400th Anniversary of the King James Bible


The Kathryn A. Martin Library had the "400th Anniversary of the King James Bible" on exhibit from the Ramseyer Northern Bible Society Collection.

The year 2011 marked the 400th anniversary of the publication of what is now known as the “Authorized Version” or the “King James Bible,” the work of scholars and translators within the Church of England completed during the early years of the reign of King James I.

Libraries around the world commemorated the anniversary of this 1611 work produced by Robert Barker, the King’s Printer. “Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible” was a traveling exhibit organized by the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D. C., and the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The Manifold Greatness exhibit was at the University of Minnesota’s Wilson Library on the Twin Cities campus earlier this year.

Alan G. Thomas’s statement about the King James Bible noted its significance: “No book has had greater influence on the English language.” Linguistics scholar David Crystal’s 2010 book, Begat: The King James Bible and the English Language, investigated the Thomas comment by asking “Is it true?” He also asked the question, what do words like “influence” and “shaping” really mean? the Library Special Collections exhibit selectively draws upon and highlights these questions.

How many common phrases that we use without even thinking about them come from the Bible? How much has the language of the Bible influenced modern English? How many expressions of biblical origin come specifically from the King James Bible? Look at the exhibit, and decide for yourself. See More >>

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