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King James Version


King James Version
Jill Fromer / Getty Images

History of the King James Version:

In July of 1604, King James I of England appointed approximately 50 of the best Bible scholars and linguists of his day, to the task of translating a new version of the Bible into English. Upon completion, it was presented to King James I in 1611. It soon became the standard Bible for English-speaking Protestants.

Purpose of the King James Version:

In the preface of the first edition, the translators stated that it was not their purpose to make a new translation but to make a good one better. They wanted to make the Word of God more and more known to the people. It is a revision of the Bishop's Bible of 1568.

Quality of Translation:

It is noted for quality of translation and majesty of style. The translators were committed to producing an English Bible that would be a precise translation and not a paraphrase or approximate rendering. They were fully familiar with the original languages of the Bible and especially gifted in their use.

Accuracy of the King James Version:

Because of their reverence for God and His Word, only a principle of utmost accuracy could be accepted. Appreciating the beauty of divine revelation, they disciplined their talents to render well-chosen English words of their time as well as a graceful, often musical, arrangement of language.


The Authorized Version, or King James Version, has been the standard English translation for English-speaking Protestants for almost four hundred years. It has had a profound influence on the literature of the past 300 years.

Public Domain:

The King James Version is public domain in the United States.

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