2011 sees the 400th anniversary of the publication of the Authorised (King James) Version of the Bible. We are already hearing and reading pieces by the great and the good championing its merits ~ which are many. For its day it was an excellent effort and it has shaped both religion and language in Britain since 1611. However, not is all that it seems. This article, which I wrote in 1980, when the Alternative Service Book was being introduced, suggests that the AV, and to a lesser extent the BCP used language in a rather different way from Shakespeare, with whose splendours they are often compared. Whatever the merits of each of these corpora of literature, it is a mistake to bracket them together as all of a single kind. Hence my title for the piece ~ “The Languages of Cranmer and Shakespeare.” I have made some minor stylistic corrections to my original text, and there are a couple of comments (in this typeface) indicating where I have gained additional information.