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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
--John 1:1

And then along came King James VI&I wanting a new English translation of the Word. He set up a committee to do something about it, as one does. And 400 years ago today the fruit of their efforts was published. And yea, it was good. It was so good that it proved that you really can make great art by committee.

It wasn't the best translation, even then, if all you are concerned about is accuracy of translation. There are much better modern translations if what you're after is faithfulness to the original texts. But the joy and the power of the Authorized Version is that it was created to be read aloud, with pleasure in the listening. The committee created a work of literature, one of the greatest works of literature in the English language. The language has changed in the last 400 years, and there are updated versions of the Authorized version. But the committee's choice of words to express the Word lives on still; not merely because it was the book of the dominant religion of the language, but because that committee knew how to write, and write well.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-03 07:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mylodon.livejournal.com
*nods* I couldn't agree more. I might even go so far as to say that you can't understand the English language - or perhaps even the English themselves - without a familiarity with the KJV (or indeed the Prayer Book).


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