Labourers in the Vineyard of the Lord

Erudition and the Making of the King James Version of the Bible


The centrality of the King James Bible to early modern culture has been widely recognized. Yet for all the vast literature devoted to the masterpiece, little attention has been paid either to the scholarly scaffolding of the translation or to the erudition of the translators. The present volume seeks to redress this neglect by focusing attention on seven key translators as well as on their intellectual milieu. Utilizing a wide range of hitherto unknown or overlooked sources, the volume furnishes not only precious new information regarding the composition and early reception of the King James Bible, but firmly situates the labours of the translators within the broad context of early modern biblical and oriental scholarship and polemics.

Contributors are James P. Carley, Mordechai Feingold, Anthony Grafton, Nicholas J. S. Hardy, Alison Knight, Jeffrey Alan Miller, William Poole, Thomas Roebuck, and Joanna Weinberg.

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Mordechai Feingold, D. Phil. (1980), is Professor of History at Caltech. His recent publications include Newton and the Origin of Civilization (Princeton, 2013), written with Jed Buchwald, and Reading Newton in Early Modern Europe (Brill, 2017), edited with Elizabethanne Boran.

1 Birth and Early Reception of a Masterpiece: Some Loose Ends and Common Misconceptions
Mordechai Feingold

2 Lambeth Palace Library in 1611 and Its Contribution to Christian Hebraism
James P. Carley

3 Early Oxford Hebraism and the King James Translators (1586–1617): The View from New College
William Poole

4 Edward Lively, Cosmopolitan Hebraist
Anthony Grafton

5 John Rainolds: Critic and Translator
Mordechai Feingold

6 The Hebraic Explorations of the English Mercier: Richard Kilbie (1560/61–1620)
Joanna Weinberg

7 The Earliest Known Draft of the King James Bible: Samuel Ward’s Draft of 1 Esdras and Wisdom 3–4
Jeffrey Alan Miller

8 Revising the King James Apocrypha: John Bois, Isaac Casaubon and the Case of 1 Esdras
Nicholas J.S. Hardy

9 Miles Smith (1552/53–1624) and the Uses of Oriental Learning
Thomas Roebuck

10 Audience and Error: Translation, Philology, and Rhetoric in the Preaching of Lancelot Andrewes
Alison Knight

All interested in early modern intellectual history, history of religion, history of scholarship, book history, Biblical studies, translation studies, and Christian Hebraism.
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