The Ten: Worst biblical typos of all time

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1. “Thou shalt commit adultery . . .” (Exodus 20:14)

The 1631 edition of the King James Bible, dubbed “The Wicked Bible”, accidentally misprinted “shall” instead of “shalt not”. The printers were severely fined, and most editions were recalled and destroyed.

2. “Then Judas said to the twelve . . .” (John 6:67)

The 1610 Geneva Bible mixed up Judas and Jesus. Instead of Jesus speaking to the disciples, Judas is identified as the speaker. The 1613 King James Bible made the same error in Matthew 26:36, featuring a pasted-in slip correcting the “Judas” to “Jesus”.

3. “Christ condemmeth the poor widow . . .” (Luke 21)

Although the parable should have painted Jesus positively with the word “commendeth”, the 1562 version of the Geneva Bible makes Jesus look a little bit mean.

4. “And Rebekah arose, and her camels . . .” (Genesis 24:61)

In the 1820 KJV Bible, “camels” replaced “damsels” so that it read, “And Rebekah arose, and her camels, and they rode upon the camels . . .”. What a balancing act!

5. “Let the children first be killed . . .” (Mark 7:27)

A KJV Bible issued in London in 1795 said children had to be “killed”, rather than “filled”. The latter is definitely more in line with Jesus’ character, we think.

6. “Sin on more . . .” (Jeremiah 31:34)

The 1716 edition of the King James Bible encouraged readers to keep on sinning rather than urging them to “sin no more”.

7. “In subjection to their owl husbands . . .” (1 Peter 3:5)

A broken version of the typeface in the 1944 edition of the King James Bible made the word own appear as owl. Well, at least they would have been wise husbands?

8. “If the latter husband ate her . . .” (Deuteronomy 24:3)

The 1682 edition of the KJV forgot to add the h to “hate”, making the latter husband look like quite the cannibal indeed.

9. “Pay for peace . . .” (Psalm 122:6)

The first edition of The Jerusalem Bible contained the phrase “pay for peace” rather than “pray for peace”. Perhaps that’s why indulgences were so popular in the Middle Ages?

10. “The parable of the vinegar . . .” (Luke 20)

Published in 1717 by Clarendon Press, the “Vinegar Bible” is filled with multiple errors, one of which is the “parable of the vinegar”, instead of the “parable of the vineyards”—hence its name. Or perhaps the wine just went off? One copy of this Bible version sold for $US5000 in 2008, but is estimated to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars today.

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