'Majesty and Light': the Legacy of the King James Bible

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Compilation and influence of the Authorised (King James) Version of the Bible. Co-taught with Anne Lodge. Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Oxford, OH, December 2007. PDF format of a Keynote original.

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'Majesty and Light': the Legacy of the King James Bible

  1. 1. ‘Majesty and Light’: the legacy of the King James Bible Holy Trinity Episcopal Church Oxford, Ohio Adult Forum “Anglican Spirituality” series Advent, 2007Let me know if the title is OK.
  2. 2. e Collect for 1 Advent Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.Holy Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James Bible
  3. 3. Psalm 46, KJV 1 God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble. 2 erefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 ough the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.Holy Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James BibleA little digression about Shakespeare
  4. 4. Psalm 46, KJV 9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cueth the ear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. 10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen; I will be exalted in the earth. 11e LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.Holy Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James Bible
  5. 5. Early Bible translations Lord’s Prayer, Anglo-Saxon, late 10th century Fæder ure, thu the eart on heofonum, Si thin nama gehalgod. To becume thin rice, Gewurthe thin willa, On eorthan swa swa on heofonum. Urne gedæghwamlican hlaf syle us todæg, And forgyf us ure gyltas, Awa swa we forgyfath urum gyltendum. And ne gelæd thu us on costnunge, Ac alys us of yfele. Sothlice.Holy Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James Bible
  6. 6. John Wyclif, c. 1320-1384 Educated at Oxford Ordained priest Active against clerical abuses Translations based on Latin Vulgate Banned in 1401 Circulated in manuscripts onlyHoly Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James Bible
  7. 7. William Tyndale, 1494-1536 Ordained a priest 1515 Studied at Cambridge (under Erasmus?) “I defy the Pope, and all his laws; and if God spares my life, I will cause the boy that drives the plow in England to know more of Scriptures than the Pope.” Based on Hebrew and Greek manuscripts First English translation printed (in Europe) Opposed Henry VIII’s divorce Condemned by Cardinal Wolsey, strangled and burned at the stakeHoly Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James Bible
  8. 8. the Tyndale Bible New words introduced to English: ‘Jehovah’ (from transliterated Hebrew YHWH) ‘Passover’ (from ‘pesach’) Atonement’ (= at + onement, from ‘kippur’) ‘Scapegoat’ New phrases: ‘let there be light’ ‘the powers that be’ ‘my brother’s keeper’ ‘the salt of the earth’ ‘God forbid’ ‘filthy lucre’ ‘it came to pass’ ‘gave up the ghost’Holy Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James Bible
  9. 9. the Tyndale Bible Controversial translations: ‘Elder’ from Greek ‘presbyteros’ ‘Congregation’ from Greek ‘ekklesia’ ‘Overseer’ rather than ‘Bishop’ Great influence on later translations Preface to the RSV: the King James Bible ‘kept the felicitous phrases and apt expressions, from whatever source, which had stood the test of public usage. It owed most, eecially in the New Testament, to Tyndale.’Holy Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James Bible
  10. 10. Geneva Bible c. 1560 Produced by Englishmen exiled during the reign of Mary Based on Tyndale, with new original translations Strong Protestant (Calvinist), anti-monarchical tone --‘tyrant’ appears over 400 times (not in KJV) Many marginal notes and commentaries Called the ‘Breeches Bible’ from description of EdenHoly Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James Bible
  11. 11. Bishop’s Bible ‘Authorized’ version dating from Elizabethan times Another revision of Tyndale Influenced by Geneva Bible, but without the annotations Never achieved wide popularity, in part because of costHoly Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James Bible
  12. 12. Douai Bible Smuggled in to England during Elizabeth’s reign a/k/a Douay-Rheims Bible Produced by and for Roman Catholics Translation of the Latin Vulgate Like the Geneva Bible, contained annotations Also like Geneva, highly polemical (but in favor of Roman Catholicism)Holy Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James BibleThis would be the last slide in my first part.
  13. 13. ‘Majesty and light’ above: Puritan interior, Langley Chapel, Shropshire le: Marble Ha of Cecil’s HatfieldHoly Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James BibleFirst slide in my second part.
  14. 14. ‘Majesty and light’ From Miles Smith’s Preface to the King James Bible, ‘e Translators to the Reader’: ‘Zeal to promote the common good, whether it be by devising anything ourselves, or revising that which hath been labored by others, deserveth certainly much reect and esteem, but yet findeth but cold entertainment in the world. . . ‘Translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light; that breaketh the shell, that we may eat the kernel; that pueth aside the curtain, that we may look into the most Holy place; that removeth the cover of the well, that we may come by the water . . .’Holy Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James Bible
  15. 15. e process of translation Genesis 1 Tyndale Bible (1526; normalized eing): In the beginning God created heaven and earth. e earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the deep, and the spirit of God moved upon the water.Holy Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James Bible
  16. 16. e process of translation Genesis 1 Geneva Bible (normalized eing): In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the deep, and the spirit of God moved upon the waters.Holy Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James Bible
  17. 17. e process of translation Genesis 1 King James Bible (normalized eing): In the beginning God created the Heaven, and the Earth. And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.Holy Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James Bible
  18. 18. e process of translation Genesis 1 World English Bible: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty. Darkness was on the surface of the deep. God’s spirit was hovering over the surface of the waters.Holy Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James Bible
  19. 19. e process of translation Genesis 1 Revised Standard Version: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. e earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.Holy Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James Bible
  20. 20. e process of translation Genesis 1 New Revised Standard Version: In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the surface of the waters.Holy Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James Bible
  21. 21. Notable KJV printings ‘He’ and ‘She’ Bibles of 1611: Ruth 3.15: “and he went into the city” ‘Wicked’ Bible of 1631: Exodus 20.14: “ou shalt commit adultery” (printers fined 300 pounds) ‘Vinegar’ Bible of 1717: Luke 20: error for “Vineyard”Holy Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James BibleLast slide in my second part. I may drop it.
  22. 22. e legacy of the KJV Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, Saturday, March 4, 1865 Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may eedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fiy years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”Holy Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James BibleMy final segment. Psalm 19:9
  23. 23. e legacy of the KJVHoly Trinity Adult Forum, Advent 2007: the King James BibleThis is a brief movie from MLK’s speech to the March on Washington, 1963.

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