Expert Answer Forum
King James Bible QUESTION from Mr. M. Sponer October 18, 1999 Dear Mrs Susan Fortin,
Do you know if any versions of the KJV did at once contain the Deuterocanonical books, and if they did where can we find proof that they did? Thank you.
ANSWER by Mrs. Suzanne Fortin on October 22, 1999 Dear Mr. Sponer.
The original King James Version, or Authorized Version, of the Bible (first published 1611), did contain the Deuterocanonical books, but they were not considered Scripture. They were considered profitable reading and placed between the Old and the New Testament. This arrangement was denounced by the more puritanical elements in the Church, and in 1827, the British and Foreign Bible Society decided to no longer publish Bibles with Apocrypha, except for those used in the pulpit. As for proof: I got my information from the New Catholic Encyclopedia article Bible III (Canon) (though regretably I forgot to note the volume. At any rate, it's easy enough to find.)
Some interesting facts about the KJV: The first Bible to be printed in the United States was an Authorized Version published by Robert Aitken in 1782, without the Deuterocanonicals. It seems that American editions did not contain these books in general. Throughout the 18th and 19th century, a number of editions of the KJV were published, some of them being translated into modern speech (others contained corrections). Contrary to what might be thought, the language of the KJV does not represent the idiom of the 17th century. The Authorized Version was a revision of earlier translations of the Bible, notably the Tyndale and the Coverdale, and the idiom of their period (early 16th century) was used. So even to readers of the 17th century, the language of the KJV seemed antiquated.
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