By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Queen's Christmas Message: 400th Anniversary of King James Bible in 2011

The title page to the 1611 first edition of th...Image via Wikipedia
Here is the BBC link. It is a fun, traditional way to gain perspective on the past year and on the upcoming year. She is an iconic figure who has been Queen since 1952. You and even those much younger than you may not see that longevity again for a long time.

She appropriately notes that 2011 will include the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible (known in the U.K. as the "Authorized Version"). Of course, it is the grandest translation in English. But some may not realize that its translation is very close to the grammatical structure of the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. A Hebrew professor of mine in Ann Arbor noted to us that the KJV followed the structure of the Hebrew quite closely. He was no fundamentalist. I have read that the same holds for its translation of the Greek text of the New Testament. While there are more accurate modern translations based on better manuscripts, especially for the use of scholars, the KJV is still a wonderfully useful translation for prayer, for literary study, and even for translators trying to get the right wording for a difficult or ambiguous passage in the original biblical languages. The KJV is a resource that no one should ignore or write off in any way. You do not need to be a fundamentalist to love it.

For example, there has been, in my opinion, no better English translation of the 23rd Psalm:

1: The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2: He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5: Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. 

May our cup "runneth over" in 2011! It will--if we cooperate and trust in God's generous surprises.