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Roots of the King James Bible
Transcript of Roots of the King James Bible
adapted from National Geographic Magazine, Dec. 2011
ca 500 B.C. Hebrew Bible
ca 250 B.C. Septuagint
ca A.D. 50-140 New Testament
ca 200 Old Latin Translations
383-400 Latin Vulgate Translations
ca 800 Alcuin Bible
ca 1200 Paris Bible
ca 1382 Wycliffe Bible
ca 1455 Gutenberg Bible
1516 Erasmus Translation
1522-34 Luther Bible
1526 Tyndale Translation
1535 Coverdale Bible
1537 Matthew Bible
1539 Great Bible
1560 Geneva Bible
1568 Bishops' Bible
1582-1610 Douai-Rheims Bible
1611 King James Bible
Septuagint compiled by Jewish scholars living in Alexandria, Egypt
With Rome serving as the head of the Western church, Latin becomes the chief language of the Bible. Commissioned by the pope, the Vulgate is the standard translation used for 1000 years. It is the text that the Lindisfarne illuminated Bible (and others) is based on.
Charlemagne orders a standardized version of the Vulgate: the Alcuin Bible.
By the mid-1200s, Dominican and Franciscan friars in Paris and Bologna were copying complete Bibles, in Latin, that could fit into a pocket. They standardized the order of the books and divided them into chapters. Verse numbers date to a 1553 French-language Protestant edition published in Geneva.
First major Bible translation in English is begun by followers of John Wycliffe.
In 1408, in order to preserve church authority, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of England forbids English translations of the Bible.
Gutenberg's movable-type press coupled with the later Protestant Reformation combine to make it possible for individual people to finally own their own copy of the Bible by the mid-1500s.
Dutch scholar Erasmus produces Latin and Greek translations; the latter affects reformers like Luther.
William Tyndale, "father of the English Bible," translates the New Testament which leads to his execution.
In 1534, Henry VIII breaks with the Roman Catholic church and becomes the head of the Church of England opening the way for legal English translation of the Bible. The first complete Modern English translation is completed by Myles Coverdale.
The Great Bible is the first authorized English version of the Bible (it was authorized by Henry VIII) to be read in Anglican Services.
The English-language Geneva Bible is published by Scottish and English Protestants living in Switzerland. It is the most popular translation for many people until (and even after) the King James Bible comes out.
The Bishops' Bible is the next authorized English translation of the Bible. The Anglican Bishops don't like the overt Calvinism in the margin notes of the Geneva Bible but also recognize the deficiencies of the Great Bible. This is the answer to both of these issues.
Douai-Rheims is the English translation of the Vulgate for English speaking Roman Catholics.
Elizabeth I dies in 1603 and is succeeded by James I. He commissions a new translation of the Bible and it is published in 1611.