1611 - The King James Bible
When Elizabeth I died in 1603, James I succeeded to the English throne. At this time the Geneva Bible was very popular throughout both England and Scotland. James welcomed a proposal to prepare another translation because, as he put it, "I could never yet see a Bible well translated in English; but I think, of all, that the Geneva is the worst".
It appears, however, that the marginal notes offended James the most.
In 1604, the year after he became King of England, James convened the Hampton Conference. At this conference, a resolution was passed.
"That a translation be made of the whole Bible, as consonant as can be to the original Hebrew and Greek".
King James I took a leading part in organizing the translation, five committees prepared a new text, the Old Testament was entrusted to three and the New Testament to two. A sub-committee selected from the five reviewed the final text. Great care was taken to prepare the text that was majestic and carried a sense of the Divine by its expressiveness.
The basis for this new translation was the Bishop\'s Bible and the Hebrew and Greek texts available at that time were used extensively.
Rules for translating were similar to those for the Bishop\'s Bible, i.e. to avoid controversy in both text and reference notes. The names of Bible characters were to correspond as closely as possible to common usage. This was in sharp contrast to the Geneva Bible and the Bishop\'s Bible that expressed Jewish names in Hebrew form. Old ecclesiastical words were to be kept, for example, church and not congregation. This insistence on approved wording was a reaction to the strong puritan influence of the previous translators, Coverdale, for instance.
The text of the King James Bible, first printed in 1611, became the accepted version of the English Bible until the Revised Version was published; the New Testament in 1881 and the Old Testament in 1885.
This translation has glowing dedication to the King and official sanction but the Geneva Bible continued to be very popular.
Source: Adam Nicholson, God\'s Secretaries, The Making of the English Bible, Harper-Collins, 2003, 281 pp