In this collection of essays, thirty scholars from diverse disciplines offer their unique perspectives on the genius of the King James Version, a translation whose 400th anniversary was recently celebrated throughout the English-speaking world. While avoiding nostalgia and hagiography, each author clearly appreciates the monumental, formative role the KJV has had on religious and civil life on both sides of the Atlantic (and beyond) as well as on the English language itself. In part 1 the essayists look at the KJV in its historical contexts—the politics and rapid language growth of the era, the emerging printing and travel industries, and the way women are depicted in the text (and later feminist responses to such depictions). Part 2 takes a closer look at the KJV as a translation and the powerful precedents it set for all translations to follow, with the essayists exploring the translators’ principles and processes (with close examinations of “Bancroft’s Rules” and the Prefaces), assessing later revisions of the text, and reviewing the translation’s influence on the English language, textual criticism, and the practice of translation in Jewish and Chinese contexts. Part 3 looks at the various ways the KJV has impacted the English language and literature, the practice of religion (including within the African American and Eastern Orthodox churches), and the broader culture. The contributors are Robert Alter, C. Clifton Black, David G. Burke, Richard A. Burridge, David J. A. Clines, Simon Crisp, David J. Davis, James D. G. Dunn, Lori Anne Ferrell, Leonard J. Greenspoon, Robin Griffith-Jones, Malcolm Guite, Andrew E. Hill, John F. Kutsko, Seth Lerer, Barbara K. Lewalski, Jacobus A. Naudé, David Norton, Jon Pahl, Kuo-Wei Peng, Deborah W. Rooke, Rodney Sadler Jr., Katharine Doob Sakenfeld, Harold Scanlin, Naomi Seidman, Christopher Southgate, R. S. Sugirtharajah, Joan Taylor, Graham Tomlin, Philip H. Towner, David Trobisch, and N. T. Wright.
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