In 1603, James VI of Scotland achieved the English throne and became King James I. Because of discontent in the country, four nonconformists, nine bishops, eight Deans, and four other clergymen met with the King at Hampton Court in January of 1604. 3 The result of this meeting was the decision to re-translate the Bible with no marginal notes, review it, and ratify it as the only accepted Bible. Forty-seven men split into six groups and divided the work between them. Translation lasted six years and revision lasted an additional nine months. The first copies of the Authorized Bible were printed in 1611. 3
“To the most high and mighty Prince James, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Etc. The Translators of the Bible wish Grace, Mercy, and Peace through JESUS CHRIST our Lord.” 1
Printing errors have caused multiple different ‘versions’ of the Bible. For example, in Ruth 3:15, the first edition of the KJV stated, “…and laid it on her: and he went into the city.” In the second edition (and following editions as well), it states “…and laid it on her: and she went into the city.” Other errors include the famous “Wicked Bible,” which omitted the word not in “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” 1
The King James Bible is still the most widely read edition of the Bible in America 4. At Special Collections, we have several of the KJV, including an original 1613 “She” Bible and a facsimile “He” Bible.
Please come in to see our collection of King James and other Bibles! Special Collections is located in Room 220 of the McKay Library at BYU-Idaho. Hours: 9-5, M-F
- The King James Bible
2. Moore, H., & Reid, J. (2011). Manifold greatness: The making of the King James Bible. Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.
3. Wegener, G. S. (1958). 6000 years of the Bible. Harper & Row, New York, N.Y.
4. Silliman, D. (2015). The most popular Bible of the year is probably not what you think it is. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/08/28/the-most-popular-bible-of-the-year-is-probably-not-what-you-think-it-is/