400 Years of King James

400 Years of King James

Sunday, May 1, 2011
| Psalm 119:9-16

Happy birthday to the most popular and powerful book in the English language.

At a Glance

It's been 400 years, almost to the day, since the King James Version of the Bible hit the streets or the pews. Homiletics takes a look at its impact and, indeed, the value of reading the Word of God, based on a text in Psalm 119.

Editors' Pick

For material based on the "Doubting Thomas" text in the gospel of John (20:19-31), see "The Verifier Approach," April 3, 2005.

Happy Birthday, King James.

We aren't talking about LeBron.

We're talking about the King James Version of the Bible, which, in its 1631 edition, read: "Thou shalt commit adultery."

Today, this might seem a given, but in 1631, this was news. Adultery, instead of being forbidden, was suddenly compulsory.

It was a typo, of course. The printers were heavily fined, a correction was made and the 1631 edition became known as the Wicked Bible.

But this wasn't the only mistake in the King James Version, which was published for the first time on May 2, 1611, and is now celebrating its 400th birthday. The 1612 version says,...

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