This is the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible, traditionally the principal English translation. The KJV is considered one of the masterpieces of early modern English literature, although most modern readers find the language a bit dated and occasionally opaque. There have been numerous successive English translations, many of which have borrowed heavily from the KJV. KJV History: The Authorized King James Version is an English translation of the Christian Bible begun in 1604 and first published in 1611 by the Church of England. The Great Bible was the first ""authorized version"" issued by the Church of England in the reign of King Henry VIII.