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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2010
In the Beginning, James.
Orphaned, bullied, lonely, and unloved as a boy, in time the young King of Scots overcame his troubled beginnings to ascend the English throne at the height of Englands Golden Age. In an effort to pacify rising tensions in the Anglican Church, and to reflect the majesty of his new reign, he spearheaded the most important literary undertaking in Western historythe translation of the Bible into a beautiful, lyrical, and accessible English.
David Teemss narrative crackles with wit, using a thoroughly modern tongue to reanimate the life of this seventeenth century kinga man at the intersection of political, literary, and religious thought, yet a man of contrasts, dubbed by one French king as the wisest fool in Christendom.
Warm, insightful, even at times amusing, Teemss depiction of King James has all the elements of a grand taleconspiracy, kidnapping, witchcraft, murder, love, despair, loss. Majestie offers an engaging new look at the worlds most cherished, revered, and influential translation of Sacred Writ and the king behind it.
Engrossing and entertaining a delightful read in every way. Publishers Weekly
According to Teems, King James was something of a paradox. He was brilliant yet foolish, majestic yet vulgar, loving yet sadistic. Similarly, the writing style of Majestie is an odd, and perhaps awkward, mix of down-to-earth conversation and august Middle English. As the book progresses from the childhood of King James to the literary cultivation of the new Bible, the tone varies from exciting narrative to extended excerpts of various seventeenth-century commentaries. Whereas such selections support his statements with research, the frequency with which they appear may drown more than actually enlighten readers.
As Majestie explores the ins and outs of King Jamess character, it concludes that no king but he could have brought about the Bible that we now call the King James Version. After all, Teems asserts, James was not only the king of Great Britain during the Golden Age of literature, he also was a published scholar, a flawed but visionary leader, and a firm believer in divine right. Like Queen Elizabeth before him, he was a middle-of-the-road Protestant and a wily politician. In the context of English history, the King James Bible arrived much as Jesus hadwhen the fullness of the time was come (Gal. 4:4, KJV).
As a whole, Majestie emerges amidst flurries of quotationsallusions of grandeurand wandering prose as a satisfying and informative narrative. At times, its references are obscure. Other times, it beats concepts over the head. However, the content is digestible, if not always rewarding. Particularly fascinating is the study of the challenges, successes, and evolution of English Bible translations. Under scrutiny, it is almost uncanny how Majestie, as a book, reflects its portrait of King James and his Bible: filled with marvelous language, but often bumbling; far-sighted, but imperfect. I recommend this book for adults with an interest in history or the origins of the modern Bible. Daniel Morton, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
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