Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Great and Manifold Blessings: ‘The Making of the King James Bible

Ibookcollector - newsletter

Home to more than seven million books, Cambridge University Library is to celebrate the most read and most widely disseminated English language book of them all – the King James Bible.

A five month long exhibition - Great and Manifold Blessings: ‘The Making of the King James Bible’ will feature a world-class display of biblical treasures when it opens to the public, for free, on January 18, 2011.

Gathering together much of the source material that the original Cambridge translators used to begin their masterwork in the early seventeenth century, the exhibition includes William Tyndale's first pocket-sized smuggled editions of his own translations, Henry VIII's enormous Great Bible, a first edition of the Geneva or 'Breeches' Bible and also a very rare copy of the notorious 'Wicked Bible' of 1631 - featuring the misprint 'Thou shalt commit adultery'.

One of the University's greatest treasures, the Gutenberg Bible of 1455 - the first printed Bible of all - will also be on display, alongside two fourth-century leaves of St John's Gospel in Coptic, and an 11th-century psalter in Latin and Old English.

Author and journalist Adam Nicolson, who will launch the exhibition at a reception on January 17, said: "The King James Bible is the most influential book in the English language. For almost 300 of its 400 years (c.1660-c.1950) it was the core of English consciousness and the touchstone of the culture”.

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