Celebrating the King James Bible

In its heightened language, the King James Version of the Bible (KJV) gives us a richer appreciation of the wonder of God, which we can’t sense so deeply from anywhere else.
Foreword by Frank Field, MP for Birkenhead, Chair of the 2011 Trust

The KJV has shaped the consciousness and expression of English-speaking people throughout the world in the last four centuries.

With the translation having been done in a particular way, at a particular time in the development of the English language, its literature, its words and phrasing are especially rich.

Like good poetry, the chosen words suggest depths and layers of meaning neatly and movingly.

They also have echoes of Shakespeare, having been produced at about the same time, and coined many expressions that have become part of our language today such as ‘Escaped with the skin of my teeth’ (Job 19), ‘they shall reap the whirlwind’ (Hosea 8), ‘the signs of the times’ (Matthew 16), ‘a law unto themselves’ (Romans 2), ‘the powers that be’ (Romans 13), and many more.

In readiness for 2011, the 400th anniversary of the publication of the KJV, Rachel Boulding, Deputy Editor of the Church Times, explores her passion for the KJV in this hardback gift book of 116 devotional readings using the KJV.

Included are many of the best-loved passages such as Psalms 21–41, Proverbs 31, Lamentations, and Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount.

The book also includes readings based on the writings of Richard of Chichester and Julian of Norwich.

"So, just as we wouldn’t want to knock down old churches, we shouldn’t leave the KJV unread. For it’s not just a monument in our heritage, it is something that can shape our life of faith right now," says Rachel.

The book concludes with an afterword by Dr Alison Shell of University College, London, on the cultural and historical significance of this most enduring of Bible translations.

Rachel Boulding is Deputy Editor of the Church Times. She previously worked at Church House Publishing, where she was a key member of the team publishing Common Worship and related material.

She started her publishing career at SPCK, where she worked for ten years first on the Triangle imprint and then on SPCK titles. She also contributes to BRF’s New Daylight Bible reading notes.

Celebrating the King James Version is published 22 Oct 2010, priced £9.99, ISBN 9781841017570, hb, 144 pages