The King James Bible in Today’s World

The English Language

Language continually evolves and the English language has changed greatly since 1611. Yet many phrases from the King James Bible are still in use today, and have generated new expressions.

Literature

In response to a time of enormous social and political change and conflict, twenieth century authors, from the poets of the World War I to African American writer Toni Morrison, have often turned back to the King James Bible for suitable imagery and expressive language.

The Scriptures in Song

The King James Bible is the oldest, and perhaps the most unlikely, contributor to a number one hit on the Billboard chart. Its verses can be also be heard in genres as diverse as reggae and country music.

The Bible in Politics

Most churches have adopted newer translations of the Bible since the 19th century. While the King James Bible plays no constitutional role in New Zealand or other Commonwealth countries, it has left a mark on American political rhetoric. It even retains a semi-religious role in the inauguration ceremony of some American presidents. Lincoln Bible. Courtesy of the Rare Books and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.