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The literary style of the English New Testament actually turned out to be superior to that of its Greek original. Some errors in subsequent editions have become famous. In the early 20th century the King James Version fell into disfavour among many mainstream Protestant churches, which viewed it as antiquated. Beginning in the middle of the century, they increasingly turned to more-modern translations, such as the Revised Standard Version , the New International Version , and the New Revised Standard Version The King James Version, however, remained a popular source for the more famous Psalms and for the Gospels.

English-speaking Roman Catholics used an authorized English Bible, the Douai-Reims , which was produced from the Latin Vulgate by English Catholic exiles in France, who also worked from many of the same English sources used by translators of the King James Version. Yet among English Catholics the King James Version was widely accepted from the 18th century; moreover, when the Douai-Reims Bible was updated in the midth century, the translator, Richard Challoner — , a convert from Protestantism to Catholicism, largely worked from the King James Version.

The King James Version is still the favoured biblical translation of many Christian fundamentalists and some Christian new religious movements. It is also widely regarded as one of the major literary accomplishments of early modern England. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles.

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King James Version - Wikipedia

Please note that our editors may make some formatting changes or correct spelling or grammatical errors, and may also contact you if any clarifications are needed. See Article History. Read More on This Topic. Because of changing conditions, another official revision of the Protestant Bible in English was needed. The reign of Queen Elizabeth had…. Britannica Demystified.

Start your free trial today for unlimited access to Britannica. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. The reign of Queen Elizabeth had succeeded in imposing a high degree of uniformity upon the church.

However, the failure…. In Archbishop George Abbot forbade the issuance of Bibles without the Apocrypha, but editions of the King James Version from on often omitted it from the bound copies. The Geneva…. Nationalism inspired by the Reformation motivated the historical chronicles of the capable and stylish Edward….

For example, consider the King James Version. The phrase Old Testament consists of two words, one with three letters, the other with nine. Concatenate the two digits to get 39, the number of Old Testament books.


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Bible, the sacred scriptures of Judaism and Christianity. The Christian Bible consists of the Old Testament and the New Testament, with the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox versions of the Old Testament being slightly larger because of their acceptance of certain books and parts of books….

Preparation and early editions

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History of the King James Version

Contact our editors with your feedback. German and French translations were also consulted. The guidelines further laid down that existing chapter and verse divisions should be retained, that only marginal notes which explained difficult Hebrew and Greek words be included and that the widest possible consultation should take place at every stage in order to ensure the accuracy of the text and its faithfulness to the original languages.

The outcome of this structured and well-supervised process was exactly what had been intended—a better version of the English Bible than any previously issued. Wherever possible, it attempted to ensure that every word in the original was translated by an equivalent English word. This word-for-word approach required a careful balancing act.

What is the history of the King James Bible?

While the meaning of the original language takes precedence, the receptor language must also be accurate and intelligible. Words in the translation that were not in the original were generally shown in italics in the translated text. An important result of this way of translating is that a large number of Hebrew and Greek words and idioms have passed into the English language and thence into all succeeding English literature. It is just one way in which the Authorised Version has influenced the development of the Western world.

What does it all mean? It consists of 27 books, beginning with Matthew and ending with Revelation. It is a collection of works, written in the first century a. Its teachings form the foundations of Judaism and modern Christianity. Jesus quoted extensively from it in His ministry. They are not included in the Protestant Bible. This truly great version of the English Bible made a significant impact on the development of Western civilisation. This sometimes seems more-readily recognised by the enemies of that civilisation than some who live within its boundaries and benefit from its many advantages.

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When we celebrate the Authorised Version, we celebrate who we are and where we have come from, perhaps without even knowing it. It has been the literature of millions who have read little else, it has been the guide of conduct to men and women of every class in life and of every rank in learning and education. It was the work, not of one man, nor of one age, but of many labourers, of diverse and even opposing views, over a period of 90 years.


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It was watered with the blood of martyrs, and its slow growth gave time for the casting off of imperfections and for the full accomplishment of its destiny as the Bible of the English nation. Sadly, we shall never see its equal—or even its like—again. That principle has been understood by all translators of the Bible since the time of the reformers, and it still holds today.

It explains in part why there have been so many new translations in recent times and why they continue to roll from the presses and publishing houses throughout the English-speaking world. While the influence of the Authorised Version can never be diminished, its meanings can often be clarified with the help of more recent translations.

That the Bible is available to us in so many translations and versions is a great advantage, and that we are free to read it is one of the great benefits of living in a free society and one not to be neglected. Related Media Video. Omega-3 for Vegetarians While vegetarians may have generally lower intakes of cholesterol and saturated fat, are they getting enough omega-3? Finding Hope As our world spirals towards an Armageddon ending, Gary Webster believes the Bible's predictions concerning our times offers some insight.

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