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Scripture in the Anglican Tradition: The Story of the King James Bible

the-holy-bible-king-james-version“[W]hat has influenced the whole history of England and America more than the King James Bible?” —Leland Ryken

The King James, or Authorized, translation of the Bible is one of the most popular and influential books ever published. In his history of the King James translation, God’s Secretaries, Adam Nicolson reckons that more than five billion copies have been sold since the KJV’s completion in 1611. Its influence goes beyond its intended use “to be read aloud in churches” into the realm of poetry, literature, music, and politics. In his book In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible and How It Changed a Nation, a Language, and a Culture, Alister McGrath argues:

Without the King James Bible, there would have been no Paradise Lost, no Pilgrim’s Progress, no Handel’s Messiah, no Negro spirituals, and no Gettysburg Address. These, and innumerable other works, were inspired by the language of this Bible. Without this Bible, the culture of the English-speaking world would have been immeasurably impoverished.

The Oxford English Dictionary counts 257 English idioms that the King James translation coined or popularized. Phrases such as “out of the mouths of babes” and “fly in the ointment” are still part of the popular lexicon. Continue Reading…

The Anglican Church: Scripture, Reason, and Tradition

Richard HookerPart of what makes the Anglican Church the via media (middle way) is the conviction that its beliefs and practices must derive from a thorough integration of Scripture, reason, and tradition. Though it’s impossible to achieve a perfect equilibrium, Anglicans believe that we are in danger of teaching and living heresy if we highlight one of these categories such that it excludes the others.

Richard Hooker

One of the earliest understandings of the concept of integrating Scripture, reason, and tradition comes from Richard Hooker. He argues that the Church has authority to establish governance and order (reason) and that though it has authority in doctrine, it cannot deviate from the faith that has been handed on to it (tradition):

“Be it in matter of the one kind or of the other, what Scripture doth plainly deliver, to that the first place both of credit and obedience is due; the next where-unto is whatsoever any man can necessarily conclude by force of reason; after these the voice of the Church succeedeth. That which the Church by her ecclesiastical authority shall probably think and define to be true or good, must in congruity of reason overrule all other inferior judgments whatsoever.” —Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, book V, 8:2

Continue Reading…

Get Updates on Products in the Anglican Tradition

Book of Common PrayerLogos is adding resources that focus specifically on the Anglican/Episcopalian tradition. To that end, Logos has made me the Anglican product manager and tasked me with identifying important works from the Anglican/Episcopalian tradition that we can add to our existing Anglican products. As someone who just completed a thesis on early nineteenth-century Anglicanism (particularly the Oxford or Tractarian Movement), I am aware of many products we can add and very enthusiastic about the pairing of Anglican products with Logos’ powerful platform.

Often considered the Via Media (middle way), Anglicanism has historically drawn on resources from a wide variety of Christian traditions in addition to its own. Consequently, Anglicans will benefit from having their own specific resources integrated into Logos’ extensive product line (some 32,000 titles from all Christian traditions).

The Anglican tradition has significantly influenced other Christian traditions. The King James Version of the Bible was produced at the command of King James I for use in Anglican worship. Anglican bishop Thomas Ken wrote the familiar Doxology “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” The poets John Donne and George Herbert were both writing from the Anglican tradition. More recently, the influential writings of C. S. Lewis, the biblical scholarship of N. T. Wright, the theology of J. I. Packer and John Stott, and the evangelistic/educational Alpha Course have all come out of Anglicanism. So, whether you are Anglican or not, this new product is good news. You’ll have access to the wealth of Anglican resources alongside the abundance of resources from other Christian traditions.

Under the mercy,
Benjamin Amundgaard

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