Dr. Jeffrey Alan Miller, associate professor of English, has been awarded two prestigious fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): an NEH Fellowship and a fellowship through the NEH Awards for Faculty at Hispanic-Serving Institutions program. Though he may only accept one, each fellowship is to support a full year of dedicated work to complete a book-length critical edition and study of the earliest known draft of part of the King James Bible.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled and honored to have been awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The NEH plays a vital role in promoting and advancing humanities research, particularly at a time when such research is often not valued or supported in the way it might be. I hope my project will do the fellowship justice,” said Miller.
In 2015, Miller announced the discovery of what is now the King James Bible’s earliest known draft, composed in the hand of one of the work’s translators, Samuel Ward, likely sometime between 1604 and the end of 1608. Experts characterized Miller’s discovery as being “perhaps the most significant archival find relating to the King James Bible in decades.”
The Samuel Ward draft, found in the archives of the University of Cambridge’s Sidney Sussex College, reveals the complex interplay of individual and group translation involved in the composition of the King James Bible, as well as its close connection to the previous English translation known as the Bishops’ Bible. It also helps to illuminate the role that Hebrew, Greek and Latin sources played in shaping the King James Bible’s iconic English.
“Montclair State University is grateful to the National Endowment for the Humanities for recognizing and supporting scholars such as Dr. Miller, whose critical research is helping to piece together the history of one of the most widely read works in the English language,” said Robert S. Friedman, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Montclair State University.
About the National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.
The New York Times