The title of the first edition of the translation was "THE HOLY BIBLE, Containing the Old Testament, AND THE NEW: Newly Translated out of the Original tongues: & with the former Translations diligently compared and revised, by his Majesties special Commandment". The title–page carries the words 'Appointed to be read in Churches' and F.F. Bruce suggests it was "probably authorized by order in council" but no record of the authorization survives "because the Privy Council registers from 1600 to 1613 were destroyed by fire in January 1618/19".
For many years it was common not to give the translation any specific name. In his Leviathan of 1651, Thomas Hobbes referred to it as the English Translation made in the beginning of the Reign of King James. A 1761 "Brief Account of the various Translations of the Bible into English" refers to the 1611 version merely as a new, compleat, and more accurate Translation, despite referring to the Great Bible by that name, and despite using the name "Rhemish Testament" for the Douay–Rheims Bible version. Similarly, a "History of England", whose fifth edition was published in 1775, writes merely that new translation of the Bible, viz., that now in Use, was begun in 1607, and published in 1611.
King James's Bible is used as the name for the 1611 translation (on a par with the "Genevan Bible" or the "Rhemish Testament") in Charles Butler's Horae Biblicae (first published 1797). Other works from the early 19th century confirm the widespread use of this name on both sides of the Atlantic: it is found both in a "Historical sketch of the English translations of the Bible" published in Massachusetts in 1815, and in an English publication from 1818, which explicitly states that the 1611 version is "generally known by the name of King James's Bible". This name was also found as King James' Bible (without the final "s"): for example in a book review from 1811. The phrase "King James's Bible" is used as far back as 1715, although in this case it is not clear whether this is a name or merely a description.
The use of Authorized Version or Authorised Version, capitalized and used as a name, is found as early as 1814. For some time before this, descriptive phrases such as "our present, and only publicly authorized version" (1783), "our authorised version" (1792), and "the authorized version" (1801, uncapitalized) are found. The Oxford English Dictionary records a usage in 1824. In Britain, the 1611 translation is generally known as the "Authorized Version" today.
As early as 1814, we find King James' version, evidently a descriptive phrase, being used."The King James Version" is found, unequivocally used as a name, in a letter from 1855. The next year King James Bible, with no possessive, appears as a name in a Scottish source. In the United States, the "1611 translation" (actually editions following the standard text of 1769, see below) is generally known as the King James Version today.