King James Version

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The King James Version is an English translation of the Christian Bible first published by the Church of England in 1611. The translation begun in 1604. In the United Kingdom, it is commonly known as the Authorized Version but in the United States it is known as the King James Version.

King James did not literally translate the Bible but it was his advance authorization that was legally necessary for the Church of England to translate, publish and distribute the Bible in England. James and the Bishop of London wrote the brief that guided the translation, such as prohibiting the marginal notes found in the Geneva Bible and ensuring the position of the Church of England was recognised on various points. While the new Bible did replace the Bishops' Bible in the Church of England, there is no extant documentation to suggest that the completed book was ever formally 'authorized'. However, from 1662, the Epistle and Gospel texts in the Book of Common Prayer were taken from this Bible; and as such were 'authorized' by Act of Parliament.

In common with most other translations of the period, the New Testament was translated from the Textus Receptus (Received Text) series of the Greek texts. The Old Testament was translated from the Masoretic Hebrew text, while the Apocrypha was translated from the Greek Septuagint.

The King James Version had a profound effect on English literature. Herman Melville and William Wordsworth were deeply influenced by it.

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