Re: Electronic Scribal Errors

From: Edward Hobbs (
Date: Sun May 03 1998 - 16:18:06 EDT

Subj: Electronic Scribal Errors

Clayton Bartholomew writes: --->>>>>>

Not all scribal errors are made by scribes. Today I was working on Acts 11:15
printed on a work sheet from an electronic version of UBS 3rd I purchased back
in 1990. My electronic version of UBS 3rd in Acts 11:15 omits the words TO
PNEUMA, a rather glaring error. I traced this error back to my original
distribution copy of the file. I could not find any other place where this
error appears.

This sort of thing really wakes you up.

<<<-- end of quote

A rather shocking example of this occurred when the NRSV was released in
1989. Since they decided to permit a number of publishers to print it,
1989. Since the Coed to guarantee purity of text, they released it in
electronic form to the publishers.

Much was the hullabaloo when it was published! And much was their chagrin
(never acknowledged, to their shame) when the lowly American Bible Society,
unwilling to print a Bible text they had not proofread (by humans, reading
aloud to each other), discovered that Revelation 13:1 in the NRSV was:

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea,
                                        [HAVING TEN HORNS AND SEVEN HEADS;]
and on its horns were ten diadems,
and on its heads were blasphemous names.
and since they wish to guarantee "purity of text,"
The second line, capitalized and in brackets, was omitted! The only
edition of the NRSV that year which had the full text was the cheap
paperback (on newsprint!) edition by ABS.

I wrote to several publishers, including Oxford University Press (which
used to offer a reward for finding typo's in their Bibles), asking whether
they would exchange their defective Bibles for one which contained the full
text (and also quoting Rev. 22:19, as a threat!). Not one answered; and for
at least three years they all continued to sell their defective Bibles.
Every one of my four beautiful leather-bound NRSV's including the one
with the Prayer Book bound with it, has this defect.

A long story-- I may have reported it on this List previously, but Clay's
message seemed to suggest to me that I tell it (again?).

Edward Hobbs

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