BOUNTIFUL — The King James Bible got started long before King James became involved. Bountiful filmmaker Lee Groberg has helped bring the entire story to life with the documentary “Fires of Faith,” now available on DVD with a companion book. The film, which originally aired on PBS in 2011, traces the histories of all the people who worked to bring the Bible to the masses. “Before I started this, I had no idea so many people gave their lives to translate the Bible in a language for the common man,” said Groberg. “The coming forth of the King James version of the Bible (KJV) didn’t start in the 1400s and 1500s. It started all the way in the 4th century.” Groberg had wanted to do a documentary about the Bible for several years, and decided that the 400th anniversary of the KJV in 2011 was the perfect opportunity. Groberg joined forces with BYU to produce the documentary, then later provided photos, screenshots and interviews for the companion volume. “I’ve always been drawn to history, and I’m especially moved by religious history,” he said. “I truly believe that if someone’s devout, no matter what their faith, it makes them better people.” The story of the King James Bible is full of devout people. One of the earliest of these is St. Jerome, a monk who made the radical decision to consult the original Hebrew texts in his Latin translation of the Bible. The most significant figures, however, were the men who worked to translate the Bible into a more common language. For a long time, Bibles were written exclusively in Latin, which no one but scholars and the clergy knew how to read. In fact, for several years it was illegal for commoners to own copies of the Bible in England. In many European countries, Martin Luther’s translation of the Bible caused a peasant uprising the moment it hit the streets. England, wanting to avoid a similar result, banned the book.
For more information check out the Oct 18 edition of Davis Clipper.