The Book of Books: A Biography of the King James Bible, 1611-2011

The Book of Books A Biography of the King James Bible The King James Bible is both the standard scriptural text and for centuries the bestselling book in the English speaking world In this text Melvyn Bragg reveals the political linguistic and relig

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  • Title: The Book of Books: A Biography of the King James Bible, 1611-2011
  • Author: Melvyn Bragg
  • ISBN: 9781444705157
  • Page: 397
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The King James Bible is both the standard scriptural text and, for centuries, the bestselling book in the English speaking world In this text, Melvyn Bragg reveals the political, linguistic, and religious influences the Bible has had throughout the centuries.

    One thought on “The Book of Books: A Biography of the King James Bible, 1611-2011”

    1. His argument is poor and his writing is even worse.My main problem with his argument is that he severely overreached. I'm reasonably certain that he has conflated the King James Version of the Bible with the Bible in general. Here's the difference between those two things, via quotations that he cited in his first chapter:"It is the most beautiful piece of writing in any language." VS"The New Testament is the very best book that ever was or ever will be known in the world." VS"It is impossible r [...]

    2. I love the King James Bible. I know that for many the language makes it difficult to read, and they prefer more recent, modern, accessible translations. For me, part of what I love about it is the archaic language. I find language in general fascinating, and the history of how the English language has changed over time, connections with other languages, and how the expression of ideas changes is something I enjoy learning about. So when I saw Melvyn Bragg's The Book of Books: the Radical Impact [...]

    3. When Melvyn Bragg presents his "In Our Time" show on Radio 4, he does so very effectively. Each week he presents a discussion with a small group of academics, usually 3, who have expertise in a particular topic. These topics vary considerably ranging through literature, philosophy, various branches of science, history, religion, sociology, anthropology etc, etc.In chairing these discussions, Bragg plays the part of informed Everyman, asking the questions, expressing the kind of generalizations t [...]

    4. In the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the KJV Bible comes a book that starts out well then loses steam. Melvyn Bragg is a well known author, tv/radio presenter, and personality in the UK."The Book of Books" is really a long essay on the history and cultural impact of the KJV. Bragg starts off strongly with a history of how the KJV came to be. The first serious problem with the book is the lack of footnotes. It would be nice to know what he read. He alludes to several authors in the vari [...]

    5. In his book, Melvyn Bragg may know the history but he doesn't know the true lessons the Bible teaches. He does a good job of giving us the post-publication history of the KJB as it has progressed through the years and its influence within the world. He is an unbeliever, readily admits it and does not know nor see Biblical truths. He has shown no capability of "rightly dividing the word of truth". He certainly falls for all the illicit passions and false teachings this world has to offer; and if [...]

    6. Bragg leads his readers on a tour of the best and worst inspired by the King James Bible, those who fight it and those who are inspired by it, arguing it as a shaping force, still and yet, in the English-speaking world. What was an attempt at consolidating control (James I wanted to sponsor a translation to get rid of the translations concerned with monarchial tyranny) became a tool of authority and antiauthoritarians, reformers and liberators, slavers and the formerly enslaved, and continues to [...]

    7. The King James Bible has spread the Protestant faith. It has also been the greatest influence on the enrichment of the English language and its literature. It has been the Bible of wars from the British Civil War in the seventeenth century to the American Civil War two centuries later, and it has been carried into battle in innumerable conflicts since then. Its influence on social movements—particularly involving women in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries—and politics was profound. It was [...]

    8. Melvyn Bragg has demonstrated that he has a firm grip on the subject. For students of theology, this book will sit well on your bookshelf and could be a welcome aid to your studies. For students of English history, this is almost like a summary of 400 years: it's a must. American history? It virtually began with the Pilgrim Fathers, determined to take the Word of God to the Americas. From King James 1st. to President Obama, the King James Bible has been an influential companion and witness to ev [...]

    9. I quite enjoyed this book. The back cover states it is of interest to believers, non-believers, or people of different religions - but I did feel this was written from the authors own experience and a christian perspective. It begins with the accounts of the early translators from Latin to English and how the KJB became accessible to all people. Also the impact (both good and bad) the KJB has had due to people being able to read the bible for themselves and the different ways it can be interpret [...]

    10. As you would expect from Bragg a wonderfully researched account of the journey the King James Bible through the last 400 years. It's use and justification for good and ill by various different players in history.I did however feel the book was a little too long (not as long as the Bible obviously!!).I enjoyed it and I do need to read more Bragg, maybe some fiction next time.

    11. This book will amaze, amuse and infuriate you. It has laugh out loud moments, and tear your hair out moments. And that's only at Melvyn Bragg's writing style and commentary on the subject!I have to say I was looking forward to this book. I love the Bible, and wanted to see Bragg explore the richness of the impact of the King James Version. It all started so well - the first few chapters on history and scene setting were well written, and accurate as far as I can remember. Then it all started to [...]

    12. "The Book of Books" was published in 2011, 400 years after the King James Version of the Bible was first published. Outside of Shakespeare, few works in the English language have been nearly so long-lasting. There are still quite a few people who insist the King James Version is the ONLY valid translation of the Bible, as if God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses in King James English.The strongest chapters in "The Book of Books" are the early chapters that talk about how the translation came ab [...]

    13. ‘Its impact has been immeasurable and it is not over yet.’The year 2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible (KJV), and a number of books have been published as a consequence. In this book, Melvyn Bragg provides a chronology of the development of the KJV, and its impact on culture and society. This is done in three parts: the journey of the KJV from its commissioning to the present day.Part One ‘From Hampton Court to New England’ is broadly chronological: it [...]

    14. I thought this book was well documented, well researched, and thoroughly interesting. it documents how the Bible came to be translated through self-sacrificing martyrs and through the work of a few men. Then it goes on to discuss to great deths the impact having the bible written into a language anyone and everyone can read and understand has had throughout the ages. It discussees events you have heard of and often don't fully understand and gives you a new way of looking at them and a clear rea [...]

    15. I have a copy of the King James Bible which my mother was given by her mother in 1931. I was given other "modern" versions of the Bible in my childhood by my conscientious Godfather (The Good News Bible and the New English Bible) and bought a Catholic Bible (The Jerusalem Bible) when I discovered that the Protestant Bible doesn't include the books of Tobit, Judith, Esther and 1st and 2nd Book of Maccabees which are considered Apocrypha. (What's that all about?) So I'm pretty versed in the Bible [...]

    16. This was not as enjoyable as I thought it was going to be. For one thing, MB caught a dose of rhetoric from the Bible, I think, because his writing was tripled on every occasion possible and he went nuts with the metaphors, which made it really hard to follow the historical and political sections. Perhaps it would have worked as a voice over TV pictures. I've never read a book of his before. I did better puzzling out the literature sections because I'm more familiar with the subject matter.His a [...]

    17. This was an interesting read and Bragg does make a good case for the King James Version of the bible being one of the most influential books ever written.The King James Version was the book that influenced many of the social movements of the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly those aimed at ending poverty.It was also the book that helped to convice William Willberforce, among others that slavery was wrong although quite why they would need any book to tell them this I don't know.However durin [...]

    18. I absolutely love the King James Version of the Bible. It is the Bible I carry with me every Sunday, where I scribble notes in the margins and underline verses as my pastor speaks. This truly should not be a surprise to anyone who knows me, given the genres I enjoy reading most. The language itself is so beautifully simple - I suppose to me at least, and I enjoy wondering what it would've been like to live in the time when people spoke this way.That being said, this book, about the Bible I love [...]

    19. The radical impact of the King James Bible 1611-2011 2011: (P/R) The veteran broadcaster starts with a thrilling blow by blow account of the bravery and vitriol of the gestation and birth of the KJB supplemented by a lucky airing of his documentary on surely England’s greatest martyr William Tyndale. After that it became rather academic with chapters on the role of the book in various areas of life. He seems a typically timid Anglican and in danger I believe like many or his generation of Chri [...]

    20. Written in a breezy style, easily accessible with terrific thought and research. I learned a lot about the influence of the King James version of the Bible on thought, on democracy, on social movements and on morality.

    21. The King James Bible is such a well known book that in some ways it has become invisible. Melvyn Braggs purpose here is to show its importance as a pivotal point of English, Western European and world history. Previously the impetus for change in history had been factors of agriculture, warfare, population growth and rule by elites. This was the first huge information revolution comparable to the creation of writing centuries before. Before Gutenberg the slow accumulation of knowledge was held b [...]

    22. My favourite author (just about - it was Credo that got me going) writing about my favourite book (though I read the NIV in preference to the KJV). So this ought to be a masterpiece - right?? Well, sad to say, it isn't. His love for the Bible is transparent, and the history is truly remarkable. But I found that after a few chapters, I was reading the same thing over and over again, the same arguments, the same background, the same analysis. It was as if he had a few very valid and enormously imp [...]

    23. Really interesting book where Melvin Bragg passionately describes firstly the events surrounding the attempts (and final success) in translating the Bible into the vernacular, followed by the impact the King James Bible has had on the English speaking world (literature, politics, society and religion to name but a few).The impact on literature was difficult for me to follow having not read the KJV yet myself, nor many of the books cited, but Bragg's enthusiasm and insights led me to start readin [...]

    24. I am still unclear even after partway through this book what made the King James version in particular what it was and why it was so popular! Bragg makes all sorts of superficial comparisons with the Geneva Bible but doesn't really elaborate why the King James version won over, other than ot was to do with the king of the day. But to me, that has more to do with the desire for power and control. Also, there are several references to several innovators like Tyndale having set the pace and that th [...]

    25. I enjoyed The Book Of Books. The KJV is my favorite so I was thoroughly engrossed by part 1. Part 2 also carried a lot of interest but here the ice starts to get thinner and by part 3 I feel that one has almost completely lost the connection to the KJV itself unless one stretches the imagination. The topics are still very interesting (If repetitive of other literature on the subject) and well worth reading bit might have fitted better in another Book. I appreciate what Bragg tries to do but with [...]

    26. I've given thus four stars. It too often confuses the Scriptures themselves with the particular translation in view. It is also less then accurate on some other theological issues. So why the rating?Well, I like the author's style. And his enthusiasm for the language of the AV is still understatement, even if he sometimes ought means something more than the English translation.I also like the various ways he came at the influence of this book. For though admittedly liberal in places it did a fin [...]

    27. Started out fascinating. The history of the King James Bible, specifically the translation of the Bible into English and its impact on the peoples of the world was fascinating. Bragg then broke up his story into areas of influence: society, education, missions, etc. and it started to fall apart. It seemed more like a treatise on the bible's words themselves and not on the impact they have had on people over the years. Plus it got very dry, repetitive and tedious. Unfortunate given how incredibly [...]

    28. Entertaining and readable as well as highly informative about the development and influence of the King James Bible. In the early stages of the book, it helps to have some awareness of medieval Christian groups (e.g. the Lollards) as they recur a lot. The chapter demolishing Richard Dawkin's 'The God Delusion' is worth reading even if you don't touch the rest of the book. Towards the end, I felt that Melvyn Bragg overemphasised the influence of the Bible on certain momentous events (e.g. the wom [...]

    29. Awesome book on how the KJV has totally permeated our society. From women's rights, democracy, slavery, sexual mores, democracy and education. King Henry the VIII joined the Protestant movement he hated so he could father an legitimate heir. He wanted his dynasty to proceed over his faith. After authorizing the reading of the Bible in English he later came to lament that decision saying the bible was being discussed and sung in every alehouse and tavern. The common man was awakened by the word a [...]

    30. This book is badly written, and claims too much is specifically due to the KJV. Yet if you read this book as actually being about the influence of Christianity on the development of democracy then I think it is interesting and worthwhile. For someone who knows little about Church history, this is a nice introduction to many different topics: one is inspired to read those who are more expert than Bragg.

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