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Friday, May 05, 2006

bible errata

This may rock your world, but the "infallible" King James Bible had errors over a dozen times in its history. In the 1632 version, in Exodus 20:14 the seventh commandment read, "Thou shalt commit adultery." The culprits were fined a lifetime's wages.

These versions are highly collectible but are usually out of reach for those of ordinary means as only a few examples of each error may exist and most are quite old. Errors were immediately caught and erroneous versions were often recalled or destroyed by the public. Errata could lead to crippling disgrace and civil punishments for the publishers.

Quit licking your lips you liberals. One word got left out in the whole thing, it was quickly found and now it’s shocking. Look elsewhere for your feeble disqualification schemes.

Manuscript Bibles

The Book of Kells, circa 800

* The genealogy of Jesus, which starts at Luke 3:23 has an extra ancestor for Jesus,

* Matthew 10:34b should read “I came not to send peace, but the sword”. However rather than “gladius” which means “sword”, Kells has “gaudius” meaning “joy”. Rendering the verse: “I came not [only] to send peace, but joy”.

Printed Bibles

* “Bug Bible” In Myles Coverdale's 1535 Bible was known as the "Bug Bible" because Psalms 91:5 read: “Thou shall not nede to be afrayed for eny bugges by night”. This error was repeated in the 1539 Great Bible. The KJAV used the word "terror".

The Great Bible

The Great Bible of King Henry VIII of England had this error:

* “Treacle Bible” In the 1549 edition, Jeremiah 8:22 was translated “Is there no treacle in Gilead?”


* "Breeches Bible" 1560: A Geneva edition mistranslated Genesis 3:7 as "making themselves breeches out of fig leaves." The accepted meaning is aprons.

* "Place-makers' Bible" 1562: the second edition of the Geneva Bible, Matthew 5:9 reads "Blessed are the placemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."


In various printings of the King James Version of the Bible, some of the more famous examples have been given their own names. Among them are:

* "Wicked Bible" or "Adulterous Bible"' 1632: omits an important "not" from Exodus 20:14, making the seventh commandment read "Thou shalt commit adultery." The printers were fined £300 (a lifetime's wages) and most of the copies were recalled immediately. Only 11 copies are known to exist today.

* "Unrighteous Bible" or "Wicked Bible" 1653: another edition carrying this title omits a "not" before the word "inherit", making I Corinthians 6:9 read "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall inherit the kingdom of God?..." In addition, Romans 6:13 reads "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of righteousness into sin..." where it should read "unrighteousness".

* "Printers Bible" bef. 1702: Psalm 119:161 reads "Princes have persecuted me without cause." The first word was changed, possibly by a typesetter, to Printers.

* "Vinegar Bible": 1717 the heading to Luke 20 reads "Parable of the Vinegar" instead of "Parable of the Vineyard."

* "Murderer's Bible" 1801: edition in which "murmurers" is printed as "murderers", making Jude 16 read: "These are murderers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage."

* "To-remain Bible" 1805: in Galatians 4:29 an editor had written in "to remain" (i.e. stet) in the margin, as an answer to whether a comma should be deleted. The note inadvertently became part of the text, making the edition read "But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit to remain, even so it is now."

* "Discharge Bible" 1806: "discharge" replaces "charge" making I Timothy 5:21 read "I discharge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality."

* "Standing Fishes Bible" 1806: "fishes" replaced "fishers" making Ezekiel 47:10 read "And it shall come to pass, that the fishes shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many."

* "Ears To Ear Bible" 1810: edition which makes Matthew 13:43 read: "...Who has ears to ear, let him hear." The correct phrase should be "ears to hear".

* "Wife-hater Bible" 1810: "wife" replaces "life" in this edition, making Luke 14:26 redundantly read "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own wife also, he cannot be my disciple."

* "Rebecca's Camels Bible" 1823: "camels" replaces "damsels" in one instance, making Genesis 24:61 read "And Rebecca arose, and her camels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebecca and went his way."

Fictional Bible errata

* The "Buggre Alle This Bible" of 1651 appeared in the novel Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. The typesetter replaced Ezekiel 48:5 with a rant complaining about his job. It also has three extra verses at the end of Genesis 3 about the loss of the flaming sword by the angel Aziraphale, added by Aziraphale himself, a character in the novel.

* In the UK television show Red Dwarf, an obscure fundamentalist Christian sect on Io based its worship on a Bible wherein 1 Corinthians 13:13 read "Faith, hop, and charity, and the greatest of these is hop." The sect is consequently known as "Seventh Day Advent Hoppists" and members spend every Sunday hopping. Arnold Judas Rimmer's parents were members of this sect and raised him accordingly, but he appears to have left the faith.



Anonymous John Dekker said...

Well, you need to distinguish between the mis-prints and the idiosyncratic words. I happen to like the "treacle" translation.

You missed the "Lions Bible" printed in 1804, which rendered 1 Kings 8:19 as "thy son that shall come forth out of thy lions..." :)

Tue May 09, 12:31:00 AM PDT  

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