400 Years of King James

400 Years of King James

Sunday, May 1, 2011
| Psalm 119:9-16

Happy birthday to the most popular and powerful book in the English language.

Happy Birthday, King James.

We aren't talking about LeBron.

We're talking about the King James Version of the Bible, which, in its 1631 edition, read: "Thou shalt commit adultery."

Today, this might seem a given, but in 1631, this was news. Adultery, instead of being forbidden, was suddenly compulsory.

It was a typo, of course. The printers were heavily fined, a correction was made and the 1631 edition became known as the Wicked Bible.

But this wasn't the only mistake in the King James Version, which was published for the first time on May 2, 1611, and is now celebrating its 400th birthday. The 1612 version says, "Printers have persecuted me without cause."

Oh, those bad, bad printers.

The word printers was a misprint, of course; Psalm 119 should have complained about "princes" (v. 161).

A few years later, printers caused problems again. They left out the second negative in 1 Corinthians 6:9, which read, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall inherit the kingdom of God?" The unrighteous...

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