Edited by Helen Moore and Julian Reid


Manifold Greatness: the Making of the King James Bible tells the story of the commissioning and translation of the King James version of the Bible, first published in 1611. It is richly illustrated with early printed books, manuscripts, artifacts and archival material, such as an annotated Bishops’ Bible of 1602, notes taken at a meeting of one of the translating committees, pages from the Wycliffite and Tyndale translations of the Bible and an edition of the Bishops’ Bible owned by Elizabeth I. Through detailed chapters written by leading scholars in the field, the narrative explores the cultural, religious and material contexts for the translation, its impact in England and the reception of the King James Bible in America. The collection also features a chapter on the King James Bible and other treasures at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC.

Marking the first collaboration of two of the world’s leading libraries, this book brings together key research and documentation to provide a lively and meticulous account of a publishing phenomenon.


This book was produced to co-incide with an exhibition at the Bodleian and the Folger Shakespearean Libraries. The book charts the genesis and development of the King James Bible into the literary work that it became. The book covers the origins of the project, the translators and the materials and methods used. The book also provides the cultural and political backdrop to the making of the King James Bible.

The book is  informative with lavish illustrations and comes complete with notes and suggested further reading.

16 Comments CherryPie on Mar 23rd 2015

16 Responses to “Manifold Greatness: The Making of the King James Bible”

  1. I’m related to John Rogers the martyer which was part of Wycliffite and Tyndale.

    Coffee is on

  2. lisl says:

    A great many people still prefer the language of the King James Bible to anything translated since

  3. Did you finish this book before your Oxford trip? ;)

  4. Astrid says:

    I think I am more interested in the illustrations, I am not that familiar with the script.

  5. Looks a bit too dry for me! I bet it’s an interesting history, though; imagine – a Bible in English for a start!!

  6. ....peter:) says:

    There are so many translations of the bible Cherie… it seems that they are all different… it would take a lifetime to compare them all…

    • CherryPie says:

      I think that is because when translating from the original languages and understanding of the language and culture is needed. The translations are only as good as the translators understanding of these.

  7. J_on_tour says:

    I’ve never come across the Manifold Greatness book before but The King James Bible has to be one of the most important publications in history. Personally I find the language a little Shakespearean and difficult to relate to contemporary life (NIV is more readable but possibly arguably less accurate) but that in no way takes anything away from my previous sentence.

    • CherryPie says:

      I picked this book up in the Bodleian Library. It sounded interesting, I was interesting the process of the KJV version coming into being.

      Until recently I found the KJV rather flowery and a bit obscure. But now I have read other religious and philosophical works from classical sources. This version is brought to life and understanding.