Page last updated at 16:53 GMT, Monday, 17 January 2011
King James Bible: Hereford's connections
One of the original AV bibles
The title page of one of the Hereford Cathedral copy of King James Bible.

A Hereford man led the team that translated the King James Bible, published 400 years ago.

Miles Smith, a canon of Hereford Cathedral at the time, was a famous linguistic and led the team that translated what we know as the "Authorised Version."

He was also asked to write the preface, although this has been omitted from most modern versions.

A copy of one of the first editions is in the library at Hereford Cathedral.

Smith was the chief translator of the team of 54 people who were then divided into six sub teams based in Cambridge, Oxford and Westminster.

It is thought he was born in the early 1550s
Vicar of Bosbury 1584
Rector of Hampton Bishop 1587
Qualified as a Doctor of Divinity at Corpus Christi College at Oxford University in 1594
Chief translator of the King James Bible 1604 to 1611
Bishop of Gloucester 1612 but still held a cannonry at Hereford Cathedral
Died 1624

John Tiller is giving a lecture on the subject on Thursday 20 January, one of a short series at Hereford Cathedral as part of the 400th anniversary celebrations: "The project started in 1604 but it took them so long because the King didn't provide much money for it - much of the work was done in their spare time."

Mr. Tiller was Archdeacon of Hereford until 2004, and has written an entry about Miles Smith in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

"He was an expert in ancient languages, particularly Hebrew, and was recruited onto the panel of translators - he was one of the smaller body that revised the text as it was completed."

The Chained Library
Hereford Cathedralís famous Chained Library.

He describes Smith as a true Herefordian, who was a key cog in the translation process:

"At the very end, Miles was asked to write the preface to the whole work and his whole presence was one with which Hereford had a very great involvement.

Celebrating the King James Bible
30 Nov 10 |  Religion & Ethics


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