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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Bible: The Story of the King James Version 1611Ė2011
Campbell, Gordon

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010 pp. xiii + 354. $24.95


Description: Lavishly illustrated with reproductions from early editions of the King James Bible, Bible: The Story of the King James Version offers a vivid and authoritative history of this renowned translation, ranging from the Bible's inception to the present day. Gordon Campbell, a leading authority on Renaissance literatures, tells the engaging and complex story of how this translation came to be commissioned, who the translators were, and how the translation was accomplished. Campbell does not end with the printing of that first edition, but also traces the textual history from 1611 to the establishment of the modern text by Oxford University Press in 1769, shedding light on the subsequent generations who edited and interacted with the text and bringing to life the controversies surrounding later revisions. In addition, the author examines the reception of the King James Version, showing how its popularity has shifted through time and territory, ranging from adulation to deprecation and attracting the attention of a wide variety of adherents. Since the King James Bible is more widely read in America today than in any other country, Campbell pays particular attention to the history of this version in the United States. Finally, the volume includes appendices that contain short biographies of the translators and a guide to the 74-page preliminaries of the 1611 edition.

Subjects: Methods, Linguistics, Translation and Translation Theory

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Review by Mark Elliott
Published 8/19/2011
Citation: Mark Elliott, review of Gordon Campbell, Bible: The Story of the King James Version 1611Ė2011, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2011).


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