Curiosities in Bible Editions

by William E. Paul
(Bible Editions & Versions, April-June, 2003)
From time to time this journal publishes a list of Bibles containing some unusual typographical error or strange rendering that makes these volumes choice collectors’ editions. The following is a partial list of many printers’ errors found in Bibles through the years. Most of these appeared in previous issues of this journal (1965,1967-1968. Arnold Ehlert); (1991, William E. Paul); and (1997, Anthony Byatt), but it was felt that they bore repeating here for the benefit of newer members of the Society.
1534 - “Cleansed outside” Bible. In Matt. 23:26, William Tyndale’s New Testament reads. “Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first, the outside of the cup and platter, that the inside of them may be clean also.” (Tyndale calls attention in “W. T. To the Reader” that the printer had inverted “outside” and “inside.”)
1551 — “Wife beater” Bible. An edition of the Taverner’s Bible contains a marginal note at I Pet. 3:7 which states “And if she be not obediente and healpful unto hym, endevoureth to beate the fere of God into her heade, that thereby she may be compelled to learne her dutye and do it.”
1551 — “Bugges” Bible. Psa. 91:5 reads in Matthew’s Bible, “So that thou shalt not need to be afrayed for any bugges at night” while other versions read “for the terror by night.”
1560 — “Breeches” Bible. In Gen. 3:7, this Geneva Bible has Adam and Eve making themselves “breeches” instead of “aprons” for clothing.
1562 — ‘Place-makers” Bible. A Geneva Bible at Matt. 5:9 reads, “Blessed are the place-makers” instead of “peace-makers.”
1598 — “Jesus church” Bible. A Geneva Bible reads in I John 5:20. “in his son Jesus Church” instead of “Jesus Christ.”
1600s — “Fool” Bible. In a Bible edition printed during the reign of Charles I, Psa. 14:1 reads, “The fool hath said in his heart, there is a God” instead of “no God.” The printers were fined 3000 pounds for this error and all copies were suppressed.
1605 — “Third river” Bible. A Geneva Bible at Gen. 2:13 reads “the third river is Gihon” instead of “the second river.”
1608 — “Judas” Bible. A Geneva Bible reads. “Then said Judas” instead of “Jesus” in John 6:67.
1609— “Rosin” Bible. A copy of the Douay Version reads as follows in Jer. 8:22: “Is there no rosin in Galaad?” instead of “no balm.”
1611 — “He” Bible. The first issue of the first edition of the King James Version reads, “and he went into the city” (Ruth 3:15). It should be “she went into the city.”
1611 — The second issue of the first edition of the King James Version corrects Ruth 3:15 to read “and she went into the city.”
1611 — “Basketball” Bible. In Exodus 38:11, the King James Version Bible says, “the hoopes of the pillars” instead of “hookes.”
1612 — “Printers” Bible. A KJV at Psalm 119:161 reads “Printers (instead of ‘Princes’) have persecuted me without cause.”
1612— “Pilate’s tile” Bible. A KJV at John 19:19 reads “And Pilate wrote a tile” instead of “title.”
1613 — “Praise” Bible. In I Cor. 11:17, this KJV Bible reads, “I praise you” instead of “I praise you not.”
1613 — “Judas” Bible. An early KJV reads “Then cometb Judas with them” instead of “Jesus with them” in Matt. 26:36.
1631 — “Wicked” Bible. The “not” is left out of the seventh commandment at Ex. 20:14 (KJV).
1632 — “No blame” Bible. This KJV Bible says, “Is there no blame in Gilead” instead of “no balme” at Jer. 8:22.
1637 — “Religious” Bible. In a KJV Bible, at Jer. 4:17, it reads “she hath been religious against me” instead of “rebellious.”
1638 — “Forgotten sins” Bible. This KJV Bible reads, “Her sins which were many are forgotten” as a misprint for “forgiven” at Luke 7:47.
1638— “Vexing wives” Bible. In a KJV Bible at Num. 25:18 it reads “for they vex you with their wives” instead of “with their wiles.”
1640 — “Subtle servant” Bible. In Gen. 3:1 this KJV Bible reads “Now the servant was more subtil” instead of “the serpent.”
1641— “More sea” Bible. The “no” is omitted at Rev. 21:1 (KJV), making it read “And there was more sea.”
1648— “Flesh killer” Bible. This KJV reads, “slew their flesh” instead of “fish” at Psa. 105:29.
1653 — “Unrighteous” or “Field’s” Bible. Printed by John Field, this KJV Bible contains numerous errors. I Cor. 6:9 reads, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall inherit the kingdom of God?,” leaving out the “not”; Matt. 6:24 reads, “Ye cannot serve and Mammon” leaving out “God”; Rom. 6:13 reads, “instruments of righteousness” instead of “unrighteousness.”
1658 — “No miracle” Bible. A KJV Bible reads, “will he do no miracles” (John 7:31) instead of “do more miracles.”
1682 — “Cannibals” Bible. In Deut. 24:3, a KJV Bible reads “if the latter husband ate her” instead of “hate her.”
1698— “Not servants” Bible. A KJV reads in Rom. 6:17, ‘ye were not the servants of sin” instead of “were the servants.”
1711 — “Profit” Bible. An Oxford KJV edition reads, “I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works: for they shall profit thee,” instead of “not profit thee” (Isa. 57:12).
1716 — “Sin on” Bible. The first English Bible printed in Ireland (KJV) reads, “Sin on more” for “Sin no more” at Jer. 31:34, This error was discovered after 8,000 copies were printed, bound and partly distributed.
1717 - “Vinegar” Bible. The heading of a KJV Bible at Luke 20 reads “The Parable of the Vinegar” instead of “Vineyard.”
1745 — “Avenging Obedience” Bible. In William Whiston’s translation, at II Cor. 10:6. it reads, “And having readiness to avenge all obedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” The first “obedience” should be “disobedience.”
1747 — “Sting” Bible. A KJV at Mark 7:35 reads, “the sting of his tongue was loosed” instead of “the string.”
1792 — “Denial” Bible. An Oxford edition of the KJV has “Philip” instead of “Peter” denying Jesus in Luke 22:34.
1795 — “Child killer” Bible. Mark 7:27 reads in the King James Version “Let the children first be killed” instead of “be filled.”
1801 — “Murderers” Bible. Jude 16 (KJV) uses “murderers” in place of “murmurers.”
1802 — “Discharge” Bible. A KJV Bible issued by the King’s Printers reads “I discharge thee before God” instead of “I charge thee” (I Tim. 5:21).
1804— “Lions” Bible. Several of the many errors in this KJV Bible include: “The murderer shall surely be put together” instead of “put to death” (Num. 35:18); “out of thy lions” instead of “out of thy loins” (I Kings 8:19); and “For the flesh lusteth after the spirit” instead of “against the spirit” (Gal. 5:17).
1805 — “To remain” Bible. An edition of the KJV published by the Bible Society at Cambridge inserts the words “to remain” in place of a comma in Gal. 4:29.
1806 — “Standing fishes” Bible. A KJV Bible at Eze. 47:10 reads “the fishes shall stand” instead of “the fishers.”
1807 -“Ears to ears” Bible. An edition of the KJV in Matt. 13:43 reads “Who hath ears to ears” instead of “ears to hear.” Heb. 9:14 says, “How much more shall the blood of Christ... purge your conscience from good works” instead of “dead works.”
1810—”Wife hater” Bible. Luke 14:26, in the KJV Bible, it reads “if any man come to me and hate not his father.., yea, and his own wife” instead of “his own life.”
1823 — “Camels” Bible. A misprint occurs in the KJV at Gen. 24:61, where it uses the word “camels” instead of “damsels.”
1829 — “Large family” Bible. An Oxford KJV edition reads, “Shall I bring to the birth and not cease to bring forth” instead of “cause to bring forth” at Isa. 66:9.
1834— “Unrighteousness” Bible. An early edition of a Bible edited by James Nourse has a misprint at Rom. 4:5. It reads, “his faith is counted for unrighteousness” instead of “righteousness.” This was later corrected in a separate New Testament. See Hills #11873.
1944— “Owl husband” Bible. In a KJV at I Pet. 3:5, a broken portion of the type face on the word “own” caused it to appear as “owl,” reading “being in subjection to their owl husbands.”
1955 — “Last / eshort” Bible. A pocket edition of the American Standard Version (1901) New Testament reads, at II Tim. 2:2, “And the things thou last heard from me among many witnesses” instead of “hast heard from me.” This same copy also has “these things speak and eshort with all authority” instead of “exhort with all authority” at Titus 2:15.
1966 — “Pay for peace” Bible. The first edition of The Jerusalem Bible contained, at Psa.122:6, the reading “pay for peace” instead of ‘pray for peace.”
1970— “Darkness” Bible. A New Testament edition of the King James II, by Jay P. Green, contains an erroneous reading at John 1:5: “…and the darkness overcomes it.” instead of “does not overcome it.”
1987- “Ship sale” Bible. This edition of The Everyday Bible: New Century Version has Job 3:20 reading, “Why is it given to those who who are so unhappy?” Normally, computer spell-checkers catch double usages, but this one didn’t. It also says in I Kings 22:48. “King Jehoshaphat built trading ships to sale to Ophir for gold” instead of “sail.”
1989 - “Unrepentant Ninevites” Bible. Heinz Cassierer’s God’s New Covenant reads in  Luke 11:32, “For when Jonah preached to them, they were not led to repentance,” in place of “were led to repentance.”
1993 “Sat on” Bible. The NKJV Greek-English Interlinear New Testament, using the Majority text of Zane Hodges and Arthur Farstad (1982), contains a mistranslation in Matthew 21:7, where the Greek text reads he sat on them, rather than they set [him] on them. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1993).