The remarkable influence of the Authorized Version on English-speaking people has inspired comments by atheists Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. These men are critical of all things about Christianity, so their public comments in honor of the KJV are notable.
Atheist Christopher Hitchens paid tribute to the King James Bible, offering rare praises to a book containing the Word of God.
Hitchens is the second atheist, after Richard Dawkins, to laud the KJB in honor of the 400th anniversary of the translation.
The prominent atheists recognized and expressed appreciation for its contribution to English literature.
“Though I am sometimes reluctant to admit it, there really is something ‘timeless’ in the Tyndale/King James synthesis,” said Hitchens in his commentary featured in Vanity Fair. “For generations, it provided a common stock of references and allusions, rivaled only by Shakespeare in this respect.
“It resounded in the minds and memories of literate people, as well as of those who acquired it only by listening.”
Of significance, I believe, is Mr. Hitchens’ remarks about the power of the Word of God as translation in the AV as opposed to modern versions or paraphrases. There is a beauty and meaning in the AV translations that make the text understandable by those who read it. Certainly, the language of the AV may seem foreign to some in this day, but it is no more beyond our comprehension than any other literature with which we are not initially familiar. Upon reading and studying the text of the AV, we become more aware of the grandeur of our Lord, his requirement for holy perfection, our inability to meet his standard, our need for his atonement, and the reverence with which we should approach his person.
If only Mr. Hitchens and Mr. Dawkins might see the light of the truth of the gospel of Jesus the Christ!