United Kingdom: Interesting Facts About the King James Bible

Went to the SBL international meeting in London in July 2011. In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, there was an exhibition of different translations of the Bible. In a booklet that was given to me, I found the following article:

Eight KJV errors (extract from Christian History, issue 100)

Printers do interesting things to texts sometimes, and the KJV was no exception. In various printings over the years, certain errors were so egregious that those editions got their own sarcastic titles. Among these:

1. The “Judas Bible” 1611: This Bible has Judas, not Jesus saying, “Sit ye here while I go yonder and pray” (Matthew 26:36)

2. The “Printers Bible” 1612: In some copies Psalm 119:161 reads “Printers have persecuted me without a cause” rather than “Princes have persecuted me…”

3. The “Wicked Bible” 1613: Omits an important “not” from Exodus 20:14, making the seventh commandment read “Thou shalt commit adultery.” The printers were fined 300 British pounds and most of the copies were recalled immediately. Only 11 copies are known to exist today.

4. The “Sin On Bible” 1716: John 8:11 reads “Go and sin on more” rather than “Go and sin no more.”

5. The “Vinegar Bible” 1717: The chapter heading for Luke 20 reads “The Parable of the Vinegar” instead of “The Parable of the Vineyard”

6. The “Fools Bible” 1763: Psalm 14:1 reads “the fool hath said in his heart there is a God,” rather than “… there is no God.” The printers were fined 3, 000 pounds and all copies ordered destroyed.

7. The “Lions Bible” 1804: 1 Kings 8:19 reads “thy son that shall come forth out of thy lions,” rather than “loins.”

8. The “Owl Bible” 1944: “Owl” replaces “own,” making 1 Peter 3:5 read “For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted God, adorned themselves, being in subjection to their owl husbands.” The error was caused by a printing plate with a damaged letter “n.”

Now, who dares say that reading a Bible is boring? 😉

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The display of the King James Bible in Weston Room. On display is the second (1613) edition of the King James Bible, sometimes known as the “Judas” Bible, owing to a misprint of “Judas” for “Jesus” in Matthew xxvi:36. The New Testament title page, shown here, is dated 1611.


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