Evangelist says Rapture date was off by five months

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) Radio evangelist Harold Camping, who predicted the Rapture would occur on May 21, now says his calculations were off by five months. The 89-year-old president of the Family Radio network in Oakland, Calif., said life on Earth will continue until October 21. “At that time the whole world will be destroyed,” Camping said Monday […]

Tuesday’s Religion News Roundup

It’s deja vu all over again, as Yogi Berra would say. Taking to the airwaves on Monday, Doomsday Prophet Harold Camping said May 21 was an “invisible Judgment Day,” rather than, you know, the fire-and-brimstone, earthquakes-and-tsunamis type Judgment Day. The real destruction of the world will be October 21, saith Camping. The fringy, 89-year-old radio […]

Study suggests `born-again’ believers have smaller brains

Yonat Shimron |

DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) For decades, mainline Protestants have been beset by bad news: declining numbers, aging membership, waning cultural influence. A new study from Duke University Medical Center, however, gives these Protestants one reason for cheer: they seem to have larger brains than born-again Christians, Roman Catholics and the religiously unaffiliated. The study, which examined […]

Vatican to weigh condoms in fighting AIDS

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The morality and effectiveness of using condoms to prevent HIV/AIDS will be on the agenda at a Vatican conference this weekend (May 27-28), six months after comments by Pope Benedict XVI again touched off worldwide controversy. The conference, which will focus on “the centrality of care” in preventing and treating HIV/AIDS, is […]

COMMENTARY: The (real) coming Judgment Day

Tom Ehrich |

(RNS) If you are reading this, then you apparently didn’t qualify for the Rapture on May 21. Or Judgment Day predictors need better math. Either way, last Saturday belonged to God, not to fundamentalist cranks who peddle absolute certainty encased in right-wing theology. If religion is correct in positing the victory of righteousness and the […]

New books herald world’s most famous Good Book

ANN BYLE |

(RNS) Anyone who watched the recent royal wedding in Westminster Abbey heard words and phrases found in the King James Version of the Bible: “vouchsafed” and “thee” and “asunder.” It was a fitting setting as the world celebrates the 400th anniversary of the Bible commissioned by King James I, the successor to Queen Elizabeth I. […]

Lofty language of KJV is more common than you might think

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) Twelve phrases believed to have originated in the King James Bible, which celebrates its 400th anniversary this year: “Fight the good fight” (1 Timothy 6:12) “What comes out of the mouths of babes” (Psalms 8:2) “How are the mighty fallen” (2 Samuel 1:19) “To every thing there is a season” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) “Beat their […]

Oops! Printing errors in the original KJV

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) In the days before spell check, printer errors occasionally crept into the King James Version of the Bible. Here are some of the most notable: — In a 1612 edition, Psalm 119:161 read “Printers have persecuted me without cause,” instead of “princes.” Perhaps a Freudian slip by the copy editor. — A 1631 edition […]

Chances are thou keepest a KJV in thy house

Cathy Lynn Grossman |

(RNS) If thou hast a Bible in the house and readeth it at least once a month, chances are strong it's the majestic King James Version of the Bible in Elizabethan English, according to a recent survey. Of the 89 percent of U.S. adults who own at least one Bible, two-thirds of them own a […]

How didst the KJV come to be?

Peggy Fletcher Stack |

(RNS) The King James Bible, translated from ancient Greek and Hebrew in 1611, is, by virtually all accounts, the most awe-inspiring work of English prose ever written. Over the past four centuries, the KJV has sold more than 5 billion copies. Its exquisite English text has circulated the globe in the hands of missionaries and […]