Religion: The New English Bible: Back to Beginnings

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth." What could be simpler, or more moving? For 360 years, the opening lines of Genesis in the Authorized King James Version of the Bible have seemed to many Christians to be as immutable as the Creator himself. Yet this week, with the long-heralded publication of the complete New English Bible (Oxford and Cambridge University Presses; $9.95), comes a change: "In the beginning of creation, when God made heaven and earth, the earth was without form and void. . ."

Why the change? For...

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