The Bible

There's Something About Mary (Sidney)

Before the year 1611, many different translations of the bible existed, but none were very consistent. At this time, at the command of King James the First, forty-seven scholars from various theological and educational backgrounds, separated into six individual groups, completed the task of translating the bible from the original Hebrew manuscripts and existing English documents. Mary Sidney would have been very familiar with the resulting King James Version of the bible, as would have been any other educated person in eighteenth-century England. In her paraphrase of "Psalm 139," it appears as though Sidney does not feel as though the King James Version adequately expresses her innermost thoughts. The Psalms in the bible are a production of a number of authors, the most prominent of these being David. While David's Psalms contain his most intimate thoughts about God, Sidney frequently takes these thoughts and develops them further. At times, she seems to display more confidence than David does, yet at others, she appears more docile and reserved. Though she eloquently paraphrases David's work in beautiful verse, she lacks consistency, and her overall credibility suffers for it.

One of the most obvious...

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