[Milton-L] Re: AV/KJV "by Royal Authority"

carl bellinger bcarlb at comcast.net
Wed Sep 12 20:01:16 EDT 2007

Jeffery Hodges asks:
"Why wouldn't the title page be sufficient as evidence? Could such a work have been printed without authorization? And would "ecclesiastical or legislative sanction" have been necessary if the king were the head of the English Church?"
. . .

Glancing at F.F. Bruce, The English Bible, Oxford 1961, pp 96-97, it seems clear there is more behind the notion of an "authorized" version than merely the de facto sanction of the King as head of the church of England. 

Forgive the following crude and rude reduction of Bruce's fine history on these two pages, but appropos to this thread I find here both a comparison of the Geneva Bible to the about-to-be-undertaken new version [authorized by King James], AND contentions concerning versions of the Bible that carry notes.[!]

James, already King in Scotland 37 years, comes to London on the death of Elizabeth and within months summons a conference of churchmen&theologians to look into "things pretended to be amiss in the Church." Only one thing of any interest comes of the Hampton Court Conference, but what a thing! A resolution

"That a translation be made of the whole Bible," consonant with Hebrew and Greek and to be set out: "without any marginal notes, and only to be used in all Churches of England in time of divine service."

Thus: "only to be used".  Kick the others out. So proposed Dr. John Reynolds to mixed reaction, but James seized on it:

"I profess," James said, "I could never yet see a Bible well translated in English; but I think that, of all, that of Geneva is the worst. I wish some special pains were taken for an uniform translation, which should be done by the best-informed men in both Univerities, then reviewed by the Bishops, presented to the Privy Council, lastly ratified by Royal authority, to be read in the whole Church, and none other."

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