A POST FOR WRITER WEDNESDAY
For the first time ever, I actually found a mistake in the Bible.
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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