"Christians And The Internet" newsletter
CATI, Vol. 4, No. 1:  February 7, 2003
_______________________________________________________________

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. LETTER FROM THE EDITOR, WITH THE USUAL APOLOGIES...
2. BIBLICAL CATECHIZING & CHRISTIAN CATECHISMS
3. ADD STREAMING AUDIO TO YOUR PERSONAL OR CHURCH WEB SITE
4. GENEVA & KING JAMES: WHICH BIBLE(S) CAN YOU TRUST?
5. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER
_______________________________________________________________

The latest revision of this issue of "CATI" can be accessed
online at http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati78.htm.  The
Web page edition makes it especially easy to visit the links.

Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2003 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.  See
the end of this issue for more information on "CATI."
_______________________________________________________________

1. LETTER FROM THE EDITOR, WITH THE USUAL APOLOGIES...

As most people know, "CATI," a free e-mail newsletter devoted
to "Christians And The Internet," is published on a somewhat
irregular schedule.  I apologize for that.  The newsletter is
essentially a one-person accomplishment, so if there are extra
demands on my schedule, that may put "CATI" behind schedule.
I appreciate your patience in this situation.

I still hope to return to weekly publication (which was the
normal schedule for much of 2000, when I started publishing
"CATI"), but my life has been extra busy recently, especially
at the end of 2002 and the beginning of 2003.

Most of the additional demands have been pleasurable ones,
such as increased opportunities to preach at various area
churches and to do one-on-one tutoring as needed.  I'm happy
to have a new computer here (and finally to have cable access
to the Internet), but moving to Windows XP has meant the need
to move to (and learn) new software as well (e.g., a different
program to mail out "CATI").

Incidentally, some of you know that I've also had some health
issues which have taken some of my time, and you have been so
kind as to remember me in your prayers.  There appears to be
some real encouragement in that area.  For those who qualify
for it, something called "deep-brain stimulation" surgery may
have dramatic (near-miraculous) effects in its alleviation of
the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease (which is what I have,
along with the Pope, Billy Graham, Michael J. Fox, and Janet
Reno, so I'm certainly in famous or infamous company in my
affliction).

I've been approved for the "D.B.S." surgery, and the surgery
is likely to take place in early June of 2003.  By the way,
the particular procedure I'm scheduled to have is fairly new:
it was only approved by the FDA in January 2002 as a proven
form of medical treatment; before that time, it was considered
to be exploratory or experimental.  As in all surgery, some
risk is involved, but this operation is less invasive than
other forms of such surgery, and the records show a high rate
of success.

In addition to reading a lot about the operation (which is
similar to getting a pacemaker, except that it's for the brain
rather than the heart), I've talked with a number of people
who have had the surgery, and a typical report (especially
from those who had been in late-stage Parkinson's) is, "It
gave me my life back again."  There is, of course, not any
guarantee that it will work out equally well for me (at best
the best we can speak of his "human probability"), but I have
a better guarantee, whatever the results of the surgery:  it
is certain that "in all things God works for the good of those
who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose"
(Romans 8:28).

If you are curious to learn more about D.B.S. surgery (and you
are not squeamish), here's where you can find on the Web a
video that not only explains the surgery, but also shows it
to you:

Re-broadcast of actual D.B.S. surgery
  http://www.slp3d.com/wake_hosp/prewebcast/broadcast.html

As we see the complexity of the human body, we see that
it is indeed true that we are "fearfully and wonderfully
made" (Psalm 139:14).  Even as fallen creatures, we
continue to display the glory of the Creator who made us,
even as likewise "the heavens declare the glory of God; the
skies proclaim the work of His hands" (Psalm 19:1).
_______________________________________________________________

2. BIBLICAL CATECHIZING & CHRISTIAN CATECHISMS

The World Wide Web contains a lot of very helpful material on
"catechizing" and "catechisms," but to many Christians today,
such terms are largely unfamiliar.  On the other hand, some
other Christians are convinced that the future well-being of
the Church may be dependent upon our rediscovering the value
of such things.

The purpose of this article is (1) to describe what is meant
by "catechizing" and "catechisms" (including explaining their
importance to the health of the Church today) and (2) to
indicate where some of the helpful material on the subject
may be found.

Effective teaching ordinarily involves interaction between
teacher and student.  Asking questions, listening to answers,
being asked questions, providing answers:  this is normally
the way we learn.  Well, what we know today aabout education
could be seen not only in Biblical times (in both Old and New
Testament), but also in the history of the Church (especically
in the Reformation era).  Catechizing is simply a more formal,
more structured way of using this question-and-answer method
of education.

The use of questions and answers is a well-established and
honored technique for instruction.  Here, for example, is an
important example from the Old Testament:

A foundational Old Testament passage is Deuteronomy 6, a
passage often familiar to Jew and Gentile alike.  First you
have what Jews sometimes call the "shema" (from the Hebrew
word for "hear").  Then comes the statement that Jesus Christ
referred to as "the first and great commandment."  Then there
is emphasis on the fact that there are certain things we ought
to discuss around the clock and know by heart:

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  Love
the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength. These commandments that I give
you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your
children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you
walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up"
(Deut. 6:4-7, NIV).

Later in this chapter, we see how the question-and-answer
approach is used ("when your son asks, tell him") in religious
instruction:

"In the future, when your son asks you, 'What is the meaning
of the stipulations, decrees and laws the LORD our God has
commanded you?' tell him: 'We were slaves of Pharaoh in
Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty
hand. Before our eyes the LORD sent miraculous signs and
wonders--great and terrible-upon Egypt and Pharaoh and his
whole household. But he brought us out from there to bring
us in and give us the land that he promised on oath to our
forefathers. The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees
and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always
prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today...'" (Deut.
6:20-24, NIV).

Note that we have here a command:  "...when your son asks you
[and he assuredly will ask!], ... tell him" the answer to his
question!-

Although other educational methods are also approved (e.g.,
see Deut. 6:8-9 on the use of memory aids), interaction
between teacher and student in the form of questions asked
and answers given appears to be fundamental to instruction
in the Bible.

In the New Testament as well, we see questions asked and
answers given.  A notable example is that of Jesus at the
age of twelve in the temple courts:

"[Joseph and Mary] found him in the temple courts, sitting
among the teachers, listening to them and asking them
questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his
understanding and his answers.... And Jesus grew in wisdom
and stature, and in favor with God and men" (Luke 2:45-46,
52, NIV).

Note that Jesus asked other people questions and also gave
answers to questions other people asked him.  He used this
approach during His three-year ministry as an adult, but be
sure to note that He did this not only as an adult Teacher,
but also (as in the passage before us) as a boy still growing
in wisdom.

We can see from this that the question-and-answer approach can
be used legitimately in both directions:  the student can ask
the teacher questions (with the teacher giving the answers) or
the teacher can ask the student questions (with the student
giving the answers).  (Christ's situation was unique, however,
in that even while He was a student, "growing in wisdom," he
was even then also a Master Teacher.)

Such instruction is appropriate not only in the covenant home
(i.e., a home where there is a believing parent) and in the
gathering together of God's people (as the assembling of the
larger family of God), but also in evangelism, where questions
and answers are also very appropriate for instruction in the
things of God:

"Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading
Isaiah the prophet. 'Do you understand what you are reading?'
Philip asked. 'How can I,' he said, 'unless someone explains
it to me?'  So he invited Philip to come up and sit with
him....  The eunuch asked Philip, 'Tell me, please, who is
the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?' Then
Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told
him the good news about Jesus."

(See also question-and-answer in 1 Peter 3:15, where we
are told to "be prepared to give an answer.")

We get our words "catechism" and "catechizing" from the Greek
word "catecheo," which means "to instruct."  An example is
Luke 1:4:  "...so that you may know the certainty of the
things you have been taught" (or "the things in which you have
been instructed") (Luke 1:4, NIV).  (See also "[Apollos] had
been instructed in the of the Lord...," Acts 18:25, NIV.)  In
such instruction, questions-and-answers often played a rather
important role.

We move from a quick look at Biblical catechizing on to
Christian catechisms.  There are other ways besides
questions-and-answers to "bring [your children] up in the
training and instruction of the Lord..." (Eph. 6:4, NIV),
but it is an effective way frequently used throughout
history in God's Church.  In this usage, "catechism"
means more than simply "instruction":  it means Christian
instruction in a question-and-answer format designed to
teach a summary of what the Bible teaches.

An excellent book on this subject is Donald Van Dyken's
Rediscovering Catechism (P & R, 2000).  He challenges
churches today to adopt the Biblical and Reformational
practice of catechizing, presenting a solemn argument on
behalf of catechisms and catechizing:

"The biblical and Reformational model is catechizing, a method
of teaching in which hearing and speaking are central.  If the
church needs men and women of faith for the days ahead, we
must return to listening to the Word  and from there to be
asking questions and getting answers. 'Faith comes by hearing,
and hearing by the Word of God' (Rom. 10:17)" (p. 13).

That is not the approach taken by many churches today:

"The method employed in many Sunday Schools emphasizes doing
and seeing.  Children color pictures, cut out characters,
play games, and act out Bible stories; they are visually
engaged by overhead projectors and videos.  To the extent
that such activities preempt teaching by word, we should
seriously question whether they serve the biblical and
Reformational model" (p. 13).

Other techniques may be appropriate from time to time, but
since God has given us verbal revelation in the Word of God,
what we need to emphasize is verbal communication.  Thus the
primary mark of God's True Church is the preaching of the
Word, and likewise the use of questions-and-answers appears
to have good reasons for it.

In his dedication to the Catechism of the Church of Geneva,
Protestant Reformer John Calvin had this to say:  "What we
now bring forward ... is nothing else than the use of things
which from ancient times were observed by Christians, and
the true worshippers of God...."

When we think of the Reformation era as a great time of God's
Re-forming His Church through His Word, we often think of
the mighty preaching of the Word.  We may fail, however, to
see to what extent people were being blessed through the Word
as its fundamental teachings were summarized and taught by
means of Christian catechisms:

"Of this period we may say that all the Reformers (Luther,
Melanchthon, Calvin, Zwingli, Beza, Knox, and Cranmer) and
all the churches supported catechism teaching faithfully"
(Van Dyken, p. 45).

Many of these Reformers, in fact, wrote their own catechisms
for use in the churches.  Such Reformers included Martin
Luther, John Calvin, and John Knox, for example.  After the
Reformation, the emphasis upon catechisms continued.  One
example is the Heidelberg Catechism throughout Europe, but
catechetical instruction also flourished among the Puritans
of Great Britain (the Westminster Shorter Catechism was a
magnificent achievement of the Westminster Divines, i.e.,
ministers) as well as among the Plymouth Pilgrims and New
England Puritans in what has now become the United States.

In short, where catechizing and catechisms thrived, there
also Christianity thrived.  I could have supplied even more
examples.  For example, the great Baptist preacher Charles
Spurgeon was responsible for "Spurgeon's Catechism," so
catechisms are also part of Baptist tradition at its best
and most Biblical.  We would do well to rediscover their
value today, and many people today, in fact, have come to
a new appreciation for the continued relevance of the
Heidelberg Catechism (1563) and the Westminster Shorter
Catechism (1647).

The Heidelberg Catechism is part of the heritage of Reformed
churches, and the Westminster Shorter Catechism (and Larger
Catechism) part of the heritage of Presbyterian churches,
although these catechisms (or an adaptation) are often used
by other Christians today.

I hope to have a larger list of links in a future issue, but
for now here are some helpful Web sites related to catechizing
and catechisms (with the emphasis upon the Westminster Shorter
Catechism):

Westminster Shorter Catechism with Proof Texts
Along with the Questions and Answers you'll find the actual
text of the proof texts (and not merely the references).
  http://www.reformed.org/documents/WSC_frames.html

Westminster Shorter Catechism Project (Bible Presbyterian
    Church)
This is an amazing resource!  Here you'll find not only the
questions and answers plus Scripture references (all fully
quoted), but links throughout to the following works about
the Westminster Shorter Catechism: James Fisher's Catechism
on the Catechism, John Flavel's Exposition of the Assembly's
Shorter Catechism, Matthew Henry's A Scripture Catechism in
the Method of the Assembly's, Thomas Vincent's The Shorter
Catechism Explained from Scripture, Thomas Watson's Body of
Divinity, John Whitecross' The Shorter Catechism Illustrated,
and Alexander Whyte's A Commentary on the Shorter Catechism.
  http://www.shortercatechism.com/

That site contains some other useful resources, including some
harmonies of the Westminster Standards (Westminster Confession
of Faith plus Larger and Shorter Catechisms):

Harmonies of the Westminster Standards (Bible Presbyterian
    Church)
  http://www.shortercatechism.com/resources/harmonies/wsc_scripture_index.html


That site has special praise for one resource in particular:

"Stephen Pribble's Scripture Index to the Westminster
Standards is an extremely valuable contribution to the study
of the confession and catechisms. This is a rather large file
(130K), with links directly from the Scripture references to
the relevant sections in the Shorter Catechism Project."
  http://www.shortercatechism.com/harmonies.html

Here's where you can download that file:

Stephen Pribble's Scripture Index to the Westminster Standards
  http://www.shortercatechism.com/resources/harmonies/wsc_scripture_index.html

Here's where you can purchase some good books related to the
Heidelberg Catechism and Westminster Shorter Catechism:

The Discerning Reader: Catechisms and Confessions
  http://www.discerningreader.com/catechism.html

And here is information on some available software related to
the (first 38 questions of the) Westminster Shorter Catechism:

Built on the Rock
  http://www.shepherdent.com/RockBuilt.htm

Finally, here are some helpful articles on catechizing and
catechisms:

Kelly, Douglas. The Westminster Shorter Catechism. (Premise,
    June 6, 1996)
  http://capo.org/premise/96/mj/p960511.html

La May, Bob and Kay.  Catechizing God's Children.
  http://www.kinder-kreations.com/Catechizing.htm

Murray, John.  The Catechisms of the Westminster Assembly.
  http://www.rtrc.net/documents/wcf/catechisms.htm

Riddlebarger, Kim.  Fathers, Instruct Your Children: The Need
    To Recover the Practice of Catechism
  http://www.reformedreader.org/rpc.htm

Warfield, B.B.  Is the Shorter Catechism Worthwhile?
 http://www.bpc.org/resources/articles/warfield/warfield_shorter_catechism.html

Enjoy!
_______________________________________________________________

3. ADD STREAMING AUDIO TO YOUR PERSONAL OR CHURCH WEB SITE

It's not difficult for you to add "streaming audio" to your
personal or church Web site and I'll show you how to do that
in a moment, but first let's define what "streaming audio" is
and why you might want to add it to a Web site.

"'Streaming' audio files are those which play without having to
download them first. These include Internet radio broadcasts,
and are usually in RealAudio or streaming MP3 formats."
  http://mp3.about.com/library/weekly/aa010603fileconversions.htm

But "streaming audio" is useful not just for Internet radio
broadcasts, but has other applications as well.  For example,
why not (with his permission, of course) put your pastor's
messages on your personal or church Web site?

True, you could simply put up the text of the message so that
site visitors can read the sermon, but there are advantages to
allowing them actually to hear the preaching of the Word.  And
streaming audio makes this not only possible, but also is a
lot easier to do than you might think.

Of the two main choices (RealAudio and streaming MP3), I think
there are some reasons to prefer MP3 over RealAudio:  (1) MP3
files are generally smaller than ReadAudio files for the same
sound quality and take less time to travel over the Internet.
(2) Some people have had trouble installing RealPlayer or in
getting it to work properly, but computers running Windows
ordinarily have Windows Media Player or its equivalent already
installed, a program that does not ordinarily cause such
problems.  (3) It's not difficult at all (if needed) to do
file type conversions involving MP3 files, but the same is not
true of RealAudio files.

Let's go through the process, taking sermons as an example.
Here's what you need to do:  (1) Record the sermon, say, on
cassette.  (That's called "analog" format.)  (2) Using that
recording, create a computer file.  (That's called "digital"
format.)  (3) Convert the file (which may be in WAV or some
other format) into an MP3 file.  (4) Add the necessary HTML
code to the Web page.  (See the Web pages listed at the end
of this article for details on the first three steps.)

Of course, you can choose to have someone else take care of
the entire process (for an appropriate fee, of course).  Here
is one place where that can be done:

Sermons Online
  http://www.netmedia.org/sermonsonline/index.htm

An example of a congregation that uses this service is New
Hope Presbyterian Church (PCA), Fairfax, Virginia:

New Hope PCA: Sermons Available On-Line
  http://www.netmedia.org/nhpca/index.htm

According to SermonsOnline, New Hope PCA has "more than two
hundred hours of sermon audio online."

SermonsOnline offers two different options:
 ______________________________________________________________
/
"We offer two services: a Mail-In Service that creates an
online tape ministry from the sermons you mail to us, and a
Hosting-Only option for advanced users that just need media
hosting.

"Mail-In Service
... Just mail us a copy of your services each week, fill in
a simple, online form, and you're done! We take care of
converting everything into a dynamic multimedia web page, so
your members, visitors, and shut-ins can access it right from
your ministry's current web site....

"We start by converting your tape into a digital audio file,
then processing it to create a full, pleasing sound. We create
two web audio files for each sermon: a streaming Real Player
file for immediate playback, and a higher quality MP3 file for
download. Your sermons will sound great, even over slow modem
connections!...

"Hosting-Only Service
In our Hosting-Only Service, you do all of the audio
processing and web page maintenance....  You use the FTP
client of your choice to upload your media to our servers.
All streaming is done via HTTP (aka “progressive download”).
Progressive download starts playback of the audio file
immediately after an initial buffer has been received....
Most web audio players support progressive download, including
WinAmp MP3, RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, and Quicktime."

  http://www.netmedia.org/sermonsonline/services.htm
\______________________________________________________________

Note a couple of things:  (1) The "Mail-In Service" plan does
not apparently make use of "streaming" MP3, but seems only to
make the MP3 file available as a traditional download (which
may be a long process for people who do not have cable access
or DSN access, but normal phone dial-up access).  (2) What
they call "progressive download" is presumably the same as
the approach I'll describe in a moment, where the HTML code
for the Web page is set up so that an MP3 file will be
processed as "streaming audio" as defined at the beginning
of this article.  (Some call it "pseudo-streaming.")

The key point is that you don't want your site visitor to
have to download the entire file before he or she can start
listening to it.  "Streaming audio" or "progressive download"
means that your visitors can start listening to the sermon
almost immediately.  Their "Hosting Only Service" does allow
you to handle MP3 files in this way, but you can do this on
your own Web site easily as well.

There's a simple secret here:  instead of linking directly to
the MP3 file, you link instead to an intermediary file (which
is sometimes called a "locator" file) that simply gives the
address of the MP3 file.  If you know HTML (the language used
in creating Web pages), the process is simple.  If you don't
know HTML, a friend may be able to help or you may decide to
learn for yourself the small amount of HTML needed to modify
that portion of your Web page (and please bear with me for the
next paragraph or so).

Here's what a normal HTML link to an MP3 file looks like:

<A HREF="http://somesite.org/somefile.mp3">Some Sermon</A>

You replace it with a link that looks like this:

<A HREF="http://somesite.org/somefile.m3u"Some Sermon</A>

The "somefile.m3u" file is a simple text file (which you can
create, for example, with Windows Notepad) which contains a
single line like this:

http://somesite.org/somefile.mp3

And that's all there is to it!

You can find more details (and perhaps a clearer explanation)
at the following sites:

DeliverYourMedia: Streaming Audio Primer (a five-part article)
  http://www.deliveryourmedia.com/article-audio-primer.html
DeliverYourMedia: Streaming Audio Primer: Updating Your Web
    Page (part five)  http://www.deliveryourmedia.com/article-audio-primer-5.html

How to Convert Anything: A Primer on Music File Conversions
    (by "music file" any sound file is meant)
  http://mp3.about.com/library/weekly/aa010603fileconversions.htm

How to Effortlessly Use Streaming Audio to Add Impact to Your
    Online Business
  http://www.davidbartosik.com/arc/straudio.htm

How to Put Audio Files on the Internet
  http://www.auburn.edu/truthseekers/audio/audiomake/audio.html

W3U.net: Using audio files in your web pages (ignore the
    comments about cost: they will vary depending on your
    Web host)
  http://www.w3u.com/w3u/faqs/media/audio/
_______________________________________________________________

4. GENEVA & KING JAMES: WHICH BIBLE(S) CAN YOU TRUST?

Earlier issues of "CATI" told the fascinating but little-known
story of the Geneva Bible:

Better Than the King James Bible: You Bet Your Breeches!
  http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati73.htm#1

Follow-up: The (Old) Geneva Bible and the New Geneva Bible
  http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati74.htm#3

The Geneva Bible (not the King James Bible) was the Bible used
by John Bunyan, John Milton, and John Donne.  It was the main
translation found in the homes of the British Puritans and the
American Puritans and Pilgrims.  One reason it was popular was
that in addition to being a good translation it contained very
helpful study notes, which were written from the perspective
of John Calvin and the Protestant Reformation.

Some of those notes, however, were not appreciated by King
James, who especially did not like anything that suggested
that in certain circumstances it may be permissible for a
Christian to disobey someone in authority.  To counteract
the (Calvinistic) notes of the Geneva Bible, King James
authorized a Bible of his own, the translation we know as
the King James Version or Authorized Version.

The ironic situation today is that some strongly Calvinistic
Christians oppose the use of any translation other than the
King James Version, not aware that the very reason that that
version came to exist is that King James was opposed to the
Calvinism of the Geneva Bible!  That is why I decided to argue
the case that the Geneva Bible is (even) better than the King
James Version (although I appreciate some modern translations
equally well, such as the NASB, NIV, NKJV, and ESV).

In response to my articles, I got some interesting responses
from subscribers, including a very interesting reply from
Stephen Pribble, minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church
and webmaster/webservant of the OPC Web site.  He has given me
permission to mention him by name and to quote his letter, so
here is the letter I sent him in response to a good issue that
he raised:
 ______________________________________________________________
/
Hello Stephen,

SP> Enjoyed your article on the Geneva Bible. I, too, own the
SP> Univ. of Wisc. ed. and love to read it. I had my daily
SP> Bible reading out of it for several years, thereby reading
SP> it through completely a number of times.

I'm impressed (again!).  If you have read the Geneva Bible
through completely a number of times, your direct experience
with the text is far more extensive than my own.  I have
merely read selected portions, so your accomplishments here
put me to shame.

SP> Though I [[am] fairly familiar with both the Geneva Bible
SP> and KJV, I can't think of any place offhand where the KJV
SP> text toned down the doctrines of grace (except for [its]
SP> eliminating the G.B. notes). Do you have any particular
SP> texts in mind?

Very good question.  Here's what I had said in my article:

"Incidentally, many of the phrasings that people love
in the King James Bible were not original to the King
James Bible, but originally appeared in the Geneva
Bible.  (And still others go back to Tyndale's Bible.)
So the King James Bible cannot rightfully claim credit
for such renderings.  (What it can claim credit for is
its support of the removal of the Calvinistic notes of
the Geneva Bible and perhaps some toning down of the
Reformed/Puritan emphases.)"

Can I think of any place offhand where the KJV text toned downthe Reformed/Puritan emphases (except for eliminating the
Geneva Bible notes)?

Very good question!  The answer is "No," if we're talking
specifically about the KJV text (about 40% of which was based
on Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, and the Geneva Bible; about
5% of which was based on the Bishops Bible; and about 40% of
which was new).  This situation is perhaps surprising or even
amazing, since (1) all of the KJV translators were Anglicans
(none were Presbyterians or Independents), (2) King James
directed that in the revision "... the Bishops' Bible [was]
to be followed, and as little altered as the original [would]
permit" and that "The old ecclesiastical words [were] to be
kept, as the word church, not to be translated congregation,"
and (3) King James considered the Geneva Bible to be
"seditious" and made its ownership a felony.

As I just said, in actuality, however, the KJV text is based
much more on the Geneva Bible and the earlier work of William
Tyndale than on the Bishops' Bible.  Those who today hold to a
Reformed or "Calvinistic" understanding of the Christian faith
may be grateful to God that -- contrary to the intent of King
James -- the "King James Version" owes much more to its
Reformed predecessors than to its Anglican predecessors.

Without doing some sort of extensive comparison of the text
between the Geneva Bible and the King James Version, I cannot
say that there is absolutely no toning down of Calvinistic
emphases anywhere, but if pressed to take a position, I would
lean toward your own position on the matter concerning the
fidelity of the KJV text.  The King James Version does
accurately set forth the doctrines of grace.

In addition to not having the Calvinistic Biblical notes of
the Geneva Bible, the King James Version does, however, tone
down the Reformed/Puritan emphases in another important
aspect.  The Geneva Bible came out in 1560 and had its
distinctive notes at that time.  That's the edition that you
and I own.  Having the "first edition" of a book (or even, as
in our case, a facsimile of the "first edition") is nice, but
it means that missing is some important material appearing in
editions that came out after 1560.

A mere eight years later, i.e., in 1568, the Geneva Bible
included "Calvin's Catechism."  In 1579 a second catechism was
included in the Geneva Bible:  "Certain Questions and Answers
Concerning the Doctrine of Predestination, the Use of God's
Word and Sacraments."  (As the titles indicate, there's no
doubt that they were "Calvinistic" in perspective.)  When the
King James Version was published, what took place was not
only the removal of the Calvinistic notes of the Geneva Bible,
but also additional toning down of the Reformed/Puritan
emphases in the removal of the Calvinistic Catechisms.

By God's grace, in spite of such things, the text of the King
James Version continued to be a faithful rendering of the
Biblical text, for which we may be grateful.

Best regards,

Barry

P.S.  Would you object to my quoting you in a future issue of
CATI?  If not, is it all right for me to mention you by name,
or would you prefer that I not do so?  (I'm not twisting your
arm one way or the other here:  it's your choice.)

P.P.S.  An interesting historical sidelight is that "it is
reliably reported that the three basic books to be found in
the majority of [colonial] New England homes were the
catechism, the Psalter, and the Bible" (Donald Van Dyken,
Rediscovering Catechism, p. 46).  The Geneva Bible (at least
in later editions) included all three, since it also contained
the metrical Psalms of Sternhold and Hopkins.

Today most Christian homes contain Bibles, but the Psalter and
the Catechism (whether Calvin's, Children's, Heidelberg,
Westminster Shorter, or Westminster Larger) are too frequently
absent.
\______________________________________________________________

Bottom line:  Stephen in a courteous way called my attention
to the fact that my earlier articles could be taken as raising
doubt on the integrity of the King James Version itself as a
translation.  Such was not my intention.

The KJV is a good translation (perhaps better than King James
intended), partly because it makes so much use of the Tyndale,
Coverdale, and the Geneva Bible.  (Often in what we regard as
the specific beauty of the King James Version some comparison
will show that the wording is the same as -- and possibly
taken from -- the Geneva Bible.)

In short, the KJV as a translation shows no signs of being
"anti-Calvinistic," but rather clearly sets forth, as
Stephen said, "the doctrines of grace."
_______________________________________________________________

5. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: INFORMATION ON CATI NEWSLETTER

Like to know what this is?  This is the seventy-eighth issue
of a free newsletter devoted to "Christians And The Internet"
("CATI," pronounced "Katy," but spelled with a "C" and an "I"
for "Christians" and the "Internet").

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Like to tell your friends about CATI?  That is not only much
encouraged, but also an encouragement to the editor!  CATI is
a lot of work (albeit a labor of love) and (since it is a free
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Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2003 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.