O.K…. relax, sit-down, and take slow, deep breaths. Before you get too excited about thinking you have a quarter-million-dollar Bible… I need to tell you that there is probably a better than 99% chance that you do NOT have a 1611 King James Bible. We hate to “burst your bubble”, but we are unfortunately called upon frequently to clear up this common misconception.
Here’s the problem: Many editions of the King James Bible that were printed within the past couple hundred years SAY “1611” in the prefatory pages of the book. This is simply a reference to the fact that the King James Bible was originally printed in 1611, and does NOT indicate that THIS VERY PRINTING was done way back in 1611 at all. Sometimes old Bibles will go as far as to reprint the entire original “Dedication to the King” and “To The Reader” preface from the original 1611 printing… which only further serves to promote this confusion and misconception. There are MILLIONS of these Bibles in print in the USA today, so we get this call a lot, as you might imagine.
So, how do you know if you really do have an original 1611 printing? The original 1611 First Edition of the King James Bible was:
If your Bible does not meet the above requirements, and the pages of scripture do not look exactly like the photograph linked above, YOU DO NOT have a 1611 King James Bible, regardless of what it says inside. We regret to inform you that you will have to postpone your trip to the Lamborghini Dealer. Hey, it’s better that you find out this way, than being embarrassed at your local rare book shop, right? One nice thing about computers is, they never laugh at you.