The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0224 Wednesday, 13 May 2009
Date: Monday, 11 May 2009 18:44:42 -0700
Subject: Shakespeare and the King James Bible
I have read SHAKSPER with great interest for many years. I am a working
playwright and shy to make any comment to the work of academics.
However, I have a question, which I have waited anxiously to see some
comment on and don't remember seeing. Perhaps I missed it.
It is this: is there any evidence that Shakespeare had any involvement,
no matter how tangential, in the editing or otherwise, of the King James
Bible? I've read the rumors and suggestions, but I thought you might
know if there is any evidence. Can you point to any detailed discussion
of this issue?
Jay Alan Quantrill
[Editor's Note: There have been many long discussion on this topic that
you can find in the archives. Go to http://www.shaksper.net/search.html
and enter KJV to locate many of them. As for the facts, the chances that
Shakespeare had anything in any way to do with the KJV are nill. (I
don't know, however, about the man from Essex.) There are many fine
academic studies. I enjoyed Adam Nicolson's _God's Secretaries: The
Making of the King James Bible_ (HarperCollins, 2003), which includes an
appendix listing the 50 or so known members of the six teams
("companies") responsible for the "translation." Much of the final
version is, of course, indebted to the work of Tindall, but the
Archbishop of Canterbury instructed the teams to consult Tindall,
Matthews, Coverdale, Whitchurch, and the Geneva versions as the bases
for their revisions. -HMC]
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