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home : local color : ability and accountability May 22, 2015

Ability and Accountability
By Richard Haddad, Prescott Valley, AZ
"[Children] don't remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are."
"Please watch out for each other and love and forgive everybody. It's a good life, enjoy it."

-- Two of my favorite quotes by Jim Henson

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why are Mormons celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible?

 By Richard Haddad

Still photos from the new, three-part documentary film, Fires of Faith: The Coming Forth of the King James Bible. The film, airing Oct. 19 - Nov. 2, features 130 elaborately produced dramatic recreations and was filmed on-location in eight different countries at many of the actual sites where the original events took place.

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) I am often asked if we believe in the Bible. Yes, Mormons believe, revere and love the Holy Bible. We see it as a powerful, important, and sacred holy record which serves as the bedrock of all Christianity. The Bible is rich in history, doctrine, stories, sermons and testimonies, all of which witness that Jesus Christ is the Son of our Heavenly Father. Members of the Church are encouraged to study it regularly and apply the divine counsel it contains.

I love the stories and teachings of the Bible, but I am also fascinated by the events that took place to bring it to the English language.

The English scholar William Tyndale was the first to translate considerable parts of the Bible directly from the original Greek and Hebrew languages into English. He was also one of the first to take advantage of the new medium of print, which allowed for its wide distribution. Placing the Bible into the hands of the common man was taken to be a direct challenge to the leadership of both the Roman Catholic Church and the English church and state.

In 1535, Tyndale was arrested and jailed for more than a year. He was tried for heresy, strangled and burned at the stake for his crimes in 1536.

In 1611 fifty-four independent scholars created the King James Version of the Bible. These scholars drew significantly on Tyndale's translations. One estimation suggests the New Testament in the King James Version is 83 percent Tyndale's, and the Old Testament 76 percent.

Of course Tyndale wasn't alone in the early efforts to translate the Bible into English during 16th century England. Many others in the Protestant Reformation movement were imprisoned, tortured and sentenced to death. While today these faith-driven individuals who brought God's word to the English-speaking masses are now recognized as the greatest theological scholars and linguists of their time, they were branded heretics and burned at the stake.

Fires of Faith 3-part documentary

Starting Wednesday, Oct. 19, BYUtv will be airing a new, three-part documentary film (three years in the making) called Fires of Faith: The Coming Forth of the King James Bible, which celebrates the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. This is the version used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and widely considered the foundation of all English language versions.

BYUtv -- a Mormon-owned television channel that reaches 60 million homes in the United States -- is the only network in the country to use documentary format to commemorate the book's powerful and bloody history, as well as explore the King James Bible's contemporary significance.

While the film is not specifically about the Mormon religion itself, Fires of Faith can help educate the public about who the Mormons are, and what matters to them.

Fires of Faith offers a new perspective from interviews with a unique assembly of international experts -- ranging from Oxford and Notre Dame professors to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel - whose insights about the making of the King James Bible are powerful and profound. Although their religions differ, they all agree that the book's influence on humanity is unparalleled.

In three one-hour episodes airing Oct. 19 - Nov. 2, these interviews will be interspersed with 130 elaborately produced dramatic recreations, filmed on-location in eight different countries at many of the actual sites where the original events took place. Together the images and commentary create a comprehensive portrayal of the Bible's enduring history, and continued legacy.

Click here to watch a 1-minute film trailer

Updated Broadcast Schedule for December 2011:

Part 1 Fires of Faith: Yearning for the Word
Sunday, Dec. 11 at 7pm EST (5pm MST, 4pm PST) & 11pm EST (9pm MST, 8pm PST)  & 1pm EST (11am MST, 10am PST)

Part 2 Fires of Faith: Martyrs for a Book
Sunday, Dec. 18 at 7pm EST (5pm MST, 4pm PST) & 11pm EST (9pm MST, 8pm PST)  & 1pm EST (11am MST, 10am PST)

Part 3 Fires of Faith: The King James Bible
Sunday, Dec. 25 at 7pm EST (5pm MST, 4pm PST) & 11pm EST (9pm MST, 8pm PST)  & 1pm EST (11am MST, 10am PST)

Related Links:
• View 1-minute film trailer from Fires of Faith documentary
• See related artcile: BYUtv to Air First U.S. Documentary Series on Making of King James Bible

Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011
Article comment by: Richard Haddad

@Question please: The name of the Church is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
The Book of Mormon contains the writings of ancient prophets. One of the last of these ancient prophets, named Mormon, abridged the records together before he died. So the book is named after Mormon. People started calling members of the Church "Mormons" or "LDS" as a shortened nickname.

Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011
Article comment by: Question please

Why is the book called the Book of Mormon? One post says Mormon is slang for LDS. I thought the two were synonymous.

Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011
Article comment by: Richard Haddad

Chris, regarding your question: it is not my intention to use this blog for this purpose, but I have seen other comments you have posted and I believe you are a man who treats people with respect, and I feel your request is sincere. The Bible and the Book of Mormon do not diverge on the subject of grace vs. works -- a point of doctrine that is debated by many even within the Bible. Like the Bible, you will find numerous teachings in the Book of Mormon supporting both grace and works, but ultimately it teaches us that by the grace of Jesus Christ we are saved.
If anyone has more questions about what Mormons believe, please visit Mormon.org. Here is a link to a FAQ page that answers this grace question more directly: http://mormon.org/faq/beliefs-on-grace

Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011
Article comment by: @Chris Bergman

@Chris Bergman "When it comes to actually walking the talk, the LDS are definitely top notch."

There is a youtube video titled "Choose the Right with Mitt Romney?" that documents the walk of LDS federal judges - which one would think would be top notch. You can search for it or here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px3h7IMMyP8

Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011
Article comment by: Doc Holliday

@ Richard Haddad

I hope you did not take my post as an attack towards the individual members of the church, my issue is with the false teachings of the church. As stated I have no issue with the individual people, as I wrote before I have many friends who are LDS. Everyone should seriously research their own belief system to make sure it is in fact true. The Bible is full of warnings about False Teachers, False Prophets, and being Deceived. A great tool is BibleGateway.com, you can search the Bible by these types of keywords. I like the quote to watch out for, love, and forgive everybody. This is exactly my motive for sharing the historical facts that I have researched for many years.

Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011
Article comment by: Fear and Loathing Human Nature

Dear Richard,
You are beautifully innocent in your belief in the good of mankind, but I fear it is not as you would believe.
Your article, however slightly, promoted the LDS church as being correct or The Truth, however you wish to put it. In doing so, it is the nature of most people to take this as an attack of their beliefs or teachings, I"ve known few believers who do not doubt or question their own faith from time to time. so to have someone else state that they may in fact be wrong or ill informed scares the heck out of them, prompting an attack on the offending soul who takes pride in THEIR own belief system. Understand that everyone fears there is no God and that this mortal life is the end, game over, once they die, Therefore they all desperately need to reach out to something, like dying men on a battlefield, who call out for their mothers when hope is finally lost.

Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011
Article comment by: Doc Holliday

@ Chris Bergman

I first need to make a correction to my first post about the Protestant Reformation happening in the 1600's, was typing faster than the brain. Reformation started with Martin Luther in 1517 posting his Ninety-Five Thesis. It is important to understand that he was “protesting” against the Roman Catholic Church. If you read the article link I posted on Church History, the Great Schism of 1054 was the divide of the Apostolic Church from East (today the Eastern Orthodox Church) and West (today the Roman Catholic Church). I can understand the Protests of Martin Luther against the Roman Catholic Church, but the Eastern Orthodox Church never left the original course of the Apostles. A great book covering this history is called “Light from the Christian East” everyone should read this book vs. blindly believing what pastors are preaching in modern churches.

You write that you celebrate Reformation Day, well I have to say that is not much to celebrate considering the Reformation in the West has watered down Christianity into thousands of different churches that do not agree with one another, if someone thinks they can interpret the Bible better – well they start their own church.

Faith & Works do in fact go together 100%. Reformers tried to have The Book of James removed from the Bible as it went against their Sola Scriptura. Read James 2:14-26, Faith without Works Is Dead. The LDS version of works in their doctrine earns them different levels based upon works, which I disagree with and so does 2000 years of Church History & Teaching. The Eastern Orthodox Church is worth your time to visit and research.

Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011
Article comment by: Monsieur Al-Idrisi

Actually Paul the Apostle taught righteousness apart from works, Martin Luther co-opted this into his Sola Fide belief, however does that make it absolutely true? For each verse of the bible that supports such a sentiment there is a verse refuting the idea of Sola Fide, so which one is wrong this time?

Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011
Article comment by: Chris Bergman

I have to agree with Doc Holiday, Richard. When it comes to actually walking the talk, the LDS are definitely top notch. BUT (you knew there had to be a “but” didn't you?) the question I always ask, which is similar to Doc's is, where the Bible and the Book of Mormon diverge, which has authority? For example, whereas the Book of Mormon teaches a works righteousness (i.e. earning God's favor) the Bible teaches a righteousness apart from works. They cannot both be right. So, which do you say, is wrong?

As for the topic of your post, any well made and historically accurate depiction of the Bible's journey from the ecclesiastically exclusive Greek, Hebrew and Latin, to the languages of the common man, today, is welcome. And this, as we approach one of my favorite holidays, October 31st, Reformation day. bergman_blogs@yahoo.com

Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011
Article comment by: The Rev

Richard, one, such as you, is truly blessed by a high power.

Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011
Article comment by: Richard Haddad

As I read some of the comments coming into my latest blog entry I cannot help but wonder why some readers feel they must attack members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, especially those readers posting words of contempt or misinformation. My desire in posting this entry was to share information about a fascinating upcoming 3-part documentary celebrating the King James Bible, and perhaps explain why the Mormons would invest three years of production into such a documentary.

At the top of the page underneath my blog title I feature two quotes by Jim Henson, the creator of an innocent, kind character named Kermit that I grew to love in my youth. One of the quotes reads, "Please watch out for each other and love and forgive everybody. It's a good life, enjoy it."

Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011
Article comment by: bill johnson

Mormons are deceived. period. It breaks my heart.

Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011
Article comment by: Doc Holliday

I respect LDS Members for one reason and that is how they live their lives, most people I have met or interacted with I consider them my friends and respect them as individuals and family's.

With that said I do have numerous issues with the beliefs and teachings of the LDS church. I ask this question, does God make mistakes? Think about this before you answer the question. So God appeared to Joseph Smith who was by himself (no witnesses) and basically said I was wrong and I need you to usher in some major changes for me, here is this new information, you are now a prophet, and re-build my church?

There are so many holes in this story as well as the book of Mormon. The LDS church is no different than any of the thousands of churches that were spawned after the Protestant Reformation in the 1600's, not one of these thousands of churches agree with one another 100% and each one says they are right in their teaching and doctrine.

Jesus said: And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. What Church is Jesus referring to? Does he mean thousands of different churches who do not agree with each other? The answer is No, you must study the last 2000 years to understand what has occurred to understand what is the Ancient New Testament Church that still exists to this day. Read this article and you will find the answers, research even more and you will find this is historically and factually correct without a doubt.


Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Article comment by: Monsieur Al-Idrisi

@The Rev

Which pretty much explains why I am a devout secularist. Science and faith have their roles in society. I just don't believe in adhering to one religion versus another. In full disclosure I am a perfectly good lapsed Catholic--and in defense of such calling Catholics a cult is utterly myopic, no Catholicism = no Christianity, despite the dogmatic rigidness of the church through the ages. Without the bureaucracy of Catholicism I fear Martin Luther would have nothing to rebel against. My only objection to the bible is its place in some people's view as absolute truth. Taken as a historical and ethical text it provides a sound basis for a functional society-- as do many creation/ religious text often do. Though it seems misused when utilized as an implement of domination. That, however, is a different discussion for a different time.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Article comment by: The Rev

Fear and Loathing is right. South Park also said portrayed radical atheists as speaking poo, then, through intelligence of otters, endorsed faith when benignly held and who can forget Mr. Hankey's take on those seeking to ban Christmas.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Article comment by: I care

this topic interests me, Isreal is mentioned in the bible over 800 times and Jerusalem several hundred times, Jordan river numbers of times and the list goes on and on. I can go to a map and find these places they still exist, Rome still exists... places change but people will never change. I applaud the mormons in celablating the King James writings My Questions are ...In the Book of Mormon why can't I find the cities of millions or the smaller townships mentioned I want to understand. I have tried to location these places. Are they lost citys like the city of atlantis? I know about the mountain in Michigan but there are no articfacts nothing found when the mormans had digs in 60's and 70's This is a pretty gray area for me. I would like to know what Im getting into before I get in.
Also interesting veiws on where Jesus was born Jerusalem not Bethlehem, also some mormons believe Jesus is alive but is in the 2nd heaven, not with God the Father. And He had a Brother named Satan, these books go differant directions if you ask me

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Article comment by: Fear and Loathing and SouthPark Knows

Actually South Park is quite the authority on many things including but not limited to the absurdity of religions.
Check out the one they did on Scientology and Dianetics, where Tom Cruise and John Revolta wouldnt come out of the closet. This is priceless theatre.
Its only so funny because its true, if it was all lies no one would watch it.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Article comment by: Wayne .

so much unnecessary bitterness. it hurts me to read the contention in some of these comments. live and let live in peace.
the documentary looks interesting to me. and from the trailer it appears to have been produced well by people who consider the bible a holy record.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Article comment by: Re: O Yes

Thank you for being the poster child for 'misinformation'. Re: 'all I can recommend' .....oh yes, I ALWAYS turn to the show South Park if I want to get the truth about anything...ROFL!

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Article comment by: Giovanni Savonarola

Virgin birth, rising from the dead, the angel Moroni, Elohim, celestial marriage, eating the body and drinking the blood, everlasting life, getting magical tablets and then somehow LOSING them?? Come on folks, it's all cultish behavior!

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Article comment by: The Rev

Monsieur Al-Idrisi, if it helps, understand that humanity influences everything it touches. Religion or Science, it does not matter, man always will accidentally or intentionally corrupt things to some degree. The key to the believer is disseminating what is truth verses what is "else". Just because a religious text is newer makes it no less truthful than older works as long as we review the material clearly.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Article comment by: W Green

Wow What a lot of hate,
How Christian of you. Now Catholic’s are in a cult? OH that’s right all those that don’t believe just like you are a cult.
The Authorized Version, known as the King James Version, or KJV, is an English translation by the Church of England. The Christian Bible begun in 1604 -1611. First printed, this was the third official translation into English the first having begin the Great Bible commissioned by the Church of England under King Henry VIII, the 2nd was the Bishop's Bible of 1568. The Hampton Court Conference where a new English version was conceived in response to the problems of the earlier translations as detected by the Puritans, within the Church of England.
James gave the translators instructions intended to guarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology and reflect the Episcopal structure of the Church of England and its beliefs about an ordained clergy. The translation was done by 47 scholars, all of whom were members of the Church of England. In common with most other translations of the period, the New Testament was translated from Greek, the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew text, Greek and Latin. The KJV replaced the Great Bible for Epistle and Gospel readings and as authorized by Act of Parliament.
OK So The bible was translated how many times???? and by whom? This is why the members of the LDS church (not Mormons) ( that's slang) use The Book of Mormon as a companion to the KJV of the bible.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Article comment by: Steve Everson

Raul, your comments are both incorrect and ignorant. First things first, the bible is the Catholic bible. Period. Read your history. Second, nowhere in the bible does it say that the bible is the sole road to salvation. Try reading the bible. What part of "and on this rock I give your Peter the keys to my church" do you not understand. Apostolic succession from Peter gives the Catholic Church the only common thread with Jesus, not the bible on which it created. Lastly, just because you read the bible and get a bunch of people together in a strip mall does not make you a church. Go to mass, receive the holy communion and try again. God Bless.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Article comment by: Nayajja: Raul, your anger blinds you

Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom. Proverbs 13:10

Thus did Alma teach his people, that every man should love his neighbor as himself, that there should be no contention among them. Mosiah 23:15

Raul, I have read the entire Bible a number of times. I have read the Book of Mormon many times. They complement and strengthen each other. I find in them access to the Spirit, which teaches me that Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God the Father, came to earth, lived a perfect life, suffered for my sins and overcame sin for those who will believe and follow him, and died and was resurrected, overcoming death for all.

May I suggest that if you knew the truth, your anger and contention would be replaced with love.

Peace, brother. Contention is of the devil.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Article comment by: all I can recommend

is South Park's Mormon episode, of which the broadway play is based, on YouTube or Comedy Central...Learn the truth and it will set you free!

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