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The Story of Our King James Bible

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The Story of Our King James Bible

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  1. The Story of Our King James Bible The Commissioning of the King James Version

  2. England • Was legally Roman Catholic until Henry VIII signed the “Act of Supremacy,” which declared him head of the Church of England (1534) • The official Bible was the Vulgate • This opened the door for Protestantism to have legal standing in England • Henry allowed the use of the “Great Bible”

  3. When Henry VIII died (1547) his son Edward became king • Being a minor (10), Edward “ruled” through ministers and counselors, many of them Protestant sympathizers • This was when the “Book of Common Prayer” was produced • Edward died in 1553, and his half sister Mary became queen • She sought to restore England to Catholicism • Many Protestant leaders fled

  4. While in exile, many of these leaders discovered a “purer” form of Protestantism • Thus “Puritanism” was born • And during this time the Geneva Bible was produced • When Mary died in 1558, and Elizabeth ascended the throne, many of these exiles came back to England, bringing their Geneva Bibles with them • The conflict between the Church of England and the Geneva Bible led to the Bishop’s Bible

  5. When Elizabeth died, her cousin James VI (Scotland) became king of England as well (1603) • Protestantism had made much better progress in Scotland than in England • Which James resented—he liked the episcopal system of government • And he was almost immediately confronted with requests from Puritans—the Millenary Petition

  6. The Millenary Petition • So called because it was signed by more than 1000 Puritans • Who asked that: • Making the sign of the cross at baptism be eliminated • Allowing midwives to baptize infants be eliminated • Holding multiple paid religious offices be eliminated • Wedding rings be eliminated • Only able and educated men be allowed to hold religious offices

  7. Hampton Court • James responded by convening a council at Hampton Court Palace • He invited Bishops from the Church of England • The leader was Richard Bancroft, the Bishop of London • He invited moderate Puritans • The leader was John Rainolds, the president of Corpus Christi College

  8. On the 2nd day of the conference, Rainolds proposed a new translation of the Bible. • The Bishops were content with the Bishop’s Bible • But James saw an opportunity to weaken the power of the Geneva Bible • And also saw an opportunity to give something to the Puritans • And solidified his political and religious power

  9. James instituted 15 rules • The Bishops Bible would be changed as little as possible • The names of people retained their English form as much as possible • Old ecclesiastical words kept • The meaning of some words was established by tradition and church authority (an anti Puritan rule) • Chapter divisions remain as is

  10. No marginal notes that taught “theology” • Cross references allowed • All translations of passages to be reviewed by other men • Each book’s translation to be reviewed • Questions about translation handed off to committee heads • Who have the force of law to decide

  11. Translations to be reviewed by other clergy, who provided their opinion to the committee heads • The committee heads had to be “King’s professors” • Tyndale, Matthew, Coverdale, and Geneva to be used if better than Bishop’s • Non committee counselors appointed to review the final edition