On the 400th

As many folks are well aware, this year is the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible. I have chosen to celebrate it in two ways. Firstly, I read this wonderful book on the subject. Secondly, I plan to both use the KJV in a worship service or two (explaining archaic terms so that people can follow along). I plan on giving the people a handout explaining some of the archaisms so that if people wish to read through the KJV this year (as I plan on doing), they can do so without fear.

The book to which I linked had a wonderful way of making me fall in love with the King James Version all over again. I have always liked the KJV. It has a majesty and grandeur that is unmatched. Furthermore, it is literary in a way that few other translations even approach. In this book, you will learn about the origin, process, translation philosophy, literary excellence, and literary influence of the KJV. One does not have to agree with every conclusion of his (I disagree with his assessment of the “and’s” in the KJV, which I regard as horrible English style) in order to appreciate the fact that this is a great tool to use in reclaiming the past, and avoiding some of the pitfalls that a fragmented Bible-reading public face.



  1. February 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    There’s also this fantastic art project to illuminate the Gospels:


  2. February 16, 2011 at 12:07 am

    A friend of mine reports that her pastor told the congregation last Sunday that the KJV still sells approximately 165,000 copies PER DAY. She doesn’t remember if he cited a source for that number. Incredible, if true.

  3. February 16, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    […] GreenBaggins Reads Ryken’s Book on KJV […]

  4. Cris Dickason said,

    February 17, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Re #2 – Richard, I would like to hear if there’s a source for that number. I wonder if it’s more proper to say “distributed” rather than “sold.” Nothing helpful comes up on a quick Google search for “bible sales records.”

    There was a search hit that show a fellow working for Oracle Corp, as Sales Consulting Director, his name John Bible! That was searching for the 3 words, searching as a phrase doesn’t get you anywhere, nor does searching for the phrase “Bible sales statistics.”

    The closest anyone could get would be to tabulate production numbers from the Bible Societies and publishers. I’m quite confident Zondervan knows exactly how many licenses, and copies they’ve sold of the NIV; and Crossway for the ESV.

  5. bsuden said,

    February 21, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Thanks for the heads up on this. Will be ordering a copy soon.

    Yet in light of the 400th and Ryken’s commendation, the ‘05 New Cambridge Paragraph Bible shouldn’t be left out of the picture. Which is why I was surprised that there was no mention at all of the NCPB in the Amazon preview of Ryken’s index.

    It is an accessible edition, in modern dress with its best foot forward, of the classic Reformation English translation of Scripture. The spelling is modernized, a standard – and no longer valid – complaint about the AV and the text is formatted in paragraphs (obviously) for easier reading. While the italicization of the original was left out, the grammar (thee and thou) and word order are generally left untouched, yet on the basis of some manuscripts and a copy of the Bishop’s Bible annotated by the translators, of which the AV was an official revision, the text has been occasionally revised. The original “Translator’s Preface to the Readers” is also included. See here and here for more details at JM Bertrand’s BibleDesignBlog.

    After a Penguin reprint in paper with the typos corrected in ‘06, Cambridge reprinted the revised text in hardbound and leather again in ‘08, with and without the apocrypha (which were originally included in every Reformation translation, including the AV up until 1825).

    Long story short: No anniversary celebration of the AV should be without a copy of the NCPB.

  6. bsuden said,

    February 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Here and here for more details at JM Bertrand’s BibleDesignBlog?

  7. bsuden said,

    February 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm


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