King James Bible, Leather / fine binding
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


This 400th anniversary edition of the King James Version of the Bible is a reprint of the 1611 text, in an easy-to-read roman font instead of the black-letter type of the original.

The original capital letters, many of which are pictoral, have been restored to each chapter in order to replicate the visual appeal of the early editions.

The 1611 text is followed page-for-page and line-for-line, and all misprints are reproduced rather than corrected.

The large body of preliminary matter, which includes genealogies, maps, and lists of readings, is also included.

The text of the 1611 edition differs from modern editions of the King James Version in thousands of details, and this edition is the most authentic version of the original text that has ever been published. The volume concludes with an essay by Gordon Campbell on the first edition of the King James Bible.


  • Format: Leather / fine binding
  • Pages: 1520 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Bibles
  • ISBN: 9780199557608



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I think it would be fairly presumptious to attempt to review a version of the Bible. It is however a very handsome volume which comes with a slipcase - although I myself will probably get rid of that as I find slipcases often make it harder to extract a book than just pulling it off the shelf. The edition is the text of the 1611 version, line by line and letter by letter. There is a (new) title page for this edition with publishing information on the verso. There is the usual dedication to the King, a note by the translators to the reader, a calender. I was amazed to see 34 pages devoted to genealogies of biblical characters with God followed by Adam and Eve and ending with Joseph, Mary, and Jesus (a gloss states that Joseph is Jesus's father by law, and Mary his mother by nature). A map of the Holy Land and Egypt follows. What makes this different from a true facsimile is that the original very heavy black letter font has been changed to a more readable Roman font. The editor acknowledges that this has one negative effect. The original added some words (not present in the Hebrew, Greek or other language) to make the transition to English easier for the reader. These words were in smaller type and did not distract from the text. In this version these words are in italic and because of modern conventions this gives them a degree of emphasis. For the most part the text presents no difficulty in reading. The letters 'u' and 'v' are used differently than at present, an initial 'u' always being written as a 'v' as in 'vnto' or 'vp'. 'Give' becomes 'giue'. Letters 'i' and 'j' are similarly used differently so that 'Jacob' becomes 'Iacob'. There are differences of spelling so that 'he' is written 'hee' and 'lion' as 'lyon'. But I expect that after a short time a reader would hardly notice these things. The book is edited by Gordon Campbell who has also written a book on the history of the King James Bible. At he end of the book he has written a short essay on the work. This is truly useful and may make many readers decide to buy his book. He discusses briefly the decorative initials which begin each chapter. He points out that many people will be surprised at the inclusion of the Apocrypha. But he says that even the Geneva Bible, a work favoured by many protestants had the Apocrypha. Even those who regarded its conentents as uncanonical thought they were edifying in some way. It was only in the early 1800s that a missionary society started to send the KJV overseas without the Apocrypha and that as the century went on the omission became more generally common. He points out that the Bible was meant to be read aloud in churches and the rhythym of its sentences and its punctuation were designed with this in mind. He says this makes the text more memorable. The text went through a number of editions but a Cambridge academic, FS Parris, made major changes in an edition of 1743. He was followed by an Oxford don, Benjamin Blayney, in 1769. It is this 1769 edition that has given us the King James Bible that we know. In England we often refer to it as the "Authorized Version" and think it almost an Americanism to call it the King James Bible. In fact it is the Americans who have the older usage as the "Authorized" usage only crept in much later. Campbell mentions passages where the "modern" (ie 1769) version has subtly or not so subtly changed the sense of the original.