Thursday, 6 January 2011

Give black God the glory! ( She deserves it)

Despite having to go to work, I managed to listen to the final installment of Radio 4 on the King James bible while washing up yesterday evening. It is fascinating that there are so many versions of the bible, often tailored to the politics or understanding of the times. My absolute favourite bit this time was when they played a record by Max Romeo, "Bring back  Maccabee version."



You gave I King James Version
King James was a white man
Now give I Maccabee version
Cos I am a black man
You sold the land God gave I
And taught I to be covetous

What other wicked things
Have you got in mind?
Tell me, what are gonna do
To stop these daily crimes?

Bring back Macabee Version
That God gave to black man
Give back King James Version
Belongs to the white man

Black man, get up, stand up
Find your foot
And give black God the glory
Black man, get up, stand up

Find your foot
And give black God the glory, yeah!

You suffer I and you rob I
You starve I, then you kill I
But what are you gonna do
Now that your sword have turn against you?

Black man, get up, stand up
Find your foot
And give black God the glory
Black man, get up, stand up
Find your foot
And give black God the glory

Bring back Macabee Version
That God gave to black man
Give back King James Version
That belongs to the white man

Black man, get up, stand up
Find your foot
And give black God the glory
Black man, get up, stand up
Find your foot
And give black God the glory

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

King James Bible

I  have been enjoying the series on Radio 4 about the translation and production of the King James Bible and some of the political issues surrounding its production. You can listen again here and  here , and  I shall be using their "listen again" facility to catch up on the final episode, which I will miss due to being back at work tomorrow :)

My absolutely favourite bit was the quote from the preface of the bible, written by Miles Smith. In a series of beautiful images he conveys what it  means to translate  the bible and to have it available in English -  a freedom  that would not have been taken so much for granted back in 1611,

"Translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light; that breaketh the shell, that we may eat the kernel; that putteth aside the curtain, that we may look into the most Holy place; that removeth the cover of the well, that we may drink the water."