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The bulk of Northwest Christian University’s Rare Bible collection was acquired in 1911. J.A. Bushnell, first chair of the Board of Regents, and his wife Sarah gave a gift of $1000 to college founder and President Eugene Sanderson to visit England to purchase Bibles for the fledgling college, then called Eugene Bible University. He was able to purchase several editions which it would be impossible to find in a like manner today. Over the years the collection has been added to through other gifts and acquisition of fine facsimile editions of Bibles not otherwise in the collection. The Friends of the Library has been raising money over the past several years for ongoing restoration and conservation work on these Rare Bibles.
More information for viewing of NCU’s Rare Bibles can be found by contacting a librarian.
Rare Bible Timeline
AD 1382 - Wycliffe Bible, first version
Born about 1328, John Wycliffe became an eminent Oxford scholar, devoting thirty-five years of his life there as both student and teacher. A political and religious reformer, he expounded many views that would have been right at home with Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation nearly 150 years later, earning him the title of “the morning star of the Reformation.” Those views included a belief in the Bible as the sole criterion of Christian doctrine. This did not sit well with the growing authority of the Pope and Church hierarchy, and in 1382 twenty-four of his theses were condemned as heretical. He died two years later of a stroke. In 1415 the English Bible he sponsored was also condemned as heretical and the Church tried to burn every copy it could find. In 1428 Pope Martin V had Wycliffe’s bones exhumed and burned.
It is doubtful Wycliffe himself fully translated the versions that bear his name, but he certainly can be considered the impetus behind the project. He strongly believed in having the scriptures available to all to read in their own language. In his day, Bible reading even among the clergy was rather rare. Translated from St. Jerome’s Latin Vulgate, the Wycliffite Bible is the earliest known complete Bible in English, the first version being produced in 1382, followed by a less literal word-for-word version in 1388.
Believing also in the power of preaching to the citizens, Wycliffe’s followers did just that. Taking to the countryside, and forming an almost secret society as they were persecuted and hunted by the Church authorities, the “Lollards,” as they came to be called, kept the Wycliffite Bible and the ideal of an English Bible alive in England.
AD 1525 - Tyndale's New Testament
Nearly 150 years after the Wycliffite Bibles were produced, three major events converged that would forever change the face of Bible translation and the future of the English Bible. Gutenberg invented the movable type (1455). Scholars made available editions of the scriptures in their original Hebrew (1488) and Greek (1516). Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenberg Churchdoor (1517) and launched the Protestant revolution.
Into this explosive combination was born William Tyndale (ca. 1492). Educated in Greek and Hebrew at Oxford and Cambridge, his dreams of a new English Bible met such resistance he fled to the mainland. By 1526 his translation of the New Testament was completed. Publication began, along with smuggling operations to distribute the Bibles inEngland. Church resistance and burning of all confiscated copies was so severe that only 4 copies are known to exist today. He began work on the Old Testament, but never completed it. Tyndale was captured, tried for heresy, and executed by simultaneous strangulation and burning in 1536. His last words: “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.”
Tyndale’s New Testament marked the first scriptures translated into English from the original language, rather than the Latin Vulgate. This set the direction for nearly all translation attempts over the next century. Tyndale’s pioneering work, in fact, would itself be the basis for many of the English Bibles that would be produced during this time.
AD 1535 - Coverdale's Bible
Miles Coverdale (1488-1568) completed the work Tyndale had begun and published the first complete printed Bible in English in 1535. A refugee like Tyndale from English persecution, the political situation had changed such by 1535 that Coverdale’s version, though essentially containing the “heretical” Tyndale’s work, met with no real opposition.
Much of this change was due to the influence of Anne Boleyn. Seeking a male heir, and infatuated with the beautiful and young lady-in-waiting, King Henry the VIII divorced his wife and married Anne in 1533. Anne had read Tyndale’s The Obedience of a Christian Man and passed it to King Henry. The book argued for the supremacy of the English king and found a willing audience in Henry. Henry’s position was thus softened toward Tyndale, though as much for political reasons as any theological agreement. A gilded copy of Tyndale’s New Testament, bearing her coat of arms, was presented to Anne in 1534. Henry even attempted to locate Tyndale to bring him back home to England but was unable to before his capture and execution.
In Coverdale’s Bible, the Vulgate rather than Hebrew order of books was used in the Old Testament. For the first time, the Apocrypha was separated from the other Old Testament books. This precedent would be followed by all English Protestant Bibles from that time, insofar as they include the Apocrypha at all.
AD 1537 - Matthew's Bible
During his imprisonment before his execution, Tyndale continued work on a translation of the Old Testament. Having completed the Pentateuch earlier, he finished Joshua through 2nd Chronicles while imprisoned. Miles Coverdale had had access to Tyndale’s translation of the Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy) when he published his Bible, but the manuscripts of Joshua to 2nd Chronicles had been entrusted to John Rogers, an Oxford scholar and chaplain for the group of English outcasts (including Tyndale and Coverdale) at Antwerp. In 1537, Rogers published his own version under the pseudonym of Thomas Matthew. Finally, all of Tyndale’s translation work was brought together in one edition.
By now the political situation had swung decidedly in favor of the vernacular Bible, as Henry VIII continued to try to wrest control of the English church (and its lucrative income) from the Pope. Editions of Coverdale’s Bible had received royal authorization earlier in 1537. When “Matthew’s” Bible arrived in England, it was already expected by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. Cranmer recommended it to King Henry as “better than any other translation heretofore made.” Soon England had two English translations of the Bible authorized by royal decree. By 1555 the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots, “Bloody Mary,” had ascended the throne. Rogers was the first of two hundred eighty-eight burned at the stake for heresy over the next four years.
The Coverdale and Matthew’s Bibles were not actually translations from the original languages, but compilations of previous translations (Rogers translated portions from the French Bible of Olivetan, for instance). Both were based largely on the work of William Tyndale, however, who had been executed as a heretic just one year earlier by agents of the Roman Catholic Church.
AD 1539 - The Great Bible
The Great Bible
Tyndale’s New Testament still enjoyed wide usage, Coverdale continued to revise his Bible, and the publication of Matthew’s Bible only added to the various versions now promulgating throughout England. Thomas Cromwell, King Henry VIII’s chancellor, sought to remedy the situation with one “authorized” version. He asked Miles Coverdale to undertake this project, which was essentially a revision of Rogers’ “Matthew’s” Bible, and excluding the strongly Protestant notes present in the earlier publications.
The “Great” Bible was first published in London in 1539, after narrowly avoiding the clutches of the Inquisition in France, where work on it had begun. It was lavishly produced, featuring an elaborate frontispiece by Hans Holbein. With pages measuring fifteen by ten inches, it was also the largest English Bible yet published, gaining it the moniker “Great.” By royal decree to be placed in every church, and made available for any to read, it went through seven editions (revisions) by 1541, a remarkable feat for a Bible intended for liturgical rather than personal use. For the next thirty years, it would be the preeminent English translation of the Bible.
A victim of the capriciousness of King Henry and the ever-changing political climate, Thomas Cromwell was arrested in 1540 as a traitor and heretic, condemned without a hearing, and beheaded. The Nation and Church he had helped to shape under King Henry VIII were forever changed, however, and though the English Reformation he had supported and pushed would have dark days ahead, it would eventually win out.
AD 1560 - The Geneva Bible
The Geneva Bible
Anne Boleyn did not produce a male heir for King Henry VIII, but Jane Seymour did. After Henry’s death, Edward VI came to the throne a minor and lived only a short time. In 1553, Mary Tudor, “Bloody Mary,” ascended the throne. A staunch Catholic, she seethed with resentment over the treatment her father, Henry VIII, had given her and her mother, Catherine of Aragon, whom he had divorced to marry Anne. Hundreds died under the persecution of Protestants during her short reign, and many Protestant scholars fled to Calvinist Geneva.
In 1557 a New Testament was published from there in English, most likely the work of William Whittingham, a brother-in-law of John Calvin. The Old Testament followed in 1560, representing the first translation work published by a group of scholars rather than a single individual. Based in part on the Great Bible and on Whittingham’s revision of Tyndale’s work, the translators also paid close attention to the Hebrew and Greek originals, making the new Geneva Bible perhaps the first new translation (rather than compilation or revision) since Tyndale.
Eschewing the heavy black-letter type of earlier versions, it was the first English Bible printed in roman type. It was the first English Bible to italicize English words not represented in the original text, borrowing the practice from contemporary Latin translations. It was the first English Bible with numbered verses and became the basis for all versification in subsequent English Bibles.
Smaller and less expensive than the Great Bible, and containing copious (Protestant-biased) notes the Great Bible was intentionally devoid of, the Geneva Bible enjoyed immediate and lasting popularity, going through ninety-six complete editions, and nearly twice that many partial editions. It was the Bible of William Shakespeare, John Bunyan, the Puritan pilgrims to the New World, and even of King James I.
AD 1568 - The Bishops' Bible
The Bishops’ Bible
After Mary’s death in 1558, Elizabeth, daughter of Anne Boleyn, was crowned Queen. Raised as a Protestant, she favored having the Bible in English. A religious moderate, many of her leanings were Catholic, however, and the liturgy under her reign remained decidedly high Church. The strongly Protestant slant in its many marginal notes made the popular Geneva Bible unusable for official Church use. Seeking to reclaim the ascendancy the Great Bible had once enjoyed,Elizabeth’s archbishop of Canterbury, Matthew Parker ordered a new “authorized” version to be made. In 1564 he parceled out the work among several prelates, who were all either already bishops or soon would be, giving the new version its common name.
The translators were told to follow the Great Bible, varying from it only as the original Hebrew or Greek required. There appeared to be little communication among them, however, nor was there adequate editorial oversight from Archbishop Parker. The result is a very uneven work, with some sections closely following the Great Bible and others much more freely departing from it. Published in a size, opulence, and expense to more than equal the Great Bible, it clearly was inferior in many ways to the popular and cheaper Geneva Bible. As such, it never achieved popular usage and owed its continued publication only to its appointment as the authorized version to be used in church. Even Queen Elizabeth gave it no public support, or ever even officially sanctioned it.
AD 1582 - The Rheims (Douai) New Testament, AD 1609-1610 - The Douai Old Testament
The Rheims/Douai Bible
Whereas Protestants had fled to the mainland under Catholic persecution, many Catholics had also now fled there to escape the growing Protestant pressure. A Catholic seminary for the training of English priests had been established in the city of Douai(or Douay, or Doway). Under the leadership of the Jesuit scholar Gregory Martin, the college undertook a first for the Catholic church: their own English translation. The fight to preserve the Latin vulgate as the official Bible of the Catholic Church was abandoned.
The project was completed in 1582, by which time the seminary had moved to Rheims. Lacking sufficient funds to publish the entire work, only the New Testament was published there (often referred to as the “Rheims New Testament”). By 1609 the seminary was back in Douai and funds accumulated to allow publication of the Old Testament, which was accomplished in two volumes spanning the years 1609-1610 (the whole referred to both as the “Douai Bible” and the “Rheims/Douai Bible”).
Based not on the original languages, the Rheims/Douai Bible was translated from the official Latin vulgate. In keeping with Catholic tendencies at the time, it also kept many technical words unaltered (e.g. “Parasceve”), and only slightly Anglicized Latin terms for many important Catholic concepts (e.g. “supersubstantial bread”). Though Martin wisely supplied a glossary of these terms, and the translation was of a consistently high quality, it soon became nearly unintelligible to the average even Catholic reader. By the early 1700s, complete revisions of the Catholic English Bible were necessary.
AD 1611 - The King James Bible
The King James version
In 1603 King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England. The proliferation of varying translations of the Bible, and various revised editions of each translation was having a divisive effect on religious life in England. James had some considerable interest in Bible study and translation himself, and by 1604 a translation committee of some fifty “learned men” had been created, along with rules of procedure. The translators truly represented the best and brightest of England’s Bible scholars, representing Puritan, Catholic, and points in between.
The team was divided into six panels, three for the Old Testament, two for the New, and one for the Apocrypha. When a panel had finished work on a section, that section was reviewed by all the other panels, thus helping to ensure a high degree of consistency and quality. Beginning in 1609, six of the top scholars met daily for nine months reviewing the drafts. Finally, in 1611, the King James version rolled off the presses for the first time.
“Appointed to be read in churches” appeared on the title page, but it never received any official sanction from either king or church. Though its eventual near-universal acceptance gave it an “authorization” of popularity and stature, it was never officially authorized in the same way as the Great or Bishop’s Bibles had been.
Also on the title page were the words: “…Newly Translated out of the Originall tongues: & with the former Translations diligently compared and revised….” The rules for the procedure had, in fact, called for following the Bishop’s Bible “as little altered as the truth of the original will permit.” As explained in the preface (missing from most modern editions), the work was not a new translation, but a revision, specifically culling the best from all the English translations then in existence. It was undoubtedly the best English translation to date, and eventually won ascendancy over all the others, becoming a de facto “authorized” version for well over a century, and enduring even today.
(last updated 6-29-2017)
Bibliography: History of the English Bible
Beal, Timothy (2009). The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (256 pages).
In Beal’s view, people have an iconic understanding of the Bible as the definitive answer book. When the Bible does not provide the definitive answers we think it should, we tend to read less of it and develop and read more supplemental materials that support this iconic view. Thus the explosion of translations and niche-marketed editions. Beal sees all this coming to an end as the Internet age returns us to something more closely resembling the view of the early Jewish and Christian communities: a “library of questions” not contained in a rigidly demarcated book. Beal lifts up a positive and affirming vision of a less comfortable but more alive encounter with Holy Scriptures.
BeDuhn, Jason David (2003). Truth in translation: accuracy and bias in English translations of the New Testament. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America. 199 pages.
BeDuhn demonstrates theological bias in every major translation he reviews, and with some surprising results. Mostly very accessible to the non-scholarly aside from a couple later chapters that get a bit bogged down in (probably necessary) Greek syntax.
Bible in translation: God’s word vs. Man’s word (1999). A presentation of Films for the Humanities; sponsored by the American Bible Society. Executive producer: Peter Leahey; Produced and directed by: Miles Roston, Sarah Lambert; written by: Sarah Lambert, Miles Roston, Peter Leahey. (aprox. 50 minutes)
A balanced but slightly dated overview of some of the issues facing Bible translation in late 20th century US society, particularly the role of women and use of visual arts and media to represent the Bible. Includes interviews with Bruce Metzger, Neil Postman, Phil Vischer (Veggie Tales), and others.
Bobrick, B. (2001). Wide as the waters: the story of the English Bible and the revolution it inspired. New York: Simon & Schuster. 392 pages.
A description aimed at the general reader of the history of Bible translations into English preceding and including the King James Bible. Makes a case for the English Bible’s influence on the development of free thought, the end of the divine right of kings, and the rise of constitutional government. Includes useful chronologies, verse comparisons between translations, and a list of King James Bible translators and the Rules of Translation.
Brake, Donald L. (2008). A visual history of the English Bible : the tumultuous tale of the world’s bestselling book. Grand Rapids, Mich. : Baker Books. 349 pages.
“With a full color layout and over one hundred illustrations, ‘A Visual History of the English Bible’ covers the fascinating journey of the Bible from the pulpit to the people. Renowned biblical scholar Donald L. Brake invites readers to explore the process of transformation from medieval manuscripts to the contemporary translations of our day. Along the way, readers will meet many heroes of the faith–men and women who preserved and published the Scriptures, often at risk of their own lives.” (publisher’s description).
David, Daniell (2003). The Bible in English: its history and influence. New Haven: Yale University Press. 899 pages.
Perhaps the definitive history of the English language Bible in our time. At 899 pages it is not for the faint of heart. For detailed, comprehensive, and scholarly current information in a readable format, however, it is difficult to beat. A must have for the serious student of the history of the English language Bible. Could be a useful reference source for the more casual reader.
Fires of Faith: The coming forth of the King James Bible. (2011). BYU Broadcasting. Executive Producers Derek Marquis and Scott Swofford; Produced and directed by Lee Groberg; Written by Mitch Davis. (Three 60 minute episodes; additional special features on disc 2).
A detailed exploration of the history and setting of the translation of the Bible into English from Wycliffe through the King James Bible. Includes interview segments with several scholars and generally well-produced dramatic recreations of events.
Freedman, Harry (2016). The Murderous History of Bible Translations: Power, Conflict, and the Quest for Meaning. Bloomsbury Press. 248 pages.
An easy, accessible read. It is explicitly not a comprehensive review of the history of Bible translation, but a review of some of the more controversial and dangerous episodes in that story. As such, it passes over some important translations and persons, but delights with some lesser-known episodes in that story as well. It largely (though not completely) steers clear of any particular sectarian bias or focus. Freedman has an atypical background for an author on this subject (see his Wikipedia page), but his research seems solid, comprehensive, and balanced. Includes end notes and a bibliography.
Huber, Robert V., and Stephen M. Miller (2004) The Bible: a History. Intercourse, Penn.: Good Books. 256 pages.
A very good accessible overview of the formation and transmission of the Bible and of various ways it has been used and understood in our modern era. Backed by quality research, sympathetic to an Evangelical view of scripture, and written for the non-scholar. Major sections include: The Old Testament Takes Shapes, The New Testament Takes Shape, The Bible in a Rapidly Growing Church (Jerome to the Reformation), The Book of the Reformation, and The Bible in the Modern World. Each individual topic within each section gets a 2 – (occasionally 4-) page spread with photos and sidebars with additional information.
Metzger, B. (2001). The Bible in translation: ancient and English versions. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 200 pages.
Written by a premier biblical scholar, this short text gives a brief, scholarly introduction to the many ancient translations made of the Bible, as well as to the many English translations from Wycliffe through the end of the 20th century. A good overview with basic information on each translation.
New Cambridge History of the Bible. (2012-2015). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 4 volumes.
An update of the venerable Cambridge History of the Bible (1949) which “…take(s) into account the considerable advances in scholarship made in almost all biblical disciplines during the previous forty years. The volumes respond to shifts in scholarly methods of study of the Old and New Testaments, look closely at specialised forms of interpretation and address the new concerns of the twenty-first century. Attention is paid to biblical studies in eastern Christian, Jewish and Islamic contexts, rendering the series of interest to students of all Abrahamic faiths. The entire New Cambridge History of the Bible offers a comprehensive account of the development of the Bible from its beginnings to the present day….The [series] will provide an invaluable resource for scholars, researchers, and students alike.” (Publisher’s description).
Parker, David C. (2010). Codex Sinaiticus: The Story of the World’s Oldest Bible. London: British Library; Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson. 195 pages.
A mostly very accessible, easy-to-read book about one of the most important biblical manuscripts in existence and the amazing web-based digital project centered around it. A very good introduction for the general reader to the Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest complete Greek Bible in the world. For those who think they are familiar with the story of Codex Sinaiticus there is new information and new interpretation here coming out of the cooperative digital project that you will want to know.
Paul, William E. (2003). English Language Bible Translators. Jefferson, North Carolina; London: McFarland & Company. 280 pages.
An encyclopedia of Bible translators. Contains short articles on 346 people involved in producing an English language translation of the Bible, or portion of the Bible. (note: William E. Paul’s collection of over 500 English language Bibles or portions is housed in the NCU Kellenberger Library as the William E. Paul English Bible Collection).
Secrets of the dead: Battle for the Bible (2007). Educational Broadcasting Corporation; Pioneer Productions. Executive producer Jeremy Dear; Produced and directed by David Wilson. (60 minutes.)
A generally helpful review of the history of the English Bible from Wycliffe through the King James Bible. The production is often overly sensationalist, but the actual content is presented well. Oversimplification of the facts does occasionally give a false impression of actual events and motivations of the people involved (e.g. that the Puritans brought the King James Bible to the Americas, when in fact they primarily used the Geneva Bible). Concludes with some helpful, though brief, thoughts on the impact of the English language Bible on modern American Evangelicalism.
Stone, Larry (2010). The Story of the Bible: The Fascinating History of Its Writing, Translation & Effect on Civilization. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
A very accessible history of the English Bible for a general audience. The full color photos and pull-out reproductions would be worth the price of the book themselves. The text also contains much useful information, though it occasionally somewhat misrepresents current research. It is unabashedly interpretive and Evangelical in many places. This may be welcome to some, but may be a distraction to others, particularly those outside the Evangelical tradition.
Taliaferro, Bradford B. (2013). Encyclopedia of English Language Bible Versions. Jefferson, North Carolina; London: McFarland & Company. 543 pages.
Identifies, explains, and categorizes more than 1400 versions of the English Bible. Includes bibliographic entries, translator lists, revision connections, variations of the texts, source texts, and brief biographical information on translators. Includes several extensive indexes and appendices. (from the publisher’s description).
Thuesen, Peter J. (1999). In discordance with the scriptures: American Protestant battles over translating the Bible. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 238 pages (155 pages of text; the rest is notes, bibliography, and index)
A very thoroughly researched, insightful, and accessible review of the factors, forces, and philosophies guiding Protestant Bible translation, and perhaps more importantly the reception of translated Bibles by the public, in the US from the Revised Version of 1881 through the NIV of 1978. An important book for the serious student of the history of English language Bible translation, whether scholar or general reader.
Wegner, P. (1999). The journey from texts to translations: the origin and development of the Bible. Grand Rapides, MI: Baker Books.
“…explains how the Bible that we use came to be in its present form. In five parts, author Paul Wegner introduces the Bible and its arrangement, describes how the various books were collected into a single canon, examines how the Bible was passed on from one generation to the next, explores how and why early versions were produced, and discusses the myriad of English translations.” (from the publisher’s description).
Bibliography: Creation and History of the King James Bible Brake, Donald and Beach, Shelly (2011). A visual history of the King James Bible: the dramatic story of the world’s best-known translation. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. (283 pages).
A layman’s level overview of the history, production, and life of the King James Bible, drawn largely from the personal experience of Bible collector Donald Brake. Includes many full-color images.
Burke, David (ed.) (2009) Translation that openeth the window: Reflections on the history and legacy of the King James Bible. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature. 274 pages.
An anthology of essays by several prominent scholars. In three parts: The World of Bible Translation Before the King James Version; The Making of the King James Bible; and The World of Bible Translation After the King James Version. Contains a list of “over five hundred archaic and obsolete words and phrases…along with their contemporary equivalents.” Also includes the full text of “The Translators to the Reader” preface included in the original and most early editions.
Campbell, Gordon (2010) Bible: the story of the King James Version 1611-2011. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. 354 pages.
Campbell traces the literary and religious history of the King James Bible, from its commissioning to its presence in the modern world. Included during the journey are explications of the translators and their work, of the various editions and printing errors, and of its life in each of the succeeding centuries, including a chapter on the “Bible in America.”
Crystal, David (2010) Begat: the King James Bible and the English language. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. 327 pages.
Crystal sets out to explore exactly how much influence the King James Bible has had on the English language. He details the 257 distinct idioms he identifies as coming from the King James Bible. He also raises important questions about the nuances of this influence, recognizing that many of the King James Bible idioms come originally from previous translations. For those deeply interested in the development of the English language and the Bible’s influence upon that development.
KJV: The Making of the King James Bible (2010). Christian History Institute; Dunham Bible Museum. Executive Producer: Ken Curtis (46 minutes).
Short DVD program detailing the history of the Bishops and Geneva Bibles, and the circumstances and making of the King James Version. Includes texts read aloud from all three versions and period reenactments. Interview segments with Adam Nicolson (author: God’s Secretaries), Leonard Greenspan, and Ward Allen.
McGrath, Alister (2001) In the beginning: the story of the King James Bible and how it changed a nation, a language, and a culture. New York: Anchor Books. 338 pages.
Detailed review of the cultural, political, and linguistic settings that produced the King James Bible, and the influence of the KJV on those very same factors after its publication. Includes Psalm 23 from all previous English Bibles, the KJV, and the Revised Standard Version of 1952, as well as a timeline of events related to Bible translation beginning with Gutenberg’s first printed Bible (1456) through the 1675 KJV published by Cambridge.
Nicolson, Adam (2003) God’s Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible New York: Harper. 281 pages.
A national bestseller. Describes the historical setting and process of creation of the King James Bible.
Norton, David (2011) The King James Bible: A short history from Tyndale to today. Cambridge, New York, etc.: Cambridge University Press. 218 pages.
“David Norton traces the work of Tyndale and his successors, analysing the translation and revisions of two representative passages. His …account follows in details the creation of the KJV, including attention to the translators’ manuscript work. He also examines previously unknown evidence such as the diary of John Bois.” Includes a “thorough discussion” of the first edition as well a review of the printing and textual history and the KJB’s changing scholarly and literary reputations. (from the publisher’s description).
Wilson, Derek (2010). The people’s Bible: the remarkable history of the King James Version. Oxford: A Lion Book (222 pages).
A very readable yet well-researched account of the King James Bible. Includes a brief description of the work of Wycliffe, Tyndale, and others preceding the King James Bible. Also includes sections on the printing history, the King James Bible in America, the influence of the King James Bible on language and culture, and a brief review of more modern translations that trace their roots to the King James Bible.