Professor lectures on translation of King James Bible

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The Bible teaches us the way back to God, English professor Rick Duerden told a House of Learning lecture series audience Thursday.

Duerden gave an address titled “Glory and Power: The Battles within the King James Translation of the Bible.” The Harold B. Lee Library has an exhibit on level one entirely dedicated to the King James Bible. The exhibit was put together in celebration of the anniversary of the Bible and is titled “The Life and Legacy of The King James Bible: Celebrating 400 Years.” The House of Learning lecture series is taking place throughout the fall semester. This third lecture was specifically about the process of the translation of the bible through the years.

Duerden spoke on the influence the Bible has had, and still continues to have today. He posed the question: “Is there a more influential and important text than this one?”

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Rick Duerden gives a lecture on the King James Bible Translation Thursday afternoon in the Harold B. Lee Library.

He then pointed out the ways the Bible has been a lasting influence. For example, it was one of Shakespeare’s sources, has shaped African-American culture and been referred to in music and movies through references, quotes and titles.

Duerden delved into the history and evolution of this great work. He talked about how society today has obtained this version of the Bible and how it came together through the work of many hands.

Duerden offered background on the many versions of the Bible, including its influence during the time of the Puritans and the Church of England in the reign of King Henry. Many thought the Bible was trying to convert them to be Protestant, so for a while it circulated in England as simply a pamphlet.

There were many versions of the Bible in different languages. The Greek and Hebrew versions caused many to debate over which one should be translated into the English language. The King James Version was translated and now moderates among Protestant and Roman Catholic passages of text.

“The texts remind us of the religious and political struggle, the push and pull between change and reaction,” Duerden said.

Today many people view the Bible as a source of strength and direction.

“Our Bible emerges from struggle, and it bears the scars of this all the way down to its language,” Duerden said.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints uses the King James Version of the Bible.

“Scriptures are a force that changes us, instruct us and invite us to act,” Duerden said.

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