Brewer's: Bible

means simply a book, but is now exclusively confined to the “Book of Books.” (Greek, biblos, a book.) The headings of the chapters were prefixed by Miles Smith, Bishop of Gloucester, one of the translators. (i) BIBLES NAMED FROM ERRORS OF TYPE, or from archaic words:

The Breeches Bible.
So called because Genesis iii. 7 was rendered,
The eyes of them bothe were opened . . . . and they sowed figge-tree leaves together, and made themselves breeches.

By Whittingham, Gilby, and Sampson, 1579.

The Idle Bible,
1809. In which the “idole shepherd” (Zech. xi. 17) is printed “the idle shepherd.” The Bug Bible, 1551. So called because Psalm xci. 5 is translated, “Thou shalt not be afraid of bugges [bogies] by nighte.”

The Great Bible.
The same as Matthew Parker's Bible (q.v.).

The Place-maker's Bible.
So called from a printer's error in Matt. v. 9, “Blessed are the placemakers [peace-makers], for they shall be called the children of God.”

The Printers' Bible
makes David pathetically complain that “the printers [princes] have persecuted me without a cause” (Ps. cxix. 161).

The Treacle Bible,
1549 (Beck's Bible), in which the word “balm” is rendered “treacle.” The Bishops' Bible has tryacle in Jer. iii. 28; xlvi. 11; and in Ezek. xxvii. 17.

The Unrighteous Bible,
1652 (Cambridge Press). So called from the printer's error, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall inherit the Kingdom of God?” (1 Cor. vi. 9).

The Vinegar Bible.
So called because the heading to Luke xx. is given as “The parable of the Vinegar” (instead of Vineyard). Printed at the Clarendon Press in 1717.

The Wicked Bible.
So called because the word not is omitted in the seventh commandment, making it, “Thou shalt commit adultery.” Printed by Barker and Lucas, 1632.

To these may be added: the Discharge Bible, the Ears to Ear Bible, Rebecca's Camels Bible, the Rosin Bible, the Standing Fishes Bible, and some others.


Bishop's Bible.
The revised edition of Archbishop Parker's version. Published 1568. Coverdale's Bible, 1535. Translated by Miles Coverdale, afterwards Bishop of Exeter. This was the first Bible sanctioned by royal authority.

Cranmer's Bible,
1539. This is Coverdale's Bible corrected by Archbishop Cranmer. It was printed in 1540, and in 1549 every parish church was enjoined to have a copy under a penalty of 40s. a month.

The Douay Bible,
1581. A translation made by the professors of the Douay College for the use of English boys destined for the Catholic priesthood.

The Geneva Bible.
The Bible translated by the English exiles at Geneva. The same as the “Breeches Bible” (q.v.).

King James's Bible.
The Authorised Version; so called because it was undertaken by command of James I. Published 1611.

Matthew Parker's Bible
or “The Great Bible,” published in the reign of Henry VIII. under the care of Archbishop Parker and his staff (1539-1541). In 1572 several prolegomena were added.

Matthews' Bible
is Tindal's version. It was so called by John Rogers, superintendent of the English churches in Germany, and was published with notes under the fictitious name of Thomas Matthews, 1537.

The Mazarine Bible.
The earliest book printed in movable metal type. It contains no date. Copies have been recently sold from 3,900. Called the Mazarine Bible from the Bibliothèque Mazarine, founded in Paris by Cardinal Mazarine in 1648.

Sacy's Bible.
So called from Isaac Louis Sacy (Le-maistre), director of the Port Royal Monastery. He was imprisoned for three years in the Bastille for his Jansenist opinions, and translated the Bible during his captivity (1666-1670).

Tyndale's Bible.
William Tyndale, or Tindal, having embraced the Reformed religion, retired to Antwerp, where he printed an English translation of the Scriptures. All the copies were bought up, whereupon Tyndale printed a revised edition. The book excited the rancour of the Catholics, who strangled the “heretic” and burnt his body near Antwerp in 1536

Wyclif's Bible
1380, but first printed in 1850.


The Authorised Version,
1611. (See King James's Bible.)

The Revised Version.
Published in May, 1885. The work was begun in June, 1870, by twenty-five scholars, ten of whom died before the version was completed. The revisers had eighty-five sessions, which extended over fourteen years.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894

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