Book Review: The Holy Bible — 1611 King James Version, 400th Anniversary Edition

Recommended. A beautifully presented, word-for-word look at a 400-year old text.

After reading Jon Sweeney’s Verily, Verily, I couldn’t help but be drawn to reading the KJV. And, if you’re going to read it, why not go back to the original 1611 version? That’s exactly the opportunity that Thomas Nelson’s 1611 KJV — 400th Anniversary Edition affords its readers. Between the two beautifully detailed hardcovers, you won’t find a jot or tittle from the publisher. Instead, you’ll find, as the title page explains, “A word-for-word reprint of the First Edition of the Authorized Version presented in roman letters for easy reading and comparison with subsequent editions.”

And “word-for-word” could easily be “letter-for-letter.” Just as in the original 1611 documents, u’s and v’s are flip-flopped, ‘be’ reads as ‘bee’, and your faith can cast ‘mountaines’ into the sea instead of mountains. You’d be hard pressed to find a sentence that doesn’t use spelling that would today be unconventional. This takes a minute to get used to, but, once you do, it’s hard not to smile at the feeling of being transported to a time much different from ours. The Bible comes in a well-crafted box, and, since the publisher could place its blurbs on that, the book adds to this feeling of transportation by having no extraneous markings on any part of it.

I was surprised to find the apocrypha included between the Old and New Testaments. Sweeney might have mentioned that the First Edition included apocrypha, but, if he did, I didn’t remember it. This is my first Bible that includes the apocrypha, and, though I don’t believe that they are the inspired Word of God, I am interested to read them for background knowledge. One drawback to this is that, when you crack open the middle of your Bible, you don’t land in the Psalms.

One additional feature worth mentioning is the included booklet, “KJV 400: Celebrating the Legacy of the Bible.” In twenty or so full-color pages, readers are given good reason to appreciate the KJV in general and the First Edition in particular.

All in all, the 1611 KJV — 400th Anniversary Edition makes a great addition to a study library and a nice change of pace if you’re accustomed to reading more modern translations. Also, because it is so beautifully presented, it would make a great gift for those who appreciate good books.


Notice: Thomas Nelson provided me with a free review copy of this product. However, the publisher has clearly expressed that I have the right, under no penalty, to honestly review this title, whether that review be positive or negative.


About davestuartjr
Dave Stuart Jr. is a full-time teacher who writes about becoming better, saner teachers at He is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Crystal, and a father to Hadassah, Laura, and Marlena.

One Response to Book Review: The Holy Bible — 1611 King James Version, 400th Anniversary Edition

  1. james says:

    Hi david. My name is james and i’m about to buy a leather edition of this kjv. I have had trouble getting my head around some of the scriptures but im determined to press on. Besides, i only have to pull out an AMP or an NLT and i get edified! I’ll let you know; but I’m excited…..

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