FLOWER MOUND, Texas, August 28, 2012 — The translators of the King James Version in 1611 embraced a new dawn of literary revival. Not only did they seek textual fidelity, but they constructed sentences conducive to reading and memorizing. Sensing the original languages were written in the literary style of their age, the translators sought to mirror the nuances of the original languages giving the world an equally compelling masterpiece.
King James instructed William Barlow to formulate the rules that would govern their translation work. There were no rules to govern literary style, only their sense of the style of the age. And, yet the King James Bible translated into a book very suitable for public reading.
The plethora of vernacular translations published in the first half of the sixteenth century testifies to the increased level of spiritual awareness. Most versions were revisions of Tyndale’s New Testament and the work of Miles Coverdale. Biblical scholarship flourished, but the freshness of the English language stagnated. C.S. Lewis remarks, “All the authors were like elderly men.” Period prose had grown drab.
Standing tall among the most revered translators stood Lancelot Andrews, (1555-1626), sermon writer extraordinaire (“an angel in the pulpit”). Appointed director of the First Westminster Company of translators responsible for Genesis through 2 Kings, Andrews’s preaching brought an awaking to spiritual truth abandoned in many areas of the kingdom. Among his notable accomplishments was his memorable sermon at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.
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