Rare King James Bible edition to go on display at King Faisal Center in Riyadh

A photo of a rare first edition of the King James Bible set to go on display in Riyadh. (Supplied)

A rare first edition of the King James Bible is set to go on display at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Published in 1611, the King James Bible is the most renowned biblical translation in history and one of the most widely read English language books in the world.

This particular edition is unique for a famous misprint: “He went into the citie” instead of the correct pronoun “she,” in the book of Ruth (3:15).

The error is evidence the version is one of the first printed copies of the King James Bible, according to Yale University Professor Bruce Gordon.

“This Bible in Saudi Arabia, which is one of the ‘He Bibles’ of the King James Bible, is indeed rare. There are thought to be only about 200 of them,” said Gordon in an interview, adding that there are numerous other printing errors in this particular edition.

King of England and Scotland James I commissioned the version in 1604, marking the first authorized translation of the Bible into common English.

Initially not a commercial success, the King James Bible emerged as the Bible of the English Church 30 years after its publication, according to Gordon.

On loan from a private Saudi Arabian collector, the well-preserved bible is bound with calf leather and brass plates and clasps.

It is set to go on display, along with several early printed copies of the Qur’an, at the King Faisal Center early next year, in an exhibit that highlights how early printing technology impacted religious studies.

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