While reading a blog post by Dr James McGrath (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/04/fundamentalist-church-history-chart.html), I came across a comment that sharply criticised Christian fundamentalists as though they were a bunch of retards. Below is my response, which touches on various issues, including my own observations about bible translation and interpretation.
To be fair, they [fundamentalists] have realistic concerns that lead them to such beliefs. Also, their naive knowledge about the world is quite different from ours. The progressive Christian view is several orders of magnitude more complex than theirs.
It also happens that KJV remains arguably one of the best translations available today (emphasis on “arguably”, haha), due to its language and its distinguishing between the singular pronoun “thou” and the plural pronoun “ye”.
This clear distinction between singular and plural pronouns actually removes ambiguities that often get in the way of sound interpretation. One notable example is the following verse:
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (KJV)
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
Without the obvious plural pronoun “ye” paired with the singular “temple”, it would not have been clear that Christians, collectively, make up God’s temple.
People reading popular translations virtually all interpret the verse to mean that each person’s own individual body is a particular instance of God’s temple, implying that there are many temples. The error even spills over to 1 Cor 6:19, when the same idea is mentioned again.
In fact, I find this particular verse to be an excellent litmus test for the credibility of any biblical interpreter. People who interpret it wrongly (especially if they have actually gone to seminary, and have studied Hebrew and Greek), clearly do not give a <expletive> about proper bible interpretation.
In the perspective of a KJV-only fundamentalist, the failure of modern translations to distinguish between singular and plural pronouns is an indicator that they similarly do not give a <expletive> about proper bible translation / interpretation. And this makes them even more convinced that their KJV-only movement is on the right track.
P.S. when I read the bible these days, I use the quick-seach feature on Google Chrome to easily read the bible in 5 of what I know to be the better translations (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+cor+3%3A16-17&version=NRSV;CEB;NET;YLT;KJV)
When I feel I need deeper understanding of any verse, I’ll go straight to e-Sword and make use of features like the Hebrew / Greek lexicons, Strong’s concordance, Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, etc. to allow me to make the most out of the verse (usually an entire passage …). That’s about as far as a layperson can go … any deeper and I’ll have to rely on scholarly literature …