Who was commissioned by King James to work on the translation of the Bible?

The Bible has been translated into English a number of times, in 1380 John Wiclif, aka "The Morning Star of the Reformation" who was the first to translate the entire Bible into English. But, he did it using the Latin Vulgate. Tyndale in 1534, Cranmer in 1539, Geneva in 1557, the Puritan Bible, written by William Whittingham & Anthony Gilby, this Bible which the Queen Mary of England did NOT want translated into English had margins with over 300,000 notes to help in the understanding of the scriptures. This Bible was printed from 1560-1644.

The King James in 1611. This translation was done using the original scrolls in Hebrew and Greek and commissioned by King James Charles Stuart who was born on June 19, 1566 at Edinburg Castle in Scotland.


There were 40 translators of this Bible. Each translator was directly commissioned by King James. The majority of the translators were doctors of divinity from the University of Cambridge, Oxford University, Trinity College and Westminster.

The First Westminster Company-Translated the books, beginning with Genesis. They translated the five books of Moses to the end of the Second Book of Kings.

This section of the Bibles interpretation is widely considered the best work of all the interpretations. The translators were as follows.


He was appointed to one of the first Greek Scholarships of Pembroke Hall, in the University of Cambridge. Andrews also received a complimentary appointment as Fellow of Jesus College, in the University of Oxford. He was made parson of Alton, in Hampshire; and then Vicar of St. Giles, in London. He was afterwards made Prebendary and Canon Residentiary of St. Paul's, and also of the Collegiate Church of Southwark. In 1589, Dr. Andrews, was chosen Master of Pembroke Hall, It was while he held the office of Dean of Westminster, that Dr. Andrews was made director, or president, of the first company of Translators, composed of ten members, who held their meetings at Westminster.

Bishop of Chichester; to which office Dr. Andrews was consecrated, November 3rd, 1605. This was soon after his appointment to be one of the Translators of the Bible.


He was a scholar at St. John's College Cambridge. He was a Fellow of Trinity College, in the same University. In 1596, he was made the King's Professor of Divinity, and at the same time took his doctor's degree. In 1601, on the recommendation of Lord Brook, Dr. Overall was made Dean of St. Paul's, in London.


He was invited to become Professor of Divinity at the University of Leyden, in 1582; and soon after was also made preacher of the French Church in that city. In 1587 he came to England with the Earl of Leicester, and became master of the grammar school in Southampton, in 1590, Saravia was made Doctor of Divinity at Oxford, He was made Prebendary of Gloucester, next of Canterbury, in 1595; and then of Westminster in 1601.


He was Vicar of Minster and Monkton in Thanet, and one of the six preachers of the cathedral church in Canterbury.


Dr. Laifield was Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Rector of the Church of St. Clement's, Dane's, in London.


Educated partly at Oxford, and partly at Cambridge. He was Archdeacon of Middlesex and Vicar of the Church of All Hallows, Barking, London.


Mr. Burleigh, or Burghley was made Vicar of Bishop's Stortford in 1590, which benefice he held at the time of his appointment to the Bible translation.


Mr. King was Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. He succeeded Mr. Spaulding, another of these Translators, as Regius Professor of Hebrew in that University.


Mr. Thompson, at the time of his appointment, was Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge.


Mr. Bedwell was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge. He was Vicar of Tottenliam High Cross, near London. He invented a ruler for geometrical purposes, like what we call Gunter's Scale, which went by the name of "Bedwell's Ruler."

The Cambridge Company--Translated Chronicles to the end of the Songs of Solomon.


He was a student, and afterwards a fellow, of Trinity College, Cambridge, and King's Professor of Hebrew. He was actively employed in the preliminary arrangements for the Translation. He was author of a Latin exposition of five of the minor Prophets, and of a work on chronology.


He was first Fellow of Emanuel College, then Master of Peter house and next Master of Trinity College. He was also King's Professor of Divinity. He was chosen Vice-Chancellor of the University in 1617, and again in 1618.


He took his first degree in 1567, and was then chosen one of the Fellows of his College. He became Master of Arts in 1571; and Bachelor of Divinity in 1584. He did not receive the degree of Doctor in Divinity till 1613 when it was pressed upon him. His studies were such as eminently to qualify him to bear an important part in the translating of the Bible. For sixteen years be was lecturer at St. Clement's Church, in Cambridge.


He was a Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge. After the translation was finished, he became parson of Dean, his native place, in Bedfordshire. He published a Manual of the Christian faith, taken from the Fathers, and a variety of treatises on different points belonging to the Romish controversy.


Dr. Andrews, who had been Fellow in Pembroke Hall, was Master of Jesus College, Cambridge. He also became Prebendary of Chichester and Southwell. His brother was Lancelot, the Bishop of Winchester.


He had been student and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge; and Vice-Master of that seminary.


Dr. Spaulding was Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge. He succeeded Edward Lively, as Regius Professor of Hebrew.


Dr. Bing was Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge. He succeeded Geoffry King, who was Dr. Spaulding's successor, in the Regius Professorship of Hebrew. Dr. Bing was Sub-dean of York in 1606, and was installed Archdeacon of Norwich in 1618.

The Oxford Company-Translated the beginning of Isaiah to the end of the Old Testament.


At the time of his appointment to aid in the translation of the Bible, he had been Royal Professor of Hebrew in the University for thirteen years. Dr. Harding was also President of Magdalen College.


He first entered Merton College in 1562, he became a Fellow in 1566, at the early age of seventeen. Six years later he was made Greek Lecturer in his college was appointed by the Queen to be Royal Professor of Divinity in the University.


He was educated at Exeter College, Oxford; and graduated in 1570. He was made chaplain and Fellow of Baliol College. He was made Doctor in Divinity in 1584. In 1589, he succeeded the celebrated Dr. Lawrence Humphrey as the King's Professor of Divinity. He was elected Rector of Exeter College in 1592. In the translation of the Bible he took a very prominent part. This was the crowning work of his life. He died March 16th, 1612, a few months after this version was completed and published. He was seventy-three.


He went to Oxford and when he had been at the University three years, was chosen Fellow of Lincoln College, In 1590, he was chosen Rector of his College, and made Prebendary of the cathedral church of Lincoln. He was considered so accurate in Hebrew studies, that he was appointed the King's Professor in that branch of literature. He was also so perfect a Grecians that he was appointed by King James to be one of the translators of the Bible.

DR. MILES SMITH-(Wrote the preface to the Bible in the original translation)

He went to Corpus Christi College. In 1568 he attended Brazen Nose College, where he took his degrees. He was one of the chaplains of Christ's Church. In 1594, he was made Doctor in Divinity. He had a four-fold share in the Translation. He not only served in the third company, but was one of the twelve selected to revise the work, after which it was referred to the final examination of Dr. Smith and Bishop Bilson. Dr. Smith was employed to write the preface to the Bible, which has become rare, and seldom seen by readers of the Bible. It read.. “This noble Preface, addressed by "the Translators to the Reader," in the first edition, "stands as a comely gate to a glorious city." Let the reader who would judge for himself, whether our Translators were masters of the science of sacred criticism, peruse it, and be satisfied.”


He entered at Hart Hall, Oxford, where he took his first degree. He was then elected Fellow of Lincoln College. In 1595, Rector of Quainton in Buckinghamshire. He was made Doctor in Divinity in 1605. He was skilled and versed in the Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Chaldee, Arabic, and Ethiopic tongues.


Daniel Fairclough, otherwise known as Dr. Daniel Featley; He was admitted to Corpus Christi College in 1594; and was elected Fellow in 1602. He was appointed chaplain to Dr. Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury, also one of the Translators, by whom he was made Rector of Lambeth, in Surrey. Archbishop gave him the rectory of Allhallows Church, Bread Street, London. He soon exchanged positions for the rectory of Acton, in Middlesex. He was also Provost of Chelsea College; and, at one time, chaplain in ordinary to King Charles the First.

The Second Oxford Company--translated the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Revelation of St. John the Divine.


In 1578, he graduated as Bachelor of Arts; in 1581, he proceeded as Master of Arts; in 1589, he became Bachelor in Divinity; and in 1595, he was made Doctor in Divinity. In 1591, he was appointed rector of the Church of All-hallows, Barking, in London. The next year, he became Canon of Westminster, and occupied the seventh stall in that church. Two years later, he was chosen Dean of Christ's Church College. in 1596 and the year following, he was elected Vice-Chancellor of the University. In 1598, he exchanged his benefice at All-hallows Church for the rectory of Islip. He also held the Wittenham Abbey Church, in Berkshire. In 1604, soon after he was commissioned as one of the Bible-translators, the Lords of the Council requested his acceptance of the bishopric of Gloucester.


At the age of fourteen, he was entered as a student of Balfor College, Oxford; and in 1583, he was chosen to a fellowship. In 1585, he took orders, and became a popular preacher in the University. He was created Dr. of Divinity, in 1597; and a few months after, was elected Master of University College. He was made Bishop of Litchfield and Coventry on the 3rd of December, 1609.


He became a student of Christ's Church, in Oxford, in 1571. He subsequently took his two degrees in arts, and two more in divinity. In 1578, he became a preacher. In 1584, he was made Prebendary of Yarminster, in the cathedral church of Salisbury and two years later, became Canon of Christ's Church, and chaplain to Queen Elizabeth. In 1596, he was Dean of Worcester.


In 1571, he entered University College, Oxford and, in 1580, was elected Fellow of All Souls' College. He was made divinity lecturer in Magdalen College; Chaplain to Queen Elizabeth, He became Doctor in Divinity in 1602; and in that year, appointed Dean of Windsor. In virtue of this latter office, he acted as Registrar of the most noble Order of the Garter. Dr. Tomson took a great deal of pains in his part of translation of the Bible, which he did not long survive. He was consecrated Bishop of Gloucester, June 9th, 1611; and a year after, June 14th, 1612, he died, at the age of fifty-nine.


He graduated at Brazen Nose College, Oxford; but afterwards became a Fellow of Merton College. He became tutor in Greek and mathematics to Queen Elizabeth.


Dr. Peryn was of St. John's College, Oxford, where he was elected Fellow in 1575. He was the King's Professor of Greek in the University; and afterwards Canon of Christ's Church. He was created Doctor of Divinity in 1596. When placed in the commission to translate the Bible, he was Vicar of Wafting in Sussex.


He was the Vicar of Eyston Magna, who was made Doctor of Divinity in 1595.


He was educated in William de Wykeham's School at Winchester; and also at St. Mary's College, He became a Fellow of his College in 1574. He was appointed the King's Professor of Greek in 1585. He was headmaster of Winchester School, for nine years, and Warden of his College for seventeen years. He became Doctor of Divinity in 1605.

The Fifth Company of Translators at Westminster--Translated all of the Epistles of the New Testament


The fifth company of Translators was composed of seven divines, who held their meetings at Westminster. Their portion of the work was the whole of the Epistles of the New Testament. The president of this company was Dr. William Barlow. He was a student of Trinity Hall in the University of Cambridge. He graduated in 1584, became Master of Arts in 1587 and was admitted to a fellowship in Trinity Hail in 1590. Seven years later, Archbishop Whitgift made him sinecure Rector of Orpington in Kent. In 1601, the prebendship of Chiswick was conferred upon him, and he held it till he was made Bishop of Lincoln. In the year 1603, he became at the same time, Prebendary of Westminster and Dean of Chester. This latter prebendship, he held in "commendam" to the day of his death… The King granted Dr. Reynolds's motion for a new translation of the Bible, to be prepared by the ablest divines in his realm. The New King James Version (NKJ)


He became a student of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he graduated in 1577. He was elected Greek lecturer for that College, being then but nineteen years of age. In 1579, he was chosen Fellow of the same College. he became Master of Arts, in 1580, John Spencer entered into orders, and became a popular preacher. He was eventually one of King James' chaplains. In 1589, Dr. Spencer was made Vicar of Alveley in Essex, which he resigned, in 1592, for the vicarage of Broxborn. In 1599, he was Vicar of St. Sepulchre's, beyond Newgate, London. He was made President of Corpus Christi College, Dr. Spencer was appointed to a prebendal stall in St. Paul's, London, in 1612. He was a valuable helper in preparing the common English version of the Bible.


He was Fellow of Pembroke Hall, in Cambridge University. He was minister of St. Stephen's, Walbrook, London, to which he was admitted in 1601. He was also presented by the Queen to the Rectory of St. Bennet's, Sherehog, which he resigned in 1606, for the vicarage of Chigwell, in Essex. He was also collated, in place of Bishop Andrews, to the Prebendship of Pancras in St. Paul's cathedral, where he was Penitentiary of St. Paul's. His prebendship of Pancras also made him, Rector of that church.


Dr. Hutchinson, at the time of his appointment, was President of St. John's College, having entered that office in 1590.


He was educated at Westminster School, and admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, May 8th, 1587. He was chosen Fellow in 1593. He became Bachelor in Divinity in 1601. The next year he was appointed Greek lecturer. In 1604, he was appointed Professor of Divinity at Gresham College, London. He was elected on the recommendation of the Vice Chancellor and Head of Colleges in Cambridge, and also of several of the nobility, and of the King himself. The King in his letter to the Mayor and Aldermen of London, This appointment was given him as a remuneration for his undertaking to do his part in the Bible-translation. He was considered peculiarly fit to be employed in this work, on account of "his skill in the original languages." In 1606, he was chosen Dean of Trinity College; but died a few months after, on the second day of October, being less than forty years of age.


Bachelor in Divinity, and Rector of the Church of St. Vedast, Foster Lane, London.

There have been a number of other English translations since the KJV, but most of them have borrowed from the KJV.


The term Bible refers to the collections of canonical religious writings of Judaism and of Christianity.

Canonical, this word is used by theologians and canon lawyers to refer to the canons of the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Anglican Churches adopted by ecumenical councils.

In the 20th century, the Roman Catholic Church revised its canon law in 1917 and then again in1981 into the modern Code of Canon Law.

This code is no longer merely a compilation of papal decrees and councilor legislation, but a more completely developed body of international church law. It is analogous to the English system of Statute law.

Canonical can also mean "part of the canon", i.e., one of the books comprising the biblical canon, as opposed to apocryphal books. Canonization is the process by which a person is recognized as a saint.

Canon law is the term used for the internal ecclesiastical law which governs various churches, most notably the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Anglican Communion of churches.)

The books that are considered “CANON” in the Bible vary depending upon the historic tradition using or defining it. These variations are a reflection of the range of traditions and councils that have convened on the subject.

The Jewish version of the Bible, the Tanakh, or Torah, is divided into three parts: the Teaching, the Prophets, and the Writings.

The Christian version of the Bible includes books of the Tanakh, but includes additional books and reorganizes them into two parts:

The books of the Old Testament primarily sourced from the Tanakh (with some variations), and the 27 books of the New Testament contain books originally written primarily in Greek.

Some versions of the Christian Bible have a separate Apocrypha section for the books not considered canonical by the tradition or sometimes the publisher.

As of 2019, the Bible, or some portion of it, has been translated into more than 2,300 languages or dialects, most all of which are born from the original translation of the KJV.


In addition to the first canons translated by King James, he commissioned a second cannon called the Apocrypha translated by the sixth company.

Alexander McClure Lead the Apocryphal Committee

The sixth and last company of King James's Bible-translators met at Cambridge. They were assigned all the Apocryphal books.

The Sixth Company of Translators at Cambridge.

Dr. John Duport

Dr. William Brainthwaite

Dr. Jeremiah Radcliffe

Dr. Samuel Ward

Dr. Andrews Downes

John Bois

Dr. John Ward

Dr. John Aglionby

Dr. Leonard Hutten

Dr. Thomas Bilson

Dr. Richard Bamcroft

Apocrypha means 'hidden things' in Greek. The Apocryphical books of the Bible fall into two categories: Text ,which were included in some canonical version of the Bible at some point, and other text of a Biblical nature which have never been canonized.

The Apocrypha refer to text, which are left out of officially sanctioned versions ('canon') of the Bible. The term means 'things hidden away,' which implies secret or esoteric literature. However, none of these texts were ever considered secret.

In some Protestant Bibles, they are placed between the New and Old Testament. In the Roman Catholic Bibles the books are interspersed with the rest of the text. In this case they are also called 'Deuterocanonical', which means 'secondary canon.'


In 1826, the British and Foreign Bible Society decided to only distribute Bibles containing the Apocrypha in special cases. Since then most modern editions of the Bible and re-printings of the King James Bible omit the Apocrypha section. Many modern re-printings of the Clementine Vulgate and Douay-Rheims version no longer contain the Apocrypha section. Many of the more modern translations and revisions do not contain an Apocrypha section at all.

There are some exceptions to this trend, however. Some editions of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible include not only the Apocrypha, but also the third and fourth books of the Maccabees, and Psalm 151; the RSV Apocrypha also lists the Letter of Jeremiah (Epistle of Jeremy in the KJV) as separate from the book of Baruch, following the Orthodox tradition.

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