Errors in the King James Bible


Here are some errors of the King James Bible

Matthew 6:13: The Lord’s Prayer traditionally ends: “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” This seems to have been absent from the original writings. 6
Matthew 17:21 is a duplicate of Mark 9:29. It was apparently added by a copyist in order to make Matthew agree with Mark. But Mark 9:29 also contains a forgery*; this makes Matthew 17:21 a type of double-layered forgery*. 5
John 7:53 to 8:11: One of the most famous forgeries* in the Bible is the well-known story of the woman observed in adultery. It was apparently written and inserted after John 7:52 by an unknown author, perhaps in the 5th century CE. This story is often referred to as an “orphan story” because it is a type of floating text which has appeared after John 7:36, John 7:52, John 21:25, and Luke 21:38 in various manuscripts. Some scholars believe that the story may have had its origins in oral traditions about Jesus.
It is a pity that the status of verses John 8:1-11 are not certain. If they were known to be a reliable description of Jesus’ ministry, they would have given a clear indication of Jesus’ stance on the death penalty.
Mark 9:29: Jesus comments that a certain type of indwelling demon can only be exorcised through “prayer and fasting” (KJV) This is also found in the Rheims New Testament. But the word “fasting” did not appear in the oldest manuscripts. 5 New English translations have dropped the word.
Mark 16:9-20: The original version of Mark ended rather abruptly at the end of Verse 8. Verses 9 to 20, which are shown in most translations of the Bible, were added later by an unknown forger*. The verses were based on portions of Luke, John and other sources.
Luke 3:22: This passage describes Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist. According to Justin Martyr, the original version of this verse has God speaking the words: “You are my son, today have I begotten thee.” Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Augustine, and other ancient Christian authorities also quoted it this way. 1 The implication is that Jesus was first recognized by God as his son at the time of baptism. But a forger* altered the words to read: “You are my son, whom I love.” The altered passage conformed more to the evolving Christian belief that Jesus was the son of God at his birth, (as described in Luke and Matthew) or before the beginning of creation (as in John), and not at his baptism.
John 5:3-4: These verses describe how “a great multitude” of disabled people stayed by the water. From time to time an angel arrived, and stirred the waters. The first person who stepped in was cured. This passage seems strange. The process would not be at all just, because the blind could not see the waters being stirred, and the less mobile of the disabled would have no chance of a cure. Part of Verse 3 and all of Verse 4 are missing from the oldest manuscripts of John. 3 It appears to be a piece of free-floating magical text that someone added to John.
John 21: There is general agreement among liberal and mainline Biblical scholars that the original version of the Gospel of John ended at the end of John 20. John 21 appears to either be an afterthought of the author(s) of John, or a later addition by a forger*. Most scholars believe the latter. 4
1 Corinthians 14:34-35: This is a curious passage. It appears to prohibit all talking by women during services. But it contradicts verse 11:5, in which St. Paul states that women can actively pray and prophesy during services. It is obvious to some theologians that verses 14:33b to 36 are a later addition, added by an unknown counterfeiter* with little talent at forgery.* Bible scholar, Hans Conzelmann, comments on these three and a half verses: “Moreover, there are peculiarities of linguistic usage, and of thought. [within them].” 2 If they are removed, then Verse 33a merges well with Verse 37 in a seamless transition. Since they were a later forgery*, they do not fulfill the basic requirement to be considered inerrant: they were not in the original manuscript written by Paul. This is a very important passage, because much many denominations stand against female ordination is based on these verses.
Revelation 1:11: The phrase “Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and,” (KJV) which is found in the King James Version was not in the original Greek texts. It is also found in the New King James Version (NKJV) and in the 21st Century King James Version (KJ21) The latter are basically re-writes of the original KJV. Modern English, is used, but the translators seem to have made little or no effort to correct errors. The Alpha Omega phrase “is not found in virtually any ancient texts, nor is it mentioned, even as a footnote, in any modern translation or in Bruce Metzger’s definitive ‘A Textual Commentary’ on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition (New York: United Bible Societies, 1994…” 7)



Some of those errors - and some are textual variants, which are not the same thing as translator’s errors - appear in the Vulgate too. The Catholic Bibles based on editions of the Challoner revision of the Douai-Reims have errors. Just as is to be expected.

My favourite in the NT is this:

Acts Chapter 27. Paul is shipped for Rome. His voyage and shipwreck. 27:1. when they had loosed from Asson, they sailed close by Crete.

  • the Vulgate made the Greek adverb asson into the name of an island. Which was very natural, as in St. Jerome’s time MSS. were WRITTENINCAPITALSLIKETHIS - which allowed plenty of room for mistakes. It is sometimes forgotten that words were abbreviated, and that some letters could be easily mistaken for one another - which affects the translations made of the resulting word. If words are wrongly divided, repeated, left out, copied into the wrong place, harmonised with similar passages, or altered in some other way, that also affects what is translated.

Then there is Forrest in the OT (so spelt) -

19 “Adeodatus the son of the Forrest”… So it is rendered in the Latin Vulgate, by giving the interpretation of the Hebrew names, which are Elhanan the son

The texts of the OT & NT are themselves imperfect, which is another source of problems. Imperfect texts, mean that translations of them will be imperfect, whatever the religion of the translators.The King’s men did a very good job overall - there is no such thing as a perfect translation, not of the Biblical literature or any other. There is no reason to treat the DR-Challoner editions of the Bible as “good” in contrast with the supposedly “bad” AV-KJV, because they are both “good” & “bad” - the real test of a Bible is whether God blesses it to His service; & that, is not subject to human calculation.


Making things even worse Hebrew was written without vowels, so instead of being WRITTENINCAPITALSLIKETHIS it was WRTTNNCPTLSLKTHS. Dots and dashes indicating vowels were added later, and were far too many times a best guess.


I am aware of ancient Greek manuscript from which today’s translations of the New Testament have descended. Are there actual ancient Hebrew manuscripts from which comparisons with the New Testament can be made?

Besides Latin and Greek versions of ancient New Testament manuscripts, are there any 2nd, 3rd, or 4th century manuscipts in other languages? For instance are there any Aramaic New Testament writings?

I was of the understanding that the non use of vowels in Hebrew was reserved only for the name of God in the Old Testament?


The New Testament was not originally written in Hebrew. All of the New Testament except Matthew was originally written in Greek.

Besides Latin and Greek versions of ancient New Testament manuscripts, are there any 2nd, 3rd, or 4th century manuscipts in other languages? For instance are there any Aramaic New Testament writings?

Although the original manuscript of Matthew was written in Aramaic, it has not survived. Only the Greek version is extant. None of the other New Testament books were written in Aramaic originally.


Some of them exist. For instance there are very early manuscripts in Syriac. And I’m told St. Jerome made reference to a Gospel to the Hebrews; this may have been an early Aramaic draft of Matthew’s gospel. Unfortunately, that does not survive.

The heretical Gnostic writings were written in Coptic, which is Egyptian written with Greek letters. The legitimate Gospels were also translated into Coptic. Most of what remains of these are fragments.

It is important to point out that for the first thousand years or so, if you needed to read and write you learned Greek or Latin. Attitudes about reading and writing were very different than they are today. Paper and the printing press had not been invented, and most ordinary people were at best only semi-literate except for knowing how to read the scriptures. But anyone who wanted to engage in trade learned one of the international languages of trade, either Greek or Latin.

We have a similar situation today in international travel. Airplane pilots who cross international borders and Air Traffic Controllers learn English so that, wherever they go, they will be able communicate.

I was of the understanding that the non use of vowels in Hebrew was reserved only for the name of God in the Old Testament?

The name of God, I Am Who Am, was deemed too sacred to utter so letters were added. YHWH was interspersed with the word for Lord, Adonai. This was the source for the English transliteration that is rendered Jehovah.

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