from the context. However, just in case they believe that any translation (in any language) other than the KJV is offensive to God, it’s worth considering this diagram from the Washington Post.
Misunderstanding Jesus: The Christian faith is based on an historic event. God became man at a time and place in history, he grew up in a human family and was immersed in the language and culture of that time and place. He did not become generic, universal humanity.
What Bible would Jesus use? He’d use scrolls in Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic. We simply cannot co-opt Jesus into our arguments about which Bible to use (or anything else in contemporary life for that matter), because he didn’t live in our time and place.
Sometimes people reply to this sort of argument by pointing out that Jesus is God and can speak any language and understands all cultures. Yes, but he doesn’t go wandering around churches sorting out arguments about Bible translation! Jesus incarnation, his presence on this earth was a specific event in history which we have to respect and value. The next time he steps on this planet, he won’t be getting involved in church discussions about pew Bibles, he will be ushering in a new heaven and a new earth.
At this point in history, we simply don’t have Jesus physical presence to guide us and to answer our questions. We do, however, have the comforter promised by Jesus and the witness of Scripture. For the time being, they will have to do. Perhaps, in eternity, we can ask Jesus which English translation he would have used, but I suspect we’ll have better things to do.