King James Bible became the English Word, scholar says at BYU

By Chase Larson

Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 15 2011 6:42 p.m. MST

"Their mental world and their lifelong study of languages helped them communicate the grace and force of the original scriptures with comparable grace and force — and precision," Norton said.

The development and definitive nature of the King James Version took some time to take effect, however. Norton said when it was first published no one hailed it as a supreme translation or masterpiece of the English language — even Archbishop William Lord who was vital in its publication postponed using it as his sermon text until 18 years after its initial distribution.

Finally, after 50 years of attempts to revise or abolish the new text, the King James Bible monopolized the English reading of the Bible, providing a standard of truth and influencing the development of the language for entire generations.

"(It) remains the centerpiece of the Protestant English heritage … (and) deserves to be read because it's a great translation that is especially sensitive to the meaning and expression of the originals," Norton said. "It's well to be reminded that what is being read requires earnest engagement and better still to have a version that so richly rewards this engagement."


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