King James Version
The King James Version (KJV), commonly known as the Authorized Version (AV) or King James Bible (KJB), is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England begun in 1604 and completed in 1611. First printed by the King's Printer Robert Barker, this was the third translation into English to be approved by the English Church authorities. The first was the Great Bible commissioned in the reign of King Henry VIII (1535), and the second was the Bishops' Bible of 1568. In January 1604, King James I convened the Hampton Court Conference where a new English version was conceived in response to the perceived problems of the earlier translations as detected by the Puritans, a faction within the Church of England. The translation is considered a towering achievement in English literature, as both beautiful and scholarly.
- Translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light; that breaketh the shell, that we may eat the kernel; that putteth aside the curtain, that we may look into the most Holy place; that removeth the cover of the well, that we may come by the water.
- The Translators to the Reader
- And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
- Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
- And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed.
- For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
- And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
Letter of James
- For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
- Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
- But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
Quotes about the King James Version
- You can't appreciate English literature unless you are steeped to some extent in the King James Bible, people don't know that proverbial phrases which make echoes in their minds come from this Bible. We are a Christian culture, we come from a Christian culture and not to know the King James Bible, is to be in some small way, barbarian.
- Richard Dawkins, quoted in 'Richard Dawkins lends his support to The King James Bible Trust', Kings James Bible Trust (19 February 2010)
- It is not simply a translation, but a poetic translation, written to be read out loud...to lodge in the mind and to disturb the temporal with the haunting sound of the eternal.
- We also had the inestimable advantage of beginning each school day with an act of worship which included a reading from the King James Bible which, with the Book of Common Prayer, has had more influence on our language, literature, history and culture than any other book, but which today a majority of our children will never encounter.
- P. D. James, 'English must be saved', The Times (14 June 1993), p. 14
- Whenever we put words into someone's mouth, or see the writing on the wall, or go from strength to strength, or eat, drink and be merry, or fight the good fight, or bemoan the signs of the times, or find a fly in the ointment, or use words such as "long-suffering", "scapegoat" and "peacemaker" we are unconsciously quoting the [King James Version].
- Robert McCrum, British writer, editor and literary commentator, in "How the King James Bible shaped the English language: The King James Bible turns 400 next year, and even in multicultural, secular modern Britain its influence is still profound" The Guardian. November 20, 2010.