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King James Bible Quick Facts

From the American Bible Society

CBN.comAs the King James Bible celebrates its 400th year here are a few interesting facts about it that might surprise you:

  • The King James Version of the Bible is the best-selling Bible version of all time.

  • The King James Bible was completed in 1611 following seven years of translation work by 54 Hebrew and Greek scholars.

  • Great Britain's King James I authorized the creation of a new Bible in 1604. The King James Bible was significant in its time because the unique, collaborative process of creation brought peace to warring theological factions.

  • Almost every American president has been sworn into office with his hand on a King James Bible.

  • More than 250 phases we hear everyday originate from the King James Bible. 

  • The King James Bible contains more than 788,000 total words, of which more than 12,000 are unique.

  • Because of the expense of Bibles at the time, most 17th century Christians did not own a copy of the Bible.  To provide access to Scripture--but prevent it from being stolen--many churches chained the Bible to a pulpit. 

  • Once the King James Bible caught on, it was virtually the only Bible used in the English-speaking world for the next three centuries.

  • In 1605, Guy Fawkes threatened the completion of the King James Bible when he led a plot to blow up King James, all of Parliament and the progress made on the King James Bible using 36 barrels of gunpowder hidden in the basement of Parliament. Fawkes was discovered and arrested before his plan could be carried out.

Source: American Bible Society


Headquartered in Manhattan, the 195-year-old American Bible Society exists to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message. One of the nation’s oldest nonprofit organizations, today’s American Bible Society provides interactive, high- and low-tech resources enabling first-time readers and seasoned theologians alike to engage with the best-selling book of all time.

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