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The King James Version or KJV, which is known in Britain as the Authorised Version, is an English translation of the Bible first published in 1611 by scholars of the Church of England. Considered a masterwork of medieval scholarship, the KJV has become the best selling book in the history of the world and, perhaps more than any other book or Bible translation, helped form modern Western civilization. The translation remains under perpetual crown copyright in the United Kingdom, but is in the public domain elsewhere.

Attributes of the KJV

The King James Version is translated from the Received Text, also known as the Textus Receptus. The version used by the translators was the 1550 edition of Stephanus. The Received Text is very similar to the Majority Text and Byzantine text type. The book of Revelation has differences from these texts as much of it was taken from the Latin Vulgate.

Issues with the KJV

Updates to the KJV

Copyright status

In most of the world the King James Version (Authorized Version) has passed out of copyright and is freely reproduced. This is not the case in the United Kingdom where the rights to the King James Version (Authorized Version) are held by the British Crown under perpetual Crown copyright. Publishers are licensed to reproduce the King James Version (Authorized Version) under letters patent. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the letters patent are held by the Queen's Printer, and in Scotland by the Scottish Bible Board. The office of Queen's Printer has been associated with the right to reproduce the Bible for centuries, the earliest known reference coming in 1577. In the 18th century all surviving interests in the monopoly were bought out by John Baskett. The Baskett rights descended through a number of printers and, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Queen's Printer is now Cambridge University Press, who inherited the right when they took over the firm of Eyre & Spottiswoode in 1990.

Other royal charters of similar antiquity grant Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press the right to produce the King James Version (Authorized Version) independently of the Queen's Printer. In Scotland the King James Version (Authorized Version) is published by Collins under licence from the Scottish Bible Board. The terms of the letters patent prohibit any other than the holders, or those authorized by the holders, from printing, publishing or importing the King James Version (Authorized Version) into the United Kingdom. The protection that the King James Version (Authorized Version), and also the Book of Common Prayer, enjoy is the last remnant of the time when the Crown held a monopoly over all printing and publishing in the United Kingdom.

See also

External links

Theopedia-logo.png This page uses content from Theopedia, which favors a Calvinistic/Reform POV. The original article was at King James Version. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the Religion Wiki, the text of Theopedia is under [Creative Commons 3.0 license]