Precious King James’ Bible transcribed in Uckfield

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UCKFIELD Methodists have helped transcribe one of the world’s best known and best loved books.

Members of the congregation have played their part in handwriting the complete copy of the King James’ Bible.

2011 is the 400th anniversary of the publication and to commemorate this event, the Methodist Church has initiated this Handwritten Bible Project.

Each Methodist church in Britain will write an allocated passage from King James during this month. Special paper and detailed instructions have been sent to each church.

The finished work will be bound into approximately 20 volumes. Uckfield Methodists have been set the Book of Joel, Chapter 2: verses 21 – 32

On Sunday, March 13 after morning worship they wrote their verses, put a copy on their website, framed a copy and placed it in their church hall.

Every church member took part, no-one was allowed to use a computer but organisers relented and allowed the use of a black ballpoint pen instead of quill and ink.

Everyone did a sentence or verse and they all said they could not match the craftsmanship of the original monks. But their writing will be a permanent record of handwriting skills at the beginning of the 21st century.

The Authorised King James’ Version is an English translation by the Church of England of the Christian Bible begun in 1604 and completed in 1611.

This was the third such official translation into English; the first was the Great Bible commissioned by the Church of England in the reign of King Henry VIII, and the second was the Bishop’s Bible of 1568.

In January 1604, King James I of England convened the Hampton Court Conference where a new English version was conceived in response to what Puritans considered were problems with the earlier translations.

The story of the King James’ Bible has been told by Sissinghurst heir Adam Nicolson whose history called ‘When God Spoke English’ has just been re-published. Adam and his author and gardener wife, Sarah Raven live live at Perch Hill near Burwash.