Publishing the Modern English Version of the Bible is one of the great honors of my life.
The translators of the MEV updated the King James Version, which was dedicated to King James in 1611 because he authorized that translation. In the same tradition in 2014, the MEV translators dedicated the new translation "to Her Majesty Elizabeth II by the grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of her other realms and territories, Queen, head of the commonwealth, defender of the faith. The translators of the Bible wish grace, mercy and peace through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Isn't that beautiful wording? It's at the very front of the translation.
Of course, there was one huge difference. Unlike King James who authorized the translation, Queen Elizabeth knew nothing of the Modern English Version when it was in preparation, but graciously accepted the dedication when she was formally approached. Her Majesty also kindly accepted the presentation of a special Royal Edition of the MEV and we were asked to attend a special service last Sunday, May 8, at Windsor Castle in St. George's Chapel.
After nearly a year in planning, the day finally arrived. We had prepared a special copy of the Bible for Her Majesty with her royal crest. We know that she will see this new version since the Dean of Windsor, who is also her Domestic Chaplain, undertook to give it to her personally in the following week. Her Majesty is, of course, known to be a spiritual woman.
We hope by this dedication we honor her as she celebrates her 90th birthday. And we hope it draws attention to the importance of Scripture and how it must be understood in each generation in contemporary language.
We were advised that at age 90, the Queen, quite understandably, was seeking to reduce her very heavy schedule of public engagements. Her Majesty therefore proposed that the Dean of Windsor the Right Rev. David Conner, might accept the special copy on her behalf.
It took place at a very traditional high church Anglican service called Evensong. There were prayers, Scriptures and songs by a traditional choir.
Then there were readings and prayers for the Modern English Version. The event was quiet, dignified and understated in the best Royal British manner. For example, no photos or videos of the service in the Royal Chapel, since it is also a Royal burial site, were appropriate but numerous photographs in the cloisters and historic castle were taken to mark the event after the service.
However, my British friends who helped set it up—businessman Martin Clarke and retired British Col David Waddell—assured me that presenting it to the Dean of Windsor was tantamount to presenting it to the Queen herself.
At Windsor, everywhere we turned, we heard stories about history. Even the room where a reception was held after the presentation was historic. In that room 630 years ago this week, the Treaty of Windsor between Portugal and England was signed.
That's more than 100 years before Columbus discovered America, so it was difficult for me to comprehend the historical significance of all this.
This is an event I'll remember all my life. There's more to the story that I will write about in a special Strang Report tomorrow. Plus, I will tell the story of my connection to a famous English Bible translator.
Later in the week, I'll write about Empowered21, a worldwide movement of Pentecostals and others who believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. It begins Wednesday, and I'm on the program to speak on Friday.
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