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The King James Bible – advertising for religion?

February 25, 2011

I was reading this article.

Not just because I have a bit of a passing interest in the time period / topic anyway. ( It’s to do with one of my most inspiring lecturers (Crawford Gribben) and courses (‘Reading the Renaissance Bible’) at University).

The thing that really struck me here was that the writers deliberately chose the language that they used to create a greater connection with their reader.

Thou, at the time, was the less formal way of addressing someone. This was deliberate, to make God more accessible to people. He was just one of them, rather than an aloof shadowy figure on high.

Which has got all mixed up now, because obviously language shifts. So now it sounds overly formal and very old-fashioned.

But there’s a lesson there about audience and what you can do with one small change in addressing them.  One small decision about how to position something.  And what you can do with language to achieve the impossible (making God accessible to your average C17th punter).

The original exercise in targeting and positioning? I can imagine the brief!

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