Briefs Synopsis Of The Twelve Disciples
When James VI of Scotland ascended to the throne of England as James I in 1603, there were two competing Bibles in the realm: the Bishops’ Bible, preferred by the church authorities, and the Geneva Bible, the favorite of the people. In January 1604 James called a conference of theologians and churchmen at Hampton Court “for the hearing, and for the determining, things pretended to be amiss in the Church.” A Puritan leader, John Reynolds, president of Corpus Christi College of Oxford, proposed that a new translation be made, to replace the two Bibles. The King, who had an amateur’s interest in Bible translation, gave his approval, and on February 10, 1604, he ordered that “a translation be made of the whole Bible, as consonant as an be to the original Hebrew and Greek, and this is to be set out and printed without any marginal notes and only to be used in all Churches of England in time of Divine Service.” Fifty four learned men were organized into six panels: three for the Old Testament, two for the New Testament and one for the Apocrypha. Fifteen rules were drawn up to guide their work, the first one of which was: “The ordinary Bible read in the Church, commonly called the Bishops’ Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the truth of the original will permit.” Rule six stipulated that no marginal notes be affixed but only to explain the Hebrew or Greek words, which could not be expressed in another way within the text.
The translation was published in 1611 and very rapidly went through several editions, nearly all of which had some changes in the text. The most careful and comprehensive revision was published in 176, the work of an Oxford scholar who spent nearly fourteen years on the task. Although never formally authorized by King or Parliament, the name “The Authorized Version” became attached to the King James Version and that is how it is known in Great Britain today.
There were some fierce critics of the new Bible, notably the eminent Hebrew scholar Hugh Broughton, who had not been invited to work on it. He himself was preparing a Bible, based on the Geneva Bible, but did not live long enough to see it published. It took nearly forty years for the King James Version to replace the Geneva Bible in the affection of the people; once established, however, it became the Bible of English-speaking peoples for over 350 years, down to the present time.
In 1870 the Church of England authorized a revision of the King James Version. Fifty four scholars were appointed, most of them Anglicans, but including Methodists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, and one Unitarian. Americans were invited to participate, by correspondence and in 1885 the New King James Version was published. In the New Testament alone there were over 30,000 changes. Many changes stemmed from the discovery of a better Greek text. The Bible was published in special Sunday supplements of the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Times before it was released. The new version even had an appendix
The King James Version continues to be the version of choice for believers today. It is considered a classic and for many who grew up with it as the only version of the Bible they had to read, it is still the Bible they carry to church with them and read before they go to bed at night. As other versions have come to the forefront over the years many believers will add another version to their collection to use for study and for further reference but rarely do you hear of someone discontinuing the use of their King James Version Bible in exchange for another version.