Saturday, January 08, 2011
The King James Bible at 400
Here is a short essay on the anniversary of the KJV.
Sometime in 1611, a new English Bible was published. It was the work of an almost impossibly learned team of men laboring since 1604 under royal mandate. Their purpose, they wrote, was not to make a new translation of the Bible but “to make a good one better, or out of many good ones, one principal good one.” What was published, 400 years ago, was indeed one principal good one: the King James Version of the Bible.
Tyndale’s aspiration was to make his New Testament accessible to “the boy that driveth the plough.”
Its words are almost never Latinate, and its rhythms are never hampered by the literalism that afflicts other translations.