The Third Sunday after Easter is known as Good Shepherd Sunday. On it we hear Psalm 23 and read from the Gospel of John in which Jesus refers to himself in terms of shepherd roles. We’ll consider what that might have meant to the first audience and of course what a shepherd/leader might mean to us in our lives. This is the 400th anniversary of the publication of the Authorized Version of the Bible, known to us as the King James Version. We’ll ponder that as well and give thanks for the broad and powerful influence of this translation over time, to this very day. This little illustrated history of the King James Bible is from a web site dedicated to the same.
1603 James VI of Scotland acceded to the throne of England (as James I of England). At the 1604 Hampton Court Conference James I was persuaded (by moderate puritans) that a new translation was needed and ordered work to begin.
The Puritans, a strongly religious group in the 17th century England, believed that the Bible was inspired by God. Feeling persecuted by the established church, a group, known as the Pilgrim Fathers, decided to leave England and start a new life overseas.
The Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America in the Mayflower, taking the English Bible with them. They landed at Plymouth, now in Massachusetts. The ship is a symbol of early colonisation
British sailors took the Bible on voyages around the globe; Through the work of the East India Company it was taken to India and to the colonies in Africa, Australia and New Zealand. This is one reason why English is now a world language.
The Bible is read in countries around the World; art, literature and music have been based on language and stories from the Bible. It has arguably far more influence on the English language than Shakespeare or any other author.