Earliest Known Draft of King James Bible Found?

Ok, this story isn’t specifically about Shakespeare, but it’s got some obvious parallels.

Scholars believe they’ve found a draft of the King James Bible dated somewhere between 1604 – 1608.

There’s a popular story, which I’m sure most of you know, that says Shakespeare was not only one of the translators, but that he hid his name in Psalm 46.  Count 46 words in and you get the word “Shake”, count 46 words backwards from the end and you get the word “spear”.  Shakespeare would have been 46 years old in 1611 when the KJV was published (well, technically in 1610, when they were supposedly finishing the project). Boom. Mind==blown.

That story’s great if you have absolutely no other details about how the KJV was created, and just assume that that’s how it worked.  That a bunch of guys just banged it out in a year, and Shakespeare, being the biggest fish in that particular pond, helped himself to psalm 46 and slipped in his easter egg.

The great thing about today’s news is that it brings the actual true details of the KJV into the spotlight.  Such as how the bulk of the work was really done 1604 -1608, which doesn’t line up at all with the whole 46 thing. Or how there were actually six separate companies all working on the translation, and any one of them could have been responsible for psalm 46. Or how they submitted their work to the general committee in 1608, meaning that Shakespeare would have to have been so dedicated to making this happen that he planned ahead two years and said, “Yeah, I think we’ll be done around 1610 when I’m 46.”

Either that or it’s one a big coincidence.

Honestly, scholars have been flat out proving it’s not true for years. But sometimes it takes a mention in the NY Times for people to finally start paying attention.  No offense, scholars. 😉

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