Thought for the Week

THIS year is the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James’ Version of the Bible.

Now many people are very taken with the language of the King James’ Version but I take the view that it is merely a translation of a translation, possibly of yet another translation. The Authorised version as we know it today is not the same as the original, as several typographical errors have been removed and changes made to the punctuation etc over the years.

There have of course been a multitude of versions of the Bible in English. Several of these contained typographical or other errors that changed the Word in ways that were far from Christian.

An edition, known for obvious reasons as the ‘Wicked Bible’, gave the seventh commandment as “Thou shalt commit adultery”. This edition was published in 1632 and the unfortunate printers were fined a then staggering £300 for their mistake.

The ‘Murderers Bible’ of 1801 confused the word murderers and murmurers so that Jude 16 read “These are murderers, complainers, walking after their own lusts…”

Another edition, sometimes known as the ‘Placemakers Bible’, published in 1562, related “Blessed are the placemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5; 9.) In yet another Bible, printed in 1823, Genesis 24; 61 began “Rebecca arose, and her camels…” The sentence should have read “Rebecca arose, and her damsels”

According to another version David said; “printers (princes) have persecuted me without cause.”

In the so-called ‘To-remain Bible’, Galatians 4;29 was given as, “he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the spirit to remain, even so it is now.” The words ‘to remain’ were in fact because the editor had pencilled these words in the margin in answer to a query from the proofreader and the compositor added them to the text.

Yet another edition talked of “The parable of the vinegar” instead of the vineyard.

I love the story of the elderly lady who remarked if the King James’ Version was good enough for St Paul then it was good enough for her!

In truth, the words, and whether they are old or modern, English, Scots or any other language, are irrelevant, provided they are correct surely it is the message they convey that is important.

Forbes Inglis