In a time when most people were ignorant of the Bible, William Tyndale resolved that if God would spare his life, even the boy plowing the fields would know the Scriptures better than the typical priest of his day. He also fervently promoted the teachings of the Reformation such as justification by faith in Christ alone. In 1536, the authorities condemned Tyndale as a heretic, strangled him, and burned his body, but not before he had launched the first English translation of the Bible from its original languages.
Seventy-five years later, a team of forty-seven highly trained biblical scholars released a careful revision of the English Bible, using eighty percent or more of Tyndale’s translation. The Holy Bible published in 1611 came to be known as the Authorized Version or King James Version (KJV). It became a powerful vehicle to spread the doctrines of the Reformation.
Today The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible carries on Tyndale’s vision to spread the knowledge of the Scripture to all people. It combines the text of the KJV with thousands of concise notes, introductions to every book of the Bible, fifty articles on major teachings of the Christian faith, and an overview of church history by Sinclair Ferguson.
Why publish a Study Bible on the KJV? Millions of English-speakers read the KJV with profit and delight. A recent survey indicated that of the Americans who regularly read their Bible, over half read the KJV. The Authorized Version continues to be treasured by many in the United Kingdom and other English-speaking nations around the world as well. In an age of dumbing-down, this version of that Bible that profoundly shaped our language and literature continues to lift up the minds of those who read it.
The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible is also a valuable resource for people who regularly read another translation. It offers practical help with personal and family worship. Many people have experienced the frustration of reading a chapter in the Scripture and having no idea how to apply it to their lives. With every chapter in this Study Bible come brief devotional thoughts to shape your mind and direct your life. Thirty-six articles in the appendices address questions of Christian living, ranging from how to kill our pride to finding contentment. Pastor and theologian Mark Jones said, “The KJV is not my primary Bible. But my family and I will be keeping this new KJV Study Bible close by…. A Study Bible for the heart and mind.”
This Study Bible also offers Reformation insights into biblical doctrine. The concise study notes reflect a deep commitment to the biblical truth taught by the Reformers and Puritans. Many of the doctrinal articles scattered throughout the Bible were adapted from the writings of people like John Calvin, William Perkins, William Ames, John Owen, and Jonathan Edwards. The appendices include nine creeds, confessions, and catechisms affirmed by the ancient and Reformation churches. Douglas Kelly, professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, says, “I commend wholeheartedly The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible…. Indeed, I am so convinced of its usefulness that I intend to get copies for my five adult children!”
The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible combines the classic English Bible text with solid doctrine and warm, experiential application. Whether you read the KJV every day, grew up with it but now read another translation, or never really looked at it before, consider this new Study Bible from Reformation Heritage Books as a helpful resource for your spiritual life. (For a free sample, please go here.)
Joel R. Beeke, General Editor
Consider watching this short introduction to the new King James Study Bible: