CMU student discovers rare King James Bible

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Ben W, Jan 14, 2006.

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  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    By John Longhurst

    WINNIPEG, Man. — A rare first edition of the King James Bible has been found in the archives at the University of Manitoba, thanks to a Canadian Mennonite University student.

    The Bible, dating to 1611, was discovered by Jason Peters, a fourth-year English major doing his practicum in the University of Manitoba archives.

    The university knew the Bible was an early edition of the King James translation but didn’t know how early until Peters took a close look at it. Through careful research, he was able to match more than 50 errors in the university’s Bible to those found in other copies of the first edition.

    In addition to being rare — there may be only one other first edition of the King James Bible in Canada — the Bible is very valuable. First editions have sold for more than $400,000 U.S. at recent auctions.

    “Although the Bible was previously believed to date from 1611, there was some uncertainty as to whether it was a first or second edition,” Peters said.

    While it contains the famous mistake in Ruth 3:15 — the first edition has “he” instead of “she” — “that in itself doesn’t provide conclusive evidence, since there are later editions that repeat the first edition’s error,” Peters said.

    By referring to the extensive research published in David Norton’s book, A Textual History of the King James Bible, Peters was able to match up other errors.

    “It took a couple of days’ work comparing the editions,” he said.

    After doing his research, Peters called in CMU English professor Paul Dyck, who confirmed the Bible’s unique status.

    The Bible was in a collection of rare Bibles donated in 1897 to Winnipeg’s St. John’s College by Anglican clergyman Daniel Greatorex of London. A note attached to the Bible says it is believed to have once been the property of King James himself, but no one knows who typed the note or why. Peters intends to research that mystery over the next few months.

    For Peters, who attends Winnipeg’s St. Margaret’s Anglican Church, the discovery was a highlight of his practicum.

    “I really enjoy old books,” he said. His English courses with Dyck, including one called “The History of the Book,” caused him to want to do his practicum in an archive.

    http://www.mennoweekly.org/JAN/01-16-06/BIBLE01-16.html
     
  2. Keith M

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    Wow! I think I'll rush right out and buy that copy. $400G is chump change! :rolleyes:

    Seriously, it is good that this early copy of the KJV has been found. I wonder what other treasures the original donation to St. John's might contain?
     
  3. Deacon

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    I followed the article to David Norton’s A TEXTUAL HISTORY OF THE KING JAMES BIBLE, looks interesting but yikes, the price, it’s £55.00/$85.50 @ Amazon.

    I also noticed a rather interesting new KJV version by the same source,
    THE NEW CAMBRIDGE PARAGRAPH BIBLE

    “Modern KJVs have until now been based on the 1769 version, which contains many layers of changes made, both knowingly and unintentionally, by successive printers and editors. Using evidence as diverse as the manuscript work of the original translators, and the results of extensive computer collation of electronically held texts, Norton has carefully stripped away accretions and errors, and produced a scholarly edition of the King James Bible for the new century that will restore the authority of the 1611 translation.”

    See a review @ http://www.ianpaisley.org/article.asp?ArtKey=newedition

    Rob
     
  4. Mexdeaf

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    The 'Textual History' book is available at Half.com for around $63. I'd buy it but that's half my grocery bill for a week.
     
  5. Logos1560

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    I would assume that this student made use of Norton's appendix 1 that listed the "Printer's errors in the first edition" of the 1611
    (pp. 167-172).
     
  6. jw

    jw
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    Wow, didn't know they went for that much.

    Hey Doc Cass - didn't you say once that someone gave you a copy of a 1st edition KJV? Quite the treasure [​IMG]
     
  7. Deacon

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    The price difference between "a copy of a first edition" and a real "first edition" is considerable.

    Rob
     
  8. Craigbythesea

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    Richard Hunne’s personal copy of the 1410 Wycliffe New Testament is currently for sale at $2,750,000. A first printing of the first edition of the 1535 Coverdale Bible is currently for sale at $444,000. A 1537 Matthew-Tyndale Bible is currently for sale for $225,000. A first printing of the 1539 Great Bible is currently for sale at $165,000; 2nd and 3rd printing of this Bible are for sale for much less. Although a “He” variant (the most valuable variant) of the first edition KJV sold for $400,000 at a Sotheby's auction in 2001, a number of these first edition “He” variants are currently for sale from one dealer for prices ranging from $125,000- $400,000. “She” variants of the first edition of the 1611 KJB can be had for as little as $95,000.

    [​IMG]
     
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