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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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Archbishop opens exhibition at Lambeth Palace Library

Archbishop with the 1611 King James Version

Wednesday 25th May 2011

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has opened an exhibition at the Lambeth Palace Library celebrating the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Version of the Bible.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is a 1611 edition of the King James Version.

The Archbishop said of the KJV:

"All societies need a common fund of stories and sayings – not just to help them get along, but to help them agree about their goals and ideals.  For several hundred years, the King James Bible was probably the most important bit of that ‘common fund’ for most English-speaking people." 

The exhibition lays out a timeline of the translation of the Bible into the languages of everyday life, with key manuscripts and books offering insight into the practical processes and underlying motives.

Besides the 1611 King James Version, highlights of the exhibition include medieval translations of the Bible into English; a beautifully illustrated first edition of Luther's German Bible and the Gudbrandar Bible (1584) in Icelandic; translations intended for missions, such as Gospel editions in Maori and Mohawk; and documents showing the drive towards twentieth century English translations such as the New English Bible.

Visitors at the Lambeth Palace Library exhibition

Visitors at the Lambeth Palace Library exhibition







The exhibition is open until 29th July 2011, Wednesday-Friday, and on Saturdays in July.   Admission is by pre-booked tickets.  For further information see the Lambeth Palace Library website.

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