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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

25 September 2005

King James and His Bible

Q: Could you please tell us what King James’ nationality was? English or Greek? And also when he translated the old King James Version, was it from Latin or Greek to English?

King James I of EnglandA: The King James whose name is attached to the Bible is James I of England, who lived from 1566 to 1625. In England and elsewhere, the translation is usually known as the Authorized Version, since it was done under the approval of the King and dedicated to him.

The actual translators were 54 men who worked for seven years to make the translation from Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek to English. Their task was completed and the new translation was first published in 1611.

What we call the King James Version in the United States and Canada is often a shortened version of the original translation. Most copies do not include the books of the Apocrypha, which were not only part of early English translations but also in Luther’s German translation, the Latin Vulgate, and others.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.


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