The Bible is the infallible Word of God. But that doesn’t mean the people who copy or print a particular version can’t make mistakes!
Every now and then, a scribe misheard what he was supposed to write. Or the printer set the type wrong. And the results can be pretty interesting!
Here are 12 examples of misprints made in various versions of the Bible that led to unintended meanings.
[See also: 7 Words You Didn’t Know Had Christian Origins]
1) The “Adulterous” Bible
In one 1631 printing of the King James Bible, the printer accidentally left out the word “not” in the commandment against adultery, so that it read: “Thou shalt commit adultery.” The printer was apparently fined £300 and the bibles recalled, although there are still 11 in existence.
2) The “Sin On” Bible
In a 1716 printing of the King James Version, Jeremiah 31.34 says “sin on more” instead of “sin no more.”
3) The “Joy” Bible
In the book of Kells, written around A.D. 800, the scribe accidentally substituted the Latin word “gaudium,” which means “joy,” for the word “gladiumm,” which means “sword.” So rather than Jesus saying “I came not to send peace but a sword,” Jesus says “I came not to send peace by joy.”
4) The “Place-Makers” Bible
In the second edition of the Geneva Bible in 1562, Matthew 5.9 says “Blessed are the placemakers,” rather than “peacemakers.”
5) The “Blasphemous Comma” Bible
In some editions of the King James version, Luke 23.32 says: “And there were also two other malefactors [crucified with Jesus].” The lack of an “s” at the end of “other” and the lack of a comma after “others” makes it sound like Jesus is also a malefactor. The text was supposed to read: “And there were also two others, malefactors [crucified with Jesus].”
6) The “Printers” Bible
In a 1612 printing of the King James Bible, Psalm 119:161 says, “Printers have persecuted me without a cause.” “Printers” is supposed to be “Princes.”
7) The “Unrighteous” Bible
In a 1653 printing of the King James Bible, 1 Corinthians 6.9 read: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall inherit the kingdom of God?” There is supposed to be a “not” before “inherit.”
8) The “Vinegar” Bible
In a 1717 printing of the King James Version, the chapter heading for Luke 20 says “The Parable of the Vinegar” instead of “The Parable of the Virgins.”
9) The “Fools Believe in God” Bible
In a 1763 printing, Psalm 14.1 says: “The fool hath said in his heart there is a God,” when there should be a “no” where the “a” is.
10) The “Rebecca’s Camels” Bible
From 1823, the printer accidentally replaced “damsels” with “camels,” making this awkward verse in Genesis 24.61: “And Rebecca arose, and her camels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebecca and went his way.”
11) The “Owl Husband” Bible
From 1944, 1 Peter 3.5 reads: “For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted God, adorned themselves, being in subjection to their owl husbands.” “Owl” is supposed to be “own.”
12) The “Condemning the Poor Widow” Bible
In the 1562 Geneva Bible, the chapter heading for Luke 21 says “Christ condemneth the poor widow,” rather than “Christ commendeth the poor widow.”
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