Morris's Reviews > God's Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible

God's Secretaries by Adam Nicolson
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's review
Dec 28, 2007

really liked it
Read in May, 2008

This is an enjoyable read, somewhat in the genre and style of "The Professor and the Madman" (Winchester provided a laudatory comment that's printed on the beck cover).

Two forces seemly in tension but both displayed in England under James - the simplicity and unfiltered light of the reformers vs. the splendor and rich ornamentation of the monarchy - came together, in Nicholson's view, in the work of the company of translators.

Well worth reading. Usual caution applies: neither politics nor sausage-making is a consistently edifying spectacle. There was plenty of politics involved, and the faults of the translators are part of the narrative. Although they did have faults and most knew it, they they considered themselves as "God's Secretaries," not as editors or authors.

It might be an interesting line of thought to compare their view of translation and translators' flaws (at least as Nicholson presents it here), to the view of the sacraments' efficacy "ex opere operato".


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