Oops! Printing errors in the original KJV

May 24, 2011

(RNS) In the days before spell check, printer errors occasionally crept into the King James Version of the Bible. Here are some of the most notable:

-- In a 1612 edition, Psalm 119:161 read "Printers have persecuted me without cause," instead of "princes." Perhaps a Freudian slip by the copy editor.

-- A 1631 edition now called the "Wicked Bible" had Exodus 20:14 as "Thou shall commit adultery." The printers were heavily fined for this lascivious mistake.

-- In 1653, an edition rendered I Corinthians 6:9 as "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall inherit the kingdom of God?" They will not, according to later (corrected) editions.

-- A 1682 KJV refers to the "Parable of the Vinegar," instead of "vineyard," and was subsequently dubbed the "Vinegar Bible." Sour grapes either way for the printers.

-- A 1795 edition has Jesus exhorting his followers, "Let the children first be killed," instead of "filled," that is, fed. Talk about suffering the little children.

Sources: "In the Beginning," by Alister McGrath, and "Bible: The Story of the King James Version 1611-2011," by Gordon Campbell.