New books herald world’s most famous Good Book

ANN BYLE |

(RNS) Anyone who watched the recent royal wedding in Westminster Abbey heard words and phrases found in the King James Version of the Bible: “vouchsafed” and “thee” and “asunder.” It was a fitting setting as the world celebrates the 400th anniversary of the Bible commissioned by King James I, the successor to Queen Elizabeth I. […]

Lofty language of KJV is more common than you might think

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) Twelve phrases believed to have originated in the King James Bible, which celebrates its 400th anniversary this year: “Fight the good fight” (1 Timothy 6:12) “What comes out of the mouths of babes” (Psalms 8:2) “How are the mighty fallen” (2 Samuel 1:19) “To every thing there is a season” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) “Beat their […]

Oops! Printing errors in the original KJV

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) In the days before spell check, printer errors occasionally crept into the King James Version of the Bible. Here are some of the most notable: – In a 1612 edition, Psalm 119:161 read “Printers have persecuted me without cause,” instead of “princes.” Perhaps a Freudian slip by the copy editor. – A 1631 edition […]

Chances are thou keepest a KJV in thy house

Cathy Lynn Grossman |

(RNS) If thou hast a Bible in the house and readeth it at least once a month, chances are strong it's the majestic King James Version of the Bible in Elizabethan English, according to a recent survey. Of the 89 percent of U.S. adults who own at least one Bible, two-thirds of them own a […]

How didst the KJV come to be?

Peggy Fletcher Stack |

(RNS) The King James Bible, translated from ancient Greek and Hebrew in 1611, is, by virtually all accounts, the most awe-inspiring work of English prose ever written. Over the past four centuries, the KJV has sold more than 5 billion copies. Its exquisite English text has circulated the globe in the hands of missionaries and […]

Mormon embrace of KJV didn’t come early, or easy

Peggy Fletcher Stack |

(RNS) Though many early Mormon texts and speeches mirror the English prose of the King James Bible, it was not always the Mormons' only authorized version ofHoly Writ. In fact, Mormon founder Joseph Smith had so many reservations about its language that he stated his new Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believed the […]

For many blacks, there’s only one Bible, and it’s the KJV

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) On Sundays, C. Elizabeth Floyd, shows up for worship at Trinity Baptist Church of Metro Atlanta, with her Bible in hand. But the large, black leather Bible with dog-eared pages and hand-written notes in the margins isn't just any Bible: It's the King James Version. And Floyd, like many African-Americans, wouldn't have it any […]