Putting Words in Our Mouths for 400 Years

2011 is the 400th anniversary of the translation of the Holy Bible known as the Authorized Version (AV) or more commonly the King James Bible (KJB). Some months into 2011 I thought it was about time a published a HAPPY BIRTHDAY post.

For regularly reading, study and understanding I prefer to use more modern and more accurate translations. But for sheer beauty of the sound of its language when read aloud the King James Bible is hard to beat. One of the translators' intentions was that its phrases should sound well when read aloud in church. And they do. This book has greatly enriched our language both in literature and the spoken word.


Some of its words and idioms are completely unintelligible to anyone not brought up on 16th/17th century English. But many phrases in common use now in everyday English originate from the King James Bible. If you want examples of such phrases, have a quick listen to Glen Scrivener's cleverly contrived 3 minute poem in which he uses 100 of them. I came across this thanks to a post by Maggi Dawn. Watch and enjoy.




Image: 'The Translators Presenting Bible To James I'. Drawn by George E. Kruger.
Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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