More Poetry from the King James Bible

Saturday 16 April 2011

Poetry Breakfast (photo by Long Ngnyen)

Last month one of our popular Poetry Breakfast  panel discussions considered the poetry of the King James version of the Bible which celebrates its 400th anniversary this year. As was mentioned at the festival event, Fife has a particular connection with the King James Bible dating back to 1601, and but for a twist in history St Andrews might have featured in that. In May that year the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland had to relocate because of an outbreak of plague in Edinburgh. They were due to meet in St Andrews but King James VI of Scotland was staying at Rossend Castle near Burntisland and he summoned the Assembly to meet him at the Church there as being more convenient for him.

It was at that meeting, with King James in attendance, that the idea was mooted to commission a new translation of the Bible which was published ten years later in 1611 and came to be known as the King James Bible. Burntisland Parish Church is sometimes now referred to as the Kirk of the Bible.

Poetry Breakfast, StAnza 2011 (photo Long Ngnyen)

At our StAnza event our panelists read various favourite passages from the Bible and now another Fife Church have arranged for the whole of the Bible – 1,189 chapters and more than 31,000 verses –  to be read from beginning to end in a marathon session, the first time such a thing has been attempted in Scotland. They began reading earlier this week in Largo Newburn Church in Upper Largo and will continue on Monday (18th April) at Largo St David’s Church in Lower Largo reading from 7.00 am each day until late in the evening, and for several days next week.