Manifold Greatness: The Making of the King James Bible

Oxford KJB Exhibition Starts Today other events worldwide

April 22, 2011
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Christians throughout the world will commemorate Good Friday today, April 22, 2011. This also marks the planned opening of the Summer Exhibition at the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford, England. The theme this year is “Manifold Greatness: Oxford and the Making of the King James Bible,” in celebration of the 400th anniversary of its first publication.

The exhibition is free to the public, and continues through the 4th of September this year. (Other events commemorating the KJB anniversary are listed at the end of this article.) The announcement on the Oxford University website delineates the main attractions included.

Included in the exhibition are the three key surviving working materials that reveal the making of the King James Bible, and these are brought together for the first time from the Bodleian, Corpus Christi College, Oxford and Lambeth Palace Library:

  • The only surviving copy of the 1602 Bishops’ Bibles used by the translators (owned by the Bodleian Libraries). Copies of the Bishops’ Bible, the main Bible in use in the Elizabethan period, were given to the translators for their work. This copy is made up of different sheets of paper, marked with scribal handwriting recording changes, additions and deletions. It was bound after the translation committees had been disbanded and is comprised of sheets from four of the six translating committees.
  • Lambeth Palace Library MS. 98, a unique document containing an interim translation of the New Testament epistles,written between 1604 and 1608 (loaned from Lambeth Palace Library). This translation of the New Testament epistles is a half-way house between earlier versions of the Bible and the King James Bible. As such it provides a window into the translators’ working methods, especially the way in which they consulted earlier English translations of the Bible and combined or altered them.
  • On display for the first time ever, John Bois’ notes from the General Meeting of 1610 at which the work of the committees was reviewed and the translation finalised. These notes, written in Latin and Greek, are a fly-on-the-wall record of discussions at the meeting, revealing in one instance how words were reordered to sound more majestic – thus fashioning the book’s magisterial voice and tone that still elicit strong emotions today and helping to explain how the Bible’s unity of tone was achieved. (These notes are owned by Corpus Christi College and were re-discovered in the 1950s during biographical research on the translators, having been long-thought lost.)

For more information on this Oxford Exhibition, see the complete announcement by clicking here.

Below are more King James events currently taking place throughout the world. Click on the event to see more information provided by the King James Bible Trust website.

Quayle Bible Collection September 2010 – July 2011
Baker University, 618 Eighth St., Baldwin City, Kansas, United States

KJV@400: From Hampton Court, around the Globe, and to the Moon Monday, 10 Jan. 2011 – Friday, 16 December 2011
7502 Fondren Rd., Houston, TX, Harris, United States

“Great and Manifold”: A Celebration of the Bible in English Thursday, 3 February 2011 – Monday, 30 May 2011
120 St George Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Gather all nations and tongues: Rare and Unique Bibles from Haverford College Mon., 14 March 2011 – Fri., 16 Sept. 2011
370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, Pennsylvania, United States

The Tre Ore (Three Hour) Devotional Service Friday, 22 April 2011
Fridhem Church, Ferintosh, Alberta, Canada

For a full list, including upcoming events, go to by clicking here.




Mark received an Associates degree in Pastoral Ministries in 1989 and was licensed to the Gospel Ministry in 1997. Mark and his wife, who have been married over 30 years, live in northern Indiana. They have four grown children, two granddaughters, and one grandson. Besides his job for a manufacturing company, Mark also sells books—mainly related to C S Lewis and JRR Tolkien—on eBay (iHaveAnInkling).

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