Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy Anniversary to the Ole' King Jimmy

2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the English Bible, originally published in 1611 under the authority of King James I of England.

Most believers my age or older grew up using the ole' King Jimmy Bible. What else was there? During my childhood it was the only version I had of the Old Testament. The "Good News for Modern Man" Translation of the New Testament came out when I was about 10. During the 70's I learned a lot of Scripture that still sticks in my memory by singing Scripture songs, almost all from the King James translation. Although by then I was reading either the NASB or The Living Bible, the KJV still had a lot of influence on my generation.

I certainly do not recommend ditching the good new translations (I'm a fan and user of the ESV, myself) to go back to the old classic, but it is worth celebrating it's effects on the English language, and on both British and American history and culture.

If you want to know more about the history and translation of the KJV, I recommend In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible and How It Changed a Nation, a Language, and a Culture by Alister McGrath. The King James Bible Trust also has a brief history of the KJV translation.

Hey, whatever English version of the Bible you have or like, just read it! Oh, believing and obeying it might also be nice!