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A Textual History of the King James Bible

A Textual History of the King James Bible

$137.00 (C)

  • Date Published: January 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521771009

$ 137.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • David Norton has recently re-edited the King James Bible for Cambridge University and this book arises from his intensive work on that project. He reveals here how the text of the most important Bible in the English language was made, and how it was changed by printers and editors until it became the text we know today in 1769. Using material as diverse as the manuscripts of the original translators, and the results of extensive computer collation of electronically held texts, Norton has produced a scholarly edition of the King James Bible that will restore the authority of the 1611 translation. This book includes the bible's fascinating background, Norton's editorial principles and substantial lists and tables of variant readings. It will be indispensable to scholars of the English Bible, literature, and publishing history. A website with additional resources ( will be available one month prior to publication.

    • Companion to the New Cambridge Paragraph Bible (which revisits the original, and discards subsequent editorial alterations), prepared by the same author
    • Provides unique material for understanding the recognised King James Bible and the new revised version
    • Lists and analyses the variant readings in early printings of the King James Bible
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "David Norton's A Textual History of the King James Bible is now the definitive study of the processes which gave us today's most influential book. His scholarship cannot be bettered. Norton shows the gaps in the story of the making of the text, the faults in the first printings, and all the many changes up to the establishment of the current text in 1769. Over half his weighty volume is given to eight appendices of comprehensive listings of errors and changes, and their causes. In the face of centuries of highly coloured myths, his dogged and committed analytic detail is greatly to be welcomed. He, and CUP, are to be congratulated." David Daniell, University College, London

    "Unlike other recently published works on the King James Version, which have colorfully narrated the achievements of major translators and transmitters of English Bibles, Nortonas books concentrates on the text itself, which has been subjected to huge numbers of changes, both intentional and accidental, over the past almost 400 years. Norton has a fine eye for telling detail. Nortonas volume admirably succeeds in achieving its stated goals. Highly recommended." CHOICE

    "...his lucid and careful discussion of teh issues involved is worth the price of the book, which should be required reading for any first-time editor of an early modern text." - Debora Shuger, University of California

    "This work is well organized and user-friendly given its complex subject matter." - David Norton

    "...the book should be in the library of every educational institution, and in public libraries. It will be of interest to scholars and students who are interested in the true history of the King James Bible and the current state of its text." - James D. Price, Temple Baptist Seminary, Chattanooga, TN

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2005
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521771009
    • length: 400 pages
    • dimensions: 257 x 181 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.97kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The History:
    1. Making the text
    2. Pre-1611 evidence for the text
    3. The first edition
    4. The King's printer at work, 1612–17
    5. Correcting and corrupting the text, 1629–1760
    6. Setting the standard, 1762–9
    7. The current text
    Part II. The New Edition:
    8. Variants and orthography
    9. Punctuation and other matters
    Appendices 1-9.

  • Author

    David Norton, Victoria University of Wellington
    David Norton is Reader in English at Victoria University of Wellington. He is the author of A History of the Bible as Literature, 2 vols (CUP, 1993; revised and condensed as A History of the English Bible as Literature, 2000).

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