Christian Broadcasting Network

CBN Celebrates
400 Years of the
King James Bible

Gordon Robertson reports from England on the Bible translation that changed the world.

See the chronological events and historical figures that brought us the King James Bible.

CBN’s new online Bible provides multiple Bible versions, commentaries, and dictionaries.

View photos of original printings of the King James Bible and other versions.

01:07
The Origin of the King James Bible

Hear short, historical insights on the King James Bible’s development and impact.

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KJV Timeline

Long before King James enlisted the help of nearly 50 scholars to create the "translation to end all translations," many notable men including William Tyndale and John Wycliffe risked their lives to get the Word into the hands of the common man.

In 1611, the first King James editions rolled off the presses, setting the stage for the proliferation of the Bible to the far ends of the earth.

1,400 BC

The Ten Commandments are delivered to Moses.

500 BC

The original Hebrew manuscripts make up the 39 books of the Old Testament.

200 BC

The Greek Septuagint is completed containing the 39 Old Testament books and 14 Apocryphal books.

1st Century AD

The completion of all the original Greek manuscripts comprising the 27 books of the New Testament.

315 AD

Athenasius, the Bishop of Alexandria, identifies the 27 books of the New Testament, which are now recognized as the canon of Scripture.

382 AD

The manuscript of the Latin Vulgate is published, containing 80 Books; 39 Old Testament, 14 Apocrypha, and 27 New Testament.

1384 AD

John Wycliffe produces a hand-written manuscript of the complete Bible translated from the Latin Vulgate.

1455 AD

Gutenberg invents the printing press; the first book printed is Gutenberg's Bible in Latin.

1522 AD

Martin Luther translates and publishes a German New Testament.

1525 AD

William Tyndale translates the New Testament from the original Greek; the first New Testament printed in the English language.

1535 AD

Myles Coverdale translates the first complete Bible printed in the English language; including all 80 Books: of the Old Testament, New Testament and Apocrypha.

1537 AD

Tyndale-Matthews Bible; The Second Complete Bible printed in English. Done by John "Thomas Matthew" Rogers (80 Books).

1539 AD

The "Great Bible" is printed, which is the first English language Bible authorized for public use (80 Books).

1557 AD

The Geneva Bible is printed, which is the first English language Bible to add numbered verses to each chapter (80 Books).

1568 AD

The Bishops Bible is printed; the Bible used as the basis of the original King James Bible (80 Books).

1582 AD

The Rheims/Douay Bible is published.

1609 AD

The Douay Old Testament is added to the Rheims New Testament (of 1582) making it the first complete English Catholic Bible translated from the Latin Vulgate (80 Books).

1611 AD

The King James Bible is printed, originally with all 80 Books. (The Apocrypha was officially removed in 1885, leaving only 66 books).

1616 AD

King James Bible is first revised. The KJV has seen four revisions since that time.

1782 AD

Robert Aitken's Bible is the first English language Bible (KJV) printed in America.

1791 AD

Isaac Collins produces the first family Bible and Isaiah Thomas produces the first illustrated Bible to be printed in America; both were King James Versions, with all 80 books.

1808 AD

Jane Aitken (daughter of Robert Aitken) produces the first Bible to be printed by a woman.

1833 AD

After producing his famous dictionary, Noah Webster printed his own revision of the King James Bible.

1846 AD

The Illuminated Bible is published; the most lavishly illustrated King James Bible printed in America.

1885 AD

The "English Revised Version" Bible; the first major English revision of the KJV.

1901 AD

The "American Standard Version"; the first major American revision of the KJV.

1909 AD

The Scofield Bible is released as a King James Version with extensive study notes.

1971 AD

The "New American Standard Bible" (NASB) is published as a "Modern and Accurate Word for Word English Translation" of the Bible.

1982 AD

The "New King James Version" (NKJV) is published as a "Modern English Version Maintaining the Original Style of the King James."