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Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Phillip, Nov 6, 2004.
Okay, I just picked up a copy of "God's Secretaries" by Adam Nicolson.
What am I to expect?
I don't know, but I've heard of the book, Phillip. Let me know if it's any good. I don't want to waste money if I don't have to...
I picked it up during a vacation to Maine this summer. I liked it even better than a similar book written two years earlier, "In The Begining, the Story of the KJV and How it Changed a Nation, a Language and a Culture" (Alister McGrath - 2001).
After reading the book you will have a deep respect for those who translated the version and an understanding of how God used these men even in their frailties.
And you will begin to see why the KJV has such a hold on people even to this day.
Is it an apology for the KJV or for the KJVonly doctrine? I've studied the lives of some of the Anglican Version translators and it is very interesting to a Baptist.
And who called them/appointed them "God's" secretaries? That is an arrogant assumption.
No, Nicolson's book is not an apology for the
KJV-only view. Gail Riplinger referred to this
book as "dark and vile propaganda printed by Rupert Murdoch's Harper Collins Publishers (owner of Zondervan), the publisher of the NIV and TNIV"
(IN AWE, p. 618).
Nicolson wrote: "Reynolds had wanted, when all the code was stripped away, a strict Puritan Bible, non-episcopal, the naked word of God, truly transmitted. And to that request James had said, in effect, 'Yes, I will give you the very opposite of what you ask'" (p. 60).
Nicolson wrote: "Andrewes [a KJV translator] could happily see a good, God-fearing, straight-living, honest and candid man like Henry Barrow condemned to death; and a debauched, self-serving degenerate like [KJV translator Richard] Thomson elevated to the highest company" (p. 100).
Of course Riplinger referred to the book as dark and vile propaganda, since she considers HERSELF to be God's current secretary, I.E. "God AND Riplinger".
And Deacon...Should we have any LESS respect for such man as Tyndale, who gave his life to get his English Bible translation before the common Englishmen, and Coverdale, and Coverdale who worked in peril of his life making English Bible translations? Bear in mind that each of Coverdale's works was a little different from the others, and the AV 1611 is different from every other English BV which preceeded it.
I use the NAS. I memorise the KJV (in my own updated language version ). "God's Secretaries" is not an apology for the KJVO perspective.
Among other things, the book reviews the history of how James attempted to appease both the papists and the Puritans (never really pleasing eather).
The KJV was a translation meant to be read aloud. This is where it gets its great grandure.
The title concerns the way the KJV was composed, with six different groups of translators each subject to review. Nicholson writes: "Secretaryship is one of the great shaping forces behind the King James Bible. There is no authorship involved here. Authorship is egotistical, an assumption that you might have something new worth saying. You don't. Every iota of the Bible counts but without it you count for nothing. The secretary knows that...." (p. 184)
The instructions to the translators involved in the project were to consult Tyndall's, Matthews, Coverdales, Whitchurch (the Great Bible) the Bishop's and the Geneva bible among others. They certainly respected the work of others before them; by no means should we deny them their due respect.
Nicolson does not hide the difficiencies of the translators either. These were barbaric times. Burnings, imprisonment in inhumane conditions for years, torture and death were an accepted form of censure and used to attempt to keep Anglican church unity.
Thanx for clarifying, Rob. Most of us here hold the works of Riplinger in very low esteem, noting that they contain misinformation whose degree of author's culpability ranges far past the "honest mistake" criterion.
That does not excuse them any more than the SS who claimed that they were "only doing their job"!
Where does Christ or the Apostles say to do these things to keep Church unity?
They saw their parent (church of Rome) do these things and did likewise.
Part of the point of having to expose this nasty little page of Anglican Church history is because the KJVO came here breathing hell-fire and condemnation about the morality of W&H and one/some of the MV translators contrasting them with the KJV translators as if they were all lily-white godly men when indeed they had officials on both the translating committee and the High Council who had perpetrated several atrocities on Baptists, Dissenters and Puritans because they resisisted the "ecclesiatic" AV Bible.
One man had his ears chopped off because he objected to the word choice of "bishop" (too romish) rather than "overseer".
Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander...
Based on the first two chapters, it is essentially a history book that tells the story of the KJV going into depth in the lives of King James, the Secretary of State and many of the translators.
He only made the statement that never had a single translated book had such an effect on society as the KJV, but it appears to be a strictly secular book of the history.
So far he has described a little bit of the way King James awaited Queen Elizabeth's death and even sent spies in to see how she was doing. When they would find a Scottishman who was paying particularly close attention to the queen, they would set him up by having the queen appear to be dancing behind a curtain to fiddle music. The spies would report back to King James that she was doing fine.
He said King James' first mistake as King of England was to order the hanging of a common thief. He was also described as a little nutty and had a foul mouth, told dirty jokes. . . was not good in social skills, which is considered a requirement for British royalty.
He had quite an ego and this had a lot to do with his wanting a translation of the Bible.
He holds no punches when describing the people. It is a good book if you like reading historical material about something that actually happened.
I think it is going to be very good, although maybe a wee bit too opinionated on the actual personalities.