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The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an English translation of the Christian
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek , , 'the books') is a collection of religious texts or scriptures that are held to be sacredness, sacred in Christianity, Judaism, Samaritanism, and many other religions. The Bible is an anthologya compilation of ...
for the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, Christian church in England and the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church record ...
, which was commissioned in 1604 and published in 1611, by sponsorship of King
James VI and I James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and King of Ireland, Ireland as James I from the Union of the Crowns, union of the Scottish and Eng ...
. The 80 books of the King James Version include 39 books of the
Old Testament The Old Testament (often abbreviated OT) is the first division of the Christian biblical canon, which is based primarily upon the 24 books of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;
, an intertestamental section containing 14 books of what
Protestants Protestantism is a Christian denomination, branch of Christianity that follows the theological tenets of the Reformation, Protestant Reformation, a movement that began seeking to reform the Catholic Church from within in the 16th century agai ...
consider the
Apocrypha Apocrypha are works, usually written, of unknown authorship or of doubtful origin. The word ''apocryphal'' (ἀπόκρυφος) was first applied to writings which were kept secret because they were the vehicles of esoteric knowledge considered ...
, and the 27 books of the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...
. Noted for its "majesty of style", the King James Version has been described as one of the most important books in English culture and a driving force in the shaping of the English-speaking world. The KJV was first printed by John Norton and Robert Barker, who both held the post of the
King's Printer The King's Printer (known as the Queen's Printer during the reign of a female monarch) is typically a bureau of the national, state, or provincial government responsible for producing official documents issued by the King-in-Council, Ministers ...
, and was the third translation into English language approved by the English Church authorities: The first had been the
Great Bible The Great Bible of 1539 was the first authorised edition of the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek , , 'the books') is a collection of religious texts or scriptures that are held to be sacredness, sacred in Christianity, Judaism, Samaritan ...
, commissioned in the reign of
King Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England from 22 April 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry is best known for his Wives of Henry VIII, six marriages, and for his efforts to have his first marriage (to Catherine of Aragon) ...
(1535), and the second had been the
Bishops' Bible The Bishops' Bible is an English translation Translation is the communication of the Meaning (linguistic), meaning of a #Source and target languages, source-language text by means of an Dynamic and formal equivalence, equivalent #Source ...
, commissioned in the reign of Queen
Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was List of English monarchs, Queen of England and List of Irish monarchs, Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death in 1603. Elizabeth was the last of the five House of Tudor monarchs and is ...
(1568). In Geneva, Switzerland, the first generation of
Protestant Reformers Protestant Reformers were those theologians whose careers, works and actions brought about the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. In the context of the Reformation, Martin Luther was the first reformer (sharing his views publicly in 15 ...
had produced the
Geneva Bible The Geneva Bible is one of the most historically significant Bible translations, translations of the Bible into English, preceding the King James Version by 51 years. It was the primary Bible of 16th-century English Protestantism and was used b ...
of 1560 from the original Hebrew and Greek scriptures, which was influential in the writing of the Authorized King James Version. In January 1604, King James convened the
Hampton Court Conference The Hampton Court Conference was a meeting in January 1604, convened at Hampton Court Palace, for discussion between King James I of England and representatives of the Church of England, including leading English Puritans. The conference resulted ...
, where a new English version was conceived in response to the problems of the earlier translations perceived by the
Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Catholic Church, Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the Church of England had not been fully reformed and should become m ...
s, a faction of the Church of England. James gave the translators instructions intended to ensure that the new version would conform to the
ecclesiology In Christian theology, ecclesiology is the study of the Church (congregation), Church, the origins of Christianity, its relationship to Jesus, its role in salvation, its ecclesiastical polity, polity, its Church discipline, discipline, its escha ...
, and reflect the episcopal structure, of the Church of England and its belief in an
ordained Ordination is the process by which individuals are Consecration, consecrated, that is, set apart and elevated from the laity class to the clergy, who are thus then authorization, authorized (usually by the religious denomination, denominational ...
clergy. The translation was done by 6 panels of translators (47 men in all, most of whom were leading biblical scholars in England) who had the work divided up between them: the Old Testament was entrusted to three panels, the New Testament to two, and the Apocrypha to one. In common with most other translations of the period, the New Testament was translated from
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor ...
, the Old Testament from
Hebrew Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-surviving descendants, ...
and
Aramaic Aramaic ( syc, ܐܪܡܝܐ, Arāmāyā; oar, 𐤀𐤓𐤌𐤉𐤀; arc, 𐡀𐡓𐡌𐡉𐡀; tmr, אֲרָמִית) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic languages, Semitic language that originated in the ancient Syria (regio ...
, and the Apocrypha from Greek and
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
. In the 1662 ''Book of Common Prayer'', the text of the ''Authorized Version'' replaced the text of the Great Bible for Epistle and Gospel readings (but not for the Psalter, which substantially retained Coverdale's Great Bible version), and as such was authorized by Act of Parliament. By the first half of the 18th century, the Authorized Version had become effectively unchallenged as the English translation used in
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, ...
and other English Protestant churches, except for the
Psalms The Book of Psalms ( or ; he, תְּהִלִּים, , lit. "praises"), also known as the Psalms, or the Psalter, is the first book of the ("Writings"), the third section of the Tanakh, and a book of the Old Testament. The title is derived ...
and some short passages in the ''Book of Common Prayer'' of the Church of England. Over the course of the 18th century, the ''Authorized Version'' supplanted the
Latin Vulgate The Vulgate (; also called (Bible in common tongue), ) is a late-4th-century Bible translations into Latin, Latin translation of the Bible. The Vulgate is largely the work of Jerome who, in 382, had been commissioned by Pope Damasus&nbs ...
as the standard version of scripture for English-speaking scholars. With the development of
stereotype In social psychology, a stereotype is a generalized belief about a particular category of people. It is an expectation that people might have about every person of a particular group. The type of expectation can vary; it can be, for example ...
printing at the beginning of the 19th century, this version of the Bible had become the most widely printed book in history, almost all such printings presenting the standard text of 1769 extensively re-edited by
Benjamin Blayney Benjamin Blayney (1728 – 20 September 1801) was an English divine and Hebraist, best known for his revision of the King James Version The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an Bibl ...
at
Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2020, its population was estimated at 151,584. It is north-west of London, south-east of Birmingham and north-east of Bristol. The city is home to the Un ...
, and nearly always omitting the books of the Apocrypha. Today the unqualified title "King James Version" usually indicates this Oxford standard text.


Name

The title of the first edition of the translation, in
Early Modern English Early Modern English or Early New English (sometimes abbreviated EModE, EMnE, or ENE) is the stage of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family, with its ear ...
, was "THE HOLY BIBLE, Conteyning the Old Teſtament, ''AND THE NEW: Newly Tranſlated out of the Originall tongues: & with the former Tranſlations diligently compared and reuiſed, by his Maiesties ſpeciall Cõmandement''". The title page carries the words "Appointed to be read in Churches", and F. F. Bruce suggests it was "probably authorised by
order in council An Order-in-Council is a type of legislation in many countries, especially the Commonwealth realms. In the United Kingdom this legislation is formally made in the name of Monarchy of the United Kingdom, the monarch by and with the Advice (constit ...
" but no record of the authorisation survives "because the
Privy Council A privy council is a body that advice (constitutional), advises the head of state of a State (polity), state, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchy, monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a pr ...
registers from 1600 to 1613 were destroyed by fire in January 1618/19". For many years it was common not to give the translation any specific name. In his ''
Leviathan Leviathan (; he, לִוְיָתָן, ) is a sea serpent noted in theology and mythology. It is referenced in several books of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;
'' of 1651,
Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes ( ; 5/15 April 1588 – 4/14 December 1679) was an English people, English philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy. Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book ''Leviathan (Hobbes book), Levi ...
referred to it as "the English Translation made in the beginning of the Reign of King James". A 1761 "Brief Account of the various Translations of the Bible into English" refers to the 1611 version merely as "a new, compleat, and more accurate Translation", despite referring to the Great Bible by its name, and despite using the name "Rhemish Testament" for the
Douay–Rheims Bible The Douay–Rheims Bible (, ), also known as the Douay–Rheims Version, Rheims–Douai Bible or Douai Bible, and abbreviated as D–R, DRB, and DRV, is a translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into English made by member ...
version. Similarly, a "History of England", whose fifth edition was published in 1775, writes merely that " new translation of the Bible, ''viz.'', that now in Use, was begun in 1607, and published in 1611". King James's Bible is used as the name for the 1611 translation (on a par with the Genevan Bible or the Rhemish Testament) in Charles Butler's ''Horae Biblicae'' (first published 1797). Other works from the early 19th century confirm the widespread use of this name on both sides of the Atlantic: it is found both in a "Historical sketch of the English translations of the Bible" published in Massachusetts in 1815, and in an English publication from 1818, which explicitly states that the 1611 version is "generally known by the name of King James's Bible". This name was also found as King James' Bible (without the final "s"): for example in a book review from 1811. The ''phrase'' "King James's Bible" is used as far back as 1715, although in this case it is not clear whether this is a name or merely a description. The use of Authorized Version, capitalized and used as a name, is found as early as 1814. For some time before this, descriptive phrases such as "our present, and only publicly authorised version" (1783), "our Authorized version" (1731, 1792) and "the authorized version" (1801, uncapitalized) are found. A more common appellation in the 17th and 18th centuries was "our English translation" or "our English version", as can be seen by searching one or other of the major online archives of printed books. In Britain, the 1611 translation is generally known as the "Authorized Version" today. The term is somewhat of a misnomer because the text itself was never formally "authorized", nor were English parish churches ever ordered to procure copies of it. King James' Version, evidently a descriptive phrase, is found being used as early as 1814. "The King James Version" is found, unequivocally used as a name, in a letter from 1855. The next year King James Bible, with no possessive, appears as a name in a Scottish source. In the United States, the "1611 translation" (actually editions following the standard text of 1769, see below) is generally known as the King James Version today.


History


Earlier English translations

The followers of
John Wycliffe John Wycliffe (; also spelled Wyclif, Wickliffe, and other variants; 1328 – 31 December 1384) was an English scholastic philosopher, theologian, biblical translator, reformer, Catholic Church, Catholic priest, and a seminary professor at th ...
undertook the first complete English translations of the Christian scriptures in the 14th century. These translations were
banned A ban is a formal or informal prohibition Prohibition is the act or practice of forbidding something by law; more particularly the term refers to the banning of the manufacturing, manufacture, storage (whether in barrels or in bottles), tran ...
in 1409 due to their association with the Lollards. The Wycliffe Bible pre-dated the printing press but it was circulated very widely in manuscript form, often inscribed with a date which was earlier than 1409 in order to avoid the legal ban. Because the text of the various versions of the Wycliffe Bible was translated from the Latin
Vulgate The Vulgate (; also called (Bible in common tongue), ) is a late-4th-century Bible translations into Latin, Latin translation of the Bible. The Vulgate is largely the work of Jerome who, in 382, had been commissioned by Pope Damasus&nbs ...
, and because it also contained no heterodox readings, the ecclesiastical authorities had no practical way to distinguish the banned version; consequently, many
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide . It is among the world's oldest and largest international institutions, and has played a ...
commentators of the 15th and 16th centuries (such as
Thomas More Sir Thomas More (7 February 1478 – 6 July 1535), veneration, venerated in the Catholic Church as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, judge, social philosopher, author, statesman, and noted Renaissance humanist. He also served Henry VII ...
) took these manuscripts of English Bibles and claimed that they represented an anonymous earlier orthodox translation. In 1525,
William Tyndale William Tyndale (; sometimes spelled ''Tynsdale'', ''Tindall'', ''Tindill'', ''Tyndall''; – ) was an English biblical scholar and linguist who became a leading figure in the Protestantism, Protestant Reformation in the years leading up ...
, an English contemporary of
Martin Luther Martin Luther (; ; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German priest, theologian, author, hymnwriter, and professor, and Order of Saint Augustine, Augustinian friar. He is the seminal figure of the Reformation, Protestant Refo ...
, undertook a translation of the New Testament. Tyndale's translation was the first ''printed'' Bible in English. Over the next ten years, Tyndale revised his New Testament in the light of rapidly advancing biblical scholarship, and embarked on a translation of the Old Testament. Despite some controversial translation choices, and in spite of Tyndale's execution on charges of heresy for having made the translated Bible, the merits of Tyndale's work and prose style made his translation the ultimate basis for all subsequent renditions into Early Modern English. With these translations lightly edited and adapted by
Myles Coverdale Myles Coverdale, first name also spelt Miles (1488 – 20 January 1569), was an English ecclesiastical reformer chiefly known as a Bible translator, preacher and, briefly, Bishop of Exeter (1551–1553). In 1535, Coverdale produced the first c ...
, in 1539, Tyndale's New Testament and his incomplete work on the Old Testament became the basis for the
Great Bible The Great Bible of 1539 was the first authorised edition of the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek , , 'the books') is a collection of religious texts or scriptures that are held to be sacredness, sacred in Christianity, Judaism, Samaritan ...
. This was the first "authorised version" issued by the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, Christian church in England and the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church record ...
during the reign of King
Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England from 22 April 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry is best known for his Wives of Henry VIII, six marriages, and for his efforts to have his first marriage (to Catherine of Aragon) ...
. When
Mary I Mary I (18 February 1516 – 17 November 1558), also known as Mary Tudor, and as "Bloody Mary" by her Protestant opponents, was List of English monarchs, Queen of England and List of Irish monarchs, Ireland from July 1553 and Queen of Sp ...
succeeded to the throne in 1553, she returned the Church of England to the communion of the Catholic faith and many English religious reformers fled the country, some establishing an English-speaking colony at
Geneva Geneva ( ; french: Genève ) frp, Genèva ; german: link=no, Genf ; it, Ginevra ; rm, Genevra is the List of cities in Switzerland, second-most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich) and the most populous city of Romandy, the French-speaki ...
. Under the leadership of
John Calvin John Calvin (; frm, Jehan Cauvin; french: link=no, Jean Calvin ; 10 July 150927 May 1564) was a French Christian theology, theologian, pastor and Protestant Reformers, reformer in Geneva during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal ...
, Geneva became the chief international centre of
Reformed Protestantism Calvinism (also called the Reformed Tradition, Reformed Protestantism, Reformed Christianity, or simply Reformed) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the Christian theology, theological tradition and forms of Christianity, Christ ...
and Latin biblical scholarship. These English
expatriates An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person who domicile (law), resides outside their native country. In common usage, the term often refers to educated professionals, skilled workers, or artists taking positions outside their home c ...
undertook a translation that became known as the Geneva Bible. This translation, dated to 1560, was a revision of Tyndale's Bible and the Great Bible on the basis of the original languages. Soon after
Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was List of English monarchs, Queen of England and List of Irish monarchs, Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death in 1603. Elizabeth was the last of the five House of Tudor monarchs and is ...
took the throne in 1558, the flaws of both the Great Bible and the Geneva Bible (namely, that the Geneva Bible did not "conform to the ecclesiology and reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and its beliefs about an ordained clergy") became painfully apparent. In 1568, the Church of England responded with the
Bishops' Bible The Bishops' Bible is an English translation Translation is the communication of the Meaning (linguistic), meaning of a #Source and target languages, source-language text by means of an Dynamic and formal equivalence, equivalent #Source ...
, a revision of the Great Bible in the light of the Geneva version. While officially approved, this new version failed to displace the Geneva translation as the most popular English Bible of the age—in part because the full Bible was only printed in
lectern A lectern is a reading desk with a slanted top, on which documents or books are placed as support for reading aloud, as in a scripture reading, lecture, or sermon. A lectern is usually attached to a stand or affixed to some other form of support. ...
editions of prodigious size and at a cost of several pounds. Accordingly, Elizabethan lay people overwhelmingly read the Bible in the Geneva Version—small editions were available at a relatively low cost. At the same time, there was a substantial clandestine importation of the rival Douay–Rheims New Testament of 1582, undertaken by exiled Catholics. This translation, though still derived from Tyndale, claimed to represent the text of the Latin Vulgate. In May 1601,
King James VI of Scotland James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island ...
attended the
General Assembly of the Church of Scotland The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is the sovereign ''Sovereign'' is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French , which is ultimately derived from the Latin , mean ...
at St Columba's Church in
Burntisland Burntisland ( , sco, also Bruntisland) is a former royal burgh and parish in Fife, Scotland, on the northern shore of the Firth of Forth. According to the 2011 census, the town has a population of 6,269. It was previously known as Wester King ...
,
Fife Fife (, ; gd, Fìobha, ; sco, Fife) is a council areas of Scotland, council area, Historic counties of Scotland, historic county, registration county and lieutenancy areas of Scotland, lieutenancy area of Scotland. It is situated between the ...
, at which proposals were put forward for a new translation of the Bible into English. Two years later, he ascended to the throne of England as James I.


Considerations for a new version

The newly crowned King James convened the
Hampton Court Conference The Hampton Court Conference was a meeting in January 1604, convened at Hampton Court Palace, for discussion between King James I of England and representatives of the Church of England, including leading English Puritans. The conference resulted ...
in 1604. That gathering proposed a new English version in response to the perceived problems of earlier translations as detected by the
Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Catholic Church, Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the Church of England had not been fully reformed and should become m ...
faction of the Church of England. Here are three examples of problems the Puritans perceived with the ''Bishops'' and ''Great Bibles'': Instructions were given to the translators that were intended to use Formal Equivalence and limit the Puritan influence on this new translation. The
Bishop of London A bishop is an ordained clergy member who is entrusted with a position of Episcopal polity, authority and oversight in a religious institution. In Christianity, bishops are normally responsible for the governance of dioceses. The role or offic ...
added a qualification that the translators would add no marginal notes (which had been an issue in the ''Geneva Bible''). King James cited two passages in the Geneva translation where he found the marginal notes offensive to the principles of divinely ordained royal supremacy: Exodus 1:19, where the ''Geneva Bible'' notes had commended the example of civil disobedience to the Egyptian
Pharaoh Pharaoh (, ; Egyptian language, Egyptian: ''wikt:pr ꜥꜣ, pr ꜥꜣ''; cop, , Pǝrro; Biblical Hebrew: ''Parʿō'') is the vernacular term often used by modern authors for the kings of ancient Egypt who ruled as Monarch, monarchs from th ...
showed by the Hebrew midwives, and also II Chronicles 15:16, where the ''Geneva Bible'' had criticized King Asa for not having executed his idolatrous 'mother', Queen Maachah (Maachah had actually been Asa's grandmother, but James considered the Geneva Bible reference as sanctioning the execution of his own mother
Mary, Queen of Scots Mary, Queen of Scots (8 December 1542 – 8 February 1587), also known as Mary Stuart or Mary I of Scotland, was List of Scottish monarchs, Queen of Scotland from 14 December 1542 until her forced abdication in 1567. The only surviving legitima ...
). Further, the King gave the translators instructions designed to guarantee that the new version would conform to the
ecclesiology In Christian theology, ecclesiology is the study of the Church (congregation), Church, the origins of Christianity, its relationship to Jesus, its role in salvation, its ecclesiastical polity, polity, its Church discipline, discipline, its escha ...
of the Church of England. Certain Greek and Hebrew words were to be translated in a manner that reflected the traditional usage of the church. For example, old ecclesiastical words such as the word "church" were to be retained and not to be translated as "congregation". The new translation would reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and traditional beliefs about
ordained Ordination is the process by which individuals are Consecration, consecrated, that is, set apart and elevated from the laity class to the clergy, who are thus then authorization, authorized (usually by the religious denomination, denominational ...
clergy. James' instructions included several requirements that kept the new translation familiar to its listeners and readers. The text of the ''
Bishops' Bible The Bishops' Bible is an English translation Translation is the communication of the Meaning (linguistic), meaning of a #Source and target languages, source-language text by means of an Dynamic and formal equivalence, equivalent #Source ...
'' would serve as the primary guide for the translators, and the familiar proper names of the biblical characters would all be retained. If the ''Bishops' Bible'' was deemed problematic in any situation, the translators were permitted to consult other translations from a pre-approved list: the ''
Tyndale Bible The Tyndale Bible generally refers to the body of Bible translations, biblical translations by William Tyndale into Early Modern English, made . Tyndale's Bible is credited with being the first Bible translation in the English language to work ...
'', the ''
Coverdale Bible The Coverdale Bible, compiled by Myles Coverdale and published in 1535, was the first complete Modern English translation of the Bible (not just the Old Testament or New Testament), and the first complete printed translation into English (cf. Wycl ...
'', '' Matthew's Bible'', the ''
Great Bible The Great Bible of 1539 was the first authorised edition of the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek , , 'the books') is a collection of religious texts or scriptures that are held to be sacredness, sacred in Christianity, Judaism, Samaritan ...
'', and the ''
Geneva Bible The Geneva Bible is one of the most historically significant Bible translations, translations of the Bible into English, preceding the King James Version by 51 years. It was the primary Bible of 16th-century English Protestantism and was used b ...
''. In addition, later scholars have detected an influence on the ''Authorized Version'' from the translations of '' Taverner's Bible'' and the New Testament of the ''
Douay–Rheims Bible The Douay–Rheims Bible (, ), also known as the Douay–Rheims Version, Rheims–Douai Bible or Douai Bible, and abbreviated as D–R, DRB, and DRV, is a translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into English made by member ...
.'' It is for this reason that the flyleaf of most printings of the ''Authorized Version'' observes that the text had been "translated out of the original tongues, and with the former translations diligently compared and revised, by His Majesty's special commandment." As the work proceeded, more detailed rules were adopted as to how variant and uncertain readings in the Hebrew and Greek source texts should be indicated, including the requirement that words supplied in English to 'complete the meaning' of the originals should be printed in a different type face. The task of translation was undertaken by 47 scholars, although 54 were originally approved. All were members of the Church of England and all except Sir Henry Savile were clergy. The scholars worked in six committees, two based in each of the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, and
Westminster Westminster is an area of Central London, part of the wider City of Westminster. The area, which extends from the River Thames to Oxford Street, has many Tourism in London, visitor attractions and historic landmarks, including the Palace of W ...
. The committees included scholars with Puritan sympathies, as well as
high church The term ''high church'' refers to beliefs and practices of Christian ecclesiology, liturgy, and theology that emphasize formality and resistance to modernisation. Although used in connection with various Christian traditions, the term origin ...
men. Forty unbound copies of the 1602 edition of the ''Bishops' Bible'' were specially printed so that the agreed changes of each committee could be recorded in the margins. The committees worked on certain parts separately and the drafts produced by each committee were then compared and revised for harmony with each other. The scholars were not paid directly for their translation work; instead, a circular letter was sent to bishops encouraging them to consider the translators for appointment to well-paid livings as these fell vacant. Several were supported by the various colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, while others were promoted to
bishoprics In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. History In the later organization of the Roman Empire, the increasingly subdivided Roman province, pro ...
, deaneries and
prebend A prebendary is a member of the Roman Catholic or Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is th ...
s through royal patronage. The committees started work towards the end of 1604. King
James VI and I James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and King of Ireland, Ireland as James I from the Union of the Crowns, union of the Scottish and Eng ...
, on 22 July 1604, sent a letter to Archbishop Bancroft asking him to contact all English churchmen requesting that they make donations to his project. They had all completed their sections by 1608, the Apocrypha committee finishing first. From January 1609, a General Committee of Review met at Stationers' Hall, London to review the completed marked texts from each of the six committees. The General Committee included John Bois, Andrew Downes and John Harmar, and others known only by their initials, including "AL" (who may be Arthur Lake), and were paid for their attendance by the Stationers' Company. John Bois prepared a note of their deliberations (in Latin) – which has partly survived in two later transcripts. Also surviving of the translators' working papers are a bound-together set of marked-up corrections to one of the forty ''Bishops' Bibles''—covering the Old Testament and Gospels, and also a manuscript translation of the text of the
Epistles An epistle (; el, ἐπιστολή, ''epistolē,'' "letter") is a writing directed or sent to a person or group of people, usually an elegant and formal didactic Didacticism is a philosophy that emphasizes instructional and informative qu ...
, excepting those verses where no change was being recommended to the readings in the ''Bishops' Bible''. Archbishop Bancroft insisted on having a final say making fourteen further changes, of which one was the term "bishopricke" at Acts 1:20.


Translation committees

* First Westminster Company, translated Genesis to
2 Kings The Book of Kings (, ''Sefer (Hebrew), Sēfer Malik, Məlāḵīm'') is a book in the Hebrew Bible, found as two books (1–2 Kings) in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. It concludes the Deuteronomistic history, a history of Israel also ...
:
Lancelot Andrewes Lancelot Andrewes (155525 September 1626) was an English bishop and scholar, who held high positions in the Church of England during the reigns of Elizabeth I of England, Elizabeth I and James I of England, James I. During the latter's reign, An ...
, John Overall, Hadrian à Saravia, Richard Clarke,
John Layfield John Charles Layfield (born November 29, 1966), better known by the ring name John "Bradshaw" Layfield (abbreviated to JBL), is an American retired Professional wrestling, professional wrestler and Gridiron football, football player. He is curre ...
, Robert Tighe, Francis Burleigh, Geoffrey King, Richard Thomson, William Bedwell; * First Cambridge Company, translated
1 Chronicles The Book of Chronicles ( he, דִּבְרֵי־הַיָּמִים ) is a book in the Hebrew Bible, found as two books (1–2 Chronicles) in the Christian Old Testament. Chronicles is the final book of the Hebrew Bible, concluding the third sect ...
to the Song of Solomon: Edward Lively, John Richardson, Lawrence Chaderton, Francis Dillingham, Roger Andrewes, Thomas Harrison, Robert Spaulding, Andrew Bing; * First Oxford Company, translated
Isaiah Isaiah ( or ; he, , ''Yəšaʿyāhū'', "Yahweh, God is Salvation"), also known as Isaias, was the 8th-century BC Israelite Biblical prophet, prophet after whom the Book of Isaiah is named. Within the text of the Book of Isaiah, Isaiah hims ...
to
Malachi Malachi (; ) is the traditional author of the Book of Malachi, the last book of the Nevi'im Nevi'im (; he, נְבִיאִים ''Nəvīʾīm'', Tiberian: ''Năḇīʾīm,'' "Prophets", literally "spokespersons") is the second major divis ...
: John Harding,
John Rainolds John Rainolds (or Reynolds) (1549 – 21 May 1607) was an English academic and churchman, of Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Catholic Church, Rom ...
(or Reynolds), Thomas Holland, Richard Kilby, Miles Smith, Richard Brett, Daniel Fairclough, William Thorne; * Second Oxford Company, translated the
Gospels Gospel originally meant the Christian message (" the gospel"), but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set out. In this sense a gospel can be defined as a loose-knit, episodic narrative of the words a ...
,
Acts of the Apostles The Acts of the Apostles ( grc-koi, Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων, ''Práxeis Apostólōn''; la, Actūs Apostolōrum) is the fifth book of the New Testament; it tells of the founding of the Christian Church and the spread of The gospel, ...
, and the
Book of Revelation The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament (and consequently the final book of the Bible#Christian Bible, Christian Bible). Its title is derived from the Incipit, first word of the Koine Greek text: , meaning "unveiling" ...
:
Thomas Ravis Thomas Ravis (c. 1560 – 14 December 1609) was a Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, Christian church in England and the mother church of the international A ...
, George Abbot, Richard Eedes, Giles Tomson, Sir Henry Savile, John Peryn, Ralph Ravens, John Harmar, John Aglionby, Leonard Hutten; * Second Westminster Company, translated the
Epistle An epistle (; el, ἐπιστολή, ''epistolē,'' "letter") is a writing directed or sent to a person or group of people, usually an elegant and formal Didacticism, didactic letter. The epistle genre of letter-writing was common in ancient E ...
s: William Barlow, John Spenser,
Roger Fenton Roger Fenton (28 March 1819 – 8 August 1869) was a British photographer, noted as one of the first war photography, war photographers. Fenton was born into a Lancashire merchant family. After graduating from University of London, London with ...
,
Ralph Hutchinson Ralph Fielding "Hutch" Hutchinson (February 19, 1878 – March 30, 1935) was an American football American football (referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada), also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two te ...
, William Dakins, Michael Rabbet, Thomas Sanderson (who probably had already become
Archdeacon of Rochester The Archdeacon An archdeacon is a senior clergy position in the Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, Anglican Communion, St Thomas Christians, Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodox churches and some other Ch ...
); * Second Cambridge Company, translated the
Apocrypha Apocrypha are works, usually written, of unknown authorship or of doubtful origin. The word ''apocryphal'' (ἀπόκρυφος) was first applied to writings which were kept secret because they were the vehicles of esoteric knowledge considered ...
: John Duport, William Branthwaite, Jeremiah Radcliffe, Samuel Ward, Andrew Downes, John Bois, Robert Ward, Thomas Bilson,
Richard Bancroft Richard Bancroft (1544 – 2 November 1610) was an English churchman, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1604 to 1610 and "chief overseer" of the King James Bible. Life Bancroft was born in September 1544 at Farnworth, Widnes, Farnworth, now p ...
.


Printing

The original printing of the ''Authorized Version'' was published by Robert Barker, the King's Printer, in 1611 as a complete folio Bible. It was sold looseleaf for ten
shilling The shilling is a historical coin, and the name of a unit of modern currency, currencies formerly used in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, other British Commonwealth countries and Ireland, where they were generally equivalent to 1 ...
s, or bound for twelve. Robert Barker's father, Christopher, had, in 1589, been granted by Elizabeth I the title of royal Printer, with the perpetual Royal Privilege to print Bibles in England. Robert Barker invested very large sums in printing the new edition, and consequently ran into serious debt, such that he was compelled to sub-lease the privilege to two rival London printers, Bonham Norton and John Bill. It appears that it was initially intended that each printer would print a portion of the text, share printed sheets with the others, and split the proceeds. Bitter financial disputes broke out, as Barker accused Norton and Bill of concealing their profits, while Norton and Bill accused Barker of selling sheets properly due to them as partial Bibles for ready money. There followed decades of continual litigation, and consequent imprisonment for debt for members of the Barker and Norton printing dynasties, while each issued rival editions of the whole Bible. In 1629 the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge successfully managed to assert separate and prior royal licences for Bible printing, for their own university presses—and Cambridge University took the opportunity to print revised editions of the ''Authorized Version'' in 1629, and 1638. The editors of these editions included John Bois and John Ward from the original translators. This did not, however, impede the commercial rivalries of the London printers, especially as the Barker family refused to allow any other printers access to the authoritative manuscript of the ''Authorized Version''. Two editions of the whole Bible are recognized as having been produced in 1611, which may be distinguished by their rendering of Ruth 3:15; the first edition reading "he went into the city", where the second reads "she went into the city"; these are known colloquially as the "He" and "She" Bibles. The original printing was made before
English spelling English orthography is the writing system used to represent spoken English language, English, allowing reading, readers to connect the graphemes to sound and to meaning. It includes English's norms of spelling, hyphenation, capitalisation, word ...
was standardized, and when printers, as a matter of course, expanded and contracted the spelling of the same words in different places, so as to achieve an even column of text. They set v for initial u and v, and u for u and v everywhere else. They used long ſ for non-final s. The
glyph A glyph () is any kind of purposeful mark. In typography, a glyph is "the specific shape, design, or representation of a character". It is a particular graphical representation, in a particular typeface, of an element of written language. A g ...
j occurs only after i, as in the final letter in a
Roman numeral Roman numerals are a numeral system that originated in ancient Rome and remained the usual way of writing numbers throughout Europe well into the Late Middle Ages. Numbers are written with combinations of letters from the Latin alphabet, eac ...
.
Punctuation Punctuation (or sometimes interpunction) is the use of spacing, conventional signs (called punctuation marks), and certain typographical devices as aids to the understanding and correct reading of writing, written text, whether read silently or ...
was relatively heavy and differed from current practice. When space needed to be saved, the printers sometimes used ''ye'' for ''the'' (replacing the
Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) is a form of the English language that was spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest of 1066, until the late 15th century. The English language underwent distinct variations and developments ...
thorn Thorn(s) or The Thorn(s) may refer to: Botany * Thorns, spines, and prickles, sharp structures on plants * ''Crataegus monogyna'', or common hawthorn, a plant species Comics and literature * Rose and Thorn, the two personalities of two DC Comic ...
, Þ, with the continental y), set ã for ''an'' or ''am'' (in the style of scribe's
shorthand Shorthand is an abbreviated symbolic writing method that increases speed and brevity of writing as compared to longhand, a more common method of writing a language. The process of writing in shorthand is called stenography, from the Greek ''s ...
), and set & for ''and''. On the contrary, on a few occasions, they appear to have inserted these words when they thought a line needed to be padded. Later printings regularized these spellings; the punctuation has also been standardized, but still varies from current usage norms. The first printing used a
blackletter Blackletter (sometimes black letter), also known as Gothic script, Gothic minuscule, or Textura, was a script used throughout Western Europe from approximately 1150 until the 17th century. It continued to be commonly used for the Danish, Norweg ...
typeface A typeface (or font family) is the design of lettering that can include variations in size, weight (e.g. bold), slope (e.g. italic), width (e.g. condensed), and so on. Each of these variations of the typeface is a font. There are list of type ...
instead of a roman typeface, which itself made a political and a religious statement. Like the
Great Bible The Great Bible of 1539 was the first authorised edition of the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek , , 'the books') is a collection of religious texts or scriptures that are held to be sacredness, sacred in Christianity, Judaism, Samaritan ...
and the
Bishops' Bible The Bishops' Bible is an English translation Translation is the communication of the Meaning (linguistic), meaning of a #Source and target languages, source-language text by means of an Dynamic and formal equivalence, equivalent #Source ...
, the Authorized Version was "appointed to be read in churches". It was a large
folio The term "folio" (), has three interconnected but distinct meanings in the world of books and printing: first, it is a term for a common method of arranging sheets of paper into book form, folding the sheet only once, and a term for a book mad ...
volume meant for public use, not private devotion; the weight of the type mirrored the weight of establishment authority behind it. However, smaller editions and roman-type editions followed rapidly, e.g. quarto roman-type editions of the Bible in 1612. This contrasted with the Geneva Bible, which was the first English Bible printed in a roman typeface (although black-letter editions, particularly in folio format, were issued later). In contrast to the ''Geneva Bible'' and the ''Bishops' Bible'', which had both been extensively illustrated, there were no illustrations at all in the 1611 edition of the Authorized Version, the main form of decoration being the
historiated initial A historiated initial is an initial, an enlarged Letter (alphabet), letter at the beginning of a paragraph or other section of text, that contains a picture. Strictly speaking, a historiated initial depicts an identifiable figure or a specific s ...
letters provided for books and chapterstogether with the decorative title pages to the Bible itself, and to the New Testament. In the Great Bible, readings derived from the Vulgate but not found in published Hebrew and Greek texts had been distinguished by being printed in smaller
roman type In Latin script typography, roman is one of the three main kinds of Typeface, historical type, alongside blackletter and Italic type, italic. Roman type was modelled from a European scribal manuscript style of the 15th century, based on the pairin ...
. In the Geneva Bible, a distinct typeface had instead been applied to distinguish text supplied by translators, or thought needful for English
grammar In linguistics, the grammar of a natural language is its set of structure, structural constraints on speakers' or writers' composition of clause (linguistics), clauses, phrases, and words. The term can also refer to the study of such constraint ...
but not present in the Greek or Hebrew; and the original printing of the Authorized Version used roman type for this purpose, albeit sparsely and inconsistently. This results in perhaps the most significant difference between the original printed text of the King James Bible and the current text. When, from the later 17th century onwards, the Authorized Version began to be printed in roman type, the typeface for supplied words was changed to
italics In typography, italic type is a cursive font based on a stylised form of calligraphic handwriting. Owing to the influence from calligraphy, italics normally slant slightly to the right. Italics are a way to emphasise key points in a printed tex ...
, this application being regularized and greatly expanded. This was intended to de-emphasize the words. The original printing contained two prefatory texts; the first was a formal '' Epistle Dedicatory'' to "the most high and mighty Prince" King James. Many British printings reproduce this, while most non-British printings do not. The second preface was called '' Translators to the Reader'', a long and learned essay that defends the undertaking of the new version. It observes the translators' stated goal, that they "never thought from the beginning that heyshould need to make a new translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one, ... but to make a good one better, or out of many good ones, one principal good one, not justly to be excepted against; that hath been our endeavour, that our mark." They also give their opinion of previous English Bible translations, stating, "We do not deny, nay, we affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our profession, (for we have seen none of theirs atholicsof the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God." As with the first preface, some British printings reproduce this, while most non-British printings do not. Almost every printing that includes the second preface also includes the first. The first printing contained a number of other apparatus, including a table for the reading of the Psalms at
matins Matins (also Mattins) is a canonical hour In the practice of Christianity, canonical hours mark the divisions of the day in terms of Fixed prayer times#Christianity, fixed times of prayer at regular intervals. A book of hours, chiefly a bre ...
and
evensong Evensong is a church service A church service (or a service of worship) is a formalized period of Christian communal Christian worship, worship, often held in a church building. It often but not exclusively occurs on Sunday, or Saturday in ...
, and a
calendar A calendar is a system of organizing days. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months and years. A date is the designation of a single and specific day within such a system. A calendar is also a ph ...
, an
almanac An almanac (also spelled ''almanack'' and ''almanach'') is an annual publication listing a set of current information about one or multiple subjects. It includes information like weather forecasting, weather forecasts, farmers' sowing, planting d ...
, and a table of holy days and observances. Much of this material became obsolete with the adoption of the
Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the calendar used in most parts of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a modification of, and replacement for, the Julian calendar. The principal change was to space leap years diffe ...
by Britain and its colonies in 1752, and thus modern editions invariably omit it. So as to make it easier to know a particular passage, each chapter was headed by a brief précis of its contents with verse numbers. Later editors freely substituted their own chapter summaries, or omitted such material entirely.
Pilcrow The pilcrow, ¶, is a handwriting, handwritten or typographical glyph, character used to identify a paragraph. It is also called the paragraph mark (or sign or symbol), paraph, or blind P. The pilcrow may be used at the start of separat ...
marks are used to indicate the beginnings of paragraphs except after the book of Acts.


Authorized Version

The Authorized Version was meant to replace the ''Bishops' Bible'' as the official version for readings in the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, Christian church in England and the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church record ...
. No record of its authorization exists; it was probably effected by an order of the
Privy Council A privy council is a body that advice (constitutional), advises the head of state of a State (polity), state, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchy, monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a pr ...
, but the records for the years 1600 to 1613 were destroyed by fire in January 1618/19, and it is commonly known as the Authorized Version in the United Kingdom. The King's Printer issued no further editions of the ''Bishops' Bible'', so necessarily the Authorized Version replaced it as the standard lectern Bible in parish church use in England. In the 1662 ''Book of Common Prayer'', the text of the Authorized Version finally supplanted that of the ''Great Bible'' in the Epistle and Gospel readings—though the Prayer Book
Psalter A psalter is a volume containing the Book of Psalms, often with other devotional material bound in as well, such as a liturgical calendar and litany of the Saints. Until the emergence of the book of hours in the Late Middle Ages, psalters ...
nevertheless continues in the Great Bible version. The case was different in Scotland, where the Geneva Bible had long been the standard church Bible. It was not until 1633 that a Scottish edition of the Authorized Version was printed—in conjunction with the Scots coronation in that year of
Charles I Charles I may refer to: Kings and emperors * Charlemagne (742–814), numbered Charles I in the lists of Holy Roman Emperors and French kings * Charles I of Anjou (1226–1285), also king of Albania, Jerusalem, Naples and Sicily * Charles I of ...
. The inclusion of illustrations in the edition raised accusations of Popery from opponents of the religious policies of Charles and
William Laud William Laud (; 7 October 1573 – 10 January 1645) was a bishop in the Church of England. Appointed Archbishop of Canterbury by Charles I of England, Charles I in 1633, Laud was a key advocate of Caroline era#Religion, Charles I's religious re ...
, Archbishop of Canterbury. However, official policy favoured the Authorized Version, and this favour returned during the Commonwealth—as London printers succeeded in re-asserting their monopoly on Bible printing with support from
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English politician and military officer who is widely regarded as one of the most important statesmen in History of England, English history. He came to prominence during the 1639 to 1651 ...
—and the "New Translation" was the only edition on the market. F. F. Bruce reports that the last recorded instance of a Scots parish continuing to use the "Old Translation" (i.e. Geneva) as being in 1674. The ''Authorized Version''s acceptance by the general public took longer. The ''Geneva Bible'' continued to be popular, and large numbers were imported from Amsterdam, where printing continued up to 1644 in editions carrying a false London imprint. However, few if any genuine Geneva editions appear to have been printed in London after 1616, and in 1637
Archbishop Laud William Laud (; 7 October 1573 – 10 January 1645) was a bishop in the Church of England. Appointed Archbishop of Canterbury by Charles I of England, Charles I in 1633, Laud was a key advocate of Caroline era#Religion, Charles I's religious re ...
prohibited their printing or importation. In the period of the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists led by Charles I ("Cavaliers"), mainly over the manner of Kingdom of England, England's governanc ...
, soldiers of the
New Model Army The New Model Army was a standing army formed in 1645 by the Roundhead, Parliamentarians during the First English Civil War, then disbanded after the Stuart Restoration in 1660. It differed from other armies employed in the 1639 to 1653 Wars ...
were issued a book of Geneva selections called ''"The Soldiers' Bible"''. In the first half of the 17th century the Authorized Version is most commonly referred to as "The Bible without notes", thereby distinguishing it from the Geneva "Bible with notes". There were several printings of the Authorized Version in Amsterdam—one as late as 1715 which combined the Authorized Version translation text with the Geneva marginal notes; one such edition was printed in London in 1649. During the
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy, economics, and political science, the common good (also commonwealth, general welfare, or public benefit) is either what is share ...
a commission was established by Parliament to recommend a revision of the Authorized Version with acceptably Protestant explanatory notes, but the project was abandoned when it became clear that these would nearly double the bulk of the Bible text. After the
English Restoration The Restoration of the Stuart monarchy in the kingdoms of Kingdom of England, England, Kingdom of Scotland, Scotland and Kingdom of Ireland, Ireland took place in 1660 when Charles II of England, King Charles II returned from exile in contine ...
, the ''
Geneva Bible The Geneva Bible is one of the most historically significant Bible translations, translations of the Bible into English, preceding the King James Version by 51 years. It was the primary Bible of 16th-century English Protestantism and was used b ...
'' was held to be politically suspect and a reminder of the repudiated
Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Catholic Church, Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the Church of England had not been fully reformed and should become m ...
era. Furthermore, disputes over the lucrative rights to print the Authorized Version dragged on through the 17th century, so none of the printers involved saw any commercial advantage in marketing a rival translation. The Authorized Version became the only current version circulating among English-speaking people. A small minority of critical scholars were slow to accept the latest translation.
Hugh Broughton Hugh Broughton (1549 – 4 August 1612) was an England, English scholar and theologian. Early life He was born at Owlbury, Bishop's Castle, Shropshire. He called himself a Cambrian, implying Welsh blood in his veins. He was educated by Bernar ...
, who was the most highly regarded English Hebraist of his time but had been excluded from the panel of translators because of his utterly uncongenial temperament, issued in 1611 a total condemnation of the new version. He especially criticized the translators' rejection of word-for-word equivalence and stated that "he would rather be torn in pieces by wild horses than that this abominable translation (KJV) should ever be foisted upon the English people". Walton's London Polyglot of 1657 disregards the Authorized Version (and indeed the English language) entirely. Walton's reference text throughout is the Vulgate. The Vulgate Latin is also found as the standard text of scripture in
Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes ( ; 5/15 April 1588 – 4/14 December 1679) was an English people, English philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy. Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book ''Leviathan (Hobbes book), Levi ...
's ''
Leviathan Leviathan (; he, לִוְיָתָן, ) is a sea serpent noted in theology and mythology. It is referenced in several books of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;
'' of 1651, indeed Hobbes gives Vulgate chapter and verse numbers (e.g., Job 41:24, not Job 41:33) for his head text. In Chapter 35: ''The Signification in Scripture of Kingdom of God'', Hobbes discusses Exodus 19:5, first in his own translation of the ''Vulgar Latin'', and then subsequently as found in the versions he terms ''"... the English translation made in the beginning of the reign of King James"'', and ''"The Geneva French"'' (i.e. Olivétan). Hobbes advances detailed critical arguments why the Vulgate rendering is to be preferred. For most of the 17th century the assumption remained that, while it had been of vital importance to provide the scriptures in the vernacular for ordinary people, nevertheless for those with sufficient education to do so, Biblical study was best undertaken within the international common medium of Latin. It was only in 1700 that modern bilingual Bibles appeared in which the Authorized Version was compared with counterpart Dutch and French Protestant vernacular Bibles. In consequence of the continual disputes over printing privileges, successive printings of the Authorized Version were notably less careful than the 1611 edition had been—compositors freely varying spelling, capitalization and punctuation—and also, over the years, introducing about 1,500 misprints (some of which, like the omission of "not" from the commandment "Thou shalt not commit adultery" in the " Wicked Bible", became notorious). The two Cambridge editions of 1629 and 1638 attempted to restore the proper text—while introducing over 200 revisions of the original translators' work, chiefly by incorporating into the main text a more literal reading originally presented as a marginal note. A more thoroughly corrected edition was proposed following the Restoration, in conjunction with the revised 1662 Book of Common Prayer, but Parliament then decided against it. By the first half of the 18th century, the Authorized Version was effectively unchallenged as the sole English translation in current use in Protestant churches, and was so dominant that the Catholic Church in England issued in 1750 a revision of the 1610 ''
Douay–Rheims Bible The Douay–Rheims Bible (, ), also known as the Douay–Rheims Version, Rheims–Douai Bible or Douai Bible, and abbreviated as D–R, DRB, and DRV, is a translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into English made by member ...
'' by
Richard Challoner Richard Challoner (29 September 1691 – 12 January 1781) was an England, English Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic bishop, a leading figure of English Catholicism during the greater part of the 18th century. The titular Bishop of Doberus, h ...
that was very much closer to the Authorized Version than to the original. However, general standards of spelling, punctuation, typesetting, capitalization and grammar had changed radically in the 100 years since the first edition of the Authorized Version, and all printers in the market were introducing continual piecemeal changes to their Bible texts to bring them into line with current practice—and with public expectations of standardized spelling and grammatical construction. Over the course of the 18th century, the Authorized Version supplanted the Hebrew, Greek and the Latin Vulgate as the standard version of scripture for English speaking scholars and divines, and indeed came to be regarded by some as an inspired text in itself—so much so that any challenge to its readings or textual base came to be regarded by many as an assault on Holy Scripture. In the 18th century there was a serious shortage of Bibles in the American colonies. To meet the demand various printers, beginning with Samuel Kneeland in 1752, printed the King James Bible without authorization from the Crown. To avert prosecution and detection of an unauthorized printing they would include the royal insignia on the title page, using the same materials in its printing as the authorized version was produced from, which were imported from England. Newgass, 1958, p. 32


Standard text of 1769

By the mid-18th century the wide variation in the various modernized printed texts of the Authorized Version, combined with the notorious accumulation of misprints, had reached the proportion of a scandal, and the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge both sought to produce an updated standard text. First of the two was the Cambridge edition of 1760, the culmination of 20 years' work by Francis Sawyer Parris, who died in May of that year. This 1760 edition was reprinted without change in 1762 and in John Baskerville's fine folio edition of 1763. This was effectively superseded by the 1769 Oxford edition, edited by
Benjamin Blayney Benjamin Blayney (1728 – 20 September 1801) was an English divine and Hebraist, best known for his revision of the King James Version The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an Bibl ...
, though with comparatively few changes from Parris's edition; but which became the Oxford standard text, and is reproduced almost unchanged in most current printings. Parris and Blayney sought consistently to remove those elements of the 1611 and subsequent editions that they believed were due to the vagaries of printers, while incorporating most of the revised readings of the Cambridge editions of 1629 and 1638, and each also introducing a few improved readings of their own. They undertook the mammoth task of standardizing the wide variation in punctuation and spelling of the original, making many thousands of minor changes to the text. In addition, Blayney and Parris thoroughly revised and greatly extended the italicization of "supplied" words not found in the original languages by cross-checking against the presumed source texts. Blayney seems to have worked from the 1550 Stephanus edition of the
Textus Receptus ''Textus Receptus'' (Latin: "received text") refers to all printed editions of the Greek language, Greek New Testament from Erasmus, Erasmus's ''Novum Instrumentum omne'' (1516) to the 1633 Elzevir edition. It was the most commonly used text-typ ...
, rather than the later editions of
Theodore Beza Theodore Beza ( la, Theodorus Beza; french: Théodore de Bèze or ''de Besze''; June 24, 1519 – October 13, 1605) was a French people, French Calvinist Protestant theologian, Protestant reformer, reformer and scholar who played an important ...
that the translators of the 1611 New Testament had favoured; accordingly the current Oxford standard text alters around a dozen italicizations where Beza and Stephanus differ. Like the 1611 edition, the 1769 Oxford edition included the Apocrypha, although Blayney tended to remove cross-references to the Books of the Apocrypha from the margins of their Old and New Testaments wherever these had been provided by the original translators. It also includes both prefaces from the 1611 edition. Altogether, the standardization of spelling and punctuation caused Blayney's 1769 text to differ from the 1611 text in around 24,000 places. The 1611 and 1769 texts of the first three verses from ''I Corinthians 13'' are given below. There are a number of superficial edits in these three verses: 11 changes of spelling, 16 changes of typesetting (including the changed conventions for the use of u and v), three changes of punctuation, and one variant text—where "not charity" is substituted for "no charity" in verse two, in the erroneous belief that the original reading was a misprint. A particular verse for which Blayney's 1769 text differs from Parris's 1760 version is Matthew 5:13, where Parris (1760) has Blayney (1769) changes 'lost his savour' to 'lost its savour', and to trodden. For a period, Cambridge continued to issue Bibles using the Parris text, but the market demand for absolute standardization was now such that they eventually adapted Blayney's work but omitted some of the idiosyncratic Oxford spellings. By the mid-19th century, almost all printings of the Authorized Version were derived from the 1769 Oxford text—increasingly without Blayney's variant notes and cross references, and commonly excluding the Apocrypha. One exception to this was a scrupulous original-spelling, page-for-page, and line-for-line reprint of the 1611 edition (including all chapter headings, marginalia, and original italicization, but with Roman type substituted for the black letter of the original), published by Oxford in 1833. Another important exception was the 1873 Cambridge Paragraph Bible, thoroughly revised, modernized and re-edited by F. H. A. Scrivener, who for the first time consistently identified the source texts underlying the 1611 translation and its marginal notes. Scrivener, like Blayney, opted to revise the translation where he considered the judgement of the 1611 translators had been faulty. In 2005,
Cambridge University Press Cambridge University Press is the university press of the University of Cambridge. Granted letters patent by Henry VIII of England, King Henry VIII in 1534, it is the oldest university press in the world. It is also the King's Printer. Cambr ...
released its New Cambridge Paragraph Bible with Apocrypha, edited by David Norton, which followed in the spirit of Scrivener's work, attempting to bring spelling to present-day standards. Norton also innovated with the introduction of quotation marks, while returning to a hypothetical 1611 text, so far as possible, to the wording used by its translators, especially in the light of the re-emphasis on some of their draft documents. This text has been issued in paperback by
Penguin Books Penguin Books is a British publishing, publishing house. It was co-founded in 1935 by Allen Lane with his brothers Richard and John, as a line of the publishers The Bodley Head, only becoming a separate company the following year.synoptic gospels The gospels of Gospel of Matthew, Matthew, Gospel of Mark, Mark, and Gospel of Luke, Luke are referred to as the synoptic Gospels because they include many of the same stories, often in a similar sequence and in similar or sometimes identical ...
; and (c) in the light of subsequent ancient manuscript discoveries, the New Testament translation base of the Greek Textus Receptus could no longer be considered to be the best representation of the original text. Responding to these concerns, the
Convocation of Canterbury The Convocations of Canterbury and York are the synodical assemblies of the bishops and clergy of each of the two provinces A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives ...
resolved in 1870 to undertake a revision of the text of the Authorized Version, intending to retain the original text "except where in the judgement of competent scholars such a change is necessary". The resulting revision was issued as the
Revised Version The Revised Version (RV) or English Revised Version (ERV) of the Bible is a late 19th-century British revision of the King James Version. It was the first and remains the only officially authorised and recognised revision of the King James Versio ...
in 1881 (New Testament), 1885 (Old Testament) and 1894 (Apocrypha); but, although it sold widely, the revision did not find popular favour, and it was only reluctantly in 1899 that Convocation approved it for reading in churches. By the early 20th century, editing had been completed in Cambridge's text, with at least 6 new changes since 1769, and the reversing of at least 30 of the standard Oxford readings. The distinct Cambridge text was printed in the millions, and after the Second World War "the unchanging steadiness of the KJB was a huge asset."


Editorial criticism

F. H. A. Scrivener and D. Norton have both written in detail on editorial variations which have occurred through the history of the publishing of the Authorized Version from 1611 to 1769. In the 19th century, there were effectively three main guardians of the text. Norton identified five variations among the Oxford, Cambridge and London (Eyre and Spottiswoode) texts of 1857, such as the spelling of "farther" or "further" at Matthew 26:39. In the 20th century, variation between the editions was reduced to comparing the Cambridge to the Oxford. Distinctly identified Cambridge readings included "or Sheba", "sin", "clifts", "vapour", "flieth", "further" and a number of other references. In effect the Cambridge was considered the current text in comparison to the Oxford. These are instances where both Oxford and Cambridge have now diverged from Blayney's 1769 Edition. The distinctions between the Oxford and Cambridge editions have been a major point in the
Bible version debate There have been various debates concerning the proper family of biblical manuscripts and translation Translation is the communication of the Meaning (linguistic), meaning of a #Source and target languages, source-language text by means of ...
, and a potential theological issue, particularly in regard to the identification of the Pure Cambridge Edition. Cambridge University Press introduced a change at 1 John 5:8 in 1985, reversing its longstanding tradition of printing the word "spirit" in lower case by using a capital letter "S". A Rev. Hardin of Bedford, Pennsylvania, wrote a letter to Cambridge inquiring about this verse, and received a reply on 3 June 1985 from the Bible Director, Jerry L. Hooper, claiming that it was a "matter of some embarrassment regarding the lower case 's' in Spirit".


Literary attributes


Translation

In obedience to their instructions, the translators provided no marginal interpretation of the text, but in some 8,500 places a marginal note offers an alternative English wording. The majority of these notes offer a more literal rendering of the original, introduced as "Heb", "Chal" ( Chaldee, referring to Aramaic), "Gr" or "Lat". Others indicate a variant reading of the source text (introduced by "or"). Some of the annotated variants derive from alternative editions in the original languages, or from variant forms quoted in the
fathers A father is the male parent of a child. Besides the paternal bonds of a father to his children, the father may have a parental, legal, and social relationship with the child that carries with it certain rights and obligations. An adoptive fathe ...
. More commonly, though, they indicate a difference between the literal original language reading and that in the translators' preferred recent Latin versions: Tremellius for the Old Testament, Junius for the Apocrypha, and Beza for the New Testament. At thirteen places in the New Testament a marginal note records a variant reading found in some Greek manuscript copies; in almost all cases reproducing a counterpart textual note at the same place in Beza's editions. A few more extensive notes clarify Biblical names and units of measurement or currency. Modern reprintings rarely reproduce these annotated variants—although they are to be found in the New Cambridge Paragraph Bible. In addition, there were originally some 9,000 scriptural cross-references, in which one text was related to another. Such cross-references had long been common in Latin Bibles, and most of those in the Authorized Version were copied unaltered from this Latin tradition. Consequently the early editions of the KJV retain many Vulgate verse references—e.g. in the numbering of the
Psalms The Book of Psalms ( or ; he, תְּהִלִּים, , lit. "praises"), also known as the Psalms, or the Psalter, is the first book of the ("Writings"), the third section of the Tanakh, and a book of the Old Testament. The title is derived ...
. At the head of each chapter, the translators provided a short précis of its contents, with verse numbers; these are rarely included in complete form in modern editions. Also in obedience to their instructions, the translators indicated 'supplied' words in a different typeface; but there was no attempt to regularize the instances where this practice had been applied across the different companies; and especially in the New Testament, it was used much less frequently in the 1611 edition than would later be the case. In one verse, 1 John 2:23, an entire clause was printed in roman type (as it had also been in the Great Bible and Bishop's Bible); indicating a reading then primarily derived from the Vulgate, albeit one for which the later editions of Beza had provided a Greek text. In the Old Testament the translators render the
Tetragrammaton The Tetragrammaton (; ), or Tetragram, is the four-letter Hebrew language, Hebrew theonym (transliterated as YHWH), the name of God in the Hebrew Bible. The four letters, written and read from right to left (in Hebrew), are ''yodh'', ''he (l ...
(YHWH) by "the LORD" (in later editions in
small capitals In typography, small caps (short for "small capitals") are grapheme, characters typeset with glyphs that resemble letter case, uppercase letters (capitals) but reduced in height and weight close to the surrounding letter case, lowercase letters ...
as ), or "the LORD God" (for ''YHWH
Elohim ''Elohim'' (: ), the plural of (), is a Hebrew word meaning "gods". Although the word is plural, in the Hebrew Bible it usually takes a singular verb and refers to a single deity, particularly (but not always) the God in Judaism, God of Israel. ...
'', יהוה אלהים), except in four places by " IEHOVAH". However, if the Tetragrammaton occurs with the Hebrew word (Lord) then it is rendered not as the "Lord LORD" but as the "Lord God". In later editions it appears as "Lord ", with "" in small capitals, indicating to the reader that God's name appears in the original Hebrew.


Old Testament

For the Old Testament, the translators used a text originating in the editions of the Hebrew Rabbinic Bible by
Daniel Bomberg Daniel is a masculine given name A given name (also known as a forename or first name) is the part of a personal name quoted in that identifies a person, potentially with a middle name as well, and differentiates that person from the o ...
(1524/5), but adjusted this to conform to the Greek LXX or Latin Vulgate in passages to which Christian tradition had attached a
Christological In Christianity, Christology (from the Ancient Greek, Greek grc, Χριστός, Khristós, label=none and grc, wiktionary:-λογία, -λογία, wiktionary:-logia, -logia, label=none), translated literally from Greek as "the study of Chr ...
interpretation. For example, the
Septuagint The Greek Old Testament, or Septuagint (, ; from the la, septuaginta, lit=seventy; often abbreviated ''70''; in Roman numerals, LXX), is the earliest extant Greek language, Greek translation of books from the Hebrew Bible. It includes several ...
reading " They pierced my hands and my feet" was used in Psalm 22:16 (vs. the
Masoretes The Masoretes ( he, בַּעֲלֵי הַמָּסוֹרָה, Baʿălēy Hammāsōrā, Literal translation, lit. 'Masters of the Tradition') were groups of Jewish scribe-scholars who worked from around the end of the 5th through 10th centuries CE, ...
' reading of the Hebrew "like lions my hands and feet"). Otherwise, however, the Authorized Version is closer to the Hebrew tradition than any previous English translation—especially in making use of the rabbinic commentaries, such as Kimhi, in elucidating obscure passages in the
Masoretic Text The Masoretic Text (MT or 𝕸; he, נֻסָּח הַמָּסוֹרָה, Nūssāḥ Hammāsōrā, Literal translation, lit. 'Text of the Tradition') is the authoritative Biblical Hebrew, Hebrew and Biblical Aramaic, Aramaic text of the 24 b ...
; earlier versions had been more likely to adopt LXX or Vulgate readings in such places. Following the practice of the
Geneva Bible The Geneva Bible is one of the most historically significant Bible translations, translations of the Bible into English, preceding the King James Version by 51 years. It was the primary Bible of 16th-century English Protestantism and was used b ...
, the books of 1 Esdras and 2 Esdras in the medieval Vulgate Old Testament were renamed '
Ezra Ezra (; he, עֶזְרָא, '; fl. 480–440 BCE), also called Ezra the Scribe (, ') and Ezra the Priest in the Book of Ezra, was a Jewish scribe ('' sofer'') and priest ('' kohen''). In Greco-Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical lang ...
' and '
Nehemiah Nehemiah is the central figure of the Book of Nehemiah, which describes his work in rebuilding Jerusalem during the Second Temple period. He was governor of Yehud Medinata, Persian Judea under Artaxerxes I of Persia (465–424 BC). The name i ...
'; 3 Esdras and 4 Esdras in the Apocrypha being renamed '
1 Esdras 1 Esdras ( grc-gre, Ἔσδρας Αʹ), also Esdras A, Greek Esdras, Greek Ezra, or 3 Esdras, is the ancient Greek Septuagint version of the biblical Book of Ezra in use within the Early Christianity, early church, and among many modern Christia ...
' and '
2 Esdras 2 Esdras (also called 4 Esdras, Latin Esdras, or Latin Ezra) is an apocalyptic book in some English translations of the Bible, English versions of the Bible. Tradition ascribes it to Ezra, a sofer, scribe and kohen, priest of the , but scholars ...
'.


New Testament

For the New Testament, the translators chiefly used the 1598 and 1588/89 Greek editions of
Theodore Beza Theodore Beza ( la, Theodorus Beza; french: Théodore de Bèze or ''de Besze''; June 24, 1519 – October 13, 1605) was a French people, French Calvinist Protestant theologian, Protestant reformer, reformer and scholar who played an important ...
, which also present Beza's Latin version of the Greek and Stephanus's edition of the Latin Vulgate. Both of these versions were extensively referred to, as the translators conducted all discussions amongst themselves in Latin. F. H. A. Scrivener identifies 190 readings where the Authorized Version translators depart from Beza's Greek text, generally in maintaining the wording of the ''Bishops' Bible'' and other earlier English translations. In about half of these instances, the Authorized Version translators appear to follow the earlier 1550 Greek
Textus Receptus ''Textus Receptus'' (Latin: "received text") refers to all printed editions of the Greek language, Greek New Testament from Erasmus, Erasmus's ''Novum Instrumentum omne'' (1516) to the 1633 Elzevir edition. It was the most commonly used text-typ ...
of Stephanus. For the other half, Scrivener was usually able to find corresponding Greek readings in the editions of
Erasmus Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (; ; English: Erasmus of Rotterdam or Erasmus;''Erasmus'' was his baptismal name, given after St. Erasmus, St. Erasmus of Formiae. ''Desiderius'' was an adopted additional name, which he used from 1496. The ''Rote ...
, or in the
Complutensian Polyglot The Complutensian Polyglot Bible is the name given to the first printed polyglot Multilingualism is the use of more than one language, either by an individual speaker or by a group of speakers. It is believed that multilingual speaker ...
. However, in several dozen readings he notes that no printed Greek text corresponds to the English of the Authorized Version, which in these places derives directly from the Vulgate. For example, at John 10:16, the Authorized Version reads "one fold" (as did the ''Bishops' Bible'', and the 16th-century vernacular versions produced in Geneva), following the Latin Vulgate "unum ovile", whereas Tyndale had agreed more closely with the Greek, "one flocke" (μία ποίμνη). The Authorized Version New Testament owes much more to the Vulgate than does the Old Testament; still, at least 80% of the text is unaltered from Tyndale's translation.


Apocrypha

Unlike the rest of the Bible, the translators of the Apocrypha identified their source texts in their marginal notes. From these it can be determined that the books of the Apocrypha were translated from the Septuagint—primarily, from the Greek Old Testament column in the Antwerp Polyglot—but with extensive reference to the counterpart Latin Vulgate text, and to Junius's Latin translation. The translators record references to the Sixtine Septuagint of 1587, which is substantially a printing of the Old Testament text from the
Codex Vaticanus The Codex Vaticanus (Vatican Library, The Vatican, Vatican Library, Bibl. Vat., Vat. gr. 1209), designated by siglum B or 03 (in the Biblical manuscript#Gregory-Aland, Gregory-Aland numbering), δ 1 (Biblical manuscript#Von Soden, von Soden), is ...
Graecus 1209, and also to the 1518 Greek Septuagint edition of
Aldus Manutius Aldus Pius Manutius (; it, Aldo Pio Manuzio; 6 February 1515) was an Italian printer and Renaissance humanism, humanist who founded the Aldine Press. Manutius devoted the later part of his life to publishing and disseminating rare texts. His i ...
. They had, however, no Greek texts for
2 Esdras 2 Esdras (also called 4 Esdras, Latin Esdras, or Latin Ezra) is an apocalyptic book in some English translations of the Bible, English versions of the Bible. Tradition ascribes it to Ezra, a sofer, scribe and kohen, priest of the , but scholars ...
, or for the Prayer of Manasses, and Scrivener found that they here used an unidentified Latin manuscript.


Sources

The translators appear to have otherwise made no first-hand study of ancient manuscript sources, even those that—like the
Codex Bezae The Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis, designated by siglum D or 05 (in the Biblical manuscript#Gregory-Aland, Gregory-Aland numbering of New Testament manuscripts), δ 5 (in the Biblical manuscript#Von Soden, von Soden of New Testament manuscript), i ...
—would have been readily available to them. In addition to all previous English versions (including, and contrary to their instructions, the '' Rheimish New Testament'' which in their preface they criticized), they made wide and eclectic use of all printed editions in the original languages then available, including the ancient Syriac New Testament printed with an interlinear Latin gloss in the Antwerp Polyglot of 1573. In the preface the translators acknowledge consulting translations and commentaries in Chaldee, Hebrew, Syrian, Greek, Latin, Spanish, French, Italian, and German. The translators took the Bishops' Bible as their source text, and where they departed from that in favour of another translation, this was most commonly the Geneva Bible. However, the degree to which readings from the Bishops' Bible survived into final text of the King James Bible varies greatly from company to company, as did the propensity of the King James translators to coin phrases of their own. John Bois's notes of the General Committee of Review show that they discussed readings derived from a wide variety of versions and
patristic Patristics or patrology is the study of the early Christian writers who are designated Church Fathers The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were ancient and influential Christian theologia ...
sources, including explicitly both
Henry Savile Henry Savile may refer to: *Henry Savile (died 1558) (1498–1558), MP for Yorkshire *Henry Savile (died 1569) (1518–1569), MP for Yorkshire and Grantham *Henry Savile (Bible translator) (1549–1622), English scholar and Member of the Parliament ...
's 1610 edition of the works of
John Chrysostom John Chrysostom (; gr, Ἰωάννης ὁ Χρυσόστομος; 14 September 407) was an important Early Church Father who served as archbishop of Constantinople. He is known for his homilies, preaching and public speaking, his denunciat ...
and the Rheims New Testament, which was the primary source for many of the literal alternative readings provided for the marginal notes.


Variations in recent translations

A number of Bible verses in the King James Version of the New Testament are not found in more recent Bible translations, where these are based on modern critical texts. In the early seventeenth century, the source Greek texts of the New Testament which were used to produce Protestant Bible versions were mainly dependent on manuscripts of the late
Byzantine text-type In the textual criticism of the New Testament Textual criticism of the New Testament is the textual criticism, identification of textual variants, or different versions of the New Testament, whose goals include identification of transcription ...
, and they also contained minor variations which became known as the
Textus Receptus ''Textus Receptus'' (Latin: "received text") refers to all printed editions of the Greek language, Greek New Testament from Erasmus, Erasmus's ''Novum Instrumentum omne'' (1516) to the 1633 Elzevir edition. It was the most commonly used text-typ ...
. With the subsequent identification of much earlier manuscripts, most modern textual scholars value the evidence of manuscripts which belong to the Alexandrian family as better witnesses to the original text of the biblical authors, without giving it, or any family, automatic preference.


Style and criticism

A primary concern of the translators was to produce an appropriate Bible, dignified and resonant in public reading. Although the Authorized Version's written style is an important part of its influence on English, research has found only one verse—Hebrews 13:8—for which translators debated the wording's literary merits. While they stated in the preface that they used stylistic variation, finding multiple English words or verbal forms in places where the original language employed repetition, in practice they also did the opposite; for example, 14 different Hebrew words were translated into the single English word "prince". In a period of rapid linguistic change the translators avoided contemporary idioms, tending instead towards forms that were already slightly archaic, like ''verily'' and ''it came to pass''. The pronouns ''thou''/''thee'' and ''ye''/''you'' are consistently used as singular and plural respectively, even though by this time ''you'' was often found as the singular in general English usage, especially when addressing a social superior (as is evidenced, for example, in Shakespeare). For the possessive of the third person pronoun, the word ''its'', first recorded in the ''
Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the first and foundational historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a com ...
'' in 1598, is avoided. The older '' his'' is usually employed, as for example at Matthew 5:13: "if the salt have lost ''his'' savour, wherewith shall it be salted?"; in other places ''of it'', ''thereof'' or bare ''it'' are found. Another sign of
linguistic conservatism In linguistics, a conservative form, variety, or feature of a language is one that has changed relatively little across the language's history, or which is relatively resistant to change. It is the opposite of innovative, innovating, or advanced ...
is the invariable use of ''-eth'' for the third person singular present form of the verb, as at Matthew 2:13: "the Angel of the Lord appear''eth'' to Joseph in a dreame". The rival ending ''-(e)s'', as found in present-day English, was already widely used by this time (for example, it predominates over ''-eth'' in the plays of Shakespeare and Marlowe). Furthermore, the translators preferred ''which'' to ''who'' or ''whom'' as the relative pronoun for persons, as in Genesis 13:5: "And Lot also ''which'' went with Abram, had flocks and heards, & tents" although ''who(m)'' is also found. The Authorized Version is notably more
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
ate than previous English versions, especially the Geneva Bible. This results in part from the academic stylistic preferences of a number of the translators—several of whom admitted to being more comfortable writing in Latin than in English—but was also, in part, a consequence of the royal proscription against explanatory notes. Hence, where the Geneva Bible might use a common English word, and gloss its particular application in a marginal note, the Authorized Version tends rather to prefer a technical term, frequently in Anglicized Latin. Consequently, although the King had instructed the translators to use the Bishops' Bible as a base text, the New Testament in particular owes much stylistically to the Catholic
Rheims Reims ( , , ; also spelled Rheims in English) is the most populous city in the French department of Marne, and the 12th most populous city in France. The city lies northeast of Paris on the Vesle river, a tributary of the Aisne Aisne ( ...
New Testament, whose translators had also been concerned to find English equivalents for Latin terminology. In addition, the translators of the New Testament books transliterate names found in the Old Testament in their Greek forms rather than in the forms closer to the Old Testament Hebrew (e.g. "Elias" and "Noe" for "Elijah" and "Noah", respectively). While the Authorized Version remains among the most widely sold, modern critical New Testament translations differ substantially from it in a number of passages, primarily because they rely on source manuscripts not then accessible to (or not then highly regarded by) early-17th-century Biblical scholarship. In the Old Testament, there are also many differences from modern translations that are based not on manuscript differences, but on a different understanding of Ancient Hebrew
vocabulary A vocabulary is a set of familiar words within a person's language. A vocabulary, usually developed with age, serves as a useful and fundamental tool for communication and learning, acquiring knowledge. Acquiring an extensive vocabulary is one ...
or
grammar In linguistics, the grammar of a natural language is its set of structure, structural constraints on speakers' or writers' composition of clause (linguistics), clauses, phrases, and words. The term can also refer to the study of such constraint ...
by the translators. For example, in modern translations it is clear that Job 28:1-11 is referring throughout to mining operations, which is not at all apparent from the text of the Authorized Version.


Mistranslations

The King James Version contains several alleged mistranslations, especially in the Old Testament where the knowledge of Hebrew and cognate languages was uncertain at the time. Among the most commonly cited errors is in the Hebrew of Job and Deuteronomy, where he, רֶאֵם,
Re'em A re'em, also reëm ( he, רְאֵם), is an animal mentioned nine times in the Hebrew Bible.Book of Job, Job , Book of Deuteronomy, Deuteronomy , Book of Numbers, Numbers and ; Psalms , and ; and Book of Isaiah, Isaiah . It has been translate ...
with the probable meaning of "wild-ox,
aurochs The aurochs (''Bos primigenius'') ( or ) is an extinct Bos, cattle species, considered to be the wild ancestor of modern domestic cattle. With a shoulder height of up to in bulls and in cows, it was one of the largest herbivores in the Holo ...
", is translated in the KJV as "
unicorn The unicorn is a legendary creature that has been described since Classical antiquity, antiquity as a beast with a single large, pointed, spiraling horn (anatomy), horn projecting from its forehead. In European literature and art, the unicor ...
"; following in this the Vulgate ''unicornis'' and several medieval rabbinic commentators. The translators of the KJV note the alternative rendering, "rhinocerots" in the margin at Isaiah 34:7. On a similar note Martin Luther's German translation had also relied on the Latin Vulgate on this point, consistently translating רֶאֵם using the German word for unicorn, ''Einhorn''. Otherwise, the translators are accused on several occasions to have mistakenly interpreted a Hebrew descriptive phrase as a proper name (or vice versa); as at 2 Samuel 1:18 where 'the Book of Jasher' he, סֵפֶר הַיׇּשׇׁר, sepher ha-yasher properly refers not to a work by an author of that name, but should rather be rendered as "the Book of the Upright" (which was proposed as an alternative reading in a marginal note to the KJV text).


Influence

Despite royal patronage and encouragement, there was never any overt mandate to use the new translation. It was not until 1661 that the Authorized Version replaced the ''Bishops' Bible'' in the Epistle and Gospel lessons of the
Book of Common Prayer The ''Book of Common Prayer'' (BCP) is the name given to a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion and by other Christianity, Christian churches historically related to Anglicanism. The original book, published in 1549 ...
, and it never did replace the older translation in the
Psalter A psalter is a volume containing the Book of Psalms, often with other devotional material bound in as well, such as a liturgical calendar and litany of the Saints. Until the emergence of the book of hours in the Late Middle Ages, psalters ...
. In 1763 ''
The Critical Review ''The Critical Review'' was a British publication appearing from 1756 to 1817. It was first edited by Tobias Smollett Tobias George Smollett (baptised 19 March 1721 – 17 September 1771) was a Scottish poet and author. He was best known ...
'' complained that "many false interpretations, ambiguous phrases, obsolete words and indelicate expressions ... excite the derision of the scorner". Blayney's 1769 version, with its revised spelling and punctuation, helped change the public perception of the Authorized Version to a masterpiece of the English language. By the 19th century, F. W. Faber could say of the translation, "It lives on the ear, like music that can never be forgotten, like the sound of church bells, which the convert hardly knows how he can forego." The Authorized Version has been called "the most influential version of the most influential book in the world, in what is now its most influential language", "the most important book in English religion and culture", and "the most celebrated book in the
English-speaking world Speakers of English language, English are also known as Anglophones, and the countries where English is natively spoken by the majority of the population are termed the ''Anglosphere''. Over two billion people speak English , making English the ...
".
David Crystal David Crystal, (born 6 July 1941) is a British linguistics, linguist, academic, and prolific author best known for his works on linguistics and the English language. Family Crystal was born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, on 6 July 1941 after h ...
has estimated that it is responsible for 257 idioms in English; examples include feet of clay and reap the whirlwind. Furthermore, prominent
atheist Atheism, in the broadest sense, is an absence of belief in the existence of Deity, deities. Less broadly, atheism is a rejection of the belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that ther ...
figures such as
Christopher Hitchens Christopher Eric Hitchens (13 April 1949 – 15 December 2011) was a British-American author and journalist who wrote or edited over 30 books (including five essay collections) on culture, politics, and literature. Born and educated in England, ...
and
Richard Dawkins Richard Dawkins (born 26 March 1941) is a British evolutionary biology, evolutionary biologist and author. He is an Oxford fellow, emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford and was Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, Prof ...
have praised the King James Version as being "a giant step in the maturing of English literature" and "a great work of literature", respectively, with Dawkins then adding, "A native speaker of English who has never read a word of the King James Bible is verging on the barbarian". The King James Version is one of the versions authorized to be used in the services of the Episcopal Church and other parts of the
Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion after the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Founded in 1867 in London, the communion has more than 85 million members within the Church of England T ...
, as it is the historical Bible of this church. Other Christian denominations have also accepted the King James Version. The King James Version is used by English-speaking Conservative Anabaptists, along with Methodists of the
conservative holiness movement The conservative holiness movement is a loosely defined group of theologically conservative Christian denominations with the majority being Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related Chris ...
, in addition to certain
Baptist Baptists form a major branch of Protestantism distinguished by baptizing professing Christianity, Christian believers only (believer's baptism), and doing so by complete Immersion baptism, immersion. Baptist churches also generally subscribe ...
s. In the
Orthodox Church in America The Orthodox Church in America (OCA) is an Eastern Orthodox Christian church based in North America. The OCA is partly recognized as autocephalous and consists of more than 700 parishes, missions, communities, monasteries and instituti ...
, it is used liturgically and was made "the 'official' translation for a whole generation of American Orthodox". The later Service Book of the Antiochian archdiocese, in vogue today, also uses the King James Version.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a Nontrinitarianism, nontrinitarian Christianity, Christian church that considers itself to be the Restorationism, restoration of the ...
continues to use its own edition of the Authorized Version as its official English Bible. Although the Authorized Version's preeminence in the English-speaking world has diminished—for example, the Church of England recommends six other versions in addition to it—it is still the most used translation in the United States, especially as the
Scofield Reference Bible The Scofield Reference Bible is a widely circulated study Bible edited and annotated by the American Bible student Cyrus I. Scofield, which popularized dispensationalism at the beginning of the 20th century. Published by Oxford University Press a ...
for
Evangelicals Evangelicalism (), also called evangelical Christianity or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide Interdenominationalism, interdenominational movement within Protestantism, Protestant Christianity that affirms the centrality of being "bor ...
. However, over the past forty years it has been gradually overtaken by modern versions, principally the
New International Version The New International Version (NIV) is an Bible translations into English, English translation of the Bible first published in 1978 by Biblica (formerly the International Bible Society). The ''NIV'' was created as a modern translation, by Bibl ...
(1973) and the
New Revised Standard Version The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) is an Bible translations into English, English translation of the Bible published in 1989 by the National Council of Churches.
(1989), the latter of which is seen as a successor to the King James Version.


Copyright status

The Authorized Version is in the public domain in most of the world. However, in the United Kingdom, the right to print, publish and distribute it is a
royal prerogative The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege and immunity, recognized in common law and, sometimes, in Civil law (legal system), civil law jurisdictions possessing a monarchy, as belonging to the monarch, sovereign and whic ...
and the Crown licenses publishers to reproduce it under
letters patent Letters patent ( la, litterae patentes) (plurale tantum, always in the plural) are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch, President (government title), president or other head of state, genera ...
. In England, Wales and
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots, Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom, situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, that is #Descriptions, variously described as ...
the letters patent are held by the
King's Printer The King's Printer (known as the Queen's Printer during the reign of a female monarch) is typically a bureau of the national, state, or provincial government responsible for producing official documents issued by the King-in-Council, Ministers ...
, and in Scotland by the Scottish Bible Board. The office of King's Printer has been associated with the right to reproduce the Bible for centuries, the earliest known reference coming in 1577. In the 18th century, all surviving interests in the monopoly were bought out by John Baskett. The Baskett rights descended through a number of printers and, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the King's Printer is now
Cambridge University Press Cambridge University Press is the university press of the University of Cambridge. Granted letters patent by Henry VIII of England, King Henry VIII in 1534, it is the oldest university press in the world. It is also the King's Printer. Cambr ...
, which inherited the right when they took over the firm of Eyre & Spottiswoode in 1990. Other royal charters of similar antiquity grant Cambridge University Press and
Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of the University of Oxford. It is the largest university press in the world, and its printing history dates back to the 1480s. Having been officially granted the legal right to print books ...
the right to produce the Authorized Version independently of the King's Printer. In Scotland, the Authorized Version is published by Collins under licence from the Scottish Bible Board. The terms of the letters patent prohibit any other than the holders, or those authorized by the holders, from printing, publishing or importing the Authorized Version into the United Kingdom. The protection that the Authorized Version, and also the ''
Book of Common Prayer The ''Book of Common Prayer'' (BCP) is the name given to a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion and by other Christianity, Christian churches historically related to Anglicanism. The original book, published in 1549 ...
,'' enjoy is the last remnant of the time when the Crown held a monopoly over all printing and publishing in the United Kingdom. Almost all provisions granting copyright in perpetuity were abolished by the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988c 48, also known as the CDPA, is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, ...
, but because the Authorized Version is protected by royal prerogative rather than copyright, it will remain protected, as specified in CDPA s171(1)(b).


Permission

Within the United Kingdom, Cambridge University Press permits the reproduction of at most 500 verses for "liturgical and non-commercial educational use", provided that their prescribed acknowledgement is included, the quoted verses do not exceed 25% of the publication quoting them and do not include a complete Bible book. For use beyond this, the Press is willing to consider permission requested on a case-by-case basis and in 2011 a spokesman said the Press generally does not charge a fee but tries to ensure that a reputable source text is used.


Apocrypha

Translations of the books of the
biblical apocrypha The biblical apocrypha (from the grc, ἀπόκρυφος, translit=apókruphos, lit=hidden) denotes the collection of apocryphal ancient books thought to have been written some time between 200 BC and AD 400. The Roman Catholic, Eastern ...
were necessary for the King James version, as readings from these books were included in the daily Old Testament
lectionary A lectionary ( la, lectionarium) is a book or listing that contains a collection of scripture readings appointed for Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abr ...
of the
Book of Common Prayer The ''Book of Common Prayer'' (BCP) is the name given to a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion and by other Christianity, Christian churches historically related to Anglicanism. The original book, published in 1549 ...
. Protestant Bibles in the 16th century included the books of the Apocrypha—generally, following the
Luther Bible The Luther Bible (german: Lutherbibel) is a German language German ( ) is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and Official language, official or co-official langua ...
, in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments to indicate they were not considered part of the Old Testament text—and there is evidence that these were widely read as popular literature, especially in
Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Catholic Church, Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the Church of England had not been fully reformed and should become m ...
circles; The Apocrypha of the King James Version has the same 14 books as had been found in the Apocrypha of the
Bishops' Bible The Bishops' Bible is an English translation Translation is the communication of the Meaning (linguistic), meaning of a #Source and target languages, source-language text by means of an Dynamic and formal equivalence, equivalent #Source ...
; however, following the practice of the
Geneva Bible The Geneva Bible is one of the most historically significant Bible translations, translations of the Bible into English, preceding the King James Version by 51 years. It was the primary Bible of 16th-century English Protestantism and was used b ...
, the first two books of the Apocrypha were renamed
1 Esdras 1 Esdras ( grc-gre, Ἔσδρας Αʹ), also Esdras A, Greek Esdras, Greek Ezra, or 3 Esdras, is the ancient Greek Septuagint version of the biblical Book of Ezra in use within the Early Christianity, early church, and among many modern Christia ...
and
2 Esdras 2 Esdras (also called 4 Esdras, Latin Esdras, or Latin Ezra) is an apocalyptic book in some English translations of the Bible, English versions of the Bible. Tradition ascribes it to Ezra, a sofer, scribe and kohen, priest of the , but scholars ...
, as compared to the names in the
Thirty-nine Articles The Thirty-nine Articles of Religion (commonly abbreviated as the Thirty-nine Articles or the XXXIX Articles) are the historically defining statements of doctrines and practices of the Church of England with respect to the controversies of the ...
, with the corresponding Old Testament books being renamed
Ezra Ezra (; he, עֶזְרָא, '; fl. 480–440 BCE), also called Ezra the Scribe (, ') and Ezra the Priest in the Book of Ezra, was a Jewish scribe ('' sofer'') and priest ('' kohen''). In Greco-Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical lang ...
and
Nehemiah Nehemiah is the central figure of the Book of Nehemiah, which describes his work in rebuilding Jerusalem during the Second Temple period. He was governor of Yehud Medinata, Persian Judea under Artaxerxes I of Persia (465–424 BC). The name i ...
. Starting in 1630, volumes of the ''Geneva Bible'' were occasionally bound with the pages of the Apocrypha section excluded. In 1644 the
Long Parliament The Long Parliament was an Parliament of England, English Parliament which lasted from 1640 until 1660. It followed the fiasco of the Short Parliament, which had convened for only three weeks during the spring of 1640 after an Personal Rule, 11-y ...
forbade the reading of the Apocrypha in churches and in 1666 the first editions of the King James Bible without the Apocrypha were bound. The standardization of the text of the Authorized Version after 1769 together with the technological development of
stereotype In social psychology, a stereotype is a generalized belief about a particular category of people. It is an expectation that people might have about every person of a particular group. The type of expectation can vary; it can be, for example ...
printing made it possible to produce Bibles in large print-runs at very low unit prices. For commercial and charitable publishers, editions of the Authorized Version without the Apocrypha reduced the cost, while having increased market appeal to non-Anglican Protestant readers. With the rise of the
Bible societies A Bible society is a non-profit organization, usually nondenominational in makeup, devoted to translating, publishing, and distributing the Bible at affordable prices. In recent years they also are increasingly involved in Bible advocacy, advocat ...
, most editions have omitted the whole section of Apocryphal books. The
British and Foreign Bible Society The British and Foreign Bible Society, often known in England and Wales as simply the Bible Society, is a non-denominational Christian Bible society with Charitable organization, charity status whose purpose is to make the Bible available throu ...
withdrew subsidies for Bible printing and dissemination in 1826, under the following resolution: The
American Bible Society American Bible Society is a U.S.-based Christian nonprofit headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As the American member organization of United Bible Societies The United Bible Societies (UBS) is a global fellowship of around 150 bible so ...
adopted a similar policy. Both societies eventually reversed these policies in light of 20th-century ecumenical efforts on translations, the ABS doing so in 1964 and the BFBS in 1966.


King James Only movement

The
King James Only movement The King James Only movement asserts the belief that the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible is superior to all other Bible translations, translations of the Bible. Adherents of the King James Only movement, mostly members of Conservative Anab ...
advocates the belief that the King James Version is superior to all other
English translations of the Bible Partial Bible translations into English language, languages of the English people can be traced back to the late 7th century, including translations into Old English, Old and Middle English. More than 100 complete translations into English have b ...
. Most adherents of the movement believe that the
Textus Receptus ''Textus Receptus'' (Latin: "received text") refers to all printed editions of the Greek language, Greek New Testament from Erasmus, Erasmus's ''Novum Instrumentum omne'' (1516) to the 1633 Elzevir edition. It was the most commonly used text-typ ...
is very close, if not identical, to the original autographs, thereby making it the ideal Greek source for the translation. They argue that manuscripts such as the
Codex Sinaiticus The Codex Sinaiticus (Shelfmark: London, British Library, Add MS 43725), designated by siglum [Aleph] or 01 (in the Biblical manuscript#Gregory-Aland, Gregory-Aland numbering of New Testament manuscripts), δ 2 (in the Biblical manuscr ...
and
Codex Vaticanus The Codex Vaticanus (Vatican Library, The Vatican, Vatican Library, Bibl. Vat., Vat. gr. 1209), designated by siglum B or 03 (in the Biblical manuscript#Gregory-Aland, Gregory-Aland numbering), δ 1 (Biblical manuscript#Von Soden, von Soden), is ...
, on which most modern English translations are based, are corrupted New Testament texts. One of them, Perry Demopoulos, was a director of the translation of the King James Bible into Russian. In 2010 the Russian translation of the KJV of the New Testament was released in
Kyiv Kyiv, also spelled Kiev, is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine. It is in north-central Ukraine along the Dnieper, Dnieper River. As of 1 January 2021, its population was 2,962,180, making Kyiv the List of European cities by populat ...
,
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the List of European countries by area, second-largest European country after Russia, which it borders Russia–Ukraine border, to the east and northeast. Ukraine ...
. In 2017, the first complete edition of a Russian King James Bible was released. In 2017, a Faroese translation of the King James Bible was released as well.


See also

*
Bible errata Throughout history, typographical error, printers' errors, unconventional Bible translations, translations and translation mistakes have appeared in a number of published Bibles. Bibles with features considered to be erroneous are known as Bible ...
*
Bible translations The Bible has been translation, translated into Bible translations by language, many languages from the biblical languages of Biblical Hebrew, Hebrew, Biblical Aramaic, Aramaic, and Koine Greek, Greek. all of the Bible has been translated into ...
* Charles XII Bible *
Dynamic and formal equivalence The terms dynamic equivalence and formal equivalence, coined by Eugene Nida, are associated with two dissimilar translation approaches that are employed to achieve different levels of literalness between the Translation#Source and target texts ...
* Modern English Bible translations § King James Versions and derivatives *
New King James Version The New King James Version (NKJV) is an Bible translations into English, English translation of the Bible. The complete NKJV Bible was published in 1982 by Thomas Nelson (publisher), Thomas Nelson, now HarperCollins. The NKJV is described by T ...
*
21st Century King James Version The 21st Century King James Version is an updated version of the King James Version The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an Bible translations into English, English translation of t ...
* Red letter edition *
Young's Literal Translation Young's Literal Translation (YLT) is a translation of the Bible into English, published in 1862. The translation was made by Robert Young (biblical scholar), Robert Young, compiler of ''Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible'' and ''Concise ...


References


Notes


Citations


Works cited

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

Chronological order of publication (newest first) * Joalland, Michael. "Isaac Newton Reads the King James Version: The Marginal Notes and Reading Marks of a Natural Philosopher." ''Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America'', vol. 113, no. 3 (2019): 297–339. * Burke, David G., John F. Kutsko, and Philip H. Towner, eds. ''The King James Version at 400: Assessing Its Genius as Bible Translation and Its Literary Influence'' (Society of Biblical Literature; 2013) 553 pages; scholars examine such topics as the KJV and 17th-century religious lyric, the KJV and the language of liturgy, and the KJV in Christian Orthodox perspective. * * Published to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the initial publication, in 1611, of the Authorized ("King James") Version of the Bible * * * In US: Paperback: *
The Diary Of Samuel Ward: A Translator Of The 1611 King James Bible
eds. John Wilson Cowart and M.M. Knappen, contains surviving pages of Samuel Ward's diary from 11 May 1595 to 1 July 1632. * Ward, Thomas (1903). ''Errata of the Protestant Bible 'i.e.'' mostly of the Authorized "King James" Version or, The Truth of the English Translations Examined, in a Treatise Showing Some of the Errors That Are to Be Found in the English Translations of the Sacred Scriptures, Used by Protestants''. A new ed., carefully rev. and corr., in which are add tions New York: P.J. Kennedy and Sons. ''N.B''.: A polemical Roman Catholic work, first published in the late 17th century. *


External links


''The Holy Bible: An Exact Reprint Page for Page of the Authorized Version Published in the Year MDCXI.''
Oxford: The University Press, 1833, "a scrupulous original-spelling, page-for-page, and line-for-line reprint of the 1611 edition (including all chapter headings, marginalia, and original italicization, but with Roman type substituted for the black letter of the original)" cited in Footnote ''d'' above. Complete pdf of the original book.
''The Cambridge Paragraph Bible of the Authorized English Version: With the Text Revised by a Collation of Its Early and Other Principal Editions, the Use of the Italic Type Made Uniform, the Marginal References Remodelled, and a Critical Introduction Prefixed.''
Cambridge, UK: The University Press, 1873. Complete pdf of the original book. * Online searchable database of the original 1611 text, including the Apocrypha and introductory text. It also contains the 1769 standard edition. * On-line image of a page (beginning of St John's gospel) with a written description by the British Library. * On-line facsimile (page images) of the 1611 printing of the King James Bible, "He" Bible variant. * On-line facsimile (page images) of the 1611 printing of the King James Bible.
Holy-Bible.online - King James Version
* {{Authority control 1611 books 1611 in Christianity 17th-century Christian texts Anglicanism Bible translations into English Church of England Early printed Bibles King James Only movement Latter Day Saint texts Church of Scotland