Well, here we are in 2011, and one of the most significant anniversaries this year is the 400th anniversary not of the works of William Shakespeare but of the first edition of the Authorised King James Version of the Bible.
Deriving its name from the English monarch who authorised its translation, the King James Bible has sold an estimated one billion copies; introduced words such as “long-suffering,” “scapegoat,” and “peacemaker” into our language; and given the Word of God to the common people in the vernacular, without bloodshed.
And U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt described the King James Bible as “a Magna Carta for the poor and oppressed: the most democratic book in the world.”
But above all, it is a faithful representation of the good news of Jesus Christ, a spiritual treasure without rival, which, as St Paul said to Timothy, “is able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 3:15).
Happy anniversary, King James Bible!
Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 2 January 2011.
Theologian, researcher, teacher, writer, foodie, husband, dad. Works at Moore Theological College.