The Bible in England and the Bible in English

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Thursday 7 February 2019


Doors open at 7pm, talk starts at 7.30pm, scheduled finish 8.30pm


St Paul's Church, Saint Paul's Hill, Winchester SO22 5AB


Cost per ticket: £13.50 including a glass of wine


Globally two billion people use the English language. Many, maybe half of them, use English technically, to do business. But just as many are using English imaginatively, as a vehicle for every kind of thought, all users, technocrats and dreamers alike, have as an example the King James’ Bible as a measure of how far they must strive to reach the limits of this world language.

By the start of this millennium, the King James’ Bible had become a book loved as much for being a creation of linguistic beauty and an object of cultural meaning as it was for being a vehicle of Christian message. Perhaps it is more loved today by lovers of the language and culture than it is by the lovers of the message because other vehicles of that message have been found.

In speaking about the Bible in English, Professor Mulvey will, for many people, be promising to talk about the Bible that King James ordered to be prepared in the English language for use in the Church of England. That Bible has come to be called the King James Bible. It appeared in 1611, and today it has become a world book as the English language has become a world language. But it will not do to say that the English Bible is the King James Bible because the English Bible is something older and wider. The English Bible is truly all versions of the Bible in the English language from the earliest translations in the eighth century through to the latest versions in the twenty-first.


This event is a collaboration between The English Project and St Paul’s Church and is being held to raise funds for St Paul’s Building for Life project. Building for Life will transform the inside of the church into an accessible space for concerts and performances along with catering and small meeting spaces. All of the proceeds from the lecture will go towards this charitable cause.


Christopher Mulvey is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Winchester. He is a graduate of Magdalen College, Oxford. He received his PhD from Columbia University. Christopher is a trustee of the English Project.


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