Produced during the lifetime of Shakespeare and Donne, the King James Version of the Bible has long been viewed as the most elegantly written and poetic of the many English translations. Now reaching its four hundredth anniversary, it remains one of the most frequently used Bibles in the English-speaking world, especially in America.
Lavishly illustrated with reproductions from early editions of the KJB, Bible: The Story of the King James Version offers a vivid and authoritative history of this renowned translation, ranging from the Bible's inception to the present day. Gordon Campbell, a leading authority on Renaissance literatures, tells the engaging and complex story of how this translation came to be commissioned, who the translators were, and how the translation was accomplished. Campbell does not end with the printing of that first edition, but also traces the textual history from 1611 to the establishment of the modern text by Oxford University Press in 1769, shedding light on the subsequent generations who edited and interacted with the text and bringing to life the controversies surrounding later revisions. In addition, the author examines the reception of the King James Version, showing how its popularity has shifted through time and territory, ranging from adulation to deprecation and attracting the attention of a wide variety of adherents. Since the KJB is more widely read in America today than in any other country, Campbell pays particular attention to the history of the KJB in the United States. Finally, the volume includes appendices that contain short biographies of the translators and a guide to the 74-page preliminaries of the 1611 edition.
A fitting tribute to the enduring popularity of the King James Version, Bible offers an illuminating history of this most esteemed of biblical translations.
Gordon Campbell is Professor of Renaissance Studies at the University of Leicester. His numerous books include the biography of John Milton, The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance, Renaissance Art and Architecture. He is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society.
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