1611 King James Bible Facsimile


Cut and paste the above website URL into your browser if you would like to look at images of the first edition of the 1611 King James Bible including the Apocrypha books. One of the things you should notice are footnotes in the margin of the Bible inserted by the translation comittee. There will normally be two vertical lines next to the note.

Some would have you to believe that the translators were perfect. If this were true and they had complete knowledge someone needs to explain why there are footnotes in the Bible.

That fact is sometimes they (the translation committee) were not sure and inserted a footnote to provide additional information. This is a practice continued with today's modern literal translations like the NASB, ESV and NKJV.

One should also take the time to read the preface to the 1611 Bible to gain an appreciation of how they viewed themselves and their role as translators.

Check it out yourself and compare it to today's KJV.


  1. What you've said is true, and the KJV translators certainly did not view their work as perfect, or else certain few of the translators wouldn't have stayed on the job fixing printing errors until 1638. However, all the most popular modern literal translations you mentioned are based on completely different Greek manuscripts with readings that were considered corrupt by the translators of all the non-Roman Catholic Reformation-era Bible translations. The translators said in paragraph 11 of their preface, The Translators to the Reader, "Yet for all that, as nothing is begun and perfected at the same time, and the later thoughts are thought to be the wiser: so, if we building upon their foundation that went before us, and being holpen by their labours, do endeavour to make that better which they left so good; no man, we are sure, hath cause to mislike us; they, we persuade ourselves, if they were alive, would thank us." The almost all modern bible translations, such as the NASB, ESV, and NKJV you mentioned, use a modern critical edition of the Greek text instead of the traditionally received Greek text. You should look into this matter more deeply, and perhaps view the documentaries "A Lamp in the Dark - The Untold History of the Bible" and "Tares Among the Wheat", available for free on YouTube.

    1. It is good that you recognize, Kritias, that translations can be improved upon. The only over sight you made was including the NKJV in your list. That translation purposely used only the TR, or traditional text, in its translation, and not the UBS text, which you call the modern critical edition. It does give the UBS and Majority text readings in footnotes where they differ "significantly" from the traditional text. What is interesting is that when you look at all those so-called important variant readings, there is no new doctrine presented or major doctrine undermined. The best translation is the one that is read... though I prefer the NKJV since it preserves the traditionally used text in most places and followed a more word-for-word translation pattern in most places. The KJV is now a foreign language, and "I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue." (KJV)