This year, the King James version of the Bible, also known as the Authorized Version, turns 400 years old.
There’s a bit of a buzz in Britain about this, including a rather interesting radio documentary, which was the first thing I heard after London midnight last night. This version, so it goes, shaped the language, arguably empowered the poor and outcast, shaped British identity (don’t care about that so much) and is plainly beautiful.
Perhaps it was preaching to the choir, but when it comes to the Bible read in worship, I do prefer the King James. I know that’s quite out of fashion for liberals, but I know what stirs me and what doesn’t, and none other come close. I suppose that’s not only because the King James is written in English, but helped shape what English has become. And besides, this was the language that nurtured the Murrays and Ballou and really nearly all English-speaking Protestants until a hundred years ago, and very many now.
Plus, in the United States, it is in the public domain. By use, it has become the people’s voice. By law, it cannot be alienated from them. Worth a fair consideration by Unitarian Universalists.