In October of 1976, Robert L. Turner of Palm Beach, Florida, phoned four college presidents about his idea for a new Bible, one that would help readers better understand God’s Word. Dr. Gary Cohen, then president of Graham Bible College, Tennessee, was the only one of the four who consented to meet with Turner. It soon became apparent that Bob Turner was devoted to the Lord and desired more than anything to spread the word of Christ’s salvation to the masses.
Toward this purpose, Turner proposed to publish a King James Red Letter version with both the words of Jesus in the New Testament and the words spoken by God in the Old Testament printed in red. This was to be a study aid for readers, as he believed that all of the Bible is the inspired Word of God, not just the words colored in red. Turner also wanted this Bible to be in large print with thick pages, with various helps packaged inside to be instantly available to the reader. These features were to include an introduction to each book, a concordance, historical context, and archaeological insights. Impressed, Dr. Cohen agreed to edit the project.
The project required a team, and soon Dr. Ted Hildebrandt, an able Bible scholar, was also called in to work on the project. The enormity of the task soon required the assistance of others, and for the final phase, Dr. George Fredericks, a scholar of archaeology and biblical languages, was asked to modernize the language of the text without changing the meanings of the words. Sharon Hanson, Steve Cohen, and Caralee Fredericks also assisted with the project.
By 1999, the KJVER was completed and published, and Turner determined to sell each Bible for one dollar less than it cost him to print it. He marketed the Bible enthusiastically to churches, groups, schools, and stores, with widespread success. It soon became popular and is still in print today.