Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Did I Just Find The Source of the Shakespeare / King James Bible Theory?

When I'm trolling around for blog post ideas I'll often spot a topic I don't often see discussed and then google "<that topic> Shakespeare" to see what comes up.  So on Reddit I saw a post about Rudyard Kipling.  Ok.  Google "kipling shakespeare" and one of the interesting things I've learned to watch out for is whether Google fills in "shakespeare" before I'm done typing it.  That means that other people are also googling for this.  Sure enough it completes the query.  Even better it completes it with "kipling shakespeare bible."  Interesting!

And then I found this.  "Proofs of Holy Writ", by Rudyard Kipling, starring William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson.

Let's jump to the end:

"Proofs of Holy Writ" was said to have arisen from a dinner table conversation between Kipling and John Buchan about the process by which the splendidly poetic language of the King James' Authorised Version of the Bible miraculously emerged from a committee of 47 learned men. Might they, Buchan wondered, have consulted the great creative writers of the day, like Will Shakespeare or Ben Jonson ? 'That's an idea', said Kipling, and he went away to turn it into a tale.
As most of us have no doubt heard there's long been a theory (nay, conspiracy?) that Shakespeare helped to write the King James Bible.  A theory that goes so far as to suggest that Psalm 46 contains a hidden message -- the 46th word in from the front is "shake" and the 46th word from the end is "spear".   (Bardfilm deals with this topic elsewhere, if you are interested.)

So does that mean that we're looking at the originator of the whole Shakespeare/Bible theory?

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