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The King James Version (KJV)
In 1604, at the request of King James I of England, representatives from the Church of England and leading English Puritans gathered together to discuss issues affecting the church in their day. Among those items for consideration was whether God would have them undertake the creation of a new Bible for the English-speaking world. King James approved plans for a new translation, and work began in 1607.
Nearly 50 of the day's finest scholars, all from the Church of England, were organized into six groups for the task. Using the Bishop's Bible of 1568 as the basis for this revision, the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew and the New Testament from Greek. The completed work was then peer-reviewed before being sent to bishops and other church leaders for their examination, and ultimately to King James for his approval.
In 1611, the King James Version Bible, also known as the Authorized Version, was published. Because of the printing technology available at the time, various misprints, variations in spelling, and other inconsistencies were common in early editions. Therefore, subsequent updates were necessary in 1613, 1629, and 1638. But the revisions made at Cambridge in 1762 and at Oxford in 1769 standardized the text, ensuring that the King James Version would remain immensely readable for generations to come.
Today, more than 400 years since its initial publication, the bestselling King James Version Bible continues to inspire, encourage, and strengthen people from all walks of life. The KJV is considered one of the most influential and beautiful works of literature in the English language and continues to be the favorite translation for millions of Christians.
Standing apart from all other KJV study Bibles on the market, the King James Study Bible, Full Color Edition is the only Bible featuring extensive commentary, doctrinal notes, archaeological insights, and time-tested study aids developed exclusively for the King James Version. Now available with stunning full-color designs, Holy Land images, classic works of art, charts, and maps, the King James Study Bible, Full Color Edition guides you through the vivid beauty and authority of God's Word as you grow in your biblical knowledge.
For over a quarter of a century, Thomas Nelson has earned the trust of millions with the best-selling King James Study Bible, offering the standard of conservative KJV scholarship. Our tradition and commitment to KJV study continues with the release of the King James Study Bible, Full Color Edition.
- Beautiful full-color throughout
- Easy-to-read 10-pt type large print
- 5,700 authoritative and study notes
- Center-column references with translation notes
- Hundreds of color maps and charts
- Over 100 archaeological notes
- Over 100 personality profiles
- Over 200 notes on Christian doctrines
- Easy-to-navigate topical indexes
- Book introductions and outlines
- Word-study concordance
- Time-honored KJV Bible text
The literary beauty of the King James Version with the readability of Thomas Nelson's custom KJV font, plus essential study resources, words of Christ in red, and an easy-to-read type size, all in a package that's convenient to take anywhere. That's the KJV Deluxe Personal Size Giant Print Reference Bible. The giant print format and beautifully designed layout of this edition will add to your comfort as you dig deep into God's Word. Additional features include an attractive end-of-page reference system, book introductions, a concordance, and full-color maps.
- Beauty and clarity of the new Thomas Nelson KJV Font
- Easy-to-read giant print
- End-of-page references
- Translation notes
- Presentation page
- Bible book introductions
- Miracles and parables of Jesus
- Reading plan
- Words of Christ in red
- Full-color maps
- Double ribbon markers
- Gilded page edges
- 11.6-point print size
KJV in Comparison to Other Translations
Frequently Asked Questions
- How did the King James version come about?James VI of Scotland took over the English throne from the Tudors in A.D. 1603. He was promptly crowned King James I of England. At that time, the number of English translations of the Bible caused disunity in the kingdom.
In January of 1604, James I called a conference of theologians and churchmen at Hampton Court in order to hear and then resolve things that were amiss in the church. He sought to deal with ecclesiastical grievances of all sorts. A number of those present pressed the new king for a new translation—one that would take the place of both the Geneva Bible and the Bishops' Bible (so named because a group of Anglican bishops revised it), as well as thwart the Catholic challenge symbolized by the Douai-Rheims Bible. The actual proposal for a new translation came from a Puritan, Dr. John Reynolds, president of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. King James I was agreeable to the proposal.
- What is the Translation Philosophy and Procedure?The KJV is a word-for-word translation—though, many would say, not unbendingly so. In producing this translation, there were six panels of translators appointed by King James I, two meeting at Oxford, two at Cambridge, and two at Westminster. A total of 54 translators were involved in the project, and began their work in 1604. Of these six panels, two oversaw the translation of the New Testament, three oversaw the translation of the Old Testament, and one oversaw the translation of the Apocrypha. The six groups worked separately, and once their work was complete, it was sent to the other panels for comment and revision. The chief members of the six panels then met to make final decisions on all suggested revisions.
The translation procedure was based upon fifteen rules that were given to the team of 54 translators. For instance, the first rule states: "The ordinary Bible read in the Church, commonly called the Bishops' Bible, [was] to be followed, and as little altered as the truth of the original will permit." The sixth rule stipulates that no marginal notes 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." All 54 translators adhered to all fifteen rules.
- What was the goal of the translators?The original Preface of the KJV tells us that the goal of the translation team was not to make "a new translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one... but to make a good one better, or out of many good ones one principal good one." So, dependence on the work of previous translators is acknowledged. The original title page of the KJV even states that it was made "with the former translations diligently compared and revised."
- How is the 1611 version different from the KJV Bible today?Since its initial publication, the King James Version has undergone three revisions, incorporating more than 100,000 changes. The most careful and comprehensive revision was published in 1769. The KJV is well known for its archaic language, using such terms as Thee, Thou, and ye, and verbs often ending in "-eth" and "-est" (loveth and doest). This is one reason some love the KJV. The language seems so elegant.