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The king James version of the bible

The King James Version, also known as the Authorized Version (AV) or King James Bible (KJB), is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England begun in 1604 and completed in 1611. First printed by the King’s Printer Robert Barker, this was the third translation into English to be approved by the English Church authorities. The first had been the Great Bible, commissioned in the reign of King Henry VIII, and then the Bishops’ Bible, prepared for the newly established Church of England in response to the break with Rome.

Churchgist will give you all you ask on who wrote the king james version of the bible, is king james the original bible and so much more.

The King James Version of the Bible is a translation of the Christian Bible that was first published in 1611 by the Church of England. It is also known as the Authorized Version.

The King James Version of the Bible is one of the most popular versions in existence today, and it has influenced many other translations over the centuries. It remains one of the most widely used versions in print today, but it has been replaced by newer translations such as the New International Version and New American Standard Bible in many churches.

The king James version of the bible

King James Version (KJV), also called Authorized Version or King James Bible, English translation of the Bible, published in 1611 under the auspices of King James I of England. The translation had a marked influence on English literary style and was generally accepted as the standard English Bible from the mid-17th to the early 20th century.


The reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603) succeeded in imposing a high degree of uniformity upon the Church of England. Protestantism was reinstated as the official religion of England after the short reign of Mary I (1553–58), who had attempted to restore Roman Catholicism in the country. In 1604, soon after James’s coronation as king of England, a conference of churchmen requested that the English Bible be revised because existing translations “were corrupt and not answerable to the truth of the original.” The Great Bible that had been authorized by Henry VIII (1538) enjoyed some popularity, but its successive editions contained several inconsistencies. The Bishops’ Bible (1568) was well regarded by the clergy but failed to gain wide acceptance or the official authorization of Elizabeth. The most popular English translation was the Geneva Bible (1557; first published in England in 1576), which had been made in Geneva by English Protestants living in exile during Mary’s persecutions. Never authorized by the crown, it was particularly popular among Puritans but not among many more-conservative clergymen.READ MORE ON THIS TOPICbiblical literature: The King James and subsequent versionsBecause of changing conditions, another official revision of the Protestant Bible in English was needed. The reign of Queen Elizabeth had…

Preparation and early editions

Given the perceived need for a new authorized translation, James was quick to appreciate the broader value of the proposal and at once made the project his own. By June 30, 1604, James had approved a list of 54 revisers, although extant records show that 47 scholars actually participated. They were organized into six companies, two each working separately at Westminster, Oxford, and Cambridge on sections of the Bible assigned to them. Richard Bancroft (1544–1610), archbishop of Canterbury, served as overseer and established doctrinal conventions for the translators. The new Bible was published in 1611.

Daniel Mytens: portrait of James I

Not since the Septuagint—the Greek-language version of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) produced between the 3rd and the 2nd centuries BCE—had a translation of the Bible been undertaken under royal sponsorship as a cooperative venture on so grandiose a scale. An elaborate set of rules was contrived to curb individual proclivities and to ensure the translation’s scholarly and nonpartisan character. In contrast to earlier practice, the new version was to use vulgar forms of proper names (e.g., “Jonas” or “Jonah” for the Hebrew “Yonah”), in keeping with its aim to make the Scriptures popular and familiar. The translators used not only extant English-language translations, including the partial translation by William Tyndale (c. 1490–1536), but also Jewish commentaries to guide their work. The wealth of scholarly tools available to the translators made their final choice of rendering an exercise in originality and independent judgment. For this reason, the new version was more faithful to the original languages of the Bible and more scholarly than any of its predecessors. The impact of the original Hebrew upon the revisers was so pronounced that they seem to have made a conscious effort to imitate its rhythm and style in their translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. The literary style of the English New Testament actually turned out to be superior to that of its Greek original.

frontispiece of the King James Bible
frontispiece of the King James BibleFrontispiece of the King James Version of the Bible, engraving by Cornelius Boel, 1611.Rare Book and Manuscript Library/University of Pennsylvania
See the misprints and errors in early editions of the King James Bible, including the “He and She Bibles,” “Judas Bible,” and “Wicked Bible”
See the misprints and errors in early editions of the King James Bible, including the “He and She Bibles,” “Judas Bible,” and “Wicked Bible”A look at misprinted early editions of the King James Bible, including the “He and She Bibles,” “Judas Bible,” and “Wicked Bible.”Courtesy of Folger Shakespeare Library; CC-BY-SA 4.0 (A Britannica Publishing Partner)

Two editions were printed in 1611, later distinguished as the “He” and “She” Bibles because of the variant readings “he” and “she” in the final clause of Ruth 3:15 (“and he went into the city”). Some errors in subsequent editions have become famous. Perhaps the most notorious example is the so-called “Wicked Bible” (1631), whose byname derives from the omission of “not” in the injunction against adultery in the Ten Commandments (“Thou shalt commit adultery”). The printers were fined £300 for the error.

Reputation since the early 20th century

In the early 20th century the King James Version fell into disfavour among many mainstream Protestant churches, which viewed it as antiquated. Beginning in the middle of the century, they increasingly turned to more-modern translations, such as the Revised Standard Version (1952), the New International Version (1978), and the New Revised Standard Version (1989). The King James Version, however, remained a popular source for the more famous Psalms and for the Gospels.

English-speaking Roman Catholics used an authorized English Bible, the Douai-Reims (1609), which was produced from the Latin Vulgate by English Catholic exiles in France, who also worked from many of the same English sources used by translators of the King James Version. Yet among English Catholics the King James Version was widely accepted from the 18th century; moreover, when the Douai-Reims Bible was updated in the mid-18th century, the translator, Richard Challoner (1691–1781), a convert from Protestantism to Catholicism, largely worked from the King James Version. Both the King James Version and the Douai-Reims Bible were finally supplanted in popularity by the Jerusalem Bible (1966).

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The man who created comic book hero Wonder Woman and her Lasso of Truth also invented the real-life lie-detecting polygraph test.

The King James Version is still the favoured biblical translation of many Christian fundamentalists and some Christian new religious movements. It is also widely regarded as one of the major literary accomplishments of early modern England. A complete New King James Version (NKJV) with modernized spellings was published in 1982.The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica

Hampton Court Conference

Hampton Court Conference, meeting held at Hampton Court Palace, near London, in January 1604, in response to the Millenary Petition (q.v.), in which the Puritans set forth their demands for reform of the Church of England. The conference was presided over by King James I and attended by the bishops and the Puritan leaders. Among the reforms discussed were changes in church government, changes in The Book of Common Prayer, and a new translation of the Bible.


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James rejected most of the Puritans’ demands and was firm in his rejection of any change in the episcopal form of church government. When confronted with the issue, he said that he had learned in Scotland “No bishop, no king.” He accepted the Puritans’ request for a new translation of the Bible, which led to the one important result of the conference, the preparation of the Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible (1611).

who wrote the king james version of the bible

“Let there be light.” “My brother’s keeper.” “Fight the good fight.” A number of the most well-known phrases in the English language originated not in novels, plays, or poems but in a seminal translation of the Bible, the King James Version (KJV), which was published in 1611 at the behest of King James I of England. It is likely the most famous translation of the bible and was the standard English Bible for nearly three centuries. Many people think that it’s so named because James had a hand in writing it, but that’s not the case. As king, James was also the head of the Church of England, and he had to approve of the new English translation of the Bible, which was also dedicated to him.

So if James didn’t write it, who did? To begin with, there’s no single author. One individual—Richard Bancroft, the archbishop of Canterbury—was notable for having the role of overseer of the project, something akin to a modern editor of a collection of short stories. The actual translating (writing) of the KJV was done by a committee of 47 scholars and clergymen over the course of many years. So we cannot say for certain which individual wrote a given passage.

One person who most assuredly did not write the KJV, although he had been long rumored to have done so, is William Shakespeare. There is no evidence that Shakespeare participated in the project, and, while both his works and the KJV are among the greatest literary feats of all time, his elaborate metaphor-heavy style and that of the KJV (which has minimalist and direct text) are vastly different. Moreover, there is little reason to believe that a group of 17th-century religious leaders would welcome a prominent playwright into their midst when theater at the time was widely thought—by devout Britons, at least—to be immoral.

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