This past weekend, I was surprised to enjoy the narrated and re-enacted historical movie KJB: The Book That Changed the World.
The story starred King James IV of Scotland, who became King at 13 months old when his mother, Mary, Queen of Scots, was executed. Raised under the power struggles of his Regents, he developed a dislike for power squabbles, and was ably taught by a very demanding and serious tutor, especially when it came to understanding the scriptures.
Reigning in Scotland since his teen years, James became King of England (now as James I) at age 37.
An Enjoyable Hagiography
This book is mainly about the formation of the King James Bible itself, but since James himself is at the center of the story, it’s pretty much a biography of James. And although it paints him almost universally in a suspiciously good light, his management of the competing religious factions in England is wickedly funny – the way he calls each of players to task on their self-promoting biases is awesome.
James the Scholar
I really didn’t know how much of a scholar James was, but the movie portrays him as well educated and not shy about claiming that God speaks to individuals and endows rulers with the responsibility and authority to rule.
I also love this quote of his regarding the Oxford Library at which he studied:
The Relative Excellence of the KJB Translation
Based on the fact that King James forced the warring factions, the Bishops of the Anglican Church and the Calivinistic Puritan scholars, to work together on the translation, and the fact that James himself helped draft multiple checks on the work and supervised much of it himself, a translation made by a varying group of scholars set the basis for all modern scholarly translations.
Watching this movie made me understand why KJV-only people might want to claim divine providence in the production of the KJB bible, certainly James himself considered his role providential.
You do not have to be a bible geek to enjoy this movie, just the verbal smackdowns that James gives the religious leaders is worth the watch. And if, like me, you ARE a Bible geek, this movie is more fun than you might imagine.