“This year, 2011, much of the Christian world is celebrating in some form or fashion the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible of 1611,” explained the Reverend J.A. Layman, evangelist with Sterling Ministries, before The Lay School faculty here in Clinton, Tennessee. “Facsimile copies of the original first edition of that Bible have been published and have appeared in most retail outlets. Lionsgate Films has released a documentary DVD entitled, ‘K J B, THE BOOK THAT CHANGED THE WORLD, THE AMAZING TALE OF THE BIRTH OF THE KING JAMES BIBLE’. We addressed the publication of the facsimile copies of the original King James Version before this body back in early April of 2011 and Evangelical Examiner Knoxville wrote of our presentation in an article entitled, ‘The original, first edition of the King James Version 1611’. We would like to focus our attention today on the DVD produced by Lionsgate which provides a succinct, 94 minute synopsis of the political climate and the historical events beginning with the latter reign of Elizabeth I and continuing through the reign of James I, interspersed with some pertinent, but not complete, information on the religious climate of the same time period. By all accounts it appears that King James I was in need of no one to declare to him the Word of God nor to dictate to him whether he should be Protestant, or more correctly, Presbyterian, or Roman Catholic; for he is portrayed in history as a competent scholar and theologian, making the truths of God’s Word untainted by the customary interpretations of either religious tradition his foremost quest. When the suggestion that yet another English translation of the Bible be undertaken; ‘a single, mutually acceptable translation of the Scriptures’; one that might help unite those with variant viewpoints and interpretations fostered by the several English translations already published; a translation that might ease the tensions between the bishops with their translation of choice, the Bishops Bible, used and read from in every Anglican church in England, and the Puritans ‘who wanted a faith based soundly on the Scriptures’, and their translation of choice was the Geneva Bible; a translation which also contained side notes written by Protestant scholars who had often been refugees from royal persecutions and ‘needed no encouragement to offer anti-monarchist interpretations of holy texts’. King James hated the Geneva Bible particularly because of those dreadful notes’. In an attempt to unite the factions, King James called for a conference in which the complaints of the Puritans concerning the abuses of the bishops of the church and certain translational issues could be addressed. Unity was his goal, unity at all costs!”
“The schism that had appeared between the Roman Catholic Church under the Pope and papal system in Rome and the Catholic Church in England that had resulted in the formation of the Anglican Church was scarcely forty years old; a schism that had occurred for reasons other than religious ones under King Henry VIII in his quest for a male heir to the throne. The historical record reveals that the Lutherans and Presbyterians as well as the Anglicans set up new religious hierarchies that were as abusive, oppressive, and dogmatic as the Roman Catholic Church they were raising objections to.
The compromise between these two factions, the bishops and the Puritans, came when it was suggested that a new translation be made; ‘a translation based upon: scholarship, clarity, and the all-powerful Word of God!’ To circumvent the possibility of any corruption of the texts being introduced by either factions, ‘rules of checking were set up. Apart from a separate list of stringent rules drawn up by the king, four extra tests for the final text would be applied, raising the level of academic excellence to an unprecedented new level.’ Their goal was ‘to get as close as is humanly possible to the original texts and their true meaning’.”
[REFERENCE: Quotations in-text above are directly from the Lionsgate DVD being reviewed.]