From: Frank W. Hughes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Jul 17 2000 - 16:34:50 EDT
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This is perhaps more on the King James Version of the Bible than anyone
ever wanted to know. Robert G. Bratcher in the article on "English
Bible, The," in <i>The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary</i> (San Francisco:
Harper, 1996) 289f. notes that King James I in 1604 ordered that "a translation
be made of the whole Bible, as consonant as can be to the original Hebrew
and Greek, and this is to be set out and printed without any marginal notes
and only to be used in all Churches in England in time of Divine Service."
As Supreme Governor of the Church of England perhaps he believed that he
had the right to order that this new translation to the exclusion of the
others. On the other hand, the article on the "Authorized Version
/ King James Bible" in volume 3 of <i>The Cambridge History of the Bible</i>
by S. L. Greenslade notes that "strictly speaking" neither King nor Parliament
authorized the Authorized Version. I would add that neither did the
Convocations of Clergy convened by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.
Greenslade also mentioned that the churches were not ordered to procure
a copy for use in services (as they were for the Great Bible and, I believe,
the Bishops' Bible); and for decades the other versions were used as well
in England. Since, as F. F. Bruce noted, the Privy Council registers
for the years of 1611 and immediately after were lost in a fire, the argument
that the Privy Council "probably" authorized the use of the new translation
is an <i>argumentum e silentio</i> at very best.
<p>Apparently the edition of 1611 is known as the Authorized Version in
England and the King James Version in America. As an American living
in Barbados, I can tell you that this would be neither the first nor last
occasion upon which the British Commonwealth and America are rightly said
to be divided by a common language!
<p>Frank W. Hughes
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