Fantastic fireworks and incandescent Book
The London New Year fireworks blazed round the Eye and Big Ben.
2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, which was created with remarkable team effort, and blazed the Gospel into the hearts of men and women around the world - wherever the British carried it.
In 1605, James I, that small, awkward king who was graceful on horseback but so crippled he could barely walk, sat down four score scholars and told them to produce an English translation of the Bible that would be acceptable to all Christians. It had already been done by the brave Tyndale almost a century earlier, and various others, but it would be done again in an unforgettable way and by a method that might appeal to you.
The teachers and scholars, all but one of them ordained priests, were the sons of sailors and butchers, ministers and lords. They met in six companies for six years, each individually translating the Biblical book he was assigned. He (yes, all men) then passed the finished text to the others in his company. Together they reviewed each other's work, hammering out what would stand.
Then they passed their text to the members of all the other companies for amending so every translator reviewed the entire Bible, which then went before a General Committee of Review.
They based the King James Bible on their reading of the original Hebrew and Greek and on a review of all previous translations by Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, and Rogers, Jerome, Erasmus, and Luther, as well as less known translations in French, Spanish, and Italian, Chaldean, Arabic, and Anglo-Saxon.
They were particularly inspired by William Tyndale, whose voice is heard throughout.
Some mistakes made by earlier scribes remained uncorrected; a few mistakes were grievous, like translating the Greek word for children, τεκνα, not as the children of God, but the sons of God.
Still the Bible in English had a profound effect because it carried the word that God loves justice and that freedom is God's gift to every person.
And those translators created music with the breath of the Spirit. Many who face injustice and death, go to the King James translation of the 23rd Psalm for strength and consolation and feel that Spirit -
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
Thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Or they go to John 1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The creative force of the Word - an incandescent subject for the New Year.