[Milton-L] KJV in NYTimes

Samuel Smith ssmith at messiah.edu
Tue Jan 11 12:18:26 EST 2011

Just to note that the other editor for the Oxford World's Classics KJV was Robert (not David) Carroll.  He was an Irishman who lived most of his life in Glasgow (teaching at the University), with a profound sense of irony and a scintillating, sarcastic wit, a Hebrew Bible scholar (especially the Book of Jeremiah) who also wrote a superb little book titled "The Wolf in the Sheepfold" (in the US the title is "The Bible as a Problem for Christianity").  This hardly does him justice, but seeing him mis-named prompted memories of a treasured friend.

Samuel Smith

>>> Hannibal Hamlin  01/11/11 12:00 PM >>>
Dear Mitch,
I think Lloyd Berry's is still the standard facsimile for the Geneva, and it's been reissued quite cheaply. For the KJV, I've been teaching from the World's Classics, edited by Stephen Prickett and David Carroll. Another excellent option, though, is the Penguin, edited by David Norton. The Oxford text is the modern standard -- based on the 1769 edition of Benjamin Blayney. Norton's is a different text, both more authentic and less, in different ways: it returns to the 1611 text, but it presents it in paragraph format (based on Norton's New Cambridge Paragraph Bible). The format is really quite illuminating, especially for the narrative books, since these can now be read without the continuous interruption of verse breaks. On the other hand, those breaks were part of the 1611 text, so this is in effect the original KJV text with a format more like Tyndale or Coverdale (verses came in with Geneva). Gordon Campbell has a new anniversary edition of the KJV for Oxford that I haven't seen. It will be worth checking. There's also an odd volume of selected bits and pieces from Longman, King James's Bible, edited by W.H. Stevenson. The selection allows for more annotation, perhaps, but it's idiosyncratic and thus of limited use. The title is bizarre; this Bible was "King James's" only in the sense that he sanctioned it's production - he was otherwise uninvolved, and the Bible's long religious, cultural, literary influence certainly has little if anything to do with him. Also notable among recent publications is the Vulgate being issued in the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library. It's great to have a good edition of the Vulgate, but what's especially valuable is that Douay-Rheims is printed on the facing pages. The first volume (Pentateuch) is now out, edited by Swift Edgar. For Tyndale, the only options I'm aware of are the Yale modern spelling editions of David Daniell. 
There are also, of course, online texts of many early Bibles, especially the KJV, though I haven't checked these for accuracy or base texts. www.biblos.com is one clearing house for translations all over the web, but perhaps even better is http://www.rockhay.org/worship/translat.htm, which includes the KJV, Geneva, Douay-Rheims, even Bishops', Tyndale, and Wycliffe. As I say, though, I've no idea how reliable these various editions are. 

On Tue, Jan 11, 2011 at 11:15 AM, Mitchell M. Harris <mitchell.harris at augie.edu> wrote:
Dear Jameela, Nancy, Hannibal, and others-

Perhaps I will show my own ignorance here, but I would love to know what editions (scholarly, facsimile, etc.) each of you trusts with early modern Bibles. For example, which Tyndale do you use, which Geneva, which King James, which Bishops, etc.?

I finally tired of walking over to the library every time I wanted to look at the Geneva edition and bought Lloyd Berry's facsimile edition of the 1560 Geneva Bible. I'm wondering, however, if there are better editions out there, and I'd certainly like to know more about Tyndale, King James, Bishops, and the like.

All the best,
       Mitch Harris

Mitchell M. Harris
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Augustana College
2001 S. Summit Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57197
(605) 274-5297
mitchell.harris at augie.edu

"To stand inquiring right, is not to stray;
To sleep, or run wrong, is."

                               - John Donne 

On Jan 10, 2011, at 4:49 PM, Jameela Lares wrote:


I am happy to see any discussion of the KJV in this its 400th year, as I am starting a Ph.D. seminar next week on Milton, Bunyan, and the King James Bible.

In the past for such classes, I have used F. F. Bruce's History of the Bible in English (Lutterworth, 2003), though this year I am using a trade book written by a Miltonist, Gordon Campbell's readable Bible: The Story of the King James Version, 1611-2011.  The UK amazon site has an entertaining video of of the author: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bible-Story-James-Version-1611-2011/dp/0199557594/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1294699561&sr=1-1.

I'll be having the students each choose a book and an article to report on.  I've already attached my selected bibliography to the syllabus, but if anyone wants to list a favorite title, I'm all ears.

Jameela Lares
Professor of English
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive, #5037
Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
601 266-4319 ofc
601 266-5757 fax
From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Nancy Charlton [nbcharlton at comcast.net]
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2011 4:36 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: [Milton-L] KJV in NYTimes


This is the URL for a short and gracious appraisal of the place the King James Bible holds in literature and culture. The author Verlyn Klinkenborg, concludes:  "Its words are almost never Latinate, and its rhythms are never hampered by the literalism that afflicts other translations."

I've started and erased half a dozen sentences commenting on this and trying to bring it deliberately into the purview of Milton studies, but the most original thing I can think of, and I don't recall it ever being discussed here, is the question of verbal antiquity and archaism in Milton's works.

Many in our day are as ill-equipped as Tyndale's ploughboy to take on, say, PL XI.385-422, but few would not be touched by "...took their solitary way" or "Earth felt the wound." Milton was generally aware of himself as the author or narrator or any piece, but he was never preoccupied with his own responses. This he has in common with the Bible narrations and even where the poet pours out his soul and describes  physiological effects ("I wept") still focus on the reason ("...when I remembered Zion.")

Would this be worth a discussion, or a study?

Nancy Charlton

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Hannibal Hamlin
Associate Professor of English
Editor, Reformation
Organizer, The King James Bible and its Cultural Afterlife
The Ohio State University
164 West 17th Ave., 421 Denney Hall
Columbus, OH 43210-1340
hamlin.22 at osu.edu/
hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com

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