Frontispiece to the King James' Bible, 1611, shows the Twelve Apostles at the top. Moses and Aaron flank the central text. In the four corners sit Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, authors of the four gospels, with their symbolic animals. At the top, over the Holy Spirit in a form of a dove, is the Tetragrammaton "יהוה" ("YHWH").

Queen Elizabeth II attended a ceremony at London’s Westminster Abbey Wednesday to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, often considered the most influential book ever printed in the English language.  The queen was joined by her husband, Prince Philip, and son, Prince Charles, in leading around 2,000 worshippers.

The translation — the Old Testament from Hebrew, the New Testament from Greek — was assembled by 47 translators in six committees working in London, Oxford and Cambridge.  Their work began in 1604 under the direction of King James I, and was completed in 1611.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams paid tribute to the “extraordinary” and “abiding importance” of the King James Bible.

Williams told the congregation that the translators would have been “baffled and embarrassed” by the idea of a perfect translation but had sought instead to convey the “almost unbearable weight of divine intelligence and love” into the English language.



BYUtv recently presented Fires of Faith: The Coming Forth of The King James Biblea three-part program on the history of the King James Version of the Bible.

To learn more about this groundbreaking documentary, read my recent post, “From fires of faith emerged the English Bible,” or go directly to the program’s page at BYUtv.


The King James Bible was also the subject of a Mormon Messages video produced earlier this year, based on an address by Elder D. Todd Chrisofferson at the April 2011 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

To watch this three-minute video in a QuieTube viewing environment, click here.