King James Bible (1611;1975)

King James Bible (1611;1975)
Alternative Title
King James Bible, "He"
This facsimile of the first edition King James Bible contains the Old Testament, the Apocrypha, and the New Testament. It contains an impressive illustrated title page before the New Testament showing the authors of the four gospels with their respective symbolic companion, the twelve tribes of Israel on the left, and the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ on the right.

The publication of the King James Bible was sponsored by its namesake, King James VI/I (James VI during his rule of Scotland, James I during his rule of England). The KJV has become one of the most widely used Bibles across the world and stands as a standard translation. Forty-seven known individuals were selected for the task of translating the Bible and were “formed into six companies” as follows:

(1) Westminster, Genesis-II Kings
(2) Cambridge, I Chronicles-Ecclesiastes
(3) Oxford, Isaiah-Malachi
(4) Cambridge, Apocrypha
(5) Oxford, Gospels, Acts, Apocalypse
(6) Westminster, Romans-Jude

All of the knowledge of Bible translation, due the the multitude of Bibles which had come before, all came together in these committees to translate the KJV. No marginal notes were added to the Bible, as King “James himself had been annoyed by what he considered seditious comments in the Geneva Bible (Ackroyd).

In addition to his obvious love of scripture, James VI/I was a controversial figure. During his time as a ruler in Scotland, he engaged in a "satanic panic" which resulted in the torture and eventual burning of "about 2,500 people--the vast majority of them women" (The Observer). This crusade against "The feareful abounding at this time in this countrie, of thefe deteftable flames of the diuell" was perpetuated by the book he published in 1603, Dæmonologie (James I).

"James VI -- later James I of England -- became obsessed with witchcraft after the execution of his mother, Mary Queen of Scots, in 1587. He blamed a violent storm when sailing back from Denmark with his new wife, Anne, on evil spells and ordered a vicious witch hunt. Macbeth, thought to be first performed at court in 1606, three years after James became king of England, catered to the new monarch's witch obsession. It was another 130 years before the law was changed and the executions ended" (The Observer).

This facsimile shows an example of the first edition KJV Bibles with the mistake in Ruth 3:15 where they printed "and he went into the city" rather than "and she went into the city." It was corrected in later editions of the KJV. The "He" Bible was the first printed version of the KJV.
* * *
Ackroyd, Peter R., C. F Evans, G. W. H. Lampe, and S. L. Greenslade. 1963. The Cambridge History of the Bible. University Press, 1963-70. Vol. 3.

James I, King of England. 1603. Dæmonologie. [Electronic Resource] : In Forme of a Dialogue, Diuided into Three Books: Written by the High and Mightie Prince, Iames by the Grace of God King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. Early English Books Online. Printed by Arnold Hatfield for Robert VVald-graue.

The Observer (London, England). 2020. “300 Years on, Will Thousands of Women Burned as Witches Finally Get Justice? Lawyer Seeks Pardon for 2,500 Scots Who Were Tortured and Killed in ‘Satanic Panic’ Begun by James VI; Lawyer Seeks Pardon for 2,500 Scots Who Were Tortured and Killed in ‘Satanic Panic’ Begun by James VI.”
Date Created
1611 AD
1975 AD
James VI of Scotland
James I of England
Geographical Coverage
Temporal Coverage
17th Century
Collecting Areas
English History of Writing Collection
English English Bibles
Presented to the David O. McKay Library by Ed Strobel
Bibliographic Citation
The Holy Bible, Conteyning the Old Teftament, and the New: Newly Tranflated out of the Originall tongues: & with the former Tranflations diligently compared and reuifed by his Maiesties fpeciall Comandment. Appointed to be read in Churches. 1975.

Item sets