My colleague, Irene Hall – Christian Science Committee on Publication for Merseyside – is a weekly contributor to “Thought for the Day” in the Liverpool Daily Post. She has just had the following item published in anticipation of next year’s anniversary of the King James Version of the Holy Scriptures.
CELEBRATIONS are being planned for the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible next year. In spite of its vivid and direct language, the King James Bible is now little used in Christian worship although it still features in Sunday services in Christian Science churches (though, increasingly, modern translations are used for mid-week services).
The King James Bible translators wanted a Bible which sounded good, with phrases easy to remember and hard to forget. When Mary Baker Eddy chose it for services in the church she founded, she was careful not to emphasise “the letter” over “the spirit”. The first tenet of Christian Science states: “As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life”. It’s the inspiration which matters – whichever translation we use.
Thanks, Irene for sharing this “Thought for the Day”from your love of the Bible’s spiritual meaning and impact!
A group in the UK called The 2011 Trust has a more diverse focus for their appreciation. While it “has been established to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible which was completed in 1611″ its stated aim is “to celebrate its impact in history and on language, particularly in this country, but also throughout the English speaking world.”
The video on the opening page of the 2011 Trust website includes words of praise for the King James Version of the Bible from this broader perspective. It includes tributes from London Mayor Boris Johnson and writer/broadcaster Joan Bakewell, among other luminaries. The website even includes an affirmative quote from religions-averse author Richard Dawkins: “Not to know the King James Bible is to be, in some small way, barbarian.”
I would have to add to those words that I don’t feel I really knew the King James Bible until my understanding was opened to the most vital spiritual meaning of the Scriptures, which can bring profound moral and physical healing. For the many, many times it has done that for me I can only be very, very grateful, and say a slightly premature…
Happy 400th birthday, KJV!