Friday, November 6, 2015
Printers' Errors in Bible Versions by Henry Barker 1911
PRINTERS' ERRORS in Bible Versions by Henry Barker 1911
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IN a popular handbook something should be said about peculiar translations and errors in the printing of Bibles, etc., which have given by-names to certain editions of the Bible. Some of these are as follows.
The "Breeches" Bible. The Geneva Bible. Genesis iii. 7 reads "breeches" instead of "aprons."
The "Bug" Bible. Coverdale edition of 1551. Ps. xci. 5 reads "afraid of bugs by night."
The reading here is "affrayed for eny bugges by night." In our language of to-day the word "bug" occurs in two widely different relations: (a) an object of terror, e. g. bugbear: (b) insects creeping, flying, annoying; and specially bed-bugs.
In the Psalms we have nothing to do with (b). We must resort to (a); and here we have "bug-a-bo" or "bug-a-boo," and (as above) "bug-bear," which means a spectre or hobgoblin, any frightful object, specially one, which on being boldly confronted, vanishes away; and so, an idle phantom, practically a ghost, a spirit. An unsuspected word has the same idea with a compound prefix. "Hum-bug" is a shambug, a hoax, a piece of trickery, a pretence, an imposition. "Bogie" or "Bogle" is the same as "bug," a hobgoblin, or spectre, anything designed to frighten. Burns has a line: "Ghaist nor Bogle shalt thou fear."
In the days when people thought that priests ought not to be married, a historian, speaking of those who held such views, says: "Women in those days were great bugs" (i. e. objects of terror) "in their eyes."
So the quaint Coverdale "eny bugges," and our A. V. and R. V. "the terror," and our Prayer Book version "any terror," mean after all very much the same; it is simply the English language that has changed. Cf. No. 50, page 243 (Note).
The "Dagger" Bible, 1 Kings i. 2: The Text with a reference to the margin reads: "The King shall (dagger symbol inserted here) sleep with his Fathers." An Early American Edition of the Bible, printed in Philadelphia, reads: "The King shall dagger sleep with his Fathers."
The "Discharge" Bible, 1 Tim. v. 21: "I discharge thee before God." Printed in 1806.
The "Ears to Ear" Bible. Matthew xiii. 43 reads, "ears to ear let him ear."
The "He and She" Bible. Early issues of the A. V. of 1611. Ruth iii. 15, last clause, some copies read "he" (Boaz) and others "she" (Ruth). The A. V. reads "she"; the R. V. reads "he";cf. Ruth iv. 1.
The "Lambs" Bible, Mark v. 3, an edition of the Bible printed by the American Bible Society in 1855, has "who had his dwelling among the lambs" in the place of "tombs."
The "Leda" Bible. The Bishops' Bible. From the initial letter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, which had the mythological picture of Leda (nude) and the Swan.
The "Murderers'" Bible. An edition of the A. V. of 1801. Jude 16 reads "murderers" for "murmurers."
The "Placemakers'" Bible. 1562. Matthew v. reads "Blessed are the placemakers."
The political aspect at the time caused this Bible to be known as the "Whig" Bible.
The "Printers'" Bible. Ps. cxix. 161 reads "printers" for "princes."
The "Rebekah's Camels" Bible. Genesis xxiv. 61: "And Rebekah arose and her camels." Printed in 1573.
The "Rosin" Bible. 1609. Jeremiah viii. 22 reads "Is there no rosin in Gilead?"
The "Standing Fishes" Bible. Ezekiel xlvii. 10 reads "fishes" for "fishers."
The "To remain" Bible. Galatians iv. 29.
This is one of the strangest though most naturally named Bibles.
A proofreader doubted whether there ought to be a "," after the word "Spirit" in the following passage: "But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now." He consulted a superior in the printing office, who returned the proof to him with the words "to remain" written in the margin as the answer to his inquiry. The proofreader allowed the "," to stand, but neglected to strike out the words in the margin, and passed the proof on, into the press-room. So then it came to pass that the words in the margin were taken as a part of the text and the verse was printed: "But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, to remain, even so it is now."
This was a 12mo Bible printed at Cambridge in 1805 for the British and Foreign Bible Society. The error was repeated in the Society's 8vo Edition of 1805-6, and in their 12mo Edition of 1819.
The "Treacle" Bible. The Bishops' Bible, 1568. Jeremiah viii. 22 reads, "Is there no treacle in Gilead?" Wycliffe's version reads "triacle"; so does Coverdale.
"Treacle" to-day is a term for molasses. It was not always so. The word is one that has a more striking history than many others in the English language.
"Therion" is the Greek word for a "wild beast" (cf. Acts xxviii. 5). In the days when it was thought that a remedy made from a serpent's venom was the best remedy for a serpent's bite, and so on, a Greek word, "theriake," came to be used for such a remedy. This in time came to be "theriakle," and in English with the same meaning, "triacle," and then "treacle." In Old English poetry (Spenser, Milton, etc.) the words "triacle" and "treacle" are often used in this very sense; a controversial theological work has the sub-title of "a suvran treacle against all heresies." Sir Thomas More (Treatise on the Passion, p. 1357) refers to our Lord's miracles as "a most strong treacle against those venomous heresies." But the special idea appears more clearly in such a phrase as "and of the poison to make a triacle." We see, then, the natural use of the word in old days in Jeremiah viii. 22. In time, the word was used by medical men for what they called a "vehicle," something in which they might administer a remedy that would be unpleasant to take by itself. When molasses came from the West Indies it was found to be such an excellent "vehicle" that the word "treacle" was at once applied to it. Our modern meaning of and associations with the word are entirely different from those of 1568.
The "Vinegar" Bible. An Oxford edition of the A. V. 1717. Heading of page which contains Luke xx. reads "vinegar" for "vineyard."
J. Baskett issued two Bibles of nearly similar date and of nearly similar size, both of which contain this error.
The one has the date 1717 in the first Title, and the date 1716 in the New Testament Title. The other has 1717 in both Titles.
The "Wicked" Bible. 1632. In the Seventh Commandment "not" is omitted.
The "Wife Hater" Bible. Luke xiv. 26: "If any man come unto Me and hate not his father yea and his own wife also." Printed in 1810.
Such mistakes as "place-makers," "to remain," etc., are now impossible. The British and Foreign Bible Society will not allow a Bible to be issued until the proof has been read twenty times.
In the Oxford Reprint of 1834 of the A. V. of 1611 there is a curious error in Exodus xiv. 10, where the words "the children of Israel lift up their eyes and behold the Egyptians marched after them and they were sore afraid and"—are repeated.
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