Ive noticed that some King James Bibles that look several decades old don't have a date of any kind. How can one get an idea of how old a Bible is or when it would have been published?

  • 1
    The King James Bible was originally published in 1611. I've seen 1800-to-early 1900 Bibles (especially big family Bibles) without a date. I suspect (but can't prove) that the biggest reason there's no publishing date in some KJV Bibles is that from a copyright perspective it's in the public domain in many countries worldwide. Without adding copyrightable content (dictionaries, commentaries, summaries, etc.) there simply isn't a reason to have a date (from a copyright perspective, which is reason #1 for having dates). – JBH Sep 7 '18 at 7:54
  • @JBH The history of the KJV translation is very well documented by Wikipedia. The history is more complicated than is generally understood, especially regarding the 'standard text of 1769' (see the article). So the question about copyright is more complicated than just the matter of the Crown Copyright of 1611. The article is far too large to reproduce here in an answer, which is why I have not attempted to do so. – Nigel J Sep 7 '18 at 14:38
  • @NigelJ, does that lengthy article answer the OP's question? The history of the copyright isn't the question. – JBH Sep 7 '18 at 16:29
  • @JBH I think it's relevant, yes. – Nigel J Sep 7 '18 at 18:22
  • This link is an interesting article with some practical suggestions about dating old books in general. – Peter Kirkpatrick Jan 1 at 15:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.