QUESTION: Did King James authorize his translation
to be used in the churches in England?
ANSWER: No. He authorized it's translation, but
not its usage.
EXPLANATION: It is difficult for someone in the
twentieth century, especially someone in America to fathom the conditions
of nearly four hundred years ago. We Christians not only have a Bible in
our language, but more often than not, we have several. Added to that is
our concordance and a raft of Bible commentaries and sundry other
Yet the world of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries was
quite different. The common man in England had no Bible. The only copy
available to him was chained to the altar of the church. As recently as
1536, William Tyndale had been burned at the stake for the high crime of
printing Bibles in the language of the common man, English. When King
James commissioned the fifty-four translators in 1603 he did not mandate
the upcoming translation to be used in churches. In fact, that it was
translated and not intended for the churches left it only
one explainable destiny. That is, that it should be supplied to the common
It might be noted that the world has no greater power than the common
man with the common Bible in his hand.