Why Tpyos Typos Matter


For the first time ever, I actually found a mistake in the Bible.

Typo (Photo credit: ESTAL – Escola Superior de Tecnologias e Artes de )

At the end of January, I had decided to read through the New Testament in the Common English Bible. While I had already dipped into it here and there, I was finally ready to read it straight through, and decided to tweet a verse of the day as a way of sharing my reading and keeping myself accountable to finish.

So on January 31, I tweeted from Matthew 4:17, “Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven!” The next day from Matthew 6:21, it was this: “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Every day I kept reading—usually several chapters—and every day I would share a verse as my first tweet of the day.

On March 12, I was reading the apostle Paul’s account of his ministry in 2 Corinthians, and my tweet was “If we are crazy, it’s for God sake.” – 2 Corinthians 5:13.

What? Wait a minute—shouldn’t that be “for God’s sake”? (How can you tell I was once a proofreader for an engineering firm?)

I checked the Common English Bible (CEB) website, and sure enough the text read “for God’s sake,” but just as surely my own copy said “for God sake.”

In this case the typo was minor. But sometimes mistakes not caught by proofreading can be critical. Like The Wicked Bible of 1631 that listed the seventh commandment as “Thou shalt commit adultery,” which resulted in a recall of all copies and a fine for the publisher. Or what Arthur C. Clarke calls “the most expensive [missing] hyphen” in history that caused the Mariner 1 space probe to explode shortly after takeoff. For more on these and other costly typos, see Mental Floss.

As for the typo I found? I reported it on the CEB website, but never got a reply since it had evidently been corrected.  And I kept on reading, finally completing my reading of the New Testament on April 9, and tweeting “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all” – Revelation 22:21.

Writing/Reflection Prompt: Have you ever come across a typo in a published work, and did it matter? Would you hire someone with typos in their cover letter or resumé?


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6 thoughts on “Why Tpyos Typos Matter

  1. Soli Deo gloria is a Latin term for Glory to God alone.
    This translation came out in 2011 and has not really had time to fix typos. We have to remember that the Bible is the inspired word of God and not the infallible word.

  2. I found one in a version of the Bible I was reading once, too, and oh how I wish I would have kept track of it because they are indeed rare there. I always enjoy finding typos in the work of others to feel better about myself. 🙂 Mere mortals.

  3. I’m not sure if I understand what Pulimood said above. To me, God’s word and God’s Word are infallible. Unfortunately, when humans become involved, that’s where the mistakes come in. It isn’t God that messes up, it’s us. I’m sure that’s what Pulimood meant by his (or her) comment, but that’s not the way it “translated” to me.

  4. Yes, thats exactly what I hoped to write ( I am in no way a professional). Many of the disciples of Christ were just ordinary people. The Bible I believe was written by men who were inspired by God.

    In this case this is a relatively new translation and may have some typos.

    LOL I like Davis comment on how mere mortals make her feel so good. LOL

  5. I like this (related) quote by Oscar Wilde too: “I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.”

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