‘Did You Know?’

Posted on 14th April 2011 | in Community

It is four hundred years since James 1 of England authorised the translation of the Bible into English. It was the first time that reading the bible became accessible to the ordinary folk of England. James 1 was the son of Mary Queen of Scots but was taken from her as a baby and raised by presbyterian uncles.  Already James V1 of Scotland, he inherited the throne of England from Queen Elizabeth1 and so became James 1 of England.

The translation of the Bible, known as the ‘Authorised Version’, was begun by William Tyndale in Cologne but alas for all his talents he was strangled and burnt at the stake as a heretic! Nevertheless his work has lived on and acclaimed a masterpiece of English language.  Shakespeare, educated in the same era, used more than 90 quotes from the translation in his plays. Many of his phrases are still used in our everyday speech today:the ‘salt of the earth’, ‘pride goes before a fall’, ‘the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak’ are just a few.

Lord Macaulay (nineteenth century scholar) said this: The English Bible is a book which, if everything else in our language should perish, would alone suffice to show the whole extent of its beauty and power.

To celebrate the 4th centenary of this book, readings from the King James version are being read in various open air places up and down the Country. So if you get a chance, listen to one of these, or read this amazing book just for its beauty.

Lou Pickering

Pic: Parishioners from St Cuthbert’s Church read aloud from Exodus and St Mark’s Gospel to the people at the bus stop, on Queen Street and in the supermarkets. This was part of a scheme throughout the Newcastle Diocese, beginning on Holy Island.

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