Honoring the King James Bible in 2011

While in London, Kathleen and I discovered that in the town of Bath, they’re staging a public reading of the entire King James Bible.  2011 is the 400 year anniversary of it’s publication, and a number or companies and organizations are celebrating the impact the first Bible in English has had on Western Culture.  The fascinating thing about the folks at Bath is that they have a great challenge – 800,000 words, and they’re planning to read it straight through.  That means it will take quite a few volunteers.  The question is:

What is your church, non-profit, or other organization doing to celebrate the most influential book in history?  Shakespeare thought enough of it to quote it literally thousands of times in his plays.  I met a university professor a few years ago who said, “I’m an ardent atheist, but to deny the Bible’s impact on English literature is to put your head in a hole.  For instance, you can’t read Moby Dick, The Great Gatsby, or any of Faulkner’s novels without an understanding of the Bible – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”  In fact, you wouldn’t even understand the powerful “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King without an understanding of the Bible.

So back to my question:  How cool would a staged reading of the Bible be in your community?  Got a better idea?  My friend Arnie Cole at Back to the Bible in Lincoln, Nebraska is launching a new Bible engagement tool called “Tandem.”  It’s in beta stage, but you should try it out and encourage others to do the same.

Find out what others are doing, but most important, come up with something creative yourself.  What a great opportunity to make a powerful statement that believers and non-believers can agree on.

Let me know your plans…..

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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  • Lmepauls

    This Friday I’ll be playing a song I wrote called Song of Solomon. The lyrics come directly from the first 2 chapters of SOS (KJV).
    I will gladly share this celebration in my intro to the song.
    you can hear it at http://www.youtube.com/user/paulsinspiration?feature=mhum#p/a/u/1/uhiYlQL1Njw

  • Peter-John Johnson-Australia

    Phil while your article does not state what version Shakespeare used the inference is that he used the AV as a source.We are up against history here as the Bard died in 1616 and the AV was released in 1611 and publishing/distribution practises are not as we are are accustomed to today. While it is possible that Shakespeare used the AV for later works as The Tempest and Henryviii is it not more likely he used editions of The Geneva or Bishops Bible for his earlier works?

  • Anonymous

    Any excuse to get in the Word is a good one.

  • The KJ Bible is part of our deepest cultural memory, and represents what is excellent in our English past. With my book MAJESTIE: The King Behind The King James Bible, I’m doing radio/TV interviews, and have also recorded a voiceover/music CD with Phil Keaggy called SPEAK TO ME. http://davidteems.com I will send you both, Phil. God bless.