I was staying at my parents’ home last week and didn’t have a bible, so I went searching through the bookshelves to see what I could find. I came across a dusty copy of the King James Bible, which was the one given to me at my baptism by my Great Uncle Ernest and Great Aunt Sybil – the dedication was there on the inside front cover.
It’s a pocket edition with about 20 full-page colour illustrations. Looking at the images of Noah and King David and Jesus took me right back to my childhood. I don’t remember reading it very often, but it was there! And I certainly looked at the pictures.
I was looking for the readings from the Mass for the day, which happened to be the story of Noah in Genesis Chapter 8. I don’t think these are particularly well-known passages, in terms of the language, but it is just one random example of the beauty of the translation.
 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:
 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.
 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.
 And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;
 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.
 And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.
 And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.