The following editions of the King James Bible contain either (often amusing) typographical errors or are otherwise famous for a special feature contained within them. This list is far from complete, but some of the best-known examples include

  • Adulterous Bible, also known as Wicked Bible, probably the most famous of them all.
  • The Bug Bible printed in 1535, contains an unorthodox translation of Psalm 91, 5: "Thou shalt not nede to be afrayed for eny bugges by night." The Authorized Version reads "terror".
  • The Discharge Bible substitutes discharge for charge in 1 Timothy 5, 21: "I discharge thee before God... that thou observe these things". Printed in 1806.
  • The Ears to Ear Bible in which Matthew 13, 43 reads: "Who hath ears to ear, let him hear." Probably printed in 1810.
  • The Leda Bible was published in 1572 and was decorated with a rather striking woodcut of Jupiter making love to Leda in the guise of a swan. The picture was taken from Ovid's Metamorphoses and created such a scandal that it was never used again.
  • The Murderers' Bible, printed in 1801, substitutes murderers for murmurers in Jude 16: "These are murderers, complainers, walking after their own lusts..."
  • The Place-makers' Bible had a printer's error in Matthew 5, 9: "Blessed are the placemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." Other versions commonly read "peacemakers"...
  • The Printer's Bible, published some time around 1702, makes David complain that "printers (for princes) have persecuted me without a cause." My heart positively bleeds for him.
  • Rebecca's Camels Bible has "Rebecca arose, and her camels" instead of "her damsels" in the Genesis.
  • The Standing Fishes Bible was printed in 1806 and contains the word fishes instead of fishers resulting in "And it shall come to pass that the fishes shall stand upon it" in Ezekiel 47, 10.
  • The Treacle Bible of 1568 reads "Is there no treacle in Gilead" in Jeremiah 8, 22, instead of "balm" used in the Authorized Version.
  • The Unrighteous Bible was printed in Cambridge in 1653 and contained a rather unfortunate printer's error: "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall inherit (instead of 'shall not inherit) the Kingdom of God?" The same edition gave also Romans 6, 13 as "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of righteousness unto sin" in place of "unrighteousness".
  • The Vinegar Bible. Probably determined not to lose to their Cambridge rivals, the scholars of Oxford university also produced an erratic Bible of their own in 1717. It's so called because the chapter heading to Luke 20 is given as "The Parable of the Vinegar" instead of "Vineyard".
  • The Wife-hater Bible. The word "life" in Luke 14, 26 is printed "wife". An edition of 1810.

Here are some more "special" Bibles -

  • The Denial Bible
  • - Oxford's 1792 edition of the Bible asserted that someone called Phillip, not Peter, was the apostle who denied Jesus three times.

  • The Fool Bible
  • - Published during the reign of Charles I, the Fool's Bible clearly states that "The fool hath said in his heart that there is a God" (Psalms 14). The omission of that crucial "no" cost the printers a £1000 fine.

  • The Forgotten Sins Bible
  • - Printed in 1638. Luke 7 - "Her sins which are many, are forgotten". Forgiven, surely?

  • The Idle Bible
  • - An 1809 edition which refers to "the idle shepherd", rather than the idol shepherd.

  • The Judas Bible
  • - Published 1611. Matthew 27, reads - "Then cometh Judas with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder." You say Judas, I say Jesus; You say tomayto, I say tomahto...

  • The Lions Bible
  • - Published in 1804, the Lions Bible is a veritable treasure trove of howlers. Numbers 25 - "The murderer shall surely be put together" (as opposed to "to death"); Galatians 5 - "For the flesh lusteth after the Spirit" (against the Spirit...), and most notably, Kings 8 - "but thy son that shall come forth out of thy lions"...

  • The "Sin on" Bible
  • - An Irish edition of 1716 contains a tiny but significant typo - John 5, 14, reads "sin on more", rather than "sin no more". No-one noticed the error until 8000 copies had been printed and bound.

  • The "To Remain" Bible
  • - Another effort from Cambridge, this time printed in 1805. They excelled themselves with this one, by adding to the Bible's text, rather than mangling or omitting parts of it. A proofreader queried the comma towards the end of Galatians 4, 29, which should read "persecuted him that was born after the spirit, even so it is now". The Editor pencilled a reply in the margin reading "to remain", and the text was dutifully changed to "born after the spirit, to remain even so it is now."

It would seem that Hell is full of printers.

Brewer's Dictionary Of Phrase And Fable

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