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Stupid autocorrect!

Behold, the Vinegar Bible! Spotted on our adventures this weekend. It is so-called because of a typo in the header of the 20th chapter of Luke, which is titled “the parable of the vinegar” instead of “vineyard”.

It was published in 1717 by John Baskett, who set out to make the most showy and beautiful bible ever printed in English. Most bibliophiles think he succeeded.

It’s also absolutely stuffed with typos. It was called “A Baskett-full of printers’ errors” in its day. This article (and this one) claims it was the origin of the expression “basket case” – but it wasn’t (that first appeared in print shortly after WWI to describe mythical soldiers who had lost all four limbs and were carried around in baskets).

I’d like to know how many were printed and how many have survived, but I haven’t had much luck. This article claims there were four still around, but I’m sure that’s untrue. I’ve run across seven extant copies just Googling tonight.

Including one you can buy for $15,000.

Baskett was unpopular. He tried to keep a monopoly on bible printing in England and spent a lot of his money defending his claims in court. Despite that, he seems to have done alright for himself.

I can understand why this church leaves it open to the famous typo, but I wish they’d left it on one of the pages of sumptuous engravings I read so much about.

Your moment of synchronicity: the printer of the very first King James Bible was Robert Barker. (Get it? Eh? Bob Barker?).


Comment from Uncle Al
Time: August 29, 2023, 8:56 pm

Could it be that the famous typo is a compound typo slash Freudian slip revealing the shame Baskett felt over his failure at Asceticism?

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: August 30, 2023, 12:33 am

Does the parable say use rice wine vinegar because it tastes better?

Or perhaps, “Don’t print all your bibles with John Baskett”.

Comment from blake
Time: August 31, 2023, 5:19 pm

Basket cases are mythical?

Paging Frank Henenlotter!

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