As my part in celebrating the 400th anniversary of the KJV Bible, I am working on the original KJV 1611 (in the original spelling but in the Roman type and without the long s (ſ), ƈ, r rotunda and tironian “et”) and have come across some interesting facts that I will share below. First, there were two issues/editions of the KJV Bible printed in 1611 that differed from each other. The 1613 edition differed even more from both 1611 editions. More details after the jump.
[from the Authorised Version of the English Bible 1611 edited by Aldis Wright, M.A.,
Vice-Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, 1909]
THERE were two issues of the Authorised Version of 1611. The first of these is here reprinted, it is hoped with literal accuracy, from a copy in my possession, and as it is well known that in books of this period differences occur, and corrections were made while the type was still standing, two copies in the University Library have been consulted in such cases, and the corrected reading has been adopted in the reprint.
As the original edition was in folio, having two columns on a page, it has only been possible for the octavo page of the reprint to represent one column of the folio, so that a page of the folio is seen at the opening of two opposite pages of the octavo. This has involved a slight variation in the headlines of the folio pages as given in the reprint.
The black letter of the folio is represented in the reprint by roman, and the roman type of the folio by italic.
In Ex. xxi. 26 ‘them’ is found for ‘him’ in some copies of the first issue, as is ‘he’ for ‘she’ in Cant. ii. 7, ‘setters forward’ for ‘seters forward’ in 1 Esd. v. 58, and ‘Tyrannus‘ for ‘Tyranuus‘ in the margin of 2 Macc. iv. 40. In Ecclus. xliv. 5 the words ‘by their knowledge of’ are omitted in some copies. Probably many other changes might be discovered.
The differences between the first and second issues are given in the following pages, but no attempt has been made to record in all cases those which are due to mere misprints or varieties of spelling, punctuation and typography, except where they are found only in some copies, for many sheets of the second issue, for some reason or other, were set up afresh in the process of printing.
Whatever credit may be due to this reprint as accurately representing the original is entirely the result of the care and skill of the compositors and readers of the Cambridge University Press. My own part has been merely to compare the first and second issues and to settle any queries which might be submitted to me.
William Aldis Wright.
The variations between the two 1611 issues are in the attached pdf file.
The variations between the 1611 and 1613 editions (which are taken from the 1833 Oxford reprint of the 1611 edition) are found in another pdf file.