THE POWER OF BABBLE

THE NEW LIVING TRANSLATION HIT BOOKSTORES LAST MONTH, ANOTHER SIMPLIFIED BIBLE VYING IN A $400 MILLION YEARLY MARKET. WHAT HATH THEY WROUGHT?

Yea, verily, English-speaking Christians in search of Scripture suffered, not long ago, few perturbations. Protestants reached for the Authorized, or King James, version of 1611. Roman Catholics consulted the Douay-Rheims translation, first issued in 1609 but revised during the 18th century to resemble or duplicate in most particulars the memorable cadences and phrasing of the King James. For some two centuries, readers of either of these Bibles could feel that the word they sought was the Word, that they had access to the linguistic unity enjoyed by humankind before the Tower of Babel, "And the whole earth was of one language,...

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