IN THE ENGLISH BIBLE.
The practice of indicating, by different types, words and phrases which were not in the Original Text, was, it is believed, first introduced by Sebastian Münster, of Basle, in a Latin version of the Old Testament published in 1534.
The English New Testament (published at Geneva, 1557) and the Geneva Bible (1560) "put in that word which, lacking, made the sentence obscure, but set it in such letters as may easily be discerned from the common text." The example was followed and extended in the Bishops' Bible (1568, 1572), and the roman and italic (*1) types of these Bibles (as distinguished from the black letter and roman type of previous Bibles) were introduced into the A.V. (1611).
The following seem to have been the principles guiding the translators of the A.V. :--
The use of large capital letters for certain words and phrases originated with the A.V. None of the previous or "former translations" have them.
The revisers abandoned this practice, but have not been consistent in the plan they substituted for it. In most of the cases they have used small capital letters instead of the large capitals; but in three cases (Jer. 23:6. Zech. 3:8; 6:12) they have used ordinary roman type.
The use of large capitals by the translators of the A.V. is destitute of any authority, and merely indicates the importance which they attached to such words and phrases thus indicated.
The following is a complete list :--
(*1) The word italic means relating to Italy, and is used of a kind of type dedicated to the States of Italy, by Aldus Manutius, about the year 1500.