LAMENTATIONS IN THE ENGLISH BIBLE TRANSLATION TRADITION OF THE KING JAMES BIBLE (1611)
AbstractThis article examines how the translators of the King James Bible (1611) appropriated much of the wording from the prior tradition of the Bible in English (especially the Tyndale New Testament of 1526, the Coverdale Bible of 1535, the Matthew’s Bible of 1537, the Great Bible of 1539, the Geneva Bible of 1539, and the Bishops’ Bible of 1568), but also diverged from that tradition in specific ways and for specific purposes. Furthermore, by analyzing a selection of the marginal notes, it will be shown how they were constructed to serve as subtle but powerful tools for mediating between conflicting theological views and uniting religious parties around a single English Bible. The King James Version translators accepted only a small fraction of the marginal notes that were used in some previous English translations. By utilising a technique of keeping silent about contemporary issues and instead focusing on the basic principles of translation, the King James Version translators used the metatextual marginal notes to regulate the reader’s mental preparation for a translation which diverges from the accepted sectarian interpretations in order to ensure that broader, non-sectarian interpretations will be considered orthodox. In this respect, the King James translation adopted a stance toward both metatext and translation strategy that was diametrically opposed to that of the Geneva Bible, even though much of the specific wording of the King James Version was drawn from the Geneva Bible
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