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A Textual History of the King James Bible Hardcover – January 10, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0521771009 ISBN-10: 0521771005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (January 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521771005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521771009
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.9 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,199,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"David Norton's A Textual History of the King James Bible is now the definitive study of the processes which gave us today's most influential book. His scholarship cannot be bettered. Norton shows the gaps in the story of the making of the text, the faults in the first printings, and all the many changes up to the establishment of the current text in 1769. Over half his weighty volume is given to eight appendices of comprehensive listings of errors and changes, and their causes. In the face of centuries of highly coloured myths, his dogged and committed analytic detail is greatly to be welcomed. He, and CUP, are to be congratulated." David Daniell, University College, London

"Unlike other recently published works on the King James Version, which have colorfully narrated the achievements of major translators and transmitters of English Bibles, Nortonas books concentrates on the text itself, which has been subjected to huge numbers of changes, both intentional and accidental, over the past almost 400 years. Norton has a fine eye for telling detail. Nortonas volume admirably succeeds in achieving its stated goals. Highly recommended." CHOICE

"...his lucid and careful discussion of teh issues involved is worth the price of the book, which should be required reading for any first-time editor of an early modern text." - Debora Shuger, University of California

"This work is well organized and user-friendly given its complex subject matter." - David Norton

"...the book should be in the library of every educational institution, and in public libraries. It will be of interest to scholars and students who are interested in the true history of the King James Bible and the current state of its text." - James D. Price, Temple Baptist Seminary, Chattanooga, TN

Book Description

David Norton has recently re-edited the King James Bible and this book arises from his many years work on that project. Here he shows how the text of the most important Bible in the English language was made, and how, both for better and for worse, it changed in the hands of printers and editors. This uniquely detailed account of the history helps to demonstrate what the text should be for modern readers who want the most faithful representation of the King James translators' work.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. Tarbell on January 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Buy this book if you want to know absolutely everything there is to know about the printing history of the King James Bible. This is a textbook, and as such it will put you to sleep if you try to read it from beginning to end.

Yet, it is excellent and accessible to an intelligent and dedicated lay person. It details how the King James Bible was edited and printed in 1611, and then covers all the different variations since 1611. Yes, the King James Bible has variations! There is not just one version, but many. Finally the latter part of the book details how the author edited the New Cambridge Paragraph Bible. That was my favorite part, because I own that Bible (but not this book -- I got it on loan from the library). He justifies, quite thoroughly, the choices he made in updating the King James for modern printing. Agree or disagree with his editing, he is thorough.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Theodore H. Mann on March 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book. It is thoroughly researched, well documented and clearly written. However, I would have liked to have seen a chapter that included information regarding the Hebrew, Greek and Latin sources for the KJB. For example, what Greek documents were used by the translators? Which documents were referred to most often? How did the translators use or mis-use these manuscripts, and what part did they play in the many revisions of the KJB over the centuries? How reliable were these documents? Did the revisionists refer to the Textus Receptus, and if so, which versions of the TR did they use? Answers to questions such as these would have made "A Textual History of the King James Bible" even more interesting and informative.

Dr. Theodore H. Mann
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