Adam Nicolson, “God’s Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible”

This is an interesting book, but I should note that a lot of it is more about the secular times than about anything directly relevant to the Word.

The author’s basic thesis is that King James wanted the translation to be an inclusive, unifying work, drawing together Protestants ranging from establishment bishops to near-Separationists. But all were serious Christians, and the end result was amazing.

Majesty of language was sought — no one ever spoke like this — and it had to sound majestic.  It was expected that many would experience the Bible principally as read orally.  The final editing was done, tellingly, at a big meeting where each section was read out loud to the entire group by the subcommittee that had translated it.   Extensive commentary was eschewed.

The KJV is more popular in the United States than it is in Great Britain.  Its rhythms can be heard in the Gettysburg Address, the JFK inaugural, and Martin Luther King’s speeches (238).