King James Bible

In 1611 AD, England's King James put his authorization on the Bible version he had ordered 54 men to translate.

Some would be surprised to hear that the King James version of the Bible is not the first Authorized English version. The 1611 Authorized King James Version of the Bible is the second authorized version of  the Bible in English.

The Great Bible was the first authorized English version. It was authorized by King Henry VIII. It was prepared by Myles Coverdale and completed in 1538. It was originally called The Cromwell Bible because Sir Thomas Cromwell oversaw its publication. It was also called The Chained Bible.

The Great Bible was set aside for the Bishop's Bible in 1568. The Church of England embraced this Bible because they found the Calvinistic 1560 Geneva Bible to be offensive.

Looking at how The Great Bible was embraced and overshadowed by the Bishop's Bible, you could almost say that the King James was the 3rd authorized version of the English Bible. However, the Bishop's Bible was never authorized by an English king.

Please don't get me wrong in all of this semi-useless information. I prefer the King James version to others. I however like the Revised Standard and Amplified too. It just urks me when folks go on about the KJV being the only authorized version and all. But, they're just doing and saying what they were taught. No harm done. Well not much anyway.

Here are the instructions that King James gave the translators when he was informed of all the disputes:
The ordinary Bible, read in the church, commonly called the Bishops' Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the original will permit.
The old ecclesiastical words to be kept; as the word church, not to be translated congregation.
When any word hath divers significations, that to be kept which has been most commonly used by the most eminent fathers, being agreeable to the propriety of the place, and the analogy of the faith.
No marginal notes at all to be affixed, but only for the explanation of the Hebrew or Greek words, which cannot, without some circumlocution, so briefly and fitly be expressed in the text.
Such quotations of places to be marginally set down, as shall serve for the fit references of one scripture to another.
These translations to be used when they agree better with the text than the Bishop's Bible, viz. Tyndale Bible, Coverdale Bible, Matthew's Bible, Great Bible, Geneva Bible. (Influence from Taverner's Bible and the New Testament of the Douai-Rheims Bible can also be detected, but the Douai Old Testament was published too late to have any effect.)

About 80% of the KJV is unaltered from Tyndale's translation.

The KJV Bible that most people have today is the 1769 version edited by Benjamin Blayney at Oxford.

Click on and read weblinks below for extensive information on the KJV:

This one is excellent:

Are you surprised concerning the information presented on the weblinks?
I like the King James version too! Take heart though. Even I haven't always been aware of its complete history. I believe the 66 books in the normal King James Bible are fine. Don't get tore up too bad. Just because the Calvinists had a hand in translating the King James Bible doesn't make it worthy of the trash heep. God had a donkey speak to its master once. And so, Calvinists can be used by God too. I prefer the 66 book Authorized King James Bible above all others. Though, this is because I know it more by heart than other translations I think.

- - Jeremy Brown 2003-2007

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