High And Holy: The King James Bible

The King James Bible at 400: we’ll look at its colorful history and deep impact.



In 1604, King James of England and Scotland needed a new Bible to bind his kingdoms. The word went out, the scholars were gathered, an epic job was done, and in 1611, the King James Bible was delivered.

It was antique-sounding, even in its day. August. High-blown. Majestic. And, for centuries, irresistible.

Its passages became the poetry of Christian devotion. Its texture became the texture of the English language. And its language — from salt of the earth to sweat of the brow — well, we’re still speaking it, every day.

This hour On Point: The King James Bible at 400.

– Tom Ashbrook


Gordon Campbell, professor of renaissance studies at the University of Leicester and author of “Bible: The Story of the King James Version 1611-2011.”

Margaret Mitchell, dean of the divinity school at the University of Chicago and professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature. She’s author of “Paul, the Corinthians and the Birth of Christian Hermeneutics” and co-editor of “The Cambridge History of Christianity, Vol. 1.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Nov 26, 2015
This photo taken July 31, 2012 shows a "tiny" house April Anson built in Portland, Ore. For the past couple of months, 33-year-old Anson and her friends have been planning, measuring, sawing and hammering their way toward completion of what might look like a child’s playhouse. (AP)

Tiny houses, micro-apartments. They’re hot. Americans are downsizing.

Nov 26, 2015
Jewel performs in the On Point Studio on Tuesday, September 22, 2015. (Liz Gillis / WBUR)

Singer-songwriter Jewel asked “who will save your soul”? Now she’s talking about saving her own. We’ll talk to Jewel.

Nov 25, 2015
Three of baker Renee McLeoud's delicious pies, on display in the WBUR studios. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Bring your appetite! We’re gathering around the radio table with three chefs and new Thanksgiving recipes.

Nov 25, 2015
President Barack Obama, accompanied by Pulitzer Prize winning Iowa writer Marilynne Robinson, arrives to the State Library of Iowa in the Ola Babcock Miller Building, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, in Des Moines. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

On the day before Thanksgiving, we talk with Marilynne Robinson – one of America’s greatest authors, thinkers, moralists — about fear and hope in a hard, frightening time.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Fresh Ideas For Your Thanksgiving: Recipes
Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015

Did our Thanksgiving 2016 episode make you hungry? Good news — we’ve got recipes right here.

More »
Karl Rove Still Won’t Get Involved In The 2016 G.O.P. Primary
Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015

Karl Rove may say he’s not endorsing or getting involved in the 2016 G.O.P. presidential primary, but that won’t stop from offering advice on how to beat Republican front runner Donald Trump.

More »
Roger Cohen And Barry Posen On ISIS
Monday, Nov 23, 2015

A brief, but illustrative exchange between Barry Posen and Roger Cohen during our conversation on ISIS today.

More »