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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
Dr. Phil Stringer
MISUNDERSTOOD CUSTOMS OF THE TIME
Anyone interested in the truth would be willing to understand King James's behavior in the light of the customs of the day.
WAS KING JAMES A SAVED MAN?
There is no legitimate reason to question James's salvation. The real King James was a professing Christian with a good testimony.
KING JAMES'S ROLE IN SPONSORING THE KING JAMES TRANSLATION
From January 14-18, 1604 A.D., the leaders of the Church of England met at Hampton Court in London. This meeting was called by King James. The Church of England was divided into three main factions. The Anglo-Catholic faction wanted to keep all the trappings and much of the doctrine of Roman Catholicism without acknowledging the authority of the Pope. The Protestant faction wanted the church of England to be the state Protestant Church like the Lutheran in Germany and the Reformed Church in Switzerland·
The Puritans were the most thoroughly evangelical and Biblically oriented of the three groups. They wanted a complete break with Catholicism and a greater degree of independence for local churches.
The three factions were at considerable odds with each other. King James attempted to moderate between the different factions. John Rainolds, representing the Puritans, made a formal request that King James sponsor a new English translation. The Bishop of London opposed this suggestion but John Rainolds eventually persuaded King James to give his blessing! Because of this Rainolds is remembered as the Father of the King James Bible.
King James became the first earthly monarch to successfully sponsor and encourage the distribution of the entire Word of God in the daily language of his people. (King Alfred had made an attempt to get part of the Scripture into the language of the people of England centuries earlier).
William Tyndale, the Father of the English Bible, had been used of God to bring an early translation of the Bible in English to the English people. For this crime he was declared to be a heretic and was burned at the stake. His last words were "Lord, open the King of England's eyes." Now a born again English king was sponsoring an English Bible, produced openly on English soil for English churches and English Christians.
King James appointed 54 learned men to make "one more exact translation of the Bible." Later others would be invited to join them. King James encouraged finances to this project and set the example by agreeing to underwrite the salary of several of the translators himself.
Even though the official name for this translation would be the Authorized Version, it was soon known as the King James Bible. It was uniquely made possible and promoted by the King of England - King James. Laymen now had no fear of owning their own Bible - it was sponsored by the King for them.
THE LITERARY ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND SCHOLARSHIP OF KING JAMES
King James was fluent in Greek, Latin and French. He wrote a number of books and pamphlets on a wide variety of subjects. In his book Great Britain's Solomon Maurice Lee, Jr. wrote: "It would be difficult to imagine a more absorbing companion than this intelligent, learned, witty Scot, an author who wrote on subjects as diverse as theology, tobacco, witchcraft and the theory and practice of kingship and who was a poet to boot. And a king - a king almost from birth in his native Scotland, for forty of his forty-nine years and of England and Ireland for twenty-two. And be it said at once a successful king."
King James did his own private translation of Psalms. He also wrote a commentary on the book of Revelation and a series of devotionals on the Lord's Prayer.
Tobacco use began in England during the time of King James. Tobacco was being introduced from England's new American colonies. King James wrote a small book about tobacco and condemned both the smoking and chewing of tobacco as a disgusting habit. He wrote that "...a smoker and a non-smoker cannot be equally free in the same room."
James wrote a book entitled Demonology. This book enraged the witches of England because it attributed their supernatural powers to demon possession. They swore their eternal hatred of James.
James wrote often about moral matters including homosexuality. There is absolutely nothing in his writings to give evidence to the moral charges against King James and there is much to refute them.
King James wrote more books than any royal monarch of any nation. As a result he is the most often quoted royal monarch of all time.
The real King James was a respected scholar and an influential author.
KING JAMES POLITICAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS
KING JAMES - UNJUSTLY ACCUSED
Almost half of the information in this monograph comes from one source - the book King James the VI Of Scotland and The I of England Unjustly Accused. This book was written by Stephen Coston Sr. and published in 1996. It is 392 pages in length. This book does a masterful job of refuting the moral accusations against King James. Coston's work is unanswerable.
King James spoke eloquently of the role of the King as a moral example: "But it is not enough to be a good king, by the thralldom of good laws will execute to govern his people, if he joins not therewith his virtuous life in his own person and in the person of his court and company by his good example alluring his subjects to the love of virtue and hatred of vice..."
King James believed his servant John Gibb had lost some important papers. In his anger he kicked him. Later he found out that Gibb had not lost them. In a display of humility, almost unheard of for a royal monarch, he knelt before Gibb and begged his forgiveness.
As historian Steven Coston Sr. says "James was, no matter what tales some may tell, a virtuous man of good intentions, who did the best he could as God gave him strength."