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Bible: The Story of the King James Version 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199557592
ISBN-10: 0199557594
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With the 400th anniversary of the King James Version (KJV) on the horizon, expect to see a cloud of dust rising from the march of all things commemorative. As Campbell, professor of Renaissance studies at Leicester University and coauthor of John Milton: Life, Work, and Thought, observes, the KJV "is the most celebrated book in the English-speaking world." Campbell's book is an erudite companion to a new release of the KJV that hews as closely to its 1611 progenitor as possible. Packed with information as minute as the genealogy of the king's printer and history of his printing house, it's tough to read on its own, despite the author's occasional wry asides. Yet as a resource detailing all aspects of the development and production of the KJV, this is a fine book. Readers will appreciate the discussion of original illustrations (some are reproduced here) and the recital of hilarious typos that plagued early editions. The subject of the KJV's influence on Christianity in American history, addressed toward the book's end, is unfortunately mired in excessive detail. (Oct.) (c)
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From Booklist

Entire books have been written on the making of the King James Version of the Bible. Campbell’s scope is much bigger, though—devoting only a third of his book to the KJV’s creation. In what he calls a “biography of a book,” Campbell traces the version’s entire history up to 2011, which will mark the 400th anniversary of what may be the most influential book in the English language. Since the King James Bible is a product of the Renaissance era, it is appropriate that its biographer is a professor of Renaissance studies (Leicester University). Even so, Campbell never seems out of his element when covering the KJV in its later historical stages. He devotes a chapter apiece to each century since the Bible’s first edition and also includes a chapter on the unique aspect of the KJV’s reception in America. The final third of the book highlights all of the KJV’s significant revisions (e.g., NKJV) and editions (e.g., Scofield). Throughout, there is enough detail to please serious researchers but not too much to turn off those simply wanting a “good read.” --Wade Osburn
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (November 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199557594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199557592
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 1.1 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #670,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an amazingly interesting and often funny book about the history of the King James Bible. It's loaded with delightful details not easily available elsewhere: e.g., identifications of the people depicted on the original title-page of the KJV. For a hardcover book by Oxford U Press, this is a great buy. If you're interested in the history of the KJV (or English Bibles generally), this is an easy call: get it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
IF you read Latin, Greek and Rabbinical Hebrew, this may not be the book for you.
If, like most of us with an interest in the topic, you do not, but would like your information and insights from a recognized scholar, READ THIS BOOK. Campbell is an authentic, and recognized scholar of the Renaissance, and the Bible. He has a gentle sense of humor, a clean style, and presents some pretty involved textual
information without becoming pedantic.

Nor does he preach, or proselytize for one - and one ONLY - point of view.

Outstanding scholarship, made available by the Oxford University press.
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Format: Hardcover
Bible: The Story of the King James Version 1611-2011 reviews the evolution of the King James Version of the Bible, which is reaching its 400th anniversary edition and remains one of the most frequently used editions in the world. Fine illustrations from early editions accompany a history of the King James translation in a survey highly recommended for both spiritual and general lending libraries.
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Format: Hardcover
I have studied the Bible (and other opinions) for approximately fifty years. Author not only covers the particulars of KJV history, he includes some history of other versions dating back to approximately 300 A.D. (not English, of course). I have new respect for King James Bible. It was initially translated by many scholars & of course, renewed, revised, & reprinted repeatedly throughout 400 years!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good, easy read. It traces the history of the various versions of the King James Bible, showing alterations to the text and what they mean. He also details how completely outdated spelling was updated and a few words fixed here and there. All makes for fascinating reading. The problem is that in the 20th century the number of revisions exploded (e.g., RSV). This section needs more heft, such as the reasoning behind the revisions, the impact they had on the faith of adherents, and so on. He touches on the sonorous cadences of the KJV, then shows how these were affected by 20th-century revisions, but I wish there had been more discussion of the impact of these revisions. Finally, given how many revisions there were in the 20th century, in which the KJV appears to have been splintered into a thousand pieces, and Christians no longer have a Bible in common, I wonder how much this has affected readership and the status of the Bible itself. That said (a bit of grumpiness on my part), it was nonetheless a fascinating read. I recommend this book
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well written, with concise readily understood explanations of the compilation procedures of the King James Bible. Many little known
details not readily available to the general public were provided in an interesting manner. Definitely a must have for one's library.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This a very good and easily read and understood book by a very well informed Scholar.
If you're looking for a readable book that helps you to understand how we were given the KJV Bible,
this book is a must have.
Happy reading........
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Format: Hardcover
This short volume is the tribute of Oxford University Press to the 400-year anniversary of the King James Version. Gordon Campbell, professor of Renaissance Studies at the University of Leicester, has done a fine job of introducing the translation and its remarkable impact on the English-speaking world. First published in 1611--though, as Campbell points out, not completely stabilized until 1769--the King James Version still sells millions of copies per year. Campbell is learned, clear, and occasionally witty, though most readers will undoubtedly find some sections of this wide-ranging book more to their taste than others. There are helpful illustrations and a list for “Further Reading” but no citations.
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