The King James Bible, which many consider to be the most influential book ever printed in the English language, was created 400 years ago in 1611. The Queen of England marked the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible during a ceremony at London’s Westminster Abbey.
According to MSNBC, the King James Bible was created when King James I summoned a conference in London in 1604 to try to unite warring religious fractions.
The Archbishop of Cantebury said during the ceremony:
“The temptation is always there for the modern translator to look for strategies that make the text more accessible. When that temptation comes, it doesn’t hurt to turn for a moment—for some long moments indeed—to this extraordinary text, with its continuing capacity to surprise us into seriousness, to acquaint us again with the weight of glory – and, we hope and pray, to send us back to the unending work of letting ourselves be changed so that we can bear just a little more of the light of the new world, full of grace and truth.”
According to the Telegraph, the King James Bible was the third official translation of the bible into English. It is also considered the Authorized Version. The translation, the Old Testament from Hebrew and the New Testament from Greek, was assembled by 54 scholars working in Oxford, Cambridge and Westminster.
The King James Bible has been around for 400 years and many phrases that originated in the bible are still used in modern language. Phrases like “the powers that be,” “the writing on the wall,” and “the apple of his eye” all originated in the King James Bible.
Prof Pauline Croft, a trustee of the King James Bible Trust, said:
“People are always surprised how much of the language [of the bible] they use without thinking. It’s just the genius of the language, they were contemporaries of Shakespeare, they could have walked over to the Globe and asked him what he thought.”
Have you read the King James Bible? Do you think it’s the most influential book ever to be printed in the English language?