Inside take on a Folger, Bodleian, and Ransom Center exhibition on the creation and afterlife of the King James Bible on the 400th anniversary of its publication.

Manifold Greatness meets Mind & Heart at Whitworth University

Prof. James Edwards speaks about the King James Bible at Whitworth University. Photo courtesy Whitworth University.

At Whitworth University, the Manifold Greatness exhibit dovetails nicely with the university’s mission to promote “an education of mind & heart.” As a faith-based liberal arts institution, we place high value on knowledge that addresses both intellectual and spiritual issues, much like the King James Bible was both an intellectual and a religious endeavor. Our Special Collections at the library include a Pacific Northwest Protestantism collection, and one of the university’s exhibit items is a Geneva Bible printed in 1611. Gonzaga University, one of our community partners, has also contributed a Douay-Rheims Bible for display.

At our first event on April 19, we listened to Whitworth Professor of Theology James R. Edwards speak about the translation teams’ commitment to providing an English translation that incorporated good scholarship with sound theology. Moreover, Dr. Edwards emphasized, the translators ensured that the King James Bible was stylistically superior, thanks in large part to other English translations that had come before it. Translators acknowledged their indebtedness to their predecessors and strove to make the King James translation the cream of an already superior crop.  They, too, were interested in providing a translation that engaged both the mind and heart.

Amy C. Rice is an Instructor/ Coordinator of Technical Services & Systems at Harriet Cheney Cowles Memorial Library at Whitworth University.

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