John Rhys-Davies and the impact of the King James Bible
He rode with Indiana Jones and battled next to Frodo, now award-winning actor John Rhys-Davies rides along the corridors of history teaching us what the King James Version Bible battled before reaching the homes of millions of people today.
Rhys-Davies, who plays the dwarf Gimli in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, explained to The Christian Post his personal appreciation and relationship with the KJV Bible after working on the docudrama, “KJB: The Book that Changed the World.”
While working as the host for the film, now available on DVD, Rhys-Davies became aware of many unanswered questions in his life, such as “What do I really believe? What are my real core values and understanding?”
He confessed “for me, it has been a very personal journey, which I have to tell you is not yet completed spiritually.”
The “Lord of the Rings” actor said a fact from the history of the King James Bible that particularly stood out to him was how much determination King James had in spreading the truth, and not for the sake of controlling people.
During King James’ reign, there were many polarising factors that were threatening to pull the country apart. King James had to impose himself in the middle of it all by appeasing as well as intimidating the most powerful men, said Rhys-Davies.
The docudrama notes that the new Bible translation was the “one master stroke James had done. The two opposing sides now had to work together on a single, joint and unifying project. A project based on scholarship, clarity, and the all-powerful Word of God.”
King James took on the enormous undertaking of not only bringing two influential denominations together – Church of England and Puritans – but also holding the kingdom together.
King James’ faith in God allowed his project to gain momentum during the seven years and more than 50 scholars – two of who died during the process – it took to translate the Bible from Hebrew and Greek texts.
Rhys-Davies, who said he would not call himself a Christian, respects how the docudrama continues to pass on the legacy of King James, even after 400 years.
“Faith is not a rational thing and yet to understand the universe, rationality alone will not give it to us. Our understanding of the universe must transcend the rational,” acknowledged Rhys-Davies.
“That sounds absorbed and unscientific, but I believe it to be true. The great religious translations, they have in them a power and magic of weaving of words that reinforces in the mind the power and the meaning of the world.”