Translation Battles, 17th Century Edition

The battle over liturgical text translation that heated up last year is but the latest in a long series of acrimonious debate about words and their meanings and implications for different groups of people. Something similar happened in the UK nearly 400 years ago.KJV From The Guardian:

Except, of course, that is precisely what the KJB was: an attempt by the Church of England to control the religious and cultural agenda. A team of academics was established in 1604 to translate the Bible in such a way that it bolstered the authority of the established church. James I gave the specific instruction that the translation must toe the official line on the importance of bishops. The Greek word ekklesia was to be translated as "church", rather than "congregation" or "assembly" – the translators thus giving the impression that the Bible proposes a top-down form of ecclesiastical authority. James insisted no notes were to be made in the margins of the text; it was in this dangerous commentary that the previous, more radical Geneva Bible had dared to question the divine right of kings. 

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As the King James Version of the bible approaches its 400 anniversary, its worth noting that previous generations allowed themselves to fall into the same sort of divisiveness that we sometimes experience, and yet the Church goes on. The whole column is worth a read.

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