The King James Bible

The BBC’s All Things Considered¬†podcast has a very interesting episode this week marking¬†the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.

I’m not a particularly religious man (unless you want to hear my “Anarchism is a faith” rant) or blogger – why would this interest me enough to bring it to your attention?

It turns out to be an almost perfect case study of the issues surrounding the art of translation. Paraphrasing vs Metaphasing? Tick. Politics of words/segments used? Tick. Power plays based on authority of translators, source text or patronage? Tick. Translations that have added to our historical knowledge base? Tick!

In fact, it turns out that translating the Bible has it’s own Wikipedia entry. This page is quite complex and deals with the subject in a way that is probably only understandable by those that study translation. The podcast, on the other hand, makes it all very easy to understand. Highly recommended listening.