February 8, 2011
400th Anniversary of the King James Bible
When I was a kid going to Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, I worked hard to memorize any Bible verses we studied in our lessons. After all, there were always rewards such as a sticker, pencil, bookmark or other small prizes. And yes, I was competitive enough that if other kids in our class were learning the verses, then I wanted to, also.
We were always given the verses from the King James Bible. I now prefer to read a modern translation simply because the wording is more natural and easier to understand.
However, the KJV (King James Version) has certainly stood the test of time. This year we are celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. Here is its story.
In 1526, the first translation of the New Testament into English was published by Tyndale. Then in 1604, King James I of England authorized a new translation of the Bible into English. That one was the King James Version of the Bible. The completed work was published on May 2, 1611. It was printed in black letters with small italicized Roman type. It became the Bible used by English-speaking Protestants. Later it became known as the Authorized Version and went through several editions and revisions.
May 2, 1611 to May 2, 2011, that's 400 years. The King James Bible is the most printed book in the history of the world!