Our take: The King James Version of the Bible just turned 400 years old. First released in 1611, the King James Bible revolutionized scripture as it was first, in its entirety, presented in the English language. A 1617 printing of the King James Bible was just acquired by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, sparking questions about the history of the book.
In 2011, English speakers and Christians in particular celebrated the 400th anniversary of the first printing of the King James "Authorized Version" of the Bible.
The KJV, heralded both for its longstanding value as a translation of Scripture and for its impact on the English language, was commissioned in 1604. Seven years later, in 1611, royal printer Robert Barker produced the first copies of the new English version of the Bible.
A second printing took place in 1613, with a third in 1617.
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary acquired a copy of the King James Bible from that 1617 printing from a former Primitive Baptist minister and his family in Atwood, Tenn., in August 2011.
The past year of the Bible's history is meaningful for the family and quite exciting for the seminary, which hopes to display it one day in a museum dedicated to Bible history and biblical archaeology.
But much of the story of this particular Bible remains somewhat of a mystery.