Jeremiah 34:16


"But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom ye had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids."

The problem found in this verse deals with the little word "ye." Some editions of the KJV read, "whom he had set at liberty at their pleasure," instead of as it appears in the above text. James R. White asks, "The question for the KJV Only advocate is, 'How do you determine which one is right?'" (The King James Only Controversy, [Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1995], 80). He then mistakenly states that this dilemma cannot be determined by going back to the original edition of the KJV printed in 1611 since it, "has undergone changes of similar nature over the years." (Ibid., 81).

These type of arguments have nothing to do with either the Hebrew text, the translation found in the KJV, or the doctrine of preservation. It has to do with printing errors which some editions still maintain. Correcting a printing mistake is not changing the text.

The original edition of 1611 read, "whome yee had set at libertie at their pleasure." White notes that it is the edition printed by Oxford which reads "he" while the edition printed by Cambridge reads "ye." (Ibid., 80). John R. Dore has correctly stated that, "The University of Oxford did not begin to print Bibles until the year 1675, when the first was issued in quarto size; the spelling was revised by Dr. John Fell, Dean of Oxford." (Old Bibles: An Account of the Early Versions of the English Bible, [London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1888], 346). Cambridge, agreeing with the edition of 1611, first began printing KJV Bibles in 1629 by Thomas and John Buck. Although I cannot prove that the error falls to Dr. John Fell in his 1675 Oxford edition, I can state that considerable time past before the error was introduced, with the error limited to the editions published by Oxford or based on the Oxford edition.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the issue of Biblical preservation, for the reading is found in the original edition, the Cambridge edition, and current editions based on either the original 1611 or Cambridge editions. This has everything to do with what Bible-believers have claimed about the so-called four revisions of the KJV. These revisions deal with orthography (spelling), calligraphy (style of writing), or printing errors (as we find here). But the text of the KJV has remained unaltered.

Another example of such a printing error can be found in Acts 6:3. The original edition of 1611 had the correct reading:

"Wherefore brethren, looke ye out among you seuen men of honest report, full of the holy Ghost, and wifedome, whom we may appoint ouer this businesse."

However, a printed edition in 1638 read, "whom he may appoint over this businesse." Yet, current editions have again corrected this printing error so that it again reads, "whom we may appoint over this business."

 

Back to Index