Meet the Translators

The four dozen or so translators who produced the King James Bible included some of the best scholars in England. Every regius professor (that is, every professor who held a royally endowed position) in Greek, Hebrew, or divinity at Oxford or Cambridge served on the project. All but one of the translators were also clergymen—among them, vicars, deans, bishops, archbishops, and royal chaplains.

Five of the translators died between 1604, when the project was approved, and 1611, when the translation was printed, and some of them were replaced. Much is known about many of the translators, but there is no single, definitive list of all of them. Inconsistent records, questions about who took the place of those who died, and other small puzzles have added some uncertainty over time. Many researchers use the figure of 47 translators, based on a particular list, but the number is an approximation.

The translators were assigned to six companies, consisting of two companies each at Oxford, Cambridge, and Westminster. Use the map to learn more about each company and the personalities involved.