2 May: Creating The King James Bible

Accessible and rigorous, the King James Bible was published on 2nd May, 1611, at the behest of the Monarch after which it was named – and perhaps even he would be surprised at the book’s extraordinary success.

Advancements in printing technology made copies affordable, the expansion of English colonialism propagated it across the word, and its poetic imagery captured the imagination of churchgoers, who felt as though they were listening to God. But, there was an embarrassing typo!

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain why the book’s authors were wise to a) name it after the King, and b) keep their footnotes to a minimum; elucidate the difference between ‘interpretation’ and ‘translation’; and reveal the common phrases still in use today which most people don’t even realise originate in this book…

Further Reading:

• ‘Who Wrote The Bible, And When? The History Of The Book’ (HistoryExtra, 2020): https://www.historyextra.com/period/ancient-history/history-bible-origins-who-wrote-when-how-reliable-historical-record/

• ‘King James Bible: How and Why the Translation Came to Be’ (TIME, 2017): https://time.com/4821911/king-james-bible-history/

• ‘Adam Nicolson: The King James Bible’ (National Geographic, 2012):