The creation of the King James Bible was an extraordinary event in literary and religious history. This was a political act of nation-building and it was a great spiritual gift, of "one more exact translation of the Holy Scriptures into the English tongue", this new translation stamped with royal approval.
The King James Version of the Bible changed and helped create the modern English language. Just as with Shakespeare, so this magnificent text was planted deep in the English-speaking people’s consciousness, and there it would grow and thrive. We hear its influence in America, in Britain, in Australia. We hear it in India and in Africa. And here we are, at a point of origin and the heart. Oliver Peers’ reading of this classic text is clean, fresh and modern. He asks the listener to hear the King James Version anew - as a contemporary text. Oliver’s stated aim has been that the glory of the language of the King James Version sit perfectly in accord, 400 years on, with easy receptivity to God’s word, just as if we were hearing a friend share a tale with us - and here we have the word of God with all the richness, the beauty and the poetry of the King James Version to delight and enthrall.
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This performance paces and stresses the language that one can truly enter into the dramatic intention of the text, that it seeks to persuade the hearers to agreement through inclusion.
Peers reads in a slowly paced but subtly powerful manner where the pacing really invites the reader to dwell upon the text to the point that one forgets that it is a translation. I hope he does the Revised English bible, as it would be good to hear and compare the two great British translations as understood by this narrator. Although if this was a 'normal' story the slowness and emphasis would irritate it is surprisingly effective with scripture.