This essay addresses several unresolved problems associated with the production, dissemination and reception of the King James Bible. It argues that James i’s initial enthusiasm was not sustained and that Archbishop Bancroft was the key figure for seeing the translation through to completion. His death, just before the Bible appeared, explains why there was no order for its purchase by parishes. Instead, its acquisition was left to individual bishops, so that it took until the Civil War for the new Bible to be widely available in worship. Its broad acceptability by that time was a result of its increasing use in household and private devotions as much as in public worship.