About us
home page forums

"No bishop, no king"

The history of King James and the KJV

There is enough known about King James I, the king who authorized the making of the King James Version of the Bible, to believe he was both a tyrant and a pervert (i.e. bisexual). (A good summary of his love life as well as the rest of his life is found here.) Then why did King James authorize the making of what ultimately became the most popular Bible translation in English history? What could possibly have been the motive behind this deviant? (The history of this is fascinating enough for your reading here.)

In a nutshell, the Bible used by Englishmen prior to the KJV was the Geneva Bible, published in English in 1560. This Bible was used by the Puritans, the Calvinists, and the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock. It was used by William Shakespeare, John Bunyan, John Milton, and even King James himself until he disclaimed any knowledge of it, though he quoted the Geneva Bible in his own writings. King James intentions were clear: He wanted to deny the common people the marginal notes of the Geneva Bible.

So, what was in those marginal notes that King James hated so much? Quite simply the Geneva Bible spoke against the tyranny which he practiced. To silence this opposition, he commissioned the making of a new translation. According to his dictates, this translation would contain no marginal notes. Moreover, King James was raised to believe in the “divine rights of kings” in which a king was to be tolerated no matter how corrupt. He understood the connection between State-sanctioned Church authority and his own authority. If the church's authority were undermined, his own authority would also be undermined. Thus, in this new translation he mandated that “ecclesiastical” words and intonation be retained, viz. the word “church” not be translated “congregation,” etc.

A common saying of King James was, “no bishop, no king.” The people were required to respect church (or “ecclesiastical”) rule under penalty of imprisonment, torture, or even death. Ironically, King James’ tactics in the making of the KJV paved the way for the establishment of freedom of religion in the United States. The Pilgrims understood the tyranny of both church and state under King James, and were committed to not repeat the same mistake.

Government-sanctioned, hierarchical church rule is welcomed by tyrants like King James because it facilitates and justifies their rule over the people. It sanctions tyranny.