William Lyon Phelps


{An American Scholar}

William Lyon Phelps* (2 January <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/January_2 > 1865  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1865> - 21 August <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_21 > 1943 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1943 >) was an American <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States > author, critic and scholar. Phelps gained a B.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yale_University> and an M.A. from Harvard University <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_University>,where he went on to teach for just one year before returning to Yale to hold a position in the English department for 41 years. He was the Lampson Professor of English literature at Yale.


One of his books was "Human Nature in the Bible," and it is available on the Internet at http://thedcl.org/christia/p/phelpswl/hnitb/hnitb.html . The following are some excerpts from this book, about the King James Bible.

1. "Priests, atheists, sceptics, devotees, agnostics, and evangelists are generally agreed that the Authorised Version of the English Bible is the best example of English literature that the world has ever seen. It combines the noblest elevations of thought, aspiration, imagination, passion and religion with simplicity of diction."

2. "Everyone who has a thorough knowledge of the Bible may truly be called educated; and no other learning or culture, no matter how extensive or elegant, can, among Europeans and Americans, form a proper substitute." "I thoroughly believe in a university education for both men and women; but I believe a knowledge of the Bible without a college course is more valuable than a college course without the Bible."

3. "We Anglo-Saxons have a better Bible than the French or the Germans or the Italians or the Spanish; our English translation *is even BETTER THAN the original Hebrew and Greek*. There is only one way to explain this; I have no theory to account for the so-called "inspiration of the Bible," but I am confident that the *Authorised Version was INSPIRED*.

4. "We ought invariably in the church and on public occasions to use the Authorised Version; *all others are inferior*. And, except for special purposes, it should be used *EXCLUSIVELY* in private reading. Why make constant companions of the second best, when the best is available?

While I cannot agree with every thing the professor has written in that book, I say a whole heartedly agree with all that he said in the above excerpts. 

In Christ Jesus,
Moses LemuelRaj