16. Did King James authorize his translation to be used in the churches in England?
Did King James authorize his translation to be used in the churches in England?
No. He authorized its translation, but not its usage.
It is difficult for someone in the twentieth century, especially someone in America to fathom the conditions of nearly four hundred years ago. We Christians not only have a Bible in our language but more often than not, we have several. Added to that are our concordance and a raft of Bible commentaries and sundry other “Christian” books.
Yet the world of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries was quite different. The common man in England had no Bible. The only copy available to him was chained to the altar of the church. As recently as 1536, William Tyndale had been burned at the stake for the high crime of printing Bibles in the language of the common man, English. When King James commissioned the fifty-four translators in 1603 he did not mandate the upcoming translation to be used in churches. In fact, that it was translated and not intended for the churches left it only one explainable destiny. That is, that it should be supplied to the common man.
It might be noted that the world has no greater power than the common man with the common Bible in his hand.
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