Timeline: Literary Influences

Like any major cultural work, the King James Bible of 1611 has influenced countless aspects of art, society, and culture—in addition, of course, to its role in religious life. Perhaps the most enduring and diverse of these cultural influences has been its influence on literature, which encompasses poems, novels, and other writings spanning four centuries and every English-speaking literary tradition.

Authors ranging from radical nonconformists and skeptics to others steeped in their established faith have found inspiration in the language of the King James Bible. And their works, in turn, have often inspired other creations, from music, works of visual art, and movies to new books and poems—each one a possible focal point for still more widening ripples of the enduring influence of the King James Bible.

Launch the timeline at right to explore some extraordinary works from the King James Bible’s rich literary heritage.

Timeline: Select the start button to launch the timeline.