More than 150 enjoy Sidmouth Bible celebrations

MORE than 150 people gathered in warm evening sunshine last Wednesday to celebrate the 400th birthday of the King James Bible in Sidmouth’s Connaught Gardens.

The service was conducted by Prebendary David James with a choir and musicians directed by Dr Peter Fung.

Using words from the Bible, four hymns were sung, one from each century since 1611, writes Joan Bennett.

Taken mostly from Tyndale’s original text, the Authorised Version omitted the biased marginal notes that had been added by other translators, to support various doctrines they wished to emphasise.

Reverend David Moss, who is the director of the South West Ministerial Training Course, spoke about the importance of the King James translation.

As it was in the English of the day, it became acceptable to a much larger public, and has been the translation accepted by Crown and Country ever since.

David Moss compared the Authorised Version of 1611, with a more recent translation called “The Message”. He said there is a need in every generation to keep the language of the gospel message current, fresh, and understandable — the way it was for its very first readers. The language is different but God’s message is just the same.

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Although not primarily a fund raising occasion, those who attended made a thanks offering of �332, which was sent to the Bible Society for translation work in Burkina Faso (West Africa).

It is the aim of the Bible Society, in this year of Bible Celebration to provide translations for the Bissa people of one of the poorest countries in Africa.

In October, it is planned to read the entire Bible aloud, which is expected to take 74 hours.

This will need 222 readers, each reading for twenty minutes. It will take place in the Parish Church from October 17 to 22.

Refreshments will be available for those wishing to come and listen. You may book a slot to read from early September when lists will be on display in the Parish Church.