Thursday, May 17, 2012


Schools in England will be sent copies of the King James Bible from this week to mark its 400th anniversary. Every state primary and secondary school in England is to receive a copy of the King James Bible.

Around 24,000 Bibles are being distributed to schools this week by the Department for Education to mark last year’s 400th anniversary of its publication. The Bibles, which have been published by the Oxford University Press, are accompanied by a letter from Michael Gove.

Education Secretary Michael Gove, described it as the most ‘important book written in the English language’. ‘The King James Bible has had a profound impact on our culture. Every school pupil should have the opportunity to learn about  this book and the impact it has had on our history, language, literature and democracy.’

Diarmaid MacCulloch, professor of the history of the Church at St Cross College, Oxford University, said the King James Bible ‘represents the culmination of a century of Biblical translation in the first golden age of modern English literature’.

The Right Reverend John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford and chairman of the Church of England Board of Education, said: ‘This is a fitting way of marking the seminal contribution this version of the Bible has made to our culture. It symbolically places the King James Bible at the heart of the educational process which it inspired.’

Professor David Crystal, author of Begat: the King James Bible and the English language:

'However one sees the King James Bible – whether as inspired text, great literature, cultural identifier, or political stimulus – the fact remains that it has played an unparalleled role in influencing the oratorical and literary style of many writers in English and shaping the expressive character of the language as a whole. Young people are fascinated by the history of their language, when it is presented to them in a vivid and lively way, and to hear the biblical stories that led to such idioms as "salt of the earth" and "fly in the ointment", or (at a younger level) "no room at the inn" and "the land of Nod" is an excellent way of broadening their linguistic horizons and developing their appreciation of the expressive range of English. Having the text easily available will help make this happen.'

There are plenty of teaching resources to help...more...more...more...more