The King James Bible was first published 400 years ago, in 1611. King James had commissioned the translation of the Hebrew and the Greek into English in1604.
To ensure that the translation was as accurate as possible, approximately 47 translators collaborated together on the wording of the text. Today the KJV bible is considered to be the most accurate translation, and has the most copies in print.
The first KJV bibles printed were large bibles for reading in Churches, and were first known as the "Authorized Version". Later personal sized bible were printed for individual use.
The King James version was written to replace the Geneva Bible,which was translated 51 years before the KJV. The Geneva bible was considered the protestants bible, and popular with the people. It was part of the protestant reformation. It included commentary, such as "the Pope is the anti-christ", which the Anglicans found repulsive. King James wanted a bible that did not include the protestant reformers marginal notes.
The Geneva bible continued to be printed in Geneva, Switzerland until 1644, until it was found to no longer be profitable. It had been prohibited from being printed in England or imported.
For more information you can read Gordon Campbell's commentary on
the translation of the King James bible entitled -
"Bible: The Story of the King James Version 1611- 2011"
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