Saturday, September 11, 2010

KJB spotting

A few years ago, I used to post on spotting citations of the King James Bible in literature. To tell the truth, I don't think that I have ever spotted any other translation in a work of English literature. This could just be me, but I don't think so. The King James Version is by far the most cited and most recognized translation of the Bible in modern English literature.

Here is my most recent find,
Its gonna be okay, I whispered to myself, knowing, as the words trotted through the fain hope in my mind, that I'd uttered the certain jinx formula. The saying, pride goeth ... before a fall ... is condensed from the second collection of the Book of Proverbs, 16:18 - Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. It's attributed to Solomon. If he did say it, Solomon was a man who knew horses intimatley well; much better than I did ...
This is from the monumental novel, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, page 692, published in 2003 and there are rumours that it was to be made into a movie with Johnny Depp in the lead role. What other translation of the Bible would Depp cite - really ??

Although I fully support modern translations of the Bible, the literary importance of the King James Bible should not be ignored.


Kristen said...

I use the KJV in my writings that refute Quiverfull and other hyper-fundamentalistic interpretations of Scripture. Many of these people are KJV only-- but it is entirely possible to refute their doctrines using the KJV alone. In many places I find it more accurate than some of the more modern translations-- "usurp authority" rather than "have authority" in 1 Timothy 2:11-15, for instance.

Don said...

The time of the KJV had it own versions of political correctness, so sometimes it can be the best translation out there.

It is also a part of English culture with many memorable phrases.

Muff Potter said...

I love the King James version of the English Bible for its beautiful flow of Elizabethan language, idioms and metaphor. A true work of art that England can be proud of for all time. Italy has Florence, Germany has Beethoven, and we of the Anglo-saxon tradition have the King James Bible.

Mara Reid said...

You are probably talking about older literature.

But I know that modern Christian writers often quote the King James because it is public domain, whereas other translations belong to others and you have to either ask permission or acknowlege somewhere that you are using their translation.