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← UPDATED: Why I want all our children to read the King James Bible

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Jump to comment 135 by Richard Dawkins

In a fascinating piece on his website, my friend Matt Ridley is sceptical that anything so well-written as the King James Version could really be the work of a committee. And indeed, he follows Brian Moynahan's Book of Fire in arguing that the KJV (or at least the well-written bits) is actually the work of one man, William Tyndale, executed in 1536 (strangled in public while tied to the stake at which his body was then burned). In Ridley's words, Tyndale was "Murdered – for translating the bible – at the behest of the very church, which 75 years later adopted so much of his text without acknowledgement." All that the King James committeemen did was collate and edit Tyndale's translation.

Incidentally, Matt doesn't mention it but he has a family interest in the theological disagreements of the period, as his own forebear Bishop Nicholas Ridley was burned at the stake in 1555, along with Bishop Hugh Latimer, who uttered the memorable martyr's valediction while they were burning: "Be of good comfort Master Ridley and play the man: we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out."

(Please, if you comment on this, don't derail the thread by banging on about Matt's views on other, and totally irrelevant, matters. Thank you.)

Richard

Mon, 21 May 2012 10:05:49 UTC | #942591