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[b][c=#003366]USC Celebrates 400th Anniversary of King James Bible[/c][/b]
[i]Library displays original copy of most popular English translation of Christian text[/i]


[b]COLUMBIA, S.C. --
This year marks the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, and the University of South Carolina is showing off its piece of the history.[/b]

The Hollings Special Collections Library hosted tours and talks Thursday for its English Bibles exhibit, which features an original 1611 King James Bible.

The book is one of 4,000 published individually that year, but is one of fewer than 500 today.

The director of the rare books and special collections department Patrick Scott, said that of all English language translations of the Bible, the King James version has been the most widely read in history, and remains popular today.

He said its continued prominence is partly due to the fact that it was translated specifically to be pleasing to hear when read aloud during church services, and used various synonyms in translating the Greek and Latin, instead of repeating the same English word many times.

Though the size, style and printing of the translation has changed in four centuries, the original isn’t totally different for those printed today.

“The printing and the spelling might seem a bit strange, but the language would be very familiar,” Scott said. “It’s much the language that’s still used in most churches today.”

In fact, the version’s effects are so ubiquitous that most English speakers who’ve never set foot in a church would recognize its language, too.

“The King James Bible was the Bible that gave English many of its most famous phrases,” Scott said. “The salt of the earth, the twinkling of an eye, the lilies of the field. Many, many phrases which are part of common English — pearls before swine — come from the King James Bible and are part of our shared heritage.”

The exhibit also includes older Latin bibles, a copy of the first complete English Bible dated 1535, and a 1608 Bible thought to have been brought to America by one of the first Protestant Pilgrims.

The exhibit is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the end of August, and has special weekend hours Aug. 20 and 21. For more information or to hear the audio tour of the exhibit, visit

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USC Celebrates 400th Anniversary of King James Bible | Christianity | iOrbix
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