Thursday, November 17, 2011

Queen Elizaberth attended celebrations on 400th anniversary of King James Bible

The Queen of United Kingdom was guest of honour at a service at Westminster Abbey yesterday to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.

Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales attend a service of celebration to mark the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible at Westminster Abbey in London.
The Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales were also in attendance to mark 400 years since the completion of the historic translation, commissioned by James I in 1604.
The translation, the work of 54 scholars, was intended to unify various Christian factions and end two centuries of struggle to produce a Bible in English.

It went on to have a huge impact on the English language, coining many phrases still in use today, such as “writing on the wall”, “apple of his eye”, “the powers that be”, “signs of the times” and “from strength to strength”.

Some of the oldest copies of the King James Bible were carried through the Abbey in procession to the altar during the service.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said the King James Version was an “extraordinary text” of “abiding importance” that had not been rendered less relevant by subsequent translations.

“To celebrate the Bible of 1611 is not to genuflect before a timeless masterpiece, to salute a perfect translation - the translators would have been both baffled and embarrassed by any such idea,” he said.

“It is to recognise the absolute seriousness with which they sought to find in our language words that would pass on to us hearers and readers in the English tongue the almost unbearable weight of divine intelligence and love pressing down on those who first encountered it and tried to embody it in writing.”

He continued: “The temptation is always there for the modern translator to look for strategies that make the text more accessible, and when that temptation comes, it doesn’t hurt to turn for a moment—for some long moments indeed—to this extraordinary text, with its continuing capacity to surprise us into seriousness, to acquaint us again with the weight of glory – and, we hope and pray, to send us back to the unending work of letting ourselves be changed so that we can bear just a little more of the light of the new world, full of grace and truth.”

Ancient copies of the King James Bible are carried during a procession to the alter during a service of celebration to Mark the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible at Westminster Abbey in London.
The Archbishop noted that the King James Bible had been intended for reading aloud to an audience rather than being read in isolation.
The translation was first read aloud in the Jerusalem Chamber of Westminster Abbey where the crucial final editing took place.

The link with Westminster Abbey made it a fitting venue for yesterday’s celebration, the culmination of a year of events to mark the 400th anniversary.
Throughout 2011, churches have hosted an array of celebratory events, including exhibitions, conferences, and Bible reading marathons.

Source: Christian Today

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