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The King James Bible Turns 400

Friday, October 07, 2011

Liana Lupas and Tricia Pongracz, curators at the Museum of Biblical Art, tell us about the exhibition “On Eagles’ Wings: The King James Bible Turns 400” at the Museum of Biblical Art. The exhibition presents touchstones of the translation process, examining how this work was and continues to be inspirational. It also features a series of paintings commissioned from Makoto Fujimura, a contemporary artist working in New York City.  "On Eagles' Wings" is on view at MoBiA through October 16.

Museum of Biblical Art
New Testament Manuscript on Vellum, c. 1440

From the Exhibition "On Eagles' Wings" at the Museum of Biblical Art.

Museum of Biblical Art
Pentateuch; [Antwerp: Johannes Hoochstraten], 1530

From the Exhibition "On Eagles' Wings" at the Museum of Biblical Art.

Museum of Biblical Art
Metrical Psalms in English; Oxford: William Turner, 1631

From the Exhibition "On Eagles' Wings" at the Museum of Biblical Art.

Museum of Biblical Art
Bible with Apocrypha; London: Richard Jugge, 1568

From the Exhibition "On Eagles' Wings" at the Museum of Biblical Art.

Museum of Biblical Art
Bible with Apocrypha; Oxford: John Baskett, 1717-16

From the Exhibition "On Eagles' Wings" at the Museum of Biblical Art.

Museum of Biblical Art
Bible; North Hatfield, Mass. and New York: Pennyroyal Caxton Press, 1999

From the Exhibition "On Eagles' Wings" at the Museum of Biblical Art.

Makoto Fujimara
Illuminated Letter ‘T’, from "The Four Holy Gospels," Makoto Fujimara

From the chapters of The Holy Gospel According to Matthew
Mineral pigments, gold and platinum on Kumohada paper
6 x 6 inches each
On loan from the artist

From the Exhibition "On Eagles' Wings" at the Museum of Biblical Art.

Guests:

Liana Lupas and Tricia Pongracz

Comments [17]

Gregorylent from Hong kong

Committees ruin everything, especially politically correct ones.

Oct. 08 2011 01:05 AM
Carl Peter Klapper from Edison, NJ

The "apple" in some translations of the Garden of Eden story is obviously a mistranslation through the Latin, "malum" meaning "apple" as a noun and the neuter nominative singular of the adjective "malus" meaning "bad".

Oct. 07 2011 09:08 PM
Rhoda from Manhattan

The King James version of the story of Eve's temptation and fall in the Garden of Eden doesn't actually specify the name of any fruit, whether apple or quince. It just says "tree" and "fruit thereof".

Oct. 07 2011 01:31 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Michelle, which fruit it was isn't specified in the original--it's just called "the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

And there's another quote for "on eagles' wings," in Deuteronomy 32:11: "As an eagle that stirreth up her nest, hovereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her pinions"--not the exact same thing, but close (& what I 1st thought the title referred to, till I looked it up). By the way, I'm quoting from the Soncino/Hertz translation--I don't have the King James.

Oct. 07 2011 01:30 PM
Kate from Manhattan

The song "On Eagles Wings" is a Catholic song, BTW. It is mainly based on Psalm 91, which doesn't use the word "eagle" but uses the imagery, used elsewhere, as quoted by others above. The image is a FEMALE image of God, as it is only the mother who protects her young by having them fly under her wings.

A word the KJV gave us: scapegoat, as it was a Hebrew concept that had no exact English equivalent.

Oct. 07 2011 01:26 PM
CG from fort greene

For a fascinating bit on how the bible became vernacular and brought down to the unholy masses read: Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson.

Oct. 07 2011 01:22 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I appreciate the guest's saying "the Hebrew Bible" rather than "the Old Testament."

Oct. 07 2011 01:22 PM
Michelle from NY

Not to nitpick, but wasn't it a quince in the garden of Eden?

Oct. 07 2011 01:18 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

You could ask your guests if they can read and understand the Old Testament in the original Hebrew. If not, how can they KNOW to compare their translations to the actual real thing?

Oct. 07 2011 01:18 PM
Joanna Depue from Orangeburg, NY

Here is another reference for the title:

"Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."

Isaiah 40:31

Oct. 07 2011 01:18 PM
Rev. Dcn. Joanna Depue

Here is the source for the title:
"Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."

Isaiah 40:31

Oct. 07 2011 01:16 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

The Kings James version is a very FLOWERY translation compared to the original Hebrew (in the Old Testament), but also retains some of the inaccurate translations that Christianity introduced. For example, the sixth commandment in the original Hebew says "Lo Tirzach" which literally translated means "Don't murder!" But it is translated as "Thou Shalt not Kill" which is prettier and more flowery, but inaccurate. The purpose of the KJV was to unite the English people and to produce a version in a very pretty English to make it even more appealing, from a literary point of view. It is much prettier and more flowery than the original Hebrew.

Oct. 07 2011 01:14 PM
Amy from Manhattan

The phrase occurs earlier, in Exodus 19:4: "Ye have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto Myself."

Oct. 07 2011 01:14 PM
Nancy Torok from Metuchen

Henry VIII did NOT introduce Protestantism to England. He just denied that the Church in England did not have to answer to the Pope, and made himself head of the Church in England. It was some time before HE allowed Bibles in English into England. Henry died thinking he was a Catholic.

Oct. 07 2011 01:13 PM
Samuel J. Howard from New York, NY

It's Isaiah 40:31 (NIV): "but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Oct. 07 2011 01:10 PM
sanych

touchstones of TRANSLATION PROCESS!!!

That's what I am talking about.

See my post on the next segment's page questioning whether Abraham's nephew Lot was the organizer of the first lottery. I am talking about a lottery of BIBLICAL proportions!

400 years!!! Finally, the truth is coming out!!!

Oct. 07 2011 12:11 PM
Michael from dispatches from The Lake of Fire -- LoL

Far from being celebrated, this recovering Southern Baptist thinks the KJV fairy tale/weapon of mass destruction should come with a warning label.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tiangotlost/83308426/

Oct. 07 2011 11:22 AM

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