OUP has a long history of bible publishing. In 1675 it was granted the right to print the King James Authorized Version of the Bible which, in 1611, was commissioned by King James VI and I to be translated from the original Greek and Hebrew by some of the country’s leading biblical scholars. The first recorded use of an Oxford Bible was at the Coronation of George III in 1761.
Nigel Portwood, CEO of Oxford University Press, said: "We are honoured that the Archbishop of Canterbury chose OUP to produce the Bible for His Majesty's Coronation. At OUP, we are incredibly proud of our long history of bible production, dating back to the 17th century and forming the basis of our publishing activities for the years that followed. This Bible is an example of the fine craftsmanship and attention to detail of the Press and our colleagues at Shepherds, Sangorski & Sutcliffe, and CPI Printers. We are confident that it will be a fitting tribute to a momentous occasion in British history and we hope it will be cherished by His Majesty for many years to come."
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: "On this momentous occasion, the Bible will be the first, and most important, gift offered to The King. The Scriptures offer a guide and light to all, and I pray these living words will offer strength and encouragement to His Majesty."
The Coronation Bible used in the service will be retained by the Archbishop of Canterbury and placed in Lambeth Palace’s archive alongside their collection of all four 20th century Coronation Bibles. OUP will then produce three identical copies, the King’s personal copy, which will be given to him as a gift, and a further two to be placed in the archives of Westminster Abbey and Oxford University Press’s head office in Oxford.
To celebrate the 2023 Coronation, OUP has also published an illustrated edition of the Authorized King James Bible, including a special commemorative gifting bookplate, colour images, and traditional colour illustrations.