Friday, January 14, 2011
Happy 400th KJV
This year marks the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the bible. The KJV was a remarkable achievement, assembled by committees of biblical scholars throughout Britain. It was also a fascinating political decision on the part of King James the First. His predecessors had suppressed publication of English versions of the bible, fearing that reading "dangerous" passages about the reign of God bringing an end to the rule of earthly kings might lead to revolution. During the reign of Henry the Eighth translators were marked men, hunted down and killed throughout Europe. William Tyndale was the most notable amongst them, although much of his translation of the bible eventually made its way into the KJV.
King James decided it was a good strategy to maintain control over the translation process and made sure that a copy of the Authorized Version (KJV) was placed in every parish church. The argument is made that translating the bible into the vernacular in different countries paved the way for democracy, so some of the concerns of monarchs were realized.
There are an incredible number of translations and paraphrases available today, although the irony is that it a time when bibles are inexpensive and accessible they just aren't read, at least in our culture.
Do you care about this anniversary of the King James Version? Are you curious to know more? http://www.kingjamesbibletrust.org/ Have you found that the easier-to-read versions mean that you delve into the bible more?