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Friday, 4 September 2015

King James Version

The newly crowned  King James I of England convened the Hampton Court Conference, which proposed a new English version of The Bible in response to the perceived problems of earlier translations as detected by the Puritan faction of the Church of England. The motion was carried on January 17, 1604, "...that a translation be made of the whole Bible, as consonant as can be to the original Hebrew and Greek; and this to be set out and printed, without any marginal notes..."

On July 22, 1604, King James sent a letter to Archbishop Bancroft asking him to contact all English churchmen requesting that they make donations to his project.

The task of translation was undertaken by 47 scholars. All were members of the Church of England and all except Sir Henry Savile were clergy. The scholars worked in six committees, who began work at the end of 1604.

A major source was William Tyndale's translation. His words account for 84% of the New Testament and 75 % of the Old Testament books. Among the famous lines lifted from Tyndale's work are:
 In the beginning God created heaven and earth" (Genesis 1:1),
"Let there be light" (Genesis 1:3)
"In the beginning was the Word" (John 1:1).

The King James Bible was published for the first time in London, on May 2, 1611 by printer Robert Barker. In the years following its publication, the Geneva Bible remained by far the most popular English Bible. It was the Geneva translation, not the King James, that was used by William Shakespeare and the early American Puritans.

The title page to the 1611 first edition of the Authorized Version Bible

Phrases from the King James Bible that are now phrases in the English language include.

Land of Nod (Genesis 4 v 16)
Put words in his mouth (Exodus 4 v 15)
Give up the ghost (Job 3 v 11 and 13 v 19)
Salt of the earth (Matthew 5 v 13)
Turned the world upside down (Acts 17 v 6)
The powers that be Romans (13 v 1).

Sheep are the animals most often mentioned in the King James Bible with 200 references, and there are another 191 mentions of lambs, 10 of ewes and 172 of rams.

It is known as the King James Bible in the United Kingdom. it is also known as the Authorized Version, or AV.

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