Naturalism and Ontology

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Superb review, Moira, thank you — and what a great idea to link these two books. They complement each other very well. It is being a great year of rediscovery of the KJV. Pingback: Books: Does Size Matter? Excellent reviews! Both of these books sound like enlightening reading, especially the second one. I hate when people use religion to excuse their prejudices and some people are oblivious to the hypocrisy. Usually committees produce a mishmash of whatever they attempt.

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Like this: Like Loading These sound like a couple of fascinating books — thanks. John November 2, Chris Harding November 2, Hilary November 3, Moira November 4, Thank you, everyone! Jackie November 14, Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:.

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Editorial Policy The views expressed in the articles and reviews on Vulpes Libris are those of the authors, and not of Vulpes Libris itself. Quoting from Vulpes Libris You are very welcome to quote up to words from any article posted on Vulpes Libris - as long as you quote accurately, give us due credit and link back to the original post. Approximately a fourth of the forty-seven translators were men of Puritan sympathies.

Furthermore, we hear so much about how percent of the King James Bible was carried over from William Tyndale's translation that we have been lulled into believing it. Those figures are true for the parts of the Bible that Tyndale translated , but he translated no more than two-thirds of the Bible before his martyrdom.


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  • If we turn from the origins of the KJV to its reception history, the Puritans again play a role. The last edition of the Geneva Bible published in England appeared in , just five years after the first publication of the KJV, suggesting that the Geneva Bible did not retain its dominance as long as is often assumed. Additionally, it might be expected that when the Puritans gained the ascendancy around they would have thrown their weight behind the Geneva Bible, but they did not do so.

    In another surprise, between and at least nine editions of the KJV were printed with the Geneva Bible notes. Even that is not the end of the story of the Puritans and the KJV. As noted in the preceding paragraph, the King James Version had already gone a long way toward supplanting the Geneva Bible during the decade in which the Westminster Assembly held its meetings.

    In confirmation, upon further research I discovered that the Authorized Version "immediately superseded the Bishops' Bible for use in [English] churches. In situating the King James Bible in relation to the Puritans I have actually told the first chapter of the story that I announced at the outset, namely, the influence of the King James Version in the church. The King James Version began its influence in the church from the moment of its publication, but when we think of the total history of the King James Bible we appropriately think of its influence as extending from the middle of the seventeenth century to the present moment.

    For those of my readers who are older than forty-five, chances are good that they themselves experienced the dominance of the King James Version.


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    • By contrast, today I commonly find that virtually none of my students has experienced the King James Version firsthand or regularly. I can tell the story of the influence of the King James Version in the church best by means of snapshots that gesture toward a larger picture. So let me start with my own childhood and early adulthood. From earliest years I heard the King James Bible read three times daily after family meals.

      The KJV was the basis for my biblical education and memorization at church and Christian school.

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      Bible: The Story of the King James Version (Gordon Campbell)

      Midweek lessons on the Heidelberg Catechism during my high school years were saturated in proof texts from the KJV. When I was nine years old, my Christmas gift was a King James Bible with my name inscribed on the cover and on the inside a presentation note from my parents. I used this Bible to the end of my college years. When I revisit my Iowa roots, a stroll through the rural cemetery where some of my forbears and family acquaintances lie buried presents me with a virtual museum display of famous resurrection verses from the King James Bible: "The Lord is my light and my salvation" Ps.

      The same thing is true of wall plaques that I remember from my childhood. When my family visited fellow church members or neighbors, it was rare not to see Bible verses on the walls. I helped myself to a plaque from my parental home when I got married and left home. After all, it bore the verse that my pastor had given to me when I made public confession of faith: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" Phil.

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      It had escaped my notice until I wrote my book on the King James Version that, with the eclipse of the King James Version in evangelical circles, the presence of Bible plaques on walls also nearly vanished. I propose that this congruence is not unexpected. Another snapshot that gives us a glimpse into the degree to which the King James Version seized the affections of Christians through the centuries is the Bible verses found on the walls of Protestant churches.

      I once jotted down the Bible verses that came into my view as I sat on an outside aisle at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. They included these: "He being dead yet speaketh" Heb. I have seen dozens of Bible verses on the walls of old churches and cathedrals in England, and many in churches in the U.

      This includes Covenant Presbyterian Church in suburban St. Louis, where I was married and where after the sanctuary was enlarged and rearranged the words of John in gold-edged lettering were again positioned on the wall behind the pulpit. I can imagine someone's saying that the King James was used in these churches because that was the only Bible in town. That is true, but when the King James Version ceased to be the common English Bible, Scripture verses largely ceased to be placed on church walls, suggesting that nothing else has stepped in to fill the place that the KJV once held.

      Gordon Campbell (scholar)

      As I have noted, the story of the King James Version in the church is told partly by its public inscription on tombstones, plaques, and church walls. I will note in passing that if we widen the scope from the church to culture at large, the same picture emerges: the King James Version was permanently inscribed in full public view for over three centuries. If we shift from publically displayed inscriptions from the King James Version to Christian publishing and preaching through the centuries, the same picture of the dominance of the KJV in the Protestant church emerges.

      Several years ago the annual conference of the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology published a booklet in connection with the conference theme of justification. Pink, J. The same story is told by Bible commentaries from the past. Today authors and publishers of Bible commentaries conspicuously note the English Bible that has been used in the commentary.

      By contrast, I recently looked in vain in the prefatory material to Matthew Henry's commentary for an indication of what translation Henry had used. That omission was the norm for Bible commentaries until approximately Everyone knew what translation the author had used, namely, the King James Version.

      The same is true of famous preachers from through the middle of the twentieth century. What translation did Jonathan Edwards use? Charles Spurgeon? John Wesley? Billy Graham? We hardly need to ask. It was the King James Version, which for more than three centuries was the Bible of the pulpit in Protestant churches throughout the English-speaking world. Charles Spurgeon was so fond of the KJV that he said regarding it that it would "never be bettered, as I judge, till Christ shall come.

      It would be inaccurate to think only of England and America when assessing the role of the King James Bible in the Christian church. We also need to consider its influence in the missionary work of English-speaking missionaries around the world. During my 43 years of teaching at Wheaton College I have witnessed a steady stream of students from non-Western countries, and overwhelmingly the English Bible of these students has been the King James Version. David Daniell tells the story of the activity of the English and American Bible societies in the nineteenth century, and he entitles the unit that covers this history "KJV for the World.

      The impact of the King James Bible on the language and worship of Christianity in Africa and Australasia has been immense. It is easy for people who have never used the King James Version as their primary Bible individually or in church life to dismiss the KJV as being no more than a relic in the museum of the past.

      Actually, the King James Version remains a major influence in the life of the church.