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The King James Bible Turns 400

Friday, August 19, 2011

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible. Linguist and author of Begat: The King James Bible and the English Language, David Crystal, discusses its impact on the English language over the last four centuries.

Guests:

David Crystal
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Comments [8]

David Crystal is really smart and this subject is a very interesting study in semantics and etymology however...

Less Religion. More Brains!!

Aug. 19 2011 09:19 PM
Amy from Manhattan

"Vanity of vanities" is an example of how English has changed since the time of King James. Today, "vanity" means being conceited--think of "You're So Vain"! But it used to mean futility. The Hebrew word "hevel" literally means vapor or air--pursuing material wealth is like trying to catch air. In fact, "vain" still has both meanings: we can say that someone is vain or that someone's efforts were in vain.

A friend of mine was very happy to find a (much) more recent translation of the Hebrew Scriptures that actually says "Futility of futilities, all is futility"!

Aug. 19 2011 12:35 PM
Demerah Campbell

"the writing on the wall"

Aug. 19 2011 12:06 PM
Stuart from NYC

The kjv contains numerous deliberate mistranslations by Christians to promote their agenda. For example, just google isaiah 7:14. If you want to know what the Hebrew bible says, you have to read it in hebrew.

Aug. 19 2011 11:59 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

@ Ed from Larchmont

It's not all peaches and cream. Many Spaniards are protesting the amount of money needed to take care of his security, during their time of austerity.

Aug. 19 2011 11:58 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

While the Kings James is generally very pretty and FLOWERY, but mostly accurate nonetheless, there are some glaring mistranslations. For example the Bible in Hebrew does NOT say "Thou Shalt not Kill." What is does say is Lo Tirzakh or Don't Murder! Hebrew is actually not as pretty and flowery as the very flowery KJ English translation!
Hebrew is NOT a very pretty language. The KJ made it sound very pretty. Too bad it contains a number of obviously purposeful mistranslations for political reasons.

Aug. 19 2011 11:58 AM
Sophia from Yonkers, NY

During rush hour - lead us not into Penn Station. Take not the PATH of rate hikes.

Aug. 19 2011 11:56 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Speaking of religion, the pope is in Spain with 1-2 million young people, very inspiring.

Aug. 19 2011 08:20 AM

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