Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Larry Hurtado on the King James Bible

Larry W. Hurtado, ‘The King James Bible and Biblical Scholarship’, Expository Times 122, 10 (2011), 478-89.

It won’t last forever, but this essay is currently available for free download from SAGE Publications. It is slightly modified text of Hurtado’s 2011 Ethel Wood Lecture, given in Kings College London, on 2 February earlier this year.

Here is the summary:

‘As well as a product of statecraft and religious aspirations, the King James Version of the Bible (KJV) was also a product of the biblical scholarship of its day. The company of translators included a number of the best scholars in Hebrew and Greek, and they drew upon then-recent advances in the study of ancient languages, as well as the prior translation efforts of Tyndale and many others. In the centuries after its publication, the KJV both reflected and contributed to the spread of a popular interest in the Bible and in developments in biblical scholarship. These developments, however, also resulted in a critical appraisal of the KJV, especially concerning the Greek text on which the translation of the New Testament depended. So, ironically, the KJV was both a product and then itself, in a manner of speaking, a victim of biblical scholarship.’

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