Posted on 07/02/2008
A trust to celebrate the impact the King James Bible has had on the cultural life of Britain, and on the wider English speaking world, was launched in Poets Corner last week. Professor Pauline Croft of Royal Holloway was invited to join the 2011 Trust.
The 2011 Trust will stimulate and co-ordinate a wide-ranging celebration of the 400th anniversary of this landmark publication, involving museums, galleries and libraries, the media and publishers and of course the Church.
The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said that King James I had decided that for the purposes of his new translation the Bible should be divided into six sections. Each section was to be the responsibility of a different ‘company’ of seven or eight scholars, selected in 1604 by the king himself. Two companies were based at Westminster Abbey, one of them chaired by the Dean at the time, Lancelot Andrewes. They would have met in Jerusalem Chamber. ‘The first company,’ said the Dean, ‘was responsible for the Old Testament from Genesis to II Kings. The second was responsible for the New Testament epistles.’ Each company also included an Abbey Prebendary (an honorary canon.) The work was completed in 1611.
For further information, see http://www.westminster-abbey.org/press/news/33434.