King James Bible and the Reader

Writers hear rumors about book sales dropping. Bummer. Makes me wonder if writing is worth it. Who will read the words?

Depends on how I define read. If I go with the typical definition of reading as a person who sits in front of a book and repeats words written by others, it’s depressing. But, if I define reading as examining, researching, or understanding, the writer’s life looks up. We can write for TV, the movies, or internet. Our very lives are our very own words. And, if those words or expressions, are riveting, they will be read.

The other day, I read an article from Smithsonian Magazine, titled, God, Government and Roger Williams’ Big Idea, written by John Barry, from which these two sentences grabbed my mind, “In 1604, believing the existing English Bibles did not sufficiently emphasize obedience to authority, he [King James] ordered a new translation; what became known as the King James Bible satisfied him on that point. In politics, he injected the theory of the divine right of kings into English history and claimed that ‘the monarch is the law.’” Of course, people today do not read the KJV of the Bible the same way they did centuries ago. How many of us believe a Monarchy has the divine right to dictate law? Not happening.

In my work of revising Science and Health, I realized how important it was not to inject into religion the theory of a divine right of church leaders to interpret words as if their interpretation was law.

To read something is to have an idea solidify in the mind as something to act on. And, action that lasts is action rooted in divine ideas, not in theory. Fewer and fewer people will be able to act on the theory of monarchal rule. Roger Williams concluded, “That God’s will was better discerned by individuals than by institutions.”

Reading isn’t so much an exercise of the eyeballs and brain. Reading is awareness, a connection between thought and action. It can occur when we are writing, or when we are interacting in the public, or when we have our nose in a book.

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One thought on “King James Bible and the Reader

  1. holly March 6, 2012 at 10:23 am Reply

    This is really interesting! Thank you!

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