In the 400th Anniversary Year of the launching of The King James Version of the Bible
The 2004 Winter Bible Study Series at The City Church, New York
The last supernova was seen from Earth exactly 400 years ago – in 1604. That spectacular astral explosion of light and energy was visible through both darkness and daylight. Its bright shining can symbolize the flame of another powerful light – the power and light of the written word of God, lit for new life in that stellar year. The King James translation of the Bible was launched – 400 years ago this month.
That literary launching was at the palace at Hampton Court in the countryside south of London. The decision to produce this new translation of the Bible marked a significant turning point in the history of the knowledge of God’s Word. Though it was not the first vernacular version of the Bible – even in English – it would turn out to be the literature that would shape, not only Christian understanding, but even the broadest culture of the English-speaking world for centuries.
James, the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, had ascended to the English throne on the death of the popular “Good Queen Bess” – Elizabeth I. He’d already been King James VI of Scotland.
James found himself up against many odds. For one thing, he was faced with a political crisis in the church controversies between the Anglican establishment and the Puritans. In an effort to try to address these problems, he invited both sides to his country residence at Hampton Court, where he was holed up to escape the plague infesting the filthy city of London. Read more →