Thursday, September 29, 2011

The King James Anniversary

For my blog this week, I thought I'd push out a post I made for my Old Testament students about the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible a few weeks ago.

The KJV holds sway still over many people in the English speaking world.  In times of illness and despair, for example, my mother still cites from it by memory as a form of solace.  The majestic poetry of the KJV provides believers a sense of the awe and wonder of the divine.

Like any revered cultural object, the KJV also attracts its share of fetish-like behavior.  I'm not so sure, for example, that requiring children or youth to learn their Bible stories from the KJV is quite conducive to them seeing the relevance of the Bible in their lives.

I have attached two lovely little clips in the blog (click below).  They are both interesting and informative--and very well done.

One other aside: on one of my trips as a translator from the Berlin Cathedral, where I worked as a guide, to St Paul's in London, Canon John Halliburton took me up the steep stairs of the Cathedral for a private tour of the St. Paul's Cathedral library.  What a thrill it was for this young theology student to be allowed to rummage around among some of the ancient manuscripts stored there.  At one point, Canon Halliburton climbed up a ladder and unlocked a special case and brought down an original Tyndale Bible and placed in my hands to peruse.  One of the precursors of the King James, the Tyndale was the first English language Bible translation made from original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts.  It was a thrill to hold it in my hands.  I'll never forget this act of kindness.  Nor will I forget the comfort level he had in handling these old volumes, even licking his fingers as he turned the pages!  Oh well, talk about fetishes...  As I increasingly use more database resources and ebooks, I must keep in mind that old books are to be both treasured and used.  

Click on the link below to go to the video:

September 1, 2011

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