Friday, May 05, 2006

Too Busy to Blog - Too Sore to sing

It's been over a month since my last post. There has been lots going on in my life. My career changed paths and I had to undergo some intense study , my wife has been ill and the various issues that life presents us on a daily basis have limited my online time. I'll get back to the Genesis study soon. Here is an interesting fact that I uncovered yesterday.

On May 2nd, in 1611 that the first edition of the King James Bible was published in England. It was produced during a particularly chaotic period for England. An epidemic of the black plague had struck London so severely that the year before work began on the King James Bible, 30,000 Londoners had died of the plague. At the same time, Puritans in the country were beginning to agitate against the monarchy as a form of government. And a group of underground Catholics were plotting to assassinate the king.

King James I thought that a new translation of the Bible might help hold the country together. There had been several English translations of the Bible already, and each English version of the Bible had different proponents. King James wanted a Bible that would become the definitive version, a Bible that all English people could read together.

King James assembled a committee of fifty-four of the best linguists in the country. They believed that the most important quality of the translation would be that it sound right, since it would be read aloud in churches. So when the committee would gather, each man read his verses aloud to be judged and revised by the other men.

The translators also deliberately used old-fashioned language. At the time they were working on the Bible, words like "thou" and "sayeth" had already gone out of fashion. Some scholars believe that the translators wanted to give the sense that the language in the Bible came from long ago and far away.

The first edition came out on this day in 1611, but for decades, most people preferred the Puritan Geneva Bible, because of its plainer language. It was only after England went through a civil war that the King James Bible came into fashion

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