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English translations of scripture

About 450 AD: The Bible was translated by Jermone into Latin from Greek and Hebrew.

Late 1300s: John Wycliffe, a priest, initiated translating the Bible from Latin into English. Copies were made by hand.

1440s: Johannes Gutenberg invented a printing press with movable type, and the Bible was one of the first books he printed.

Early 1500s: William Tyndale pursued an English translation of the New Testament and part of the Old Testament from Greek and Hebrew. These books were sought for burning.

1530s: King Henry VIII declared himself the head of the church in England, and several clergymen petitioned him for English Bible to be put in churches. Miles Coverdale, using Tyndale's translations, finished a translation of the entire Old and New Testaments and it was allowed to be printed and read.

1537: Coverdale revised and republished his translation of the Bible. Another version of the Bible appeared, with further translations of the Bible by Tyndale found after his death.

1539: The "Great" Bible was published and was appointed to be used in churches.

Mid-1500s: England's rulers, depending on their religious preference, either allowed the English Bible or banished it.

1560: Scholars, who had fled England for Switzerland under the Catholic reign of Mary Tudor, published the Geneva Bible. The scholars searched for original manuscripts to help improve the translations. The Geneva Bible was said to be Shakespeare's choice and the one brought to the Americas with the Pilgrims in 1620.

Late 1500s: When Queen Elizabeth replaced Mary on the throne, she once more allowed free access to English Bibles. The Geneva Bible was commonly used in the home while the Great Bible was used in churches. A "Bishop's Bible" was published and meant to be used in both the home and church, but could not uproot the Geneva Bible.

1603: King James I succeeded Queen Elizabeth.

1604: King James appointed scholars to form six committees to prepare an improved translation of the scriptures and the 47 men were allowed to use the previous translations. Because of funding issues, they started work in 1607.

1611: The "Authorized Version" of the Bible, later known as the King James Version, was published by Cambridge University Press. It did not have the commentaries that previous versions had but did have Greek and Hebrew language helps where needed.

Mid-to-late 1600s: Two minor revisions were made to the King James Version.

1769: Revisions to the King James Version were made to modernize the spelling. This is the edition that is the modern King James Version.

Sept. 22, 1827: Angel Moroni delivers the gold plates to Joseph Smith.

March 26, 1830: The first printed copies of the Book of Mormon were published.

June 1830: Joseph Smith started work on translating the King James Version of the Bible, which he worked on consistently until July 1833. He used an 1828 edition of the Bible.

1833: "A Book of Commandments for the Government of the Church of Christ" was published in Independence, Mo., including revelations and the seven "Lectures on Faith."

1835: "Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints" was published in Nauvoo, Ill., to include more of the revelations. In successive editions, additional revelations or other matters of record have been added, as received, and as accepted by competent assemblies or conferences of the church. The "Lectures on Faith" lessons were discontinued from the scriptures in 1921.

1851: The first collection of materials carrying the title of Pearl of Great Price was made by Elder Franklin D. Richards, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve.

Oct. 10, 1880: The Pearl of Great Price was accepted as a standard work at general conference.

1920s: Official missionary edition of the King James Version of the Bible was published by Deseret Book through a special arrangement with Cambridge University Press with Elder James E. Talmage's "Ready Reference" between the Old and New Testaments.

1950s-60s: The Department of Seminaries and Institutes of Religion published editions of the Standard Works for students and the Primary Association produced its own large-print inexpensive version of the King James Version that didn't include any study aids.

1970s: A curriculum program to use the four Standard Works as the student manuals was to start in 1972. Seeing the need for a unified Bible and an improved triple combination, the "Bible Aids Committee" was formed and included then-Elder Thomas S. Monson as chairman, Elder Boyd K. Packer and Elder Marvin J. Ashton. Elder Ashton was later reassigned, and Elder Bruce R. McConkie joined the team to advise the curriculum department on the project.

January 1973: The committee, along with specialists, first met to start the project of producing a new edition of the scriptures. The work, initially estimated at two years, took six years to finish the LDS edition of the Bible with staff and the newly purchased computer at BYU.

1977: A hardbound Topical Guide was published by Deseret Book.

January 1978: Typesetting of the Bible started at the Cambridge University Press.

Aug. 7, 1979: The first completed copies of the LDS edition of the King James Version of the Bible came off the presses.

November 1979: Work started on the Pearl of Great Price, then the Doctrine and Covenants and then the Book of Mormon.

Aug. 27, 1981: The first bound copies of the triple combination came off the line.

Sources:; "Preparations for the Restoration and the Second Coming: 'My Hand Shall Be over Thee,' " by Elder Robert D. Hales, Liahona, Nov. 2005, p. 88-92; "The Coming Forth of the LDS Editions of the Scripture," by Wm. James Mortimer, Ensign, August 1983, p. 35; "Church Publishes First LDS Edition of the Bible," by Lavina Fielding Anderson, Ensign, October 1979, p. 9; "The Church Published a New Triple Combination," by Bruce T. Harper, Ensign, October 1981, p. 9; "How the Bible Came to Be" series by Lenet H. Read, Ensign, 1982; The Book of Mormon, Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith; Doctrine and Covenants, Explanatory Introduction; Pearl of Great Price, Introductory Note