This year marks the 400th anniversary of The King James Bible. This version, also known as the Authorized Version of the Bible, is an English translation of the Christian Bible first published in 1611. The New Testament was translated from the Textus Receptus (Received Text) edition of the Greek texts, so called because most extant texts of the time were in agreement with it. The Old Testament was translated from the Masoretic Hebrew text. The King James Version has had a profound impact on English literature. The works of famous authors such as John Milton, Herman Melville, John Dryden and William Wordsworth are replete with inspiration derived from it. (I only quote from the KJV in my own published works.) Although it is often referred to as the KJV (King James Version), particularly in the United States, the only active part King James took in the translation was lifting the death penalty attached to its translation and setting very reasonable guidelines for the translation process, such as prohibiting partisan scholarship and footnotes. Current printings of the King James Bible are based on an edition published at the University of Oxford in 1769, edited by Benjamin Blayney, and contain substantially the same text; however, there are a few differences between the 1769 and the 1611 versions.
Participating churches here in the Fredericksburg, VA area will divvy up all 66 books to be read aloud over 12 sessions on three weekends between Sept. 16 and Oct. 2, in a commemoration similar to a Holy Week event at the Globe. Churches taking part in the marathon effort here include: Fredericksburg Seventh-day Adventist Church, Christ Episcopal Church, Fredericksburg United Methodist Church, Resurrection Lutheran Church, Tower of Deliverance Church, Fredericksburg Baptist Church, Tabernacle United Methodist Church, Shiloh Baptist Church (Old Site), Spotsylvania Presbyterian Church, Crossroads Baptist Church, Zion United Methodist Church and Ferry Farm Baptist Church. I will be participating in this marathon as a member of Spotsylvania Presbyterian Church on Saturday, October 1 (beginning at 3pm). Our KJV readings will cover the New Testament books of Acts, through 2 Corinthians. I will post a recap of the experience here.