King James Bible is the version of the Holy Bible. It is the English translation of the Christian Bible which was commissioned on 1604 and finalized in 1611. Before the King James Version, the church has approved two more versions of the Bible, the first being the Great Bible in 1535 and the second, the Bishop’s Bible of 1568.
47 scholars were employed by King James to translate from Greek, Hebrew and Latin to English version of the Bible. All 47 were members of Church of England and were instructed by the King to ascertain that the newly compiled version conforms ecclesiology and perfectly reflects the episcopal structure of the Church of England. It fast went on to become the unchallenged English edition and was accepted in the Anglican and Protestant Churches. It also acted as a supplement for Latin Vulgate for English speaking scholars. This version of the Bible became the most widely printed book in history. Its text replaced the text for Epistle and Gospel readings in the Great Bible.
The first edition of this book carried a rather lengthy title, ” THE HOLY BIBLE, Containing the Old Testament, AND THE NEW: Newly Translated out of the Original tongues: & with the former Translations diligently compared and revised, by his Majesties special Commandment”. Since then, the name has been revised several times. The proposal for an English version was deemed necessary as the Puritan faction of Church of England had observed some issues with the previous translations. To make their case stronger, three verbose examples were put forth:
1. from Galatians iv. 25 (from the Bishops’ Bible). The Greek word susoichei is not well translated as now it is, bordereth neither expressing the force of the word, nor the apostle’s sense, nor the situation of the place
2. Psalm cv. 28 (from the Great Bible), ‘They were not obedient;’ the original being, ‘They were not disobedient.’
3. Psalm cvi. 30 (also from the Great Bible), ‘Then stood up Phinees and prayed,’ the Hebrew hath, ‘executed judgment.’
The original edition was printed by the King’s printer, Robert Barker. The daunting task before the translating scholars was to stay true to meanings in the original text, however, sometimes it took a beating as several different words were translated to a single English word.
The Authorized Version of the Bible is free for the public in most parts of the world. However, in the UK, its printing requires permission from the Royalty.