May 8, 2011 AD
of the 400-year-old
King James Bible
“A full 82 percent
-- Baptist Press News
of Americans who read the Bible
at least once a month
own a KJB.”
With so many true Christian Americans sporting a King James Bible (KJB or KJV), a very good way to offend those Christians would be to attack their version of the Bible.
So why would a Christian-based site such as this one bring scorn on its own head by attacking their favorite Bible? -- Well, because most of the readers of the KJB blindly and viciously attack another Christian faith, alone the same lines as this post will attack the King James Bible -- it was created by a King.
The Protestant need for Legitimacy
The Protestant Christian faiths, both denominational and non-denominational, gain their legitimacy by de-legitimizing the Catholic Christian faith which preceded their own religion by 1,500 years. In fact, they are forced to; otherwise, why the need to establish a different Christian Church?
And the favorite means to de-legitimize the Christian faith of Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox believers is through saying that "puritanical" early Christians had had their religion high-jacked by Emperor Constantine when he simply said that Christians would no longer be persecuted and especially, when he established the First Council of Nicaea. Christian bishops convened in Nicaea in A.D. 325 to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom. What they decided became the only recognized version of Christianity in the Roman Empire.
Well, certainly the Christians of the Protestant faiths who condemn the Christians the Catholic faith, all the while embracing the King James Bible are well beyond threading on thin ice here as King James took it upon himself to recreate the entire foundation of our knowledge of Christianity -- the Bible -- by rewriting the entire Bible, in English, to his own exacting Kingly specifications.
Exactly 400 years ago this year, the King James Bible was released.
But most remarkable and enlightening is how it came into existence.
The KJB was to replace The People's Bible
One of the most fundamental questions was why the KJV was created in the first place.
Contrary to many thoughts, it was NOT made to replace a Catholic Bible.
Instead, it was made by the Monarchy of England to replace an Protestant Bible version that was anti-Monarchist.
One retort to rejecting the KJV is to say...
I wonder what translation the Founding Fathers used?
The Founding Fathers made it emphatically clear they did NOT want a King, even a King James, and furthermore, in the FIRST AMENDMENT, they made it emphatically clear that they did NOT want their secular leader to think he was the Pope, not even a Pope James.
But, to put things into better perspective, we must read the works of David Barton, America's expert on the history of the Capital Hill building.
He clearly states that the KVJ was the government's reaction to the People's version of the Bible called the Geneva Bible.
A Spiritual Heritage Tour
of the United States
by David Barton
"However, the Pilgrims were responsible for introducing more into America than just the concept of self-government based on God’s standards. They also introduced from the Bible many ideas that have become established parts of our culture today, including free-enterprise, the hard-work ethic, workfare rather than welfare, and private property ownership.
It is understandable that the Geneva Bible – particularly with its anti-autocratic commentaries – would be seen as a problem by the rulers of that day. In reaction, supporters of autocracy published the Bishops’ Bible and the Rheims Bible, both of which specifically attacked the content of the Geneva commentaries. This type of conflict was a factor leading to the establishment of official versions of the Bible.
In probably the best-known example, King James I of England authorized the funding of a new translation of the Bible about 1600, and it was finally published in 1611. Even though it was translated from essentially the same manuscripts as the Geneva Bible, this version removed all the commentaries and thus silenced the dissenting voice.
Not surprisingly, then, the “authorized” or King James Bible became the official Bible of many British monarchs and was therefore often the official Bible of the English colonies. In fact, Great Britain even made it illegal for the British colonies to print a Bible in the English language. 6 By this stipulation, all English-language Bibles were to be printed under the supervision of the Crown, thus helping regulate which versions were in circulation. (This law will be significant in a later discussion of the paintings in the Rotunda from the Revolutionary era.)
-- David Barton
The KJB was initiated by England's Parliament
Prior to the creation of the King James Bible, there were many Protestant English editions in print, where one Bible would tell you the "real" meaning of this word in Greek or that word in Hebrew, with another English translation giving a different meaning to those Greek or Hebrew words. (Of course, mostly among evangelicals and non-denominationals, Protestants continue today to play the same word games, themselves having not a clue about the meaning of any ancient Greek word or ancient Hebrew text.
So England's Parliament believed there was a need for an English "Council of Nicaea" to determine exactly what the Bible said - in English. The only consensus was that the Bible of the last 1,500 years in England, the Latin Bible of the Roman Catholics, was not to be trusted or referenced at all, since of course the Latin Bible was believed to have been written in Latin by another government ruler Constantine.
Keeping in mind that the King of England did not like the Puritan's anti-King Geneva Bible...
Queen Elizabeth's Parliament created "an act for the reducing of diversities of Bibles now extant in the English tongue to one settled vulgar translated from the original."
King James would be the King who would carry on shortly thereafter following Elizabeth's death.
What we have here is the government of England deciding which English Bible was acceptable and which English Bible was unacceptable, much as the Council at Nicea did under Emperor Constantine in matters of faith.
Actually, there was not to be a simple reduction in existing Bibles, but a replacement of them all by an official government-approved version.
Such happens when you ask government to help.
Bible owned by the Aristocracy
One of the faults Protestants have with the Catholics is that the Catholic Church wanted a unified Bible for all peoples of all countries, and the Latin language had always historically been that unifying language in the Roman Empire; however, in the mind of independent-minded English Protestants, even if the lowly classes could not read in English they certainly could not read in Latin. So in their mind, the Word of God, given to us by the son of a lowly carpenter had now been captured by a Catholic Pharisee class who had the Bible all to themselves in a Latin version that only highly educated men could read.
Well if simplicity for the masses was the goal, and Parliament had said that their rendition was to be in the vulgar, then the King James Bible far missed the mark.
The King Jame Bible was,
"the noblest monument of English prose."
In fact, the dirty little secret was that the KJB was written, not to replace a non-vulgar Latin-based Bible, but to replace (i.e. stifle) other, obviously more "vulgar" English versions then in circulation. ("an act for the reducing of diversities of Bibles now extant in the English tongue to one settled vulgar translated from the original."
So far, Catholic Latin egalitarianism had only given way to Protestant English Shakespearian-like prose egalitarianism.
But that is not all -- here is where Protestants go off the reservation...
The King of England was also their Pope
Having no separation of Church and State, King James had the title of Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
Certainly Emperor Constantine never held such religious authority over early Christians at Nicea.
Sure all the PAGAN Roman rulers thought they were a God, but no CHRISTIAN Roman emperor, as powerful as they were, ever deemed themselves to have the religious power even closely resembling that of the Pope.
And no French, Russian, Austrian, Prussian, Italian, Spanish, or even English CHRISTIAN ruler ever did so before King Henry VIII.
It would take the audacity of the English Protestants to truly merge what belongs to Caesar with what belongs to God.
Calling of the Hampton Court Conference
In January of 1604, King James established the Hampton Court Conference "for the hearing, and for the determining, things pretended to be amiss in the church."
With the King paying all the bills and with the King breathing down their neck over every recommendation, what chance was there for these "enlightened" Christian men to be heavily influenced by the government of the King?
Remember, the mood in England then was not like our current American "freedom of religion" worship rights.
King James' predecessors, King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth were well know for beheading people based upon their particular dis-favored flavor of Christianity.
King Henry VIII beheaded Roman Catholic Sir Thomas More, his most beloved and moral counselor merely because Sir Thomas More would not take an oath declaring the King to be the Pope. Later, Henry behead his next most beloved and moral counselor, Sir Thomas Cromwell, for an even less offense.
Why would anyone trust anything these "yes men" produced while held captive at Hampton Court?
"The Hampton Court Conference was primarily an attempt to settle the issue of Puritanism in the Church of England...Although he sought to be a reconciler of religious differences, he was more interested in conformity."
Or as a typical English King of the day may say, "Conform your religion to my tastes or I will un-conform your head from your body."
King James hand-picked the "scholars" at Hampton Court
Not content to just getting all the religious factions together into discussions, King James hand-picked who he actually wanted working on the KJB.
"In July of 1060, King James wrote to Bishop Bancroft. the chief overseer of the work, that he had "appointed certain learned men, to the number of four and forty, for the translation of the Bible.""
Does anyone accuse Emperor Constantine of hand-picking who will redefine Christianity?
Without dispute, for all to see, King James and only King James picked whom he wanted on the Conference.
If you were not in favor with the King, then you were not invited to rewrite the Bible -- End of discussion!
Trust in Hebrew and Greek, but not Latin
Of course, the Hampton Court Conference expanded into writing the KJB.
"A resolution came forth that "a translation be made of the whole Bible, as consonant as can be to the original Hebrew and Greek.
Seems to be the consensus that any Bible written in Latin is the work of Satan and any Bible written in Hebrew is Gospel.
The Protestants Christians would essentially bypass the Christian faith of Catholicism, but not bypass the non-Christian faith of Judaism.
The Jews liked the idea.
The King James Bible
(sorry to say)
was not a smash hit
Forgotten in history is that the KJB was forced down the throats of all Englishmen by commandment of the King, the only Bible allowed inside an English Christian Church, forced to be read in all English Church services.
The KJB was not an instant success, for the people who already had translated their Bible into English were obviously happy with the one they already had.
"By the Restoration in 1660, we may conclude, initial dissatisfaction had had its day; the KJB was now established as the English Bible and was generally regarded as an accurate rendering of the originals", so says David Norton, English professor at the University of Wellington in New Zealand.
Only took 50 years for Protestant Christians to embrace the dictates of a tyrannical Kingly dictator!
The anti-King Geneva Bible of the Puritans was now just a history book, replaced by the pro-King KJV.
On Its 400th Anniversary, King James Bible Still Popular With Americans
A Spiritual Heritage Tour of the United States by David Barton
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