English translation of the Bible often called the "King James Version"
in the United States.
page from the Authorized Version of the English Bible,
of the Bible was commissioned by King James I at the urging of Puritan
leaders. Although the editors were ordered to base their work on existing
translations, they also consulted the Greek and Hebrew texts. Working
in six groups under the leadership of the most noted English scholars
of the day, the editors completed their work in less than three years.
The title page of the first edition announced that it had been "Appointed
to be read in Churches," although this seems to have been the extent
of its so-called "authorization." For more than three hundred years,
this was the most widely read of English Bible translations and it played
a role like that of the work of Shakespeare in stabilizing modern English.