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on 30 April 2010
Well this bible is perfect for me. For me the richness of this version of the bible cannot be beaten. I have other versions of the bible but I think that the King James is nearer to the original versions written in Hebrew and Greek. The type face is nice and clear with the verse numbers at the beginning of the line ie each verse starts a new paragraph. Some of my other bibles are quite difficult to read because the print is small and faint but this Oxford World's Classic bible is very easy to read. It also includes the Apocrypha as well as notes on each book of the bible. It was also EXCELLENT value for money
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on 29 January 2009
The KJV uses as its basis for the New Testament the Textus Receptus, and is far more reliable than most other versions on the market today. The Textus Receptus can be traced right back to 150 AD and is quoted by the early Church Fathers, further, it has been faithfully copied many of times over throughout the Old World throughout the ages. Why would anyone want a version whose authenticity cannot be traced (like most modern versions)? My only fault with this bible is that some people may have difficulty with the Elizabethan English unless they have a small dictionary of KJV English, or some other dictionary, since the meaning of some words have changed since then. However those words are actually comparatively few and scattered and should not detract from your reading. The language of the KJV is not really as difficult as some would make out and if you can read Jane Austen, then you can read this. Thee/Thou/Ye presents little problem and was done to distinguish between you plural and you singular, not to sound churchy. No other bible has the beautiful style of the KJV.
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on 7 January 2016
Disappointed Gran as it doesn't work!
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on 9 March 2014
I don't get why people rate the Bible down because they don't believe it's true. If you are reading the Bible, there must be a reason for it. You might be reading it to learn more about the root of a certain culture, or you might be reading it to understand Jews and Christians. You might be reading it to improve your English language, or enjoying it as a work of literature. You might be reading it because you are curious why the Holy Bible has been an all-time international bestseller. The reasons are endless...

Pros:
- The most beautiful English translation of the Holy Bible in my humble opinion
- The Deuterocanonicals are included
- Some maps are included
- Endnotes for Bible students are included
- The glossary is helpful for those who have yet to learn basic theological vocab
- OT + Apocrypha + NT = all organised systematically into 1 single book makes things really convenient, if you are trying to memorising the entire Bible, this is definitely the book you should have in your hands.
- It looks cool, oh yes, I prefer this look over the black leather look lol~
- The cover has a soft and smooth texture, it is a delight to stroke the book too :P

Cons:
-Too heavy
- Covering easily damaged
- Too thick
- Not all lost books of Scripture are included, but if they were included, the book would be too think and heavy to carry around...

If you buy Kindle, the problem of weight and size are irrelevant, but then some people (like me) care too much about our eyes for ebooks.

Conclusion: The cons are pretty inevitable, so all-in-all, I consider this book very close to perfect.
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on 23 December 2002
What is the point of reviewing The King James Bible according whether you consider it to be true or not?! Anyone thinking of reading the Bible, in whatever translation, are doing so for their own reasons: whether because they believe it to be the Word of God; or because it is great literature and one of the cornerstones of our Western / English speaking society.
Translations do make a big difference, however. Having done a degree in Theology and studied the Bible in its original languages, I am still amazed to find how much difference the choice of one word over another can make. The influences of the people who translated the particluar version of the Bible have a big influence on the meaning that is put across.
The King James Bible was written in England as a result of the Reformation. It was the first translation of the Bible into English (before that the Latin version had been used by the clergy). The language is undeniably beautiful, very rich and powerful. Recitation of selected texts is a particularly beneficial exercise.
If it is comprehension you are looking for, however, a modern translation may be more helpful. The New Internationalist Version is very good, but sacrifices some of the beauty for the sake of clarity (as do all modern translations)
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on 30 October 2015
This is indeed a rarity in that it reproduces the 1796 (Blayney) Oxford Standard Text together with the Apocryphal books. ( Only in special commemorative editions of the original 1611 printing has the KJV with the Apocrypha appeared)

Very clear font and likewise easy to read - for here we have just the KJV text with no notes or cross-references at all to distract the eye.

Yet this is an estimable scholarly edition - with all the information one is ever likely to need being comprised either within the explanatory notes to each Book located at the end or in the detailed introductory essay at the front. Would certainly recommend. [Only one quibble - it is paperback and really should be in hardback format.]
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 April 2015
2.5 stars

Let's be honest. If you're reading this, you're probably thinking: three stars? Got to be an atheist writing a 'clever' review on how the Bible characters are two-dimensional, there's no gunfight, continuity errors are rife and the hero gets killed off partway.

I don't want to take that route. Yes, I'm an atheist. And no, my personal beliefs haven't changed since reading this book. But I'm going to try and give an honest account of my reading and feelings without attempting to insult or offend. Of course, I fully expect some of my words to do just that, but it's not what I set out to do.

So why would an atheist spend one year, as I have done, reading the Bible, a book I believe holds no truth about our origins or morality? 15 months ago, a knock on the door - and I spent a couple of hours chatting (and debating) with the local Jehovah's Witnesses. Their lack of understanding of science and their dogged determination to convert with a few verses spurred me on to do something I've mulled over for years, since school really - read the Bible and then I can SAY to doorstep callers that I've read their literature in full and remain unconvinced. And I must admit, it did intrigue me. Never having read it - what really WAS inside this book? I knew all the Bible stories they teach in school, the accounts of Jesus. But I've never seen Revelations or much of the Old Testament. So I sourced a website where I could read a few chapters a day, of my preferred version, and finish in 365 days. With a few missed and caught-up days, I followed this, and have now read the King James Bible (I decided to go, not with the oldest version, as I would have liked, but the most popular but still not-too-modern version).

I don't want to go into chapter and verse and talk about interpretation and meaning, this isn't the format for that. But I will say I was surprised by various aspects of the book that has historically converted millions, caused bloodshed and inspired masterpieces.

Firstly - it's not a fun read. Some mornings I would have to force myself to read that day's chapters. Verse after verse of begetting, or on how to build an ark or a temple. I really enjoyed finally seeing the non-child-friendly versions of the famous stories, such as Noah and Moses. Eye-opening in the detail that gets missed out in schools.

There were some lines of great beauty, poetry, but actually not as many as I'd been expecting, and definitely more startling references to bodily functions than I would have thought. A lot of sexual talk as well, with rape common.

But that was definitely more towards the Old Testament. And here I was surprised as well - the New Testament is only a third or less of the whole book. I had the impression that stories of Jesus would take up much more space than they do in reality. And of course, many of these are repeated, as the four gospels retell (with variation) the same stories of birth, miracles and crucifixion four times. For me, the book can't win here - if all the accounts tally then why are they all here? (This is rhetorical, please don't feel you need to answer), and if they don't tally, then why are they different anyway?

The Devil was far less present than I'd been led to believe. He's mentioned, but God himself does a lot of killing, and the Devil only seems to be of minor importance for most of the book. Hell features fairly strongly in Revelations, but from the films and books we've all seen, the descriptions we know don't all seem to come from the Bible. As the afterlife is such a huge part of the religion, and Heaven and Hell aren't very well described, I was puzzled somewhat.

The morality of the Bible really, really didn't appeal to me either. The rules and Commandments, some are good sense, others seem archaic to my modern mind, and the concept of both 'sin' and 'worship', I'm afraid are both abhorrent. Even the Jews in the Old Testament manage to a dozen times or more fall back on bad ways and become enslaved as punishment for not worshipping the God they've witnessed and spoken with, again and again they need correcting.

As I read, I made comments and made note of quotes on Goodreads, amounting to somewhere in the region of 500 notes (some seem now to have been subsumed by the sheer amount of them), and I don't want to rehash specifics.

I did find that as I read, other books I was reading were then placed in a different light. One in particular - The Book of Strange New Things, by Michael Faber (which I gave 5 stars to, incidentally) concerns a born-again Christian, a preacher, who goes off to a distant planet to spread the Word to an alien race about the Good News of Jesus. Reading the Bible while I read this novel brought it home to me, the smallness of our planet and culture, and the insignificance of it to another race on another planet. The irrelevance of fish, flocks and crosses to a desert-living alien race who had no idea what these things were made me think of the narrowness of (every) religion, how out in other galaxies - would stories of Middle East men mean that much?

To summarise a year's worth of reading and thoughts in a review is no easy thing to do, and I'm sure there are many points I'd want to raise but have forgotten completely. And some I've described in a haphazard way. If you're got this far, well done!

This was a task I set myself that nobody (my husband, parents, colleagues) seemed to think I would complete, and at times I did wonder myself. It has inspired countless conversations at work, at home and in my own head. I am glad I have read this book, and while I do take something from my year, I remain perplexed that my interpretation and feelings about the contents can differ so markedly from people who base their worldview on it.

A believer told me that reading the Bible won't make you a Christian. I know anecdotally that there will be contradictions to this, but on the whole I agree. I was raised by strong-minded atheists to think like an atheist. Usually the pattern goes that parents will indoctrinate their children into their worldview and religion and on the whole, children will grow up holding those beliefs. Books like the Bible serve to reinforce a set of beliefs. Looking at it from outside the religion does give a completely different take on the stories and message from one already firmly entrenched in the religion.

I'm just as confidently non-religious as I was 366 days ago, but glad I've given time in my life to a book that, true or not, has had an undeniable effect on the planet for two millennia, historically and culturally. It's one that I won't be re-reading, but I am happy I took the time each day to try to expand my own knowledge of the world and the people in it.
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Through the ages, the most influential and powerful book of all.

A book in two parts: the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament was for the most part written between the 5th and 2nd centuries BC and is the primary document of Judaism. Written mainly in Hebrew, it was translated into Greek, then into Latin around 400 AD. Creation, Adam and Eve, the fall, the flood, Abraham, the laws of Moses, the Kings and Prophets of Israel....man struggles to enter a relationship with God and abide by certain rules.

The New Testament was written as a result of the life and death of Jesus. First to be written were letters to His followers in the immediate aftermath of His death, expecting His imminent return. After this followed the four Gospels by 90AD, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, teling the story of His life; then the Acts of the Apostles describes how the early Church was established and spread.

Biblical archaeology confirms the existence of many people, places and events mentioned in the Bible. That Jesus Himself actually existed is a documented historical fact. It is the interpretation of the Bible that has divided the world. Traditional Christianity affirms that the Mosaic Law of the Old Testament is fully inspired by God but that in Jesus the Law was fulfilled and superseded by the new covenant - "not of the letter but of the spirit".

Most of the New Testament was also written originally in Greek. In 1611, during the reign of James I, the Bible was translated into English - formerly it had been read in Latin, hence distancing ordinary people from it. Translating it had hitherto been a crime punishable by death. The King James, or Authorised Version of the Bible, and the New Revised Standard Version, are seen as literal translations of Hebrew and Greek which have idioms and concepts not easily rendered in English; whereas translations like the New International Version are seen as more "user friendly". Divisions into chapter and verse are medieval Christian additions.

Much of literature and art cannot be understood without knowing the Bible and this version particularly has resounded down the ages, inspiring the works of many famous authors and artists. The ethical codes it contains summarise the basis of human moral conduct.

If anyone is reading this for the first time and doesn't know where to start, Matthew and the other Gospels are a good place. They are the basic story of Jesus, His life, teachings and death. Followed by the accounts of those who met Him again, alive, after His burial. This is where the familiar sermon on the mount, parables, and miracles are found. At the time Israel was under Roman occupation and Jesus offers such advice as "go the second mile" - it was law that a Roman soldier could order a Jew to carry his pack for a mile. His basic message could be summarised as "do as you would be done by".

After this read the letters, mainly written by Paul, who started out as Saul, initially persecuting Christians. Corinthians is a good letter to start with, I Corinthians 13 might be familiar - just substitute the word "love" for "charity". After Paul had travelled around the Mediterranean he wrote to the new converts to cheer and inspire them, his conviction that Jesus had overthrown the yoke of the exacting Jewish Law profoundly affecting the development of the whole of future Christianity. He also contributed his profound wisdom and insights - "now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face".

Acts tells how the message was spread once the radical decision had been taken that non-Jews could be included in the good news as they saw it. It is important that right from the start they realised the message was a contentious one and many would reject it. In that case they were told, "shake the dust from your shoes and move on". While the Gospels tell us that God expends all the energy He has looking for lost people, it is a glaring truth in the New Testament that in many cases those most blessed with material gifts and worldly status would be most blind and deaf.

The Old Testament has some cracking stories - start with Genesis and then the stories of the Kings and Prophets of Israel. Job is a good one for the old chestnut of "why does God allow suffering". I'm biased towards this translation; but don't get bogged down with all the begattings and smiting and cubits and all those stiff necked people....

It is an interesting linguistic, theological, and human point, that Jesus called God not Father, but "daddy". His relationship of trust with God made Him positive of God's forgiveness for everyone who asks for it. Even the blackest of black hearts has the chance of forgiveness - and it is not we humans who make that decision, but God.

For anther series of books with a creation, fall, Kings and Queens, fight against good and evil and resurrection - also with a God-like figure only visible to some - try the Narnia books. Easier to read I'll have to admit!
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on 25 March 2014
Very good indexes. Excellent references and maps. Very comforting in times of need, especially in times of imperative need.
Reccommended by an Oxford Classics lover.
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on 24 January 2013
Little more can be said about this timeless classic least of all by myself.
well manufactured but with extensive reading may deteriorate
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