King James Bible Turns 400

05.03.11 | Sarah Harnisch

  Monday was the official 400th birthday of the King James Bible. The translation was commissioned by King James the 1st during a period of unrest and division in England. He brought together Anglicans and Puritains in 1604 to meld together the book, which took 7 years to print, and, for the first time, allowed Christians that didn't speak Greek or Hebrew, to read the Bible for the first time on their own. After 400 years, the translation is still ranked number 2 on the Christian Bookseller Association's list of best-selling Bible translations. In third place is the New King James version of the Bible, and those two translations together account for half the Bibles sold in America. In celebration of the translations birthday, the Bible Nation Society is hosting an expo housing ancient Bibles, including a first edition 1611 authorized King James Bible, in front of the U.S. Capitol building today. Also today, a rally will be held near the expo tent on the National Mall that will including the reading of House Resolution 38, recognizing the anniversary and influence of the King James version.