Tiny Church Finds Original King James Bible - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Tiny Church Finds Original King James Bible

Hilmarton, England (CNN) - A little English village church has just made a remarkable discovery.

The ornate old Bible that had been sitting in plain view on a table near the last row of pews for longer than anyone could remember is an original King James Bible - one of perhaps 200 surviving 400-year-old original editions of arguably the most important book ever printed in English.

In fact, the Bible at St. Laurence Church in Hilmarton, England, was sitting right under a hand-lettered sign saying it was an original.

The sign said it had been found in "the parish chest" in 1857, that the cover had been added, and that it was the second of the two impressions published in 1611 - the year of first publication.

But no one knew whether to believe it, parish council member Geoff Procter said. As the anniversary of publication in 1611 approached, they decided it was worth investigating.

"We had no way of knowing whether it really was a 1611 Bible so we had to get it verified somehow," he said.

He and two other church members took it to a specialist, the Rev. David Smith at the Museum of the Book in London.

Smith knew immediately what he was looking at, Procter said.

"We put it on his table and he opened it and immediately he said, 'Yes, this is a 1611 Bible,'" Procter remembered.

Smith identified it thanks to a printing error - a place in the Gospel of Matthew that should say Jesus entered the Garden of Gethsemane and spoke to his disciples instead says that Judas, who betrayed Jesus to the Romans, entered the garden.

That the St. Laurence Bible had that error, but not another one in the Book of Ruth, enabled Smith to pinpoint exactly when the book had been printed, Procter explained.

"We realized that this is quite an important find," he said, and last month the church quietly announced the discovery in the diocese newsletter.

They hesitated before going public, Procter said.

"It was one of those discoveries that we wondered if we should tell everybody or tell nobody," he said. "And we thought that as it was the 400th anniversary, we should talk about it."

St. Laurence Church is far from the only one talking about the King James Bible this year - the Globe Theatre in London is planning a reading of the whole thing in the days before Easter, and a literary festival has already done one. Cambridge University has an exhibition, and the King James Bible Trust lists dozens of special events planned this year to mark the anniversary.

The reason is simple, said Moira Goff of the British Library.

The King James Bible is "so embedded in us that we can't overstate the significance of it," she said.

It's the source of dozens of phrases and concepts that have become part of the English language - "an eye for an eye," "born again," "eat, drink and be merry," "God forbid."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Kids walk home due to crowded bus

    Kids walk home due to crowded bus

    Friday, February 23 2018 8:18 PM EST2018-02-24 01:18:23 GMT
    School bus crash in Rathdrum, IDSchool bus crash in Rathdrum, ID
    School bus crash in Rathdrum, IDSchool bus crash in Rathdrum, ID

    Spokane Valley, Wash. As a father of four, Justin Hein was not happy that his 12-year-old daughter and five other students walked over a mile from Centennial Middle School to her home last week, “Kind of Frustrated,” said Hein. He continued by saying, “I had no clue that my kid was even nominated or telling to walk home from school with slippery ice, people driving, that aren't watching where they are going,  and trying to watch a cell phone. And I have to worry

    >>

    Spokane Valley, Wash. As a father of four, Justin Hein was not happy that his 12-year-old daughter and five other students walked over a mile from Centennial Middle School to her home last week, “Kind of Frustrated,” said Hein. He continued by saying, “I had no clue that my kid was even nominated or telling to walk home from school with slippery ice, people driving, that aren't watching where they are going,  and trying to watch a cell phone. And I have to worry

    >>
  • Liquor store clerks shoot armed robbery suspect, fight over gun

    Liquor store clerks shoot armed robbery suspect, fight over gun

    Saturday, February 24 2018 12:27 AM EST2018-02-24 05:27:46 GMT

    TULSA, Okla. - The owner of an Oklahoma liquor store has released graphic surveillance video showing a violent run-in with an armed robber.  KTUL reports that police responded to Forest Acres Liquor Store in Tulsa Thursday evening after the clerk called 911, saying they shot the suspect several times. The suspect took off before officers arrived, but he later showed up at a nearby hospital.  Police identified the suspect as Tyrone Lee, and 

    >>

    TULSA, Okla. - The owner of an Oklahoma liquor store has released graphic surveillance video showing a violent run-in with an armed robber.  KTUL reports that police responded to Forest Acres Liquor Store in Tulsa Thursday evening after the clerk called 911, saying they shot the suspect several times. The suspect took off before officers arrived, but he later showed up at a nearby hospital.  Police identified the suspect as Tyrone Lee, and 

    >>
  • One dead, one injured in crash on Highway 395 near Deer Park

    One dead, one injured in crash on Highway 395 near Deer Park

    Saturday, February 24 2018 1:33 AM EST2018-02-24 06:33:14 GMT

    DEER PARK, Wash. - Washington State Patrol is investigating a crash on Highway 395 near Deer Park. WSP officials said they were working to rescue two people who were trapped as a result of the crash Friday evening. Troopers said two cars were involved and there are serious injuries.  Highway 395 is blocked in both directions. Traffic is being divert southbound at Owens and northbound at Burrows.  Avoid the area if possible. 

    >>

    DEER PARK, Wash. - Washington State Patrol is investigating a crash on Highway 395 near Deer Park. WSP officials said they were working to rescue two people who were trapped as a result of the crash Friday evening. Troopers said two cars were involved and there are serious injuries.  Highway 395 is blocked in both directions. Traffic is being divert southbound at Owens and northbound at Burrows.  Avoid the area if possible. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/