"The most important book in English religion and culture and one of the most influential texts printed in the English language": First edition, first issue of the King James Bible
The King James “He” Bible. (The Holy Bible, Conteyning the Old Testament, and the New).
Item Number: 98614
London: Robert Barker, 1611.
First edition, first issue of the King James Bible; the Great King James “He” Bible which contains the erroneous phrase “and he went into the citie” in Ruth 3:15, which has been corrected to “…she went…” in all subsequent printings of the Bible. Folio, bound in full early calf with decorative blindstamped borders, brass corner plates and centerpieces, brass clasps and catch plates with rebacked straps, raised bands to the spine, contemporary endpapers, with the title page. In very good condition, with three leaves (title page, first preliminary and final leaf of text) supplied in facsimile. Exceptionally rare and desirable, scarcely seen on the market.
One of the most influential texts in the English language, Thomas Macaulay anointed it "a book, which if everything else in our language should perish, would alone suffice to show the whole extent of its beauty and power" (PMM 114). The official project of translating the text was undertaken by nearly 50 scholars over the span of seven years, between 1604 to 1611, yet is truly the culmination of nearly a century of work, beginning with William Tyndale's New Testament translations, and including the bibles of Coverdale and Whitchurch, the Bishops' Bible, the Geneva Bible, and the Rheims New Testament. "Appointed to be read in Churches," the Great "He" Bible was exposed to public usage (on lecterns) and almost all surviving copies have suffered some manner of damage or loss. (ESTC S122347; Herbert 309; Pforzheimer 61; PMM 114).