Sunday, October 18th, 2009...12:47 pm

Psalm 148 (KJV) and dragons

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“Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights.

Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.

Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.

Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.

Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.

He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.

Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:

Fire, and hail; snow, and vapours; stormy wind fulfilling his word:

Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:

Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:

Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:

Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children:

Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.

He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD.”

I love that the KJV translation commands “dragons” to praise the LORD.  I’m not of the “King James Only” variety, but I’m in the process of reading this translation for the first time from cover to cover.  I really like the fact that the KJV is a pre-modern translation and doesn’t buy into the contemporary biases of modern translation.  All other English translations (except for the Geneva Bible, which is probably better than the KJV but harder to find) are post-Victorian.  The Victorian Era was by-and-large a time of woeful regression of the English-speaking Church that we’re still trying to recover from.  Could you imagine a contemporary translation of the Bible saying “will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall [1 Kings 14:10]” as a quotation of God?  Several thousand Victorian-influenced church ladies would write letters scolding the translators for their “ungodly” accurate translation of the Hebrew.

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