28 November 2011

Book Review: 400 Years of the KJV

Another Booksneeze review. This time I elected to read The Treasure of God's Word: 400 Years of the King James Bible. Though I use the ESV on a daily basis, I love the old grand language of the KJV and was interested to see what this volume might say.

It has a unique structure: a number of selections from the KJV, divided into small chapters by theme, interspersed with chapters on the version's history (titles such as "The Translation Process" and "The King James Bible in Everyday Life").

I enjoyed reading the history chapters, which were interesting though not deep. The author certainly could have written more. The chapters essentially give overviews for those who'd just like to know a bit about the era and the translation of the KJV. There is nothing wrong with an overview and the chapters seem decently written, but if you would like to be well versed in the history, look elsewhere.

The Scripture sections are good in essence (it's Scripture after all!) but not exceptional in presentation. With topics like "God's Promises" and "Our Hope," the excerpts tend towards the positive and encouraging. I think that in a volume that purports to give a sampling of the KJV's language and influential passages, it would have made sense to include excerpts that concern God's law and judgment. Specific passages on the Gospel-- our sin, Christ's suffering, indeed the basis for our hope-- are also lacking.

On a minor note, the binding is nice to look at. Who doesn't like gold letters on red leather (though faux in this case)? Pretty fonts go a long way to gain my good opinion . . .

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