Here are some of the more infamous and fun mistakes that translators and printers have made throughout the years.
“Wife-Beaters’ Bible” (Matthew’s Bible, 1537):
A footnote to I Peter 3:7 is rendered “And if she be not obedient and healpeful unto him, endevoureth to beat the fear of God into her head, that thereby she may be compelled to learn her duty and do it.” I tried this with my wife. Let’s just say that footnotes are not inspired.
“Place-makers’ Bible” (Geneva, 1562):
In the second edition of the Geneva Bible, Matthew 5:9 reads “Blessed are the placemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”. The correct translation is peacemakers. My mother used to quote this every time she would make me set the table. Curse you mom!!
“Printers’ Bible” (KJV, 1612):
Psalm 119:161 reads “Printers have persecuted me without a cause” rather than “Princes.”
“Adulterers’ Bible” (KJV, 1631):
The word “not” is missing from the seventh commandment in Exodus 20:14, rendering it “Thou shalt commit adultery.” The printers were fined £300 and most of the copies were recalled immediately. Only 11 copies are known to exist today. (Also called the “Wicked Bible”.)
“Unrighteous Bible” (KJV, 1653; Cambridge Press):
I Corinthians 6:9 lacks the word “not” and reads “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall inherit the kingdom of God?”
“Sinners Bible” or the “Sin On Bible” (KJV, 1716):
John 8:11 reads “Go and sin on more” rather than “Go and sin no more”.
“Fools’ Bible” or “The Fools Bible” (KJV, 1763):
Psalm 14:1 reads “the fool hath said in his heart there is a God”, rather than “…there is no God”. The printers were fined £3,000 and all copies ordered destroyed.
“The Large Family Bible” (KJV, 1820):
Isaiah 66:9 reads: “Shall I bring to birth and not cease to bring forth?” rather than “Shall I bring to birth and not cause to bring forth?”. (I suppose this could also be called the “Catholics’ Bible” 🙂 )
And my favorite . . .
“Prostitutes Bible” (NET, 2001):
Proverbs 2:16 reads “To deliver you from the adulteress, from the sexually loose woman who speaks flattering words.” In the first printing of the New English Translation, there is a footnote at the end of this verse with a 1-800 number. The translator was writing the notes for this verse on his computer when he got a call and, not finding a pen, typed the call-back number in these notes. He forgot to delete them.