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King James Bible KJV 400th Anniversary Celebration

May 2, 1611 – May 2, 2011

On May 2, 2011 the world will celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible. The history surrounding the publishing of this version of the Bible showed a hunger by the people to have the unadulterated Word of God accessible to them on a daily basis so they could commune with God and know Him through His Word.

The King James Version, or Authorized Version, of the Bible was commissioned at a time of Renaissance of literature and language in England, which led to a translation rich with the rhythms and beauty of Elizabethan poetry and drama. At the same time, the relatively new technology known as the printing press was seen as a means with which to open up accessibility to the Scriptures to ordinary Christians on a massive scale for the first time in history.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the King James Bible not Shakespeare set this language on its path to become a universal language on a scale unprecedented before or since.” – Melvyn Bragg, British Author and Broadcaster

The King James Version (KJV) of 1611, also known as “the people’s Bible”, became an enduring work in an age when religion mattered to almost everyone in a way that is difficult to appreciate today. When people believed in God and what the scriptures taught, Christian beliefs were part and parcel of daily life. It mattered what was taught and understood. It mattered what people really believed. It influenced their lives, their attitudes and their actions – from the highest in the land to the lowliest man or woman. The KJV had an enormous effect on peoples’ lives; its language and terminology may seem archaic today but it was the everyday parlance of ordinary people and its language became entwined into English literature over many generations, not just in England but wherever the Bible was carried into what has become the English-speaking world, and is with us today. (KJV Development)

“The King James Bible is a cornerstone of our culture and our language. Whatever our faith, whatever we believe, we have to recognise that the rhetorical power of this book, and in particular its power to fuse history with poetry, connects at the most fundamental level with our own history and poetry.” – Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, 1999-2009

A Timeline of Events leading up to the publishing of the King James Version

  • 1601 – 16 May, a meeting of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland took place in the Parish Church of Burntisland, Fife, attended by King James VI of Scotland. It was at this meeting that the proposal to have a new translation of the Bible was first discussed.
  • 1603 – James VI of Scotland became James I, King of England
  • 1604 – The Hampton Court Conference on the future of the church; at this conference it was decided to commission a new translation of the Bible in an effort to provide a new translation which would be acceptable to everyone. The issue of too many marginal notes in the Geneva Bible became a rallying point for the adoption of the following resolution: “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, and only to be used in all churches of England in time of divine service.” King James I and Richard Bancroft, Bishop of London, later to become Archbishop of Canterbury, drew up instructions for the translators which would ensure that the new version would conform to the theology of the Church of England.
  • 1610 – Meeting to discuss the translation at the Stationers Hall, City of London. Building on the advances in Hebrew and Greek scholarship, together with the insights of previous translators, the translation teams produced a remarkably rich and resonant version, which was to serve for public readings in churches as well as private devotional reading. The Bishop of Gloucester, Miles Smith, wrote the Preface, which acknowledged the new translation’s debt to its predecessors, but set out the hope that “out of many good ones” there would now be “one principal good one” used by everyone.
  • 1611 – The King James Bible was published, despite considerable problems printing it.
  • 1620 – The Pilgrim Fathers set sail to America, taking the English Bible with them. This was an immensely important step in the diffusion of the bible world-wide, which was further enhanced by its use during the expansion of British influence across the world with the East India Company, the establishment of colonies in Africa, and the discovery of Australia and New Zealand.

Four hundred years later, the King James Version of the Bible continues to inspire people from all walks of life and faith traditions and is regarded as the most influential book ever published in the English language. H.L. Mencken, a 20th Century American writer, praised it as “probably the most beautiful piece of writing in all the literature of the world.”

Celebrate Your Faith has a number of special 400th anniversary products in our Bible Boutique to celebrate this milestone. Remember, we can personalize any of these Bibles for you, for a gift, or any special occasion!

KJV Family Bible 400th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

This beautifully crafted family Bible will become a treasured heirloom for generations to come! This new edition contains a special full-color celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Version. Bonded brown leather.

400th Anniversary KJV 1611 Bible and NKJV Bible 2-Volume Commemorative Set

This two volume set contains the New King James Version and the original KJV 1611 edition. This version has authentic spellings, capitalization, and punctuation used by the 1611 translators themselves, before centuries of changes began to occur. Set in roman type for easier reading, it includes the original notes, references, and books of the Bible, including the Apocrypha, as in 1611.

The King James Study Bible 400th Anniversary Edition

The most comprehensive King James Version study Bible published in 50 years, The King James Study Bible has 2,000-plus pages packed with thousands of notes and commentaries from respected conservative scholars. Also includes a 24-page full-color historical booklet commemorating the 400th anniversary of the King James Version.

KJV 400th Anniversary Bible – Black Genuine Cowhide Leather

This KJV 400th Anniversary Bible celebrates this passionate rendering of God’s Word, presenting it in a highest quality format for those who love the translation’s rich heritage and reverent language.

KJV Treasure of God’s Word

This study guide and prayer book celebrate the history of the King James Version of the Bible with topical Scripture text and historical information to bring encouragement, comfort, and joy to the reader. Scripture selections are divided into 45 topics that shed light on the vastness of God’s love for each one of us.

We have much more in our Bible Boutique! To view all of our King James Bibles or other translations follow the links below:

More King James Bibles

All Bibles

For more information on the 400th Anniversary of the King James Version, visit the following websites:

The King James Version 400th Anniversary

Celebrating the Legacy of the Bible

King James Bible Trust

KJV 400th Year Commemoration

KJV Timeline

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