The 400th anniversary of the King James Version is a significant milestone in the history of the English language and the English speaking church. It is widely agreed that this translation of the Bible is the greatest work in English literature with wide-ranging impact on culture over the past 400 years.
This festival is not a call for everyone to use only the KJV or an exercise in mere dusty history. It is not reactionary or mere nostalgia. Rather, It is an opportunity to consider an amazing work of God which occurred 400 years ago this year, a significant chapter in the ongoing struggle to bring the Word of God to people, a powerful moment which continues to shape the world through the English speaking church. The production of the King James Bible was a moment when the church led the culture instead of the other way around as we often see today. It was a crowning moment of the effort begun many years before of bringing God's word to English speaking people producing a Bible which was taken to the ends of the earth shaping world history in its path.
Join us, then, for an invigorating look at the work of God through His word. The production of the King James Bible was not the final chapter of Bible translation but it has been a key one with rich lessons for us today. As we examine the historical setting, with the great suffering endured by many to bring the Bible to the common person, we will be reminded of the great privilege of having our own copies of the Bible in our language. As we consider the work of God in the past, may we yearn to see God move amongst us afresh. As we see how God's word has impacted the breadth of culture, it is our hope that we will be stirred to engage our world anew for the sake of the gospel.
Because the gospel engages all of life we will have not only lectures and addresses, but also theater, music, dramatic readings, film, art and an amazing Bible exhibit. It is our hope that the festival will be a time of refreshing and renewal. The Bible exhibit will be an amazing opportunity to see in one place all the early English translations as well as many other texts and biblical artifacts. We have been told that this exhibit rivals any other on display in North America this year. This will be a wonderful opportunity to marvel at how God has worked to bring us His word.
We hope you'll join us,
Dr. Ray Van Neste
Director, R.C. Ryan Center for Biblical Studies