Originally posted by DarkWolf
Let me quote something from the KJV:
"The HOLY BIBLE
The Old and New Testaments
Translated out of the original tongues
and with the former translations
diligently compared and revised
By His Majesty's special command"
Diligently comparing and revising previous translations ... interesting.
I believe I said they also used other translations.
You can also read the dedication of the work to King James:
"And now at last, by the mercy of God, and the continuance of our labours, it being brought unto such a conclusion, as that we have great hopes that the Church of England shall reap good fruit thereby, we hold it our duty to offer it to Your Majesty, not only as to our King and Sovereign, but as to the principal mover and author of the Work; humbly craving of your most Sacred Majesty, that, since things of this quality have ever been subject to the censures of ill-meaning and discontented persons, it may receive approbation and patronage from so learned and judicious a Prince as Your Highness is; whose allowance and acceptance of our labours shal more honour and encourage us, than all the calumniations and hard interpretations of other men shal dismay us."
That's a run-on sentance if I've ever read one ... and it's a REALLY long way of saying "Thanks for letting us know what needed to be written, and what was right, and wrong from the original translations."
All of the earliest attempts at translating the Bible into English were fragmented. For example, Bishop Aldhelm of Sherbourne translated the Psalms into Old English around 709. Venerable Bede, a monk at Jarrow, translated a portion of the Gospel of John. By 900 AD all of the Gospels and most of the Old Testament had been translated into Old English. The KJV is the first English version of the complete Bible.
The KJV (1611) was done during the reign of King James the I of England. 47 scholars, divided into 6 groups, worked on this translation. Based largely on the Bishop's Bible, Hebrew and Greek texts were studied as well as other available English translations, to insure the best results.
By choosing men of many different theological and educational backgrounds, it was hoped individual prejudices of the translators could be minimized.
Because it was small in size and in clear type, the KJV pleased clergy and congregation alike.
The origin of other English Bibles of today can be traced to a time when men, under the divine inspiration of God,
first wrote the books of the Bible. This word of God was transmitted from generation to generation by handwritten copies and by word-of-mouth. As men began to realize how valuable these teachings were, attempts were made to collate these teachings into a single book.
Most of what we now know as the Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew, and the New Testament largely in Greek. Since no printing press existed until 1450, all of the original compilations of the Bible were done by hand.
John Wycliffe (1380) - John Wycliffe was the first to plan a complete English translation of the Bible from Latin. His translation was based on the Latin Vulgate. He completed the New Testament prior to his death, and his friends completed the work after his death.
William Tyndale ( 1525-1530) - Driven from England by persecution, William Tyndale, shared Wycliffe's desire to produce a Bible that the common English-speaking person could understand. Using the Latin Vulgate and other ancient sources, Tyndale was able to translate the New Testament and Pentateuch before he was martyred.
Miles Coverdale (1535) - A friend of Tyndale's, Coverdale was able to publish a complete Bible. It is generally believed Coverdale used Tyndale's work in producing his New Testament. This Bible was done to honor King Henry the VIII.
Matthews Bible (1537) - Despite the name, it is widely accepted that a friend of Tyndale, John Rogus, did most of the work on this Bible. Based largely on Tyndale's previous work, it also contains evidences of Coverdale's work as well. This might well be considered an updated Tyndale Bible.
The Great Bible (1539) - This Bible takes its name from its great physical size. Based on the Tyndale, Coverdale, and Matthews Bibles, it was used mainly in churches. Often chained to a reading desk in a church, people would come to listen as a minister read from the Great Bible.
The Geneva Bible (1560) - Produced in Geneva by scholars who had fled persecution in England under Queen Mary, this Bible was based not only on the Great Bible, but also on the other English translations of that day. Though very scholarly, it was a popular Bible because of its small size.
The Bishops Bible (1568) - This was a revision of the Great Bible and Geneva Bible done under the direction of the Archbishop of Canterbury during the reign of Elizabeth.
Douay-Rheims Bible (1582-1610) - The New Testament was published in Rheims in 1582 and the Old Testament in Douay in 1610. A revision of the Latin Vulgate, this has become the generally accepted English Version for the Roman Catholic Church.