Read and Compare: 1611 KJV Online

As I originally posted here, when writing a paper on the history of English Bible translation, I came across a site with scans from an original King James or "Authorised" Version of the Holy Bible.  It is a Robert Barker 1611 edition, official printer of King James I:

  • View scans.
  • If you find the black-letter Latin font in the scans too difficult to read, I found a text version here and here (choose from the drop-down).

Keep in mind that parts of the original text of the KJV suffered immediate misprints and differences between the Cambridge and Oxford printers.  For those unacquainted with this piece of historical trivia, we have fun versions of the KJV such as:

  • the "Judas Bible", where Judas's name was printed instead of Jesus's in Matthew 26:36 in an 1613 Barker edition
  • the "Wicked/Sinner's Bible" that printed "Thou shalt commit adultery" in Exodus 20:14 and earned Barker a hefty fine
  • and, of course, the hundreds of divergent "He" and "She" Editions, based on the divergent printing of Ruth 3:15.  

The tradition of updating and revision continued as the language changed, mainly through a more uniform system of spelling, ultimately leading to standardized texts for the States and for Great Britain.  As originally posted here, here is a comparison of ancient versions found on StudyLight.org, including the 1769 KJV most people know today.  Here, you can see the English Bible has a long translation tradition that continues today.


Genesis 1:1-2
In the bigynnyng God made of nouyt heuene and erthe. Forsothe the erthe was idel and voide, and derknessis weren on the face of depthe; and the Spiryt of the Lord was borun on the watris.
(1395 Wycliffe Bible)

In ye begynnynge God created heauen & earth: and ye earth was voyde and emptie, and darcknes was vpon the depe, & ye sprete of God moued vpo the water.
(1535 Coverdale Bible)

In the beginnyng GOD created ye heauen and the earth. And the earth was without fourme, and was voyde: & darknes [was] vpon the face of the deepe, and the spirite of God moued vpon the face of the waters.
(1568 Bishops' Bible)

In the beginning God created the heauen and the earth. And the earth was without forme and voide, and darkenesse was vpon the deepe, and the Spirit of God moued vpon ye waters.
(1587 Geneva Bible)

In the beginning God created the Heauen, and the Earth. And the earth was without forme, and voyd, and darkenesse was vpon the face of the deepe: and the Spirit of God mooued vpon the face of the waters.
(1611 King James Version)

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
(1769 KJV (For comparison))

John 3:16
For God louede so the world, that he yaf his `oon bigetun sone, that ech man that bileueth in him perische not, but haue euerlastynge lijf.
(1395 Wycliffe Bible)

For God so loveth the worlde yt he hath geven his only sonne that none that beleve in him shuld perisshe: but shuld have everlastinge lyfe.
(1527 Tyndale New Testament)

For God so loued the worlde, that he gaue his onely sonne, that who so euer beleueth in hi, shulde not perishe, but haue euerlastinge life.
(1568 Bishops' Bible)

For God so loued the worlde, that hee hath giuen his onely begotten Sonne, that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life.
(1587 Geneva Bible)

For God so loued ye world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne: that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life.
(1611 King James Version)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
(1769 KJV (For comparison))


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