In The Beginning  -     By: Alister E. McGrath
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In The Beginning

Random House, Inc / 2002 / Paperback

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Product Description

In the sixteenth century, to attempt to translate the Bible into a common tongue wasn't just difficult, it was dangerous. A Bible in English threatened the power of the monarch and the Church. Early translators such as Tyndale, whose work greatly influenced the King James, were hunted down and executed, but the demand for English Bibles continued to grow. Indeed it was the popularity of the Geneva Bible, with its anti-royalist content, that eventually forced James I to sanction his own, pro-monarchy, translation. Errors in early editions - one declared that "thou shalt commit adultery" - Puritan preferences for the Geneva Bible initially hampered acceptance of the King James, but it went on to become the definitive English-language Bible. This absorbing history of a literary and religious masterpiece explores the forces that led to the decision to create an authorized translation, the method of translation and printing, and the central role this version of the Bible played in the development of modern English.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Random House, Inc
Publication Date: 2002
Dimensions: 8 X 5.18 (inches)
ISBN: 0385722168
ISBN-13: 9780385722162
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

In the sixteenth century, to attempt to translate the Bible into a common tongue wasn't just difficult, it was dangerous. A Bible in English threatened the power of the monarch and the Church. Early translators like Tyndale, whose work greatly influenced the King James, were hunted down and executed, but the demand for English Bibles continued to grow. Indeed it was the popularity of the Geneva Bible, with its anti-royalist content, that eventually forced James I to sanction his own, pro-monarchy, translation. Errors in early editions--one declared that "thou shalt commit adultery"--and Puritan preferences for the Geneva Bible initially hampered acceptance of the King James, but it went on to become the definitive English-language Bible.

This fascinating history of a literary and religious masterpiece explores the forces that led to the decision to create an authorized translation, the method of translation and printing, and the central role this version of the Bible played in the development of modern English. McGrath's history of the King James Bible’s creation and influence is a worthy tribute to a great work and a joy to read.

Author Bio

Alister McGrath is Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford University and Principle of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.

Editorial Reviews

“Fascinating…. McGrath has a proper reverence for the language and a deep knowledge of the historical theology…. His book is a genially contented hymn to both.”—Simon Winchester, The New York Times Book Review

“Breezy and anecdotal…. Offers a helpful and detailed overview of the process of Bible translation.”–The Washington Post Book World

" A fascinating and splendid volume about an even more splendid and fascinating book." --Dr. David Noel Freedman, author of The Nine Commandments

"A sprightly narrative of how [The King James Bible] was the product of sensibilities honed by the Renaissance and the Reformation." --Bruce Chilton, author of Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography

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  1. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    January 31, 2005
    James
    I looked at the size of this book and figured I would be through it in a weekend. Almost a month later when I finished, I thought I should be sitting down to write a final exam. This deceivingly thin book is a very thorough, yet well paced (considering the necessary contents) introductions to much of Christian, linguistic, biographical and textual history. It must be stressed that this is still a work aimed entirely at the popular level, so a history major might be unimpressed with some of McGrath's simplifications. Yet on the whole it presents an exciting perspective on an era we are frequently less informed about that we should be in the Western church, particularly in North America.For a writer who is making these occasional efforts at the popular level, McGrath brings the greatest gem of academia to this disciple, RESEARCH. I can think of no one who has undertaken a popular account on this topic, at this level who has invested so much time into researching the original documents (and, it seems, all the secondary sources in existence...). This dynamic especially makes In the Beginning a worthwhile addition to anyone's personal interest reading. However, I recommend planning on being consumed by this book for more than a weekend.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    February 17, 2004
    John
    This is a wonderful, detailed book about the 1611 King James bible and the circumstances which helped, mold, make it, bring it about, etc. A very interesting book about the details surrounding the developement of one of the greatest versions (translations) of the bible ever written. Great reading, highly recommended!!!
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