So the King James Version of the Bible celebrates its 400 years. Few of those involved in its production in 1611 could have guessed that their new publication would go on to achieve classic status, becoming an international best-seller. It certainly took its time (late 17th century) for its remarkable qualities to be recognised. Perhaps the most important contribution has been to the shaping of the English language. Phrases such as 'the powers that be', 'land of the living' and 'apple of my eye', among many others, have all become part of our everyday speech.
The 400th anniversary of the publication of the Authorised Version has been marked by the issuing of seven stamps for this Christmas which draw on special events in the Gospel accounts of the Nativity from the King James Bible.