One of my goals for 2011 is to read 52 books, which, of course, is one book per week. This shouldn’t be too difficult, but considering the fact that I also am attempting to continue my regimen of reading 10 chapters of the Bible per day, it becomes a little more challenging. The first book I read this year was Majestie: The Man Behind the King James Bible by David Teems. I was sent a free copy of this book from Michael Hyatt, President of Thomas Nelson Publishers. 2011 is the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible, so it is probably appropriate that I started the year off with this particular work. I actually finished this book the first week of January, but am just now getting around to posting a short review here on my blog.
The strength of this book is the ability of Teems to tell the story. I found it to be a very entertaining read. Teems does a great job of selecting aspects of the story that keeps the reader engaged, as well as employing the literary tool of foreshadowing to create a hunger for more and to build momentum. He also has a keen ability to make the story light and humorous.
Teems does not have the typical background for a history author. Most Christian history books I read are written either by history professors or pastors with strong history backgrounds, but Teems is a musician by trade with a degree in Psychology and Philosophy. Perhaps this is the reason I found myself disagreeing at times. For example, throughout the book Teems presents the Puritans in a most negative light. This is by no means out of step with most modern historians, but I think a closer look at the evidence reveals that most modern historians are wrong when it comes to assessing the Puritans. If you want a different perspective on the Puritans, a positive one, check out the writings of Leland Ryken, J. I. Packer, and Stephen Nichols on the subject.
In spite of my disagreements with Teems, which are few, I recommend this book as a good one to read this year to get a good portrait of the man who was most influential in seeing the King James Bible come to reality…James Stewart. I’ll give it 4 stars.