Prefaces and Acknowledgments are often some of the most intriguing parts of academic books. Often you get a glimpse into the heart of a person, and quite often you see who or what has motivated them.
David Norton, one of the foremost authorities on the King James Bible, has a new book titled, The King James Bible: A Short History from Tyndale to Today. At the close of his preface he writes:
“Reflecting on what long seemed a curious moment in my career that led to my working on the Bible, it seems now to have a kind of inevitability, so I come to my greatest debt of gratitude, to my mother and her ongoing love of the Bible. Her Welsh Methodist heritage, going back to one of the founders of Methodism, Daniel Rowland, influenced me more than I knew. The presence of a variety of Bibles in our house, including J.B. Phillips and James Moffatt’s translations, and E.S. Bate’s The Bible Designed to Be Read as Literature, helped shape my consciousness of the Bible. That she had read from The New Cambridge Paragraph Bible [one of his works], sometimes aloud to my father, was a strange, deep-felt pleasure for me. This book was originally dedicated to her, but now I must inscribe it thus:
In memory of my mother, Margaret Norton,
whose loving kindness taught us all how to live” (x-xi)
Never underestimate the impact and influence of a Bible-loving mother!