400th Year Anniversary of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible

On this occasion of the 400th Year Anniversary of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible (May 2, 1611 - May 2, 2011), we draw attention to that Book of books we hold so dear. We know it through the title "King James" - a translation known to men world-wide reflecting the role of the monarch of Great Britain, King James I, who not only commissioned this royal "Authorized Version" but took an active role in developing rules for the translators and encouraging completion of the work. That this translation has endured for 400 years, impacting and moving both men and nations with its message, its language and its style, surely testifies to Divine providence.

Though the King James Bible no longer occupies its exclusive standing within Protestant Christianity, it remains a bulwark for many while a curiosity for others. Certainly we who have used it all our lives are indebted to it for the knowledge of God it has provided. Further, our very concept of Yahweh, His attributes, His expressions and His expectations of us are frequently reflected within our thoughts and speech in the style and language of the King James Version from which we know them. This impact is evident even within many translations that have since come into existence indicating their intent to retain the King James sentence structure while updating the language.

The King James Version represents preciseness in interpretation and reverence for the Word that exceeds other translations in popular use today. Though the style and language may be labeled archaic by some, for others it represents a speech set apart from the common and profane, a style and language reserved for prayer and praise. The sentence structures in the King James Bible are often complex and the vocabulary dated by today’s standards, but in that respect the King James Version is found faithful to and consistent with the original Hebrew and Greek from which it was translated.

We offer in this issue articles addressing the process and mechanics of how the "Authorized Version" came about, the history and role of King James as background to the inception and development of the translation, considerations regarding use of the King James Version in relation to other versions of the Bible, along with a variety of related topics. To avoid repetition here, we commend the enclosed to your attention.

The Christadelphian Advocate Publishing Committee