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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: August ::
Re: KJV
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0763  Friday, 14 August 1998.

[1]     From:   Tad Davis <
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        Date:   Thursday, 13 Aug 1998 09:39:14 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0759  Re: KJV

[2]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Thursday, 13 Aug 1998 20:16:05 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0754  Re: KJV Team

[3]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Thursday, 13 Aug 1998 23:10:02 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0759  Re: KJV


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tad Davis <
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Date:           Thursday, 13 Aug 1998 09:39:14 -0400
Subject: 9.0759  Re: KJV
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0759  Re: KJV

David Evett wrote:

> A recent contributor is surprised that so little documentation survives
> for the King James Bible project-a handful of preliminary discussions of
> what was to be done and generally by whom, a list of translators, a
> couple of accounts of the way groups worked, a few notes from one
> participant.  No contemporary notice of the book's publication.  No
> apparent splash.

No great mystery about any of this: clearly the bulk of the translation
was done by the Earl of Oxford.

Tad Davis

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Thursday, 13 Aug 1998 20:16:05 -0700
Subject: 9.0754  Re: KJV Team
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0754  Re: KJV Team

> From: Chris Kendall <
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> As a programmer currently working on Y2K issues, I can imagine how the
> KJV team operated and so account for all of the above. The king hired 54
> men based on LOE estimates submitted by non-translators. They met for 3
> years arguing about specs. Meantime, one man spent his spare time
> actually doing the translation, which was submitted to the group in more
> or less finished shape in 1607 and then argued over for three more
> years, until the king fired the whole group and published the thing
> himself. The translator who had done the work had long since left to
> write adventure stories and was forgotten.

Excellent scenario!  Here's another.  For years poets have been
translating the more poetic parts of the Bible, the psalms (the most
popular translations for years, dozens doing it, some execrable, some
superb), the Song of Solomon, etc., and passing them around in
manuscript. With James on the throne, Bacon (who was devoted to getting
important works published, including his own stuff), urged the King that
having a definitive Bible would be a lasting memorial to his reign
(which was looking a bit seedy at that point). Bacon was tight with a
lot of the more gifted and educated Bishops, and got a committee
together. They collected some of the better stuff by poets, and gave
various good writers, including Jonson and Donne, and the more talented
Churchmen, the task of translating the rest. Once it was done, a cover
story was invented that would spread the responsibility evenly over a
community that could best benefit by the praise and withstand the blame.

Stephanie H.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Thursday, 13 Aug 1998 23:10:02 -0700
Subject: 9.0759  Re: KJV
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0759  Re: KJV

From:   David Evett <
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> linguistic accuracy and doctrinal validity.
> These two concerns dominate all the surviving  discussions of the KJV
> translation process, as they dominate the prefaces and other documents
> relating to all the earlier and most of the subsequent translations of
> the Bible in English and other languages.  Esthetic considerations may,
> no doubt, have affected particular translators as they worked on
> particular pieces of text.  But they could never be more than secondary
> or tertiary; it is for this reason above all that scholars and priests,
> not professional writers, were recruited for the task.

Most interesting and useful posts. However I couldn't disagree more with
the above paragraph. As someone mentioned on this thread, many of the
translations are not precise. Was that because the translator didn't
know his Greek? I don't think so. The English society was so steeped in
poetry, from the tippy tip of the most educated, with their imitations
of Petrarch, to the lowest of the low, with their ballads, rhyming
duels, and ancient inheritance of Celtic bardism, that this, the
repository of their common faith, had to sound good, was equally as
important as linguistic accuracy and doctrinal validity, if not more so.
They were such good scholars, whoever they were, that they knew that the
original Greek had a beautiful, mellifluous flow. Lovers of poetry all,
they knew that the better it sounded, the deeper the meaning, and the
richer the emotional response. We must be careful not to judge our
forbears by ourselves.

And, let us not forget whose book this was, and who, therefore, was
doubtless assisting all 52 in their translating!

Stephanie H.
 

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