Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August 08, 2012

The Completion of the King James Bible

The year 1611 was a very important one in Christian history. This was when the King James Bible, one of the most beloved Scripture translations ever to be written, was completed by six scholars hand-picked by James I of England. Contrary to popular belief, it did not become an overnight sensation; the Geneva Bible hung on for half a century and was the choice of the Pilgrim Fathers when they blazed a path through New England and settled Plymouth Colony. Those who cherished the King James Bible might have been annoyed at the Calvinists’ refusal to move ahead with the times. Also, the Anglicans detested all those little side notes for which the Geneva Bible was famous. They complained that the notes promoted dissention and sedition and could undermine the entire English hierarchy.

So, back to 1611. One might wonder what was going on in the world at this particular time. It had been four years since English settlers had founded Jamestown, Virginia. English Puritans were perhaps readying themselves for the idea of settling in the New World. Spanish Catholics had been living in St. Augustine, Florida and its environs for forty-six years. Englishmen of differing faiths were squabbling over Bible translations, and the king hoped this “King James Version” would be the be-all and end-all. Whether or not the Puritans agreed, it was truly a magnificent creation.

There is a terrific movie called “KJB, the King James Bible: The Book That Changed the World.” Narrated by John Rhys-Davies, it takes Scripture-lovers on a journey to the English locales where history was made and where the King James translation came to life. The characters are beautifully-played and well-researched, and there were certain times when I could not help but shiver with awe and amazement and an inherent respect for God and His Word.

One of these times was when Rhys-Davies said that the translation had needed to be tested to see if it had enough of an acoustic impact. He then proceeded to read the beloved words of Scripture within a lofty cathedral in a deep and wonderful voice that is impossible to describe. And it did echo beautifully.

It is definitely an experience not to be missed.

(c) 2012 Joyously Saved

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