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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
ARE IMPURE EDITIONS OF THE KING JAMES BIBLE INERRANT?
A typographical error is not actually an "error" in the Bible, because it is only a presentation error. The fact is that any KJB (of the proper tradition) is still presenting the same text and translation that is correct. The issue is not about "errancy", but about purity of presentation. (The problem is if someone is thinking that an impure rendering is the truth, if it differs to the intended and proper presentation, especially when meaning is potentially altered.)
If we have an inerrant text and translation, and yet we have many differing editions of it, we would also want to have the edition which has the standard spelling and that is free from perpetuated typographical errors. As a whole, the Pure Cambridge Edition is this, and I have presented electronic copies that are free from even little accidental one-off errors of the kind that are likely to appear in almost every book on the planet.
However there are some so-called KJBs which are corrupt, because the text and translation have been altered, e.g. the margin notes interpolated, or so-called “archaic” words changed.
The point is that the proper intended message and meaning of the KJB is linked with the most accurate presentation. This does not mean that present impure copies, or old copies are wrong or not “real Bibles”, but it does mean that there are places where there was potentially a question, for example, should it be “ye” or “he” in Jeremiah 34:16? Resolving this has been taking into account many factors, such as, the Hebrew, the 1611 Edition, the 1769 Edition, various opinions, and other such things. But the foundation is that God has provided out of history a completely correct edition, for which there is a witness to in a great consensus of literally millions of copies. By receiving the true edition, which is in line with God’s promise of having the seven-times purified Word, we have the responsibility to study the issue, and seeing that these things be so. (All kinds of internal and external evidences vindicate the PCE, and show it to be presentationally superior to any other edition at any place of difference.)
Also, I would point out that to have a standard copy of the King James Bible is an idea that a non-KJB person could accept, even if they do not accept that it is the pure presentation of the perfect version of God’s Word in English for the world. (After all, scholars accept the logic of having the “Cambridge standard Shakespeare” etc.)
Some presently printed Bibles are going to be closer to the "pure" edition than others, e.g. a Pitt Minion Cambridge, which was once a PCE, may now still be fairly close since Cambridge has been making changes away from the pure.
Last of all, I will mention that even if we had the final draft with handwriting in it that was delivered to the press in 1610/1611, we would find that this master copy would not be the "standard presentation", though it would obviously have the correct text and translation just the same as any 1769-based printed copy today. We know that this is the case for a number of reasons: 1. the text and translation have not altered between the first printed copy and 1769. 2. that if there was a problem, there would have been a public comment, alteration by translators, alteration by printers and/or rejection by King James at the outset; history gives no such testimony of textual or translational defects in the King James Bible, and every change that was made, e.g. in 1638, was in line with purification, namely, of clearing out typographical errors, standardising the language and introducing other regularisation, including in the use of italics.
WHERE TO GET THE PURE CAMBRIDGE EDITION?
1. PCE Bibles are available through this website.
2. It may be possible that existing stocks of new PCE Bibles printed by HarperCollins in the Popular Size may be obtained from that publisher, Bible distributors and bookshops.
3. Second hand copies may be available in certain countries in churches, with older Christians and through second hand shops. In Australia, many Collins printed Bibles from the 1940s and 1950s conforming to the PCE may be found, as well as Cambridge printed Bibles from the same era.
For a quick check, look at whether Ezra 2:26 has the spelling “Geba”.
Use the checklist to ascertain whether the Bible is a Pure Cambridge Edition:
1. “or Sheba” not “and Sheba” in Joshua 19:2
2. “sin” not “sins” in 2 Chronicles 33:19
3. “Spirit of God” not “spirit of God” in Job 33:4
4. “whom ye” not “whom he” in Jeremiah 34:16
5. “Spirit of God” not “spirit of God” in Ezekiel 11:24
6. “flieth” not “fleeth” in Nahum 3:16
7. “Spirit” not “spirit” in Matthew 4:1
8. “further” not “farther” in Matthew 26:39
9. “bewrayeth” not “betrayeth” in Matthew 26:73
10. “Spirit” not “spirit” in Mark 1:12
11. “spirit” not “Spirit” in Acts 11:28
12. “spirit” not “Spirit” in 1 John 5:8