King James Bible title page
Title page from a first edition of the King James Bible, printed in London in 1611.
The King James Version of the Bible is celebrated today as one of the major achievements in the English language.
Initially 'The Holy Bible, conteyning the Old Testament, and the New' did not attract much interest, but in time it became the most popular translation of the Bible into English.
James VI and I approved this translation, and work began on it in 1604. He appointed this version to be read in churches, and it is known today as 'the Authorised Version'. Words and phrases are taken mostly from an earlier translation by William Tyndale.
[NLS shelfmark: H.S.385]
A first edition of this Bible and others formed part of the display about 'The Bible in English' in our George VI Bridge Building from 2 November 2011 to 8 January 2012.