Friday, February 25, 2011

When God Spoke English: The Making of the King James Bible

The celebration of the four-hundredth anniversary of the King James Bible continued earlier this week with an excellent documentary on BBC Four:

When God Spoke English: The Making of the King James Bible
Documentary telling the unexpected story of how arguably the greatest work of English prose ever written, the King James Bible, came into being. 
Author Adam Nicolson reveals why the making of this powerful book shares much in common with his experience of a very different national project - the Millennium Dome. The programme also delves into recently discovered 17th century manuscripts, from the actual translation process itself, to show in rich detail what makes this Bible so good.
In a turbulent and often violent age, the King hoped this Bible would unite a country torn by religious factions. Today it is dismissed by some as old-fashioned and impenetrable, but the film shows why, in the 21st century, the King James Bible remains so great.
It's an excellent documentary, compelling told, beautifully and colourfully filmed with shots of Oxford, Cambridge and London.  It delves into the political dimensions of the translation at the same time as celebrating its scholarship and poetry.  Strongly recommended.

The programme was first broadcast on Monday and it is repeated next Wednesday, 2 March.  It is available on the iPlayer for several more days.  If, like me, you are outside the UK, you'll have to use some jiggery pokery to access it.


Anonymous said...

US East Coast, NJ, link results in a BBS screen who's flash player says "Not available in your area".

Cheers! RichGriese.NET

Mark Goodacre said...

That's right; the iPlayer is locked down to international users. It's why you need a little jiggery pokery to get it working if you're not in the UK.

Jeff Cate said...

Hi Mark,

Can you explain this "jiggery pokery" of which you speak... :-)

Did you have a friend in the UK download it and email it to you? Or did you change some setting in your computer indicating country code or something?

Mark Goodacre said...

There are several methods. Perhaps the easiest is to google for Expat
Shield, which is a free ad-based service.

Anonymous said...

What I am about to ask could take a long detailed answer. But I'm only looking for a brief one. What is your opinion of John Wenham's Redating book?