King James Version

The King James Version or KJV, which is known in Britain as the Authorised Version, is an English translation of the Bible first published in 1611 by scholars of the Church of England. Considered a masterwork of medieval scholarship, the KJV has become the best selling book in the history of the world and, perhaps more than any other book or Bible translation, helped form modern Western civilization.

Attributes of the KJV

The King James Version is translated from the Received Text, also known as the Textus Receptus. The version used by the translators was the 1550 edition of Stephanus. The Received Text is very similar to the Majority Text and Byzantine text type. The book of Revelation has differences from these texts as much of it was taken from the Latin Vulgate.

The King James Version most commonly available at bookstores is based on the 1769 edition, which modernised the spelling of many of the words in the original 1611 edition, but made very few changes in vocabulary. Many contemporary King James Bibles have excised the deuterocanonical books, or Apocrypha.

Issues with the KJV

Updates to the KJV


  • Alister McGrath, In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible and How It Changed a Nation, a Language, and a Culture (Anchor; Reprint ed, 2002)

See also