A Happy New Year to all my readers. 2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Version of the Bible – the world’s best seller of all time and also known as the Authorised Version or AV. It has taken a hit in recent times from other versions, but it is holding its own.
The Queen made it a major theme of her christmas day broadcast, although the media focused on her other theme of sport, which she used to promote international co-operation.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, also picked up the theme in his New Year’s Day address. He said that people should read the King James Version of the Bible.
So many people are unaware of the influence of this version of the Bible that the archbishop of atheism, Richard Dawkins, in The God Delusion advises people to read it. Peter Hitches, the brother of that other populariser of atheism, Christopher Hitchens, also thinks that people should read the King James Version, as a more robust version. Christopher also reads the Bible and doesn’t like what he understands of it.
The Queen – the Archbishop of the Church of England – the archbishop of atheism – the world’s most religiously contrasting controversialist siblings – all recommend reading the King James Version of the Bible. Quite a combination.
The Bible is not so difficult to read, and on this 400th anniversary of the Book which popularised English as the worldwide language, everyone who benefits from the worldwide language of the internet might pay homage to it by at least reading it.
May God bless you in 2011.
YouTube Pastor for a short New Year message on the humbug about the difficulty of reading the Authorised Version.
Events for 2011. The King James Bible Trust and its website has hit the road running since its launch on 23rd November 2010, at which the chairman said: “The aim is … to make sure that that legacy continues over the next 100 years so that the country is well prepared for the 500th anniversary of the King James Bible.” It is good to see the planning for a proper commemoration of this significant Bible translation by events which will continue throughout the whole of 2011, although it shows up the failure of Scotland to similarly commemorate the 450th anniversary of the Scottish Reformation in 2010.
Examples and history of the influence of the Bible on the English language.