King James Version Bible

The King James Version Bible (KJB) is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England, commissioned in 1604 and completed and published in 1611 under the sponsorship of James VI.

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The original (1611) King James Version included all the books in the Septuagint, including 14 books of the Apocrypha, but changed to the 66 books, 39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament, in the 1739 version to align with the Masoretic texts. They translated the New Testament from Greek, the Old Testament from Hebrew and Aramaic, and the Apocrypha from Greek and Latin.

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The King James Bible was the third translation into English approved by the English Church authorities, with the first being the Great Bible, commissioned by King Henry VIII in 1535, and the 2nd was the Bishops’ Bible, commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I in 1568. The Bishop’s Bible was influential in writing the KJB, and its text served as the translators’ primary guide, including keeping the proper names of the people in the bible. When a question arose concerning the Bishops’ Bible translation, they permitted the translators to consult other translations from a pre-approved list that included: the Geneva Bible, the Coverdale Bible, the Tyndale Bible, Matthew’s Bible, the Taverner’s Bible and the New Testament of the Douay-Rheims Bible.

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Over the course of the 18th century, the KJB unseated the Latin Vulgate as the standard version of scripture for English-speaking scholars, replacing it in almost all Anglican and English Protestant churches. By the start of the 19th century, this version of the Bible became the most printed book in history and one of the most important books in English culture.  They based most of the 19th century printings on the standard text of 1769 version, edited by Benjamin Blayney while at Oxford, which omit the Apocrypha books and is the King James Version used today.

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