The Sinful Bible

An AP story on Bible proofreaders mentions the most famous Bible typo of all--the 1631 edition of King James Version, known as the "Sinful Bible" for rendering the 7th commandment this way:

"Thou shalt commit adultery."

"Obviously, you try to make sure anything that says, `You shall not,' you make sure you have the `not,'" Doug Gunden of Peachtree Editorial and Proofreading Service, told the AP.

The Grudens have a "calling" for paying attention to detail, says the AP< because of the nature of their work. "Bible readers are less forgiving of errors because they expect perfection in the Bible text," said June Gunden.

Still, it's a lot safer to work in the world of Bible publishing than in was a few hundred years ago, when presenting the Bible in anything but Latin could get you killed, or even worse. Here's a few tidbits I found in from Benson Bobrick's "Wide as the Waters," a history of the English Bible

Like the case of John Wycliffe, who is 1428 was declared a heretic for translating the Bible into English. His sentence? His body was to be burned and his ashes scattered on the waters, far away from the consecrated ground of a church cemetery.

Lucky for him, he was dead - Wycliffe died of a stroke in 1384. William Tyndale was not so lucky. He was burned at the stake in 1536 for the same crime.


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