from The Huffington Post

Will the King James Bible Survive?

by Timothy Beal
Author, ‘The Rise and Fall of the Bible

Four hundred years since the King’s Printer published the first edition in 1611, the King James Version Bible continues to reign supreme. Not only is it by far the bestselling translation of all time, with more than 5 billion copies sold, it is the very icon of Bibleness, the Book of books, the premier image of the printed and bound Word. Indeed, many assume it’s the only Bible. “I’ve never read the Bible,” people tell me. “I just can’t stand all those thees and thous,” despite the fact that no modern translations have them. And whether anyone ever seriously said, “If it was good enough for St. Paul, it’s good enough for me,” many think so. No wonder those behind the evangelical New International Version and the Catholic New American Bible translations decided to launch their highly publicized major revisions this year: They’re hoping to catch a draft off the seeming timelessness of the King of Bibles.

The King James Bible’s 400th may well be its biggest birthday ever, but also its most poignant. For its end draws nigh. Sure, it’ll hang around for a while, mostly in hotels and old folks homes. But it’s not long for this world, at least in any form we’d recognize from the bookish years of its youth.

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