Part 5 - Printing Errors and Spelling

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In his book, The Unbound Scriptures, Mr. Norris brings up the issue of the various editions of the King James Bible and shows how they differ from one another. Anyone who has studied the Bible version issue for some time knows that printing errors have been made in the past and some still exist today when we compare the Cambridge King James edition with the Oxford edition.

Among the examples Mr. Norris lists are changes from "LORD" to "Lord"; "seek good" Psalm 69:32 - a clear printing error of one letter quickly changed to the correct "seek God", which is what the Hebrew text says; omitting "Amen" at the end of Ephesians to putting it in again, and examples like one KJB spelling as "enquire" while another spells it "inquire".

Throughout the history of Bible printing there have been some rather humorous examples of printing errors that have occurred. It should also be noted that there have been printing errors, even with today's advanced technology, in the NASB, NKJV, and NIV as well. Here are a few of the printing errors that have occurred in various King James Bible editions.

A 1631 edition became known as the "Wicked Bible" because the seventh commandment read, "thou shalt commit adultery." The printer was fined 300 pounds.

The printer of the "Fool Bible" had to pay 3,000 pounds for this mistake in Psalm 14:1: "The fool hath said in his heart there is a God."

In 1653, there was a misprint in I Corinthians 6:9 that read, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall inherit the kingdom of God" and one in Romans 6:13 that read, "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of righteousness unto sin." This Bible became known as "the Unrighteous Bible."

In 1716, the "Sin On Bible" commanded, "Go, and sin on more" in John 8:11.

In 1717, there was a misprint in a heading for the "parable of the vineyard" which called it the "Parable of the vinegar." This Bible was called "the Vinegar Bible."

In 1801, Jude 16 stated, "these are murderers" instead of "murmurers", and Mark 7:27 stated, "let the children first be killed" instead of "filled." This Bible was nicknamed "the Murderers Bible."

In 1820 a KJB edition was printed that had Jesus saying, "Who hath ears to ear, let him hear" in Matthew 13:43, and this was called "the Ears to Ear" Bible.

In 1823 another KJB printing had Genesis 24:61 read "Rebekah arose, and her camels", instead of "her damsels," in "Rebekah's Camels Bible."

The cause for all of these defects may be found in "the Printers' Bible" (1702), which states in Psalm 119:161, "printers have persecuted me" (instead of "princes" have persecuted me). If ever there was a misprint that carried a lot of irony, this is it. "Printers have persecuted me."

Three of the "big examples" that men like Mr. Norris and Doug Kutilek often bring up are Ruth 3:15, Song of Solomon 2:7, and Jeremiah 34:16.

Mr. Norris' friend, Doug Kutilek says: "It should be unnecessary to say much about variations which have always existed among various printings and editions of the KJV. They do exist, and have from the beginning (the two editions printed in 1611 differ in over 2,000 places, perhaps the most famous being "he" or "she" at Ruth 3:15)."

To address the example Mr. Kutilek gives us in Ruth 3:15, let's look at what happened. The Cambridge edition, which I use, says: "Also he said, Bring the vail that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and SHE went into the city."

There was a discrepancy between the edition published in 1611 and the one published in 1613. In the original 1611 edition Ruth 3:15 read, "and HE went into the city", which would refer to Boaz. In the 1613 edition, this printing error of one letter was caught and changed to the correct reading of "and SHE went into the city", which refers to Ruth. These two editions became known as "the Great He Bible" and "the Great She Bible", respectively. The simple fact is they BOTH went into the city as we see from reading the rest of the chapter.

There still are differences among the many versions even today in Ruth 3:15.

Among the versions that read: "And HE went into the city" are the NIV, Revised Version, American Standard Version, Darby, Young's, the Jewish 1917 translation, World English Bible, New Living Translation, and the New Revised Standard Version.

The versions that read: "And SHE went into the city" are the King James Bible, NKJV, NASB, Revised Standard Version, Coverdale, Bishop's, Douay, Bible in Basic English, Geneva bible, 1936 Jewish translation, and the 2001 English Standard Version. Notice in the case of the RSV, NRSV, and ESV, each of which is a revision of the other, that the RSV went with "he", then the NRSV read "she", and the latest ESV has now gone back to "he" again. Also observe that the two Jewish translations of 1917 and 1936 differ from one another.

The NKJV, which reads "SHE went into the city" as do the King James Bible and the NASB, has a footnote which says: "Masoretic text reads HE; some Hebrew manuscripts, Syriac, and Vulgate read SHE" - as do the NIV, RV, ASV, NRSV.

Additionally, I know of two places where the King James Bible Cambridge edition differs from the Oxford KJB edition still today. One is in Jeremiah 34:16 where the Cambridge KJB reads: "whom YE had set at liberty" while the Oxford edition says: "whom HE had set at liberty".

The second is found in the Song of Solomon 2:9 where the Cambridge KJB edition says: "that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till HE please", while the Oxford KJB says "nor awake my love, till SHE please." Mr. Norris also mentions these two in his book.

Song of Solomon 2:7

Song of Solomon 2:7 "O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till HE please."

In the original AV 1611 a printer's error occured and it read: "till SHE please". It was soon discovered and changed to read as it stands today in both the Oxford and Cambridge editions - "till HE please".

Here is how other Bible versions render this verse.

"till IT please" - Revised Version, NIV, NKJV

"till SHE please" - NASB, Geneva Bible

"till HE please" - American Standard Version 1901, Jewish translation 1917, King James Bible (Oxford and Cambridge editions)

Jeremiah 34:16

Jeremiah 34:16 "But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom YE had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection..."

The original 1611 said "YE" as does the Cambridge edition today, but the Oxford KJB edition says "whom HE had set at liberty". Again, it makes perfect sense in the context and is a minor printing error that has not yet been corrected in some editions of the King James Bible.

Other Bible Versions in Jeremiah 34:16

"whom YE (or YOU) had set at liberty" - ASV, RV, NASB, NIV, ESV, NRSV, 1917 Jewish translation put out by Jewish Publication Society.

"whom HE had set at liberty" - NKJV, Youngs, 1936 Jewish translation put out by the Hebrew Publishing Company of New York. Notice that both Jewish translations differ again between themselves and the NKJV sides with the Oxford edition.

Mr. Norris and Mr. Kutilek are all worked up about a little printing error they think they have found in the King James Bible, and they recommend we abandon this old relic to the dustbin and take up the modern versions, yet the Modern Versions continue to disagree even with each other in these minor examples. I firmly believe they are straining at gnats and swallowing a camel in the process.

On the other hand, there are huge differences that exist among the various bible versions, with literally thousands of words found in some but not in others, and hundreds of verses which have very different meanings in them, yet those who attack the King James Bible come up with examples like Ruth 3:15 and Jeremiah 34:16 where no doctrine is affected and it is nothing more than a simple printing error. It seems they think that if they can manage to find just one little "error" in the King James Bible, then their case for "No translation is the inspired word of God" can be made and the door is then wide open for the flood of conflicting and contradictory bible versions to come pouring in.

This whole "Printing Error" complaint the biblical relativists bring up, is really a non-issue. What I mean by this is that if every single copy of the King James Bible that has ever come off the presses read exactly the same with no minor printing errors found in any of them, it still would not change their opinion that the KJB is not the inspired, inerrant word of God. It is brought up as a smokescreen; not as a serious issue concerning the truth of Scripture and its preservation.

Most people who reject the King James Bible as being the inerrant, preserved words of God in English, do so for other reasons than printing errors. They have done so because they went to a seminary where they were taught that no Bible in any language and no text, be it Hebrew or Greek, is the inspired words of God. Or they visited some anti-KJV only website where they were told something like: "The KJV is not based on the best manuscripts", or that "God forbid" is wrong, or "1 John 5:7 does not belong in the Bible."

They previously assumed that all King James Bibles read the same since the very beginning. It wasn't till later they learned of the minor printing errors and now they gleefully toss this up as a dodge and a pretext. If someone is convinced the KJB is not the inspired word of God, no matter if all copies in its long history read exactly the same, his mind would not be changed by this fact. It is a non-issue of no importance.

For a more detailed study, read

If one adopts the view that printing errors negate any Bible version, Hebrew or Greek text from being valid and true, then you end up with no inspired, inerrant Bible anywhere on this earth. This is the only logical conclusion to their argument. Guess who wants you to think this way?

God has preserved His inerrant words Providentially, not miraculously. He did not keep every copyist from making "printing errors", but He guided in such a way as to purify the text and bring it back to its original form and meaning.

The King James Bible we have today is the same as the one printed in 1611. Printing errors have occured and continue to occur from time to time, but the Hebrew and Greek texts that underlie the King James Bible have not changed in the least.

Even the American Bible Society, which promotes and publishes most modern bible versions, wrote, "The English Bible, as left by the translators (of 1611), has come down to us unaltered in respect to its text..." They further stated, "With the exception of typographical errors and changes required by the progress of orthography in the English language, the text of our present Bibles remains unchanged, and without variation from the original copy as left by the translators" (Committee on Versions to the Board of Managers, American Bible Society, 1852).

I hope this helps you to better understand the nature of the so called "thousands of changes" that have occured in the King James Bible since 1611 to the present.

Since writing this article I have had fairly frequent contact with Rick Norris on the internet clubs. Here is one interchange we had in October of 2009 at the Fighting Fundamentalist Forum where Rick expressed his views about the "printing errors".

Originally Posted by Rick Norris
An error is still an error regardless of whether it was supposedly made by a printer, editor, copier, or translator.
Copying errors, printing errors, or editing errors do not invalidate the true and greater standard for translations--the preserved Scriptures in the original languages.

Rick, I think you have finally gone over the edge of reason and your mind has finally turned to mush.

You denigrate and deny my stated position that a few minor printing errors in the history of the various King James Bible editions do not invalidate it as being the one true Bible. And it IS a real and tangible Bible you can hold in your hands, read and believe every word.

And then in the very next breath you turn around and tell us that printing errors, copying errors or editing errors do NOT invalidate "the preserved Scriptures in the original languages" which not only have you never seen a day in your life but simply do NOT exist and you know it.

So, in other words, printing errors invalidate a real and tangible Book, but they do not invalidate a Book that doesn't even exist. (Looney Toons)

I think the saying is true: "If you mess with God's Book He will mess with your mind."

Happy trails,

Will Kinney

External Link

Other Artilces by Will Kinney

Other Artilces by Will Kinney in the Textus Receptus database ~

Old Testament

Genesis Genesis 1:28 Replenish or Fill? - Genesis 6:6 Can God repent? - Genesis 22:1 Did God "Tempt" Abraham? Exodus Exodus 20:13 Thou Shalt Not KILL - Exodus - the Israelites "borrowed" of the Egyptians Numbers Numbers 22 Why was God Angry with Balaam? Job Bible Babel in Job - a comparative study 1 Samuel 1 Samuel 13:21 "a file" a "pim" or "two-thirds of a shekel"? 2 Samuel 2 Samuel 21:8 Michal or Merab? - 2 Samuel 21:19 Who Killed Goliath? 1 Kings 1 Kings 20:38 ashes upon his face - 1 Kings 22:38 "washed his armour" or "while the harlots bathed" NKJV Nonsense Psalms Psalm 8:5 Lower than the Angels, or a little lower than God? - Answering Doug Kutilek's anti-Preservation in Psalm 12 - Psalm 74:8 the synagogues of God; Psalm 77:2 my sore ran in the night - Psalms 1 How Different the Versions! - Psalms 2 How Different the Versions! - Psalms 3 How Different the Versions! - Psalms 4 How Different the Versions! - Psalms 5 How Different the Versions! Proverbs NKJV Bible Babel in Proverbs - Bible Babel in Proverbs Isaiah Isaiah - a Comparative Study - Does God Create Evil? Isaiah 45:7 Jeremiah Jeremiah 8:8 the pen of the scribes is in vain - Jeremiah 27:1 Jehoiakim or Zedekiah? - Ezekiel Ezekiel 29:7 Hebrew, Greek or Syriac? Hosea Hosea - a Comparative Study

New Testament

Did Jesus Tell Them to Take a Staff or Not? Matthew Is Matthew 23:14 Scripture or not? - Matthew 27:44 cast in teeth Mark Gospel of Mark - a Modern Version Mix-up Luke Is "cousin" wrong in Luke 1:36 - Luke 17:36 Is it inspired Scripture or not? John John 1:18 the only begotten Son Acts Act 3:19 times of refreshing; 7:20 Moses was exceeding fair - Acts 9:5-7 hear the voice; 7:20 exceeding fair - Acts 5:30 slew and hanged; 19:20 word of GOD - Acts 13:33 this day have I begotten thee - Acts 19:9 DIVERS were hardened, and believed not - Acts 19:35 Diana or Artemis? Jupiter, Zeus or Heaven? - The So-called "Science" of Textual Criticism. Science or Hocus-Pocus? Gospels through Acts Romans James White discussing Romans 6:17 Philippians Textual Studies in Philippians 2 Timothy 2 Timothy 3:16 Inspiration of God or God Breathed? Hebrews The Book of Hebrews - a Comparative Study 1 Peter 1 Peter - Shifting Sands of Scholarship 1 John And These Three Are One Article defending the inclusion of 1 John 5:7. - 1 John 5:7 These three are one Jude The Book of Jude - James White's "inferior" texts Revelations Revelation 13 Confusion - Vials or Bowls in the book of Revelation - Rev.16:5 and SHALT BE; 5:8-10 redeemed US - Revelation 17:8 "the beast that was, and is not, and YET IS" - Acts 28:13 We Fetched a Compass; 1 Tim5:4 Nephews - Matthew 24:3; Hebrews 9:26 End of World or Age?

Modern Versions

Bible Babel 1 - Bible Babel 2 - Bible Babel 3 - Bible Babel 4 - The Oldest and Best Manuscripts? - Every Man for Himself Bible Versions - the HCSB, NET, ESV, TNIV, NKJV - The Inerrancy of Scripture - are you a Bible believer or a Bible agnostic? - True Bible? - Modern Versions Teach Racism - Modern Versions Teach Pride as a Virtue - Do Ghosts Exist? Modern Versions say Yes ESV The English Standard Version 2001 NASB The Ever Changing NASB's NKJV NKJV Word Changes - When the NKJV departs from the TR - The New KJV is a Hack Job Translation - NKJV vs KJB Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah - Is the NKJV the same as the KJB? - Don't go on Safari with a New KJV Translator - The NKJV is a Poor Substitute for the True Bible - NKJV vs KJB Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah - NKJV Bible Babel in Proverbs

King James Word Definitions

Lucifer - Jehovah - Unicorns - Is the word "Easter" an error in the King James Bible? - Are the words "CHURCH" and 'BISHOP' wrong? - Hell and Damnation in the King James Bible - "By and by" versus "the-by-and-by" - Servants or Slaves? - Is "charity" an error in the KJB? - The Grace of God Destroyed - "Would to God" - Another alleged 'error' bites the dustIs "bottles" an inaccurate word in the King James Bible?

King James Bible

Is King James onlyism Scriptural? - Does the KJB only position "blow up"? - What About Those Printing Errors in 1611? - Does the King James Bible depart from the Hebrew Texts? - Why do you King James Bible onlyies Attack the word of God? - The Historic Confessions support the KJB position - Can a Translation be Inspired? - The Old Latin versions and the KJB


NO LXX Part 1 - NO LXX - the Fictitious Use of Septuagint

Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls Fiasco

Hebrew Text

The NIV, NASB reject the Hebrew Texts - NIV, NASB reject Hebrew texts Part 2 - How to Destroy Messianic Prophecies

Greek Text

"The Greek" and Hebrew Games

Gender Inclusive Versions

Gender Inclusive Versions Dealing with the TNIV

Answering Critics

E mail exchange with Bible Agnostic Doug Kutilek - John MacArthur - Pastor with NO Infallible Bible - A Bible Believer's Response to James Price's book King James Onlyism - a New Sect - A King James Bible Believer's Response to Rick Norris' book 'The Unbound Scriptures' - 17 Parts

Part 1 - The "logical" Premise of Mr. Norris

Part 2 - Those Dreadful Archaic Words

Part 3 - Imperfect men, Perfect Bible

Part 4 - Revision

Part 5 - Printing Errors and Spelling

Part 6 - Inspiration and Inerrancy

Part 7 - Alleged Errors in the King James Bible

Part 8 - Let Me Count The Ways

Part 9 - Beasts or Living Creatures?

Part 10 - Mules or Hot Springs?

Part 11 - "Digged down a wall" or "hamstrung an ox"?

Part 12 - Steel, brass, copper, bronze - Paper or Plastic?

Part 13 - The Usual Suspects

Part 14 - The Preservation of the words of God

Part 15 - KJB Only versus Latin Vulgate Only Argument

Part 16 - Where Was the Word of God Before 1611?

Part 17 - Final Thoughts

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