Sunday, 16 January 2011

The KJB Story - Introduction

By Alan O'Reilly



Like the Irishman who said, “Before I start speaking, I’d like to say a few words,” this author intends that what follows should be taken as a report. What the recipient does with this report is clearly a personal decision with God.

That said, this author would highly recommend two books on the subject of the King James Bible for further information. They are both obtainable from Chick Publications(1). These books are:

Did the Catholic Church Give Us the Bible? by David Daniels

Final Authority by Dr William Grady

David Daniels is an author, speaker, Bible teacher and evangelist. Dr Grady is an ex-Catholic from New York City who is now an Independent Baptist Pastor.

Why this Message – on a 400 year-old Book?

A simple answer: To inform, edify and provide for possible witness opportunities

A Christian friend recently emailed me an article by Peter Hitchens(2) of The Daily Mail about The Authorized Version. This article is a comment on the 400th anniversary of the 1611 Holy Bible, for which a special trust has been set up with HRH Charles the Prince of Wales as Patron(3). Hitchens says this:

“The Authorised Version tends, in fact, to use good hard, earthy English words: [2 Samuel 18:33] ‘And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!’ [That verse] doesn’t seem to me to be in any way hard for a 21st century person to understand. Indeed, you can hear and feel the woe and regret in it across the centuries, an old man weeping and alone…”

It may well be that items like this in the media will draw the attention of unsaved acquaintances to “the scripture of truth” Daniel 10:21 so that they can then be acquainted with “the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation” Ephesians 1:13.

It is also to be hoped that for Christians receiving this message that the “good hard, earthy English words” of the 1611 Holy Bible will “build you up” according to “the word of his grace” Acts 20:32.

Why this Story – about a 400 year-old Book?

A simple answer: Because of its effect on:
  • the nation’s leaders
  • the nation’s life
  • the nation’s enemies.
The nation’s leaders, e.g. HRH Charles, the Prince of Wales (4)

This is an American Independent KJB Baptist pastor quoting The Daily Telegraph, Dec. 20, 1989, no. 41,832, his emphases.

““According to the Prince of Wales…the English language “has become impoverished, sloppy, and limited, a dismal wasteland”…The Prince accused the editors of the [new bibles] of “making changes in the Authorized Version, just to lower the tone, and believing that the rest of us wouldn’t get the point if the word of God was a bit over our heads.” The Prince went on, “the word of God is supposed to be a bit over our heads, elevated as God is.” Never heard it put better anywhere. It will never be said to anybody over here any better…This is the King with the King’s English, and “where the word of a King is, there is power” [Ecclesiastes 8:4a].””

That’s a remarkable effect of a 400 year-old Book on the future king, especially insofar as he appears to think the same about that Book over 20 years later.

The nation’s life

Here are two statements about the effect of the 1611 Holy Bible on the nation’s life.

The first is from the Roman Catholic writer F. W. Faber(5), speaking in the mid-19th century.

“Who will not say that the uncommon beauty and marvellous English of the Protestant Bible is not one of the great strongholds of heresy [Protestant Bible belief] in this country? It lives on the ear like music that can never be forgotten, like the sound of church bells. Its felicities often seem to be things rather than words. It is part of the national mind, and the anchor of national seriousness.”

The second is from the noted historian, Dr David Starkey from his series Monarchy and the episode on King James 1st.

“The King James Version of the Bible, more than any other book, formed the English language and shaped the English mind.”

According to these men, the 1611 Holy Bible principally “shaped the English mind” and was “part of the national mind.” That is a significant effect of a 400 year-old Book during those 4 centuries on the nation’s life.

The nation’s enemies

Charles Chiniquy was a 19th century French-Canadian Catholic priest. He was a Catholic for 50 years and a priest for 25 of those years. After he got saved, Chiniquy(6) issued this solemn warning.

“It is a fact that to-day, almost all over the world, the Church of Rome grants permission to read the Bible…But I will here ask the Roman Catholics, “To whom do you owe that privilege and honour of a Bible in your house? Is it to your Church?” Oh! no, for if your Church could be free to fulfil her own laws you would be sent to gaol; nay you would be burnt on a scaffold for that Bible. But you owe that privilege to the glorious British Protestant flag which protects you – wherever it floats on the breeze, no Pope, no priest will dare to trouble you for that Bible – they let you possess and read that holy book because they cannot help it.”

Chiniquy’s statement indicates that “the glorious British Protestant flag” enabled even Catholics to read what many at the time perceived as the glorious British Protestant Bible. That’s quite an effect of a now 400 year-old Book on the nation’s enemies.

We continue with an outline of how that glorious British Protestant Bible came into being. None can introduce better the overall incentive for the work than the learned men, the King James translators themselves, according to the preface to the 1611 Holy Bible, entitled The Translators To The Reader(7) as the following extract shows:

(To be continued)




(4) Bible Believers’ Bulletin, Bible Baptist Bookstore, April 1990

(5) The Men Behind the KJV by Gustavus S. Paine, Baker Book House 1977, p vii

(6) Why I Left the Church of Rome by ‘Father’ Charles Chiniquy, The Protestant Truth Society, p 5



alanorei said...

Thanks again, Sarah

I think the format is very clear, needing only a few edits as indicated separately.

Pamela said...

I think the so called "dumbing down" of religious language has been one of our greatest losses. Instead of making the scriptures accessible it has made them mundane and trite.

Attempts to modernise the church have driven people away from it. What is the point of worship without magic?

alanorei said...

Very true, Pamela, thank you

I think this will emerge more as this article progresses.

Dr.D said...

Pamela, let me correct one part of your comment. The Christian faith is definitely about the mysteries of God and His Son, Jesus Christ. It does not incorporate magic with is the power, or apparent power, to make things happen. If miracles are worked, they are the working of the Holy Ghost, not of man and hence they are not magic.

Pamela said...

Of course you are right Dr. D. "Magic" was a probably a badly chosen word. I didn't mean it in the sense of witchcraft of trickery, but rather in the manner of Mystique or "romance" in the wider sense, poetry even.

Religious language is capable of taking one from the mundane, drabness of so much our lives and touching us in a way that is more ethereal, or celestial.

Holy verse can thrill, whereas prosaic language seldom does.

Does that make more sense?

Dr.D said...

Well said, Pamela.