The ABC Religious Affairs Compass program documentary in 2011 on the King James Bible of 1611 titled "When God spoke English. The making of the King James' Bible bought to light a number of fascinating aspects of its translation and final preparation."
One of these final checks was that it was read aloud, as it would be read aloud in church each Sunday. Sometimes words were substituted to ensure the sound of the language flowed. This remains a hallmark of the King James Bible of 1611, which has facilitated its poetic quality and ease of memorisation, which generation after generation has engaged in.
Now it seems that hard copies of the King James Bible of 1611, in 2011 celebrating its 400th anniversary, sold like hot cakes and kept the book industry afloat.
Melissa Singer in the Sydney Morning Herald wrote: "Too unwieldy to post and too precious to risk losing, the Bible, printed last year to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the tome, is flying off the shelves."
Christian Hummelshoj, deputy manager at Abbey's Bookshop, was also quoted: "'We're selling them as fast as we can get them. We won't have any to put on the shelf for a few months at least.''
Meanwhile, on 2011 the then Prime Minister Julia Gillard and then Opposition Leader Tony Abbot (2013 elected Prime Minister) are agreed on this one thing at least, that the King James Bible should be taught in public schools for its literary value.
Scholars have come out in public and stated that one cannot begin to fathom the riches of English history (including Australia's) unless one has a grasp of the literacy and undercurrents of the philosophy of life put forward within the pages of the King James Bible.
When I am away from my office, which at present consists of regular visits to our Basil Sellers Laguna Quays Respite House in Queensland, I sit on the veranda with the lap top and read God's word on line.
I totally understand how the younger generation have taken to reading books online, as I don't have a heavy book which needs to be held up and read on my limited space on the portable table on the veranda; there are no pages to hold down against the wind (or the recent earthquake). Should I need an explanatory note, I have the entire library of Christian thought there in front of me with a couple of clicks on the key board.
Yet, I understand, too why people are still buying hard copies with beautiful binding for their homes and permanent offices. When I am 'home' in Tweed Heads in my office, right beside me is my trusty King James Bible that my parents gave me for my 21st birthday, with many of its verses highlighted as I've studied its text over all these years.
Following many generations of tradition, I have inscribed the important family dates in this Bible, and it will go to one of my children when I am gone and hopefully be used and respected for many more generations to come.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at