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Jeffrey Alan Miller
Montclair State University (Montclair, NJ 07043-1624)
Drafting the King James Bible: The Earliest Known Draft of the Most Enduring English Translation

Completion of a scholarly edition of the earliest draft of the King James Bible (1611), translated by 17th-century scholar Samuel Ward.

In 2015, I announced my discovery of what is now the earliest known draft of the King James Bible, the Bible’s most enduring English translation and the most widely read work in English of all time. The draft also represents the only draft of the King James Bible yet uncovered definitively in the hand of one of the work’s own translators. This discovery, which generated international scholarly and broader public notice, provides an unprecedented window into the making of what has been called “the most important book in the English language,” challenging longstanding ideas about how the translation came to be and deepening understanding of the broader early modern cultural firmament out of which the translation emerged. A twelve-month NEH Fellowship would allow me to complete a full, book-length critical edition of the draft, opening the discovery to further exploration by generations of future readers.

Project fields:
British Literature; History of Religion; Renaissance Studies


Research Programs

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2020 – 8/31/2021