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King James Bible Presentation

A ten-minute (or so) look at the famous King James Version on the occasion of its 400th anniversary

Cory Howell

on 25 May 2011

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Transcript of King James Bible Presentation

The King James Version:
A Brief History 1604: King James I of England is having trouble with these guys... who aren't getting along with these guys... He calls a conference,
so everyone can work out
their problems. The Anglican Bishops prefer
an English translation
called The Bishops' Bible
(of course they would). The Puritans are fond of the
Geneva Bible, which has a whole lot of great notes...
a kind of Study Bible. James doesn't care for the Geneva Bible, because lots of the notes are pretty critical of kings. And James is a big believer in
THE DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS. To try to keep the peace,
the decision is made to create
a NEW English translation of the Bible. One that will combine the best of
earlier English versions, while remaining
as true as possible to the original
Greek and Hebrew texts. 47 scholars are chosen, almost all
of whom are Anglican clergy.
King James specifies, among other things,
that the only notes allowed are notes
that will clarify the text.

(NO MEAN STUFF ABOUT KINGS ALLOWED!) The new translation is mostly finished by 1609,
and is printed for the first time in May of 1611.
It becomes known popularly as the
Authorized, or King James, Version. All that happened
400 YEARS AGO. At some point,the conversation
moves around to the subject of
the Scriptures...
specifically, English translations
of the Scriptures. So, what about the King James Version
TODAY? Current Bestselling Bibles For most of the 18th, 19th
and 20th centuries, the
King James Version was the single
most popular translation of the Bible
in the English language. And still, today, the KJV
is considered THE BIBLE by
many people.
(Some even believe this as
a point of doctrine!) As far as its status as a literary classic,
the King James Version is unsurpassed.
Most scholars of the English language
consider the King James Bible to be the
greatest monument of the English language,
perhaps even greater than the works of
William Shakespeare. Just a short sample of everyday phrases
that come from the KJV will show its impact:
"A house divided against itself cannot stand."
"A thorn in the flesh"
"A wolf in sheep's clothing"
"Am I my brother's keeper?"
"By the skin of your teeth"
"Flesh and blood"
"Give up the ghost"
"Love of money is the root of all evil"
(often misquoted)
And many, many more! But...IS the King James Version the best
English translation?
Is it the only Bible a Christian
should use? NO. No, to both of those questions. The translators of the KJV did
the best possible job they could do,
with the manuscripts they had available,
and with their knowledge of the original languages. But today's Bible translators
have literally thousands more manuscripts
at their disposal, and understanding of
Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic has increased
vastly since the 17th century. Meanwhile, the English language has changed
immensely since the Jacobean period.
Forget the "thees" and "thous" that everyone
complains about. (And the "begats.")

In the KJV,"Suffer the little children"
doesn't have anything to do with suffering,
"fetch a compass" means "travel in a circle,"
and "charity" does not have anything to do
with giving money to the poor. Quite simply, the best Bible
for a Christian to use is one
that he or she will read and
UNDERSTAND. But the King James Version is a Bible that has
stood the test of time, that has become a classic
of English prose, and that hundreds of thousands
of people still read and study daily. Will the New International Version
the New Revised Standard Version,
the Common English Bible,
the Message, the Good News Bible,
the New Living Translation, and a host
of other modern translations still be around
in FOUR HUNDRED YEARS? Only time will tell. The KJV Translators spoke to this
same issue in their wonderful Preface,
"The Translators to the Reader."
(Sadly, this Preface is not printed in
most modern editions of the KJV.") They wrote: "But how shall men meditate in that,
which they cannot understand?
How shall they understand that which is
kept close in an unknown tongue?" Guidelines laid down for the translators
effectively minimize the influence of
the Puritans on the translation process.
(As a result, the Puritan movement does not
embrace the King James Version for many decades.) THE HOLY BIBLE, Containing the Old Testament, AND THE NEW: Newly Translated out of the Original tongues: & with the former Translations diligently compared and revised, by his Majesties special Commandment The title page of the KJV
actually reads as follows: (Let's just call it
"The King James Version"...)
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