In 1604, King James VI of Scotland, (I of England and Ireland) decided that a new translation of the Christian Bible was needed. This new translation would be accurate, and designed to unite different denominations of the church. The first copy of the King James Bible, sometimes known just as the Authorised Version, was completed in 1611 and the language used has influenced the English language we use now because it was so widely available. Today, it is often regarded as the best Bible translation and some Christians use only this version.
The 400th anniversary of the completion of the translation was marked with this £2 coin. The reverse shows the quote “In the beginning was the Word”, with the printing blocks to the left of the printed stylised text. The words “King James Bible” and the anniversary dates surround this on the outer ring of the coin. This was designed by Paul Stafford and Benjamin Wright, with the edge inscription “THE AUTHORISED VERSION”. Ian Rank-Broadley’s portrait is used on the obverse.