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Saturday, 31 January 2009

The AV derailed?

This is a day to remember because on this day:
Guy Fawkes in 1605 was executed for a crime which almost changed the course of English history. Also, would the Authorised version (AV) have seen the light of day? Fawkes was in charge of executing a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament while King James 1and his government were inside. The King was the power behind the AV. Fawkes’ impressive military and explosives experience put him in the front line. But, authorities foiled the plot shortly before its final execution, and the conspirators were hanged.

Was this a terrorist attack a la 9/11? No, says Robert Wilde. Terrorism is a violent attack on either random or symbolic targets, designed to terrorise the population and its government into accepting change. The Gunpowder plotters were planning on a change, but they weren't using terror to do it. The aim was to re move the king and government in one stroke by destroying them in an explosion, then make one of the remaining royal children monarch and create a new Catholic government around the puppet crown. This was not a campaign of violence or an attempt to force concessions through fear but a full scale coup.

As King James initiated the new translation would the success of the plot have derailed the publication of the AV Bible? Probably not, because the King commissioned its production one year before the attempt to kill him, in January 1604. The project may well have taken longer than the six years it actually needed, but the very real desire for an AV ensured it would have stayed on track.

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