King James Bible: 400th Anniversary Edition

Professor Gorden Campbell was in charge of the project to publish an authentic, luxury 400th anniversary edition of the King James Bible. He also wrote an accompanying essay.

Information from the publisher's website:

King James Bible: 400th Anniversary Edition

bible400small.jpgOxford University Press

1,520 pages
ISBN 978-0-19-955760-8
28 October 2010

  • A luxury limited edition King James Bible to mark the 400th anniversary of the translation, with real leather binding, gilt edging, ribbon marker, gift presentation plate and protective cloth slipcase.
  • Uses the authoritative 1611 text free from changes that have crept into later editions and incorporates original preliminary materials, including the translators' preface to the reader.
  • Re-incorporates early page ornaments and decorative letters into the roman typeface setting to create a new text setting that is both easily legible and beautiful to look at.
  • The volume concludes with an essay by Renaissance Studies expert, Gordon Campbell, on the first edition of the King James Bible.

This 400th anniversary edition of the King James Version of the Bible is a reprint of the 1611 text, in an easy-to-read roman font instead of the black-letter type of the original. The original capital letters, many of which are pictoral, have been restored to each chapter in order to replicate the visual appeal of the early editions.

The 1611 text is followed page-for-page and line-for-line, and all misprints are reproduced rather than corrected. The large body of preliminary matter, which includes genealogies, maps, and lists of readings, is also included. The text of the 1611 edition differs from modern editions of the King James Version in thousands of details, and this edition is the most authentic version of the original text that has ever been published.


...difficult to surpass in terms of its elegance and sheer visual impact is the quarcentenary edition, published by Oxford University Press. Beautifully bound in leather, presented in a protective slipcase and printed on fine gilt edged paper, its physical splendour reflects the importance that its text has had both in the development of English-language theology and on English language, literature and literacy more widely.
Paul Richardson, Church of England Newspaper, 13 January 2011


It is an elegant, eminently legible version of the original…it should be the strating point for anyone who plans to spend part of the next 12 months arguing about the KJV.
Jonathan Wright, The Catholic Herald, 7 January 2011
Faith and Theology blog, 9 February 2011
The quatercentenary commemorative King James Bible (KJB) sits on my desk as I write: a satisfying artefact in its chocolate livery enriched by opulently gilded top, tail and fore edges, with stout chocolate slipcase to match, impressive in its folio bulk.... Inside, Oxford University Press have thoughtfully provided a sticky-back presentation label, since most of these monuments will no doubt end up as gifts for clergy (I pity the Archbishop of Canterbury in particular). They give something of the flavour of the original: 1611 spelling, ornamental capitals beginning each chapter, a detailed map of Palestine engraved by John Speed (whose maps of English counties were selling so well at the time), a calendar of Church of England holy days and lessons for church services, and, strangest of all, 34 meticulously referenced genealogical tables of biblical characters culminating in Jesus Christ and Paul of Tarsus, to convince the good folk of Jacobean England that the Twelve Tribes of Israel and the notables of the Old Testament were gentry families rather like those who ruled the shires of England in 1611
Diarmaid MacCulloch, London Review of Books, 3 February 2011
Counter Culture, 6 February 2011



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