The KJV Story

1603 James VI of Scotland acceded to the throne of England (as James I of England). At the 1604 Hampton Court Conference James I was persuaded (by moderate puritans) that a new translation was needed and ordered work to begin.
The Puritans, a strongly religious group in the 17th century England, believed that the Bible was inspired by God. Feeling persecuted by the established church, a group, known as the Pilgrim Fathers, decided to leave England and start a new life overseas.
The Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America in the Mayflower, taking the English Bible with them. They landed at Plymouth, now in Massachusetts. The ship is a symbol of early colonisation
British sailors took the Bible on voyages around the globe; Through the work of the East India Company it was taken to India and to the colonies in Africa, Australia and New Zealand. This is one reason why English is now a world language.
The Bible is read in countries around the World; art, literature and music have been based on language and stories from the Bible. It has arguably far more influence on the English language than Shakespeare or any other author.
The Bible is read by people of all ages and backgrounds; "To read it is to feel simultaneously at home, a citizen of the world, and a traveller through eternity"
- Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate 1999-2009
Lancelot Andrewes, Dean of Westminster 1601-1605, was Director of the first Westminster Company responsible for translating part of the Old Testament. It is believed that the translators met in the Jerusalem Chamber; a room used by subsequent translators. A celebratory service will be held at the Abbey in November 2011.
"There is no doubt in my mind that the King James Bible not Shakespeare set this language on its path to become a universal language on a scale unprecedented before or since."
- Melvyn Bragg
"The King James Bible is a cornerstone of our culture and our language. Whatever our faith, whatever we believe, we have to recognise that the rhetorical power of this book, and in particular its power to fuse history with poetry, connects at the most fundamental level with our own history and poetry."
- Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate 1999-2009
Society of Biblical Literature The Scottish Bible Society Nida Historic Royal Palaces Bush Theatre