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Anyone know for certain? If I want to publish (on my web site) portions of the King James version Bible, do I first need to obtain permission from the British Crown to do so?
It is written by men who claim it to be the word of an entity that they claim exists ..
given the foregoing ..
the fact that is is copywritten ..just as are Grimms fairy tales ..and other works of fiction produced for gain by the writers ..is perfectly understandable ..
If you want to make your own translation of the original, you're free to do so, but if you want to use someone else's translation, permission is required.
Grimms fairy tales ..and other works of fiction produced for gain by the writers
Clarification: Grimms' fairy tales were not written by the Grimm Brothers, they were collected from many sources and transcribed from the oral tradition.
It's not accurate to label the Bible as a work of fiction. The BIble is also a collection and contains the work of multiple authors spanning many centuries and many topics: history, poetry, philosophical musings and more. Some sections are purely literary but in other parts the writers were doing their best to record history as it happened, in some cases putting their lives on the line to do so.
The Bible should be approached with the same critical thinking skills that you'd bring to any history book or work of serious literature.
Quote away if you're in the U.S.
Well, that's a sticky situation, considering it's going on a website. ;)
Poking around last night, I found that the American Standard Version is in the public domain (not the New American Standard Version though). So, I think I'll take a look at that and use it if the portions I want to use are not too dissimilar.
I'd hate to have to avoid ever visiting the U.K. for the rest of my life. ;)
As for the "religious debate," the original Bible is not copyrighted, but the various translations (a derivative work of a public domain work) are copyrightable.
One reason for copyrighting a translation of the Bible is to protect the integrity of the work. In the U.S., the "Revised Version" was not protected by copyright, so various publishers printed Bibles and called them the "Revised Version." But, they could each make changes so every "Revised Version" could be different. So, the American Standard Version was copyrighted so that no one else could publish that same translation and call it the American Standard Version.
It's difficult to "spread the Word" if everyone's Bible is different. "Hey, my Bible doesn't say that!" Not that having various versions of the Bible doesn't make for some confusion, but at least each version can be standardized so that people can be sure they are at least looking at the same version.
Seriously, I did a website for my church and we went to the attorney's etc. and we learned the KJV version is public domain. We used it without hesistation from then on.
Being a child of God I cannot help but feel that He wouldn't mind your quoting His Works if there is the possibility to affect someone's life in a positive, uplifing way which may either re-store them or bring them closer to the Lord.
On a personal note, I like KJV because it was written using 'proper' english. I Love to listen to and read proper english, even though it sometimes doesn't make sense to me.