In the Parent’s Reviews, Charlotte Mason had articles on book recommendations for teachers and students. She gave lists of books. Books to be read. The King James Bible is having an extraordinary anniversary this year: 400 years old! We need to read it plus tell others about it.
King James VI of Scotland, who is also King James I of England, ordered the translation of Scriptures. It is still the most beautiful version in the English Language. It was translated in the lifetime of Shakespeare and John Donne. Perhaps you memorized Psalm 23 with “ my cup runneth over.” The team of scholars, 48 of them, produced a work that changed the way we speak. Where does one begin this Anniversary year of study?
1.READ the King James Version out loud. Memorize from this version in celebration.
“It is a mistake to use paraphrases of the text; the fine roll of Bible English appeals to children with a compelling music, and they will probably retain through life their first conception of Bible scenes, and, also, the very words in which these scenes are portrayed.” (Mason, Home Education, p. 249.)
“The habit of hearing, and later, of reading the Bible, is one to establish at an early age.” (Mason, School Education, p. 142)
“We do not, even for tiny children, advocate “Bible stories,” but actual passages from the sacred text, for the wonderful grand old English in which it is written has been more than one great writer’s school of language, and will, with necessary explanations, be far more impressive and likely to carry the contained idea, than the paraphrase of some well-meaning but common-place teacher.” (Miss R.A. Pennethorn, Parent’s Review, vol. 10, 1899, p. 590
Oxford University Press : King James Bible: 400th Anniversary Edition (Bible KJV) This is the most authorative edition published this year: 1611 text.
2. LOOK at the art in illuminated Bibles.
American Japanese artist Makoto Fujimura has illuminated The Four Gospels with his contemporary abstract paintings. It is the size of a coffee table book and is stunning. He envisions it for family reading.This version is in the English Standard although the book itself is a work of art.
3. FIND the influences in language. New words and idioms were invented.
Lynne Bruce has a wonderful article on Ambleside Online: “Why KJV?”
Examples of new language :“Turned the world upside down” and “feet of clay”
4. Read about KING JAMES
God used this man, not an excellent one, to further His kingdom , even to send forth the Pilgrims to America. (1620)
RECOMMENDED BOOKS: Check your local library
* Donald Brake: Visual History of the King James Bible. Good for younger and older students.
*Gordon Campbell ( leading scholar on John Milton), Bible: The Story of the King James Version 1611-2011.
*David Crystal ‘s Begat: The Kings James Bible and the English Language writes a fun book of the idioms and how they are found in modern culture.
*Robert Alter ( Hebrew Scholar) , Pen of Iron: American Prose and the King James Bible. Alter shows how the KJV has informed American prose from Melville to Marilynne Robinson. He argues the aesthetic influence writers.
* David Norton, The King James Bible : A Short History from Tyndale to Today. Lots of praise for this book.
* A biography: Majestie: The King Behind the King James Bible by David Teems
If you are in England , check the King James Bible Trust for the calendar of events this year. Here in the States, what are you doing?
The Good Book Shop in Belfast, Northern Ireland is reading through the KJV every afternoon at 4:00. You can sign up to be a reader! At home, in school, or in church you can do something similar.
How are you celebrating this 400th Year Anniversary ? Watch for the King James Anniversary stories!