Early ‘English’ Bibles.

King-James-BibleSadly, many King James Version Only (KJVO) readers believe that the King James Version was produced independently, and is not a revision of any sort.
Some even believe it is the first English translation.
This would be a mistaken view, as prior to the 1611 King James Version, there was the Wycliffe translation of 1382, and many that followed.
There was the Tyndale translation of 1526 by William Tyndale, The Coverdale translation of 1535 by Miles Coverdale, the Matthew’s Bible of 1537 by the contrived name Thomas Mathew, the Great Bible of 1539 (a revision of Matthew’s Bible), the Geneva Bible of 1560 and the Bishops’ Bible of 1568.great-bibleThe Great Bible of 1539. Authorized by Henry VIII.
What many may not know is that the so-called authorized version of 1611 was not the first Authorized Version (a version authorized by a religious monarch or religious group).
The first of the “authorized versions” was the Great Bible (1539), which was a revision of the Matthew’s Bible, with few alterations. It was given its name because of its large size.
The Bishop’s Bible (1568) was the second “authorized version,” which was a revision of the English Bible made by the bishops.
It was not a great improvement on earlier translations, and even set aside improvements of the earlier translations.
Because its wording was not as simple and direct as others, the Geneva Bible became the favorite translation.
Ironically, while most KJVO readers are not aware, the so-called “authorized version” is not the third Authorized Version at all, because no religious monarch or religious group authorized it.
Some three decades after The Bishop’s Bible, King James I became the king of Great Britain.
Because of the defeat of the Spanish Armada, (the Spanish fleet that sailed against England in 1588), there was a lengthy period of peace in Britain.
This allowed for a time of intensified academic pursuits.
Most are not aware that King James himself was just as educated in the field of Bible study and translation, as any on the committee that produce the King James Version.
While King James had a serious interest in the Word of God, it was not his idea to produce a third authorized version.

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