Noted historian Mark Noll (Notre Dame University) provides a great summary of this year’s 400th anniversary of the KJV and the works produced on it, pointing out the significant contributions that were made to the history, influence, and abiding significance of the AV. Lengthy but valuable, so well worth the read. This is going to be my last reference to the 400th anniversary of the KJV this year. I am going to leave my special links to various sites commemorating this event up for now (see the right-hand column of my blog for those).
The following is from Noll’s opening paragraphs concerning the nature of his summary. You will find the rest at the link above.
The extraordinary geographic spread of these local celebrations testifies eloquently to the worldwide impact of the KJB. Almost as impressive is the unusual depth of scholarship that in this anniversary year has documented the translation’s profound importance for language, literature, culture, empire, theology, Christian life, and the church. While the six books and one video referenced in this essay are among the best of the crop, there have been many other worthy publications. And of course, the scholarship of 2011 on 1611 does not stand alone. Along with much fluff in 1911, several books were then published that still aid researchers today. Moreover, the harvest of learning in this anniversary year has been preceded for more than a decade by a sturdy crop of worthy studies, several of them by authors who also brought out commemorative volumes for the 400th.
Comprehensive consideration of the KJB must move in many directions, but the fine books published this year have asked and at least partially answered several of the most important questions about the origins of the KJB, its significance for language and culture, and its role in the advancement of Christianity itself. This essay takes up only four such questions, while setting aside the central issue of literary influence that Leland Ryken’s Legacy surveys effectively, the crucial matters of translating accuracy and translation style that Robert Alter once again treats superbly in his contribution to the Hamlin and Jones volume (“The Glories and Glitches of the King James Bible: Ecclesiastes as test-case”), or the precise nature of the KJB’s influence on English vocabulary (David Crystal’s precise accounting discovers 257 “biblical” idioms in common use, with only 18 coming from the KJB alone, but 210 found in the KJB and at least one earlier translation).