2011 marked the 400th anniversary of the King James version of the Bible. No other book has been as vital to the development of English writing or indeed to the English language itself. This major collection of essays is the most complete one-volume exploration of the King James Bible and its influence to date. The chapters are written by leading scholars from a range of disciplines, who examine the creation of the King James Bible as a work of translation and as a linguistic and literary accomplishment. They consider how it differed from the Bible versions which preceded it, and assess its broad cultural impact and precise literary influence over the centuries of writing which followed, in English and American literature, until today. The story will fascinate readers who approach the King James Bible from the perspectives of literary, linguistic, religious or cultural history.
Hannibal Hamlin is Associate Professor of English at Ohio State University. He is the author of Psalm Culture and Early Modern Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2004), the co-editor of The Sidney Psalter: The Psalms of Sir Philip and Mary Sidney and has written numerous articles and reviews on Shakespeare, Donne, Milton and Renaissance literature. Norman W. Jones is Associate Professor of English at Ohio State University. He is the author of Gay and Lesbian Historical Fiction: Sexual Mystery and Post-Secular Narrative (2007), and has had essays and reviews published in American Literature, Modern Fiction Studies and Christianity and Literature.
Introduction: the King James Bible and its reception history Hannibal Hamlin and Norman W. Jones; Part I. The Language of the King James Bible: 1. Language within language: King James' steamroller Stephen Prickett; 2. The glories and the glitches of the King James Bible: Ecclesiastes as test-case Robert Alter; Part II. The History of the King James Bible: 3. The materiality of English printed Bibles from the Tyndale New Testament to the King James Bible John N. King and Aaron T. Pratt; 4. Antwerp Bible translations in the King James Bible Gergely Juhasz; 5. Philip Doddridge's New Testament: The Family Expositor (1739-56) Isabel Rivers; 6. Postcolonial notes on the King James Bible R. S. Sugirtharajah; 7. From monarchy to democracy: the dethroning of the King James Bible in the United States Paul C. Gutjahr; Part III. Literature and the King James Bible: 8. Milton, anxiety, and the King James Bible Jason P. Rosenblatt; 9. Bunyan's biblical progresses Hannibal Hamlin; 10. Romantic transformations of the King James Bible: Wordsworth, Shelley, Blake Adam Potkay; 11. Ruskin and his contemporaries reading the King James Bible Michael Wheeler; 12. To the Lighthouse and biblical language James Wood; 13. The King James Bible as ghost in Absalom, Absalom! and Beloved Norman W. Jones; 14. The King James Bible and African American literature Katherine Clay Bassard; 15. Jean Rhys, Elizabeth Smart, and the 'gifts' of the King James Bible Heather Walton; Chronology of major English Bible translations to 1957; Chronology of English Bible translations since 1957; King James Bible bibliographies: I. The King James Bible: its background, history, and reception; II. The literary-cultural influence of the King James Bible.