The King James Bible was an attempt to make the scriptures widely available to the population in their own language : English. 47 Biblical scholars divided into 6 committees, working from the best manuscripts available, with extensive checking and care, incorporating much of the groundwork done by such as William Tyndale to produce a nuanced and detailed translation designed to be read aloud.

The vocabulary of the KJB has pervaded the English language with words and phrases* that are still in common use today, and enabled anyone to read it for themselves and learn more of what it teaches.

Sadly, so much of the time it is a book that remains unread and we hope to encourage individuals to open it for themselves and look beyond a source of expressing a thought or for set times of the year.

*For instance: A labour of love; from strength to strength; at his wits end; a drop in the bucket; a leopard cannot change his spots; salt of the earth; a man after his own heart; sign of the times

The exhibition tours the country to allow its professionally produced panels and collection of old Bibles to be made available to visit for as many people as possible.

During our week long exhibition we handed out DVDs of interviews with 6 experts in their fields, such as an archaeologist, a historian and a biologist saying why they have confidence in the Bible, bookmarks listing the 66 books of the Bible, Bible reading planners so that one can read the Bible in a year, leaflets about the 1611 translation and other information all encouraging visitors to read the Bible and discover why it has remained in print for 400 years.

Many interesting conversations were held with a varied range of visitors, demonstrating that there is still a curiosity in what claims to be the Word of God.

The setting of the Reg Driver Centre was fitting because it was adjacent to the Martyrs Memorial which recalls the price some 9 local people paid for reading the Bible by being condemned to death on the Cornhill by fire.

What was so important to them that they risked their lives is freely available to us with no fear of reprisals, yet, in our day, The Bible remains largely a closed book.

Now is the time we can each change that...

(Graphic courtesy of www.kingjamesbibleonline.org )