Archbishop promotes Bisexual’s Bible

Oh, do forgive me for the attention seeking title. I just couldn’t resist. Its just that I find myself gently raising a curious eyebrow at the current love-in being manufactured for the anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible.

When I heard that the Archbishop of Canterbury had based his New Year message on the KJV, I have to admit that I groaned. It just seemed to be so backward looking at a time when one can say something forward thinking. Indeed, when I heard the message on Radio, I thought it was poor. However, when I saw the video, I have to admit that I was much more impressed. Its a New Year message meant for video and well worth looking at over on his website. It is nothing if not clever and I have to say that I quite admire it now having seen the visuals.

Curiously, Fr Archbishop doesn’t seem to have much to say about the personal life of our own dear King James VIth (and Ist).

Odd that, isn’t it?


  1. Great title! Personally I think the KJV is great ( as indeed is bisexuality ;-)). We had a lecture in Honours English Literature on it, pointing out that it’s full of brilliant phrases like ”dwellingplace of dragons” in a way not true of more accurate modern translations. I’ll take the KJV any-day over Wesley Owen evangementalist faves like “The Message” (“keep us alive with three square meals” indeed).

    Although I suppose the KJV might be problematically a patriarchal et all product of its times. I don’t see why some enterprising translator couldn’t keep all the cool Shakespearan bits and create a new, inclusive language version. Something for the SEC to work on perhaps 🙂

  2. Rosemary Hannah says

    Even as a child whose favourite recreation was the Old Vic and the latest Shakespeare production (yes, I was precocious) I loathed the KJV. It is much more archaic than Shakespeare. But bits of it slip in beneath the guard, and I probably do not hate it now in the way I did when I was 11. I do remember, very clearly, the joy of discovering Moffat, and the delight of the NEB OT being released, though.

    • I’ve long loved Moffatt – especially the glen of gloom in Psalm 23.

      I think it is only a few year’s until the Moffatt translation’s copyright expires, which is something to look forward to.

      Its puzzling, isn’t it, to find people who believe that a piece of prose is good English because it happens to be old or ecclesiastical in origin. Several times I’ve asked people making such a noise about the 1970 Liturgy to parse the sentences in the Eucharisitic prayer…if they can even discern where the sentences begin and end.

  3. Agatha says

    The Queen James Bible, maybe? And personally I think Moffatt overrated, that Christmas Dr Who was pretty pants.

  4. Hermano David | Brother Dah•veed says

    It is not like James did the actual translating.

    A humorous thing is that I have heard folks in the USA refer to it as the St. James bible. I bet he gets a tickle from that!

  5. Ritualist Robert says

    Love the sensationalist title. Perhaps you ought to have been a tabloid subeditor, Fr K.

    • You know, I’ve always admired those who produce such funny short headlines in the tabloids. One of the most creative jobs, I think.

  6. Robin says

    I’m AV for worship and private devotion, NRSV for study. The AV is, for me, the Bible of the heart.

    When the NEB New Testament was first published, in 1961, my great aunt Betsy commented:

    “They’ve got nae richt to change the Word o’ God. [PAUSE] Mind you, there’s bits in the auld Bible that even *I* canna understand!”

  7. Robin says

    And, by the way, the 1966 version of the Grey Book was even better than the 1970 version. If anyone fancies saying a Requiem for me after I die, use that – failing which, 1929 or even 1764.

  8. Rosemary Hannah says

    Moffat has the huge advantage of not being a committee.

    I use the parallel text a kind friend gave me for the NT, NRSV for OT. This MUSt be the year I really get to grips with Hebrew.

  9. In 1966 we wandered into a very obviously High Anglican church in the West Country, and there on the literature table was a leaflet entitled, ‘The New English Bible – Version or Perversion?’, by Ian R K Paisley.

  10. Rosemary Hannah says

    ‘The New English Targum’ ran the joke at St Andrews, where Matthew Black was still head.

  11. Steven says

    Slightly off point here but Kelvin indicated an admiration for tabloid headlines…it would be very hard to beat this one:

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