Yesterday was the 400th anniversary of the most printed book of all time – the King James Version of the Bible. The KJV has been printed billions of times. The majority of these printings have been funded not by commercial interest but by people who love this Book.
Tradition holds that on May 2nd, 1611 the King's printer Robert Barker presented the first copies of an English text that would shape our world today. The Bible in the English language has influenced the way we speak, the way we govern, and the way we worship.
No other literature touches the influence of the KJV. It's well-worn pages have been read at weddings and funerals. Presidents and Kings have quoted from it. Soldiers have found hope and comfort in it. Its words have been referred to in our music and acted out in our movies. This sacred work has solidified the English language and spread its words and phrases around the globe.
Although God is not an Englishman, through this translation, English-speaking all over the world have come to know who God is. Although the original manuscripts were written in Hebrew and Greek, the KJV has brought God's Word to many people.
Personally, I am thankful for the more contemporary translations available today that speak with greater relevance to our generation, but I grateful for the impact and influence of the KJV on our world over so many centuries.