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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: April ::
Re: Shakespeare and the King James Bible
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0359  Friday, 17 April 1998.

[1]     From:   John Velz <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Apr 1998 13:40:13 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Sh. and KJB

[2]     From:   Gerald Hmmond <
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        Date:   Friday, 17 Apr 1998 11:05:28 +0800
        Subj:   Psalm 46


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Velz <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Apr 1998 13:40:13 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Sh. and KJB

To those who think Shakespeare had a hand in the Authorized Version:  I
wrote SHAKSPER some considerable time ago about the reasons why the
notion is unthinkable.  Sh. had no University degree, no credentials in
theology or scriptural study, supposedly small Latine & lesse Greek, two
of the necessary languages.  Some might have thought him suspect as
coming from a Catholic town and having Catholic associates.  We must not
make the mistake of thinking that his plays were regarded as great
literature in his time.  They were not.  Not until the year of
Shakespeare's death, 1616 did anyone publish plays as a part of his
"Works" (this was Ben Jonson, and some tried to laugh him out of London
for publishing plays in his Folio).  Besides the King and his advisors
cared much more about doctrine than about literary value.  As for the
46th psalm, the version of the story I heard decades ago has the number
46 for the four (count 'em!) vowels and six consonants in the man's
name.

Cheers,
John Velz

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gerald Hmmond <
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Date:           Friday, 17 Apr 1998 11:05:28 +0800
Subject:        Psalm 46

Curt Tofteland neglects to say that the point of the 46th words in Psalm
46 is that Shakespeare was 46 years old in 1611; also, that you have to
omit the word Selah at the end of the Psalm. For the full version of the
story, see Noble's book on Shakespeare's Biblical knowledge. A much more
interesting account of how he and Ben Jonson helped write the Authorized
Version is in Kipling's story "Proofs of Holy Writ."

Gerald Hmmond
National Taiwan University
 

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