News Release

NSW Parliamentarians Hear Elder Callister Speak on King James Bible

Twenty-five parliamentarians met with members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at a luncheon in Parliament House on 1st June. The event, sponsored by the Church, celebrated the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Version of the Bible. Elder Tad R. Callister, the Church's Pacific Area President, was the guest speaker.

Lauding the scholars and linguists who brought the King James Bible into being, Elder Callister said, for the majority of Christians, it is the version that is "preached from our pulpits, taught in our classes, read in our homes, and ingrained in our hearts."

Guests listened intently to the sobering account of early British Christians who were martyred for teaching their children the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments in English. Religious authorities knew that anyone reciting such had access to English excerpts from the Bible, which were banned at that time on pain of death.

Elder Callister praised the diligent work of William Tyndale, who withstood persecution long enough to produce and have printed the first English translation of the entire work from the Hebrew and Greek texts. Said Elder Callister, "It is likely that nearly 80 per-cent of the King James Bible remains the writing of Tyndale."

He noted that by Tyndale's day the English language, long considered unsuitable for scripture, had reached a pinnacle of versatility and depth. Later, when King James commissioned the version of the Bible still used today, "it was the right language, at the right moment, and the right men under God's tutelage, that brought it forth."

Despite subsequent corrections and publications of the original King James Version, Elder Callister and many other scriptorians believe it still contains the fundamental teachings, ordinances and works of Jesus Christ in a correct and believable form. The language itself forms the basis of much of today's common English phraseology.

The celebration allowed parliamentary and military guests to become acquainted with stake presidents from their geographic areas. The Hon. David Clarke, a member of the Legislative Council and Parliamentary Secretary for Justice, was Master of Ceremonies.

"We have all been taught and uplifted," said Mr Clarke in his closing remarks. He underscored what Elder Callister called the majesty, nobility and dignity of the King James Version and expressed gratitude to the Church for the event. "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is welcomed into our Parliament at any time at all," said Mr Clarke.


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