The King James Version of the Bible is 400 years old this year. In contemplating the terrible events shaking the world, some literally such as the earthquake in Japan, and others that shake lives such as the tornados of the American Midwest, consider how the Bible has shaken, shaped, and changed our world for good.
This is a short list. The Bible:
v Was chosen as the first book to be printed (on the Gutenberg press).
v Was the reason reformers such as Wycliffe, Knox, Calvin, Tyndale, Luther, etc. etc. risked and even gave their lives.
v Influenced the artists of the Medieval and Renaissance periods: Michelangelo, Bellini, the brothers van Eyke, Dürer, etc.
v Inspired some of history’s greatest composers: Handel, Bach, Hayden, Mozart, Beethoven, etc.
v Influenced great literature; including the works of Milton, Bunyan, Shakespeare, Byron, Scot, Locke, Hugo, Tolstoy, Dickens etc. etc.
v Inspired the Pilgrims to seek liberty in America.
v Inspired the creation of America from the decision to stand against the British Empire to the writing of the Constitution.
v Is the foundation of our Laws: Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, etc.
v Is the source of our moral code: Love thy neighbor, pray for your enemies, lead a virtuous life, serve others, etc.
It has also influenced our language. The English language is one of the most enduring, due to the fact that the King James Bible was the primer of many homes for hundreds of years. Here are a few common phrases; how many did you know came from the Bible?
|The truth shall make you free||John 8:32|
|Apple of my eye||Deut 32:10|
|Sweat of your brow||Gen 3:19|
|Put your house in order||2 Kgs 20:1|
|Wars and rumors of wars||Matt 24:26|
|Red sky at morning||Matt 16:3|
|Drop in the bucket||Isa 40:15|
|By the skin of our teeth||Job 19:20|
|Can a leopard change his spots?||Jer 13:23|
|A house divided||Matt 12:25|
|Hammer swords into plowshares||Isa 2:4|
|Handwriting on the wall||Dan 5:5|
|Labor of love||1 Thes 1:3|
|No peace for the wicked||Isa 48:22|
|Pride goes before a fall||Prov 16:19|
|You can’t take it with you||Gal 6:7|
|The blind leading the blind||Matt 15:14|
|A man after his own heart||1 Sam 13:14|
|There’s nothing new under the sun||Qoh 1:9|
|Dust of the earth||Gen 13:16|
|At my wit’s end||Ps 107:27|
|How are the mighty fallen||1 Sam 1:19-27|
|He gave up the ghost||Luke 23:46|
|Out of the mouths of babes||Ps 8:2|
|Letter of the law||2 Cor 3:6|
|Twinkling of an eye||1 Cor 15:52|
|Suffer fools gladly||2 Cor11:19|
|Weighed in the balances and found wanting||Dan 5:5|
|Soft answer turns away wrath||Prov 15:1|
|Thorn in the flesh||2 Cor 12:7|
I started to write a post titled, “The World is Falling Apart, but Don’t Feel Stampeded,” which led to Faith, which led to finding that this is the anniversary of the KJV Bible.
I am deeply grateful for the Bible. I love the stories of faith, perseverance and courage; I love the poetic language; I love the doctrine and principles; and I love the prophesies. Every thing teaches of God’s love for us and his involvement in our lives.
With the rate of life speeding up—even literally (Japan’s earthquake caused the Earth to cycle faster; our days are now 1.8 seconds shorter), and as chaos and uncertainty become more the norms than the exceptions, I hope you find strength and hope from the stories of the Bible.