Unleashed upon an unsuspecting world in 1611, the King James Version of the Bible is turning 400 this year, and plans are underway to celebrate the anniversary around the world. Story from the BBC.

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Are they going to have floats for all the people who were burned alive for translating the thing into English?
The British royal family own the copyright in perpetuum and it's a great source of income for them, so whatch how much you quote from it. The language it great though, contemporary with Shakespeare. Even Dawkins likes it. If you read it as mythology/poetry them there's pleasure to be had.
I enjoy reading the Bible. I think I probably get more enjoyment out of it than most Christians, because I can read it in the same spirit as reading Bullfinch's Mythology: just for the fun of it.
I agree, there is some great poetry and stories in the bible as there are in the stories of the Greeks and their gods or in the mythology of many cultures. I'm confident I know more about the bible than the garden variety Christian and a great deal more about other belief systems. One mark of the "true believer" is that they have no curiosity - they really don't want to know.
It's actually rather pathetic.
Yeah, I've read the whole thing straight through ... probably half of it multiple times. How many Christians can say that? Most fundamentalists just believe what their preacher tells them the Bible says and blindly trust him to pick and choose for them ... because apparently thinking is way too hard.

Heck, I've talked to many fundies on the subject. You can smell the smoke, when you ask them for a meaningful opinion beyond "I'm saved; the Bible is all you need; you've just gotta believe; and I hope you're right, or you're gonna end up in that place."
Does the Royal Family really get anything from the sale of KJV bibles, or are you just pulling my leg?
Yeah! I find that a bit weird myself. If true, to they contribute that money to "Christian humanitarian work" or just pocket the loot? And, isn't there some copyright limits?
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorized_King_James_Version:

Throughout most of the world, the Authorized Version has passed out of copyright and is freely reproduced. In the United Kingdom, the British Crown restricts production of the Authorized Version per transitional exemptions from the Copyright Act 1775 (which implemented this clause) in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (Schedule 1, section 13(1)), which expire in 2039. Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, HarperCollins and the Queen's Printers have the right to produce the Authorized Version.
Eh, poetic, yes, but it's hideously inaccurate. I prefer my New American Bible. That and the NIV at least update their translations as we learn more context for the text.

Plus, I forget, but wasn't the KJV translated from the Latin?

Oh, whoops. From the Wikipedia entry on the subject (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorized_King_James_Version):

James gave the translators instructions intended to guarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology and reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and its beliefs about an ordained clergy.[9] The translation was by 47 scholars, all of whom were members of the Church of England.[10] In common with most other translations of the period, the New Testament was translated from the Textus Receptus (Received Text) series of the Greek texts. The Old Testament was translated from the Masoretic Hebrew text, while the Apocrypha were translated from the Greek Septuagint (LXX), except for 2 Esdras, which was translated from the Latin Vulgate.

That first sentence sums up a lot of my objections with it. They cooked the sucker. We know they cooked the sucker. Yet, tens of millions of protestants worship it as the only translation guided by the hand of God. It's sickening how gullible and credulous people can be.
How many versions there are? Which version do we trust as authentic?
If someone reads the bible dispassionately, one begins to wonder, why people believe in such stories, as if they were real.
Who wrote the bible? This has always tasked my young mind since my primary school days.
It seemed to me that there was an invincible, omni-present, third party, a bystander who is definitely superior to God and who actually witnessed the events and wrote them down.
The guy existed before God started to create heaven and earth. He was there when 'the spirit of God was hovering over the waters', He witnessed the Snake talk to Eve, even when God was not aware. The invisible script-writer was also there when Moses had encounter with God on mount Sinai and was simultaneously present at the camp when the Israelites were worshipping an idol while God was handling over the ten commandments to Moses. As one reads the whole of bible, the inevitable presence of an invincible third party appears evident. Some say it was Moses that wrote the first 6 chapters of the bible. How did he witness his own birth and his demise.
To me, the simple clue to this agelong puzzle is that at best, the bible is a collection of jewish folklores or fairy tales, similar to other tales on origin of life that abound from other cultures, all over the world. The bible story, does not therefore deserve to be treated as a special case.
How many versions there are?
Literally hundreds, in English alone. We could be up to the thousands. I'm not sure. It's definitely thousands, if you count each yearly update of versions like the NIV and NAV.

Which version do we trust as authentic?
Don't be silly. We know which versions are authorized by God, because they tell us if they are. :-D
People just got confused about which King authorized the King James Version (hint: It's in the title).

As far as manuscript traditions go the Textus Receptus was one of several editions that Erasmus produced and not later, more accurate ones even. It was one of the middle editions which fit closest to the Vulgate.

Even worse was due to the poor availability of ancient texts in 16th Century Europe, all Erasmus had to work with was a few Byzantine texts from around the 13th Century.

Modern translations generally focus on third century Alexandrian texts, which are regarded as the most precise text type and the oldest complete manuscripts.

One interesting note is that just about every modern translation will include anything from the Textus Receptus that isn't found in the earlier manuscripts in the footnotes.


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