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The Church of St. Peter Building

The parish Church of Saint Peter has 13th century origins and has been designated as a Grade II listed building. It was seriously damaged by a fire in 1964 and restored two years later.

King James Bible  400th. anniversary

Published by Robert Barker, ‘printer to the King’s Most Excellent Majesty’, in 1611.

The media is excited with anniversaries, natural or man- made disasters or the life and death of renowned composers, but this coming 400th. anniversary has so far attracted little attention. Here is a reminder as this anniversary year now becomes imminent

The commissioning of this new translation of the bible in 1604 arose out of the great meeting in Hampton Court of the King and representatives of  the various sections of the Protestant churches  in England. It was intended to help to define the relationship between  the Monarch and his Church, to bring greater unity to the Church and to distinguish between it and the Catholic one of Rome.  The one new, uniform translation was to replace pre-existing ones, such as the Bishop’s bible, the Geneva and Tyndale’s. It was to be shaped by the learned authority of Oxford and Cambridge, revised by the bishops and finally approved by James himself.

Teams of translators were appointed, allocated a section of the bible to translate from the original Greek and Hebrew texts and rules to control their methods, the aim being to retain a natural harmony of style throughout. In this they were remarkably successful. The author of the preface wrote ‘translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light, it breaketh the shell so that we may eat the kernel ‘.

The translation lasted until the revision in Victorian times, published in 1885. Further revision took place after the Second World War to produce the New English Bible, the child of committees, translating panels, literary advisers and representatives.  It was deemed by T.S.Eliot at the time ‘to astonish in its combination of the vulgar, trivial and the pedantic’.

Roger Ketley

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