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January 10 2011

Olivia Williams reads Ruth and Road to Emmaus from the King James Bible as part of a BBC podcast project about "one of the great English literary works."

Oh, thanks for this link. I woke up yesterday to the start of it on the radio, came slowly awake to the first two readings, then got up and thought no more about it - had no idea how many they did. Must check a few out, especially hers, since I love the poetry of the language in the King James version... *coughs* anyway. Ta.
I tried listening to this yesterday, but had to meet a friend before I could get to Olivia's part (the radio player I was listening to lists Olivia as the one reading the crucifixion...)

The readings are beautiful, but I felt like I was going to burst in flames any minute for being such a ~sinner. lol
Olivia Williams + King James Version = Goood Bible
King James bible was written much more beautifully than the new revised edition. I remember having to use it for referencing in one of my college assigments(pointing out the bad in organised religion, makes me feel bad when I read the poetry) and there was no comparison! so lovely, only made more beautiful by the soft and silky tones of one Ms. Williams.
It's more poetic but a less scholarly/accurate translation, s'why i've both the NRSV and a King James.

(though if I'd known there was an audio book I wouldn't have bothered ! ;)
Accurate? There's accuracy in the Bible?! Good thing it was only a small section i used! Is this one the protestant one? and the NRSV the catholic one? I can never remember...
Some Protestants use NRSV, but I think other translations are more common. NIV is the most used in the circles I'm familiar with. ESV is another popular one at my current church. Couldn't say what Catholics use.

A couple of our readings during Advent (Luke chapter 2) were done from the King James. Lovely and poetic, and, oddly enough, more familiar to me than the NIV. I guess it gets quoted more.

(In case you're not aware, BlueSkies, the main reason newer translations are more accurate is that they're done from the original Hebrew and Greek, whereas King James is translated from the Latin translation.)
It's not that so much (the King James also primarily used Greek and Hebrew texts it's just that generally, where there was ambiguity, they checked it against one or two Latin translations). The bigger problem is twofold, 1) James wanted the Bible to adhere to certain views (e.g. about the clergy) almost regardless of what the original texts actually said and 2) since it was created 400 years ago, more/different copies of some of the texts have come to light and in general, Biblical scholarship, archaeology etc. have just moved on. So among other differences, newer editions don't include certain passages that are in the King James because modern Biblical scholars consider them to be later additions (here's a list of some). And the NRSV for instance has footnotes pointing out questionable translations.

If anyone's interested BTW, there're a number of books about the history of The Bible, "Misquoting Jesus" might be a place to start (i've also enjoyed 'The Bible Unearthed' and 'The Unauthorised Version' but the emphasis there is more on The Bible as history rather than the history of the book itself). Needless to say, many religious people take issue with some or all of the claims made but I guess that's understandable.
The school I studied in required us an NRSV bible for our religion class. But maybe that's because it uses gender-inclusive language, which is apt for an all-girls Catholic school

Although I do remember seeing several copies of KJV bibles in our libraries...

I was going to say that I'm going to assume that all these bible versions can be accepted by both religions, but I remember that the Catholics have 9 (? I fail at religion class forever) books that the Protestants don't consider canonical.

[ edited by csi_spy on 2011-01-12 09:14 ]
Yeah, Protestants consider 7 entire books and some additions to another 2 that're included in the Catholic Bible to not be directly inspired by God (it stems from a disagreement dating back to the 3rd or 4th century). Many Protestant Bibles still include them (the KJV does for instance) but in a separate section called the Apocrypha and strictly a Protestant Bible can not include them and still be considered complete.

(both the Bibles I own include them - it's just better value for money ;)
Re. accuracy - Might I also recommend Bruce Metzger's "The Bible In Translation: Ancient and English Versions," "The Text of the New Testament" and "The Canon of the New Testament." Metzger's scholarship is incredibly thorough, but just as importantly (for me, anyway) his prose is readable and extremely accessible to a lay person. (In TTofNT he makes discussions of ancient mss fascinating, which I would previously have thought impossible!)

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