Transgenic Art Online: Eduardokac
I selected the King James English version (KJV), instead ofthe Hebrew original text, as a means ofhighlighting the multiple mutations ofthe Old Testament and its interpretations, and also to illustrate the ideological implications of an alleged "authoritative" translation. King James tried to establish a final text by commissioning several scholars (a total of 47 worked on the project) to produce this translation, meant to be univocal. Instead, this collaborative effort represents the result ofseveral "voices" at work simultaneously. Most ofthe Old Testament books were written in Hebrew, while parts of the books of Daniel and Ezra were written in Aramaic. The King James Bible was translated in 1611 after consultation of previous translations to multiple languages, that is, it is a translation of many translations. In the preface of the authorized version, the translators wrote: "Neither did we think much to consult the Translators or Commentators, Chaldee, Hebrew, Syrian, Greek or Latin, no nor the Spanish, French, Italian, or Dutch:'
Following centuries oforal traditions, the Bible was written over a long time span by many authors. It is unclear exactly when the Bible was written down. However, it is believed that the text was fixed in scrolls during the period from 1400 B.C. to 100 A.D. Because the first versions of the text had no connection between letters, no spaces between words and sentences, no periods or commas, and no chapters, the material encouraged multiple interpretations. Subsequent
translations and editions attempted to simplify and organize the text-that is, to arrest its continuous transmutation-only to generate more versions. The division ofthe Bible into chapters was carried out by Stephen Langton (d. 1227), who later became the Archbishop of Canterbury. Father Santes Pagninus, a Dominican priest, divided the Old Testament chapters into verses in 1528. With the advent of moveable-type printing in 1450, yet newer versions proliferated, all different in their own way, with both deliberate and accidental changes.