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Authorised King James Version
by Edited with an Introduction by and Notes by W. R. Owens
Publisher:Oxford University Press (OUP)
Published:10 March 2011
The introductory essay deals both with the Gospel writings themselves and the translation of the Authorized Version. The interest in the essay stems from the fact that it is written by a Professor of English Literature. This results in a literary and narrative approach to the text which, whilst this is a growing trend within Biblical Studies, is still relatively rare. With this treatment familiar passages take on new significance and there is emphasis made on the Gospels as works of literature, not simply source texts to be mined for information. The background information will not be new for many, but it is nonetheless useful to have it.
The material which concerns itself with the translation is also literary in nature, and so greater attention is paid to the rhythms and legacy of the language rather than translation techniques. Here too, there is much of interest.
The text itself is taken from the first edition, with minor corrections. Punctuation and spellings have been modified in places, but the most welcome change is that the text is formatted in paragraphs. This results is a vastly easier reading experience and the text comes alive. Each chapter has a brief introduction.
This is a book which is well worth owning, even if you already have a King James Version on your shelf. The introductory essay is interesting in its own right, but when combined with a single column layout for the text you have a volume which will present a familiar text in a fresh and vibrant way.
Reviewer: Chris Moore (12/02/11)