Today, the King James Bible of 1611 stands out like a mountain on a plain—an enormously well-known religious, cultural, and literary landmark. But in its own time, the King James Bible was no such isolated work. It was instead the logical outgrowth of a series of English Bibles, some produced many decades earlier, often in secret and at great risk.
The full story of the King James Bible begins with these remarkable earlier translations. Each one, in its way, led toward the moment at the palace of Hampton Court when James I approved creating a major new translation, the King James Bible that is now known by his name.