Sheffield explores King James Bible

An exhibition by the University of Sheffield's Department of Biblical Studies is set to throw new light on the King James Bible.

Telling Tales of King James' Bible opens Tuesday 3 May 2011 in Sheffield Cathedral and will be open to the public until the end of June. The exhibition is part of a series of events organised by the University to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, which will include free open lectures from the former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, MP Frank Field, and other prominent cultural commentators.

The exhibition is already on show in other cathedral cities including Birmingham, Canterbury and Durham. Telling Tales of King James' Bible examines the origins, use (and abuse) of the English Bible from the 1300s to the present day. The exhibition explores the influence the text has had over world events, the great literary works it has inspired and whether the Bible is relevant today. The public are invited to take part by registering their own King James Bible treasures.

Alan Saxby, a mature postgraduate student from Barnsley, has donated a Geneva Bible dating from 1597; retrieved from his attic after 40 years gathering dust, it will feature in a special showcase. Other local artefacts on display include a 1617 copy of the King James Bible from Sheffield Parish collections and a Sheffield Flood Bible, one of many presented to survivors of the Great Sheffield Flood in 1864 (on loan from Museums Sheffield).

Iona Hine, Coordinator of the Sheffield King James Project from the Department of Biblical Studies, said: "We've put a lot of energy into this project. It's been a very rewarding partnership and it's really pleasing to be able to offer so many activities for local people. I hope Sheffielders greet the exhibition and events with the same enthusiasm we've seen in Birmingham, Lichfield and other cathedral cities."

Schools and colleges are also invited to use the exhibition, which offers educational resources and flexible materials for interactive learning, supporting religious education, English and history curricula. Consultants from Museums Sheffield have been involved in the project to ensure the relevance and significance of the materials for both public and schools.

Clara Morgan from Museums Sheffield said: "The Telling Tales exhibition is a fantastic opportunity to explore the remarkable story of the King James' Bible. It's been wonderful working with colleagues at the University of Sheffield to share the text's incredibly rich history with the people of Sheffield and beyond."

Canon Christopher Burke from Sheffield Cathedral said: "Sheffield Cathedral is delighted with the partnership with the University of Sheffield which has enabled us to host the 'Telling Tales' exhibition. We expect the exhibition to draw many people into a greater understanding of the importance of King James' Bible, and are anticipating many conversations about the place of the English bible in contemporary life and culture."

Notes for Editors: Telling Tales of King James' Bible will run from Tuesday 3 May 2011 until 30 June 2011, before moving to Westminster Abbey, then returning to Sheffield in October. There will be a launch event at 5.00pm on Tuesday 3 May where the exhibition will be opened by the Dean of Sheffield Cathedral, the Very Reverend Peter Bradley.

An additional 'Books that Made the Bible' showcase, including the Sheffield bibles, will be on show at the cathedral from 24-30 May.

Telling Tales of King James' Bible is part of the King James Bible Project, run by the University of Sheffield's Department of Biblical Studies. To find out more, visit their website:

Sheffield King James Bible Project

The King James Bible Project is run in partnership with Museums Sheffield and Sheffield Cathedral. To find out more, visit their websites:

Museums Sheffield
Sheffield Cathedral


For further information please contact: Amy Stone, Media Relations Officer, on 0114 2221046 or email a.f.stone@sheffield.ac.uk