MONTCLAIR - A Montclair State University professor has discovered what is believed to be the earliest known draft of the King James Bible.

While visiting Cambridge University last year, assistant professor Jeffery Miller was taking research photographs of a notebook belonging to Samuel Ward, a 17th century biblical scholar. Samuel Ward was one of about 50 people commissioned by King Games to translate the bible from Hebrew and Greek into English during the 1600s.

The notebook professor Miller photographed seemed to have notes from these translations.

“We never knew that [an early draft of the Bible] was there to be looking for,” says Miller. “To find something like that, any draft of the King James Bible, much less that earliest draft; it’s something you’re not quite sure you even believe at first.”

Miller tells News 12 New Jersey that he took months to thoroughly research his discovery before publically announcing it in a scholarly journal last week. He hopes the discovery will inspire his students.

“We’re always creating new knowledge all the time,” he says. “I hope that [my students] see themselves as a part of that creating of new knowledge.”

Miller’s essay about the Bible draft is slated to be published in a scholarly collection of other essays. He says that he hopes to write a book about his discovery.