Friday, November 18, 2011

I Love to Tell the Story

Tired of all the encomiums to the King James Bible, this year celebrating its 400th anniversary?

Too bad, here's another, this time from National Geographic.

But first sample this taste of what you'll find inside the article as the writer here, in a single paragraph, attempts to communicate just how immeasurably important this book has been and still is for anyone who speaks or writes in English.
Most of us might think we have forgotten its words, but the King James Bible has sewn itself into the fabric of the language. If a child is ever the apple of her parents' eye or an idea seems as old as the hills, if we are at death's door or at our wits' end, if we have gone through a baptism of fire or are about to bite the dust, if it seems at times that the blind are leading the blind or we are casting pearls before swine, if you are either buttering someone up or casting the first stone, the King James Bible, whether we know it or not, is speaking through us. The haves and have-nots, heads on plates, thieves in the night, scum of the earth, best until last, sackcloth and ashes, streets paved in gold, and the skin of one's teeth: All of them have been transmitted to us by the translators who did their magnificent work 400 years ago.


  1. That old Bible, full of cliches!

  2. At least that wasn't the one about a dog returning to his vomit--more apropos for your post on Robert Reich. In all fairness, he wrote a wonderful memoir of his years as a Sec of Labor, Locked in the Cabinet, an instructive lesson in Washington politics.