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Four Hundred Years, and the work is still beginning

I criticize the Anglican Primate pretty often and in pretty harsh terms (particularly considering I’m not a Christian), but I actually like the old man, when it comes down to it. Likely it’s the Peter Principle in action: he isn’t terribly competent at being the head of the Anglican Communion, but he’s a marvelous preacher, writer and thinker. I was very impressed by his Sermon at the Thanksgiving Service to mark the Four Hundredth Anniversary of the 1611 Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible.

Gentle Readers are aware by now that Your Humble Blogger likes him some KJV. I am always a little self-conscious about my fondness for the KJV, because it is not a terribly accurate translation. It’s lovely and magnificent, but find myself frequently comparing different translations and picking at what Hebrew I understand and to grope beyond it. Crazy Archbishop Rowan, bless the man, picks that up as a strength:

What is a good translation? Not one that just allows me to say, when I pick it up, ‘Now I understand’. Of course, if I’m faced with a text in a strange language, I need to be able simply to read it; but a good translation will be an invitation to read again, and to probe, and reflect, and imagine with the text. Rather than letting me say, ‘Now I understand’, it prompts the response, ‘Now the work begins.’

…I was going to make that the beginning of this note, but I don’t think I actually have anything to add to it.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,