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Comparing By: Karen Schreiner To Modern Versions.

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Presentation on theme: "Comparing By: Karen Schreiner To Modern Versions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Comparing By: Karen Schreiner To Modern Versions

2 How is the English of 1611 different from the way we speak now? David Crystal Interview

3 General Information about the KJV The King James, or Authorized Version of the Bible –Role of King James 1611 Translated from Greek Claimed it to be written in the “language of the people,” but actually written in a very poetic, archaic manner –vocab, morphology, and syntax of the Middle Ages used to sound dignified; sanctified by tradition Expanded upon in David Crystal interview

4 Effects of the KJV Profound effect on English literature - authors such as Melville, Wordsworth, and Milton »Paradise Lost, anyone??? English style/language »John Hayes Gardiner of Harvard University once stated that “In all study of English literature, if there be any one axiom which may be accepted without question, it is that the ultimate standard of English prose style is set by the King James version of the Bible." Brought a new standard of English to everyday people Question posed to David Crystal: “What part did the King James Bible play in creating Standard English?”“What part did the King James Bible play in creating Standard English?”

5 According to Crystal… “The Bible doesn't have much influence on the grammar of the language, but when you come to vocabulary…that's where it shows its influence most. I think the King James Bible did something that nobody else had done, or nothing else had done in the history of the language previously. Not even Shakespeare had managed to do as much, in this respect, as the Bible did, and that is increase the idiomatic range of the language…If we talk about 'the salt of the earth' for instance, a classic piece of Biblical phrasing which is now widely used. 'The signs of the times', 'a den of thieves' 'oh ye of little faith'…What has happened is that the original Biblical reference in modern English is now lost…What has happened now is that the phrase[s] have come to be used with reference to non-Biblical contexts and that's what I mean when I say a Biblical phrase has entered the language and become very generally used. Now there are hundreds of these idiomatic, semi-idiomatic expressions in modern English that have achieved their fame solely because of the King James Bible, and no other text in the history of the English language has done as much as the Bible to shape our modern idiom, and that's its claim to linguistic fame.” – David Crystal

6 Taking a Closer Look… Genesis 4: 1-12, KJV 1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. 8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. 9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? 10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. 11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; 12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

7 Genesis 4:1-12 New International Version 1 Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man." 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. 6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?" 10 The LORD said, "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth."

8 Differences in Vocabulary and Word Choice according to the OED KJV o“knew” o“unto o“respect” o“wroth” o“countenance” o“fallen” o“slew” o“her” (in reference to the earth and the ground) o“henceforth” o“fugitive and vagabond” NIV o“lay” o“to” o“favor” o“angry” o“face” o“downcast” o“killed” o“its” (in reference to the earth and the ground) on/a o“restless wanderer” “Am I my brother’s keeper?” -Present in both -One of the idiom’s mentioned by Crystal

9 Grammatical and Inflectional Differences thou, thy, thee »Second person pronouns of Middle English - an example of the KJV reaching backwards for an archaic sound, as these pronouns were already being replaced with our modern ones doest, tillest, shalt, hast, art »Past tense verb inflectional differences lieth, crieth, hath »Present tense verb inflections

10 Syntax Syntax of KJV almost identical to Modern English, but slight variances are present “keeper of sheep” vs. “kept flocks” “4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof.” vs. “4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock.” –KJV: Use of more prepositional phrases, complicating the structure of the sentence »What would happen if WE wrote a sentence with those 3 prep. phrases in a paper?? “Abel his brother” vs. “his brother Abel” “I know not” vs. “I don’t know” “it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength” vs. “it will no longer yield its crops for you.” –Continued use of archaisms in KVJ; NIV simplifies using straightforward language “a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.” vs. “You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” –Use of passive voice in KJV; subject “thou” is buried *Other than minor cases of syntax inversion as an attempt to sound archaic and poetic, the syntax of Early Modern English is extremely similar to the syntax that we are familiar with today

11 Works Cited Oxford English Dictionary


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