My Love for the Authorised (King James) Version of the Bible (1611-2011)

I have always had respect for the Bible and when I was very young, my father ensured that we learned to recite many passages; one of these being Psalm 1: “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly…” Today I can still recite that Psalm by heart, but it wasn’t until I became a Christian that I felt the words of the Bible come alive and especially relevant for me. “Read the King James Bible,” my old English teacher had advised, “for its great literary content.” Then, in the autumn of 1977 I asked my mother for a simple gift for the following Christmas – a copy of the King James Bible. Indeed I still have that old Bible but it is now carefully stored in a little box to keep the pages together, since over the ensuing years I was to search those pages for inspiration, for answers, for hope. I started to systematically read it through and I came to love every word, but I also came to question the nature of my life and to be convicted by words like… “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53v6) Despite the fact that I was a ‘law abiding citizen’ I came to see that, like every other soul born into this world, I needed a Saviour because of words like: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3v23)  Then one late evening in August 1978, just eight months after receiving my first Bible, in the quietness of my heart I repented of all that previous life lived outside His grace and asked the Lord Jesus to come into my heart and to be my Saviour.

From that moment on my life was never to be the same again, for it was to be guided by the Word of God; a book which even some atheists will admit is extraordinary in content. Its words brought revelation, guidance, comfort and joy throughout the years ahead. When my children were ill or in hospital I would seek the Author of this book in prayer and then He would comfort me with loving words from its pages; words which were amazingly apt for every situation I would find myself in.

The beauty of its language is second to none and despite the fact that there are numerous other English translations of the Bible, I feel that there is no better translation than this one for the English speaking world today.

Tonight I lift my first Bible in my hands with nostalgia. Inside its cover I read words which were written nearly 34 years ago by my mother:

Christmas 1977 from Mum and Dad. (Isaiah 41v10)

Then I go to Isaiah 41v10 and read: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

How often those beautiful words would speak to me over the years and how comforting they are on this night as I pray for my father who is very ill in hospital. I love the poetic beauty of those books from Job to Song of Solomon, the history, the genealogy… yet everything contained in the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation ultimately points to the Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for all mankind, making it possible for every soul on this universe to be born again, “not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1Peter 1v23)

Years later my husband gave me another Bible; still the beautiful King James translation but in bigger print this time because I was growing older! Every time I read the Bible through, I record the date of that reading and leave a comment like “Praise the Lord!” Today its words breathe life to me and as the years go by they are more precious than ever. The full colour gift books which the Lord has led me to write, quote extensively and exclusively from the Authorised Version and in this, the 400th Anniversary of its launch, I hope, in the Lord’s strength to promote it all the more.

This is the Bible which inspired the great spiritual revivals in history throughout Britain, Ireland and the U.S.A. My prayer is that its words will once again, in this 21st Century, live on to pierce the hearts of men, women and children with its truth and that souls would search its pages and turn to its Divine Author in repentance before “the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” (Malachi 4v5)

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Rev. 22v18&19)

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