Everyday Phrases and the King James Bible

Interesting Literature

The King James Version of the Bible was first published on this day, 2 May, in 1611. This is arguably still the definitive English translation of the Bible, containing a lyricism and beauty of phrasing which many find largely absent from the more recent translations of the Bible into English.

Although the King James Bible is often cited as one of the rare examples of something good that was designed by committee, a considerable amount of the final translation was modelled on earlier work undertaken nearly a century before, by William Tyndale, who was burnt at the stake for heresy in 1536. So although these phrases were often found in earlier English translations of the Bible prior to the King James of 1611, it was thanks to that version that they became common currency (this was, as is often pointed out, also the time of Shakespeare, that other great benefactor…

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