Monday, April 2, 2012

the king james book.

So there's this book called the King James Bible. Maybe you've heard of it?

On the first floor of the BYU library there's currently an exhibit entitled The Life and Legacy of the King James Bible, celebrating 400 years (check it out here).

As a journalist, I really found the section of the exhibit Transforming the Word: The Impact of the King James Bible to be very interesting. I appreciated the way it described that the Bible, and the reading of the Bible, greatly influenced writers such as Herman Melville, William Butler Yeats, John Steinbeck or even Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln claimed to have learned to read and write from a "log schoolhouse in Indiana where... all our reading was done from the Bible." The exhibit suggests that "Lincoln's speeches, including the Gettysburg Address, contain echoes of the King James Bible, and many critics believe that Lincoln's appropriation of biblical language is why his oratory is so stirring and vivid to audiences both today and in his own time."

It's interesting to see just how much the Bible still permeates our society today, and the exhibit brought up a good point of how it influenced (and continues to influence) the literature and writings of our society as well.