Tips for Reading the KJV: What’s in my backpack

If you’re new to reading the King James Bible, let me encourage you that the only thing you need to start reading the KJV is the King James Bible itself!

If you are like me and love books, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of reading the KJV plus something else.

For me, it was often the Bible plus a devotional.

Or the Bible plus a concordance.

Or three versions of the Bible, side by side. 

Don’t get me wrong. We can learn a lot from other believers. But I don’t think God ever intended for us to use multiple versions of the Bible side by side, or to need books of any kind to supplement his word.

The simplicity that is in Christ

People in other countries and at other times in history have often had only the means to afford one book, and that book was often the King James Bible. And I think the abundance we have now — of books, of food, of knowledge — can sometimes obscure the simplicity that is in Christ. 

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

—2 Corinthians 11:3

In this age of technology, there are several tools we have available to us today that make reading the KJV easier than ever. These tools give us the ability to take God’s Word with us and hear more of it throughout the day.

Here’s what in my backpack and on my desk for reading the KJV:

The Bible

  • The Holy Bible, Old and New Testaments, with text conformable to that of the edition of 1611, which is commonly known today as the Authorized or King James Bible.

    I purchased my Bible from Local Church Bible Publishers, and my item is #400E3T, which has the text in the middle and room for notes on every page. They have many different styles and sell their Bibles at cost, so it’s easy to find a style you like and can afford.

Bible apps I love

  • Olive Tree Ministries Bible app for iPhone, King James Version (KJV). I’ve found this app easiest for looking up verses, searching for words and phrases, ease of copying and pasting, and ability to highlight verses and/or write notes.
  • YouVersion Bible app for iPhone, King James Version.

    I’ve found this app is best for listening to the King James Version of the Bible in my car or while I’m getting ready in the morning. I often listen to the same chapters I’ve read in my Bible reading time (it’s amazing how you pick up on different things when you listen rather than read!).

    Sometimes I listen to the Psalms or Proverbs. And I absolutely love listening to the book of John.

    I don’t use this version for reading the KJV, though, because I find it’s not as easy to navigate as the Olive Tree app, plus I find all of the different versions and options a distraction.
  • Webster’s 1828 Dictionary bookmarked on my phone. This allows me to access the meaning of words at the time our country was founded. Noah Webster was a believer during a time when the King James Bible was the only English Bible version in use, and so he often uses Scripture to illustrate the meanings of words.

    This dictionary is not only helpful for looking up words that are new to me, but also for looking up meanings for words we use every day. (It’s amazing how our culture has perverted the meaning of so many common words today!) I also have the printed copy of this book, but I find the online version so much easier to use.

    The King James Bible actually has its own built-in dictionary (more on that later), but this tool has been such a blessing for a word- and grammar- lover like me!

Note taking tools I find helpful

  • Notebook and pen (I find I memorize verses easier when I write them down).

    I’ve also used index cards (especially the ones spiraled together) but lately I’ve wanted to write longer portions of Scripture, so 8.5 x 11 spiral-bound notebooks are currently my favorite.
  • Mechanical pencil and thin, bendable plastic ruler (for underlining and writing in my Bible).
  • Yellow Sharpie liquid highlighter (Sharpie liquid highlighters don’t bleed through; I buy them by the box because I go through them so quickly.)

All you need to read the Bible — is the Bible.

I know I just said it a moment ago, but I need to say it again. All you need to start reading the KJV is a King James Bible! The other tools I’ve listed here are not necessities, but most of them are free or easy to find around your home.

If you have any questions as you begin reading the King James Bible, feel free to drop me a note and I’ll be happy to write an article to address your question.

In this day and age of technology, with information like this at our fingertips, there’s never been an easier time to start reading the KJV! 

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  1. Tracy K says:

    These are very helpful tips! Thanks so much! I learned a lot from reading here.



Are you interested in studying the Bible but you aren’t sure which version to choose?

Have you ever wanted to read the King James Bible, but someone told you it was too difficult?

My name is Michele, and I’ve had those same questions too. 

In my 23 years as a Christian, I’ve read many of the modern Bible versions. But once I started reading the King James version, I discovered it was unlike anything I had ever read before, and I want to share that joy with you.

I’m here to dispel the myth that the KJV is hard to read. To give you tools and tips to get started. And to encourage you as you begin reading the greatest book that’s ever been written!

Thank You

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