The Foundational Importance of the KJV

via Books Inq. A review of Robert Alter's book on the influence of the KJV in American letters.

It is nice to know that I concur with one of the great biblical scholars on the supremacy of this translation.  It is nice to know that the language is not just beautiful but reasonably accurate and straightforward (if Jacobean English can be said to be straight forward.)

Comments

  1. I concur.

    As a matter of fact, Alter says in the intro to his translation of Genesis (either that or his book about scripture as literature) that the KJV conveys best in English the feel of the Hebrew. He also adds that it is too bad that those translators didn't understand the Hebrews better ... so the translation is flawed that way. He adds that more modern translations may be more specifically accurate but that they have the flaw of trying to describe and explain in their translations instead of letting the words speak for themselves.

    I completely believe him because Alter's translation of Genesis really made that book come alive for me. Truly remarkable.

    Additionally, when corresponding with him to get permission to read his Genesis translation on my podcast, he said that if his agent didn't make his translation available for that purpose then the KJV was the next best alternative. (Luckily, I won't have to as I did receive permission ... the reading will be later this year, which I do realize is beside the point of this comment.)

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