King James Bible celebrated

Bible's influence on English language celebrated with public readings

Mary Barlow

Some of the English language’s most common sayings and clichés are the product of an influential text celebrating its 400th anniversary this year.

The King James Bible is responsible for the birth of dozens of common sayings, such as “by the skin of my teeth,” “woe is me,” “the blind leading the blind” and “no rest for the wicked.”

“It was (published) around the same time as Shakespeare’s plays,” said Ian Alexander, the chair of the organizing committee for an upcoming celebration. “The English language (was) really being formed. People who know say the King James Bible and Shakespeare are two most influential works in terms of shaping the English language.”

These sayings and thousands of other phrases will be read aloud at Christ Church Cathedral next week, as the church celebrates the anniversary of this version of the Bible.

Author David Crystal wrote in his book Begat: The King James Bible and the English Language that there are 257 familiar English expressions that stem from the King James Bible.

The King James version was so influential because it made the holy book readable for the public, said Alexander, a parishioner at Christ Church for four years.

“It was written to be read aloud,” he added. “That’s why we’re doing what we’re doing here. We’re reading it aloud cover to cover.”

Between Monday (Sept. 19) and Saturday (Sept. 24), people can sign up to read passages from the Bible at Christ Church Cathedral. Readings run from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and some sections will be read in the main nave as well as the upstairs chapel simultaneously, so the whole 900,000-word book can be presented.

Well-known Victoria personalities will read some passages, including CBC Radio host Jo-Ann Roberts, Times Colonist columnist Jack Knox and author Kit Pearson.

To sign up to read a 15-30 minute passage, registration forms are available at the Cathedral, 930 Burdett Ave., or at www.christchurchcathedral.bc.ca.

The public is welcome to listen to any of the readings.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep Saanich drainage pipe

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Police respond to successful Facebook scam on Oak Bay resident

Petty thievery in King George Terrace where plants, gargoyle are missing

Victoria Clipper suspends services through April 2021

International travel restrictions, COVID-19 uncertainty lead to decision

UPDATE: Incident near Mount Douglas Park ‘strictly medical,’ Saanich police say

Intoxicated person taken into police custody, brought to hospital

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Port Alberni will have a salmon derby on Labour Day after all

Alberni Valley Tyee Club reveals ‘socially distanced’ derby only for Labour Day 2020

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Suspicious fire quenched before reaching gunpowder in Nanaimo’s historic Bastion

Probe underway in basement blaze that erupted near where powder stored to fire signature cannons

Duncan model makes quarter finals in ‘Maxim’ magazine contest

Brandee Peart among top one per cent left in competition

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Fisherman snags barracuda off Vancouver Island in rare encounter

Ferocious fish, not native to Canada, was netted and released in Alberni Inlet

Most Read