The King James translation of the Bible ushered in a new eloquence that until 1611 had not existed in the English language. Four centuries later, the literary and historical power of this Bible continues to awe. Originally conceived to help unify Protestants during the English Reformation, many of the Bible's phrases still saturate popular proseaas evidenced by sayings such as "an eye for an eye" and Abraham Lincoln's famous "a house divided against itself," and even in the intonations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the music of Johnny Cash. The King James Bible and the World It Made brings into conversation leading contemporary scholars who articulate how this celebrated translation repeatedly influenced the language of politics, statecraft, and English literature while offering Christians a unique resource for living the faith. Including Mark Noll, Alister McGrath, Lamin Sanneh, David Bebbington, Robert Alter, Philip Jenkins, and Laura Knoppers, this collection highlights the most notable facets of the King James Bible and the history it created, and astutely reflects on its relevance to the modern world.
David Lyle Jeffrey is Distinguished Professor of Literature and the Humanities at Baylor University. He is the author or editor of more than 12 books including Houses of the Interpreter: Reading Scripture, Reading Culture .
Introduction by David Lyle Jeffrey 1. The "Opening of Windows": The King James Bible and Late Tudor Translation Theories by Alister E. McGrath (King's College London) 2. Translating Majesty: The King James Bible, John Milton, and the English Revolution by Laura L. Knoppers (Penn State University) 3. The King James Bible in Britain from the Late Eighteenth Century by David W. Bebbington (Baylor University) 4. The King James Version at 300 in America: "The Most Democratic Book in the World" by Mark Noll (University of Notre Dame) 5. The King James Bible, Mission, and the Vernacular Impetus by Lamin Sanneh (Yale University) 6. Regions Luther Never Knew: Ancient Books in a New World by Philip Jenkins (Penn State University) 7. The Question of Eloquence in the King James Version by Robert Alter (University of California, Berkeley) 8. The Word That Endureth Forever: A Century of Scholarship on the King James Version by Beth Allison Barr (Baylor University Press) Notes Notes on Contributors