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Rare Bibles: King James Bible (1611)

The Styberg Library has a special collection of rare Bibles. This guide features some of the ones that are within the collection.


In 1604, King James I authorized a new version of the Bible which was meant to replace the Geneva Bible. In 1611, the King James Bible, also known as the Authorized Version, was published. This Bible was the product of fifty-four translators who worked at Westminster, Cambridge, and Oxford for four years to translate the entire Bible. Again, utilizing previous English and Latin translations and a series of strict rules for translation, this edition was then scrutinized and evaluated for accuracy and improvement by a smaller group. Throughout this Bible, there are many engravings, illustrations, and ornamental initials. Our edition of the KJV is known as a “He” Bible because, in the book of Ruth, "he" is used in chapter three, verse fifteen, instead of "she," so it is unclear whether Ruth or Boaz went into the city. “She” Bibles were also published, but the “He” ones are thought to be older.