The Bible Background

The Bible Background

The version of the Christian Holy Bible commonly referred to as the King James Version actually goes by the more technically correct name of the “Authorized Version.” The creation of the Authorized Version of the Holy Bible can be directly traced back to the rise in influence of the Puritans in the early years of the 17th century. The official spokesman for the Puritans was Dr. John Reynolds, President of Corpus Christi College in Oxford and he was the driving force—with the full weight of the power that came with having the support of King James I behind him--behind the Hampton Court Conference of 1604 which was convened expressly for the purpose of creating a brand new revised translation of the Holy Bible.

Ultimately, the job of revision would involve more than 50 different esteemed individuals including the Bishops of Gloucester and Winchester as well as other notable ecclesiastics as well as scholars and academics from Cambridge, Oxford and Winchester colleges. The team of revisionists were instructed to essentially not stray too far from the foundational guide known as the Bishops’ Bible which was conceived in 1568. The result is that the Authorized Version (King James Version) wound up retaining roughly 80% of the wording of the previous translation. Even so, every attempt was made to consult every known English translation of scripture in existence at the time.

Three years later the revised translation was finally completed. Despite this, the official nomenclature would actually be entirely accurate until 1611 as it took until then for the translation to actually be authorized. Of course, history is never completely and objectively clear so rather than going down in history as the Authorized Version of the Bible, what came out of that three years of revising would forever be known as the King James Version. Despite the fact that King James actually had about as much to do with the tome bearing his name as most other creative endeavors attributed to monarchs over the millennia.

The original 1611 translation published as the Authorized Version is notable primarily for its reliance upon archaic syntax and lexicon rather than attempting to reflect the contemporary idiom of the day. Another notable difference between the so-called King James Version and many other versions is a slight modification of the books contained within. Authorized KJV contains books considered non-canonical apocrypha that are nowhere in most versions published in recent decades that do make a concerted attempt to introduce modern vernacular into the books officially considered canon.

The following is a list of books that wound up being included in the 1611 version in the order in which they appear.

Old Testament

Genesis
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy
Joshua
Judges
Ruth
I Samuel
II Samuel
I Kings
II Kings
I Chronicles
II Chronicles
Ezra
Nehemiah
Esther
Job
Psalms
Proverbs
Ecclesiastes
Song of Solomon
Isaiah
Jeremiah
Lamentations
Ezekiel
Daniel
Hosea
Joel
Amos
Obadiah
Jonah
Micah
Nahum
Habakkuk
Zephaniah
Haggai
Zechariah
Malachi

Apocrypha

1 Esdras

2 Esdras

Tobit

Judith

Additions to Esther

The Wisdom of Solomon

Ecclesiasticus

Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremy

Song of the Three Children

Story of Susanna

The Idol Bel and the Dragon

Prayer of Manasses

1 Maccabees

2 Maccabees


New Testament

Matthew
Mark
Luke
John
Acts
Romans
I Corinthians
II Corinthians
Galatians
Ephesians
Philippians
Colossians
I Thessalonians
II Thessalonians
I Timothy
II Timothy
Titus
Philemon
Hebrews
James
I Peter
II Peter
I John
II John
III John
Jude
Revelation

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